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The attacks on Serbia would go on for 78 days
Media Bytes

 "The city was soon plunged into darkness"
John Devitt reports on the Nato bombing

 "This area of Uganda is becoming extremely dangerous"
Jane Standley reports on kidnappings
Talking Point

The bombing of Serbia - your reaction

"You need to be here to know how we feel." Daniela, Nis, Yugoslavia

"If a few civilian casualties are the price to pay to stop the massacring, let it be." William Journell, USA

march

When peace talks between the Yugoslav government and Kosovo separatists being held at Rambouillet in France finally broke down, Nato believed it had no other option but to launch air strikes against Serbian forces in the former Yugoslavia.

It was the first Nato offensive against a sovereign state and Europe's largest military conflict since 1945. The bombing which began on 24 March lasted 78 days.

Shortly before hostilities broke out in Kosovo the European Union was locked in a war of words over allegations of fraud, mismanagement and nepotism among the members of the European Commission.

It was the worst constitutional crisis in the organisation's 42-year history and culminated in the resignation of the EC president Jacques Santer and 19 Commissioners. Mr Santer was later replaced by the former Italian prime minister, Romano Prodi.

Elsewhere, beef and bananas were in the news at the centre of a trade war between the US and the European Union. The US objected to the preferential treatment given to bananas imported from the former colonies of EU countries in the Caribbean and Africa and to Europe's ban on American beef treated with hormones.

Genetically modified foods were also back on (or should that be off?) the menu - at least in the UK where more supermarkets started boycotting GM products.

In Uganda, eight kidnapped Western tourists were killed during a battle between troops and their captors.



At the end of the 20th century, after two world wars and one cold war, we have a chance to leave our children a Europe that is free, peaceful and stable. But we must act now.
President Clinton on the Serbia bombing
Merger mania in business continued with Comcast, the US's fourth-largest cable TV supplier, buying out its competitor MediaOne for $60bn. In France, the Banque Nationale de Paris stunned the banking sector by making a rare, although unsuccessful, hostile bid of 22bn for two rivals, Société Générale and Parisbas.

It was a month in which the worlds of entertainment and sport mourned the passing away of some of their favourite sons and daughters. The English pop singer and symbol of London's Swinging Sixties, Dusty Springfield, died from cancer. The American film director, Stanley Kubrick, the American-born British violinist, Sir Yehudi Menuhin, the Australian entertainer, Rod Hull and the English comedian, Ernie Wise all passed away. The great Joe DiMaggio, one of the most popular and successful players in US baseball history, also died.

The film world's annual festival of glamour and glizt otherwise known as the Oscars took place in Hollywood and turned out to be a run-off between two movies - "Shakespeare in Love" and "Saving Private Ryan". But it was the former's Gywneth Paltrow and her tears which stole many of the headlines.

In sport, there were two firsts: the first women members entered the "Long Room" at Lords and a Briton and a Swiss became the first balloonists to circumnavigate the world.
World: Poland, Hungary and the Czech Republic formally join Nato
World: Tragedy in Mont Blanc tunnel
UK: Corporal Clegg cleared of murder
UK: Ramblers win right to roam
Business: Uncertainty over Rover plant
Sport: Spurs win Worthington Cup
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