1998

Asian economic turmoil triggers global unrest. In October, Hong Kong's stock market crashes. Asian countries receive billions in bailout dollars from the International Monetary Pund.

Hong Kong reverts to China at 12:01a.m., July 1, after 156 years of British colonial rule. China says Hong Kong will continue its Western wayof life and free-market economy.

~ AIS-day school strike in Ontario, Canada, affects 2.1 million students. Late in October, 128,000 teachers walkout to protest acontroversial bill that would alter educational funding and centralize government control of education.

Reuter~Alcbl"e Phutos

Montserrat, once called "the Emerald Isle of the Caribbean," is devastated by ongoing eruptions from avolcano that had been dormant for 400 vears. '!Wo-thirds of the populace evacuates.

A Powerful earthquakes in central Italy killll people and damage

A Governments and businesses worldwide race to remedy the ''Year 2000'' problem. Unless keycomputer systems are

art treasures, including centuries-old frescoes by Italian Renaissance painters, in the Basilica of St. Prancis of klsisi.

reprogrammed to recognize dates in the new century the world faces the threat of r<~tastrophic failure in critical areas Likebanking, air safety, public utilities and defense.

a.ange sweeps Great Britain as Labor Party leader Tony Blair's landside election in May 1997 ousts the ConserYatives and makes Blair, at 44, Britain's youngest prime minister in 185 years. Hunicane Pauline slams into Mexico's Pacific coast in Octobes; causing flash floods, landsldes and at least 200 fatalities. The resort cily of Acapulc:o is heavily damaged.

Halloween fever seizes France. At the base of the Eiffel Tower in Paris 8,000 pumpkins are displayed, and French children participate in an American-style Halloween celebration.

:A: After 32 years of autocratic rule,

The remains of Ernesto "Che" Guevara, martyred Marxist revolutionary, are laid to rest in Cuba in October, 30 yearsafter his execution in Bolivia, where his bones recently had been found.

President Mobutu Sese Seko of Zaire is deposed in May 1997 and later dies in exile. Hissuccessor, Laurent Kabila, changes Zaire's name to Democratic Republic of the Congo.

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