Newspaper/news article headlines usually have different syntax rules, for example
- No copula. North Korea trip ‘successful’
- Past events written in present. Qantas cancels flight out of frozen Heathrow
- Predictions written with infinitive. Britain’s ‘crossbow cannibal’ to die in jail
- Very often not in complete sentence.
- No indefinite/definite articles. Ivory Coast Faction Squeezes UN Force
- Using a comma instead of “and”. Romania, Bulgaria face delay in joining Schengen.
Why these rules and are there any other rules?
This is ellipsis, but more importantly, English headlines follow special conventions that are, by and large, consistent across publications. Headlines have evolved to maximize information output and minimize space, because this has been optimal for newspapers (until the Internet age, at least — but now the conventions are ingrained into the world of journalism, needed or not).
This headline style guide covers the conventions in great detail.
In many headlines, as with the example immediately above (…loophole [is] ‘too big’), the verb “to be” is not necessary. It can be used, but in most cases should be avoided.
Present tense, please: Use present tense for immediate past information, past tense for past perfect, and future tense for coming events.
Avoid the use of the articles a, an and the unless they are needed for clarity. (Otherwise, their use generally is considered padding.)
The comma, in addition to its normal use, can take on the work of the word “and.”