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Hypatian News Network [FT][CLOSED]

PostPosted: Mon Sep 20, 2021 5:05 pm
by Hypatian Commonwealth

Parliamentary elections begin
Prime Minister Rowland faces an uphill battle with LibCon popularity at an all-time low and a resurgent Liberal Union threatening the coalition majority. Democratic Labour Party remains committed to a possible coalition government with LibCons if the election is favourable, says First Secretary Adama Violetta. Rowland has served as Prime Minister for the past 12 years as the longest-serving PM in Commonwealth history but has suffered a slump in approval as of late.

Current Majority Government: LibCon and DemLab Coalition // Prime Minister Cora Morgana Rowland // Speaker Sarah Granger
Victory Threshold: 50%

Results: Total Votes Counted 40.8% //Liberal Conservatives 12.5% // Liberal Union 15% // Democratic Labour 9.3% // Bronze Alliance 4%

PostPosted: Tue Sep 21, 2021 1:41 pm
by Hypatian Commonwealth

LibUnion pulls ahead in potential upset

At just over half the votes tallied, Liberal Union has taken 23% of the votes pulling ahead of the LibCons in a possible upset that'd spell the end of Rowland's coalition government. LibUnion's calls for greater protectionism and a more isolationist diplomatic policy have seemingly resonated with the public who have taken issue with neighbouring powers and their sway on Commonwealth politics. A LibUnion victory would be an outright rejection to the modernist, diplomatic, and centrist status quo that has served as the bulwark for LibCon policy for the last 12 years. Vote results have just begun to arrive from the Martian Delta, with LibCon hoping their strongholds will carry the day.

Current Majority Government: LibCon and DemLab Coalition // Prime Minister Cora Morgana Rowland // Speaker Sarah Granger
Victory Threshold: 50%

Results: Total Votes Counted 56.1% // Liberal Conservatives 16% // Liberal Union 23% // Democratic Labour 11.1% // Bronze Alliance 6%

Hypatian forces deployed to Gamma

The 1st Fleet has finished mobilisation and is underway to the Gamma Quadrant according to the Ministry of Defence. The fleet should begin operations in the coming weeks to support beleaguered allies spread out across the Scutum-Centaurus Arm. The 14th and 15th Expeditionary Fleets were deployed ahead of the main force, according to the MoD, and have since engaged enemy forces in the Leos system of the Galactic Republic of Arkasia. Information about the hostilities in the region has been scarce so far.

PostPosted: Wed Sep 22, 2021 11:39 am
by Hypatian Commonwealth

Election Ends with possible LibCon-DemLab Majority

The election came with many surprises and ultimately served as a litmus test for the policies and leadership of the Rowland administration which has been battered by low polling numbers and criticism by Lib Union and others for their handling of automation, foreign influence, and diplomacy. Lib Union pulled ahead early on in the election with the tallies coming in from the core territories of the Commonwealth, notably those in the Reaches, who were swayed by their calls to protect the core culture of the Commonwealth.

The tables turned as the stronghold of the LibCons, the Martian Delta, began to send in its tallies putting everything on the scales. The region had been the hardest hit by the Automated Revolution and the Refugee Action Policy, and Lib Union and the Bronze Alliance capitalised on this. There were concerns that perhaps the 'Blue Wall' would falter with a possible Lib Union breakout but it failed to materialise. LibCon's pragmatism paid off in their willingness to work with Labour on these issues and the Martian Delta rebuffed Lib Union as a result.

While no party has secured the 50% threshold for a possible victory; the DemLabs have stated they are still willing to negotiate a coalition with the LibCons. The question will be whether Rowland will remain as Prime Minister. The growing resentment towards the automation policies may prevent such a coalition unless the LibCons can put something forth to appease Labour. Some have floated the idea of permitting a mixed cabinet with a Labour PM as a possible solution, which would make First Secretary of Labour, Adama Violetta, Prime Minister.

Current Majority Government: LibCon and DemLab Coalition // Prime Minister Cora Morgana Rowland // Speaker Sarah Granger
Victory Threshold: 50%

Results: Total Votes Counted 100% // Liberal Conservatives 34.5% // Liberal Union 27.3% // Democratic Labour 29.2% // Bronze Alliance 9%

PostPosted: Wed Sep 22, 2021 4:19 pm
by Hypatian Commonwealth

New LibCon-Labour Coalition forms

Liberal Conservatives and Democratic Labour have agreed to form a coalition under a LibCon Prime Minister Ragnvold Njord Stigandr of Rovania with a mixed cabinet government. Cora Rowland, who had been the longest-serving Prime Minister for 12 years decided to step down from leading her party and support Stigandr's nomination to the position. "I have served this nation for over a decade and I feel it is time to let a new generation take charge of their future," Rowland stated.

Stigandr has promised to reach across the aisle with Labour and seek a more long-term solution to the woes brought on by the Automated Revolution and replace the stopgap measures put in place by the Rowland administration. He's also reiterated the Commonwealth's commitment to its allies. Empress Tristan is expected to affirm the government of Stigandr.

PostPosted: Sat Sep 25, 2021 6:46 am
by Hypatian Commonwealth
PM Stigandr lays out agenda before Apella

Hypatia, Hellas Province, Mars — Prime Minister Stigandr appeared before the Apella today during the State of the Nation address to present the government's agenda to lawmakers. Stigandr's Liberal-Conservative Party joined with the Democratic Labour Party to form a coalition following the recent parliamentary elections, giving them a majority. State of the Nation addresses are important events that not only seek to inform lawmakers of national issues but provide a platform for Her Majesty's Government to outline policy objectives and maintain confidence with the legislature and the public.

Stigandr covered several topics during the address, notably the nation's diplomatic initiative and its need to combat growing division in the Commonwealth. Stigandr's agenda is putting both issues centre stage by starting a new diplomatic campaign to expand the Commonwealth's trade and consider further incorporation of various territories within the nation's sphere of influence. His agenda has laid out a need to increase infrastructure spending, stating that a "home needs strong walls"; and also to seek out major legal reforms to restructure the Commonwealth to be more centralised and coordinated.

"Our nation is comprised of various peoples from all walks of life in species, in religion, and so much more. It is imperative that we work together to maintain our cohesion, our sense of unity in the face of adversity, and when we encounter challenges, which there will be, we must be able to cooperate, coordinate, and communicate," Stigandr stated.

Stigandr has also ensured Democratic Labour that he would focus on applying long-term solutions to worker's compensation and benefits in the wake of the Automated Revolution, which forced billions out of work and into vast social programs created under the Rowland administration. These programs are expected to expire and would need to either be renewed as the Rowland administration had done or be replaced by a better alternative. The growing resentment towards the Liberal-Conservatives has taken hold among many who feel their policymaking was lukewarm in the face of the technological revolution. LibCons have touted the rising living standards and modernisation it caused in the exterior territories; while detractors in Labour have decried the displacement it has caused in the workforce.

The LibCons have also been criticised over the Refugee Integration and Community Action Policy created under the Rowland administration which provided a route for asylum seekers to be resettled in the Commonwealth. The law met fierce resistance when it was originally passed and has worsened relations between citizens and refugees in recent years with the former seeing the latter as also contributing to the job loss and stagnation in wages. The policy is largely why the Rovanian Primarchy was established in the Commonwealth, being home to Bladeseer supporters and others of the prior regime that ruled the Eridani Imperium.

Stigandr faces an uphill battle as the nation is very different to how Rowland began her tenure over a decade earlier when the nation was far more unitary in form. Mars held hegemony at the time of many of these territories but reforms following the Great War established the federation and created the system that would leverage the colonies on equal footing with federal division of powers. As such, Stigandr will need to juggle with competing interests of these new states in the Commonwealth.

PostPosted: Thu Sep 30, 2021 1:20 pm
by Hypatian Commonwealth
Parliament considers Anti-Mercenary Bill

Harlow, Hellas Province, Mars — Lawmakers are meeting at the Apella to consider a new bill introduced to Parliament after a years-long inquiry by the House Investigative Committee (HIC) into the Roth administration and its involvement in the Mangala Incident. The succinctly named bill known as the Prohibition of the Financing, Recruitment, Training, and Use of Illegal Combatants was introduced to the legislature by MPs following the release of the 'Mangala Report' on the matter. While not specifically mentioned by name, the OSA was implicated in the report as being a state-sanctioned mercenary force of the Republic of Sunset.

"...the committee found that the involvement of a state actor in the incident had used state-sanctioned mercenaries that caused general unrest and recklessly raised tensions on the northern border. Secretary-General Roth had issued a mobilisation order in retaliation and deployed various military detachments to the border to prepare for possible conflict. Security Council members briefed on the matter discussed various plans of action if conflict were to begin."

It has long been the opinion of the Hypatian government and its predecessor that such combatants should be considered illegal as an internal report done by the Policy Review Committee outlined.

"We find the use of any paramilitary organisation, regardless of legality in its home country, that uses or operates under implied or explicit contract, and is used in the same manner as a law enforcement agency; a military force of a nation; and cannot otherwise be defined under the 'Public Security Services Act', and where its loyalties may be motivated explicitly by the contractee's ability to provide for that contract in such instances of financial or other incentives, to be a breach of international peace and a threat to national security. [...] the use of them in direct opposition to that of Hypatia poses a serious risk and security concern. It is the opinion of this committee that such paramilitary organisations be outlawed within our own borders and be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law under the 'Terrorism Prevention and National Security Act'; 'Illicit Smuggling of Weaponry and Destructive Devices Act'; 'Unlawful Organisation and Insurrectionist Act'; and the 'Anti-Brigandry Act'."

While the bill wouldn't have a direct impact on the OSA, it would mean that neither it nor any other paramilitary organisation could operate safely within the borders of the Commonwealth. The legislation calls for classifying mercenary organisations as 'illegal combatants' not subject to the Convention of Warfare in the Commonwealth, meaning they could not be considered prisoners of war but instead face prosecution for terrorism or other charges.

PostPosted: Fri Oct 01, 2021 9:12 pm
by Hypatian Commonwealth
Parliament passes the Blacke-Ivarsson Act; Bans Mercenaries and PMCs

Harlow, Hellas Province, Mars — Parliament voted in favour of the bill submitted by MPs Blacke (LCP) and Ivarsson (LCP) known fully as the Prohibition of the Financing, Recruitment, Training, and Use of Illegal Combatants. The law bans the hiring and use of a variety of 'illegal combatants' as outlined under the Commonwealth's Convention of Warfare including private military companies and privateers. Many have suspected that the law's timing is in direct response to the Republic of Sunset's OSA, a mercenary organisation according to a recent report by the Policy Review Committee.

What does the law say?

An official summary of the Blacke-Ivarsson Act, as we'll call it here, can be found in the Government Archives here but states as such:

Makes illegal the financing, recruitment, training, and use of paramilitary organisations such as private military companies; mercenaries; pirates; and privateers operating in the same capacity, role, or purpose of law enforcement or the armed forces and who is not otherwise lawfully authorised; mandated; or deputised by state officials as ascribed under the Posse Comitatus and Militia Act. Does not guarantee such paramilitaries the same protections and rights under the Commonwealth Convention of Warfare's provisions regarding prisoners of war. Provides for the prosecution of such paramilitary organisations under the Federal Criminal Code Title IX: Terrorism; Insurrection; Piracy; Brigandry; and Genocide with a minimum sentence of twenty years for primary conviction; ten years for accessory charges; and £1.5 million minimum in fines (asset liquidation notwithstanding); with a maximum penalty of capital offence for gross acts against sapient life that violate the Convention of Warfare. Does not apply to Colonial Marshals; Colonial Militias; Civil Security Service; Private Security and other private bodyguard or asset protection firms; State Security; other security services covered under the Public Security Services Act.

Why was it passed?

There are a few possible reasons for why lawmakers felt to pass the law, namely there have been a few incidents that have been investigated by the House Investigation Committee regarding previous administrations and a plethora of inquiries that are still being conducted to this day regarding the start of the Marto-Eridani Succession Crisis and the Great War. Numerous megacorporations such as the Martian Trading Company and Sato Industries had built up a large force of mercenaries, military equipment, and even warships during the outbreak of the succession crisis in an attempt to overthrow the government. While they had failed and the government crackdown was swift (both of the aforementioned corporations were completely liquidated); it has continued to have aftershocks with subsequent administrations concerned over the power of corporations. A lot of the old conglomerates were broken up following the Anti-Trust Act and some were completely nationalised with their corporate officers facing prosecution.

Another incident, more recent in memory, was the Mangala Incident. After the dissolution of the Martian Conglomerate and the meteoric rise of Ewan Roth to Secretary-General, many governments around Mars were concerned about the post-war stability of the country. The Outer Systems Alliance (OSA) an alleged law enforcement arm of the Nimatojin was given a mandate by the Forum to function as peacekeepers, which the Roth administration voted against. Following that, the OSA was tasked with managing the security of administrative regions under Forum mandate such as Eastern Mangala which borders the Commonwealth's United Provinces on Mars. The OSA was deployed to the border of the region with the Nimatojin claiming it was to ensure security, though the Roth administration saw it as a reckless escalation of tensions. Major panic ensued and the Secretary-General mobilised forces on the border in retaliation creating a stand-off.

What is the OSA and why is the timing important?

The OSA is an apparent law enforcement agency of the Republic of Sunset, but according to intelligence and defence officials familiar with the organisation -- it is a private military company (PMC) that contracts out its services and is equipped with military hardware so it may operate in a capacity far exceeding typical law enforcement. The organisation has also had 'deployments' that were considered a 'concern' to defence officials, though it was not clear where those deployments were or why.

Alarms had been raised about the organisation long before the Mangala Incident, and it had quietly been added to a 'sponsor of terror' watchlist by Civil Defence who shared in concerns with the Security Council that the organisation and its covert operations could be problematic for national security. Despite that, the OSA had largely been observed only passively until the Mangala Incident. According to one defence official speaking on the condition of anonymity, the OSA's mobilisation on the border was the 'last nail in the coffin' removing all doubt about the organisation's purpose.

The HIC opened an investigation into the conduct of the Roth administration during the incident and had asked the Policy Review Committee to examine the procedures taken during the stand-off to determine if anything illegal had been done. The results of this investigation following thousands of interviews and several years culminated in what became the 'Mangala Report', a 1,500-page document detailing and breaking down the Roth administration's response.

The report found that the administration had acted lawfully, but it contained references by both the House Investigation Committee and the Policy Review Committee of the presence of a 'mercenary organisation' on the border that sparked the tensions. It was, for Blacke and Ivarsson, a smoking gun. Just days after the report was released, the MPs submitted their bill outlawing mercenaries and other paramilitaries suggesting they had been waiting for the results of the investigation to convince lawmakers to vote in favour of the bill.

What happens to the OSA?

Ultimately, nothing. Sort of. While the Commonwealth has no jurisdiction outside its borders to make arrests or demands of the OSA it can enforce the law within its territories. The law effectively bans organisations like the OSA from operating within the Commonwealth and the penalty for violating the law is steep. It doesn't prevent OSA members from entering the country any more than it would anyone else, but it would be illegal for them to do so for the purpose of conducting their business. Pundits have described the situation as a matter of 'who blinks first' as it is likely the RoS will have some sort of response.

PostPosted: Sat Oct 02, 2021 1:11 pm
by Hypatian Commonwealth
HMG outlines 'New Era'; Domain and GRA agree to security partnership

Harlow, Hellas Province, Mars — Ardern Street has been busy speaking with lawmakers, policymakers, and think-tanks to formulate what Prime Minister Stigandr calls a 'New Era' of thought and policymaking. As Hypatia awakens from its restful slumber after the Automated Revolution and Reconstruction, many have begged the question -- what now? For Stigandr, the answer is simple, the nation must take an active role on the galactic stage.

In opposition to the 'Harlow Doctrine' that Nerys I crafted in which the nation would consolidate and strike diplomatic and economic ties but remain uninvolved; Stigandr imagines a more interventionist and diplomatic juggernaut focused on strengthening those same ties but also fostering new ones around a mutual need for security. With new threats facing the Commonwealth and its allies, Stigandr believes that the Commonwealth should focus on projection across the galaxy as a deterrent by cooperating with allies, sharing intelligence, and bolstering security. Already, the Commonwealth, Eridani Imperium, Phoenix Domain, and the GRA are in a research agreement known as the Advanced Materials Joint-Research Initiative.

In a report drafted by the MoD and State Department, the administration has made note of several candidates to establish forward operating anchorages (FOAs) where Hypatian forces could be based to assist allies and ensure a Hypatian presence in the region. The first of such arrangements were already underway according to the State Department with the prime minister announcing that both the Galactic Republic of Arkasia and the Phoenix Domain had agreed to such a security partnership. "We are excited to align ourselves towards a common goal with our allies and ensure security in these regions," Stigandr spoke.

The agreements establish quadrant commands in both Gamma (GAMCOM) and Beta (BETACOM) and include the presence of FOAs with Hypatian expeditionary forces in friendly territories to assist allies. FOAs will be established in the Phoenixi systems of Adaras, Nyra, and Cormorant whereas an FOA has already been established in the Kinsara system of the North East Gamma League, a protectorate of the GRA, with more to come.

"It is necessary for the Ascendant Powers to show solidarity with each other and ensure prosperity and tranquillity in regions of interest," Stigandr commented.

PostPosted: Sun Oct 03, 2021 9:01 pm
by Hypatian Commonwealth
Liberal Union collapses
03 Samhain 2200

Minority party collapses after election loss

Editor Eliza Iverness

Harlow, Hellas Province, Mars — Following their election defeat against the Liberal-Conservative Party, the Liberal Union's future was put into question after First Secretary Arnold Duval abruptly left his position and created turmoil in the ranks of the party. Duval's departure forced the party to have to dissolve its shadow cabinet under its charter rules and left MPs scrambling to fill seats. Negotiations for a new First Secretary and cabinet broke down between the factions of the party with the Nationalist Liberals breaking away to form their own party, taking most of the membership with them under the new United Nationalist Party.

Interim First Secretary Arnetta Galigo declared the LUP dead following the collapse with the remaining members registering independently or into the UNP or Bronze Alliance. The news bolstered the Liberal Conservatives who had done poorly in the last election, but their victory had put their largest rival off-centre to the point of falling apart. With the LibCons taking up much of the centre, the UNP's membership looks a lot like the old nationalist liberal faction with a strong centre-right position, putting it equidistant between the LibCons and the Bronze according to party analysts.

According to party officials, the Liberal-Conservative victory had been a surprise to the party, who were convinced they were on a strong path to victory during the outset of the election. The infighting allegedly began within the shadow cabinet when shadow minister S'rjan Gultravos rejected Duval's plan to increase campaign financing in the Martian Delta and recalibrate their platform. This led to a flurry of accusations between the two that resulted in 'lines being drawn' according to members. Gultravos thought Duval's leadership was weak and that their lukewarm campaign had not promised enough to sway workers that were piling into the booths for Labour. According to the familiar with the spat, Gultravos got the votes together to overrule Duval who stepped down 'out of spite' forcing the cabinet to dissolve. Duval was not available for comment.

PostPosted: Wed Oct 06, 2021 2:12 pm
by Hypatian Commonwealth
Commonwealth joins Galactic Trade Group
03 Samhain 2200

Hypatia becomes full member of the Galactic Trade Group, successor to the Galactic Commerce Corridor

Editor Eliza Iverness

Harlow, Hellas Province, Mars — The Galactic Trade Group voted in favour of adding the Commonwealth to its list of members in what Ardern Street has considered a 'momentous achievement' for the nation. The GTG is the successor organisation to the Galactic Commerce Corridor with over a dozen member nations cooperating on trade via an interconnected ferry and gate system that spans the galaxy. The Commonwealth had previously been only an observer of the organisation but was introduced as a full member on behalf of the Eternal Radiant Empire of Roania (ERER).

Following the decision, Ambassador Naomi Black, who represents the Commonwealth, expressed HMG's appreciation for the positive results and acceptance into the organisation. As a part of the organisation, the Commonwealth will have access to an even wider network of transit nodes known as 'anchorpoints' with which to conduct commerce. It had been expressed previously that the organisation was interested in the Commonwealth's Nexus, a large network of phase gates it has developed to facilitate quick travel across the galaxy. Under the Rowland administration, a policy known as the Nexus Protocol had been created in the event that the Commonwealth attained full membership, and this was quickly put into force by the subsequent Stigandr administration.

The Nexus Protocol would enable quick and easy transit for members of the GTG by readily integrating the Nexus into existing GTG connections. HMG expressed that they had already aligned themselves to be compliant with the charter making the transition 'painless' according to Press Secretary Rene Vanderbilt. Vanderbilt expressed the government's satisfaction with the transition, and further highlighted a great deal of diplomacy and work it took for the nation to get to where it is now.

"The Prime Minister has congratulated Ambassador Black on her representation of the Commonwealth, and her ability to put our best foot forward, and also the Radiant Empire for being the catalyst that sparked the vote," Vanderbilt stated.