News From Ill Bethisad: Second Half 2003

This just in! ...

News stories run from most recent to oldest.

All news stories are submitted by participants in Ill Bethisad, all of whom are welcome to submit stories from their respective parts of Ill Bethisad. Submissions may be edited for clarity, language or style.


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BBC World News, Central Europe Desk - WITA WARSINY, 20.12.2003

In a belated reaction to the success of democratic forces in the Belarusian parliamentary elections held earlier this month, prime minister Jan Sacz has expressed his deep satisfaction with the result. He told the press: "This is an important moment, both for us and for Belarus. For centuries, the Belarusians have never been able to fully participate in the historical process. Instead, they were to follow the traces of foreign powers. But now it seems that finally the Belarusians have managed to shake off their historical legacy, to claim their legitimate part on the world scene." A letter of similar content was delivered by the R.T.C.'s ambassador to Minsk, Tomasz Miszczuk, to the leader of the victorious People's Renaissance Party, Uladzimir Kotau.

Foreign minister Olwarz Piniatyk is scheduled to pay an official visit to Belarus in the first week of January, during which he will discuss all options for future cooperation between our two countries with Kotau. Belarus' relationship with the Baltic League will be on the agenda, too; it is expected that Belarus will submit a formal application for candidate-membership within a couple of months.

The lateness of the R.T.C.'s official reaction seems to be caused by twofactors: the general strike that lasted more than a week and affected both the press and the diplomatic personnel, and the fact that the first congratulatory letter to Kotau never reached its destination. Piniatyk said that he will investigate the latter. Regarding the strike he said: "The right to strike is a good thing. But when it means that a whole country is dismembered for a whole week, perhaps we should allow ourselves to reconsider its limits. This made us look like fools in the face of the whole world."

Sacz's statement was met with relief by the Union of Belarusians in the R.T.C. (ZBRDK). Deputy chairman Wiktar Bielahalawiec said: "Of course, we were worried about our government's silence. We thought that perhaps not every member of the government was happy with the new situation, or that the government was simply too busy with its own problems to pay attention. Now we know at least that it was just a matter of miscommunication."

Onute Staniszkiene, director of the Institute for International Relations of the WiLASz, comments: "I agree with Sacz that this is an important first step. But it won't be easy for Kotau. First of all, he will have to cope with a huge anti-Western minority in parliament. For each reform he will try to carry out, he will need to deliver a major fight, both with his opponents and with the post-snorists who occupy key positions in every layer of political and economical life. Secondly, the economy is in such a disastrous state, that whatever reform - no matter how necessary - will cost him lots and lots of support among the people. In other words, no matter how successful he will be, there is always the danger of a return to old practices in case Kotau won't survive the next elections. This is exactly what happened in Latvia. In short, I think we need to provide Kotau with all the support we can give to him - although full membership of the Baltic League surely is not an option. This is exactly what I told Piniatyk, too."[JvS]


IBAP Dec, 19, 2003.

SALEM, LES PLAINES, NAL (IBAP) - The Martin County Commission has been told by letter that two Sioux Falls people would like to start a new town that would be renowned for its use of Kemrese Sign Language.

Marianne Lallemand and Rupert Grump of Sioux Falls made the request, saying they would like to be the founders of the new town, which would be called Laurent and would be seven miles southeast of Salem near the Louisiannan border.

The goal is to break ground in the spring of 2005, Lallemand said Friday. She said her family would buy land from several family farmers for the town and that it could cost $500,000 to $1 million for about 640 acres of land.

Lallemand and Grump said the residents would not have to be deaf to live in Laurent but would have to be able to use Kemrese or NAL Sign Language to communicate.

It would be important for the town to be close to Sioux Falls and Mitchell, Lallemand said.

"Location was a key factor in choosing Martin County as an option for the new town," she said. "The proximity to Sioux Falls and Mitchell and to major medical facilities, colleges and universities were all factors, but we do not want to be a bedroom community."

The letter said they expected to build a four-block area with housing and stores. About 40 families have expressed interest in moving to Laurent, and reservations are being taken from a group of families willing and able to move, according to the letter.

Martin County commissioners will put the matter on their agenda as soon as a sign language interpreter can be found, officials in the county auditor's office said.

The town would be named after Laurent Clerc, a French native who helped pioneered Kemrese Sign language in the North American League in the early 19th century.

Grump was living in Michigan in the early 1990s when he told his new mother- in-law, Lallemand, of his dream to start a sign-language community. Both were raised in families with genetic deafness. The Grump family started the quest four years ago, and several months ago, a planning firm from Jacobia visited Les Plaines to talk about the plans.

Grump, his wife and their four children are deaf and use sign language in their home.[DH]


BBC World News - America Desk - 18 December, 2003 - Letter to the Editor originally published in Le Jour of St. Louis

December 18, 2003

Salt City, Deseret, Disputed Territory.

Dear Editor: Amidst the hovels of the impoverished people of Deseret stands a little girl, blonde haired, blue-eyed, clutching the ragged remnants of a doll. This picture is seared on the mind of those who've seen it, a sweet child, with parents who would be law abiding citizens, if only a peace could be secured. So state posters that have been plastered on any vertical surfance in Los Angeles and San Diego.

The Coalition for a Deseret Condominium State has renewed its efforts with the Alta Californian government to secure peace as an autonomous district. Among the proposed tenets of the agreement are a promise to pay taxes to the government in San Diego, and an oath of fealty by all Deseretans to support and defend the Alta Californio government.

The CDC is hoping that with a new Presidente in power peace is attainable. "We're hoping that all Deseretan children will have at least one of their wishes granted; Peace for the coming year. Peace, and the promise of growing up." There has been no response from the Californio government at press time.[DH]


IBAP, 18 December, 2003 (28 Frimaire, CCXII)

Zarahemla, Nouvelle Cournouaille, Louisianne - Today at the Reed Smoot Aerodrome President Jean-Francois Young and President Padrig Maughan held a press conference to announce the end of military operations against Deseret Zionist Movement.

"The DZM is no longer a concern of the Louisiannan people." President Maughan said. "We have the greatest of thanks in our heart for the fine pilots loaned to us from the Dalmatian Air Force."

The cermemony concluded with an award of the Louisiannan Fleur-de-Lys, symbol of patriotic valor in combat, to the entire Dalmatian squadron. The Dalmatans are expected to arrive home in time for Christmas on the 5th Nivôse CCXII.[DH]


BBC World News Service, Russia Desk - 14 December, 2003 THE VOTE IS COUNTED! SO WHAT NOW?

MINSK - Yesterday, the Chairman of the Electoral Commission of the Republic of Belarus, Sp. Alaksandar Mahyla, has announced the final official result of last Sunday's vote which has decided the make-up of the Belarusian seim for the coming five years (see inset).

[INSET:] THE FINAL TALLY
PNA (People's Renaissance Party) -- 31 votes
Radzima (Motherland) -- 14 votes
PBD (Belarusian Well-Being Party) -- 22 votes
Svabodnaja Bielarus (Free Belarus) -- 12 votes
Respublikanskaja Partyja (The Republicans) -- 9 votes
Independent Candidates -- 12 votes

The PNA's victory was largely predicted by the polls, and they looked sure to win after September's municipal elections in Maladzeczna. Sp. Kotau, the party's leader, widely tipped to be the next prime minister, is quoted as saying, 'This is a huge victory for democracy in Belarus. We will, as promised, pursue a course aimed at integration into Europe, a stronger, freer market economy and human rights in the country'.

The party, however, came just short of the 34 votes needed to form the government by itself, and so it is likely to form an alliance. Analysts predict that Sp. Kotau's next closest friends will be the Respublikanskaja Partyja, whose leadership includes some of the more prominent figures in the early eighties' collapse of the SNOR regime in the country - Sp. Abram Ciurupa, a prosperous businessman and banker, former deputy prime minister in 1992-1994, and Sp. Nikalaj Czerpankiewicz, former governor of the Bransk voblasc, known for his efficient market policies there, which were hailed as one of the most successful economic projects in post-SNOR Eastern Europe. The latter is widely acknowledged as the future minister of economy in Sp. Kotau's parliament.

The Republicans, however, did rather worse than expected. Even the exit polls suggested they might get from 12 to 16 votes, and polls from a fortnight ago suggested up to 20 seats. Sp. Ciurupa, however, refrained from any criticism. 'We do not believe there was any ballot-rigging or anything like that. We had our observers on every single polling station in the country, and the election was notably clean. I am even somewhat surprised', he said at a press conference Friday.

Most of the votes for the Republicans came from Minsk, Smalensk, and Bransk, the country's largest cities. Analysts see this as a positive sign. 'It appears that a politically conscious middle class is emerging in Belarus, and that is a good thing', an analyst at the Belarus-RTC Cooperation Fund is quoted as saying.

One of the top items on the new government's agenda will be aspirant membership to the Baltic League, and there definitely will be a strong opposition to this move. Beside the PBD, which has retained a strong hold in the seim (but lost the majority), it will most definitely be opposed by the nationalist 'Radzima' bloc. It was created half a year before the election and claims to be an 'enlightened nationalist' party. It is both strongly anti- Russian and anti-European, and burst onto the scene quite unexpectedly. The party's leader, Mr Rohazau, is known to have strong ambitions for foreign minister post. He has served as Belarus' ambassador to the Federated Kingdom, and is known for his strongly patriotic rhetoric. Together, the PBD and Radzima can form a very strong anti-Western bloc.

Svabodnaja Belarus, the centrist bloc, is commonly seen as an important factor in the seim. First, it might be influential in the case of a split between the PNA and the Republican Party on one side and the PBD and Radzima on the other. Its candidates are mainly experienced businessmen, economists and lawyers, and they are seen as the right wing's[*] staff room for new laws.

[*] 'Right' in the sense 'economically libertarian'. The PBD and Radzima's rhetoric is of course, far more to the right than PNA's, but somehow it is difficult to call them right parties, as the readers have surely experienced -- Ed.

The independent candidates are mostly local activists who have not yet had the opportunity to show themselves in politics. One exception is Sp. Paval Vozhyk, elected in Klincy, who is a former deputy of Sp. Czerpankiewicz's who left his administration in a row over municipal taxes.

Analysts hail the election results as positive for Belarus' democracy. Mr. Rhigerdd Yniwr, the Federated Kingdom's ambassador to Minsk, commented, 'We are seeing this as a huge step towards democracy and eventually European integration for Belarus. Mr. Kotau is going to have a hard time with the reactionist and revanchist forces still strong in the parliament, but I am sure he will persevere and be successful, and I wish him the best of luck'.

No-one at the RTC's embassy in Minsk or the Baltic League Office in Smalensk was available for comment so far. Sp.Kotau appeared to be somewhat flummoxed by this, as he utilized the RTC and BL factor quite widely in his campaign, and he has received encouragement from Belarusians in the RTC (if not from the authorities). The Russian Consul in Smalensk only said that he congratulated the Belarusians on the fact that they have had a free and unproblematic election, and promised a longer statement would follow.

So, dear Readers, what course do you think will Belarus eventually take? Send in your thoughts to the editor (see address on cover), and we will publish as many as we can next Sunday.[PI]


IBAP - 6, December, 2003 - 14th Frimaire, CCXII

Porc-Epines, Nouvelle Navarre, Louisianne - Today there was celebration among the 350 inhabitants of Porc-Epine, the final town in the Navarran attempt at modernization. Maria Rosa Garcia was priviledged to be the first to make a telephone call, and she called her mother in four hundred-fifty kilometer away Brest. The unhappy news for Navarrans is that CFL has announced a re-scaling of the timetable for completion of rail-lines in the province, due to a budget shortfall in the final quarter of last year. Completion of TGV and Freight lines are now expected to be completed sometime early in An 213.[DH]


WITA WARSINY -- 5 December, 2003 -- AKWIALA MARATHON

OLWARZYN (WSAP) -- The winner of an "akwiala marathon" in the Galician town of Olwarzyn has been unable to accept his prize, because he literally drank himself to death. His five competitors ended up in hospital. When the winner tried to approach the jury table in order to pick up his prize, ten bottles of akwiala, he simply dropped dead where he was standing. The ministery of Justice is investigating whether the organisation of the contest can be prosecuted for manslaughter. It is unknown how many bottles the six tipplers had knocked back.[JvS]


LA VOZ DE LA NACION - Wednesday, 26/11/03 - HACIENDA OWNERS CHASED AWAY

CHARLOTTE AMALIE - Francisco Capistrano found his mother, Veronica, who was a wheel-chair user, lying in a pool of blood. Her throat had been slit open.

The mother was the first victim at the family estate near Crab Island's town of Hoppesby in the Cruzan Islands. That was last summer after the referendum. Last September, Francisco found his father, David, in the estate's sugar mill. He had been massacred by a steel pipe.

But that was not the end of the family's grief. Francisco's 32-year-old brother, Luis, couldn't live with what had happened. He got a terrible depression and killed himself three weeks later.

Every day, Francisco fears that he will be the next victim and that his four children will be fatherless. In his pocket he always carries a small revolver.

"It's small enough that nobody can see it. If it was visible, then I'll just be exposing myself to attacks. It's small enough that I can hide it with my hand in my pocket."

Being an Antilleano-Castellano [Floridian, Cuban, Hispaniolan, or Porto Rican] in the Cruzan Islands has become increasing dangerous. Since the refendum, 72 Antilleano-Castellanos have been killed in connection with attacks on haciendas.

The hacienda-owners are fleeing their haciendas and are moving to San Juan, Porto Rico. Francisco and his family no longer live on the family estate. They too moved to San Juan while their cattle grass on their cane fields turning fallow. Every weekend Francisco commutes to Crab Island to check on the estate. "But it's really not worth it anymore. The fencing gets stolen, and I lose a cow every week from theft."

One often hears from these hacienda-owners that these attacks are politically motivated, and that the Antilleano-Castellanos are being forced out of their lands in the Cruzan Islands. Such a theory has not been supported by the Cruzan government or in its official investigation that has recently been concluded. According to that report, 98% of the attacks are not politically motivated.

The hacienda owners dismiss the results of the official investigation as rubbish. "If the attackers are just burglars, then why are they so brutal? All that murder? All that torture? All those rapes? And most of all, why only Castellanos?" asks Francisco. We believe that there's more than just criminal motives behind these attacks. I'm thinking in terms of hatred and the question of land-ownership."

Jaep Smith Johansen, head of the official investigation, says that that the Antilleano-Castillanos are "overdramatizing". He adds, "If there was so much hatred for those Kakerlaks, then why is it that there are native Cruzans still working for them, faithfully I might add, in their estates while they themselves hide in San Juan?"

Francisco does not agree. "Its clear now that those Cruzados have become more bold after the referendum. I think they aim to have all the land here in this province Scandinavian or Cruzado-owned. And they are using the homesteading plan as the means to do it."

After the Cruzan Islands purchased their independence in 1937 from the SR, the Cruzan government started dismantling the old plantation system of large estates by introducing a system of smaller homesteads. However, the plan was suddenly interrupted in 1947 when Florida invaded the islands. The old system was reintroduced where rich Antilleano-Castellano hacienda owners took over the remaining estates and bought out the homesteaders.

Now, with increased Cruzan independence from Florida, the homesteading plan has been reintroduced. The Cruzan government now has the right of first purchase whenever an estate is for sale. Estates purchased by the Cruzan government are divided into smaller portions which are then sold as homesteads where native Cruzado citizens have the right of first purchase, Scandinavians second, and other Antilleanos third.

The homesteading plan is a sympathetic one. It allows many native Cruzados to own land that they otherwise would not be able to afford when the estates happen to be sold. Yet the attacks means that only estates that have been owned by Antilleano-Castelleanos are being sold and apportioned as homesteads. To date, Scandinavian owned estates have not been affected. But then, there are only three of them; Annasly, La Grangje, and Lille La Grangje - all in Saint Croix.

Tomorrow, Francisco will be selling his family's estate for merely 100 Rigsdaler Specie to the Cruzan government. The government real estate agents say that it's not worth more because there has been two murders in the estate and that it has been seriously neglected.[KJ]


IBAP - 24 November, 2003 - Fairfax & Loudoun Counties of Virginia, NAL, Suffer Health Crisis

ALEXANDRIA - Health officials have rescinded the warning that was issued last week, having contained the crisis. Those who have been found to be actively infected are hospitalized, and many more are being medicated as a preventative measure. Testing is ongoing.[DH]


IBAP - 18 November, 2003

FAIRFAX, Virginia (NAL) - Provincal health officials announced today that an outbreak of Tuberculosis has been officially recognized in County Loudoun and County Fairfax. League Authorities are cautioning residents of Ter Mair and Pennsylvaania to get tested if they suspect contact with those infected. Travel to and from the affected counties is now officially restricted. Health authorities have refused to add any more comment.[DH]


IBAP - 28 Oct, 2003 (5 Brumaire, CCXII)

First President Young and the Council were all surprised this morning as they left their respective Paris-sur-Mizouri residences; finding the tires of their vehicles had been removed and replaced with Cinder Blocks.

"We're not sure how this happened," said Remy de Chamois, Press Relations Officer for Council Security (SC). "It is very strange. All of our security videos show the various garages to be untampered with. We're uncertain as to why the vandals only removed the front tires of the vehicles. It truly makes very little sense. If they performed this action to accomplish some political objective, none of us have any clue as to what it is."

All members of the Council are reported to be safe and secure. There are no leads at press time. [DH]


RIGETS TIDENDE - Thursday, 16/10/03

JUNIOR EUROVIDERE SONG CONTEST A SUCCESS

GJØTEBORG - Croatia's talented little pianist, going by the name of Dino, won the first ever Junior Eurovidere Song Contest, which was held yesterday in the Gjøteborg, Hovedstadsområdet.

Dino, with his song "Ti si moja prva ljubav" (You are my one and only), received 134 points in the competition; a narrow victory over Castille y Leon with 125 points, followed by England with 118 points.

The 11-year-old wrote his song about finding the girl of his dreams and performed it in front of a live audience of 8,000 people at Gjøteborg's Royal Theatre.

Dino and all the other children were aged between 8 and 15. Strict rules have been implemented in the contest aimed at preventing the exploitation of these young talents. The children must among other things have written the songs themselves, must sing in their respective mother tongues, and follow a strict dress code.

Sixteen countries participated in the event; Greece, Croatia, Cyprus, Belarus, Latvia, Dalmatia, The Republic of the Two Crowns, Norway, Castille y Leon, Romania, Batavia, England, Denmark, Sweden, Malta, and Oldenburg. Many other countries wanted to join the contest. However, sixteen was deemed to be a reasonable number for the junior panel of judges to handle.

The contest was broadcast live via wireless and hosted by Rigets Radio - the Scandinavian Broadcasting Company. Next year's Junior Eurovidere Song Contest will be held in Castreleon, Kemr, in the Federated Kingdoms, on 20 November, 2004. It will be broadcasted and hosted by the BBC and Telefisiwn Comroig. Unlike the adult Song Contest, the victorious country does not have the automatic right to stage the show the following year. The organizers of the junior Contest and RR wanted to make sure that the new host had the means to broadcast throughout Europe. So the right to stage the following year's show is decided in advance, upon request of any of the following year's participating countries.[KJ]


RIGETS TIDENDE - Thursday, 16/10/03 - THE EMPRESS'S LAST VOYAGE

MOSKVA -- Empress Dagmar, or Czarina Maria Fjodorovna, as the Russians call the Danish born princess, will finally be returning home to Russia. The coffin with her earthly remains have since 1928 been located inside a sarcofage in Roskilde Cathedral. But the sarcofage, which is owned by the Danish Royal House, will not be following her on her last trip to St. Petersburg. A ship of the Royal Scandinavian Navy will in August 2004 escort the princess's coffin to Saint Petersburg, where she will be reunited with her husband, Czar Alexander III, in Peter-Paul Cathedral. The reburial will take place on the 138th anniversary of the then 19-year-old Danish princess's arrival to Saint Petersburg to be wedded to the then to be Czar of Russia.

Queen Margrethe has sent a letter to Russia's President, Igor Arenskij, stating that she will not stand in the way of the reburial. But she stressed the importance that the process be done with the utmost respect. The Queen's letter is a reply to Arenskij's letter dated the 8th of August 2002 requesting the reburial. Foreign Minister Bernsdorff handed the Queen's letter to Russia's new ambassador to the SR, Dmitrij Rjurikov.

The original request for the reburial of empress comes the Romanov princely family, to which the Czar's family belongs. The 83-year-old Romanov, Prince Nicholas Romanov, and his brother, Prince Dimitri Romanov, who both live in Denmark, took the initiative a few years ago for the reburial. Their request in 2001 to President Arenskij recieved a positive response both in the Kremlin and in the Danish Royal House.

"We know that it was Empress Dagmar's own wish," says Prince Dimitri Romanov. He participated in the reburial of the murdered Czar-family. "A wife ought to be with her husband. It was therefore a very difficult day for me. Empress Dagmar was the only member of the family who was not reburied and reunited with her family. Now it's going to happen, and it is very very important for us," Dimitri adds. He intends to be present in the reburial.

The Russian-Orthodox Church-in-exile in Copenhagen is not happy about the whole affair.

"The time is not ripe," says the church's priest, Father Sergei, to Rigets Tidende. The church is of the opinion that the reburial ought to be Empress Dagmar's own personal wish, but also stresses that such a wish is not written in her will, her journals, or memoires. "We simply do not know what she really wanted," he adds. Empress Dagmar's presence in Denmark is believed to be the foundation for the Church's existence in the SR.

On the other hand, the reburial can be interpreted as having a huge symbolic meaning for the new Russia, which, after the SNOR regime's collapse, is trying to reconnect and shed light upon the 500-year dynastic relations between the European and Russian princely houses.[KJ]


RIGETS TIDENDE - Tuesday, 14/10/03 - MARKET DISCRIMINATION IN THE CRUZAN ISLANDS

CHARLOTTE AMALIE -- The Cruzan newspaper, Skt. Croix Avis, reports that discrimination is increasing in the Cruzan Islands as the native populations are increasingly discriminating against Castillian Floridian businesses in favour of SR nationals (both Cruzan or non-Cruzan) or Lesser Antillean businesses.

The discrimination appears to be well organized and is aimed by the native Cruzan population to let market forces drive Castillian Floridians out of the islands. The fact that the Cruzan Islands forms a small closely knit society, where everybody generally knows who is who, has meant that it has been very easy for the Cruzans themselves to identify who is or is not a Castillian Floridian.

Businesses in the Cruzan Islands owned by Castillian Floridians have seen their sales drop drastically in recent weeks as the natives boycott their establishments. Many Castillian Floridians have had to sell their businesses at lower prices to SR nationals, or to Lesser Antilleans. Even larger companies are involved. For instance, transportation concessions that were once runned by Floridian companies, have now been sold to Scandinavian companies. Castillian Floridians are simply not willing to risk investing in the Cruzan Islands, fearing that they will not cash in.

However, it is obvious that the descrimination is aimed at Castillian Floridians only. SR nationals and Lesser Antilleans are welcome to invest in the islands. They often benefit from the lower prices that the fleeing Castillian Floridians are forced to sell. Once the ownership of a business establishment changes to an SR national (Cruzan or non-Cruzan) or a Lesser Antillean, word spreads fast in the small society such as the Cruzan Islands, and the establishment has no problem making a profit.

A few other islands of the Lesser Antilles that have become Condominiums between Florida and their former Colonizers, and who have historically been animus against Floridian rule, have begun to follow the Cruzans in discriminating against Castillian Floridians.

The Cruzan government refuses to get involved in the discrimatory practices of the native Cruzans, and calls it "market forces". Miami is enraged. However, not much can be done from their side. Porto Ricans have tried a similar discriminatory move against lesser Antillean businesses in San Juan, but with very little success. Unlike in the towns of the Cruzan and Lesser Antillean Islands, it is much easier to remain anonymous in a city as big as San Juan.[KJ]


IBAP: 13.10.2003 (22 Vendemiare, CCXII) Voile, Nouvelle Cournouaille, Louisianne

President Jean-Francois Young and President Padrig Maughan stood today in the town square of Voile, one of the principal cities in the newly-acquired western territory.

In a press release, Young and Maughan announced the plan to build several world class ski resorts to rival the resorts of the French and Lombardine Alps. The planned resorts are to carry the names of Tremble, Voile, Babeurre sur Tremble, Montagnes de Tremble, Breckenridge, Montagne de Cuivre, Monarque, and Eldora. These ventures will be a joint venture between the Louisiannan and Nouvelle Cournouaille governments with business interests in the area. These ski resorts will more than double the ski resorts that already exist in the area.

Tremble and Voile are slated to open for next ski season, while Monarque's slated opening will not be for another three years, pending the political situation in Tejas. Others will open in the neighbourhood of Tremble and Voile as economical viability is assured.

The financial outlook of these resorts is expected to gross in the millions of ecus once established, according to analysts. The Louisiannan Tourist Bureau is already planning an advertizing push for next summer to bring in the visitors to the resorts.

In a related press release, CFL and Air Louisianne have both announced development plans for transportation to these two cities to take in a part of the tourist trade.[DH]


BBC World News, Coburg 10.09.2003

The elections for the Lessinisch Lower Senate were held today. Senator-President Michael Pfaber, of the Thuringian Social-Democratic Union(TSDU) is expected to retain his premiership, but there is certainly a potential for it to be lost to the Lessinisch National Leader, Yajob Coffu.

Indeed, his Lesinix Nacional Partae(LNP) has steadily been growing in polls, holding, at the last count, 30% of the vote.

If the LNP were to win, though they would not have complete control of the Lower Senate, they would be able to form a coalition with the other, smaller nationalist parties, and declare an election to the Thuringian Parliament, the Tag.

According to the Treaty on Thuringian Union, the constitution of Thuringia, any member state may withdraw from the Union if the majority of their Deputies in the Tag support such an act. Another unique feature of the Thuringian constitution is that legally, a member state may call an election of its deputies at any time, as well as the General Election every 5 years.

All this means the Lessinischland could withdraw unilaterally from the Thuringian Union.

Michael Kaufmann, Consul of Lessinischland from 1968-1971, and Senator-President from 1971 to 1985, now a well respected Upper Senator, said "We feel all our work in the sixties and seventies to bring about a new union in Thuringia is about to be undone. We are quite nervous about the results of these elections".

Indeed, a constitution for an independant Lessinischland has already been written, by the Lesinix Nacional Partae's Commision on the Future of Lessinischland.[JW]


The Star - 8 October, 2003 - Delighted Rail Fans Converge on Baltimore

GEORGETOWN -- Rail fans and history buffs were astounded last month to learn that the famous Rail Zeppelin is to make its new home in Baltimores Railway Museum, and that several short trips are planned for enthusiasts.

The rail zeppelin, developed by Dr. Franz Kruckenberg in prewar Germany, set a rail speed record on 21 June, 1931, maintaining an average speed of 142.9 mph over a 6.25 mi stretch of track between Karstadt and Dergenthin. The Germans never put the rail zeppelin into production, citing the dangers of using an open propeller in crowded stations. The record was at last beaten on 21 February, 1954 by the French.

During the War, Kemrese forces captured the rail zeppelin in its engine house and brought it to Britain for study. Initially, Defense Ministry officials thought it might serve as a prototype rapid troop transport, and two were produced in Kemr. With the increasing electrification of rail lines throughought Britain and America, and with the War drawing to a close, the rail zeppelin was quietly forgotten by all but a few historians of rail history.

A recent clearing of the Ministrys holdings brought out warehouses full of captured German war materiel, including early aeroplanes, advanced zeppelin engines, and lorries full of what most people would call "old rubbish". A wealthy American, John Sweeney, a self avowed "collector of oddities" purchased several lots at auction, to the amusement of MOD officials, and had them shipped to his home in rural Ter Mair. Last month he stunned the B&A Historical Society by donating the rail zeppelin to their museum.

The public opening of the rail zeppelin exhibit opens Saturday 11 October, 2003. The rail zeppelin in 1930, approaching Hannover:


RIGETS TIDENDE - Friday, 10 October, 2003 - MARK YOUR CALENDERS FOR MAY 14, 2004

KJØBENHAVN (COPENHAGEN) - On this particular Friday, the whole Commonwealth will come to a standstill. Crown Prince Frederik will be marrying Mary Donaldson in Copenhagen Cathedral, the Kjøbenhavns Domkirke.

The Crown Prince loves to surprise everyone, and he is doing it again. Contrary to what everyone believed, and contrary to tradition, the wedding is not going to take place in the Royal's "parish church", Holmens Kirke. Frederik and Mary are ditching tradition to be wedded in the much larger Kjøbenhavns Domkirke.

But before the wedding takes place, Mary will have to convert to the Lutheran Evangelic faith as prescribed by law. On that occassion, she will also change her name to a more Lutheran sounding name. From English Mary Elizabeth, to Lutheran Marie Lisbeth.

Meanwhile, the couple have begun their tour of the Commonwealth to recieve their ovation in each member nation. The first leg of their tour takes them by the royal train through Gjøteborg, Norway, Sapme, Finland, Sweden, and back to Denmark. The second leg takes them, again by train, through Rygen, and the Duchies Schleswig, Holstein, and Oldenburg. The next three legs will be made by flying fuselage. The third leg takes them to the Faroe Islands, Iceland, and Greenland. The fourth leg takes them to the Cruzan Islands, Gjebaland, and Gadangmeland. Final leg takes them to Tranquebar, Frederiksnagore, the Andaman Islands, the Nicobar Islands, Tenasserim, Monland, and Tjingtav. Check your local newspapers for the exact dates of when the couple will be in your area.[KJ]


RIGETS TIDENDE - Thursday, 09 October, 2003.

WILD ABOUT MARY; by Lisbeth Lumby Kajsdatter

COPENHAGEN -- People celebrated in the Amalienborg Slotsplads, the square at the Amalienborg palace complex, while we waited to wave our hands and yell hooray to the newly engaged couple. But we did not get a real kiss.

"No, Mom, I couldn't see if she had tears in her eyes," said a young girl in her mobile phone while she left Amalienborg Slotsplads together with thirty thousand others at 12:10 yesterday.

Eight minutes was what the Danes and tourists from the whole world got to view the sight of two young people in love that waved from the balcony to the sea of red and white flags below. But a kiss on the lips was not made despite the demands from the crowd.

"In the hand? Can't he do better than that?" Snorted a young girl, Rebecca, immediately after she had yelled, "Mary! Mary! Mary!" together with everyone else.

Karina Wilhelm Håkansdatter and daughter, Rebecca, were already at the square 8:00 yesterday morning. They had arrived in their Christiania-bike [a three wheeled bike with a passenger and luggage compartment in front, ed.] which was decorated with the red and white Dannebrog flag [SR flag, ed.]. Except for the press corp, they were among the first in the square.

"We wanted to be sure that we got a good spot," Karina Wilhelm Håkansdatter told us. She's a nurse and only had to meet at work much later on a night shift, while her daughter simply ditched school for the day.

"We are very fond of the monarchy. We're always here on the Queen's birthday," Karina told us.

Other early birds were also a flock of Chinese tourists, who took numerous photos of each other in the square and of the royal guards in their red gala uniforms.

"We are here to visit Hetvotjeng and join in it's 50th year celebration as a Chinese colony in Scandinavia. But it's great that while we are here, there is also celebration in Copenhagen because of the engagement," Wei Lee, one of the Chinese tourists, told us.

By 10:30, waves of nannies with their nursery and kindergarden children came into the square. All of the children were dressed up as little princes and princesses. All carried little paper Dannebrogs. All had slips of paper with the address and telephone number of their respective institutions taped thoroughly on their clothes. It was impressive how the nannies maneouvred their flock through the ever growing sea of people.

A steady stream of flowers and cakes was carried to the gate of the residential palace, but a steady stream of rain fell on the people as well. The Copenhagen tourist office served coffee, softdrinks, and kranse cake to the people. "Now I can at least say that I have had coffee at Amalienborg," said one man to his wife.

Many street vendors took advantage of the special day. Some sold paper flags. Others sold t-shirts with Mary's picture printed on them. Others, like Hr. Lirekassekurt, provided the musical entertainment with his barrel organ.

By 11:30, it began to rain hard, frustrating the people waiting in the square. But that was only a short scare, for Hr. Lirekassekurt's music was then outplayed by the approaching marching band of the royal guards. Behind them came a column of royal guard replacements, marching in their characteristic formation - three, three, space, three, three, space, three, three...

The guards proceeded with the changing of the guards. By 11:45, all the guards were changed. The band and the old guards marched up to the residential palace and paused there. Then the people were allowed to fill the square, which had otherwise been kept open by friendly police officers so that the guards could do their maneuvers.

12:00, the rain stops, the sun comes out. The balcony doors fly open at the residential palace. The newly engaged royal couple comes out to wave at the people below.

"Mary! Mary! Mary!" people yelled. "Kiss! Kiss! Kiss!" the people demanded, while waving Dannebrog flags and yelling, "Hooray!"

Eight minutes later, and after the royal couple came forward on the balcony four times, it's over. Those who were extraordinarily patient saw the royal couple leave in their limousine at 12:32 for Fredensborg Palace where a press conference awaits them.

* * * * *

STUFF QUEENS ARE MADE OF; by Olav Hergel Rasmussen

COPENHAGEN -- Did Mary Elizabeth Donaldson pass the most limelighted examination of the Scandinavian language that any person has ever gone through? Yes! Do they love each other? Yes! Is she made of the stuff that Queens are made of? Definitely!

It's possible that they have told her that it was going to be overwhelming. Or that her first few years of living in Denmark and Oldenburg has prepared her for what awaits her. That the Chamberlain, Crown Prince Frederik, Princess Alexandra, and the other royals have prepared her as best as anyone could prepare a future Crown Princess.

But nothing could have fully prepared Mary Elizabeth Donaldson for the view that met her when she walked into the Garden Hall of Fredensborg Palace to what is perhaps the Commonwealth's most limelighted pressconference ever. Even the Crown Prince, who has afterall been to a lot of pressconferences, could not help but laugh when the photographers battled for the best picture. While she stood there, with her father holding her right hand and the Crown Prince her left, it was clear that she was nervous.

But despite her nervosity, it was clear to everyone present that the question they all had yesterday needed no answer. All they needed was their own eyes to see. And no answer was more effective than what she delivered as she simply stood there, quietly, tall, slim, and nervously smiling between the two men of her life. Mary Elizabeth Donaldson is a classic beauty. Prettier in real life than in the photos. Or as Crown Prince Frederik tried to summize later about his bride to be: "It's hard to put words to something this lovely."

But what was much more than this public catwalk for the people of the Commonwealth was yesterday's event the largest examination in spoken Scandinavian that any human has ever gone through. There were 300 journalists, there were television cameras all over the place, and sitting in front of the television sets were families throughout the Commonwealth watching and ready to judge her. Does she speak Scandinavian well enough? Is she just as good as Princess Alexandra was when she spoke for the first time to the public? This was quite some initiation she had to go through, and with millions ready to judge her. It was precisely for this reason that she started with these words in Danish:

"Good day! I would like to say a few words before we start. I'm very happy to be in Denmark. Today is a very exciting day, so I'm sure you can understand that I'm a little bit nervous. I have read that I can speak Scandinavian fluently. Thanks! But, unfortunately, that is not quite true. It's important for me to become really good in speaking Scandinavian, and I look forward to speaking fluently. If you ask questions in Scandinavian, it would help a lot if you speak slowly, ..."

To which she quickly switches to her mother tongue, English:

"...however, there will be some questions that I will feel much happier expressing myself in English. So therefore, I will do so. Tak!"

Everyone then clapped! The atmosphere become much more relaxed, and throughout the next half hour, she proved time and again that she wasn't quite fluent in the Scandinavian language, but that she, with 100% certainty, will become fluent.

Many probably thought in that half hour the couple were interviewed by the press, "Take her by the hand, Prince Frederik!" Not only for her sake. For even though it was clear that Mary need the support of Frederik, it was also clear that Frederik needed Mary. Sure, it was Mary that was asked most of the questions, but she gradually took over, and it was as if her first meeting with the press fell to her more naturally than it did for the Crown Prince.

But even though press conferences have never been the Crown Prince Frederik's cup of tea, and even though, when he is face to face with the public, he hides his warm smiles behind awkward comments, love still pierced through the awkwardness. There was no doubt to yesterday's crucial question. When he was asked how it was to finally be open about his love and show his feelings the world, he answered with an obvious pride about the woman he had by his side:

"It's a fantastically big joy, a great joy for me. It actually goes beyond what I have expected. One tries, of course, to comprehend the events that have passed. But I have to admit that this is something quite special, and something very very big. It's difficult to put in words. It's something that is elevated to something high."

To which Mary added in Danish: "Overwhelming! It's also overwhelming for me. That I have to admit. It's fantastic to be open about it. It's exciting. It's many things."

But amidst all these questions of love and how they met, the couple has also revealed something else about themselves. They were not willing to tell everything.

The Crown Prince has in exclusive interviews revealed more about himself than most other royals, but he still has limits about this openness, and it is apparent that his limits are the couple's limits. Together they have their secrets, they have their private history together, and even though they have their royal duties to the Commonwealth, they also have a private life that other families within the Commonwealth will never have excess to. It is this ability to place limits that has, among other things, meant that the Crown Prince could live his own life, and is was this ability they demonstrated yesterday.

When asked how the Crown Prince proposed, Mary answered, "We would prefer to keep that to ourselves."

"It did not vary much from how one normally does it," the Crown Prince added.

When asked when the proposal occured, the Crown Prince answered, "Fortunately, that's a debated question in the media. So we would like to keep that to ourselves."

Many have said that no institution can withstand the pressure exerted on the Monarchy, and that such a pressure could in that way become the death of the monarchy. Amidst all the joy, all the love, all the questions that was asked yesterday, it seemed like the Crown Prince and Mary were perfectly aware of this danger. If we know everything, then there is nothing left. Even the monarchy.

"Try to describe Mary," the Crown Prince was asked, but he said that it sounded like a question in a job application form, and that such a question was innapropriate for someone as beautiful.

But Mary Donaldson said a bit more about her future husband: "He is humourous, intelligent, warm. Everyone, who meets him, feels that there is something special about him."

Nobody, who was present yesterday, was in doubt that Mary Donaldson, like Princess Alexandra, was born with the princess-gene in her. But while Princess Alexandra dropped from the sky and became princess from day one, the future Princess Mary is made of a different, more shy, but also more mysterious stuff. Open and descrete at the same time. Sweet, smiling, confident, and quite obviously a talented, adult woman, who knows what she is getting into. It's obvious she has contemplated the fact that her life is going to change. But just as a managing director takes over a company, or a football trainer takes over a new team, she did not come with golden promises about what she intends to do as princess or queen.

"There's a lot that I'm passionately interested in, but what my greatest role will be, I do not know. A lot needs to be discussed and considered, and it has to be tackled strategically. So I don't intend to discuss this here in this forum today, for it will be something that will evolve as I get acquainted with my new role."

She is also aware that there will be things that she no longer will be able to do. But she thinks she will manage.

"There will probably be things I will miss doing along the way, and where I will realize that I perhaps should not do some things. But I believe that one will find ways of doing the same things, just a little differently. But the royals here in Denmark do quite normal things. One can actually do things quite normally here, and I suspect the same is true in the rest of the commonwealth."

She did not hide the fact that she has grown quite fond of Denmark, Oldenburg, and the Commonwealth.

"Oldenburg and Denmark are warm countries, where one feels very welcomed. Both are very beautiful, and both have quite a lot of everything. The people are great. I have found some wonderful friends both here and in Oldenburg, who have supported me a lot. I'm hoping to get to know the other countries of the Commonwealth just as intimately. For me the best thing about the Commonwealth is that all countries are near the water. Being near the water is great."

Near the end of the half-hour long press conference, and when it dawned on the photographers that they still have not taken that kiss, which would look so great in the world's front page, the press corp began shouting, "Kiss! Kiss! Kiss!"

Both Frederik and Mary felt the pressure in the same way they felt it in Amalienborg, when they earlier that day stood out on the balcony to recieve their ovation from the Danish population. But there are limits for what one should do for the press. And as Frederik said, "There should also be something left for the wedding."

They could have kissen each other, but it was clear that they did not have the stomach for it. Somehow, that would have exceeded their limits. Instead, the Prince took his future bride by the hand and kissed it for the press photographers. That was better than nothing, but it was not quite enough.

On the other hand, this was proof that the Crown Prince and the Commonwealth's future Queen where the ones that set the limits.

And, taken into consideration that yesterday's press conference was the premier on what is to be a lifelong relationship between a prince, his princess, and the press, then a handkiss was precisely the right compromise. In one way or another, limitations on what the press can see of the royals' private life is essential. The Crown Prince and his Princess provided just that.[KJ]


RADIO TRANSCRIPT 4043: WRW1, Political Unrest in Belarus; 7 October, 2003.

[music] Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen, it is 14:05. This "The World In An Hour", I am Waldemar Fiorarz.

[...]

The leader of the opposition in Belarus, Uladzimir Kotau, is under heavy attack from his political opponents. On a press conference last week, shortly after his victory in the municipal elections in Maladzeczna, he announced radical economic and political reforms in case his party, the PNA, would win the general elections next December. This has caused serious unrest among Belarus' post-snorist leadership, and the riots that preceded the elections in Maladzeczna seem to have set the tone for the upcoming election campaign.

About the situation in Belarus, I will speak with Mrs. Onute Staniszkiene, director of the Institute for International Relations of the Academy of Sciences, who is known as the RTC's chief expert on post-snorist societies.

Q - Professor, you have keenly followed the developments in Belarus. Are you surprised about the recent political unrest in our eastern neighbour?

A - Not at all. As a matter of fact, I'm rather surprised that it hasn't happened much earlier. You see, Mr. Fiorarz, this is more than an ideological difference between two political parties: it is a fundamental difference in self-designation of a whole nation. At one side, you can find those who are proud of belonging to the Great Russian Nation and of sharing its common heritage, while the other half consider themselves Europeans and believe European civilisation ends at the Belarussian-Russian border. This difference has existed throughout the whole history of Belarus, and it is deeply hidden in the collective subconsciousness of the Belarussians. Unfortunately, there is no way of reconciliating these two.

Q - You mean, a reconciliation between the PNA and Uladzimir Kotau on one hand and the post-snorist PBD on the other?

A - Yes. Mr. Kotau's speech was not only about democracy, market economy, open borders, and the usual stuff... What he also said, literally, is this. I quote: "Historically, Belarus has always been more of a European nation than a Slavic one". What he actually meant, implicitly, is that the 70 years of snorism were nothing less than a period of Russian occupation. Now, you might still wonder what all the fuss is about. The thing is, with this sentence Kotau openly confessed himself to the "Europeans", which in the eyes of many is simply "not done". It's a touchy subject, really. Besides, what he does in fact is criminalising his political opponents, including the current Belarussian government.

Q - So that explains the poisonous comment by a PBD spokesman, who called it "ironic that Mr. Kotau has proclaimed his un-Slavicness in a Slavic language."

A - Indeed, and unfortunately, this view is still common in Belarus. In my opinion, Slavicness as a connecting factor between peoples might have worked in the 19th century, but now is hopelessly old-fashioned. We have political realities to cope with. Look at ourselves: the Veneds and the Lithuanians are deeply interconnected; what sense would it make to blow up the RTC, for no other reason than that the Veneds feel closer to the Kemrese or the Portuguese simply because their ancestors once shared a common language? And what is worse: in reality, such pan-Slavic philosophies result merely in the blind following of Russia. Needless to say, with Russia's current situation such a policy could seriously jeopardise the stability of the region.

Q - You consider the PBD a threat to stability?

A - Not as such. Mind you, Belarus differs from other post-snorist states in several ways. Unlike most other countries, Belarus had a strong native snorist movement. Other snorist regimes were brutally imposed, but the Belarussian regime has always enjoyed much popular support. Besides, more than any other country in the region, Belarus has a long history of being a Russian satellite. In other words, no matter who wins the elections in December, snorism will remain a factor in Belarussian politics anyway. Whether that is a bad thing or not depends largely on those who take predominance. You know, not every snorist is an ideological hardliner like Mr. Piatrauski: especially in cycles around president Szuszkewycz, you can also find moderated people. In fact, some of the most avid reformers are post-snorists. Don't forget, that the most competent and experienced people often have a long history of service under SNOR rule.

Q - Professor, what is your opinion about the words of the Russian ambassador in Belarus, Mr. Zotov, who gently reminded the Belarussians of their dependence on Russia?

A - Nothing to worry about as such. I think Mr. Zotov only said explicitly what we have already known for a long time: that Russia will do anything within its possibilities to prevent Belarus from floating away towards the West. But what really matters is: what áre those possibilities? As long as the Russian Federation is not even certain in its own very existence, what can it possibly do to effectively control its neighbours? On the other hand, the fact that Zotov could say something like that in public without being kicked out of the country only proves that to some degree his point is valid.

Q - In the meantime, Mr. Kotau seems to be looking for support from the RTC. Do you think our government will provide that?

A - To be honest, I have no idea what kind of support he expects, apart from our sympathy. Surely Mr. Kotau is clever enough to understand that we cannot give him any guarantees for membership of the Baltic League. At present, with an economy that lies in ruins and a country that is near bankruptcy, Belarus is in no condition to join the League.

Q - You don't think the shock therapy Kotau proposes will help?

A - No no, I'm quite sure it wíll help. After all, it is what will serve Belarus best on the long term. The question is only: can he succeed? Look what happens in Latvia: snorism never enjoyed much sympathy among the Latvians, the economy was in a far better state when Latvia broke away from the snorist bloc, and in general Talmanis' reforms have undoubtedly been successful. And yet, they elected their former dictator Alksnis as their new prime minister, who is now very busy turning back the clock. Let me tell you, Mr. Fiorarz, In Belarus the situation is much worse than in Latvia. It will take at least ten years for the results of such a policy to become visible, and at least two generations for Belarus to become a healthy economy. Now, I really don't expect the population will be thát patient.

Q - There are also those who advocate a third way: the restoration of the RTC as it existed before the First Great War, which would mean the merger of Belarus and the RTC. This view is not only held by certain politicians in Belarus, our own KRN [Confederation for an Independent Republic, ed.] shares it, too.

A - With all due respect to Mr. Kramar [leader of the KRN, ed.], I believe the restoration of the old RTC is not an option anymore. We live in the 21th century, and history moves on, with us of without us. Instead of focusing on the past, we'd better move on with it.

Q - One last question, professor. What do you expect will happen in the next two months, before the elections? And what is your prognosis for the elections?

A - Well, of course I cannot look into the future. I just hope the political unrest won't get out of hand. As for the elections, I think Kotau and the PNA stand a fairly good chance, which would be good both for us and for Belarus. But much can happen in the meantime. Be sure that I will follow the developments in Belarus with much interest.[JvS]


4 October, 2003; PNA UNDER FIRE, SEEKS RTC SPPORT

MINSK -- The leader of the People's Renaissance Party (PNA - Partyja Narodnaha Adradzhennia), Sp. Uladzimir Kotau, is fervently criticized by his political opponents, and seeks to secure support from the RTC.

Criticisms came after Sp. Kotau's speeches in the wake of the win in the municipal elections in Maladzeczna last week, where Uladzimir Kolas (PNA) received a narrowly sufficient 51,3% vote to defeat the pro-SNOR's PBD candidate Uladzimir Czarnych, who only gathered 46,5% of the vote. The PNA has also literally overwhelmed the town's seim, grabbing 23 of the 50 seats. Sp. Kotau did not hesitate to refer to this election, seen by many as a crucial rehearsal before December's' general election, as to 'a historic win'.

During a press conference held right after the Maladzeczna results were officially announced, Sp. Kotau said, 'This is a landmark event in the modern history of Belarus. It shows that integration into Europe, a free, open society and a market economy with strong welfare and open borders are what the nation chooses, not a flashback to SNORist times.'

'Our party's main concern now is integrating Belarus into Europe. Historically, Belarus has always been more of a European nation than a Slavic one', he said, apparently referring to what is seen by many as centuries-old 'occupation' by Russia.

Membership in the Baltic League was declared the PNA's strategic aim at the party conference earlier this year.

These comments have sparked a number of stinging remarks from many parts of Belarus' political milieu. One of the first persons to comment was the Ambassador of Russia, Sp. Vladimir Zotov, 'Russia doesn't have a problem with Belarus strengthening its ties with the West, as long as they do not forget what strong ties exist between the Russian and Belarusian economies'.

An analyst as the Belarus-RTC Cooperation Fund is quoted as saying, 'These comments [by the Russian ambassador] serve to remind how dependent Belarusian economy is on the economic structure of SNORist times. Call it blackmail if you wish, but nevertheless the words do contain a useful reminder to some eager patriots. Belarus will not want to severe its ties with Russia, especially if it wants to become an important East-West transfer point'.

A spokesman for the PBD, The People's Welfare Party, has also denounced Sp.Kotau's comments. 'It is ironic', Sp. Alaksandar Piatrouski said, 'that Sp. Kotau has proclaimed his un-Slavicness in a Slavic language, Belarusian. Ties with Russia do exist, historically as well as contemporarily, and it would be folly to deny them'.

Criticism has also been aired from the left, from the ZBS - Zwiaz Bielaruskich Sacyjalistau (Union of Belarusian Socialists). 'Belarus needs integration into Europe, that is true', a spokesman said, 'but shock therapy is not something which will do good for the Belarusian people. Look at Latvia - the reforms have succeeded in giving Latvia a market economy, but have failed to ensure prosperity for the Latvian people. Our party would prefer the prosperity, even if that means forsaking the market'.

On the other hand, an enthusiastic comment came from Kouna (Kaunas), where the headquarters of the ZBRDK - Zwiaz Bielarusau Respubliky Dwoch Karonau - is situated. 'Membership in the Baltic League for Belarus would be a momentous event in the life of the Belarusian people, as it will mean effective reunification after more that eight centuries of separation', commented Wiktar Bielahalawiec, Deputy Head of the ZBDRK, 'We call on everyone committed to this aim in Belarus to vote for Sp. Kotau and his party in December'.

No-one at either the RTC's embassy in Minsk or at the Consulate General in Smalensk was available for comment.

The parliamentary election is due December 7th. The elected parliament will afterwards vote on who should become the president.[PI]


WITA WARSINY - 4 October, 2003

NEW GOVERNMENT IN LATVIA; by Marek Pietrzyn

RIGA -- Latvia's former junta leader Viktors Alksnis, winner of the parliamentary elections last August, has announced that the formation of a new government has come to a conclusion. Presumably queen Valentina will take the oath from the new ministers next Monday. The new government is a coalition of three parties: Alksnis' own People's Movement for the Kingdom (TKK), the conservative Agrarian Union (ZS), and the joint caucus of the Latvian National Party (LNP) and the Christian-Democratic Union (KDS).

Immediately after the elections, Alksnis had announced a quick formation that would not take more than a month, but finally he needed no less than fifty-one days. "This is not the first promise that Alksnis broke, and probably not the last one either", commented opposition leader Osvalds Talmanis. In the meantime, nobody knows exactly why it took Alksnis so long. Analysts offer different explanations: either the ZS made higher demands than Alksnis was prepared to meet, or the LNP-KDS simply used the fact, that DKK and ZS together had only 50 seats - not enough for a parliamentary majority - to make the negotiations harder than Alksnis had anticipated.

Nevertheless, Alksnis has all reasons to be satisfied: his own TKK will provide eight out of seventeen ministers, including Alksnis himself as prime minister and most of the so-called "power ministers" (interior, defense, justice, finance). The leaders of the other two coalition parties, Raivis Spons (ZS) and Austris Evers (LNP-KDS), become minister of foreign affairs and social affairs respectively. Particularly remarkable are the appointments of Peteris Petersons, former attorney-general during the years under snorist rule, as minister of justice, and of ex-junta member general Tarivaldis Rosenbergs as minister of defense.[JvS]


RIGETS TIDENDE - GJØTEBORG, HOVEDSTADSOMRÅDET 25 September, 2003

FROM THE OFFICE OF THE LORD CHAMBERLAIN

The Office of the Chamberlain announces that Her Majesty, the Queen, in the Rigsråd (Council of the Realm) that is scheduled to take place at 10 O'clock on Wednesday the 8th of October 2003 in the Residence Palace of Amalienborg, intends to give Her consent that His Royal Highness, the Crown Prince, marry the consultant, Miss Mary Elizabeth Donaldson.

* * * * *

ROYAL WEDDING THIS SPRING

It's over with all the guessing. It has finally happened. The Crown Prince Frederik and Mary Donaldson is making their three year long love affair official. Although everybody had an inkling of what was going to happen, the Royal House still mannaged to surprise us all.

Queen Margrethe and Chancellor Viggo Bonde Mortensen will declare, in a Rigsråd that is to take place this 8th of October, their acceptance of Mary's engagement with Crown Prince Frederik, and a three year long love affair will thereby be turned into a state affair. The couple will thereafter recieve the people's ovation at the Amalienborg Slotsplads. From there, they will also make a tour of the Rigsfælleskab, visiting every state, to recieve the people's ovation around the Rigsfælleskab.

The wedding is expected to take place this May. The chamberlain is keeping the exact date of the wedding a secret. One thing is for sure, it will be the most internationally media-covered one to date. It's not everyday that a commoner from the southern hemisphere marries into European royalty. The people in Mary's hometown of Hobart, in the island of Tasmania, are thrilled - to say the least.

* * * * *

CRUZAN "NO" TO THE PESO

Another sovereignty issue has been resolved in the Cruzan Islands when the Cruzans voted "no" to Florida's proposal to replace the Guinea-West Indian system of dalers, bits, and styvers, with the Floridian system of pesos and soles.

The result of the referendum yesterday showed an overwhelming 67% "no" to the proposal versus only a 30% "yes".

The result is seen as a triumph for Cruzan sovereignty by the Konservative Cruzan government. As one Konservative MP Anna de Bojnes Kajsdatter puts it, "The yes vote to the Floridian Plan was a farce. It was a classic case of voluntary compulsion. We were forced to vote yes to the Floridian Plan. But this referendum over the currency is different. Our currency is the one piece of sovereignty that those kakerlakers in Miami cannot take from us. It is the one thing that is still ours."

The Rigsfælleskab's College of the Exchequer will therefore continue to work closely with the Cruzan Ministry of Finance.[KJ]


Hammond, St. Onge, Louisianne. 23 September 2003 (6 Sans-Culottide, CCXI).

IBAP -- A training mission today went awry over Louisianne resulting in the crash and destruction of the Spretu fighter. At press time the Lousianne Air Force (AAL) has not yet disclosed the status of the pilot and training officer.

L'Armée de L'Air Louisiannaise affirms that the crash was, according to the telemetry recieved due to error of the pilot who was training to fly the Spretu. There is no reason to suspect neither foul play, nor the workmanship of the Spretu fighter.

The PR Officer indicated that it is likely that because of an error by the trainee the plane went out of control, and the Training Officer who was aboard to ensure a safe flight was unable to correct the error.

Paris-sur-Mizouri, Osage, Louisianne.

IBAP -- For the first action of the new year, the Council announced today an offer to purchase approximatley 1,000 km^2 of mountainous Tejan territory for the price of 10 million écus (at the current exchange rate of 1 écu 44.83/g/silver). While the projected use is not yet publicly declared pending negotiations, many suyspect this as a bid to give the Deseret Mormons a safe haven. Others view it simply as a measure to pacify the border dispute that's brooded for years. Negotiations are currently underway between Her Majesty and the Council.[DH]


THE STAR, Castre Geory, Ter Mair (Georgetown, Maryland); 20 September 2003.

American Bureau of Oceanic and Atmospheric Studies Preparations Pay Off.

As furacano # 9 passes over the Georgetown area late Thurday the night, skirting by the Capital region, local authorities are left picking up the pieces. Data from Bureau aerostats stationed along the eastern coast, in conjunction with information collected by Floridian storm trackers, allowed prognosticators to project the track of the cyclone as it approached the American coast the week last.

Less sure was the projected track of furacano # 9 after reaching land. Bureau scientists using the latest computers and software hazarded a guess that the storm might track anywhere from the van Lustbader / Christina river valley in the east - taking it straight over the Capital - to the mighty Appalachians in the midlands. As it turned out, the storm passed a ways west of here leaving Georgetown and Baltimore at its eastern edge. As of today, Saturday, the storm is reported to be over Ontario.

Even so, the Powtomack river river flooded lowlying portions of Georgetown and Alexandria. Portions of the latter city, particularly lower King Street, are prone to flooding at the best of times and the rains brought by the furacano made Alexandria look more like Venice. Georgetown fared better as it stands upon higher ground; students at the medical college and patients at the hospital had an excellent view of the river and the approaching storm.

The town of Shaw, just to our east, fared a little worse, as it lies abreast the Wellington Swamp and lies under several feet of water.

Naturally, aerodromes were shut fast and railways severely restricted or cancelled service in the southeastern third of the country. Alleghany Power, who supplies much of Maryland and Pennsylvaania with electricity, states that repair work could take a fortnight, as many trees became entangled in the lines. The Powtomack and Susquehanna Sanitation Comission state that the sewer system locally is in sound shape, but water in portions of northern Virginia had to be cut off due to lack of power to the pumps.

All in all, the Bureau was able to warn residents of the southeast in plenty of time for those who desired to make good their escape. It is unknown how many persons shall have perished in this furacano, but estimates are currently in the low 100s. The Bureau estimates that more than one million customers are left without electricity and that dammages in the region could be as many as two million pounds. Insurance companies and government loans are expected to cover the costs of clearing the mess.[PB]


Toulouse, Osage, 15 September, 2003 (28 Fructidor CCXI).

(IBAP) -- In response to the upcoming Sans-Culottides, another shipment of produce and grain for the ailing Tejans, as well as clothing is now ready. This large convoy was collected in large part by the humanitarian services of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

The final collation of goods will be completed on the Second Sans-Culottide in celebration of Labor, and will be delivered for the day of Noble Actions, the 3rd Sans-Culottide.[DH]


Le Caillou, St. Louis, Louisianne, 15 September, 2003 (28 Fructidor, CCXI).

(IBAP) -- Pierre Chamois, PR Director of RepubliCom announced today that in honor of the 1 Sans-Culottide a launch of a telecommunications test-satellite will be launched. This symbol of genius is based upon current aerostat-based telecommunications systems that have been modified. It is expected that RepubliCom and CNEL scientists will learn a great deal from this test-satellite, and will open a bright future untroubled by earthly weather.[DH]


Paris-sur-Mizouri, 15 September, 2003 (28 Fructidor CCXI).

(IBAP) -- President Jean-François Young, accompanied by the six Provincial Presidents announced today their joy at the upcoming national festival. "It is a happy day for all Louisiannans, knowing that our friends and family of Baie de Biloxi and Mobile are able to celebrate these days with us. It's also a very enjoyable year for many, as this year we have a special sixth Sans-Culottide, dedicated to the Revolution, to our freedom, and to a blossoming future!"

This year's Sans-Culottide Events were enumerated in a press release on Sunday. For the non-Louisiannans, we remind that the types of events for the Sans-Culottides are dedicated to the following ideals: 1) Genius, 2) Labor, 3) Noble Actions, 4) Awards, 5) Opinion, and this year's sixth day is both dedicated to the Revolution as well as to the Intellectual Saturnalia. IBAP expects an inundation of libelous press releases from Louisianne on this day of Freedom-of-Speech pushed to the extreme.

Look for our report on the Genius Sans-Culottide on 19 September, 2003, or 2 Sans-Culottide CCXI.


EL REINO HOY, Santa Fé, 14 September, 2003:

A New American Country? -- Though Her Majesty has many things to attend to, one of the first official proclamations makes good on a promise made earlier this year to grant the lands known as the "Disputed Territory" to the Mormons of Deseret for a homeland. The official government statement indicates that the grant was made in recognition for the role the Deseret freedom fighters played in ousting the regime of the Dictator, Jorge Bush.

The land grant is to take effect on September 30 of this year. Neither Alta California nor Deseret leaders have made an official response as of yet, though it is expected that A-C will react with some outrage. Her Majesty indicated that the land claims of Alta California are bogus and the people of Deseret deserve some reward for their valorous actions.

Concerns over the defense of Deseret are moot, as Tejas has no means as of yet to defend its own territory, to say nothing of putting off the claims of Alta-California on the so called "Disputed Territory".[PB]


14 September, 2003: VIOLENCE BREAKS OUT IN MALLADZECZNA AS TWO RALLIES MEET MID-TOWN

MALLADZECZNA -- Violence swept across downtown Malladzeczna as two rallies clashed over the upcoming municipal election.

The People's Renaissance Party - Partyja Narodnaha Adrodzhennia - staged a rally in support of Zmicer Kollas, the candidate for town mayor, and the PNA's list of candidates for the town's seim. They received leave from the town's authorities, according to Spadar[1] Kollas, and maintained perfect discipline as they marched down the city's main street, Wilnanski Prashpekt to Ploszcza Niezaleznasci, where the rally was to take place. "We behaved perfectly well, and had all the necessary papers signed by the mayor herself, Spadarynia[1] Szauczenka" - says Sp. Kollas. When the rally arrived at the central square, they found their way barred by policemen and the square occupied by the pro-SNORist Belarusian Well-Being Party (Partyja Bielaruskaha Dabrobytu).

"This was really ridiculous" - comments Sp. Kollas. - "The policemen gave no reasons, and when we showed them the papers, they replied that they had orders". The PNA's leaders were shown a paper signed by Sp-nia Szauczenka again, which allotted the square to the PBD at the very same time.

Malladzeczna, formerly a town in central Belarus but now on the very western border, is the country's western gate and a key transport centre on a region-wide scale, as it channels goods from Russia to the RTC and further on to Europe. No wonder that control over the town's economy is a matter of not only political prestige, but also very real power. So the passions boiled in no time.

The PNA's rally quickly turned into a protest. Sp. Kolas's supporters started to move towards the square disregarding the policemen. They were met by mustard gas and water guns, and then ('Quite unexpectedly', according to Sp. Kollas) by a hail of stones and empty bottles, apparently from behind the barrier, as several people taking part in the PBD meeting joined the hunt.

The red-striped flags with the Pahonya quickly foundered in the disintegrating melée as people started to run for their lives. A number of PNA supporters (mostly students) decided to hold out, however, and mounted a counter attack, smashing hiding behind cars and causing the rivals to break the shop windows in vain attempts to hit them as they charged against the assailants.

Alaksandar Kraczkouski, who was one of those defenders, told the ShN: "They shot stones at us, and at one time I feared it would be bullets. The end came quite suddenly, and I'm glad it did."

The end did come, and in a rather unexpected fashion. Sp. Uladzimir Czarnych, the PBD's local leader and mayor candidate, rushed in front of the affray and shouted to stop. He was obviously shocked and refused to give any comment. His spokesman, Anton Alaksandrau, later told the journalists: "This was not part of any concerted actions on behalf of the PBD. We even fear this could be a provocation." Sp. Kollas said in reply: "I do hope it was not instigated by the PBD's political agenda. This was a very dangerous affair, and definitely puts a slur on Belarus's reputation in the eyes of the whole world. Whoever did it was trying to destabilize the situation before the elections."

Michas Nikalajeu, an analyst in the Belarus-RTC Cooperation Fund (Fond Supracounictva Belarusi dy Respubliki Dvoch Karonau), said: "This really is in line with the PBD's strongly anti-Western policy, but they wouldn't want to lose face. This might be a provocation from the more radical pro-SNORist elements who are worried by the slowly rising trust for the West and especially for the RTC."

The elections are to take place on September 28th. According to the polls, Sp. Ko³as can get from 34 to 36 per cent of the votes, while Sp. Czarnych is trailing by only three per cent.[PI]

[1] -- Spadar and Spadarynia correspond to Monsieur and Madame.


Baie de Mobile, Principautés Lointains (PL), 13 September 2003 (26 Fructidor, CCXI).

(IBAP) -- The last of the rubble was cleared today from the former site of the colonial administrative center. The building was destroyed in bombing attacks over the past 20 years. While the building will be modified on the interior, the exterior façade will be rebuilt to appear as it has looked during prior centuries. Groundbreaking services are expected to begin on the 1 Vendémiaire, CCXII.[DH]


Lille, France, 12 September, 2003 (25 Fructidor, CCXI).

(IBAP) -- Today Jean-Pierre Jeunet announced the launch of his latest film: a war-story centered around the events of the Great War. He has agreed to be financed by Studios Saint-Julien. Release date is currently undecided pending a filming schedule.[DH]


Zaräémlà, Nouvelle Cournouaille, 12 September 2003 (25 Fructidor, CCXI).

By: Harold Kohler, IBAP, Nouvelle Cournouaille.

(IBAP) -- Appearing before a crowd of television reporters the Louisiannan Army escorted the last of the Zion Freedom Movement to Gendarmerie waggons to be taken to trial for their part in the destructive terrorist acts against the state. Already, Alta California is clamoring for extradition.

President Padrig Maughan, Provincial President of Nouvelle Cournouaille issued a public statement of thanks to Dalmatia, stating, "(that) without the support of the Spretu fighters that were originally loaned and later bought from the Dalmatian people, we would have been much longer under a threat from these evil people."

President Maughan went on to speak about negotiations to purchase a tract of land from Tejas, but avered that no details could be divulged at this time, but that negotiations were ongoing.

In related news, the Deseret Freedom Fighters have renewed their pleas for a semi-autonomous state to the Alta Californio goverment, with as yet no response from San Diego.[DH]


BBC World News Service - 10 September, 2003.

DIVISIVE TENSION IN MOGHUL REGARDING THE SOUTH

Herat -- For the last five years, the southernmost portion of the Moghul National Realm has been in the grip of a number of warlords - warlords of religion, ideology, and economics. The only thing that these warlords can agree upon is that they do not want to be governed by the central government in Herat.

The southern region of Moghul, possessing all of the seacoast, ironically also harbors a greater number of SNORists than does the north and center of the country. Monarchists are often quick to lay blame upon the SNORists for the rift that is growing between the south and the rest of Moghul.

In an effort to display the fact that the central government is required, Her Majesty Queen Gohar IV retracted professional soldiers and professional police from the restive area, stating that she will return them once the rebels conceede that the south belongs within the Moghul National Realm.

"What she's doing is very risky," says analyst Mohammad Yates. "If the rebels don't surrender within a few more years, her actions could potentially sow neglect, thus growing a crop of hatred against the absent National forces."

Some people in the south, however, don't seem to require an absence of professionals to dislike the monarchy; they cite religion instead. In a nation where Hindus are fighting a political tooth-and-nail battle to aquire seats in the Councils, the cry of religion is often the quickest way to a conflict.

"My father was a Batavian mariner," says Hind native Jacobus, who asked that his last name not be given, "and I have lived my entire life in the Hind. Under the Baburid regime, neither he nor I have any more rights than do a Sikh. But here, in the Hind, we have the same rights as everyone else!"

Rights that sometimes are quick to vanish, as often happens when sectarian disputes turn bloody. It is things such as this that the Baburid Dynasty points to when their neighbors ask if and when the Hind will be granted the right to split away from Moghul. Says a retired former spokesman for the Crown, Mehmet El-Jinn, "When the states of northern India left the arms of Moghul, it was with the ability to rule themselves; without descending into the chaos of the mobs that rule the southern region of Moghul," refusing to refer to the area as 'Hind'.

While the Moghul authorities have as yet been unable to present the international community with concrete links between the Hind sepratists and other countries, they do have suspicions.

When asked his opinion, the director of the Bureau for Regional Affairs within the Turkestani Foreign Ministery, Nariman Haqimzade, said: "A very dangerous game queen Gohar is playing. Withdrawing army and police from a region in turmoil instead of pacifying it is not exactly what would seem like a logical choice. She might lose control over the region. And what happens after these warlords have taken over? Hind will irreversibly drift away from the MNR, and their virus will spread quickly over the rest of the country. No, this decision jeopardises the stability of the region in a very dangerous way; in my opinion the queen ought to deal with those separatists once and foregood, like we did with warlords like Kadressin and Buzur-Bey when there was similar unrest within the Tajik province."[ROD/JvS]


THE DAILY OREGONIAN: Sunday, 24 August, 2003

KAMLUPS (TK'AMLUPS), OREGON - Fully one third of the population of the city of Kalawuna (Q'alawuna) - thirty thousand people - have been evacuated from their homes as the conflagration that has been raging for days in the region entered the city limits today. Thus far, the fire has consumed a recently-built subdivision. The inferno, which was ignited by a lightning strike, is one of nearly 900 fires raging in Oregon at this time. Firefighting crews have been brought in from all over country, from cities as distant as Cranbrook and Castreleon Alki. Talks are under way to bring in fire fighters from Alta California; but the government of that country is concerned that their fire fighters are too weary from fighting fires in California this year. [MP]


OMNIPRESSE, Quebec City, New France: Friday 22 August 2003

Chevalier de Charest (PDNF), leader of the Intendant's Council, stunned neighbouring North American government officials yesterday by releasing a statement saying that New France would pass legislation reinstating the so-called "Shining Hearthland" policy.

This policy, dormant for decades, is based on the premise that as the hearthland of French culture in North America, the Intendancy has a responsability towards its prodigal countrymen. In the past, this has taken the form of promoting French cultural events and social clubs (such as the Ste-Jeanne-D'arc Societies) outside the borders of New France.

In the same statement, he repeatedly stated his promise to other governments that this policy would in no way interfere with their sovereign rights and all activities would be properly cleared with local autorities first.

Members of the opposition PPL party immediatly decried the reinstatment of the policy as a smokescreen for the terrible state of the economy since its election and as a futile propaganda exercise.

Though welcomed by some abroad, a few groups in republican parts of the continent have decried the monarchist leaning of these events in the past.

No members of the Louisiana General Delegation were available for comment at the time of publication, however.[MP]


ILL GWG; Llangothri - Thursday, 21 August 2003

NO AÞROFA FOR MENYN, SAYS GOVERNOR

The Rheithur for Menyn, Mr Cenydd mab Llawreint, has come under fire from nationalistic forces on Menyn once again as he has for the second time in a row denied that the Island's authorities are going to fund the creation of the Institute of Menyn, or Aþrofa an Fenyn, as eager patriots have already christened it. During the journalist packed press conference yesterday morning at the town hall, mab Llawreint read out the text of the press release, notwithstanding the protesters who unfurled a huge banner bearing the words Taw an Fenen y hjaiþ, taw an Fenen y henef - "Menyn has a language, Menyn has a soul".

"The status of the Manoeg language is not the focus of the Island's government at the present time," said mab Llawreint. "It has never been, and I do not think it shall ever be. After all, Manoeg is quickly becoming superfluous as a means of communication. People are moving to the towns in ever larger numbers. This trend seems poised to continue; and it is our main objective to develop Menyn into a province with a level of economic development on par with such provinces as Termorgan and Lla Ferch. Manoeg is not what we think important for this, and the nationalistic and chauvinistic trends encouraged by some organisations are absolutely incompatible with the prosperous future we envision for the Island. And even their patriotic mantras can't avoid borrowing from Brithenig!" - he exclaimed, pointing at the word enef, soul.

These comments have sparked serious concerns all over the province.

Mr. Rhaifun Clig, Chairman of Plaid en Boffyl, the second largest party in the Dâli'n Ynys, the Island's parliament, made the following comment: "The provincial government has once again shown its blatant disregard for the Island's needs, its heritage and civil stability. We do hope that this policy will not continue for any considerable period of time, and we are planning a campaign to attract the attention of the people of Kemr to the plight of Manoeg". He added, however, that the party was not planning any acts of civil disobedience. "We have influential friends in Castreleon, and we are not going to upset the stability on the Island," he affirmed.

Plaid en Boffyl is a mildly right-wing party with strong patriotic rhetoric, aiming at more political, economic and cultural freedom for Menyn, including provisions for an elected rheithur and for more influence of Dâli'n Ynys over local policies.

The Rheithur's comments also caused concerns among the Protestants of Menyn, who are seen as the traditional stronghold of Manoeg. The Rev. Erchyl Yddaer, Bishop of Clonguchlain and Bangor Fychan, issued a press release, where he, inter alia, said: "The right and freedom to use the Manoeg language have been of the last few privileges of our Church on Menyn. The comments made by the Rheithur are undermining the future not only of the Manoeg language, but also of the Protestant congregations on Man, not to mention the fact that they are made in a spirit which any Christian must be ashamed of". The Cambrian Rite Abbatial Bishop of Llangothri, Nigol Yniwr, agreed with the Rev. Yddaer, saying: "We are afraid that the comments made by Mr. mab Llawreint can be seen as putting more pressure on the Christian and especially the Protestant communities of the Island. The Catholic Church can not agree with such statements".

Dr Cwn. Ffyl. Carol Rhedun, of An Yscaul Hjaiþ, Llangothri, said the patriots were overreacting. "The position of Manoeg is as strong as ever, and there is no threat to the language whatsoever. It is true that the social structure of the Island is changing, with a precipitate rise in the urban population, but the use of Manoeg is only gaining currency". He further added: "It is, of course, sad that our Yscaul will not be incorporated into a projected Aþrofa, where complex studies of the language, history, culture, and folkways of the people of Menyn could be carried out".

Mr Rhedun also pointed out: "Menyn has a heritage as rich as any Kemrese province, even richer than some. We do need to raise awareness of that fact in Kemr. Kemrese educators and scholars should follow the example of their Irish colleagues. An Yscaul already has an exchange agreement with Coláiste na Tríonóide at Dublinn. Readings in Manoeg culture and language are organized on an annual basis there. Kemrese authorities, on the other hand, appear to pay little heed to the culture of one of the very few remaining Celtic nations. I do not expect Mr mab Llawreint to know that enef is not a Brithenig loan, but a native Manoeg word, borrowed from Latin, and met in 8th century glosses; but still a course in Manoeg studies would doubtless do some people good".[PI]


LA VOZ de los CRUZADOS, Charlotte Amalie: 15 August 2003

FROM: RIGETS TIDENDE, 12.08.2003

The Cruzan High Court has ruled that the results of the Referendum was indeed a "yes".

Some, however, have claimed that the ruling is a purely political move in order to secure peace in the region.

FROM: RIGETS TIDENDE, 14.08.2003

The Cruzan election results for the Cruzan Parliament show: 19 seats for the Conservatives and 16 seats for the Liberals. The Rigsombudsman has given the Charter of the Cruzan Islands to the new PM.

FROM: RIGETS TIDENDE, 18.08.2003

After long negotiations with the Floridian government, the proposed plan to resolve the plight of the former privateering companies has been modified to Florida's acceptance. Existing concessions for transportation and shipping to and from the Cruzan Islands will not be cancelled. But with the end of the conflict between Florida and the SR, new concessions are available connecting the Cruzan Islands with other SR states. Former SR privateering companies will have the right of first refusal in choosing routes before other companies. Remaining concessions will then be offered to other interested companies.[KJ]


WITA WARSINY, 14 August 2003

LATVIA TURNS BACK THE CLOCK by Latvia correspondent, Marek Pietrzyn

RIGA – Yesterday's parliamentary elections in Latvia seem to have caused a major political earthquake. With 98.9 % of the votes counted, it has become clear that the ultra-right People's Movement for the Kingdom (TKK), led by ex-general Viktors Alksnis, has become the undisputed winner of the elections: the party of the former junta leader will be represented by 29 deputies in the Saeima (out of 100), 24 more than its current five. The voter turnout was remarkably high: 83.4 %.

The three parties that support the centre-left coalition government of prime minister Osvalds Talmanis lose both their majority and more than half of their seats: Talmanis's own Democratic Alliance (DA), falls down from 31 to 15 seats, the Social Democratic LSDDP of foreign minister Inese Pauksta from 21 to 10 seats, and the Maris Straubergs's Latvian People's Front (LTF) from 13 to 4 seats. This means that – even with the hypothetic support of Arturs Blums's Latvian Green Party and Boris Pugo's communist LKSP – it will be impossible for Talmanis to form another majority government; Talmanis has literally been smashed away.

Last night at 2:20, Talmanis acknowledged his dramatic defeat in a short speech that was broadcast live on TV. He congratulated Alksnis with his victory and wished him success with the formation of a new government. Alksnis himself was celebrating his success with his supporters at the time; later that night, he announced a quick formation. "I expect my government will be ready within a month," he said, and added: "I wish Mr. Talmanis equally much luck in the opposition."

The most likely candidates for participation in Alksnis's government will be the conservative Agrarian Union (ZS), that grew from 15 to 21 seats, the new Latvian National Party, a group led by former minister Austris Evers that recently split off from the DA (4 seats), and possibly the small Baltic Romuva Party (4 seats). Asked about his plans, ZS leader Raivis Spons, formerly one of Alksnis's fiercest opponents, told the press that he keeps all options pen: "We won't exclude anybody. Let's see first what Mr. Alksnis can offer us, and then we will see what we can offer him."

Another remarkable change in Latvia's political landscape is the dramatic loss of the Latvian People's Front. Little is left, it seems, of the fame it acquired when it guided Latvia's transformation from a military dictatorship into a democracy in the late eighties - when it had over half a million members - and the early 1990s. LTF leader and poet Maris Straubergs commented: "Perhaps it is time for us to realise that the years for mass movements like ours have past. Latvia is a democracy now, and needs political parties instead of broad popular fronts. We have done our best, and let us be grateful that we have been allowed to contribute positively to Latvia's history. We may not be happy with the result of these elections, but we should not forget that it has been our job to ensure that they could take place in the first place. I just hope that Mr. Alksnis will not turn the clock back." One hour later, Straubergs announced his retirement from politics.

Boris Pugo, the leader of the communist LKSP who spent more than half his life in exile in the CSDS, has mixed feelings about the elections. While he is satisfied with the fact that the LKSP won three seats and is represented by eight deputies now, Pugo is also worried about the future: "Latvia is not ready for communism yet, but that moment will come, I assure you. In the mean time, I just hope I won't have to leave the country again." Asked about his plans for the near future, Pugo replied: "Do you expect me to represent the people, or should I start packing already?"

The Latvian elections were not only a defeat for the government, but also for the polls. During the last few weeks before the elections, they were unanimous in their prognosis, that the elections would be a neck-to-neck race between Talmanis and the right; no one ever guessed the extent of Alksnis's unexpected success.

What explains the sudden popularity of the former tyrant, who ruled Latvia during the years 1987-1989 as Russia's last SNORist vassal? Analysts say that the main cause of the "rightist revolution" is the economy. While Talmanis's restructuring of the Latvian economy has been widely acclaimed by the rest of the world, the population itself has experienced mostly the pains of it in the form of massive unemployment and poverty. As a result, the people got frustrated with its newly acquired freedom, and started to blame the new leaders. Numerous corruption scandals in government circles made it worse for Talmanis, and although his own abilities are beyond any doubt, his reputation of being a womaniser has cost him some support among the more conservative voters too.

Alksnis, on the other hand, knows perfectly well how to mobilise popular discontent. In his junta years he became known for fighting all kinds of corruption within the regime, and now, during the last few months before the elections, he successfully convinced the voters that Latvia's democratically elected but corrupt leaders, supported by foreign powers, should be held responsible for all Latvia's problems. What doubtlessly works in his advantage too is that many people have come to believe that life was better under SNORist rule.

This latter point of view is often accompanied by a reassessment of his role as Latvia's last dictator. When Alksnis assumed the leadership over Latvia's bankrupted regime at the age of 37, he depicted himself as the lesser of many evils. "If we do not do something about the situation now," he reasoned, "people will take up arms and pour into the streets, and this will not be a military coup but a popular coup." In other words, instead of being an ordinary dictator, Alksnis was the hero who had prevented a popular upheaval, that would undoubtedly have been followed by a Russian invasion. Besides, wasn't it Alksnis who had started negotiations with the Latvian Popular Front and allowed several democratic reforms?

Nobody can predict exactly what impact the elections will have on the cooperation within the framework of the Baltic League. Alksnis has repeatedly accused the R.T.C., Scandinavia, and the Baltic League of not keeping their promises and exploiting Latvia instead. "If they won't help us out of our misery, they should not be surprised if we turn our back to them at last," he said. "Instead of concentrating on countries that just follow their own interests, I believe we should focus more on the possibilities of a closer cooperation with Russia."

In a first reaction to the election results, prime minister Jan Sacz [of the RTC, ed.] said that he does not expect Latvia to change its course so drastically: "I think we ought to restrain ourselves from worrying prematurely. Even Alksnis knows the value of our cooperation, and he will think twice before breaking with us. After all, there is a difference between the propaganda you usually hear before an election, and governing a country."

Estonia's prime minister Urmas Piip only said: "Let's just wait and see", and refused any further comments. Only the Bulgarian president Yordan Hristov seemed content with the election result. He sent Alksnis official congratulations and called this "a wonderful day in the history of the friendship between our two peoples".

Later this morning, Talmanis will visit queen Valentina to officially require his dismissal. After the queen has approved his resignation, she will probably put Alksnis in charge of the formation of a new government.

The Composition of the Saeima, after 13.08.2003:

TKK - People's Movement for the Kingdom; 29 (+24)
ZS - Agrarian Union 21 (+ 4)
DA - Democratic Alliance 15 (-16)
LSDDP - Latvian Social-Democratic Labour Party 10 (-11)
LKSP - Latvian Communist Workers' Party 8 (+ 3)
LTF - Latvian People's Front 4 (- 9)
BRP - Baltic Romuva Party 4 (+ 1)
LZP - Latvian Green Party 3 ( = )
LNP - Latvian National Party 4 (+ 4)
KDS - Christian-Democratic Union 2 ( = )[JvS]


WITA WARSINY, 13 August 2003

PARLIAMENTARY ELECTIONS IN LATVIA: by Latvia correspondent, Marek Pietrzyn

Today, 1.6 million Latvian voters have the opportunity to choose a new parliament. The main theme of the elections are: will the centre-left government of prime minister Osvalds Talmanis once more receive the confidence of the people in carrying out its economic reforms, or will Latvia make a switch to the right?

Recent polls incidicate, that the three parties that support Talmanis will lose their comfortable majority of 65 out of 100 deputies in the Saeima, the Latvian parliament. According to the same polls, Talmanis's own Democratic Alliance, currently represented by 31 deputies, can this time count on only 20 deputies, 25 at most, while he social-democratic LSDDP and the Latvian People's Front are bound to loose as well. However, the campaigns have been been unusually hot and hard this year, and much can change during the last few days before an election. Today's most important question for the Latvians remains: will Talmanis be able to form a new government on the basis of today's elections, be it by adding one or two smaller parties to the coalition?

Talmanis's main political opponent is the conservative Agrarian Union (ZS), led by former finance minister and current opposition leader Raivis Spons. The polls give the ZS a good chance to become the biggest party in the Saeima. Much depends, however, on the success of another party, the ultra-right People's Movement for the Kingdom (TKK). Since its foundation in 1993, the post-SNORist TKK has been a small and insignificant party, with currently only five seats in the Saeima. Two years ago, however, former junta leader Viktors Alksnis assumed the leadership of the TKK, after the ten years during which he was forbidden to exercise any political function had passed. From that moment on, much has changed in Latvia. While the economic situation grew worse and worse for the population, the government responsible for it fell from one affair into another, and all Alksnis had to do was to eloquently feed the fertile soil of nostalgia for a better past. Alksnis's star has been rising ever since, and the polls indicate that today's elections will bring TKK at 15 to 20 seats, which, by any standard, will make the TKK a major political factor. It remains unlikely though, that the TKK will take part in the next government, as neither Talmanis nor Spons would compromise themselves with a cooperation with the post-SNORists.

The final results will probably be known during the night.[JvS]


RIGETS TIDENDE - GJØTEBORG, HOVEDSTADSOMRÅDET 06/08/03

TRIAL OVER REFERENDUM RESULTS JUSTIFIED BY CRUZAN HIGH COURT

The Cruzan High Court yesterday has ruled after the preliminary hearing that the case brought forward by several prominent no-voters of last week's referendum is justified.

The results of the referendum showed a 52.7% acceptance to the Floridian Plan. However, questions were raised on whether accepting the resulting "no" was constitutional or not. According to the Cruzan Constitution, any changes in sovereignty need to by accepted by a 75% majority vote in a referendum where at least 50% of the voting population have voted. Thus, the question to the Cruzan High Court was whether or not the referendum was about changes in sovereignty.

The Floridian advocates argue that the referendum was not about changes of sovereignty. Their arguement is that the Cruzan Islands was already both a Floridian and Scandinavian territory - Floridian by annexation and Scandinavian by not recognizing this annexation. The referendum only confirmed this.

The Cruzan advocates, on the other hand, argue that the referendum was indeed over a change of sovereignty. Their argument is that, according to the Floridian Plan, the Cruzan Islands will change from a Floridian territory to a Floridian "condominium" province - thereby changing the sovereignty status of the islands to a more integrated part of Florida.

The trial itself is dated for next Monday, 11/08/03.[KJ]


RIGETS TIDENDE - GJØTEBORG, HOVEDSTADSOMRÅDET 02/08/03

FALSE FIRES IN FREDERIKSTED

Earlier reports of fires breaking out in Frederiksted after the conclusion of the referendum in the night of the 30th of July turned out to be false. At least as far as the severity is concerned. The Frederiksted Fire Department reports that it was not started by vandalists. Apparently, a restaurant owner had forgotten to keep an eye on his stove. "As with everyone in my restaurant, I was more preoccuppied with listening to the radio," says Ulrig Whim Jansen, the owner and chef at the Restaurant Fiskergade. "I had completely forgotten that I had been preparing some fried fish and bananas."

The fire went out of control and spread to nearby buildings. Some distraught "no" voters took this as a sign to begin a riot. Fortunately the fire was quickly put under control by the fire department.

FLAG RAISING CEREMONY IN CHARLOTTE AMALIE

In front of the Groenhus, the Cruzan Parliamentary building, three flagpoles had been erected; two short ones on either side of a taller one. Yesterday morning, on the parade ground in front of the building, there were three formations of troops as well; SR's Prinsens Frikorps in the left side, Florida's troops on the right side, and the Cruzan Gendarme in the middle with its own band of musicians. Just behind the flagpoles were Governor Rivera and his staff.

Skt.Thomas bay was filled with spectating boats. But most of the general population gathered along strandgade between Fort Christian and the parade ground to witness the ceremony. The best vantage point was on the top of Fort Christian's tower, and this where our photographer at the scene took this photo:

[photo]

At eight o'clock sharp, the drum roll began and three members from each troop formation stepped forward and marched to their respective flagpoles. The three members from the Floridian formation carried the Floridian flag, the ones from the Frikorps carried the swallow-tailed Dannebrog, and those from the Gendarme carried the swallow-tailed Cruzan flag. When the flags were tied to their cords, the band began to play the Cruzan national anthem, "Die Maagdeneelande sie March", and the flags were raised in unison.

After the anthem was played, the royal yacht, the Dannebrog, appeared from behind Hassel Island in Skt.Thomas Bay. On board was Queen Margrethe II. It saluted by firing its guns and then dipping its flag. The shore along the Groenhus, lined with old Danish cannons, answered by firing back and the three flags were dipped.

Officer's whistles could then be heard at the Dannebrog as Queen Margrethe II and her staff boarded the royal dinghy. Governor Rivera then proceeded down the King's Wharf with his staff to meet the Queen. When the dinghy docked and the Queen stepped onto the wharf, officer's whistles were blown again. As the Queen greeted Governor Rivera, he bowed respectfully and then handed to her the Charter for the Cruzan Islands. They then proceeded back to the parade ground to inspect thetroops together.

Afterwards, the Queen and Rivera toured Charlotte Amalie in an open four-wheeled calash pulled by two horses. The calash stopped quite often as children wanted to hand both Rivera and the Queen flowers. The tour ended at the Governor's official residence - Cathrineberg Palace.

At the palace's balcony, the Queen and Rivera each gave their speech to the public. Both had positive hopes for the future. The Queen mentioned that she was "honoured to have Dannebrog fly in the West Indies once again".

CONSTITUTIONAL CRISIS IN THE CRUZAN ISLANDS

The Cruzan refendum over the Floridian plan is over, but that does not mean the issue over Cruzan sovereignty is. the Cruzan Constitution requires any changes of sovereignty to be approved in a referendum with a 75% yes vote and with more than 50% voter-turnout. In the recent referendum, the voter-turnout was indeed way above 50%. But the yes votes were were only just barely 53%. The question is, was the referendum also about a change in sovereignty?

If the High Court rules that the referendum was also about sovereignty issues, then the 53% of yes-votes is not enough according to the constitution and the official result of the referendum is a "no". This would place a wedge to the Floridian Plan unless some compromise is reached between Miami and Charlotte Amalie.

The Floridian government has so far regarded sovereignty issues as irrelevant to the referendum. In its view, the referendum was about acceptance of the Plan only, with sovereignty issues completely irrelevant. With this viewpoint, they regard the results of the refendum as a "yes" and have thus allowed SR forces to begin occupying various installations on the islands.

A group of prominent "no" voters led by Mikael Jacksen don't agree, however. They intend to take it to the Cruzan High Court on Monday. "It's important to follow our Constitution to the letter," Mikael Jacksen told us the day after the referendum. "Besides, one cannot ignore the 47 percent that have voted against the Plan. No matter what the 53% says, almost half of the voting population are still against it."

FORMER PRIVATEERS STILL IN TROUBLE

The plight of the former privateering companies is still unresolved. The SR government has been working on a plan that will allow the former privateering companies to return to transport and shipping and granting them monopoly rights over all transport and shipping to and from the Cruzan islands. This plan, however, has not been well received by Florida.

Florida is particularly against the idea of allowing former combatants that were harassing their shipping to ply their waters still at the expense of local shipping.

"It's basically up to Florida," said Employment Minister Stenfeldt yesterday. "If Florida does not agree to the plan, then we are left with two options; we could start issuing privateering licenses again, or we could completely ignore the plight of the former privateers. Problem with the former is that we don't have any other global conflicts we can send the privateers to. Also, I doubt Florida would like that we begin issuing privateering licenses again. On the other hand, ignoring the plight of the former privateers is problematic, and we cannot allow hundreds of people to lose their jobs at the cost of the state.

"The proposed plan over what to do with the former privateers has been modified - hopefully, to Florida's liking. I have modified it so that it now states that the proposed monopoly rights will only last for a period of ten years. Afterwhich, all companies are free to compete over transport and shipping to and from the Cruzan Islands."[KJ]


ILL SUL - Health Update - 01-08-2003

ESCA, Dûnein - It was reported in the most recent Journal of the Royal College of Physicians that the hospital deaths of several people in Kemr could be prevented in each year if physicians "thought outside the box" more in treating patients who complain of extraordinary symptoms.

Take the story of Mrs Ff. as one recent example.

Mrs Ff arrived at the emergency department of Mercy of Heaven Hospital in the city last year complaining of a pain in her left side; as stated by her relatives, she was otherwise healthy and had never engaged the services of a physician. While in the waiting room, she began complaining of the pain's sharpness and she also felt nauseated. Doctors sent her home with pain medications and a referral to see a specialist to look into the possibility of a clogged bowel. The next day Mrs Ff. was in considerably worse shape and returned to the Hospital with a fever and sever pain in her left side. The junior doctors that attended her still considered her condition a likely case of bowel obstruction and sent her home again with stronger medicines. On the third day, Mrs Ff. passed out and was brought in by ambulance. The doctors attending her scheduled her for surgery the next day, but were otherwise at a loss to explain the sudden change. Before surgery time, Mrs Ff was found comatose and near death; and her doctors scrambled to figure out what the cause of the new symptoms were. She died that afternoon.

The coronoer's report returned with a most curious verdict: death via acute infection due to ruptured appendix. Her doctors glanced over the report and dismissed it, because, they reasoned, if her appendix had ruptured she would have come to them with the symptoms of appendicitis: lower right side abdominal pain, nausea, fever. Her case didn't follow the pattern, so her condition was never properly evaluated.

Upon further investigation, it turns out that Mrs Ff. (and two other patients who died in Kemrese hospital last year, though unrelated cases) was post mortemly diagnosed with situs inversus, a rare congenital condition in which the internal organs are reversed: the heart often points to the right rather than the left; the large lobe of the liver and the gall bladder are on the left rather than the right. Also, the appendix is on the left side rather than the right.

Most doctors in recent decades have had to cram much more education into the same few years of training than their elders had to do. The result is that Kemrese medical programmes are often "streamlined" in an effort to produce properly trained physicians in short order. It seems that this cooky cutter approach to medicine is not the best route to take. Dr. Costentin Armeur of St. Blase's Medical College in Esca states: "Care needs to be taken to cover a wider range of abnormalities. The human body is a wonderful thing; but in the modern period of advanced medicines and practices, we rarely see deformed or diseased individuals the way our forebears did. Abortions remove many congenital anomalies; medicines and therapeutic techniques often treat anomalies and diseases that were once commonplace. The case of Mrs Ff. is singular in that she had a true anomaly, though not one that made her unhealthy. The narrow range of modern training that sometimes glosses over the 'trivia' of conditions like hers is costing our country a life or two each year; and the problem is as bad or worse elsewhere in the world."

The solutions are many, though often involve extended training or post-educational internships where doctors can delve more deeply into the anomalous and strange. Dr. Armeur stated that even medical school students need to become more acquinted with the oddities of their chosen profession. "There are hundreds of diseases, syndromes and conditions - like Mrs Ff's situs inversus - that students and junior doctors never hear of or only barely receive a mention in the texts. At the very least, we should be training our junior doctors to think outside the box more. Do not rely on seives and charts to diagnose patients - they may be useful tools, but the art of diagnosis requires more than plugging numbers into an equation."[PB]


LA VOZ DE LA NACION - 31-07-2003

LA HABANA - What to do with all the Pirates? With the cessation of tensions between the SR and the Republic, the SR have ordered the disbanding of their privateer fleets that have harassed Floridian shipping. In cooperation with this order, the Navy and Air Forces of Florida have ordered a similar stand-down to our privateering fleets.

It now falls to the Navies of the two countries to decide what should be done with captured privateer crews, many of whom are neither Floridian nor Scandinavian. As of this morning, all Scandinavian born prisoners of war are being transported to Charlotte Amalie in the Cruzans, where they will be returned to Scandinavian defense forces custody. Other foreign nationals are to be detained per Code of Military Justice for further processing.

***

Intimations that the disbanded privateer crews are to form the basis for the shipping companies that will connect Florida and Scandinavia have not been well received in Government circles. Trade Minister Julietta Cisneros-Matamoros vociferously stated Florida's position on the matter: "We did not treat with Scandinavia so that their crews, who yesterday were pirates harassing our shipping can today become respectable shippers who tomorrow will compete with our shipping. It is our hope, and that of Sr Rivera of the Cruzans, that local shipping companies will not be forced out of business by the planned monopoly the Scandinavians are planning to give their former privateers. The way Florida sees it, they lined their pockets at our expense - and that was fair. There was conflict between our countries. But now things are different - and it looks like they will still line their pockets at our expense!" The future opening of trade between the Cruzans and Scandinavia and her territories could mean expanded opportunities for reviving the stagnating Cruzan shipping industry.[PB]


CRUZANOS HOY! - 31-07-2003 - "La Votación es ... Sí"!!

CHARLOTTE AMALIE - Floridian Governor Rivera welcomed the news of the Referndum results with a smile that has taken years off his recently anxious face. Speaking informally from the portico of the Palacio Verde: "This is the culmination and fulfilment of many long years of work here in the Cruzan Islands. It is well known that I bought the governorship of these Islands in 1959, when I was a 33 year old junior Congressman from Miami district 6 in Florida. I fell in love instantly with this land, though I was not Governor between 1962 and 1969, and have long tried to improve the lot dealt the Cruzados by the annexation of 1946. The very nature of my office prevented me from initiating a sweeping reform of local government - I could not change the charter I was granted and could not offer the people the say they deserved in their own affairs. In recent years, though many in the foreign press have maligned him on account of his brother's misdeeds, our President has matured in his office and has raised the bar we should expect of Florida's national destiny. We should no longer be simple conquerors, scouring away the foreign devil from our territory. Rather, we should offer an enlightened approach to government, and work in tandem with the foreigners who still have influence amongst the Provinces of our nation. If only Sr Bush had been President in 1959, rather than El Caudillo. Much needless violence could have been avoided - but that is all ancient history!

"Now, we have the future to plan and put into effect. For my part, my work here is done. As of Friday 15 August, 2003 I shall retire from my post as Governor. I have called for an election set for that date in which all of us, my fellow Cruzados, will choose a democratically elected Governor, or Prime Minister, and other government officials. Until such time as the new PM can be installed, I have selected my capable deputy, Frederik Calvo to manage the interim affairs of this office. It shall then be my honour and greatest pleasure to retire here and be no more than Sr Rivera, Cruzado.

"But in the mean time, I understand that Queen Margarita is comming for a visit, and it shall fall to me to hand her the Charter, this fancy piece of paper that gives me Miami's authority over these Islands. By this act, it should be made clear to those of you who have not understood what happened here these last weeks. I understand that the Charter will then be passed to the new PM, as a sign that the elected Ministers of these Islands act of their own authority."

Several locals noted the recent riots and fires started in response to the Referendum. Rivera activated the Island's defense forces in response and the riots have been curtailed. Newly arriving Frikorps troops, which will relieve most of the Floridian Army troops stationed in the Islands, will assume custody of the miscreants.[PB]


LA VOZ DE LA NACION, 31-07-2003

MIAMI - At last the Cruzan Referendum votes are totaled up and the answer is a resounding YES, if by a slim margin. With this vote, President Bush's "Caribbean Plan" can take its full effect at last, which is the cause for much celebration in Miami this morning. "Now - and with our Scandinavian partners - we will be able to move forward with the work of refurbishing the Cruzans after half a century of official neglect. Rather than constant conflict with Scandinavia over sovereignty issues, our two countries will take equal responsibility for the defense and well being of the newest (official) Province." So spoke Interior Minister Margarita Vásquez at the press confrence at the Presidential Palace this morning.

Foreign Minister Xavier Zavalos is quick to reaffirm Florida's position with respect to the Cruzan Islands: "The Republic, in its desire to respect the traditions of the Cruzados, has chosen to grant the people of the Cruzans the right to determine their immediate future. The Republic is _not_ abandoning the Province to foreign powers, as some in the media have suggested. We will continue to have a governmental and military presence in the Islands. According to the Plan, a liaison office will be created in Charlotte Amalie which will coordinate efforts of Cruzan, Floridian and Scandinavian interests as necessary. While the principal land defense of the Islands will fall to the Frikorps, who will occupy various installations in the Islands over the next two weeks; Floridian troops (mostly Cruzados themselves) will be based in two installations on the two principal islands. In addition, it will be Florida's obligation and honor to continue sea and air defense, in coordination with the Scandinavian air forces and navy."

Bush, currently travelling in the NAL, sent a congratulatory message to the Cruzan people this morning: "You have embarqued on a new journey, a journey in which you will determine the course taken by your land. We will be ever at your side; we shall help you up when you fall and defend your backs. We shall no longer be your masters; rather we shall be your brothers."[PB]


RIGETS TIDENDE - GJØTEBORG, HOVEDSTADSOMRÅDET 31/07/2003

IT'S YES, SLIGHTLY

Results of the Cruzan Referendum show a 52.7% yes to the Floridian Plan. A very tiny lead for the yes voters.

When the count was over at about 10 O'clock, and the results were anounced, people in the gades, or streets, of Charlotte Amalie cheered. But the joy later turned to terror an hour later when a few young extremists started vandalizing downtown pakhuses or shops. They engaged riot police with cobblestones before they were dispersed with teargas and arrested.

By the time of printing, the riots in Charlotte Amalie had been contained.

The Rigets Tidende Editorial Office has also by the time of printing received unconfirmed reports of fires breaking out in Frederiksted and Vegsby. Most of the pakhuses in these two towns are wooden buildings, and so if the reports are true, the effects of fire can be potentially devastating.

*****

DANNEBROG IN THE CRUZAN ISLANDS TOMORROW

The royal yacht, Dannebrog, a squadron of four DVG [Det Guinea-Vestindisk Compagnie] ships, and two troop transports will be arriving in the Cruzan Islands tommorow for the official flag raising ceremonies expected to take place in Charlotte Amalie. The DVG squadron consists of the two frigates and two corvettes

On board the ships are also the Prinsens Frikorps expected to take over the defenses of the islands and to function as royal guards in front of government buildings. The Prinsens Frikorps are the royal guards of the Cruzan Islands. The corps was exiled to Gjebaland after they failed to defend the islands against Florida. This will be the first time they have have set foot on the Cruzan Islands since 1946.

Her Majesty, Queen Margrethe II, has departed on board a flying-fuselage, which will rendezvous with the Dannebrog in the Atlantic before proceeding on to Charlotte Amalie.

The regency while the Queen is away is given to His Highness, the Heir to Norway, Crown Prince Frederik.

*****

PRIVATEERING FLEET DISBANDED

The privateering fleet that has until recently been operating in the Caribbean has now formally been disbanded. The fleet was in charge of harassing Floridian shipping. But all operations were put on hold a little over a month ago when Florida decided to grant the SR joint guarantorship of Cruzan independence. Many private military companies (PMCs) had simply ceased their privateering operations altogether at the time. Many have returned to shipping, which was what all of them were involved with before they got involved in privateering.

Many jobs will ultimately be lost by the disbandment. But the SR government is working on a plan aimed at saving as many jobs as possible by granting those that were involved as privateers monopoly rights over shipping and transportation to and from the Cruzan Islands. The plan will only fully work, however, if Florida agrees. Floridian prisoners-of-war that were captured during the privateering campaign may be exchanged for these monopoly rights.

Meanwhile, the Court of Privateering in Bolama, Gjebaland, has been converted into a civilian court.[KJ]


RIGETS TIDENDE - GJØTEBORG, HOVEDSTADSOMRÅDET 27/07/03

POLLS SAY: IT'S CLOSE IN THE CARIBBEAN

Recent polls over the Cruzan referendum, set for this coming Wednesday 30th of July, for or against Bush's Plan, shows a very close race. Currently, a very slim majority of the decided are against the plan. Most are still undecided.

Florida has stated that a "no" to the Plan will mean that the Cruzan Islands will be reduced to a military territory with limited freedoms. A "yes" will mean that status quo, where the Cruzan Islands is a self-governing territory of Florida, will be maintained. But it will also mean that the islands will become a "condominium" between Florida and the Rigsfælleskab - condominium status here actually meaning joint guarantorship of Cruzan sovereignty.

Those that are for the plan express the desire for peace as their foremost reason for voting yes. They fear that a "no" would mean war as the Rigsfælleskab will not accept that the Cruzan Islands lose what little independence they still have.

Those that are against the plan are concerned about the long term and pragmatic effects of voting yes. They say that while Alonso Rivera, the current Floridian governor of the Cruzan islands, is a sympathetic governor, no one can know for sure who will replace Alonso when he retires, and whether his replacement will be just as sympathetic. Past governors have been quite brutal.

Those that are undecided are split between the desire for peace on the one hand and fears of who will eventually replace Alonso Rivera on the other. Most of the undecided don't intend to vote. This could prove to be a potential problem for Florida that wishes the Cruzan question resolved quickly. The Cruzan constitution requires more than half of the registered voters to vote before the result is acceptable.

READER'S FORUM

Floridian president Jaime Bush's "Plan" for the Caribbean has elicited strong reactions from our reader's throughout the Rigsfælleskab and beyond, and we have the mail to prove it. With less than a week left before the Cruzan referendum for or against the Plan, we have recieved over 4000 letters from our readers, a new record. Here's just a few demonstrating the wide range of views:

= = = = =

I hope the Cruzan's accept the plan. It would finally mean peace and stability in the Caribbean.

Karina Jacinto Pilar
Orlando, Florida

= = = = =

On one hand, the Floridians did take our freedom away from us in 1946. But we have since gained a little more with Alonso Rivera as governor. I'll be the first to admit that it's not near as much freedom as we had before 1946, but it's what we have. I say, we should deal with it and vote "yes".

Sophie Aas Jansdatter
Frederiksted, Cruzan Islands

= = = = =

I have a son serving in the Royal Marines. If the Cruzans vote "no" to the plan on the 30th July, then that would most likely mean war, and my son would most likely be sent to the Caribbean. That I don't like. So I hope the Cruzans vote yes, despite what that may mean for Cruzan sovereignty.

Pia Kanapathi Viggosdatter
Tranquebar, Tranquebar

= = = = =

Before 1946, when Florida invaded the Cruzan Islands, the islands was an independent state. It did no have a governor as it has now. It had a prime minister chosen by the Cruzans themselves. But for more than sixty years now, the islands have been reduced to a Floridian territory with a Floridian governor. Their first Floridian governor was definitely a tyrant. On the other hand, the current one, Alonso Rivera, is no doubt a sypathetic man. Who knows who will replace him when he retires? The fact is, Miami does the choosing of governors not the Cruzan people. I say vote "no" to the plan and await help from the Grand Coalition.

Mikael Annaly Jacksen
Charlotte Amalie, Cruzan Islands

= = = = =

It's a scandal that the Giøteborg government has even allowed the referendum to take place. What use is there of having a rigsfælleskab if we are not willing to defend it? It's about time the Grand Coalition is formed to put an end to Florida's illusions of grandeur.

Erik Tordenskiold Pedersen
Christiania, Norway

WEEKEND TOUR OF THE CRUZAN ISLANDS BY THE CROWN PRINCE

His Royal Highness, Crown Prince Frederik, has landed in Charlotte Amalie today and will begin his three day tour of the Cruzan Islands. Cheers greeted him in the Cruzan capital as the crowd began to sing "Kong Christian stod ved Højen Mast" [the Royal Anthem, ed.]. He met with Alonso Rivera at the Groenhus [the Cruzan Parliament building, ed.]. His Highness will be island hopping aboard a Hamsa flying-fuselage. His girlfriend, Tasmanian born Mary Donaldson, willnot be accompanying him on the tour. She will be staying in Oldenburg.[KJ]


LA VOZ DE LA NACION - LA HABANA, FLORIDA 27-07-2003

Vice President Simon Eugenio Higgins-Calvo and Governor Alonso Rivera of the Cruzados will meet with Crown Prince Frederik of the Scandinavian Realm during the princes weekend trip to the Islands. Key topics of their meeting will undoubdedly be the upcomming Referendum, set for 30 July, 2003, and the effects that it will have on the region. Higgins-Calvo is expected to stress the necessity of Floridian integrity in the region, and that the Cruzados can help maintain this requirement and retain their independent status by ticking "YES" in their ballots. Rivera is expected to tout the economic and redevelopment advantages that the Islands can expect with Condominium status.

The Referendum Education Programme has gone into flank speed this weekend - the last before the vote is scheduled. The Programme has included media interviews with Cruzan and Floridian officils; detailed discussions and publication of the Plan in all Cruzan newspapers; as well as targeted speeches, handbill distributions and distribution of various political articles (buttons, pins, banners, campaign "money" and informative booklets. It is hoped that the rumors so common to the Scandinavian and Cruzado press can thus be allayed.[PB]


Sydney, NSK, Saturday July 26 (ACB) - ALL-BLACKS PUT ALL-WHITES TO THE SWORD

The All-Blacks have beaten the All-Whites 50-21 in the Interacial Cup match before more than 82.000 people at the Olympic Stadium in Sydney.

The interacial cup takes place every year and brings together members of the various provincial rugby leagues who are then divided in 2 teams: the Native All-Blacks and the Settler descended All-Whites.

The now famous silver cup was first presented in 1931 to the victorious All-Blacks, when then Director-General of the Australasian Penal Company, Lord Bledisloe, offered the cup as a perpetual rugby trophy and a token of good will and understanding between the two races that inhabit Australasia.

Another tradition that takes place this time of year is the annual protest sponsored by Aorotearoans United. It is their position that island Natives are neither Black nor White (and neither are the many islanders of mixed heritage); and the cup is therefore discriminatory against their rugbymen.[FV]


23-07-03, RAGUZA, Dalmatia (APD)

At a special meeting between the heads of state of the members of the Community of Dalmatophone States, and the representatives of the various rebel groups in Upper Volta, an agreement has been hammered out which will see the transformation of Upper Volta from a unitary state into a federation.

The new federation will be called the United States of Upper Volta, and will consist of seven member states: the State of Chad, the Logone Republic, the Republic of Nigeria, Hausaland, the Red Volta Republic, the Black Volta Republic and the White Volta Republic. Under the new constitution which is to be ratified by the end of September, the member states will have broad autonomy in internal affairs, with only international affairs and national defence to be managed from the federal capital at Uagadugu.

The agreement was signed this morning, with the intention that the new federation will formally come into being on 1 January 2004. It is hoped that this will bring an end to the troubles that have plagued Upper Volta for decades.[FV]


19.07.03, RAGUZA, Dalmatia (APD)

The official results of the Parliamentary elections held on 13 July have been released. Following is a list, by party, of the number of seats won by each party:

Dalmatian Beer Drinkers' Party: 1 seat
Dalmatian Central Party: 11
Dalmatian Communist Party: 9
Dalmatian Liberal Party: 13
Dalmatian Monarchist Party: 6
Dalmatian Radical Party: 27
Dalmatian Social Credit Party: 44
Dalmatian Socialist Party: 8
Greens of Dalmatia: 6
New Democratic Party: 10
Pro Patria: 12

Since no party received a sufficient number of seats to form a majority government (namely, 49 seats of the 147), a minority coalition government has been formed. The Social Credit Party is the coalition head, due to their receiving the largest number of seats; the Socreds selected the Central Party as their coalition partners, giving the bloc a total of 55 seats and allowing Prime Minister Ybl to continue on the path the Socreds have laid out for Dalmatia.

The ultra-right Pro Patria, who split off from the Dalmatian Radical Party during the Dalmato-Sanjak war, had a surprisingly strong showing, with a total of twelve seats, though most of these were in the Dardania area.

Prime Minister Ybl also announced the new Senate today. Of the eighteen members, sixteen are Socreds and only two are Centrists. Most of the Senators are returning to the Senate after having won re-election in their respective ridings.[FV]


11.07.03, INTERBALKPRESS: TRST, Croatia.

A general strike began in Trst and other cities this morning, notably Ljubljana, Celje, Maribor and Trbovlje, hometown of Slovenian President-in-Exile Tomaz Hostnik. The strike began an hour after the factory workday began, with physical sabotage of machinery followed by street demonstrations. In Trst, Trbovlje and Ljubljana the strike is total - no electricity or water is reaching the cities, and everything has been shut down. Trains have been parked on level crossings, trucks and busses barricading the streets. Police response was immediate, and clashes have begun between police and civilians using petrol bombs and other home-made devices.[FV]


11.07.03, APD: RAGUZA, Dalmatia.

In a surprise move, Dalmatian Prime Minister Aurial Ybl has called for a general election, fixing the date at 13 July. Analysts were surprised at this morning's announcement, and speculation is rampant. "Given the suddenness, and the short time before the scheduled date," said University of Raguza political science professer Yonut Florinesku, "I believe Ybl wants this to be an election of the moment, to determine how exactly the population feels, without manipulation by election propaganda, and I think he believes he will win."[FV]


From the news desk of La Agença Naçonau de Auvixara de Montrei (ANAM), 09.07.03

Corno de Auç, MONTREI: The oil tank fire at the Compañia Duc power plant yesterday continues to burn today. Firefighters are helpless in the face of this disaster, they have been concerned with controlling the grass fire sparked by the explosions, but are unable to fight the main fire. Officials say that the fire seems to be less intense than yesterday, but it may burn for several more days, unless an alternative is available.

Authorities say they have heard of such a substance, made from soy protein that was invented during the Second Great War. The last time an event like this took place was in 1924 when an oil tank owned by the Paçifico Sur Railroad caught fire from a lightning strike, and this substance was not available at that time.

Because there has been no real need for this substance until now, there is none in Montrei.

Residents of the Baîa de Montrei woke this morning to a thick gray haze to the north, south, and west of the area. Those in more affected areas said they could smell a "truck exhaust smell" in the air. The smoke seems to have cleared to the west, with winds from the west blowing the smoke back down Val de Cañias.

Health officials continue to advise residents to stay indoors. Classes at the Scola de Condao Nort were cancelled today due to the fumes, and Headmaster Miyeu Tor has cancelled classes indefinitely until the fire is extinguished.[BG]


From the news desk of La Agença Naçonau de Auvixara de Montrei (ANAM), 08.07.03:

Corno de Auç, MONTREI - Two of the three remaining Fuel Oil tanks owned by La Compañia Duc exploded today at 4 PM today. The cause of the fire is still unclear, but it is known that six propane tanks have exploded, and the burning oil tank contains 1.2 million gallons of No. 6 fuel oil. Several oxygen tanks in the vicinity remain a danger.

Officials do not believe it was arson, but think that workers dismantling the tanks, due to the conversion of the nearby power plant to natural gas, may have sparked it with their welding torches.

Paulo Miraçelo, chief firefighter for Montrei stated "There is no technology available to put this fire out. We cannot use water due to the nature of the fire, and also the danger that the water hitting the tank may cause a rupture. Another part of the problem is these tanks have floating roofs so using water would be futile and dangerous. We may have to let this burn itself out".

The column of thick, black smoke from the fire could be seen for miles around Baîa de Montrei. Witnesses have likened it to everything from a volcanic ash cloud to a large tornado.

"We heard the explosions first and then saw the sky grow dark with smoke from the fire" said Poulo Castro resident Teresa Arvous. "I immediately took my children inside".

Health officials are urging residents near Corno De Auç, Poulo Castro, and Palo Roxo to stay indoors until the fire burns itself out and danger of smoke inhilation decreases, particularly those with respiratory ailments.

Meteorologic officials in Montrei indicate that by morning the winds will have switched to the south, blowing the smoke down Val de Cañias. The smoke will also have been dispersed around Baîa de Montrei, and residents of the area may wake up to hazy morning skies.[BG]


BBC Newsbrief, Esca, 03 July, 2003: Legalisation of "Privateers" Sought by Scandinavians.

Employment Minister Stenfeldt of the Scandinavian Realm visited the English and Kemrese admiralties this week in an attempt to secure employment for his country's surplus "privateers" by petitioning the legalisation of said activity within the FK.

It has long been the stance of the Admiralty of both England and Kemr that the activities of pirates are not encouraged. Piracy is a legal, though government controlled, occupation in the SR.

According to Admiral P. Nelson, speaking for the English Royal Navy: "while privateers have seen gainful and at times honourable employ in service to the navies of Britain, it is not now, nor shall be in the forseeable future, a likelihood for any of our navies to so employ any group of pirates."

The general concensus of navy staff in both countries is that the SR will continue to need its pirate fleets if war should flare up in the aftermath of the Cruzan referendum.[PB]


RIGETS TIDENDE - GJØTEBORG, HOVEDSTADSOMRÅDET 03/07/03

PROTEST DEMONSTRATIONS SPREADING

It all started in Charlotte Amalie, the Cruzan capital. The Cruzans have for the past two days demonstrated against the Floridan peace plan and are demanding a referendum. They've got it, and it appears to be scheduled for the end of the month. But now the demonstrations are spreading like wildfire after it has been learned that Florida will not respect the result of the referendum should the Cruzans vote to remain a sovereign state.

"It's blackmail! Pure and simple. And we won't submit to it, I tell you!" exclaimed a distraught Cruzan who asked to be anonymous. "Sure, they'll submit to a referendum, but they also openly admit that they'll invade our Islands if we vote 'no' [to becoming a Floridian province, Ed.]. It's double standards."

In Christiansted, on the island of Sankt Croix, protesters gathered around Von Scholten's Palace. A small group of protesters marched into the historic Fort Christiansværn and chopped down the flagpole flying the Floridian flag. They were promptly arrested.

Exiled 87-year old academist and former Cruzan minister, Mikael Jacksen, was seen in Charlotte Amalie. Nobody knows how he got there. His only comment to his sudden appearance was, "It's a secret."

The aged Jacksen climbed the welcoming arms staircase of the Cruzan Parliament building, known as the Groenhus. After catching his breath at the top of the staircase he yelled, "It's good to be back!" To which everyone in the parade ground in front of the Groenhus cheered. Jacksen then urged current Floridian governor of the Cruzan Islands, Alonso Rivera, to "support and respect the referendum over Cruzan sovereignty."

The Cruzan Islands are not the only ones with protest demonstrations. Protests demonstrations are gathering in every major city within the Rigsfælleskab. The largest rally is to be found in Bolama, Gjebaland, where many Cruzan exiles are living.

Protest demonstrations are even found outside the Rigsfælleskab like the NAL, the FK, Dalmatia, and the Gold Coast.

*****

THE FK UNDECIDED ON PRIVATEERING

Employment Minister Stenfeldt returned today from London. He was there to urge the English and Kemrese governments to change their stance on the legalization of privateering in order to secure jobs for those in the private military industry, should the Floridian Peace Plan succeed. The FK government has otherwise regarded privateering and piracy as one and the same, even though, oddly enough, it's no secret that there are private English and Kemrese vessels approved by their respective governments to harass Floridian shipping.

"I haven't secured anything," Stenfeldt said in a press conference earlier today. "I met with my colleagues in the English and Kemrese governments, and they have told me that they'll consider legalizing privateering only when absolutely necessary. They said that as of now there is no need. They added also that judging from the events in the Caribbean, it looks like that the SR will be needing its privateering fleet afterall. I think they were only being diplomatic."[KJ]


RAGUZA, Dalmatia (APD) 03 July, 2003.

In response to the recent address by the Floridian head of state, Prime Minister Ybl issued a counterstatement of his own. Firstly he confirmed the previously announced siezures of Floridian ships and holdings in Dalmatia.

"My dear sisters and brothers! Half a world away from us, in the Caribbean, events are transpiring that are, sadly, all too familiar to us Dalmatians. It was only recently that our proud nation secured its independence from the oppression and the aggression of the Ustasha regime that dominated the CSDS in her last days.

"On the other side of our planet, in the Caribbean Sea lies a small nation known as the Cruzan Islands - a nation not at all dissimilar to ours -her shores washed by the blue sea, her people a freedom-loving and proud seafaring people. In these and many other things are the commonalities between the Cruzados and us Dalmatians.

"There is another nation in the Caribbean region - Florida Caribbea - whose modus operandi is much too familiar to us. Their head of state, Jaime Bush, must certainly have been an avid student of Ante Pavelic and the Ustasha - just the other day, Tomislav Pavelic made a speech in the radio in Croatia speaking in support of the Floridian head of state and the Floridian aggression and occupation of the Cruzan Islands. Clearly they are of the same ilk.

"Yesterday, on orders from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Trade and from myself, several measures were taken against Floridian interests in Dalmatia, on the grounds that Dalmatia cannot continue her relations with an aggressor nation, and turn her back on a nation - the Cruzan Islands - who are engaged in a struggle for their freedom much like we did, without becoming hypocritical.

"The Office of Privatisation has renationalised all former state companies which were purchased by Floridian interests. The Coast Guard has detained all ships of Floridian registry in Dalmatian ports and waters; those which were at sea have been towed to various ports. Their crews were given the option of remaining in Dalmatia, but those who chose to leave have been taken by train to Durres in Albania. All other Floridian assets in Dalmatia have been taken over by Dalmineksbank.

"These measures will remain in effect until such time as Florida honours the wishes of the Cruzan people. If the Cruzan people decide to become part of Florida in a fair election monitored by neutral observers, then the Floridian assets shall be returned. If the Cruzados desire independence, and Floridian forces evacuate the Islands in a timely and proper manner - not as the Danubian People's Army vacated Bulgaria by smashing everything in sight, then they shall be returned. If, on the other hand, Florida ignores the wishes of the Cruzados, these assets will be held by the Dalmatian state until such time as Florida relinquishes control of the Cruzan Islands.

"Jaime Bush also said that he is currently pursuing all possible avenues at addressing our concerns; I now formally state that no attempts have been made by the Floridian government to come into contact with the Government of the Republic of Dalmatia. He says they will be exploring new markets for their goods; let them - for as of yesterday they no longer have the privilege of enjoying the wonderful products of the Tesla Electric Company.

"To Florida, what I have to say is this: do what is right, and allow the Cruzados to choose their future, and abide by their decision. If they voluntarily choose to be part of Florida, that is their decision to make. If they desire independence, that is also their decision to make. And if they desire independence, the Republic of Dalmatia shall back the Cruzan Islands fully!"[FV]


Excerpt from a press conference at Palacio de la Nación in Miami, 02.07.03:

"My fellow Floridians, it has been reported this afternoon that Dalmatian forces have illegally seized Floridian ships in European waters, and that Dalmatia has placed a unilateral embargo on our goods in a poorly calculated response to civil disturbances in the Cruzan Territory.

There are no plans as of now to retaliate in kind, though our Bureau of Economic Development will be exploring new markets for the goods that Dalmatians have enjoyed up until today.

Our diplomats are currently exploring all avenues of stabilising this threat from Dalmatia and addressing their unfounded concerns. While Dalmatia is not a party to the Caribbean Plan, which will solidify the natural unity of all the Antilles into one nation, their Government is welcome to review the documents and discussions that are underway with the Scandinavian Realm.

It is hoped that Dalmatia will step down from its beligerent stance soon, lest our previously good relations deteriorate..."

***

"...regarding the civil unrest in several Cruzan towns, it is natural that citiezens will undertake such actions in times of uncertainty.

The Cruzados should understand that Florida is not taking away any sovereignty; rather, the Cruzados are on the verge of officially becomming part of a greater nation and a greater sovereignty. It is the natural and inevitable destiny of all Antillean polities and lands to join together to form a great nation; and it is equally natural for some to fear the transition or other radicals to protest it and even rebel against it.

It is our job to educate the Cruzados and to dispell their anxieties. While we must not let radicals amongst the Cruzados mar the peace plan; neither can we let them sway their neighbours into heedless revolt."[PB]


BBC Newsdesk, Far East Bureau; Fuzhou, 30 June, 2003.

Futainanese Royal Elections by Catren Penrhys.

Today, Futainanese people go to the polls, to vote in the elections of the highest official, the King. Here in Fuzhou people are flocking to the polling stations. The current incumbent, King Sun II, is highly tipped to win, in at least Fujian and Taiwan, over the Cantonese issue. Many feel offended by the Cantonese government's comments regarding Futainan, and support the King's hardline stance over the issue.

However, in Hainan, the mood is different. Due to a substantial Cantonese minority on this island, the vote is set largely to go for the opposition, Mr. Li Su.

Due to the voting system involved, however, if two states vote for any one person, he will win. Eyes are, therefore, largely on Taiwan, the only place where the voting could tip the balance. The government is seen as likely to win, though not in quite the same position as in Fujian. The worry is that Sun could recieve less than 50% of the vote, in which case the runoff resulting from that could prove to be his downfall.[JW]


EL PAIS, 29.06.03, MADRID - War Crimes Tribunal to Begin Monday in Mexico City (Mejico).

On a quiet pre-dawn this last week, a sleek airship descended from the heights over Veracruz, bearing a famous head of state and his entourage. However, there were no fanfares, no pomp, and no crowds waited to see the show. In stead, an armoured train was waiting to bear its cargo to Mexico City.

This airship originated somewhere in Cuba and bore Tejan strongman Jorge Bush to an apparently prearranged transfer in the Mexican coastal city. This morning, President Vicente Lobos of Mejico announced that Bush was transported to Mejico at President Jaime Bush's suggestion and is in fact in the custody of Mexican police forces. A tribunal is to be convened to discover the nature and extent of his misdeeds in Tejas.

Currently, Mejico controls the governmental functions of Tejas until such time as a new Constitution can be drawn up and a government formed. Tejan officials are cooperating with Mejican military officers in gathering evidence of Bush's activities in recent years. While they have offered no comments on what they have found, sources close to the investigation reveal that the evidence is "considerable and damning".[PB]


APC, Valladolid, 27 June, 2003; by Andrés Rincón de la Vega.

Some people are insisting that the League of Nations have one working language and that this language should not be an existing national tongue; it is argued that adoption of such a neutral interlanguage will ease communication and reduce paperwork.

One of the main proposals is Esperanto. Created by Zamenhoff, a Venedic oculist, in late 19th century, Esperanto is considered one of the easiest-to-learn of the interlanguages. It has its detractors, though, citing a vocabulary that includes too many Wenedyk terms not made more consistent with other European languages, a three case system, a difficult phonology and too many accent marks.

A group of English linguists created an alternative, easier interlanguage by systematically taking from the most known languages worldwide: Castilian, Brithenig, Portuguse, Francien, English, and Riksmaal; with control languages like Aragonese, Gaulish and Russian, the bases of the vocabulary and grammar of a new and more naturalistic language named Interlingua.

Interlingua critics claim that, while the language is relatively easy to read for people who already use two of the base languages, the lack of regularity makes it less easy than Esperanto, for people speaking a non-European language.

A third proposal that may well win the day, in spite of the carefully crafted languages vying for the position, is called Mondopanto. League translator Xavier Gonzales (Castile) reveals that it was "thrown together" by the translators from many lands. It is a pastiche of words and phrases from every continent on Earth, and while it is not an official language of any sort, it may well be the strongest contender in the interlanguage competition.

There are many other artificial or planned languages proposed, but none of them has a concensus in the community. League of Nations officials have not commented on this issue.[CT]


27.6.03, APD.

METLIKA, Dalmatia - The recent discussions about the creation of an autonomous territory within Dalmatia for ethnic Slovenes seems to have been solved. After a meeting with Prime Minister Aurial Ybl, Slovene President-in-Exile Tomaz Hostnik said the strong personal autonomy in Dalmatia is quite sufficient, that "Slovenia is a country, whether it has territory or not, because the Slovene nation is what makes the Slovene country. Wherever there is a Slovene, the piece of land he is standing on is Slovenia. Though the Ustasha flag may darken the skies of Ljubljana, she is still Slovenia, for Slovenes live there. Triglav is ours, he is on our national symbols and in our hearts - and he will see the day when the Slovene nation once again rises up, expels the oppressor, so that the Slovene country may once again have land, for Triglav - like the Slovene spirit - is immortal!" The above quote is from the speech Hostnik made over Radio Dalmatia 1, immediately after the meeting of the two heads of state.[FV]

22.6.03, INTERBALKPRESS.

OUSEK, Independent State of Croatia - Croatian Regent Tomislav Pavelic made his annual beginning of summer speech on Saturday. The content of the speech was mostly for domestic consumption, calling for the population to endure the hard times befalling Croatia with heads high. "You, my Croat brothers, you are the strongest, the best nation ever to set foot on this planet by the grace of God. The difficulties we are facing now in our country can be overcome with hard work and strength of will." He also congratulated the players of the Zrinjski Osijek football club on their second straight national title, and wished them luck for the upcoming European competitions.

Of more interest to outside observers were Pavelic's words on the situation in the Caribbean, saying that the people of Croatia stand in solidarity with the people of Florida-Caribbea and Tejas, and urged the people of those two countries to continue "fighting the good fight" - the Florideans in the quest to liberate Hayti, the Tejans in their fight to repel the Mejican aggressor.

Interestingly, the usual anti-Serb rhetoric was much less than in the winter address. However, he addressed the increasing unrest of ethnic Slovenes, most recently displayed in riots in Ljubljana and Maribor: "It is with great distress that I see the events in Ljubljana and Maribor, which are futile attempts by outside powers to destabilise Croatia. Belgrade, Budapest, Raguza, the whole world - must take note that we will not stand by and allow foreigners to incite our people to fight against one another!"[FV]


LA VOZ DE LA NACION - LA HABANA, FLORIDA 15-06-03

President Bush announces his Government's plan for future peace and continued stability in the Caribbean region.

In a well attended press conference at the Palacio de la Nación in Miami this Saturday afternoon, President Jaime Bush announced his Government's answer to the violence and posturing of foreign powers.

"After long struggle, the last Rebel factions have surrendered to our forces; and it is now time to look to the future and the peace our nation deserves." After decades of civi war and violence; the British and Scandinavian backed Rebels based in Porto del Príncipe (Port au Prince) have surrendered to our Armed Forces. Three hundred fifty six surviving foreign nationals that have been acting as combatants are being held in Guantanamo (Cuba) pending interrogation. They are expected to be expelled from Florida to their homelands upon completion of all peace efforts.

Now that the long struggle to secure the Nation's territoriues is ended, the question arises of what must now be done. "There are those who would advance the cause of peace; and those who would not. There are many in the world who would destroy our Nation and reduce us to our former condition of slavery. We must not let that happen. It will not happen while we remain vigilant. Yet, it is necessary that we maintian contact and relations with these countries that are our enemies, that we make of them friends. Our borders are now complete and the time has come to make the transition to peaceful industry." To that end, President Bush and the Floridian Congreso de la Nación have hammered out a peace plan that will be delivered to the General Moderator of the NAL, the First President of Louisianna and the monarchs of the Scandinavian Realm and the Federated Kingdoms.

These basic points have been revealed to the press in advance of the Plan's delivery to the Nation's enemies.

The preamble lays out Florida's manifest destiny in the Caribbean and in America as a whole; the necessity of a unified Caribbean; the necessity of limiting foreign control over American territory and the means Florida will use to defend this newly completed Republic.

Other parts of the Plan include creating Freeport cities within several regions of the Caribbean (possibilities include Porto del Príncipe (Port au Prince), Miami, La Habana, Ciudad del Rey Inglés (kingston), San Juan, Fort de France and Porto de España); community building schemes; a plan to rebuild Hayti; allowing less restrictive migration rules; and allowing for the creation of condominium status between several former European colonies and their colonial home governments.

A major portion of the Plan is the peace treaty which will be required before the Plan can take its full effect and our enemies can be considered to live in harmony with us. Some have argued that the language of the treaty is too strong and that Scandinavia especially will not accept it. The treaty states in no uncertain terms that the territorial integrity of the Nation must be resepcted; and further stipulates that all acts of piracy (government directed or freelance) will be met with vim and punishment of pirates will be swift.

As matters of concession, Florida states that no further territorial acquisition is required, and that no territorial aggrandisement on any mainland is desired (as the Scandinavian and British press have reported). Further, the province of West Florida will immediately become a condominium with the NAL provinces of Cherokee and Mobile, and provision is made to return the siezed territory after a probationary period of time. Legitimate Floridian claims on the Cays Islands are also relinquished in the Plan. Islands close to the coasts of American nations (the Chandeleur Islands of Louisianna, Cozumel, Swan Islands, and the Sea Islands of Georgia) that have not previously been claimed are henceforth considered free of all such claims.

A new map of the region, depicting the territorial boundaries of the Nation has also been prepared in order to illustrate the Plan and is scheduled for publishment in the press this week. It only remains to see whether the European powers and their North American allies will accept peace or whether they will prosecute an unwholesome war. [PB]


OMNIPRESSE, 14.06.03 "HIGHLIGHTS FROM THE EUROVIDERE SONG CONTEST"

RIGA, BALTIC LEAGUE (omnipresse) Last week, the Eurovidere Song Contest, held here in historic Riga, was won by the Turkish entrant. The song, a techno-traditional Turkish song, seemed to have managed to cross the usualy treacherous cultural gap.

Second place went to a controversial Russian pop duo. They are considered so controversial by some people that the conservative Russian media refuse to even mention the reason why they are so controversial.

A group from the Batavian Republic won the third place with a piece sung in what the composer described as an "imaginary dialect" that was "not meant to be understood" prompting one commentator to say: "what else would you expect? They're Waloons..."

Finaly, as a seeming gesture of goodwill toward an often ill-treated segment of the European population, the fourth place was awarded to a mentaly challenged singer from Austria. [MP]


ILL MONITOR, Dodge City, Nouvelle Cournouaille, Louisianne 9 June 2003, (20 Prairial CCXI)

Tejans in their hundreds and thousands are being turned away at the Louisiannan Border. But Amnesty International and other human rights groups happily concur that there is no need to be concerned, because the Tejanos are being turned away, arms laden with wheat and rice. Two guarded convoys a day arrive at distribution centers set up throughout northern Tejas, tankers full of milk and drinking water, containers full of cheese, meat and other staples to support the starving Tejanos.

Farm-Aid International has sent representatives to help the Tejano farmers revive their fields that have lain fallow, in some cases for several years. A detachment of the Louisiannan Army Corps of Engineers is currently in Santa Fe helping the survivors of the blighted city bury their dead, many in a tasteful mass grave.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints based in Zarahemla has sent convoys of humanitarian aid in the form of clothing and goods that have been collected at the Deseret Industries Centers. Deseret Industries, the church's humanitarian arm, has put forth a request to the Louisiannan Nation for donations to help the abused Tejano people. [DH]


BBC-Asia Desk, HONG KONG, 01-06-03

From wire reports -- SARS on the decline? Some of the City's top docs are declaring "an end to the immediate emergency" of SARS in the Hong Kong region. Health officials have not yet given us the All Clear, but neither are they continuing with the Code Red alert status. The rate of new cases has declined steadily in recent days both in Hong Kong and on the Mainland, where the epidemic virus originated. British physicians are working closely with local medical officials on improved protocols for handling this and future outbreaks of similar diseases; as well as supplying their own research facilities for the cause of discovering a vaccine for the current disease.

*

News has broken this morning that Cantons forces staged a surprise withdrawal late yesterday from Hunnanese territory. In their wake, they are leaving behind a devastated country and an impoverished people who have no access to clean water and stable food sources. The Cantonese have left behind a good stock of medicinal supplies, however. Several protests against the withdrawal of the Cantonese were met with brusque expulsion of the protesters. The leader of the Cantonese forces, Gen. Chang Hsueh Liang refused comment on the withdrawal, but one spokesman said: "They [the Hunanese] want their country. They can have it. We are done with it." [PB]


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