WHAT: Cambodia's People's Party party beats the FUNCINPEC party in national elections; later the two parties agree to a coalition government.Topic Explication
WHO: Hun Sen, Leader of the People's Party and Prince Norodom Ranariddh, leader of FUNCINPEC
WHERE: Phnom Penh, Cambodia
WHEN: Elections take place in July; coalition formed in November, 1998.
Hun Sen's narrow victory in the elections led to protests by FUNCINPEC supporters, and violent government crackdowns against the protesters. After a three-month deadlock, the two parties agreed on a coalition government leaving Hun Sen as sole Prime Minister. On topic: stories about the election itself (campaigns, results of the election); citizens' responses to the election (protests); government efforts to stop the protests; negotiations between the two parties; details of the agreement reached between the parties; reactions of Cambodian citizens and world leaders to the agreement.
Rule of Interpretation Rule 1: Elections
WHAT: Hurricane Mitch forms over warm ocean waters, killing thousands and causing millions of dollars in damage.Topic Explication
WHERE: The Caribbean and surrounding areas, particularly Honduras, Nicaragua and Central America.
WHEN: Mitch forms in late September 1998, and lasts through the month of October.
Hurricane Mitch was the most destructive Atlantic hurricane since 1780, killing over 10,000 people in Central America and leaving millions homeless. On topic: coverage of the disaster itself; estimates of damage and reports of loss of life; relief efforts by the Red Cross and other aid organizations; impact of the hurricane on the economies of the effected countries.Rule of Interpretation Rule 4: Natural Disasters
WHAT: Pinochet, who ruled Chile from 1973-1990, is arrested on charges of genocide and torture during his reign.Topic Explication
WHO: Former Chilean dictator General Augusto Pinochet; Judge Baltasar Garzon ("Superjudge")
WHERE: Pinochet is arrested and held in London, then later extradited to Spain.
WHEN: The arrest occurs on 10/16/98; court negotiations last the rest of the year.
Pinochet was arrested in a London hospital on a warrant issued by Spanish Judge Baltasar Garzon. Pinochet appealed his arrest and a London court agreed, but the decision was overturned by Britain's highest court. After much legal wrangling over the site of the trial, the British Courts ruled that Spain should proceed with the extradition request; Pinochet continues to fight it. On topic: stories covering any angle of the legal process surrounding this trial (including Pinochet's initial arrest in October, his appeals, British Court rulings, reactions of world leaders and Chilean citizens to the trial, etc.). Stories about Pinochet's reign or legacy are not on topic unless they explicitly discuss this trial.Rule of Interpretation Rule 3: Legal/Criminal Cases
WHAT: Negotiations between the NBA players union and owners break downTopic Explication
WHEN: Talks fail in late June, 1998; season finally begins on 1/6/99 after further bargaining.
The National Basketball Association owners declared a lockout after they could not reach an agreement with players over the issue of a 'hard salary cap'. Part of the season was canceled while the two sides continued to negotiate. An agreement was finally reached one day before the league was to cancel the rest of the season. On topic: Stories about the negotiations between the two sides; cancellations of games; reactions of fans; discussions of the impact these disputes will have on the NBA, the teams, the fans, etc.Rule of Interpretation Rule 10: Sports News
WHAT: The International Olympic Committee adopts a package of drug sanctions, and announces the formation of an anti-doping agency.Topic Explication
WHERE: Lausanne, Switzerland
The IOC and 35 international sports federations adopted an agreement which precisely defines doping and imposes a minimum two-year suspension for athletes using steroids or other major performance enhancing drugs. Athletes caught a second time would be banned for life. On topic: Stories discussing the motivation for the new policy; adoption of the policy; specific details of the package; reactions of athletes, officials, nations to the new policy. Stories discussing particular athletes' drug use are not on topic unless they specifically relate to the new policy.Rule of Interpretation Rule 9: New Laws
WHAT: An explosion and fire erupted in a damaged government owned gasoline pipeline, killing over 1000 people.Topic Explication
WHERE: Jesse, Nigeria
WHEN: October 17, 1998. The fire continued through October 23.
The explosion immediately killed hundreds of people, and hundreds more were killed and thousands injured by the fire while they were trying to collect the gasoline spilling from the burning pipeline. Many people refused to seek treatment for their injuries for fear that they'd be arrested for stealing gas. On topic: Stories covering the explosion, fire and efforts to contain it; plans for compensation of the victims; investigations into the cause of the explosion and the ensuing arrest/trial of suspects in the case; stories discussing Nigeria's gas distribution policies in light of this tragedy.Rule of Interpretation Rule 5: Accidents
WHAT: SwissAir Flight 111 crashesTopic Explication
WHERE: Off the coast of Halifax, Nova Scotia.
WHEN: The crash occurs on 9/2/98; the investigation continues through the fall of 1998.
The MD-11 aircraft was en route from New York to Geneva, Switzerland when it crashed into the Atlantic Ocean, killing all 229 people on board. On topic: Stories covering the crash and ensuing investigation; plans to compensate the victims' families; any safety measures proposed or adopted as a direct result of this crash.Rule of Interpretation Rule 5: Accidents
WHAT: Food crisis and famine in North KoreaTopic Explication
WHERE: North Korea
WHEN: Winter 1995-present
North Korea has been experiencing food shortages and widespread famine for several years; media coverage of this crisis increased in 1998. The shortages are in part due to a series of natural disasters (flood followed by drought) and complicated by governmental policies (like the collapse of the health care system). On topic: Any coverage of the crisis including food shortages, relief efforts, the impact on North Korea's citizens, reactions of world leaders to the crisis. NOTE: This topic is complicated by the fact that several political incidents have been linked to food shortages and promises of food aid. For instance, North Korea accepted inspection of nuclear facilities by the U.S. after gaining promises of food aid. Political events which explicitly refer to the famine and promises of food aid considered on topic.Rule of Interpretation Rule 4: Natural Disasters
WHAT: Tony Blair visits mainland China and Hong KongTopic Explication
WHO: British Prime Minister Tony Blair; Chinese Premier Zhu Rongji
WHERE: Blair visited Beijing, Shanghai and Hong Kong.
WHEN: 10/6/98 through 10/10/98.
Blair was in China to discuss human rights issues with the Chinese Premier and to promote economic ties with Hong Kong. During his visit, Blair was interviewed for CCTV; his references to human rights were edited out during the interview's broadcast. On topic: Stories covering preparations for Blair's visit; any coverage of his trip including meetings with various Chinese and Hong Kong leaders; his interview on Chinese national television; Western reactions to the broadcast; any direct outcome of the visit (stronger commercial ties between China and Britain).Rule of Interpretation Rule 11: MISC. News
WHAT: Thai Airways jet crashesTopic Explication
WHERE: Surat Thani Airport near Bangkok, Thailand
WHEN: December 11, 1998
Thai Airways Flight 261 crashed on its third attempt to land in heavy rain. 101 people died in the crash, including the pilot. 45 people survived. On topic: Stories reporting details of the crash, injuries and deaths; reports on the investigation following the crash; policy changes due to the crash (new runway lights were installed at this and other airports).
WHAT: Several CDP (China Democracy Party) members, labor activists, and other dissidents are detained and sentencedTopic Explication
WHO: Xu Wenli, Qin Yongmin, Wang Youcai, Zhang Shanguang, Zhang Lin and Wei Quanbao
WHEN: late December, 1998
Three prominent Chinese labor activists, Xu Wenli, Qin Yongmin and Wang Youcai, were sentenced to lengthy prison terms for trying to organize the China Democracy Party. A few days later, labor activist Zhang Shanguang became the fourth dissident to be given a lengthy jail sentence. Two days later, China's foreign ministry reported that two US-based dissidents, Zhang Lin and Wei Quanbao, were caught sneaking back into China and were sentenced without trial to three years of forced labor. This week of crackdowns by the authorities followed a year in which hopes for democratic reforms had gained strength. Just a week earlier, in a public speech, Jiang Zemin promised to "nip in the bud any subversive activities, and warned that China would never tolerate western style democracy." On topic: The arrest, trial and/or sentencing of any of the activists, and any other details about the specific cases; reactions to the crackdowns from Chinese and Western leaders. Stories about earlier crackdowns are not on topic unless they also mention the current cases. This topic is limited to the stories about these dissidents only.
Rule of Interpretation Rule 3: Legal/Criminal Cases
WHAT: Dr. Jack Kevorkian is arrested and charged with murder, assisted suicide and delivery of a controlled substanceTopic Explication
WHERE: Oakland County, Michigan
WHEN: Late November and early December, 1998
The State of Michigan issued a 3-count felony warrant against Dr. Kevorkian after he injected deadly chemicals into a terminally ill man on a nationwide CBS broadcast. Kevorkian has acknowledged helping 130 terminally ill patients commit suicide with deadly chemicals since 1990. Kevorkian has avoided conviction in four previous trials. On topic: Stories reporting the "60 Minutes" broadcast showing the assisted suicide; details of the charges against Kevorkian, his arrest and trial; reactions to this trial; debates over assisted suicide that mention this trial. Discussions of Kevorkian's previous trials are not on topic unless they also discuss the current case. NOTE: Michigan's new assisted suicide ban went into effect in early September, 1998. Stories linking this ban to the current trial are on topic.
Rule of Interpretation Rule 3: Legal/Criminal Cases
WHAT: Taiwan's Nationalist Party claims victory in Taipei mayoral raceTopic Explication
WHERE: Taipei, Taiwan
WHO: Chen Shui-bian (Democratic Progressive Party); Ma Ying-jeou (Nationalist Party); Wang Chien-shien (New Party)
WHEN: Campaign begins late October 1998; results announced 12/5/98
The Nationalist Party candidate, Ma Ying-jeou, won Taipei's December mayoral elections, defeating the Democratic Progressive Party incumbent, Chen Shui-bian. This was a critical contest that highlighted Taiwan's precarious relations with China. On topic: Stories about the candidates' campaigns, voting, election results, reactions within and outside of Taipei, and the inauguration of the new mayor. NOTE: The southern city of Kaohsiung was also choosing a mayor during the same time, but stories on this alone are not on topic.Rule of Interpretation Rule 1: Elections
WHAT: Space Shuttle Endeavor is sent into space on a mission to start assembling the international space stationTopic Explication
WHERE: Florida, USA
WHEN: 12/4/98 - 12/16/98
After a day's delay, Space Shuttle Endeavour blasted off on for a 12-day mission with six astronauts on board. The shuttle's task was to begin assembling the international space station by launching the American component Unity, a connecting passageway for the space station. On topic: Stories covering any aspect of the launch (including the failed first effort to launch), details of the mission and the landing, and impact of the shuttle's mission on the space station. NOTE: Topic 3047 relates to the launch of the Russian component of the space station, and there will likely be some overlap between these two topics. Stories about the space station itself are on topic for 3031 only if they relate to Endeavour's mission. Also, please note that the Space Shuttle Discovery was launched in October with former moon astronaut John Glenn aboard. Do not confuse these two shuttle missions (check the dates!).Rule of Interpretation Rule 7: Science and Discovery News
WHAT: The People's Bank shuts down the Guangdong International Trust and Investment Corp. (GITIC)Topic Explication
WHEN: October 6, 1998
On October 6, 1998, China's central bank stunned the financial world by abruptly ordering the closure of Guangdong International Trust and Investment Corp. (GITIC). GITIC, a prominent stature investment company, had $2 billion in debts. The closure was largely seen as a part of Premier Zhu Rongji's reform program that includes cracking down on corruption and unhealthy financial dealings. On topic: Stories covering the shutdown; its relation to China's economic policies and efforts to avoid the Asian Economic Crisis; GITIC's efforts to salvage its operations (it hired American consulting firm Goldman, Sachs as a financial adviser); reactions to the shutdown in China and elsewhere. NOTE: This topic is limited to stories covering the closing of GITIC and its direct consequences, not general stories about financial reforms in China.Rule of Interpretation Rule 8: Finances
WHAT: The Euro, a new common currency for Europe, is introduced on January 1, 1999Topic Explication
WHERE: Western Europe
WHEN: End of 1998 to beginning of 1999
The Euro was officially introduced on January 1, 1999 among 11 European Union member countries. These countries locked the exchange rates of their national currencies to the Euro and are sharing the new currency (the physical Euro coins and bills won't be available until 2002). The introduction of the Euro had a strong impact on not only the countries involved, but on international business and finance as well. On topic: Stories about the preparation for the common currency (negotiations about exchange rates and financial standards to be shared among the member nations); official introduction of the Euro; economic details of the shared currency; reactions within the EU and around the world.Rule of Interpretation Rule 8: Finances
WHAT: Pro-independence groups in East Timor clash with Indonesian military forcesTopic Explication
WHERE: East Timor
WHEN: November and December, 1998.
Indonesia invaded East Timor in 1975, after the departure of Portugal's colonial administration. The struggle has led to terrorist attacks by East Timorese rebel groups and violent clashes with Indonesian military forces. This topic centers on the most recent outbreak of violence in late 1998 and does not extend to earlier periods of violence. On topic: Stories reporting incidents of violence or terrorism as a result of the new wave of conflict; reports of Indonesian military operations in East Timor; efforts to resolve the conflict (primarily by U.N. officials and Portugal); reactions around the world.Rule of Interpretation Rule 6: Ongoing Violence or War
WHAT: Bribery is admitted in Salt Lake City's bid to host the 2002 Olympic GamesTopic Explication
WHERE: Salt Lake City, Utah
WHEN: December, 1998
Marc Modler, the longest serving member of the International Olympic Committee, set off the controversy when he charged that some IOC colleagues were open to bribery when it came to selecting Olympic cities. Salt Lake City Olympic organizers confirm they set up a $400,000 scholarship program to aid 13 individuals, including six relatives of IOC members. The scandal lead to a series of events, including a U.S. Justice Department/FBI investigation into alleged improprieties in Salt Lake City's bid, and proposals for reforming the Olympic movement. On topic: Stories about the investigation of the scandal; charges against organizers; investigations into bribery in other cities' Olympic bids; consequences of the scandal (reforms within the Olympic Committee, other reforms).Rule of Interpretation Rule 2: Scandals/Hearings
WHAT: Palestinians open their first international airport, taking a major step toward independent statehoodTopic Explication
WHERE: Gaza Strip
WHEN: November 24, 1998
The Gaza Airport opened in accord with the U.S.-brokered Wye River interim peace agreement between Israel and Palestine. Palestinians celebrated the opening of their first international airport as a symbol of Palestinian sovereignty and a breath of life for the economy. Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat made the inaugural flight from the new airport. On topic: Stories covering preparations for the airport (including its long delay over security concerns); details of the opening ceremonies and flights; controversy surrounding the new airport; reactions to the opening and impact of the new airport for the Palestinian economy and the Middle East peace process.Rule of Interpretation Rule 11: MISC. News
WHAT: Kofi Annan visits Libya to appeal for surrender of PanAm bombing suspectsTopic Explication
WHERE: Tripoli, Libya
WHO: U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan; Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi
WHEN: December, 1998
Kofi Annan went to Libya in December to appeal to the Libyan government to hand over suspects in the 1988 bombing of Pan Am Flight 103, which killed 270 people over the Scottish town of Lockerbie. Libya has resisted handing over the suspects for fear that they would not receive a fair trial. The legal disputes surrounding this case have been going on for years; there was a flurry of activity in the case in late 1998 surrounding the time of Annan's trip. On topic: Stories covering any aspect of this trial: legal and political negotiations, criminal investigations, reactions from around the world to the case. NOTE: Although the seminal event for this topic focuses on the trial rather than the crime itself, our rule of interpretation for legal/criminal cases extends the topic to include everything from the crime to the trial and sentencing. Therefore, stories about the Lockerbie bombing itself (which do appear in the corpus around the 10th anniversary of the bombing in December) are on topic.Rule of Interpretation Rule 3: Legal/Criminal Cases
WHAT: New wave of violence breaks out between Tamil rebels and Sri Lankan governmentTopic Explication
WHERE: Sri Lanka
WHEN: late 1998
Since 1983, more than 54,000 people have been killed in Sri Lanka's civil war between the majority Sinhalese who control the government and military, and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, who are fighting for a separate homeland for minority Tamils in Sri Lanka's north and east. The fall of 1998 brought a new wave of violence and terrorism in this ongoing war. Although peace talks looked likely in late 1998, the fighting had begun again by January 1999. On topic: Any stories covering acts of violence or terrorism in this conflict; investigations by external organizations (like Amnesty International); peace negotiations between the opposing sides.Rule of Interpretation Rule 6: Ongoing Violence or War
WHAT: Bob Livingston drops bid for Speaker of the House after acknowledging extramarital affairsTopic Explication
WHERE: Washington, DC
WHEN: December 17-19, 1998
On December 19, Bob Livingston, selected to replace Newt Gingrich as leader of the House of Representatives, announced that he would not accept the role of Speaker and would resign from Congress after the current term. Two days earlier, he had acknowledged charges of marital infidelity published in Hustler Magazine. Livingston called on President Clinton to follow his lead and resign. On topic: Livingston's confession, announcements of his resignation, reactions in Congress and among the American public. NOTE: This topic focuses on Livingston's resignation and the scandal surrounding that, and does not extend to his earlier election or endorsement as Speaker of the House.Rule of Interpretation Rule 2: Scandals/Hearings
WHAT: Zarya, the first module of the International Space Station, is successfully launchedTopic Explication
WHERE: Russian launch site in Kazakhstan
WHEN: November 20, 1998
The first section of the long-planned International Space Station, Zarya (meaning 'sunrise') was launched atop a Russian booster rocket and was placed in orbit 10 minutes later. The module will form the core of the space station, scheduled for completion in the year 2004. On topic: Details of the launch and Zarya's role in construction of the space station. NOTE: The American space shuttle Endeavour was launched two weeks later carrying another portion of the space station, Unity. There will likely be some overlap between the Zarya launch and that of Endeavour (Topic 3031).Rule of Interpretation Rule 7: Science and Discovery News
WHAT: IMF approves a $42 billion aid package to BrazilTopic Explication
WHERE: Washington DC and Brazil
WHEN: November 13, 1998
After months of tough negotiations, the International Monetary Fund and several major donor nations agreed to supply Brazil with $42 billion in loans over a period of several years. The package is designed to stabilize the Brazilian economy and keep the global financial crisis from spreading into South America. Brazil had faced years of currency devaluation and severe economic recession despite President Cardoso's efforts at economic reform. On topic: Stories covering the negotiations surrounding the aid package, details of the package, reactions to the IMF's intervention, results or outcomes of the IMF's action in Brazil. As motivation for the IMF's intervention, details of Brazil's financial crisis are on topic, as are calls for the IMF to act on the Brazilian crisis prior to the announcement of this aid.Rule of Interpretation Rule 8: Finance
WHAT: US and North Korea enter the first of a series of talks about a suspected North Korean underground nuclear facilityTopic Explication
WHO: US Envoy Charles Kartman, Deputy Foreign Minister Kim Gye Gwan
WHERE: Pyongyang, North Korea; Seoul, South Korea
WHEN: First talks occur in mid-November; talks continue throughout fall 1998
Acting on information from spy satellites, the US initiated a series of talks with North Korea over suspected underground nuclear weapons facilities under a mountainside near Yongbyon, the site of a former nuclear plant. Beginning in mid-November and lasting throughout the fall, US negotiators met with North and South Korean leaders in Pyongyang, Seoul, New York and Washington to discuss allowing US inspectors to search the site. North Korea demanded cash compensation for the visits. The situation was not resolved until Spring 1999, when inspectors were finally permitted to view the site and found no evidence of a nuclear facility. On topic: Stories covering any aspect of the negotiations between North Korea and the US; any of the series of talks held between the two nations; involvement of other nations in the negotiations (especially South Korea and China); protests and reactions to the accusations and talks from citizens of the countries involved; outcome of the negotiations; impact on US relations with North Korea.Rule of Interpretation Rule 11: MISC. News
WHAT: US Mid-Term Congressional ElectionsTopic Explication
WHERE: All 50 states in the US
WHEN: Elections were held on November 3, 1998
The mid-term elections decided the makeup of the 106th Congress, involving all 435 seats in the House of Representatives and 34 of the 100 Senate seats. While the Republican Party (GOP) maintained control of both the House and Senate after this election, their margin of control was smaller than anticipated. Many pundits linked the poor GOP performance to voter disgust over the Republican focus on the Lewinsky scandal. On topic: Campaign coverage for this election, voting analysis, reporting of results from all 50 states, reactions to and analysis of the surprising results. NOTE: This topic is limited to the Congressional elections. Coverage of voter referendums or governors' races (gubernatorial elections) are not, in isolation, topic-related. Also note that this topic is likely to overlap with Topic 3024: Gingrich Resigns, since the results of these mid-term Congressional elections were considered a motivating factor in Gingrich's resignation.Rule of Interpretation Rule 1: Elections
WHAT: A tribunal is established by the UN to investigate crimes committed during the war in BosniaTopic Explication
WHERE: The Hague, Netherlands
WHEN: Tribunal set up in 1993; trials occur during November and December, 1998
The Bosnian War Crimes Tribunal was established in 1993 to investigate mass killings, genocide, summary executions, systematic rape and other war crimes committed during the Bosnian war. The Tribunal has been hampered in its efforts by a Bosnian Serb government that doesn't recognize its legitimacy. On topic: Any stories concerning the Tribunal's activities: evidence-gathering, investigations, arrests of suspected war criminals, prosecutions or trials of suspected war criminals are on topic. Expansion of the Tribunal into Kosovo and its activities there are included in this topic as well. NOTE: This topic does not extend to general reports on the Bosnian or Kosovo crises, although references to specific crimes by alleged war criminals that come out as part of the Tribunal's investigations are on topic.Rule of Interpretation Rule 3: Legal/Criminal Cases
WHAT: Clinton visits Gaza, the West Bank and IsraelTopic Explication
WHERE: The Middle East
WHEN: December 12 to 15, 1998
Clinton made a four-day visit to Jerusalem and Gaza in mid-December to support implementation of the Wye River Peace Accord. This was the first time a U.S. president had ever set foot on Palestinian-controlled soil. Clinton addressed Palestinians at a historic meeting that formally revoked anti-Israel clauses in the 1964 Palestinian charter. The trip included a meeting between Clinton, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat at the Israel-Gaza border. On topic: Stories covering any aspect of Clinton's trip to the region; his discussions and meetings with Middle East leaders; his private activities in the region (including a visit to slain Israeli leader Yitzhak Rabin's graveside); reactions to his visit; direct results of this trip and implications of the trip for implementation of the Wye River Agreement.Rule of Interpretation Rule 11: MISC. News
WHAT: Massimo D'Alema is selected to form a new governmentTopic Explication
WHERE: Rome, Italy
Massimo D'Alema, a former Communist and leader of the largest leftist party in Italy, was selected to form a new government after the Acting Prime Minister Romano Prodi was forced out after a vote of no confidence in Parliament on October 9. By selecting a diverse Cabinet and embarking on successful talks with possible coalition partners, D'Alema gains support and, consequently, the confidence vote for his new government. On topic: Stories covering any aspect of forming a new Italian government, from Prodi's resignation to the selection of D'Alema to head up the new government; D'Alema's efforts to form a coalition; his successful vote of confidence in the Italian Parliament; and his forming a new cabinet.Rule of Interpretation Rule 1: Elections
WHAT: A Calcutta-bound train hits a derailed passenger trainTopic Explication
WHERE: Near Khanna, in the state of Punjab in northern India
WHEN: November 26, 1998
In one of the worst train accidents in Indian history, a passenger train bound for Amristar was derailed, then struck moments later by another train bound for Calcutta. Senior railway and Punjab government officers supervised the relief operations over the next few days. The accident killed over 200 people, damaging 16 coaches in all. Railway officials agreed to pay reparations to families of the victims and to injured passengers. On topic: Stories covering details of the derailment and crash, rescue efforts, injury and fatality reports, investigations into the crash, payments and reparations to the victims.Rule of Interpretation Rule 5: Accidents
The Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) was created in South Africa in 1993 after the end of apartheid. One of the commission's tasks, part of the the Promotion of National Unity and Reconciliation Act of 1995, was to investigate the human rights violations during the period of apartheid, from 1960 to 1993. Desmond Tutu led the commission, and delivered the final report to South African President Nelson Mandela on October 29, 1999. The 3500-page report detailed almost 37,000 gross human rights violations with a total number of 28,750 named victims. Prominent political, military and civil leaders were implicated in the report, which also included recommendations for compensating vicitims of apartheid. On Topic: This topic is limited to the report released by the TRC. Any stories discussing the content of the report, reactions to its release (including efforts to block the release) in South Africa from leaders or citizens, international reaction, any direct outcome of the report's release (protests, calls to action, etc.), media coverage of the report's release in South Africa and abroad. NOTE: Stories about other activities of the TRC, including amnesty hearings and decisions, are not on topic unless they also directly discuss the report. General stories about South Africa and the effects of apartheid are similarly off-topic unless they discuss the report as well.Rule of Interpretation 2: Scandals/Hearings
Pope John Paul II made a state and pastoral visit to the Balkans in early October 1998. During his visit, he called for reconciliation throughout the former Yugoslavia and urged the world to do more for the victims of the Balkan War that had recently ended in Croatia and since erupted in Kosovo. On his visit, amid much controversy, the pontiff beatified Cardinal Alojzije Stepinac. On topic: Any stories relating to the Pope's trip, including places he visited, speeches, the beatification of Cardinal Stepinac; reactions to the Pope's visit and the controversy surrounding the beatification. NOTE: Stories about the Balkan War are not on topic unless they are specifically linked to the Papal visit.
Rule of Interpretation 11: MISC. News
Colombian Air Force head resigns in drug scandal
In November, US federal authorities found 1639 pounds (743 kilograms) of cocaine, worth nearly $13 million, on board a Colombian Air Force C-130 Hercules cargo plane in Fort Lauderdale. This raid led to the arrest of several Air Force members in Bogota, Colombia, and the head of the Air Force, General Jose Manuel Sandoval, resigns. Several days later, thirteen pounds of heroin are discovered on the same cargo plane. The drug scandal coincided with President Andres Pastrana state visit to Washington in an effort to reduce Columbia's drug tensions with the U.S. On topic: Any stories reporting the discovery and scandal, resignations of Sandoval and other Air Force members, reactions to the scandal from US or Colombian officials, arrests in the case or any other aspects of the negotiations, any direct outcome of the case for US-Colombia relations or drug policies. NOTE: General stories about US-Colombia tensions over drugs are not on topic unless they also specifically refer to this case.Rule of Interpretation 2: Scandals/Hearings
Largest Illegal Immigrant Smuggling Operation Busted
On November 20, 1998, US Attorney General Janet Reno announced at a news conference that INS officials had dismantled the largest known immigrant smuggling ring in US history. The INS had been investigating the ring for a year under the program "Operation Seek and Keep." 31 people were charged with bringing illegal aliens into the United States, transporting them within the United States, conspiracy and money laundering. The smuggling ring leaders solicited orders from families in the United States and employers who were prepared to pay for illegal aliens. The people they helped bring to the United States were mostly Indians, but some were from Pakistan, Syria or Afghanistan. INS officials reported that the ring brought as many as 12,000 into the United States over the three years prior to the raid, and collected about $220 million in that time. On topic: Stories about the INS investigation, Operation Seek and Keep, details of the raid itself, the announcement of the bust, arrests in the case, witness testimony, reactions from communities where stash houses (secret houses where the immigrants were held) were discovered, any direct impact of this case for US immigration policy.Rule of Interpretation 3: Legal/Criminal Cases
Bulent Ecevit Appointed as Leader of New Turkish Government
After the government headed by Mesut Yilmaz fell in a corruption scandal, President Suleyman Demirel appointed Turkish Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit to assemble a new government in Turkey. Ecevit's initial attempt to form a new government was unsuccessful after failing to receive sufficient parliamentary support. (Ecevit eventually wins a vote in confidence in parliament and successfully forms Turkey's new three-party coalition government.) On topic: Stories covering any aspect of the formation of the new Turkish government; from the collapse of Mesut Yilmaz's minority coalition to Bulent Ecevit's designation to form a government; his attempts (and initial failures) to gain parliamentary support for his coalition government; reactions to Ecevit's appointment from within Turkey and abroad.Rule of Interpretation 1: Elections
Seed Story: APW19981202.0880
Princess Diana Crash Investigation
Britain's Princess Diana died early Sunday, August 31, 1997, after suffering massive internal injuries in a high-speed car crash, reportedly after being chased by photographers who were trying to snap photographs of the princess. Her companion and rumored lover, Dodi Fayed, and their chauffeur also died when the Mercedes crashed shortly after midnight in a tunnel along the Seine river at the Pont de l'Alma bridge, less than a half mile north of the Eiffel Tower. Following crash there was an investigation conducted by French judge, Herve Stephay. Stephay concluded the accident was due to drunkenness of chaffeur and dismissed all charges against paparazzi. On topic: Any stories about the crash, investigation, about paparazzi that mention Diana's death. NOTE: the seminal event of this story is the investigation and not Diana's death itself. So, for example, a story about Elton John's song commemorating Diana isn't on topic unless the accident itself or the investigation is mentioned.Rule of Interpretation 2: Scandals/Hearings
Seed Story: APW19981023.1131
Abortion Doctor Slepian Killed
Dr. Barnett "Bart" A. Slepian was killed at his home in Amherst, N.Y. on October 23, 1998. A practicing obstetrician-gynecologist, Slepian would perform abortions two days a week. For more than a decade, anti-abortion protesters had been demonstrating outside his home and his office. The shooter's bullet was fired through Slepian's kitchen window, and a rifle was later found outside the house. Eventually second-degree murder charges were filed agains James Charles Kopp. On topic: Any stories about the murder itself, the criminal investigation and search for a suspect, and any other legal proceedings surrounding this case (from evidence gathering through the courtroom activities). Also on-topic are any stories about reactions to the murder - protests by abortion activists (on either side of the issue), reactions from the community and the like. NOTE: General stories about the abortion controversy are not on topic unless they specifically refer to the Slepian case.Rule of Interpretation 3: Legal/Criminal Cases
Seed Story: ZBN19981026.0052
Chinese Missile Scientist Arrested
On January 6, 1998, Hua Di, a Chinese missile expert and senior research associate at CISAC (Center for International Security and Cooperation) at Stanford University, was arrested when he went back to China to participate in a family memorial service. Hua Di was charged with divulging state secrets and sentenced to 15 years prison in late November. However, his arrest was kept secret from the public until October, 1998. During this period, American officials and Stanford scholars tried to urge China to release Hua, but their efforts failed. (Hua's conviction is eventually overturned). On topic: Stories on Hua Di's arrest, reactions from Stanford and the US Government, commentaries on the impact of this case on Sino-American relations. NOTE: Stories that discuss China's human rights records are not on topic unless they specifically refer to the Hua Di case. In addition, another Chinese scholar (Song Yongyi) was arrested in China during this time -- don't confuse the two cases. Only stories about Hua Di's case are on topic.Rule of Interpretation 3: Legal/Criminal Cases
Seed Story: VOM19981101.0900.0863
ATP Tennis Tournament - Shanghai Open
The 1998 Shanghai Open, also known as the Heineken Open, took place October 5-11 at the newly-constructed Shanghai Xian Xia Tennis Center. American Michael Chang defeated Croatian Goran Ivanisevic in the final round of the tournament, 4-6, 6-1, 6-2. Chang was the tournament's number two seed, while Ivanisevic held the top seed. The upset victory was Chang's 12th Asian title, which set a new world record. On topic: Any stories pertaining to the matches that took place in this tournament: may include special hightlights on players' performance at the Open (especially Chang's new record), surprising upsets, and commentary on the Open being held in the new Shanghai Xian Xia Tennis Center.Rule of Interpretation 10: Sports News
Seed Story: XIN19981204.0083
Canadian Chretien's Visit to
In Chretien's third offical visit to China, he addressed a number of issues. In a speech presented to students at Qinghua University in Beijing, Chretien addressed human rights issues for the first time and emphasized the importance of freedom of expression. During this visit, he met with Chinese Premier Zhu Rongji and discussed possible ways to bolster their nations' respective economies. He also signed an agreement to help China with environmental and governmental reform. While in China, Chretien also inaugurated a fast-food venture at a Beijing bus station, met with President Jiang Zemin and People's Congress Chairman Li Peng, and visited Lanzhou, one of the towns that Canada was planning to supply with clean drinking water. On topic: Stories covering any aspect of Chretien's visit to China are on topic - planning, arriving, meeting, touring. Most stories however, will likely cover the highlights of his speech at Qinghua, his meetings and agreements with Zhu Rongji and Jiang Zemin, and his visit to Lanzhou and Canada's plan to supply clean drinking water.
Rule of Interpretation 11: MISC. News
Seed Story: XIN19981119.0077
AIDS Vaccine Testing Begins
In June 1998, the Food and Drug Administration authorized full-scale testing of Aidsvax, a study financed by Vaxgen Incorporated of San Francisco. Aidsvax is the only vaccine that has gone into Phase-III testing. The primary objective of the study is to determine whether immunization with Aidsvax protects high-risk individuals from contracting HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus). On topic: stories concerning the recruiting and testing for the Aidsvax vaccine only (No other AIDS vaccine testing. There are other vaccine trials in the works, although none have started testing on humans yet), the moral and social challenges facing these subjects, and the controversy surrounding its probable success or failure as an effective vaccine.
Rule of Interpretation 7: Science and Discovery News
Seed Story: NYT19981220.0238
Ukraine Mining Accidents
302 people died in Ukrainian coal mine accidents as of October 1998. That is about 100 more than the same period in 1997, according to government statistics. Many of these deaths are attributed to unsafe working conditions. The abundance of mining accidents is certainly a reflection of the struggling economy of the now independent Ukraine, and the possibility of reforms anytime soon seems remote. On topic: any stories about mining accidents in the Ukraine. This topic is not limited to one particular accident, but to all the accidents, many occurring due to the lack of resources to fix or maintain the mines.
Rule of Interpretation 5: Accidents
Seed Story: APW19981012.0282
Swedish Dance Hall Fire
Fire erupted in a Swedish dance hall during a Halloween party where 400 young people were in attendance. The maximum capacity of the building was 150. Authorities blamed the explosive speed of the blaze and the overcrowding of the building for the 62 deaths and 162 injuries that occurred. Witnesses at the event blame the slow and unhelpful response of the fire trucks and rescue squads. On topic: stories discussing any aspect of this fire are on topic. For example, stories on casualities and injuries, response of the emergency teams, and interviews with authorities and witnesses.
Rule of Interpretation 5: Accidents
Seed Story: APW19981102.0190
South Africa to buy $5 billion
South Africa announced that it would spend about $5 billion to buy warships, submarines, helicopters and jets from Britain, Germany, Sweden and Italy over seven years beginning in 2002. Officials assert that 65,000 jobs will be created and $17 billion in "industrial benefits" would be generated. Opponents of the deal argue that the nation does not need expensive new weapons when the country is suffering from 33% unemployment, unsafe drinking water, and lack of electricity and indoor plumbing. The government, however, desperate for foreign investments and jobs, is interested in the offsets offered by European armaments to stimulate the market. The hope is that South Africans would buy military equipment and Europeans will supposedly make massive investments in the country, and save its stagnant economy. They also want a portion of the weapons to be produced in South Africa. On topic: stories about the announcement, opposition and protests to the deal, discussions about the possible success or failure of the venture, and what military equipment is under agreement.
Rule of Interpretation 11: MISC. News
Seed Story: NYT19981118.0408
Yankees vs. Padres in World Series
The Yankees swept the Padres in the World Series, four games to none. There was a ticker-tape parade in NYC to celebrate the Yankees' victory. On topic: Any stories about the World Series games, particular players' performaces, announcements of World Series MVPs, team strategies, Yankee celebrations. NOTE: Stories about playoff games leading up to the World Series are not on topic. Also, beware of stories reporting MVPs for games other than the World Series -- only World Series performances are on topic.Rule of Interpretation 10: Sports News
Seed Story: VOA19981020.1700.1066
Azerbaijani Presidential Elections
On October 11, 1998, Azerbaijan held its presidential elections, following months of protest by opposition forces. Opponents of Azeri President Heydar Aliyev insisted that the election was going to be rigged, and they organized demonstrations in hopes that the election would be postponed. However, the elections took place and the incumbent President Heydar Aliyev was re-elected. Key issues in the election included Azerbaijan's economy, and the ongoing struggle with neighboring Armenia. On topic: stories about the candidates' campaigns, debates among the candidates, protests and demonstrations from the opposition including voting boycotts, accusations of election fraud, election results, inaugurations, and reactions to the election.
Rule of Interpretation 1: Elections
Seed Story: APW19981011.0167
US Federal Budget Passes
A deal is supposed to be made by the 1st of October, but, due to the first budget surplus in nearly three decades, negotiations are extended. Temporary bills keep the government working until the Federal Budget finally passes on October 21st. The bill that is agreed upon and passed is a $520 billion omnibus spending package. It is 4000 pages long, so very few had the opportunity to read it. On topic: All articles on the passing of the bill, the content of the bill, the negotiations that led up to the bill, and the budget surplus. NOTE: Beware of stories about the Russian and Japanese federal budgets - those are not on-topic.
Rule of Interpretation 11: MISC. News
Seed Story: NBC19981021.1830.0070
Microsoft Anti-Trust Case
The United States Department of justice along with 20 state attorneys general charged the Microsoft Corporation with anti-competitive practices including illegal "tying" of the Internet Explorer Web browser with the Windows operating system. The Justice Department has charged that Microsoft is in violation of a 1995 consent decree that was aimed at opening the way for more competition in the software industry. Microsoft defended its actions by saying that integrating Internet Explorer into Windows is in line with its history of enhancing its operating system. The Department of Justice argues that Microsoft sees the Internet as a threat and seeks to eliminate their internet competition by freely distributing their browser, integrating it into their popular operating system. On topic: Stories about evidence gathering efforts by the Justice Department and other agencies that led to the charges, the charges themselves, reactions, testimony, and discussions of the impact of the trial on the technology sector and anti-trust litigation.Rule of Interpretation 3: Legal/Criminal Cases
Seed Story: NYT19981009.0282
New Orleans Sues Handgun Manufacturers
On October 30, 1998, New Orleans filed a suit against 15 handgun manufacturers, becoming the first public entity to sue gun makers. The suit was also directed against five New Orleans pawn shops and three firearm trade associations. The lawsuit was filed in state district court, in a joint effort between the City of New Orleans and the Center to Prevent Hangun Violence. It centered around the Louisiana Products Liability Act, claiming that gun manufacturers purposely avoided new technologies that could have made their products safer. Until the lawsuit, gun manufacturers had enjoyed exemption from product liability laws. On topic: stories pertaining to the filing of the suit, the companies involved, the purposeful avoidance of new safety technologies, and the deaths of those persons that are said to be a consequence of that avoidance. In legal and criminal cases, the topic is the entire issue: the alleged crime(s), investigation, searches, victims, witnesses, trial, counsel, sentencing, punishment and other similarly related things. In this instance, it is how these things relate to the City of New Orleans and its suit against handgun manufacturers with respect to product liability laws.
Rule of Interpretation 3: Legal/Criminal Cases
Seed Story: NYT19981103.0272
G-7 World Finance Meeting
Financial ministers from the world's seven richest countries, known as the Group of Seven (G7), gathered in Washington for annual meetings of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund (IMF) on October 3, 1998. Russian Finance Minister Mikhail Zadornov and Central Bank Chairman Viktor Gerashchenko joined the G7 for part of the meeting. The G7 group focused on dealing with the global financial crisis by generating growth in the industrial nations, especially Japan, and on ideals for remodeling the architecture of the international financial system to deal more effectively with crises that arise in the future. The G7 did issue a statement after the meeting although no new initiatives were agreed upon. On topic: stories about the ministers planning, traveling, and arriving for the meeting, issues discussed at the meeting, anything that happened at the meeting, and any responses or discussion of the meeting. NOTE: Because the G7 meeting took place at the same time as the IMF and World Bank meetings, many stories will report on all the meetings. The topic is only the G7 meeting that took place on October 3. Stories that discuss the IMF and/or World Bank meetings without also discussing the G7 meetings are not on topic.
Rule of Interpretation 8: Finance
Seed Story: NYT19981007.0386
Joe DiMaggio Illness
Legendary baseball player Joe DiMaggio, also known as the 'Yankee Clipper', spends 99 days at Memorial Regional Hospital for treatment of lung cancer and pneumonia. On topic: Any stories covering DiMaggio's illness and hospital stay are on topic. On-topic stories include those that mistakenly announced his death and his reaction to the announcement.
Rule of Interpretation 11: MISC. News
Seed Story: CNN19981208.1600.0373
Islamic Extremists Sentenced
In October 1998, two Islamic extremists were sentenced to death in Pakistan for their participation in the murder of two Iranian engineers in Karachi in February. The two sentenced were among the seven suspects who killed the Iranian engineers while they were working on a bridge construction project in Karachi. The other five suspects have not been captured yet. It is believed that these suspects are members of a Sunni Muslim extremist group. The group was linked to several violent acts aimed at Shi'ite Muslims who are minority in Pakistan. Sunni Muslim groups accused Shi'ite-dominant Iran of supporting Pakistan Shi'ite groups. On topic: As this topic is the culmination of a crime, all stories pertaining to the crime, investigation, trial and final sentencing are on topic.
Rule of Interpretation 3: Legal/Criminal Cases
Seed Story: VOM19981004.0800.2678
English Summary of Seed Story
Paris Subway Opens New Line
The new high-speed line connects the Tolbiac-Massena area on the Left Bank with the Madeleine, the bustling Right Bank business district, shortening the commute from up to 45 minutes to less than 10 minutes. The new line is the city's 14th. Funding for the $1 billion, 7.5-kilometer (4.66-mile) line, which cost about $250 million per mile, was shared among the national government, the Paris region, the Paris transit authority (RATP), and local government jurisdictions in the metropolitan area. The first phase of the extension is under construction and is expected to open in 2003. On topic: stories on the announcement of the new line, its new technological features, public reaction, and discussion of its impact on commuters.
Rule of Interpretation 11: MISC. News
Seed Story: XIN19981014.0052
English Summary of Seed Story
Lebanon Elects New President
On Novermber 24, Emile Lahoud became Labanon's 11th president since the nation gained independence in 1933. Syria, who has 35,000 troops stationed in Lebanon, strongly supported Lahoud for president. Syria's backing nearly guaranteed his election. On topic: As in all election topics, all stories covering the campaign, public and political reaction, elections results, and reactions to the results are on topic.
Rule of Interpretation 1: Elections
Seed Story: XIN19981015.0022
In November of 1998 Daimler-Benz AG of Germany, maker of Mercedes-Benz cars, acquired America's Chrysler for more than $38 billion in stock. The new company DaimlerChrysler AG became one of the world's largest automobile manufacturers, third behind General Motors and Ford Motor Company. The deal marked the end of the "Big Three" of U.S. carmaking. Many projected that the merger would benefit both companies. It would allow both companies to broaden their global reach. On topic: stories discussing the potential merger prior to its conclusion, reasons for merging, the actual merger announcement and its expected results.
Rule of Interpretation 8: Finances
Seed Story: ZBN19981027.0059
Chinese Army Ordered to Shut
Down Industrial Operations
The Chinese Army had been encouraged by the government to supplement official defense budgets with profits from army-owned businesses for the past 20 years. The army thus formed into a sprawling organization that controls or owns parts of a vast array of businesses , from arms dealers to airlines, pharmaceutical makers to vegetable growers. As a result of those business activities, corruption and army-dominating smuggling had been arising in the military system as a big headache to China's top leaders. The PLA, the Armed Police , and law-enforcement offices are no longer to be allowed any involvement in these business activities. This order was issued by President Jiang Zemin, after the decision was reached with the CPC Central Military Commission. Vice-President Hu Jintao announced this decision at a two-day meeting ending Octomber 7th, 1998. All the military-run and military-related enterprises must be transferred to the local government completely by the deadline of December 25, 1998. On topic: any stories relating to the order to transfer business activities from the military to the local governments, decisions and events from the two day meeting, responses from the police, military, political figures, and local government. Stories pertaining to corruption and army-dominating smuggling alone, are not necessarily on topic.
Rule of Interpretation 11: MISC. News
Seed Story: VOM19981103.0700.0319
South Korean President Visits
Kim Dae-jung met with President Jiang Zemin on December 12 as part of his visit to China, and both noted the potential for the further development of China-ROK relations. The two leaders exchanged views and reached a broad consensus on bilateral relations and other issues of common concern. Kim reaffirmed that
Taiwan is an inseparable part of China and stressed that the ROK would strictly observe the "one China" policy. Jiang expressed appreciation for the ROK's adherence to this policy. This was Kim's first visit to China since he became ROK president in February. He brought a 250-member delegation with him for the five-day state visit in China. Kim and his party visited Shanghai, China's largest economic center, in addition to Beijing where Kim spoke with President Jiang. On topic: as with all visit topics, any stories pertaining to this visit are on topic.
Rule of Interpretation 11: MISC. News
Seed Story: XIN19981113.0124
Beijing Applies to Host 2008
In November 1998, Beijing officially submitted its application to the Chinese Olympic COmmittee to host the 2008 Summer Olympic Games. If Beijing's bid is successful, it will be the first time China hosts the games. 10 other cities made bids for the 2008 Olympics. The decision will be made in Moscow in September 2001. On topic: Any stories pertaining to Beijing's application to host the games, or the selection process for the 2008 Summer Olympics. NOTE: Stories about other Olympic games, or details of the 2008 Olympics that do not pertain to the selection of the host city,are NOT on topic.Rule of Interpretation 10: Sports News
Seed Story: VOM19981202.0700.2051
Exiled Chinese Dissident Wei
In December 1998, famous Chinese dissident Wei Jinsheng visited Taiwan. Wei was invited by anti-Communist League for Freedom and Democracy. During the visit, Wei said Taiwan should flex its muscles before Beijing, showing the Mainland's rulers its determination to protect the interests of the island's 21.4 million people. Wei met with Taiwan President Lee Teng-hui and Premier Vincent Siew. He urged Taiwanese people to support the Mainland's democracy movement. On topic: Any stories about Wei's visit, his meetings with Taiwanese officials, reactions from Mainland China are on topic. NOTE: General stories about China's policy toward dissidents or other stories about Wei's activities are not on topic, unless the stories also mention Wei's trip to Taiwan.Rule of Interpretation 11: MISC. News
Seed Story: VOM19981227.0700.1002
Hundreds Protest Xinhua's Unfair
Reporting of Scandal
In early November, approximately 200 Chinese investors marched through Beijing demanding compensation for a multimillion-dollar futures scam. Thousands of workers invested their savings in Xin Guo Da Futures Co. LTD only to see their money vanish when the brokerage firm abruptly shut its doors in August. The investors also protested outside the Xinhua News Agency offices, angry at the way Xinhua reported the scandal. On topic: Any stories covering this protest, reactions to the protest, actions taken by government in response to protest. Because the scandal itself is the direct cause of the protests, any coverage of the futures scam is also on topic.Rule of Interpretation 2: Scandals/Hearings
Seed Story: ZBN19981112.0116