February 20. Britain, and the world, was horrified at
the arrest of two boys aged ten in Liverpool for the abduction
and murder of two-year-old Jamie Bulger.
toddler wandered away from his mother in a shopping centre. Security
cameras showed him being led away by the two boys, Jon Venables
and Robert Thompson. They took him to a railway embankment where
they tortured and stoned him to death. The killing caused revulsion,
bewilderment and endless soul-searching.
Was no child safe from abduction? Was Britain raising a generation
of amoral children who simply didn't understand right from wrong?
As sales of kiddy-leads soared, police painstakingly assembled
the case against the two killers.
Hundreds of mourners attended Jamie's funeral. A mob attacked
the prison van carrying the accused. But at the trial at Preston
Crown Court, public apathy was in the dock alongside the young
killers. The court heard how witness after witness had seen the
bruised and weeping child with the two older boys, but none had
intervened. Neither of the boys offered any explanation for what
had happened. The judge suggested that violent videos may have
3. The Grand National that never was - animal rights demonstrators
disrupted the start of the race at Aintree. Esha Ness raced home
first in the world's greatest steeplechase, but the result was
declared null and void. Bookmakers had to return 75 million which
had been staked on the race.
April 20. The two-month long siege of the headquarters
of the Cult Davidian in Waco, Texas, came to a bloody end. A fire
broke out when the FBI rammed the compound with tanks and fired
tear gas. The blaze ripped through the building killing 95 including
the cult leader David Koresh. The siege had begun on February
28 when agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms
tried to raid the compound to search for illegally-held weapons.
Four agents died when cult members opened fire.
September 13. Israel's Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and
Palestinian Liberation Organisation leader Yasser Arafat shook
hands and sign a peace accord on the White House lawn. The historic
agreement gave the Palestinians limited autonomy in the Gaza Strip
and West Bank. The old foes had been brought together by US President
Bill Clinton after the Norwegian government worked secretly for
months to organise talks between the PLO and Israel.
December 15. The Downing Street Declaration raised fresh
hopes for an end to the terrorist violence that had claimed the
lives of more than 3,000 people in Britain and Ireland since 1968.
British Prime Minister John Major and his Irish counterpart Albert
Reynolds agreed an arrangement by which a united Ireland might