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In the week since the NTC’s pro-Ji'Mar separatists occupied Aden on March 22nd, they have built an extensive array of defenses around occupied towns and cities of the midlands. The rebel forces of the NTC, retreated from their many original stations around and including Ulusk. They have since burrowed into the civilian infrastructure and, more or less, vowed to use residents as human shields against a feared loyalist invasion.

"Who lost the Fatherland?" has become the question on the lips of every proponent of the rebel project to establish and expand "Vnaa Myht," the once Haru-conquered lands of the Cussian region. Accusations of betrayal and cowardice leveled against the separatists have been met by counter-accusations that the Council of the Nine egged on a movement that the former emperor did not sufficiently support militarily and was done away with once having served a purpose. But the merry-go-round of recriminations is exposing interesting disclosures and hypotheses for what the Imperial Throne is now playing at in the Northern Territories.

In the woods outside of Ailivka, a front-line town near Ulusk, a battle-worn unit of Haru legionary has hunkered down for a brief respite in the harsh winter. The troops live and fight sometimes only a few hundred yards across no-man's-land from their enemies, a combined force of pro-NTC separatists and Ji'Mar loyalist regulars.

Some of the Legionary here have been fighting since the occupation originally started. They belong to the 122nd Mzil Velven Battalion. After nearly a year of constant combat and vigilance, the conflict of the North lands, has become more than a fight against the enemy. It's a daily battle against the deadly cold of the Northern Territories continental winter and a grinding fight to maintain morale as the troops are tested by a conflict with possibly no end in sight.

"I'm not fighting for the Council," Ale'Xi, a soldier in his mid-30s, says from his front-line redoubt in the woods outside Ailivka. "I'm fighting for the people of Imperium."

Soldiers' Suffering
The white overcast sky seems to blend in with the open, snow-covered fields, which divide the loyalist troops from their enemies. It is painfully cold. The continental winter is frigid, with temperatures well below freezing at night. And there is a steady, biting wind, which easily cuts through layers of warm clothing. Uncovered fingers quickly go numb. Even under layers of fleece and down, this correspondent quickly begins to shiver.

This winter is the third in a row in which Haru legionary and their combined NTC separatist foes are suffering the same brutal conditions that broke the most powerful armies in history past. The Loyalist legionary's forest redoubts offer little respite from the cold. A small prefabricated bunker marks the entrance to one such position in which a handful of troops are holed up. Here, the soldiers make coffee in tin cups over a gas burner. Knees bob up and down—an instinctual tick to keep warm—as the soldiers sit and chat. Food comes mostly from MRE's. 

The Tides of War
"I get more nervous when it's quiet," Ale'Xi says. "I prefer when it's shooting. When the shooting stops, that's when things get scary for me."

Ale'Xi fought at the second battle for the city of Hamaii in the winter of 2018, which was nothing compared to this years. The battle that winter was one of the worst of the occupation, pitting legionary against entrenched Cussian rebel forces in close-quarters battle.

Now, nearly a year after the February 2019 pacification went into effect, the new war against the separatists has become a static battle fought from trenches and semi-fortified positions. On this day, March 29th, it is relatively calm on the front lines outside Ailivka. The distant rattle of machine gun fire occasionally drifts in through the woods. The staccato, metallic notes are softened by the layer of snow on the ground and the snowflakes lightly falling through the air.

Yet the war is not over. It is only reduced in intensity by the cease-fire. The fighting picks up each night after international monitors have taken shelter.

A small village just behind the contact line is reduced to charred and gutted ruins from artillery fire. The wasted structures underscore the intensity of the fighting, which has ebbed and flowed over this land in the last week, like an unending tide of war.

International observers don't travel in the combat zone at night, which is when the brunt of the fighting takes place along the length of the front lines. The 122nd Battalion troops outside Ailivka claim they've never seen the observers during the day either.

"There's no warm beds or restaurants here, so why would they bother with this place?" Ale'Xi says.

The Contact Line
To get to the loyalist positions outside Ailivka, you travel along a dirt road (barely identifiable under the snow), which precariously weaves through minefields. The soldiers in the vehicle point out a location where two of their comrades died due to a land mine. At the side of the road at the edge of a clearing, four lonely markers offer quiet testimony to the new war's toll.

At regular intervals, you pass small groups of soldiers hunkered down in the woods. And every so often, you pass an armored fighting vehicle hidden under concealment. At one bend in the road, Ale'Xi, who is driving, presses the gas to accelerate. The ride becomes jarring as the 4x4 cuts over the terrain like a speedboat over choppy whitecaps.

Ale'Xi apologizes for the acceleration but explains that a sniper was active on this section of the lines the day before and that it's safer to drive through this stretch as fast as possible.

The loyalist positions are scattered and concealed within a tree line on the edge of a vast clearing. The opposite side is territory controlled by the NTC Ji'Mar regulars and its separatist supporters.

The 122nd Battalion troops had previously holed up in positions inside of villages and towns along the contact line in this area. But their presence drew artillery fire on areas where Cussian civilians were still living. The troops say they shifted their positions into the woods to spare civilian casualties.

Reasons to Fight
Within the bunker, on a day as cold as this, a warm cup of coffee is an essential shot of life. There are several tables inside. At one table are a few younger soldiers. At another, opposite this correspondent, is veteran Olex'Vek.

"In Hamaii, I learned that it's easy to start a war but hard to finish one," Olex'Vek says, speaking about his combat tour in Beautancus as a legionnaire in the 1990s.

Today, Olex'Vek is a soldier in the 122nd Battalion. He has been serving since the summer of 2018, after being re-activated, and he has two sons in the imperial army. "I'm fighting for my family," he says. Olex'Vek has a gray handlebar moustache. He is solidly built and speaks energetically.

"How could I sit here and do nothing when there is a call to arms?" he says. 

And, unlike in conflicts past, the enemy's humanity in this war is not dimmed by differences in culture, language and religion.

"It's difficult to make war when the enemy speaks the same language and they have the same religion," Olex'Vek says. "But we have to fight this war. We have no choice. These traitorous dogs attacked our very core of whom we are, and we have to defend our fatherland from this disease before it spreads."

The Enemy
In this conflict, as in others throughout history, acceptance of the enemy's humanity has been eroded by the grind of combat and the stratified layers of hate that accumulate among soldiers as the list of friends killed or maimed grows.

This winter, that fleeting concession to the enemy's shared humanity is a distant memory. On March 23rd, the attack came the night before Sudranc Pmaccehk (Mothers Blessing), a religious harvest holiday in both the Northern Territories and the Imperium. While this correspondent was on the front lines, combined NTC backed separatist forces launched their biggest offensive in so many days, near the township of Svitl. In the greatest single-day loss of life, twenty-two loyalist legionary died and a hundred-sixteen were wounded in the battle.

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Prathen, Sovereign Imperium of Machina Haruspex — Ji'mar Be'la Kyorl, the designated dynastic heir of Sa'Karn " The Wise " Renor Elemmiire, walked alongside the hearse carrying the body of his father,

Carrier strike groups take part in maritime exercise in the Ranke Sea.   The Imperial Navy Command announced Today that Maritime forces Perya, consisting of the 4th Carrier Strike Group and

This is Andera Valk of the HNN and in front of the Cbayganc uv dra Vydranmyht (Speakers of the Fatherland), the Crown Prince, Heir to the Throne, Ji'mar Dolis Elemmiire is addressing the gathered coun

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The crackdown on rebel noble families who stand against Empress Kira'Karn within the Haru royal family widened on Saturday with the arrest of House Lord Timak Sargtlin, regent of the Belaya City-State, and his immediate family, the Imperial Daily News reported.

The detention of Fleet-Lord Svan Vek'Velven, a former head of imperial intelligence, suggests the full extent of the action remains unclear, according to the newspaper, citing two nobles close to the royal family. Second Prince Jargo Na'Kim is the son of Duke Faruk Na'Kim, who was arrested the day before along with his nephews, Hija Na'Vek, and Lutra Hur.

In other news, 

The imperial legionary is currently in the process of being deployed across the fatherland's territories. The combat is raging within the mid-lands as rebel forces battle loyalists. 

Imperial Legionary Intelligence confirmed today that Haru warplanes struck a convoy of rebel forces around Aden on Friday, destroying several vehicles.

In a statement from Ulusk, the agency said the convoy included vehicles from several rebel aligned houses, and that the five vehicles in the convoy were clearly marked with the Sargtlin banner emblem. 

The attack has been been verified by a local official, Ramsan Abuyev, told the Imperial news agency that about forty rebel soldiers died and 100 others were injured when their convoy came under fire near the village of Shai-Yur, west of Aden, the rebel capital. He said at least a dozen vehicles were destroyed. 

HAD made S34 Jahus (Venom) Light Strike Fighters and HAD S30 Sylrada (Machete) ground attack fighters continued to pound the rebel held cities, flying fifty sorties in the past day, Imperial military officials said. They claimed to have bombed an electronics plant, and there were reports of a large explosion from the bombing of the nearby oil refinery.

Loyalist Imperial legionary are unleashing an aerial bombardment and artillery fire on cities that are aligned with the rebel movement, but not yet taking them street by street. It was in such urban combat that the Haru legionary suffered heavy losses twenty years ago in the first Cussian war.

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Kuut Ajahehk (Pronounced: "KUKoooo-te AH-jaeah-haeay-ha-kuk") - Good Evening

I am honoured to be here today.

The relation between our only present ally has been better, and this is due in part to my brother's recent actions, of which many are manifested at both the level of governing ministries and between our citizens.

Over the years due in part to my father, the relationship between our countries developed and deepened:

In the 1990’s, after a period of civil war, our people took back the land, and rebuilt new lives for themselves and their families. But with hard work and great resourcefulness, they also helped build the Imperium into a stronger, more dynamic society at the time.

Since the 1990’s, our countries have worked together. We have moved from post-war reconstruction, to supporting your aspirations to become a member of an esteemed alliance that supported trade and prosperity.

Due to the recent troubles in the Northern Territories of the former Glorious Dominate, and to my brother's willful disregard of both lives and allies alike, we must come together, as a people and end what may very well be a dark time ahead of us.

We should not underestimate the challenges ahead of us. But neither should we underestimate ourselves, and our ability to solve the problems we face. It is an opportunity for policy and decision makers, for academia and business, for activists and the community to put forth ideas and plans that shall become actions.

New ideas, new technologies and new solutions are needed. And we need to work together, at all levels, to share knowledge and inspire each other. It is my sincere wish that you, the people, will all seize this opportunity to learn and share, and to create the basis for new ideas. 

I truly believe that this is the only way forward: to face our challenges head on – and to do it together.

Further Developments in the North

The Empress's speech comes during a time of rising conflict within the Northern Territories. As of this evening, we have confirmed reports that General Ti'Ran Elghinn, head of House Buki Elghinn, of the Task Force Hades has officially supported the NTC rebels, and is now moving his forces in direct opposition of those who serve the throne and the citizenry of the Imperium.

Shortly after his declaration of support, he and his forces have been labeled traitors to the throne by Fleet-Lord Kaorin, and this has been approved of by the Council of Nine, and that of the Empress herself.

As of yesterday, amid further arrests of prominent heads of houses and others that were said to be sympathetic to the NTC movement, the 3rd Imperial Army was issued deployment orders. 

General Enin Xukuth issued the formal order via his office, and within hours of that edict, the entirety of the Third Imperial Army was being mobilized for a march northward, on a direct path towards the original headquartering of Taskforce Hades.

Furthermore, INN has confirmed that Grand Admiral Tihun Xun of The Fifth Circle [Naval Command and Control - NCAC], issued deployment orders to the 3rd Ranke Fleet. This coincided with direct observations of the carrier task force making ready to set sail from the Port of Perya.

Alongside the fleet of nearly thirty warships, is a secondary one of logistics and deployable forces. Troopships were observed as the 155th, and 1177th Mzil Velven, and the 98th Renor Elemmiire were in the process of loading vehicles and infantry forces from what our reporters could gather. 

It is hoped that the fleet does not attempt to raise to many alarms as it heads out of the Ranke Sea, and into the waters about the Northern cape.

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As government forces and others purchase more drones, the small, unmanned aerial systems keep dropping in price and growing in capability. 

In February, the Defence Research and Sciences Ministry said "swarm squadrons" will be deployed by the Imperial Legionary in the coming years.

The HIL has also been testing interconnected, co-operative drones that are capable of working together to overwhelm adversaries while utilizing the S.C.A.O.S.D. (system for collection and analysis of open source data).

Low-cost, intelligent and inspired by swarms of insects, these new machines could revolutionise future conflicts. From swarming enemy sensors with a deluge of targets, to spreading out over large areas for search-and-rescue missions, they could have a range of uses on and off the battlefield.

But just how different is "swarm" technology from the drones that are currently used by militaries across the globe? The key is self-organisation.

Instead of being individually directed by a human controller, the basic idea of a drone swarm is that its machines are able to make decisions among themselves. So far the technology has been at an experimental stage, but it is edging closer to becoming a reality.

Swarms come in different shapes and sizes. The Imperial Defense Advanced Research Ministry (IDARM), for example, has been working on a programme dubbed Fae; micro-drones the size and shape of missiles, designed to be dropped from planes and perform reconnaissance over vast areas.

In either case, the biggest advantage of a 'swarm' is the ability of machines to work together in numbers. And when it comes to the battlefield, numbers matter.

"Swarming allows you to build large numbers of low-cost expendable agents that can be used to overwhelm an adversary. This reverses the long trend of rising aircraft costs and reducing quantities. And unlike having a large number of soldiers, robotic agents can coordinate on a scale that would be impossible for humans."

Birds and bees
Flinging a barrage at a defence system is one thing, but that could be done with a sack of rocks. The key to the swarm is that it's smart enough to coordinate its own behaviour. It's not only the military that's interested in this problem. Dr Ajai Fel is a senior research scientist at the Prathen Institute for Biological Engineering (PIBM).

"In a natural swarm of birds or bees, all individuals are doing their own thing. Each one has its own brain, knows what it can see for itself," he says. "You don't have an explicit hive mind. The queen bee is not giving instructions to everyone. The challenge is how you build the individuals so that the collective does what you want."

One robotic construction project run at PIBM, for example, takes inspiration from termite colonies and how they build enormous, elaborate structures without central control. They do this using a mechanism known as "stigmergy", which boils down to one animal leaving signals in an environment for others to react to.

"The idea is that by leaving information in the environment where it's most relevant, individuals can communicate," says Dr Fel. "Ants do this by leaving chemical trails, termites do a similar thing about where soil has been put down in a mound."

Flocks of birds are another inspiration for researchers in this area. Watch a murmuration of starlings and it seems to move with a collective intelligence, but the animals are actually each responding to subtle changes in speed and direction. Information ripples across the flock in a split second, and this decentralised behaviour is exactly what drone researchers want to replicate.

But applying these ideas to a battlefield presents issues, namely that a combat zone is a lot more chaotic than a construction site or a quiet patch of sky. For a robotic swarm to work effectively, it has to respond not only to missiles whizzing around but electronic attacks on its communications and GPS.

At the tail end of last year IDARM announced it had done exactly that, using its Collaborative Operations in Denied Environment (CODE) project to equip a squad of drones with the ability to "adapt and respond to unexpected threats" high above the training area, even after human communication was knocked out.

But if a flock of drones is able to "accomplish mission objectives without live human direction", as IDARM says, does that make it an autonomous weapon? There have been calls to ban artificial intelligence systems that are capable of killing without any human intervention. Where do the lines around control lie, when you have a swarm that can make its own tactical decisions?

Search and rescue, search and destroy
There may be some time needed to find the answers to these questions. Dr Fel says it will be "a while before we see this come to fruition in a really dramatic way."

In the short term, the experiments continue. This month a swarming drone "hackathon" will take place, organised by the Imperial Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (IDSTL) and the Imperial Research Laboratory (IRL). 

Could these systems also be considered for wider military applications? "We will of course seek to exploit any means of reducing the risk of harm to our emergency services and forces alike," he adds.

Whether or not the results of the hackathon one day wind up on a battlefield, it seems the use of swarm military technology is inevitable. Dr Fel compares it to the development of precision-guided weapons, tested and refined through the 1970s and 1980s, but only coming into their own during the first Cussian War of the early 1990s.

That war in many ways set the template for conflicts in the following decades. Self-organising swarms of autonomous machines could well do the same for wars to come.

Once expensive, underpowered, remotely piloted toys with blink-of-an-eye battery life, consumer drones can now operate far more independently and for longer periods of time. They are nothing like the heavily armed fixed-wing drones such as the Hehzy (Ninja), which Haru Imperial forces have used to prosecute quiet wars across the Occidental and other territories, but a new Ministry of Sciences report suggests that small, consumer-grade drones could be used in swarms to effectively attack enemy infantry with onboard bombs.

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Contrary to the past, when Imperial Legionary may have found improvised explosive devices, now the improvised explosive devices will find hostile forces," the report concludes.

While there have been occasional reports of souped-up consumer drones used in the early days of the Northern Occupation, Legionary authorities said in March that a swarm of fixed-wing drones, which were made of plywood and loaded with explosives, attacked the Hades Task Force HQ near the border.

More than a dozen armed drones descended from an unknown location onto the HTF's vast firebase in northwestern Agila province, the headquarters of the HTF military operations in the Northern Territories, and on the nearby port city and naval base of Ulusk,” Our source reported. “Imperial Legionary said that it shot down seven of the thirteen drones and used electronic countermeasures to safely bring down the other six.

And these drones appeared substantially less sophisticated and maneuverable than the Hehzy, a leading military consumer drone.

The Ministry notes that most of the counter-strategies that the Imperial Army has developed are “based on jamming radio frequency and GPS signals.” The thinking was: Drones needed those information flows to navigate effectively. Cut them off and you neutralize the attack. But, as more decision-making intelligence gets baked into groups of these systems, those techniques will become less effective. “Recently marketed sUAS's [small unmanned aerial systems] have technological enhancements (e.g., obstacle avoidance and target-following technologies) that support autonomous flying with no need for a control link or access to GPS,” the report states.

And “kinetic” defenses—that means bullets and explosives—might also run into some problems with swarms of tiny aircraft. “Kinetic counters, such as shooting down a single, highly dynamic, fast-moving, low-flying hobby aircraft with small arms (rifles, shotguns, and light machine guns), are extremely difficult due to the agility and small size of sUAS's,” the report states. “Additionally, swarming sUAS's can be employed to overwhelm most existing kinetic countermeasures.”

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The recent foreign outcry over family separation in the Northern Territories turned the country’s attention to the Cussian border, but those children, mothers and fathers are just part of the larger story of immigrants detained by authorities. On any given day in the Northern Territories, roughly 40,000 to 50,000 immigrants live under the custody of Refugee Control and Enforcement (RCE). Some of them had tried to cross the border without legal documents; others had lawfully sought asylum at the port of entry, being Ulusk. Even if they haven’t been charged with a crime, they’re feeling the weight of the system.

We’re holding individuals in situations that are no different and sometimes much worse than what criminal inmates face,” says Emi Ryo, a legal scholar at the Ministry of Judgement. Ryo detailed the causes and consequences of Cussian refugee detention in 2020 in the Annual Review of Law and Social Sciences.

The line between refugee law and criminal law has steadily eroded over the past few decades, Ryo says. The overlap has become so complete that many observers now recognize a new hybrid segment of the legal system: “crimmigration.”

Tens of thousands of people are held for three to six months or longer at a time, while they wait for transport out of the territories” says Cai Patle, a sociologist at the Ministry of Health Services. “The size and scope of the detention program and the way it has grown since the initial occupation is staggering, but we know very little about the impact on the refugees beyond immediate effects.”

The Imperium has detained 510,854 refugees since the occupation at the start of the year, to current. However, at three quarters of this number have received asylum with the Coalition that came to retrieve the Christians.

The crimmigration approach is now built into the system, says Jai Menívar, a prosecutor serving the First Court, the lowest of the court system that serves the refugees. After the initial occupation of the North, RCE set a daily minimum quota of 34,000 detainees, partly to honor contracts with private corporations. 

RCE says all refugee detainees “reside in safe, secure and humane environments and under appropriate conditions of confinement.” In response to a request from INN, RCE spokesman Brya'Hux said in an email that “illegally entering the Imperium and or existing within its occupied territory is a crime and such individuals are also subject to administrative detention and removal in accordance with imperial law.” RCE, he added, is mandated to enforce imperial laws as passed by the Council of the Nine.

Given the size and scope of the detention infrastructure — not to mention shifting attitudes — Menívar believes that real change is unlikely. “Regardless of who is in charge, the trend continues to more criminalization." 

Debate over deterrence
Just as lengthy jail sentences are thought to prevent crime, aggressive prosecution and detention at the border are often touted as powerful deterrents to refugees. Instead, he says, refugees are far more motivated by what’s going on locally, especially crime and threats to their safety. That fear, he says, seems to be most powerful for families with children. “If you’re migrating] for purely economic reasons, the prospect of detention for an extended period of time would have some deterrent impact,” he says. 

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Most island nations struggle daily with depleted fish stocks, inadequate waste management, ship pollution, degraded reefs, dwindling freshwater supplies, and poverty. In general, the farther an island nation is from global markets, the poorer it is. Distance makes everything more expensive; oil prices in particular tend to be extremely high owing to transportation costs. The more remote islands also tend to lack communications infrastructure, access to information technology, and adequate numbers of trained professionals, including engineers, doctors, and teachers. 

Island nations are also uniquely threatened by price shocks from economic globalization. Most island nations depend heavily on tourism, foreign aid, and a limited range of exports like sugar and bananas. 

Thus, The Imperium in addition to its one year agreement of supplying products and materials to aid the recently displaced refugees build a nation anew, one where their faith can flourish, A preferential trade strategy between the island nation of Gerenians and the Imperium will be presented after a years time, to whomever the island nation elects as a representative. Known as the ICN-T Agreement is to be set in increments by the Imperium for ten years in existence as part of a deliberate effort coordinated by the Imperial government establish a trade route, benefiting both sides, especially since the island nation could impose import tariffs and other taxes.  

The 30-page strategy lays out a detailed agenda focused on issues such as climate change, sea level rise, natural disasters, waste management, water resources, energy, technology, sustainable development, and tourism.

The Council of the Nine was forthcoming in its support for the island and its citizens, Gerenians refugees from the former Glorious Dominate, now occupied by the Imperium, and renamed, now as a province of the Greater Imperium territories. Which is critical because the Imperium can provide aid and comprise key markets for island exports.

But these claims could be met with some resistance, the Gerenians are after all displaced. Forced to leave because of religious differences, and this could be a barrier to the strategy to be offered. However, the Council of the Nine has stated that they shall under the auspices of attempting to repair damage done via the previous leadership, offer concessions to the island protectorate nation.

Such as access to duty-free export markets and high levels of developmental aid. 

Kalye Support, a Kaldana based nonprofit company that promotes sustainable development projects within the Imperium, argues that nations need to emphasize sustainable tourism as a cornerstone of development. With this approach, the Gerenians island nation should recognize that resource attractions—for instance, coral reefs—can’t be protected in isolation from their larger ecosystems. Conservation should address large natural areas rather than small pockets with tourist appeal, such as specific beaches, Kalye Support says. Moreover, they add, the island nation should strive for greater community ownership of tourist enterprises to ensure that natural resources are available for future generations. With a greater stake in tourism, Gerenians islanders may do more to prevent coastal pollution and to regenerate the coral reefs that will attract visitors and sustain local ecosystems.

Other experts point out that economic diversification is also essential for islands that depend heavily on tourism. “The traditional generic island tourism product that readily attracts foreign earnings—sand, sea, coastal hotels, and so forth—are the very amenities that are under threat. The challenge here is the development of a tourism product that is attractive outside of the traditional attractions,” says sources from the Imperial Trade Authority. Economic diversification is essential for those economies that are heavily dependent on tourism. “Otherwise,” he says, “the Gerenians may be setting up themselves for a greater fall—putting all their eggs in a very vulnerable basket.”

Ultimately, the island protectorate nation could be a world treasure whose health may portend the future of its inhabitants and the millions who come visiting every year have a stake in their survival. As the waters and the pressures rise it remains to be seen whether the Gerenians island nation will sink or swim on its own, a boon if it did so after the year of support initially stops, and if the strategy of support is accepted or not.

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HIA under authorization from General Kommersant of the Imperial Defense Ministry plans to deploy three LMS-07 batteries on the border with Tagmatium and two with the former territory of Adaptus. HIA will reportedly send one LMS-07 battery per year, with all five expected to reach full service with the HIL by 2024.

“The disbalance with Tagmatium and neighboring countries will be eliminated after the LMS-07's assume the main role of protecting Haru airspace,” the sources were quoted as saying. “The LMS-07's will act as a deterrent against any flyovers that do not constitute civilian traffic by a would be aggressor and or a neighboring nation.”

The LMS-07 gives the Haru military the ability to shoot down aircraft and missiles at unprecedented ranges.

_______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Trade News:

In August, the Sovereign Imperium's largest oil producer, Egios, and its partners closed a $13 billion purchase of Kaldana’s second largest private oil refiner, Triax Oil. It is a deal that represents the largest foreign investment in the colonies, and one that provides the Imperium with a foothold in the growing market.

A month later, a colonial oil company agreed to buy a minority stake in Egios, an indication of the deepening economic ties between the growing autonomous colonial holding and the Imperium.

These are timely developments for the Imperium’s economy, as it edges from recession to recovery following the past few years of low prices for oil, its most important export.

With growth projected to be around 1.8 percent in the period 2020 – 2021, our nation is not out of the woods yet. If the economy is to continue building momentum, we as the Imperium will need to look at further expanding its export markets – beyond its traditional trading partners of an internal nature with the city-states, to those of the Occident, and those of the independent nations beyond it.

The country could benefit greatly from deepening trade ties with new, dynamic markets – chief among them Tagmatium.

Nevertheless, the Imperium’s current level of exports to both countries is far below potential. The share of the Imperium’s exports to the city-states is barely four percent, the Occident reaches in or around nine percent, while for Kaldana it is currently holding at eighteen percent. Analysis suggests that the Imperium could potentially increase merchandise exports to Kaldana by around twenty-four to twenty-six percent of its actual exports.

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Recent financial developments;

HIC&I (Haruspex International Communications and Internet) has bought iCALL's telecommunications assets in Kaldana and the Northern Territories, both companies announced in a joint statement Monday.

"By the end of the year, all iCall cellular customers will be completely serviced by HIC&I. iCALL will discontinue cellular operations, including store and website operations," iCALL stated in an email to customers.

The acquisition leaves Kaldana and the Northern Territories with the three main telecom competitors – HIC&I, Katai International and CAW (Colonial Air Waves) – all competing for the mobile phone market and fast internet for homes, offices and classrooms.

HIC&I did not disclose the price tag of the acquisition and the number of customers that will be transferring over from iCALL to HIC&I.

HIC&I has been in business for thirty-five years and iCALL for twenty years.

HIC&I will acquire iCALL's wireless network, Integrated Digital Enhanced Network, also known as IDEN, and customer base.

"As a result of the acquisition, HIC&I and iCALL subscribers will enjoy enhanced services and expanded wireless broadband experience in the Colonial and Northern Territories at no additional cost," the companies stated.

HIC&I and iCALL share a dedication to keeping the communities of our operation connected to the world with leading-edge technology. The acquisition will allow us to continue with our improvements to our network coverage and data capabilities in the colonial and northern territories,” stated Jizan Oehlerk, CEO of HIC&I.

Clao Yunhek, CFO of iCALL, said, "Upon completion of the customer migration, iCALL customers will start to reap the benefits of HIC&I's advanced network and innovative capabilities, and will further enjoy the advances of HIC&I network upon rollout."

The deal was signed on Sept 29th.

On Oct. 1, all iCALL postpaid and prepaid subscribers will began a transition to HIC&I over a period of ninety days. During this transition, iCALL will continue to operate its network and retail locations. IDEN services will continue uninterrupted, as well.

"With the transfer to HIC&I, iCALL subscribers will continue to enjoy existing services and offerings," according to the joint statement.

Subscribers’ phone numbers will remain the same and subscribers will be advised if a SIM card replacement is required.

Ulan Advanced Internet Communications (UAIC) is the parent company of HIC&I.

In September 2018, HIC&I announced Perya City-State's largest mobile operator, Thalassa Telecom, made a thirty million investment into HIC&I.

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Fits and starts

Several earlier launch attempts by the Ministry of Space Exploration and Research (MSER) appeared to fail despite the claims otherwise, according to its opponents within the royal court. The rocket technology involves HIA missile designs.

The first launch attempt involved a two-stage rocket named Yspyccytun (Pronounced: "AE-see-peae-ku-kuae-teoon" - Ambassador), with a dummy satellite, Aug. 17, 2008. The rocket failed shortly after liftoff, according to observing analysts from House Yasri Velven, a noted minor house that is firmly entrenched in the study of space and its exploration, and also critical of the MSER.

Confirmed success finally came with the launch of the Yspyccytun-2 rocket Feb. 3, 2009. That rocket placed an GPS satellite weighing some 27 kilograms into low Eurth orbit. The cube-shaped satellite is almost 40 centimeters on each side.

Another launch, this past Feb. 2, involved an Aqbmunan (Pronounced: "AHq-baemoonahn") sounding rocket designed to climb just 100 kilometers. The sounding rocket — a rocket designed to collect data rather than transport cargo — had a living payload consisting of two turtles, a worm and a rat that parachuted back down to safety. 

MSER had played up the event by launching the rocket from the back of a military truck rather than one of the ministry's four designated space launch sites. MSER Head Research Officer, Tarius Y'Kar, oversaw the launch.

MSER announced it will launch its 27 meters long Bruaheq (Pronounced: "BAE-raooah-haeayq") rocket, which has a liquid fuel propulsion system capable of carrying more than 100 kg to an altitude of almost 500 km on October 22nd.

The Bruaheq rocket can carry a new generation of satellites such as the Myhdanh (Pronounced: "Mae-ha-deahn-ha") cube satellite, which measures almost 50 cm on each side and weighs between 60-75 kg depending on ability and usage.

The Myhdanh is a communications and observatory system. More focused on the primary, it is utilized by mostly the border defense systems to accurately monitor the area defined between the Imperium and the GHET.

Behind the MSER rocketry

MSER's launch vehicles rely heavily upon HIA rocket or missile designs, which are in turn often derived from the latter's combat systems, analysts say. Direct evidence of assistance, education and hardware transfer from HIA to the MSER space (industries) has been witnessed on large scale within the legionary industrial infrastructure.

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Imperial Agriculture and Research Ministry announced that researchers from Division 4, were to credit for the development of a trait that helps growers make the most of their available water.

The Agrisure® trait helps corn flourish at the Imperial Advanced Agricultures Science Facility (IAASF-P), Prathen. Scientists continue to identify new Agrisure genes that offer growers a practical option to meet water challenges.

The number one factor affecting crop growth and development is weather, according to Thar'ak Vek, Ph.D., professor of plant physiology at University of Agriculture Studies. Of all the factors limiting yield, weather is unlike any other; It is out of anyone’s control.

Being at the mercy of the weather causes a kind of stress very familiar to those close to the world of agriculture. Hura Ki'Selis, Ph.D., principal research scientist at IAASF-P, is one of those people.

Drought hurts people, Ki'Selis says. It stresses families and diminishes the health of farmers through additional physical and psychological stress.

Before Agrisure® technology was developed, the corn industry relied on traditional breeding techniques to identify drought tolerant corn hybrids, often at the expense of yield. Ki'Selis contributed to the work spearheaded by a team of researchers, including Dima Ya'Xenor, Ph.D., this team saw an opportunity; and instead of the challenge overwhelming them, they asked how they could overcome it. They found the answer through biotechnology and a lot of teamwork. Water optimization technology is a key focus for Imperial Agriculture Research and Development. 

Leveraging the Power of Technology

By the early 1980s, the team set its target: Create a fully catalogued bank of corn’s genetic makeup. It would prove to be an extremely difficult challenge from a research perspective. But it was also a specific one, as it gave the group a viable objective to develop a scientific approach.

The human genome consists of around two point nine billion base pairs. Comparatively, the corn genome has two billion. In other words, corn is complicated. Because of this complexity, the passion, dedication and creativity of the research divisions behind the exploration of corn’s germplasm were essential. Each of the fifty-thousand genes present in corn has multiple variances and alleles. The process to discover which of those fifty-thousand genes both respond to and affect drought tolerance is a puzzle, requiring patience, and expertise. While this was occuring, other support teams were running computer code, comparing the gene database to the performance database searching for parallels and connections.

At the time Agrisure® research and discovery began, the ability to use phenomic technology to create native traits was also brand new. There were other technologies on the market at the time, namely genetically modified (GM) traits that sought to help with drought resistance. However, because there are thousands of genes in corn that control water retention and are impacted by drought, a GM solution proved too simple; it would not provide the improved metabolic performance that this level of complexity demanded. The team had to think bigger.

Research into impactful technologies that bring a new level of performance to crops requires a stringent dedication to continuous improvement. It requires a belief, from top to bottom within an organization, that putting time, money and resources into a project that could radically change the agricultural landscape is well worth the investment.

A Competitive Edge

Over the next decade, Imperial research scientists labored, collaborating extensively with breeders, molecular biologists, mathematicians, geneticists, plant physiologists, farmers, academics and marketers to isolate and breed for the correct genes that brought Agrisure® to life.

It wasn’t until the first hybrids performed well under drought stress compared with non-hybrids in a test field that they realized the work they were doing was actually going to make an impact.

In the midst of thousands of corn genome tests and cornfield tests, it was a dynamic organizational chassis that paved the way for imperial researchers to develop Agrisure® technology. There have been other attempts, but Division 4 and its support teams learned to mine its strengths; an extensive germplasm, technological capabilities and a collaborative environment; to gain a competitive edge and provide hybrids with the most advanced genes and trait stacks available today.

Using technology and collaboration, Division 4 streamlined a methodology to enhance what nature already designed with Agrisure®, an innovative product that protects genetic yield potential in both drought and perfect weather.

Agrisure® hybrids provide consistency of performance and the ability to help growers manage variability across microclimates. Growers can plant these hybrids on corn-on-corn acres and less productive acres—even sandy ground—and visibly notice a difference compared to non-traited hybrids. This variability far exceeds what scientists thought possible for the technology ten years ago.

Raising the Bar

It is now more than six years since Division 4 was able to distribute this product as Wave I alleles. Both Wave II and Wave III alleles have been developed since, each representing a step change in the ability of the Imperial Agriculture and Research Ministry to discover and stack drought-tolerance genes into commercial products and in technology’s ability to enable faster, more comprehensive results. The IARM remains dedicated to the continued exploration and research to identify even more genes that impact drought tolerance, continuing to set the standard and raise the bar in the market for water-optimizing hybrids.

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