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      Hello and Welcome to this edition of ‘Ahrana Today’, where we bring the news of the Kingdom and the Wurld to you the viewer at home. On this edition of ‘Ahrana Today’; More information of the Bronzium Substance and the Recent Drug Enforcement Raids, A new Industrial Bubble forming In Ahrana and around the Wurld

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      Since the Ministry for Drug Enforcement labeled the Substance, Bronzium, to a Level One Classification the country has seen many Drug Enforcement raids take place across the nation. This is part of the new Enforcement Plan and the Governments approach to help curb the sell and production of Bronzium and other illegal substances inside Ahrana including transportation through Ahrana.

      After the announcement the Federal Government made about the new listing the Drug Enforcement Sections of the ADI and the Federal Police services started their raids throughout the entire Kingdom which started to spark fear from some Ahranaian Citizens. Some Ahranaian Citizens were quoted in saying they fear the ADI and the Federal Police Services are attempting to turn the Kingdom into another Police state much like the Republicans did in 1912 during their era of government ruling. The Federal Government has issued the following statement in response to several complaints about the raids:

      “The Federal and Regional Governments are all coordinating with the ADI and the Federal Police Services to help stop and slow the distribution and spread of the illegal substances that have plagued the country since the fall of the Second Imperial Government. At no point is the ADI or the Federal Police Services attempting to create a ‘Police State’ or overthrow the Federal Government. The Orders the Drug Enforcement Units and the Drug Enforcement Ministry are following are from the Federal Government including the Diarchs of the Kingdom.”

      The Ministry for Drug Enforcement has also released more information regarding the Substance, Bronzium, and what the side-effects are as well as identifying this substance. While Bronzium may look like the element Uranium in powder form it is not radioactive, but it has a more shinny look almost like glitter. Bronzium has no smell or odor in its raw form, however upon applying heat to the substance, in essence “Cooking” it, an odor will exist, and the fumes are intoxicating to any person who breathes in the fumes as well as ingesting it.

      The Ministry has also stated the main usage of Bronzium is in the Powder and Liquid form and to be able to tell if one has used the substance is to look for physical marks is vital when assessing the person. If a person is abusing the liquid form of this substance, you will find bruised or sometimes burned sections of the skin where the substance was injected into the blood stream. The liquid form of this substance is more lethal than the powder form, as a person can overdose from the liquid form much quicker than the powder. While both forms of the drug are lethal, this form is top of all liquid substances that are currently abused in the Drug Wurld. In addition to the lethal ability of the liquid form, most Drug Dealers across the country tend to cut Bronzium with other illegal substances such as fentanyl which alone is highly addictive and dangerous to any who encounter it. When adding it to Bronzium for instance you get a highly toxic and dangerous substance that can kill anyone if one consumes too much of it. The liquid form of Bronzium is typically always cut with other substances to create more profit and addiction to the substance. There have been some reported cases that several Street Dealers are handing out needles already filled with the liquid form of Bronzium to get more “customers”. The Powder form of Bronzium is either distributed in raw form or it has been cut upon being distributed, this all depends on the source of the substance.

      When determining when a person has become under the influence of Bronzium, one should look for signs of impairment like Alcohol intoxication, not able to stand up without falling over; meaning once the person stands up, they fall over immediately after standing. In addition to the burns and bruised indicators look for rotting teeth, massive sores on the lips and severe muscle deprivation on the face mainly around the mouth.

      In as little of two weeks the number of overdoses on Bronzium have increased from just merely 20 a week to roughly 80 overdoses a week if not more, the clear number is unknown as the data has not been published since the start of this epidemic.

      As more information comes forward, we will bring it to you here on ‘Ahrana Today’.

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      Since the fall of the Socialist Government and a change from a restrictive government and economy to a free economy and a democratic government the Industrial section of the economy has started to grow, not only here in Ahrana but the Wurld is seeing a rise in industries across the board.

      Since the opening of the Country by the Federation we have welcomed many Foreign Investors into the Kingdom of Ahrana and have allowed them to open businesses that has helped the Economy to start to grow and start ending the high poverty rate. The Poverty Rate is still high, but it is slowly going down, with recent Government Incentives announced for Workers and Business owners. It is unclear with addition of the Grand Duchy of Elde just exactly how the Ahranaian Economy will jump either forward or downward. It is expected to take a leap forward and not the other direction.

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      The Federal Government has also reissued its commitment to finding a more sustainable replacement for its Coal Power Plants, so far, the most common alternative to the Coal Power Plants have been the Nuclear Power Plants. The Government plans to build several more Nuclear Power Plants based on a newer design of the original reactor design the PHWR which would make this new design the third generation.

      Currently Coal Power Plants still produce the majority of the Electricity for the Kingdom around 60% with Nuclear Power Plants being around 40% of the production. The Federal Government has outlined in its Annual Review to invest more in Nuclear Power Plants and Power Alternatives and to start phasing out the Coal Power Plants. It is estimated that by 2026 that all Coal Power Plants will be shut down and in the process of decommissioning.

       

      That is all for today’s edition of ‘Ahrana Today’, where we bring the news of the Wurld and of the Kingdom to you the viewer.

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      Good evening, ladies and gentlemen. I'm Bron Urgundy. And you're watching BS News.

      I LOVE YOU all very much. You know that, right? But did you also know there are people watching this show who disagree with reality? Believe me, those people exist. They live in their own little bubble, brainwashed by the mainstream media.

      Tonight I want to address those viewers. You know who you are.

      First, you probably have quite a few opinions about what's going on in the wurld right now. There's a lot happening out there. But it's important to remember one thing: you're wrong. Here is why.

      To start: you are completely missing the point. And everything you think you know is actually at odds with reality when you look at the data. In fact, you are nowhere close to being accurate.

      It's simple to understand when you stop for a second and actually look at the issues. Once you open your eyes, you will see that you are wrong about each and every one of them.

      Does @DPR Velaheria hate @Seylos? Wrong.

      Is @Orioni a democracy? Wrong.

      @Great Anglia delenda est? Wrong.

      "Buh... buh... but Bron, what about this and that other thing I read?"

      No.

      If the past is any indication of the future, not only is there never a chance that you will be right, all signs suggest that you will never even come close to being right once in your lifetime.

      The only way you will ever be right is to repeat everything I say, word for word, to every single person you know.

      Until then, you are wrong.

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      Home | Orioni | World | Business | Tech | Science | Culture | Health | Sports

      EOS aircraft increase Saeida Strait sorties

      Maritime insurance

      ALHAFA, Ayubi -- The EOS military flew a record number of spy planes over the Strait of Saeida in November, as tensions simmer between the world’s largest alliance, EOS, and the upstart Occidental-Azanian Pact (OCA). Geographic realities make this western Oriental Ocean the prevailing theatre of confrontation. Since this summer, the public has become increasingly aware of the problem.

      EOS aircraft carried out 49 sorties last month, said southern Europa Expert Jesin Gagari in a post on his verified Wittier account. This was a 50% increase from the previous record in August. An anti-submarine surveillance plane accounted for 80% of the sorties.

      Gagari also alleged that OCA diplomats also sent a separate letter protested against the holding of the exercises with the Ayubi and Damak Var in August, which took place right after the recent invasion of Dragonryders. The past six months have seen frequent incursions of OCA fishing vessels into the Meteorolan nations' EEZ. There is little understanding of the nature of this threat. At its core, OCA-EOS competition is not purely an economic or ideological struggle, but a military contest for strategic dominance.

      The initial centre of gravity of any OCA-EOS conflict will be in the western Oriental Ocean. Ayubi and Damak Var are the most obvious targets. This area was always a crucial stepping stone for expansionist forces seeking to expand their power from one region to the other. Their strategic position makes them the most critical target in a major conflict. Located at the western end of the Meotorolan archipelago, the islands control some of the most congested shipping routes on Eurth.

      A spokesperson for the Entente commented in an email to Roiters News that: “EOS ships and aircraft routinely operate within the international waters of the Saeida Strait, and are committed to supporting its network of alliances and partners and upholding the freedom of navigation.” 

      OCA spokesman Ernst Gardner said Monday at a press briefing in Godstone that his country opposed the flights and urged the EOS to stop them. “This severely infringes on Azania's territorial security,” he said. “This is aimed at creating tensions and will drive the risk of regional conflict.”

      Chairlady Awidefale Rezovi is taking a strong stance to oppose the OCA's broad territorial incursion in southern Europa. The Imperial Orinese Navy has conducted a joint naval exercise involving ships earlier this year in the sea where Mahdah, Damak Var and Ayubi have sovereignty claims.

      It also reaffirms what many observers have long suspected about the ongoing but long-stalled negotiations between Orioni and the OCA over a peaceful solution to the ongoing continental conflict.

       

       

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      Stedorian Diplomat Expelled by Ostrosian Government

      Dipan Stedoriänik Pemomofom fa Reiganef Lostrosänik

      L'Ambassådeur Stèdorien Pailté pa l'Govienmint d'Ostros

      Last week, citizen Viliam Dreyfus, the Stedorian People's Republic's ambassador to the Kingdom of Ostros, was expelled from Ostros at the behest of the Ostrosian parliament and their Queen, who, in recent days prior had been heavily debating and considering the country's diplomatic response to Stedoria. In a press conference later that day after the decision had been made to expel citizen Dreyfus, an Ostrosian government representative went on to claim that Stedoria had allegedly "insulted the Kingdom's honour", and that the Ostrosian government would not allow Stedoria to "dictate how Ceriser interact with each other".

      Rather than this showing Ostros' willingness to interact with Stedoria in a diplomatic fashion, it has instead evidently, naturally, and justifiably been responsible for a massive deterioration in relations between Ostros and Stedoria. When asked about the Ostrosian government's expulsion of Viliam Dreyfur, Foreign Minister Ernö Bartok had this to say:

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      The Ostrosian government's actions in maintaining a stable and peaceful continent and region have been completely unacceptable in this situation; rather than fostering a relationship between which two nations can build understanding with one another so that conflict can be resolved. With the expulsion of Ambassador Dreyfus, the Kingdom of Ostros appears to have decided to go down a path of diplomatic hostility and aggressiveness with a nation simply advocating and sharing its concern for an island whose people have faced have faced death and destruction, and now who have faced a loss of their independence. Our government shan't back down from a path of reason and virtue not just for Stedoria, but also for the wurld; we will continue to advocate not for what appears as popular, but rather for what appears as right. We will continue to monitor the situation diplomatically.

      - Foreign Minister Ernö Bartok's response to a reporter's question regarding the Ostros' decision to expel the Stedorian ambassador 

      When asked if the Stedorian government or the National Party of the Stedorian Revolution is looking into or considering the expulsion of the Ostrosian ambassador from Stedoria or any other retaliatory measures against the Kingdom of Ostros, Foreign Minister Bartok responded saying that "all diplomatic options are on the table", although he also stated this included not taking any retaliatory measure or expelling the Ostrosian ambassador.

      However, a NPLS representative in the National Assembly of Popular Power introduced a bill today officially condemning the action taken by Ostros against the Stedorian People's Republic, though this is simply a symbolic gesture as no stipulations regarding diplomatic actions other than the condemnation are included within the bill. Despite this, the bill is widely expected to pass due to the NPLS' majority and the bills already stated support by the right-wing Freethinkers' Party and the far-left Communist Party, with the two parties labelling the Ostros government's expulsion of the Stedorian ambassador as diplomatically humiliating and imperialistic, respectively.

      Whatever action is taken, the action taken by Ostros has without a doubt significantly damaged the country's relationship with Stedoria and has also shown the country's belligerence in diplomatic affairs within the wurld.

    • The National Courier

      ᚱÍᚲᛁᛊᛒᛟᚦᛁ

      03.12.2021 AD

      91.04.1949 AJB

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      Nýttár Hátíð begins as the year comes to a close.

      The festival of Nýttár Hátíð begins as the year 1949 comes to a close and 1950 will begin. Preparations for the festival have taken place for over 2 weeks now and as the night draws closer, the preparations end and the festival begins. As always when the sun sets, the festival begins to transition from the previous year to the next and as the sun rises, the festival will be over and the year 1950 will begin. As always, the festival will begin with a feast that people mostly have been holding at their homes with their families, where traditionally fish, sheep and chicken is served alongside rye bread, waffle cookies with coffee aswell as alcoholic drinks like mead and ale there to settle the thirst. In recent days, many new additions have come to the feast tables but the traditional cuisine remains popular around Ateenia. Many tables will often be filled with songs and stories of the old and when the people are full, the real festival begins as the people gather outside and take part in singing, dancing and enjoying the scenery of others doing the same. For the entirety of the night, the streets will be filled with song and music aswell as dancing as people move both in parades and stand in the more open areas of their respective towns or cities with torches in their hands as their cities get lit up with torches rather then street lights. It is also why it is tradition to turn the lights off in the cities so that only the torches may show the light.

      Later into the night, the people will gather to the story tellers who shall reenact and tell the story of Ateenia's first king, Jorling Vrjolnsson Kalinka, from the day of his birth to the day of his death, telling how Vrjoln fell in love with his mother Lida, that resulted in her giving birth to Jorling that grew up as a farmer and as a warrior, how his mother was executed by the local jarl Horling that led Jorling onto his destiny of uniting Ateenia, it began as Jorling took revenge on Horling through a duel and won and because Horling did not have an heir, Jorling came to take his throne and become the Jarl. telling old stories on Jorlings great raids aswell as his battles that led him to uniting Ateenia through conquest, marriage and diplomacy and when no Ateenian jarl could oppose him no longer, they swore loyalty to Jorlings dynasty and through that formed the kingdom of Ateenia that has now existed for over 1900 years. As the night draws closer to the morning and people get tired of partying, the time of offerings to both god Jorling, to thank him for founding and fathering the kingdom of Ateenia and thus uniting its people, and goddess Ásair, the goddess of time so that she may bring forth the new year.

      When the sun starts to rise once more to begin the new year, the time of rest begins as people return to their homes and take rest for the rest of the day while the seer and seeresses begin their ritual to sit in a circle of candles and directly thank Jorling and Ásair in the people's names aswell as listen to their guiding and ask for them to grant them the power to talk to the gods for another year.

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      On other news:

      • Preparations for the Miðskammdegi festival are to begin after the Nýttár Hátíð festival.
      • Varnar considers calling in the reserves as tensions grow on the western border.
      • Princess Tyra to marry Prince Benjamin of Zaxar
      • Demand for electric lines grows as citizens of Kliþorp gather infront of their Shöfðingi's house in protest.
      • The music band Sögumaður releases their now song "Nótt" for their album "Guðirnir"
    • DBC NEWS

      Documents reveal domestic surveillance projects

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      LABRADOR - Two slides from a secret government presentation were leaked to the Briselle Post today by an anonymous source. The slides detail a new domestic security system, created by the Department of National Security. According to the slides a new system called “Delusaims” will give law enforcement massive reach into Delamarian’s lives, with the ability to record all travel, financial and internet activity, along with a series of other factors that the system will be able to use to detect and even predict crime.

      Activists are calling this excessively authoritarian, and are likening the government to a police state, as was done in 2018 when the National Video Surveillances Act was passed, granting huge funding for cctv cameras across the country. The system isn’t yet active across the entire country, but is in use in 5 states, New Beaumont, Cardborough, Labrador, Radnor and Nassaua. 8 more states are currently having the system implemented, and the Department hopes to have nationwide coverage within the coming years.

      It is believed that Delusaims is behind the construction of a £200 Million government data centre in Eastminster, as there is no doubt that there would be need for a great amount of computing power to implement the system on a great scale. Pritchett House has yet to comment on the revelations, however Governor Martin De Gaulle of Fleuria has already criticised this as “a return to the authoritarianism of the 1930s and 40s”. 

      It is unclear of whether the Department of Defence was aware of the project, but little mention of the armed forces was in any documentation acquired by the Post. Should this be the case it would add to an already worsening rift between National Security agencies and the military.

       

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      December 03, 2021

      In June of this year, Ion Mining Corporation, a public subsidiary of Toledo Metals announced that it was in the process of committing to a Market Expansion Merger with @Zaxari comparable, Southern Lithium Company. Both companies list Lithium extraction and processing as part of their industry focus and are also committed to in-house Research & Development of lithium battery patents. Both companies are also rated as comparables by Estandard et Paupre's Market Intelligence database; Ion with a Total Enterprise Value of $14 Billion Adapton Sestertius and Southern Lithium valued at $13.8 Billion.

      On July of this year, insiders publicly confirmed that the deal was primarily bent on fulfilling the massive increase in demand of lithium commodities and lithium-derived original equipment in the Iberosphere markets. Industrial giants like Toledo Heavy Industries and Fortis Electronics have been steadily increasing their demand for lithium batteries and raw material since 2018. Iverican industrials have become committed importers to this market since the shift of Iberic Industrials to semi-automation which prompted the 2018 demand spike. Toledo Mining's Chief Operations Officer, Dante Deivalle had this to say:

      "Zaxari Lithium is a key commodity in our growth. As the Iberic economies expand, imports become necessary as a means to both maintain domestic price equilibrium while also managing the industry's contribution to inflation."

      The transaction between Ion and Southern is set to result in a re-branded Lith-Ion Company, stylised as LITHION. The company is set to fill shortages which Narvic Lithium could barely sustain. The deal also promises to, "share Iberic industry technology and skillsets into the Zaxari market, speculated to raise output, bolster confidence in product quality while also providing up to 3,000 new jobs", as claimed by Ion press announcements.

      Speculators have already given tentative estimates to the high synergy this merger entails- Ion's daily close price has risen by 28% since June and conservative estimates expect that percentage to increase to 35% before the ticker is altered to ALTX:LION after the merger closes. Ion and Southern insiders confirmed that the company will be traded on Altaria Stock exchange following their press announcement which detailed the ownership split of the merger. The ownership split of 51% Ion to 49% Southern was favoured over a 50-50 ownership to meet Southern's condition- for the company to be traded on Iberic Markets. Iberic exchange laws require that primary listings be majority Iberic-owned. The merger will entail consolidating $8.1 Billion worth of Total Assets and will entail submitting to audits from both Iverican and Zaxari authorities.

      The parent companies have also pledged that no current employee will be layed-off as a result of the restructuring to follow. Further assurances included a signed document for compliance with Zaxari environmental regulations and a partnership with a Zaxari waste management firm to manage environmental impacts.

      Last week, insiders announced that the first phase of restructuring and asset consolidation were nearing completion, which did confirm that both companies had verbally agreed to terms with signing and closing expected within the month. 

       

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      December 04, 2021

       

      At 5:00 in the afternoon yesterday, @Rhodelliastudents began a protest outside a Rhodellian Embassy extension office in Altaria City. Though the event was largely populated by Rhodellian exchange students studying in Altarian Universities, several Indiense and Iverican students also participated. Campus officials from the University of Altaria, from which majority of the protesters are enrolled in, claim that the incident was sparked by recent events in the Rhodellian border but also focused on the, "long history of colonial oppression" visited upon the Native Aurelian nations. 

      Rhodellian exchange student Klaus Werner, who wore a bra, tanktop, and carried a sign which we could not understand, had this to say as he swayed back and forth, "It's like so unjust man. Like this oppression is just like cycles of hate. And bro-bro-bro, like listen, all my girlfriends are gonna agree with me, we should like embrace the Aurelians man. If we made love with them and not war, like- I would have an Aurelian baby man- what was I saying? Oh right, if we got some wurst and horseradish- no that's not it...", at this point, Werner takes his tank top off and begins pacing for a while before coming back and commenting.

      "Like guns man. My family back home has too many guns. Like you know I almost shot myself when I was like six bro? I was like- what happens if I look down this hole... And like Rhodellian arms manufacturers? Hella racist chiya, man. I'm like 1/16th native and I feel racially opressed everyday. I didn't know how fucked up Aurelia was until I got totes my goats woketh here in Altaria man. I have this like hella chill Guru, he's Prymontian but we all call him like Gautama-San and he made me take this trip like whoooooooooooooooooooooosh, like in another world? You know? And like all the cosmos, the machine elves just told me- Rhodellia racist man. Like microagressions bro, sometimes I can feel my native ancestors telling me that... I need some wings.". Werner then wandered off before attempting to punch an Altarian on the street, who responded by spraying Werner's face with a can of mace.

      Not long after our interview with Werner, the crowds of students were observed gathering outside the walled embassy extension office in greater numbers. Chants were voiced and Native Aurelian drums were beaten as a collection of, "skinny-but-fat, bangle-wearing, osteoporotic, and dyed hair m*therf*ckers" chanted in nasally voices. This quote comes from Mr Zhang Gao Nan, the proprietor of a small fried noodle shop situated in front of the embassy who fired his Argic War era automatic rifle at several students when they started throwing bricks at his shop and physically assaulting his customers. Zhang is a veteran of the 2nd Vasqqan Civil War and is licensed to own and carry his long-arm. Zhang claimed that he fired 391 rounds from behind his counter-top after he barricaded his customers in his walk-in freezer and was struck twice in the head by thrown bricks. 

      "My father's, father's, father's, grandmother's best friend's room-mate owned this shop and I be damn (sic) if I let some saggy-nippled spoiled brats f*ck my noodle shop. My granny smile at me you pink-haired tree-f*cker. Smile as I put cap in your ass."

      After he struck several belligerent rioters, Zhang was reportedly heard laughing from his shop maniacally, shouting, "eat shit weed-boy, I hope you like tie-dye, I'm about to stain that shirt red with some-some red tie-DIE, I make big sh*t on you face (sic)!", and, "I f*ck your grandmother, you come to wrong noodle (sic), white boy!"

      But this incident was not alone in this debacle, reports by bystanders claim that the Rhodellian students, though anti-gun and also protesting the state of gun-control (or lack thereof) in Rhodellia, armed themselves with several unregistered firearms as later found by the Altaria Metropolitan Constabulary (AMC). Several small firefights errupted in adjacent streets, which had the effect of cascading after the gunfire attracted members of the Pueblo Cartel, the Esonian Yakuza, the Huang Snakehead, and the Indiense, "Southie Brown Boy Gang" (the naming of this entity is as-reported by gang members, INBC does not condone the use of racial slurs). The gang members from various factions had brought a mix of firearms to the skirmish, Law Enforcement later found one (unused) RPG-7L warhead (launcher missing), and one General Purpose Machine Gun chambered in .308 with a half-used box of ammunition. The death toll among the gang members is yet to be confirmed. 

      In a bizarre twist of events, it appears that further loss of life was averted by a chemical attack from the university students, who used oxygen canisters with a container of smoldering hallucinogenic substance mounted on the nozzle, the constabulary later reported that up 38 of these devices were thrown, flooding the block with psycho-active substances which induced a kind of, "peace-loving ecstasy of Kumbaya", as noted by Mr Zhang. Zhang and his family were unaffected after he shouted, "Gas, Gas, Gas" which signalled his family to done their military-issue G-12 MOPP suits rated for 48 hours of CBRN exposure.

      Several officers engaged in beating students with their batons were caught on camera. After spending several minutes in the ochre cloud of smoke, the officers shrugged. Wandered for 5 minutes. Stared at a piece of graffiti, laughed and/or broke down in tears, and then picked up the students whom they were beating and carried them off to the nearest internet cafe to do something they were heard calling "UENA 2020 and chill". Similiarly, several paramedics en-route to the scene were caught on dash-cam veering off traffic and driving into a massage parlour. Luckily, no one was hurt.

      What is more shocking still is that members of the cartels and gangs of Altaria who were exposed to the gas began spontaneously "hugging it out" and treating each other's wounded. Several instances of public indeceny and fornication were also caught on amateur and street camera video. Dozens of Constables were also affected. Citizens reported that they saw several officers in full riot gear storm into a Ye Nong Fu's/Grandpa's fastfood restaurants carrying a barely-conscious cartel cholo and then ordering 12 family-size plates of orange chicken and unlimited fried rice and drinks. A collection of orthodox rabbis who were in that restaurant began praying loudly as they left in haste, but were horrified when they encountered an Esonian member of the Yakuza engaging in intimate affection with a Huang Gangster atop their panel van.

      "I thought it was the end times" said Absalom Mizrahi, the rabbi of Pateros Street Synagogue, his payot locks of hair still dripping in Si Chuan Sauce (Kosher). "I swear it- Altaria is a Godless place, and yet in my 60 years here I have never seen the Goyim possessed like a pack of horny dogs, ay, ay".

      Individuals affected by the gas were reportedly seen as far as Malate District, which is 4 metro stops and a ferry-ride away. The local Indiense community reportedly erupted into a mass street fiesta when they noticed that a crowd of ecstatic constables, gang members, and Rhodellian students came stumbling into their street market order several roast pigs, or lechon and two score plates of tapsilog, or sirloin strips and fried egg with garlic rice. The street party lasted for 4 hours until members of the Constabulary arrived just as the party transitioned into its karaoke and group hug stage. The festivities were quickly broken up and crowds were dispersed following some amusing attempts to include the sober constables.

      INBC will provide further updates on the aftermath of this urban anomaly. 

       

       

       

       

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      Prominent Atheist Murdered in Europa: What could this mean for Zaxar?

      Recently, a Tagmantine (@Tagmatium Rules) news report made headlines across the globe with the report on the murder of the prominent Tagmantine senator Hilarianos Soummakhos, on Friday, November 26. But why does this matter to Zaxars? Soummakhos was a prominent atheist, not a very common thing in Tagmatium, and there is evidence that this murder could very likely have been a religiously motivated attack. Protection against religious persecution is guaranteed in Tagmatium despite it being a theocracy and, as such, religious violence of such prominence is uncommon at worst.

      So why the sudden act of violent fervor? Squanto Peswkee, a professor in social science at the University of Green Falls, points to the rising tensions around the Wurld. "These tensions at the highest levels of government," Peswekee says, "eventually trickle down to the everyday citizens of these countries through propaganda and biased reporting." This theory was recently proven in a study published by graduate students at the University of Sandrica which found that "the average fear level in participants across 30 countries around the Wurld correlates very closely with the diplomatic situation of their home country." People in countries such as Tagmatium and Adaptus which border Anglia, were shown to be, on average, "a whole standard deviation above that of more distant countries." This study is currently under peer review at the University of Green Falls and will likely be challenged for its control group of tropical island nations at some point.

      So then the question remains, how does rising tension have anything to do with religious zealotry? According to Francis LaBouranis, a social scientist at the royal court, the reason for this is that people just want somewhere to turn too. In his recent report, LaBouranis states, "as people in free countries finally face the threat of conflict, they try and turn to their government only to realize that they, themselves, are this government. This causes great distress in the average plebeian, unfit for the role of a king. This has caused many of these people to turn to their faith to protect them. So long as they are told what to do, they feel safe. Even if their gods are fake and their priests are corrupt. They can just choose to ignore that after all."

      Several pro-democracy groups have spoken out against LaBouranis's statements and have accused him of bias toward the royal family. Several independent social scientists and psychologists have also come out with similar conclusions that the cause of this "de-secularization" and increased radicalization is the rise in global tensions.

      The Empire has also seen its share in rising religiousness with a decrease in the number of people identifying as "atheist" dropping for the first time in over a hundred years. Granted, it was a drop of just about 1%, but that is still significant for Zaxar. LaBouranis claims that this is because of the strong Zaxari leadership of Emperor William I though others speculate that, while this is a possibility, other factors may be involved.

      Love in the Air: The Newest Royal in Sandrica

      In more positive news, a recent press release from the Imperial Palace has confirmed plans for the royal wedding of his highness, Prince Benjamin I Zaxar, to the Ateenian (@Ateenia) princess Tyra Kalinka.

      This wedding has been long anticipated by the Zaxari public who had fallen in love with the young couple back when they had first become involved with each other back in early 2020. Benjamin and Tyra first met in late 2019 in Ateenia while Benjamin was on a diplomatic mission to establish relations between Zaxar and the nations of Argis; and oh boy, establish relations, he did. After the pair officially announced their relationship, they became inseparable and frequently traveled back and forth between their countries together. Princess Tyra is of the ancient royal house of Kalinka. Kalinka was founded way back in 94 CE by the great King Jorling Kalinka and is the current ruling family of Ateenia under Queen Ena Kalinka. The binding of the younger House of Zaxar to this ancient family will likely also involve a tighter bond between the two houses as well as the countries which they rule.

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      Princess Tyra Kalinka

      Tyra is 25 years old and is known across Zaxar to be both quite beautiful and courageous while Benj, who is also 25 years of age, is known for his recklessness and charm. It is no wonder how these two have quickly become the most beloved royal couple in Zaxar. The pair are often swamped with admirers every time they visit a Zaxari city and are often entertained in the halls of the most prominent of the Zaxar elite. Their fame is not limited to Zaxar and Ateenia however, as the couple recently traveled with a royal Zaxari delegation to the great cities of Tagmatium where they become know amongst the Aroman and greater Europan peoples.

      In the Ateenian faith, Vjoldinism, a marriage only takes place after a couple after their first child is born or while that child is on the way. Yes, you know what that means, Tyra has announced today that she is expecting with Benjamin's child! The Imperial Palace has released its official congratulations to the couple and William Zaxar himself has declared his love and best wishes for his younger brother and soon to be sister-in-law Tyra. The Emperor has also requested that the wedding take place in Zaxar so that it can be done in traditional totemist Zaxari fashion: in the presence of of the freshly carved familial totem of the new couple. Though the Ateenian's have yet to comment on the proposal.

      The wedding is set to be held very soon and in the presence of several prominent figures from both nations no matter the location. The ceremony is set to be fairly informal as is the norm for both cultures and will be held outdoors no matter the weather.

      We will keep you updated on this story as it develops.

      Army Exercises in the East: Why the Sudden Military Buildup?

      On Friday the Grand General, Leon Varxsos, reported that the Zaxar Armed Forces would be conducting exercises along the east coast of Zaxar and in the surrounding seas. Further details of the nature of these exercises have not been released to the general public although information has been released to the Anatean (@Anatea) government in assurance that these drills will not take place near their national waters.

      The Zaxar Army, Navy, and Air Force will all be taking part in the drills and several thousand Zaxar reserve troops have been mobilized to take part as well. While the Zaxar Army is considered highly professional and well-trained, the Zaxar Navy and especially the Air Force have often been neglected over the years due to the land-based and guerrilla style focus of all of Zaxar's recent conflicts. So this new focus on the drilling of these branches along with the recent expansion of the Zaxari Fleet indicates a focus shift for the Emperor, away from mere homeland defense and toward playing a more active role in regional affairs within Aurelia and its surrounding seas.

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      The pride of the Imperial Zaxar Fleet, the IZF Chosen, on patrol in the Zaxar Strait

      That will be all for tonight folks, so be sure to tune in next time to ZBN for more from Zaxar.

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      Hello and welcome to today's edition of 'Ahrana Today' where we bring the news of the Kingdom and the wurld to you the viewer. On this edition, The Ministry for Drug Enforcement has added a new drug to the National Watchlist, The Federal Government announces the Integration of the Grand Duchy of Elde into the United Kingdom, the Palace has also announced the Heir Apparent's and has confirmed the decision by a binding Royal Proclamation. All that here on 'Ahrana Today'.

      ----

      Today the Ministry for Drug Enforcement and its counterpart in the Ahranaian Directorate of Intelligence has announced that it will be adding a new Drug Substance to the Schedule I list of drugs. What is a Schedule I drug? Schedule I means drugs, substances, or chemicals are defined as drugs with no currently accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse. This schedule also has another level to it as well, Schedule IA means Drugs, Substances, or Chemicals that are illegal in the United Kingdom with the possibility of imprisonment for producing or in possession of this Schedule.

      This new Drug called Bronzium on the streets of Ahrana is a powdery substance that has a yellow tent to it that resembles Powdered Uranium, however unlike Uranium it is not radioactive but it can kill you if you happen to have an overdose on this substance. Bronzium was discovered by the Medical Community as a means to create a new pain medication to help with surgeries but was sidelined when several patients died during surgery due to accidental overdosages. Since then, the use, production and possession of Bronzium has been considered illegal in the Regional Levels but now at the Federal Level it is been given the same status. 

      As more information over this new and terrible drug that is affecting the people of Ahrana comes in we will be the first to inform you of that information.

      ----

      The Federal Chancellor and the Government has received the first Regional and Federal appointees from the Grand Duchy of Elde into the Union of the United Kingdom of Ahrana this morning at the Palace of the Presidium. This officially marks and announces the admittance of the Grand Duchy into the Union as a member state of the United Kingdom.

      The First Minister was received at the Monarchal Palace as well this morning as well as the Grand Duke. Under Law, the Grand Duke will act as the Representative of the Diarchs in the Grand Duchy of Elde similar to the Governor-General's in the other Regional Member States. The First Minister will be the Prime Minister of the Regional Government of the Grand Duchy. This is the first many great things that are coming in time to the people of Ahrana.

      ----

      The Monarchal Palace issued a Royal Proclamation proclaiming the Heir Appairent's to succeed them as the Diarchs of the United Kingdom of Ahrana come time. The Diarchs have also officially crowned the two Heir Appairent's with their full titles as granted by birthright and bloodline that being:

      Grand Duke of the House of Florence-Goring, Crown Prince of the United Kingdom of Ahrana, Colonel of the Lifeguards.

      Grand Duchess of the House of Chayka, Crown Princess of the United Kingdom of Ahrana, Colonel of the Lifeguards.

      This is the first of many stepping stones the Heir Appairent's will have to climb on their way to the Imperial Throne of the United Kingdom, and I for one believe that in say we wish them the best of luck and excited to see them more often as time goes on to see what kind of Diarchs they become.

      ----

      That is all here on 'Ahrana Today', tune in next time for the news of the Kingdom and of the wurld right here where we bring you the news!

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      More Arrests Made after Attack on Soummakhos

      Several Associates of the Attacker have been Brought in for Questioning

      The fatal attack on Gerontes (Senator) Hilarianos Soummakhos in Rhothraia on Sabaton (Saturday) shocked the nation. Although the Gerontes was known for his deviancy from our true faith and his willingness to stand up for those who also turn their faces away from the light of Christ, his murder showed a shocking disregard for the ancient mechanisms of our state, God's chosen nation on Eurth. It is right that the Agios Basilikon Kounsistorion has acted quickly to find those responsible, and not just the attacker themselves. After all, our nation is the one that the rest of Eurth looks to for inspiration and guidance, and our democracy is the foundation of that of the rest of the wurld, too. As yet, it is unknown whether those arrested are directly linked to the murder and if they represent some sort of wider conspiracy.

      The name of the attacker has been released. According to the statement given by the Praitorioi, the attacker is Maurikios Holobolos, 33, from the town of Efkalos, in the thema Myzithrasou. The statement went on to say that Holobolos had no prior criminal convictions and worked as an IT technician for a local advertising business, regularly attended church and gave no outward signs of being capable of such behaviour. It is known that the Praitorioi have seized computer equipment from the home of Holobolos. It seems strange that this was the action of someone who was otherwise living a quiet, Christian life. It may well be found that Holobolos was influenced by foreign agents, in order to try to destabilise our holy nation.

      Although the crime would normally fall under the jurisdiction of the Taxiotai, the local police of thema Moskonos, the district that Rhothraia is located, the high profile nature of the crime has meant that the Praitorioi have taken overall control of the operation from the beginning. Whilst this is an unusual step, as the Praitorioi are usually only involved at the request of the local police, the high profile nature of the crime and the fact that Soummakhos was being guarded by the national police means that they have been involved from the start. It may also be that since the attack happened despite there being protection officers on hand, they will want to quickly find if there are any more people responsible for it.

      Due to the severity of the incident and its august victim, and the fact that it might gain the attention of foreign powers driven by jealousy to undermine Arhomaneia, the Agios Basileos himself has released a statement concerning it. The statement condemns the attack, praises the Gerontes and promises to bring all the perpetrators to justice. It is likely that the Agios Basileos kai Autokrator, may God guide him, himself will be taking an interest in the progress of the investigation, since it was such a high profile attack. An excerpt of the statement shows this.

      “The attack against Gerontes Soummakhos was an appalling crime, an attempt to strike at the very heart of the Arhomaiki state. It was a shameful attack on someone who was a true servant of the Arhomaiki people, who repeatedly put his concern for others before his own welfare, regardless of their faith. Those responsible for it will quickly face the full force of the law of our great and ancient nation. My prayers will be for the family that he leaves behind.”

      Although obviously not known for his great faith, Gerontes Soummakhos was a well-liked member of the community, both amongst his fellow atheists – and others who reject the word of God – and the inhabitants of Rhothraia. A candle-lit vigil has been held for the last two nights outside of the gates of the Soummakhos family house in the small town and the priest of the local church, Presbyteros Eugenios Venerandos, held a service in the town square on Sunday evening, which seemed to emphasise less the teachings of God and more about bringing the community together after the attack. Of course, this was approaching blasphemy and it may lead to repercussions for Pr. Venerandos.

      It is surprising that the puppets of the perfidious Orhionioi (@Orioni) , Mercy International, have yet to come out of the woodwork to weigh in on the matter. They have regularly criticised the actions of the Agios Basilikon Kounsistorion in how it governs our holy state. They were also known to have regularly worked alongside Gerontes Soummakhos when he was defending those who felt that they were being treated unfairly due to their rejection of the true teachings of Christ. It would be surprising if they were able to remain silent.

       

      Basilikoploimon Undertakes Joint Exercise with Boreioadlantiki Enosi Navy

      Excercise to Remind Surrounding Nations of the Alliance

      Earlier today, the Logothesion tou Stratiotikou (Ministry for War) announced that the Basilikoploimon will be undertaking a joint exercise later this week alongside the navy of the Boreioadlantiki Enosi, the North Adlantic Union. This is part of the Megas Agios Basileia's continuing commitment to peace in the North Adlantic, which came about through the piracy crisis in the Makhaira Thalassa (the Dolch Sea) and then the Sentist War. It is also due to our nation's alliance with the Regaseion tou Seilosiou (Kingdom of @Seylos), which has transferred over to the the BAE when the union was formed between Seiloseia and the myriad nations that surround it. This formed arguably the most powerful nation in eastern Argis and certainly the most powerful maritime force in the area.

      The Logothesion tou Stratiotikou has not gone into detail about what the exercise will entail, but it will involve the BAE First Fleet and the carrier UNS Solidarity, with the Arhomaiki fleet made up the the BPP Agios Ioulianos and its carrier battle group, consisting of a Protosebastos guided missile cruiser, a Prognostikator electronic/cyber warfare cruiser and several destroyers, corvettes, submarines and support vessels. The UNS Solidarity is formerly of the Basilikoploimon, having been one of the Despotes class aircraft carriers sold to Arhomaneia by Megas Regaseion tes Souberinas, which was then sold to Seiloseia in order to bolster that nation's navy. It is likely that the exercise will take place in the north east of the North Adlantic, well away from other nations and attempting to avoid the busier shipping lanes.

      Although the exercise marks the first time that the Basilikoploimon and the BAE's navy have worked together, much of the BAE's navy comes from the Seilosiki navy, which our nation's navy cooperated with very closely during the Makhaira Thalassa piracy crisis and the Sentist War. The operation will allow the two navies to become even more familiar with working with each other, something that will undoubtedly help their effectiveness should another crisis arise in eastern Argis in the near future. It also marks the first time that the two forces will be seen working together since the Korinion Crisis, which saw the naval forces of Seiloseia and Nea Iverion (@Iverica) face off against the navy of Gharon (@Haruspex) , with the Basilikoploimon dispatching several small naval patrols to monitor the situation. It was surprising to some that the Agios Basilikon Kounsistorion stood aloof from what amounted to almost a war between three of its allies, although our nation was put in an extremely difficult position by it. If it had come to a real conflict between those three, it is very uncertain as to what our government would have been forced into doing.

      It is, therefore, unknown who this military exercise might be aimed at, if anyone at all. It demonstrates that the alliance between Arhomaneia and Seiloseia has been transferred to the BAE, although this should not be a surprise, as Seiloseia is the hegemon of that union in all but name. Perhaps it serves as a warning to the Regaseion tes Megas Angleias, who are known to be dabbling in the New Wurld by starting trade with the isolationist Autokrateia tes Makhairakeias (the Empire of Dolchland). Megas Angleia is also thought to hold a hostile stance towards Seiloseia. Equally, a diplomatic spat has been brewing between the governments of BAE and the Stedoriki Laïkí Dimokratía (@Stedorian People's Republic), mainly through Stedoreia's assumption that Seiloseia's actions are driven by imperialist, rather than humanitarian, reasons. It could be that this exercise is a show of force to those eastern Argic nations that there are already powers in the area.

      On that topic, should be noted that the Agios Basilikon Kounsistorion invited Stedoreia to help with the crisis in Ceris at from the start, but the Stedoriki government held itself aloof and waited until both the pirate crisis and the Sentist War had been resolved before it uttered a word. It seems that the Stedorioiwere happy for others to do the hard work whilst it reaped the benefits of the defeat of the pirates threatened sea lanes and the stabilisation of trade in the area before their government started any criticism. Likely, the Stedoriki government is put out that it cannot gain the influence that the BAE now has in Ceris and therefore is being obstructive, rather than any real concern for the Kerisoi.

      Although the naval exercise does raise the rise of increasing tensions in the area, it is also a relatively routine action for allies to carry out. It is thought that the Logothesion tou Stratiotikou is going to try to pursue similar exercises with other allies, especially the membership of TRIDENT. This would smooth out the differences that were starkly highlighted during the Koussoeiki Crisis and enable Arhomaneia to cooperate seamlessly with ensuring peace on Eurth.

    • Stedorian Ambassador Expelled from Ostros

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      Events between the North Adlantic Union and Stedoria have continued to grow more intense as the Kingdom of Ostros has expelled the @Stedorian ambassador from the country. This action has sent a shockwave through the local diplomatic community, and other NAU countries are scrambling to figure out their next move with this escalation. Tensions have been on the rise for weeks as Stedoria has repeatedly attempted to call out the Coalition occupation and reconstruction efforts in war torn Ceris. This back and forth led to the rejection of all demands by the NAU Council and a diplomatic rebuke that followed shortly after, protesting their accusations. However it seems that the Ceriser countries of the Union have taken the demands from Stedoria even worse than their eastern counterparts. The decision by Ostros to expel the Stedorian ambassador came after another diplomatic message from Stedoria accused the NAU of being "undiplomatic" and "imperialist".

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      Debate in the Ostrosian Parliament has been intense in recent days.

      "The Kingdom of Ostros feels that its honor has been deeply insulted by Stedoria. They continue to show their ignorance of our island." A representative of the Ostrosian government said in a press conference, "The Queen and Parliament are unanimous in their decision to expel the Stedorian ambassador. We will not allow a mainland nation dictate how Cerisers interact with each other."

      There are some reports that the government of Egris may be preparing to do the same, though nothing concrete has surfaced yet. The SBC has been unable to get further comment from NAU Council representatives or any representatives from the Monarchy in Seylos. Unconfirmed reports show though that the Stedorian ambassador in Selbourne has been summoned to the Royal Palace in a attempt to get some sort of handle on the situation. The SBC has also reached out to the Tagmatine government, as another major occupational power, for some sort of statement though as of publication we have not heard back yet. Regardless, it seems that the Dolch is heating up again.

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      November 27, 2021

       

      Some question the sanity of the FedCom for going through with this. To connect the Ferrocaril Nasional, or National Rail, to the rest of Argis when maritime freight is arguably cheaper and more efficient and yet, here we are. By the Saviour it is fucking cold here on this rainy autumn day. I'm Nick Valdes reporting in from Custo D'Oro, Galicia Major. As you can see, I'm standing outside in the wind and in front of this patch of sodden land that is to be part of the future of Argic Rails. It's damp too. Too damp to warm myself with a good sniff of magic dust on the new rail line that one of the railway engineers tempted me out here with in this first place. Now someone please get that teleprompter rolling. You have one job, yeah?

      At its longest the Caril is about 2,200 kilometres in length, incorporating standard gauge rails which were supposed to be ready for high-speed engines in the 90's, yet today, still aren't. Recent news from the Trans-Argic Rail Association, or TARA, summit has it that the Federal Council has planned to connect this terminus of the Caril, at Custo D'Oro, to Korelia in Southern @Prymontian Rus. A great many rail enthusiasts in both public and private transportation industries are quite excited for the ground breaking which is due for Spring next year with no definite date announced yet. Tentative plans include constructing a new engine yard, freight facility, and platforms- expanding the terminus of the national rail by a fair $250 million worth of Adapton Sestertius on top of laying another 1,800 kilometres worth of rail which are up to TARA standards

      Now the virtues of said multinational infrastructure projects have been extolled to high paradise by several universities, transportation companies, and train enthusiast groups- Saviour, you'd think weeping Virgin Mother he'sself came on down from heaven and blessed it with her deeevine foot, but make no mistake, there are several glaring gaps in the released proposal that make you think, what are they smoking up in TARA and can I have some of it? For one, we had a look at the current financial report issued by the Federal Council, this entire project nowhere near the allowance of the current Federal Infrastructure budget, most of which has been conveniently shoveled down the throat of military spending, small business development, and Commonwealth Banking and Finance. Where is this money going to come from? More money printing? Another Verdense loan? Saviour on His Holy Skewer, it's starting to rain.

      What's that? I've been off-script for the last 5 minutes? Well I can be on script again if HR decides its fit to send me subsidy for an umbrella, thanks. Back to what I was saying- It is understood that there are lots of positives this project can bring. No doubt, this looks to be a positive turn in continental Argic relations contrary to the usual ethnic cleansing pogroms and fighting over the last scraps of bread in this Taco-forsaken continent but I'd hold off my own praises for the project for when the Federal government decides it can be a bit more transparent on how it plans to go about this project with the United States of Prymont.

      If the project succeeds and is planned in a way that is financially responsible, it could indeed expand options for priority freight and increase the overall volume of import and export for nations where maritime freight is challenging. Furthermore, it could help with the issue of shipping backlogs caused by inclement weather or the chance of bloody coups by Argic Military Juntas that come just about every calendar quarter. There, I've said shit about the rail to tease the public into thought. Happy?

      I'm soaked. Now shut that junk off and let's find that engineer. I'm going to cut him unless he has my powder. Nick Valdes, sopping wet and signing off. 

       

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      Thanks Nick... Don't worry wurld, we're sure that Nick is still two breakups away from a workplace meltdown and/or potential lawsuit. Here with something a bit more cheerful, I'm Leonora Loyola, here with Iverica One's Culture Spotlight of the day.

      Behind me is a fastfood restaurant every Altarian knows and loves. That's right, its YeNongFu's, better known on the mainland as Ye's or Grandpa's. Though Ye's is somewhat of a greedy capitalist mass producer of heart disease and kidney problems, it is also a culture treasure of Huang-Iberic tradition.

      When the Huang ( @Fulgistan) first arrived in Altaria during the 18th century, they were granted a special part of the city, the Gift District- better known by Altarians as Distrito Dono or Little Huang as part of an exchange for the treaty port of San Bao. Immigrants were merchants, dock workers, mariners, and builders who brought with them Huang culture- particularly, Huang culinary traditions. Many of their descendants lived on in Altaria and Verde, becoming prominent figures, like General Joaquin Khan.

      Now where do General Khan and Ye's meet? To tell you, we'll have to go inside. From its humble beginnings as a family restaurant, Ye's eventually popularised this dish- Orange Chicken, originally Naran Ji from the Stillian word for orange mixed with the Huang word for chicken. Its marinated in rice wine vinegar and orange, spiced with with Alharun smoked peppers, battered with buttermilk or a hint of sour cream then fried up and garnished with spring onions. Mmmm- smells tangy, the smell of profits and a coronary triple bypass! Yum.

      You see, Yeye or Grandpa was the grandson of one of Khan's cooks. It was through Yeye's own grandfather that the story of how Joaquin Khan created the wurld renown recipe was told. Here's a token Huang person to deliver this wholesome story in a way which doesn't seem racist or exploitative of accents and facial features whatsoever. [Cue thematically Inappropriate music].

       

      It was a time of lawlessness. The Iberics ruled over the Ketek, but were slipping from power. At every turn, a rebel. In every oasis, bandits. It was during this age that the great General Joaquin Khan, hero of the Great South West kept order in the dunes with a small handful of his picked riders.

      One day, the troop were wandering the desert by the coast, hopelessly lost after a sandstorm had them lose sight of their baggage train. They were starving, with much of their food being hopelessly ruined by the fine dust and the spoilage of the desert heat. Trudging aimlessly up the coast, they had nothing but oranges and some water to fill their empty bellies.

      Suddenly, the morning after a night of intense sand storms, they chanced upon a vessel beached by the desert coast. Within it, some Indiense rebels lay barely alive and suffering from scurvy. At the sight of their enemy, Khan's men wished immediately to destroy them and take the ship and what little provisions the men had. However, Khan sensed that it would be both dishonourable to attack an enemy so stricken by illness. Furthermore, Khan knew that his men may not be enough to crew the ship should they win what was sure to be a bloody skirmish. 

      Khan instead swallowed his warrior's pride and parleyed with the rebels, who were themselves afraid that the troop would attack and thus had prepared arms. Approaching alone and with only a flag of truce in his hands, Khan offered that the two groups should share a meal. The rebels were gravely thirsty and had also run out of citrus long ago. Similarly, Khan's men suffered stomach pains and illnesses from the harsh juices of an orange fast. Khan had spied the rebels' chickens from his glass and offered that they cook the chickens in broth, crumbs, butter, spices, and oranges so that both groups could overcome their maladies. 

      The rebels agreed and shared in the first meal of the General's Orange Chicken. The men of both camps were so famished that the meal seemed divine to both. After having shared food and tea, the two camps decided on a temporary truce and sailed to a neutral Esonian town where both parted ways in peace. Today, Indiense. Iberic, and Huang still live in peace, with tasty Naran Ji meals to keep them together.


      Thus goes the Wholesome Legend of General Khan's Orange Chicken.

       

      That was heartwarming, thank you Mae San! Wrong culture? Oh well, we can edit that out... we're live? Well, uh- I'll have you know I'm 1/16th of a cultural minority. Anyway, heartwarming as I said. Truly a touching story of cultural exchange. Though there is an alternate version told in the Ketek today where Joaquin and his men fell upon the Indiense like a band of mounted devils, offering no quarter and taking all their chickens to cook into orange chicken over the still pooling blood of rebel scum- I'm certain that's just prejudiced fiction invented by the Narvic Nationalists. Oh look at the time. That's all for today, see you next time wurld!

      Ugh, my hair smells like that chicken... And by Taco, Bobi you little shit, interns are supposed to screen for accidental racism. My fault? Hey, asshole the network pays me thrice what you make, get in line before we deep fry and spice your scrawny cock- fuck Sergio, we're still on air-

       

       

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      Prominent Atheist Murdered

      Yesterday morning, at 08:23, as he was going for his morning walk and to pick up his morning paper, the well-known atheist and Gerontes (Senator), Hilarianos Soummakhos, was attacked by an assailant. Soummakhos' Praitorioi (National Police) protection detail were able to pull the assailant away from Soummakhos and arrest him but not before he had inflicted several serious knife wounds. They attempted first aid at the scene and an ambulance arrived quickly to take the Gerontes to hospital. However, despite an emergency operation that lasted five hours, he was declared dead. The assailant, whose name has not yet been released by the Praitorioi, has been charged with murder and remains in custody. At this time, the Praitorioi is not willing to make any comments on the motivation for the fatal attack on Soummakhos but it is likely that the attack was motivated by his religious position. The attack happened in the small town of Rhothraia, some twenty five miles to the north-west of Europatorion, where the Soummakhos family maintains a country retreat.

      Soummakhos, who was 57 at the time of his death, is survived by his wife, Antipatra (54), and four adult children. These are Nonna (22), Sebastiana, (19), Manouel (17) and Damiane (15). He was a member of the Gerousia of Europatorion, a position which his family had held since the foundation of the city by Methodianos the Great in EK5825 (AD333), making his family amongst the most prominent in the nation. Kommodos' disinclination to call any of the legislative bodies back since the Civil War, he had not taken his seat since EK7513 (AD2005). Due to his position as the most prominent of the small Arhomaiki population of atheists, he had received innumerable death threats over the years and the Agios Basilikon Kounsistorion had given Soummakhos a full time protection detail in order to safeguard his life. The most recent incident was a letter bomb sent to Soummakhos' Europatorion townhouse, one of several residences, in September of this year. It was caught by equipment that the Praitorioi had set up for that very reason and dealt with by a specialist team bomb disposal team.

      Religious freedom was guaranteed under the reforms of Agios Basilissa kai Autokratorissa Helike in EK7287 (AD1780), which at the time were more to assert the dominance of the monarch than any real attitude of enlightenment by the monarch. Although the vast majority of the population of Megas Agios Basileia holds to our Enlightened Aroman Church, with about 230 million of the total population of 253 million, Atheists make up one of the largest non-Christian religious minorities in Arhomaneia, with around three million, according to the last census. They also have been one of the most persecuted over the years. It has been suggested that the relatively secretive Logothesion tes Psevdeís Thriskeies, Ministry for Foreign Religions, often monitors those that are openly atheistic, and all other religious minorities. This is nominally against the laws of Arhomaneia.

      Gerontes Soummakhos had been an outspoken critic of the Logothesion tes Psevdeís Thriskeies, which was instituted by Theodosios VI not long after he overthrew the Navarkhokrateia. It was an attempt to gain the backing of the Church after the more secular regime under the Naval Emperors. The Gerontes also regularly challenged what he saw as religious discrimination, whether against fellow atheists or other religious minorities in Arhomaneia. He was pursuing several cases through the courts at time of his death, one against a factory owner who sacked an employee for being an atheist and another one for similar reasons but against a Laimaikios, one of the pre-Christian religions of Arhomaneia.

      There have been online rumours that the attack was organised by the Agios Basilikon Kounsistorion in order to eliminate an outspoken and well-known critic but this has not been commented on yet by the government. It is likely that this was done by a religious extremist who decided to take action into their own hands. There has been an increase in what has been described as religious extremism across Arhomaneia in recent years, which until now has been characterised as a peaceful movement. The most prominent examples of this has been the the stylitai, devout ascetics who have ascended columns in order to show their faith, of which the most well known is in the Plateia tou Agios Konstantinou, the Square of St Konstaninos, outside the Basilikon Synkrotima Palation.

      Ultimately, it is not yet known how our government will react to this attack. On the one hand, a loud critic has been silenced. On the other, Soummakhos was a member of the establishment, even though his beliefs had set him outside of the usual Arhomaiki norms. The government would likely see this as an attack on the structure of the state itself and will probably come down harshly on this. The investigation into this attack is very much in its infancy and it is unknown whether the attacker was part of any sort of wider conspiracy.

       

      Trade Agreements – Papering over Cracks?

      In recent weeks, the Agios Basilikon Kounsistorion has begun trade negotiations with several nations, as well as applying to join the Argic-Thalassan-Alharan Regional Association (ATARA) as a member. On the face of it, this is completely in line with the outward-looking policies that Arhomaneia has undertaken under Kommodos in recent years, including becoming a Partner for Peace with the Tricontinental Defence Treaty Organisation. This tack seems to have partly been spurred by the fact that Europa has become increasingly quiet, but also by the fact that our nation's only local ally, the Exousiokrateia ton Gharon (@Haruspex) has become somewhat unreliable. The debacle of their invasion of Koussoeia not only led to an international refugee crisis but even a brief civil war in Gharon as the former Exousiokrator Ji'Mar was killed by rebel forces that then placed Exousiokratorissa Kira'Karn on the throne.

      Earlier this year, this paper covered a speech made by Mesazon Gregorios Traiektonos, which laid out the Agios Basilikon Kounsistorion's financial plans for the rest of the year. Arhomaneia's economy has been going through one of the biggest periods of growth in recent decades, certainly since the end of the Long War. This growth seems to have slowed down considerably since then. Forecasts put forward at the time of the Mesazon's speech by the Agios Basilikon Kounsistorion, the Arhomaiki Kentriki Trapeza, the Aroman Central Bank, the Logothesion tou Genikou (Ministry for Finance) and several independent groups, suggested that Arhomaneia might see a growth in GDP of around 3-4% this year, with the most optimistic even suggesting 4.5%. Trade links with the New Wurld had solidified and it seemed like the Argic Passage would allow Arhomaiki goods and trade to reach the likes of Nea Iverion (@Iverica) without having to go round the south of Argis.

      The Angliki Crisis and the actions of the Gharoi in the Ragas Thalassa (Raga Sea), the Amnalos Thalassa (Amnalos Sea) and the Ketaiki Thalassa (Cetan Sea) have disrupted trade with the New Wurld considerably. Although the conflict between the Souberinoi and the Kyptoi has reached something of a stalemate, with the Angliki and Souberiniki forces remaining on the border of Kyptos, there is still significant tension in the Ragas Thalassa. Added to this, the actions of the Gharoi in their colony have meant that both the Basilikoploimon and the Ghallamvriki (@Gallambria) navy deploying there in greater numbers in an attempt to protect their respective nations' interests. The ultimate result is that the seas off the east coasts of Europa are a powder keg waiting for a spark to set it off, as there are four powerful naval forces in the area, as well as those of the Kyptoi and Sporsoi, all on a state of alert and with tensions running high.

      The impact that this has had on trade through that sea is obvious. The cost of insurance for shipping lines has increased significantly, and therefore the cost of shipping through those seas, which has often been passed onto consumers. This has driven up prices for many of the goods that our nation sources from overseas. This, perhaps, has been the reason that the Agios Basilikon Kounsistorion has targeted two eastern Argic nations with trade agreements - Kristianiki Koinopoliteia ton Ebrarion (@Ebrary) and the Koinopoliteia tes Niantastaneia (@Nyanta). It seems that these trade agreements aren't likely to be anything transformative, likely trying to increase trade by lessening or removing tariffs against what are the staples of the Arhomaiki economy – the agricultural and industrial sectors, especially grain crops and biofuel.

      The trade agreement with the Autokrateia tes Megas Zaxareias (@Zaxar) is thought to be a bit different. The Aurelian nation is one of the largest exporters of lithium on Eurth and the element has a huge range of uses in the modern wurld. From batteries to glass to lubricants to even medicine, it is amongst the most useful elements. Direct access to it from the source in Zaxareia will likely be a boost to the nation's economy but it is unlikely that it would enable it to reach the highs predicted eight months ago. It is now being predicted that the GDP growth is not likely to breach the 3% mark, and this is the most optimistic. Most predictions are suggesting that even over 2% will be unlikely. However, there is still five months left of the financial year and the volatile situation may well yet calm down. Its seems like the hopes of the Agios Basilikon Kounsistorion for a wealthier Arhomaneia than last year, and therefore better standards of living for the Arhomaioi, might be dashed, at least for the time being.

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      Zaxar-Rhodellian Lithium Deal Announced

      (November 20, 2021) Sandrica has announced early this morning that a much anticipated trade deal with the Kingdom of Rhodellia (@Rhodellia) has officially been put into effect. This has come after several days of negotiation with the Rhodellian government over the finer details of the deal and has stirred up great excitement among the mining communities of northern Zaxar. Local experts and economists have predicted that this deal will give the area a much needed boost in foreign currency and well-paying jobs which much of the country lacks.

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      A lithium brine mining operation in Niyol operated by Geolithia

      The lithium mining industry in Zaxar has been a rapidly growing industry for the poor nation and has been considered by most international experts to be the most promising factor in stabilizing the Zaxar economy and the government has already taken several steps towards opening the resource up to the glubal market. Zaxar is one of the only countries with significant lithium deposits in the Wurld and is currently the only major exporter of the resource which is becoming very valuable for its use in electric car batteries and other green energy technologies.

      Recently the government under Emperor William has released several contracts with domestic mining cooperations Geolithia and Blue Springs allowing for the creation of new mines across northern Zaxar and around the burgeoning city of Niyol in particular. Geolithia is based out of Niyol and is the largest mining cooperation in Zaxar, accounting for 46% of domestic production. It exclusively mines hard rock and continental brine lithium deposits. Blue Springs is the second largest mining cooperation in Zaxar and is based out of Sandrica, it accounts for 39% of domestic production. Blue Springs has several continental brine deposits under their control and is in constant competition with Geolithia to secure both government and foreign contracts. While there have been talks out buyouts unifying the companies in the past, the government has made it clear that, if this should happen, then there will be a government intervention in order to prevent a total monopoly of the market. It has yet to be seen whether the government will allow for any foreign companies to mine out of the country.

      Rumors have also been circulating that a lithium deal with Tagmatium (@Tagmatium Rules ) is underway although the government has yet to either confirm or deny these claims. The government is also expected to soon go into talks with officials from Kirvina (@Kirvina) about the use of the Sarthus River, which flows down from the foothills of western Zaxar and through Kirvina, in shipping lithium exports into the Gulf of Auriel.

      In response to these potential deals, the lithium mining sector has been rapidly increasing production. Government sources have confirmed that representatives from both Geolithia and Blue Springs have arrived in Sandrica to lobby for a government infrastructure project in Niyol which the Emperor himself has said is very likely coming soon. The companies have also released a statement which expresses their interest in hiring hundreds, if not thousands, of new workers over the next few months. The government has, in turn, opened the borders of Zaxar to any and all of the Wurld's "lost and downtrodden" to come live and work in the empire. In particular, this statement was addressed to the thousands of displaced peoples of western Europa who wish to escape the instability of the Anglian Wars. It has yet to be seen if this immigration strategy works.

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      Oversight Committee Announces New 5-Year Plan

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      Photo: Committee Spokesperson Rewit Alsheret announces next 5 year plan

      The Oversight Committee has announced that after a period of intensive consultative discussions between the Chairmen and the Teknocrator that the priorities of the next 5 year plan have now been agreed. The new plan will continue to strengthen Rhand’s key industrial sectors with a renewal of the growth budget for the energy, mining, construction materials, textile, and heavy plant sectors.

      In addition to this new budgetary allowance has been made for an expansion of historically neglected industries such as electronics, and tourism. The Committee has made clear in the past its belief in the importance of advancing the technical level of the economy, but has stressed that the only way this can be achieved without introducing distortions into the economy is to ensure that any expansion is a rational response to the needs of the Rhandic economy in it’s given level of development. It appears to have now judged that Rhand has achieved a level of technique that warrants a further expansion into more advanced electronic control systems and an expansion of the country’s access to digital technologies. The first phase of this expansion is expected to begin with imports of computer and electronic components from the imperialist powers, followed by a gradual raising of our own native design and production capabilities as our researchers become more familiarised with the technology.

      Committee Chairman Veniak Sharmah said “It is clear that the wurld we live in now is ever more reliant on computers and advanced electronics, further the potential for this technology to increase the efficiency and productivity of our economy is indisputable. What has held us back at present has been the need for us to attain a sufficient level of industrial technique to allow us to commit to computerising our economy. Our relative backwardness in this area compared to some of the imperialist powers is not a mark of our weakness; it is merely a signifier of the rapacious history of those countries which through their history of plundering the native wealth of nations such as ours have managed to claw their way to an advanced economy ahead of the oppressed nations of the wurld.

      However, we in Rhand are forging a new way forward. We have achieved here in a few short decades the sort of advance in technique and productivity which took the imperialist countries over a century to reach. Rhand continues to make great strides in all areas of activity be they scientific, industrial, or cultural; we are at the forefront of the great wave of the oppressed peoples of the wurld and together we will sweep aside all that stands in our way.”

       

      Edited by Rix (see edit history)
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      || SOUTHERN THUNDER AND NOMADS LOCATED

      The Nomadic groups of southern Mokhavia were finally all located, recounted and suplied with aid, after the floods a month ago. Only minimal casualties have been suffered by most groups, with a few not even getting effected by the floods. One nomad group by the name of the „Wach'alo“ has suffered the worst with a 15% casualty rate of their 80~ish people tribe, curently they have been set up to camp neer one of the „Recovery camps“ where the woonded members would be taken care of, thankfully there arent many fatalities.

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      In other news, the southern regions' weather hasn't gotten that much better, with storms moving their way to the Omal coast, places like Meyshey, Ysta and Taytala are currently under almost dayly rain, unusual for the country.

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    • PARLIAMENT PASSES POPULATION ACT
      15.11.2021

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      The Population Growth and Immigration Reform Act, or Population Act for short, has just passed the Ebrarian Senate after having passed the Popular Assembly days ago. The bill originated with President Renaldo's Center Reformist Party (PRC), but was significantly overhauled after being blocked by the Farmer-Labor Party (PFL). The Renaldo administration has been pushing for an increase in immigration to Ebrary in order to grow the Ebrarian economy but has been stymied by PFL consistently. However, the new bill was drafted to include many proposals on domestic population policies which have been supported by the PFL.

      The stated intention of the bill is to stop Ebrarian economic and population decline by both increasing immigration and boosting Ebrarian birthrates. Currently Ebrary has a negative net migration rate and sub-replacement fertility, and has experienced a declining population for some years. Wages in Ebrary continue to be low enough that significant numbers of Ebrarians emigrate to other countries temporarily or permanently to find work.

      While the act does little to address wages, it attempts to boost birth rates with a reduction in taxes and an increase in payments to married couples with three or more children. Paid family leave has also been extended for fathers specifically. As well, the new law also funds a media campaign to promote marriage and large families in Ebrary. On the opposite end, immigration limits have been more than doubled to accommodate a lack of skilled workers. Immigrants who are eligible to apply for citizenship or permanent residency are still required to be professing Christians in almost all cases, but this requirement has been lifted for highly-skilled temporary workers who are expected to leave the country on the expiration of their work visas.

      Low-skilled workers are also seeing a modest increase in limits, as well as refugee caps. In return, the law is funding expanded religious and language education for immigrants, as well as a sharp increase in funding for immigration enforcement.

      The bill is not expected to be vetoed by Sovereign Protector Daniel Lucas, who has remained out of the public eye for many months. President Renaldo (PRC) is touting the bill as a great win for his party, as is Deputy President Abraham Morgano (PFL). The bill received opposition by the Ecumenical Dominionists (PDE), with only one third of their Parliamentarians voting for the law.

    • ARs at dawn: Deadly duel between kids gets meme'd

      Ramhart Bülow, November 14, 2021, 15:39

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      Pictured: #TeamKuhn and #TeamLange billboards in Friedrichstadt

      The viral duel between Inaliyi teenagers Paul Kühn and Leon Lange is drawing ever closer, and Rhodellians are showing mixed reactions. Many people are excited to watch the morbid spectacle of watching two kids potentially fight to the death live on air. Others are (very understandably) horrified. 

      Even in an age of libel lawsuits, Rhodellians continue to enjoy a thriving duelling culture. Duels and other consensual fights remain a common means of settling disputes, defending one’s honour, and honing one’s skills in preparation for war. Knights, gentlemen, and working-class citizens alike all engage in duels. Teenagers also regularly fight each other, either to test their abilities or assert dominance within a school pecking order.

      Duels, or at least consensual fights, are very normal events in Rhodellia. They rarely get noticed beyond the social circles, communities, and locales they take place in. And yet, a duel between two normal kids is making national headlines. Even some foreign newspapers in Kirvina and even countries in other continents are reporting on it.

      Over 200,000 people have implied on the duel’s Boogaloo+ event page that they will be commuting to Stoneaxe Field, Inaliyi to watch a live screening. Meanwhile, a larger (and possibly global) audience is predicted to watch the online livestreams on Volkscast. With these numbers, Kühn vs Lange’s clash will likely be the most watched judicial duel in Rhodellian history.

      Against the expectations of its combatants, the duel has achieved ‘meme’ status among the Rhodellian internet community. It dominates people's social media and news feeds. It performs well in recommendation algorithms. 

      With the date of the duel less than a week away, it is becoming increasingly hard to ignore. Memes and discussion is ramping up among Rhodellians on big social media platforms such as Boogaloo+, Wittier, Threadit, and Volkscast.

      This article aims to give RNN readers brief glimpses into how the duel got its viral status as well as how Rhodellians are reacting to it.

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      How #KuhnVsLange went viral
      Kühn and Lange never expected attention for their duel to blow up to the extent that it has. They never tried to advertise it beyond their small town of Inaliyi. Even now, they are not trying to publicise it; untold thousands of other people are doing that for them.

      In July 17, the #KuhnVsLange hashtag began as an inside joke by students of Balck High School, which Kühn and Lange both attend as Year 10 students. Interviews with various school staff and pupils suggest that the duel is the talk of the school. The duel is commonly compared to a high-profile MMA match between Wurld-champion fighters. Accordingly, the #KuhnVsLange hashtag was a joke where Kühn’s friends hyped up the duel on Wittier in mimicry of professional promoters.

      In July 19, the two boys co-created a new Volkscast channel, ‘KuhnVsLange’, where their friends, neighbours, and families, could spectate the duel from both boys’ livestreamed POVs. The channel’s livestreams are also meant to be used by Inaliyi Sheriff’s Department and Rhodellian Dueling Association representatives to remotely oversee and referee the duel from safe locations. One of Lange’s friends, who is a Volkscaster and locally known ‘video editing prodigy’, created a high-production-value trailer explaining the duel and its combatants as the channel’s first video.

      As what usually happens whenever anything happens in Small-Town Rhodellia, news of the upcoming duel was quick to spread among Inaliyi’s 4,000-or-so close-knit residents just through word of mouth. 

      They were quick to organise a town-wide community gathering to watch the duel. The organisation process entailed starting a Boogaloo+ Event called ‘Kühn vs Lange Duel’. The original location for the live screening was set as ‘Walthari Park Arena, Tsaladihi Street, Inaliyi’.

      The fight promotion joke was quick to spread to Inaliyi’s adult population as well. Both the KuhnVsLange Volkscast channel and Boogaloo+ Event were linked to the #KuhnVsLange, #duel, and #fight hashtags. Almost the town’s entire population was soon posting about the duel on their social media accounts as if it were the biggest event in the country. And that is how word of the duel almost instantly spread outside of the town.

      According to 2020 statistics from the Office for National Statistics, Rhodellia has one of the highest internet usage rates and social media penetration rates in the entire Wurld. 98% of the Rhodellian population actively uses the internet. The country has a social media penetration rate of 85%. Rhodellians are very well-connected via the Wurld Wide Web and ubiquitous high-speed internet. 

      Without even being shared or retweeted, a single Inaliyi’s resident’s social media posts could reach someone in practically any corner of Rhodellia. They can even reach people in other countries. Like atoms splitting in nuclear fission, a single social media post can start a chain reaction and be shared by even greater numbers of people further down the line. 

      The first non-Inaliyi residents to be exposed to the duel were simply direct friends, followers, and subscribers of Inaliyi residents on social media. Some of them were real-life friends, family members, or coworkers living in the next town down the road or railway. Some were online friends living on the opposite side of the country. Some were complete strangers from distant lands.

      Also among the first to take notice was Rhodellia’s sizable duelling community. They saw the Kühn vs Lange duel being discussed on the #duel hashtag on Wittier, and it shocked them. The sheer oddity of the duel certainly helped a lot with engagement from Wittier’s Rhodellian community. Wittier’s algorithms would start randomly recommending even more posts including the #KuhnVsLange hashtag in mid-August.

      On August 28 2021, for the first time, the #KuhnVsLange Wittier hashtag reached #1 Trending in Rhodellia. #duel followed shortly behind at #3. Over the next several weeks, the duel’s related hashtags would lead hundreds of thousands of people to the KuhnVsLange Volkscast channel and Boogaloo+ Event. Many more people would be shocked, and this in turn got even more people talking.

      As the duel between teenagers began trending on Wittier, it was also being discussed on Threadit. Most serious Threadit discussion of the duel was concentrated in five Subthreadits: th/RhodellianPeopleWittier, th/Rhodellia, th/fights, th/Duel, and th/GoodRhodelliaMemes. Threadit discussion and memes would give the Kühn vs Lange duel even more exposure, both directly and indirectly.

      What is shocking to Rhodellians is not that the duel’s combatants are legally minors. Rhodellian kids and teenagers commonly settle disputes with martial arts; foam, rubber, or wooden practice weapons; paintball guns; and airsoft guns, usually with school and parental approval. Duels between Rhodellian kids are not unheard-of events.

      What is shocking to Rhodellians is not that minors are going into combat. Rhodellian kids are extensively instructed in the use of firearms starting in primary school in preparation for National Service and war. Children as young as twelve years old have fought in defence of Rhodellia during the Red Deluge (1914-1921), the Rhodellian Crusade (1940-1948), and even in the ongoing Nordwalde conflict. Rhodellian kids going into combat either out of sheer patriotism or desperation are not unheard-of events.

      What is particularly shocking about the Kühn vs Lange duel is that both combatants are young Rhodellians voluntarily choosing to fight fellow countrymen with real weapons and ammunition. 

      What is even more shocking is how the duel is being turned into a huge public spectacle. People are either cheering on combatants to win or making jokes rather than actually calling on the combatants to seek a peaceful (or at least less lethally violent) resolution. While duels were initially popularised by being public spectacles, that does not necessarily have to be the case in the modern day.

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      Pictured: The earliest known #KuhnVsLange billboard edit posted onto th/GoodRhodelliaMemes on Threadit

      #TeamKuhn and #TeamLange
      All over Rhodellia, people are seeing billboards advertising Kühn and Lange’s duel. They typically consist of black text on plain white backgrounds. They are often accompanied by photographs of Kühn or Lange superimposed over the Rhodellian flag. With the hashtags #TeamKühn and #TeamLange, they call on Rhodellians to pick sides. This advertising campaign did not originate with the duelists or anyone else from Inaliyi.

      These billboards began in late August as a series of photoshopped images and template memes on Threadit caked in varying levels of irony. Netizens then began renting real-life advertising spaces before posting photos or videos of them onto various social media platforms. And then several popular mainstream Volkscasters hopped onto the trend, renting even more advertising space to spread the word of the duel.
       
      The first of these photoshopped billboard images was posted onto the Subthreadit th/GoodRhodelliaMemes. It was titled ‘Who else is hyped to watch two random kids kill each other?’. It contained Kühn and Lange’s now-familiar portraits superimposed onto the Rhodellian flag, giving the duel a patriotic dimension. These portraits were then edited into a generic stock image of a billboard. In the comments, the original poster linked the duelists’ edited portraits for other users to make their own edits.

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      Pictured: The earliest known meme about the Kuhn vs Lange duel, also posted onto th/GoodRhodelliaMemes

      Meanwhile, the earliest known ‘Kühn vs Lange’ meme is a gang war meme captioned ‘WHICH SIDE ARE YOU ON?’. It asked th/GoodRhodelliaMemes users which of two duelists they were siding behind. The terms ‘Team Kühn and ‘Team Lange’ appeared soon after, borrowing terms popularised by the fandom of a certain series of vampire-themed romance fantasy books and films. These were then converted into the familiar hashtags circulating today.

      The abnormal nature of the duel gripped the Subrthreadit’s 350,000 or so users. They went about producing great quantities of memes and billboard edits. By early September, #TeamKuhn and #TeamLange started appearing on most Kühn vs Lange billboard edits being posted onto Subthreadit. The simplistic ‘black text on white background’ format also became standard at around the same time as part of a decentralised yet concerted effort to ‘optimise’ the meme for spreading beyond the th/GoodRhodelliaMemes community.

      September 12 marked the day #TeamKuhn and #TeamLange left the confines of Threadit and cyberspace. A Threadit user rented a real-life billboard in Boubonweir, Nordwalde Province, throwing his support behind Kühn. The original poster first uploaded video footage of the billboard onto his personal Volkscast channel. He then posted an image of himself standing underneath the billboard on th/GoodRhodelliaMemes. The thread currently stands at over 12,000 upvotes, has received dozens of Threadit awards, and has become the Subthreadit’s highest-rated post of all time.

      More people would follow that example in pursuit of laughs, upvotes, and awards. In towns and cities across Rhodellia, netizens in on the joke would rent hundreds of billboards telling the country about Kühn and Lange’s duel. Seeing the traction #KuhnVsLange, #TeamKuhn, and #TeamLange,  even popular Volkscast content creators such as DaKMannzTV, Jakob Paul, and RiceGun hopped on the trend. These social media influencers would use their above-average wealths to rent even more billboards in high-traffic areas well beyond the affordable range of the average person. 

      Rhodellians are now noticing these billboards everywhere. You can see #TeamKuhn and #TeamLange billboards on the flanks of the Autobahn. You can see them suspended above busy high streets in Friedrichstadt. You can even see them scribbled on the walls of public bathroom stalls. Overall, the billboards seem to be generating huge publicity for the duel.

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      Many people seemed excited about watching the upcoming duel, despite its combatants being kids. Everyone loves watching a good test of arms. And many don’t seem to discriminate based on the age of the combatants. It’s all good so long as the blood flows.

      Human-human blood sports are very popular in Rhodellia. For example, Mixed Martial Arts (MMA), Historical Europan and Argic Martial Arts (HEAMA), and Panzerfahren continue hitting record-high television ratings and internet livestream viewerships. Other combat-related sports such as competitive paintball and MilSim airsoft are also very popular to watch.

      As has normally been the case throughout the centuries, whenever a duel is publicly declared, they usually become the talk of the neighbourhood or town. Public duels typically draw in dozens, sometimes hundreds, of spectators from around the area. In Kühn and Lange’s case, the billboards and the social media buzz around them are raising awareness of the duel to millions of people around Rhodellia and around the Wurld. Television and internet streaming made viewing the duel an extremely easy task.

      People are also placing bets on the duel. Pubs and betting parlours around Rhodellia will be tuning into the duel’s livestreams. Even as far away as the South Oregon Hinterlands, The Financial Gazette newspaper has reported a marked ‘rise in profits’ for local bookmakers directly because of people betting on Kühn and Lange’s duel.

      Meanwhile, many people were either not in on the joke, are feeling that the #TeamKuhn and #TeamLange billboards have lost all irony as it entered mainstream discourse, or are unamused regardless. Of course, there are also a lot of people who see ethical and moral issues in advertising a lethal duel between kids. The advertising campaign has thus seen a great deal of controversy too.

      It’s safe to say that #KuhnVsLange is driving a fair bit of public discourse and economic activity.

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      The memes
      The duel has also been the subject of a lot of memes being generated and shared across social media. It has indeed become Rhodellia’s de facto ‘Meme of the month’ for November 2021. #KuhnVsLange memes have touched on many aspects on the duel, from the recent hype around it, to historical parallels, to the idea of using lethal force to stand up to bullies, to the unusually young age of the duel’s combatants, to theories about the duel being fraudulent. 

      Many memes and social media posts expressed shock, disappointment, or concern towards the country being more enthusiastic about watching the duel than doing anything to stop it.

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      Many social media posts and memes compared the Kühn vs Lange duel as a public spectacle to the historic gladiatorial duels of ancient Arome.

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      Many memes poked fun at Kühn’s unusually lethal and violent approach to settling his personal beef with Lange.

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      Many memes poked fun at the combatants being minors as well as how Rhodellians may have unrealistic expectations for Kühn and Lange’s performance as combatants in their duel.

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      Considering that the combatants were known to be friends before starting secondary school, many memes have also theorised that the duel is just a fraudulent scam, will be staged, or how the duel is more about making money than settling a dispute as per Rhodellian custom.

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      These memes reflect a range of opinions, observations, and talking points about the duel. The Rhodellian internet community and meme machine has certainly been busy these past few months.


      Reactions from Kühn and Lange
      Kühn and Lange are very much aware of the memes, unofficial advertising campaign, and explosion of attention surrounding their duel. In interviews with RNN journalist Kenneth Michell, they each reacted differently to how their duel basically became the talk of the country:

      Kühn expressed nothing but positive emotions towards the spotlight being shined on himself and his duel with Lange:
      ‘I’m happy like you wouldn’t f*cking believe right now.’ Kühn said, smiling widely. ‘I never had all that many friends growing up. So believe me when I say that I’m feeling an astronomical amount of joy right now, just from seeing so many people say they believe in me, that they’re rooting for me to succeed. I don’t even care that it’s all an ironic joke, or just a meme. It’s the most acknowledgement I’ve ever gotten from other people outside of my own family. Scrolling through my Wittier feed after school nowadays just gives me the best feeling in the wurld, and I can’t… I can’t thank everyone enough for it. Keep it up with those billboards, guys. I really love you all, and you’re all awesome people!’

      Meanwhile, Lange felt more irritated towards the billboards and all the disruption national attention brought unto his life:
      ‘Honestly, this duel’s nobody’s business but me and Paul’s. It’s a personal thing, and I'd prefer if people respected that.’ Lange said. ‘I’d prefer it if everyone just took down these ‘Team Whatever’ billboards, went about their daily lives, and let me and Paul sort our own business in peace. I mean, they’re plastering photos of two minors in the middle of big cities without their consent. That’s pretty messed up if you ask me.

      Oh, and in an ideal wurld, I wouldn’t have to be bothered by all these dickheads who don’t know me personally, jacked up on Misinformation Schnüsch, giving me shit for allegedly being an “asshole” or “bully” to Paul. People are off the hook, man. They’re sliding into my DMs, stalking me on my way to school, or straight-up standing outside my house. I keep being painted as some f*cking villain by people who have never so much as met me. And it’s all thanks to these dumb billboards coupled with misinformation and outright slander that I basically can’t do so much as browse art on Wittier in peace. The Sheriff’s Department legit has a patrol car outside my house 24/7 because my parents got sick of telling people to “f*ck off” every single day. Like, holy shit dude, people need to focus more on their own lives.

      If you’re interested in the duel and want to watch it, that’s okay. Just watch the livestream and maybe drop a like while you’re at it. All I’m asking of people right now is that they stop going out of their way to bother me.’


      What now?
      Kühn and Lange are said to be training ‘relentlessly’ for their duels when not in school or quality spending time with friends and family members. Both Kühn and Lange have said that they want to avoid embarrassing their country by appearing ‘sloppy’ and ‘unprofessional’ when clearing rooms at Inaliyi Wood. So for the past few months — even in the holidays — the two have been scheduling private lessons with their school’s firearms instructor, martial arts instructor, and P.E teacher. All of them were ex-Rhodellian Army special forces operators who served in Nordwalde and Operation Highwayman. The duelists themselves intend on doing their utmost best to win.

      The duel is set to start at 0800 on November 21. It will be livestreamed using Volkscast’s pay-per-view platform. It will be broadcasted from three different perspectives: Kühn’s POV, Lange’s POV, and various cameras around Inaliyi Wood’s being operated by a Department of Defence cameraman. Kühn and Lange will be using helmet-mounted cameras as well as UAVs whose footage will also be broadcasted.

      Inaliyi Town Council is asking anyone visiting Inaliyi to watch live screenings of the duel to go to Stoneaxe Field instead of Walthari Park Arena or Inaliyi Wood. The Walthari Park Arena screening is for Inaliyi residents only. Stoneaxe Field has its own separate screening, with an even larger capacity for the 200,000+ people on Boogaloo+ who said they were coming over. Inaliyi Wood is on Department of Defence-owned land, and access to unauthorised personnel and site users is prohibited.

      The Borries HSR Line (which Inaliyi is a stop in) is expected to run at maximum capacity due to all the commuters expected to travel to the town. Free bus and coach rides to Inaliyi are being offered in Gottesberg at St Christopher’s Bus Terminal, Heinrici Avenue, Altenburg and in Friedrichstadt at Ludendorff Bus Terminal, Ludendorff street, Archangel’s. Visitors are being asked to not drive their cars to Inaliyi due to a lack of parking spaces as well as to avoid causing traffic jams on the A7. 

      Kühn vs Lange is projected to become the most watched judicial duel in Rhodellian history. Hundreds of thousands of people in Rhodellia and other parts of Eurth are looking forward to this surprisingly historic clash between two normal teenagers. It will surely be a fantastic start to people’s Sunday morning.

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      Edited by Rhodellia (see edit history)
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      "COAT OF MAURICE" CO-STARS CLEMENT AZÉMA AND ELIE MALET ANNOUNCE ENGAGEMENT

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      Clement Azéma, aged 32, and Elia Malet, aged 28, are finally getting engaged after a 6-year relationship. The two actors, who are currently co-starring in the murder-mystery series Coat of Maurice, announced the news while their two characters got engaged on screen.

      The two have been inseparable ever since they worked together on The Serpent on the Court, a 2015 murder-mystery sports film. The two officially began dating midway through the film's production, and have worked together on virtually every project since then. Both Azéma and Malet have had successful careers in the industry, and are currently the most popular actors in Fravi film and television.

      Clement Azéma began acting as a child, starring as Arthur Aubert, the mischievous middle child on the murder-mystery sitcom Family Investigations. While the show ended in 2004, his acting career certainly has not.

      Elie Malet began her acting career on the stage, playing the eponymous character in the murder-mystery musical Tourmaline from 2011 to 2014. Her tenure in the stage production earned her high praise and renown, which allowed her to land the lead role in The Serpent on the Court.

      Currently, the two co-star in the murder-myster period drama series Coat of Maurice. The show, which takes place in 1788 Lysian Columbia, follows Azéma's Det. Constantin Savatier and Malet's Det. Fleuretta Langlois as they investigate the mysterious murder of Maurice Leclerc. The show's latest episode was about Det. Savatier's proposal and engagement to Det. Langlois, paralleling the real-wurld announcement of Azéma and Malet's engagement.

      Already, many fans have congratulated the couple on their engagement. Among these fans are President Bernard Beaumont and Vice Presidents Adelie Grasse and Glacier Homard, who are well-known fans of the show. A statement from the Executive Manor read, "We congratulate the young couple, and thank them for all the years of murder-mystery themed entertainment they have provided the nation."

      While their press offices have confirmed the engagement, neither star has yet to speak about it. However, the pair will have an exclusive joint interview together airing at 10 P.M. tonight on The Rose Window. Allegedly, the interview will be murder-mystery themed.

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      New Law Against Monarchism Passed

      Lonemet Nulik To Regänim Pedasumon

      Lwè Novele Conte li Rweyåme Passêye

      This afternoon, a bill was passed by the National Assembly of Popular Power titled the Act to Combat Monarchist Apologism; the bill is expected to be signed and officially codified into law early tomorrow. The bill, introduced by members of the NPLS, passed thanks to the NPLS’ majority that they hold in the National Assembly; members of the Freethinkers’ Party also voted in favour of the bill, with the rest of the National Assembly’s parties voting against the bill and voicing their concern for it. Despite the concern from the oppositions however, citizens need not to be worried about the bill’s parameters.

      The bill was introduced in response to the growing monarchist threat of the "Royal Stedorian Front of Monarchist Resistance" (FRSTR) counterrevolutionary organisation that has, since the Revolution, continued to wreak havoc on innocent Stedorian citizens in the name of their fanatical and cult-like purpose of the re-establishment of the monarchy that oppressed Stedoria for centuries. The bill’s intended goal is to discourage the spreading and propagation of monarchist propaganda within Stedorian society, namely the media, so that the institutions of the Republic can be safeguarded for all citizens.

      The bill outlines and prohibits various harmful content relating to the former monarchy and the flawed idea of monarchism. Under the bill, citizens, media outlets, and entreprises are officially forbidden from publishing any material or content that defends counterrevolutionary and violent activities by organisations such as the FRSTR and other like-minded organisations, publishing any content that advocates or attempts to promote monarchies over other forms of governance, and publishing any material that advocates for the return of the Stedorian People’s Republic’s former monarchy. It should be noted, however, the bill also notes that an exemption to this law is made in publications of books, or in situations in which acting is involved, so that movies, television shows, and novels still remain available and free to read and write for Stedoria’s citizens. Citizens in violation of these parameters can be found guilty of three new criminal offences: Apologism for counterrevolutionary activities, apologism for the former monarchy, and advocation of monarchism. Those found guilty may receive a fine, potential jailtime, and potential revocation of citizenship for a temporary or permanent period of time, depending on the crime’s severity.

      With the passing of this bill in the National Assembly, the NPLS released a statement earlier today on social media, expressing their joy and happiness in the bill’s passing, and have ensure all citizen of Stedoria, weather or not they support the NPLS, that they will be protected from the influence of monarchism in every place of society, and that republicanism shall always remain in Stedoria. The NPLS also stated their expressed desire in ensuring that the ideas of republicanism, liberty, and revolution continue to be advocated to Stedoria’s citizens.

      The National Assembly, after passing the bill, released an online publication of the bill for citizens to view in order to understand the new laws and parameters that will come into effect soon.

      The bill can be viewed here for citizens and foreigners to read: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1ACmPmEe-qbs_X2v7mH-ff6pgtUha9pICfPzdAt6ZmbY/edit?usp=sharing

      Edited by Stedoria (see edit history)
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      Home | Orioni | World | Business | Tech | Science | Culture | Health | Sports

      CAOS icebreaker IRV Beredo to leave Miiros this week, bound for Antargis

      ORTHEN, @Miiros — The CAOS icebreaker IRV Beredo departs Orthen on Friday to begin its first journey south to the bottom of the wurld. The first heavy icebreaker in the CAOS scientific fleet, Beredo will begin the first of many annual journeys to Antargis. Its mission is the resupply of all existing scientific Antargic stations. The ship will be making stops at numerous points along its journey, including Berenyi Island, Balter, and Odberge.

      "Under the watchful eye of experienced Miirosi Captain Beinteinn Versson, the 150 women and men aboard the Beredo will conduct this essential mission to create a navigable path through seasonal and multiyear ice as thick as 6 m (21 feet), to allow refuel and resupply ships to reach Simon Station, the largest Antarctic station and the logistics hub of the ISTC Antargic Program," according to the CAOS.

      The crew have mounted a camera to the bow of the ship. A live feed of the journey is available on Wittier. The feed is, mostly, fixed on the view in front of them. They also upload pictures of their journey.

      IRV Beredo live stream

      Currently, the CAOS's current operational Antargic fleet only includes the 173 m long, heavy icebreaker Beredo. She will soon be joined by the IRV Menelassar and the IRV Connor Grey. These three ships will become the world’s largest and most powerful nuclear-powered icebreakers.

      “I am immensely proud of all the hard work and dedication the men and women of the Beredo have demonstrated to get our ship ready,” said Beinteinn Versson, commanding officer of the Beredo.

      The CAOS is working to construct these innovative polar landing craft "to ensure access to the Polar Regions, and to protect the Eurth's environmental and scientific interests. When the mission is complete, the ship returns to dry dock in order to conduct critical maintenance and repairs in preparation for the next mission. To support this endeavour, the CAOS is exploring options to expand its infrastructure to support the growing icebreaker fleet.

    • On the Status Quo
      as spoken by Nicolaos Bakirtzis, 10-11-21, 16:35

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      Pictured: a remote farming community home affected by mudslides in 2017.

      Longtime listeners of the Ethysa evening broadcast will know that from time to time, it is the solemn responsibility of the senior caster to sit down and discuss their perception of the state of affairs here in our beloved Aurelia. It is done just so by a journalist and not a politician, because it is important that the people feel like this analysis is done with an open heart, and not to some personal political end, where someone could benefit from spinning the situation a certain way. Having faithfully served the community of the nation for some thirty years, I, Nicolaos Bakirtzis, will take time now out of my evening to discuss with you millions of viewers my personal beliefs about the place we, together, find ourselves. I hope that you too take the time out of your evenings to sit down and listen to me. Because I think I am not wrong when I say that we live in tumultuous times. Of course, there is advancement. People are doing better. And the country does better when its people are doing better. Few countries can say that they have done as much to look out for the population as our beloved Kirvina. That is something to be proud of.

      But when I was a young man, there was not global political turmoil. There were no expansionist imperial regimes with their sights on Aurelia and the rest of the Wurld. The terrible truth in what I am saying is that you cannot even interpret what I am implying. So tired is the state of foreign affairs that I could be talking about any one of multiple different foreign nations. I digress. I have included as the header to the transcript of this speech, a picture of a house in Pathouso village, where the courtyard is all flooded with mud and river water. That is because I think that that is a fair analogy for where we find ourselves now. Surrounded by the wartorn Steppe, the Railroad States which keep up the veins of the inland trade, and different regimes, mostly friendly, it is hard to take up a perspective. I have had Zaxari, Rhodellian friends for much of my life, who have held little ambition for themselves beyond escaping being blown up or crippled for long enough to get a Kirvinsét seasonal work visa. Because sharecropping on a farm in Pontaleia in the spring pays better than being an engineer in their hometown. Such a sad thing, I tell you. Such a sad thing.

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      Pictured: Mr. Bakirtzis (center) reporting on Chriessos District militias, 17-10-21.

      There is a saying that is very good, when you are thinking about Aurelia. That is our Kirvinan concept of Kanochí. The idea that even when the wurld is falling apart all around us, we are going to be the normal people who shoulder the burden and keep going while everyone else is busy fighting leather-wearing barbarians, watching schoolboys duel for their honor, or collapsing from malnutrition because their government decided to base the entire national economy on heavy machinery. We have three things. The agricultural sector, the transportation industry, and our common sense. Well, the first two are going to keep going no matter what, so I say we should focus on the third. Keep on to that common sense. Remember that things are good here because we have the mental state to keep them good. Politics is always like watching four menavlatoi fight with their long spears. It is never the worst one who goes down first, but the greediest one. Love your neighbor, be honest in your work. Many other wholesome bits of advice such as this. But I am already known for such evening content, so I will not spend your time on more. You already know what I like to say about this.

      I have a farm on the Sagraphas, up near Manteia. For this I am considered rural. I know that sometimes this is a topic of mockery by foreigners, who do not understand that speaking simply does not mean speaking stupidly. I am always candid when I talk because you viewers are like my own children. Why would I complicate the truth with figurative language, that would just be lying to you. And wasting your time. Which I would say is even worse than lying. Anyway. From the vista of my farm, I have seen so many changes in my lifetime. Even in Trathos and Manteia, we have bullet trains now. Magnetic levitation can take me to the capital around eight times faster than the old iron-foot train that I took to the Academy as a boy. And here in Kirvina we have seen great advancements like that, like I have already mentioned. But when you pass beyond the great river, everything changes. You go back by sixty years. The personal wealth quarters. Why?

      Because of the thieves, because of the bandits of course. Because we are the only thing resembling law out there. Our brother Aurelian nations also try their best to keep their people safe, at least most of them, and most of their people. And when it comes to this continent I think that is good enough. 'The Unconquered Sun is witness to our just rule', goes the Exarch's family motto. Ah, but what an ideal to aspire to. There is nothing better than taking another life behind your own, cherishing it. In any case, I am rambling. All factors I have seen tell to me that we are about to face a difficult few years, despite that idealism. And before I am hounded for implications, I think that those difficult few years have nothing to do with our neighbors. Rather, I think that it is our neighbors that we will be protecting from those difficult few years. This I do not mind. I think that it has always been the Kirvinan duty to keep Aurelia safe when it is too ill to do that for itself. That is the fullness of my review. Enjoy your holiday season, but maybe stockpile a little extra money, do not let yourself get out of shape. But do not worry much, now! That I am even allowed to be pessimistic on air like this is a testament to the strength of our country. We are strong enough to be honest.

      And find your Rhodellian gun-shop tourist outside a Faust store, find your Zaxari farmer by the river quays in Pharai, find your Lysétte railroad team worker or your Voltan shipping colleague, and give them a gift. With everything, they deserve our hospitality. That is all I have to say.

    • ARs at dawn: Two teenagers to fight in livestreamed duel

      Ramhart Bülow, October 1, 2021, 19:11

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      Pictured: #TeamKuhn billboards in Guderian Avenue (left) and #TeamLange billboards in Stramm street (right), both in Friedrichstadt

      On WurldstarHipHop, there’s no shortage of public fight videos showing random teenagers throwing hands at each other. But have you ever seen a duel between two teenagers armed with automatic rifles and live ammunition? Open Volkscast on November 21 at 0800, switch off the ‘extreme content’ filter, and you can watch such a spectacle live for just a small fee. Despite many attempts by third parties to resolve their dispute, Paul Kühn, 14, and his classmate and alleged bully Leon Lange, 15, refuse to back down from their duel.

      The duel is set to take place at the Department of Defence's Inaliyi Wood urban warfare training area. The site is near the boys’ small hometown of Inaliyi, Walthariwald County, in Königsheim Province. Spectators are not allowed on-site due to safety concerns, so camera footage for the duel will be broadcasted live.  

      Internet livestreams for the duel will be broadcasted on Volkscast’s pay-per-view platform, and hosted on the ‘official’ ‘KuhnVsLange’ Volkscast channel. The channel is currently being managed by the Rhodellian Dueling Association. There will be three simultaneous livestreams: Kühn's POV, Lange's POV, and live feeds from hundreds of cameras set up around Inaliyi Wood's being operated by the DOD. Online payments are available via ExpertCard and Passport.

      The duel will also be broadcasted onto jumbotrons at two locations in Inaliyi itself. The first location is Walthari Park Arena, where town residents will be watching the duel in a private gathering. The second location is Stoneaxe Field, where Inaliyi Town Council is organising a separate screening for a potentially massive number of people commuting from outside the town.

      To the shock, fear, and panic of local authorities, the duel unexpectedly became an internet meme. As of October 1, over 125,000 netizens have stated on the duel’s Boogaloo+ event page that they were ‘going’ to commute to Inaliyi just to spectate the duel. Inaliyi Town Council and the Inaliyi Sheriff's Department are rushing to accommodate a massive influx of visitors into the small town of roughly 4,000 people. The council has already called on the Rhodellian Army to help with logistics, security, traffic, and medical support. Meanwhile, the Department of Transport is working on solutions to handling an abnormally high strain on local road and high-speed rail infrastructure.

      The duel is being publicised under the official Wittier hashtag #KuhnVsLange. Meanwhile, ‘#TeamKuhn’ and ‘#TeamLange’ are also appearing on billboards across Rhodellia as part of an unofficial ironic marketing campaign telling Rhodellians to pick sides if the duel were a high-profile MMA match. Most of the public advertising space was paid for by various popular Volkscasters hopping on the bandwagon, such as DaKMannzTV, Jakob Paul, and RiceGun. The remainder was crowdfunded by thousands of netizens pooling their UBI money for the memes.

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      Pictured: Balck High School

      Background to the duel
      Paul Kühn initiated the test of arms when he challenged his classmate, Leon Lange, to a formal duel in the middle of their school lunch break. Kühn claims that Lange is a ‘long-time bully and rival’ of his. Lange responded to these allegations by saying that Kühn is a ‘loner who could never fit in’. Kühn’s rationale was ‘to put a final stop’ to his ‘torment.’

      Both duelists are Year 10 students at Balck High School in Inaliyi. Testimonies from the duelists’ friends and families all confirm that the two attended the same primary school and kindergarten. The two were known to be 'on-and-off' friends in primary school, but grew more distant since starting secondary school. Since then, their relationship was apparently characterised by various disagreements and violent encounters.  

      RNN journalist Kenneth Michell approached the two duelists for interviews, asking them on their motivations behind the duel.

      ‘Leon’s a bully.’ Kühn said. ‘He has given me nothing but shit for basically my entire life. He never passes a chance to put me down, one-up me, or humiliate me. It probably makes him feel like a “top dog”. He probably even takes some kind of cruel pleasure in it. I simply asked him to “stop” and “leave me alone.” But he refused, and kept laughing at my expense. Counting sixth form college, I’m stuck with Leon for the next 3 years. If I’m going to shine, gain the respect of my peers, and live my best life, there’s no way in hell I’m letting him ruin it all for me. So it was at that moment that I decided that “This can not continue. This has to end now”. So I did what any good Rhodellian would do, and took a stand. I ain’t taking any more crap from that bastard lying down.’

      When asked why he felt pushed to challenge Lange to a formal duel instead of a normal schoolyard fistfight or airsoft battle, or simply establishing a dialogue with each other with the help of school councillors, Kühn said: ‘I know it might seem unreasonable, perhaps even excessive. But it is how it is. Before I challenged Leon, I spent years doing everything I could to make him leave me alone. I tried to be diplomatic and mind my own business. Believe me, I have. But he and his mates just took that as a sign of weakness and kept going. To quote Saint Heemeyer, “I was always willing to be reasonable until I had to be unreasonable. Sometimes reasonable men must do unreasonable things.” Diplomacy has clearly failed. The reality is that actions will always speak louder than words. This time around, I guess that real bullets will speak louder than fists and BB pellets.’

      Meanwhile, in Lange’s own interview, he said: ‘It’s always been just bants. It’s not that deep. Paul’s problem is that he goes out of his way to be a loner. He doesn’t know how to play along with everyone else. He never approaches other people to hang out, properly get to know them, or develop their relationships beyond surface-level. He also makes no serious effort to fix his personal flaws or improve himself as a human being beyond just being nice to people. He selfishly expects to be liked and respected simply by existing, without actively contributing anything positive to the lives of people around him. He puts all the blame for his situation on others people without first looking into himself. If he really thinks that shooting me will magically solve all his problems, then he's dead wrong. Delusional, even.’

      Lange also denied being a bully: ‘I will admit that I’m not a perfect person. No one is. But at the same time, I want to clear my name by making it absolutely clear that I am not a bully. I don’t know what kind of shit [Kühn]’s been chatting to the press, it’s not like I push [Kühn] up against lockers, launch spitballs at him, or slap his lunch trays out of his hands. Yes, he gets ribbed and roasted from time to time. But that’s normal. Yes, we do get into fights with each other. That’s normal too. Again, it’s not deep. I got nothing personal against him. It’s not my fault that I live rent-free inside his head.

      The absolute worst thing I’ve ever done to him was mess with his scope’s zero in his Weapons Handling practical exam back in Year 7. That’s a prank we’ve done to all of our mates at least once. It’s basically a Rhodellian tradition by this point. Besides, it was chill in the end because the examiner saw what was wrong and let him re-zero his scope with no penalties to his marks.’

      When asked about why he accepted the duel, Lange said: ‘I accepted for a number of reasons. First, nobody just turns down a challenge like that. Only pussies and weaklings do that. Second, he challenged me in a crowded cafeteria with literally the whole school watching. Even if he did challenge me for a stupid reason, simply telling him to go f*ck himself in front of everyone would make myself look like a little b*tch, no matter how you spin it. Third, he was being very insistent about it. He probably wouldn’t stop even if I did say "No". So I want to put him in his place. I don’t intend on killing him or anything like that, but if I win, maybe he’ll stop being a c*nt making mountains out of molehills. This is for his own good. You get me?’

      Meanwhile, Kühn and Lange’s classmates have proposed a variety of recent factors that could have been the figurative straw that broke the camel’s back, and pushed Kühn to demand a formal duel. These include but are not limited to: Lange and his friends reportedly occupying the school spaces where Kühn’s small social circle often hanged out, Lange reportedly getting ‘too close’ with a girl rumoured to be Kühn’s crush, and Lange reportedly gaslighting Kühn that he was ‘not a real Rhodellian’. However, these theories may just be nothing more than gossip and conjecture, so they should be taken with a grain of salt. 

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      Pictured: Inaliyi Wood in its current urban warfare training configuration as of June 2021

      How will the duel work?
      Under Rhodellian common law, the Kühn vs Lange’ duel is classified as a ‘judicial duel’. In Rhodellia, a duel is commonly understood to be any pre-arranged fight between two consenting individuals. They are usually initiated when someone issues a formal challenge to another person (either verbally or in writing). Then both parties negotiate the date, time, location, and special terms of a duel. After this, both parties agree on the final terms, and engage in honourable combat when the time comes.

      It is also common courtesy for the challenged to decide many terms of the duel, such as the kinds of equipment that are allowed to be used. At first, Lange wanted to fight with airsoft guns and rubber bayonets, as both parties have already done in many informal scuffles in the past. However, Kühn shocked other students and staff in the cafeteria by insisting on using lethal weaponry. Instead of immediately declining the duel then and there, Lange accepted Kühn’s proposed terms.

      The judicial duel is still a legally recognised way of settling disputes, though there are some caveats. When both parties agree on the terms of their duels, this should ideally be done with numerous eyewitnesses present. The eyewitnesses are there to uphold the legitimacy of the duel to courts and law enforcement should they inquire about any possible foul play. For agreements to be legally enforceable, it is advised to ensure that the terms of the duel are clearly communicated to local law enforcement organisations and a dueling-related regulatory body. It is also advised for a duel to be overseen and refereed by representatives from law enforcement and dueling regulators. 

      Dueling was respected in Rhodellia as far back as the founding of Dolchland’s Gulf of Auriel colonies in the late 16th century. When Dolchic knights arrived to help expand, settle, and protect the Aurelian frontier, they brought dueling culture and the concept of chivalric honour wherever they went. Rhodellian duels trace their descent to formal Early Modern gentlemanly duels, which in turn traces descent to medieval judicial duels (popularly known as the trial by combat) and the holmgang (which is still practised in a few Northeast Argic countries such as Ulfheimr).

      The main difference between modern Rhodellian duels and those in other countries is that most fighters seek to closely emulate real firefights on the modern battlefield. Since the Colonial era, duels have often doubled as a means of honing individual combat skills in preparation for real war. Today, Rhodellian duelists typically wield automatic rifles; load their weapons with live ammunition; and fight in various terrains such as forests, mountains, killhouses, and abandoned ruins.

      But just like in other dueling cultures, the point of a duel is still generally to settle a dispute, not necessarily to kill the other person. Though firearms have gotten deadlier over the centuries, Rhodellian duelists mitigate the risk of serious harm by wearing body armour, trying to aim only at areas known to be covered by body armour, and not using armour-piercing ammunition.

      If one or both duelist do end up being seriously wounded, paramedics and ambulances are usually on standby nearby to provide first aid treatment, life support, and rapid transport to a hospital. All Rhodellian hospitals are well-equipped to treat gunshot and shrapnel wounds. This is because firearms are extremely ubiquitous in Rhodellia.

      The chances of actually dying in a duel are actually very low if both parties are not purposefully aiming to kill. Mortality rates for modern Rhodellian duels remain well below the 20% observed in 18th-century sword duels. They are even lower than the 6.5% observed in 18th-century pistol duels.

      Rhodellian duels typically end as soon as one side draws ‘first blood’. In historical melee duels, this can be as minor as a small cut on the forearm. In present-day dueling, ‘first blood’ generally is understood to mean just ‘striking the enemy’s body first’. Simply grazing someone’s bulletproof vest with a bayonet or bullet is considered enough to win a duel. 

      Both Kühn and Lange agreed on First Blood as a win condition, but remained ominously silent on whether or not they seriously intended on killing the other. If one party dies or is seriously wounded during a duel, the survivor is extremely unlikely to be convicted for assault, battery, manslaughter, or murder under Rhodellian common law. If Kühn wins by drawing first blood against Lange, Lange will be legally bound to ‘cease his harassment’ or else he faces time in a juvenile detention centre depending on what exactly Kühn reports to the police.

      As Kühn and Lange are both minors, Kühn’s parents and Lange’s parents did the majority of the legwork in organising their sons' duel. They cooperated in contacting the Inaliyi Sheriff’s Department and the Rhodellian Dueling Association to help organise, oversee, and referee the duel. Despite the abnormal fact that both duelists were underage teenagers, both organisations agreed to send their own representatives like with any other normal duel between adults.

      Thanks to a flood of donations to a JustFundMe page, the parents were also able to rent a 2-hour time slot at the Department of Defence's Inaliyi Wood training area. Inaliyi Wood's mock-up town and the surrounding forest are often used by Landwehr conscripts to train in urban and forest warfare. It is also popular among Walthariwald County's local militias, as it allows them to train in Military Operations in Urban Terrain (MOUT). It is also commonly used by local duelists who want their duels to be small-scale MOUT simulations, albeit with real guns and real bullets. 

      Hundreds of cameras have already been strategically placed around Inaliyi Wood, covering almost every square-inch of its premises. These cameras are normally used by Rhodellian Army training staff monitor and assess training exercises. They will also be used for the DOD's livestream to show angles of the battlefield not covered by the duelists' helmet-mounted cameras. 

      With their location settled, Kühn and Lange agreed to fight using any small arm or light weapon of their choice. After some discussion with a Rhodellian Dueling Association advisory team, they have decided that explosive weaponry (such as fragmentation grenades, improvised explosive devices, and suicide drones) and flashbangs will not be permitted. However, smoke grenades will be allowed.

      Kühn said that he wanted to use Rhodellian Army equipment to help him prepare for National Service. Much of Kühn’s equipment was lent to him by his father, with the remainder being ordered online. His weaponry will include a Krieger Industries Sturmgewehr 5 kurz (SG5K) carbine. His armour will include a Königsheim Arms and Armour GmbH SH6 Advanced Head Protection System and SW4 Modular Armour System with XSAPI ceramic trauma plates. His weapon accessories will also include an AresTech RDS302 Red Dot Sight, and an AresTech GmbH NVTI503X Gen 3 clip-on night-vision rifle scope, in case Lange tries to snipe or ambush him from the foliage of the mock-up town's adjacent forest. 

      Meanwhile, most of Lange’s equipment was donated to him by friends and family members. However, he bought his primary and secondary weapons in mint condition at a local neighbourhood gun store using JustFundMe donations. His weaponry will include a Graustadt Arsenal AG Maschinenkarabiner 68 (MK68) automatic rifle, a Krieger Industries MP96C 9mm machine pistol, and a Krieger Industries GWI2-B grenade launcher (for launching smoke grenades). His armour will include a ReaperTech Enhanced Assault Helmet and a Königsheim Arms and Armour GmbH Tactical Assault Vest with XSAPI ceramic trauma plates. His weapon accessories will include a ReaperTech HV2018E holographic weapon sight.

      Both parties also plan on using drones to aid with intelligence-gathering and battlefield awareness. Both Kühn and Lange plan on using the Black Knight Systems AG UA-25 Dragonfly reconnaissance micro-UAV. The UA-25 is currently in use with Rhodellian Army infantry squads. 

      Despite their upcoming duel generating so much interest in recent months, both Kühn and Lange said that they do not want to compromise their victory odds by 'putting on a show' for potential spectators. They both said that they did not originally intend on their duel getting the attention that it did, but have seemingly accepted that it happened anyway because 'that's just how the internet works'. They assured their viewers anyway that they will competently as they can, as far as their young ages, incomplete school education, and combat inexperience will allow.

      As of today, both parties are understood to be training in preparation for their duel, all while also balancing hobbies, social lives, and schoolwork. Meanwhile, Rhodellians across the country are responding with mixed reactions as word of the unusual duel floods their social media feeds and news recommendation algorithms. Even people as far away as the South Oregon Hinterlands, in Argis, are taking notice of the duel and placing bets on the combatants. Whatever is going to happen, it seems that a lot of people will be looking forward to the results.

      Trending news

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      Edited by Rhodellia
      More improvements and clarifications to the post as a whole (see edit history)
    • img%5D
      Chancellor Ernst Krenz announces new financial programs
      by Kristel Schefer
      2017 October 29th


      Chancellor Ernst Krenz has announced a new series of reforms, this time targeting the financial sector. For the first time since the revolution, the government is going to allow financial institutions outside of government control to appear for the first time since the Voltan Revolution. However, these reforms will not allow the formation of privately owned banks, and the Voltan government run Volksbank will remain the sole legal bank in Volta.

      What they will allow is the creation of credit unions, financial institutions similar to banks but which are owned by those that have accounts with them. The Chancellor has stated that he hopes that these new entities, once created, will allow the Voltan people access to the necessary resources to establish their own worker-owned co-ops. The Chancellor also stated that the worker-owned nature of these institutions meant they did not go against socialist ideology.

      However, these proposals have faced stiff opposition from some within the People's Congress, particularly from Gunther Switzer. Gunther called the proposals dangerously close to capitalism, and warned that they risked undoing the revolution.

      The Chancellor also separately announced the creation of a Voltan People's Trust Fund, which would allow foreign investors to invest within Volta's newly established co-operative businesses should they wish. The government will manage the funds to ensure that they do not come from any countries which are openly hostile to Volta. They will also prevent foreign investments that could potentially compromise national security. The fund will be open to investment starting the 2018 February 1.

    • 10th November, 2021

      Automotive War concludes with General Electromotive Victory

      The long lasting courtroom conflict between automotive giant Morvos Motors and General Electromotive has ended, with a jury of peers determining that consumers have the right to replace internal combustion engines with electric replacements. In a statement given today outside the Supreme Court Building in New Godstone Island, GE CEO Gerald Funke said this; “This victory is not just for myself, but for the consumers of this Confederacy. The right of self repair and modification has been solidified by this landmark case.” Morvos Motors did not respond to our requests for a comment. Share prices of Morvos Motors have fallen by 7% since the ruling.

      More Top Stories:

      Bookmakers report rise in profits due to betting on Rhodellian child duel 

      438 lb Edgewood man arrested for assaulting delivery driver; “He forgot my f*cking soda.”

      Fraiser DuCarthy’s Fashion Column: My top ten concealed holsters for the workplace

      Road rage related shootings increase by 6%

    • spacer.png

      North Korinon
      Joint Naval-Aero Station [JNAS] Pnaawa (Breeze)

      Joint Naval-Aero Station Pnaawa is a joint NKP (North Korinon Protectorate) installation and a Haru IAG base located about 15km west and 11km south of the city of Verlucio. 

      JNAS is referred to as ‘The Hub of the Adlantic’ due to its proximity to the Adlantic Sea. The naval air station supports the missions of the Haru Sixth Fleet Adlantic, as well as other HIL/HIN units and its coalition partners. The 1st ASW Wing of the NKP Aero Force is also based at Pnaawa.

      The station provides operational support for a rotational series of squadrons, transport aerocraft and shore-based fleet assets.

      The base is also used by HIN sea-based assets. It is one of the most frequently used transit bases of the HIN, used by aircraft travelling from the Cussian Territories, to the Kaldana colonial territory.

      The naval aero station is equipped with an aero terminal and two runways surfaced with asphalt. The runways can accommodate a variety of military aerocraft of all sorts.

      JNAS Pnaawa was in other news today however, as the NKPN (North Korinon Protectorate Navy) will be setting up its command headquarters in the same area as well. The NKPN has recently acquired two of the six diesel electric submarines to be gifted the island nation, apart of its defense forces. The submarines have a hardened dockyard within Verlucio's port and are under inspection at the moment. 

      The Naav Cryng (Reef Shark)-class diesel-electric attack submarines have been in HIN service since the mid to late 90's, though they were phased out of frontline service for the larger Tatum-Class SSCN. 

      The NKPN intends to use the submarines for missions including area surveillance, intelligence gathering, anti-submarine warfare, anti-surface warfare and minelaying operations.

      Naav Cryng-class design and features
      The Naav Cryng-class features a pressure hull and can accommodate between 25 and 31 crew members as well as 14 combat divers. The submarine has a width of 6.2m, length of 67m and submerged displacement of 1,550t.

      HIA's integrated combat system enables operation and control of all on-board sensors, weaponry and radars from multifunction common consoles. The motion of the submarine is controlled by a steering system using rudder and hydroplanes.

      The Naav Cryng-class submarines are armed with six torpedo launching tubes, 18 heavy weapons, tube-launched P-800 Uhoq (Onyx) Anti-Ship missiles. The weapons are carried in weapon launching tubes and can be easily reloaded at sea. The submarine can launch crippling attacks on surface and underwater enemy targets.

      HIA's integrated and modular submarine sonar suite upgrade, offers increased safety against a wide variety of threats in deep or coastal waters. It comprises sonar arrays, including bow, stern, planar flank, intercept, distributed, towed and active, as well as mine and obstacle avoidance sonar, and self-noise-monitoring hydrophones.

      The submarines in the Naav Cryng-class are powered by conventional diesel-electric propulsion systems. They provide long-range and extended endurance capabilities. The submarines are also installed with batteries. The propulsion, electricity, auxiliary and safety systems on board the submarine are controlled using a platform management system.

      The attack submarines can travel at a maximum submerged speed of approximately 14kts and have the ability to remain submerged for 21 days. The Naav Cryng-class has a diving depth of more than 250m.

      The HINC has been quiet on the transfer of the submarines, though when directly spoken to about such, the navy spokesperson Prata Khan. Hmir Yaren, had this to say; It has already been agreed upon some months prior. The admiralty prior had laid the groundwork, and even though they've been removed, and the current officers now in charge of naval affairs and activities are progressing this offer. Even after this statement, few details have emerged regarding the matter of the Protectorate acquiring the submarines.

      We do know that the Empress allowed for this to continue, the threat of an Anglian presence perhaps weighing on the decision. 

    • RHS nears 'breaking point' as amputations skyrocket

      Joshua Pagaduan, November 5, 2021, 0015

      FOPR_p3_1-1280x720.jpg

      Trauma from explosive incidents is the Number One cause of limb loss and amputations in Rhodellia. On average, Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs), Explosive Remnants of War (ERW), and rocket artillery either kill or wound at least one Rhodellian every single day. Since the year 2000, IEDs, ERW, and rockets have killed 2,769 people and wounded a further 8,791. That averages to 131 people killed and 418 people wounded every year. In total, 11,560 people were either killed or wounded in explosive incidents within the span of just 21 years. Many of the wounded have required amputation. Since 2000, an average of 516 amputations have occured in the country each year. Now, as of November 2021, there are almost 50,000 amputees living in Rhodellia. But violence is once again flaring up in Nordwalde Province and along the Nordfluss river. So now that number is growing at an alarming pace. 

      This year alone, 421 amputations were carried out due to trauma from explosive incidents alone. Meanwhile amputations from other causes, such as diabetes and vascular diseases, remain largely level from previous years at 309. In total, the Rhodellian Health Service (RHS) has conducted 730 amputations as of November 1, 2021. Already, this marks the third consecutive year where the number of amputations carried out has increased. The Department of Health and Care (DHC) and Department of Defence (DOD) project that this number will only keep increasing if Nordwalde separatists and the Native Aurelian Liberation Army (NALA) continue to intensify their attacks. This worsens quite a few existing problems for the RHS.

      The RHS is already struggling to accommodate the country’s amputee population as is, and its staff are uncertain that they can cope with an accelerated increase in amputation rates. The RHS has long suffered from staff shortages, including prosthetic rehabilitation specialists. Secretary of Health and Care Dame Eve Jones announced on Monday that Rhodellia will be accepting more migrant workers to fill more vacancies. However, critics continue to point out that immigration fails to address the underlying issues behind said shortages; a combination of relatively longer working hours, larger workloads, higher stress, and lower pay compared to most other sectors in the Rhodellian economy contribute to high attrition rates among RHS workers. As the growth of the amputee population outpaces improvements in the RHS’s capacity to accommodate them, ensuring a high quality of care for all amputees is becoming an ever-more difficult task for the RHS’s hard-pressed workers. Prosthetic Rehabilitation Units in RHS trusts across the country are nearing full capacity. Unless things change, both workers and their patients are bound to suffer.

      RNN reporter Stefano Lucas managed to contact Elijah Padilla Sr, a Specialist Occupational Therapist who works in a PRU at St Anthony’s Hospital, Hohenheim, in Nordwalde Province. His unit is one of many struggling to accommodate newer amputees, most of whom were wounded by Separatist IEDs and Native Aurelian Liberation Army (NALA) rocket artillery. In an interview, Padilla said:

      ‘Our PRU is almost at breaking point. I have friends who work at other PRUs, and they say they’re facing similar situations at their workplaces. A lot of time, observation, and care must go into the rehabilitation of each individual amputee to ensure the smoothest possible return to normal life and the lowest possible rejection rates. But there are only so many hours in the day, and there aren’t that many of us SOTs to go around. 

      We have to work very long hours to make sure all of our patients get all the attention they need. Some patients also need more time in rehabilitation than others. Me and a lot of my colleagues at the PRU have to work up to 60 hours a week just to see everyone. And it’s really getting to us... We are tired. We are exhausted. There’s only so much work we can take. We are almost reaching the point where we can’t deal with more patents without creating a backlog or waiting list. And that can't be done, because research tells us that prosthetics rehabilitation ideally has to start within five days post-surgery. We are getting some new SOTs at the PRU, which is good, but we are not getting enough of them quickly enough. If the situation is going to get a lot worse like they say on the news, and I pray that it won’t… We need more help.’

      Such is the pressure on RHS staff that many are working twice as many hours as most other people in the country. The average Rhodellian works 6 hours a day 4 days a week (a 28-hour work week). Working hours approaching Padilla's 60-hour work week are also commonly observed in many other patient-facing roles within the RHS. In the DOD's War Readiness Committee's 2020 Report, the DOD has even gone as far as to describe these long working hours as a 'national security threat' as they hamper RHS workers' 'combat-readiness as Rhodellian citizens'. This is because a 60-hour work week tends to leave little time and energy to practice marksmanship, train in martial arts, and participate in community militia activities (such as military simulations and exercises).It also leaves them with even less time to pursue hobbies and self-actualisation. Long working hours are a grave threat to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. 

      To alleviate the burden on SOTs like Padilla, the DHC’s Health and Care Committee have proposed in its 2021 Report that the Rhodellian government needs to commit to filling all existing vacancies, hiring even more people to work in the PRUs to distribute workloads, and ensuring that all of them are paid ‘worthwhile’ salaries. However, this is only possible if the government's FY 2022 budget includes a massively increased DHC budget. 

      But that might not come to pass, or at least not to the extent that is necessary to continue ensuring high quality care for all of Rhodellia’s amputees. Prime Minister Phil Seymour promised in a press statement last Sunday that the DHC’s budget will ‘receive a 40% increase’ as part of the FY 2022 budget. Theoretically, this should enable it to fill more vacancies and ‘substantially’ raise the salaries of all RHS workers. But many critics feel that this new DHC budget increase is ‘nowhere near enough’, that it is ‘many years overdue’, and that it is doomed to prove ‘inadequate’ to tackle the challenges of the near-future. 

      But in spite of all the concerns being raised, Dame Jones believes the coming storm is one the RHS can weather. She stated that a 40% increase in its budget and accelerated imports of foreign (mostly Indiense) healthcare professionals should be ‘more than enough’ to allow the RHS to persevere through 2022. She also assured that there are contingency plans in place should any RHS trust ever get too perilously close to being ‘overwhelmed’ by an escalation in the war against the NALA and Nordwalde separatism. Should any RHS trust face a ‘state of emergency’, possible DHC contingencies include deploying medical staff from the Rhodellian Army Medical Department (RAMD) and temporarily relocating members from less pressured RHS trusts.

      Meanwhile, further criticism was aimed at Secretary of Defence Ekhardt Krieger’s Monday press statement; Krieger vowed that the Rhodellian Armed Forces will ‘bring the fight back to the separatists’ and ‘bring a swift and decisive end to Rhodellia’s War on Terror.’ To achieve this, Krieger has also stated that the DOD’s FY 2022 budget will be increased by 25%, granting Rhodellia ‘among the largest [military budgets] in the Wurld’. This implies that Rhodellia’s military spending will equate to roughly 10% of the country’s entire projected GDP for 2022. Most vocal critics towards this were Rhodellian Peace Movement activists. In an interview with Lucas, Peace Movement activist and spokeswoman Halfrid Weber said that Rhodellia’s increased military budget could have instead gone into funding other public services, such as the RHS:
       
      ‘This is unacceptable. The DOD focuses too much on their outdated and frankly bullshit delusions of “Making Rhodellia Great Again”, “Reclaiming stolen clay”, and “Restoring the kingdom to its former glory.” Yes, there’s a military frontline to maintain along all of our borders. That’s all perfectly understandable considering how most of our neighbours actively want to kill us. But what about the medical frontline? The RHS is falling apart at its very seams. Hundreds of our boys, our children, are losing hands, feet, arms, and legs for their country every year, and it is the RHS’s burden to rehabilitate them and help them resume life as normal. 

      But even with that 40% budget increase, the RHS would still be rapidly closing in on the point where it can’t even do that much for our troops, in spite of all they have sacrificed. Practically leaving our amputees by the wayside is an irresponsible and inhumane policy. Meanwhile, RHS staff themselves are among the most overworked and stressed people I’ve ever seen. With just a 40% budget increase, the DHC still can not hope to greatly relieve the burden on individual workers, let alone compensate everyone with fair, competitive wages for their labour. That goes to show just how underfunded the DHC was to begin with. By neglecting the RHS in favour of not only perpetuating, but escalating Rhodellia’s Forever War, the Prime Minister is betraying the very troops and medical staff he claims to support. By no means do the abhorrently skewed priorities in his proposed 2022 Government Budget back his words. It is beyond morally reprehensible.’

      For sceptics hoping for good news regarding the RHS, there is a silver lining. The Reichstag will review and debate the first draft of the Rhodellian government’s FY 2022 budget on Friday. At around the same time, the Rhodellian National Nurses Union (RNNU) also scheduled a nationwide general strike. The RNNU demands an even larger DHC budget that includes a 15% pay rise for all RHS workers at minimum. The general strike was organised out of frustration with Secretary of the Treasury Conradin Kaufmann, who throughout the year has offered what the RNNU described as ‘pitifully small’ pay rises of 1, 2, and then 3 percent. They barely compensated for a 14% drop in real wages due to inflation since 2010. In an interview with RNN journalist Emlyn Kraus, RNNU organiser Amadahy Immookalee said that there is widespread disappointment with Seymour and frustration with Kaufmann's 'stubborn insistence on underpaying [RHS workers]':

      'I don't like their plan. Nobody in the RNNU does.' Immookalee said, referring to the DHC's apparent under-representation in Seymour and Kaufmann's proposed FY 2022 Budget. 'We understand the need for greater military spending and an expanded foreign aid budget. Don't get us wrong, we largely think it's a good thing that the government is actually doing more to combat terrorism and separatism. It's also very admirable that we're doing more to make friends on the international stage and help comparatively less developed countries like Velaheria and Nyantastan.

      But since taxes are being raised to fund these new military and foreign economic ventures, the issue is that there's now more burden on the taxpayer to pay for things that don't directly benefit us. Basically, the source of [the RNNU's] anger this time is that not enough of that increased tax revenue is going towards overburdened healthcare professionals like us, even though the DHC has been warning the government year after year that the RHS is in crisis. We are on the brink, and more people than ever are realising and feeling it. What's going on with the NALA and Separatists up north is going to be what really tips us over the edge. We literally can not afford to wait any longer, so we have to act now. We have the will, we have the numbers, and we have the power. We must put pressure on our elected representatives to fix this situation before the RHS collapses, before it's too late.'

      On social media, dozens of Members of Parliament from the Rhodellian Socialist Party, the Rhodellian Communist Party, the Green Party, and the Liberal Party have already proclaimed in advance that they will stand in solidarity with the RNNU on Friday. It is believed that these MPs will represent the RNNU's interests in the Reichstag. Prime Minister Seymour has thus far declined to comment on the situation. So at the moment, it’s anyone's guess on whether or not any of this will actually bear any real fruit for the RHS.


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      Edited by Rhodellia
      Added interview with RNNU organiser Amadahy Immookalee (see edit history)
    • Reconstruction in Hodrea Continues

      Reconstruction efforts in the war torn nation of Hodrea still continue as the nation struggles to get on its feet. Despite the challenge however, efforts seem to have not been in vain. The Hodrean Militia, the military of the Hodrean Provisional Government, has finally declared the north of the country "safe" from a security perspective. However the south, which holds the border to the Sentist State, is still considered volatile with security forces working around the clock to stabilize the area. With the stabilization of the north came renewed economic interest in the country as foreign investment has exploded, bringing with it billions of pounds and tens of thousands of jobs. Still however, there are those in the provisional government who are concerned that this level of foreign investment could result in too much of Hodrea reliant on outside partners for industry and trade. In response to this, a NAU spokesperson acknowledged the possibility of this issue and has said the NAU will work closely to ensure that Hodrea can grow Hodrean owned businesses that can compete with foreign interests.

      1280px-Construction_site_in_Cologne,_Ger

      In Liechnenfax, progress continues on rebuilding the city as thousands of former residents have been flocking back. Clearing and construction efforts have been in overdrive as the Provisional Government struggles to handle the influx of former residents. Small tent settlements have begun to appear as residents eagerly await the completion of dozens of new apartment blocks that are being constructed using Seylosian reconstruction funds. With the new constructions has come a new look for the city compared to its past. Liechnenfax used to be infamous for large sprawling slums stretching throughout the city characterized by their dull grey looks. However one Sitallan architect who had fled the conflict in Mesothalassa, has made his home in Liechnenfax most recently designing several of the buildings in the government quarter of the city. The style is a far cry from the old look of the city, with color used in abundance and cultural symbols important to Hodrean integrated into the architectural design of the buildings. The buildings have been met with excitement from the locals, and has made Teóxiwitl Mulle a celebrity in Liechnenfax. Civic planners had even asked Teóxiwitl to help design the new housing units being built around the city, hoping to lift the oppressive atmosphere.

      Seylos to Retire the Main Battle Tank

      1920px-Challenger_1MBT_Mk_3_(7527916878)

      With the evolution of conflicts that Seylos has found itself in, the Royal Army has made the decision to finally retire the Main Battle Tank from use. The decision had been in the works for the past several years, but the Sentist War pushed back those plans as it was necessary to use every piece of equipment available to win the war.

      "The Royal Army has made the decision to shift its focus on the battlefield away from the use of tanks, and more towards the versatility and protection afforded by the infantry fighting vehicle." A Royal Army spokesperson said in a brief interview with the SBC, "The conflicts Seylos finds itself in in the modern day simply don't require the use of tanks on a large scale. Still however we will ensure that the Royal Army's anti-armor capabilities are maintained effectively."

      SSAA Begins Expansion

      1280px-VAB_Aerial_-_GPN-2000-000869.jpg

      The Seylosian Space and Aeronautics Administration has begun a push for expansion as operations have began ramping up. A large amount of resources, and jobs, have been heading to Kirkwall and the SSAA's rocket fabrication facilities as the administration begins the scheduling of tests in the future. Seylos has currently been reliant on foreign governments to get infrastructure into space, and the government has shown that it is keen for Seylos to be self-sufficient in this area, and even possibly growing an entire "space industry" behind it. Many economists have seen this as the potential beginning of an economic boom around the space and aeronautics industries in Seylos.

    • spacer.png

      27th Imperial Aero Guard Regiment conducted a mission generation exercise
      By Prata Khan. Yorin Hes, 102nd IAG,  - Ust Vlos Aerobase, Komsomolsk-na-Amure Border Zone.

      Settma Nejan, Komsomolsk-na-Amure, SIMH. – The 102nd Imperial Aero Guard Regiment demonstrated its operational readiness November 4th as it carried out a twenty-aircraft mission generation. 

      The exercise involved every HIA S37 Nyddman (Rattler) Multi-Role aerocraft assigned to the 102nd on base, showcasing pilots, airfield operations, and maintainers.

      Seeing our entire fleet on the runway, it's just an awesome display of combat power, said IAG Gen. Rikon Vek Elemmiire, vice commander of the 102nd. Our maintainers are some of the best in the aeroforce, and this is concrete proof of our ability to bring the full force of our aeropower to bear whenever it is needed.

      The readiness exercise highlighted the agility and rapid mobility of the IAG aeropower, demonstrating its ability to launch combat-ready S37's that are deployable for no-notice contingency operations.

      Our ability to generate combat airpower at a moment's notice helps promote regional stability because we can immediately respond to any threat, said Vice-Lord Threnin Yars, commander of the 102nd. The 102nd is always ready to answer our nation's call and defend our country from our adversaries. We know they are watching, so it is good for them to know we can bring the fight at any time. I'm proud of the legionary to generate and employ with the highest level of excellence in a contested environment and with complete [operational security].

      Realistic, relevant exercises like this prepare aerocraft crews for surges in operations when large numbers of aerocraft and personnel mobilize for a mission. During the exercise, maintainers prepared the aerocraft and pilots then started the engines of the S37's and taxied away, forming a line half a mile long before getting into a tight formation on the runway. In the IAG, the process is known as an "elephant walk," a term to describe when aircraft would taxi in single-file lines that resembled elephants walking to a waterhole.

      Generating this many S37s is testament to all the teamwork that it takes to keep us operationally ready, said Sengar d'isto. Davi Kuen, commander of the 102nd's, 8th Maintenance Company. As proud as I am of the job our pilots did, I can't say I'm surprised by it. Combat readiness is what we do, and our people always rise to the occasion.

      Edited by Haruspex
      Wrong regiment listed (see edit history)
    • More Indiense immigrants to patch RHS shortages

      Joshua Pagaduan, November 2, 2021, 0500

      doctors.jpg

      An already-beleaguered Rhodellian Health Service (RHS) is expected to come under ‘increased and unprecedented’ pressure in the coming years. The RHS continues to suffer critical shortages in newly trained nurses, with vacancies consistently numbering over 5,500 each year. A significant portion of these vacancies are concentrated in RHS trusts in Nordwalde Province. As escalating Separatist violence continues to wreak havoc across the troubled province, staff in many Nordwalde hospitals are already struggling to accommodate growing numbers of patients wounded by stray bullets and IED explosions. Among these casualties of war are many new amputees in need of rehabilitation for new prostheses. In a press statement on Monday, Secretary of Health and Care Dame Eve Jones announced that ‘urgent action’ will be taken to alleviate the heavy burden being placed on Rhodellia’s healthcare workers.

      The Department of Health and Care (DHC) will continue its longstanding strategy towards tackling manpower issues: immigration. Dame Jones announced that Rhodellia will be greatly increasing its annual influx of foreign healthcare professionals. As has historically been the case since the 1990s, most of these migrant workers will be newly trained Indiense nurses from the Duchy of Verde. 

      '[Indiense nurses] comprise a large and important portion of the RHS’s manpower.', Dame Jones said. 'They have a stellar track record of being hard-working, disciplined, and selfless workers. Since the first wave of Indiense nurses arrived in 1998, they have been a massive boon to Rhodellia’s healthcare system throughout all the challenges it has faced these past few decades. They have weathered through thick and thin to provide patients with some of the best quality of health and care in Aurelia, if not the entire Wurld. Their commitment to their work is truly Wurld-class, and I can never thank them enough for all that they have done for Rhodellia. It is always an honour to accept such wonderful people into our country and community.'

      Clips of Dame Jones’s comments were positively received and widely shared on social media by Rhodellia’s Indiense community. RNN reporters reached out to a number of Indiense people for comments:

      Corporal John Mark Garcia, a Rhodellian Army Combat medic currently in his second year of National Service, said: 
      ‘My friends keep tagging me about it... I remember sitting in the chow hall at [Camp Bergenstein] when [Dame Jones’s press statement] was showing on the TV. “Garcia!”, a friend of mine kept shouting. “Garcia! They’re talking about you on the news!” It makes me really happy to hear the government is recognising us for hard work. But in the end, ah… we are just doing our jobs. That’s all.’

      Sophia Avila-Cañizares, a Senior ITU nurse at St Barbara’s Hospital, Friedrichstadt, said:
      ‘I think it is really nice that the Rhodellian government is doing this for us Indiense nurses. I came to Rhodellia alone, and most of my family is still in Verde. I have two nieces and two nephews that want to move here, but couldn’t before. But now they FaceTimed me saying that they all might come in the next batch of nurses. This is good because now I don’t have to save up for a holiday and use my annual leave just to see them in person.’

      Dame Mia Abellana, a Senior Sister at St Camillus de Lellis Hospital, Schwarzwald, said:
      ‘It’s been really hard for us nurses here in Rhodellia. We are stretched very thin because there are too many beds and not enough staff to look after all the patients. We also noticed that even more patients are being taken to hospital since 2017 because fighting here [in Nordwalde] has gotten much worse. The A & E I oversee is also receiving a lot more patients from up North because of the NALA’s rocket attacks. We are trying our best, and even doing a lot of overtime to make sure that our patients get all the help they need. But it is becoming too much for us to handle. One nurse in my ward even had a breakdown last week because he was so stressed. I was happy to see Dame Jones’ announcement on the news because it means we will be getting more of the help we desperately need out here’

      Ethan Estenzo, a Cardiographer at St John’s Hospital, Opelika, said:
      ‘I moved to Rhodellia a few years ago so I can send more money back to my family in Verde. I have a wife, one son, and two daughters who couldn’t come with me because there used to be a limit on Verdense immigration, at least until now. I feel very grateful to Dame Jones and the government because — instead of just sending money home and having to FaceTime them — now my entire family can be together again. I’ve been FaceTiming them a lot yesterday, and they're very excited to come over. I can’t wait to pick them up at the airport when that day comes. You know, I'm just so glad because it's as if God has finally answered my prayers. ’

      The Rhodellian Indiense community has a long and storied history. Rhodellia’s first wave of documented Indiense immigrants arrived in Dochland’s Rhodellian colonies in the 17th century. Like many other settlers, they saw the territory as a ‘land of opportunity’ where they can start afresh and forge their own destinies. Most early Indiense colonists lived in the emergent coastal towns and cities, putting their people’s maritime traditions to good use as successful fishermen, whalers, and sailors. They contributed much to the colonies’ trade, commerce, and growth. The second big wave of Indiense immigration to Rhodellia arrived in the late 19th century, as Indiense Free Companies were hired to assist in counter-insurgency operations in the lead-up to the Nordwalde Revolutionary War (1903-1904). Many Indiense mercenaries chose to settle down in Rhodellia with their families after the conflict. Many of their descendants would go on to defend the country during the Red Deluge (1914-1921) and Rhodellian Crusade (1940-1948), mainly in the Rhodellian Navy. The third big wave of Indiense immigration began in the 1990s, as Verdense nurses were imported in large numbers to address staff shortages within a rapidly expanding RHS. Indiense labour played a major role in shaping Rhodellian history as we know it.

      Rhodellia’s Indiense community has grown big over the centuries. The 2020 Census is still ongoing, but the Duchy of Verde’s embassy in Friedrichstadt estimates that at least two million Indiense people currently live in Rhodellia. As the Rhodellian government ramps up its latest immigration drive, this number is expected to grow even further.

      The DHC and Department of the Interior (DTI) are taking measures to accommodate a greatly increased annual intake of foreign healthcare professionals. The DTI will incentivise immigration by making it easier for arriving healthcare professionals to attain Rhodellian citizenship. As per the Spartan Protocol’s Citizen-Athlete Initiative (CAI), all male arrivals (below the age of 30) intending on becoming citizens will still have to pass the Landwehr Pre-Joining Fitness Test (LPJFT) as part of their citizenship application. The LPJFT is the same fitness test undertaken by all Rhodellian males undergoing National Service. It has historically been a strong barrier to citizenship for many prospective immigrants, but the DHC is promising to help new migrants surmount that obstacle. Each new migrant will be assigned a Personal Fitness Trainer by the DHC. This is to help them get into the habits of frequent exercise and healthy eating, preparing them for the LPJFT as safely and time-efficiently as possible. This way, Rhodellian citizenship should become more attainable.

      Newly arrived male migrants interested in citizenship still have to go National Service. To help them prepare, the Department of Defence (DOD) will be paying for Weapons Qualification Courses and Mixed Martial Arts lessons. This is also meant to help ease them into Rhodellian martial culture and instill Rhodellian military virtues, as part of the Spartan Protocol's Citizen-Warrior Initiative (CWI). The DOD will also be expanding the Rhodellian Army Medical Department (RAMD) with the expectation that most arriving healthcare workers will opt for the medical spectrum of Military Occupational Specialties. Service Guarantees Citizenship.

      With these measures, the main pathway to Rhodellian citizenship for new Overseas Indiense Workers (OIWs) is becoming significantly easier. They will also be extended to OIWs already within the country, as an offer for those who are permanent residents but not yet citizens.

      Meanwhile, the Department of Housing, Communities, and Urban Development (DHCUD) and Department of Education (DOE) are making preparations to help new migrants settle in as soon as possible. The DHCUD is readying public housing units across the country for new arrivals and (if applicable) their families. Available public housing within walking and cycling distance of medical centres are being reprioritised for incoming foreign healthcare professionals. Over the course of the 2020s, additional family housing and apartment complexes are slated to be built in many Rhodellian towns and cities to meet this sharp rise in demand. The DOE is also helping nearby schools prepare to accommodate the children of migrants who might settle nearby; until new schools begin construction, many Rhodellian schools are expecting increased class sizes. On social media, many local Indiense community groups have also expressed a willingness to welcome and help out new Indiense migrants as they arrive in their locales. The Kingdom of Rhodellia will welcome newcomers and grant them a good standard living as best as it can.

      The Reichstag is next scheduled to meet on Friday to discuss the Rhodellian national government’s FY 2022 budget. This new immigration drive is expected to be part of that discussion. Questions have arisen over how the DHC, DTI, DOD, DHCUD, and DOE plan to fund these new measures to accommodate new immigrants. As of this time, the most probable solution appears to be a tax increase. In the meantime, the Rhodellian Indiense community is looking forward to the impending arrival of the friends, family, and compatriots they left behind.

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      Edited by Rhodellia (see edit history)
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