April 1999 News and Events

Updated July 10, 2020 | Infoplease Staff

1999 News Month-By-Month


  • Allies Destroy Danube Bridge in Serbia (April 1): Also attack Serbian mechanized column involved in purges of Kosovo residents. Capture of three U.S. soldiers, shown on Yugoslav TV, no factor in pace of raids.
  • NATO to Help Kosovo Refugees (April 3): Announces it will coordinate airlift to take in supplies and remove almost 100,000 Kosovars to U.S. and Europe.
  • Two Libyan Suspects Face Trial (April 5): Arrive in Netherlands to be tried on charges of planting bomb that blew up Pan Am Flight 103 over Scotland in 1988. The explosion killed 270 people, including 189 Americans.
  • U.S.–China Trade Talks a Failure (April 8): President Clinton and Prime Minister Zhu Rongji fail to reach agreement in Washington meeting. In news conference, Zhu denies China has stolen U.S. atomic secrets. (April 9): Officials of both nations move to protect environment and increase airline traffic between U.S. and China.
  • U.S. Warns Russia Against Aiding Yugoslavs (April 9): Cautions against providing military intelligence or assistance and hints at “serious consequences.”
  • Civilians Killed by Allied Warplane (April 14): Unknown number killed in southern Kosovo. Serbs say several groups of ethnic Albanian refugees were bombed and more than 70 were killed. (April 15): In Brussels, NATO officials admit that an Allied plane had mistakenly bombed a civilian vehicle while trying to stop Serb forces from attacking Albanians.
  • Pakistan Tests Ballistic Missile (April 14): Fires new and improved version of weapon three days after India launched missile able to carry nuclear warhead.
  • Ex-Prime Minister Sentenced in Pakistan (April 15): Benazir Bhutto must serve five years in prison for having taken kickbacks while in office in mid-1990s. She had been removed as prime minister twice on corruption charges.
  • Algerians Protest Election Result (April 16): Police break up street demonstrations after candidate supported by army, Abdelaziz Bouteflika, is declared winner of presidential contest. Angry voters claim election was rigged.
  • Government of India Collapses (April 17): Hindu nationalist-led regime loses, 269–270, in closest parliamentary defeat in India's 51 years of independence. Elections to be held within six months. No strong alternative Cabinet prepared to take over.
  • Huge European Merger Planned (April 19): Telecom Italia and Deutsche Telekom agree on $94.5 billion deal to form world's largest communications company.
  • U.S. Offers Refuge to Kosovo Refugees (April 21): Vice President Gore says American families will temporarily house 20,000 refugees on mainland. Plan represents change from earlier, criticized proposal that would have landed refugees in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
  • Two Allies Press U.S. on Ground Forces (April 21): Britain and France call for serious consideration of sending troops to Kosovo without peace settlement.
  • NATO Hits Serbian State TV (April 23): State television system forced off air in middle of newscast. Building, which housed Government's main propaganda arm, engulfed in flames.
  • Cult Stages Protest Rally in Beijing (April 25): More than 10,000 followers of Buddhist Law sect demand recognition.
  • Clinton and Yeltsin Agree on Kosovo (April 25): Plan to work jointly to seek solution for conflict. NATO ends three-day summit meeting with expressions of solidarity in struggle to halt Yugoslav president's assault on ethnic Albanians in Kosovo.
  • I.M.F. Agrees on Loan to Russia (April 28): Plans to grant $4.5 billion over 18 months without actual cash payment. To avoid Russian default, loan will be transferred between I.M.F. accounts.


  • Marine Sentenced in Ski Accident (April 2): Military jury orders discharge from Corps for navigator of jet that severed ski lift cable in Italy, killing 20. Capt. Joseph P. Schweitzer was charged with obstructing justice by destroying videotape of incident.
  • Nuclear Computer Work Suspended (April 6): Energy Dept. stops scientific experiments at three weapons laboratories over fears that security lapses make sensitive secrets vulnerable to espionage through computers. (April 16): Energy Secretary approves resumption of classified computer networks that handle the nation's most sensitive nuclear secrets.
  • Tax Audits Drop for Big Companies (April 11): I.R.S. reports decline in check-ups on biggest corporations and persons earning more than $100,000 per year.
  • U.S. Judge Finds Clinton in Contempt (April 12): Court in Ark. rules President willfully provided false testimony about relationship with Monica S. Lewinsky in sexual misconduct action brought by Paula Corbin Jones. Judge, Susan Webber Wright, is a former law student of Clinton.
  • Ken Starr Calls for End to Independent Counsel Law (April 13): Tells Senate he thinks nation would be better off without statute under which he operated while investigating Clinton's activities.
  • U.S. Says China Stole Atom Warhead Design (April 20): New report concludes that China obtained information concerning U.S.'s most advanced nuclear weapon from government laboratory.
  • U.S. to Retain Smallpox Virus Sample (April 22): Clinton decision to keep stock faces fierce opposition from scientists and scores of nations that recommended in 1996 that remaining viruses be destroyed.


  • Suspect in Email Virus Arrested (April 2): N.J. programmer David L. Smith accused of writing and sending “Melissa” virus that infected more than 100,000 computers worldwide a week earlier.
  • Tornado Levels Louisiana Town (April 4): Emergency crews sift rubble in Benton. Death toll remains at six, with more than 100 injured and widespread damage reported.
  • Matthew Shepard Killer Sentenced (April 5): Russell A. Henderson, 21, draws two consecutive life sentences after pleading guilty in Wyo. court to kidnapping and killing homosexual college student.
  • West Coast S. & L. Wins $909 Million (April 9): Federal judge orders U.S. to reimburse Calif. savings and loan association for losses incurred under strict accounting standards imposed a decade previously.
  • Storms Kill Six Across Midwest (April 9): Tornadoes sweep across wide area, injuring dozens of other people. Damage reported along path hundreds of miles long.
  • U.S. Jury Acquits Susan McDougal (April 12): Ark. panel clears her of obstructing justice by refusing to testify before a grand jury about President and Mrs. Clinton's financial dealings. Jury deadlocked on two criminal contempt charges.
  • Dr. Kevorkian Sentenced in Killing (April 13): Mich. metes 10-to-25 year prison term to physician for administering lethal injection in assisted suicide broadcast on TV's 60 Minutes.
  • American Airlines Pilots Penalized (April 15): U.S. judge orders union to pay carrier nearly $46 million for defying court order for hundreds of pilots to return to work in Feb. after calling in sick.
  • School Massacre in Colorado (April 20): Students Eric Harris, 18, and Dylan Klebold, 17, storm Columbine High School in Littleton with guns and explosives. They kill twelve other students and a teacher, then themselves. Nation alarmed over spread of school violence. (April 22): Investigators report finding large homemade bomb in school kitchen and speculate that the killers planned to destroy the school.

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