The January to March 1999 phase of the war brought increasing insecurity in urban areas, including bombings and murders. Such attacks took place during the Rambouillet talks in February and as the Kosovo Verification Agreement unraveled in March.
In 1999 saw the introduction of the Nikon D1, a 2.74-megapixel camera that was the first digital SLR developed entirely from the ground up by a major manufacturer, and at a cost of under $6,000 (equivalent to $10,100 in 2019) at introduction was affordable by professional photographers and high-end consumers. This camera also used Nikon F-mount lenses, which meant film photographers could use many of the same lenses they already owned.
Kyle went to a military recruiting office, as he was interested in joining the U.S. Marine Corps' special operations. A U.S. Navy recruiter convinced him to try, instead, for the SEALs. Initially, Kyle was rejected because of the pins in his arm, but he eventually received an invitation to the 24-week Basic Underwater Demolition/Sea, Air, Land (SEAL) training (BUD/S) at Coronado, California in 1999. Kyle graduated with class 233 in March 2001.
In 1999, entrepreneur Philip Rosedale formed Linden Lab with an initial focus on the development of VR hardware. In its earliest form, the company struggled to produce a commercial version of "The Rig", which was realized in prototype form as a clunky steel contraption with several computer monitors that users could wear on their shoulders. The concept was later adapted into the personal computer-based, 3D virtual world program Second Life.
The 1998–99 season marked Bryant's emergence as a premier guard in the league. With starting guards Van Exel and Jones traded, Bryant started every game for the lockout-shortened 50-game season. During the season, Bryant signed a six-year contract extension worth $70 million. This kept him with the Lakers until the end of the 2003–04 season. Even at an early stage of his career, sportswriters were comparing his skills to those of Michael Jordan and Magic Johnson. The playoff results, however, were no better, as the Lakers were swept by the San Antonio Spurs in the Western Conference Semifinals.
Shortly after the elections, Gingrich, who had been one of the leading advocates for impeachment, announced he would resign from Congress as soon as he was able to find somebody to fill his vacant seat; Gingrich fulfilled this pledge, and officially resigned from Congress on January 3, 1999.
The Rock continued to feud with Mankind over the WWF Championship, which was traded back and forth between them. First, in the main event of the January 4, 1999 episode of Raw Is War, Mankind defeated The Rock after interference from Stone Cold Steve Austin.
The Senate trial began on January 7, 1999, with Chief Justice of the United States William Rehnquist presiding. The first day consisted of formal presentation of the charges against Clinton, and of Rehnquist swearing in all arguants in the trial.
In 1999, Soleimani, along with other senior IRGC commanders, signed a letter to then-President Mohammad Khatami regarding the student protests in July. They wrote "Dear Mr. Khatami, how long do we have to shed tears, sorrow over the events, practice democracy by chaos and insults, and have revolutionary patience at the expense of sabotaging the system? Dear president, if you don't make a revolutionary decision and act according to your Islamic and national missions, tomorrow will be so late and irrecoverable that cannot be even imagined".
Impeachment proceedings were held during the post-election, "lame duck" session of the outgoing 105th United States Congress. The committee hearings were perfunctory but the floor debate in the whole House was spirited on both sides.
The Speaker-designate, Representative Bob Livingston, chosen by the Republican Party Conference to replace Gingrich as House Speaker, announced the end of his candidacy for Speaker and his resignation from Congress from the floor of the House after his own marital infidelity came to light. In the same speech, Livingston also encouraged Clinton to resign. Clinton chose to remain in office and urged Livingston to reconsider his resignation.
The managers presented their case over three days, from January 14 to 16, with discussion of the facts and background of the case; detailed cases for both articles of impeachment (including excerpts from videotaped grand jury testimony that Clinton had made the previous August); matters of interpretation and application of the laws governing perjury and obstruction of justice; and argument that the evidence and precedents justified removal of the President from office by virtue of "willful, premeditated, deliberate corruption of the nation's system of justice through perjury and obstruction of justice.".
The defense presentation took place from January 19–21. Clinton's defense counsel argued that Clinton's grand jury testimony had too many inconsistencies to be a clear case of perjury, that the investigation and impeachment had been tainted by partisan political bias, that the President's approval rating of more than 70 percent indicated that his ability to govern had not been impaired by the scandal, and that the managers had ultimately presented "an unsubstantiated, circumstantial case that does not meet the constitutional standard to remove the President from office".
January 22 and 23 were devoted to questions from members of the Senate to the House managers and Clinton's defense counsel. Under the rules, all questions (over 150) were to be written down and given to Rehnquist to read to the party being questioned.
On the following day, Rep. Bryant moved to call witnesses to the trial, a question that the Senate had scrupulously avoided to that point. In both cases, the Senate voted to deliberate on the question in private session, rather than public, televised procedure.
On January 27, the Senate voted on both motions in public session; the motion to dismiss failed on a nearly party line vote of 56–44, while the motion to depose witnesses passed by the same margin.
A day later, the Senate voted down motions to move directly to a vote on the articles of impeachment and to suppress videotaped depositions of the witnesses from public release, Senator Russ Feingold voting with the Republicans.
Also on 30 January 1999 the Contact Group issued a set of "non-negotiable principles" which made up a package known as "Status Quo Plus"—effectively the restoration of Kosovo's pre-1990 autonomy within Serbia, plus the introduction of democracy and supervision by international organisations.
On 30 January 1999 NATO issued a statement announcing that the North Atlantic Council had agreed that "the NATO Secretary General may authorize air strikes against targets on FRY territory" to "[compel] compliance with the demands of the international community and [to achieve] a political settlement".
On January 31, during an episode of Sunday Night Heat, Mankind pinned The Rock using a forklift truck in an Empty Arena match to win the WWF title. This match was referred to as "Halftime Heat" as it was televised during halftime of that year's Super Bowl.
Over three days, February 1–3, House managers took videotaped closed-door depositions from Monica Lewinsky, Clinton's friend Vernon Jordan, and White House aide Sidney Blumenthal.
At the start of the election run-up, front runner Irene Sáez was backed by one of Venezuela's two primary political parties, Copei. But Chávez's promises of widespread social and economic reforms won the trust and favor of the primarily poor and working class. By May 1998, Chávez's support had risen to 30% in polls, and by August he was registering 39%. The Voter turnout was 63%, and Chávez won the election with 56% of the vote. Academic analysis of the election showed that Chávez's support had come primarily from the country's poor and "disenchanted middle class", whose standard of living had decreased rapidly over the previous decade, while much of the middle and upper class vote went to Römer. And Chávez's presidential inauguration took place 2 February 1999.
The videos were played in the Senate on February 6, featuring 30 excerpts of Lewinsky discussing her affidavit in the Paula Jones case, the hiding of small gifts Clinton had given her, and his involvement in procurement of a job for Lewinsky.
On February 12, the Senate emerged from its closed deliberations and voted on the articles of impeachment. A two-thirds vote, 67 votes, would have been necessary to convict and remove the President from office.
Eminem released The Slim Shady LP in February 1999. Although it was one of the year's most popular albums (certified triple platinum by the end of the year), he was accused of imitating the style and subject matter of underground rapper Cage.
Although the relationship between Jolie and Miller ended for good 18 months after their marriage, Jolie remained on good terms with Miller, whom she called "a solid man and a solid friend". Their divorce, initiated by Jolie in February 1999, was finalized shortly after that, in 2000.
Plan Bolívar 2000 was the first of the Bolivarian Missions enacted under of administration of Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez. According to the United States Department of State, Chávez wanted to "send the message that the military was not a force of popular repression, but rather a force for development and security". The United States State Department also commented that this happened "only 23 days after his inauguration" and that he wanted to show his closest supporters "that he had not forgotten them". The plan involved around 40,000 Venezuelan soldiers engaged in door-to-door anti-poverty activities, including mass vaccinations, food distribution in slum areas and education.Several scandals affected the program as allegations of corruption were formulated against Generals involved in the plan, arguing that significant amounts of money had been diverted.
Beginning 27 February 1999, the tenth anniversary of the Caracazo massacre, Chávez set into motion a social welfare program called Plan Bolívar 2000. He said he had allotted $20.8 million for the plan, though some say that the program cost $113 million. The plan involved 70,000 soldiers, sailors and members of the air force repairing roads and hospitals, removing stagnant water that offered breeding areas for disease-carrying mosquitoes, offering free medical care and vaccinations, and selling food at low prices.
He was married twice to Kimberly Anne "Kim" Scott. He met Kim in high school while he stood on a table with his shirt off rapping LL Cool J's "I'm Bad". The two were married in 1999 and divorced in 2001. Their daughter Hailie was born on December 25, 1995.
In March 1999, General Gennady Shpigun, the Kremlin's envoy to Chechnya, was kidnapped at the airport in Grozny and ultimately found dead in 2000 during the war.
On 7 March 1999, in response to the abduction of General Shpigun, Interior Minister Sergei Stepashin called for an invasion of Chechnya. However, Stepashin's plan was overridden by the prime minister, Yevgeny Primakov.
Since 1999, there has been a yearly "Saint Patrick's Day" festival in Moscow and other Russian cities. The official part of the Moscow parade is a military-style parade and is held in collaboration with the Moscow government and the Irish embassy in Moscow. The unofficial parade is held by volunteers and resembles a carnival.
By the disaster's 10th anniversary in 1999, at least three people who survived were known to have committed suicide. Another survivor had spent eight years in psychiatric care. There were cases of alcoholism, drug abuse, and collapsed marriages involving people who had witnessed the events. The lingering effects of the disaster were seen as a cause, or contributary factor, in all of these.
After graduating from a desegregated high school, she worked as a travel agent for 15 years and later became a full-time parent. She is now chair of the Ruby Bridges Foundation, which she formed in 1999 to promote "the values of tolerance, respect, and appreciation of all differences". Describing the mission of the group, she says, "racism is a grown-up disease and we must stop using our children to spread it."
In December 1997 in Siirt, Erdoğan recited a poem from a work written by Ziya Gökalp, a pan-Turkish activist of the early 20th century. His recitation included verses translated as "The mosques are our barracks, the domes our helmets, the minarets our bayonets and the faithful our soldiers...." which are not in the original version of the poem. Erdoğan said the poem had been approved by the education ministry to be published in textbooks. Under article 312/2 of the Turkish penal code his recitation was regarded as an incitement to violence and religious or racial hatred. He was given a ten-month prison sentence of which he served four months, from 24 March 1999 to 27 July 1999. Due to his conviction, Erdoğan was forced to give up his mayoral position. The conviction also stipulated a political ban, which prevented him from participating in parliamentary elections.
Serbian police and military counter-action against the pro-Albanian separatist Kosovo Liberation Army in Serbia's previously autonomous province of Kosovo culminated in escalating armed conflict in 1998 and NATO air strikes against Yugoslavia between March and June 1999, ending in full withdrawal of Yugoslav security forces from the province and deployment of international civil and security forces.
In 1999, during the Kosovo War, Biden supported the 1999 NATO bombing of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. He co-sponsored with John McCain the McCain-Biden Kosovo Resolution, which called on President Clinton to use all necessary force, including ground troops, to confront Milošević over Yugoslav actions toward ethnic Albanians in Kosovo.
Although the 1996 constitution allowed the president to serve two consecutive five-year terms, Mandela had never planned to stand for a second term in office. He gave his farewell speech to Parliament on 29 March 1999 when it adjourned prior to the 1999 general elections, after which he retired in June 1999.
In 1999, prior to the 1999–2000 season, the Lakers hired Phil Jackson as head coach, and the team's fortunes soon changed. Jackson immediately challenged O'Neal, telling him "the [NBA's] MVP trophy should be named after him when he retired."
In April 1999, about two months after being acquitted by the Senate, Clinton was cited by Federal District Judge Susan Webber Wright for civil contempt of court for his "willful failure" to obey her repeated orders to testify truthfully in the Paula Jones sexual harassment lawsuit. For this citation, Clinton was assessed a $90,000 fine, and the matter was referred to the Arkansas Supreme Court to see if disciplinary action would be appropriate.
The Columbine High School massacre was a school shooting and bombing that occurred on April 20, 1999, at Columbine High School in Columbine, Colorado, United States. The perpetrators, twelfth grade (senior) students Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold, murdered 12 students and one teacher. Ten students were killed in the school library, where the pair subsequently committed suicide. 21 additional people were injured with gunshots and gunfire was also exchanged with the police. Another three people were injured trying to escape the school.
Chávez called a public referendum, which he hoped would support his plans to form a constituent assembly of representatives from across Venezuela and from indigenous tribal groups to rewrite the Venezuelan constitution. Chávez said he had to run again; "Venezuela's socialist revolution was like an unfinished painting and he was the artist", he said, while someone else "could have another vision, start to alter the contours of the painting". The momentum of the support he received in previous elections, made the referendum on 25 April 1999 a success for Chávez; 88% of the voters supported his proposal.
The Rock's popularity continued to grow and audiences still cheered for him even though he was a heel. He then lost the title rematch against Stone Cold Steve Austin at Backlash: In Your House after he was betrayed by Shane McMahon, turning him face again and starting a feud with Triple H, The Undertaker and The Corporate Ministry.
On April 29, 1999, WWF aired the pilot episode of SmackDown!, a term derived from one of The Rock's catchphrases. In the episode, The Rock continued his feud with The Corporate Ministry. This led to a match with Triple H, at Over the Edge, which The Rock won, and a match for the WWF Championship against The Undertaker, at King of the Ring, which The Rock lost. The Rock then lost a number one contender's match to Triple H, at Fully Loaded, after interference from "Mr. Ass" Billy Gunn.
In late May 1999, Russia announced that it was closing the Russian-Chechnya border in an attempt to combat attacks and criminal activity; border guards were ordered to shoot suspects on sight.
With the tandem of O'Neal and teenage superstar Kobe Bryant, expectations for the Lakers increased. However, personnel changes were a source of instability during the 1998–99 season. Long-time Laker point guard Nick Van Exel was traded to the Denver Nuggets; his former backcourt partner Eddie Jones was packaged with back-up center Elden Campbell for Glen Rice to satisfy a demand by O'Neal for a shooter. Coach Del Harris was fired, and former Lakers forward Kurt Rambis finished the season as head coach. The Lakers finished with a 31–19 record during the lockout-shortened season. Although they made the playoffs, they were swept by the San Antonio Spurs, led by Tim Duncan and David Robinson in the second round of the Western Conference playoffs. The Spurs would go on to win their first NBA title in 1999.