December 29, 1998 - Hostages, Khmer Rouge And Blood For South Africa.

News of the day, this day in history for December 29, 1998 - Senior figures in the former Khmer Rouge defect and offer apologies for mass killings. Malaysian Deputy Minister Anwar Ibrahim sex scandal trial. Breaking news of hostage drama in Yemen with 16 British and American tourists. Escalating traffic deaths in South Africa result in call for blood. Bank scandal in Russia. Child Prostitution on rise in UK. North Cyprus threatens to break ties and align with Turkey.

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Careening towards the end of 1998 the world was, as it seemingly always is, unsettled.

The news for this December 29th in 1998 was about, among other things, an unfolding hostage drama in Yemen, with breaking news while on the air. 16 UK and American tourists were kidnapped by an extremist group, with some held as human shields while police were engaging in a gun battle with the terrorists and reports of deaths coming in.

In Cambodia, two senior members of the Pol Pot regime defected from the Khmer Rouge, hoping for reconciliation and offering feeble apologies for the extermination of some 1 million Cambodian citizens. While Malaysia was going through its own version of gut-wrenching with the on-going sex scandal involving former Deputy Minister Anwar Ibrahim. Northern Ireland was once again front-and-center with anticipated clashes between Catholics and Protestants during the upcoming holiday. South Africa issued a world-wide appeal for blood in the wake of a rash of highway deaths, to the tune of some 600 since the beginning in December and a lack of much needed blood for the country's ER's.

The Russian Central Bank was wondering what became of an estimated $1billion in missing cash and Child Prostitution was on the rise in the UK.

The message for this day would appear to be; don't leave your house and don't consider Yemen as that "must-see tourist destination".

And so it went, this day in history, as viewed by the BBC World Service and their all-encompassing Newshour program for December 29, 1998.

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