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Targeting for the Time-Cross Project:
May 2017 Events Covered in the News as of 31 May 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
1 May 2017 May Day protests turn violent against police. Police injured. (The Guardian, AOL, Reuters, NBC, Oregon Live, CNN, The New York Times, Wikipedia)          
2 May 2017 Violent political protests in Venezuela 2/2 2/3 1/2 6/14 21
3 May 2017 Kate Middleton sues French tabloid over topless photos (CBS, Daily Mail, The Sun)          
3+ May 2017 Historic flooding in U.S. and Canada. Levee break on Black River near Pocahontas, Arkansas, plus historic sudden flooding in Midwest U.S. States (KATV, KTIV, ABC, Weather Channel, CNN, Watchers, CBCNEWS1, CBCNEWS2) 3/3     1/1 4
7 May 2017 Emmanuel Macron elected next President of France 1/7 1/11 1/8 1/11 37
7 May 2017 Hundreds of prisoners escape jail in Indonesia   1/2     2
9 May 2017 Tunnel collapses at Washington state's Hanford nuclear waste site (Washington Post, CNN, LA Times, ABC News)          
9 May 2017 President Trump fires FBI Director, James Comey 6/57 5/27 4/39 4/29 152
12 May 2017 Global cyber ransomwarel cyber attack 3/8 5/17 4/12 3/13 50
13 May 2017 North Korea fires ballistic missile 2/11 4/13 1/1 2/8 33
14+ May 2017 White House miscellaneous scandals (conveying classified information to Russians, obstruction of justice, Special Counsel appointed) 12/85 9/49 8/52 7/28 214
16 May 2017 Debris found from plane crash off coast of Bahamas. Four Americans killed, including two children (The Architects Newspaper) 1/1 1/1     2
17 May 2017 President Trump speaks at the U.S. Coast Guard commencement in New London, Connecticut (Google Images, CNN, WNPR) 1/3 1/3 1/2   8
19 May 2017 Sweden drops Julian Assange rape investigation 1/1 1/1 1/1 1/3 6
21 May 2017 North Korea fires another ballistic missile (CNN) 1/1 1/6   1/3 10
21 May 2017 Radiation leak detected at Washington state's Hanford nuclear waste site. This follows the collapse of a tunnel at the site two weeks ago. 2/2       2
21 May 2017 President Trump visits Saudi Arabia 1/11 1/5 1/8 1/6 30
22 May 2017 Suicide bomber kills 19 and wounds approximately 60 at Ariana Grande concert at the Manchester Arena, in Manchester, England. 3/19 6/44 3/27 6/52 142
23 May 2017 Roger Moore dies. 1/7 2/4 1/5 1/8 24
23 May 2017 Terror threat raised to "critical" level in Britain. Operation Temperer begins. Over 5000 heavily armed troops enter streets in U.K. (Daily Mail)   2/6 1/1 1/10 17
24 May 2017 Landslide buries stretch of California Coastal Highway   1/2     2
25 May 2017 Jared Kushner included in White House Russian probe 3/8 3/10 4/8 2/11 37
25 May 2017 Taiwan launches a major war games response with live ammunition to a simulated potential invasion by mainland China. Ships, helicopters, troops, and "the works" are involved. (RT, China Post, HNTv)          
27 May 2017 IT failure causes all flights for London's airports to be cancelled   1/3   2/6 9
27 May 2017 Gregg Allman dies. (Allman Brothers Band) 1/2 1/2 1/2 1/3 9
27 May 2017 Floods in Sri Lanka. 91 dead   1/1     1
27 May 2017 President Donald Trump addresses troops at the Naval Air Station Sigonella in Sicily, Italy (Washington Post, Fox News, CBS News)          
28 May 2017 North Korea fires another ballistic missile 1/1 2/5 1/1 1/3 10
29 May 2017 Cyclone Mora hits Bangladesh coast, heavy wind and rain       1/5 5
30 May 2017 Severe flooding and mudslides kill hundreds in Sri Lanka. Tens of thousands marooned, hundreds killed. (, Yahoo News)          
30 May 2017 Cyclone Mora hits Bangladesh. Tens of thousands homes destroyed. (          
31 May 2017 Suicide bomb near German Embassy in the diplomatic quarter in Kabul, Afghanistan. 80 dead, 400 injured 1/2 1/3 1/5   8
31 May 2017 Russian Navy fire cruise missiles from Mediterranean Sea at ISIS positions in Palmyra, Syria   1/1     1
31 May 2017 Massive levels of toxic foam spills over Bangalore, India from Varthur Lake. Respiratory and skin rash problems emerge. Containment efforts failing. Stench. (CNN, RT, Atlas Obscura)   1/1     1

NOTE 1: The wars in Syria and Iraq 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 table. 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