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Targeting for the Time-Cross Project:
August 2017 Events Covered in the News as of 31 August 2017:

The targets for this project are the most newsworthy events of the month, as determined by the rules of the project and the table below that contains a pool of potential targets. (See also this Overview video.) These are news events that are major headline items occurring in the month. In most cells, there are two numerical entries separated by a slash (/). The first is the number of news cycle days in which the event was featured on the main page of the news outlets. This number estimates the longevity of the story, implying that stories that last longer on the main page of a news outlet relate to more important events. The second number (following the slash) is the cumulative number of links on the main headline page for the news outlets that connect stories related to each event. This second number estimates the breadth of the new coverage for each event, implying that events that spawn more stories and links on the main page is are more important events. When only one number is included in a cell, that number is the total number of links only.

Event Reporting Date Events CNN US CNN International New York Times BBC Total
6 August 2017 Rebellion at military base in Venezuela. Riots in streets. (CNN, BBC) 1/1 3/1   1/6 8
8 August 2017 6.5-7 magnitude earthquake hits Jiuzhaigou County in China's southwestern Sichuan Province, 13 dead, 175 injured, many missing. Earthquake triggers a major landslide, many trapped, 23 dead. (ABC News)   1/1   1/1 2
8 August 2017 6.6 earthquake strikes northwestern China's Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (ABC News)   1/1     1
12 August 2017 Right-wing protesters (Unite the Right) and counter protesters clash violently in Charlottesville, Virginia. Car crashes into counter protesters, killing 3, injuring 19. Mayor declares state of emergency. 8/94 9/55 8/87 7/36 272
13 August 2017 17 killed in a cafe attack in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso 1/1 1/1   1/4 6
14 August 2017 Sierra Leone mudslides kill hundreds   5/5   1/1 6
16 August 2017 Spain rescues 600 African migrants at sea in the Mediterranean in one day (ABC News, NPR, BBC, The Independent)       1/3 3
16 August 2017 Venezuela prison massacre kills 37 inmates       1/1 1
17 August 2017 Two terror attacks in Barcelona, Spain, at least 13 killed, over 100 injured 3/9 3/22 3/15 4/41 87
19 August 2017 Thousands protest in Boston (similar to Charlottesville protests, but calmer) 1/4 1/3 1/2 1/5 14
19 August 2017 Carnival Spirit ship hit by 40 foot waves and sudden storm near New South Wales in Australia. No one hurt, but there were 40-foot waves and 100km/h winds. Passengers feared for their lives. (Express, Daily Mail, 9News)          
20 August 2017 The guided missile destroyer, USS John S. McCain, collides with the oil tanker, the merchant vessel Alnic MC, near Singapore. 1/3 1/3 2/2 1/3 11
21 August 2017 4.0 magnitude Earthquake on Italian island of Ischia. 2 dead, over 35 injured, buildings collapsed. (NY Times, The Telegraph, The Guardian, The Independent,       1/1 1
23 August 2017 Typhoon Hato hits southern China   1/2   1/1 3
25 August 2017 Hurricane Harvey hits Texas 7/10 7/38 7/114 7/40 202
25 August 2017 North Korea fires three ballistic missiles. 1/4 1/2 1/1 1/2 9
28 August 2017 North Korea fires ballistic missile over Japan 2/6 3/20 2/5 2/8 39

NOTE 1: The wars in Syria, Iraq, and Afghanistan will be combined when counting total links in the final analysis since they are both in the same region and focused on fighting ISIS.

NOTE 2: The numbers in the above table are subject to ongoing audits throughout the month. At the end of the month, a final audit is performed based on screen shots of the web pages for all four news outlets. Errors in the table are corrected both during the month and as a result of the final audit.

To be listed in the above table, the events must have the following characteristics.

  1. The target events should involve significant physical activity by objects and subjects.
  2. The target events should involve something unexpected or unscheduled.
  3. The target events will typically be a leading headline news story that is featured on prominent web sites, such as CNN (U.S. and International), The New York Times, and the BBC. Other stories covered in other news outlets are linked in the news analysis table for each month. That means that the story appears somewhere on the main news page of the news outlet, usually in the top section of the web page where headline stories are posted. (Stories for most major events change daily. Some links to more dated events remain unchanged in content and format on the web site for longer periods, and such links are often located further down the web page. These are called "residual links" and are not considered headline news stories unless the linked articles/stories are updated.)
  4. The target events should involve more than one daily news cycle for the month, preferably with numerous and related stories.
  5. The target events must be of significant public interest.
  6. The target events will typically be of international interest, as evidenced by being covered as a headline event on both the U.S. and International editions of CNN.
  7. If a significant event occurs near the end of the month, then the counting of news cycles and cumulative links can extend into the next month until the event fades from the headline pages so as to fully evaluate the importance of the event. Rarely does a news story remain on the main page of a news outlet for more than a week.
  8. If two or more events of a similar nature and/or cause occur on different dates of the month, then a given target would be the combination of the two events. For example (obviously fictional in this case), if the Moon disappears into another dimension on two different dates during the same month, then the target would be the general or combined disappearance of the Moon during that month. Examples of types of events that would be combined within the same month are (a) scattered fires that are part of a larger area that is aflame, such as scattered statewide California wildfires, (b) terror events caused or inspired by the same group in a larger campaign, (c) wartime events from a larger military engagement, such as various elements of the Normandy Invasion of World War II, (d) multiple large political gatherings (including demonstrations) with similar characteristics, (e) weather related events that are the result of the same general weather condition.

Here are some useful web sites:


The New York Times


CNN International