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 Viagra: Approved by Europe in September, approved by men all year

End of the Kohl era in Germany 

Fighting Rupert Murdoch 

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
Neville Lawrence
Father of murdered teenager Stephen Lawrence, who finally received a police apology.

There was the passing of an era in Germany as Helmut Kohl was defeated at the polls after 16 years as chancellor.

Disaster struck off the coast of Canada as a Swissair jet crashed into the Atlantic, killing all 229 people on board.

The global economic problems continued with the world's biggest bankruptcy, of the Japan Leasing Corporation. In the UK, the crisis manifested itself in job losses - the most pointed being the closure of the Fujitsu microchip factory in the prime minister's own constituency.

President Clinton, meanwhile said "sorry" about the Monica Lewinsky affair for the first time, but it did not stop him being embarrassed as his video testimony was released to the public - who appeared mainly bored rather than outraged.

The American leader's apology came during a visit to Ireland, in which he visited Omagh. In the wake of the bombing, the UK and Ireland passed tough anti-terrorist laws. Progress in Northern Ireland over the year was one of the inspirations behind the ETA ceasefire in Spain.

The situation in Kosovo, however, seemed to worsen with reports of massacres. Another sorry story of genocide came to a partial conclusion with the jailing for life of the former prime minister of Rwanda, Jean Kambanda, after he admitted crimes against humanity.

Salman Rushdie took heart from the apparent lifting of the death sentence against him, but other threats emerged later in the year.

Other UK stories included the bank manageress found guilty of sex discrimination and a vicar convicted of overcharging his parishoners for services such as weddings and funerals.

In sport, the most far-reaching story was the proposed takeover of Manchester United by satellite broadcaster BskyB.

Should Clinton resign now? "He's doing a fantastic job for the country."
"What an embarrassment to this great country of ours."
Should Europe axe the Queen's head? "Absolutely NOT!"
"Why should it appear on a Europe-wide currency?"
Is capitalism under threat? "Yes - and we could do with a shake-up."
"Capitalism will stand until man has a change of heart."
Have the Commonwealth Games lost their meaning? "The Commonwealth has no purpose so why have Games?"
"No, they exemplify sport as it should be."
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