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 Saint or sinner?

The Old Man of Space 

Ron Davies' moment of madness 

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
Ann Widdecombe
The new "Tory darling" after her rousing performance at the party conference.

A long-running, divisive saga began in October with the arrest in the UK of former Chilean dictator, General Augusto Pinochet. He faces possible extradition to Spain in connection with torture and murders committed when he was in power.

Nature extracted a terrible toll as Hurricane Mitch devastated Nicaragua and Honduras, killing thousands of people. The death toll was vastly higher than it need have been because of man-made deforestation.

Serb leader President Milosevic pushed Nato to the brink of bombing his country in defence of Kosovo, but reached a deal to defuse the crisis just in time.

In the UK, politics was top of the agenda with the resignation of Welsh Secretary Ron Davies after a mysterious meeting with a man on Clapham Common and a robbery. There was also the party conference season, with Ann Widdecombe proclaimed the new Tory darling after a bravura performance in Bournemouth.

The conferences were followed by the Jenkins report into electoral reform for the House of Commons and the Neill report into the funding of political parties.

Also in the UK, Michael Stone was convicted of the murder of Lin and Megan Russell and the attempted murder of Josie Russell in a brutal hammer attack in an English country lane.

President Clinton learned he would have to face impeachment hearings. More positively, he led calls to reform international monetary institutions such as the IMF and World Bank and hosted talks which led to a Middle East peace agreement of sorts.

Reconciliation rather than agreement was the story in South Africa as the Truth and Reconciliation Commission published its report into the apartheid years, with no side coming out squeaky clean.

John Glenn returned to space and a sporting returnee was Mike Tyson who got his boxing licence back.

Among those who died, the name of Britain's Poet Laureate, Ted Hughes, stands out.

Was the UK right to arrest Pinochet? "As a former prisoner of his, I have waited 25 years for action."
"He saved Chilean lives."
Should Mike Tyson box again? "Will he put horse-shoes in his gloves next time?"
"He made a mistake - give him a second chance."
Are Lady Thatcher's views still relevant? "You are lucky to have her - we need her in the US."
"Someone tell her she's no longer prime minister!"
Do you object to leaving a tip? "Convention dictates I feel mean if I don't."
"Expect a little 'bonus' in your food if you don't!"
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