On 9 August 1999, Islamist fighters from Chechnya infiltrated Russia's Dagestan region, declaring it an independent state and calling for a jihad until "all unbelievers had been driven out".
Spielberg was awarded the Department of Defense Medal for Distinguished Public Service by Secretary of Defense William Cohen at the Pentagon on August 11, 1999, Cohen presented the award in recognition of Spielberg's film Saving Private Ryan.
Shakira's first live album, MTV Unplugged, was recorded in New York City on 12 August 1999. Highly acclaimed by American critics, it is rated as one of her best-ever live performances. The live album earned the Grammy Award for Best Latin Pop Album in 2001 and gained sales of five million worldwide.
On 30 August 1999, a referendum was held in East Timor and an overwhelming majority voted for independence. The Indonesian military commenced a campaign of terror as a result, with terrible consequences. Although the Indonesian government denied ordering this offensive, they were widely condemned for failing to prevent it.