News From Ill Bethisad in 2008

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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NATIONAL NEWS SERVICE -- 31.MAY.2008 -- Wedding Bells for Oltenia, Italy!

ROME, P.S.P. -- After more than six months of negotiations, Oltenian and Italian officials have concluded a treaty which settles legal, social and diplomatic questions regarding the proposed marriage between the heirs of two European thrones.

Antonia Guelph is sister to the Duchess of Mantua, as well as Italy's Foreign Minister. Nicolae Vlas-Florea is his country's ambassador to the Federated Kingdoms as well as heir presumptive to his uncle's title as Prince of that nation. Apart from the myriad details involved in any wedding between dynasties, this one carries with it a series of complications, major and minor. The bride-to-be is Latin Rite Catholic, while the prospective groom is Byzantine Rite. Both are diplomatic officials, but of different countries and in each case their native land is part of a large federal entity (Italy and Romania respectively). Then factor in Mantua's all-female line with Oltenia's salic law and the reasons for the long negotiations become clearer.

Various diplomats have had a series of meeting, mostly in Bovlai, Xliponia but also in Casteleon and finally in Rome. Full details of the treaty, which faces ratification by at least two and possibly four governments, have not been disclosed but some details were revealed:

-Any offspring of the union would hold joint citizenship. Males would be officially considered possible heirs to the Oltenian principality while females would remain in the line of succession for Mantua.
-The wedding itself will be held in Rome in a ceremony "celebrating the common heritage of the bride and groom's common faith as well as their individual traditions." Rumors persist that the Pope might officiate.
-A complicated system of social precedence has been worked out, which uses the past borders of the Eastern and Western Roman Empires as a basis for determining details, and changes when (if) the bride or groom assumes their native title.
-Both Gelph and Vlas-Florea have agreed to limit any marital inheiritances of to one third of their private properties, precluding anything of "deep historical or symbolic importance to their respective homelands."

Both Guelph and Vlas-Florea, while initially discrete, have been relatively open about their relationship since announcing their engagement last Autumn. In January, for example, the couple were guests of the Holy Roman Emperor and stayed in the same suite. Speculation that Guelph may have been pregnant died out as her figure remained unchanged in the following months. They also shared a hotel suite while attending the funeral of Philadelphia "Philly" Gore, daughter of the NAL's General Moderator and close friend of Nicola Vlas-Florea, Nicolae's first cousin.[BK]


BBC-3 -- 27.MAY.2008 -- Newshour With Max Pearson (EXCERPT)

[BEGIN TRANSCRIPT]

PEARSON: From the BBC World Service, this is Max Pearson.

Hundreds of thousands of Tibetans still waiting for aid two weeks after the Wenchuan earthquake will receive help soon, the Neutral Aid Society announced today. Tibet's ruling junta and its leader, the Ganden Tripa, have given leave to the NAS and seveal other foreign aid organizations to work freely in affected areas.

An estimated sixty thousand people have died from the quake on both sides of the Tibetan-Nanhan border, with thousands still missing and hundreds of thousands still waiting for essential shelter, food, and medical care. Tibet's rulikng junta have thus far barred the efforts of aid workers by insisting on total control over the relief operations.

The military government's seeming indifference toward the quake victims has reïgnited anti-Tibet sentiments around the world. In Samraj, the exiled Dalai Lama has led almost daily rallies and made increasingly hash statements against the Ganden Tripa. BBC India correspondent Abhi Desai reports.

DESAI: Rarely has the Dalai Lama made so many consecutive public appearances, but rarely has such a tragedy affected the entire

[END TRANSCRIPT][BK]


Pacific Press Association -- 17.MAY.2008 -- Official statement: Tokelauans to vote on sell-out

FAKA'OFO -- Officials from Fiji's Colonial Ministry, Tokelau's Provisional Government, and the Cambrian Isle of Lundy offically announced that they have reached a decision to transfer power to ecotourism investor Andrew Morris, in exchange for a generous package of investment in both countries. They said that their plan calls for a "partnership" between Morris's corporation and the Tokelauan people, who will retain complete local autonomy.

The announcement comes after local residents leaked news of the sell- out to reporters last week. The news has polarized opinions around the Pacific, with leaders and journalists from Henua to Papua denouncing or praising the decision, which is virtually without precedent in Oceania's histoy. Tokelau's provisional government, which still awaits recognition by Fiji, immediately voted to hold another referendum in late June in which the people will decide whether to accept the offer. Fiji's Parliament is expected to quickly confirm the Tokealauan government's decision.

As a temporary measure, Fiji has again begun to supply government services to the little islands, with the intention of gradually turning them over to Morris and his company.[BK]


Newshour, BBC -- 14.MAY.2008 -- EXCERPT

[BEGIN TRANSCRIPT]

...reports that no parrots were involved.

Turning now to the Pacific, Fiji's long dispute over the Tokelau Islands may have ended. BBC Pacific reports that Fiji has agreed to sell Tokelau to England's wealthiest subject. BBC Pacific's Siosiua Hu'akau reports.

HU'AKAU: Leaders from Fiji and Tokelau have been meeting here on Olohenga, the smallest of the disputed Tokelau Islands, for nearly a week. Joining them are officials representing Andrew Morris of England. Morris is reputed to be the Commonwealth's richest man. He has ruled the Isle of Lundy off the Cambrian coast as a personal possession for nearly thirty years.

Rumors have circulated for months that a European investor was offering to buy the islands. Secret meetings have taken place in Fiji, Aotearoa, and now here on Olohenga. The purpose of this latest round of talks was also kept mum, but Morris's identity was soon leaked to reporters by local residents. Sources have confirmed that Morris has indeed made an offer to buy the islands, and that he is prepared to invest heavily in ecotourism both here and in Fiji.

Reactions in Tokelau have been decidedly mixed. Olohengans have compared Morris with the wealthy American autocrats who ruled their island in the nineteenth century. Elders on other islands have angrily denounced the idea that their land, considered the sacred inheritance of the Tokelavian people, could ever be sold as a commodity. Members of the islands' provisional government are scrambling to justify the secret talks with Fiji and Morris. They claim that the need to pay for services has become desperate, and Morris's money represents great opportunity to invest in tourism and infrastructure.

One Fijian diplomat, speaking anonymously, told the BBC that Morris's offer was enticing, and may represent a real solution to the Tokelavian Question that has gone unresolved for months. He also said that Fiji has been offered a sizeable package of incentives to sell the islands. This may be the beginning of a transfer of power from a kingdom widely accused of being imperialistic, to a man known throughout the Commonwealth as a wealthy eccentric.

With BBC Pacific, this is Siosiua Hu'akau.

JONES: Next, an interview with Jovian Prime Minister Susanna Ivauma. This is

[END TRANSCRIPT][BK]


Star of Georgetown -- 9.MAY.2008 -- "American Politics at a Glance"

Georgetown, NAL-SLC -- There is now in the daily parlance of the Louisianan, a new word called in his native French "vasage", which we might aptly translate as muddage, or the slinging about of mud. And while it is a most apt word when used to refer to the rural practice of racing motorcars and the like along dirt or mud trails, hence the word's origin, it's adaptation to the political arena is no less apt!

There is therefore hope for lagging Louisianna yet! Few estates are so key to the successful democratic government as the truly Free and Liberated Press. And few things interest a truly free and liberated press, especially previous to and during elections, as the naughty doings and misdeeds of those who are standing for office. Any perusal of the Louisianan media of late will naturally bring to mind the old saw: They're happy as pigs in muck. Thus, we offer our western cousins a hearty hip hip huzzah![PB]


IBAP -- 7.MAY.2008 (17 Floréal CCXVI)

Allegations were made by the Républicains Libres today against Marie Landrieu, suggesting that she had been involved in a lesbian love-affair for the past 30 years with actress Atlanta Wells. Pundits have immediately seized on this, citing the frigidity of the marriage between Landrieu and her husband, Frank Snellings, their adoption of two children, and the frequent taking of separate vacations.

The Loi Naturelle responded within the hour decrying this "flagrant and underhanded 'vasage' of their candidate." It was suggested by the Loi Naturelle spokesman, Michel d'Argile, that this was merely supposition by the Républicains Libres in an attempt to shift public focus from the infidelity of M. Baldi.

Landrieu and Wells were introduced during the filming of Antoinette, as part of the film took place in New Orleans, where her father was mayor. Landrieu and Wells, stated d'Argile, became fast friends and have maintained contact since then, but there has never been any sort of interaction beyond platonic friendship.

Ms. Wells' publicist refused comment.[DH]

Baton Rouge, LA -- Directed Mailings have virtually inundated the MPs of Saint-Onge, and even many of their constituents. The political parties of the Républicains Libres and the Loi Naturelle have both been sending mailings extolling the virtues of their candidates and smearing the failings of the candidates of the opposition.

While this sort of behavior is commonplace, the television and radio ads used in this campaign are a first for Louisiannans. Up until the Presidency of Jean-François Young strict controls of radio and television have prevented this "giclant de la vase," or as it has become known, "vasant" of public contenders for public office.

"Vasage", a term which roughly relates to mudslinging in English is the practice of casting doubt on a contender for office, but is more strictly controlled, and these allegations can only be made through direct mailings, television and radio by the political parties.

With the opening of the airwaves to this campaigning has created a stir among the citizens of the nation. "We don't want to hear this," said Pierre Flandin, citizen of LeCompte, to the west of Baton Rouge. "With the free press, we hear pretty much everything that the leaders do. It's not as if we expect them to be saints." When asked who he would vote for, were he in Parliament, he said, "I think they're both terrible. I don't like what the Loi Naturelle party stands for, but at the same time, I don't like the record of Monsieur Baldi. He's not called 'Le Pingre' for laughter's sake."

Other citizens were of the same feeling. When Emmelot Brock, Sous-Prefect of Loire-Neuf was approached regarding this issue, she stated flatly, "Direct mailings should be enough. It sickens me to see us resort to such poor political behavior as is found on either side of our borders."

Most politicians feel that the Loi Naturelle has largely caused this situation, with their forceful attacks against Baldi and his record. Had Landrieu's record been pushed to the fore, with her accomplishments only, the paper storm would likely not be so large.

Throw into the mix allegations of dalliances on the part of M. Baldi with a daughter of known Pegre crime boss "The Gambeaux," Sophie Gambeaux. These have been firmly denounced by Baldi, and his wife Aloïs Chavanoz has remained firmly supportive of her husband.[DH]


Polynesian United News Agency-- 28.APR.2008-- Tokelau: Help!

FAKA'OFO -- The Malo Faka'auau, or Provisional Government, of Tokelau issued a general request for humanitarian aid Saturday as its food and energy supplies dwindle from a nearly two-month stoppage of services from its estranged mother nation, Fiji. Fiji has cut off all post, ferry service, and money from the islands until the Malo Faka'auau dissolves itself, which it has so far refused to do.

The plea for aid is Tokelau's latest and most desperate attempt to drum up international sympathy as it sails its troubled course toward self-government. Both Tokelau and Fiji agreed that the islands would govern themselves following a referendum last year, but the process has been bogged down for months as the two island groups argue over details. Last week, Fiji's Parliament rejected Tokelau's proposal to place Tokelau under the protection of Kereineke I, O'ahu's billionaire king.

According to interviews with delegates from Tokelau's three main islands, the would-be republic especially hopes to receive help from its supporters in the Commonwealth. These include the Kingdoms of Aotearoa and Tahiti, both of which have formally recognized the Provisional Government. Thus far the Commonwealth Secretariat, headed by Secretary-General Stephen Biko of the South African Union, has remained neutral on what is now called the Tokelauan Question, and the Tokelauans hope that this request for aid will force the Commonwealth's governing body to confront Fiji on the issue.[BK]


HENUA NEWS UPDATE kindly visit Henua and click on news.

13 March 2008 -- IBAP team partners with Henua branch of PUNA Now that the Oregonians are settling in, this will allow them to get more local news.

26 March 2008 -- Scandinavian tourist arrested for defacing mo'ai (PUNA) This actually happened *here*-- it was reported by the BBC and the Associated Press, which doesn't happen for many Easter Island stories! I had been thinking a little about the island's legal system anyway, and this gave me an opportunity to work with it a little.

27 March 2008 -- Advisor Ma'oa calls for "an ear for an ear" justice (PUNA) Ripped almost entirely from an Associated Press article *here*, quoting Rapa Nui Mayor Pedro Edmunds Paoa. I haven't created any characters that were doubles of real Rapanui since the history was so different--but I made an exception for mayor Paoa, who seems like a great guy.

1 April 2008 -- Finnish vandal confesses; Scandinavian consul urges speedy trial (IBAP/EET) The consul, Maria Carlson, is from New Sweden.

4 April 2008 -- Aotearoan event planners lobby Henua Council for judicial reform With the bicentenniel just five months away, it turns out that this is a more pressing issue than anyone thought! Let's hope some meaningful reform comes out of it.

10 April 2008 -- Henua Council to hear trial of Finn moai vandal (IBAP/EET).

PUNA -- 11.04.2008 -- Tolelau begins electricity rationing

FAKA'OFO -- Tokelau's Provisional Ministry of the Economy issued a directive today turning off electricity on all four Tokelauan atolls for eighteen hours each day. The Tulafono has struggled in recent months to pay for basic services since the Kingdom of Fiji eliminated all aid to its errant dependency.

16 April 2008 -- Kulju fined, returned to Scandinavian custody (PUNA).

PUNA -- 18 April 2008 -- Tokelauan government: no comment on rumored buyout

FAKA'OFO -- The Provisional Council, or Tulafono, of Tokelau continued to meet behind closed doors as the work week drew to a close. None of the council members would confirm reports that their body was considering an offer by a wealthy Westerner to buy the islands as private property.

"The delegates and elders of the islands have many crucial decisions to consider," Chief Elder Ake Liang of Nukunonu told reporters before boarding a ferry to his home atoll. "But rest assured that a major change in Tokelau's status would be brought before the people."[BK]


OMNIPRESSE -- 15.APR.2008 -- Intendancy's New Orientation

Quebec, NF -- With Monday's confidence referendum ending with what observers have termed a "robust approval" of 78%, the Intendant, Leonce Boucher, has announced several changes he would bring to the Intendancy.

First, the office of the Intendancy is to be enceforth an elected position, held for five year terms and the incumbent may stand for reëlection. Second, the Estates-General will meet jointly.

In addition to this, the Intendant has proposed other pieces of legislation intended to correct what he has termed "anomalous situations." These include placing Laurentien on co-equal status with Francien and to recognised the nearly 65% of the population who speak it as their first language. Another measure which has already caused some uproar in certain circles is a plan to officialy recognised France and seek a reciprocal recognision from the Metropole thus ending the state of war that has existed for over two hundred years. [MP]


Polynesian United News Agency -- 11.APR.2008-- TOKELAUAN OFFER: TRIBUTARY TO TWO MONARCHS

SUVA, FIJI -- Tokelau's Envoy Extraordinary to Fiji, Pio Tuia, proposed today to the Fijian Parliament that Fiji grant his islands complete self-governing status under the O'ahuan Crown in return for regular tributary payments. The Parliament will consider the motion after recessing for the weekend. National Loyalist MP Momo na Tui Nasesevia told reporters, "Our government cannot be bought off so easily. Few MPs will approve the sale of our territory to some billionaire from Kanawiki." [BK]


OMNIPRESSE -- 11.APR.2008 -- New Intendant's Referendum

Ville-Marie, NF -- With only a few days left before monday's referendum to approve the choise of a new Intendant, the "No" camp (who oppose an elected Intendant) have staged a demonstration in downtown Ville-Marie to rival the monarchist event during the last referendum.

With speaker from various monarchist groups (although noticeably not the Action Monarchiste Party), the large outdoor meeting has attracted roughly a thousand demonstrators (according to organisors) under the slogan "Don't Touch My Intendant !".

A similar meeting, although attended by a larger crowd, was held by the Yes camp a few days ago in Quebec with the slogan "A New Intendant For a New Century"[MP]


NEW AMSTERDAM POST -- 8.APR.2008 -- PEGRE MEMBERS RIOT

Breukelen, NAL-SLC -- The Boa Room is an upscale bar, one frequented by celebrities from movies and Broadway as well as the music industry. Its less savory clientele include members of Le Pegre. When members of rival gangs show up at the same time, things can get tense. Fistfights are not unknown. But on 7 April 2008 things went much further. Constabulary units had to surround the block and over a dozen arrests were made. Three people are in the hospital and an automobile was set aflame.

Sylvester "Sly" Antoine is regarded by the NAPD as a trusted lieutenant to Louis Philip LeBrun, reputed Cardinal of the Signoret crime Famille and son-in-law to Pierre Daille, widely seen as the head of the Signoret. "King" LeBrun (so called for his sophisticated lifestyle and fairly imperious ways) is a bitter rival of Daille's other son-in-law Guillaume Vaschon. It is Vaschon's missing son Andre who legally owns the Boa Room, but Antoine has been seeking to buy controlling interest of the club since February. Andre Vaschon--considered a "person of interest" by the NAPD in the overdose death of Philly Gore, the GM's daughter--has been missing since January. The manager of the Boa Room, an associate of Andre's named Antoine Garner, evidently tried to have "Sly" evicted from the club at around 10pm. Sly was accompanied by perhaps as many as a dozen friends, but according to witnesses were inebriated. Boa Room bouncers numbered half that many but were large and sober.

Exactly what followed is not clear, but it is obvious blows were exchanged. No gunfire was exchanged but makeshift weapons including furniture were used.

Commentators fear this could herald the start of a gang war over leadership of the Signoret Famille.[DZ]


OMNIPRESSE -- 27.MAR.2008 -- Chamber of Patricians Reach Decision

QUEBEC -- After days of dicussions, the Chamber of Patricians have come to a decision as to the replacement of the Intendant who stepped down last week.

Basing its decision on precendents, the Chamber has determined that the election of a new Intendant would be carried out by the Estates General as the post was one of a civil servant and not one of nobility (in which case it would have been adjudicated by a court of noblemen).

The decision was greeted with glee by the republican parties who see this as the first step toward the establishment of a fully functioning republic.[MP]


NAL News Digest -- 22.MAR.2008

Star of Georgetown: "Meltdown in Chilly North: Snow Falls, So Does Intendant"
This week marks the end of an era in royalist Nouvelle Francie, and in general French history, as the King's Intendant officially steps down from office...

Philadelphia Enquirer: "Identity Crisis Unresolved: Intendant Steps Down, Who Will Step Up?"
The question that remains to be answered by the rash referendumists in Ville Marie is "Who will fill the vacuum?" It is well known that the referendum has no legally binding force on the government. Should the Intendent's act of stepping down remain permanent, who will be the Intendant's Intendant?

Times of New Amsterdam: "The King is Dead! Long Live the Republic!"
"Dear New Amsterdamers, after long years of bloodshed and violence, the Revolution against the French king is now at an end." So we wrote to our dear bretheren on the ninth of May, 1792. It seems that, today, at last those words bear some semblance of truth!

Winnipeg Chronical: "Treaties Now Void"
With the abdication of the French king, his treaties are no longer in force. Perhaps it is time to redress the issue of lands stolen from our people and given to the French. This issue, of course, of tracts of land that presently make up the Hudson's Bay coastal territory of New France, forcibly taken from Native and Company holdings around Hudson's Bay and ceded to New France by British colonial powers in 1798 and later by the NAL in 1807. Needless to say, the Company was not amused. Nor were the Native Councils whose agreement was never sought.

Jeanne de la Croix Show (Philadelphia) man-on-the-street interview: "I don't get it. Why can't they sort it out without all the mess? I mean, they've got a king who ain't really a king, and we've got kings who aren't really kings. With all due respect, they're far away and the GM runs the show. Near as I can figure, they've got all the republicanism they need, if they'd only open their eyes! Maybe what they need is a GM to run the show, while the Intendant rides about in a coach waving in parades? Works for us!"

ABC Television Press Conference (Philadelphia): Ralph Perkins of the Watertown Times asked: "What, if any, will our response be to the Intendant's stepping down? How will this affect our relationship?" The GM replied: "Well, that's the French being French! Nouvelle Francie has long been a friend of the NAL; while our relationship has been founded upon the detente formed between the monarchies of Kemr, Scotland, England and France, we shall have to proceed with due care the next while. Our policy at present is to urge the Intendant to resume his duties and seek a peaceful and satisfactory resolution to the problems his country is facing."


NBC RADIO -- 21.MAR.2008 -- Ross Lambaugh Programme

St. Augustine, West Florida -- "Ladies and gentlemen, there really is no need for fear or concern over this. It is an historical fact that the French can not make up their minds how to govern themselves. Now, I love the New French as much as much as the next guy -- we often vacation in Quebec and have even hosted this very programme in conjunction with our friends at Omnipresse -- but it is known that every few decades they stage a grand revolution and change governments. First imperial then republican to dictatorial to imperial back to republican, and so it goes. This is just an example of how the French express their fundamental political desires. Unlike us Americans who are rooted in centuries of republican monarchy, the French have not been so graced. Their monarchs tend to be absolutist in nature, and all evidence leads us to view the present Intendant in the same light. Perhaps the Intendancy can work this crisis out to a favourable end, which in my never be humble opinion, would be: for the Intendant to resume his duties and institute appropriate democratic reforms to ensure the stability of French tradition as well as their love of democracy, which our two countries share in common."[PB]


NBC -- 14.MAR.2008 -- Protests in Nouvelle Francie Not Just for Pro-Republicans

QUEBEC -- Since the referendum of a fortnight ago, the news from the Intendancy has been largely pro-republican in nature. Every story has two sides to it, and the Neofrancien press has not done well in its job to tell the other side of the story.

Today indeed marks the third day of strikes and civil unrest across the southern tier. While the mood has been largely non-violent, rioting has taken place in Quebec and other cities.

Many of the protesters present are anti-intendent activists; however, there are also numbers of anti-referendum protesters, pro-Native protesters and several other groups braving the cold weather to register their opinions.

It seems a sure thing that the Intendent will step down, but what is equally certain is that he will not be stepping down to universal applause.[PB]


OMNIPRESSE -- 14.MAR.2008 -- Nouvelle Francie at a Standstill

VILLE MARIE -- Today marks the third day of a general strike called by trade unions affiliated with the Coalition in power. Unhappy with the continuing filibustering tactics of the opposition, all 3 trade unions federations of the Intendancy have voted for a work stoppage.

The strike has left the Intendancy completely paralized has both blue collar and white collar workers walked out en masse on wednesday. There has also been daily demonstrations in Ville-Marie, Trois-Rivieres and Quebec with thousand of people braving the cold weather and the snow to show their republican spirit with placard and banners calling for the Intendant to step down.

A few small groups of monarchists have attempted to organized counter demonstration but most have been called off due to small number of participants.[MP]


News From Henua

The Henua News Desk has released three press reports so far this month. To entice you to read on, the headlines are:
10 March: Blessings given to Henua's first private wind turbines
3 March: Errata
1 March: Henua Council first to recognize Tokelauan government

Read the articles here.


Star of Georgetown -- 9.MAR.2008 -- Rash of Republics

CASTRE GEORY -- 2008 has thus far seen a veritable rash of republics springing up all around the world. Let freedom ring, cry the republicans. They aver that only they can offer true liberty to the world's people. But what is the truth of the matter? Quite simply, the rash of republics is more like a couple pimples. Earlier this year, the Neofranciens held a rather dubious referendum designed to gauge popular opinion regarding their Intendant's regime. The Intendancy, as most educated persons in this and other American locales are sure to agree, is an outmoded relic of ancient history.

Once the French had quite rightly overthrown their autocratic kings, the French colonies were left with how to deal with the question: side with the Pretender, or side with the republicans. Louisianna sided with the republicans (and has suffered long for it). Nouvelle Francie sided with the Pretender, remaining royalist. So far so good, with the exception that the French kings were largely autocratic prats. The Intendency was therefore a sort of "buffer" between the iconclasm of radical republicanism and the equally horrific tradition of autocratic monarchy. The referendum has been returned with a barely 60% yea -- hardly up to our standards to overthrowing a whole government form and starting from scratch! -- and already the new pretenders to the Neofrancien government are "praising the republicans" to be found in no other place than some wee Fijian atoll in the Pacific called Tokelau that is making efforts towards independence. The response of the American government has been rather tempered, though perhaps a little coddling. Without a clearly superior majority of Neofranciens in favour of change, the Intendent should have ignored the legally non-binding referendum entirely, as should his government. As for Tokelau, the Commonwealth ministers have apparently been meeting down in Aotearoa, who is not onle brokering the talks between the Kingdom of Fiji and its breakaway atoll, but have also made the great faux pas of prematurely recognising the breakaway country. It will remain to be seen how things turn out. If the Tokelauans have legitimate concerns, their government has the responsibility to address them; but it is doubtful the Commonwealth will support any senseless secession, republican or otherwise.[PB]


Australasian Press Association -- 7.MAR.2008 -- Republic of Tokelau: Australasia Remain Silent

With two provinces having issued contrary statements, the Australasian Court of Coordinators have found itself unable to issue a joint statement in regard the developements within the self-declared republic of Tokelau.

The Court of Coordinators, which is prevented by law from acting on its own, has said it was still monitoring the situation and would release a statement has soon as a consensus is formed between the provinces' governments.

One province, Aotearoa, as so far recognised tokelau's provisional government by sending to the atoll newly proclaimed ambassador to tokelau, Mr Aewa Temomo. Aotearoa has also sent troops and policemen to ensure Fiji respect the new republic. Commonwealth ministers are meeting on Aotearoa to help settle the issue one way or the other.

Another province, New South Cambria, has officialy rejected Tokelau's bid for independence stating that the nation could only obtain its sovereignty with the agreement of Fiji.

The other two provinces, Kingsland and English Australia have stated publicly that they will remain neutral in the conflict.[MP]


OMNIPRESSE -- 07.MAR.2008 -- Praise for Republicans

QUEBEC -- The Estates Generals of New Francy, who are currently chaired by a majority of republicans, has released a communique praising the tiny atoll of Tokelau for choosing to become a republic.

The comunique was signed by the leader of all 3 houses of the Estates General but not, significantly, by the Intendant who, through his spokesman, has delivered a "no comments" to journalists.

By resorting to filiburstering technique, the opposition in the house of roturiers as so far managed to prevent its majority from sending the so called Republican Bill to the Chamber of Patrician for its approval.[MP]


BBC World News, Pacific Desk -- 05.MAR.2008 -- First Session of Tokelauan Provisional Government Produces Harsh Words, Flag

FAKAOFO, TOKELAU -- The mood on Tokelau's chief atoll remained tense Tuesday as the island's provisional council met for the first time, despite strongly worded protests from the island group's ruling nation, Fiji.

The provisional council, chosen as a temporary compromise by the islands' deadlocked Tulafono, or constitutional convention, passed its first acts for consideration by the Fijian legislature, which still has final say in the islands until Tokelau becomes fully independent. The acts dealt with essential issues such as offshore ferry service and postal delivery.

It remains to be seen how the Fijian legislature will deal with this legislation. A spokesman for Fiji's Colonial Ministry repeated the government's previous statements denouncing the Tokelauan council as "illegal" and "careless". The spokesman would not comment on the possible use of force to bring the islands into compliance. Aotearoan troops stationed on Fakaofo have refused to intervene, stating that their mandate is only to keep the peace.

The council also unfurled a new flag reflecting their wishes for Tokelau's new status as an autonomous region temporarily dependent on Fiji. A variation on Tokelau's flag as a colony of Aotearoa and Kemr in the mid-XXth century, the flag depicts a palm tree and four green stars on a yellow field, representing Tokelau's four atolls. A small flag of Fiji sits in the upper left canton.

The outside world has been slow to respond to the growing tensions in this tiny corner of the Pacific. Oceania's two smallest countries, Henua and Nauru, have issued statements supporting self-determination for the Tokelauans. More significant will be the reactions of the region's great powers, including Japan and the Australasian states.[BK]


OMNIPRESSE -- 01.MAR.2008 -- REFERENDUM RESULTS TABULATED

QUEBEC -- Results are in for the referendum in Nouvelle Francie. On the question "Do you agree to reform the Intendancy as per the direction outlined in the "cahier de doleances on political reforms" ?", 59.56 % voted "Yes".

The "Yes" umbrella group spokesman, Mr LeBoucher, appeared before assembled supporters and invited all Neofranciens from both camps to come together and help build the republic.

For its part, the "No" camp immediately released a statement saying "We have heard the people and what they want is change but not at any price. We hope that all will come together and help build a better Intendancy."

The "No" camp also blame the "Yes" camp for devising an "ambiguous and misleading question".

The Intendant was not available for comment but a spokeman said the Intendant had "Taken note of the result".[MP]


BBC World News, Pacific desk -- 28.FEB.2008 -- Tokelavians form Provisional Government

The tiny aspiring island nation of Tokelau announced earlier today that it has formed a provisional government as it prepares to break away from the Fijian Kingdom. The announcement follows months of talking in the Pacific island group among various Tokelavian factions. The Fijian government says that it will not recognize the new government or honor any of its acts, saying that any move toward greater autonomy for the islands would have to be approved by the Fijian Crown and Parliament. The Fijian High Ambassador in London has called for a meeting of Commonwealth diplomats to repudiate what he described as "a threat to the sovereign territory of a Commonwealth nation."

The Commonwealth's spokesman has yet to comment on the announced secession.[BK]


Omnipresse/IBAP -- 12.FEB.2008 (22 Pluviôse CCXVI) -- Louisianne Responds to Referendum

Paris-sur-Mizouri -- In a special news conference held in the Grande Halle of the Assemblée Nationale, Marie-Claire Gildersleeve addressed a gathering of press in response to the news of referendum in Nouvelle Francie.

When asked of Louisianne's official stance on the new referendum that may well turn the Intendancy into a republic, Gildersleeve commented, "Many would suspect Louisianne of taking a firmly pro-Republic stance on the coming referendum of Nouvelle Francie. Many Louisiannans may even feel this way.

Pandits have noted the common ancestry, and some would expect Louisianne to take a firm line in support of republicanism, as there has been no political love lost between Nouvelle Francie and Louisianne over the last 150 years.

Speaking of their common ancestry, Gildersleeve said, "We as a nation were forged from the same background as New Francy, and while we have taken separate roads, we have each sought out the ideals of the Revolution, Liberté, Egalité, Fraternité.

"We are pleased to see the populace of Nouvelle Francie deciding the future of their nation, and support them in this venture. May the voice of the people speak, and may the citizens of that nation decide their future path.

"As fellow Franco-Americans, we will do all in our power to support the legitimate government of Nouvelle Francie through this period, and hope for a continued existence of liberty, equality and brotherhood, regardless the outcome of this referendum."

It is expected that Geoff Sessions (MP-Mobile) will comment on this speech during his upcoming appearance on the Lawrence Koenig show.[DH]


OMNIPRESSE -- 12.FEB.2008 -- Referendum in Nouvelle Francie

On its first day back in session, the majority Radical Solidarity Coalition has announced that a referendum would be held on turning the Intendancy of Nouvelle Francie into a republic.

The vote, to take place on the 29th of february, will use the following question: "Do you agree to reform the Intendancy as per the direction outlined in the "cahier de doleances on poilitical reforms" ?".

As is the law in the Intendancy, groups wishing to be heard will have to join one of the "Umbrella Group" -- the "Yes" camp or the "No" camp. A proposal by some of the opponents of the referendum of having a "None of the above" camp was rejected out of hand by the Director of Elections.

While still maintaining that the referendum would have no force of law, both the Ducal Party and the Action Monarchist have announced they would join the "No" camp.[MP]


NEW AMSTERDAM POST -- 07.FEB.2008 -- Andre Vaschon Missing?

Manhattan -- The NAPD confirmed today that efforts to contact night club owner Andre Vaschon for further interviews regarding the death of Philadelphia "Philly" Gore have turned up empty. No one admits to having seen him since 30 January, when he left The Boa Room, a Breuckelen night club he owns near the major film studios, after midnight. Vaschon is the grandson of Pierre Daille (aka Peter Dale), reputed head of the Pegre Signoret Famille. According to sources, Vaschon is considered a suspect in several ongoing investigations into the sale of illegal drugs.

Philly Gore, only daughter of the current General Moderator, was found dead of an overdose in her Breuckelen apartment 8 January 2008. She and Vaschon were rumored to have dated, and were photographed together. Both denied a relationship. Vaschon had been questioned three times by the NAPD following Gore's death.

Officially, the NAPD refuses to publicly speculate as to Vaschon's disappearance. Commentators immediately raised the possibility of his having fled in advance of an arrest warrant, while others theorized he may have been silenced by one of his associates. Daille has no sons and his sons-in-law, widely viewed as his lieutenants, are bitter rivals. Other ideas mentioned include at attempt by some other Famille to destablise the Signorets, or Vaschon fleeing exactly that kind of threat. Worries about a possible gang war--or Famille civil war--were almost immediately raised by City Council Chair Christopher Quinn during his weekly press conference.

Questions believed to remain unanswered in the investigation of Gore's death include the source of the "fastball" (a blend of cocaine and morphine) which claimed her life.[DZ]


OMNIPRESSE -- 29.JAN.2008 -- Election Results in Nouvelle Francie: Radical Solidarity Coalition Declares Victory

QUEBEC -- Elections took place today in the Intendancy of Nouvelle Francie. The polls returned a record 93 seats for the Radical Solidarity Coalition out of a possible 125 in the Commoners Estate and 44 out of 75 seats in the Noblemens Estate.

A spokesman from the Coalition said this gave them "a clear mandate to hold a referendum on moving from an intendancy to a republic."[MP]


Australasian Press Association -- 16.JAN.2008 -- Tokelauans Agree on Compromise Following Fijian Warnings

FAKAOFO, TOKELAU -- After over a month without progress, delegates to Tokelau's constitutional Fono, or convention, have gathered again in a spirit of compromise. The tiny Pacific islands, currently a dependency of Fiji, had previously been unable to find common ground on the issue of loyalty to Fiji's King Thakombao V. Fiji loyalists, many of them members of the sizeable ethnic Chinese community on the atoll of Nukunonu, walked out of the convention in December, bringing the constitutional process to a halt.

Tokelauans received a strong motivation to reconvene Friday when a spokesman for Thakombao gave a statement strongly implying that if the islanders cannot create a plan for a viable government by the end of the wet season, then Fiji might go back on its promise to let Tokelau secede from Fijian Polynesia.

On the first day of the re-formed meeting, delegates seemed eager to find points that both sides could agree on, putting off dealing with the major controversies for now. Among other things, the convention has decided upon a new national motto: _Fakatahi o tagata_, "One people". Whether the delegates will be able to reach agreement on more crucial issues remains to be seen.[BK]


National News Corporation -- 14.JAN.2008 -- Philly Gore's Death Ruled Drug Overdose

New Amsterdam -- The Crown Coroner's Office in Breuckelen announced premliminary findings in the death of actress-model Philadelphia "Philly" Gore. According to Dr. Quincey Madison, Gore had ingested a fatal combination of morphine and cocaine, generically known as a "Fastball." This is a potentially lethal combination under the best of conditions, with the cocaine's stimulant wearing off sooner than the morphine which slows down the heart. "Severe respiratory depression" was the result, according to Madison.

Gore, the only daughter of General Moderator Al Gore, Jr., had been arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol in recent years and, upon questioning, the coroner admitted that alcohol was also present in her system. He also confirmed that convulsions almost certainly accompanied the overdose, which would appear to have been accidental. Madison emphasized this last, noting that the investigation was on-going.

The NAPD announced, in a parallel press release, that they are seeking several friends of Miss Gore as potential witnesses, including Andre Vaschon, grandson of reputed Pegre Duc Pierre Daille. Rumors that the two had dated have been reported in tabloids for over two years, reports both Gore and Vaschon denied (although admitting they moved in the same circles and had in fact met). Among other matters to be investigated, noted the NAPD release, is the source of the Fastball which killed Miss Gore. Cocaine is an illegal substance within Castreleon New as well as most of the NAL, while morphine generally requires a prescription.

Madison refused to answer questions about any sign of sexual activity, nor rumors that Miss Gore was pregnant at the time of her death. The NAPD press release likewise remained silent on these questions.

General Moderator Gore has reduced his appointments since the death of his daughter, with many activities instead being taken over by prominent members of the Cabinet including Foreign Secretary Ion Edwards and Minister of Justice Howard Provo.[DZ]


OMNIPRESSE -- 8.JAN.2008 -- Election to be called in Intendency

QUEBEC -- After months of ruling as a minority government, the Ducal Party of Nouvelle Francie has resolved to officialy request the Intendant to call for new elections.

The Ducal Party had had difficulties with the Chamber of Patricians which would receive contradictory "doleances" (bills) from the Estates- Generals sent by a combination of the Action Royaliste and the Laurentian Republican Party. The Ducal Party has blamed the lack of cooperation from these two parties for, "making it impossible to take care of the needs of the people".

The election is scheduled for the 29th of January 2008.[MP]


New Amsterdam Post -- 7.JAN.2008 -- Phillg Gore Found Dead

New Amsterdam -- NAPD officials confirmed that Philadelphia "Philly" Gore--model, sometimes actress, and daughter of General Moderator Al Gore--was discovered lifeless in her Breuckelen apartment early Monday morning. Her body was found by a maid.

Gore has been a feature in the tabloid press for years, moreso since her well-publicized arrests in 2007 for driving under the influence. Rumors of drug use and dating members of the notorious Pegre (believed to control most organized crime within the Big Orange) have followed her since 2004, when she was photographed leaving the fasionable night club airship "Cloud Nine and a Half" beside Andre Vaschon, grandson of reputed mobster Pierre Daille. Gore's publicist always insisted their proximity to one another at that time was a coincidence.

Asked if Gore's death was a homicide, the NAPD spokesman said it was being investigated to the fullest extent but that much depended upon the coroner's findings.

Octagon House Press Secretary Josh Siewart told reporters that the General Moderator and his family--including Philly's twin brother Nicholas--were being kept abreast of developments. All non-essential appointments have been cancelled.[DZ]


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