Wikipedia talk:In the news/Archive 10

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Science report

Correct me if I'm wrong, but don't entries require an updated article to appear on "In the news"? GeeJo (t)(c) • 22:18, 2 November 2006 (UTC)

The bolded item was removed in a rewrite of the item. - BanyanTree 22:29, 2 November 2006 (UTC)
Yes I was wondering the same thing. The story does not appear to meet at least two of the criteria for making ITN (namely because there is no corresponding article):
  • The current event needs to be important enough to warrant updating the corresponding article.
  • The article must be updated to reflect the new information and have a recent date linked (but remember: Wikipedia is not a news report so relatively small news items should not be put into articles; thus those type of news items should not be displayed on the Main Page).
We need to remember that Wikipedia is not a newspaper, and thus the ITN section should only be about current events that result in significant updates or changes to encyclopedic articles. The Science report does not appear to do that, and thus it should be removed. -- tariqabjotu 22:59, 2 November 2006 (UTC)
Would agree totally; where is the updated article? Remove asap please, admins. Batmanand | Talk 23:36, 2 November 2006 (UTC)
The updated article is fishery. I don't understand what was wrong with the original writeup which included a bolded link to this item.-gadfium 00:13, 3 November 2006 (UTC)
Unfortunately, that's not sufficient. I'm of the impression this is an important news topic; however, it does not merit inclusion on the front page unless someone creates an article specifically on the report. If others disagree, by all means revert to the early version, in which fisheries was bolded. Owen 02:02, 3 November 2006 (UTC)
The guidelines say that a relevant article must be updated, not that an article should be written specifically on the event in question.-gadfium 02:20, 3 November 2006 (UTC)
It must be a more substantial update that effects the essence of the article, not simply a paragraph added to the history section. —Centrxtalk • 02:23, 3 November 2006 (UTC)
Right. It needs to be pretty straightforward. In this case, it just isn't. "Fishery" is a very general topic, and only limited information can be added to it as a result of the new publication. Owen 03:27, 3 November 2006 (UTC)

I am completely confused. Do we actually want an article entitled 2006 Science article on fisheries depletion? Why do American sporting events regularly make in onto ITN when a matter like this gets quickly removed?-gadfium 03:40, 3 November 2006 (UTC)

I agree with the fundamental point of having an updated article, but I also agree to some extent with gadfium. I seriously wonder whether 2006 Juba talks or 2006 United Nations Security Council election really should exist as stand alone articles (the latter in particular). Badgerpatrol 03:44, 3 November 2006 (UTC)
I agree that the articles listed on the main page aren't necessarily the most important. The problem is that making exceptions to long-standing policy is problematic. Owen 05:01, 3 November 2006 (UTC)
No, the real problem (and the real source of the confusion and perhaps frustration among some) is that those very same long-standing policies (assuming you refer to the ITN guidelines) are only enforced on a very, very inconsistent basis. One admin's idea of what they mean and how important they are may be very different from another's. Exceptions to the ITN criteria are made on an almost daily basis. Badgerpatrol 05:51, 3 November 2006 (UTC)
I'd disagree. But I guess it all depends on how strictly you interpret the ITN criteria. In my own interpretation, I rarely see a news article in violation. This one stood out pretty clearly to me. Owen 06:40, 3 November 2006 (UTC)
Surely the problem is simple: the fishery article has a tiny update, that has an inline cite that does not even work? Notwithstanding the fact that, for a long period of time, the ITN on the main page had no bolded link, the "fishery" one isn't good enough anyway! Batmanand | Talk 09:19, 3 November 2006 (UTC)

U.S. Congressional elections

I figure we might as well begin what may become a tiring discussion now, so we have a good head start on Wednesday morning. Should the results of the House and Senate elections, which will be held on Tuesday, be given an entry at ITN? Given the impact of nationwide elections that determine the makeup of the federal legislature of what is (for better or worse) the world's most powerful country, I think the answer is a clear yes. If past midterm elections are an indication, the results will be heavily covered in the international press as well. Of course, some Wikipedians might object, on the grounds that any U.S.-related entries in ITN could represent America-centrism, so let's start the ball rolling now. Andrew Levine 21:19, 4 November 2006 (UTC)

I don't see the need for a debate. National elections are certainly ITN-worthy, and these have their own articles.-gadfium 22:28, 4 November 2006 (UTC)
I've complained before about America-centrism at ITN (the infected asparagus thing comes to mind...) but I see no problem with having the national US elections on ITN. Most of the (non-US) people i know are following the election very closely - it is undoubtedly of global importance and interest (if only because ppl are praying the democrats will win back congress). Mikker (...) 22:56, 4 November 2006 (UTC)
Once there are official results it should be put up. Though, only official results should be put up. No unofficial results or exit polls, or that the election is occuring. say1988 00:20, 5 November 2006 (UTC)
Agreed - official results only (like any other elections elsewhere in the world). Mikker (...) 00:54, 5 November 2006 (UTC)
The difficulty with "official results" is that they often are not confirmed for days afterwards in close races (as, for example, the Missouri Senate is bound to be). I think, once it reaches 2 am or so on the East Coast, all but one or two races will be certain, and then we can put it on ITN. Also, given the fact that elections themselves have made the Main Page before (for example, Brazil and the DRC's Presidential runoffs the other day), we should have the fact that US elections are occurring on ITN. (And it was spinach, by the way.) —Cuiviénen 22:12, 6 November 2006 (UTC)
RIGHT, spinach. I just remembered "yucky green veggie I don't eat". Anyhow, once official results are available, these shoul go up. The races that can not yet be called should be noted, but no speculation should occur about who someone thinks will win. Mikker (...) 22:34, 6 November 2006 (UTC)

Hm, looks like I was being a little overconcerned. Andrew Levine 01:09, 5 November 2006 (UTC)

Trust me, you weren't. I actually thought there would be an uproar if we put into election results. For the elections, should the split between the House and Senate (Rep and Dem) be put into ITN? I would think that would be the best thing to do, but I would like other opinions on this as well. Example: 55-45 Democrats in Senate, 220-215 in House. P.S. I have Democrat bias. Nishkid64 21:14, 5 November 2006 (UTC)
I donno hey... we have elections for tiny countries up on ITN on a regular basis. It would be silly not to have the US elections up... Mikker (...) 22:34, 6 November 2006 (UTC)

Obviously we should have an Olympics-style medal table on ITN to note the results as they come in... With spinach icons for Democrats, asparagus icons for Republicans, and peas for other parties. Carcharoth 22:42, 6 November 2006 (UTC)

Maybe something like this:

U.S. congressional elections, 2006
U.S. Congress [[File:|20x20px|link=Republican Party (United States)|Republican Party (United States)]] [[File:|20x20px|link=Democratic Party (United States)|Democratic Party (United States)]] [[File:|30x20px|link=Connecticut for Lieberman|Connecticut for Lieberman]]
House 000 000 000
Senate 000 000 000

Something like that. Just a with me here... haha. JARED(t)  02:18, 7 November 2006 (UTC)

No need to include a Libertarian column until they are confirmed to win at least one seat. I could be wrong, but I don't think they are predicted to be in double digits anywhere. savidan(talk) (e@) 02:24, 7 November 2006 (UTC)

I just wanted to spice it up a bit, but naturally. Although, Lieberman will probably win with the Connecticut for Lieberman Party which doesn't have an image, FYI. JARED(t)  02:28, 7 November 2006 (UTC)

Hey, why not go all out and (for a day) replace the Main Page with an "Elections Center" like all the big news outlets do, replete with Florida wrapped in a blink tag. :^P – Minh Nguyễn (talk, contribs) 02:34, 7 November 2006 (UTC)
I don't think any party will get triple digits in the Senate anytime soon. Titoxd(?!?) 02:38, 7 November 2006 (UTC)

Hey, Jared! You ran with my joke, right? You did get it was a joke, right? RIGHT? :-) I like the logos, btw: the elephant, the donkey and the statue. Carcharoth 02:36, 7 November 2006 (UTC)

Yeah, haha. Just for kicks I was going to make another one with the spinach/asparagus logos, but the sizing kept messing up. Anyway, yeah, Mxn, I like that idea. After all, elections are really important and the US ones are especially (not that I'm American or anything, cough). Ideas? JARED(t)  02:40, 7 November 2006 (UTC)

U.S. general elections, 2006
Party House Senate Gubernatorial
109th 110th Chg. 109th 110th Chg. '05 '06 Chg.
Rep. 229 ? ±? 55 ? ±? 28 ? ±?
Dem. 201 ? ±? 44 ? ±? 22 ? ±?
Indep. 1 ? ±? 1 ? ±? 0 ? ±?
CfL 0 ? ±? 0 ? ±? 0 ? ±?
U.S. general elections, 2006
Party House Senate
109th 110th Chg. 109th 110th Chg.
Rep. 229 ? ±? 55 ? ±?
Dem. 201 ? ±? 44 ? ±?
Indep. 1 ? ±? 1 ? ±?
CfL 0 ? ±? 0 ? ±?

I just made the above table. I like it better. It looks neater. Although it is big...we could bag the gubernatorial if we had to, because really, congress is all that anyone other than Americans would care about. I've shown both tables. If more parties are needed , we'd add them. We would color the ±? sections red for loss, green for gain. And fill in the ?'s with actual numbers when the results are in, officially. What does everyone think? JARED(t)  16:54, 7 November 2006 (UTC)

First one is WAY too big. Second one is still very large. Definately cut CfL. Maybe changer indep. to others, or consider him independant, as he is just one person if he wins, which is basically what an independant is, and for all I know, he may well be considered independant by US law. If a table is put in (which I am unsure about) it should just be the simple one above, with CfL replaced with "Independant" or "Others". Once final (near final results, or just once someone is confirmed to have a majority, would do as well) I would just have a line of text giveing the results and remove the chart, one of which showing the previous congress, change, and new congress. Remember we don't have to have all the info on the Front page, it should be a quick summary directing you to the actual article. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Say1988 (talkcontribs) 13:05, November 7, 2006

Proposed addition

OK, so here's what we've come up with. The following sentence will be added to the top of the ITN section, edited, of course, to reflect the true results of the election:

{{*mp|November 7}} In the [[United States]], the [[United States general elections, 2006|2006 mid-term elections]] are held resulting with ''the [[Democratic Party (United States)|Democratic Party's]]  gain of control of the [[United States House of Representatives|House of Representatives]].'' (see below)

To make room for the table, get rid of the two "November 1" news phrases. Then, insert the following section, similar to what was done during the Olympics:

====[[United States general elections, 2006|U.S. general elections, 2006]]====
:{| border=1 cellpadding=2 cellspacing=0 style="margin: 1em 1em 1em 0; background: #f9f9f9; border: 1px #aaa solid; border-collapse: collapse; font-size: 90%; clear:both"
|- style="background-color:#E9E9E9" align="center"
! rowspan="2" colspan="2"|Party
! colspan="3"|[[United States House elections, 2006|House]]
! colspan="3"|[[United States Senate elections, 2006|Senate]]
|- style="background-color:#E9E9E9" align="center"
![[110th United States Congress|110<sup>th</sup>]]
![[110th United States Congress|110<sup>th</sup>]]
! style="background-color: {{party color|Republican Party (United States)}}" |
| [[Republican Party (United States)|Rep.]]
! style="background-color: {{party color|Democratic Party (United States)}}" |
| [[Democratic Party (United States)|Dem.]]
! style="background-color: {{party color|Independent}}" |
| [[Independent (politics)|Indep.]]

...which will show as something like this:

U.S. general elections, 2006

Party House Senate
109th 110th Chg. 109th 110th Chg.
Rep. 229 ? ±? 55 ? ±?
Dem. 201 ? ±? 44 ? ±?
Indep. 1 ? ±? 1 ? ±?

I think this size is appropriate. The ? marks will be filled in appropriately and the ±? will be colored according to a gain, loss, or stay the same of seats for that party. I understand that it should be simple, but I think knowing how the seats have changed is the only way to look at election data. More suggestions? PLEASE edit anything I've done; these are just the way I see things, and most of the time there's something that looks better! ☺ JARED(t)  18:27, 7 November 2006 (UTC)

I think that's about as good as it gets, yes. Incidentally, speaking as a staunch opponent of any kind of US-centrism, I don't think that including it this way in ITN is US-centric. (Just be sure to do something similar in other similarily important elections -- UK general, European Parliament, ...) —Nightstallion (?) 18:41, 7 November 2006 (UTC)
Thanks. Yeah, and as far as other elections, I would definitely welcome seeing British results, but I'm afraid I haven't a clue about the British elections and so someone else would have to do that. But regardless, the US elections do have global impact. JARED(t)  18:49, 7 November 2006 (UTC)
I meant that more as a general note to all other regular ITN contributors, myself included. ;) I also added align="right"| to the cells in your table which contain numbers, as it looks tidier in my opinion. One more thing to consider: Can we somehow accurately represent that not all 100 Senate seats were being contested? —Nightstallion (?) 19:04, 7 November 2006 (UTC)

Maybe like this? —Nightstallion (?) 19:08, 7 November 2006 (UTC)

U.S. general elections, 2006

Party House Senate
109th 110th Chg. 109th 110th Chg.
Rep. 232 ? ±? 55 (15) ? (?) ±?
Dem. 202 ? ±? 44 (17) ? (?) ±?
Indep. 1 ? ±? 1 (1) ? (?) ±?

Haha, I was just doing the same thing. Your edit came up when I went to preview. That works well, I think. Also, do we need to represent somehow that there aren't 435 reps in the list because 4 seats are vacant? JARED(t)  19:14, 7 November 2006 (UTC)

Removed the set of parenthases in the 2nd change column, because it will still change by the same amount. JARED(t)  19:16, 7 November 2006 (UTC)
I don't see any reason why we can't include the vacant seats with the party that last controlled them (that's +3 R and +1 D). —Cuiviénen 19:30, 7 November 2006 (UTC)
I'd agree with that, done.

You're all taking Jared's joke way too seriously. Of course US elections go in ITN, but they don't get a fancy table because other entries don't. Just the results, in one or two sentences, and maybe a picture, just like we do for other elections.-gadfium 19:20, 7 November 2006 (UTC)

shrugs Still, we can use it in Portal:Current events. —Nightstallion (?) 19:36, 7 November 2006 (UTC)

U.S. general elections, 2006

Party House Senate
109th 110th Chg. 109th 110th Chg.
Rep. 232 ? ±? 55 (15) ? (?) ±?
Dem. 202 ? ±? 44 (17) ? (?) ±?
Indep. 1 ? ±? 1 (1) ? (?) ±?
I don't see how it's a joke...? Yes, it gets a sentence or two like other elections, but I think that it is special enough to have a table to show the results, as it is a very important aspect of politics world wide.
As far as Cuivienen's comment, should we do that or not. Now I'm starting to think that we shouldn't because the change in # of seats per party should reflect what was last. And the people who replace the vacant seats are sworn in right away into the 109th congress, so actually, now that I think of it, it is probably fine, but I'm still not sure. JARED(t)  19:38, 7 November 2006 (UTC)
Scratch that...this site uses the old, non-vacant numbers. the new table is good. JARED(t)  19:43, 7 November 2006 (UTC)
Fine! Anyway: I don't feel too strongly for or against including the table in the ITN template, but I see no harm at all in including it in the current events portal. —Nightstallion (?) 19:52, 7 November 2006 (UTC)
Yeah without a doubt put it in the Current events portal. And as far as on the main page in ITN, I say just do it. It'll only be up there for a couple days, three max, unlike the whole debate about results for the Olympics and the World Cup, which were up there for a few weeks. But, again, I don't want to cause more controversy. JARED(t)  20:00, 7 November 2006 (UTC)
  • Having a table will result in accusations of a pro-US bias. I suggest you say:
In the 2006 US mid-term elections, the <party name> <win/retain control of> the Senate <and/while the <other party> wins> the House
Of course, the appropiate winner will need to be put on and so forth.
Just to let you guys know, I have a strange feeling that there's going to be a lot of anti-Americanism if you had that big of a table for US elections. Maybe I'm paranoid from what happened after the World Series, but who knows...Nishkid64 22:24, 7 November 2006 (UTC)

Having a table turns ITN into some breaking news ticker; that's not what it is. When the election night is over, you can put up a one-sentence summary of the election like every other story. If you want to put the table on CE, go for it, but I will not be putting it on ITN. --Golbez 22:25, 7 November 2006 (UTC)

I guess I just see US elections differently, but it's not like any other story. That's just the thing. Sure, we put up the Tajikistan elections in one sentence, but that's because it has almost no global impact. Now, I'm not an admin, so I have no power to put it on the page, so don't worry about that. If someone else feels like it should be there, though, all the more power to you to put it on. Even if we just made a smaller one to make everybody happy. But I'll tell you right now, WP is a highly visited site, and when people go to the main page, they will hope see the results of the election, and a table will do just that. JARED(t)  22:39, 7 November 2006 (UTC)
That's your own view of America in the world. You're basically saying that the US is more important than any other country in the world. If people want to see results, they can just go to the link and they will get results. Nishkid64 23:40, 7 November 2006 (UTC)

I don't support the table. I also strongly believe IT SHOULD NOT BE ON ITN UNTIL THERE ARE RESULTS TO REPORT as in it should be off right now. ITN is not supposed to report the news, but give a breif headline directing you to the location of the information (updated article). As such, one sentance put on when a winner is determined (for one house, then updated for the second) is how I believe it should be done. ALthough there is precident against this, I oppose that was well. Just because there is precident of Blacks being slaves doesn't mean it is right, after all. Also IF a table is used, it should be as small as possible. Just how many won. If people are really interested, they can look at teh article, or better yet, a news website. say1988 23:30, 7 November 2006 (UTC)

(sigh) Let the user decide how important the election is to them. Just put a nice, large, easy-to-read table at United States general elections, 2006 or link to Wikinews, whose job it is to report late-breaking news. If there are any especially notable upsets tonight, we can include that in the small election blurb at this template. We don't even have a table on ITN for the Olympics. – Minh Nguyễn (talk, contribs) 00:39, 8 November 2006 (UTC)

I'm not saying that America is more important. If you have read my comments above, you would have noticed that I also said I would welcome Britains' elections on the page too. I just think it's lousy that there are so many people on Wikipedia who think that things are "anti-" something instead of "pro-" something else. Instead of saying "Don't include that, it's demoralizing other countries" say "Great, now that the US election is on ITN, we can put the British election too." I knew this would cause a problem, but if people fail to see how the US elections are a global issue, I think they're blind. And I don't mean to offend anyone to whom this may seem to be directed. JARED(t)  01:05, 8 November 2006 (UTC)
I'm for including it once there are results. (Tomorrow morning in EST at the earliest.) I don't think there should be a table though. Grandmasterka 01:36, 8 November 2006 (UTC)
I agree that US elections are more important that most, if not all, other countries. But the purpose of ITN is not to present the most important infromation. It is to highlight articles about current events. As that it does not need to, and should not, have details, which a table will present. If people are really interested in seeing the chart, the will find it, either on the article here, or more likely, go to a news source. say1988 01:57, 8 November 2006 (UTC)
A table would be quickly reverted. Don't even worry about the numbers if the switches are called. Something along the lines of "In United States midterm elections, Democrats take control of the House of Representatives, while Republicans maintain control of the Senate" would be fine, altered depending on the actual results off course. -
That is pretty good, but keep in mind that the Senate may not be decided by the morning. It looks like the VA election will be a dead heat with a probable recount. If the Dems win Montana and Missouri and the GOP takes Tennessee (which looks very possible), then the VA recount would decide control. But I digress. I guess I am basically saying make sure that there is backup language in place if control of the Senate is still undecided. youngamerican (ahoy hoy) 05:36, 8 November 2006 (UTC)
For now, how about "In the United States midterm elections, Democrats take control of the House of Representatives from Republicans"? We can add the Senate in later when it's more certain. – Minh Nguyễn (talk, contribs) 05:50, 8 November 2006 (UTC)
I think that's a good idea. I was surprised that there wasn't a line about the US elections in "In the news" already. The House victory is certain, and all the relevant parties have accepted it. Leave the Senate for now — given how tight Virginia is, we probably won't know for certain for a while. —Josiah Rowe (talkcontribs) 06:15, 8 November 2006 (UTC)
In fact, I think I'll be bold and do that. If anyone objects, you can revert it, and I won't reinstate it. —Josiah Rowe (talkcontribs) 06:18, 8 November 2006 (UTC)
Missouri is looking as tight as Virginia right now. I have a friend who was going to vote absentee in Missouri but messed up. I imagine that she isn't very happy right now. The democrats need to take all 3 of the remaining seats in order to gain control of the senate. JoshuaZ 06:28, 8 November 2006 (UTC)
Republican Sen. Jim Talent has now conceded the Missouri race. It's down to Montana and Virginia — probably just Virginia, actually. But there's probably going to be a recount there, since the difference between the two candidates seems to be less than 0.5% of the total vote. —Josiah Rowe (talkcontribs) 07:23, 8 November 2006 (UTC)
Would you mind changing the image to Image:House large seal.gif? My first thought when seeing the image there was, "Which Congressman/Governor is that?" :^) – Minh Nguyễn (talk, contribs) 07:06, 8 November 2006 (UTC)
Done. —Josiah Rowe (talkcontribs) 07:12, 8 November 2006 (UTC)
I came here late. As I often make clear I'm not an American and often couldn't give a damn what goes on in the US. Despite this, I did watch the results live on and off for a few hours (although I am pretty free at the moment) and I think there elections were watched fairly closely by the world (much more so then in 2000 and before). However I have to say the table is one of the silliest suggestions I've ever heard of for ITN. I do hope most people were joking when they were talking about the table. The current line is fine and people who do want detailed results can check out the article. This is how things should be. Nil Einne 08:54, 8 November 2006 (UTC)
I think I mentioned the table first, and I was clearly joking, as my mention of asparagus, spinach and peas made clear. Unfortunately, I underestimated the ability of some people to misunderstand what In The News is for. Carcharoth 10:39, 8 November 2006 (UTC)
As I've often said, many people in the world have been following the elections but few IMHO give a damn about the gubernitorial results and most don't particularly care that much about the change or even the exact numbers either. What matters most to those in the world watching is whether the Democrats take control of the Senate and/or House. The end numbers to matter a bit since it provides a hint as to how much control will be had and what things could be like in 2008 but they don't matter enough to have any merit in the main page. Nil Einne 08:54, 8 November 2006 (UTC)
Get rid of the speculation! It's just as possible the GOP will control the senate still. Just say "and the Senate has yet to be projected." or something of the like. JARED(t)  11:43, 8 November 2006 (UTC)


After I put Image:House large seal.gif on the front page per Minh's suggestion, Centrx changed it to Image:TrialSaddam.jpg. While I recognize the value of photographs over symbols, I'm not sure that putting an image of Saddam Hussein next to the news of the U.S. election results is wise. It could give the appearance that Wikipedia is connecting the two in some way — and given the importance of the Iraq war in the election, I think many readers may be hypersensitive to this. I won't revert the change myself, though. —Josiah Rowe (talkcontribs) 07:59, 8 November 2006 (UTC)

It's also a bit out of date; Emomali Rahmonov would've been a better photograph choice. Alternatively, if you're looking for something a bit more interesting than a logo, there's this nice rainbow-colored map of the United States. – Minh Nguyễn (talk, contribs) 08:10, 8 November 2006 (UTC)
The map is a good option, but it is still pretty generic. Pictures of flags and seals should not be used at all. One would never find them in an article on the news topic, nor in any newspaper. They are just junk filler. I mistakenly used the older image, of Saddam. I have replaced it with the Rahmanov image. —Centrxtalk • 08:23, 8 November 2006 (UTC)
What about using Image:Nancy_Pelosi_official_portrait.jpg? It's public domain, and as the Democratic Minority Leader in the House and probable next Speaker, she's a reasonable representative of the Democratic House win. —Josiah Rowe (talkcontribs) 08:43, 8 November 2006 (UTC)
Ooh. A female speaker. How many times has that happened before? Carcharoth 10:40, 8 November 2006 (UTC)
I've switched out the image. Carcharoth, 0. - BanyanTree 13:11, 8 November 2006 (UTC)
Much appreciated. Ms. Pelosi probably makes most people afraid to visit the home page. -Mientkiewicz5508 07:54, 11 November 2006 (UTC)

"Appears to have taken control of"?

What's with this language in the article on the US elections? Is anyone doubting that the Democrats have taken over the house? (Of course they haven't taken control yet; they'll have to wait until January.) The Senate elections are a little more doubtful, but there's no question about the house. Theshibboleth 11:51, 8 November 2006 (UTC)

I've tweaked the language to show that the Dems have won the HoR while the Senate is still to close to speculate one way or the other. Honestly, I doubt that the VA election will be settled for a few days. youngamerican (ahoy hoy) 12:56, 8 November 2006 (UTC)

Election wording

I think the current wording is a bit ambiguous, and could be read as showing that Pelosi is a Republican. I suggest the following wording:

In the United States midterm elections, the Democratic Party wins control of the House of Representatives (Speaker-elect Nancy Pelosi pictured) by defeating the incumbent Republican Party, while control of the United States Senate remains too close to call.

Orpheus 13:22, 8 November 2006 (UTC)

I completely agree, it's potentially especially a problem to someone not familiar with US politics... Nil Einne 13:32, 8 November 2006 (UTC)
The issue is that she is not the "Speaker-elect", as the Speaker election isn't until January. It is assumed that, as Minority Leader, she is the logical choice for the Democratic nomination and that, with a majority, she will actually become the next Speaker, but that is an awfully long explanation to put between italicized parens. Is there a suitably ambiguous yet clear succint wording for this? - BanyanTree 13:45, 8 November 2006 (UTC)
How about "(likely Speaker-elect Nancy Pelosi pictured)"? If that seems too crystal-ballish, we could just say "(Democratic House leader Nancy Pelosi pictured)". —Josiah Rowe (talkcontribs) 13:53, 8 November 2006 (UTC)
How about focussing on how she would be the first female Speaker? Carcharoth 14:02, 8 November 2006 (UTC)
That could be an idea. Rather then just having her in brackets, maybe have a second sentence. Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi is expected to be the first female speaker (pictured). Nil Einne 14:12, 8 November 2006 (UTC)
you don't have to go into lengthy explainations. A bit longish but something like "current Minority Leader and likely speaker-elect" or "incumbent Minority Leader and expected incoming speaker" or something of that sort. I'm not sure of the precise terminology since I'm not an American but it seems something like this would be clear without being too long Nil Einne 14:10, 8 November 2006 (UTC)
I've gone with the simplest option given, "House Democrat leader", which I'm sure is objectionable for some reason, but has the virtue of being brief. There are any number of interesting aspects (apparently the most regionally divided Congress since the Civil War, for example) but I can live with them being one click-through away. - BanyanTree 15:12, 8 November 2006 (UTC)
Original whinger here. I like it - it removes ambiguity. Calling someone the Minority Leader in the same sentence as saying they won the election is a bit jarring, even if technically correct. The current wording is good, I reckon. Orpheus 15:47, 8 November 2006 (UTC)

I'm currently iffy on this wording:

In the Senate the parties are currently tied, with one seat—Virginia—still not decided.

The parties are not tied. The Democrats are ahead 50 to 49, with one seat undecided which could either tie them or give the Democrats a 2-seat lead. Are we counting the VP's vote in order to call them "tied"? I don't think we should; he only gets his vote if there actually a tie (50-50). I'd edit the page myself, but I've never edited ITN before and I feel odd about doing anything without asking for opinions. I suggest this wording:

In the Senate the Democratic Party is ahead by one seat, with one seat—Virginia—still not decided.

TomTheHand 19:29, 8 November 2006 (UTC)

Either that or "The Republicans need to gain one seat—Virginia—to retain control of Senate." – Minh Nguyễn (talk, contribs) 20:31, 8 November 2006 (UTC)

please protect whatever picture is placed on ITN

Vandals can play on Main Page if the image is not protected. -- 19:15, 8 November 2006 (UTC)

They can indeed. I've left a relevant note. - BanyanTree 22:42, 8 November 2006 (UTC)
Thanks, BanyanTree. -- 12:44, 9 November 2006 (UTC)

Rumsfeld update

The update on this article consists of just over 1 line of text, from what I can see. Can I ask- why is it up on the main page? Badgerpatrol 20:37, 8 November 2006 (UTC)

Where on WP:ITNMP do you get the impression that "update" means a certain number of lines? - BanyanTree 22:39, 8 November 2006 (UTC)
If you see above, under the #Science report section, you'll see people arguing that a few lines in an article is not enough. One person was arguing that a full article on the subject is normally necessary. Resignation of Rumsfeld seems to be a redlink. My opinion is that the fisheries report was a far more important event.-gadfium 23:20, 8 November 2006 (UTC)
I would argue in the opposite direction. The "more content" argument seems to me to be a case for news articles, not updated encyclopedia articles. The only type of articles that make regular appearances on ITN and are specifically about the news event itself are elections, tropical storms and plane/train crashes, which makes for a very monotonous ITN. For example, I would argue that a short blurb in an article Aviation in Brazil giving context and wider repercussions is more 'encyclopedic' than the recent article Gol Transportes Aéreos Flight 1907. There are exceptions, such as Incidents during the Hajj, which was a stub on a specific incident that people kept moving to more general titles and expanding until it was a fine encyclopedia article, but most super-specific current events articles lose their utility very quickly after they are created. - BanyanTree 00:38, 9 November 2006 (UTC)
I am inclined to agree in many ways. But as the above quoted discussion (and many others - links can be provided if required) details, there is huge inconsistency in terms of enforcing the ITN guidelines. This leads to confusion and frustration. I am not doubting the importance of this event, but international notability (and this is obviously internationally notable) is only one criterion. Let me make clear however that I do support including this item on ITN, but it is somewhat galling to see ITN items refused because of "insufficient updates" and the like and then see this go straight on a few minutes after the event. It creates a massive gulf between admins (who have the opportunity to put up whatever items they want, regardless of the rules if necessary, and often do so) and editors, who do not, and who see good-faith suggestions refused on the basis that they do not meet the oft-ignored criteria. Badgerpatrol 00:51, 9 November 2006 (UTC)
I perceive the same problem, but not the same solution. The Donald Rumsfeld article presently contains a sufficient update, but I see that it certainly didn't when the entry was added. At that point, the article contained precisely one non-proofread sentence on the subject of Rumsfeld's actual resignation: "On November 8th, 2006, Rumsfeld resigned from his postition [sic] as Defense Secretary." This conveyed absolutely no information not included in the ITN blurb itself, thereby defeating the purpose of ITN (to direct readers to articles that have been written or substantially updated to reflect a news story). If the article only repeats the information contained within the ITN entry, what's the point of linking to it? Readers rightfully expect to find greater depth, and we let them down. We should have waited until the article update reached a reasonable size (instead of rushing to report breaking news, which isn't Wikipedia's intended function). —David Levy 15:34, 9 November 2006 (UTC)
The difference between these two situations is that much more can be written about Rumsfeld's resignation on his page than can be written about a Science report can on fishery. "Fishery" is a broad topic, and too much focus on the report would skew the article to a tangent. In contrast, Rumsfeld's resignation is a key part of his article and needs as much work as we can give it. It isn't about how much has been added to the article so much as how much could be added, and how directly relevant the news story is to the article to be updated. Owen 13:09, 9 November 2006 (UTC)

(reindent)I have to disagree with both David and Owen. The most useful function of linking an article is the context that it gives to current news, not the current news itself. The link to Zar'it-Shtula incident for the hostage negotiations (one line update) was useful not because it gave in depth information on the restarted negotiations, but because it gave background on why there were hostages in the first place. Current events articles were first placed on ITN under the title "Behind the News", which implies to me that context is the focus.

There are certainly some spectacular examples of current events articles being encyclopedic and instantly updated - 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake, Funeral of Pope John Paul II, and 7 July 2005 London bombings spring to mind. But these need to be recognized as the anomalies that they are. I recently spent about two weeks checking Portal:Current events several times daily for items that were obviously of "international interest" and linked to an updated article and it is astonishing how many significant events that make it to the Portal don't get an update. (I'm still blown away that the breakdown in the FARC negotiations never made it into an article, as far as I can tell.) One can wait until items are updated and no longer "in the news", one can use ITN as a way to draw attention to articles that are in the breaking news cycle but need attention, or one can use the quickly updated and relatively complete articles that will be overwhelmingly about Anglophone countries. I go for the second option. However, the expectation I have seen on this and other pages that there is enough updating going on to provide a relatively continual turnover of comprehensively written items with a global distribution is simply not based on reality. - BanyanTree 17:41, 9 November 2006 (UTC)

Your position regarding the function that ITN should serve is entirely reasonable. It does not, however, reflect the established criteria. Perhaps you should formally propose such reform. —David Levy 19:50, 9 November 2006 (UTC)
I think the above debate really crystallises the problem- which simply put, is that everyone has a different idea about what ITN is and what should and shouldn't go in there. The back and forth reversions as to who had or hadn't won control of the US Congress constituted another example- revisions were being made to the template based on projections of a final result that hadn't actually been announced, seemingly oblivious to the idea that ITN should detail updates made to articles. Surely it is not appropriate to update ITN and then update the linked article!? This scenario, or at least very similar, has been occurring recently. I agree with Banyan above- that idea pretty much encapsulates how I at least see ITN and what its value is- but as David correctly points out, that isn't really how the system currently works. Badgerpatrol 01:20, 10 November 2006 (UTC)
I never realized that this section was once called "Behind the news". I think part of the problem is that "In the news" doesn't make it clear enough that the focus is context, not the headlines themselves. At this point, there's probably a lot of attachment to the current title, but I think something like "Behind the headlines" is more appropriate if our current events articles aren't going to be a wire service of some sort. – Minh Nguyễn (talk, contribs) 04:12, 10 November 2006 (UTC)
Yes, that issue has been discussed before, e.g. here. Badgerpatrol 04:18, 10 November 2006 (UTC)
David, could you tell me where you think the criteria do not support my position? As the drafter of the most recent criterion, on deaths, I feel that I have a pretty good grasp on the parameters. - BanyanTree 14:47, 10 November 2006 (UTC)
You stated that we needn't "wait until items are updated." According to the criteria, "the article must be updated to reflect the new information." —David Levy 16:44, 10 November 2006 (UTC)
Ah, so I did. That was badly stated on my part. I meant that I consider a one-line update perfectly acceptable as an "update" under the criteria, but that the sort of extensive update integrated into an article that some people seem to feel is required under the criteria normally takes days, if it happens at all. - BanyanTree 04:20, 11 November 2006 (UTC)

resignation-election connection

According to this MSNBC Article, it states that the "Military officials and politicians dissatisfied with the course of the war [that] had called for Rumsfeld’s resignation in the months leading up to the election." (C+P'd the wrong quote) as being the main reason for Rumsfeld's departure. I completely disagree with associating the Results of the Mid-Term Elections as the sole reason why Rumsfeld stepped down. It seems to me like it has some Democrat-sounding bias in there somewhere.Mientkiewicz5508 21:08, 8 November 2006 (UTC)

It's important, but it is not the result of the 2006 mid term elections! I just heard it myself from George Bush. Could someone change this to better suit the nature of his resignition? JARED(t)  21:09, 8 November 2006 (UTC)
P.S. Total agreement with the above comment.
Agreed. As it is, the blurb states that Rumsfeld's departure was a direct result of the election, which definitely isn't the official explanation, and since that's all we've got, the blurb shouldn't be there. —Cleared as filed. 21:17, 8 November 2006 (UTC)
I noticed the most recent main page edit. I still don't like the wording. soon afterwards still implies that it was directly related to the election. Also, the placement directly beneath the Election Results and the lack of its own bullet point also implies relation to the Election, which is what I think we should be avoiding.Mientkiewicz5508 21:29, 8 November 2006 (UTC)
I've split the items into two bullets, and added some more information; this also balances out the Main Page more. Thanks! Flcelloguy (A note?) 22:39, 8 November 2006 (UTC)

This is more than a big bit absurd. Why are people pretending that the replacement of Rumsfeld was a coincidence?! The main page of Wikipedia must be the only outlet of news in the world which is try to touch its elbow with its nose over the issue! And really, half of the useful updates to timely articles today do not originate from the US. Splash - tk 23:02, 8 November 2006 (UTC)

Wikipedia is an encyclopedia, not a news outlet. --PFHLai 23:17, 8 November 2006 (UTC)
What handy rhetoric! I didn't call it one. Splash - tk 23:20, 8 November 2006 (UTC)
Bush had a replacement lined up the day after the elections, which means that he had been thinking about this for many weeks and/or months. Whether or not the Republicans won control of the House/Senate, he probably would have fired Rumsfeld anyways, especially considering the rumblings in his own party to do so. It is not appropriate to link the two. --tomf688 (talk - email) 23:36, 8 November 2006 (UTC)
Right, Splash. You didn't. You just wrote "The main page of Wikipedia must be the only outlet of news in the world ...", but "The main page of" an encyclopedia is not a news outlet either.
Coincidence or not, let the reader decide. Splitting off the Rumsfeld bit is fine with me. Only so much should be clamped together. Putting too much information on a single bulleted item on ITN results in a poor layout. --PFHLai 23:42, 8 November 2006 (UTC)

ITN tomorrow (November 9)

I'd like to remind everyone contributing to ITN that TFA tomorrow (November 9) is very short, much shorter than usual, resulting in smaller than usual space on MainPage for ITN and OTD/SelAnniv. I've slightly lengthened the TFA and trimmed some off OTD/SelAnniv already. Please keep ITN short, or MainPage would look "distorted" (unless DYK becomes very, very long). And please keep some non-US news on ITN, or someone would scream about the perceived US-bias again. Many thanks. -- PFHLai 23:44, 8 November 2006 (UTC)

I say get rid of Donald Rumsfeld resigning, and keep the US election blurb to just something like
Control of the United States Senate following midterm elections remains undetermined, pending the outcome of the undecided race in Virginia.
-- tariqabjotu 23:54, 8 November 2006 (UTC)
Considering how popular Rumsfeld is (with effigy-burners) around the world, I'd say his resignation is big enough news to be on ITN. I've removed the bit about the Virginia race for now. I don't suggest mentioning this race on ITN till we either have the official results or the announcement about a recount updated into the article.
There is still a little blank space between DYK and POTD, but it's not too big. I hope it's okay for now. -- PFHLai 00:50, 9 November 2006 (UTC)
Certainly keep the Rumsfeld resignation - that's of massive international signficance. Rebecca 01:22, 9 November 2006 (UTC)
Indeed it is. I would hope people would stop thinking it's American-centric, when in fact it isn't. For crying out loud, the US Secretary of Defense has a very important international role. Nishkid64 01:41, 9 November 2006 (UTC)
I wasn't implying it wasn't of international importance (and judging by quickly browsing this talk page, no one was). I was just guessing that the short TOFA would require the ITN section to be cut down to three items. Two items from the United States might have appeared improper to some, as PFHLai mentioned, so if one had to be cut, I would have hoped the Rumsfeld item would have been cut over the midterm election item. Seeing as four items are able to still fit, having both the Rumsfeld and midterm election items is alright. -- tariqabjotu 06:07, 9 November 2006 (UTC)
Should stop thinking about whether something is of international significance or not and focus solely on whether it is a good article or not and how much it has been updated for this event. —Centrxtalk • 01:50, 9 November 2006 (UTC)
See my comments in past and present threads ad nauseum. ;-) Badgerpatrol 05:16, 9 November 2006 (UTC)

Senate is not yet to be determined

It has already been determined. EVERY single major news source has announced that the Democratic Party has won control of the Senate. It should be changed back to what it previously stated as somebody has edited it to introduce their personal POV. There is no reason Wikipedia should report any differently than the AP, Reuters, CNN, Fox News, Yahoo, MSNBC, etc. --musicpvm 09:08, 9 November 2006 (UTC)

I suppose it depends on whether we're counting the Virginia race yet (which will not be decided — officially — for quite some time) and the VP tie-breaking vote. I don't really know the answer to that. Grandmasterka 09:13, 9 November 2006 (UTC)
AP has called it for the Democrats. We should probably at least state that it is likely that they'll control the Senate. Haukur 09:18, 9 November 2006 (UTC)
The Democrats have won Virginia, and thus control of the Senate. I've updated the template to reflect this. ~MDD4696 18:21, 9 November 2006 (UTC)
Only AP have called it for the Democrats, CNN et. al. are reporting that AP called it, but haven't called themselves. I think saying it went to the Democrats and then later having to reverse is far worse than simply waiting for the official results. Mikker (...) 19:19, 9 November 2006 (UTC)
Allen has a press conference in about 30 minutes where he is expected to concede. [1] It's not a long wait. - BanyanTree 19:28, 9 November 2006 (UTC)
Alright, Allen has conceded. I'm happy. Mikker (...) 20:25, 9 November 2006 (UTC)

Another recount in Florida

I don't know if this is ITN worthy...I'll let you all decide. Considering pretty much every other race is accounted for, you should know that AP has reported that Christine Jennings, the narrow loser in Florida's District 13, is pursuing a recount, amid voter machine glitches in Sarasota County, Florida. I figured it would be newsworthy since Florida has become notorious for voting machine errors. Mike H. I did "That's hot" first! 19:37, 9 November 2006 (UTC)

Doubt it's of global interest. Sure, lots of national (US) attention will be focused there; but a recount in one district (out of what? four hundred and something?) is hardly important enough for ITN IMO. Mikker (...) 19:48, 9 November 2006 (UTC)
Given the fact that the Democrats captured control of the House of Representatives by a significant margin, the race's outcome will have no major nationwide (or international) impact. —David Levy 19:50, 9 November 2006 (UTC)
Considering it's Florida, and it was Katherine Harris's old seat, it will have national impact, but maybe not international. In any case, I put it on Portal:Current events. Mike H. I did "That's hot" first! 19:52, 9 November 2006 (UTC)
The story is of some national interest, but it will have no major impact on the U.S. political landscape. Therefore, it isn't of major international interest or importance. —David Levy 20:04, 9 November 2006 (UTC)
Interesting, surely, but not of international importance. While the election itself and the Rumsfeld resignation made headlines around the world, I seriously doubt many other people in this hemisphere would have heard of either Jennings, Buchanan or the 13th district. Rebecca 01:37, 10 November 2006 (UTC)
Nope, not in France anyway. If it had had the result of the whole election in the balance, it would have been different, but as it is it's of no international interest.--SidiLemine 13:27, 10 November 2006 (UTC)


Is putting the link to Kyrgyzstan in bold really necessary? I think just having the updated Constitution page in bold (seeing as that's the main updated article) would suffice. Also, it would be for consistency's sake, as all the other bullet points have just one bolded article. Mientkiewicz5508 21:26, 10 November 2006 (UTC)

'twas fixed. Thanks.

Mientkiewicz5508 21:46, 10 November 2006 (UTC)

Nadarajah Raviraj

If someone could find a freely licensed image of Raviraj then we could replace the Rumsfeld picture which is getting stale. I personally think it would be appropriate and acceptable for use to use a fair use one ITN but I know this is frowned upon so it would be much better if we could find one without such issues Nil Einne 05:07, 12 November 2006 (UTC)

I couldn't find a free image (and we should avoid using fair-use images). The reason photos of USAmerican politicians tend to be so easy to find is because of the fact that images produced by the U.S. federal government are released into the public domain. Unfortunately, I do not think Sri Lanka has something similar to that. However, I do agree that Donald Rumsfeld is starting to move down the ITN box. Although portraits tend to be more informative than flags, perhaps the flag of Sri Lanka could go in the ITN section. -- tariqabjotu 06:00, 12 November 2006 (UTC)

Maybe someone could take the right half of Image:Colombo Map.jpg and make it clear enough to use at a small scale. It could also benefit the article on Colombo, where the map is a bit too blurry to read. – Minh Nguyễn (talk, contribs) 07:23, 12 November 2006 (UTC)

I've asked the creator of this image if s/he could submit a SVG or alternatively a higher res PNG if this isn't possible. Nil Einne 07:52, 12 November 2006 (UTC)

Why is an image necessary. It looks fine without it; we can add an image whenever there is a news story with an appropriate one. —Centrxtalk • 08:12, 12 November 2006 (UTC)

The Main Page would look unbalanced without an image in ITN, since all the other sections have images. We've had some featured articles appear on the front page without an image before, and an image was quickly added, because it just looks so sad with plain text. – Minh Nguyễn (talk, contribs) 09:25, 12 November 2006 (UTC)
How about this map ? If that's too large I tried to crop it more [[File:Sri Lanka - Colombo (smaller).png]]. Alternatively I could shrink it some more altho it starts to look a bit crap since the border isn't well defined. Or perhaps someone else thinks they know how to shrink it, I've uploaded the image after I'd removed all the other cities. Image:Sri Lanka - Colombo (original size).png Nil Einne 14:13, 12 November 2006 (UTC)
It looks like a non-descript blob with a dot on it that has the name of the city already mentioned in the article. I replaced the Rumsfeld image with an image of Robert Gates; everyone knows what Rumsfeld looks like, no one knows what Gates looks like, that is content. —Centrxtalk • 04:15, 13 November 2006 (UTC)
It is intended to show where Colombo is in Sri Lanka. Are you telling me you think most readers would be able to show where Colombo is in Sri Lanka? I suspect not... It is an interesting question whether this actually adds much since most readers might not know what Sri Lanka looks like either. Nil Einne 07:11, 13 November 2006 (UTC)
Most readers won't even know where Sri Lanka is, so it's moot. When maps like this are used in news sources, it is usually as a cut-out of a larger recognizable region, in this case the Indian subcontinent. Putting this image in as it is will look very wierd. Also, it's done only if it has some relevance to the news piece, not simply because it happened there, so these maps are used for the Taiwan Strait as the distance and properties of the geographical region are specifically relevant to a news story on China threatening the island, etc., or in this case you might have a map of the streets and building near the assassination, if it was an open-air assassination; maps like this were often shown during the invasion of Baghdad. A map just to have a map, though, is pointless; the dimensions of the island and the geographical location of the city are irrelevant to the news. —Centrxtalk • 08:17, 13 November 2006 (UTC)


Just want to ask a question: why can't you make up your mind about the Nancy Pelosi picture? that same picture has been put up and temporarily replaced for a different one then put up again etc several times in the past week. What's up?

Image/news item placement

This has been bugging me for at least a year now, but I don't see a FAQ anywhere. Why is it that the image included in ITN, which is always in the upper-right corner of the box, corresponds to a bullet point that is at least one or two items further down? The effect ranges from comical to bizarre, but is always very unprofessional. Today, for instance, it appears to be captioning Nancy Pelosi's picture with a blurb about Nadarajah Raviraj. Does nobody else see this? It's not even unique to the default main page layout; I see it in all of them, and anyplace ITN is transcluded (e.g. this page). It would be so trivial to fix: just say that whichever item corresponds to the image gets listed first. /blahedo (t) 06:29, 14 November 2006 (UTC)

Yes, everyone notices that, but there are other considerations: ITN isn't supposed to have a fair use picture, and apparently flags and logos and most maps are frowned upon (see the previous section). That whittles away enough images that the only photos left are often U.S. government (public domain) images related to something three items down. I think we should relax some of the restrictions on the images that can be used; seeing Pelosi and Rumsfeld swapping places at ITN for the past week, I think it's clear we don't have enough images to choose from. – Minh Nguyễn (talk, contribs) 08:22, 14 November 2006 (UTC)
I wouldn't call it a restriction. Centrx reverts anyone placing a non-photograph on ITN, which does not have the force of a formal guideline. No one has cared enough to get into a revert war about it.
My personal observation is that these minor concerns about images and wording tend not to pop as long as there is a constant turnover of ITN items. Each item becomes less important as they are quickly rotated out. The major problem is that the small number of users who actively add items, as opposed to tweaking existing items, have been told outright that they are overly liberal in their interpretation of the criteria. Which leads to us staring at the item about Mr. Raviraj's death at the top of ITN for the past three days and people getting all sorts of uptight about subsidiary issues. - BanyanTree 12:56, 14 November 2006 (UTC)
Ok, but I feel this doesn't address my complaint. That is, I don't (for the current discussion) care about the fair use issue, or which items make the cut and which don't; I'm proposing that orthogonal to any other concerns, whichever item corresponds to the picture should be at the top of the box. Editors have to adjust the items anyway to add the "(pictured)", so why not reorder the bullets too? /blahedo (t) 18:34, 14 November 2006 (UTC)
The only problem is it would be out of chronological order, but it still may be good. Another suggestion mentioned on Talk:Main Page was to color the text that is associated with the picture in some way. I just recently moved the photograph down to be next to the news item it is about, and it looks fine to me, but others may disagree, and it may not be enough. —Centrxtalk • 18:52, 14 November 2006 (UTC)
  • Before changing the placement of the image so it appears next to a specific entry instead of at the top, please consider the layout and formatting when this template appears on Portal:Current events and other pages. Thanks. Zzyzx11 (Talk) 21:57, 14 November 2006 (UTC)

South Africa

I just read on that South Africa has legalized gay marriage in a 230-41 parliamentary vote. Does that seem notable enough for inclusion? I assume the related article would be Same-sex marriage in South Africa. RyanGerbil10(Упражнение В!) 15:36, 14 November 2006 (UTC)

I personally don't think so, but you may want to suggest a headline on Wikipedia:In the news section on the Main Page/Candidates and consult with other admins who edit ITN. -- PFHLai 18:18, 14 November 2006 (UTC)
The article looks like it had a big recent update (all of November section), and the rest of the article is directly related, so in that respect it might be good, and we are starving for new news; although, the article does not have Wikipedia layout, has been edited only by a few people, mostly IPs, and may not have reliable sourcing... —Centrxtalk • 18:56, 14 November 2006 (UTC)
I've improved the article's layout and references, and put it up as a candidate. As an admin, I could put it up myself, but since there's some debate about whether it's notable enough I figured I'd put it out for discussion there first. —Josiah Rowe (talkcontribs) 19:59, 14 November 2006 (UTC)
Now all we need is a picture of some gay people getting married in South Africa. —Centrxtalk • 20:21, 14 November 2006 (UTC)
Well, since the point is that they haven't been able to, that might be tough. ;) Do articles linked from the front page require images? —Josiah Rowe (talkcontribs) 20:33, 14 November 2006 (UTC)
No, this was more of an obscure pseudo-joke following from the discussions about images above. —Centrxtalk • 20:35, 14 November 2006 (UTC)

Congo Elections

Wouldn't it be better to bold the link to the Congo Election page rather than the winner? I'm not sure which of the two articles is more updated/more detailed, but I would imagine the election page itself would be. Mientkiewicz5508 01:37, 16 November 2006 (UTC)

Death criteria and standards in general

The criteria for whether a death is included seem wholly unrelated to whether an article has been substantially updated. If an article is substantially revised, it warrants inclusion, and not only if it meets the extremely high standard of the person being in "high ranking office", of "unexpected" or "tragic" death, "major international impact" that affects multiple articles. What was the situation that led to this criteria being adopted? As it stands, we fill the news with election articles that consist of mere lists and other articles that have a paucity of updates. The standard that the article must be substantially improved or updated is much more relevant, and over-rides any particular standards. If In the news were to be somehow flooded with these, we merely set a standard of article quality that is high enough to exclude the proper number. —Centrxtalk • 03:55, 17 November 2006 (UTC)

I don't know if a specific situation led to the adoption of these criteria, but they seem logical to me. Notable people die every day, but only extraordinary cases lead to significant article updates pertaining to the deaths. (Unrelated updates have no bearing, as they don't reflect the news stories.)
If an internationally famous person dies in a freak accident (as Steve Irwin did), there's plenty of information to report. If a high-ranking political official dies (irrespective of the circumstances), this is likely to have major social/governmental/economic ramifications (which also enables a significant article update on the subject). There are other assorted scenarios in which a person's death could have "a major international impact that affects current events," and these are covered by criterion "c."
What usually does not make for a significant article update is a death by natural causes of a person who's merely famous (and not a high-ranking political official or someone of similar standing). Beyond the fact that the individual died of illness "X" in place "Y" at time "Z," what is there to report? —David Levy 05:29, 17 November 2006 (UTC)
We can look specifically at the level of updating for a particular case, rather than categorically disallowing. As it stands, we include all manner of news that does not have substantial updates. For example, the extent of the update for Ségolène Royal before it was added to In the news is a single pitiful revision of a sentence.[2]. Joseph Kabila similarly had a one-sentence update just reporting the election results.[3] There is no reason why these should be included but not major deaths that have equal or greater updates. We do not have an excess of things to add here, and there is no problem following the same standards with death as other entries should be following. Also, while an article may not be updated specifically about the death, the whole article may be improved substantially, in general. If there is such an improvement, why should it not be included? This is a gateway into the encyclopedia, not a news ticker; whether a topic is warranted here needs to be determined by the quality of the article. —Centrxtalk • 21:06, 17 November 2006 (UTC)
1. You're absolutely correct in your criticism of entries for articles without significant updates. Such additions should not occur.
2. As it stands, ITN is intended to serve as a gateway to articles that have been written or significantly updated to reflect specific news. If you disagree with the current criteria, you might consider formally proposing that they be modified. Personally, I don't believe that the existence of a news story should serve as a back-door means of ITN qualification for articles that happen to have undergone unrelated revisions around that time (and otherwise wouldn't appear on the main page). When people click on a bold ITN link, they expect to see a substantial amount of information pertaining to the listed subject. —David Levy 04:28, 19 November 2006 (UTC)
1. So then we should remove the items with minimal updates? You should not enforce the very particular death criteria unevenly relative to the other criteria.
2. No, as it stands only two of the five items had any sort of substantial update, whether specific to the news or in any respect. Updates to an article around the time of a news event are not unrelated to that event. Editors flock to update the article specifically because of hearing about the news. This is not any sort of formal policy, and if anyone objects to changes to it there can be more discussion about it; currently, this "policy" is not being followed. The obituary criterion was created because of a flood of obituaries at a particular time[4]. This is clearly not a problem currently, we have trouble getting any news with updated articles, and we can alleviate any such problem by simple restricting the number of obituaries in such case, or requiring a higher level of updates. Because of these criteria unrelated to the level of updates and the quality of the article, this has become exactly what it is not supposed to be: a news ticker of events with little encyclopedic information. If we have a one-line update on a minor election and a paragraph update on a non-sensational death, there is no reason to include the minor election and not the death. Perhaps neither should be included, perhaps both should be included, but not the lesser instead of the greater. —Centrxtalk • 08:10, 19 November 2006 (UTC)
Also, for obituaries specifically, a news reader does expect an account of a person's life. That's what they get in a New York Times obituary, and that's what they get in an encyclopedia article. —Centrxtalk • 08:14, 19 November 2006 (UTC)
1. So then we should remove the items with minimal updates?
Yes, we should. I just checked all of the bold-linked articles and removed the Roger Federer entry for this reason. The Ségolène Royal article belatedly underwent a sufficient amount of updating. The Joseph Kabila article remains borderline at best, but the related (albeit similarly modest) update to the Jean-Pierre Bemba article arguably puts this entry barely over the top. If you disagree, I won't object to its removal.
You should not enforce the very particular death criteria unevenly relative to the other criteria.
I'm not attempting to. I remove inappropriate entries that I notice. If I overlook some that you notice, please remove them.
No, as it stands only two of the five items had any sort of substantial update, whether specific to the news or in any respect.
I stated that "ITN is intended to serve as a gateway to articles that have been written or significantly updated to reflect specific news." You've cited entries that should not have been added until such updates were made.
Updates to an article around the time of a news event are not unrelated to that event. Editors flock to update the article specifically because of hearing about the news.
Editors update articles for a variety of reasons, many of which have nothing to do with news. Updates that indirectly pertain to the news story (such as the political activities that preceded election to a high office) can be counted, but unrelated updates (such as details about a candidate's childhood) should not be.
Also, for obituaries specifically, a news reader does expect an account of a person's life.
Of course, but readers of ITN expect to read a substantial amount of information pertaining to the reported news. Most deaths (aside from the exceptions noted in our criteria) do not result in such updates, but you're welcome to propose changing the criteria to permit entries for the few that do. —David Levy 17:07, 19 November 2006 (UTC)
How do you know what readers expect or want? Why are the circumstances of the adoption of this criteria, when obituaries flooded the main page for whatever reason, relevant to the current circumstances, and why would there need to be a separate criteria for deaths, rather than a global criteria about the level of update? —Centrxtalk • 02:18, 21 November 2006 (UTC)
How do you know what readers expect or want?
It's common sense that readers expect to find information related to the headlines. Given that this is an encyclopedia (and not a news site), the balance between background information and information directly pertinent to the news often leans heavily toward the former, but the latter should exist.
Why are the circumstances of the adoption of this criteria, when obituaries flooded the main page for whatever reason, relevant to the current circumstances, and why would there need to be a separate criteria for deaths, rather than a global criteria about the level of update?
2. The relevance of the previous situation is that the same thing is likely to occur again if we aren't careful. The criteria pertain not merely to the anticipated level of update, but to which deaths constitute major news of international interest or importance. The fact that someone was notable in life doesn't automatically mean that his/or death qualifies. Again, you're welcome to challenge these criteria if you disagree. —David Levy 02:45, 21 November 2006 (UTC)

Ohio State Michigan

Please add the Ohio State Michigan game to the ITN section. One of the most anticipated games of the decade, and one of the most exciting games of the year that had national title implications, it deserves to be on here.

So is this of international significance? --Howard the Duck 08:52, 19 November 2006 (UTC)
Considering how rabidly Ohio and Michigan hate each other, I would not be surprised if one seceded from the union to go to war with the other, making it an international issue. ;) --Golbez 23:16, 19 November 2006 (UTC)
Okay, as soon as the Toledo War is being re-fought we can consider this. :-) (Go Bucks!) Awolf002 23:19, 19 November 2006 (UTC)

Please add Friedman

Milton Friedman is internationally known wherever people study economics - i.e. everywhere. He is likely one of the better known Nobel laureates out there. He should definetly get a spot 'in the news', he is much more well known that the three people who are in 'the news' today: Nadarajah Raviraj, Joseph Kabila, Ségolène Royal. With all due respect to politicians, the world does not end with them.-- Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus | talk  23:23, 17 November 2006 (UTC)

I was going to direct you to Talk:Main Page#Milton Friedman's Death (where it's explained why such an entry would be inappropriate), but I see that you've already posted the same message there. —David Levy 03:43, 19 November 2006 (UTC)
No, it was not explained: I would like to know why the death of Nadarajah Raviraj is more notable than Friedman's.-- Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus | talk  04:27, 19 November 2006 (UTC)
Nadarajah Raviraj was assassinated in his prime. Friedman died of old age. The former was important at the time of his death, the latter was no longer making major contributions to his field.-gadfium 04:43, 19 November 2006 (UTC)
That is irrelevant to whether a reader of the front page should be directed to an article. —Centrxtalk • 07:35, 19 November 2006 (UTC)
This clearly does not meet the criteria. If you feel that strongly, argue for the criteria to be changed. 21:17, 19 November 2006 (UTC)
Where exactly would one argue for the criteria to be changed? I don't oppose the above policy, but I do not believe the retirement of athletes as significant. How can any kind of death of a super-major academic not be at least as notable as the retirement of an athlete? -newkai t-c 04:38, 21 November 2006 (UTC)
There are two issues here. We have a well established policy on deaths which is generally resonably straight forward. On the other hand, for other events it's difficult to have a consitent approach since it's difficult to quantify. For the record, while I'm not certain whether we should mention Ian Thorpe's retirement, I'm certain we should not mention Milton Friedman. Whoever he may have been, his death was not that noteable because he was no longer making contributions to his field and because it was not at all surprising. It may merit mention in one of those columns you find in the newspaper where they have recent deaths of noteable people but not ITN. Indeed, I don't see how anyone can possibly compare the assassination of Nadarajah Raviraj (supposedly by government back forces) who appears to have been a key player in a very votalite region to the death of Milton Friedman. Nil Einne 12:51, 21 November 2006 (UTC)
Well, like I said, I'm fine with Friedman not being added, but the retirement of a swimmer!? It's not a worldly newsmaker. Just like Friedman was bound to die in the next couple years, Ian Thorpe was bound to retire soon. -newkai t-c 05:21, 22 November 2006 (UTC)
If anyone does wish to debate the ITN death criteria, the criteria is mentioned in this article so obviously the discussion should occur in this discussion page. Of course, you should start a seperate topic. You probably should also mention it on Wikipedia:Village pump (policy) Nil Einne 12:51, 21 November 2006 (UTC)

The comment that Friedman at 94 wasn't contributing to his field in recent years is bunk. His last contribution to the Wall Street Journal was published the day after his death (previously scheduled), and he was writing articles for scholarly journals in the months before he died (see the Rutgers Magazine article on him here). I think the intellectual impetus for the defeat of communism at the end of the cold war (he advised Reagan, Nixon, and other cold warriors how to defeat the soviet union), and that his works not only were widely read in the Soviet sphere of influence and inspired hope in the people under the communists and after communism fell laid the groundwork for their societies being rebuilt as successful economies. In the 1970s, his intellectual arguments brought about the end of the military draft in the United States! Check Google News, Friedman's death was on the front page of every major American newspaper and most of the major newspapers and television news programs across the globe. I didn't even know who Raviraj was until now. Raviraj might have been killed in his prime in a minor, insignificant conflict (on an island no one cares about) most of the world doesn't know is going on, but Friedman was the mind that gave birth to the greatest contributions to human freedom in 200 almost years. As to the ITN policy...(b) the deceased was a key figure in their field of expertise, and died unexpectedly or tragically. Key figure, yes. Died unexpectedly...everyone could be said to die unexpectedly. Especially so when they were relatively healthy the last time someone spoke to them (like Friedman was a couple of weeks ago when i talked to him last). Heart Failure can have sudden onset, and just because someone is 94 doesn't mean you should write them off as dead before their in the ground...think Jeanne Calment (died at 122) or the legendary 16th century Briton John Parr (150) (who I also add died "unexpectedly" because the food he ate at the king's feast in his honour was likely too rich for him). Your reasonings are specious, and your adherence to an interpretation of policies unsound. —ExplorerCDT 19:17, 21 November 2006 (UTC)

1. You've made an excellent case for why Friedman's death was worthy of special attention from the news media. This, however, is not a news site. It's an encyclopedia.
2. While sad, an elderly person dying of sudden heart failure is not "unexpected." Had Friedman been murdered or killed in an accident, there would have been more to report than the simple fact that he died. —David Levy 19:44, 21 November 2006 (UTC)
1. Umm..."In the News" isn't for news...coulda shocked me.
2. So when Gerald Ford dies of the same thing that killed Dr. Friedman, a few months or years from now (i think he's 93 and been out of office since 1977), are you going to ignore him if, say, Britney Spears dies in a fiery car wreck? —ExplorerCDT 19:49, 21 November 2006 (UTC)
1. Despite its name (which some of us have lobbied to change), In the news is not a news ticker. It's a means of highlighting encyclopedia articles that have been authored or substantially updated to reflect news of international interest or importance. Because there was nothing extraordinary about Friedman's death, only a minor update (to indicate that he died of heart failure) occurred.
2. The death of a former head of state is likely to have a major international impact that affects current events (which enables a substantial article update). In fact, I would support expanding our criteria to explicitly reference former heads of state. —David Levy 20:25, 21 November 2006 (UTC)
This also isn't ESPN or Australia Swim TV. I was wondering how a swimmer retiring is news? Just like Friedman was going to die eventually, Thorpe was going to retire. How does Thorpe retirement get put in the same box as "The Nepal Civil War officially ends", "Pierre Amine Gemayel, the Minister of Industry of Lebanon, is assassinated in Beirut", and "A Malagasy general fails in his coup d'état attempt against President Marc Ravalomanana."??? -newkai t-c 05:26, 22 November 2006 (UTC)
I agree that the Thorpe entry doesn't belong. —David Levy 05:45, 22 November 2006 (UTC)
And it could be easily replaced with an equally long..."Milton Friedman, winner of the 1976 Nobel Prize in Economics and influential American economist, died 16 November of heart failure." The man who defeated communism with his mind is far more notable than a stupid swimmer, and far more people would care about it. —ExplorerCDT 15:42, 22 November 2006 (UTC)
And it could be easily replaced with an equally long..."Milton Friedman, winner of the 1976 Nobel Prize in Economics and influential American economist, died 16 November of heart failure."
And our visitors would be disappointed to find that the Milton Friedman article contains absolutely no further information on the subject of Friedman's death.
The man who defeated communism with his mind is far more notable than a stupid swimmer, and far more people would care about it.
If you'd spent as much time updating Friedman's article with information pertaining to his death as you have complaining here (and referring to other notable individuals as "stupid"), perhaps the Friedman entry would have returned by now. —David Levy 18:09, 22 November 2006 (UTC)

2006 Tennis Masters Cup ?

I was going to add Roger Federer winning the 2006 Tennis Masters Cup but wasn't sure if people agreed that it's notable enough. Anyone object? jacoplane 15:15, 19 November 2006 (UTC)

I went ahead and added it in for now. jacoplane 15:19, 19 November 2006 (UTC)
I would stick to the 4 majors for tennis. youngamerican (ahoy hoy) 15:24, 19 November 2006 (UTC)
I agree. Tennis Masters Cup is not that notable in comparison to the Grand Slam tournaments. Nishkid64 00:51, 20 November 2006 (UTC)


Please could someone change this 'Lebanese (coat of arms pictured) Minister of Industry Pierre Amine Gemayel is assassinated in Beirut.' to this 'Lebanese Minister of Industry Pierre Amine Gemayel is assassinated in Beirut (coat of arms pictured). as it seems better. London UK (talk) 17:43, 21 November 2006 (UTC)

But is it Beirut's coat of arms? – Minh Nguyễn (talk, contribs) 19:09, 22 November 2006 (UTC)

Netherlands general elections

The italicized text "(pictured: leader Jan Peter Balkenende)" is a bit awkward. Why not use this instead:

General elections in the Netherlands result in a large gain for the Socialist Party. The Christian democratic CDA led by Jan Peter Balkenende (pictured) remains the largest party, but no two parties can form a cabinet with a majority in parliament.

 – Minh Nguyễn (talk, contribs) 18:21, 23 November 2006 (UTC)

Alexander Litvinenko death NOT thallium poisoning

The headline is wrong, it is not a suspected thallium poisoning, this has pretty much been ruled out. Anyone who has been following the news knows that thallium was ruled out a few days ago. - Hahnchen 23:49, 23 November 2006 (UTC)

  • I disagree. The thallium poisoning hasn't been ruled out and it hasn't been confirmed. According to the doctors treating him, some symptoms are different from and others are consistent with thallium poisoning. It's possible that it was thallium, but it's also possible that it was something else. However, thallium plays a very big part in the coverage of this case, so it definitely should be mentioned, with all the necessary precautions. I think the wording "suspected thallium poisoning" covers it quite well, although it might indeed be a bit too strong for this case. Aecis Dancing to electro-pop like a robot from 1984. 23:56, 23 November 2006 (UTC)
    • I followed this live on BBC News 24 as the announcement of death was made at UCH. I just googled the latest BBC News article [5], where it quotes "[The] Head of critical care at the hospital, Dr Geoff Bellingan, has subsequently dismissed both of these explanations," in regards to thallium and radiation poisoning. - Hahnchen 00:16, 24 November 2006 (UTC)
      • I have removed thallium from the mention, but I've kept "after a suspected poisoning" in place, per this BBC article: "Dr Sella, of University College London, said: "They have a problem. They have to find some unspecified poison and they don't know what it is." ... Before Mr Litvinenko's death, police said they suspected "deliberate poisoning". Aecis Dancing to electro-pop like a robot from 1984.
        • Sources are saying it was radiation poisoning from Polonium, wikilink it if you think its interesting.[6] - Hahnchen 17:37, 24 November 2006 (UTC)


Why was the previous better image of Jan Peter Balkenende removed? NauticaShades 14:28, 24 November 2006 (UTC)

Because he looked like a dork in it. Just kidding...I think it was removed because the newer image was on Commons, while the old one wasn't (judging from the edit summaries). Nishkid64 22:54, 25 November 2006 (UTC)
Yes, that's right. It's always good to feature the work of fellow Wikipedians and other Wikimedia contributers on MainPage. Another reason was that JPB's nostrils look too big and (IMO) ungraceful in that photo from Flickr. I wouldn't call it a "better image". --PFHLai 18:34, 27 November 2006 (UTC)
Haha, so I was right. Seriously, I immediately thought hardcore Christian fundamentalist when I saw that picture. It was scary. :( Nishkid64 22:35, 27 November 2006 (UTC)

Augusto Pinochet

Why was the news that he had accepted full responsability as well removed from the ITN as well as his page? Mientkiewicz5508 20:54, 27 November 2006 (UTC)

I originally added that since it has international significance. Apparently, Centrx removed it because the article did not have a big updated section on the newsworthy item. Some users vandalized the page and removed loads of stuff. Nishkid64 22:34, 27 November 2006 (UTC)

Jan Peter Balkenende

How long is this guys face going to stay on the main page? Nothing personal against Jan, but I am sick of seeing the same exact picture on the main page every time I log in. It seems like it has been at least 3 or 4 days. Thanks Skeeter08865 22:34, 29 November 2006 (UTC)

Partnership for Peace

Serbia today became its member. I think this is pretty much a potential candidate for a news. --PaxEquilibrium 22:19, 29 November 2006 (UTC)

An updated article is necessary. —Centrxtalk • 22:50, 29 November 2006 (UTC)