August 1998 News and Events

Updated July 10, 2020 | Infoplease Staff

1998 News Month-By-Month


  • Arafat Reshuffles Cabinet (Aug. 5): Palestinian leader defies Legislative Council by retaining ministers it wanted ousted for alleged mismanagement.
  • Iraq Ends Cooperation with Inspectors (Aug. 5): Government demands removal of chief U.N. arms inspector, Richard Butler. (Aug. 6): Security Council rebukes Iraq and demands that Baghdad reverse decision.
  • Russia Moves Against Tax Evaders (Aug. 6): Collectors seize executives' assets at three big oil companies in demand for more than $150 million in arrears.
  • Two U.S. Embassies in Africa Bombed (Aug. 7): Powerful weapons explode minutes apart in Kenya and Tanzania. 190 killed, including eight Americans. Officials believe attacks were coordinated. Thousands are injured over wide areas. Many people reported missing. (Aug. 11): U.S. temporarily halts operations at some foreign embassies and other diplomatic posts following threats.
  • Swiss Reach Agreement on Holocaust Payments (Aug. 12): Commercial banks and Holocaust survivors settle on $1.25 billion payment in reparations over three years. Deal hinges on ending plans for sanctions.
  • Serbian Troops Step Up Terror in Kosovo (Aug. 15): Drive tens of thousands of ethnic Albanians from their homes and loot and burn their villages.
  • Car Bomb Kills 28 in Northern Ireland (Aug. 15): Wounds 220 in town of Omagh, including pregnant women and infants. Attack is deadliest ever in Ulster, and raises doubts for survival of peace agreement. Roman Catholic splinter group, the Real I.R.A., takes responsibility.
  • Russia Fights to Avert Financial Collapse (Aug. 17): Government takes drastic steps, including delaying payments on foreign debts and restructuring bonds.
  • U.N. Renews Sanctions on Iraq (Aug. 20): Security Council acts after Baghdad insists it will not cooperate with arms inspectors until restrictions are lifted. William S. Ritter, longest-serving U.S. weapons inspector, has resigned, charging U.N. and U.S. had balked efforts to uncover Iraq's hidden program.
  • Canadian Court Limits Quebec Separation (Aug. 20): Supreme bench rules simple vote is insufficient for French-speaking province to secede legally. Approval of a clear majority of the people in Quebec and complex constitutional negotiations would be required.
  • U.S. Cruise Missiles Hit Suspected Terrorist Bases (Aug. 20): Dozens launched by ships strike targets in Afghanistan and the Sudan. President Clinton calls attack an act of self-defense against terrorist plots and retaliation for embassy bombings in Africa.
  • Yeltsin Shakes Up Government (Aug. 23): Brings back previously dismissed Viktor S. Chernomyrdin as Prime Minister, in move to bolster political support. (Aug. 31): Russian Parliament rejects appointment.
  • Suspect in African Bombings Arrested (Aug. 27): Federal agents bring prisoner to U.S. Man linked to attacks on embassies tells of training at terrorist camps.
  • North Korea Fires Missile Across Japan (Aug. 31): Firing of two-stage missile shows increased range. Japanese call firing “extremely dangerous.” North Korea insists it launched satellite, not missile.


  • Chief Justice Rebuffs White House (Aug. 4): Rehnquist rejects motion to keep White House lawyers from testifying in special counsel's investigation of President Clinton's relationship with Monica Lewinsky.
  • Grand Jury Hears Former White House Intern (Aug. 6): Monica Lewinsky reported to testify that she and President carried on a sexual affair.
  • Janet Reno Charged with Contempt (Aug. 6): House panel votes to cite Attorney General for refusal to comply with subpoena to provide reports on issue of whether an independent counsel should be appointed to prosecute charges of Democratic campaign-financing abuses in 1996.
  • F.D.A. Authority on Tobacco Overruled (Aug. 14): Appeals Court decides agency does not have authority to regulate cigarettes or smokeless tobacco.
  • Clinton Admits to Extramarital Affair (Aug. 17): Testifies by closed circuit television to grand jury about relations with former White House intern, Monica S. Lewinsky. Later, in televised address to nation, he asks forgiveness of Americans and of his wife.
  • Starr Demands Clinton DNA Samples (Aug. 19): Whitewater counsel requests genetic material to establish forensic proof of sexual relationship with former intern.
  • Court Bars Sampling for 2000 Census (Aug. 24): U.S. judges rule that bureau's plan for statistical supplement to traditional head-counting violates Federal law.
  • Reno Orders Fund-Raising Inquiry (Aug. 26): In 90-day preliminary step, she seeks to determine whether to ask for special prosecutor to investigate role of Vice President Gore in 1996 campaign.


  • Two Boys Accused of Killing Girl, 11 (Aug. 10): Chicago pair, aged 7 and 8, charged with murder in attempt to steal girl's bicycle.
  • Two Boys Punished in Arkansas Killings (Aug. 11): Judge sentences pair, aged 14 and 12, to juvenile detention center for March shooting of teacher and four girls at their Jonesboro school.
  • Bell Atlantic Strike Ends (Aug. 11): Employees return after pact assures jobs for union workers in company's new high-tech areas.
  • Balloonist Fails Again in Around-the-World Flight Attempt (Aug. 16): Steve Fossett's craft, Solo Spirit, forced down in Coral Sea off Australia after meeting thunderstorms.
  • Unabomber's Kin Get $1 Million Reward (Aug. 20): Brother of Theodore J. Kaczynski and brother's wife to give the Justice Department reward to families of those killed and injured in 16 bombings.
  • Former Klan Wizard Convicted in Killing (Aug. 21): Mississippi jury finds Sam H. Bowers guilty of ordering firebombing death in 1966 of Vernon Dahmer Sr., who registered fellow black voters at his store.
  • Tropical Storm Floods South Texas (Aug. 24): More than a foot of rain dumped by Tropical Storm Charley. At least 16 persons dead and more than 60 missing.
  • China Reports 3,004 Deaths in Floods (Aug. 26): Millions driven from homes during summer.
  • Strike Grounds Northwest Airlines (Aug. 29): More than 6,000 pilots walk out. Thousands of passengers stranded worldwide. Midwest cities worst hit.
  • Crash of Cuban Jet Kills 76 in Ecuador (Aug. 29): Airliner explodes in soccer field during takeoff.
  • Stock Market Plunges 512 Points (Aug. 31): Wave of selling pushes prices 19 percent below peak reached six weeks previously. Wall Street slump tied to investors' anxiety over crises in Asia and Russia.

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