One more Katrina impact: It's the top news story of 2005

For the first time since 2002, the men and women who the Associated Press asks to rank the year's leading news stories collectively have decided that Iraq was neither No. 1 nor even the runner-up. Despite its two historic democratic elections, its struggles with wrenching terrorist attacks and drafting a constitution that would win national acceptance, and the halting start of ousted dictator Saddam Hussein's long-awaited trial on war-crimes charges, Iraq fell all the way to third place in a poll of print and broadcast editors. By an overwhelming margin, the voters chose hurricane Katrina and its aftermath as the story with the greatest news value. It won 242 first-place votes, with no other story receiving more than 18. The AP's top 10 stories of 2005:
1. Hurricane Katrina
2. Death of Pope John Paul II and election of his successor
3. Iraq
4. US Supreme Court in transition
5. Rise and fall of oil prices
6. Terrorist bombings in London
7. Kashmir earthquake
8. Terry Schiavo right-to-die case
9. Valerie Plame/CIA case and indictment of Lewis Libby
10. President Bush's plummeting approval rating

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