News From Ill Bethisad in 2007

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.


News Page.


National News Corporation -- 15.DEC.2007 -- ROYAL ENGAGEMENT ANNOUNCED

ROME -- Prominent members of two royal families formally announced their engagement today. Ambassador Nicolae Vlas-Florea, heir to the principality of Oltenia, is now engaged to wed Antonia Guelph, younger sister of Mantua's Queen Bianca and Italy's current Minister of Foreign Affairs.

Vlas-Florea, whose first cousin Nicola is currently filming THE FELLOWSHIP OF THE RING in Oregon (she plays Galadriel), has long been considered one of Europe's most eligible bachelors. He has escorted Philly Gore and Portia Moon as well as many others to a variety of events. He and Guelph have been rumored to be romantically involved for months. They even attended the coronation of the Tejano monarch Juan Carlos together, and were seen holding hands. He speaks fluent Italian. Guelph, who shares with her fiancee a passion for fencing, likewise has described Oltenia to be "one of her favorite countries." She has turned down several marriage proposals in the past.

A certain amount of political debate in the Italian Senate and Chamber of Deputies followed the announcement (made jointly by the Mantuan and Oltenian legates in Rome). Guelph is Latin Rite Catholic while Vlas-Florea is Eastern Rite. While theologically this presents no hindrance, it does stir up feelings regarding the Great Schism between Catholic and Orthodox Churches. More concretely, a question of conflict-of-interests as well as succession arose. Guelph is second in line for Mantua's throne. Likewise, Vlas-Florea is heir to the princely throne of his country in the Romanian Federation. Some commentators immediately recalled the ill-fated marriage of Kemr's Constantine I with England and Scotland's Mary II.

Likewise, in Oltenia's Council of Boyars and Forum of Delegates questions were immediately asked about the location of the ceremony, its form, and where the couple would make their primary residence. Details are yet to be forthcoming.[DZ]


">Australasian Press Association -- 13.DEC.2007 -- Loyalist Walkout Threatens Tokelavian Self Government

FAKAOFO -- A number of local leaders loyal to the Fijian monarchy have walked out of Tokelau's constitutional convention, drawing harsh criticism from Fiji and threatening to paralyze Tokelau's creation of a constitution before it enters its second month.

According to interviews with the disgruntled defecting delegates, debate for the last three weeks has centered on a provision naming King Thakombao V of Fiji as Tokelau's head of state. "The problem," explains Ake Liang, an elder from Nukunonu council, "is that we voted for free association [with Fiji], but everyone has his own idea what that means. We can't imagine Tokelau thriving without Fiji's protection. We feel very strongly about this."

A spokesman for King Thakombao told APA that his government has always assumed that the Fijian monarchy would play a role in a future Tokelauan state. "His Supreme Potency would never have approved the Tokelauans' referendum if he had not been assured that the islanders would forever acknowledge him as their rightful sovereign. He and many in His Potency's government were shown many drafts of the supposed future constitution that explicitly named him as such. That they are going back on these promises now is the height of arrogance. If these actions persist, His Supreme Potency may reconsider his hasty approval of their presumptuous convention."

For their part, the leaders of Tokelau's independence movement, including the head of the traditional chiefly family, Luk Havaiki, have stepped up their rhetoric as well. "What goes on here should be of no concern to Na Ratu," Havaiki told reporters, using Thakombao's Fijian chiefly title. "We have voted for independence. We took sovereignty for ourselves. Na Ratu has no more right to grant his royal assent to us than he would to the north wind. Whether we choose to remain in his realm is our business." The word "tokelau", incidentally, means "north wind" in several Polynesian languages.

According to Gwillam King, Professor of Oceanian Studies and Political Science at the University of Perth, Fiji's actions should surprise no one. "We're talking about a monarch who calls himself `Holder of the Mana and Master of All he Surveys,' and he says it without blushing, mate," explains Prof. King. "He was under lots of pressure from both the Commonwealth and the Austro[nesian] League to let the Tokelauans do this, but most of us expected him to shuffle his feet when the pressure was off."

Meanwhile, in Tokelau, tensions are running high. The small contingent of Aotearoan security forces, charged with keeping the peace during the convention, are now regularly patrolling the area around the meeting place on Fakaofu. Loyalists and separatists demonstrate on the atoll—perhaps the first political demonstrations ever seen in this diminutive island chain.

The local leaders remain divided. Loyalists are hoping that their walkout will force a compromise without bringing down confrontation with Fiji. Explains Elder Liang, "I for one don't want to paddle alone here. We're very small, and we would do well to remain on good terms with the Fijians." [BK]


Australasian Press Association -- 11.DEC.2007 -- CAMEL FLU STRIKES HARD!; NEW COURT OF COORDINATORS

SEDNIR -- With the dreadful Horse Flu entering its 4th month of ravagement, the Sednir Racing Commission has found a novel way to attract punters. Camels will be imported from the Great Corridor Territory to take part in track races. Australasian camel races, already popular in the northern part of the territory, find their origin in the races held by immigrant Afghan cameleers who came to this country in the xix century. Between long treks across the desert, carying goods before rail service was established, the cameleers would race each other for the cheering crowds of locals.[MP]

== == *=* == ==

A new Court of Coordinators was named today by the Court of Representatives. The previous Court had been seated for the last eleven years and it was felt that the time for Court membership renewal had come in the face of succesive interest rate increases.[MP]


Australasian Press Association -- 19.NOV.2007 -- Tokelauans Open Constitutional Convention

FAKAOFO, TOKELAU -- One month after beginning its referendum to secede from Fijian Polynesia, the island chain of Tokelau opened the Fono, or meeting, that has been chosen to draft a constitution for Tokelau, as well as a treaty of free association that will represent Tokelau's desired future relationship with its former colonizer, Fiji.

The convention has much work ahead, including answering such basic questions as whether Tokelau will be a kingdom or a republic. Luk Havaiki, the most likely potential aliki, or king, will be part of the convention, as will 39 others chosen by village elders on all four Tokelauan atolls over the last three weeks. Havaiki would not speak to reporters.

The convention meets amid rising tension over the islands' future course. Just yesterday, pro-independence agitators pelted the Aotearoan consulate on Fakaofo with stones, apparently protesting that country's continued presence of 20 Aotearoan military policemen. The troops were brought to the island to help ensure security during the important referendum. The Fijian government has asked them to stay for the duration of the constitutional convention, against the wishes of Tokalauan local leaders. "

Last week, one of the Tokelauan delegates in the Assembly of Fijian Polynesia physically assaulted a Samoan delegate who had been making rude noises during a speech announcing Tokelau's new status.

Kolouei Ua Briain, local faipule, or elected leader, of the archipelago, urged his countrymen to remain calm, but also said, "Te Arikinui te Aotearoa must respect our right to self-determination. We no longer require the presence of his troops on Fakaofo."[BK]


Australasian Press Association -- 14.NOV.2007 -- Fistfight in Assembly of Fijian Polynesia after Tokelau Announces Independence

FAKAOFO, TOKELAU -- Fisticuffs broke out in the Assembly of Fijian Polynesia today between Delegate Aufai Tuia, representing the Tokelauan islands of Nukunonu and Atafu, and Delegate Mamea Va'ai, from Upolu in Samoa. Tuia had just stepped down from the dais, where he had formally announced Tokelau's decision to withdraw from the Fijian dependency, which consists of a number of island groups in the central Pacific.

During Tuia's speech, in which he described the results of Tokelau's Fiji-approved referendum for free association, passed 26 October, and expressed a desire for good future relations with Fiji and all its dependent islands, Va'ai and at least two other delegates could be heard jeering loudly. Tuia finished his speech, but on his way back to his seat, he suddenly lashed out at Va'ai, who had a seat near the aisle.

A brawl erupted between the two men which was stopped by Kolouei Ua Briain, Tokelau's local leader, and Luk Havaiki, head of Tokelau's chiefly family, both of whom rushed forward to restrain Tuia. Va'ai attempted to deliver another punch while Tuia was restrained, but was stopped by delegates sitting near him. Both men were escorted out of the assembly chamber by security personnel.

The fistfight culminates a two-week-long war of words between Tokelau and other parts of Fijian Polynesia, most of which remain Fijian loyalists and doubt whether Tokelau, a tiny archipelago of four atolls and just over two thousand inhabitants, can survive on its own.

Neither Ua Briain, Havaiki, nor any Samoan officials cared to comment on the incident.

Following the announcement, the Assembly took a short recess, and then voted to officially recognize the Tokelauan referendum and its upcoming constitutional convention. Most delegates from the Samoan islands abstained from the vote.[BK]


WUCZ FLORYDZIE -- 6.NOV.2007 -- BAMBARYŁA TIRED OF ACCUSATIONS

MIAMI -- ? Governor-general Ju¿eñ Bambary³a is tired of all the false accusations directed at his person in the foreign press. ?It is preposterous?, he told our reporter in an interview this morning. ?I've been doing this job for almost sixteen months now, and all I've been hearing is criticism, criticism, criticism. I am sick of it!?

About a number of untruthful articles, publiced last week by the BBC, among others regarding the situation in our temporary relocation camps, Bambary³a noted: ?I used to think of the BBC as a fairly independent and honourable broadcasting station. But now, seeing what evil kind of lies they are disseminating, I know better. And the worst thing is: they don't even hesitate to tell the folks our press is not free. We, the country with the longest tradition of democracy and free press in the world, a country that has always upheld the values of personal freedom. I don't know on whose payroll they are, but I can tell you this: they are spreading the worst kind of propaganda possible.?

?Our job here is far from easy. As if rebuilding a devastated country weren't hard enough, we have to deal with armed pockets of former buszy¶ci and other bandits, supported both militarily and financially by foreign powers and backed by imperialist countries that want Florida for themselves. And the so-called free press in those countries is paying tribute to their governments' colonial endeavours, trying to discredit us by accusing us of the weirdest things one can imagine.?

?Any journalist from any country is welcome to come and see for himself what the conditions in our temporary relocation camps are really like. They will be astonished to see what we have accomplished here, how beautiful our cities have become, and how much the people of Florida appreciate our work. I will happily show them the truth; I'm even willing to give them a guided tour personally.?[JvS]

== == =*= == ==

HIGH-RANKING BUSHIST OFFICIAL ARRESTED

LITU PALMÓR OSZCZEDZIÊTA£ÓR (West Palm Beach) -- ? A major success was accomplished yesterday evening with the arrestation of Silverio Gonzalez-Morales, a former professor of history at the University de las Caribbeas. ?This is a very important accomplishment indeed?, colonel Andrzej Sasiny of the CzBAF1 said on a press conference this morning.

?Gonzalez-Morales was a major associate of the Bush regime, a pseudo-scientist who poisoned the minds of Florida's youth for many years with lies and bushist propaganda. Three years ago, he deliberately blew up his house, not only for the insurance money, but also in order to disappear quietly from the scene and go unnoticed as an anonymous inhabitant of one of our temporary relocation camps near the Everglades. He abused our hospitality, spreading bushist propaganda among its inhabitants and trying to stir up a rebellion against us. We have reason to believe he also was a high-ranking agent of the NAL, acting as a liaison officer between them and the bushist underground.?

?Thankfully, it was the BBC that put us on his trail. Yesterday night, a team of commandos caught him by surprise in the camp. He surrendered without much resistance before being pulled into our arrestation van. We currently hold him on a secret location for questioning. We believe he can provide us with valuable information regarding his allies.?

?Good riddance?, says Laura Gonzaga, one of his closest neighbours in the camp. ?Silverio was a weirdo, a really frustrated man. We all felt there was something wrong with him. He never talked much about his past. Of course not, he was ashamed of it. But what we really hated him for was that he always had something to complain about our benefactors from the RTC. He constantly wanted us to conspire against them, making a fuss about virtually everything, but of course no one would believe him. I'm glad he's finally gone now.?

Her husband Carlos nods in agreement. ?A troublemaker. Can't have that kind of people around here. I hope he's going to be tortured?, he says, giving his wife a loving smile. ?Sooner or later, democracy will prevail here in Florida, thanks to the RTC.?[JvS]


CHICAGO SIGNALER -- 6.NOV.2007 -- Gray Sworn In, Cuomo Takes Center Chair -- Inductees call for unity, compassion, and an end to 'illusions which divide us' -- By EVELYN MOORE , Chicago Signaler

PHILADELPHIA -- Echoing one another's calls for unity in a challenging time, Rhode Island's the Rt. Hon. Taylor Gray was sworn in yesterday as the 14th Scottish Viceroy of the SLC, while Kemrese Viceroy the Most Hon. Matthew Mario Cuomo ascended to the First Viceregal position.

Addressing the Convention and gathered dignitaries from all 33 provinces, Gray delivered a fairly vague inaugural speech, usual for a junior member of the Viceregal College, praising the spirit of freedom that unites the NAL and calling for unity in times ahead. Cuomo, on the other hand, addressed specific issues, sending a clear message that she intends to be an activist vice-regent. His theme of unity was similar to Gray's, but he was willing to criticize those who "cling to so many illusions which divide us—the superficialities of language, culture, political alignment, and social class."

Cuomo alluded to the economic disparity between the Floridian Provinces and the rest of the NAL, saying, "We must not tolerate such disparities between the old and new provinces. We must find a way to meet the needs of all who approach the Council Fire." The comments came as the Great Convention is divided anew over issues relating to Florida. As some parliamentarians still smart from the lingering effects of the Watergap Scandal, recent disheartening news from South Florida has left many MPs arguing over whether and how to admit refugees from the war zone just south of our borders.

Gray and Cuomo formally took office yesterday in a ceremony in which the pomp and circumstance of the NAL's most significant state function saw some interesting new changes. One was the presence of the outgoing Scottish and First Viceroy, the Most Hon. Bruce Stanfield, who broke with precedent to attend the investiture. Both Gray and Cuomo took time in their speeches to praise Stanfield, certainly one of the most popular First Viceroys in recent years.

Another change was Gray's regalia. As the first female Viceroy, many observers had wondered what kind of figure she would cut in Scottish court dress and horsehair wig. Her gown, in the end, was only subtly different from that of her male predecessors, accented by the addition of a muted lace collar.

As usual, the chiefly attire of Native Viceroy the Rt. Hon. Ben Nighthorse Campbell of Les Plaines turned the most heads. The eagle feathers on his head and his mace made him stand out noticeably from his peers in their comparatively stuffy heraldic gowns.

Throughout the lengthy ceremony, both Cuomo and Gray appeared relaxed and at ease. Gray in particular had a swing to her step and occasionally broke into a spontaneous smile that lightened the solemnity of the occasion. Cuomo sat in the center throne with the dignity befitting his office, but at one point could not resist exchanging a grin with his nine-year-old granddaughter, Mari, daughter of Cuomo's daughter, Elizabeth Cuomo Cynsie.[BK]


WRW 1 -- ECHO DZEI -- 3.NOV.2007

[BEGIN RADIO TRANSCRIPT]

"It is 22:05, outside it is 10°R, and this is the Echo of the Day."

[JINGLE]

"Good evening, dear listeners. International controversy is growing over the Republic's policies in Southeast Florida, especially when it comes to the situation in the camps, built over three years ago for the victims of several subsequent furacanoes. Our government is under heavy attack from the international press after the BBC World Service published some alarming news regarding the life conditions in those camps. Earlier today, Jewan Sobociny had an interview about the matter with Pawe³ Bo¶cicia³u, minister of colonies."

JS: "Mr. Minister, the Caribbean Desk of the BBC has released some quite alarming news about the situation in Southeast Florida, and the world press seems to be picking it up. Is our government going to issue an official response yet?"

PB: "For now, I don't believe these rumours deserve our government's attention. We honestly have better things to do."

JS: "I see. Yet, there are reports about the conditions in the so-called "temporary relocation camps" in Southeast Florida. According to the BBC, people are kept there by force, and under less than human conditions. What is your comment to that?"

PB: "That it is complete nonsense. Of course, there are people who always have something to complain about. Whatever you do for them, it is never good enough! Do you know what the truth is about these camps? Do you know the truth about them? Well then, I will tell you. When three years ago Florida was ravaged, first by a junta of madmen, then by a war, and subsequently by a whole set of furacanoes, we gathered all our forces to save the people from these disasters. Not out of self-interest, but just because we felt it was our sacred duty as a Christian nation. And so, without having much experience or know-how, we collected millions of talars, gathered hundreds of experts from the RTC and abroad, sent them to Florida, engineers, construction workers, doctors, entertainers and the like... We built these camps in no time, but I'm proud to say we did a really decent job with them. We saved many lives, and people lived under really comfortable circumstances in those camps. They got the best food they had had for years; they had the chance to consume the finest Venedic dishes on a daily base, things they had never even dreamt of trying! New communities were built, new friendships flourished... Of course, we had to send most people back home after the weather had cooled down and their houses had been rebuilt. But you know what? A lot of them didn't even WANT to go back home. Women came to our commanders and begged them on their knees to allow them to stay a bit longer. One man even commited suicide! In his goodbye note, he wrote that in the camp he had finally found happiness and that he'd rather die than to return to his old, lonesome life. Of course, we had to be tough and send those people back home anyway. And you know what? They left with tears in their eyes, baked cakes for the soldiers and thanked them for what they called 'the most beautiful vacation they had ever had in their entire life'! And that is the truth, Mr. Sobociny!"

JS: "But those disasters, that was three years ago, Mr. Minister. How come these camps haven't been dismantled yet?"

PB: "There are several reasons for that. The devastating force of the furacanoes has been enormous. And although we have put a huge effort in rebuilding the destroyed real estate, we are not quite finished yet. But, although our means are limited, I'm proud to say that we have completed about 4/5 of our task. If the weather will cooperate with us, we expect to be done within a year. Now, Mr. Sobociny, you will have to admit that that is pretty quick, especially taking into consideration how we used to get things done in the RTC before the ¯¯¯ took over."

JS: "Well..."

PB: "There is another thing, too. Every now and then small pockets of terrorists perform random attacks on the civilian population. You remember what happened in Kinnessee last June, right? A group of bandits attacked the town by surprise and literally massacred the population. Many of whom were people who had just returned home from one of our relocation camps. Afterwards, of course, we wiped them out, but the evil had already been done. Anyway, to protect the Floridians from further attacks, we found it safer to temporarily transform the temporary relocation camps into fortified settlements. Under those circumstances, our soldiers are at least able to protect the people more efficiently from terrorist attacks."

JS: "Yes, according to the BBC, there is a true guerrilla war going on in Florida."

PB: "Far from that. Believe me, Mr. Sobociny, there no appreciable guerrila activity beyond small bands of ill-equipped and failing rebels hiding out in the swamps. Almost all buszy¶ci have been locked up in prisons or reeducation camps. Thanks to us, most Floridians live in peace. But it is true that there are elements from the margin of Florida's society who are trying to profit from other people's trouble. No resistance or anything, just ordinary criminals. Murderers. Bandits. They aren't fighting for anybody's sake but their own."

JS: "You seem to take it almost personally, Mr. Minister."

PB: "Well, I very much hope we can wipe out this violence once and for all. That's the least we can do for the Floridians."

JS: "There are rumours that governor-general Bambary³a has even been using death squads to fight these terrorists."

PB: "None of that is true. We fight crime, but would never use illegitimate means for that."

JS: "Let us return to the relocation camps, then. There are rumours that say people are not allowed to their previous homes because the best of the rebuilt buildings have been confisquated by RTC officials. Is that true?"

PB: "That is pure nonsense. Even the highest-ranking officials live under far from luxurious circumstances. I should add that the real estate they use was previously the property of bushist officials, most of whom are either dead or in prison anyway. In some cases, part of these houses still lie in ruins. Of course, all the thousands of doctors, specialists, construction workers, lawyers, artists, scientists and policemen also need to live somewhere. But I assure you, Mr. Sobociny, our people in Florida live under very moderate circumstances. And definitely not in houses that have ever been the property of honest people."

JS: "I see, Mr. Minister. Please allow me to change the subject then and let's talk about the future. It has been more than a year now since the Inicjaciwa Czywi³a Kêtra Okupaceñ Florydzie was launched. Government has been silent regarding our future plans in Florida. How long do you think the RTC will stay in Florida? When will we finally hand over power to the Floridians themselves?"

PB: "That is hard to say. From the first day on, we have pledged ourselves to the task of restoring peace in Southeast Florida and guiding the people of Florida towards a democratic society. At first, we thought that might be a matter of a few years, at most. But the truth is, Floridian society is rotten to the core. By now, we have made tens of thousands of arrests, but there is still a strong opposition. To put it simply, democracy isn't rooted at all in Florida. The banana republic mentality is still strong. Besides, we had expected more cooperation from the side of our allies. Who would have expected that they will only make our task harder?"

JS: "Harder? In what sense?"

PB: "Look at what is going on in the Irish ZOC! The Irish, despite their best intentions, are completely out of control there. Their zone is falling apart into tiny little mini-states, most of them privately owned by former Bush adepts. The NAL is just waiting for an occasion to incorporate the rest of Florida, just like they did to the North. Cuba is seeking the restoration of former Florida-Caribbea... and even Castille and Leon are seeking to recolonise Florida. To serve their own interests, all of them are trying to undermine our authority, providing these so-called rebels with money and weapons. No, Mr. Sobociny, it is sad, but we are surrounded by enemies. And that is why our presence in Florida is needed. Not for our own sake, but because we are morally obliged to spare the Floridians the fate of being usurped by those who intend to exploit them."

JS: "And that's why Southeast Florida's borders are hermetically closed all the time, right?"

PB: "Unfortunately, it is the only way. Of course, from time to time our enemies succeed in smuggling spies and agents provocateurs into our zone. These agents, called "noticias" by some, even manage their way into the relocation camps in order to disseminate Bushist propaganda. But we know how to deal with them."

JS: "You are undoubtedly aware of the fact that many, not only in Florida and abroad but also in our own Republic, rather tend to see US as the exploiters."

PB: "That is one out of many examples of hostile propaganda. We do not exploit anybody. The contrary is true, we support Florida will all the means at our disposition. We have rebuilt musea, concert halls, art galleries, palaces, and keep on building new ones. In spite of all the trouble, Southeast Florida is flourishing like it never has. As long as the people of Florida appreciate our efforts, and they really don't have a single reason not to, I don't see why we should leave their country prematurely."

JS: "Thank you very much for this conversation, Mr. Minister."[JVS]

[END TRANSCRIPT]


BBC World News, Caribbean Desk -- 31.OCT.2007 -- Some News is Good News

St. Augustine, East Florida -- Early in 2007, the BBC sent several clandestine reporters into both the RTC and Irish ZOCs in war ravaged southern Florida in order to assess the current situation in those territories. News in general from the remaining occupied territories is scant at best, even from the more open Irish Zone, where the press is controlled but not suppressed the way it is in the RTC Zone. Thousands of pages of material (some written by Floridian underground journalists, most written by the BBC team) have been archived, the following of which is but a tiny sample. Of the six reporters sent into southern Florida, four have returned home; one was killed during an uprising in the Kissimee province; the other is suspected to have been imprisoned by RTC occupying forces on charges of espionage.

***

Reports from the Irish Zone, while not as rosy as the official Irish press releases would have us believe, are not all bad. Most western Floridians are resigned to the Irish plan to "germanise" their homeland by slicing up the already small territory into several tiny micro lands. Juan Guerrero of Tampa summed up the feelings of many: "Of course I would rather see a united Florida - maybe even as a single American province. I don't like the idea of being cut off from my family in Puerto Plata or Sunibel. Before, we could just go there. Now, we have to stop at Irish check points and eventually, they tell us, there will be borders and new passports and new money. That will suck! We just want them (the Irish) to home and leave us in peace." On a more positive note, Jaime Baleros of the Cabo Sunibel region is exstatic: "My family have owned resorts and islands in the area for years. This will be a boon for us, once the place settles down a little and we can welcome the tourists back! Once everything is settled, we plan to secede from Sunibel and have our own kingdom like that Prince Leonard in English Australasia! We'll sell stamps and things worldwide and tourists will flock to the littlest kingdom in North America! Gracias, Irlanda! We would never have seen such potential for growth if you hadn't occupied us!"

The Irish Plan to germanise the region is not being well met among Floridian leadership in Tampa. Most of the present cadre of leaders have been in office since before the downfall of the Bush regime, and have proven to be staunch "Destinoes" -- decidedly pro-Florida and anti-Irish. Their constituents in Tampa are also decidedly against the Plan. Fully 60% of polled locals believe the Plan will destroy what little is left in the war-torn and collapsed economy. As it is, most residents of Tampa are living on the dole, and it is felt that territories as small as the proposed countries and provinces will not be self sustaining. Others, mostly in the resort areas, believe they will fare better on account of the promise of tourism pounds just waiting to flow in this Winter if all goes well with the Plan.

***

News from eastern Florida is much much worse. Most eastern Floridians are still residing in "temporary relocation camps" and "relocation communities", even three years after the war and furacanoes that ravaged the land in 2004. Oddly enough, many of the homes of the camp refugees were untouched by either man-made or natural disaster. It is unclear what happened, but some high-ranking Scandinavian officers are said by RTC officials to hold the deeds to large tracts of attrractive real estate in the region, so the people that once lived there no longer have the right to return to their previous homes. They are the thousands of victims of vindictive Scandinavian and complacent RTC forces. Maribel Rodrigues, residing in a camp in La Palma district, voices the frustration and anger of most eastern Floridians: "They are evil! All these European invaders and bad men! They had no right to attack us; and now they've forced us out of our homes and here we are living in crowded shacks! I lost my husband in the war, and two of my three children in this filthy camps. I can't even speak of what those madmen did to us the night they invaded... They don't give us enough food, there's not enough water, they never fix the toilets, they don't let us out of the camp. Some people get in and out and are able to bring us news of relatives and from outside the country. They keep moving us around, though. We've lived in four different camps since the war."

Though there is no free press to speak of in the RTC ZOC, the BBC has amassed credible reports of rebel groups operating throughout the RTC's territory, often engaging in open warfare against RTC troops. Officially, there is "no appreciable guerrila activity beyond small bands of ill-equipped and failing rebels hiding out in the swamps". The reality seems to be quite different. The official press has decried both the legitimate aid sent from the NAL's East Florida to Las Palmas and "clandestine arms export and illegitimate monetary aid" sent by private groups in the NAL to the various militant groups along the border. While there is some truth to the allegations (historically, arms and money have been flowing from the NAL to Floridian guerillas since the mid xix century), arms and money are known to be arriving from Cuba and Castile as well. Antonio Freeman of Miami is a wounded "veterano" of the guerrila war in the Everglades: "At first we were fighting for Florida-Caribbea and Sr Bush (not that loco Silva-Gonzales) -- we wanted to restore Florida to the Floridians and bring the peace we had before the war to the whole Caribbean. But now, we're just fighting to wear down these Vikings and their lapdog occupiers. They've got many of us in concntration camps, but not all of us! Some of us are willing to wear them down and send them packing back home! They're weak and their idiotic treatment of our people have only served to strengthen the Floridians' will to survive and restore what was stolen from us!"

Dr Silverio Gonzales-Morales, former history professor at Miami's Universidad de las Caribbeas, was interviewed in a camp near the Everglades. "The recent history of Florida-Caribbea -- for F-C this land remains, in spite of an illegally enacted war of invasion and subsequent occupation -- has been a sad one and serves mostly to instruct us on the natures of invader, occupier and occupied. If the Norsemen sought to slap our military for an ill-advised coup and an even more ill-advised use of an atomic weapon, that's all well and good. There is no sense in denying the lunacy of Silva-Gonzales and his cadre of inept followers. However, the Norsemen went a step too far in raping and pillaging this country. Bringing the Commonwealth into the affray only serves to steele our resolve against invaders and occupiers. The inept and reprehensible transfer of colonial authority from Scandinavia to the RTC served to galvanise those who were previously 'on the fence'.

No one in this country has been unaffected by the occupation. Some of us have family who are now American citizens, and we wish them well. Others live in the west under Irish occupation. We have learned a little about their plans and schemes to cut up the country and revitalise the place. The Irish seem a sensible people and are not guilty of the atrocities and war crimes that the Scandinavians and RTC forces are guilty of. Though I am sure our western cousins will ultimately be happy, we know they have no great love for the Irish, and it should come as no surprise that we in the east loathe all foreign invaders to the utmost.

Every day, the "noticias" (guerrilas who sneak into and out of "relocation camps" bringing news are called "las noticias") tell us about the wars in the Everglades and places to the north. We are told that the RTC have stretched themselves too thin and they've neglected every means of courting our cooperation with their efforts. With all hope, they will give up and go away as they should have long ago and leave us in peace to restore what little we may of our country."

***

Official reports from the RTC's occupation forces claim that a "spy" was captured in one of its "relocation communities" and has been held on charges of "sowing dissent". It is unclear whether this "spy" is a missing BBC journalist or some other agent, as other official reports from the RTC's occupation forces claim that no "spy" has in fact been caught. As is usual, the RTC occupation forces' Office of External Relations remains closed and all communications are given the same response: "No comment!"[PB]


IBAP -- 26.OCT.2007 -- Tokelau Islanders vote for independence

Fakaofo, Tokelau -- The people of Tokelau have voted to sever their colonial ties with the Fijian Kingdom in a weeklong referendum jointly supervised by the Austronesian League and the Commonwealth of Nations. Once the necessary legislation is put into effect, the four tiny atolls will become a republic in free association with Fiji.

"As of this moment, Tokelauans ought to consider themselves a free nation," declared Kolouei Ua Briain, faipule-o-tokelau, or leader of the islands, adding that it will be some months before Tokelau will fully exercise its independence.

Fiji has administered the islands as part of Fijian Polynesia since 1958, when the kingdom gained independence from Kemr. Its status over the decades has been in dispute, with the monarchs of both Kiripati and Aotearoa claiming sovereignty over the islands at one time or another. Representatives from the island first requested a move to free association in 2003; Fiji agreed to put it to referendum under pressure from other Austronesian League members.

The islands are expected to assume full control over their own affairs in approximately six months. At that time, Tokelau will become one of the smallest independent states in the world; its population of around 2,000 approaches that even of tiny Grand Fenwick.

Fijian King Thakombao V issued a statement supporting the wishes of his Tokelauan subjects. The other island groups of Fijian Polynesia, namely the Cook, Phoenix, and Samoan Islands, have not expressed interest in pursuing autonomy from Fijian rule.[BK]


IBAP -- 10.Oct.2007 -- Glorianna XII Steps Down, Tully I Crowned

GRAND FENWICK -- In the largest ceremony the small nation has seen since Grand Duchess Glorianna XII married Tully Bascomb, her son, Tully Jr. was proclaimed and crowned Tully I of Grand Fenwick.

The Ceremony, lasting 2 hours, was visited by the Grand Fenwickian PM Victoria Pepall, Andorran prince Napoleon VII, and ambassadors from Helvetia, Jervaine, the FK, France, Aragon and several German states.

Tully I chose his birth name as his regnal name. He is married to Wilhelmina von Papen-Fenwick, a minor noble from Anhalt. They have one child, Katarina Evangline Fenwick (b. 1989).[SCP]


IBAP -- 07.Oct.2007 -- Grand Duchess Abdicates

Grand Fenwick -- In the early morning hours of October 7th, Grand Duchess Glorianna XII, sovereign of Grand Fenwick informed members of the House of Electors (Grand Fenwick's Parliament) that she is abdicating, citing recent health problems. The news shocked the small nation, which has never had a monarch abdicate before.

Back in August, The Grand Duchess had been admitted to Grand Fenwick Hospital for injuries stemming from a fall from horseback, and is said to still be in much pain from it.

The heir-apperant is her eldest son, Tully jr., named after his father. If he takes the throne, he may opt to keep his name as his royal name, and be Tully I, Grand Duke of Grand Fenwick.[SCP]


NEW AMSTERDAM POST -- 27.SEP.2007 -- Glamour, Controversy Surround New Tejan King

Santa Fe, Tejas -- Juan Carlos Fürsten zu Solms-Braunfels officially assumed the restored throne of Tejas today, in an understated ceremony attended by dozens of the rich, the famous and the powerful as well as thousands and thousands of Tejans. Such prominent guests as King Pedr V of Kemr, King Nga'ara III of Easter Island, and Malcolm Urquart, the consort of Queen Diana I of England and Scotland would insure maximum security procedures, even without the sporadic protests by different groups as close to Santa Fe's Cathedral of St. Francis of Assisi as they could manage. Lithuanians, Republicans, Felipese and followers of Native religious practices all turned out to protest the coronation. Some were agitating for independence, others to protest the overt part the Roman Catholic Church was taking in the ceremony while several groups were protesting the restoration of the Monarchy itself. Behind the scenes, it is common knowledge that many high-ranking military officers and government officials strongly disapprove of the legalization of the Ecotopic Party, a move strongly supported by the King. By noon dozens of arrests had been made, but most were expected to be released by this time tomorrow.

Official guests and dignitaries, escorted by soldiers in resplendent parade dress uniforms, were all in place by 11am when the Papal Sistine Chapel Choir ("lent" for the occasion as a sign of support) began to sing. The coronation proper took just under an hour.

His Majesty (the form of address chosen by Juan Carlos, as opposed to the more traditional "Imperial Majesty" used by most of his dynasty) and advisors, aware of the tensions still threatening the peace of this often-troubled land, designed the ceremony itself with an eye for unity. Juan Carlos eschewed the traditional uniform of many monarchs, donning instead white tie and tails along with a royal blue sash (emblazoned with his family's coat of arms). Rather than have a new throne constructed, the late Marie Gabrielle's modest throne for formal state dinners was used. Likewise, only three regalia were part of the ritual. San Antonio Archbishop Jose Maria Fernandez-Ochoa placed the relatively simple crown of King Karl (1812-1875; r. 1844-1875) upon the young monarch's head. Commander-in-Chief General Carlos Rodriquez girded the Sword of State around his waist. Prime Minister Ricardo Perry bestowed the Official Seal of Tejas, then administered the Oath of Office. In a nation still trying to recover financially from the Bush regime and a losing war with its neighbors, the simplicity of both ceremony and regalia were almost certainly intended to sooth while offering enough spectacle to satisfy the international audience (including an estimated quarter-million tourists who have flocked to Santa Fe for the event, plus countless millions who watched the ceremony on television). Likewise, the inclusion of military and civil authorities was a break from tradition. Until the recent Restoration, monarchs of Tejas crowned themselves in the style of Napoleon. Marie Gabrielle broke that tradition with her own, much simpler ceremony. The Pope at that time bestowed upon her the added style "Catholic Majesty" her grandson decided to forego. Likewise, instead of the title "King of Tejas and its Empire" the new monarch was proclaimed "By the Grace of God, King of the People of Tejas."

Outside the Cathedral, Juan Carlos gave a short speech declaring his loyalty to the rule of law, to the peace and prosperity of the realm, and promising his maximum efforts on behalf of what he called "My people." The speech ended with a message delivered in six different languages--Castillian, French, German, Lithuanian, Felipese, and English. "People of Tejas, I call you mine and those are words from my heart. You are my brothers. You are my sisters. And this means of course that I am no less yours."

Afterwards, the twenty-six-year old monarch was joined by his guests and officials walking the two miles from St. Francis Cathedral to the official royal residence for a reception that is expected to last into the night. A few officials and guests only began the walk, being of advanced age, including Juan Carlos' father, who after a few blocks was taken the rest of the journey via limousine. Foreign dignitaries included Prince Ilia (younger brother of the King of Kauai), Khedive Daoud I of Egypt, Intendant Onésime Talon of New Francy, NAL Foreign Secretary Ion Edwards, Oregonian Head of State Zrang-Rumi Ekaterina (and her family) as well as Foreign Ministers and Secretaries from Louisianne, New Francy, Alyaska, Montrei, Xliponia, the Holy Roman Empire, Oregon and the Republic of the Two Crowns as well as a Papal Legate John Freeman and envoys from the Russian, Muntenian, Greek and Bulgarian Orthodox Churches (another source of protest from nascent Anti-Snorist groups). Celebrities included actress/model Philly Gore (currently released on bail awaiting sentencing in violation of probation on DUI charge), singer Angelita Diaz, authors V.A.Howard and R.K.Crickerling, talk-show host Conán Ó Briain, movie directors Georg and Lucas Spieldorf and Anaïs Young, widow of late Louisianne First President. Frankie Ozarque, although not officially invited to the event, broadcast an ongoing commentary about the event. Security, while attempting to be unobtrusive, was in fact pervasive. Police officers—many with machine guns--were stationed all over the city, as were army units including in some places actual tanks. Sharpshooters were openly stationed in many places. Armored helicopters circled the center of Santa Fe all day and evening.

The walk to the residence sparked some gossip that in some circles almost eclipsed news of the coronation itself. Atonia Guelph, Foreign Minister of Italy and member of the Ducal House of Mantua, was seen holding hands for much of the walk with Nicolae Vlas-Florea, Oltenian Ambassador to England and heir presumptive to the principality of that nation. They were among the passengers on ConAir's "Majestic Vision" which carried over fifty dignitaries to the event. Italian journalists reported the rumor that the two had shared a stateroom. Rumors of an engagement between the two have been tabloid fodder for months, with the matter even discussed in the Mantuan Senate (which, unlike Oltenia, does not adhere to Salic Law).

Some commentators noted that the very public spectacle of Juan Carlos' coronation as well as its completion without any major problems can only help the current government's efforts to lure foreign investment. If so, this might do much to assuage the worries of many of Tejas' elite who resent the efforts of Juan Carlos to further economic reforms. A stronger economy would mean less temptation to target the very wealthy with taxes to spur reconstruction.[DZ]


IBAP -- 21.Aug.2007 -- World's Smallest Nation in Mourning

GRAND FENWICK -- At 2:34 pm, Grand Duchess Glorianna XII, Grand Duchess of the small nation of Grand Fenwick was rushed to the sole hospital in Grand Fenwick. The official report says that while on a leisurely horse-ride through Fenwick Forest and somehow fell from her horse. Nearby citizens immidately picked her up and took her to the Grand Duchy's hospital. A doctor at the hospital says that, while not fatal, the ageing Grand Duchess will not be capable of her role as leader of the small state for some months. "She will need some rest for about three to four months, and we are informing her once she comes to that she may heed it necessary to not ride a horse from now on." Further sources say that her injuries are two broken ribs, a broken arm, jammed wrist and sprained ankle. [SCP]


BBC World News, Caribbean Desk -- 19.SEP.2007

Bahia de la Palma, Florida

-- A reported sighting of a sub was made last night a short distance from the coast, making contact with a fishing vessel. Local fishing vessel skippers deny all knowledge of the alleged encounter, in stead blaming the sighting on RTC manoeuvers in the water. "We can't even fish in peace for all the navy activity around here," said Marcos Zuniga. The army keeps sending "Intelligence Officers" here to harass us every time these boats are seen off shoar, asking us what we know about them. We keep telling them we don't know nothing -- go look in Loch Ness. They get angry and hit us or throw water on us. Then they go away until another boat is seen out in the sea."[PB]

THE NEW AMSTERDAM POST -- 07.SEP.2007 -- New Banner for Tejas

San Antonio -- As a prelude to his coronation, young King Juan Carlos of Tejas unveiled a new royal banner for his dynasty, the house of Fürsten zu Solms-Braunfels. The twenty-four-year-old monarch, currently viewed as one of the most eligible bachelors in the world, said in a statement that the new banner is intended to echo both his family's ancient history and its ties to Tejas. Technically, the banner would be described thus: Chequy argent and vert, lion rampant azure claws and tongue gules. The lion dates back the original Counts of Solms while the colors reflect those of Tejas itself.

It is expected that the Tejas Congress will officially authorize the new banner with little if any dissent. Juan Carlos is due to be crowned September 27, 2007. [DZ]


BBC World News, Caribbean Desk -- 07.JULY.2007

Kissimee, RTC ZOC, Florida -- Several months of intense fighting between RTC forces and Floridian guerrillas led to a major victory for the rag-tag Floridian fighters. On the sixth of June, they managed to oust occupation forces from the local constabulary and raised the old F-C flag over the ruined post office. One week ago, RTC reinforcements engaged the guerrillas and destroyed the rebel garrison. While many prisoners were taken, many more simply dissolved into the bush surrounding the town.[PB]


NEW AMSTERDAM TIMES -- 6.JULY.2007 -- Philly Gore Behind Bars!

New Amsterdam -- Model and sometimes actress Philadelphia Gore, daughter of the General Moderator, was arrested near midnight last night for driving under the influence of alcohol. While this would normally be a fairly routine matter, Miss Gore was already under probation for a similar offense last September. As part of the plea bargain with the Crown Prosecutors Office, her driving license was suspended for eighteen months beginning in November, 2006.

'Philly' Gore, now 26, has become famous in her own right as a model and party girl, a member of New Amsterdams Sky High Set who has also appeared in three motion pictures (including a remake of the 1960s film WAXWORK HORROR). She counts among her circle such celebrities as Nicola Vlas-Florea, daughter of the reigning Prince of Oltenia, and Portia Moon, daughter of the Bruno Moon of NoMoreEagleZ, as well as the Montreian singer/actress Angelita Diaz. Rumors have abounded for years that Miss Gore would pose for DANDY magazine. Although self-supporting in terms of her work as a model, Miss Gore has never attended college, in sharp contrast to her father and grandfather -- the one, current General Moderator and the other a former First Viceroy -- as well as her twin brother Nicholas, who is a law student at Harvard.

The press office at the Octagon House had no comment about Miss Gores arrest nor her arraigment on charges of violating probation, which could involve a prison term of up to 45 days. [DZ]


NAL TODAY -- 20.JUN.2007 -- CONDOLENCES FLOOD TEJAN POST

San Antonio -- The Tejan postal service (Correo Real de Tejas) has been inundated by post related to the death of Queen Maria Gabrielle. Letters and cards from as far away as Australasia and Antarctica, many addressed to the crown prince, have expressed sympathy with the Tejan people and have praised the queen for her steadfast efforts at restoring Tejan infrastructure to normal function and easing the transition of Tejanoes to democratic forms of governance. Of course, condolences have been arriving from world governments and international organisations since Saturday.

American political commentator Harold Limbaugher noted during his radio programme on Monday: "Monarchical republicanism is the most rational and sensible system of government on earth today -- one foot resting firmly on sound tradition and stability of long ruling dynasties; one foot firmly entrenched in the equally ancient tradition of self determination and democracy. The Tejan Queen, who died Saturday, embodied this combination of tradtitions and had worked tirelessly up until the very end to implant and establish those noble traditions among the Tejan people, who for so long had suffered under the heel of military juntas."

Juan Carlos, the crown prince, is expected to be crowned within the month. Speculation abounds regarding the handsom young princes marital prospects. While he has had a couple girlfriends over the course of his youth, none have panned out as serious prospects. It is speculated that many of the condolence cards that have arrived in the country in fact contain pictures and marriage proposals. [PB]


NAL TODAY -- 16.JUN.2007 -- TEJAN NATION IN MOURNING AT PASSING OF BELOVED QUEED

San Antonio -- The Tejan government confirmed today that Maria Gabrielle, Queen of that nation since the Restoration in 2003, died Thursday night of complications due to pneumonia. She was ninety-nine years old. Her great-grandson Juan Carlos Louis Felippe Fürsten zu Solms-Braunfels (1983- ) is expected to assume the throne, as per her will which was confirmed by the Tejan Congress last July, bypassing her grandsons Don Hans Georg (1957- ) and Don Infante Jorge Emanuel (1961- ) in favor of the vastly popular Juan Carlos.

Maria Gabrielle (born 1908) was the youngest daughter of Georg Frederich (1863-1940), the Tejan monarch overthrown initially in the wake of the 1898 War then restored temporarily. Her sister had also reigned. In the wake of war with Mejico, which deposed strong man Jorge Bush, Maria Gabrielle was assumed the Tejan throne as part of Third Restoration. [DZ]


News Page.