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This is the official state channel of the Grand Duchy of Karillia: all other news you may hear about our great nation on any other outlet is to be considered false until reported to be true here.

Every news story has the seal of integrity from the Grand Duke himself, so you can rely on everything you read here!

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Fatal bridge collapse in Erzium

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In the early hours of the 16th August, a bridge spanning across the Erzium river has collapsed, leading to the death of at least three people and heavily injuring a dozen more. 

During the usual rush-hour in the eponymous city of Erzium, one of the steel supports suddenly gave way to the weight of the cars, resulting in a chain reaction that made the whole bridge come down into the river. 38 cars were involved in the incident, and all of the drivers were transported to the nearest hospital within half an hour, thanks to our ever-vigilant police force which helped out the ambulance. Three people died on the way to the hospital, and the Grand Duke has already ordered a day of mourning and promised monitary compensation for the affected families. Of the 52 people submitted to the hospital, 39 were already released with minor or no injuries. 13 are still being treated for heavy injuries, with four of them being in critical condition. The doctors assuaged fears by saying they are 'confident in being able to be able to release the rest of the victims withing the coming months.

Why did the bridge collapse?

Authorities aren't certain what resulted in the bridge's collapse which passed the mandatory safety tests last month, yet the minister of infrastructure pointed out that it was built during the prior legislation by a private company. "This only goes to show how badly we need to replace the infrastructure put in place by the corrupt former government: Only 80% of its infrastructure budget is accounted for, suggesting that the rest were pocketed by politicians. And this project cost twice as much as was projected, suggesting that other authorities were paid off to permit the company to cut expanses and pocket the surplus money. In my mind this proofs once and for all: lock the private industry out of the Karillian infrastructure."

While the company in question, Serus Motorways, hasn't given an official statement yet, the Grand Duke announced heavy fines against them as well as its immediate dissolution if it fails to fulfill requirements set forth by the ministry of infrastructure. Their shares already fell by 30%.

How did the Grand Duke respond?

Just hours after the disaster, Grand Duke Aleksandar I arrived at the collapsed bridge and held an inspirational speech in front of his loyal followers and assured the victim's relatives that justice will be served and that something like this will never happen again. In the speech, he has openly denounced nepotism and corruption and has called for the whole nation to help him in achieving the goal of a renewed infrastructure - suggesting possible tax raises to pay for it.

 

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The Grand Duke visits the Trebzon military base

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All drills were cancelled when the Grand Duke makes a surprise visit to the Trebzon main military base after a meeting with international envoys. He was wearing his old general uniform and delivered a passionate and inspiring speech in front of the whole military personnel.

What was said?

Amidst recent fears that budget for the defense force will be cut, which might result in hundreds of dischargements, Aleksandar I ensured that no such topic was being discussed by the parliament or the ministers and that any such rumor were pure fabrications of anti-government terrorists. "When we think about terrorists, we think about bombings and assassinations. But we must not forget that there are other, more subtle ways to undermine a great nation: for example by spreading false news and lowering the trust in the government."

After this short political bit, he moved on to address the soldiers as well as civilians for the times ahead - however turbolent they may be. Here is a short excerpt:

The path we have chosen for the present is full of hazards, as all paths are; but it is the one most consistent with our character and courage as a nation and our national as well as international commitments. The cost of achieving what you deserve is always high, but we have always paid it. And one path we shall never choose, and that is the path of surrender or submission. Our goal is not the victory of might, but the vindication of right; not peace at the expense of our pride, but both peace and pride, even if latter requires us to take drastic measure agains those that would reject our rightful claims. God willing, that goal will be achieved.

Our political correspondent pointed out "how interesting it is that the Grand Duke has mentioned God - a topic he usually completely avoids. Yet considering that big parts of the military are still devout believers, this small mention should instill them with even greater loyalty. It would be foolish to assume he made that mention arbitrarily - a man like him has a reason and motive behind every action."

Does this mean war?

Possibly. It is already a well established part of his rethoric that we might have to fight our neighbouring countries to reclaim our legacy, yet both his rethoric and the demands from war hawks have grown a lot louder in recent months. While a straight out war of aggression is unlikely, the possibility that the Grand Duke uses military actions as retaliatory measures become increasingly likely - heightening the international tensions.

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State owned industry recedes

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The number of state owned industry is rapidly decreasing since the change of government in 2007 - the old government owned about 30% of the financial output, compared to only around 3% now.

Why was such a large percentage state-owned to begin with?

This was due to a trend emerging around 50 years ago, when a lot of uneconomical companies got nationalized. A second large surge occured around 1998, when a lot of big investors became sceptical of the government and most of the banks were nationalized so they had control of their political enemies' resources. They also justified these moves by claiming that any profit made through these state-owned companies would go into the government budget and therefore lessen the considerable tax burden, yet the promised tax cut never came and it is estimated that up to 50% of the profits were embezzled, yet the dark figure might be way higher.

Why does the state sell these companies now?

the much-beloved reforms implemented by the government cost quite a lot of money, most of it was financed by these sales of the heavy industry as well as banks. Another important aspect is that this drew many foreign investors to our stock market, greatly boosting the Karillian economy in a time of a recession. The effects can still be felt today: the tide of foreign investors is still coming in.

What companies remain state-owned?

The only sector that the Grand Duke is reluctant to let go of is the arms industry, and for a good reason: Due to the high demand of arms both by civilians and by the military their output remains consistently high, providing a bolster for the government funding. Another aspect is that should it come to war, the industry can immediately be adjusted to the new requirements and any shipments to possible opposition can be terminated.

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"Pure Madness": Territorial Council Minister cautions Democratic Party against social democratic politics

Is there an impending return to social democratic values in the Democratic Party Karillia (DPK)? Territorial Council Minister and political visionary Doskoz (DPK) fears so. He calls for the party leadership to be reasonable and to refrain from left politics in the future.

Since the newly released party manifesto of the DPK still claims that undesirables shouldn't be dumped into the sea, the party is inevitably heading for its own downfall according to Doskoz. "We don't need a leftist-infested do-gooder-policy!" the enraged Erzium minister explains and thereby starts off the chariman-debate of the DPK. "Treating government-hating terrorists and people who don't like the Grand Duke's Facebook posts the same as normal citizens is pure madness!"

Campaign-mode

Doskoz is already planning an internal takeover during the upcoming parliamentary election according to insiders. Whether they will manage to get a second seat remains to be seen. Politial observers already praise the forward-thinking move of the liberal politician. "Doskoz noticed the signs of the times. Because the most important thing besides the National Party Karillia (NPK) and the Monarchal Party Karillia (MPK) right now is another pro-government party!"
However, he also warns that this might mean the loss of the liberal and open-minded voters. "We are talking about voter-shifts in double figures here."

No comment from the party leadership

DPK party leader Kor was available for a statement to the Karillian Herald, yet our reporters weren't able to take it due to "scheduling-reasons". A written comment by Kor ended up in the spam-folder, since it was marked as "unimportant".

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New Assault Rifles for Police Force

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A controversial new government spending bill was approved in parliament today which sees a 9.4% rise in the defence budget, most of it for new assault rifles for the common police force.

Due to a rising fear of terrorist attacks all over Karillia, the Grand Duke pushed for an expansion of the local defence forces and police. Within the next month, new checkpoints and barracks will begin construction all over the nation and every policeman of the capital, Trebzon, will be equipped with a Heckler & Koch G36 while the rest of the country will follow suit over the next 8 months.

What do the critics say?

A prominent government-sceptic who is currently living somewhere outside of Karillia's borders has voiced concerns that the Grand Duke uses the fear of the populace to further consolidate his stranglehold on Karillian politics. "At this rate, we are only a few legislations away from another calamity like the Dictorate of Greater Trebzon. No country needs a police force that is armed for war unless it intends to suppress its own people. If my beloved home-country hopes to survive the coming decades, his influence must be strictly limited and the seperation of powers enforced."

The nation has condemned this mad woman as a terrorist and there are whispers that the Grand Duke might try to arrange and extradition of said dangerous fear-monger soon. The claims made by this individual are obviously completely invalid as they fail to address the rising problem of heavily armed terrorist-organisations sponsored by foreign nations. Unless the nation wants their yoke placed upon its neck, a stronger military is the only answer!

 

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Armed Criminals given shelter in Flesian temple

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Three notorious notorious criminals with suspected ties to organized crime were given shelter by a Flesian priest after robbing a convenience store in Sinop.

The priest (name omitted for his own safety) claims that they are repentant and deserve his protection as they would otherwise be unjustly found guilty for crimes they did not commit. The problem is that due to the Lucca Accords, which were signed to battle a rising anti-Osjukiusm several years ago, the state has to respect religious buildings of recognized religions and may only intrude upon them in case of a first degree felony like murder. Armed robbery is only considered a second degree felony, a fact that has been much discussed in the past and will probably receive even more attention after today. The robbers are suspected to have ties to the underworld family Corvo and as such might have been involved in both kidnappings and assassinations, both first degree felonies.

How did the criminals get to the temple without being apprehended?

This is another highly controversial topic: apparently, the commanding police officer in charge of the pursuit is a devout Flesian himself and granted them their wish to visit the Flesian temple one last time to ask for absolution of their crimes before being imprisoned. In a statement he gave to the Karillian Herald, he didn't expect the priest to shelter them and merely tried to save their undying souls. These would-be good intentions seem to leave the Grand Duke thoroughly unimpressed, as he already personally signed a dishonorable discharge for the officer and assigned a lieutenant of the Royal Elite Forces (REF) to handle the case.

Could the Grand Duke order the temple to be stormed?

Yes. In theory, he has the authority to command the Karillian Armed Forces however he sees fit. However, this would mean that the Luccy Accords are dissolved, which would undoubtably lead to heightened religious tensions and a resurgence in anti-religious violence.
Instead, the Grand Duke has started talks with the Flesian High Priest, Altar Madeus, who in theory could force the lower ranking priest to hand out the criminals. Experts however are sceptical whether he will be willing to cooperate due to past conflicts between him and the Grand Duke.

What are the Lucca Accords?

The Lucca Accords grant all recognized religions and religious minorities the right to worship their gods and make it illegal to discriminate due to religious belief. Before them, it was legal to refuse to serve certain religions in your shop, or to only accept employees of certain religions. Although the main reason for their creation was a string of violent attacks against the Osjuk minority, it also helped out many other religions which were increasingly under pressure from a growing atheist populace.

What do the criminals say?

They made contact with police over a short-range radio transmitter and have been negotiating a surrender ever since. The two men and one woman claims that they will be imprisoned for crimes they have not committed and that the judge will find them guilty no matter what. They also said that they would gladly surrender to an international, impartial court where they would be given a fair trial.
The Grand Duke obviously dislikes the thought of a foreign police force in his territory or delivering them to an international court, already releasing a statement that "[...] these dangerous criminals know no shame or decency: they hope to get a lighter judgement in front of a foreign court which is willing to believe their blatant lies."

It is hard to say what will happen next: If the talks between Aleksandar I and the High Priest fail, he might give the REF the order to storm the building, seeing the Lucca Accords dissolved.

UPDATE: Talks with High Priest failed

After multiple hours of intense debating, High Priest Madeus left the royal palace with a stern look on his face and declined to give interviews to present reporters. An hour later, the Grand Duke emerged from the palace in order to give the press the answers they were after. According to him, the Flesian High Priest has insisted on extending the protection of the temple to both the local priest and the three criminals, only offering to comply with the Grand Duke's demands if large government grants would be made available to the Flesian church (This claim is left uncommented by the Flesian press outlet).
The final result was that the High Priest instead commended the local priest for his brave actions, and cited Flesian believes that every soul can be redeemed and should be offered the chance for absolution.

Aleksandar I has given the REF the command to prepare for a possible storming of the temple, contacting the renowned neutral Serene Republic of @Mauridiviah to act as an international, impartial court. However, should they refuse the extradition, it seems almost inevitable that the temple will be invaded by force and the Lucca Accords will be annulled.

UPDATE: Criminals successfully extradited

The talks with the Serene Republic of @Mauridiviah have succeeded and the criminals are on their way to its capital, Maurotopia. After the three criminals were informed that they would be facing an impartial Mauridivian court, they surrendered peacefully and were escorted to a nearby military airfield, where a helicopter of the REF took them to the priorly agreed upon location.

The Grand Duke has already expressed his gratitude towards the Mauridivian President Diego Polo for his willingness to cooperate, adding that he has full faith in the court coming to the 'right conclusion'. He furthermore also praised the local police force as well as the REF for their exemplary handling of the situation.

The crisis seems to have been averted at the last minute, stay tuned for the international court's verdict!

 

Edited by Karillia
UPDATE: Talks with High Priest failed
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