Talk:Current events/Archive 3


General exhortation

An important reason to put some effort into Current events is that many people use search engines to find information on current events. Probably a very significant percentage of searches on Yahoo, Google, etc., on any given day, are on topics that are big at the moment. If we make an effort to add relevent links to the Current events page, and then make an effort to create good articles for whatever that page is linking to, we will be able to get lots of traffic from the search engines. We will also establish a reputation for being a place where people can come to find information on stuff that is happening right now.

So be bold in adding new topics to Current events, and feel free to improve the organization of the page.

On timezones

List, if possible and appropriate, local time and UTC for events. See earlier discusson.

Anti-US Reporting

There's nothing wrong with anti-US viewpoints per se, but please LABEL THEM as representing the POV of whoever said them.

What about pro-US viewpoints? // Liftarn


Nearly all polls have a margin of error of 3%, so reporting the exact 2-digit number is usually pointless. For example, 49% to 48% is the same as an even 50-50 split.

49 really means 49, plus or minus 3. Which comes out to 46 to 52 percent called the war pointless, while 45 to 51 percent called the war not pointless.

Note the overlap! --Uncle Ed 16:55, 11 Nov 2003 (UTC)

Attacks on humanitarian workers

I keep an eye on this, and occasionally try to update it, but might I ask any current events minded folks to contribute cases to this list if they feel so inclined? Thanks!2toise 06:38, 12 Nov 2003 (UTC)

identity cards

Civil rights: The United Kingdom government announces plans to introduce identity cards, which are intended to eventually become compulsory.

Does anyone else think there are NPOV issues with labeling this as a "civil rights" issue? It could just as easily be considered a national security or anti-terrorism issue. -- stewacide 20:42, 13 Nov 2003 (UTC)

Maybe this would be better:
United Kingdom: The government announces plans to introduce identity cards, which are intended to eventually become compulsory.
-- Viajero 21:06, 13 Nov 2003 (UTC)
I'd use "United Kingdom" for the intro, but it'll probably get removed ... reddi
'fess up time – it was me who put it there (unaware that it had already been put in place by the original poster and deleted by the next person to come along). After giving it some thought, stewacide's probably right re NPOV. Sorry; I'll remove it. However, reddi is also right about geographical identifiers like United Kingdom: getting deleted (see archived discussion re context). –User:Hajor 21:30, 13 Nov 2003 (UTC)
Hmmm, maybe civil liberties is more accurate after all. Anyway, I created a separate file with that archive discussion (see top) since I wanted to review the discussion. Anyone want to tweak the examples? -- Viajero 22:25, 13 Nov 2003 (UTC)

California Recall Election

Nov. 15th is the last day for the CA sec of state to certify the results of the recall election. Remember, the one Schwarzenegger won, beating Davis AND another Republican candidate combined?

Anyone care to take bets on whether the Democrats will actually let Schwarzenegger assume the office? Or will a "last-minute" court order bring a delay? Uncle Ed 21:45, 13 Nov 2003 (UTC)

Tsk, tsk. He will be sworn in at 11AM Pacific time on Monday. I know because I have to convert over a state website that I maintain to a different format and upload those changes exactly at 11AM. However I'm going to do that early on Monday morning so that I can see him get sworn-in on the steps of the capitol building in Sacramento. Hopefull I'll be able to get a good photo. --mav 22:00, 13 Nov 2003 (UTC)
Wow, mav! You're like Gandalf: "Always popping up..." ;-) --Uncle Ed 14:40, 14 Nov 2003 (UTC)

Mirror Poll?

Could anyone find a link to the following ...

A British Daily Mirror opinion poll suggests nearly half the people of the United Kingdom see the United States as the biggest threat to world peace and are opposed to President Bush's state visit to the UK.

I tried to search for a link [google and on the mirror's website], but to no avail. Is it really "nearly half"? I know the general "Bush's state visit" is right (and can be sourced easily) ... but the other need a link .... reddi

I managed to find it and have linked to it. It say nearly half in the article but doesn't seem to give an exact figure for that poll question. -- Popsracer 20:38, 14 Nov 2003 (UTC)

I put in the initial report on from a report on the front page on Sky News. When I wrote it no links to the Mirror had yet been put on the net. Fear�IREANN 20:51, 14 Nov 2003 (UTC)

Both sides?

Regarding my removal of, as you (user:Reddi) put it, the "pentagon view": The Current Events page should not be some kind of forum for posting points of view on News articles. It is about the News itself. I don't think that it is a good idea to post responses by involved parties if they don't contain significant relevant information that has not already been said. What if we added the view of Chief Justice of Alabama Roy Moore to the short blurb about his being fired? What if this happened with every short entry saying that something has happened? If this continues we'll be writing entire news stories pretty soon. Which I don't think Current Events is designed to do. --snoyes 01:28, 14 Nov 2003 (UTC)

News itself? leave out the pentagon's view? the view of the pentagon is part of the story ... [only the press view is not NPOV]
as to the "add X's comment" ... do it, if it part of the story (as conscisely as possible) ...
every short entry? pending the entry, may be needed ...
entire news stories? no ... not really, just giving both a claim (which should be done to al-jez's story too)
... a short sentence of what the pentagon response was should be stated [otherwise it one sided]
sincerely, reddi
I respect efforts to limit the current events section to news rather than commentary (which would almost always reflect some bias). But what do we do about biased commentators who can make news? An obvious example is Bush. It is a deeper question than whether or not we cover his editorial-style speeches, but are "major events" which are triggered and timed simply to generate biased propaganda really newsworthy? Probably a useless qusetion but one to keep in mind when the news itself has bias independent of its representation.
Galexander 01:56, 15 Dec 2003 (UTC)

help file expanded

I have renamed and expanded the help file for this page:

Any additional examples of context (good/bad) or other issues would be most useful. -- Viajero 19:29, 14 Nov 2003 (UTC)

I've just taken the "one or two sentence" guideline from the top of the article and fleshed it out in its own subsection. Basically, it stresses the virtues of brevity in these entries – which, as I understand it, should be a line or two intended to whet the reader's appetite for the main, linked article from the news site (or a lengthier article in our own space). Is that something we would all want to agree on?
User:Hajor 01:40, 15 Nov 2003 (UTC)
Nope ... don't agree on the "rules" there ... see that pages talk (as I tried to discuss this before and was "dismissed abritarily" by "opinion" on high)... It need to be discussed more ... Sincerely, reddi

What is news?

Apparently, each and every time terrorists manage to kill a couple of GIs this is news, and merits a separate, front-page story.

But if president Bush makes a statement indicative of US policy, and how it may or may not be affected by this unrelenting campaign of terror, this is NOT news!

I don't get it: why is each casualty news, when there is nothing new about it? But when Bush breaks weeks of silence to comment on it, this is NOT? --Uncle Ed 19:43, 14 Nov 2003 (UTC)

Of course simply because current events is american-centric. There is no way to change it as long as there are too many American contributors proportional to other nationals. -- Taku
It's easy to change - if you care, just write your news and change others. It's wiki. One person who really care outweights thousands of unconcerned. Don't complain, ACT instead! Drbug 11:02, 15 Nov 2003 (UTC)
Yeah, great, that's just what we need, Wiki-vigilantes. Get into an edit war with everyone else, and show your tenacity -- or lack of anything better to do -- by imposing your idea of what's news regardless of others' opinions. Hey, you're the center of the world, so prove it! I'll be off turning Easter Bradford into a stub. orthogonal 06:10, 18 Nov 2003 (UTC)

Removal: Dutch trade union comment piece

Trade unions in the Netherlands agree to two-year wage freeze. Parallel to the wage freeze, the government has implemented a programme of public spending cuts unprecedented in the history of the country. [1]

That source is FAR from impartial (...the Dutch economy is in deep crisis. The response by the unions and management is to undertake new attacks on the working class...), and a Google News search doesn't turn up any similar stories. I'm guessing this is a commentary on something that happened a while ago (i.e. not news). -- stewacide 19:48, 15 Nov 2003 (UTC)

You are right, it is actually from 14 October: -- Viajero 20:21, 15 Nov 2003 (UTC)

Removal: London premi�re of Master and Commander

I have removed:

I wouldn't call it a current event every time a new movie starring someone's favorite actor comes out or someone's favorite band releases a new album. 2003 in film and 2003 in music, respectively, would be more appropriate places. Mkweise 00:05, 18 Nov 2003 (UTC)

Good move. No matter how many times stuff like that is removed and the inserters told that it does not belong on this page, the same people keep putting it in. It is getting annoying. (But not as farcical as annoucing, as one user did, that a particular cartoon was premiering on a US cartoon network. That really was weird in the extreme!) Fear�IREANN 01:36, 18 Nov 2003 (UTC)
does not belong? YMMV on that ... getting annoying? [chuckles]
Just a note: particular cartoon -> star wars cartoon; not a US cartoon network [can we say "distortion"?], it was/is an international network; ... YMMV on how interesting / topical entertainment news is ... it does introduce topics for wikipedia. Just an opinion ... "Not an irish drunk"

I just removed:

I mean, most sports events, especially those of not exactly world news significance, should rather be placed under [[<year> in sports]] than under Current events. --Wernher 20:33, 16 Feb 2004 (UTC)

What does "level-pegging" mean?

Can someone explain what "level-pegging" means? RickK 02:30, 18 Nov 2003 (UTC)

It means "equal". E.g. "the Yankees and the Bulls are level-pegging after the third-quarter/at the bottom of the sixth" means the score is level/all-square/equal after the third quarter/six innings. Pete 10:09, 18 Nov 2003 (UTC)
Comes from the game of Cribbage.
James F. (talk) 17:55, 3 Mar 2004 (UTC)

Relevance of content?

I would like this page to become so useful that I turn to it for news first, rather than having to use The Washington Times or the Drudge Report.

However, there are problems. People put random stuff on the page that doesn't seem "relevant", and there's often no connection with wikipedia articles. Also, the headlines, links and summaries are far too often slanted, the most common slant being anti-US or anti-Bush or anti-Republican or pro-gay.

The solution is not to retaliate with a more conservative slant, but to write neutral summaries, headlines and links.

But this is a lot more work than I'm prepared to do right now. --Uncle Ed 16:29, 19 Nov 2003 (UTC)

Thats really interesting because I notice bias the other way. But then I read the Guardian. Secretlondon 16:31, Nov 19, 2003 (UTC)
Please point out some examples of pro-US, pro-Bush, pro-Republican or anti-gay bias. I will immediately help stamp out such things. --Uncle Ed 16:33, 19 Nov 2003 (UTC)
So will I. I will immediately stamp out any pro-science and pro-neutral comments, or anything socially integrative. Perhaps sexuality-neutral comments, like "pro-gay" comments should be excluded, and while we're at it, we should probably rule out any "pro-mankind" statements as well, or "pro-npov" statements.
Then we should watch out for "pro-truth" statements, such as statements that reveal "blatent contradictions between republican rhetoric and established scientific knowledge", unless, ofcourse, we want to be "pro-truth" (which would be a little slanted, of course) And we definitely shouldn't say anything like "George Bush's environmental policies have been 'retrogressive'." -that might mislead people a little: they might actually think that he's reversed legislation! How could we say such a thing? It's so subjective! It's like saying 2+2=4! We should really be a little more carefull.
I will certainly watch out for such "partiality". I wouldn't want to corrupt the minds of the youth. --Kevin Baas
To Kevin Baas -- You are way out of line. Mocking people you disagree with doesn't make you right. Wikipedia is not a place to fight over your moral (or amoral) stance. Reasonable people do and have disagreed about matters of appropriate sexual practice and about the appropriate role of government. Your cold amorality is just as subjective a POV. User: MPS

Looking for recent events

I was looking for links to a news event that occurred earlier this month and ran into a snag. Most links like this are listed by month like October 2003. There's also a page, Current Events, with links to the news events of the past week. But when I tried to go to November 2003 I was redirected to Current Events. The effect of this is that I couldn't find links for the dates between November 1-10. Are they located elsewhere? MK 20:13 (EST) 19 November 2003

Current Events is supposed to cover the whole month. Unfortunately it seems that when edited it at 2104 UTC tonight his/her browser truncated the article at 32K. Anyway, I have restored the "lost" news, so please try again. -- Arwel 02:17, 20 Nov 2003 (UTC)
Shouldn't we do something to split the page down to a reasonable size? Andrewa 03:09, 20 Nov 2003 (UTC)
We could implement a sort of 'moving window' of the last fortnight or so, with each day being archived as it 'falls off the edge', as it were, but that would required 29.5 +/- 1.5 archivings a month rather than 1, and so entail that bit more work...
James F. 20:13, 25 Nov 2003 (UTC)
I'd do about 23 of them (assuming someone else doesn't do that first). And it makes sense to me. --MadEwokHerd 20:50, 25 Nov 2003 (UTC)
Definively we need to do something. Now it has an excessive size (240 kb). Maybe we could implement some kind of automatization for this... IMO, events of only the last week should be enough.Bogdan 20:56, 25 Nov 2003 (UTC)

Ummmmmm....are there any objections to using the "moving window" thing in some form? We have a few weeks before we'd want to start doing that.. MadEwokHerd 21:11, 3 Dec 2003 (UTC)

Possible addition: French & German Student Strikes

I was going to add the following, but I wanted to be sure people would think it worthy of inclusion first. It seems to have been completely overlooked by the (mainstream) English-speaking press, but I'm not sure why - it seems like quite a big deal to me. I thought maybe Wikipedia could break the mould, but I'm not sure how to gather the necessary background etc.

  • French and German university students continue to hold protests, including strikes, over controversial policies such as tuition fees. German students also occupied the central offices of the PDS in Berlin, following a similar protest earlier in the week in which 30 to 40 students occupied the office of Thomas Flierl for more than 24 hours. Protests in both countries have been continuing to spread for the last two weeks.

I've only found a couple of references in English: [3] [4] [5] There's plenty in the German press - for example [6], [7] - but neither my German nor automatic translation services like Babelfish and Freetranslation) are quite good enough. Anyone got any thoughts or suggestions?

"30 to 40 students"?..... --Menchi 23:50, 28 Nov 2003 (UTC)
Well, I was reading conflicting reports on badly machine-translated German news - besides, maybe some of them got bored of standing in the guy's office for 24 hours! (But yes, it probably needs rewording). Oh, and I seem to have forgotten to sign it! - IMSoP 03:34, 29 Nov 2003 (UTC)

Month roll-over.

Well, I finally remembered that the Talk: page shouldn't have been moved (oops ;-)), so the monthly roll-over is done; if anyone's interested, there were 1126 edits to Current Events between when it was moved to October 2003 and when to November 2003.
James F. 12:12, 1 Dec 2003 (UTC)

It's the 2nd of December here. Do I have to wait till the clock ticks over on Wikipedia time to add something new under the 2nd? Dysprosia 23:10, 1 Dec 2003 (UTC)

I take the view that it is December 2 in Australia, and it's up to the rest of the world to catch up with us. Adam 23:23, 1 Dec 2003 (UTC)

If only you would stop blinking spinning for a few hours, we would! Pete/Pcb21 (talk) 23:26, 1 Dec 2003 (UTC)
More seriously, a review of archived discussion on this suggests there is no set in stone policy.. I suggest the policy
  1. List events under the local date (e.g. an early morning event in Australia on 2nd December would be listed on 2nd December even if UTC is still 1st December)
  2. There is no need for UTC to be on that date yet/anymore when you make the listing. (e.g. it can still be 1st December UTC when you make the listing in the above example. Equally a late-night event in California should be listed under 1st December even though UTC might be 2nd December)
  3. If you note a particular time in the event report please try to list both local and UTC times."

Any objections? Pete/Pcb21 (talk) 23:40, 1 Dec 2003 (UTC)

Sounds good :) Dysprosia 23:42, 1 Dec 2003 (UTC)

Insignificant events (for an encyclopedia)

I removed the following:

The relaunch of a website is not a current events topic, anymore than the launch of a film, an album or anything else like that is. This page is about news, not advertising a website. Fear�IREANN 23:45, 10 Dec 2003 (UTC)

Re someone's description of a premier being acclaimed into power, there is no such term constitutionally. You can be elected, elected unchallenged, elected unanimously, appointed, etc but you cannot be acclaimed into power. Just because a newspaper uses the term doesn't mean an encyclop�dia can. We are supposed to use NPOV factual language. Fear�IREANN 23:45, 10 Dec 2003 (UTC)

External link format

Hi, re my 12 December item on EU defence policy etc: is there some convention on format on current events? I notice someone has changed the links from the usual [1][2] format to a descriptive format [lk text][lk text]. Explanation, anyone? --Wernher 12:46, 14 Dec 2003 (UTC)

I hadn't seen the way you had it — "[10] (defence policy), [11] (EU constitution)" — before, and I wasn't convinced, so I experimented with another approach. Perhaps it didn't work. I've just tried again; if this is ruled ugly or against convention, please feel free to revert and accept my apologies. User:Hajor 14:39, 14 Dec 2003 (UTC)

Current events or Breaking news?

Its not a proposal, only an idea of mine. Like I said its not a proposal, I dont neccesarily think the name SHOULD be changed , but Ive been thinking for a very long time that what we do at the current events page is essentially breaking the news.

What do you all think? Shall the page name be changed?

--Antonio Phenomenom Martin

Disagree. The stuff stays for a month. It's hardly breaking news by the end of the month. RickK 04:27, 11 Dec 2003 (UTC)

All our stuff is second-handed! Some are so seconded that we're basically the last news-oid website to talk about. And many important stuff are not included. It is not breaking anybody. --Menchi (Talk)[[�|]] 04:33, 11 Dec 2003 (UTC)

Jackson Islam - maybe hoax?

Hmm, the Nation of Islam story sounds a bit like a 1999 hoax which said his brother Jermaine had joined the nation [9]. Curiouser and curiouser. -- Finlay McWalter 00:56, 19 Dec 2003 (UTC)

  • Nice journalism on this one. None of the "reputable" news sources who reported it seemed to be aware of its hoaxy aroma ;) chocolateboy 12:51, 19 Dec 2003 (UTC)

It's noteworthy that most of the major sources (BBC, CNN, reuters etc.) didn't pick up on the story. -- Finlay McWalter 12:54, 19 Dec 2003 (UTC)

  • True. Found one, though. I bet there'll be a few red faces at The Scotsman this morning:
Fox News's [sic] reported that Jackson's brother Jermaine, who converted to Islam in 1989, has brought Farrakhan's chief of staff into the star's inner circle as a "bodyguard". [10]
 ;) chocolateboy 13:15, 19 Dec 2003 (UTC)

New layout proposal

I think we should start thinking about ways to improve the layout of this page. As we get 10 or more items per day, it becomes almost impossible to read the current events. This is much easier to see for a regular reader than for a regular contributor -- contributors are used to the format and probably check the page frequently so they see new items as they are added. Readers, on the other hand, are hit with a bulletpoint list of items that is very difficult to read by subject. Generally we violate established usability principles if we put more than 6 or 7 items in a list, and in a long list with much text this is even more problematic.

I played around with a table layout. I'm using HTML right now because I had problems reproducing the same layout with Magnus' syntax, but it probably can be done. Even in HTML it should be reasonably convenient to edit as you can use section editing to grab any individual category. In this layout, when there are no news for a category, the section can be commented out or grayed out. (Careful with commenting out, you'll run into a section editing bug unless you also substitute the == markers.)

I'd like to hear your feedback on this proposal. I think we really need to move forward on this if we want to maintain scalability of the page.—Eloquence 01:18, Dec 20, 2003 (UTC)

December 19, 2003


  • It is reported that Paul Bremer survived an attack on his convoy on December 6; the fact that the news is breaking only now indicates how tightly news from Iraq is managed. [11]
  • Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi orders the deployment of Japanese forces for non-combat duties in Southern Iraq; Japanese voters are opposed to the mission. [12]
  • Police seal off the printing plant and offices of Zimbabwe's last remaining independent daily newspaper, The Daily News. [13]


  • Australia is forced to send AUD $1.2m to Nauru so that the Pacific island-state can pay its public servants before Christmas in a move that Foreign Minister Alexander Downer says illustrates the need for long-term solutions to the island's deep-seated problems. [14]

Science and Health


Law and Crime


Comments on proposal

Judging from the past WP-news, the politics box will always be 3 times bigger than the other box. This table will look ugly w/ a filled part and 5 empty parts. --Menchi (Talk)[[�|]] 01:27, 20 Dec 2003 (UTC)

This could be addressed by using ROWSPAN, i.e. making the cell span several rows when that is the case.—Eloquence
Please no tables! It is also a really bad idea to have pre-defined categories. --mav 01:52, 20 Dec 2003 (UTC)
What's wrong with tables, Mav? The categories need not be pre-defined. They can be handled flexibly.—Eloquence
Tables are hard to edit. Since this is the most edited article on Wikipedia it needs to be easy to edit. The categories can't be edited flexibly by anybody not familiar with HTML. --mav
As I already wrote, the same table could probably be realized in Magnus' simplified syntax. I pulled it off the first time, then lost the edit in the clipboard and did not manage to do it the second time. But even with HTML editing is not that difficult because you can simply edit the section of the category where you want to add an item, and you see virtually no HTML. This also applies to changing the title of a section.—Eloquence 02:22, Dec 20, 2003 (UTC)
Even a wiki table is hard to edit since it adds needless complexity to this page (and tables are a place for tabular data not prose!). Look at all that wasted white space above for the unfilled categories. Keep it simple please. --mav
Tables are useful as a layout element. Keeping it simple is good, but the current layout is not simple. It's a complex mess of items that have nothing to do with one another. One bullet point is the Linux kernel, the next the capture of Sadadm. Sorry, but that is extremely unprofessional and not scalable. So if you don't like the above layout I'd like to hear counter suggestion on making this page readable. —Eloquence
The page is perfectly readable to me. It is ordered by the time things happen; a summary of news for that day. The use of tables for layout of prose is most unwiki and only should be used in very special cases (such as the Main Page). It is not something to be encouraged by having the most edited article in the entire project use tables for layout of prose. Again, tables are for tabular data, not prose. --mav 16:11, 20 Dec 2003 (UTC)
It's readable if you want to read all the news of the day item by item (although it lacks whitespace). It's not if you want to limit yourself to certain categories. "Tables are for tabular data, not prose" is a silly dogma and does not become more true by repeating it. Tables are for layout and data. You can use CSS if you prefer that but the result is the same. As I've already explained, editing is easy if you use section editing. At the very least we should separate the day items into subsections.—Eloquence 16:22, Dec 20, 2003 (UTC)
Wiki is not a silly dogma and not everybody uses section editing. You are proposing to add complexity to this page by placing prose in tables. This is a dangerous precedent for a page that is edited as often as Current events. It is not something that should be encouraged (otherwise people will start adding tables - wiki or HTML - to add visual appeal to regular articles). --mav
"extremely unprofessional and not scalable"?
chocolateboy 16:06, 20 Dec 2003 (UTC)
Far narrower focus, shorter paragraphs and clustered by priority.—Eloquence
There are lots of sites that use the tabular layout to good effect e.g. the BBC, Google and Yahoo. But I don't think that's any reason to use bogus technical arguments ("extremely unprofessional and not scalable") to defend what is otherwise a reasonable usability proposal. The current layout is the standard way of representing RSS-style "breaking" newsfeeds. Of the 3 links I cited, only the WSJ has a (marginally) narrower focus; its paragraphs are the same length as those on Current_events; and, as far as I can see, none of those pages are "clustered by priority". chocolateboy 16:52, 20 Dec 2003 (UTC)
There's nothing bogus here. Wikipedia reports marginal regional political news from Ireland, limited interest stuff from the Linux community, minor sports events and major political developments all on the same hierarchical level. That is unprofessional as readers who know nothing about Linux will suddenly be confronted with news about it immediately after reading about some major event. That's what you would expect in a school paper but not on a real news site. That's why newspapers have these priority clusters -- frontpage news, small backpage items etc. -- which are often mirrored in the online editions.
The WSJ focuses on major political/economy stories, CNN presents major "breaking news" as they happen (without summaries - just links), primarily politics. The Lycos page is really just a dump of the AP newsfeed and as such not very useful at all. With "clustered by priority" I mean that except for Lycos, these kind of pages serve to present major news, and the minor news will usually be listed somewhere else (not even on the same page) or not at all.
As for the paragraph length, the longest paragraph on the WSJ page is 235 chars. The longest paragraph on ours is 677 chars. Note that our page uses the full screen width so paragraphs do not appear as long. The scalability argument applies because our lists simply keep getting longer and longer -- that is not the case with the WSJ (the only link of yours to provide real news summaries) as they limit themselves to 6-7 stories, incidentally the same number I recommended. They remove the summaries as stories get older and finally archive the stories. We have an archiving system for months, but not for days (we don't need one, in my opinion, but we need better separation of content to make it easier to navigate).—Eloquence
Fair enough for the most part, although I don't think the Linux story is a very good example. It's easy to find similar juxtapositions on all three of those sites. (As an aside: what hope have we of laying out the "front page" correctly if we can't even lay out a readable discussion thread? ;) And re: "unprofessional" ("That's what you would expect in a school paper but not on a real news site"): you obviously went to a better school than I did! ;) chocolateboy 17:27, 20 Dec 2003 (UTC)

That RIAA story falls under all six categories ;) chocolateboy 01:58, 20 Dec 2003 (UTC)

Not really. Even if it did there's almost always a dominant component.—Eloquence

Well, I was reaching with "Science & Health"... But 5 out of 6 aint bad!

I think it would look good if it was non-sparse and more or less symmetrical. I don't think it would be, though, very often. If there was some kind of unique id or URI for each news item then one could set up a bespoke "remix" of the news by "transcluding" items off the main page. e.g. Current_events_(categories), Current_events_(lite) &c. Maybe pursue implement that as an RFE?

chocolateboy 02:34, 20 Dec 2003 (UTC)

The page is getting unwieldy. The table was a bold attempt at addressing that, but I think it would also create too many additional problems (forced categorization, requiring table skills, etc). A couple of suggestions:
  • Move the "See Also" sidebar either to the top of the page or to between today's and yesterday's stories – that would give us a wider column to work with and would improve readability.
  • It's nearly 2004, probably a good moment for this change: as of 1 January 2004, start daily news pages: [[News: 01 January 2004]] etc. If we were to do that, it would also be easier to follow some sort of categorization scheme like User:Eloquence proposed in his table.
  • I'm intrigued by User:Chocolateboy's Current_events_(lite) proposal, but I also suspect that it would only encourage frivolous contributions and fluff stories. Still, I firmly believe that most sports, entertainment, celeb (Keiko!), etc. news does not belong on this page: better to have it somewhere else, anywhere else?
Thoughts? User:Hajor 16:40, 20 Dec 2003 (UTC)
I was thinking of "lite" in terms of bandwidth/graphics/eye-candy rather than content. But each to his own ;) If news items were transcludable, usability/accessibility gurus could then (experimentally) curate them into their own custom version of the page. If such an alternative layout caught on, then a simple appeal to statistics (more people are using this than the default version!) is, presumably, all it would take to get such a project elected as the default layout. [20] chocolateboy 17:05, 20 Dec 2003 (UTC)
I misunderstood you. But I have since read Transclusion and the idea is intriguing. User:Hajor 17:20, 20 Dec 2003 (UTC)

Greek news?

Sometimes I add some Greek news. Unfortunately very few times I can give links to English language news sources and I am sorry for this. I want your opinion on this, do you find these news without an English link useful and interesting? Do you think it would be better not to list news without a reference to a English language news source? Thanks. Optim 16:36, 14 Jan 2004 (UTC)

I think it's fine to include news without any English-language external links to back them up. If there are no other English-language sources out there, then Wikipedia might be appreciated more. Of course, the news still have to be "newsworthy," but the lack of an English-language link does not make them any less so. Dori | Talk 16:47, Jan 14, 2004 (UTC)
Yeah I agree. But if it ain't in English there should be some text in parens next to the link saying so. I think Optim has been doing this, so all is well. --mav 11:41, 18 Jan 2004 (UTC)
Thank you for your answers! Optim 18:02, 18 Jan 2004 (UTC)

News Sources

In the interest of saving space, the lengthy list of external news sources and collections should be removed from this page. There should instead be a reference to News agency, and News agency should house all these lists. Kingturtle 10:13, 18 Jan 2004 (UTC)

Sounds like a good idea to me. But then that may overwhelm news agency with external links... Worth a try anyway. --mav 11:55, 18 Jan 2004 (UTC)
We could always go with List of news agencies...
James F. (talk) 16:12, 18 Jan 2004 (UTC)


Regarding NASA cancelling Hubble servicing: I had read, both in the new york times and the milwaukee journal sentinel, that The servicee missions were cancelled because of Bush's plans to go to the moon, and then mars.

It says in on this page that they were cancelled because of safety concerns. That sounds like a load of *BS*. That's an expensive friggin' piece of machinery, you do not leave it to die prematurely unless there is some major policy-change.

And two service missions? What could be unsafe about both? Obviously not the launch, because we know nothing about the launch conditions of the second launch. Obviously not the actual in-space repair, we've done far more difficult repairs before without a hitch or concern. By process of elimation, that leaves, nothing! -- Kevin Baas 16:35, 18 Jan 2004 (UTC)

I shared your concern. To allay it, I managed to find this New York Times article that explains it near the bottom. O'Keefe said there wouldn't be enough time, as the A.P. reported, to conduct the missions before retiring the Shuttle in 2010. NYT explains that there wouldn't be enough time to develop a new procedure for inspecting the heat shield on a mission not going to the space station. (From the station, it's pretty easy to have astronauts on the station look out the window at the passing Shuttle, but when there's no astronaut out the window, getting a good look at the tiles on the bottom is a problem.) -- Ke4roh 02:35, 19 Jan 2004 (UTC)
Why is it not going to the space station? -- Kevin Baas 20:15, 20 Jan 2004 (UTC)
NASA is telling us that the shuttle is only going to the space station. When it goes there, astronauts remaining on the station can inspect the heat shield as the Shuttle departs. The International Space Station (ISS) and Hubble Space Telescope (HST) are in completely different orbits. Due to limited fuel, when a Shuttle goes to HST, it generally cannot get over to ISS, and vice versa. To see where satellites (including ISS and HST) are in space, check out JTrack 3D. -- Ke4roh 00:40, 21 Jan 2004 (UTC)
Only because they don't want to have an emergency fuel reserve at the ISS. If they did, the shuttle could go to HST first, then to ISS for refueling and heat shield inspection. Obviously it wouldn't be able to do a HST-ISS-home circuit for every ISS mission, but there could be some. - UtherSRG 20:41, 21 Jan 2004 (UTC)

Prose: "M & wife F get child" vs "M's wife F gives birth to child"

Hi, I just wondered whether the two alternative patterns of prose in the heading of this comment is equivalent (and both usable), and if one of them is preferable. I know the usage in Norwegian, but wonder about the possible usages in English. --Wernher 20:33, 21 Jan 2004 (UTC)

I like this one better: "M's wife F gives birth to child" Sennheiser 21:11, 21 Jan 2004 (UTC)
In English, the second is better. Better yet is "A, wife of B, gave birth to a C" as in "Diana, wife of Prince Charles, gave birth to a boy on .... 19xx. The child, William, is ... in line of succession to the crown" From the CBC via Google "The royal couple didn't keep their public waiting. Princess Diana gave birth to William Arthur Philip Louis on June 21, 1982, less than a year after they were married." OneVoice 03:05, 23 Jan 2004 (UTC)

Wikipedia is not in the news

I removed this bit:

This is what Wikipedia:Announcements is for. --mav

…and the Main Page, apparently… —Mulad 02:58, 2 Feb 2004 (UTC)
I was being sarcasticMulad 03:04, 2 Feb 2004 (UTC)
I removed that as well. Given our server situation we would be brought down and may even loose a few days edits if the server crashed due to excessive load. --mav

US Draft-dodging as news

Regarding whether or not the decrease of 80% in refusal, draft dodging and insubordation is news was decided when the September 24th, 2003 and January 4, 2004 incidents of two groups refusing to serve was added to Current events. OneVoice 16:15, 3 Feb 2004 (UTC)

Goodridge et al.

Of course, nevermind; it's already done! Thanks as always, Kimiko! Paige 21:09, 4 Feb 2004 (UTC)

Star Wars

Link to the pending release of Star Wars on DVD was removed... reason was given as "not current event". Now, I'm open to the assertion that since it isn't going to be released until Sept. 21, it's not terribly CURRENT, but the fact is the announcement IS. Since the selling of the trilogy on DVD is almost certainly a billion dollar plus economic event, it's certainly of import. I would also imagine that there are going to be several records broken (in terms of pre-orders/pre-sales) in the coming hours. What do other people think? --Dante Alighieri | Talk 19:31, 10 Feb 2004 (UTC)

The US economy is on the order of $11 trillion a year. What is one billion? A rounding error! This simply isn't front page news. Let's revist the matter on September 21. -- Viajero 20:06, 10 Feb 2004 (UTC)


"pro-family" is a bit POV, but I'm unsure how to reword it. Dysprosia 09:38, 13 Feb 2004 (UTC)


Okay, I'm getting in a minor little tiff with User:Reddi about quoting and italicizing text regarding same-sex marriage. This might be aggravated on my end by the fact that I stayed up way past my bedtime tonight, so I'm just going to say this and stay away for a while (plus I'll be gone for about a week soon, so that will prevent me from tweaking bits all over Wikipedia...) I recognize that Reddi has been a good contributor to many areas of the site, so I don't want to make this blow up. He just seems to have different opinions than I do on homosexuality, etc. Anyway, this might also be a good time to discuss the general quoting style on this page.

Personally, I generally don't both quote and italicize text at the same time. There are occasions when I find it useful, like when long quotes are being used in a text. I also think it's nice to be able to set off quoted text (i.e. things people have said, or text from another source, etc.) from other short phrases that are being introduced. When this sort of mixed text exists, I might quote the quotes (see, I'm sleepy..) but italicize phrases and words. Whatever, blah blah blah. However, when I see a word that is fairly commonly used, such as civil marriage (being marriage performed by a civic official rather than a religious cleric), if I see it just in quotes or just italicized, I expect it to be talking about civil marriage rather than stating that the event happened or whatever (...this is what we call "civil marriage"...). When quotes are used on a phrase that is being used in proper context (...the couple was joined in a "civil marriage" ceremony...) I tend to see it as a demeaning thing (unless the phrase is very rarely used). And when I see the phrase in both quotes and italics, I tend to get a little angry...

I'm willing to concede that the word marriage was quoted in that one article, though again, I would recommend just quoting or italicizing, not both.

Anyway, I'll let this be up to the community. I plan to avoid editing pages on related topics for a while, and like I said, I'll be away soon. —Mulad 12:17, 13 Feb 2004 (UTC)

Mulad, doing both quoting and italicizing text for phrases and quotes is done in wikipedia (from what I've seen). I quote and italicize text to both offset it and re-enforce the that it's the quote or phrase. "civil marriage" is a phrase and that is why I frmt it that way ... not to be "as a demeaning" thing ... this is an example: "civil marriage" is rather new [a neologism of which isn't seen much] and used to relay the concept of "homosexual marriage" ...
... Sorry you get angry with it (that isn't my intent) ... and, thankfully, my state will never have to deal with this phrase (with this context) ...
As to letting this be up to the "community", that's fine ... a guide would be nice (but only as a guide; not a rule to be obeyed "ad nauseum") ...
Sincerely, JDR [PS. ... italicizing for emphasis; quoting for literals]

Kerry sex scandal

The correct source for the Kerry sex scandal story is a newspaper in the UK -- not Matt Drudge. But it's not worth having an edit war over this.

Drudge may have brought the story to prominence at his website, but I think the Wikipedia should give credit to the Sun rather than to Drudge.

Also, the Sun said Dean might re-enter the race. I hope no one censors this info. It shouldn't be deleted unless you really think the Sun got it wrong. --Uncle Ed 16:36, 13 Feb 2004 (UTC)

Drudge was the first to break the news; it was actually reported on his website yesterday (along with a number of local media sources), not the 13th. I'll fix that. There are a number of online sources that could be referred to for the story besides the UK's Sun. If anyone does cite the story to Drudge's website, exercise care since Drudge's main "news" page is changed often throughout the day.B 17:22, Feb 13, 2004 (UTC)
Yes The Sun quotes Drudge as the source, not other way round. I had a mini-revert session with myself but it should be ok now.... Pete/Pcb21 (talk) 17:27, 13 Feb 2004 (UTC)

This is not news. There is nothing of substance to report. Wikipedia is not a rumor-mill, and we are not a platform for the likes of Matt Drudge. If there's information from a reputable source, we can report that, but just rumors about "some sex scandal" should be left to the yellow press.—Eloquence 00:37, Feb 15, 2004 (UTC)

US policy change

This may be a major change in US policy to go from negotiation only, no unilaterial moves to supporting a unilateral move. Such a change of policy after years (decades?) of insisting on negotiation means an explanation. The NYT quotes of administrator officials provide that explanation. OneVoice 20:44, 13 Feb 2004 (UTC)

Bush's Nat. Guard service

Hi, are the Feb 14 and Feb 13 news items on this matter actually the same, and so should be merged, or is there a reason to keep'em on separate dates? Just wondering. And while I'm at it, I have noticed what might look like a USA=The World™ bias re this and other items as contributors seem to think National Guard is perfectly equal to U.S. National Guard... --Wernher 20:05, 14 Feb 2004 (UTC)

The date, IIRC, should be the day it occurs ... but I think that it was in the evening, so it's the 14 wiki-time (like it's still the 14th here, but the time on CE reads the 15th) ... so I'm not sure ... hopefully, someone will answer this; I think it was brought up before [ie., time o' event/date posted to], so you may wanna see the archives. JDR

Splitting the current events page?

Every month's article since August 2003 is listed on Wikipedia:Longpages. And they're only going to get longer as more users contribute news items. What are people's feelings on having a seperate article for each day (e.g. February 17, 2004, with redirs from February 17th, 2004, 17 February, 2004, etc.), just keeping the past few days on Current events? 20:11, 17 Feb 2004 (UTC)

I think that is a very sensible idea. Should go down to a week at first, and then as the page gets longer and longer reduce it. Allows for the future, and would allow a more professional look for current events. ChrisG 21:44, 25 Feb 2004 (UTC)

Current events page bug?

Hi, I realize there aren't very many of us Opera (browser) users, but am I the only one who gets a messed up header on the Current events page? Specifically, the top-of-the-page links (Main page, etc.; Printable version, etc.; Other languages, etc.) are all the way at the left margin, with the (new) Wikipedia logo overlaying and mostly obliterating these links. Below the grey horizontal line (about 2 cm from top of window), everything else is normal. This is the only page I have encountered in all of Wikipedia that is messed up (for me at least) when viewed with Opera version 7.23. Any suggestions on how to track down the problem? Harris7 18:53, 23 Feb 2004 (UTC)

Hm, one of the recent formatting changes to Current events fixed this long-standing problem. Thank you, somebody! Harris7 18:55, 1 Mar 2004 (UTC)

"Grey Tuesday"

Is "Grey Tuesday" really one of the four biggest stories in the world today. Google News on the story. Pete/Pcb21 (talk) 15:00, 24 Feb 2004 (UTC)

"Same-Sex Marriage appropriate?"

OK - I'm relatively new to this, so bear with me (although I have already made a number of contributions to Current Events, Recent deaths, and even the Main Page - as well as about the history of Scotland, East Anglia, etc... I'm wondering whether the continued inclusion of news (almost daily) about Same-Sex Marriage is justified in a general encyclopedia, even one which has an up-to-the minute news element to it. Is this really one of the main events of the day? I'm not coming with any anti-gay agenda here - just concerned about what is appropriate. I do get the impression that someone is riding their hobby-horse. Agendum 20:37, 24 Feb 2004 (UTC)

I disagree. This is a political football in the United States, and things change almost daily in the situation. It's becoming a major campaing issue.

Having said that, I did delete the following from the discussion of the Federal Marriage Amendment:

In addition to defining marriage, the FMA denies states the ability to grant marriage rights to unmarried couples (civil union and domestic partner).

That's not true. Go to the article on the Amendment. All it says is that no state is REQUIRED to recognize same-state marriage, but they are ALLOWED to do so if they want to. RickK 16:44, 25 Feb 2004 (UTC)

It has to be said that the wording of the FMA is ambiguous. Eugene Volokh has published some interesting things on this subject (see [21]). It's fair to say that the FMA's critics charge that it has the potential to deny such rights - it hinges on what is covered by the words "the legal incidents thereof". With that in mind, I've re-included the point in a hopefully NPOV way. -- ChrisO 17:19, 25 Feb 2004 (UTC)
Good change, I can live with that. RickK 03:51, 26 Feb 2004 (UTC)

Macedonian President

Do you think this picture from the Macedonian government site is fair use? It needs to be cropped, but other than that, it's a good shot of him. jengod 20:30, Feb 26, 2004 (UTC)

Sidebar link

On Wikipedia talk:Main Page#Visibility poll it has been suggested to replace the sidebar link to current events with one to Wikipedia:Main Page. You may want to register your opinion in the poll.—Eloquence 01:21, Feb 28, 2004 (UTC)


According to [22] LOTR ROTK won only 8 oscars (perhaps they're wrong), but shouldn't there be some reference links to go with the story? Dori | Talk 05:14, Mar 1, 2004 (UTC)

I added a link to which shows all of the winners on its front page. They have 11. RickK 05:17, 1 Mar 2004 (UTC)

Deletion of refs

An anonymous Canadian user, is repeatedly deleting all stories that are linked to website with the comment "this site is not a decent news site". I'm uneasy about the idea of deleting stories because someone doesn't like the source. What do the rest of you think? -- ChrisO 15:29, 1 Mar 2004 (UTC)

I think it's entirely fair. Same goes for . Either site is mainly used as a method of getting POV in by reference to someone else and the content isn't really suitable for this page unless there's a reasonably respectable news feed to link to, preferably more than a single source. - David Gerard 16:00, Mar 1, 2004 (UTC)
I should add: while many 'proper' newsfeeds are commonly held to be biased in a given direction (Fox, BBC, Guardian), they are in fact sources of general news, not specialist advocacy Slashcode sites, so are a much better source on what's the actual top news stories of the day. If you see what I mean. - David Gerard 16:06, Mar 1, 2004 (UTC)

I spent 30 minutes trying to find ANY substantiation on-line for the half-dozen "news stories". No other news source had any mention.

Moreover, the stories are all one-sided, saying only that Israelis did this or that, but not even HINTING that it may have been in response to a provocation. Nor do they report any attempt to question the Israelis about why they did it.

My conclusion is that this is PROBABLY a propaganda site, masquerading as a "news source".

I think each item from this source should start by saying something like:

  • An anti-Israeli website claimed today that...; or,
  •, a website devoted to accusing Israel of misdeeds, reported today that...

Unless and until at least SOME of its "stories" start to be confirmed by other sources, I don't think it should be given the same unquestioned authority as the New York Times, AP, or Washington Times. Just putting a footnote at the end is not enough. In fact, it's misleading. --Uncle Ed 15:52, 3 Mar 2004 (UTC)

Liftarn is blatantly attempting to put in POV by reference. His latest entry included press releases as news! - David Gerard 16:00, Mar 3, 2004 (UTC)


Someone please explain to me how the top-selling movie of 2003 winning an Academy Award is news but the announcement of the sequel to the two top-selling video games of 2003 isn't?

It's not advertising, by the way. Again, no more than Lord of the Rings is. RadicalBender 20:31, 1 Mar 2004 (UTC)

The film is mentioned on the front page, albeit not as a headline, on most western internet news sites. The game is nowhere to be seen. Haiti, which David also removed, is the headline on CNN, BBC,... and to my mind is obviously the top world news story. Go figure. Pete/Pcb21 (talk) 20:51, 1 Mar 2004 (UTC)
I'm not saying it should be on the main page (it shouldn't). But why can't it be listed with everything else on the current events? Other things show up in the current events list all the time that are far less valuable. RadicalBender 20:54, 1 Mar 2004 (UTC)
I agree; it is of similar importance to LotR's annoucements, which were carried here, so I've re-added it.
James F. (talk) 21:22, 1 Mar 2004 (UTC)
As I said in the summary, I removed the Haiti story for not having a link - I expected someone to find one and put it back. (I suppose I shall have to go looking myself now ...) I'm still not convinced about GTA. If we have a few links ... I shall go look for more now too. - David Gerard 21:20, Mar 1, 2004 (UTC)
Actually, I've just looked again. The link is a press release. Still looking for an actual news story that isn't a reprint. - David Gerard 21:25, Mar 1, 2004 (UTC)
There. I've found the one non-press-release link on GTA, and by the way linked the actual story: it swept the BAFTA games awards!
I do strongly object to putting press releases on Current events. FWIW. - David Gerard 21:32, Mar 1, 2004 (UTC)
And that's fine, but I'd appreciate someone saying that. I would've gone to find something else (or perhaps even linked to the Slashdot posting on this topic). The first time it was deleted without explanation and then the second time was deleted saying it was "advertising." (Just say don't post PR - that's all I needed to know.) RadicalBender 21:41, 1 Mar 2004 (UTC)

End-of-month archiving

Gah, finally managed to fix it so that the page is actually moved to the specific month, keeping its page history.
Sorry if I've broken anything; nothing significant has been lost, AFAICT, but what has been removed should still be lying around in the page history of February...
James F. (talk) 21:22, 1 Mar 2004 (UTC)

Terribly sorry for my poopooing earlier. -- Kaihsu 21:25, 2004 Mar 1 (UTC)
No problem ;-)
James F. (talk) 17:55, 3 Mar 2004 (UTC)

Why was this deleted from the hot links?

Why was this page deleted from the hot links on my page? RickK 03:31, 2 Mar 2004 (UTC)

I dont know, but it is quite annoying! I hope it will be restored. Perl 03:32, 2 Mar 2004 (UTC)

Yes please put current events back on the toolbar Mintguy (T) 14:30, 2 Mar 2004 (UTC)

See #Sidebar link and vote in the poll.—Eloquence