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Union of Akoren
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Postby Union of Akoren » Sun Dec 29, 2019 5:31 pm

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Camille Chamoun - 29 Kislev, 5780 / Jomeh: 6. Dey 1398 / 27 December 2019

Home · Tsabara · Bahia · International · Politics · Business · Technology and Science · Arts · Education · Health · Sports · Weather

BREAKING Yeruham under attack

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Armed police and soldiers have been deployed across the city.
Yeruham, Yeruham Province - Several explosions have torn through several districts of Yeruham, while gunfire has been reported at the Gideon Yadin railway station, Saint Jerome Hospital, Yair Rabin Street and a police station on Constitution Street. Police have confirmed a “mass casualty incident.”

Eyewitnesses have described gunmen firing into restaurants, cafes and office buildings, while eyewitnesses at Gideon Yadin station have reported the use of guns and grenades. Hundreds of people were seen fleeing the ticket hall of the main rail station, armed police entered the station but failed to report the presence of suspected assailants.

Emergency services have reported casualties at Saint Jerome Hospital in the Sotirian Quarter. Staff and patients have told reporters that masked men entered the emergency room and opened fire on all inside. Several described the gunmen also throwing several grenades into the room.

At least four large explosions have since been confirmed in Mazon, Kirayat Savon and Dkalim. Emergency services are treating the explosions as “suspected bomb attacks.”

There are currently unconfirmed reports of further gunfire at the Ganei Ekron Synagogue, the districts of Kidron and Unity.

    Live updates:
  • 12.01pm: Police are upgrading the current situation to “ongoing major incident” and is calling for citizens to remain indoors.
  • 12.03pm: Unconfirmed explosions and gunfire outside the Church of the Holy Lady on the Solarian Promenade.
  • 12.09pm: 14 confirmed killed and 44 wounded at Saint Jerome Hospital.
  • 12.13pm: Police declaring ongoing situation a “terrorist incident.”
  • 12.14pm: Reports of gunfire and explosions outside restaurants and bars on Yair Rabin Street.
  • 12.18pm: Interim President informed of the situation – Mayor’s office.
  • 12.19pm: Mayor Ephraim Egan (APP) tweets, “aware of ongoing situation. Urging all citizens to remain indoors and vigilant. My prayers go out to all police, emergency services and to the people of our great city. Be safe.”
  • 12.24pm: Police in shootout with gunmen on Yair Rabin Street.
  • 12.30pm: Reported gunfire inside Golden Bay and the Yeruham Trident Hotels.
  • 12.26pm: Police confirm deaths of three gunmen on Yair Rabin Street.
  • 12.31pm: Ministry of Defence reporting bomb and gun attacks on federal troops in Qadessiya Province.
  • 12.33pm: Police Chief Mahmoud al-Asawi confirms “many dead and many more injured” in tweet.
  • 12.40pm: Unconfirmed reports of hostage situation in Yeruham Trident hotel.
  • 12.43pm: Interim President Nazim al-Qutayni to address the nation.
  • 12.50pm: Provincial Governor requests federal assistance says Mayor's office.
  • 13.03pm: Fahida Salam 34, "I was waiting for a train at the platform when all of a sudden I could hear what sounded like fireworks, then lots of screaming.
    It was utter chaos, then I started running and saw lots of bodies."
  • 13.10pm: What we know: An unknown number of gunmen have attacked several locations in Yeruham, including Gideon Yadin station, Saint Jerome Hospital, Ganei Ekron Synagogue, the Church of the Holy Lady, several restaurants on Yair Rabin Street, a police station and two popular hotels on the Solarian Promenade. There have also been two large suspected car bomb attacks in Mazon and Dkalim districts. There is currently unconfirmed reports of hostages being taken by gunmen in the Yeruham Trident hotel, which is popular with Euclean tourists and business people.
  • 13.14pm: Mayor Ephraim Egan tells reporters, "we believe that up to 15 gunmen have conducted the attacks at this time. Two have been confirmed shot dead by police. We currently searching for the remaining attackers.
  • 13.20pm: Police confirm that up to 30 people have been taken hostage inside the Yeruham Trident. The federal government is to deploy forces to Yeruham according to sources inside the administration.
  • 13.29pm: Ministry of Defence is reporting numerous clashes in the east, though they are refusing to say whether the attacks are connected with the ongoing situation in Yeruham.
  • 13.34pm: Interim President Nazim al-Qutayni gives televised address: "we must be strong and united for Yeruham. As a nation, we will confront and defeat terrorism, whatever form it takes."
  • 13.35pm: Interim President further says, "the attackers in Yeruham will be pursued, hunted and brought to justice. The situation is under our control and we will resolve it."
  • 13.40pm: Police enter the Golden Bay Hotel. Heavy gunfire can be heard, and several fires have broken out on the higher floors.
  • 13.47pm: Mayor's Office reports up to 100 people have been killed. Earlier reports of gunfire in Beit Sharon have been denied.
  • 13.56pm: Heavy gunfire and explosions heard inside the Golden Bay.
  • 14.04pm: Police declare Golden Bay cleared and secured, six gunmen confirmed killed. Hundreds of guests are seen being escorted outside of the hotel.
  • 14.10pm: Gunfire heard inside the Yeruham Trident, unconfirmed reports of police casualties.
  • 14.16pm: Gunmen inside the Yeruham Trident have demanded the withdrawal of federal forces from the Eastern Provinces, the resignation of the Interim Government and the release of all political prisoners aligned with the late President Atwan al-Tughluq.
  • 14.29pm: Federal Forces under sustained attack in Qadessiya Province, says MoD.
  • 14.32pm: Large explosions reported outside a synagogue in Zahana, Beniane Province.
  • 14.38pm: Several military helicopters seen flying toward the Solarian Promenade.
  • 14.43pm: Police and military have begun to storm the Yeruham Trident. Helicopters are holding position over the roof and deploying special forces.
  • 14.50pm: Sustained gunfire and explosions coming from the Yeruham Trident, major fires have broken out on the fifth and sixth floors.
  • 14.55pm: Guests and staff are fleeing the hotel from the lobby, escorted by police.
  • 15.00pm: Sporadic gunfire coming from the Yeruham Trident, more guests and staff can be seen fleeing through a fire-exit.
  • 15.04pm: Special forces spokesman confirms the Yeruham Trident is "secure and cleared of terrorists."
  • 15.19pm: Mayor's Office reports "situation is over" but urges citizens to remain fully vigilant.
  • 15.26pm: Large numbers of soldiers seen entering Yeruham.
  • 15.30pm: Survivors from the Golden Bay describe gunmen shooting guests and staff, before going room to room and shooting people in hiding.
  • 15.36pm: Soldiers and police urged to donate blood, while several hospitals are reporting that they have run out of beds.
  • 15.49pm: "Many foreigners have been killed or injured" says government spokesman.
  • 15.58pm: Up to 190 people confirmed killed, while over 400 have been injured says government spokesman.
  • 16.02pm: Mayor's Office officially declares the situation over, police and army will maintain large presence. The Mayor's Office also reports that 14 gunmen were killed, they are currently being identified by the security services.
  • 16.11pm: A group called Al-Isbah has claimed responsibility on social media, this is currently being verified by the security services. The group has previously claimed responsibility for several smaller attacks in mixed regions of the country. The group claimed responsibility for the assassination of Amir Salami, an MP with the Party for Irfanic Democracy last week.
  • 16.19pm: Government to launch inquiry into the attack, sources are indicating that major concerns have arisen over the slow and chaotic response of law enforcement.


This is the end of our live updates. For more detailed information and analysis please see here .



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© Marzban Media 2018

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MORE HEADLINES
  • Live updates: Yeruham attacks [ 18,361 ]
  • Yeruham Attacks: At least 194 killed [ 5219 ]
  • Yeruham Attacks: Hospitals overflowing as city struggles [ 9273 ]
  • Heavy fighting reported in Qadessiya and Hassani Abdelkrim provinces [ 2471 ]
  • Al-Isbah claims responsibility for Yeruham attacks [ 4591 ]
Last edited by Union of Akoren on Sun Dec 29, 2019 6:33 pm, edited 4 times in total.

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Caltarania
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Left-wing Utopia

Postby Caltarania » Mon Dec 30, 2019 10:24 am

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Ten Years On: Tinza After the Civil War
2020 will mark ten years from the signing of the Tsepo Accords; has the country recovered, and how has the new administration fared?


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Kelsang Karpo, former military figure and current Leader of the ruling Revolutionary Labour Movement, has been President of
the State of Tinza since the conclusion of the civil war

Just over 13 years ago, in late 2006, the world watched in horror as the Southeast Coian nation of Tinza, often overlooked by international observors, snowballed toward civil war. The sizable country at the time maintained a middling economy, and while nominally an absolute monarchy, was effectively ruled solely by the State Preceptor Drogon Tsering. The dictatorial regime was widely believed to have been propped up by Xiaodong, the country's larger neighbour and historical rival.

2006 was not the first instance of opposition to Drogon's regime; but the speed, scale and ferocity of the opposition was unique. The crisis spiralled from when popular faith leader Lhakpa Nyima - widely known as Phu-bo, and associated with the opposition Revolutionary Labour Movement - was arrested by state forces. Rumours quickly began to circulate that he had been murdered while in custody, and protests swept the nation's capital of Ladumra.

The rest, as they say, is history: the Drogon regime responded with overwhelming force, as dictatorial regimes often do, which served only to inflame tensions and embolden the opposition. Less than a month on from the Ladumra protests, rural RLM leaders were leading provincial armies across the country, and swathes of the national army mutinied. Suffice it to say, although the civil war dragged on for just under three years, the result of the conflict was largely determined before it had started; the loyalty of the military was questionable, Xiaodongese willingness to continue to prop up the unstable regime was faltering, and Drogon's powerbase had begun to desert him.

It was less a question of whether Drogon would fall, and more a question of who would replace him.

The RLM was the largest group, but other groups - such as ultraroyalists, the Duljunese and Tavan minorities, the underground 'White Lily' movement and military defectors - retained their own unique advantages. Ultimately, after Tsering's death in 2010, the CN-mandated Tsepo Accords were reached by the anti-Drogonist factions; and the RLM, White Lilies, minority groups, military defectors and ultraroyalists found themselves forming a Constitutional Assembly. From there, a constitution was passed, and the current government was formed. Since then, the RLM has dominated the national administration, and leader Kelsang Karpo has occupied the position of President.

But how has Karpo, and his RLM government, handled not only the intricate economic dynamics of a post-war country, but also the intense social isuses faced by a country coming out of a civil war? Surprisingly well, if key economic and social indicators such as GDP, HDI and Gini are to be trusted and believed.

Since 2010, annual GDP growth has averaged at a staggering 11%; far higher than the country's neighbours. Income equality as measured by the Gini coefficient (43.2) and human development (0.696) have both risen, and deep poverty (9.3%) has fallen dramatically. These impressive figures do not mean that the country is without issue; nominal GDP per capita remains low at only $5,289, corruption remains a chilling presence in some rural regions, and a widespread housing crisis - deepened by returning refugees and the large cadre of migrant workers - has proven too tough a challenge for the government to overcome. Water scarcity has emerged as a growing issue, worsened by the agricultural sector's dependence on triple cropping. The remarkable economic growth has also been marred by a growing gap between urban and rural populations, with urban areas growing disproportionally, even as equitable land redistribution policies bring greater prosperity to rural regions.

Outside of the national economy, the state's political system has room for improvement. The RLM has, as mentioned above, dominated the political scene since the civil war, with Kelsang Karpo retaining power as President, despite a number of challenges to his authority, and somewhat of a cult of personality - though not on the same scale as that of Yuan Xiannian's - emerging around him. Karpo is unlikely to leave or relinquish power any time soon. Corruption is an ever-present issue, particularly in rural areas, and there are signs of minor irregularities in a number of national elections. The political system could also seek to be more open. Ultimately, there is still much to be done if Tinza is to be considered among the world's foremost democratic states, and not among the hybrid and less democratic regimes which it currently largely associates itself with.

In foreign affairs, the nation has integrated well with fellow allies in COMSED; and has courted a copious amount of foreign investment from Senria, other COMSED members, and the Euclean Community. But a black spot remains over Lhogrong (also known as Heijiang). Xiaodongese-backed separatists occupied the region in 2008, and were accompanied by Xiaodongese military units in 2009. Tinza, and the wayward Xiaodong-backed Republic of Heijiang, both claim sovereignty. The dispute has resulted in a lack of normalised relations between Tinza and Xiaodong. It is likely that normalised relations will be impossible until the situation is resolved; and it is unlikely that either side will budge to allow for a peaceful solution.

The 'success story' of Tinza is, then, best taken with a grain of salt (or rice). The nation and its administration have achieved incredible feats - especially when considering the short timeframe and the state of the national economy only a decade ago - but those feats have not come without costs, and the country is not without problem areas. If Tinza is truly to be considered a powerful and successful nation, it will have to wrestle with some of the less glowing realities of the state. How will the Tinzan government deal with water scarcity? With the housing crisis? With local corruption? With the gap in urban and rural populations? It remains to be seen if these questions will be answered. But Tinzans have reason to be hopeful.


Author: This article was written by Mayeda Hokusai, professor of politics and economics specialising in post-war nations at the Imperial Academy of Weisstadt.

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© Academis 2019
Last edited by Caltarania on Mon Dec 30, 2019 3:00 pm, edited 5 times in total.
I'M FROM KYLARIS, AND I'M HERE TO HELP!

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Union of Akoren
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Postby Union of Akoren » Mon Dec 30, 2019 6:04 pm

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Camille Chamoun - 30 Kislev, 5780 / Shanbeh: 7. Dey 1398 / 28 December 2019

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Special Edition | Yeruham Attack: Nation in shock as dust settles

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The iconic Hyndic dome of the Yeruham Trident engulfed in smoke.
Yeruham, Yeruham Province - Yesterday’s shocking events in Yeruham, Tsabara’s largest city, has left 197 people dead and over 300 injured. 16 armed gunmen sowed chaos as they rampaged through the city. The city’s main train station, a Church, a Synagogue, a hospital, a police station, restaurants and two hotels became killing zones. This morning, the Federal Security Service published its timeline of events. While, it has begun a full investigation into the attacks and the group known as Al-Isbah that has claimed responsibility.

A day of carnage

The 28th December has emerged as a day of great infamy, millions mourn the loss of innocent life, while many foreign governments look on in trepidation. But the day began out as any other, though many Sotirians continued their Christmas celebrations and Atudites Hanukkah. The streets were clogged as normal, the offices and banks of Tsabara’s largest and wealthiest city were filling with workers - life continued on as normal, even as the Eastern Provinces smouldered through protests, riots and sporadic clashes with federal soldiers.

It all began at 11.56am, when explosions were reported in Mazon, Kirayat Savon, Dkalim and Beit Masoud districts. The first was a small device attached to the side of the number 44 bus, no one was killed but 7 people were injured. The second was a large car bomb which exploded at a major intersection in Mazon district, the blast shattered windows and destroyed passing vehicles. The Municipal Health Authority has since reported that 9 people were killed, and 17 others injured. The third struck a popular shopping arcade in Kirayat Savon, 14 people were killed and over 40 injured. The fourth blast is believed to have been a smaller device similar to the one used against the bus in Dkalim district. This device was attached to a taxi, the explosion injured the passenger and one bystander. In total the bomb blasts that heralded the attacks killed 23 people and injured 65 people, however, the chaos they caused would prove devastating in the hours to come according to sources inside the emergency services.

At 11.58am, four gunmen entered the ticket hall of Gideon Yadin station, the city’s principal rail station. Once inside they began to mercilessly gun down all before them. According to eye witnesses they fired continuously, only stopping to reload or to lob grenades.

“They just slaughtered everyone. They did so silently, just firing their machine guns. I saw one throw a grenade through the window of a kiosk; it blew it up. I don’t know if any staff were inside” said one eyewitness.

“I saw one chase people into the toilets and heard gunfire and screaming. I laid down on the floor, I used a body for cover and played dead until police came. I have never been so frightened” 27-year old dentist Itzik Kohn told TNN.

After massacring innocents for ten minutes, the gunmen fled the station. They hijacked a minibus, killing its driver, 33-year old Hassan Abdullah. These four gunmen would then drive to the Catholic Church of the Holy Lady on the Solarian Promenade. A total of 87 people were killed and over 140 injured at the station. The youngest murdered was 14, the eldest, an 88-year-old grandmother of six. Two police officers charged with station security were also killed.

At 12.03pm, two gunmen entered the emergency room of the Saint Jerome Hospital in the Sotirian Quarter. Funded in part by the Catholic Church, it has become one of the country’s largest and most advanced medical institutions. It provides vital services for all citizens from all faiths. It was once described as the “symbol of cosocialism.”

The masked gunmen, entering from the main entrance then sprayed the emergency room with gunfire, striking patients and staff alike. Reports that they entered the interior have since been dismissed, but their three-minute rampage killed 14 and injured 44 others. Most cruelly, it knocked out the city’s largest hospital, which would cause further disruption and chaos in the hours to come. The two gunmen then go on to attack a police station on Constitution Road.

The next target was hit at 12.03pm, where the attackers who struck the train station entered the Church of the Holy Lady on the Solarian Promenade. Only three people were present and survived without injury despite a hail of bullets and one grenade.

At 12.14pm, eight gunmen emerged from a side alley onto Yair Rabin Street, a popular shopping and entertainment thoroughfare, and named after the country’s most prominent Atudite poet. As they progressed down the street, they opened fire on popular cafes and restaurants, by now being filled with lunch time workers. They fired into the Casa Etruriana restaurant, killing 6 people, they shot at the Crystal Cafe, killing 10 people and fired into Ali’s Cafe and Shisha Bar, killing 8 people. A further 11 people were gunned down as they fled from the gunmen, their bodies left laying in the street. At the second intersection, the gunmen were intercepted by several police officers who shot and killed three, while losing one of their own, Office Ibrahim al-Saadi. The remaining gunmen dispersed down alleyways, only to meet up again in the backstreets behind “Hotel Row” on the Solarian Promenade.
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Interim President Nazim al-Qutayni has called for unity and vowed to destroy
"those responsible for the massacre."

At 12.26pm, two gunmen attacked the Ganei Ekron Synagogue, firing wildly at the building and through the glass door entrance. Fortunately, no one was harmed as the building was empty.

At 12.30pm, the gunmen, numbering 13 entered the Golden Bay and Yeruham Trident hotels. By now, social media and news outlets were covering the previous four explosions, and only grasping the extent of the attacks elsewhere in the city.

According to survivors inside the hotel, many were either dining for lunch or preparing for visits to the city’s world-famous beach. Others had just come or were preparing for business meetings. The hotels had always been prominent stays for foreign tourists and businesspeople. With the ongoing crisis since January, there’d been a flurry of Euclean business groups entering the hotels. Many Euclean investors seeking out their partners or using the city to negotiate with the interim government.

When the gunmen entered the Golden Bay, they immediately began gunning down people in the lobby, before splitting up into pairs. There are conflicting reports of how many entered the hotel, with the number ranging from six to seven. The men proceeded to attack the dining hall, kitchen and laundry room. Pairs then ventured upstairs, methodically storming each suite, floor by floor, shooting any and all they found. Unlike the neighbouring Yeruham Trident, the gunmen didn’t take any hostages, instead they opted to kill and ultimately set fires on several floors. In the ensuing chaos, the Special Police Group dispatched 12 officers to enter the hotel. Within 20 minutes they had shot and killed all gunmen inside and proceeded to evacuate survivors.

“I was eating lunch in the smaller hall, when I screaming and gunfire” Robert Daltry, an Esmterish investment manager told us.

“I couldn’t believe it. The waiter in the hall, a young Badawiyan man, froze but quickly waved us out to the back. He took us all, I think about 20 of us, through the kitchen into a storeroom. He saved our lives” he said further.

“These men came in shooting; they were screaming nonsense about ending an occupation and liberating Adunis from the evil and wicked. They killed my friend on the front desk and then went up into the rooms. I ran and hid in a store cupboard. I prayed so hard” 19-year old Zainab Hadad, who worked as a receptionist.

A total of 35 people were killed in the Golden Bay, including five foreign visitors.

Next door, in the Yeruham Trident, the situation was much the same. Gunmen entered through the lobby and begun attacking guests and staff alike. However, they began to seize guests as hostages. The scenes in the Trident have emerged as a graphic nightmare, with the gunmen selectively executing guests and staff from the Atudite and Sotirian faiths. After thirty minutes, the terrorists had gathered 35 hostages, many local Tsabarans, but also 10 foreigners alongside.

An attempt by police and their elite Special Police Group was repulsed by gunmen who ambushed three officers from higher floors who fired down into the lobby according to eyewitnesses hiding inside the hotel. One officer was wounded, and they retreated, by this time the federal government had ordered the deployment of specialist units to the city. Though sources within the Federal Armed Forces have already leaked worrying details, including that concern that if those “special forces weren’t awaiting deployment to the east, I don’t think we would have been able to respond as quickly as we did.”

Eventually, as concerned citizens and the world’s press coalesced outside the Yeruham Trident, close to 3pm, as the hotel burned, the SPG and helicopter borne special forces stormed the hotel. The former from the ground, the latter from the roof. 20 excruciatingly tense minutes later, the hotel was secure and the federal forces began to evacuate survivors.

With both hotels secure, the attacks were over. By 4pm, hospitals were overwhelmed, blood shortages were being reported and the country’s largest, most developed and modern city was in utter chaos. At 5pm, Interim President Nazim al-Qutayni and Atudite People’s Party leader, Aryeh Kahlon had arrived to visit survivors. It was clear on all faces, that the day had become a momentous event in the history of our country.

At 6.43pm, the federal government reported that 188 people had been killed and over 300 were injured. At 11.04am this morning, the numbers were revised. As of midday today, 197 people had been killed and 398 injured, making it the deadliest terrorist incident in Tsabaran history.
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A protester runs past a burning car during protests in Hitteen.

Simultaneously to the chaos and bloodshed in Yeruham, Federal Forces in the Eastern Provinces came under sustained attack throughout the day.

Protesters numbering in their thousands attacked Federal Police and pro-government soldiers with stones, petrol bombs and other projectiles. Responding with rubber bullets, tear gas and unconfirmed cases of live ammunition, the east roiled.

Much of the violence was focused in Hitteen, Beit Shajaf and Sidi Amar. In Sidi Amar, 8 soldiers were killed when their patrol was attacked with firearms and a rocket propelled grenade.

Sheik Salah was notedly silent throughout the day, before condemning the attacks in Yeruham describing them as “horrific and unforgivable.” He once again urged for peaceful protest even as the streets of the Eastern cities burned.

The Ministry of Defence issued a statement this morning denying reports the clashes in the east and the attacks were connected.


The government’s response

Following a series of tweets and posts on other social media sites, a group calling itself Al-Isbah (Badawiyan for “The Awakened”) claiming responsibility, the interim government has vowed to “pursue, hunt and destroy this group of murderers and criminals.”

A series of police raids in eastern Yeruham have taken place throughout the day, while a notable increase in soldiers on the city’s streets has been met with public approval. The government has also declared a week of national mourning.

Interim Premier, Aslan Ocalan has once again called for “national discord to resolve this dark crisis.”

Despite the government’s efforts, many across Tsabara now fear what the attacks will mean on the wider crisis gripping the country. The high number of Atudites who were killed has raised concerns of retaliatory attacks on Irfanis by the Lions of the Homeland or any other Atudite armed militia that has emerged since last year. One MP said, “either we come together through grief, we divide through hatred.”

Hopefully the nation comes together.



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MORE HEADLINES
  • Yeruham Attacks: Eyewitnesses describe utter barbarity [ 18,361 ]
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  • Yeruham Attacks: Police arrest over 20 in connection to attacks [ 2471 ]
  • Yeruham Attacks: Markets tumble as investors pull out [ 4591 ]
Last edited by Union of Akoren on Mon Dec 30, 2019 6:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Estmere
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Postby Estmere » Mon Dec 30, 2019 9:36 pm

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Marilyn Albridge - 28 December 2019

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WILTON-SMYTH: ATTACKS IN YERUHAM ARE AN ATTACK ON THE CIVILIZED WORLD

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The Yeruham Trident Hotel. popular with Euclean tourists, burns following the attacks.
ASHCOMBE - Prime Minister Reginald Wilton-Smyth joined the chorus of world leaders who expressed shock over yesterday's terrorist attacks in Yeruham, Tsabara's largest city. At a press conference held this afternoon, the prime minister said he was "absolutely appalled" by the "horrific display of violence" against the city's civilian population. According to the Tsabaran government, 197 were killed and 300 injured in yesterdays attacks. It was the single deadliest day in the ongoing Tsabaran Crisis, which began early this year amid political change and instability in the Badawiyan nation. Wilton-Smyth denounced the attacks, calling them "acts of barbarity" and an "attack on the civilized world".

"The developments in Yeruham are shocking. I join the rest of the world in denouncing this horrific display of violence that has left me nothing short of absolutely appalled. It is time that the free nations of our world come together and stand firmly against these acts of barbarity, as they are an attack on the civilized world itself".

The prime minister said he was "paying close attention" to the developments as they unfold, adding that it is "likely" a number of Estmerish and Euclean citizens were killed in the attacks.

"This is cause for grave concern, I am paying close attention and will work with the Foreign Secretariat to ensure the families of any Estmerish victims are not just informed, but supported in recovering from the devastation".

Members of a terror group known as Al-Isbah (Badawiyan for “The Awakened”) have claimed responsibility for the attacks on the city’s main train station, a Church, a Synagogue, a hospital, a police station, restaurants, and two hotels. As Tsabaran security services tried to cope with the attacks in the country's largest urban center, they were also targeted by anti-government elements throughout the country's Eastern Provinces. However, the Tsabaran government has denied that the attacks were connected.

Wilton-Smyth said he was "deeply concerned" about the role of radical Irfanic extremists in worsening Tsabaran Crisis. He said connections between Irfanic hardliners and the Union of Zorasani Irfanic Republics was "cause for grave concerned" and said the Estmerish intelligence community would support the Tsabaran government "however needed".

Instability has worsened in Tsabara after a powerful moderate, Nazim al-Qutayni, seized power from hardliners following the death of former President Atwan al-Tughluq. al-Tughluq's death ushered in a period growing uncertainty for the nation as his governing coalition, united by their support for political Irfan, descended into infighting. Premier Yayha al-Aboud assumed emergency presidential powers and later suspended the constitution indefinitely as majority-Atudite regional governments threatened secession in the face of al-Aboud's rise to power. al-Qutayni is viewed by many foreign governments as the only hope for the restoration of stability in Tsabara, as he works to cross the sectarian divide and reunite the nation. Today's attacks present new difficulties for the acting president, who has previously faced waves of protests against his authority by Irfanic groups. Sheik Faizan Salah, a powerful Irfanic cleric and the leading figure in the nation's political Irfan movement, has come under heavy criticism for his divisive and at times violent rhetoric in the aftermath of the attacks.

Elsewhere in the EC, President Alexis Walker said that she was "horrified" by the attacks in Yeruham. She also on the international community to "work to prevent sectarian disaster" in Tsabara as the country descends into renewed conflict along religious lines, arguing the world had "no choice" but to "work to secure a lasting peace and restore [Tsabara's] democratic, co-habitational institutions".

Before yesterday's attacks, Walker had announced an emergency meeting of the Euclean Convention, the group of the bloc's national leaders, to discuss the Tsabaran Crisis. Leaders will meet in Kesselbourg on 4 January to discuss the worsening situation in Tsabara. Walker said that the terror attacks in Yeruham showed a "new urgency" for national leaders to reach a consensus on the issue.

One major roadblock she faces is discord between the EC's dovish and the more assertive governments. Wilton-Smyth has been a major advocate for intervention in Badawiya and Coius at large to prevent the dominance of the Rongzhuo Strategic Protocol Organisation (ROSPO), led by Xiaodong and Zorasan. The prime minister clashed extensively with the Zorasani government in August following the killing of Zorasani dissident Assad Erekat by two men identified as Zorasani intelligence agents. A naval confrontation in July showed that Wilton-Smyth is willing to flex Estmere's armed forces in Coius, a major shift in the more reserved approach the nation typically adopted. More dovish governments in many of the EC's smaller states have come out strongly against direct Euclean intervention in Tsabara and Coius at large. Led by the government of Taoiseach (Caldish prime minister) Stiofán Mac Suibhne, small EC states have banded together to lobby the Euclean Commission to avoid direct confrontation with ROSPO. However, many of these governments are not members of the Euclean Defense Treaty Organization (EDTO), the military alliance of a number of Euclean states. Their lack of participation in the organization could allow Wilton-Smyth, backed by his NKP allies in Westbrücken, to secure Euclean intervention in Tsabara.

Walker hopes Saturday's meeting will allow the bloc to bridge the divide and develop a comprehensive approach to the instability in Tsabara, which many in Kesselbourg worry could spiral into one of the worst humanitarian crises in recent history. Preventing wide-scale conflict, protecting the civilian population, and ensuring there is no mass movement of refugees across the Aurean Strait - the world's busiest waterway - are reportedly among the EC President's top priorities.

The Yeruham attacks provide a new sense of urgency for Euclean and world governments to act in Tsabara. As the conflict-stricken nation recovers from the deadliest day of its political crisis yet, there is no clear end in sight to the challenges the nation faces.



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Camille Chamoun - 3 Tevet 5780 / Yekshanbeh: 9. Dey 1398 / 30 December 2019

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BREAKING: Troops open fire on protesters in Qalhat, as demonstration turns into brawl.

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Soldiers stationed to oversee protests conducted in a peaceful manner,
opening fire on the crowds with blanks.
Qalhat, Aïn Djasser Province - Troops sent to oversee the increasing protests in Tsabara's eastern provinces have opened fire on protesters today. The nature of these actions come as attempts to disperse the protesters, an initially peaceful opposition to interim-President Nazim erupted in violence over two competing groups arguing over the nature of the Yeruham terror attack.

At 11:36am this morning, two groups of protesters: one advocating for the removal of Nazim al-Qutayni for leading a coup d'etat, and another demanding justice and the arrest of the radical cleric Sheik Salah, clashed in the streets of Qalhat. Whilst police tried to keep the two groups separate, their numbers overwhelmed the officers and they filtered into a zone designated for the passage of vehicles. Their exchange was initially one of hostile words, but as those demanding Salah grew impatient and angrier, they came to blows.

The soldiers of the 103rd infantry division who had been sent to the city proceeded to open fire on both groups of protesters, utilising blank rounds and armoured vehicles equipped with smoke grenades, tear gas and water cannons.

Whilst much of either crowd dispersed, several retaliated with molotov cocktails, rocks, airsoft and bb-guns against the police and officers. Due to this, over 93 people were arrested and one was critically injured in the exchange. However, as the soldiers continued their sweep of the zones designated for protest, a yet-unknown soldier, opened fire into two civilians with lethal rounds. One, a young teen of 18 was instantly killed, the other an older gentleman -- thought to be her grandfather - was wounded.

Chaos erupted in the streets as the soldier, apparently, retreated back to the safety of the military checkpoints and refused to come out again. Several hundred people demanded he face justice, only to be dispersed by blank fire and water again.

Nazim al-Qutayni decried the actions of the soldier, demanding on twitter that he be 'court-martialed' for his 'insubordination'. The interim-president has taken to using social media recently to 'broaden his reach', and gave a live commentary on his views of the protesting -- insinuating those that do not agree with his interim regime were "questioning the validity of the cosocial union", referencing continuously the scheduled elections. Again he called for unity against radicalism, decrying the activities of those protesting as Tsabara enters the second day of its week long mourn.

The Tsabaran military have refused to comment on the situation, except for clarification that the situation will be handled 'internally.'

Following the incident in Qalhat, the local government of Aïn Djasser is deploying its national guard to 'defend civilians.'

As Tsabara recoils from the worst terrorist attack it has faced in history, it is yet to be seen if the civilian population can rally behind messages of unity as division happens on a daily basis.



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Azmara
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Postby Azmara » Thu Jan 02, 2020 10:34 am

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AZMARA ENTERS 2020: HOW DID WE GET HERE?
As we celebrate the new decade, it is time to reflect on the 2010's as a decade.

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Ana Jonsdohter (@anajdohter)
2 Jan 2020 | Aalmsted, Azmara





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A family in Wylijen, Westmaark celebrate the new decade.


AALMSTED, AZMARA – Azmara in early 2010 seems almost a world away from the Azmara of today. We had left the worst of the 2005 recession, thanks to the late Helmut Þurisassun's 2007 stimulus package, yet few would call the country prosperous and economic growth had slowed since the initial recovery.

The national mood was hardly optimistic, either - the much-liked Niina Hermansdohter had resigned as Prime Minister after little over a year in office in pursuit of a top job in Kesselbourg, and much of the public felt that this was systematic of a political class more concerned about their own careers than the wellbeing of the nation as a whole. Frei Alekssun, Hermansdohter's well-meaning but ineffective successor, failed to really address this attitude and the year saw increased success for the anti-establishment Socialist and People's parties.

The question of how Azmara developed from a country dissatisfied its once-dominant social democratic movement, seeing its politicians as ineffective technocratic rejects from academic or financial life at best, to wanton careerists using national politics as a springboard towards high-paying bureaucratic jobs at worst, to one where said social democratic movement still coasts off its best election result since the 1950's and its Prime Minister and Home Secretary maintain high approval ratings over two years into office in the space of one decade, is one that many have thought and written about at length.

To put it bluntly: how did we get here?

Hermansdohter and Alekssun's grand coalition of the Workers' Party, the Radicals, the Sotirian Democrats and the Greens seems like it was destined to collapse, and collapse it did in December 2010; a bitter row between Alekssun and his Finance Minister over proposed cuts to public spending led to the withdrawal of the Sotirian Democrats and a no-confidence motion, triggering an early February election.

As many expected, the election saw a great defeat for the Workers' Party. While it came top of the popular vote, it came close to falling to second place for the first time in post-War history. The Socialist and People's parties received their best results ever, and due to the Radicals refusing to work with Gold Flame or the Sotirian Democrats, the People's Party would enter a confidence and supply agreement with the two parties in exchange for harsher immigration and law and order policies.

This government would, however, prove to be just as unpopular and gridlocked as the previous government: the protectionist, nationalist economics of the People's Party would conflict with the more free-market approach of Gold Flame and the Sotirian Democrats, and new Prime Minister Jon Jorśsun would come into frequent conflict with People's Party leader Hank Hankssun over the next few years over many issues.

2013 in particular saw mass student protests over the issues of a perceived lack of action over climate change, proposals to reintroduce tuition fees after their abolition in 2006 and what many international and ethnic minority students saw as hateful rhetoric coming from the People's Party. To those unobservant, or those with bad memory, this might seem like a minor footnote: student activism and protests are hardly uncommon, yet the 2013 protests were particularly influential due to their scale. Cities with large student populations such as Aalmsted, Sloh or Wucing became almost un-navigable due to the protests, and news stories, opinion pieces and online comments of frustration at how impossible it was to get through Midelplaas in Sloh seemed to be the only news stories, opinion pieces or online comments in the entire country for much of the autumn.

Largely as a result of the protests, splits over tuition fees and anti-immigration rhetoric became very apparent over the winter, and like Frei Alekssun's government before it, Jon Jorśsun saw his government come to an end three months early in December 2013 as the People's Party withdrew their confidence and the government fell to a no-confidence motion.

One would be forgiven for thinking that this would mean the left would return to governance. It would not, for two main reasons. The first being poor leadership in the Workers' Party. Marie Mellon, a Gaullican immigrant and former trade union official, was elected as the party's leader, feeling that her links to the trade union movement would help the party move away from the image problems it had suffered from over the past few years. However, her knowledge of Azmaran as a second language caused her problems as poor knowledge of common idioms and phrases made her seem out of touch, and a bland, uninspiring manifesto featuring few major policies made it seem as if the party had not left its middle-of-the-road, "professional socialism" approach of the 1990's and early 2000's.

The second was a key leadership change at the top of Gold Flame. Jorśsun was sacked as leader and replaced with Sofija Freidriksdohter, the charismatic heiress to a confectionary emipre and public personality-turned-politician. Freidriksdohter repeatedly slammed the People's Party throughout their campaign, portraying them as incompetent and extremist, as well as openly mocking Mellon for a famous gaffe in which Mellon accidentally used a common idiom used to refer to a sexual relationship in a TV interview, which gained her favour and meant she had the highest public approval rating of a major party figure.

The 2014 election was thus a disaster for the Workers' Party, as they tied in seats with Gold Flame, meaning for the first time since the war they did not have the most seats in the Folksmot. Freidriksdohter became the third female Prime Minister of Azmara in coalition with the Christian Democrats and the Radicals, and committed to the reversal of the harsher policies towards immigration and crime implemented under her predecessor, which she fulfilled under the Reform Acts of January 2015.

2015 saw two major events which paved the road for the politics of today. Firstly, the Azmaran presidential election's results. The much-loved Mayor of Aalmsted, Maarija Ryginsdohter, announced her candidacy and saw most major parties stand down in her favour as she won 71.4% of the vote against an assortment of hard-left, hard-right, anti-establishment and satirical candidates and became President of Azmaara, a role she still holds to this day. Secondly, the Workers' Party leadership election. Eryk Jorśsun, a former lecturer in Economics at Sloh College and a prominent figure on the left of the party, announced his intention to run, citing a lack of real commitment to social democratic reforms amongst a social democratic party as the main reason for poor electoral results. In August 2015, a major political shock came as he won the race with 52% of the vote.

The Workers' Party saw its polling surge after this and Freidriksdohter's popularity started to unwind as she failed to perform against Jorśsun in the Folksmot, and in February 2016 her government was hit hard by a scandal in which her Finance Secretary was reported to have claimed expenses in order to pay for a large house in central Aalmsted and for cocaine and prostitutes, resulting in his forced resignation and criminal investigations leading to a jail sentence. This was followed by a crushing defeat in the Westmaark provincial election, where Gold Flame came third to the Workers' Party and the Christian Democrats and the Worker's Party took control of the province's government.

2017 began with a bad start for the government as its Minister for Equality was forced to resign for remarks considered discriminatory to Haadlanders and Hytklifers, which spurned on the regionalist movements in these provinces. The election also loomed on the horizon, and all the polls suggested a defeat for the government.

A slight uptick in economic growth at the start of the year led some to believe that the government might hold on, but these people were proven wrong when election day rolled around. The Workers' Party got one of its best results ever in the election as all three parties in government lost seats, as did the Socialist Party as many of the Workers' Party's disillusioned supporters came home. While the Workers' Party was expected to form a government with the Radicals, the Radicals declared their desire to stay in opposition and in stead a coalition of the Workers' Party, the Green Party and the Socialist Party formed with support from the single-issue migrant's rights New Azmara party.

Immediately the new government began implementing its social democratic manifesto as a new cabinet was formed featuring a combination of left-wing heavyweights and rising young stars, the most notable of which being Sofija Anasdohter, the first Haadlander to serve as Home Secretary. Privatised parts of the national rail network were brought back into public ownership and new lines were built to rural areas, reforms to the health service to make it more comprehensive were introduced, stricter emissions targets were introduced, new wind, solar and wave power stations were built and the government made stricter commitments to collective bargaining and the power of workers' representatives on company boards.

In early 2019 Anasdohter began a major shakeup of the Azmaran government structure, scheduling referendums in Haadland and Hytklif over devolution in the areas and extend greater language rights. Despite opposition from the Government of Hytklif and from parliamentarians from many parties, as well as a campaign to render the move unconstitutional, the referendums resulted in a "Yes" verdict in both provinces and saw devolved governments successfully set up in both provinces.

It may seem as if the decade has ended on a positive note, with government reforms making Azmara some kind of struggle-free paradise. However, issues remain for the government to solve as we enter the new decade. The question of a pipeline in Northern Euclea threatens to split the government apart as the Greens and many members of the Workers' and Socialist parties strongly oppose it on environmental grounds while many members of the Workers' and Socialist parties support it due to links to unionised jobs in the area.

Problems with drug gangs have also surfaced in Haadland, which is thought to be the new devolved government's first major test of its credentials, and issues over pensions and the retirement age, as well as social care, have popped up in recent years. And while Azmara may be known for an unwillingness to get involved in non-Euclean issues, the crisis in Tsabara and the tensions between Estmere and Zorasan loom on the horizon. It remains to be seen what solutions the government has to these problems, yet the government still remains largely popular amongst the general public.

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Liecthenbourg
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Analysis: The high functionality of the 'Purple-Green Coalition'.
George Hammond, a former president of Estmere, gives his thoughts on the marriage between socialism and environmentalism.
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George Hammond
January 2nd, 2020|Verlois, Gaullica




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Is the 'Purple-Green' Premier one of Gaullica's most powerful?
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Verlois, Gaullica

I remember during the emergence of the 'Spálgleann Lists' that implicated many people, including Gaullica's premier at the time -- Antonine Duquesne -- that I told my wife to 'watch for Mrs. Degar-Abdulrashid', the individual with the highest likelihood in succeeding a disgraced premier. It was an unspoken scandal: Gaullica, the so-called 'daughter of the church' with an Irfanic head of government! That is a luxury that even Amendists have never achieved. It can easily be said that my words of premonition - hah! - were not in the wrong.

Serving from 2016-2018 with a distinction in leading a coalition government which passed countless successful bills ranging from healthcare funding and pension reform to the administration of two new states in Gaullica's federal republic, it was with clear reasoning she maintained her position as leader of the legislature when the Social Democrats came to power again just last August. Though this time the traditional Gaullican allies of socialism and economic justice Catholicism did not join forces, as the Social Democrats turned to the firebrand environmentalism of Marie-Justine Tiquet.

Now, I am going to touch briefly on the sheer volume of gender equality and women in power this government has implemented, but the real meat here is a discussion on the Premier and the coalition she leads. An analysis of their successes in the Senate as well as a substantive look at their policy proposals will obviously highlight how these two factions of not necessarily aligned ideals can cooperate so well. Furthermore: can this marriage of socialism and environmentalism be tried elsewhere; my native Estmere for instance? And will it last?

What is affectionately called the 'Purple-Green' coalition has continued a torch that some could argue started in Ordennya. With experts telling us the fate of the climate - and the world - resting on a great economic change to distance ourselves from unsustainable consumerism, this coalition put to the forefront of their agenda the 'Third Industrial Revolution', sometimes called 'A Fair Green Deal' or simply 'The Green Deal'. This bill passed the first chamber of the senate due to the non-conflicting agendas and compromises between both coalition partners: carbon neutrality by 2028, the cessation of production and importation of petroleum based automobiles by 2030, investments for electric cars and charging stations, more green spaces, the cessation of fracking and drilling for oil, an increase in the carbon tax from €48.50/tonne CO2 to €110.99/tonne by 2024, reforestation, green-public work programmes oriented in environmental recovery (cleaning rivers, waterways, beaches), the reintroduction of native species such as the Euclean lynx, making Gaullican city-centres progressively car-free by 2026, a banning of single use plastics by the end of 2020, high-speed internet for everyone and environmental architecture. This is to name a few of the far reaching policies that this deal is set to implement!

Indeed, the 'Fair Green Deal' has been the top priority of the new coalition and its final version was passed by the last session of the 2019 senate on December 18th. Its passage was heralded as a victory and as an exemplar for how it might be done elsewhere in the eastern world. They passed, in large part, due to the leadership of the Premier. Her capability at uniting the wings of the party is astounding. Many individuals considered this to be a fault of the Social Democrats; for how can a party be in governance for quite some time and not come across as stale or 'more of the same'. The adoption and co-opting of what some call 'radical environmentalism' appears to be doing wonders for them. Her capability to whip the right of her party into line, as well as informing the greens that this is likely as best as it can get has birthed a radical change of genuine environmental support. We could perhaps call it 'environmentalism with socialist characteristics'. I think she is one of the strongest Premier's Gaullica has ever had, because whilst no doubt a lot of what she has accomplished works well under Vallette's guidance, input and power -- she is the one commanding her majority well in the senate.

It would be bad of me to ignore the other half of this coalition, Marie-Justine Tiquet, who has also lent her successes to the coalition. I propose it is this. Environmentalists are often characterised as unflinching, uncompromising on issues of such importance to them. Frankly, this is understanble given what they rightly believe what is at stake. However, Tiquet's approach has been labelled and spun as one of 'pragmatism'. I can assure you 'pure radicals' will chastise her for giving in to demands that are unsatisfactory for their agendas and beliefs about the well-being of the planet, but isn't this better than nothing?

'A Fair Green Deal' is what the world needs. Not just the people of the world, but the planet itself. How it is achieved is inconsequential to some, but to many a radical change of life isn't something they can consider feasible. We may not have much time left, but this marriage of socialism and environmentalism will be far more effective than any other attempt to tackle it. Fundamentally, I think this is the core of any analysis of Gaullica's 'Purple-Green Coalition'. What is at stake is understood, opposition is understood and feasability is understood. Both the Social Democrats and the Greens can support, and did support, the numerous bills (amongst other pieces of policy passed, mind you) because they are functionally possible. They capture our imagination and inspire us with their radical changes but on close inspection countless individuals look at these ideas and say "well, that's actually really good!". What is the negative or fixing the ecosystems, or cleaner air, water and forests? My father was a coal miner and I was raised in a coal miner's household, but I can assure you that it was gruesome. He would much rather, I can swear it, work on a public programme to clean a nation than to bury it in soot.

To the Estmerish reading this, all I can tell you is that this will only work in other countries if the people come out and vote for it. Gaullicans came out in their largest ever numbers (15.69%, or over 9 million) to support their Green Party in the middle of the sweltering heat of two summer heatwaves. That was a wake-up call. Let it not happen again. Eucleans and people around the world need to seize the moment whilst they can, before it is too late. And, if this proves to be an incredibly successful electoral venture as it has been so far, I see no reason why it would not continue in a prosperous tomorrow.



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Written by George Hammond, he was President of Estmere from 1990 - 1995 and the only President to have been from the DLP. Since 2001 he has served as a professor of Estmerish History and Politics at the University of Lumbridge. Intermittently, he has also served on numerous Community of Nations' committees on topics such as human trafficking, international working standards and the World Health Organisation.

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The Gaullican Republic,
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I'm socially confused.

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Cavunia
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Postby Cavunia » Fri Jan 03, 2020 11:25 am

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MASSIVE COLD WAVE STRIKES THE COUNTRY
Over 50 dead, with hundreds of injured
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Melik Azfan (@Azfan1984)
03.01.2019 17:22 | Aq'Hort, Cavunia




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Frozen street in Öode
Melik Azfan

Öode, Cavunia
While the world is definitely heated by the recent Yeruham attacks, Cavunia is suffering from the record-low temperatures this winter. With the New Year having arrived, a mass of cold air arrived as well, coming from the south, where the Jiuye mountains stand. Today, thermometres in Öode showed -43°C, the lowest since 1981.

Despite December being rainy and quite warm, Cavunia has been a subject of non-stop snowfall since the end of the year, with temperatures falling below 0 and much more. The most affected are southern and southwestern banirais, where most settlements noted temperatures as low as -40°C. In the town of Hyq'sa severe cold caused a power outage, leaving over 25 thousand people without a source of light. Several other towns reported malfunctions of electricity transport systems and the water supply stations are being constantly run to prevent the pipes from freezing.

There is already more than 50 victims of the massive cold wave, with most of it being the homeless, however there have been reports of a family freezing to death inside their own house, as it was most probably not heated properly. The chief of Öode together with chiefs of Atımau and Sodha banirais called a state of emergency within the city and the banirais, urging everyone to avoid staying outside more than neccessary and to reduce electricity and water usage. Inhabitants of rural areas have the possibility to be evacuated to the nearest town, where they can expect to be placed in a temporary shelter. Schools are closed, however most of the offices still work and anyone can ask for support in a closest police station or a hospital. Medics remind to protect especially the most vulnerable parts of the body - ears, neck, hands and feet.

While low temperatures are common in Cavunia, most citizens did not expect them to drop that low. Especially endangered are people living in rural parts of Cavunia, where there are still problems with access to gas, water and electricity. This is the biggest cold wave in Cavunia since 80s, when the minimum temperatures hit nearly -50°C. While Öode suffers from severe cold nearly every year, the city itself did note a record minimum as well. Over 500 thousand people reside there, making it a challenging situation for the authorities.


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Further read
    * Yeruham attacks - al-Isbah claims responsibility [522]
    * Only 5 parties to start in the local elections in March [411]
    * Who will represent Cavunia in Ulan Khol? [92]
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Camille Chamoun - 3 Tevet 5780 / Yekshanbeh: 9. Dey 1398 / 30 December 2019

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Attack on Adunis-Mambiza Railway thwarted as government troops decisively best terrorists.

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Military troops secure the perimeter following the fire-fight with terrorists who attacked the train.
Aïn Djasser Province - A unit train destined to Mambiza from Qa'a along the Adunis-Mambiza Railway, carrying 53,000 barrels of oil destined to Garambura, was attacked today by terrorists as it neared the Tsabaran-Djedet border after passing through Beit Shajaf. The attack was repulsed by the armed escorts that the government has been stationing at numerous locations throughout the country, including the Tsabaran sections of the railway and upon its trains.

The train departed from Qa'a earlier this morning, scheduling its trip on a strict time-table. Forces from Tsabara's 7th Infantry Regiment had been stationed on the train to defend shipments to and from the nations along the important railway. Tsabara's nationalisation of its sections of the railway in the early 1950s became a point of national pride for the nation, and a cornerstone of Tsabaran national identity due to its importance to northern Coian commerce. It also became an important aspect of 'Communalist Foreign Policy', using the railway as a launching pad for its form of Swetanian Council Communism and as a symbol of a rejection and surpassing of the wounds of imperialism. Its functionality and maintenance has been a key aspect of all successive Tsabaran governments, and under Tughluq it was updated and expanded to accommodate for a greater amount of rail traffic. He once called it "a river in its own right." Because of its importance, and the fact it runs through the currently unstable eastern provinces of Tsabara, has led many to believe it would be subject to an attack.

At roughly 11:17am, officers aboard the train were warned of the reports of hostile presence in the area. It is also believed that the government had been tipped off by an impending attack by local loyalists in the region. A few minutes later, a pre-emptive strike was launched by units from within and around the train itself. Their ambush caught off guard, terrorists who the government claim to be members of Al-Isbah, were decisively divided and dealt with individually. Of the 189 fighters reported to have been present ready to assault the train, 121 were reported killed by the 7th, 43 wounded and the remainder were captured. The troops continued escorting the train until it crossed the border, in which they returned back to disclosed checkpoints across the province.

Interim-President Nazim al'Qutayni confirmed the success of the pre-emptive strike this afternoon, heralding the victory as "a grim reminder to all terrorists and traitors that the federal government is, and has never been, defenceless." Whilst many have supported the measures and have treated the victory as a breath of fresh air, some have begun to criticise the president's priorities. The successful thwarting of this attack but not of Yeruham has caught the public eye that to Nazim profit is greater than people.

Governmental supporters have argued that there is no reason to believe this -- and that the rail not only contained human life, but its functionality is instrumental to Tsabara. Nazim, however, again apologised and offered sympathy for those who lost loved ones in the Yeruham attacked and dedicated the victory "to their memory and support of the cosocial union."

Al-Isbah has yet to claim responsibility for the attack and has remained silent on the issue.

IEDs and explosive devices were found within their camps around the area, as well as equipment from domestic producers and other nations including Zorasan. It is expected the government will demand an explanation for their presence to the UZIR.

Futhermore, the Government of National Unity has also expressed its praise for the heroism of the armed forces in this endeavour. Aryeh Kahlon, leader of the APP, praised the "tactical decisions" of "a cosocial military."

To many in Tsabara, and in the world at large, the victory today comes as a sigh of relief in the ongoing 'Tsabaran Crisis'.


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thomasthearmouredtankengine · 1 hour ago
choo choo


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aradicalcentrist · 1 hour ago
bruh i can't believe they banned the swastika but not the hammer and sickle on iiwiki! this is not epic.


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FONCKS · 1 hour ago
OH MY GOD I AM PREDICTING THAT ZORASANI GENERAL FADAVI IS GOING TO BE ASSASSINATED :O


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Xiaodong
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Postby Xiaodong » Fri Jan 03, 2020 8:07 pm

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GREAT LEADER - ESTMERISH PRIME MINISTER IS "INTENT ON GLOBAL IMPERIALISM"
January 03, 2020 | By Deng Yazhou

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Yuan Xiannian speaking to the State Preisidium

RONGZHUO - Speaking to the Legislative Council today State Chairman Yuan Xiannian has condemned recent comments by Estmerish prime minister Reginald Wilton-Smyth as being "intent on global imperialism". Yuan further called Wilton-Smyth an "incompetent fool denying the inevitable facts of the future" and who wish to "subjugate Coius to a neo-imperialist agenda alongside his Senrian running dogs".

"The Estmerish prime minister calls us and our Zorasani brothers evil and intent on global domination. But who was the country who colonised large sections of Coius? Which country supported inter-generational murder, rape and the destruction of native cultures? Which country continues to harbour a neo-colonial policy that enslaves Coians and retards the economic growth of our continent?"

"The Estmerish prime minister's comments are unacceptable in the modern age and should be condemned by those who oppose imperialism and support truth and freedom over colonial tyranny."

The Estmerish prime minister made on New Years Day a belligerent speech that named recent actions by Zorasan and Xiaodong to promote peace, freedom, justice and security across Coius as being part of a so-called plan of global domination calling the two countries as being part of an Axis of Evil. This sabre-rattling indicates an attempt by Estmere is unjustly smear Coian nations as responsible for the effects of Euclean imperialism which range from environmental destruction, political intervention into sovereign countries, support for imperialist groupings and unbalanced economic developed.

Although most Xiaodongese officials are aware of Estmere's constant attempts to unfairly paint Xiaodong as an aggressive nation contrary to the historical record the ultra-aggressive actions and rhetoric of Wilton-Smyth have been taken by surprise especially considering Estmere's traditionally more cautious actions. Top security and foreign policy experts point to a shift to the right in northern Euclea alongside increased influence by Senrian neo-functionalist and neo-liberal politicians as being part of the root cause of this rhetoric.

Nevertheless it appears that the government will not stand for the aggressive and colonialist rhetoric of Estmere and will continue to promote a strong Coius free from imperialism.
Last edited by Xiaodong on Fri Jan 03, 2020 8:57 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Major General Alireza Fadavi: "if we must, we will become the vanguard of resistance" against Estmere and its neo-imperialism


Zahedan, Union Capital Territory- Major General Alireza Fadavi, the head of the Zorasani Irfanic Revolutionary Armed Forces has slammed Estmere’s Prime Minister, Reginald Wilton-Smyth in a
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Maj Gen. Fadavi addressing worshipers during Friday prayers in Zahedan.
wide-ranging speech during Friday prayers at the Imam Ardashir Beytol in Zahedan. In his speech he denounced the “endless stream of lies and fantasies” from Estmere and argued that the current tensions and the vitriolic “nonsense of Estmere” is driven by a “fear of those once enslaved, pillaged, raped and exploited coming to overtake them.” The exchange follows the devastating terror attacks in Yeruham which killed almost 200 people last week.

Addressing thousands of worshipers at the Imam Ardashir Beytol in Zahedan, the head of the Zorasani military was clear in his condemnation of Estmere’s pugnacious prime minister. Maj Gen. Fadavi used his speech to directly retort the prime minister’s new year’s address in which he described Zorasan and Xiaodong as the “axis of evil”, and further claimed Zorasan was sponsoring terrorism and pursuing weapons of mass destruction.

“The prime minister of Estmere, the man who sent warships into our waters, inspired by the colonialist tradition of gunboat diplomacy, has now spouted further insulting nonsense against our country. He now claims that we are part of an axis of evil” the general said, drawing laughter from his audience.

“He even went further to link our great nation to the atrocities committed in Yeruham, without evidence, without proof, just the whirling hatred that has fuelled his obsession since becoming leader of his country” he said further.

“He spoke of civilised nations, but his lies are so blatant, that I say to him, no sir. Civilised nations do not use the innocent dead to propagate falsehoods for political points. You have insulted the innocents of Yeruham to distract from your own troubles at home. You are the disgrace, not this country” he said to loud cheers.

The general went on to describe the coming decade as one of great competition and a clash of the “past and future”, while referencing heavily Estmere and Euclea’s colonial past.

“Since the false accusation that our country murdered Assad Erekat, Estmere has waged a constant campaign of slander and provocation against our Union. This is a concerted effort by a government driven by the fear shared by all Euclean countries; the fear of those they once enslaved, pillaged, raped and exploited coming to overtake them.

“What we face is a continuation of our struggle against foreign rule, domination and exploitation. Zorasan and our allies in Xiaodong are the Axis of Evil because we are the future. We are the nations that in time, will come to determine the path of this world, not Euclea. This is the renewed struggle, between the past and the future, the decayed and decrepit against the vibrant, dynamic and resilient. We are the future; the Union is the future and Estmere is the slowly fading page in the book of history” he said to resounding cheers and applause.

“If this man in Estmere wants confrontation he will find it. We have been scarred and wounded by colonialism and imperialism, we know its pain, and we know never to allow it to find its place in this country or any country in Coius again. This man in Estmere is not fit for this century, nor is he fit to lead his country” he said defiantly.

“I am certain that we will prevail in this new struggle. If we must become the centre of resistance, the vanguard of the future and the frontline against Euclean neo-imperialism, the warped agenda wrapped up in the fake clothes of so-called liberal democracy, then we will do so. If we must, we will resurrect the old Zorasani spirit of resistance, the relentless pursuit of freedom and dignity for all the dispossessed of this world” he said to roars from the audience.

The general’s words were echoed by State President Vahid Isfandiar who described the “Axis of Evil” speech, a “clear view into the mindset of Prime Minister Wilton-Smyth, antiquated, dangerous, provocative and bizarre.”

The head of state also denounced the claims of the Union sponsoring terrorism and producing weapons of mass destruction telling reporters at a press conference, as a “litany of lies and falsehoods, produced by a government hateful of Zorasan’s rise above the preferred position of servitude and subservience.”

Major General Fadavi also led the Beytol in a minute silence for the victims of last week’s attack in Yeruham.

“We pray for those who died in Yeruham, just as we pray for those martyred in the East. We pray for all Tsabara, we pray that they overcome this crisis and receive a government worthy of their name. For what we see in Adunis, is not just a government which seized power through murder, but now guns down children” he said, referencing the shooting of 18-year-old Jaffar al-Bariqi. His death at the hands of a government soldier has rallied millions in the east in further protest against the interim government.

The government has since issued a travel ban to Tsabara citing the “serious security concerns.” It is ordering all Zorasani nationals inside the country to return home, while the embassy in Adunis is being reduced to only essential personnel.

A government source has also indicated that if the “situation worsens any further, further protective measures will be taken.” The source further indicated that the embassy may be evacuated entirely, while the government is prepared to withdraw diplomatic staff from Euclean states should they “side with Estmere’s campaign of misinformation and lies.”


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Alleniana
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Postby Alleniana » Sat Jan 04, 2020 11:29 am

| https://www.kabadan.ai/es/government-laundered-€7-billion-bureaucratic

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Government laundered €7 billion for foreign banks, bureaucratic leaks show
Published at 2019-01-04T23:45Z
Reported by Chief Reporter Bagat Zagsateg

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Headquarters of the Bank of the Orient in Cuanstad

8GB of leaks from a senior bureaucrat in the Aimilian government from today (4th January 2020) show that the Minister for Finance in the Conservative government knowingly laundered at least €7 billion in conjunction with the Bank of the Orient, a bank of global significance based in Imagua and the Assimas, and the Tabad Bank, a smaller credit institution in Aimilia. The larger sum of money is believed to have links to organised crime.

The Minister for Finance, Kabam Kidnizundam, is yet to respond, but has been personally implicated as having used his role to move and launder several billion Euclos for personal gain. The Bank of the Orient is not at this stage accused of any wrongdoing, but was the institution which facilitated the movement of the money associated with organised crime syndicates. The Tabad Bank was however indicated as having had knowledge of the scheme, and it was raided today by the Aimilian Police, and its branch and ATM operations stopped.

The leaks, which are being termed the Sapnam Leaks for the codename given by the leaker in a message, were sent to the Aimilian Police and major media outlets in Aimilia and Euclea simultaneously yesterday, though the news did not break until today. They have not yet been fully examined, and it is expected that more evidence of wrongdoing in the administration will be uncovered, judging by the size of the files; they are eight gigabytes. It has however become clear that the Ministry of Finance was engaged in an international scheme to move and launder money, largely for the personal profit of those involved. The Minister for Finance seems to have been the person organising the entire scheme, with Kidnizundam's presence in the inner circle of the Conservative Group government possibly a reason for the scheme's successful concealment up until now; the documents show that operations were ongoing since at least 2017. While other members of the ministry are implicated, no other ministers in government or members of the Kazbastad have been yet. Money laundering is an offence under the Criminal Code of Aimilia, punishable by up to life imprisonment with parole.

No statement from government is yet forthcoming, while all opposition parties have condemned the revelation. The Sotirian Democrats and National Liberal issued a joint statement, expressing "grave concern" and "deep disappointment" in the actions which are likely to be considered criminal, while the National Leftist Party and Party of Labour spoke separately, with the NLP accusing the entire government of being "boot-deep in corruption and [manure]", and the Party of Labour saying it was a "symptom of global capitalism". With election day less than a week away, the leaks are likely to have a massive impact, and could in fact interfere with voting itself, as it is too late to register new candidates while people who are found guilty of crimes are disqualified from sitting in the Kazbastad. The general election for the Kazbastad, the legislature of the country, will be held on the 11th of January.

Political rallies morphed into protests today, reminiscent of the July Spring, with calls for the government, in particular the Chancellor Manham Batsatindim, to resign. While recent protests have been focused on economic issues and social policy, particularly those which were struck down by the Supreme Court of Aimilia for being against rights last month, this issue also seems likely to become significant for those opposing the government. The leaks, while still being examined, also seem to have information with regards to government macroeconomic data and the finances of the country as a whole, but it will take more time to examine and publish those matters.

The latest polling from EnquestadorKK from before the news broke had suggested the Conservatives would fall just short of a majority, with the largest opposition party to be the Party of Labour. As of end of trading today, the PKE Index has dropped 55 points.



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alix (@vedalix) wrote:Axis of Evil my arse dude, billionaires from all over the world get away with this shit every day
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Bagtob Bintomdat wrote:let this government die thousand Deaths
Directly commented

parker@kapitanibus wrote:Watch those involved get off with a fine less than the sum they stole
Via WirMir

andi@communism wrote:Let me get my durian, this is a paddlin'
Via Holobit

water Water wrote:Actually fucking makes me see red, they're literally just running a fucking gang in there now? Holy fucking shit
Directly commented

Maryanne Dickson wrote:Ok so. ok so basically what i'm getting from this is that you're a 36 year old "90s kid" whose career is going nowhere, you haven't slept with anyone in 2 and a half years and you spend all your free time on some irrelevant roleplay forum instead of self improvement. or even just a discord server for a roleplay forum. Well i have to say it is a pretty sorry state of affairs when somebody who grew up before multiplayer gaming was really even a thing is spending 40 hours a week on maps, flags, materials for home made items and server upkeep patreons. some people your age have friends and families and are actually doing something with their life and you are sitting in your 1 bedroom apartment on a friday night vaping peach ice tea flavour nicotine juice and demeaning the character of people who dare to suggest improvements to the governmental structure of the virtual nation on a voxel simulation you happen to have been elected as delegate to.
i mean what even is the significance of that? 9 out of 20 people or whatever thought you possessed some degree of "funny" or "epic" or "gamer" and clicked your screenname in a poll? you know when Bubba Wardley came up with the idea of 15 minutes of fame i bet he never thought that it would turn into 3 months of mediocrity and faint recognition. Yet here we are. anyway if there is a silver cloud on the horizon it is that the information on the internet will likely stick around for a long time so when you are a 90 year old aged wrinkly fella you will be able to tell whatever irradiated, pollution infused youngsters you can convince to listen to you then (let's be real probably not your grandchildren) what you got up to in the Good Ol Days and they will be able to look up your old nation-state-civilization username and see that yes, in fact you were in fact involved in the governance of an early immersive virtual region, in fact. Of course the other alternative is that somebody who used to play this game will become extremely rich and powerful and popularise it as some kind of origin myth for their psyche in which case you will be able to use your history to get people to pay attention to you and maybe ask you to write some articles for an online business magazine. Or something. anyway have a good weekend.
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Estmere
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Postby Estmere » Sat Jan 04, 2020 12:09 pm

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Marilyn Albridge - 3 January 2020

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BUCKETT TO STEP DOWN AS FOREIGN SECRETARTY, PROGRESSIVES LEADER AMID INTERNATIONAL BLOW-BACK FOR 'AXIS OF EVIL' SPEECH

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Anne Buckett has served as Foreign Secretary since 2016 and has been a critic of Wilton-Smyth.
ASHCOMBE - Foreign Secretary Anne Buckett has announced her intention to step down from her position, ending her tenure as Estmere's top diplomat, deputy prime minister, and leader of her Progressives Party. Buckett has held all three positions since 2016 and has been a leading voice in the governments of Rupert Richardson and Reginald Wilton-Smyth as foreign secretary. Previously, she served as Secretary for Defence in Agatha Sharpe's government from 2014 until her 2016 appointment as foreign secretary. Announcing her decision in a statement released this evening, Buckett said she had "made one of the hardest decisions of [her] life" but ultimately determined that it was "time for [her] to depart".

"After over three years as Secretary for Foreign Affairs, I have come to the conclusion that the time for me to department has come. Serving my country has been the greatest honor of my life and I have made one of the hardest decisions of my life in deciding it is time to step aside. I want to thank my party for its confidence in me as its leader and the people of this nation for providing me with this opportunity to serve. I look forward to spending time with my young family and enjoying all this country has to offer to me once again as a private citizen" the statement released by her office read.

Her departure comes in the wake of Prime Minister Wilton-Smyth's so-called "Axis of Evil" speech, which he gave in his New Year's address on Wednesday. In it, he called on the world to unite against Xiaodong and Zorasan, labeling them as an "axis of evil". He was highly critical of the authoritarian governments in both countries. The prime minister also claimed that the Zorasani government was responsible for last week's deadly Yeruham attacks and that it was working towards developing nuclear weapons.

Buckett is understood to have been blindsided by the address, with the prime minister withholding his intention voice such heavy criticism against the two Coian nations in addition to a number of others he identified as "illiberal forces". Sources close to the ex-foreign secretary indicate that her relationship with Wilton-Smyth had deteriorated since September's parliamentary vote to launch an inquiry into the Edwards' Scandal. Buckett allowed her parliamentarians to vote freely on the inquiry, which passed. Recently, she was critical of the House Committee on Oversight and Governmental Affairs, which has stalled the inquiry from proceeding.

One source close to Wilton-Smyth have said that he viewed Buckett as "undermining the coalition" and that the National Union Party was growing cautious of her leadership.

"Really, what you had was a relationship that was becoming more and more unattainable over time. Trust had been eroded, [Buckett] was seen as undermining the coalition first by allowing the inquiry into Edwards to pass and then later on by actively working against government policy" the source, who spoke to the Herald on the condition on anonymity, said.

Buckett's departure comes amid international blow-back against Wilton-Smyth for his speech. Xiaodongese State Chairman Yuan Xiannian accused the prime minister of being "intent on global imperialism" and said he was an "incompetent fool denying the inevitable facts of the future". Major General Alireza Fadavi, the de facto leader of Zorasan, denounced what he claimed was an “endless stream of lies and fantasies” in Wilton-Smyth's address and dismissed it as the “nonsense of Estmere". The prime minister has been dismissive their criticism, calling them "tyrants and hypocrites" and further stating that "Xiaodongese and Zorasani imperialism is an open secret" in both countries. Ajahadya's foreign minister, Rajvir Sarai, said his government "must be doing something right" to have been "called evil by neo-colonialist imperialists".

However, criticism of Wilton-Smyth has not just been limited to the nations mentioned in his address. Criticism has mounted throughout the Euclean Community in the run up to tomorrow's emergency summit. Gaullican President Jean Vallette said that “Wilton-Smyth’s words only inflame an already tenuous situation in Tsabara. Our priority is to bridge the gap of a divided state, not fuel the fires of division.”

Vallette was joined by the Prime Minister of Azmara, Eryk Jorśsun, in expressing concern. Jorśsun said that he does "not believe that costly interventions which shall only result in meaningless losses of human life and chronic destabilization and escalation are the way forward to deal with the Tsabaran crisis.”

Hennish Prime Minister Rupert van Bleiswijk also said that “while we acknowledge the crisis’ ramifications, what should be pursued by Euclea is a position to reconcile and calm, not provide the means for others to divide" and a spokesperson for the Caldish Taoiseach (prime minister), Stiofán Mac Suibhne, said it was "imperative" that the governments of Euclea "work towards peace, not division".

A spokesperson for the Weranic foreign ministry said that “while we agree with the direction of Wilton-Smyth’s government we do not necessarily share his priorities”, distancing themselves from the prime minister's address. The government of Chancellor Otto von Hößlin is seen as the friendliest to Wilton-Smyth within the Euclean Convention, and the prime minister will depend on their support if he is going to sway the bloc during this weekend's summit.

The Euclean Commission has thus far declined to comment on the speech, with EC President Alexis Walker saying the issue will "be discussed" at the summit. She is hoping that national leaders to reach a consensus on the Tsabaran Crisis this weekend. One major roadblock she faces is discord between the EC's dovish and the more assertive governments. Wilton-Smyth has been a major advocate for intervention in Badawiya and Coius at large to prevent the dominance of the Rongzhuo Strategic Protocol Organisation (ROSPO), led by Xiaodong and Zorasan. The prime minister clashed extensively with the Zorasani government in August following the killing of Zorasani dissident Assad Erekat by two men identified as Zorasani intelligence agents. A naval confrontation in July showed that Wilton-Smyth is willing to flex Estmere's armed forces in Coius, a major shift in the more reserved approach the nation typically adopted. More dovish governments in many of the EC's smaller states have come out strongly against direct Euclean intervention in Tsabara and Coius at large. Led by the Caldish government, small EC states have banded together to lobby the Euclean Commission to avoid direct confrontation with ROSPO. However, many of these governments are not members of the Euclean Defense Treaty Organization (EDTO), the military alliance of a number of Euclean states. Their lack of participation in the organization could allow Wilton-Smyth, backed by his NKP allies in Westbrücken, to secure Euclean intervention in Tsabara.

The departure of Estmere's foreign secretary makes the situation all the more uncertain. In the interim, the prime minister has the right to nominate an acting secretary until one is appointed by President Alice Roberts. Oliver Osborne, the Secretary for Healthcare, will step up as acting leader of the Progressives until a leadership vote is held among its parliamentarians.



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The Ik Ka Ek Akai
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Postby The Ik Ka Ek Akai » Sat Jan 04, 2020 2:15 pm

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PHULI GOVERNMENT SPEAKS
After a period of observation and reflection, the government now speaks about current international affairs

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Anupa Basnet ( @MKFlopot )
27 07 2019 11:30 AM | Pushkarma, Phula





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The Adhikari speaks at a panel of government officials, delivering their various stances

PUSHKARMA, PHULA - Several leading officials of Phuli government have come forth to issue official statements regarding the terror attacks in Tsabara, and the recent resignation of allied Estmere's Foreign Secretary. This is much anticipated by the general public considering the weight of these events, and until this time they had been met only with effective radio silence. Answering, at last, the leaders of the land claim that they undertook a period of reflection and detachment as is common to high Satyist practice to clear the mind and analyze things from an objective viewpoint. Grand Princess Avani was quoted as saying, "If it was an outrage before, it will continue to be so after a few days. It is best to stand back and look with a clear mind, rather than jumping in without all the relevant information." The resignation of Ms. Buckett over hasty comments and finger-pointing is, perhaps, proof of concept in that case.

The first to deliver a formal speech was Angsu Desti, the director of Phula's SKSM. Desti opened his speech by describing the activities his agency has been engaging in and what they have been tracking abroad, pointing particularly to the research conducted on the chemical agent used in the Erekat killing. This was not a distraction, however, as he related it once more to the conflict between EC and Zorasan, and the question of taking each at their word or applying a critical lens both ways. He concluded his speech by stating that Ms. Buckett had her heart in the right place, but was too hasty in making comments and reacting to the events - he repeated her phrase "Axis of Evil", but nebulously assigned it to "Those responsible, they know who they are," refusing to directly implicate Zorasan in the matter and focusing on those already confirmed as directly involved.

The next to speak was the Black Abbot, Thenba Kagate. Acting as the domestically-oriented equivalent of Mr. Desti, Kagate's speech primarily involved the concerns present within Phula domestically. Some, he mentioned, raise legitimate concerns about the state of counterterrorism within Phuli borders. If a group can perform such a horrible strike afar, and supposedly receive foreign and hostile funding to do so, how is Phula preventing something like that from happening internally? Kagate's responses addressed this question, pointing to the long struggle against insurgents in the 20th century and what has been learned from the experience with conducting counterterror and promoting stability and unity within the nation. Existing in such a precarious position and with scars still so recent, he claims Phula has adapted to rapid response, counteraction, and prevention with regard to such things, and that common citizens have nothing to fear from the attack. After all, he reminds, a terrorist seeks to instill terror, and to deny them this is to deny them their ultimate victory. In the true fashion of a monk, he states all must keep clear and level-headed in this time of crisis.

Various ministers gave brief statements, but speeches were rare among them. For the greater part of the group, this public outing was nothing more than a progress report to the public face. We are assured that various rice, opium, and rubber crops are all doing just fine, that hospitals will never run dry of medicines, buses of tires, the sky of clouds, and the land of trees. The key speaker was ultimately the Adhikari, Grand Princess Avani, who fulfilled the role many assign to her as the face of the Phuli government.

Avani began with repeating the need for patience and reflection in a time of crisis, stating that it was the duty of the nation to uphold the Satyist ideals that bound them together. Her speech reiterated a strength of national unity, and the empiricism that she claims underlies Phuli philosophy and understandings. Just as happened with the chemical attack before, it is best to analyze the bare facts, and work to prevent such things from happening again. Mr. Dasti and Mr. Kagate nodded along with her speech as she ran down the talking points. She concluded by stating that Phula will hold close to its allies in COMSED, appreciates the concerns of the EC, and hopes that those sponsoring the attacks will be met with the justice they deserve. This, evidently, was an unexpected comment, earning a look of surprise from Desti and Kagate, who had thus far refrained from making decisive or committed statements on any front. While she refused to explicitly implicate anyone, her statements regarding a sponsor or backer to the groups involved, of a party indirectly responsible, is a step beyond what her ministers were willing to openly admit.

Whether this disagreement is a simple slip of the tongue on a closed-doors internal agreement, or speaks to dissent within the governmental apparatus, remains to be seen. While Avani has sometimes been accused of being a mere mouthpiece for her elders, this statement seems to have slightly surprised and rattled them. Prime Minister Kujang Itcham was seen holding her hand and patting her back shortly after she left the stage, though he declined to comment at the panel or provide a reason for his silence. A brief Q&A was held after the speeches, but the Grand Princess and the Prime Minister both left the event before it started. The resulting questions proved, ultimately, to be of lesser relevance or importance to the crisis at hand, and so we shall not bore our readers with petty details.


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New Year's pyromaniacs remain detained

Postby Minilov » Sat Jan 04, 2020 4:50 pm

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New Year's pyromaniacs remain detained

MALJUBAV, Minilov — Police in Maljubav detained 156 people during the night. Most of them were detained for a few hours to allow public order situations to defuse. But, 35 people are still in police custody for serious criminal offences. According to figures from the Maljubav local police service, 61 cars that had been set on fire. And the police received 57 reports that pyromaniacs had set rubbish bins on fire.

Interior Minister Mr Ioan Pekmez responsible for this police action told the Korrespondent that: "Public order needs to remain maintained in all parts of Maljubav. Criminals who abuse a night of festivities to torch our cities will think twice. We will persue these pyromaniacs to the fullest extent of the law."

Police suspect many of those detained of having set cars alight. Police suspect others of having thrown objects at passing cars, buses and police vehicles. The police made most arrests in the Maljubav-West and, to a lesser extent, in the Maljubav-South policing zone. The police report that the situation was tense in many areas of the city. This includes the area around the southern train station, Mlinski district and Crno district. There were reports of a car and a scooter on fire in Mlinkski. And another car was set alight in the Mraz district.

The national transport company MRail reported some incidents across the capital. They pelted one carriage with fireworks missiles. Some of its windows broke when approaching the Maljubav-South train station. Unknowns vandalised two metro carriages at the Ernas metro station in Mraz. They damaged four bus shelters and a police vehicle got stuck on the tram rails near City Hall. By far the most serious incident was at the Potoka metro station in Mlinski. There was one person injured in a stabbing and he remains hospitalised. The stabbing took place at around 4 AM.
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Opinion: New Decade, New Problems

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Samuel Hofmeyr (Professor of International Studies at the University of Pietersburg)
6 January (12:00pm)




At the beginning of last month Satucin and Chervolesia signed an agreement that ordinarily would be celebrated as a triumph of democracy. Instead, it was met mostly with deafening silence, except for one lone voice.

Robert Marten's condemnation of the deal between Satucin and Chervolesia, in which Satucin recognised the existence of a reduced "security zone" off the coast of Chervolesia may have seemed like his usual bombastic self, but behind it was the recognition of the failure of the international system to protect global maritime trade.

That failure should have had significant rammifications across the globe. Yet only those affected by the instability seemed to be affected, everyone else seemed fine. That ships could now be seized wantonly by nations without even a valid justification, and the subtle embracing of national piracy, should have concerned everyone. It should have plunged the world into another financial crisis. It should have scared every single person on this planet who cared enough to pay attention.

The deafening silence over the issue from the global community and the precedent established by the deal between Satucin and Chervolesia is now prompting a serious rethink of Nuvania's position not only in the Asterian Forum for Development and Cooperation (AFDC), but also rethinking it's second fiddle role in the organisation dominated by Satucin and Satucine interests. The expectation of Nuvania falling into line as expected has not been met, and it shouldn't be, and Marten has given no intentions that he will fulfill that expectation. But now he faces several problems in this new year, and this new decade that will determine Nuvania's position in the Asterias for the foreseeable future.

How Did We Get Here?
In the final years of the Great War, Chervolesia invaded Satucin and forced them out of their occupation of Vilcasuamanas and out of the war entirely. Nuvania, faced with the collapse of its eastern ally, moved in beyond its own zone of occupation in an attempt to shore up not only its own logistics but prevent Vilcasuamanian resistance from seizing territory and reforming into a coherent fighting force. With massively overstretched supply lines and the loss of the Satucine naval presence in the central and western Arucian, Nuvania was now placed in an untenable position. So with withdrew from the east of Vilcasuamanas, and then from the country entirely. It ceeded territories it won in the War of the Arucian and was humiliated in the peace dictated by, among others, Chervolesia.

Our modern view of Chervolesia come from experiences that are within the memories of many of those who are still alive, including those serving as draftees in the military and those whose lives were affected by the numerous terrorist attacks that took place in Nuvania during the 1970's and 1980's. The principal supporter of groups such as the National Liberation Army (NLA) and the Volksfront was Chervolesia, offering training and material support to leftist groups operating out of Vilcasuamanas. It is in the context of preventing communist expansion and the suffering brought upon many people over two decades in which Nuvania's weariness and fear of Chervolesia and of cooperativism must be considered, and how it relates to its geopolitical standing. Through this we can garner an understanding of why it is taking the stance that it is, and why the deal between Satucin and Chervolesia represents a significant threat to Nuvania and its national security interests.

Why Does It Matter?
Because of the recent history regarding Chervolesia's support for leftist terrorism in Nuvania and Vilcasuamanas, Nuvania regards Chervolesia as a threat to its national security, and containing Chervolesian military and political expansionism is a key component of its foreign relations policy. However, as Nuvania is militarily weaker than Chervolesia, it relies on partners larger than itself, such as Satucin, to provide not only that buffer between Chervolesia and Nuvania, but also to provide both diplomatic and military strength. The Asterian Forum for Development and Cooperation (AFDC) is more than an economic and political alliance, it also has important military agreements within that, and represents the collective security, and therefore collective reassurance, of Nuvania's national security, alongside other member states. The biggest and most important partner the AFDC's political, economic, and military sphere is Satucin.

It is no surprise to anyone that Nuvania regarded the deal with Chervolesia with alarm as it represents a significant weakening of the AFDC's position not only in terms of geopolitical standing and influence, but also of its internal political and military unity. The membership standing rank and file behind Satucin in support of their dispute with Chervolesia is starting to fracture, and there is much uncertainty regarding support for Nuvania's position. This has sent the message to Pietersburg that the AFDC can no longer be relied upon for Nuvania's security interests, and therefore Pietersburg has to look elsewhere for protection.

Look South!
While the AFDC is by no means threatening to break apart over this particular dispute, it has prompted Nuvania to seek assurances of its national security elsewhere. And there is only one country in which Nuvania can find those assurances: Valentir.

Although it is located in Sublustria, Valentir represents the solution to all of Nuvania's current political problems. It is an AFDC associate member and is a nuclear power, providing a sharing agreement and umbrella to other AFDC members. It's military power and nuclear umbrella will not only be able to essentially replace Satucin as Nuvania's primary defence partner, it also carries with it greater diplomatic influence and economic ties. Nuvania and Valentir both have shared interests, shared history as former colonies of the Estermish kingdom, and have a long history of political and military cooperation. Unsurprisingly the government in Pietersburg is seeking to boost ties with the government in Harborough which potentially include boosts to defence and the economy.

Valentir also stands to benefit from closer ties to Nuvania as it represents an expansion of the foothold it currently has in the Asterias. Valentiran businesses will benefit from the increased access into the AFDC market, and have the potential to expand outwards with new diplomatic initiatives, thus increasing its presence and diplomatic influence with some of the major regional powers in the Asterias.

What Needs to Happen?
Most of what is here is speculation, but it's a likely set of circumstances and outcomes that could determine Nuvania's future course over the next year, and the next decade by extension. In light of the deal, the Nuvanian government needs to expand its defensive requirements and partners beyond its immediate surroundings and look elsewhere for potential partners. In doing so it improves its own standing within the Asterias and achieves the overarching goal of sustaining Nuvania's national security interests in the containment of Chervolesian expansionism.

Robert Marten will face a number of tough decisions this year, especially given he needs to take into account that Nuvania heads to the polls next year, and decisions made this year will have knock-on effects into the election. He will have to maintain a fine balance through deepening relations with Valentir and assert Nuvania's own influence within the AFDC, as well as look to secure diplomatic security elsewhere.

He will also face a declining economy, and any decisions made need to factor the potential for economic rammifications. Appeasing investors and speculators to abate the decline in forecasted growth over the next financial year will be key in whether or not Marten's current term will be his last.

What Lies Ahead?
2020 will become a crucial and defining year for Nuvania in whether or not it makes good use of the available opportunities that the current set of circumstances presents. For Marten, it will be a test of his decision making capabilities and whether or not he can balance the assertion of Nuvania in what could become a new era in AFDC relations, expand Nuvania's diplomatic ties beyond the AFDC, and deal with a looming economic crisis and downturn in the national economy. Whatever lies ahead needs determined and decisive leadership, a true test for any national leader.



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President Czenko delivered a speech to the Vojnaskul following the address.

PRESIDENT CZENKO CONDEMNS WILTON-SMYTH'S "AXIS OF EVIL" SPEECH

January 6, 2020 - Helga Yurievna (@hyurievna)

Samuel Czenko is now among many global politicians to condemn the Estmerish Prime Minister's New Year's address

Samistopol, Narozalica - Narozalic president Samuel Czenko has joined an array of global leaders - multiple of whom hail from the ROSPO military alliance - in condemning the New Year's address of incumbent Estmerish Prime Minister Reginald Wilton-Smyth, in which he levelled a number of accusations at the Union of Zorasani Irfanic Republics, including the recent atrocities in Yeruham. The condemned accusations also included a referral to the Xiaodongese people as "brutally oppressed", Ajahadya as a "regime" and Narozalica and Chervolesia as "illiberal forces" and "rogue". Wilton-Smyth ended his address referring to all the aforementioned countries as "functionalist".

Czenko stated that Wilton-Smyth was "angered" that the balance of power in the world was "shifting away from the hands of the eastern Eucleans" and into "the majority populace". A desire to "project a Euclocentric view of the world" within the "blurry lens" of the Estmerish Prime Minister was also touched upon in Czenko's four-minute-long speech to the Vojnaskul, the lower house of the Narozalic legislature.

However, Wilton-Smyth's speech has caused significant backlash from unexpected sources. Nuvania condemned the speech despite going unmentioned in the address, and recently Estmerish Foreign Secretary and Progressive Party leader Anne Buckett stepped down, citing the speech as a cause of her resignation. Buckett's Progressives were a member of the ruling coalition of Estmere, and sources close to Wilton-Smyth have reported that he viewed Buckett's departure as "undermining the coalition". Czenko went on to say that the Prime Minister's reaction to Buckett's resignation was one that "signalled a fragile grip on power" and that Wilton-Smyth was simply "attempting to plaster his face on as many newsboards as possible".



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Masoud Shariatzadeh - Doshanbeh: 17. Dey 1397 /6 January 2020

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First Minister Farzad Akbari flies to Rongzhou as tensions with Estmere deepen


Zahedan, Union Capital Territory- First Minister Farzad Akbari has flown to Rongzhuo to discuss the ongoing crisis in Tsabara and the “dangerous provocations by Estmere” against Zorasan and Xiaodong.
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First Minister Akbari (R) was greeted warmly by State Chairman Yuan Xiannian in Rongzhuo.
The First Minister arrived in the Xiaodongese capital for his talks with State Chairman Yuan Xiannian. Both governments have expressed solidarity, with the foreign ministry tweeting, “today, the Union and Xiaodong will surely reaffirm their brotherhood and alliance in face of the geopolitical offensive launched by the decaying Euclean powers.”

The First Minister’s visit comes as both Xiaodong and Zorasan digest the widely criticsed speech by Estmere’s pugnacious premier, Reginald Wilton-Smyth. In comments the First Minister made to reporters on his flight to Rongzhuo, he said, “the speech still leaves me somewhat speechless. The prime minister of Estmere is without respect for other nations and knows nothing of subtlety. If anyone was in doubt about his neo-imperialist agenda, I doubt any are now.”

He further said, “I have spoken to State Chairman Xiannian and we are both committed to ensuring that we are in lockstep. We both face a Euclea moving backwards in time and ideology, just we both as leaders of nations who suffered the horrors of imperialism wish to see it beaten back.”

The First Minister conceded that many in the establishment, led by General Alireza Fadavi were pushing for a hardline against Estmere, “many in the Nezam seek a hardline position. I understand this, as does State President Isfandiar. We must be calm and analytical to truly understand what foe we are coming to face and to know what nefarious plots he has produced.”

Earlier today, General Fadavi further condemned the speech during a visit to Imam Ardashir Military Academy in Mazdavand. He told cadets, “make no mistake comrades, we are all marching toward a great confrontation. The man in Estmere thinks this is taking place in 1242 (1864), it will be our Union’s revolutionary and patriotic duty to remind him otherwise.”

The Minister of National Defence also openly accused Estmere and its allies of deepening the crisis in Tsabara, “with Estmere’s clear phobia of successful Irfanic states, which Atwan al-Tughluq was making of Tsabara, its now clear that their dirty and corrupting hands are worsening the crisis in Tsabara, they seek its demise and ours.”

Once the First Minister arrived in Rongzhuo, he was met by State Chairman Xiannian and the Union’s ambassador to the country, before being escorted to the Xiajiyu Palace for talks.

According to a statement released by the foreign ministry, the First Minister will seek to expand Zorasani-Xiaodongese intelligence sharing and cooperation, while he also seek to form a united front at the Community of Nations. Other issues include possibly cooperation in economic matters, including a possible retaliatory package should Estmere push for sanctions through the floundering Euclean Community. The First Minister will also discuss in detail, the ongoing chaos and security crisis in Tsabara.

More as the story develops.



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CRITICAL SUMMIT ENDS IN DEADLOCK AS EC LEADERS STRUGGLE TO REACH CONSENSUS ON TSABARA

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Wilton-Smyth pictured with Hermansdohter at this weekend's summit.
Kesselbourg, Kesselbourg - EC leaders have departed from Kesselbourg after a series of inconclusive talks held over the weekend. President Alexis Walker had hopes that the bloc would be able to reach a consensus on the worsening political crisis across the Aurean Straits in Tsabara. However, after two days of marathon meetings national leaders appear to have made little progress on working towards an official EC-wide stance.

Tensions within the bloc have been brewing for sometime, as Estmerish Prime Minister Reginald Wilton-Smyth has amped up his criticism of Zorasan and its Coian allies, chiefly Xiaodong. He accused the nations of forming an "axis of evil" in his New Year's Address in the wake of the Yeruham terror attacks by Irfanic radicals he claims have ties to Zorasan. His hawkish approach has been a challenge for the bloc since he took over the Estmerish premiership in June, seeing tensions with Zorasan spike after a series of incidents this summer, ranging from the assassination of a dissident, Estmerish naval transgressions, and a series of retaliatory resolutions at the Community of Nations.

Wilton-Smyth's speech had garnered global criticism that has included leaders from within the bloc. National leaders from a number of EC countries expressed their concerns, most notable was Gaullican President Jean Vallette. Gaullica's long-serving president, who attended this weekend's summit, said last week that “Wilton-Smyth’s words only inflame an already tenuous situation in Tsabara. Our priority is to bridge the gap of a divided state, not fuel the fires of division.”

A group of smaller nations that favor a softer approach to both Zorasan and the Tsabaran Crisis has also routinely criticized Wilton-Smyth. Led by the Caldish Prime Minister, Stiofán Mac Suibhne, the nations hoped to pump the brakes on escalating tensions further this weekend. Given that the summit ended inconclusively, they appear to have been successful.

Walker has been noticeably silent on the issue, saying little apart beyond thanking EC leaders for agreeing to meet. "We all agree that there is an incredible sense of urgency, international institutions must act before it is too late" she said in a statement given before the Euclean press pool after the summit's close. The EC president said that "further talks were needed" and said that national leaders had agreed to hold another meeting of the Euclean Convention "early next month".

According to sources familiar with this weekend's meetings, talks stalled after Wilton-Smyth insisted the EC provide material aid to the Tsabaran interim government. This was opposed by a number of states, who had only agreed to providing humanitarian relief. Reports within the Estmerish press state that both the Weranic chancellor and Gaullican president offered to back Wilton-Smyth's proposal. A spokesperson for Vallette said that he was "disappointed" the nature of the EC's talks had been circulating in the press, saying it was "most shameful" and "hardly reflective" of what was discussed at the summit. Material aid was essentially blocked by the smaller nations, who hold a majority in both the Euclean Convention and the Euclean Council.

One Caldish diplomat said his government was "firm in its belief" that the crisis "must be addressed by the Community of Nations, not just the Eucleans". Caldia and its dovish allies within the Convention are concerned that even humanitarian relief done outside the frameworks of the CN could further inflame the situation. He also said that Mac Suibhne was working on a major diplomatic overture regarding the crisis, but declined to comment further. The Caldish prime minister is reported to have met with Walker, who is a native of Caldia, for over an hour yesterday morning.

The failure of EC leaders to reach a consensus on Tsabara indicates that member states will continue to act independent of the Euclean Commission on the issue, adding to growing uncertainty.


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January 06, 2020 | By Vimala Balchandra

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Just like the nation he leads, Wilton-Smith is a senile old man trying to resist the inevitable Coian future.


It is not often I find myself with the time to write an opinion piece for the media and have a subject worthy of taking time off from the duty of running a nation to put the metaphorical pen to paper. Wilton-Smith, unfortunately, happened to catch me at the wrong time, and so I find myself with the abiility to take time to put the thoughts of myself, my younger brother Salil whom you may know better as the President of the UFRH, and other close members of family and friends such as Rajvir Sarai, a personal friend of mine and the family on the matter.

I do not know what Wilton-Smith was attempting to achieve when he gave his speech, but I have listened to it several times in the hope of divining some form of meaning from it. My own country, the Union of Federated Republics of Hyndana, is not even referred to by its proper title, but by Ajahadya, the poetic name for the river valley the country happens to be located in. To his credit, he is correct in calling the UFRH a 'regime', because what is a regime but just another word for government? Sadly, the rest of his speech seems to be various flavours of spittle and hypocrisy.

It is the height of irony that the man who speaks for the very nation that denied Hyndana the right of self-determination, to emerge as a single nation capable of competing with any other power on the global stage, speaks of defending it, and then has the nerve to call my own country out for its desire to right the wrong wrought upon Hyndana by the colonial powers.

But that is only the surface of this speech. Wilton-Smith makes baseless accusations against Zorasan; he claims to have proof that they supported the recent terror attacks in Tsabara, but I see no proof provided with his speech or otherwise. That Zorasan seeks weapons of mass destruction is completely understandable; how else is one supposed to defend against the weapons of mass destruction already possessed by the so-called 'civilised world', as if Coius is still some barbaric untamed land like it was in the days of high imperialism?

No doubt Wilton-Smith longs for a return to the days of empire, when tiny Euclean nations would impose themselves upon whichever part of land they wished, when Eastern Euclea was the center of the world. But the world will always change, and there will always be figures like Wilton-Smith who refuse to go quietly into the dustbin of history where they belong. Even his own foreign secretary, Anne Buckett, has resigned over the speech's needlessly inflammatory contents. If Wilton-Smith was hoping for a rallying cry for the free world, then all he has failed utterly and indeed only succeeded in doing is the exact opposite, a cry for the nations of the world to rally against his little tirade.

I remain confident that Wilton-Smith's words will amount to little, ignored by history save for the reaction from the world. Estmere is a nation clawing onto the remains of an imperial past that will slip soon enough, and then Wilton-Smith and those like him will be forced to reckon with than this is the Coian Century, not the Euclean Century.
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Opinion: Robert Marten: The Rationale Behind The Anger

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Samuel Hofmeyr (Professor of International Studies at the University of Pietersburg)
7 January (2:00pm)




In my last opinion piece, I explained why Nuvania has reacted in the way it has with regards to the deal between Chervolesia and Satucin, and the challenges Chief Minister will face in the coming year, and the coming decade. In light of recent events, I feel it is necessary to explain the rationale behind Chief Minister Robert Marten's recent comments.

On January 1, the Prime Minister of Estmere, Reginald Wilton-Smyth, made speech in the tradition of the New Year. In that speech, he outlined what he called an "axis of evil". In it, he named the nations of ROSPO, as well as the leftist rebels in Marirana, Chervolesia, and other nations like Narozalica.

The intent of the speech was to clearly define the enemies of the Estmerish government and to build support among the Estmerish people and their government's long time allies. According to Wilton-Smyth, the speech was to be a rallying cry for democratic nations of the world to unite against this evil.

Chief Minister Robert Marten, ostensibly the head of government of a democratically elected government, took to social media to decry the speech made by his Estmerish counterpart. In light of a recent opinion piece explaining both his dissatisfaction, and that of the wider government, regarding the diplomatic deal between Chervolesia and Satucin, the anger in which Marten responded to Wilton-Smyth's speech seems somewhat random in its association of Estmere as being in the axis of evil itself. However, while many people may think it's a random act of irrational madness by the head of government of a diplomatically irrelevant country. But don't be fooled.

On July 6th, 2019, Zorasani dissident Assad Erekat was assasinated by Zorasani agents in Kennford, Estmere, drawing condemnation from around the world. Keen to show leadership, Wilton-Smyth responded to the assassination with condemnations, and then military escalation. This decision to use the Estmerish Navy as a tool for political pressure, while an age old tradition, was not an appropriate response to the crisis unfolding between Estmere and Zorasan.

In the midst of all this, Chervolesia issued Security Directive 2019, establishing a maritime security zone unilaterally. While this may not exactly look like two releated events, the fact that they occurred within days of each other and at roughly the same time as the events taking place in the Mazdan, and the failure of the international community to condemn both acts of imperialism and violations of extant maritime law is very much one of the factors behind Marten's responses.

The evidence for this comes in the timeline of these events. While Estmerish naval vessels had not yet engaged in the volation of Zorasani territorial waters, Chervolesia was still undergoing the implementation of its maritime security zone, one which went largely unnoticed by the international community, yet would have serious implications for regional and global politics. It had not yet been implemented when Estmerish frigates violated Zorasani territorial waters, the act of which surely must have been a vindication for Volosovo over its decision to implement a maritime security zone in the first place.

The crux of the issue in the eyes of both Chief Minister Marten and in the eyes of the Nuvanian government is that without the actions of Estmere in the aftermath of the assassination of Assad Erekat, the Chervolesian issue and the knock on political and economic effects of increased regional instability would not have occurred, or at least not occurred to the effect that they have. In short, Marten believes, quite rightly, that Aschombe's actions directly lead to the emboldening of Volosovo in both exploiting the distraction offered by Wilton-Smyth's military posturing and in seizing a Satucine freighter, the deal of which now recognises the existence of Chervolesia's security zone.

Marten has been consistent in both his condemnation of Estmere's actions in the Mazdan Sea, and Chervolesia's seizure of the Mistral. The lack of condemnation of Estmere's actions was a firm reminder of the chauvinistic colonialist mindset of the Ashcombe government and its contempt for the rule of international law, the very law it claims to uphold and protect. The veto of the condemnation of Chervolesia for their act of state sanctioned piracy proved what Marten had warned about in the aftermath of the failed condemnation of Estmere: the complete breakdown of international maritime law, which provided massive uncertainty for a country as dependent on exports as Nuvania is.

Marten's anger also comes from the fact that his warnings and his predictions went unnoticed by the international community, too busy positioning themselves in a dance of one-upmanship to worry about the concerns of one head of goverment in a geographically insignificant part of the world. According to a number of his aides, Marten has become increasingly bitter towards the international community, and especially after the deal between the Satucine and Chervolesian governments reached last December. The irony of a country once condemned for violating international norms being the sole voice protecting the existence of international law was not lost on him, and it continues to affect him deeply.

The sheer hypocrisy of the Estmerish government to assume it is a force for good in light of the consequences of its actions, the manner in which it flagrantly violated international law and surrounded itself with a posse of willing sycophants directly lead to Chervolesia exploiting the distraction offered by Estmere's needless posturing, which itself has lead to not only a straining of relations between the governments of Nuvania and Satucin, but also the international community's tacit approval of state sanctioned piracy and the complete abandonment of international maritime law. In light of this, the lack of anger among other leaders is not only shocking, but an indictment of the calibre of the statesmen in the world today.

If Marten's anger seems surprising now, think about the events that lead to the current state of affairs, and it becomes painfully clear. There is method in the madness.



© Die Vrystaat 2019

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Ex-Nation

Postby Estmere » Tue Jan 07, 2020 4:19 pm

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Marilyn Albridge - 7 January 2020

Home · Estmere · Euclea· International· Politics · Business · Technology and Science · Arts · Education · Health · Sports · Weather

NEW FOREIGN SECRETARY APPOINTED, CABINET SHUFFLED AMID CONTINUED BLOW-BACK AGAINST 'AXIS OF EVIL' ADDRESS

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Stephen Medenhall (l) pictured this summer with Reginald Wilton-Smyth (r).
ASHCOMBE - Prime Minister Reginald Wilton-Smyth has announced a cabinet shake up following the exit of Anne Buckett from the cabinet. Buckett, who served as both Foreign Secretary and Deputy Prime Minister, announced her resignation from both posts Friday evening. She also stepped down as leader of her party, the Progressives. In a statement, Buckett left few hints as to her reason for departure. However, sources close to the cabinet have indicated that she stepped down amid mounting pressure from her own party. Her exit has seen a valuable pick-up for the Prime Minister and the National Union Party, the coalition's senior party. He has managed to secure Buckett's former post for Stephen Mendenhall, a close ally of the prime minister during his days in the party's backbenches.

President Alice Robert, who has the constitutional authority to appoint the foreign secretary, approved Wilton-Smyth's nomination and named Mendenhall to the post this morning. Mendenhall, a parliamentarian for Crovansgate, has been a loyal backer of Wilton-Smyth's assertive foreign policy agenda.

Speaking on his appointment, the freshly-minted secretary said he was "in lock-step" with the prime minister and would work to "unite the free nations of the world in defense of their principles".

It is a major gain for Wilton-Smyth, whose bullish approach faced routine opposition from Buckett. Mendenhall's appointment gained approval from the Progressives' interim leader, Oliver Osborne, who was awarded a promotion to interior secretary in the reshuffle. Osborne served as Buckett's deputy leader and ascended to the role following her resignation. He replaces Godfred Alfredson, a close ally of Buckett, in the post. Alfredson was demoted from the cabinet, one of only two Progressive secretaries to leave the cabinet. Charles d'Isigny, the Transport Secretary, is also out of the cabinet.

Osborne has been succeeded as Health Secretary by Edith Longford, who served as Secretary for Women and Children. Longford's old portfolio is being filled by Eawynn Wainwright. The Progressives have also gained control of the Secretariat for Education and Research, with the incumbent secretary Matilda de Fay being removed from the cabinet.

de Fay was the only NUP secretary to join Wilton-Smyth's cabinet following the political downfall of Rupert Richardson, whose tenure as prime minister came to an end after a challenge to his leadership by de Fay. Her exit is significant, as it is rumored that she and the prime minister had been on lackluster terms for several months and those close to de Fay have indicated she still has leadership ambitions. Her portfolio has been awarded to Clifford Blackford of the Progressives.

The shake up comes after criticism of the prime minister's New Year's Address continues to mount. However, while speaking to reporters this afternoon Wilton-Smyth was dismissive of criticism from some leaders.

"I care little for the thoughts of tinpot dictators across the continent and cannot seriously be expected to give credence to the opinions of the leader of a nation who has butchered journalists and its own people alike" the prime minister said in response to new criticism from the leaders of Narozalica and Nuvania.

His address also complicated this weekend's EC summit to discuss the Tsabaran Crisis. The key meeting ended in a deadlock as smaller member-states opposed Wilton-Smyth's proposal that the EC provide the Tsabaran interim government with material support. Many EC leaders have been critical of the "axis of evil" speech, but the prime minister has declined to comment on their criticism.

The speech has send shock-waves throughout the government and is thought to have triggered Buckett's exit from the party. Her push back against the speech had caused Wilton-Smyth to accuse Buckett of undermining the coalition, triggering pressure from her own party as the prime minister threatened to pull his party out. Such a move would have profound consequences for both parties, who have ruled in coalition together for over forty years. Their alliance, known as Federal Appeal, has only been defeated twice, first by the Democratic Labour Party in the 1990s and later by Estmere First in the wake of the 2005 world financial crisis.

It appears that Buckett's party was not willing to potentially end the coalition, as support for her eroded. Relations between the former foreign secretary and Wilton-Smyth had been strained for some time. The Edwards Scandal drove a wedge between the two, and Wilton-Smyth is understood to have been angry with Buckett's decision to allow her parliamentarians a free vote on the inquiry into the affair. Her exit marks a continued departure from traditional Estmerish foreign policy. While previous governments have pursued intervention, traditionally Estmerish foreign policy makers have pursued multilateral approaches under the auspices of the Community of Nations or the Euclean Defense Treaty Organization. Wilton-Smyth has shown he is willing to act unilaterally to pursue his goals, presenting challenges for his government as he struggles to find solid backing within the EC.



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© The Ashcombe Herald 2020


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