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Politicians debate over recent return of foreign aid

NEW HALSHAM, COURTMARSH - Politicians from across the country gathered in Parliament on Friday evening to debate the return of foreign aid. Recently, President Duval streamlined the policy's return to send troops to @The Hellenic Rus to assist the country in recovering from the collapse of their government. Despite the intentions of the move being positive and helpful, many politicians are criticising Duval in using his overruling presidential powers instead of running the controversial move through Parliament. While members of the National Party are being advised to stay loyal to Duval and his stance, many are opting to go against their leader, with some suggesting that a new leader be elected.

Foreign aid was abolished in 1996 to redirect funds back into Prymont, which was struggling to reduce the cost of living under the new formation of the United States. Ostport, a state which has historically always been against foreign aid, was influential in the decision to reduce foreign funding to 0%. As of January 10th, a total of five billion Prynds were set aside for the mission in The Hellenic Rus, with two billion of that being made immediately available. The mission sees several thousand Prymontian soldiers making footfall in the Canamo territory, which has fallen into corruption and anarchy since the rise of the Circle of Death terrorist group and the subsequent failure of the government. Prymontian forces currently aim to provide humanitarian aid to Hellenic Russian people and to implement a new, healthy, modern government.

In an unofficial poll on Friday night at the end of the debate, politicians reportedly voted 159-23 in favour of cancelling the foreign aid and returning the funds to Prymontian shores. A second unofficial vote was held to abandon President Duval, but the results have not been made public. Public and political opinion of President Duval continues to fall, after the recent news of the Common Fishermen Company begging for government intervention went ignored by the leader, who enabled strict fishing quotas at the start of his reign. The country waits with baited breath for the next move of Prymont's controversial president.

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Politicians debating the foreign aid funding on Friday night.

 

Northern seed bank ISTC project completed

AGRICOLA, WHITEVALE - A seed storage bank, hidden deep in the harsh, snowy mountains of Whitevale, has finally been completed. The project, which was started in August 2017, was funded primarily by the government of the USP, with contributions from the Prymont Environment Agency, and ISTC members @Sunset Sea Islands, @Magnaeus and @Fleur de Lys. The bank will be used to store up to 1 million seed samples, in an attempt to 'back-up' the crops of the world. 

The bank is part of Prymont's national and global environmental strategy, which aims to promote environmentalism, reduce the negative effects of global warming, and promote scientific research, development, and general interest. The vault will be accessible to ISTC members immediately, with non-associated countries being able to provide samples from 2020. Prymont will fund the day-to-day running of the vault itself.

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The Prymontian Global Seed Bank, the location of which is undisclosed.

 

Prymontian public targets @Variotan social media over whaling documentary

CANASTOTA, OSTPORT - Over the weekend, a wildlife documentary, funded by the PEA, aired on PTV2, focusing around Prymont's history with whaling, whale conservation, and other nations that currently participate in whaling, which has been made illegal in the United States since 1995. Narrated by wildlife legend David Botnen, the documentary largely covered the current status of whaling in Variota, with images captured in 2016 and 2017 being shown. Several vocal members of the public have since gone online to attack the Variotan government, criticising them for continuing and funding an outdated, illegal (in Prymont), and cruel practice. Below are a few examples of what social media users had to say:

"Absolutely disgusting! Variota should be ashamed of itself for hunting whales! What horrible human hunts those lovely creatures? I've never bought whale products, and now I'm boycotting Variotan products too!"
@Amanda772410

"wtf @DinaDiva ????????????? ffs, whaleing is really stupid and needs 2 stop NOW"
@felixlovesanimals3

"My sister lives in Variota, and every year I visit her. She goes to watch whales at the beach, and then goes home to enjoy grilled whale steak. The smell is vile. She even dresses up as a whale sometimes and goes and makes stupid noises to attract them, so the hunters catch more whales. What a dumb cow."
@PhilipOsberg1981

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A Variotan ship hauling up a newly caught whale.

 

KAG launches historic division for vintage cars

NEW HALSHAM, COURTMARSH - The Kaldestad Aamot Group has launched the Kaldestad Classic division, a company under the KAG umbrella that cares for vintage KAP, Visto, and Esé cars. Kaldestad Classic aims to provide classic car enthusiasts with specialist care, including restorations, assistance, repairs, and genuine parts. As of March 2018, owners of KAP, Visto and Esé vehicles made before 1994 can visit their local showroom to deal with all aspects relating to their classic car.

This will come as very good news for owners of older KAP and Visto models, both of which are known for their styling and performance rather than their reliability. The service includes dedicated specialists who have worked with older models for decades, the new manufacturing of older parts via TechMan, and global events for enthusiasts to show off their pride and joy. The service only requires that owners are already members of their respective official owners club, with a lifetime membership for Kaldestad Classic now included in the general package. A department for Altvarna Automotive is expected for 2019.

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The KAP Jonquil, a car available for the Kaldestad Classic service.

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Heavy blizzards cut off Linkeep, Fayford, and north Ostport

OAKFIELD, LINKEEP - The most severe blizzards in over thirty years have cut off access the majority of towns in Linkeep, Fayford, and northern areas of Ostport. Overnight, harsh northern Argic Ocean winds blew in from the icy Paranoff Mountain Range in Whitevale, bringing twenty feet of snow in the worst cases. The government has contacted state and capital authorities to establish a list of the worst hit towns, with contact in the far northern areas unavailable. The USP Ground Forces are currently working with search and rescue groups to save those who have been trapped in their own homes, provide relief, and clear motorways and railways for humanitarian access.

Gale force winds were able to knock out power across Fayford and Linkeep, forcing them to rely on power reserves from the south. Thousands of homes are still without power, and anybody that is reading is advised to stay inside, stay warm, and ration their food supplies sensibly until help arrives. Many northern homes were issued with wind-up radios in the early 2000s to enable them to receive updates and news in the case of entrapment, although it is unknown if these are still in use. 

This harsh weather is a result of global warming, of which the ISTC aims to combat in the coming years. The effects of this were particularly noticeable in 2012 and 2013, when there was minimal snowfall in historically at-risk areas. The rising temperature of the globe produces unpredictable weather changes, with atmospheric satellites only noticing this sudden change at the last moment. Researchers at the University of Canastota are currently investigating these changes, and will hope to be able to prepare citizens better in the future. 

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Volunteers in Fayford working to clear the snowfall from vital access roads.

 

USP Navy finally brings Canamo naval blockade to an end

HORIZON ISLAND - The naval blockade, enacted by the USP Navy at the mouth of the Canamo Sea, has finally been fully called off. The blockade was first enforced on November 20th, to prevent Circle of Death terrorist group members from entering the region and causing further chaos and disruption. Now, USP Ground Force specialists carrying out humanitarian aid missions within The Hellenic Rus have declared that the CoD fears are no longer substantial enough to continue enforcing the blockade.

The ships that have now returned to Prymontian shores will continue safeguarding Prymont's coastlines. @Ahranaian inbound ships will be allowed free passage once again into the Canamo Sea, bringing to an end almost three months of strict checks and patrols. Since the enforcement of the blockade, the Circle of Death has been neutered within The Hellenic Rus, reducing their incoming numbers significantly and blocking weaponry that they have illegally imported by sea. Defence Minister General Hunter S Grey has confirmed that, if fears arise once more of the Circle of Death or any other terrorist group, the USP Navy will not hesitate to react accordingly. 

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Prymontian officials displaying illegal weaponry seized from ships headed to The Hellenic Rus, likely to supply the Circle of Death.

 

A1 motorway improvement project completed

NEW HALSHAM, COURTMARSH - The β30bn upgrade project for the A1 motorway has been completed ahead of schedule. The scheme, which started mid-2017, focused on upgrading the majority of the motorway to six lanes either side, with a minimum of four throughout. Lengthy delays were expected, with road users taking advantage of a variety of diversions which worked to ease the excess traffic through different routes. Most of the work was carried out overnight, meaning that the reduced traffic weren't affected as severely and officials could work faster. President Duval has praised the work of the companies involved, calling the project "a great success and a large step in the right direction for Prymont's roads."

The system also implemented the @Sunset Sea Islands' Synapse system to create 'smart' motorways, which forewarn drivers about upcoming dangers such as incidents, roadworks and weather changes, alongside easing congestion and observing speeds. It is hoped that, if this method is successful, Synapse will be used across Prymont's motorways to replace speed cameras and hand out speeding tickets more efficiently. 

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'Smart' motorway overhead signage, informing drivers to slow down to prevent queues due to incidents ahead.

 

KAP to return to Argic Touring Car Championship with K2

CANASTOTA, OSTPORT - KAP Limited will make its return to the Argic Touring Car Championship with a modified K2. KAP last appeared on the ATCC grid in 2007 with a works team, which was deemed too unsuccessful to continue into 2008 and beyond. Before that, the team won titles in 1983, 1994 and 1995, with the latter two being in dominant fashion with the Coral. This year, the car will be run independently by Grateson Motorsport, but will have factory support.

Grateson Motorsport have only ordered one car, which will be driven by Harvey Grateson, son of team owner Harold Grateson. While KAP Limited won't officially sponsor the car, the Kaldestad Aamot Group are encouraging KAP dealerships across Prymont to get involved with the project. KAP and Grateson are setting their expectations low, with the hopes of making progress this year and next before evaluating whether or not to continue.

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Harvey Grateson testing the K2 before the start of the 2018 ATCC season.

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Heavy blizzards sweep nation

NEW HALSHAM, COURTMARSH - The harsh Argic winter continues, as blizzards and snowstorms hit the entirety of the nation. Linkeep, Fayford, and northern regions of Ostport and Aelmount have been completely cut off, with tourists within Whitevale being advised to stay indoors. The southern states of Summervale, Verandi, and Southfort, which usually see average temperatures of -2°C, have been hitting -12°C in recent days, with over six inches of snowfall. Rettenmyr airport, which typically operates 364 days of the year regardless of the weather, has had flights delayed and cancelled for the first time since the formation of the United States.

The United States of Prymont Ground Forces are working in cooperation with the emergency services to provide relief to those trapped by the snow, with the government pledging β5 million for care packages. Members of the public are being advised to check on elderly and disabled family members and neighbours, and the Prymont Road Network are advising against travelling unless absolutely necessary. Train services north of Courtmarsh are either heavily delayed or cancelled, with those in the south also facing delays. Weather forecasts for March are looking to be improving, but meteorologists at the University of Canastota predict that more is on the way.

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Heavy snowfall in New Halsham.

 

Two dead in Ostportese polar bear incident

CANASTOTA, OSTPORT - Two Prymontians have been found dead after a polar bear attack in Karlebotn National Park. Yesterday, the police were alerted by dog walkers of the remains of two people on the edge of Karlebotn. Forensic scientists investigated the scene, and quickly concluded that a wild polar bear had attacked the unknowing members of the public. Their bodies are yet to be identified, and records provided by the park have not raised concerns for missing visitors.

While very rare, polar bear attacks are a real threat within Prymont, especially on the west coast where they can be found hunting for seals. In 2017, three separate incidents of polar bear encounters were reported, although none were harmful. Karlebotn National Park rangers are aware of the polar bear presence, but are prohibited from safeguarding measures due to strict environmental laws preventing the tampering of nature in national parks. The police remind the public to stay vigilant while in the countryside, and to prepare themselves for a potential encounter.

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A polar bear photographed in Karlebotn National Park.

 

Increase in winter sports tourism announced by travel agencies

AGRICOLA, WHITEVALE - Travel and resort companies have revealed figures for the winter period (December - February) for winter sports tourism within Whitevale, indicating a significant increase in tourists participating in winter sports. Since the start of the winter season, over two million individual tourists visited various holiday destinations around Whitevale, marking a record season for the United States. Figures since September also show record highs, with a further two million visitors. 

Experts are placing the reason for this increase on the colder winter weather, which is providing better snow for the slopes which ultimately offers a greater experience. The popularity of the Prymontian Skiing Championship and its continental counterpart has also boosted tourism, with younger tourists wishing to experience skiing for the first time to imitate their favourite sportspeople. This has led to more jobs for local Prymontians, as hotels, bars, alpine wear manufacturers and consumable companies are requiring more staff to cope with the demand. Since the 2011 elections, the winter skiing season has contributed to 40% of Prymont's economy, and is an invaluable part of northern Argic culture.

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A state of the art ski lift, installed with the revenue generated from the booming tourism industry.

 

Politicians to debate potential combination of Linkeep and Fayford next week

OAKFIELD, LINKEEP - Politicians in New Halsham are set to debate the controversial topic of combining two of Prymont's smallest states, Linkeep and Fayford. Linkeep, which is historically known for its lumber industry, is now paving the way for green energy in Prymont, with wind turbine installations producing masses of cheap, renewable electricity for the public. Fayford is renowned for its natural beauty, of which it shares with the bordering Wildenesse, a national reserve state. Talks of turning Fayford in a natural reserve state were shot down by politicians last year, but the tiny territory is making headlines once again.

The move is being spearheaded by President Duval, who wishes to create the first populated nature reserve hybrid state in Prymont to please the environmentalists within his party. It is believed that a combination of the two states would see advances in environmentalism, promoting the ideology throughout the northern regions by utilising Fayford's natural beauty. Local opinion is generally positive, with the public believing it'd be a good political and environmental move for the country. 

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One of many large wind farms in Linkeep, providing the country with more renewable energy every day.

 

KAP to launch K6 in March; officially retires K5 and R3 models

NEW HALSHAM, COURTMARSH - KAP Limited, the largest automotive company in Prymont, will be launching their new SUV model, the K6, tomorrow. Coinciding with the first section of registration for new cars in 2018, the K6 will appeal to drivers and KAP enthusiasts alike, with its spacious interior, powerful engine, and beautiful design. It marks KAP's entry into the SUV market, broadening their reach within the automotive world and appealing to a whole new market of buyers. 

Meanwhile, the company are retiring their K5 and R3 models, with production having ended in August 2017. KAP will continue to sell backlogged models, but will no longer produce them. The R3 is being replaced by the exclusive R4 supercar, while there are rumours of a new K5 successor surfacing later in the year. KAP have also announced the EK, their first all-electric car, which will be released shortly, alongside a K4 executive saloon and K7 large SUV. Several models, including the K3 flagship model, will be receiving full electric options later in the year too. 

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The new KAP K6, being driven in the Aelmount mountains.

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Linkeep and Fayford merged by Parliament to form Vannskog

FOSSBAKKEN, VANNSKOG - On Friday 9th March, it was decided by the Parliament of the United States of Prymont to merge the northern states of Linkeep and Fayford, forming Vannskog in the process. The move, spearheaded by George Duval, was passed with a result of 128-54. Duval's National Party was whipped to vote in favour of the controversial move, which saw The People's Party and the Prymont Future Party collaborate in a rare occurrence to oppose the majority. 

The land that was formerly Fayford will mostly be declared as a nature reserve, with proposed housing plans rehousing citizens towards the southern area of the state. Oakfield, Linkeep's capital, has been renamed Fossbakken, and will assume the role of capital of Vannskog. Several smaller towns of influence have also been renamed to mark a new chapter in northwest Prymontian history. The entire process, including administrative fees, sign remaking, geographical surveying and housing developments, will cost the government an estimated β300 million. Local opinion is mostly divided - older generations are opposing the move in the name of honouring history, while younger voices favour the decision for unification and environmentalism.

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The skyline of Vannskog, formerly Oakfield.

 

South Prymont recovers from prior snowstorms, while northern states remain badly affected

NEW HALSHAM, COURTMARSH - The terrifying weather system of the last week has finally moved on, allowing life in the south to continue as normal. Those in the north are still struggling however, with many towns and villages still relying on air-dropped supply packages provided by the Air Force. Most of the heavy snow has been cleared in Summervale, Southfort, Verandi, Courtmarsh, and southern districts of Ostport and Aelmount, while the remaining northern areas remain in limbo. Businesses are beginning to feel the strain, with revenue being slashed as people are unable to leave their homes. Six hundred soldiers of the USP Ground Forces have been deployed within the north, helping to clear roads, railways and runways, rescue stranded civilians, and deliver necessities to those that continue to be snowed in.

The council of Vannskog have called upon the government to intervene and assist local ailing businesses, who are at risk of unemploying staff and severely reducing opening hours. The Prymontian economy has also taken a hit, forcing the government to review their blizzard plans. President Duval has confirmed that several hundred gritters will be delivered before the end of the year, and has promised that state councils will receive subsidised salt for the roads. Meanwhile, members of the public in the hardest hit regions will receive snow survival packages every winter, containing a snow shovel, tyre chains for their cars, blankets, warm clothing, tea and coffee, and canned foods, alongside minor tax cuts to help with paying higher electricity bills.

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A major road in northern Vannskog that was only recently cleared.

 

Aamotech's Nålestråle delayed indefinitely; Montair threaten to cancel order

NEW HALSHAM, COURTMARSH - Aamotech Technologies' latest commercial airliner, the supersonic Nålestråle, has been delayed indefinitely by Kaldestad Aamot Group CEO Erik Bruun. The Mach 1.9+ jet, which will rival @Fleur de Lys' Concorde, was due to be released in December 2017 after having been officially in development for four years. Aamotech executive Lucy Aamot announced a three month delay in December, which has now been extended with an unknown release date. Critics are blaming job cuts in October which saw the company reduced by 1500 employees, which was brought on by the government cutting their funding of the company down to β500 million. Many expected the formation of the KAG to remedy Aamotech's financial issues, but that has not been the case.

Montair, Prymont's flag carrier and the only publicly known airline to have ordered units of the Nålestråle, are now threatening to cancel their purchase. Five units at β40 million each were pre-ordered in August upon the revelation of the project, and tickets for the first flight on December 28th were sold out at a staggering cost of β6,000 each. Montair have since had to refund these customers while reserving their tickets, and have threatened to approach Aamotech's rival Aerospatiale to order Concorde units instead. Aamot and Montair CEO Ruben Maguire are currently in talks to resolve the matter, with Montair rumoured to demand a guaranteed release by the summer.

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The Nålestråle taking off for it's last to-date test flight in November 2017. The plane hasn't flown since.

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Naval blockade at Verde Sea called off by President

PORTO ALTARIA, IVERICA - The controversial naval blockade at the mouth of the Verde Sea has come to an end after orders from President Duval, according to the USP Navy. Called the 'Verde Blockade' by naval and political analysts, the defensive manoeuvre rallied TRIDENT members together with the aim of preventing @Ahranaian ships from moving through the Verde Sea to Xara, where the Socialist Federation holds an internationally unrecognised claim.

Initiated only two weeks ago, the move saw heavy criticism and support both in and around the United States. Many found fault in how aggressive the United States were being, alongside disapproving of the immense cost of the operation, whereas others applauded Prymont for taking decisive action and preventing Ahrana from carrying out further war crimes in Xara, which are legal under Ahranaian law. The blockade came to a close as Ahrana sent its Xara-bound fleet to @Asgeirria as a military gift to strengthen relations. While considerable aerial units were sent, vessels of the United States never actively participated in the blockade, but did reach the @Iverican coast this evening and will be stationed there on standby until the threat of militarised ships heading towards the Mediargic Sea has passed.

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USPAF Sparrow F-Ds heading towards Iverican shores.

 

Fishing industry strikes to pressure government into decision after months of uncertainty

CANASTOTA, OSTPORT - President George Duval and his National Party cabinet will be feeling the pressure more than ever to relax fishing quotas and revive a dying industry, after tens of thousands of fishermen went on strike throughout the week. A primary objective of the National Party promised during the 2017 elections was to pave the way in global environmentalism and promote a strong sense of national pride. In doing so, President Duval made the risky decision to introduce strict fishing quotas that hope to eliminate the effects of overfishing and allow the at-risk fish populations to reproduce and continue to provide a living for thousands of Prymontians.

The effects of the quotas were immediately apparent, with usually bustling fish markets empty before midday and employers cutting hundreds of jobs due to dwindling profits. The fall of the fishing industry also risks the fall of one of the government's biggest companies, the nationalised Ostport Shipbuilding Co, who maintain extensive fleets for various trawl companies alongside constructing state-of-the-art ships for new customers. This provides an incentive for the government to step in with decisive action, as one of their largest income generators will be at risk. The President is expected to make a speech regarding the matter upon the opening of next week's parliament on Monday.

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A fish market at Canastota Docks which had been emptied by 11am - usually, the markets are full throughout the day.

 

New Halsham stock exchange officially opens; Circle of Death terrorist group blamed for 2017 Courtmarsh bombing

NEW HALSHAM, COURTMARSH - The New Halsham Stock Exchange has officially opened in the heart of the capital, replacing the site that was once home to the Courtmarsh Stock Exchange. This comes after nine months of uncertainty and silence amongst the suspects of the 2017 CSE terror attack, which saw suicide bombers drive a bomb-laden bus into the historic building. The final death toll numbered 237, with over 300 people hospitalised with severe injuries. The stock exchange will reopen on Monday, providing a new permanent home for Prymont's capitalist interests.

The New Halsham Police Department has also announced that the Hellenic Russian terror group, the Circle of Death, are to blame for the July attack. It is unknown whether the group are responsible for near identical incidents in @Great Burlington and the @Sunset Sea Islands. Since July, the United States have created a naval blockade to prevent the Circle of Death from receiving new members and equipment by sea, and have sent peacekeeping groups to the Hellenic Rus to quell the group from within. Defence Minister Hunter S Grey has stated that "the United States will stop at nothing to protect her people from the evil of the world, and will continue to pursue the long-awaited end of the Circle of Death terrorist scum."

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The New Halsham Stock Exchange, with a memorial to those innocently killed in the 2017 CSE bombing in the middle.

 

The United States lays claim to northern Hellenic Russian islands

STJØRDALSSTAD - After probings by the Extreme Climate Division, the United States of Prymont have laid official claims to the former Hellenic Russian frozen islands of Stjørdalsstad and Sønderkilde. Since the collapse of the Hellenic Russian government in late 2017 due to rising violence from the Circle of Death, the United States' peacekeeping and humanitarian groups have been investigating the stability of Hellenic Rus' political situation, and evaluating whether or not it is feasible to hold democratic elections by the end of the year.

Upon further investigation in classified government storage banks, it was discovered that the Hellenic Rus laid claim to two frozen islands in the Argic Ocean. It has since been confirmed that Hellenic Russian scientists were researching and developing nuclear weapons on these islands, an act that was forbidden in the Salonica Treaty after the Argic Missile Crisis of 1997. While these weapons were never used by their owners, the precedent was set that the Hellenic Rus held no respect for the United States. 

The United States have promised to legally, safely, and ethically dispose of these weapons, and will use the islands for future training purposes for the Extreme Climate Division. 

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The Stjørdalsstad Research Village, now on United States territory.

 

@Variotan Arktise Legioen to undergo harsh training regime on Horizon Island

HORIZON ISLAND - The newly formed Arktise Legioen, or Arctic Legion, a branch of the @Variotan armed forces, will undergo a strict training program in the harsh winter climate of Horizon Island. The northern island at the mouth of the Canamo Sea, which was reactivated as a military base last year, sees much colder weather than the majority of the inhabited mainland. Primarily, the island serves as a naval and air force base for the USP armed forces, but northern sectors have seen the Extreme Climate Division training to enhance their abilities in the unforgiving Argic tundra.

Variota's Arktise Legioen aims to equip the Variotan armed forces with suitable combat skills in such conditions. Already, one hundred men and women have signed up to the division, which relies on a voluntary application process. Over the coming weeks, these soldiers will be flown in to Horizon Island to train with the ECD, Prymont's hardest and toughest cold climate experts. Military critics believe that this is a clever strategic move by the Alharun nation to form a closer bond with the United States, who historically have a high success rate in northern Argic weathers.

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Soldiers of the ECD training on Horizon Island

 

 

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United States ranked third in Mauridivian freedom index

NEW HALSHAM, COURTMARSH - A recent investigation into the freedoms offered by countries across the globe has led to Prymont being ranked the third freest nation in the world. The Mundus Liber Index, backed by think tank Mundus Liber Institute in @Mauridiviah, has issued the United States with a Freedom Index of 93.25, placing it only behind global leaders Variota and runners up Iverica. The index gathers and rates political, personal/social, economic, and press freedoms. and averages these results out for the final Freedom Index score. The United States, having scored 93.25, is thereby ranked 'Highly Free'.

President George Duval has congratulated the nation and it's governmental policies on allowing such a high, liberal score, stating that "the end of our troublesome socialist years paved the way for a freer, safer future for all Prymontians". From 1995 to 2017, the United States was ruled by the ironically named socialist Freedom Party, who restricted freedoms of all kinds and were known to regularly censor news reports to hide negative information. The introduction of the National Party to power has since seen Prymont liberated from socialist corruption, and the country now leads the way in central Argis, setting the perfect example of freedom and equality.

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The Mundus Liber Index provided the United States with a Press Freedom score of 98 out of 100.

 

Government approves housing plans to home thousands

CANASTOTA, OSTPORT - The government has voted 160-22 in favour of spending β50 million to provide thousands of new, affordable homes in Ostport. The scheme comes after a recent housing crisis in the state, which has seen a steady population increase over the past five decades. Throughout 2016 and 2017, an initiative was launched to allow Ostportians to house share, providing people with homes while new houses were built. Heavy backlash fought against house sharing, which invaded people's privacy and forced people to live with strangers. Now, the government are following in Aelmount's steps, who have built houses for thousands on limited space.

The project will see the creation of state-wide multi-storey apartment complexes, creating welcoming communities with new shops alongside providing new homes. Several clusters have already been planned for the largest cities and towns in Ostport, who will receive six fifteen-storey buildings in one group. Each group will also feature three rows of four-storey maisonettes, and in total, will provide one and two-bedroom apartments for up to 2,500 people. Coupled with the construction of more conventional two, three and four-bedroom semi-detached and detached houses, the initiative is expected to remedy Ostport's housing crisis by 2020.

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An example of one of the housing groups, with the maisonettes to the left corner.

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Prymontian Yetis draw with @Limonaia's Falcons in pre-season friendly

LIMONE, LIMONAIA - In Prymont's first football match since their exit at the Orioni World Cup in July, the Yetis have drawn 1-1 against Limonaia's Falcons. Left back Benjamin Hamre, making his international debut for the squad, scored the first and only goal for the Prymontian team, after a free kick from Alex Bakken gave him the opportunity to head the ball in. The Limonaians then equalised in the second half, with their own defender Mario Lunati scoring in what critics have deemed an "uneventful, insight-lacking game".

Head coach Nojus Fauskanger has received criticism from supporters, after starting several young, inexperienced players. Fauskanger fought back, claiming that these changes to the lineup were made to preserve the main squad's fitness while providing the more youthful footballers a chance to prove themselves and gain vital match experience against a highly rated team. Even the veteran players of the squad were targeted, with world cup hero Ollie Sæther not managing one successful on target attempt on goal, and captain Vincent Borge missing several crucial passes on his 100th cap. Hamre's 35th minute goal was deemed "too easy", and the team came under attack in the latter stages of the game from Limonaia as their defence seemingly broke down. Two unsuccessful shots at the climax of the game didn't eventuate in a goal, leaving many fans dissatisfied at their team's performance.

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The team, wearing their pink away kit, celebrates Hamre's goal on his first appearance.

"I think we're still getting back into the swing of things," was Sæther's excuse in the post-match press conference. "We haven't played an official game since July and we're using some new players. We've been training hard, but we're still working on being a dynamic team and we're not there just yet." Fauskanger was more optimistic: "our mix-and-match squad drew with a very experienced, powerful side. There's lots of promise in many of our youngsters, they're still learning, and the older guys are there to teach them and show them how it's done." The Argic and Northern Alharu league, of which Prymont and Limonaia are both part of, commences tomorrow, and the United States are expected to use their main squad more in search of better results. 

Result: 1-1
Attendance: 53615
Added Time: 1 minutes
Venue: Malcheca Stadium

1: Limonaia takes a shot. That's off target.
7: Limonaia takes a shot. It's on target, but saved.
8: Limonaia takes a shot. That's off target.
10: Limonaia takes a shot. That's off target.
19: Prymont takes a shot. That's off target.
29: Prymont takes a shot. That's off target.
30: Prymont takes a shot. That's off target.
31: Prymont takes a shot. It's on target, but saved.
33: Limonaia is shown a Yellow Card.
34: Prymont uses a substitute. Roth (9) off, Husum (21) on
35: Prymont scores! The scorer was Benjamin Hamre, (33)
36: Prymont takes a shot. It's on target, but saved.
37: Prymont takes a shot. That's off target.
40: Limonaia takes a shot. It's on target, but saved.
45: Prymont uses a substitute. Sæther (11) off, Herheim (30) on.
46: Limonaia takes a shot. That's off target.
54: Prymont takes a shot. That's off target.
56: Limonaia scores! The scorer was Mario Lunati, (23) 
59: Limonaia takes a shot. It's on target, but saved.
63: Prymont takes a shot. It's on target, but saved.
71: Limonaia uses two substitutes. van Zijl (7) off, Milani (20) on & Ferri (18) off, van Diek (5) on.
73: Limonaia takes a shot. That's off target.
75: Limonaia takes a shot. That's off target.
76: Limonaia takes a shot. That's off target.
79: Prymont takes a shot. That's off target.
91: Prymont takes a shot. That's off target.

Edited by Prymont
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Government enquiry launched to investigate the integration of Prymontian Rus

SALONICA, THE PRYMONTIAN RUS - The Prymontian government have announced the creation of a national enquiry board that will investigate the potential integration of the Prymontian Rus. The Rus Integration Committee is composed of politicians from a variety of political parties, as well as state government leaders, business executives, and economic analysts, and will determine if the integration is feasible and beneficial. Currently the Prymontian Rus is a protectorate of the United States, a title it has held since 2018, granting it full autonomy with its own government, charter, and laws. 

The Committee will spend eight months analysing the redevelopment of the Prymontian Rus and creating financial and economic forecasts comparing independence against integration. The Canamo Canal, which is funded primarily by the Prymontian government, will be a decisive key factor. Currently the canal falls within Prymontian Rus borders, and it's understood that Prime Minister Felix Frey is eager to place the project within the boundaries of his own country. An independence referendum is also tentatively set for early 2021 and will be crucial in determining whether the territory becomes one with the United States or not.

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Salonica's Capitol Avenue, the capital of the Prymontian Rus and a vital area for analysis under the Rus Integration Committee.

 

Antargic Treaty council meeting held in Canastota

CANASTOTA, OSTPORT - One of the most significant global scientific collaborative projects of modern history, the Antargic Treaty, has arrived in Canastota. The third summit of the treaty is being held in the prestigious Røvik Hotel in Canastota's city centre. The meeting has attracted attendees from all four corners of the world as they move to become a signatory and take a slice of the Antargis pie.

The meeting is being headed by Minister for Energy & the Environment Oliver Remmen, with several important topics of discussion on the table. Remmen is keen to revise the zone management within Antargis, which is currently dominated by the Trans-Continental Science Initiative and the Entente of Oriental States. It's also understood that Remmen will push to declare Prymont as the home of the treaty, since the organisation is yet to establish a permanent headquarters. 

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TCSI's Simon Station, the only permanent structure currently on Antargis.

 

Dash cams made mandatory for all new vehicles

NEW HALSHAM - In what is a landmark decision for road safety, the United States government has mandated that all new cars sold in Prymont must come with front and rear dash cams. The news comes after speed limits on motorways were abolished just last month, and as the coalition government seeks to reduce road traffic collisions and insurance fraud. Government and private studies have proven that dash cams reduce the chances of risky driving by up to 75%, and have also found that insurance claims that include dash cam footage are 90% more likely to be determined in favour of the victim. All existing cars on Prymontian roads must have a front-facing dash cam fitted at their next annual road worthiness test, and rear-facing dash cams will be required by 2023.

Critics are wary of the motives behind the new legislation after the Kaldestad Aamot Group, the United States' largest employer recently purchased RoadSight, one of the world's leading dash cam manufacturers. It was revealed that KAG's CEO Erik Bruun made a "significant but undisclosed" donation to the People's Party after an email leak in March, leading many to believe that the government are working on the behalf of big businesses rather than road safety. In an official statement, Minister of Transport Jakob Bakketun said "this is a monumental day for the safety of the Prymontian road network", and promised that "thousands of lives will be saved by this initiative every year." The statement was void of any comment regarding Bruun's potential involvement in the making of the law.

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Dash cams on older cars will have to be retrofitted, as this RoadSight model shows.

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Coalition task force formed between United States & Prymontian Rus to deliver aid to Estaria

RETTENMYR - In a press conference in Vanndal House this morning, Foreign Minister Julian Nordeng sat with Prymontian Rus' Commissariat of Foreign Affairs Leonti Degtyarev to announce the formation of a coalition aid organisation that will provide humanitarian support and political stability to the Ceris state of Estaria. The Prymontian Rus - United States of Prymont Estaria Taskforce (PRUSPET) will also include assistance from the Prymontian Defence Office and the Prymontian Rus Commissariat of Defense, who will be providing military protection against the Sentist terrorist group that is currently overwhelming Ceris.

PRUSPET will promise food, clothing, and construction materials for shelter, as well as political and economic stability to the 17 million inhabitants of Estaria, who are currently undergoing overpopulation and famine crises. With the looming threat of Sentist disruption, PRUSPET has been formed to step in and bring a sense of reassurance and calm to the area. PRUSPET will soon depart for the Prymontian military base in Subic, @Iverica, before making footfall in Estaria. Foreign Affairs Minister Julian Nordeng had the following to say regarding the operation:

"These are tough times for the people of Ceris, who have been struggling against the ever-growing Sentist threat. With the recent detonation of a bomb in Liechnenfax, it was my moral responsibility to make a move and promise help to Ceris. The state of Estaria is particularly vulnerable, and as the Sentists move westwards, we need to act fast to protect the island from succumbing to these despicable terrorists. With our friends in the Prymontian Rus, PRUSPET will ease the problems of overpopulation and famine in Estaria while providing some much needed protection against the Sentists."

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A super high density tower block in Estaria, built to shoddy safety standards to accommodate the ever-worsening overpopulation crisis.

 

Aamotech's Nålestråle grounded indefinitely as safety investigations continue

RETTENMYR INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT - Aamotech Aerospace CEO Lucy Aamot has confirmed that Montair's six grounded Nålestråle supersonic jets will remain on the tarmac for the foreseeable future as her company works to investigate and fix the plane's flaws. An April flight from Intreimor to Rettenmyr saw an electronic failure which prevented use of the canards, causing an unstable and precarious landing. The Nålestråle project has been hit with setbacks from the very beginning, and this could be the final nail in the coffin for what has ultimately been an unsuccessful attempt at rivalling Aerospatiale's Concorde.

Aamotech engineers are reportedly bewildered and have had to call in help from @Gallambria's GAe Systems, which provided engineering and financial support in the final phase of development. Aamot was unable to provide a timeline of when the problem could be fixed and the plane's returned to airworthiness. Prymontian flag carrier Montair is now said to be moving towards legal action to recover lost costs surrounding the grounding of the plane, including ticket refunds and drafting in substitute planes. 

Prymont's last remaining aircraft manufacturer was on the brink of bankruptcy in 2018 before being saved by a merger with Erik Bruun's KAP Group, forming the formidable Kaldestad Aamot Group which has gone from strength to strength. Bruun has noticed that Aamotech is failing to meet business targets and is threatening to pull the plug on the company altogether if changes are not made. Recent setbacks with the Nålestråle could mean the end for Aamotech, making it essential that a solution to this problem is found sooner rather than later.

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One of the six grounded Nålestråle jets at Rettenmyr International, which may not return to the skies again.

 

Review of Prymontian armed forces commissioned to Iverica

INTREIMOR, IVERICA - PNN has learned that Defence Minister Fabian Thorvaldsen has commissioned the Iverican Ministry of Defence's Office of Strategic Study to carry out an external review of the United States' armed forces. The Office of Strategic Study will be given free reign to poke around the Army, Air Force and Navy to suggest cost-cutting measures in time for the highly anticipated budget review in October. Despite the announcement of PRUSPET which will unexpectedly be a costly manoeuvre, the Defence Ministry is looking at reducing funding for the next budget to streamline the armed forces for efficiency.

Prymont shares a rich, close military relationship with Iverica. The countries came together in the Argic Wars and the Mediargic Missile Crisis. The Canastota-Intreimor Missile Countermeasure Initiative went on to become WARD, a staple of Western Argic aerospace defence, and have continued their relationship through TRIDENT and most recently the Verde Blockade and the founding of the joint military base in Subic. Defence Minister Thorvaldsen said "when it was decided that we'd be extensively reviewing the military, it made complete sense to me to commission the Ivericans. They've one of the best armed forces of the New Wurld and there's plenty we can learn from them."

The Office will be closely following the progress of the Prymontian forces in Estaria as they seek to restore order and fight off the Sentists. Notes will also be taken from the Hellenic Rus intervention which saw Iverican forces working closely with the USP Ground Force and the now-disbanded Elite Prymontian Defence Force. It's rumoured that the Prime Minister is seeking to free at least β10bn from the military budget while keeping the United States adequately armed - certainly a formidable task for the Ivericans.

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The Battle of Salonica, 2018, which flared relations between Prymontian and Iverican armed forces.

 

"We'd like to hit our targets early", says Transport Minister Jakob Bakketun when questioned about fossil-fueled transport

VANNDAL HOUSE, RETTENMYR - Transport Minister Jakob Bakketun has told his peers that he'd like to hit Prymont's green transport targets early. The minister was questioned about the progress of Prymont substituting its diesel-powered trains for electric replacements and went on to discuss other modes of transport too. 60% of trains running in Prymont are powered by renewable means, according to the United States Rail Company which manages the country's railroad network, with the remaining 40% being diesel-fuelled internal combustion engines. Bakketun informed his fellow ministers that the USRC were reviewing the benefits of the electric trains and discussing budgeting and replacement plans for the remaining diesel locomotives, but was unable to provide further insight.

Bakketun then went on to discuss cars, of which 22% are now powered by green means. The Ministry of Transport has been pouring money into widening its electric recharging network across the country, and has been issuing grants to KAP to develop batteries with longer ranges to rival distances capable by traditional means. The previous government promised that the United States would have an entirely green road network by 2035 and Bakketun has informed ministers that this government will keep that promise, and ideally beat it. Currently there are several incentives for purchasing new electric cars, such as zero VAT, zero road tax, and free home charging point installation. However, the Transport Minister acknowledges that more can be done, and has promised that further changes will be made for the 2021-2022 budget which is currently being discussed by the review council.

The minister said "it's important for us to ensure that Prymont remains at the forefront of environmentalism, renewable energy, and low pollution levels, and that means reducing our carbon footprint wherever possible and ensuring that as many vehicles in the country as possible are powered by pollutant-free means. We're promoting the research and development of not only electric batteries, but hydrogen fuel cells too, and we hope to bring you further developments and good news very shortly. Prymont is already a healthy place to live by air pollution levels and we're dedicated to improving that even further."

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The Transport Minister hopes that such scenes of pollution and smog will be a sign of the past sooner rather than later.

Edited by Prymont
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