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Latest news from Blueport


Government to increase aid assistance to other nations


Parliament voted 91-49 to pass a legislation that will increase humanitarian aid to the world?s needy nations. This came after years of lobbying led by local peace activist Bill Chicago.


Prime Minister Tony Smith emphasized that after years of receiving aid from other nations, Blueport must now give back whatever benefits it has reaped from those assistances given to it.


Parliamentary seats to be increased to prevent deadlocks


Blueport?s 140-seat parliament will be increased by 35 seats, as proposed by Interior Minister John Parker. Parker said that this will prevent an even deadlock when it comes to passing legislation. This will be the first amendment to the two-year old constitution of the country. Parker?s proposal will take effect on the next general elections, scheduled two years from now.


The Nationalists? Party, the main opposition, said that this is another scheme of the administration to increase its clout on parliament. ?They?ll get the seats eventually because they?ll cheat their way to them,? said Anthony Powers, the NP?s leader. Parker countered the allegations by saying that they will get those seats based on a platform of governance and not on cheating and mudslinging.


Citizens deplore high income tax ? survey


Citizens are getting annoyed with the high income tax that the government is imposing on them. ?This is too much. I have little left of my paycheck since I also have to give my contributions to the social welfare system,? said Mr. Green, a worker at the financial district.


A whooping 71% said that they are getting annoyed with the high taxes, 20% said that they?re fine with the high taxes while 9% said that they don?t care.


When reached for interview, economy minister Martha Banks said that they are currently looking for ways to reduce the income tax without compromising the government?s finances. ?Taxes keep this country going. If we?re going to reduce them significantly, it will have a domino effect on a broad spectrum of sectors like healthcare and infrastructure,? she said.


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PM rescued, in stable condition; former PM Yeoh killed


Prime Minister Smith was successfully rescued by the SWAT and secret service agents, not after he sustained a stab wound on his arm. Transportation Minister Yeoh was shot dead during the stand-off which lasted for seven hours.


?Mr. Smith is in a stable condition, he?s only being treated for a stab wound. He said that he will issue a statement in the coming days. He also said that he would like to assure our foreign counterparts that we have the situation under control. We would like to thank the nations who offered to assist us in this time of crisis.? said public relations chief Scott Williams.


Mr. Yeoh and all seven of his men were killed in the clash.


Debate rages on about internal security after hostage taking


The debate whether or not Blueport?s internal security structures are working properly continues to rage on after the Prime Minister Smith was taken hostage by transporation minister and former Prime Minister Alvin Yeoh.


It?s still a mystery how Mr. Yeoh and his grouped of armed men successfully infiltrated the parliament building without getting noticed by the guards. There are speculations that Mr. Yeoh had this planned all along since being stripped of his job a month ago because of what the party says ?his sucky performance? as prime minister.


?This is obviously an inside job by some people working in the building. How are you supposed to bring those large guns without getting noticed by the guards?? said the justice minister.


Blueport to beef up its military


The defense minister said on an interview with the BIS that the government is planning to upgrade its military capabilities to cope up with the times and for ?defensive purposes?.


?Militarily, we are lagging behind in the. I would like to remove the image that the nation is weak? he said.


The plan calls for the purchase of tanks, aircraft, ships and modern equipment for the soldiers. He said that the plan will be done in phases beginning with the purchase of tanks and modern soldiers? equipment.


"We are currently looking for nations which can supply us these equipment. They are free to contact us if they are willing to do so" he said.

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Bulletin #3


Prime Minister?s Statement on the Recent Hostage Taking


?It is with sadness that the recent incident involving me and former prime minister Yeoh ended in his loss of life. Though I regret that this had happened, it goes to show that no one is above the laws that govern this country. It also goes to show that we have to improve further on our internal security structures and protocols to prevent this kind of incident from happening in the future. According to the report submitted to my office, it was indeed an inside job. The said employee who facilitated this treachery to happen is now under police custody and is currently awaiting trial.


As to the alleged motive of Mr. Yeoh, I will not comment on that anymore. The party has spoken when he was stripped of his job as prime minister. Let history be the judge.


For the record, I would like to assure foreign nations and investors that this incident is an isolated one, albeit high profile. With this, we would like to guarantee the safety of your interests and investments here in Blueport. The same goes with foreign tourists; we assure you that the security that you can find in the streets of this country is more than adequate for your safety.


Thank you and good day.?


PM proposes restructuring of cabinet


Prime Minister Tony Smith will propose a restructuring of cabinet positions in the next parliamentary session. He said that this will be done to make the government more responsive to the needs of the people.


Under his proposal, two cabinet posts will be created. These are the energy and information ministries. Bureaus of agriculture, tourism, and sports will be created under the environment, economy, and health and social services ministries, respectively.


SPOTLIGHT: Two-party monopoly?


Ever since it became a nation, Blueport had a two-party system in place. This is to ensure that elections will be based on party platforms rather than popularity.


Today, there are talks circulating around political circles that this will be abolished in order to give way to a multi-party system, which is common among Blueport?s neighbors. Recent surveys also indicate that the people are now more receptive to a multi-party system.


Will Blueport eventually adopt a multi-party system? Stay tuned to find out.


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Bulletin #4


Economy falters, unemployment rises to 12%


The ministry of economy announced that the economy suffered a minor setback last quarter. According to NSTracker, the economy went from ?thriving? to ?very good?, indicating a slowdown in economic activity.


The nation?s unemployment also rose to 12% last quarter from 9% in the same period last year. This can be attributed to the slower economic performance of the country.


Some analysts say that the hostage situation in parliament may have also contributed to the slowdown. Government economists downplay this claim, however, saying that the incident happened during the last days of the first quarter. ?We will see its larger effect on the second quarter? said economy minister Martha Banks.


Pro-basketball league to be formed


To further raise the level of basketball in the country, a group of former standout amateur cagers decided to form the Blueport Basketball Association, a national professional league that will feature eight teams on its maiden season. A season will go on for approximately three to four months.


The Athenian Eagles, Duke Islanders, Providence Tigers, West Athenian Suns, Moroland Archers, Huntsville Hunters and the Blueport City Aces will comprise the new league. The BBA also hooked up with the Blueport Broadcasting Corporation, the parent of the BIS, for the television coverage of the games.


Stay tuned for more announcements.


SPOTLIGHT: Two-party monopoly? (Part 2)


When asked to comment about adopting a multi-party system, Prime Minister Smith said that although he?s not discarding the proposal altogether, this must not be done in haste because of the possible repercussions it may bring to the political system. ?A lot of factors will be considered like increasing the seats in parliament, politicians jumping from one party to another and a lot of other things. Doing this without thinking of these possible scenarios can ultimately weaken our political system? he said.


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Bulletin #5


Power station fails, sends part of Blueport into darkness


The Snyder Plant, Blueport?s oldest power station, experienced a breakdown yesterday, sending a third of the country into complete darkness. The failure happened at around 12:00 pm and lasted for five hours.


Commerce almost went into a halt, forcing establishments to use generators to cope with the power failure. Trading at the Athenia Stock Exchange continued despite the blackout, closing down by 54 pts at 1,580.


In light of this, the energy ministry said that it will be bidding out a contract to build a new, larger and modern power plant to replace the Snyder. The plan is to build a solar power plant in Huntsville. The use of nuclear power is ruled out, pointing to a law which prohibits the government from building nuclear plants and depositing nuclear materials in the country.


BBA opens first season, Aces win over Eagles in first game


The Blueport Basketball Association opened its first season last week with all four games being held nationwide at different times. The league will use a home and away format.


?This is a milestone in our basketball history. This is a historic achievement? said the BBA?s commissioner, Marty Lee.


The total number of teams also increased to eight, with the late addition of the San Pedro Warriors.


In the inaugural game, the host Blueport City Aces managed to win over the visiting Athenia Eagles 72-70. The winning shot was made with two seconds left on the game clock.


Here are the results from the rest of the BBA:


Duke Islanders (90) @ Providence Tigers (75)

Moroland Archers (93) @ West Athenia Suns (87)

Huntsville Archers (76) @ San Pedro Warriors (100)

Edited by Blueport (see edit history)
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Bulletin #6


Toll fee on major roads draws flak from motorists


Parliament recently passed a law that will allow city governments to collect toll fees for the use of its major roads during peak hours. This is to avoid traffic on these roads and as well as to have something to maintain it at the same time. With the passage of the said law, it also created the National Road Development Authority (or NARDA), which will oversee the collection and disbursement of the toll fees. They said that the fees will go to the maintenance of national roads.


This didn?t sit well with motorists, however, since many are complaining that the toll collection system on these roads are inefficient, meaning that they are slow in collecting the fees.


?These collectors are inefficient; they are slow in taking our payments. I even encountered a toll booth with no change for my payment,? said Mr. X, a motorist from the capital.


When reached for an interview, NARDA chairwoman Jenny Gilmore said that this is only what she considers as ?growth pains?. She said that since the program is just starting, it will really encounter such kinds of problems. She, however, says that NARDA is looking at these problems and will be rectifying them soon.


Economy upgraded to ?thriving?, civil rights rating goes from ?average? to ?good?


According to the latest statistics coming from NSTracker, Blueport?s economic state has risen from ?very strong? to ?thriving?, indicating growth in economic activity. At the same time, the nation?s civil rights rating was also upgraded from ?average? to ?good?, following recent passage of laws that gave the country?s citizens more leeway with regards to their rights.


SPOTLIGHT: Two-party monopoly (Part 3)


Members of parliament coming from the opposition Nationalists Party are filing a bill that will reform the country?s political party system. They say that this will unlock the people?s political rights with regards to choosing who they want to govern Blueport?s seven states. Details on the proposed bill are still unclear as of this writing.


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