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 One moment of madness

Death on Germany's railways 

Owen's wonder goal 

Beckham is sent off 

Batty misses 

Sex, lies and impeachment

Northern Ireland: An historic year

The year the bubble burst

Kosovo: Another Balkan tragedy

Nature's turbulent year

Sport: Trials and triumph


Pick of the month
The subjects that got you talking this month
Kim Milton Nielsen
The referee who sent off David Beckham in England's World Cup match against Argentina.

David Beckham's pointless, childish kick on an Argentinian opponent led to England's World Cup defeat and his immediate personal villification. Scotland had earlier made their traditional first-round exit.

While most of Europe celebrated this sporting festival, the people of Kosovo were fleeing from the advancing Serbs in their tens of thousands. In contrast, the cause of peace moved on another step in Northern Ireland as parties favouring the Good Friday Agreement won a majority in the new assembly.

In the world of business, Japan went into recession and Russia's slide down the slippery slope continued. Closer to home, Rolls-Royce was bought by the German car company Volkswagen - though rival bidders BMW ended up with the famous name.

UK news focused on the upholding of Louise Woodward's manslaughter conviction, the apology by the Metropolitan police to the family of murdered black teenager Stephen Lawrence, the striking off the medical register of two doctors at the centre of the Bristol heart babies scandal, and the closure of the Dounreay nuclear reprocessing plant.

Germany saw its worst rail crash for 50 years when a wheel came off an intercity express, killing more than 100 people.

Nigerian leader General Sani Abacha died unexpectedly of a heart attack. Among others to say goodbye were novelist Catherine Cookson and actress Maureen O'Sullivan.

Should the world intervene in Kosovo? "Kosovo is an integral part of Yugoslavia."
"Sanctions will not stop Serbia, it's up to Nato."
Are the Drumcree marchers out of step? "It's simply a matter of maintaining cultural identity."
"They're like Mosley's thugs and the Ku Klux Klan."
Are women better drivers than men? "Women have never outshone men in any field."
"Yes, they can even do their make-up while driving."
Is this the end for the Spice Girls? "Not until the fans and the others say so."
"One can only hope so."
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