Index | LDC
(Number of topics is 37.)
1. Asian Economic Crisis
Seed Article: CNN19980112.2130.0084
WHAT: The economic crisis in Asia
WHERE: East and Southeast Asia
WHEN: beginning Fall 1997 and ongoing
TOPIC EXPLICATION: Topic-related stories include: IMF bail-out and U.S.
involvement, ripple effect in U.S. and other stock markets, impact on international
businesses, impact on citizens of Asian countries.
2. Monica Lewinsky Case
Seed Article: ABC19980122.1830.1094
WHAT: Allegations about a sexual relationship between Monica Lewinsky and
WHEN: Begins making news January 1998
TOPIC EXPLICATION: This topic includes the allegations about a sexual
relationship between Monica Lewinsky and President Clinton and the alleged
cover-up surrounding it. Stories on topic also include any that discuss
evidence indicating that there WAS a relationship, Clinton and Lewinsky's
depositions, Lewinsky's legal battles, the allegations (which come in June)
that Kenneth Starr is leaking information about this "relationship" to
the media. Also on topic: Linda Tripp's tape recordings of Lewinsky conversations,
allegations that Vernon Jordon and President Clinton provided special job
opportunities for Lewinsky, Betty Curry's deposition for Kenneth Starr
(this allegedly included information about gifts from Lewinsky and for
her, visits by her, etc.).
3. Peruvian Anti-torture Laws
WHAT: Peru's Congress passes new anti-torture legislation.
WHERE: Lima, Peru
WHEN: January 1998
TOPIC EXPLICATION: Related articles might include those that discuss the
process of passing this legislation, the extent to which it is successful
in stemming torture, the fact that under the new legislation there will
be longer jail terms and civilian rather than military trials. Humanitarians
see this is a large step towards minimizing torture tactics in Peru.
Seed Article: N/A
4. McVeigh's Navy Dismissal & Fight
Seed Article: ABC19980113.1830.0598
WHAT: Timothy McVeigh is discharged by the Navy for being gay; McVeigh
fights the dismissal
WHEN: January 1998 (McVeigh is discharged) - June 1998 (McVeigh permitted
to retire from USN)
TOPIC EXPLICATION: McVeigh (no relation to the OK City bomber) decided
he would fight his discharge. The fight, more than the dismissal, is the
target topic. Related stories may be about his lawsuit, the process by
which the Navy discovered that he is gay, the outcome of the lawsuit (McVeigh
is permitted to retire from the Navy with full benefits; Navy pays his
5. Upcoming Philippine Elections
Seed Article: N/A
WHAT: National elections in the Philippines.
WHERE: Manilla, Philippines
WHEN: January 1998 (cabinet resignations) through May 1998 (new president
TOPIC EXPLICATION: Related stories may include stories about the replacement
of 6 members of the Philippine Cabinet, most of whom resigned because they
want to run in the upcoming elections.
6. Israeli Palestinian Raids
Seed Article: VOA19980113.2100.0740
WHAT: Israeli and Palestinian militaries raid what are believed to be Hamas
WHERE: Israeli-Palestinian border
WHEN: These raids occurred around Jan. 13, 1998.
TOPIC EXPLICATION: Related stories may include information about why these
raids were planned (it is believed that terrorists attacks were being planned
at these particular sites) or information about what weapons or information
may have been confiscated. The topic is limited to these specific raids,
during the weeks around 1/13, and NOT all raids in the region. This particular
set of raids generated a small media flurry because of the suspicion that
they were "preventative" in nature.
7. Fossett's Balloon Ride
WHAT: Steve Fossett attempts to circumnavigate the globe in his hot air
WHEN: Predominantly in January of 1998.
TOPIC EXPLICATION: Stories on topic include Fossett's negotiations with
Beruit and other governments about use of air space, his difficulty with
his heater and other technical problems, and the ultimate failure of his
flight. Stories about other balloon trips during this time period
(Rutan & Melton's trip) are not on-topic unless they also refer to
8. Casey Martin Sues PGA
Seed Article: NYT19980117.0042
WHAT: Disabled pro golfer Casey Martin sues the PGA to get permission to
use a motorized cart during tournament competitions.
WHEN: January of 1998 through spring 1998 (trial during February 1998)
TOPIC EXPLICATION: This topic includes all stories about the legal case
and its outcomes, information about how the Americans with Disabilities
Act relates to Casey and his case, and the PGA's position on the suit.
There was extensive debate about this, including discussion of the competitive
nature of walking the course. Articles that discuss this debate are also
9. Karla Faye Tucker
Seed Article: ABC19980113.1830.1141
WHAT: Activity surrounding Karla Faye Tucker's scheduled execution and
her bid for clemency.
WHEN: January - February 1998 (execution occurs 2/3/98)
TOPIC EXPLICATION: Her whole case is on topic. Also topic-related are stories
about how she was only the second women ever to be executed in the state
of Texas, stories about her conversion to Christianity, her recovery from
drug addiction, and allegations that her case stirs up controversy because
she is a woman.
10. Mountain Hikers Lost
Seed Article: N/A
WHAT: A large group of student hikers are lost in an avalanche in the French
WHERE: Les Orres, France
WHEN: January 23, 1998
TOPIC EXPLICATION: Topic-related stories include those about the fact that
the hikers were snow-shoeing above Les Orres ski station when they were
hit by an avalanche. Also on topic are stories about the fallout of this
accident, the search for the victims, any survivors, the parents' reactions,
11. State of the Union Address
Seed Article: CNN19980128.1130.0375
WHAT: President Clinton's State of the Union Address.
WHERE: Washington D.C.
TOPIC EXPLICATION: These stories may include information about the content
of the speech, i.e. the idea of raising minimum wage, the salvation of
social security, plans for cutting taxes and providing money for initiatives
in education and child care. Stories may also include the Republican
response to the speech, delivered by Trent Lott.
12. Pope visits Cuba
Seed Article: N/A
WHAT: The Pope's historic visit to Cuba in Winter 1998.
WHERE: Havana, Cuba
WHEN: late January 1998
TOPIC EXPLICATION: Topic related articles may include: Fidel Castro gave
all state workers the day off to attend the mass, controversy over the
visit in general, stories about the Pope's meetings with heads of state,
the masses he delivered, his travels while there. Also on topic are stories
about the reactions of Cuban citizens to his visit.
13. 1998 Winter Olympics
Seed Article: NYT19980123.0869
WHAT: 1998 Winter Olympic games
WHERE: Nagano, Japan
WHEN: February 1998
TOPIC EXPLICATION: Related stories include Nagano's preparations
for the Olympics, injuries athletes sustained during the games, medal winners,
celebrations to welcome home victorious athletes, etc. This topic
only encompasses these particular Winter Olympics.
14. African Leaders and World Bank Pres.
Seed Article: APW19980124.0549
WHAT: African Leaders meet with the World Bank President
WHERE: Kampala, Uganda
WHEN: January 23-24, 1998
TOPIC EXPLICATION: Stories on topic include any about the reasons for the
meeting (to discuss economic development in Africa), the plans for the
meeting, results of the meeting, IMF involvement.
15. Current Conflict with Iraq
Seed Article: ABC19980121.1830.1392
WHAT: Saddam Hussein demands a freeze on weapons inspections by the US
and UN, while the US and UN demand free access for inspections. Current
means the conflict specific to Winter 1998 and its fallout.
WHEN: Winter 1998
TOPIC EXPLICATION: Related stories may be about the negotiations around
the signing of an agreement, the US sending troops overseas, the preparations
for an air strike, or the U.N. weapons inspection teams being denied access
to particular sites. Also on topic are negotiations between Hussein and
other world leaders around levels of access, world reactions to Hussein's
refusal to allow the inspections, support or protest for the U.S. in its
threat of action against Iraq.
16. $1 million Stolen at WTC
Seed Article: NYT19980115.0965
WHAT: Two men are arrested for stealing $1.1 million at the World Trade
WHERE: New York City
WHEN: January 13-16, 1998 (holdup & arrests); February 1998 (arraignment)
TOPIC EXPLICATION: The two men stole the money from a guard, and were caught
and arrested. The topic includes any stories about the crime, the search
for the suspects (even the process of identifying the suspects), their
arrest, indictment, trials and punishment.
17. Babbitt Casino Case
Seed Article: PRI19980211.2000.0120
THING: Reno requests Independent Counsel to investigate Babbitt's rejection
of proposed Indian Casino
WHEN: Reno's request was made on 2/11/98
TOPIC EXPLICATION: Bruce Babbitt will be investigated for alleged misconduct
in rejecting a proposal for an Indian Casino. Stories on topic include
those about allegations that it appears that members of the group who opposed
the casino were also contributors to the Democratic National Fund. There
were also allegations that Babbitt may have been misleading in his sworn
testimony to the Senate Committee.
18. Bombing AL Clinic
Seed Article: CNN19980202.2130.0265
THING: A bomb explodes in a Birmingham, AL abortion clinic
PLACE: Birmingham, Alabama
WHEN: January 29, 1998 (bombing) through Spring 1998 (investigation)
TOPIC EXPLICATION: The topic includes all aspects of the crime, the bombing,
the motivation for it, suspects, arrests, trials, etc. As such, stories
on this topic include those about a police officer who was killed and a
nurse critically wounded from the blast. Also, any stories about the police's
search for Eric Rudolph, whose truck was parked nearby at the time of the
blast, are included. The police also received a letter from a group called
the Army of God who claimed responsibility for the act. The same
group is being linked to the Olympic Park bombing and other bombings in
19. Cable Car Crash
Seed Article: ABC19980204.1830.0321
THING: Marine fighter pilot's plane cuts cable car line, sending gondola
crashing to ground
PLACE: Cavalese, Italy in the Italian Alps
WHEN: February 3, 1998
TOPIC EXPLICATION: A U.S. Marine Fighter Pilot on a training mission crashed
into an Italian Cable Car operation at a ski resort, killing 20 people.
Stories on topic include those about a history of complaints from Italian
officials prior to the accident about pilots flying too close to the cables.
Also topic-related are stories about the victim's families who are threatening
legal action (as are Italian Officials), stories about the pilot, and any
repercussions against the pilot from this incident.
20. China Airlines Crash
Seed Article: ABC19980216.1830.0301
THING: China Airlines Flight 676 from Bali to Taipei crashes
PLACE: Taipei, Taiwan
WHEN: February 16, 1998
TOPIC EXPLICATION: The flight was from Bali to Taipei. It crashed
several yards short of the runway and all 196 on board were believed dead.
China Airlines had an already sketchy safety record. This crash also killed
many people who lived in the residential neighborhood where the plane hit
ground. Stories on topic include any investigation into the accident, stories
about the victims/their families/the survivors. Also on topic are stories
about the ramifications for the Airline.
21. Tornado in Florida
Seed Article: ABC19980223.1830.0634
THING: Several strong and fatal tornadoes
PLACE: Around Kissimee, Florida (mid-section of the state)
WHEN: During the week of February 23
TOPIC EXPLICATION: The tornadoes were both unexpected and very strong,
causing several deaths and incredible destruction. They are being blamed
on El Nino. Stories about the victims and damage are on topic, as are stories
about the warning (or, in this case, a lack of warning) that residents
22. Diane Zamora
Seed Article: CNN19980218.0130.0406
THING: Diane Zamora is convicted of helping to murder her lover's girlfriend
WHEN: January 1998 (trial) through February 1998 (conviction)
TOPIC EXPLICATION: Zamora, a naval midshipman, was involved in the murder
plot, as was her lover David Graham. After her conviction she attempted
suicide and was put under 24 hour prison watch. Her entire case is on topic:
the crime, the arrest, the trial and conviction and her response (the suicide
23. Violence in Algeria
Seed Article: APW19980207.0702
THING: A new wave of bombings and terrorism
WHEN: Since January
TOPIC EXPLICATION: Since early this year there has been a new wave of terrorism
because of both the visit of the delegation from the European Parliament
and because the Algerian Prime Minister (Ahmed Ouyahia) proclaimed in a
speech that his forces were close to shutting down the insurgency and therefore
stopping the terrorism. As with other topics about ongoing violence, stories
about the occurences, the victims, and the groups involved are all on topic.
24. Shevardnadze Assassination Attempt
Seed Article: APW19980210.0035
THING: An assassination attempt on President Shevardnadze
PLACE: Tbilisi, Georgia
WHEN: February 9, 1998
TOPIC EXPLICATION: Instead of killing the president, bodyguards protecting
him were killed. This is the second attempt on Shevardnadze's life. Stories
on topic include the search for the assassins, his recovery, the burials
for the bodyguards.
25. Shoplifter's Hand Amputated
Seed Article: APW19980220.0333
THING: A shoplifter's hand was publicly amputated
PLACE: Kabul, Afghanistan
WHEN: February 19, 1998
TOPIC EXPLICATION: As punishment for his crime the teenager's hand was
cut off at a high school football field, with a crowd of 10,000 gathered
to watch. Authorities wouldn't say what was stolen or its value. Stories
on topic include those about his crime, his arrest, and his reaction to
26. Oprah Lawsuit
Seed Article: CNN19980226.2130.0304
THING: The Cattle Industry in Texas sues Oprah Winfrey for defaming beef
PLACE: Amarillo, Texas
WHEN: January - February 1998
TOPIC EXPLICATION: On a show about Mad-Cow disease, Oprah vowed never to
eat beef again, and the industry sued her. She won the case. Stories on
topic include all those about the case (because she's Oprah, the case got
extensive coverage), those about the allegations from the cattle industry,
the Texas law that made the lawsuit possible, and the outcome.
27. Pharoah's Tomb
Seed Article: N/A
THING: Archaeologists unearthed a Pharoah's body from a sealed tomb
PLACE: Cairo, Egypt
WHEN: Late February 1998 (tomb opened)
TOPIC EXPLICATION: There were other artifacts in the tomb which gave anthropologists
clues about the Pharoah and his village. This is one of only three Pharoah's
tombs ever discovered. It was first uncovered in 1996 but deemed structurally
unsound. Topic-related stories include any about the artifacts found at
this particular sight, the archeologists involved and their findings, the
technology used to make the tomb safe for further investigation.
28. Mary Kay LeTourneau
Seed Article: CNN19980206.2130.0416
THING: Mary Kay LeTourneau is arrested a second time after her release
from prison for having relations with her young student.
PLACE: Seattle, Washington
WHEN: February - March 1998 (second arrest and trial)
TOPIC EXPLICATION: Mary Kay LeTourneau, a teacher, was convicted of having
a sexual relationship with her young student. She was originally
given a lenient sentence and was ordered to receive treatment for sex offenders.
She was released from prison in January, but arrested again on February
3 when she was found with her young lover. In mid-March prison officials
verified that she is pregnant again, and she claims it is his child. All
stories about this case, from the discovery of the relationship, the criminal
charges brought against her, her first trial, her release, her second arrest
and imprisonment and the reasons for it are on topic.
29. Buffett buys Silver
Seed Article: VOA19980205.2300.1189
THING: Millionaire investor Warren Buffett's company Berkshire Hathaway
discloses to the press that they've been buying up silver.
WHEN: February 4, 1998
TOPIC EXPLICATION: When Buffett disclosed to the media that he was buying
more silver (his Berkshire Hathaway Company now owns about 20% of world's
silver production), it sparked others to follow suit, driving the prices
way up in a very short period of time. He also purchased the actual metal,
not paper representation, which made the story spark more interest than
usual. Any stories about Buffett's purchases or his influence on the silver
market are topic relevant.
30. Pension for Mrs. Schindler
THING: Argentine officials grant a pension to Oskar Schindler's widow,
PLACE: Buenos Aires, Argentina
WHEN: February 9, 1998 (pension granted)
TOPIC EXPLICATION: The pension was granted after an emergency bill was
passed which called Emilie Schindler a heroine of the 20th century. Stories
on topic are limited to those about the process by which Argentina granted
and allowed for her to receive a pension.
31. John Glenn
Seed Article: PRI19980116.2000.0165
THING: Senator John Glenn will travel to outer space with the Space Shuttle
WHEN: January 15, 1998 (announcement) through Spring 1998 (training)
TOPIC EXPLICATION: NASA is hoping to collect valuable data about the effects
of weightlessness on aging. This will be Glenn's second space mission,
since he became the first American to orbit the earth in 1962. Glenn was
a likely choice because his medical records are already complete and available
to NASA. Topic relevant stories include those about the process by which
Glenn was chosen, his plans/ training to return to space, NASA's preparations
for his flight.
32. Sgt. Gene McKinney
Seed Article: PRI19980220.2000.0226
THING: Sgt. Gene McKinney is on trial for alleged sexual misconduct
PLACE: Ft. Belvoir, Virginia
WHEN: January - March 1998 (trial and sentencing)
TOPIC EXPLICATION: His trial and sentencing were highly publicized. His
military record, other than these alleged breaches, was clean. He was convicted
of attempted cover-up, but not of sexual misconduct. Any coverage
of the allegations, the trial and the sentencing are on topic.
33. Superbowl '98
Seed Article: PRI19980127.2000.0162
THING: Superbowl XXXII
PLACE: San Diego, CA
WHEN: January 25, 1998
TOPIC EXPLICATION: The Denver Broncos and the Green Bay Packers played;
Denver won 31-24.
34. David Satcher confirmed
THING: Dr. David Satcher is confirmed by the Senate as Surgeon General
PLACE: Washington, DC
WHEN: February 10, 1998
TOPIC EXPLICATION: Satcher was approved 63-35, becoming the first
Surgeon General since Jocelyn Elders resigned in 1995. This was the
first confirmation of a Surgeon General that passed the senate on first
go-round in a long time.
35. Holocaust Museum Resignation
Seed Article: NYT19980218.0466
THING: The Director of the Holocaust Museum is forced to resign.
PLACE: Washington D.C.
WHEN: February 18, 1998
TOPIC EXPLICATION: Dr. Walther Reich resigned due largely to the public
relations difficulties over the on-again, off-again invitation the Museum
had extended to Palestinian leader Yassar Arafat.
36. Rev. Lyons Arrested
Seed Article: NYT19980225.0505
THING: National Baptist Convention leader Rev. Henry Lyons is arrested
for theft and racketeering charges
PLACE: St. Petersburg, FL
WHEN: February 25, 1998
TOPIC EXPLICATION: Lyons had allegedly been using church funds for personal
use. He was named head of the National Baptist Convention USA Inc in 1994
(?). His second-in-command was also arrested.
37. Quality of Life, NYC
Seed Article: VOA19980226.2300.1437
THING: NYC Mayor Rudolph Giuliani launches a new phase of his "Quality
of Life" campaign
PLACE: New York City, NY
WHEN: week of February 26, 1998
TOPIC EXPLICATION: Giuliani's goal is to civilize NYC. His hope is to achieve
the passage of bills that will fine jaywalkers, regulate taxi drivers,
cap street noise and stop littering. He wants New Yorkers to be more polite,
but insists he doesn't want to alter the nature of the city. Stories on
topic include only those specific to this particular campaign and the legislation
Guiliani backs in order to support his idea of New York as it should/could
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