November 1999 News and Events

Updated July 10, 2020 | Infoplease Staff

1999 News Month-By-Month


  • Iraq Rejects Economic Sanctions Deal (Nov. 3): Bars any United Nations move to suspend penalties in return for cooperation in a weapons-monitoring program.
  • Pope Visits India (Nov. 5, et seq.): John Paul II meets with Roman Catholic bishops of Asia. He calls for them to evangelize while respecting other faiths.
  • Serbs Dismiss U.S. Sanctions Plan (Nov. 5): Government rejects U.S. proposal to suspend economic penalties if early elections are held in Yugoslavia. Serbs claim offer would not be honored if President Slobodan Milosevic were reelected.
  • Australians Back Ties to Monarchy (Nov. 6): Voters defeat move to end symbolic link to British throne. Reject alternatives on ballot despite common wish for Australian head of state.
  • Russia Continues Attacks on Chechnya (Nov. 7): Russian retaliation against Chechen rebels puts many civilians in danger. More than 4,000 Chechens are claimed to have been killed since August. Chechen leader Aslan Maskhadov appeals to international leaders for help.
  • U.S. Opposes Israeli Arms Sale to China (Nov. 10): Pentagon concerned by delivery of sophisticated $250 million airborne radar system. Administration urges Israel to cancel additional radar sales, fearing threat to Taiwan.
  • British Hereditary Peers Forced Out (Nov. 12): Prime Minister Tony Blair achieves long-sought removal of all but 92 of hereditaries from House of Lords.
  • U.S. and U.N. Buildings Targeted in Pakistan (Nov. 12): Rockets fired at three diplomatic structures in seemingly coordinated move. One person injured. Attack, which missed its targets, believed to be linked to U.N. sanctions being imposed on Afghanistan for the country's failure to turn over Saudi terrorist Osama bin Laden.
  • Communist Defeated in Ukraine Election (Nov. 14): President Leonid Kuchma reelected as voters shun opponent Petro Symonenko's appeal for return to Soviet era.
  • U.S. and China Reach Trade Accord (Nov. 15): Landmark agreement reduces Chinese tariffs and gives American banks and insurance and phone companies more room to operate in China. In return the U.S. will support China's entry into the World Trade Organization.
  • Japan Suffers Aerospace Defeat (Nov. 15): Engine problems force officials to blow up rocket carrying $95 million satellite minutes after launching. It is the second time in a year that a Japanese orbiting attempt has failed.
  • Power-Sharing Accord Reached in Ulster (Nov. 17): I.R.A. promises to help disarm Northern Ireland guerrillas. (Nov. 27): Ulster Unionist Party approves entry of leaders into government with Sinn Fein, political arm of I.R.A. (Nov. 29): Leaders of Protestant and Roman Catholic factions select members of cabinet to run new power-sharing government for Northern Ireland.
  • West and Yeltsin Clash Over Chechnya (Nov. 18): Russian President tells summit meeting at Istanbul that other nations have no right to criticize war against “bandits and murderers.” President Clinton defends protests as upholding rights of civilians.
  • World Leaders Limit Europe's Arms (Nov. 19): 54 nations at summit meeting in Turkey also adopt new charter proclaiming that local conflicts concern all European states.
  • Kosovo Albanians Cheer Clinton (Nov. 23): President urges them to try to forgive Serbs for injustices inflicted upon them. Crowd falls silent in reaction.
  • Iran Reformist Sentenced (Nov. 27): High religious court metes five-year prison term to Muslim cleric. Abdullah Nouri, ally of reformist president, has helped strengthen movement to end authoritarian rule.
  • China Launches Spacecraft (Nov. 21): Announces first successful mission of unstaffed spacecraft in key step for Chinese space exploration.
  • Iraq Retaliates Against U.N. (Nov. 22): Cuts off oil exports after Russian move to change terms in Iraq's favor leads U.N. to shorten oil-for-food program to two weeks. Ongoing sanctions are punishment against Iraq for failing to eliminate weapons of mass destruction.


  • U.S. Sues Seven Big Utilities (Nov. 3): Accuses companies in Midwest and South of seriously violating Clean Air Act. Government says companies' plants have contributed to “some of the most severe environmental problems facing the United States today.”
  • Abortion Issue Blocks U.N. Payment (Nov. 10): Domestic dispute holds up Congressional approval for U.S. to pay the nearly $1 billion it owes to United Nations. House conservatives agree to relent if U.S. stops financing international organizations promoting abortion rights abroad.
  • Agreement on Organ Donation Reached (Nov. 11): Congress gives Clinton administration go-ahead to revise system for distributing organs among patients in need. New system will focus on urgency of patient's condition rather than geographical location.
  • Final Budget Bill Becomes Law (Nov. 18): In bipartisan vote, House, 296–135, approves five spending measures totaling $385 billion. (Nov. 19): Senate, ending deadlock, votes 74–24 for $610 billion measure. (Nov. 29): Clinton signs budget measure, which includes more funding for the military, medical research, and the hiring of more teachers and police officers. Also allows for payment of $351 million toward $926 million debt to U.N.
  • First Lady Declares for Senate Race (Nov. 23): Hillary Rodham Clinton finally announces that she will enter race for seat from New York State.
  • Economy Stronger Than Expected (Nov. 24): Commerce Department raises estimate of growth on reports of employment, incomes, and stock market levels.


  • Seven Killed in Honolulu Office (Nov. 2): Forty-year-old Xerox employee Byran Uyesugi shoots coworkers. Later surrenders to police.
  • Microsoft Ruled to Be a Monopoly (Nov. 5): Federal judge Thomas Penfield Jackson says software company's Windows packages give it unfair hold on operating system market. (Nov. 19): Jackson appoints mediator in the hope that Microsoft will settle case brought by Justice Dept. and 19 state attorneys general.
  • EgyptAir Flight 900 Data Recorders Recovered (Nov. 9): Flight data and voice records indicate relief pilot on Oct. 31 flight may have seized control and forced airliner into deep dive. All 217 passengers died.
  • Drug on Market Aids Heart Patients (Nov. 10): Ramipril, used to treat high blood pressure, is found to lower risk of heart attack, stroke, bypass surgery, and diabetes.
  • Three Stolen Paintings Recovered (Nov. 11): Valuable Rembrandt among seventeenth-century works taken in 1978 from a San Francisco museum. Paintings left anonymously at N.Y.C. auction house.
  • U.N. Plane Crashes in Kosovo (Nov. 12): Twenty-four people killed in accident during flight from Rome to Pristina.
  • At Least 547 Die in Turkish Earthquake (Nov. 12): Magnitude 7.2 quake leaves thousands more homeless.
  • Medicare Spending Experiences First Drop (Nov. 13): Reduction in outlay surprises experts. Private health insurance programs report increases.
  • Twelve Die at Texas A&M (Nov. 18): Students killed when logpile collapses as they construct 40-ft bonfire for annual tradition.
  • At Least 150 on Chinese Ferry Killed (Nov. 25): More than 140 others missing after ship catches fire off Chinese coast.
  • Cuban Boy Survives Deadly Escape Effort (Nov. 25): Five-year-old Elian Gonzalez found in inner tube off Fla. coast. His mother and nine others drown while fleeing Cuba. Boy becomes focus of controversy when father, still in Cuba, asks that U.S. return boy. American relatives sheltering boy do not want to return him to communist country.
  • Merger of Exxon and Mobil Decided (Nov. 26): Antitrust officials notify states of agreement to recommend Exxon's $81 billion acquisition of Mobil.
  • Seattle Trade Conference Disrupted (Nov. 29): World Trade Organization starts week of talks aimed at expanding world trade. Attendees are met by anarchists and protesters representing environmental, labor, and human rights causes. (Nov. 30): Conference thrown into turmoil as demonstrations turn violent. National Guard is sent and curfew is enforced.

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