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Heavy pollution cars to be banned in New Halsham

 

NEW HALSHAM, COURTMARSH -- Transport Minister David Pacheco confirmed earlier today that, from next week, cars travelling in New Halsham would be subjected to new carbon emission laws that bans heavy offenders at peak hours. The capital city of Prymont has faced increases in congestion and pollution over the past five years, with researchers at Courtmarsh University observing a positive trend.

 

Vehicles registered in Courtmarsh will now have to comply with new pollution regulations. This consists of placing a colour-coded sticker in the bottom left corner of the windscreen, indicating which pollution group it is in. There are four categories, with the worst offenders carrying a black sticker. Fully electric vehicles are exempt from the legislation, while hybrids will have to run on pure electric power during their stay in New Halsham.

 

At peak pollution periods, vehicles in the lowest two categories may be refused onto the roads of the capital, and will be pulled over by police if caught breaking this law. Legislation on motorcycles is still being decided upon in Parliament, and is expected to be finalised by the end of the month.

 

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Traffic in New Halsham during rush hour

 

This news follows government plans to increase funding for public transport in New Halsham. Ten billion Prynds will go towards improving public transport infrastructure, such as new metro lines to serve more of the city and converting the city's bus fleet to emission-free vehicles. With traffic potentially being restricted during peak hours, public transit will be more relied upon than ever, and these changes are welcomed by citizens one and all.

 

"I think it's a good idea," said one businessman, struggling to keep his papers neatly tucked under his arm on an especially windy day. "We've needed to upgrade the buses and whatnot for quite some time, and it's nice to see the government using their heads for once and doing something positive for the city."

 

After a six month trial period in the capital, similar schemes are expected to be rolled out in other major cities in the country, such as Canastota, Virso and Payson.

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Linkeep & Ostport face stricter environmental regulations

 

OAKFIELD, LINKEEP - Recent public outcry against the lack of local environmental concerns in Linkeep and Ostport have resulted in the government passing new legislation. Parliament voted 180-2 in favour of introducing new environmental conservation laws, targeted mainly at Linkeep and Ostport, although effective throughout the United States.

 

Linkeep has recently gained the name 'The Energy State', providing the majority of the country's energy via green and nuclear means. Two nuclear plants were constructed in 2004, followed by several solar and wind farms in 2014. A hydroelectric dam was then constructed in 2016, but citizens remain concerned about the pollution involved in the nuclear process. While the actual plants do not produce any air pollution or carbon dioxide, the process of mining uranium ore and making the reactor fuel requires large amounts of energy. Today's new laws require that the state doubles its solar and wind production, and calls for one of the nuclear plants to be shut down as a result, with jobs for those employees being reserved at the green energy plants.

 

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One of two Linkeep power plants

 

Ostport has also been affected by the new legislation. Instead of carbon emissions, the focus in Ostport has been around marine ecology. Ostport is responsible for the biggest economical input in the country - fishing. Overfishing in the late 1990s and early 2000s caused a severe fish shortage, with the government ushering in strict quotas. Said quotas were relaxed after the 2011 elections, but are once again being tightened to preserve the marine ecosystems in the Canamo Sea, just off the coast of Ostport. Dedicated fish farms are being established at the coastal state, alongside shipbuilding companies being required to meet new emission regulations by 2019. The price of fish is expected to rise due to these changes.

 

Government subsidises KAP's electric line-up

 

NEW HALSHAM, COURTMARSH Treasurer Patricia Northup announced today that the government would be subsidising 70% of the cost for KAP, Prymont's leading automotive manufacturer, to develop and export a new line of electric vehicles. KAP, which has worked with the various governments in the Prymontian area since its creation in 1963, has already been working on hybrid cars, offering three on the current market. Rumours leaked into the car industry in 2015 that KAP were considering launching an electric car by 2017, but nothing official emerged from the KAP HQ in New Halsham.

 

That is, until today. KAP CEO Erik Bruun answered questions from the press with Mrs Northup, confirming that ?3bn, straight from government funds, would go towards the development, manufacture, and sale of four electric KAPs. This initiative goes hand in hand with recent Courtmarsh legislation that limits heavy polluting cars from driving in New Halsham at peak traffic times. Citizens will receive tax incentives if these electric KAP cars are purchased, and will be able to drive in New Halsham at any time, regardless of pollution levels.

 

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An artist's impression of the KAP EK3

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Future of Ostport fish industry in danger

 

CANASTOTA, OSTPORT - The future of Prymont's sole biggest economic industry is in question after recent government legislature placed strict fishing quotas on the Canamo Sea to preserve marine ecology. Severe over-fishing in recent years has led to a shortage of haddock and tuna, the two most popular fish in Prymont. The Prymont Environment Agency is working with local organisations and fishermen in Ostport to limit the amount of fish caught and proactively boost fish reproduction levels.

 

Unfortunately, these quotas have raised the price of fish due to a national shortage. Many Prymontians refuse to purchase imported fish, but are now unhappy that the price of Ostport fish has risen so drastically. The amount of fish exports have also been reduced to redirect more fish to the Prymontian people, thus cutting the available funds to the government. Parliament are due to meet tomorrow to discuss these changes, and decide upon the future of the fishing industry.

 

 

 

Plans for seed bank in Whitevale revealed

 

AGRICOLA, WHITEVALE - The government have released plans for a seed bank to be constructed in the Paranoff Mountain Range, far in the northern alps of Whitevale. Parliament approved β10m in funding for the construction of the bank, which is due to begin in September. The government hope that 1,000,000 samples will be stored in the bank by 2020.

 

The United States will work in cooperation with the Sunset Sea Islands, who also have plans for a seed bank in the southern hemisphere. Both nations will cooperate to store hundreds of thousands of vital seed clones between them, preserving the future of crops worldwide. End users will be able to store seeds for free in the Prymontian bank, with the government covering all operational costs. The facility will be powered by wind and solar farms in Linkeep, but will have access to the National Grid if need be. Its specific location is classified to protect the seeds, but is rumoured to be at least hundreds of meters above sea level near the peak of one of the mountains.

 

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Concept art of the seed bank

 

 

 

Aamotech reveal plans for Concorde rival

 

SANTA BARBARA, VERANDI - Aamotech, the country's leading aerospace and defence company, has revealed plans for a supersonic commercial airliner to rival Fleur de Lys' Concorde.

 

N?lestr?le, which is visually similar to the Lysian Concorde, has been in development since 2014. Aamotech estimate that it'll be initially capable of Mach 1.6 when it is released in December, with a later version planned for 2019 being capable of Mach 2 and beyond. Montair, the Prymontian flag carrier, announced their intention to order a minimum of 5 Concordes when the Lysian government met to discuss the potential to export Concorde in 2016. However, no further news came from Fleur de Lys, and Aamotech was allowed to continue developing N?lestr?le.

 

Aamotech have worked previously with both Montair and the United States of Prymont Air Force. The aerospace company are most famous for the Robin F-E USPAF supersonic recon jet, of which only two were produced due to a lack of funds. The Robin is capable of Mach 3, with similar technology being used for the engines in N?lestr?le. The supersonic airliner is expected to be released in late December at the earliest, with a prototype flight later this month.

 

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Aamotech's USPAF F-E Robin

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Canamo Sea exploration funded

 

CANASTOTA, OSTPORT - The Prymont Environment Agency, in collaboration with the University of Canastota, have funded a program that will lead to the exploration of the Canamo Sea. Currently, very little is known about what lays within the depths of the Canamo, but the newly established Canamo Exploration Group aims to find out.

 

Ostport has recently shown an interest in green energy plants, with off-shore wind farms being a viable option. The National Grid will work with Ostport officials to evaluate the possibility of a large off-shore farm and survey the sea floor to see if it is stable enough for the wind turbines. The University of Canastota will also participate in the project, allowing students studying marine biology to explore the depths of the Canamo Sea for research projects.

 

?5m has already been assigned to the CEG, which will go towards developing a deep water submarine and upgrading the facilities within the University of Canstota's biology department.

 

 

 

Long-term emigration ban lifted

 

PAYSON, SOUTHFORT - An emigration ban instated by the former Freedom Party in 1999 has today been lifted. Up until now, citizens of the United States of Prymont have been strictly prohibited from emigrating. In 2010, the law was relaxed to allow Prymontians to work out of the country for one year, before being required to return. However, Parliament voted 182-0 in favour of removing this law - the first time in Prymont's history that Parliament has fully agreed on a law.

 

The Foreign Affairs Office are working in collaboration with the Passport and Visa Office to streamline the emigration process, with the department already having received thousands of applications. Naturally one would think this would damage Prymont's economy, but immigration laws and tourism laws have also been relaxed, allowing more immigrants and tourists into the country to neutralise the effect of people emigrating on the economy.

 

 

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The Southfort-Verandi Border Checkpoint

 

 

 

New runway approved for Rettenmyr Airport

 

NEW HALSHAM, COURTMARSH - The Rettenmyr Runway Organisation have confirmed that they've been given an official go-ahead for a fourth runway to be constructed at Rettenmyr Airport, the country's largest international airport. Rettenmyr was opened in 1995 alongside the founding of the United States, initially with two runways. A third was added in 2012 to boost tourism, and now a fourth has been given clearance to handle additional air traffic.

 

The fourth runway, in addition to a new terminal, will predominantly handle significant international commercial and freight flights. Rettenmyr Airport Holdings Limited is financing the expansion, at an estimated cost of ?20bn. The fourth runway is expected to be completed by late 2018 at the earliest.

 

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Rettenmyr Airport, with New Halsham in the background

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BREAKING NEWS: Courtmarsh Stock Exchange attacked by terrorists

 

NEW HALSHAM, COURTMARSH - Minutes ago, shocking images from the Courtmarsh Stock Exchange showed how a hijacked bus crashed into the CSM complex in New Halsham. The bus was laden with explosives, which later caused further damage. Many are believed to have died in these attacks, with hundreds more injured. The CSM building has since been destroyed beyond repair, and the USP economy has taken a hit as a result.

 

This news comes after identical attacks in Great Burlington and the Sunset Sea Islands, both of which are still recovering from their incidents. Prime Minister George Duval announced in a press conference shortly after the attacks that he would be working with both nations to get to the route of these attacks, and to prevent more from occurring in the future. A link between the attacks in Great Burlington and the Sunset Sea Islands has yet to be found, but it is becoming increasingly obvious that the events are related. The death toll is expected to rise in the coming days as the Courtmarsh Crisis Response Team works with police and military officials to sort through the wreckage.

 

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CCRT officials work around the wreckage of the suicide bus attack

 

 

 

Aamotech's N?lestr?le takes maiden flight at Fort Kanacky

 

FORT KANACKY, VERANDI - Aamotech revealed plans for a rival to Fleur de Lys' Concorde jet earlier this month, and today, a prototype of the N?lestr?le has flown for the first time. Departing from Fort Kanacky, the jet flew at Mach 1 for 30 minutes before returning to the military base. Aamotech engineers have called the flight an "excellent success".

 

The supersonic jet has an estimated top speed of Mach 1.6, but today it flew below maximum capacity as the flight was intended to make sure all systems were running smoothly. The prototype, officially marked 78301 is due to fly several times throughout August and September in anticipation for its full commercial release in December.

 

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N?lestr?le taxis for take-off at Fort Kanacky

 

 

 

Heavy hailstorm causes residential damage in northern states

 

COMFREY, FAYFORD - Severe storms over the past two days have led to serious damage in major areas in Fayford and Linkeep, with northern districts of Ostport and Aelmount also suffering. Ostport and Fayford experienced minor flooding yesterday which was reported on locally, but today, thunder has turned to hail and residential areas have faced millions of Prynds of damage.

 

The hailstones, which are the size of tennis balls, have damaged cars, houses, and roads in the northern states. The Prymont Environment Agency intervened quickly, taking samples to the University of Canastota while providing relief for the residents affected. The government are providing temporary accommodation for those that have faced housing damage, insurance companies are working with rental companies to provide replacement cars, and the Road Network are providing millions to local councils to repair damage to the roads. Biologists and meteorologists at the University of Canastota will work together to learn more about the storms, and how to predict and minimise their effect in the future.

 

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One of the cars damaged by the hail

 

 

 

A1 motorway undergoes ?30bn upgrade scheme

 

PAYSON, SOUTHFORT - The A1, Prymont's longest motorway, is due to undergo a ?30bn revamp as part of the Road Network's new upgrade scheme, which aims to update roads across the country. The A1 runs diagonally across the country, from the southern tip of Aelmount to the northern edge of Ostport, and is the most used highway in the country. It was last updated in 2003, when the Freedom Party spent ?300m on a 50 mile segment at the north.

 

Nowadays, the majority of the A1 runs four lanes, with older sectors running only three. The busiest junctions, where it meets the A9 in Courtmarsh and A20 in Ostport for example, will be upgraded to six lanes per side, with a minimum of four lanes throughout the motorway. Work is due to begin tomorrow, August 1st, with the Transport Minister estimating work to be completed anywhere between two to four years.

 

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The last period of roadworks in 2003

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Twenty confirmed dead in Courtmarsh Stock Exchange terror attack, hundreds still recovering from injuries

 

NEW HALSHAM, COURTMARSH - Seventeen days ago, three terrorists attacked the Courtmarsh Stock Exchange. Aid workers have been tirelessly searching the site, and have confirmed that twenty people were fatally wounded. Hundreds remain in hospitals in and around New Halsham, recovering from wounds sustained in the attack.

 

The attackers were identified as Prymontian nationals Luke Fraser, Jude Nicholls and Henrik Hoff. They were not known to the police prior to the incident. It is unknown whether they were part of a larger organisation, involved with the Sunset Sea Island attack that was eerily similar, or acting alone. However, the police are still investigating all leads and urge the public to contact them on the non-emergency number, quoting code '774689' if they have any information that could be of use. Police officials remind the public to remain vigilant, but another imminent attack is not expected.

 

The dead will be remembered by a memorial at the site of the incident, which is due to be unveiled in September.

 

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Members of the public laying flowers at the site of the former Courtmarsh Stock Exchange

 

 

International relations improve as trade deal is established with Sunset Sea Islands

 

CANASTOTA, OSTPORT - It was recently announced by the Sunset Sea Islands that a bilateral trade agreement was formed with the United States of Prymont. The deal was officially signed on 13th August by President George Duval and Prime Minister Dr Lydia Mauve. This comes after months of negotiation between the two nations, with progress finally being made.

 

Tourism is the first industry to see a positive effect, with Sunset Sea Islandians flocking to the snowy regions of Wildenesse and Whitevale, while Prymontians seeking a warmer climate are booking holidays abroad in their masses. More news on the trade deals will be announced at a later date, with the arms, agriculture, IT and shipping industries expected to be at the forefront.

 

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The SSI diplomatic building in New Halsham, Courtmarsh

 

 

National Lottery jackpot estimated to make one Prymontian filthy rich this weekend

 

ROCK ISLAND, MAPLEBANK - This Sunday, the Prymontian National Lottery is estimated to give away β300m to one lucky ticket holder. The PNL, headquartered in Maplebank, was established in 1999, and has made over two hundred national millionaires since. The previous record, β179m, was won by Kamala Novak of Aelmount in 2008.

 

Today, the PNL released statistics that showed over two million tickets have already been sold. Representatives of the organisation are encouraging Prymontians to purchase a ticket, which are half price at β1 just for this weekend, to be in with a chance of winning Prymont's biggest ever lottery prize.

 

"It changed my life, certainly," Kamala Novak told us, from her luxury renovated barn in south Summervale. "It's a fantastic opportunity for the people of Prymont to live like royalty." Novak has spent her money wisely, investing in shares, real estate and national bonds to secure her wealth. She has also splashed out on a β2m yacht, several super cars, and even an apartment in Kingfisher, the most expensive housing area in the country in Rock Island.

 

The lottery draw will be televised on Channel 1 at 10pm on Sunday 20th August.

 

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Kamala enjoying her lottery win in 2008

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Zoos face tighter regulations after neglect cases

 

SPRINGWELL, MAPLEBANK - Environment Minister Kip Schmidt finalised the recently passed legislation today, that will enforce much tighter regulations on zoos. In 2016, several cases of severe animal abuse and neglect at the Golden Sun Wildlife Park in Ostport were brought to the attention of government officials via public petition, and action was taken immediately. After ten months of hard work, the law was passed 117-65 yesterday in Courtmarsh House.

 

The Golden Sun Wildlife Park, ran by Gina Martinson, was shut down in January 2017 by the Prymont Environment Agency for severe neglect and abuse of its animals. Martinson and her 96 employees cared for a variety of animals such as polar bears, penguins, seals, tigers and birds of prey. Over sixty individual cases of neglect and abuse were identified, and the park was subsequently shut down. The animals were relocated to the recently expanded Southwest Ostport Wildlife Park where they are receiving proper treatment, and Martinson was ordered to pay β60m in fines.

 

The new legislation creates the National Zoo Protection Organisation, which oversees the care practices that zoos and wildlife parks across the country enforce and ensure that animals are treated fairly, ethically and responsibly.

 

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A polar bear at the Southwest Ostport Wildlife Park

 

 

 

Military spending increases for first time under current government

 

SANTA BARBARA, VERANDI - For the first time under the USP National Party, military spending has increased. A rise of 5% was promised in the party's manifesto over the course of five years, and due to the recent economic boom, the military budget has already increased by 2%. The former Freedom Party maintained a representative level of 4% of the GDP, and now Defence Minister General Hunter S Grey has confirmed that the current military budget rests at 6%.

 

The United States of Prymont has always enjoyed a healthy military budget, mainly to counteract its smaller population. There are currently 78,520 active personnel in the USP military, with applications rising drastically under the new government. The Freedom Party insisted that a healthy military meant a healthy Prymont, and that is one area in which the National Party agrees. The USP Air Force is set to benefit the most, with Aamotech receiving funding to construct two more F-E Robin supersonic recon jets. The USP Ground Force and Elite Prymontian Defence Force, two of the weaker sectors of the military, will also receive substantial budget increases.

 

Questions were raised however at where the remaining 3% promised increase will come from over the next five years, and if it's even necessary. General Hunter S Grey commented that, as a result of the recent terror attack at the Courtmarsh Stock Exchange, a stronger defence force was needed to protect the citizens of Prymont.

 

This budget increase also sees the creation of the Extreme Climates Division, which will specialise in combat in severe weather conditions. The ECD is a division of the USP Ground Force, and will train in the Paranoff Mountain Range to enhance their harsh cold weather survival skills.

 

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Soldiers of the ECD training in Whitevale

 

 

 

N?lestr?le undergoes more successful test flights

 

FORT KANACKY, VERANDI - Aamotech's upcoming supersonic commercial jet, N?lestr?le, has undergone two more successful flights at Fort Kanacky. The plane, which will rival Fleur de Lys' Concorde, made its maiden test flight last month, and will undergo several more throughout September and October before a full release in December.

 

Aamotech have recently revealed that the N?lestr?le development program has cost β900m so far, and is expected to surpass one billion before the end of the year. Montair, the Prymontian flag carrier that has acquired exclusive commercial rights to N?lestr?le, are expected to pay β40m per unit, with five units ordered. The first flight on December 28 is already sold out, at β6,000 per ticket.

 

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N?lestr?le after its second flight this month at Fort Kanacky

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Construction begins on northern seedbank

 

AGRICOLA, WHITEVALE - As reported last month, the government had approved β10m of funding for a global seedbank to be constructed in the northern regions of Prymont. Today, construction has started on the vault, with further funding being provided by an international science treaty.

 

The Initiative Scientifique Trans-Continentale is a scientific progress group involving Prymont, Fleur de Lys, Magnaeus and the Sunset Sea Islands. The ISTC will be the main providers of the bank, and will be responsible for maintenance and overseeing its security. The Prymont Environment Agency, which will also play a role in the development and construction of the bank, estimate that it'll be finished in eighteen months. The exact location of the vault is unknown to the public for security reasons, but is rumoured to be in the Paranoff Mountain Range in Whitevale.

 

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Seeds being prepared for transportation to the seedbank

 

 

 

Third F-E Robin ordered, one F-F Cockroach retired

 

SANTA BARBARA, VERANDI - Over the weekend, Aamotech revealed that the USP Air Force had ordered a third F-E Robin supersonic reconnaissance jet. The iconic black plane, capable of speeds in excess of Mach 3, first went into production in 1998 upon the order of the government. Only two Robins were able to be completed due to a funding shortage, and that has remained until today when recent budget increases allowed for a third to be ordered.

 

The Robin, which is the most expensive plane in the history of the Air Force, was developed in the late 1990s by the rising aerospace company Aamotech to operate aerial reconnaissance missions. It was designed to fly at high speeds and altitudes to simply outrace any ground threats, and has flown at a record speed of 2,193mph over its 19 year service history. Aamotech predict that it is capable of 3.5+ Mach if absolutely necessary.

 

In other news, one of the three remaining F-F Cockroach bomber jets has been retired. The Cockroach was also constructed in the late 1990s, by the now-defunct Aerial Ace aviation company. Five Cockroaches were presented to the government in 1997 as nuclear bombers, and all were purchased. In 2001, a Cockroach crashed upon take-off at the Santa Barbara military aerodrome, and a second fell from the sky over the Canamo Sea in 2006. Since then, only one Cockroach has been used as a nuclear deterrent - one was converted for maritime radar reconnaissance operations, and the third became a tanker for aerial refuelling.

 

Much to the dismay of the public, the Cockroach used for recon operations was retired over the weekend. It will be kept in taxiable condition for ground runs at Rettenmyr airport for tourism purposes, but the Air Force were unable to continue running three Cockroaches due to a lack of maintenance knowledge and the cost of training personnel. The Cockroach remains a fan favourite of the Air Force's fleet, and the government will ensure that the remaining two are kept in the skies for at least another ten years.

 

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The recently retired Cockroach bomber, in a hangar at Rettenmyr airport

 

 

Snowfall recorded in northern parts of Linkeep, Fayford and Ostport

 

PELVILLE, OSTPORT - Snowfall has been recorded for the first time since April in northern areas of the country today. While snow is typically expected throughout the country from October onwards, the very northern tips of the habitable states can expect snow from as early as September. Today, locals in Pelville, Ostport called in to report that snow had fallen in late August.

 

Pelville is a tiny village in northern Ostport, full of fishermen and lumberjacks who occupy themselves throughout the spring and summer months. During autumn and winter, Pelville residents have to rely upon icebreaker truckers to provide them with the necessary supplies to live throughout the harsh, snowy conditions. The government typically work in collaboration with haulage companies to ensure that villages blocked off by snow are still supplied throughout the year. In recent years, aerial supply packages have become more popular as trucks struggle to penetrate the thick layers of snow.

 

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Images from Pelville sent in by a resident with a drone

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Fox hunting to be banned nationwide

 

NEW HALSHAM, COURTMARSH - Recent government legislation has now outlawed fox hunting, which has been a controversial topic for decades in the United States. When the United States was first founded in 1995, it was universally legal to hunt foxes. As opposition to the hobby grew, the government mandated in 2005 that an expensive permit had to be obtained for hunting, but could be awarded by the government in special circumstances, thus negating the need for a permit anyway.

 

In the 2011 elections, further restrictions were placed on what many call a cruel, evil sport. Only a certain amount of foxes could be hunted per season. In 2015, in a desperate attempt to please the masses, specific fox hunting areas were created, and hunting outside of these areas was illegal. Despite hard proof of hunts taking place outside of the legal borders, nobody was prosecuted.

 

Finally, in what was one of the final discussions of Courtmarsh House before the weekend break, fox hunting was nationally banned. Ostport, Summervale and Payson had already banned it in July, but now government legislation dictates that fox hunting cannot happen anywhere in Prymontian territory. A fine of β500,000 has been put in place for those found hunting foxes. The Prymont Environment Agency have labelled this new law a great success in eco-friendliness, environmentalism, and social morals.

 

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A dead fox being carried by an illegal hunter in 2016

 

 

 

Embassy in Eurof?hrer opens, train links to be created

 

PAYSON, SOUTHFORT - After positive diplomatic links with the Sunset Sea Islands were created earlier last month, the National Party have gone on to secure economic ties with the Eurof?hrer, which sits directly to the south.

 

Talks began between the two countries in August, and the Slavic nation officially declared the diplomatic links on the 30th. The main focus is on a proposed train line between the countries, which will link their capitals. A line between New Halsham and Payson has already been laid, and will then go on to Belgrade. The line, operated by Eurof?hrerian company EmTrak and the government-owned United States Rail Company, will be used for commercial and tourist purposes. While EmTrak have already started work in Belgrade, the Prymontian section of the line is still subject to government approval.

 

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A train running on the line connecting New Halsham and Payson

 

 

 

Tourism companies see spike in aurora borealis tour bookings

 

AGRICOLA, WHITEVALE - Bookings for the northern light show, aurora borealis, have reached an all time high, tourism agencies have announced. The tours, which start as early as the end of October and finish in March, have proven very popular with both Prymontian citizens and tourists from abroad. Tours in December, January and February are more expensive due to the increased likelihood of seeing the northern lights, but are already booked out, with only the cheaper options in October and March remaining.

 

The best states for viewing the aurora borealis are Linkeep, Fayford, northern areas of Ostport and Aelmount, and of course, Whitevale. Linkeep, Fayford and Aelmount are popular with sightseers on a budget looking for short weekend breaks, while Ostport and Whitevale boast bigger prices but longer stays and better views. Lodges in Whitevale are extremely popular due to the non-existent light pollution and jaw-dropping scenery that the mountains provide. Alongside viewing the aurora, visitors can expect to see reindeer, polar bears, go on snowmobile rides and try authentic northern cuisine.

 

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A lodge in Whitevale with the aurora borealis above

 

 

 

Humanitarian aid sent to Kualoa to assist in Hurricane Aletta recovery

 

NEW HALSHAM, COURTMARSH - After the terrible events of Hurricane Aletta, many Kualoans have had their lives changed. Homes have been destroyed, people have been killed, and the generally poor country is in a state of national disaster. To assist in the recovery effort, the USP Air Force are sending various forms of relief which are expected to arrive in the next few hours.

 

Despite the government completely cutting international aid in 2014 to boost national funding, the National Party have sent a total of β200m in various forms to Kualoa to help. USP Air Force planes will be dropping food packages, charities have donated clothes, volunteers are being flown over to help with clearing up and finding the dead and injured stuck in the rubble, and β70m has been given directly to the Kualoan government. The United States hopes that this will benefit ties between the nations, but more importantly, hopes that Kualoa recovers quickly from the hurricane.

 

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The aftermath of Hurricane Aletta in Kualoa

 

 

 

 

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Illegal traffickers caught at Rettenmyr airport

NEW HALSHAM, COURTMARSH - The government have released information concerning traffickers that were stopped at Rettenmyr airport in the early hours of the morning. Three men and one woman were stopped by border patrol officers at Terminal 4 and were detained for trying to smuggle prohibited substances into the United States, and entering the United States without identification documents.

The criminals were stopped at 4am on Superjet flight 44718 that departed from Cashar. They raised suspicion due to the lack of passports or visas, and were pulled aside for mandatory checks to investigate. Sniffer dogs then searched their belongings and found drugs with a street value of β900,000. The suspects are currently being held at Rettenmyr airport while their origins are investigated. They are yet to be deported due to a lack of knowledge of their countries of origin. 

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A sniffer dog searching a suitcase at Rettenmyr airport.

 

Prymont Environment Agency launches sea plastic cleanup operation

REDSHORE, OSTPORT - As part of ongoing government goals to promote and encourage a sense of environmentalism within Prymont, the PEA have launched an initiative that aims to reduce levels of plastic and other harmful materials in the Canamo Sea. This is in order to combat the levels of plastic found washed up ashore Prymontian beaches, which have been called eyesores by tourists and locals alike.

Since the induction of the National Party in July, the Prymont Environment Agency has been swarming across the country to promote environmentalism and reduce negative effects to the Prymontian landscape. Notable acts include banning high pollution cars in New Halsham during peak traffic times, creating the National Zoo Protection Organisation, monitoring the pollution levels of the upcoming Aamotech Nålestråle and campaigning for a ban on fox hunting. 

The current initiative, which begins immediately, will work with the USP Navy to reduce and monitor the levels of plastic and harmful toxins found in the Canamo Sea, and to work with waste disposal companies to prevent plastic from being left in Prymontian waters. The PEA will also work with the University of Canastota, which they are funding a Canamo Sea exploration project with, to also focus on the littering problem.

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Plastic found in the Canamo Sea, just off the shore of Summervale

 

 

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Montair purchases 51% stake in Superjet

NEW HALSHAM, COURTMARSH - Montair CEO Ruben Maguire confirmed that his company purchased a 51% stake in budget airline Superjet. The Prymontian flag carrier has gone from strength to strength in recent years, with an ever-expanding fleet, fantastic customer service and long range destinations. Superjet has also seen a boost in popularity as of late, with more and more people wanting to fly for less to popular tourist destinations in Cashar, Iverica, Sunset Sea Islands and Eurofuhrer. 

Critics theorise that this acquisition came about due to Montair noticing a fall in sales of their cheaper tickets, with Superjet offering a better alternative. Relations between the two companies has typically been healthy due to a lack of direct competition, with Montair offering more expensive long distance flights as opposed to the cheaper local Superjet flights. Experts believe that this helped the β600m investment go down well.

Maguire confirmed that Superjet would retain its name and would continue to operate under the Superjet brand, while being managed by Montair. The two companies will still appeal to different markets while maximising Montair profits.

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The Montair hub at Rettenmyr airport, which will now accommodate Superjet flights.

 

Canastota overtakes New Halsham as Prymont's biggest city

CANASTOTA, OSTPORT - Official government statistics have revealed that Canastota has overtaken New Halsham as Prymont's biggest and most populated city. The country's capital has held the title since the nation's founding in 1995, with a population in 2016 of approximately 1.1 million. However, the Ministry of Digital, Media, Culture and Sport showed that Canastota, Ostport's regional capital, has grown to 1.3 million in recent months.

Canastota has always followed closely in New Halsham's footsteps. With the city hosting the country's largest port and several sizeable fishing and logistics companies, it is understandable that the Ostport capital would boast a large population. Despite this, New Halsham has typically led the way due to it being the capital of the country and hosting most of the country's largest companies, including KAP, Aamotech, Montair and Montpellier Speciale. 

Recent population growth in Canastota can be boiled down to cheaper house prices, a coastal location with fresher air, a larger total city area for more space and more job opportunities for working class people. Unfortunately, due to this growth crime rates have risen, and the police are remaining ever vigilant to combat these issues. The mayor of Canastota has called this recent achievement "a wonderful day in the history of Ostport and our city."

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A view of south Canastota and the King's Port, taken by a public drone.

 

President Duval attends international Antargis conference

EOS ISLAND HQ, TAMURIN SEA - President George Duval is currently at the EOS Island HQ to attend an international meeting on the future of the southern Antargis continent. Also in attendance are fellow ISTC members Fleur de Lys and the Sunset Sea Islands, alongside Orioni, Girkmand, Eurofuhrer and Miiros. The world leaders will discuss the future of Antargis, including potential militarisation, scientific research and management.

It is known that President Duval, and the United States as a whole, are interested in preserving the natural beauty of Antargis. Their interest peaked when the ISTC was founded with the objective of planting research bases on the frozen continent. This news coincides with the recent construction of a seed bank in the northern quarters of Prymont, with rumours spreading that a second back-up vault could be developed on Antargis. 

News will be released in the coming weeks regarding decisions from the event.

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A demonstration of Antargis' natural beauty, that President Duval is keen to preserve.

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Aamotech lose government funding, job losses imminent

FORT KANACKY, VERANDI - Aamotech Technologies, one of the biggest employers in the United States, has recently lost β5bn in government funding. After recent budget reviews by Treasurer Patricia Northup, government subsidy funding has been transferred to the fishing industry to help recover from severe job loss figures. PNN previously reported that the government had introduced strict fishing quotas to protect the marine environment in the Canamo Sea, placing the future of Prymont's biggest industry in trouble. β4.5bn will now go towards protecting employees futures and improving infrastructure, with a further β500m aiding KAP in the development of electric vehicles.

Aamotech has relied on government funding since 1997, when the Freedom Party required new aerospace technologies to improve the Air Force. Funding was cut after the 2011 elections, and now Aamotech have lost all government funding altogether. Military spending was increased in late August, leading to the USPAF purchasing various Aamotech units, although the profits from these purchases are not expected to cover the loss of the funding.

This cut has forced Aamotech to take severe measures in order to continue trading, and have announced that approximately 1500 jobs will be lost over the coming 12 months while internal budgeting continues to cover the loss. Unions are now appealing to the government to reinstate some of the funding to protect jobs across the country.

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Aamotech employees working on the Lysstråle.

 

Derthalen's standardised measurement system rumoured to be introduced in Prymont

NEW HALSHAM, COURTMARSH - The isolationist nation of Derthalen surprised many Prymontians by announcing that they were working on a standardised measurement system with the USP government on Tuesday. Derthalen, which has never had prior contact with the United States, wrote on the 10th of October that changes will be brought into effect as soon as the new definition are decided upon in by both governments, and will be brought into line in both countries so as to allow for greater cooperation and understanding. 

While President George Duval is away at EOS Island to attend a meeting on the future of Antargis, Vice President Peter Lafleur released a statement earlier this morning to quell any rumours.

"Currently, the United States have no immediate plans to replace their measurement system, which is a comfortable hybrid of the traditional imperial system and the more modern metric method. Personally, I'm unaware as to why Derthalen believe we'll be agreeing a new system with them, but we will be corresponding with Derthalen officials to investigate any possibilities and discuss the history of these rumours."

As mentioned by Lafleur, Prymont currently uses a mixture of imperial and metric measurements; speed and distance is counted in miles, whereas fuel is measured in litres. Many people are happy with the balance; younger generations wanted to keep up with modern global proceedings in the metric units, while still honouring traditional culture and appealing to the elderly by retaining some imperial measurements. A change to a shared system with Derthalen would surely be frowned upon.

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A Prymontian schoolchild using a ruler with both centimetre and inch units.

 

FlyUSP expecting large loss for 2017 

NEW HALSHAM, COURTMARSH - FlyUSP, Prymont's second largest airline, is expecting large financial losses for 2017. Founded in 1989 to compete against flag carrier Montair, FlyUSP initially received a decent market share and positive reviews for being a cheaper alternative while flying to similar destinations. 

The Prymontian tourism industry has always been strong, especially in the air. Aspelund & Horne serves as a luxury alternative filling a niche market, while the Montair-owned Superjet offers cheap package holidays to popular family destinations. Montair and FlyUSP have traditionally competed for the same customers, and with Montair receiving government funding, reviews have risen and customers have flocked to the flag carrier, leaving FlyUSP in the minority.

CEO Howard Martello announced in FlyUSP's annual general meeting that a financial loss was to be expected, and the company's future is hanging in the balance. Employees are already moving over to competitors, and Martello will surely be in damage limitation mode to preserve the future of his company.

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A FlyUSP jet coming in to land at Rettenmyr airport.

 

 

 

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Car bomb in New Halsham neutralised

NEW HALSHAM, COURTMARSH - In a terrifying public event, a car bomb was today neutralised by the USP Ground Forces in the capital. Much of the central district was locked down while bomb disposal experts worked with robotic utilities to disarm and dispose of the device, which was attached to an unsuspecting civilian's car.

The car owner in question, Alan Elsham, was about to enter his car to visit a nearby restaurant during his lunch break. The accountant realised that his door had been tampered with, but assumed he'd left it unlocked. He was about to start the car when he noticed the clutch pedal wasn't working properly. Upon inspecting the engine bay, he found an unidentified package hidden beneath the battery. The police were called and the Ground Forces were soon on the scene.

The disarming took two hours, and only now is New Halsham returning to normal. Police forces are on high alert and there is an increased police presence in the city. There are no current known suspects, although local CCTV is being monitored by city and police officials. The police are asking people to make sure their vehicles are locked and to briefly inspect them before starting.

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Marshall Street, New Halsham, where Mr Elsham's car was parked.

 

Derthalen measurement mixup "a joke" - Peter Lafleur

NEW HALSHAM, COURTMARSH - It was reported on Thursday that the isolated nation of Derthalen was proposing a shared measurement system with the United States of Prymont. Vice President Peter Lafleur was unaware of any proposition, as was the rest of the government, and so an investigation was launched. After corresponding with Derthaler officials, it was found that the measurement system was meant to be shared with Iverica, meaning the official Derthalen release was incorrect.

Lafleur made it clear on Thursday that no such system was being considered, and that the country's hybrid of metric and imperial was here to stay. Lafleur remarked that the situation was embarrassing for both countries.

"Derthalen didn't approach us before releasing their statement, and so we were already curious as to where they'd gotten that idea from. We've been corresponding with them for the past couple of days and found out that they were meant to mention Iverica, not us. It's a joke, but more importantly it's embarrasing for both of us. Derthalen didn't know which country they meant, and we were associated with a nation that still believes slavery is legal. I hope that a capable editor is now hired for the country's releases."

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One of many Prymontian tax documents that would have to be completely redesigned if a shared system was introduced with Derthalen.

 

KAP K5 & R3 to be retired in 2018, new models announced

CANASTOTA, OSTPORT - KAP have surprised many today, by announcing the retirement of their beloved K5 model. The K5, an front wheel drive entry-level sports car entered production in 2010 alongside the K1 and K2. The latter two are still going today, with positive sales figures, but a recent decline in K5 purchases means that the model will be be pulled from production in January 2018, with surplus units being sold throughout next year. The R3, KAP's replacement for the hugely successful R2, will also end production next year.

What's even more surprising is that two new models have been announced. Firstly, KAP will release their first all-electric model, the EK, with no internal combustion engine variants. The EK will substitute as a temporary replacement for the K5, featuring a 138 kilowatt battery with a range of 315 miles in economy mode. A successor to the R3 has also been revealed in the R4, another front-engine rear wheel drive supercar. V10 and V12 variants are to be expected, as it was with the R2. Both models are currently accepting pre-orders and will enter production in 2018 for a 2019 release.

KAP enthusiasts are somewhat disappointed at this news though. A compact executive model was only released in 2016, and a crossover SUV will follow in 2018. Currently, there is no executive car or full SUV, and the production cycles of the K1 supermini and K2 small family car are also thought to be nearing an end with no successors announced. 

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The KAP EK, the company's first fully electric model.

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The KAP R4, the highly anticipated front-engine supercar.

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Prymont welcomes Ahrana embassy

NEW HALSHAM, COURTMARSH - The neighbouring nation of Ahrana has recently permitted an embassy visa for a variety of nations, the United States included. Due to the proximity of the two countries, this invitation was immediately accepted and work has begun to accommodate an Ahranaian ambassador into the USP government.

Moskovo, Ahrana's capital, is located just under 400 miles away from New Halsham, and is accessible via train, plane or car. The two countries have enjoyed positive relations in the past due to their proximity and coastline, and now that friendship has been further secured with embassies in both capitals. President George Duval is satisfied with the proceedings and hopes for further beneficial advancements between the two territories.

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A row of embassy buildings in New Halsham, where the Ahranaian ambassador will be located.

 

Vooters franchises spring up across the country

PAYSON, SOUTHFORT - Vooters, a popular Variotan restaurant franchise, has struck a deal with the Prymontian government to allow their stores to begin opening across the country. The first four stores are located in Payson, New Halsham, Canastota and Virso, with more due to open in the coming months at several locations.

Vooters offers a variety of national Variotan dishes, including the ever-popular eggplant burger. Sausages are also popular, and are found in a host of sizes and girths to please anybody. The chain has already encountered controversy in Prymont, with their young, muscular male waiters putting more conservative families off their meals. Despite this, the majority of the local populations are enjoying the new selection of meals available, and are hoping for more Vooters to appear soon.

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A young eggplant growing on a specialised Variotan farm.

 

Urban exploration on the rise

BODEGA BAY, OSTPORT - The local Ostport government, which oversees the off-shore Horizon Island, has noticed a sharp increase in urban exploration. Typically popular with the younger generations, urban exploration involves travelling to abandoned, derelict buildings and exploring their insides, getting a sense of how people lived and worked in the past. Urban exploration has become suddenly popular in Ostport due to its lack of trespassing laws and collection of older maritime-related buildings to be explored.

Trips to Horizon Island from Ostport's Bodega Bay are very popular, especially with war historians and nature enthusiasts who can view wartime forts with wildlife living in them. Recently, urban explorers have been taking these trips, leading to a small boom in local tourism alongside safeguarding measures being implemented on the island. Located 68 miles off the Ostportese coast, Horizon Island was once used as a defensive fortress to protect the Canamo Sea from invaders. In its later years it went on to serve as an important landmark for maritime vessels, who used its famous lighthouse to navigate the icy waters. Nowadays, it lives its life as a partial nature reserve and tourist destination.

These urban explorers have been kayaking to off-shore forts to explore, alongside scaling the side of the lighthouse without proper safety equipment and even vandalising private property. The Ostport government are looking into these matters and will implement safeguards to protect landowners and their possessions. Urban exploring is welcomed, but the government remind explorers to leave their destinations as they found them and to be respectful of their surroundings.

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One of the many Canamo Forts, with Horizon Lighthouse in the background.

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Nålestråle release pushed back three months

FORT KANACKY, VERANDI - Aamotech's prized upcoming supersonic airliner, the Nålestråle, has been pushed back for commercial release by three months. In public development since 2014, the Nålestråle will rival Fleur de Lys' Concorde in the supersonic airliner industry. Rumour has it that President George Duval is currently in control of the only safe-to-fly Nålestråle, although the government denies this. Montair, the Prymontian flag carrier, were due to be provided with the first of five units in December for a maiden flight on the 28th.

The government have recently cut subsidisation funding for Aamotech, leading to a predicted 1500 job losses. This is believed to have affected the final stages of the development of the Nålestråle, with Aamotech CEO Lucy Aamot believed to be lobbying politicians for a funding reimbursement. The jet is expected to contribute heavily to the rising aerospace economy in Prymont, and Aamotech fears that further setbacks will harm their image in the long run.

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A Nålestråle jet on a rainy day at Fort Kanacky.

 

Nordløkke undergoes renovation in time for winter

NORDBURG, OSTPORT - The Nordløkke, famous for being the world's longest and most challenging race track, is currently undergoing renovations in time for the winter months. Built in the 1940s by privatising public roads, the Nordløkke quickly became a hit with local and international racers who wanted a challenge. Due to rising death tolls in the 50s and 60s, the circuit was closed in 1969 for four years while it was made safer with new barriers and better marshalling measures. In 1987, KAP Limited bought the track to test their upcoming cars on, and today is hosts the annual Ostport GP.

Currently, the track is being prepared for heavy snowfall in November with tarpaulin sheets covering the tarmac to prevent potholes. Meanwhile, the paddock facilities are being upgraded once again to set new global standards, with more pit garages, new stewarding facilities and better VIP experiences. After the snow ends, which is usually in April, the track will be resurfaced for the first time in twenty five years, and other miscellaneous tasks will be carried out.

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The Karussell, arguably one of the most famous and difficult corners at the Nordløkke.

 

President Duval congratulates Dina Diva on Variotan election success

NEW HALSHAM, COURTMARSH - President George Duval has publicly congratulated reality TV star and popular Variotan singer Dina Diva on her recent election success. Foorste Frauwe fan'es Ferantwortelik fan'es Folke Dina Diva, who won the public vote by 5.75%, was applauded by President Duval in a radio appearance this morning. The currently single President said the following:

"It's refreshing to see more women in powerful political positions across the globe. We've seen how well they can do at the helm, especially with the Sunset Sea Island's Prime Minister Dr Lydia Mauve, and I'm sure Dina will mirror her successes. She's already in the spotlight as a TV star, of which her show is one of my guilty pleasures, I must admit, and she's got a strong team behind her to help with her political career. Having such an elegant, fantastic woman at the forefront of a nearby nation will surely lead to positive relations in the future, and I look forward to collaborating with her on matters that are important to all of us."

Many were also surprised to hear from multiple sources that President Duval privately funded Dina Diva's campaign, although these claims are yet to be commented on by the government. A diplomatic meeting is yet to be planned between the two, although everyone here at PNN is certain that one is in the pipeline.

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Dina Diva on a relaxing skiing holiday in the Paranoff Mountain Range, Whitevale.

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Vigils held for tragedy in @Sunset Sea Islands

NEW HALSHAM, COURTMARSH - A recent terror attack in the Sunset Sea Islands, which has led to the deaths almost two thousand citizens including the heir to the throne, Prince Simon, has resulted in vigils being held in New Halsham to mourn their passing. On Friday 27th October, an explosion was witnessed in the building of the Ministry of the Interior, in which Prince Simon was attending a meeting. The following day, the Prince's death was confirmed by local officials. Only two days after the initial attack, the building collapsed, believing to have killed one thousand, seven hundred innocent people.

With links between Prymont and the Sunset Sea Islands ever strong, our home nation has joined the tourist paradise in mourning. Yesterday evening, thousands gathered in the central district of New Halsham to lay flowers by the SSI ambassador's building and to commemorate the lives of the victims. Thousands of letters have been sent by express delivery to the government and royal family, expressing their grief and hoping that they recover soon. President George Duval joined the mourners yesterday, and this morning released the following statement:

"The recent tragic events in the Sunset Sea Islands has caused great pain in their own lands, but in ours too. We deeply empathise with them, as we have done since the joint attacks on our stock exchanges. International aid is being sent in the form of recovery volunteers, medical professionals, trauma counsellors and financial assistance to help our allies in recovering from this devastating weekend. We will continue to work with them to find the perpetrators and to bring justice unto them."

Prime Minister Dr Lydia Mauve, who has seen recent controversy with the Ministry of the Interior, is due to hold a press conference tomorrow.

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The Sunset City skyline, with the Ministry of the Interior building in the centre-right.

 

New currency to be released in the new year

NEW HALSHAM, COURTMARSH - The Bank of Prymont, the country's central and governing bank, has confirmed that new currency designs will be released from 2018. The current bank notes, which consist of β5, β10, β20 and β50 notes, will be replaced over the next ten years, with a β1 entering circulation too. The coins (1c, 5c, 10c, 20c & 50c) will not be replaced until at least 2030.

The news comes after the Bank of Prymont released figures that show there are over 500,000 counterfeit notes in circulation. The new notes will combat forgery by utilising modern security features, which are yet to be disclosed. The first to undergo revolution, the β5 note, will enter circulation alongside the β1 note in July 2018, with the existing β5 note being refused as legal tender by the end of the year.

The new notes will also feature bright colours and larger numbers to help the visually impaired, and will be resized in order of value. The colours will be green, blue, red, purple and white in numerical order.

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The current 5 Prynd notes, which will be withdrawn from circulation by the end of next year.

 

Horizon Island begins re-fortification

HORIZON ISLAND, OSTPORT - Horizon Island, which has previously been a key defensive fort in the history of the United States, is currently undergoing re-fortification due to rising global fears. The 265mi² island, located 33 miles at the shortest route off the Prymontian mainland coast, was once used as a vital defense fort to protect the Canamo Sea from nautical invaders. It is also the home to Horizon Lighthouse, which still guides vessels towards the Ostport shore, and is popular amongst urban explorers.

Due to recent fears regarding Derthalen and The Hellenic Rus, Horizon Island is currently in the process of being locked down for strictly military and coastguard use. The four forts located in the surrounding waters will be renovated and reactivated for soldier accommodation, while Navy ships will be stationed around the island as a precaution. The USP Navy will also be reviewing its budget and fleet in preparation of an attack. 

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A view of two of the Canamo Forts from Horizon Island.

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BREAKING NEWS: Canastotan geography students trapped in avalanche

AGRICOLA, WHITEVALE - Shocking news has emerged today, as the Paranoff Search & Rescue Squadron of the USP Ground Force confirmed that fifteen citizens have been trapped by a recent avalanche on Lafayette Mountain. Twelve geography students from the University of Canastota, alongside their professor, a teaching assistant, and a hiking guide, were trapped by an avalanche believed to have been caused by fresh snowfall disrupting settled snow from the night before.

The group were studying environmental change in the Paranoff Mountain Range, which has seen a reduction of snowfall in recent years due to global warming. Their findings would eventually be reported to the Initiative Scientifique Trans-Continentale, which aims to combat climate change and reverse the effects to protect the environment for future generations. A distress signal was sent by automatic sensors carried by the guide, which is a new technology currently developed by the university. The search and rescue team are continuing their operation. It is currently unknown if there are any survivors.

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One of the many avalanches captured in the Paranoff Mountain Range during the colder months of the year.

 

President Duval congratulates @Sunset Sea Islands on formation of new government

NEW HALSHAM, COURTMARSH - President George Duval has congratulated the new Prime Minister of the Sunset Sea Islands, Theresa Tumbleweed, on her successful election campaign. The USP have enjoyed a healthy political relationship with the SSI under their past leader, Dr Lydia Mauve, and President Duval hopes to continue these good relations with the ruling Radiance Party.

Elected after the traumatic events of the past few weeks, in which a terror attack caused the deaths of almost two thousand, alongside that of heir to the throne Prince Simon, Ms Tumbleweed has the tremendous task ahead of her of reforming the country's legislation. The suicide of King Tomasso I, on the day of his 84th birthday, alongside the resignation of Princess Selena from the throne, means that a whole new constitution will have to be formed for the tourist paradise. President Duval said the following in a press release:

"Everyone in the United States of Prymont stands with the Sunset Sea Islands after the dreadful events of the final week of October. Losing so many innocent lives, alongside the beloved heir and monarch, is an event we wouldn't wish upon our worst enemies. Prymont will continue to assist the Sunset Sea Islands in the recovery and relief operation currently underway. We fully support the government of the Radiance Party and Prime Minister Theresa Tumbleweed, and will work closely with her to strengthen the ties between our two great nations."

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King Tomasso I, the last ever monarch of the Sunset Sea Islands.

 

Government needs to do more to help fishing industry - InterFish

CANASTOTA, OSTPORT - The CEO of one of Prymont's largest employers, InterFish, has claimed that the government needs to do more in helping the workers suffering from harsh fishing quotas. The National Party, which has spearheaded many pro-environment legislation changes, is not doing enough to help "the people of their own country who are suffering from their short-sighted changes", says Loren Upham.

InterFish, which rivals the Common Fishermen Company as the largest fishing business in the United States, has seen a large decline in revenue due to these strict quotas. Stock prices have since plummeted and the company is now struggling financially. Hundreds of workers have already been laid off, with thousands more job losses predicted in the near future. The new laws were introduced in an attempt to stop the overfishing of popular Prymontian fish, such as haddock and tuna, and to boost their reproduction levels to healthier amounts. Before the legislation was introduced, haddock and salmon were endangered in the Canamo Sea, while tuna was on the brink of endangerment. 

"It's appalling that the government are trying to kill one of their biggest industries just like that," Upham told us in an exclusive interview. "This is people's entire livelihoods we're talking about. Fishing is a generational job. I have employees that have had fishing in their families for over one hundred years, and yet the government is just trying to stop us. Our industry contributes more than anyone will ever know to the economy, and it's been that way for over two centuries. They're only cutting us down to appeal to tree-huggers."

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One of the many fishing trawlers in the InterFish fleet.

 

Fayford could be the next nature state, according to Prymont Environment Agency

COMFREY, FAYFORD - In collaboration with Environment Minister Kip Schmidt, the Prymont Environment Agency has revealed that Fayford could be the next nature state, joining Whitevale and Wildenesse as a natural paradise that allows nature to take its course and thrive. This news comes after harsh weather conditions were reported in the state, in which heavy hailstone caused severe damage to property. Fayford's future was then discussed in Parliament, with Mr Schmidt proposing that Fayford's 200,000 population be rehoused in Linkeep and Ostport to prevent further disruption.

Coincidentally, the Prymontian National Grid is looking to build large wind turbine farms in Linkeep, the so-called 'Energy State', and desperately needs more employees to construct and maintain the turbines. Fayford, which is lagging behind in all industrial manners, is a low contributor to the national economy and is apparently not favoured by the heavy hitters of the political world. Reducing the state to a wildlife reserve would strengthen the economies of Linkeep and Ostport, which have been historically strong states. 

This news has been negatively received in Fayford, with residents claiming that "nothing can make [them] move", and that "more opportunities to thrive should be provided". Residents are encouraged to contact their local authorities to present their views on the situation, which will then be reported to the government in New Halsham to decide the next steps.

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A naturally beautiful valley, located twenty miles north of Comfrey.

 

 

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BREAKING NEWS: Geography students killed in Whitevale avalanche

AGRICOLA, WHITEVALE - On Sunday, PNN reported that fifteen Prymontians had been trapped by a sudden avalanche on Lafayette Mountain in Whitevale. The USP Ground Force's Search & Rescue Squadron have been continuing their mission to search for survivors and recover bodies. Today, we are sorry to bring you the news that thirteen bodies have been recovered, while two still remain missing. It is feared that there are no survivors whatsoever.

The avalanche was triggered by fresh snow falling on settled snow in the early hours of Sunday morning, just as the group were setting out to continue their expedition. Sensors carried by the group's expert guide automatically sent a distress signal to local authorities, who immediately contacted the Search & Rescue Squadron to assist in the recovery operation. Over the past four days, thirteen bodies have been recovered, including all of the students and the guide, who was located first due to the tracking sensors. The professor and teaching assistant are yet to be found.

The USP Ground Force have confirmed that they will continue their mission until every body is found, and will then work closely with the University of Canastota to further research the cause of the avalanche and to advance technology to increase the likelihood of survivors in the future. 

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The group preparing for their hike at the base of Lafayette Mountain.

 

Southwest Ostport Wildlife Park reports untimely death of Prymont's favourite polar bear

SOUTHWEST OSTPORT WILDLIFE PARK, OSTPORT - Big Bob, Prymont's favourite polar bear, has died aged 30. Officials at the Southwest Ostport Wildlife Park, where Big Bob was raised since being abandoned as a cub, confirmed his passing yesterday evening. Big Bob has been a prominent feature of the wildlife park for many years, and grew attached to his carers who fostered him when he was a cub. Big Bob had a very calm, relaxed temperament around humans and was often spotted sitting near the fence with visitors.

In 1998, Big Bob was introduced to a female polar bear, Delta. At the turn of the century Delta gave birth to Little Bob and Echo, who live at the park to this day. Big Bob was often featured in advertising campaigns to raise funds for both the Southwest Ostport Wildlife Park and the Prymont Environment Agency, and enjoyed hunting for seals and fish until his very last day. The owners of the park have confirmed that a funeral will be held for Big Bob, and the polar bear section of the park will be renamed in his honour in 2018.

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Big Bob, joined by his sons Little Bob and Echo in 2000.

 

Popularity of Yeet clothing skyrockets due to wild marketing campaigns

CANASTOTA, OSTPORT - Yeet, a modern fashion label designed to appeal to youth culture, has experienced recent booms in popularity due to crazy marketing campaigns. Founded by Leon Dalen in 1997, Yeet was sold from his basement in Canastota to appeal to modern youth culture in a way that larger multinational corporations couldn't. Dalen was a teenager at the time of launching the brand, and originally sold t-shirts and hoodies to school friends before the rise of the internet allowed him to appeal to a larger market.

By 2007 Yeet was selling across Prymont, and pop-up stores were appearing across the globe in Sunset City, Intreimor, Protiva, and Ferrefaaierhafen. In 2016 the company was bought by First Trust, a rising financial service company in the United States. Recently, in order to boost sales and popularity, the Yeet logo has been displayed on the side of skyscrapers in New Halsham. Other marketing gimmicks involved giving away five legitimate gold bars with the logo imprinted into the metal to random customers, and Dalen's brother tattooing the logo onto his forehead as part of the 'Yeetboi' campaign. Variota's Foorste Heere fan'es Ferantwortelik fan'es Folke Dina Diva was spotted wearing a Yeet t-shirt in 2016, and has since collaborated with the label to release her own unique line exclusively for Het Huisselant Variota. 

First Trust have since published financial reports that show the worth of the marketing campaigns, and since floating the business on the stock exchange, the net worth has increased considerably. Teenagers across the globe race to buy the label's new releases every other month, at what are sometimes ludicrous prices. Yeet justify this by using the highest quality materials and paying their employees very respectable wages.

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The 'Yeet' logo.

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BREAKING NEWS: Fourteenth body found in avalanche nightmare

AGRICOLA, WHITEVALE - A fourteenth body has been found in the aftermath of an avalanche on Lafayette Mountain eight days ago. On Thursday, PNN reported that the USP Ground Force's Search & Rescue Squadron had found thirteen victims, including all of the students and the hiking guide. Late last night, it was revealed that a fourteenth body had been found. After searching the items the body was carrying, such as clothes and backpack contents, it is believed that only the professor remains to be found.

The teaching assistant, who had only graduated from the University of Canastota this September, was found in a small, narrow cave fifty feet from the rest of the group. It is understood that she was separated from the group during the avalanche and fell into the cave, where she was unable to call for help and soon succumbed to hypothermia. The search continues for the professor, who is yet to have been found despite a thorough search within a four hundred metre radius.

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An example of the ice cave that the teaching assistant was found in, which leads several metres below the surface.

 

USP Navy launches naval blockade at mouth of Canamo Sea amid Circle of Death fears

CANASTOTA, OSTPORT - In what has appeared to be a controversial move among Prymont's immediate neighbours, the USP Navy has enacted a naval blockade at the mouth of the Canamo Sea, of which the United States has a majority control in the waters. Amid fears of attacks in mainland Prymont from the Circle of Death terrorists group in The Hellenic Rus, President Duval issued a letter last night to the current Tsar, alongside the monarch of the Kingdom of Ahrana, who will also be affected by the blockade.

Ships coming into the Canamo Sea will be initially searched by naval officers, before being escorted to a military port near Canastota if cleared where they will receive further searches. If all searches are cleared, the vessel will be permitted to continue to its final destination. Outgoing ships will be redirected towards the port in Canastota for a search before being checked once again at the mouth, after which point they will be allowed to continue their journey. The blockade hopes to catch Circle of Death members trying to leave the area, and to prevent more from entering through illegal means.

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Two Class 04 Corvette's of the USP Navy patrolling Prymontian waters in the Canamo Sea.

 

Red carpet rolled out for arrival of Ahranaian King state visit

NEW HALSHAM, COURTMARSH - In what is part of a month-long string of state visits, the King of Ahrana is expected to arrive within USP borders very shortly. After visiting Variota and then moving on to Derthalen, the ruling figure of Ahrana will come to Prymont for the third stop of his journey. Despite the visit initially being planned to discuss the future of the two neighbouring countries and to improve upon diplomatic relations, most of the time is expected to be taken up discussing the naval blockade in the Canamo Sea.

Yesterday evening, it was reported that the Ahranaian government were debating the blockade through to the early hours of the morning, claiming that ulterior motives were at play. President Duval is yet to respond to these accusations, but is expected to maintain that the blockade is to ensure the protection of the nations within the Canamo Sea. The Prymont News Network will keep you updated with all news emerging from the meeting, and expects a solution to be found shortly.

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Increased security measures have been implemented ahead of the arrival of the King of Ahrana to prevent Circle of Death attacks.

 

Rapper Foolish Bandit releases third studio album 'Inspire Your Love'

CANASTOTA, OSTPORT - Noah Marshall, the man behind rapping and singing character Foolish Bandit, has released his third studio album under the same name, 'Inspire Your Love'. Marshall's first two albums, Base (2011) and Because The Web (2013) were rap albums released to critical acclaim. However, Inspire Your Love takes a different route, focusing more on contemporary R&B vibes alongside heavy influences of psychedelic soul, funk, and rock. 

The leading song of the album, Bluebone, has already amassed a cult following on the internet, with fans remixing the song with popular memes. Tickets for the Inspire Your Love world tour, which is due to start in April 2018, have already sold out, with over twenty different venues worldwide. Marshall rose to prominence as an actor through sitcom 'Neighbourhood', and went on to direct, write, and star in his own TV show, the comedy-drama 'Canastota'. Recently, Marshall has been contracted to star in the upcoming sci-fi global phenomenon movie 'Galaxy Wars', alongside a live-action remake of 1990s animated classic 'The Tiger King'.

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Marshall performing as Foolish Bandit in early 2017.

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KAP Group to buy shares in @Variotan Altvarna Automotive

FERREFAAIERHAFEN, VARIOTA - Erik Bruun, Prymontian billionaire investor and CEO of Prymont's largest company, KAP Group, has confirmed that his business is looking to buy shares in Altvarna Automotive, the popular Variotan supermini manufacturer. KAP Group, which owns KAP Limited and Visto Cars alongside Esé Automótives of @Iverica, has grown exponentially since Bruun stepped in during 2008. Previously, KAP Limited had faced declining sales, which were further hampered by rising export tariffs for luxury products. In 2008, Bruun revolutionised Prymont's automotive industry by forming the KAP Group, which would be responsible for expanding the KAP name and revitalising the business. In 2014, KAP Group purchased Visto Cars, Prymont's second struggling car manufacturer, which has also seen a rise in sales since Bruun took the helm.

Now, one of Prymont's richest citizens is looking at intercontinental expansion. Altvarna Automotive was founded in 1984 after a merger of two vastly different car companies. Since then, AA has gone from strength to strength in the supermini market. KAP Limited has offered the K1 since 2010, and is now looking to broaden their horizons with more superminis to appeal to ever-tightening emission restrictions while still providing driving excellence. It is reported that KAP Group would contribute to AA with a high performance car, which has apparently been in development since 2015. While further official news is yet to be released, Bruun has confirmed that he is considering purchasing an estimated 30% of Altvarna.

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The miniscule Retro Micro, Altvarna Automotive's latest release.

 

Prymontian delegate to attend signing conference of ATARA

PORTO ALTARIA, IVERICA - In an official email sent out yesterday, President George Duval has announced that the United States of Prymont will be sending a delegate to the founding ceremony of ATARA, of which the USP is a founding member. The Argic-Thalassan-Alharun Regional Association was founded to promote economic cooperation between three major continents of the 'New World'. Other founding members include Andalla, Iverica, Variota, Girkmand, The Euroführer and the Sunset Sea Islands. Lusotropia and Astriedan have also applied for member status, with Derthalen, Ahrana, Fleur de Lys, Cristina and Gallambria as observers. 

ATARA aims to promote economic, scientific, political and defence relations between member states, increasing the security and safeguarding the future of Argis, Thalassa, and Alharu. The United States will be sending newly designated delegate, Julian Nordeng. Nordeng previously studied and lectured at the University of Canastota before working closely with Charles Merrett MP in Rock Island. He eventually became a Rock Island Delegate for the Freedom Party, before now being chosen for ATARA Delegate by the National Party. The ceremony will begin tomorrow, and will be hosted by Iverica at Porta Altaria.

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Porto Altaria, Iverica.

 

Canastota to trial @Sunset Sea Islands' Synapse security system

CANASTOTA, OSTPORT - The largest city in the United States will be trialling the incredibly successful Synapse system of the Sunset Sea Islands in 2018. Developed by the Ministry of the Interior, spearheaded by now-Prime Minister Theresa Tumbleweed, the Synapse creation has led to a significant decrease in crime rates. Using the latest in facial recognition software, prediction algorithms, artificial intelligence and machine learning, Synapse has been released to industrial and public acclaim. The technology is so advanced, it has been utilised by the government on dating websites to find perfect matches, and has a staggering success rate. 

Canastota has been the hub of many things over the decades, but recently it has become manifested with major criminal activity such as drug dealing, murders, terror attacks and armed robbery, among many others. President Duval has been working with the Ostport local government and Prime Minister Tumbleweed of the Sunset Sea Islands to arrange the implementation of the software next year. Prymontian technology analysis experts will work with the Synapse creators in the SSI to review the data and improve the effectiveness of Synapse.

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A Synapse server farm in the Sunset Sea Islands, processing data by the second.

 

ISTC begins work on Antargic research base

ISTC PORT, SOUTH ORIENTAL OCEAN - The Sunset Sea Islands, Fleur de Lys, and Magnaeus will be working with the United States of Prymont under the Initiative Scientifique Trans-Continentale to construct the Simon Station in King Tomasso Land. Named after the late SSI Prince Simon, the son of late SSI King Tomasso I., the Simon Station will be home to all ISTC activities within Antargis. The initiative aims to combat the effects of global warming and protect the natural beauty of Antargis, while studying its harsh environment to learn more about the natural world.

Alongside raw and refined materials, scientists, and foodstuffs, Prymont will welcome ISTC researchers to the Paranoff Mountain Range, where they can prepare and train in the region before heading to the Simon Station. The researchers will also be taking small amounts of seeds from the upcoming seed bank in Whitevale for observation and temporary storage reasons. In the future, the ISTC hopes to develop a space initiative to expand the reaches of humanity.

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An artist's rendering of the Simon Station

 

Prize Prymontian athletes Christoffer Sletvold and Olivia Lindvik prepare for skiing season

AGRICOLA, WHITEVALE - Internationally successful skiing athletes, Christoffer Sletvold and Olivia Lindvik, are finishing the final touches of their preparations for the upcoming 2018 skiing season. The Argic Skiing Championship 2018 will travel across the continent, bringing the best athletes in the world to compete in a variety of events including downhill, giant slalom, and alpine combined. The calendar begins at the famous Snømareritt in Whitevale, which is regarded as the world's toughest course. 

Sletvold has represented Prymont on the international stage since he was 22, and has amassed 2 gold medals and 2nd three times in the ASC. Lindvik has also seen considerable success, securing three gold medals and winning the AGS a record-breaking four times. 2018 will be Lindvik's first full competitive season as she returns from a horror knee injury sustained in practice in 2015, which was then further aggravated in the 2016 championship. Both Sletvold and Lindvik will be looking for success in 2018, and will be joined by several other aspiring Prymontian skiers. 

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A view of Snømareritt in 2013.

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President Duval hits back over Lysian #NotMyPrymont trend

NEW HALSHAM, COURTMARSH - Recently, the world has been scrambling to evacuate nationals from @Ahrana, which has been taken over by communists. The United States safely pulled out all Prymontian citizens, but have failed to provide refugees fleeing with @Fleur de Lys with temporary holding in the country. This resulted in the hashtag #NotMyPrymont gaining traction on Lysian media, which has caused President George Duval to officially comment on the matter.

"I was quite disappointed to hear that this trend had taken off in Fleur de Lys. The communists within Ahrana had made it clear that Ahranaian citizens were not to be evacuated, and yet Fleur de Lys smuggled some out. We're unable to comment on the safety of Ahranaians within their own country right now, but we trust that the communist party are doing all they can to ensure their safety. The rule to not remove Ahranaian citizens was made very clear, and we're sad to hear that Fleur de Lys broke that rule. Ahrana is in an unstable political situation right now, and the last thing the United States wants to do is aggravate the country further. We'd be doing this by assisting Fleur de Lys in holding the refugees here temporarily; however, Prymont prioritises positive cooperation, and hopes to establish a good relationship with the new government. Fleeing Ahranaians are welcomed into Prymont via the southern border, at checkpoints in Verandi and Southfort. My team and I are doing all we can, and the negative comments from Fleur de Lys are very disheartening."

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Ahranaian children refugees playing in the snow.

 

KAP Group event day declared 'a success' by CEO

NEW HALSHAM, COURTMARSH - The recent KAP Group event day, held in New Halsham, has been labelled a success by CEO Erik Bruun. The event was held at KAP's headquarters, where new models were on display for the public and international press to see. There were also rides available in the new KAP K3, K6 and R4 models, online gaming events for younger audiences, physical demonstrations of innovative KAP technologies and the chance to win a brand new vehicle under the KAP Group umbrella of the winner's choice.

All models currently produced by KAP Limited, Visto Cars and Esé Automóviles were present, with a handful of Altvarna Automotive units too to represent the undergoing KAP investment in the Variotan manufacturer. During the past weekend, over one million people attended the free event, which worked with the National Party to relax tourism restrictions in New Halsham to allow more visitors. The event was designed to boost the popularity of KAP Group brands and to inspire young engineers, designers, test drivers and mechanics into progressing in a career in the automotive industry.

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A KAP K3 returning from a demonstration run during the event.

 

Manitou Juice Co launch new oat milk drink

MANITOU SPRINGS, SUMMERVALE - The Manitou Juice Co, one of Prymont's biggest brands, has launched a new product. Advertising campaigns have been prominent on Prymontian televisions as the Manitou Juice Co promote their new brand, Moak. Combining the words 'milk' and 'oat', Moak is a healthy oat substitute for milk. Moak is made with Prymontian oats, which grow under sunny days in the Prymontian summer alongside brief heavy rainfall. Pesticides aren't used on Moak oats, making them perfectly safe for human consumption. 

Moak is the latest in a long list of health initiatives from the Manitou Juice Co. CEO Robin Taylor founded the company in 2001 to produce healthy drinks for the population. Moak also combats the issue of using cow milk, with cow milk becoming more expensive in recent years. The oats are grown entirely by Moak-endorsed farmers, who are paid fairly for their work. Moak is available in an original flavour, alongside organic, chocolate, and mango. A vanilla custard Moak product is also available, alongside Moak porridge.

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A delicious, refreshing glass of chocolate Moak.

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TV presenter illegally kills polar bear

AGRICOLA, WHITEVALE - Prymont Television Network (unaffiliated with the Prymont News Network) news broadcaster Even Isaksen has illegally hunted a polar bear. Photographs were posted online yesterday, with Isaksen commenting "great way to end 2017!". The image has since been deleted, but not before public outcry dominated his feed. A variety of insults were thrown towards the presenter, who has no known history of hunting. 

Polar bears are the national animal of Prymont, and have been legally protected since 1864. This protection continued through to the formation of the United States, and the current environmentalist government are keen to uphold the regulation. A spokesperson from the PTV has stated that no action has currently been taken against Isaksen, but officials are corresponding with him to determine a future course of action. President Duval has publicly condemned the crime, and will personally ensure that Isaksen is sent to trial. 

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Even Isaksen, pictured with the bear he hunted.

 

Lysian #NotMyPrymont movement settled by Président du Conseil Mécra

NEW HALSHAM, COURTMARSH - @Fleur de Lys' Président du Conseil de la République, Monsieur Charles Mécra, has congratulated and thanked the United States of Prymont for their assistance in withdrawing Lysian citizens recently from Ahrana before the communist takeover. Various allies of the United States, including Fleur de Lys, were permitted to land their planes in Prymontian airports to temporarily hold citizens while more were evacuated, before being returned home. Lysian citizens were previously critical of President Duval for prohibiting Fleur de Lys from holding Ahranaian refugees in the country, initiating a #NotMyPrymont movement on social media. 

President Duval recently expressed his dismay at the actions, and condemned Président Mécra for evacuating refugees against the orders of the Ahranaian communists. However, the new statement from the Lysian leader will hopefully settle the quarry between the two nations, returning to a state of peace and harmony. This follows recent news of a space rocket, developed by members of the ISTC, which will be prepared for launch in the coming months. The leaders were reportedly encouraged to settle their disagreement to promote peace within the ISTC.

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The Lysian National Assembly, in which Mécra thanked Duval for his help with evacuating Lysians from Ahrana.

 

Search for missing geography professor in Lafayette Mountain called off

AGRICOLA, WHITEVALE - The search for the final missing body in the recent avalanche disaster on Lafayette Mountain has been called off, officials from the USP Ground Force's Search & Rescue Squadron have confirmed. The geography professor, who is the only person not to have been found in the six weeks following the disaster, was hiking with students when an unexpected avalanche overcame them. Sadly, there were no survivors.

Volunteers are being advised against continuing the search, as weather conditions in the notoriously harsh Lafayette Mountain are set to worsen in the coming weeks. The government will fund the funerals of all fifteen victims by the end of the week, and President Duval is set to meet with the families of the victims to discuss future safeguarding measures. 

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Lafayette fjord, located at the foot of Lafayette Mountain.

 

Potential KAP Group - Aamotech Technologies merger on the horizon

NEW HALSHAM, COURTMARSH - Inside sources within both the KAP Group and Aamotech Technologies have led us to believe that a merger between the two Prymontian giants could be on the horizon. The KAP Group, led by billionaire Erik Bruun, currently holds interests in several local and international companies, including KAP Limited, Visto Cars, Esé Automóviles, Altvarna Automotive and KAP TechMan. KAP have gone from strength to strength in recent years, and are expected to be releasing a large SUV based on the K6 later this year. 

Aamotech Technologies have recently received some substantial international orders, and are currently working with the @Variotan arms manufacturing company Varinco to renovate and arm their units. However, their government funding was recently cut to a mere β500m, leading to thousands of job losses and potentially more in the future. CEO Lucy Aamot is in control of a considerable engine development unit though, and holds the rights to several elusive units such as the supersonic commercial airliner Nålestråle, heavy strategic airlifter Tungstråle and Mach 3+ aerial reconnaisance Soniskstråle. Uniting the two companies would form the largest corporation within the United States, and would open up a whole wealth of future trade deals. 

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The only two Soniskstråle units in existence, currently operated by the USP Air Force.

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KAP seen testing self-driving cars on roads of Aelmount

HAUKENES, AELMOUNT - KAP Limited, Prymont's largest automobile manufacturer and the largest subsidiary of the KAP Group, have been spotted testing driver-less cars on the streets of Haukenes, Aelmount. It was rumoured in 2015, when development of the K3 was confirmed, that autonomous vehicles would play a substantial part in KAP's future lineup. Recent images released by KAP Limited show a KAP K3 driving safely at speed using just technology. 

The car had the option of being controlled by remote in a K6 which escorted the K3 along its route, but this method was reportedly not used. The self-driving car, codenamed K3X, safely obeyed all rules of the road, kept safe distances to cars in front, emerged from junctions in good time and drove as if a regular person was behind the wheel. The technology is said to be in development for the K2 and K6 as well, alongside an upcoming K4 executive saloon and K7 large SUV.

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The KAP K3X, driving in downtown Haukenes.

 

Aamotech's Soniskstråle reenters production

NEW HALSHAM, COURTMARSH - An official spokesperson from Aamotech Technologies has confirmed that the company's fastest unit ever, the famous Soniskstråle, has reentered production. The statement released by Aamotech was minimal, simply confirming that production had restarted and that two units would be produced. One unit has been paid for in full, with a 30% deposit paid for the second. The customer has chosen to remain anonymous so far, although it is believed to be the USP Air Force due to Aamotech's reluctance to release the Soniskstråle technology to foreign countries.

Two units were completed for the USPAF in 2003, as part of an original five unit order. However, the remaining three units were cancelled due to funding issues, and to this day, they remain the only two Soniskstråles in existence. The FE002 was recently spotted taking off from Fort Kanacky in Verandi after two years of no flying, with the whereabouts of FE001 closely guarded by the Air Force. The Mach 3.5+ machines currently under production are estimated to have cost the customer β300m each.

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Engineers working on the FE002 in 2002.

 

Photographs of 'wild' Foolish Bandit New Years Eve party released

FERREFAAIERHAFEN, VARIOTA - Noah Marshall, known professionally to the music world as Foolish Bandit, has been pictured in a @Variotan nightclub celebrating the new year. The multi-talented rapper, who released his third studio album in late November, partied well into the new year with an armada of friends, family and fans at a VIP club in the Variotan capital, Ferrefaaierhafen. 

The night started quietly for Marshall, who, according to other guests, was enjoying himself with friends at a secluded table in the corner of the club. However, after a period of excessive drinking, Marshall joined the dance floor. The Prymontian celebrity was then encouraged onto the club's stage, where he tore off his t-shirt and performed songs from his latest album, Inspire Your Love. After this, Marshall was challenged to freestyle rap, and proceeded to sing about scrambled eggs, drug hallucinations, the high quality of the KAP K5 dashboard, @Sunset Sea Islands' Prime Minster Theresa Tumbleweed, and growing a beard, before he was finally joined on stage by Variota's very own Foorste Frauwe fan'es Ferantwortelik fan'es Folke, Dina Diva, for an intimate romantic duo. 

The impromptu performance was brought to an end by club staff, who announced that the show was over and sent party-goers on their way. Staff were particularly annoyed at the excessive paparazzi presence due to two global music sensations being in the same place at the same time, and Marshall buying out the entire contents of the bar. Marshall was seen for the last time that night taking his newly acquired alcohol back to a nearby 5* hotel, of which he had hired the penthouse suite. This news has seen public outcry in various parts of Prymont, with critics calling Marshall "irresponsible" and "disgusting" for his heated duo with Dina Diva. Marshall has since responded on social media, stating he'd "do it all over again". 

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Photograph of Foolish Bandit in a Variotan nightclub, taken by a fan.

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Prymont launched humanitarian aid mission in The Hellenic Rus

PORT SAROV, THE HELLENIC RUS - The United States of Prymont Navy has launched their single aircraft carrier, the USS Defender, on a humanitarian mission towards The Hellenic Rus. Due to arrive in a matter of minutes, the enormous ship is full of medicine, clothes, food, raw materials, and volunteers, who will help to rebuild their Canamo neighbour. The Hellenic Rus' government collapsed during the festive period at the end of December, after bombings from terrorist group, the Circle of Death. Government officials were ruthlessly killed, and many expected the Circle of Death to take over the running of the country. However, with the lack of an established leader and minimal resources, the CoD spiralled into a downfall which now makes them one of many rogue rebel groups within the barren war zone.

The struggling remains of The Hellenic Russian army continue to fight against pockets of rebels, with no clear pathway for future stability. President Duval announced that two billion Prynds have been immediately set aside for the project, with a further three billion in reserves if necessary. This marks the first time Prymont have contributed to international aid since the formation of the United States, with the former Freedom Party government taking a strict isolationist stance. The United States will aim to rebuild the obliterated infrastructure of The Hellenic Rus, provide aid to innocent civilians who are being violently targeted and caught between rebel and militant fighting, and to promote peace and tranquillity. President Duval hopes to instigate a democratic vote for the new government by the end of 2018.

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:pic: A Hellenic Russian rebel fighter overlooks a destroyed town.

 

KAP - Aamotech merger progresses towards finalised agreement

NEW HALSHAM, COURTMARSH - A merger between two corporate giants within the US, KAP Group and Aamotech Technologies, has advanced towards the final stages of agreement. The two respective CEOs, Erik Bruun and Lucy Aamot, were seen meeting at the KAP Group headquarters in New Halsham this morning to discuss the combination of the companies. Insider reports have implied that the company would be renamed to honour both the Kaldestad and Aamot heritages, with Lucy Aamot able to continue the day-to-day running of her family business. 

The news of the merger was paralleled by the ordering of two new supersonic Soniskstråle units, which were last built in 2003. Now, KAP Limited have announced that a limited run of the successful mid-engined R3 sportscar will be released months before the debut of its successor, the R4 supercar. Five SRZ variants will be released, taking the 2.2 litre flat six SRX and completely revitalising it. The body will be made fully from carbon fibre, with a new bodykit adding an aerodynamic splitter, side skirts, and rear diffuser, among other cosmetic parts. The flat six will be tuned to provide a new total of 360bhp. Four units will be sold for β120,000, with the fifth going to auction. The first four units have already been secured by private owners.

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:pic: The new modified KAP R3 SRZ, displayed at Canastota docks.

 

Three dead in Canastota gang attack

CANASTOTA, OSTPORT - Local government officials have called the newly installed @Sunset Sea Islands Synapse security system "a severe, total disappointment", after the technology failed to prevent the deaths of three young men at the hand of a notorious gang. The Isbrytere, a historic Ostportese gang, targeted three young men on a night out, in what has been called an 'unprovoked attack'. The men, who are yet to be identified, were just leaving a club in downtown Canastota, when thirteen armed, masked men cornered them. They were quickly rushed into a van and taken to a derelict area on the docks, where the victims were tortured until the early hours of the morning. Their mutilated bodies were recovered by paramedics, who were alerted by the Synapse system, at 08:16am.

Police are currently cooperating with the Synapse officials to identify the criminals. Issues with the integration of the system into Canastota's current crime prevention techniques were raised; in areas where there were minimal former preventative measures, Synapse has been incredibly successful, effectively eradicating all crime by preemptively alerting police officials and quelling the risk. Chief Synapse officers are now being flown out to the United States to investigate this critical lapse, and to use the information gathered to prevent such a tragedy from happening in the future.

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:pic: The derelict bridge of a former salmon processing plant, where the men were believed to have been killed.

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Country's most historic fishing company pleads for government intervention

CANASTOTA, OSTPORT - The Common Fishermen Company, founded in 1852, has asked for government intervention as huge debts cast doubts over the near future of the company. It has been reported over the past several years that the fishing industry as a whole is declining considerably, with the CFC noticing severe drops in revenue. Recently the organisation have taken bank loans to pay employees and score supermarket fish contracts, but the loss of said contracts to rival companies and rising wage demands means that the once gigantic fishing company is now in dire straits.

Severe overfishing in the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s led to incredibly strict quotas being introduced in the early 2000s by the Freedom Party to preserve the natural ecology within the Canamo Sea, and to ensure the future of popular fish species such as haddock, tuna, and salmon. Said quotas were relaxed after the 2011 elections, but were tightened once again in July 2017 by the newly elected National Party. Prymont's two fishing giants, the Common Fishermen Company and InterFish, are both reportedly struggling to cope with the low supply and high demand. Locally caught fish prices have risen drastically in the past months, and stock is often sold out within hours due to the reluctance of Prymontians to buy foreign fish. 

However, consumers are now being forced to buy imported fish due to the lack of supply, driving down the prices of Prymontian fish. The limited stock is hurting the CFC, who have already laid off thousands of employees. CEO Dominic Hagen is calling on the government to subsidise the company and relax fishing quotas, with the alternative of thousands more unemployed citizens.

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A private fish market on Canastota docks, currently empty. The markets are typically full throughout the day due to the amount of fish caught, but recently stocks have been depleted to minimal amounts.

 

@Sunset Sea Islands' Synapse System releases findings over gang murder last week

SUNSET CITY, SUNSET SEA ISLANDS - The Synapse System, which is believed to have led to the deaths of three young men, has released a report summarising the incident. Synapse officials first set about identifying the victims - Christopher Hardman, Robert Magneanberg, and Kilian Greatcross. This was done by tracking digital money transactions from the bar, and tracing the path taken by one of the victims back to their home. Then, a total of twenty four suspects were arrested, with sixteen currently being held in cells, with the system still tracking the locations of four more suspects. 

Synapse then discovered that, after the interrogation of one of the suspects, the men were killed for drug debts to the Isbrytere. Kilian Greatcross reportedly had a deep, dark history with the gang, but had not been flagged as a drug user by authorities. The next step was to identify why the crime wasn't prevented, with infrastructure and implementation difficulties being prioritised. Another reason has been dubbed the 'Slingshot incident', which saw two police officers ignore a suggestion by the Synapse System to survey the area of the kidnapping, and instead turned around and headed in a different direction. The officers are believed to have been involved in the crime, and are currently being searched for by authorities across the nation.

Finally, the government of the Sunset Sea Islands has donated an estimated β50 million to local Canastotan authorities, to improve the infrastructure in the area and to heighten police presence. The Elegy Corporation, who manufacture components for the Synapse System, have also donated ten thousand surveillance cameras to the city to prevent further crimes. The SSI government have also issued the families with approximately β3 million each to compensate for the deaths of their sons, and have invited them to the tropical paradise to learn about the work of the Synapse System and to suggest improvements.

This report has instilled the President with confidence of the Synapse System. George Duval has confirmed that he is interested in installing the system in other large Prymontian cities, such as New Halsham, Virso, and Payson. Public opinion of the system rapidly declined after the news, and minor protests have occurred in Canastota to prevent the installation of the system in other cities.

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A typical Synapse observation centre for one small area within Canastota, showing the intricate nature of the system.

 

KAP Group - Aamotech Technologies merger completed; Kaldestad Aamot Group is born

NEW HALSHAM, COURTMARSH - Erik Bruun, CEO of the former KAP Group, has confirmed that his company has successfully merged with aerospace manufacturer Aamotech Technologies. This move sees the combination of two of Prymont's largest companies, with the newly founded KAG now registered as the sole largest company in the country by revenue, assets, and employees. 

The merger will see KAP and Aamotech working together on future products, with KAP taking advantage of Aamotech's extensive engine development suites, while Aamotech now have the opportunity to open manufacturing plants in @Iverica thanks to existing KAP ties. The move also boosts the capital of the two companies, meaning that Aamotech now have the possibility of re-employing the workers they previously laid off in October. Inside sources have revealed that KAG are now working on a land-speed record car, which would participate in the annual Holkestad Speed Week event in the summer.

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The logo of the newly formed KAG.

 

Foolish Bandit hints at unreleased rap song, 'Prince of Prymont'

CANASTOTA, OSTPORT - Singer, writer, and actor Noah Marshall has hinted at the release of a never-before-seen rap song, 'Prince of Prymont'. The celebrity rose to fame in the music world under the persona 'Foolish Bandit', and released his third studio album at the end of 2017 to critical acclaim. Many fans believed the singer had moved on from rap, from which his fanbase is mostly formed. However, an article posted on his website, iamnoah.com, teased the release of a song from 2013 that never saw the light of day.

"Working on a lot of projects right now. There are many things I can't talk about, but you'll learn about them soon enough and it's very exciting. One of them includes a song I worked on five years ago for [Because The Web], but never released it with the album because the label didn't want it. Been working on it lately to revive it with new lyrics for something big happening soon."

Marshall then posted a five second clip of music from the start of the song, indicating a relaxed, warm vibe that corresponds with his second album, Because The Web. Music critics have speculated that a global singing contest is due to be created soon, and many Prymontians believed that Foolish Bandit would be our nation's best candidate.

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Marshall during a radio interview in 2013, discussing his 'Because The Web' album.

 

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