The banking sector was burdened with non-performing loans as its large corporations were funding aggressive expansions. During that time, there was a haste to build great conglomerates to compete on the world stage. Many businesses ultimately failed to ensure returns and profitability. The chaebol, South Korean conglomerates, simply absorbed more and more capital investment. Eventually, excess debt led to major failures and takeovers. The Hanbo scandal of early 1997 exposed South Koreas economic weaknesses and corruption problems to the international financial community.
Having largely kept itself above the fray throughout 1997–1998, there was heavy speculation in the Western press that China would soon be forced to devalue its currency to protect the competitiveness of its exports vis-a-vis those of the ASEAN nations, whose exports became cheaper relative to China's.
Members of CONVIVIR groups were accused of committing numerous abuses against the civilian population by several human rights organizations. The groups were left without legal support after a 1997 decision by the Colombian Constitutional Court which restricted many of their prerogatives and demanded stricter oversight.
Totti struggled to gain playing time under new manager Carlos Bianchi, and was even set to leave for Sampdoria on loan in January 1997. Roma's chairman at the time however, Franco Sensi, impeded the transfer, leading to further tensions with the manager, who eventually parted ways with the club.
In 1997, Adidas AG acquired the Salomon Group who specialized in ski wear, and its official corporate name was changed to Adidas-Salomon AG. With this acquisition Adidas also acquired the Taylormade Golf company and Maxfli, which allowed them to compete with Nike Golf.
In 1997, Pizza Hut filed a lawsuit against Papa John's based on a series of advertisements that compared the ingredients of Papa John's and its competitors. Pizza Hut successfully argued that Papa John's slogan did not constitute statements of literal fact – that "fresher ingredients" do not necessarily account for a "better" pizza. This ruling was overturned in 2000 when Papa John's appealed the decision. Although the jury's decision on the misleading advertising was upheld, the appeals court determined that Pizza Hut failed to prove, under the requirements of the Lanham Act, that the misleading advertising and puffery had a material effect on consumers' purchasing decisions.
In 1997, Microsoft released Internet Explorer 4 which included the (at the time) controversial Windows Desktop Update. It aimed to integrate Internet Explorer and the web into the user interface and also brought many new features into Windows, such as the ability to display JPEG images as the desktop wallpaper and single window navigation in Windows Explorer.
Another breakthrough where a cinema film used motion capture was creating hundreds of digital characters for the film Titanic in 1997. The technique was used extensively in 1999 to create Jar-Jar Binks and other digital characters in Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace.
By the end of the season, he averaged 15.5 minutes a game. During the All-Star weekend, Bryant participated in the Rookie Challenge and won the 1997 Slam Dunk Contest, becoming the youngest dunk champion ever at the age of 18. Bryant's performance throughout the year earned him a spot on the NBA All-Rookie Second Team with fellow bench teammate Travis Knight.
When Marc Randolph and Reed Hastings heard about DVDs, first introduced in the United States on March 24, 1997, they tested the concept of selling or renting DVDs by mail by mailing a compact disc to Hastings' house in Santa Cruz. When the disc arrived intact, they decided to take on the $16 billion home-video sales and rental industry.
On 26 March 1997, President Boris Yeltsin appointed Putin deputy chief of Presidential Staff, which he remained until May 1998, and chief of the Main Control Directorate of the Presidential Property Management Department (until June 1998).
Johnson defeated Bret Hart by disqualification in a title defense on the March 31, 1997, episode of Raw is War. Behind the scenes, Hart mentored Johnson for his first year in WWF and refused to be booked to take the title from him.
In April 1997, the trio (Ahmad Salama Mabruk - Mahmud Hisham al-Hennawi - al-Zawahiri) were sentenced to six months, and were subsequently released a month later and ran off without paying their court-appointed attorney Abulkhalik Abdusalamov his $1,800 legal fee citing their "poverty".
In April 1997, preexisting paramilitary forces and several former CONVIVIR members were joined to create the AUC (United Self-Defense Forces of Colombia), a large paramilitary militia closely tied to drug trafficking which carried out attacks on the FARC and ELN rebel groups as well as civilians starting with the 1997 Mapiripán Massacre.
The Lakers advanced to the Western Conference semifinals in the playoffs against the Utah Jazz, when Bryant was pressed into a lead role at the end of Game 5. Byron Scott missed the game with a sprained wrist, Robert Horry was ejected for fighting with Utah's Jeff Hornacek, and Shaquille O'Neal fouled out with 1:46 remaining in the fourth quarter. Bryant shot four air balls at the end of the game; the Jazz won 98–93 in overtime to eliminate the Lakers 4–1. He first missed a game-winning two-point jump shot in the fourth quarter, and then misfired 3 three-point field goals in overtime, including two tying shots in the final minute. O'Neal commented that "[Bryant] was the only guy who had the guts at the time to take shots like that."
O'Neal is one of the first African Americans to portray a major comic book superhero in a motion picture, having starred as John Henry Irons, the protagonist in the 1997 film Steel. He is preceded only by Michael Jai White, whose film Spawn was released two weeks before Steel.
On April 20, 1997, at In Your House 14: Revenge of the 'Taker, he lost to Savio Vega by countout but retained the title. Audiences became increasingly hostile toward Maivia, with chants of "die, Rocky, die" and "Rocky sucks" being heard during his matches.
The Lakers won 56 games during the 1996–97 season. O'Neal averaged 26.2 points and 12.5 rebounds in his first season with Los Angeles; however, he again missed over 30 games due to injury. The Lakers made the playoffs, but were eliminated in the second round by the Utah Jazz in five games.
Ahead of the 1997 general election, May was selected as the Conservative candidate for Maidenhead, a new seat which was created from parts of the seats of Windsor and Maidenhead and Wokingham. She was elected with 25,344 votes (49.8%), almost double the total of second-placed Andrew Terence Ketteringham of the Liberal Democrats, who took 13,363 votes (26.3%).
Six months after the Khasav-Yurt Accord, on 12 May 1997, Chechen-elected president Aslan Maskhadov traveled to Moscow where he and Yeltsin signed a formal treaty "on peace and the principles of Russian-Chechen relations" that Maskhadov predicted would demolish "any basis to create ill-feelings between Moscow and Grozny".
Barnes & Noble sued Amazon on May 12, 1997, alleging that Amazon's claim to be "the world's largest bookstore" was false because it "...isn't a bookstore at all. It's a book broker." The suit was later settled out of court and Amazon continued to make the same claim.
In May 1997 the Supreme Court ordered the case to proceed and shortly thereafter the pre-trial discovery process commenced. Jones's attorneys wanted to prove that Clinton had engaged in a pattern of behavior with women that supported her claims.
Jolie's next work, as a frontierswoman in the CBS miniseries True Women, released on 18 May 1997, was even less successful; writing for The Philadelphia Inquirer, Robert Strauss dismissed her as "horrid, a fourth-rate Scarlett O'Hara" who relies on "gnashed teeth and overly pouted lips."
Between 1994 and 1997, wider forums for regional cooperation between NATO and its neighbors were set up, like the Partnership for Peace, the Mediterranean Dialogue initiative and the Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council.
In June 1997, Indonesia seemed far from crisis. Unlike Thailand, Indonesia had low inflation, a trade surplus of more than $900 million, huge foreign exchange reserves of more than $20 billion, and a good banking sector. But a large number of Indonesian corporations had been borrowing in U.S. dollars. During the preceding years, as the rupiah had strengthened respective to the dollar, this practice had worked well for these corporations; their effective levels of debt and financing costs had decreased as the local currency's value rose.
Later that year, in July, South Korea's third-largest car maker, Kia Motors, asked for emergency loans. The domino effect of collapsing large South Korean companies drove the interest rates up and international investors away.
In July 1997, when Thailand float the baht, Indonesia's monetary authorities widened the rupiah currency trading band from 8% to 12%. The rupiah suddenly came under severe attack in August.
The Samper administration reacted against FARC's attacks by contacted the guerrillas in order to negotiate the release of some or all of the hostages in FARC hands, which led to the temporary demilitarization of the municipality of Cartagena del Chairá, Caquetá in July 1997 and the unilateral liberation of 70 soldiers, a move which was opposed by the command of the Colombian military. Other contacts between the guerrillas and government, as well as with representatives of religious and economic sectors, continued throughout 1997 and 1998.
Thailand lacked the foreign reserves to support the USD–Baht currency peg, and the Thai government was eventually forced to float the Baht, on 2 July 1997, allowing the value of the Baht to be set by the currency market. This caused a chain reaction of events, eventually culminating into a region-wide crisis.
In July 1997, U.S. Attorney General Janet Reno, prompted by a reporter's question at her weekly news conference, expressed regret over the FBI's leak to the news media that led to the widespread presumption of his guilt, and apologized outright, saying, "I'm very sorry it happened. I think we owe him an apology. I regret the leak.".
On 23 July 1997, Milošević assumed the presidency of the Federation (The Federal Republic of Yugoslavia), though it had been understood he had held the real power for some time before then.
On July 23, 1997, Jewell sued the New York Post for $15 million in damages, contending that the paper portrayed him in articles, photographs and an editorial cartoon as an "aberrant" person with a "bizarre employment history" who was probably guilty of the bombing.
The HKMA and Donald Tsang, then the Financial Secretary, declared war on speculators. The Government ended up buying approximately HK$120 billion (US$15 billion) worth of shares in various companies, and became the largest shareholder of some of those companies (e.g., the government owned 10% of HSBC) at the end of August, when hostilities ended with the closing of the August Hang Seng Index futures contract.
In August 1997, PepsiCo spun off its restaurant division as a public company valued at US$4.5 billion. The new company was named Tricon Global Restaurants, and by that time it had 30,000 outlets and annual sales of US$10 billion, making it second in the world only to McDonald's.
A Boeing 747-3B5, Korean Air Flight 801, crashed on August 6, 1997, on approach to the international airport in the United States territory of Guam, killing 228 of the 254 people aboard. Contributing factors in the crash were fatigue and errors by the flight crew, inadequate flight crew training, and a modification of the airport's altitude warning system that prevented it from detecting aircraft below a minimum safe altitude.
On 11 August 1997, the IMF unveiled a rescue package for Thailand with more than $17 billion, subject to conditions such as passing laws relating to bankruptcy (reorganizing and restructuring) procedures and establishing strong regulation frameworks for banks and other financial institutions.
On 14 August 1997, the managed floating exchange regime was replaced by a free-floating exchange rate arrangement. The rupiah dropped further. The IMF came forward with a rescue package of $23 billion, but the rupiah was sinking further amid fears over corporate debts, massive selling of rupiah, and strong demand for dollars.
Johnson suffered a legitimate knee injury in a match against Mankind, Maivia returned in August 1997 and turned heel for the first time in his career by lashing out at fans who had been booing him and joining Faarooq, D'Lo Brown and Kama in the stable called the Nation of Domination.
In 1997, Sun sued Microsoft, claiming that the Microsoft implementation did not support RMI (Java Remote Method Invocation) or JNI (Java Native Interface) and had added platform-specific features of their own, as Sun's trademark license for usage of the Java brand insists that all implementations be compatible.
Jolie's career prospects began to improve after she won a Golden Globe Award for her performance in TNT's George Wallace (1997), about the life of the segregationist Alabama Governor and presidential candidate George Wallace, played by Gary Sinise. Jolie portrayed Wallace's second wife, Cornelia, a performance Lee Winfrey of The Philadelphia Inquirer considered a highlight of the film. Jolie also received a nomination for an Emmy Award for her performance.
Netflix launched as the world's first online DVD-rental store, with only 30 employees and 925 titles available - almost the entire catalogue of DVDs at the time, using the pay-per-rent model, with rates and due dates similar to those of its brick-and-mortar competitor, Blockbuster.
William's mother wanted him and his younger brother Harry to have wider experiences than are usual for royal children. She took them to Walt Disney World and McDonald's, as well as AIDS clinics and shelters for the homeless, and bought them items typically owned by teenagers, such as video games Diana, who was by then divorced from Charles, died in a car accident in the early hours of 31 August 1997. William, then aged 15, together with his 12-year-old brother and their father, were staying at Balmoral Castle at the time. The Prince of Wales waited until his sons awoke the following morning to tell them about their mother's death. William accompanied his father, brother, paternal grandfather Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, and his maternal uncle Charles Spencer, 9th Earl Spencer, at his mother's funeral; they walked behind the funeral cortège from Buckingham Palace to Westminster Abbey.
A year after the divorce, Diana was killed in a car crash in Paris on 31 August 1997. At the time, the Duke was on holiday at Balmoral with the extended royal family. In their grief, Diana's two sons, Princes William and Harry, wanted to attend church and so their grandparents took them that morning.
For five days, the Queen and the Duke shielded their grandsons from the ensuing press interest by keeping them at Balmoral, where they could grieve in private.
The royal family's seclusion caused public dismay, but the public mood changed after a live broadcast made by the Queen on 5 September. Uncertain as to whether they should walk behind her coffin during the funeral procession, Diana's sons hesitated. Philip told William, "If you don't walk, I think you'll regret it later. If I walk, will you walk with me?" On the day of the funeral, Philip, William, Harry, Charles, and Diana's brother, Earl Spencer, walked through London behind her bier.