- The Washington Times - Saturday, December 6, 2003

A big appetite

Like children who try to stuff far too much food onto their plates at Thanksgiving, we sometimes start our day by grabbing for far more news than we could ever fit into the space on our pages.

As the news evolves over the course of the day, we have to combine some stories, hold others and relegate still others to the daily “briefs” column. Some simply change their focus.

Here is the foreign desk planning schedule as it appeared at 11 a.m. last Tuesday, with italics explaining what happened to each story by day’s end. Each item begins with a “slug” or title, the name of the author and a proposed length in column inches. “Wire” means the story will come from the wire services — Reuters, the Associated Press and Agence France-Presse.

Tuesday’s schedule

IRAQ - wire - 16 - KIRKUK, Iraq — U.S. forces may have killed or captured Izzat Ibrahim, the most wanted man in Iraq after Saddam Hussein. The story was later denied by U.S. authorities. Instead we ran a lead saying killers of seven Spaniards may have been tipped off.

POWELL - kralev - 20 - MAASTRICHT, Netherlands — Europeans reject a U.S. call for Russia to withdraw its troops from former Soviet republics of Georgia and Moldova as soon as possible. Ran with a slightly changed lead.

KAZAKH - pala - 20 - ALMATY, Kazakhstan — The government has rehired a man awaiting trial in U.S. court on charges of funneling $60 million in kickbacks to President Nursultan Nazarbayev. Held back for space reasons.

MIDEAST - behn - 15 - The Bush administration brushes aside Israeli objections to planned U.S. meetings with the architects of the “Geneva initiative.” Ran on page one.

MARRIAGE - lee - 20 - PARIS — Homosexual “marriage” in Europe has become a confusing patchwork of laws that complicate legal and family issues. Sent back to the reporter with a request to develop another aspect of the story.

RADIO - konviser - 20 - PRAGUE — RFE/RL is ending seven local language radio broadcasts into East European countries.

JAPAN - ldt - 15 - TOKYO — A Japanese diplomat murdered by gunmen in Iraq wrote a poignant diary in which he expressed the need to stand firm against terror. Ran on page one.

ALERT - wire - 12 - MANAMA, Bahrain — U.S. embassies warn of possible terror attacks against two hotels in Kenya. Absorbed into another story.

CLIMATE - wire - 15 - MOSCOW — Russia will block the landmark Kyoto environmental pact. Turned over to the business desk.

EUROPE - hujer - 19 - Anti-Semitic incidents are on the rise in Germany and France amid widespread antipathy toward Israel. Held back for space reasons.

PASSPORTS - 15 - kralev - MAASTRICHT, Netherlands — The Bush administration drops a demand that European countries issue passports with biometric data.

CANADA - blanchard - 16 - TORONTO - Canada’s fractured right may soon be united. Held back for space reasons.

SAUDI - wire - 15 - Saudi Arabian interrogators use the Koran to elicit information from al Qaeda captives. Held back for space reasons.

GEORGIA - st pete times - 16 - RUSTAVI, Georgia — Following the resignation of President Eduard Shevardnadze, Georgia faces economic hardship. Held back for space reasons.

LITHUANIA - ldt - 11 - VILNIUS, Lithuania — President Rolandas Paksas faces likely impeachment proceedings. Ran as planned.

JAPAN - wire - 10 - TOKYO — A Japanese train sets a world speed record at 361 mph. Ran very short with a photo.

This story was added later in the day :

KOREA - wire - 15 - Planning for six-party talks on North Korea’s nuclear weapons program has hit a snag. Ran as planned.

David W. Jones is the foreign editor of The Washington Times. His e-mail address is djones@washingtontimes.com.

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