USA. According to
Countryaah, President Bill Clinton took up his second term on
January 20. As new Foreign Minister, he appointed UN
Ambassador Madeleine Albright and Secretary of Defense
William S. Cohen. In contrast, the candidate as head of the
CIA security service, Anthony Lake, was forced to step down
after showing ignorance on several controversial issues.
Instead, the new CIA chief became George Tenet. Clinton's
candidate for new commander in chief, General Joseph
Ralston, was also forced to withdraw after admitting an
extramarital sexual relationship 13 years ago. The
appointment became politically impossible since the female
combat pilot Kelly Flinn shortly before being fired because
of a love affair. New ÖB became Henry Shelton.
Both Clinton and Vice President Al Gore were persecuted
by suspects of breaking the rules when they raised money for
the 1996 election campaign. Clinton said, among other
things. have received money in the White House and let major
donors sleep over in President Lincoln's bedroom, and Gore
would have used his White House service phone to call
donors. It is illegal to collect campaign funds from federal
premises. More troublesome, however, were the suspicions
that money was being wasted in the Democratic election
campaign from the Chinese state, likely to counter Taiwan's
lobbying. However, no evidence of this emerged in the Senate
hearings, and Justice Minister Janet Reno decided in
December not to appoint a special prosecutor to investigate
Also troubling for Clinton was that the Supreme Court
ruled that nothing prevents Paula Jones from suing the
president during his term in office. Jones accused Clinton
of sexual harassment, which she said occurred in 1991 while
Clinton was the governor of Arkansas and she was employed by
a state agency. The trial will begin in May 1998.
In May, Clinton and Republican leaders agreed that the
budget balance should be achieved by 2002, which seemed
possible thanks to the favorable economic situation in the
country. Growth was the fastest in a decade and unemployment
fell sharply to the lowest level since the early 1970s. The
budget deficit fell to $ 22.6 billion, also the lowest level
in 25 years and more than $ 100 billion less than projected.
In July, the government was able to submit a budget
containing the largest tax cuts of 16 years.
In April, the Senate ratified the chemical weapons ban
treaty, since Clinton in turn reorganized several of the
Republicans' disapproval of foreign government agencies,
including the aid agency USAID.
By similar bargaining with issues unrelated to one
another, abortion opponents in Congress in November
succeeded in stopping the repayment of US debt to the UN.
Against refraining from demanding an increase in federal
funding for abortion aid abroad, abortion opponents halted
the payment of the $ 926 million that Clinton promised the
United Nations to pay and which he previously agreed with
Congress. It was comforting that media magnate Ted Turner
donated $ 1 billion to UN relief efforts. In December,
negotiations to reduce the US contribution to the UN budget
stranded from 25 to 20% over a three-year period.
In June, the tobacco industry pledged to pay $ 368.5
billion (about SEK 2,800 billion) in 25 years, mainly to
cover the increased health care costs that tobacco causes to
the states. In return, the industry would be guaranteed
immunity from prosecution for tobacco's harmful effects. The
agreement also included that the industry would work to
reduce smoking among young people and that the authorities
would regulate advertising and marketing. However, the
settlement was postponed since Clinton demanded much tougher
measures against the tobacco industry, including higher
fines for manufacturers unless smoking among teenagers
decreased by 60% within ten years.
In June, a Denver court sentenced Timothy McVeigh to
death for the Oklahoma City blast attack in 1995, when 168
people were killed and over 500 injured. His aide Terry
Nichols was later found guilty of conspiracy and causing
death to another. In the US, 74 people were executed during
the year, the highest figure since 1955. Half of the
executions took place in Texas.