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Adapted from Melbourne Times #1

⑆ HVI-UNAPFI / AURIGA (1909.09-A4585B) Date: 3001-Jan-11

Image - transmission dish (by Matt Matteo)

Transmission antenna[α]

   ¶ Foreign Minister Leulp aci-Gharean, opening a face-to-face campaign to convince the Aeroi's toughest trading partners to relax trade barriers, said Aeroi ties to the Colonies Sphere are "both wide and deep".
   ¶ Speaking to representatives from the major Colonial States, aci-Gharean said the end of the Markets War would not diminish Aeroi interest in the region.
   ¶ "To the contrary, the end of Aeroi-Meren confrontation and the opportunities for peace in the Colonies Sphere will allow us to begin to turn a page in history and focus on the new challenges of interdependence as we shape a new era," aci-Gharean said.
   ¶ "Aeroi engagement in the Colonies Sphere region is critical to the success of a post Markets War interstellar system." Ω

(See Talespin: Aeroi Trade Agents.)

⑆ AZTLÁN / PROCYON (0911.20-B3596B) Date: 3001-Jan-18

Image - Aztlan officer portrait

Frigate Lieutenant Aniak[β]

   ¶ A spokesperson for the Imperial Admiralty today refused to comment on the latest clash between Imperial and Commonwealth naval elements in Pollux District.
   ¶ "I can neither confirm nor deny any reports of engagement of foreign forces by elements of the Imperial Navy," said Frigate Lieutenant Doña Imelda Aniak.
   ¶ "While it is not our policy to discuss the Empire's naval maneuvers I can assure you that any attempt by foreign forces to encroach upon Imperial territory will be met with appropriate resistance."  Dona Imelda made her comments during the Admiralty's weekly press briefing.
   ¶ Tensions in Pollux District have risen in recent weeks following the disappearance of the Commonwealth merchant carrier Finnegan's Surprise which failed to make it's scheduled arrival at Remus / Pollux more than two months ago. Ω

(See Talespin: Pollux Commerce Raiding.)

⑆ DEDN / EUROPA (2934.30-D3588B) Date: 3001-Jan-25

Image - Jacqueline Morekki by Taylor Fischer)

Ambassador Morekki[γ]

   ¶ As she leaves office, the Commonwealth ambassador to Dedn rates Morrochai Gvo's chances for political survival as high and predicts that the crumbling Expansionist Clique will not regain its once vast power.
   ¶ Asked to assess the Meren autarch's prospects, Ambassador Jacqueline Morekki replied, "It seems to me it has excellent chances.
   ¶ "I would say the whole four years I've been here, most of them, people have been predicting that somehow it was about to be swept from the scene.  And each time there is a crisis, it seems to strengthen its position." Ω

(See Talespin: Snatch the Meren.)

⑆ NYANZA / NYANZA (1531.12-A3598B) Date: 3001-Jan-28

Image - Minister Asahi Teke

Minister Teke[δ]

   ¶ The Minister of Trade today denied reports that the Federation had issued Letters of Marque in its dispute with the Ouroran Community and Aeroi Worlds.
   ¶ "While we acknowledge our differences with these two powers, we unequivocally condemn any acts of illegal piracy against merchant vessels," said Asahi Teke.
   ¶ "The term 'Nyanzan pirate' has long been used falsely to connect the Federation with bands of rogue marauders in the region.  We regret this unfortunate misconception." Ω

(See Talespin: Letters of Marque.)

⑆ NOUVEAU QUÉBEC / ARCTURUS (0524.17-93588B) Date: 3001-Feb-01

Image - Fuel tanker Havre

Tanker Havre[ε]

   ¶ Spacers worked to stop leaks from a disabled fuel tanker Saturday, but rough skies kept crews from cleaning up ammonia clouds.
   ¶ Starport officials said ammonia clouds and rain were spotted from between 450 and 3000 kilometers downwind and as far as 9000 kilometers west of Nouveau Yaoundé.
   ¶ Officials speculated that most of the fuel burned before the Havre's drive failed 200 kilometers above the resort town of Antibes two weeks age, and no more than 35,000 kiloliters was left on board.  But environmentalists say as much as 300,000 kiloliters of fuel are in the tanker. Ω

(See Talespin: Sky Salvage.)

⑆ NEW CANAAN / GAEA (2215.10-A3597B) Date: 3001-Feb-11

Image - Supreme Aspirant Ganesa by Sarah Huerta

Supreme Aspirant Ganesa[ζ]

   ¶ Supreme Aspirant Ganesa today recognized the Prometheus Foundation for its assistance in helping the Abrahamic Synod develop Jump-4 capability.
   ¶ In ceremonies at her Spiritual Sanctuary, the Abrahamite leader presented the Golden Sunbeam, the Synod's highest award, to Maruda Ishihara, District Curator of the Prometheus Foundation, who accepted on behalf of the Foundation's Board of Directors.
   ¶ "With this new capability we will be better able to bring our message of love and peace to fellow seekers of enlightenment," said Ganesa in prepared remarks delivered at the ceremony.
   ¶ With its development of Jump-4 capability, the Synod's place among the major Colonial States remains well established. Ω

(See Talespin: The Cloud Minders.)

⑆ EARTH / SIRIUS (1720.19-A3697B) Date: 3001-Feb-21

Image - Bright Prospect

Jump ferry Bright Prospect[η]

   ¶ The jump ferry Bright Prospect was christened today by Pan Commonwealth Starlines.
   ¶ The 200-kton starship is the first of its kind.  While jump ferries are quite common in Commonwealth space, the Prospect is the first starship built specifically for commercial purposes.  Previous jump ferries have been converted from surplus battle carriers.
   ¶ Construction of the commercial jump ferry is seen by industry observers as confirmation of the economic success of the once-controversial jump ferry concept.
   ¶ Two additional jump ferries also commissioned by Pan Commonwealth have been laid down at the Jakarta Shipyards.  A fourth ship has been commissioned by rival Transtellar Lines. Ω

(See Talespin: Jump Ferry Transit.)

Adapted from Melbourne Times #2

⑆ NEUBAYERN / POLLUX (1419.16-A25689) Date: 3001-Apr-21

Image - Maza-class starship

A Maza-class cutter[θ]

   ¶ In its official report released today, the Navy confirmed that the unidentified ship destroyed at Epimetheus / Pollux three weeks ago by the frigate Foch was an Aztlán Maza-class frigate.
   ¶ According to the report, the Foch was conducting frontier refuelling shortly after emerging from jump when it encountered the unidentified ship in the upper reaches of the gas giant's atmosphere.  When it refused to respond to the Foch's hail, the ship was fired upon and eventually destroyed.
   ¶ Initial efforts to identify the ship were hindered by the loss of the wreckage in the giant's lower atmosphere.  The report states that the ship was identified after an analysis of telemetry gathered by the Foch during the engagement.
   ¶ A spokesperson for Commodore Geraldine Kolchak declined to comment on the report, but sources close to the Commodore stated that the discovery of an Aztlán warship in Commonwealth space was certain to lead to further escalation of tensions in the Pollux District. Ω

(See Talespin: Pollux Commerce Raiding.)

⑆ DEDN / EUROPA (2934.30-D3588B) Date: 3001-Apr-24

Image - Morrochai Gvo by Matt Matteo

Autarch Gvo[α]

   ¶ In a terse communique released today, the mysterious Clique for State Security announced that it had assumed all executive authority in the Meren Worlds.
   ¶ Actual composition of the Clique remains unclear.  The Clique has been rumored to be an extension of the reactionary wing of the Expansionist Clique, which has suffered from increasing turmoil since the end of the Markets War.
   ¶ The status and location of Morrochai Gvo remains unknown.  The communique stated that the Meren Autarch had been "relieved of its responsibilities" by the Clique.
   ¶ In a separate statement, Ivondond Verch, leader of the Reformist Clique and a frequent critic of the Autarch in the past, called for Morrochai's restoration to its "appropriate and lawful position" and characterized the action of the Clique for State Security as a "supra-legal usurpation of executive authority." Ω

(See Talespin: Snatch the Meren.)

⑆ NEW CANAAN / GAEA (2215.10-A3597B) Date: 3001-Apr-27

Image - Nea Lhasa Skystupa

Néa Lhasa Skystupa[ι]

   ¶ The Néa Lhasa Skystupa fell to the ground today.
   ¶ The gravitic spiritual and entertainment complex slowly descended from its aerial position 800 metres above the lower city after its main gravitic generator shut down.  A Skystupa spokesperson stressed that it had been a controlled descent and that the Skystupa's 860,000 inhabitants were never in danger.
   ¶ The cause of the generator failure has yet to be determined.  The spokesperson stated that Skystupa engineers hoped to have the complex airborne again within a few days.
   ¶ The Néa Lhasa Skystupa is the first gravitic urban complex developed on New Canaan.  The impications of the generator failure for the additional skystupas currently under construction at Néa Madīnah and Néa İstanbul remain unclear. Ω

(See Talespin: The Cloud Minders.)

⑆ AZTLÁN / PROCYON (0911.20-B3596B) Date: 3001-Apr-28

Image - Crown Princess Sola

Crown Princess Sola[α]

   ¶ The Imperial Household announced the engagement today of Crown Princess Sola.  The heir to the Adamant Throne will wed Don Arturo Kumate, an officer in the Diplomatic Corps.
   ¶ The Crown Princess, currently serving as an auxiliary craft pilot in the Imperial Navy, had long shown little interest in marriage.  Sources in the Household have denied reports that the Crown Princess was pressured into the engagement by Empress Ana and Grand Duke Guillermo.
   ¶ Don Arturo first met the Crown Princess nearly 18 months ago during a reception held for her by the Shinnihon monarch at the Shinnihon embassy.  Don Arturo has served as Her Majesty's ambassador to the Shinnihon court for the past three years.
   ¶ The wedding, in accordance with Imperial tradition, has been scheduled to coincide with the annual Festival of the Founders to be held later this year. Ω

⑆ EARTH / SIRIUS (1720.19-A3697B) Date: 3001-May-01

Image - Earthsteward Emile Cevera

Earthsteward Cevera[κ]

   ¶ Earthsteward Emile Cevera opened year-long ceremonies today celebrating the Tricentennial of the founding of the Commonwealth of Earth.
   ¶ "As we cross this threshold of our fourth century, we reach forward to the myriad of opportunities that beckon to us," said Cevera in remarks carried live across the globe and recorded for broadcast throughout the Commonwealth.
   ¶ The Commonwealth Tricentennial will be celebrated in a variety of events over the next year across the worlds of the Commonwealth.  The celebration will culminate with the Commonwealth Games to be held here at Earth. Ω

⑆ NYANZA / NYANZA (1531.12-A3598B) Date: 3001-May-03

Image - Aeroi transport starship

Ufiuwn-yl-class merchant[α]

   ¶ The Nyanzan District factor for Ysinal udi-Quinan announced today that the Aeroi mercantile giant had reached an agreement with the Nyanzan Navy to provide armed escorts for YuQ shipping operations in Nyanza, Wanganui, Aquila and Ourora Districts.
   ¶ The nine-year contract includes provisions for piracy suppression as well as escort duties.  Representatives of the Federation Navy declined to discuss the actual price of the contract.
   ¶ Analysts at the Nyanza Securities Exchange estimated the annual amount to be in the gigacredit range.  Ysinal udi-Quinan stock had risen 5.625 points by the close of trading today.
   ¶ A spokesperson for the Ouroran embassy criticized the joint Aeroi-Nyanzan effort as an "unnecessary and provocative escalation" of the recent trade tensions in the region. Ω

⑆ AMAZONAS / OURORA (1934.24-93598B) Date: 3001-May-12

Image - Mendes Highport (by Matt Matteo)

Mendes Highport[α]

   ¶ House Moreira officially closed the Mendes Highport today.  The closing coincided with opening ceremonies for the new Amazonas Highport which has been operational for several months now.
   ¶ The Mendes Highport was constructed around the hull of the Conestoga-class sub-light transport Chico Mendes which brought the original settlers from Earth over five hundred years ago.  The ship served as an orbital base of operations for the initial colonization of Amazonas.  Over the centuries the orbital facility has grown into a sprawling shipyard complex that served as Amazonas' primary Highport.
   ¶ The new Highport was constructed by Moreira after it determined that further upgrades to the Mendes facility were impractical.  Moreira officials have described the new Highport as the "centerpiece of commercial infrastructure" in the Community.
   ¶ The Mendes facility will be stripped down and the Chico Mendes hull refurbished in time for the sexacentennial of the settling of Amazonas. Ω

Adapted from Melbourne Times #3

⑆ NOUVEAU QUÉBEC / ARCTURUS (0524.17-93588B) Date: 3001-Oct-17

Image - Valerie LeFevere (by Matt Matteo)

Frigate Captain LeFevere[α]

   ¶ A spokesperson for the War Ministry today applauded the destruction of an Aeroi vessel but denied that the Quebecer ship responsible had been acting under the authority of a Letter of Marque.
   ¶ "It is the duty of every Québécois to help to rid our space of this alien menace," said Frigate Captain Valerie LeFevere, commenting on the destruction last week of the free trader Omokm-oi by the armed merchant Malheur.
   ¶ The Republican Government has banned both Aeroi and Meren activity in its space since the extraterrestrials were first encountered.  Independent Aeroi traders have ignored the ban and have carried out lucrative black market trade on Quebecer worlds for decades.
   ¶ Laromy iwu-Thallen, an Aeroi free trader who claims to have made over a hundred landings in Quebecer space, commented from an undisclosed location.  "The Quebecers have been hunting us all my life.  I'm not really concerned — it's just another business risk.  If you keep the right officials 'reminded' of the financial benefits involved you can always stay a step ahead of these government-sponsored 'renegades,'" he said. Ω

(See Talespin: Interdiction Runner.)

⑆ NYANZA / NYANZA (1531.12-A3598B) Date: 3001-Oct-22

Image - Orianne M'tusei by Eric Wilkerson

Laureate M'tusei[λ]

   ¶ Orianne M'tusei's chromatic opera Paradise Odyssey, which chronicles the original settlement of Nyanza, has opened to rave reviews.  M'tusei, the current Federation Laureate, attended last night's premier.
   ¶ The performance also marked the debut of the Nouvelle-Kinshasa Chromatic Amphitheater.  The state-of-the-art facility seats nearly 50,000 in its main holographic hall.  M'tusei's opera was written specifically for the new amphitheater.
   ¶ Noriko Uromei, a critic for the New Lagos Guardian, characterized the performance as "revolutionary" and described the experience of viewing it in the spherical contra-gravity auditorium as "akin to participating in the performance itself."
   ¶ Paradise Odyssey is expected to continue at the Amphitheater through the Federation's Sexacentennial celebration. Ω

⑆ SPARTA / LORELEI (2710.16-50068A) Date: 3001-Oct-23

Image - Cathryn Cannata (by Matt Matteo)

Paladin Cannata[α]

   ¶ Independent military observers confirmed today that a planetoid impact weapon has been used by government forces on this remote world.  A rebel town was destroyed last week by a near-world planetoid launched by forces loyal to the embattled government.  Recent reports have seen loyalist forces increasingly hard pressed by rebel elements.
   ¶ Paladin Cathryn Cannata of the Abrahamic Guardians, spokesperson for the Joint Observers Contingent (JOC), announced the finding in a news conference today.  "Examination of the attack site as well as of satellite reconnaissance data by JOC personnel has confirmed that the town of Asine was destroyed by an impact weapon of approximately 5 kilotonnes," she said.
   ¶The use of planetoid impact weapons has long been regarded in the Colonies Sphere as a barbaric aberration that calls to mind the horrendous violence of the Break-up.  This is the first confirmed use of planetoid impact weapons in over five centuries.
   ¶ The civil war on Sparta has been ongoing for nearly two years and has been noted for excessive brutality by both loyalist and rebel forces.  The JOC was established eight months ago by military observers from the major Colonial States in an effort to prevent the conflict from spreading to other worlds in the District.  It is the first such cooperative effort by the often quarrelsome Colonial States. Ω

⑆ THERID / THERIDIA (2813.25-83567B) Date: 3001-Oct-28

Image - Pericles Wisdomseeker

Foreseer Wisdomseeker[μ]

   ¶ Pericles Wisdomseeker announced his retirement today to become effective the end of this year.  Wisdomseeker has headed the Theridian League for over three decades.
   ¶ In a press conference at his official residence, the 92-year-old Foreseer said, "I am grateful for the small part I have been allowed to play in our history."  Historians will no doubt take issue with his modesty.
   ¶ Wisdomseeker was instrumental in holding the League together during the Monosentient Revolt and is widely credited with the decision to purge the Monosentients from the ranks of the League government."
   ¶ Selection of a successor to Wisdomseeker falls to the League Coalescence.  The First Coalescent, Cinderella Surfsparkler, is expected to call the Coalescence early next week. Ω

⑆ DEDN / EUROPA (2934.30-D3588B) Date: 3001-Oct-29

Image - Ivondond Verch by Matt Matteo

Autarch Verch[α]

   ¶ Ivondond Verch was installed as Autarch of the Meren Worlds in a unanimous decision today by the Supreme Conclave.  Verch, leader of the Reformist Clique, was instrumental in deposing the self-proclaimed Clique for State Security last month.
   ¶ The Conclave was sitting without a quorum due to the absence of delegates from the reactionary wing of the Expansionist Clique.  Several leaders of the reactionary wing were imprisoned following the overthrow of the mysterious Clique for State Security.  The reason for the absent delegates remains unclear.
   ¶ In a statement following the decision, a spokesperson for Verch claimed that "all legitimate parties" were represented in the current Conclave and denied allegations that called into question the legitimacy of the Conclave's action.
   ¶ The installation ceremony was attended by Morrochai Gvo, who was held for several weeks by agents of the Clique for State Security.  A spokesperson for Gvo said that the former Autarch "supported the actions taken by the Supreme Conclave."  It remains uncertain whether Gvo will retain its position as leader of the Expansionist Clique. Ω

(See Talespin: Snatch the Meren.)

⑆ NEW CANAAN / GAEA (2215.10-A3597B) Date: 3001-Nov-01

Image - Marian Autut

Promoter Autut[ν]

   ¶ In a landmark decision the Court Spiritual today upheld the conviction of a citizen charged with the willful destruction of an emancipated robot.
   ¶ Writing for the majority, Magistrate Estrella Phunminphaat stated, "While the scientific community assures us that robots are not truly sentient their emancipated status, a well-established precedent, entitles them to the same protections afforded naturally sentient citizens."
   ¶ The defendant, Jocasta Sealwatcher, a resident of Shinar / Capella, has been undergoing re-socialization at a penal facility there.  The Court's decision ensures that her five-year sentence will be served in its entirety.
   ¶ Promoter Marian Autut, who prosecuted the case before the Court, hailed the decision as a "victory for sentient rights." Ω

⑆ EHIME / EHIME (1509.09-E4585B) Date: 3001-Nov-01

Image - Lightfoil duel (by Matt Matteo)

Azaki bests Tanaka[α]

   ¶ Azaki Yayoe won the Shinnihon Tournament today with her victory over Tanaka Tsutomu in the lightfoil event, capping similar victories earlier in the tournament over Suzuki Hiroshi in the contragravity joust and over Akihiko Mao in the orbital jump event.
   ¶ Azaki will be presented with the Emperor's Prize in closing ceremonies at the Imperial Palace tomorrow.  Crown Princess Masako will present the Prize on behalf of her father, Emperor Mutsuhito, who remains in hospital.

Image - Contragravity joust (by Matt Matteo)

Azaki prevails in the joust[α]

   ¶ A native of Niigata, Azaki recently wed Sasaki Tsutomu, heir to the world's Daimyo.  This was her third appearance in the triennial Shinnihon Tournament but will be her first time standing on the Victor's Rostrum.
   ¶ This year's Tournament was the first to permit participants from beyond the Empire.  Arthur Sharaa, a Lucent Templar, placed fifteenth in the Tournament, the highest of any non-Shinnihon participant. Ω

⑆ HVI-UNAPFI / AURIGA (1909.09-A4585B) Date: 3001-Nov-03

Image - Casa Cesar logo

Casa Cesar logo[ξ]

   ¶ The giant mercantile house Klin abo-Zrushwa has been shattered today by the acquisition of its pharmaceuticals manufacturing and minerals processing arms by an Ouroran mercantile house.  This is the first time an Aeroi commercial entity has been purchased by an Earth Colonies interest.
   ¶ The acquisition by House Cesar, the financial details of which have not yet been made clear, was apparently facilitated by dissatisfaction among the directors of the pharmaceuticals and minerals operations with Klin abo-Zrushwa's top leadership.  KaZ still maintains control of its apparel, software, heavy equipment manufacturing, organics production, and security and administrative services operations.
   ¶ This acquisition is seen by many analysts as a major coup for House Cesar.  Cesar stock climbed 187.5 points on the hvi-Unapfi Exchange before trading was suspended early this afternoon.
   ¶ In a statement released following the suspension, Quixote Eelchaser, Auriga District Factor for Cesar, said, "This acquisition demonstrates the commitment of Ouroran mercantile houses to competing successfully throughout the Colonies Sphere and beyond." Ω

⑆ EARTH / SIRIUS (1720.19-A3697B) Date: 3001-Nov-03

Image - Minister Tanja Fokin

Minister Fokin[ο]

   ¶ Security Affairs Minister Tanja Fokin confirmed reports today that the Commonwealth is considering military action against the Empire of Aztlán.
   ¶ "The Earthsteward has asked me to provide a variety of military options intended to discourage further Aztlán incursions into Commonwealth Space," she said at a news conference at the Security Ministry.
   ¶ The Minister refused to characterize the nature of the options being considered but sources at the Security Ministry suggested that Aztlán military assets in Pollux District were likely targets.
   ¶ Rising tensions between Aztlán and the Commonwealth have resulted in several armed clashes in Pollux District since the destruction of an Aztlán warship by a Commonwealth frigate at Epimetheus / Pollux last April. Ω

⑆ AZTLÁN / PROCYON (0911.20-B3596B) Date: 3001-Nov-06

Image - Contragravity joust (by Matt Matteo)

At the Turquoise Sanctuary[α]

   ¶ Crown Princess Sola, heir to the Adamant Throne, was wed today to Arturo Kumate, a former officer in the Diplomatic Corps.
   ¶ The wedding ceremony, held in the Turquoise Sanctuary of the Imperial Palace, was the crowning event in the annual Festival of the Founders.  The Imperial Heir has traditionally been wed during the Festival which commemorates the original settlement of Aztlán.
   ¶ After the private ceremony, Princess Sola and Prince Arturo were received by Empress Ana and Grand Duke Guillermo in the Adamant Hall and made the traditional offering of flowers to the war deity Huitzilopochtl to close the festival.  The reception was attended by a host of foreign heads of state including the Supreme Aspirant of the Abrahamic Synod, the High Councillor of the Federation of Nyanza and the Speaker of the Ouroran Assemblage of Houses.
   ¶ The Earthsteward of the Commonwealth was not in attendance but was represented by the Minister of Commonwealth Affairs.  In a news conference following the reception a spokesperson for the Imperial Household rejected suggestions that this represented a snub to the Imperial Family.  The Commonwealth Affairs Minister is the second ranking minister in the Commonwealth.
   ¶ Following the reception the Imperial Couple left for an extended honeymoon at the Imperial Winter Palace on Nuevo California. Ω

⑆ AMAZONAS / OURORA (1934.24-93598B) Date: 3001-Nov-06

Image - Mendes Highport (by Matt Matteo)

Mendes Highport[α]

   ¶ The Assemblage of Houses and the Congress of Guilds reached a compromise today that permits participation of the Guilds in Assemblage decision making.  The agreement allows three delegates from each Guild to serve as Associate Members in Assemblage.  Associate Members receive a one-third vote, effectively granting each Guild a single vote in the Assemblage.
   ¶ In return the Guilds have committed to more stringent professional standards for guild members and to raise guild member dues to increase funding for training and apprenticeship activities.  The Assemblage has long sought such concessions from the Guilds.
   ¶ Speaking after the agreement was announced, Isabel Rodrigues, Proctor of the Congress and a member of the Administrators Guild, characterized the compromise as "a bold step that finally permits those who provide the craft capital to contribute in the direction of Ouroran House enterprise."
   ¶ Restoration of the Mendes Highport, which had been halted by a walkout of the Constructors, Technologists, and Operators Guilds, is expected to resume immediately. Ω

⑆ HEJAZ / HEJAZ (2924.14-83586B) Date: 3001-Nov-08

Image - Grand Vizier Amneh Khalfan

Grand Vizier Khalfan[π]

   ¶ Grand Vizier Amneh Khalfan was assassinated today as she left Parliament for the Palace outside New Basra.  Two members of the Caliph's Guard were also killed and a third was seriously wounded in the morning attack.
   ¶ The gunman, later identified as Mohammed Noureed, a native of Siwa, was seized by bystanders and subsequently stoned to death.
   ¶ Speaking from the Palace later in the day, Prince Tallal ib'n Hussein called for calm.  "The spirit of the Grand Vizier speaks to us, soothing our hearts and stilling our minds," he said in a live broadcast.
   ¶ A palace spokesperson confirmed that a courier had already been dispatched to Aztlán where the Caliph is currently attending the wedding of Crown Princess Sola. Ω

⑆ RAJASTHAN / JAGANNATH (1126.10-D4588B) Date: 3001-Nov-09

Image - RCNS Mysuru leaves spacedock (by Matt Matteo)

Mysuru leaves spacedock[α]

   ¶ The Confederate Navy commissioned its newest destroyer today.  The RCNS Mysuru is the first of the new Jodhpur-class to enter service.
   ¶ The Mysuru was constructed by government-owned Mazgaon Dock Ltd. at its highport shipyards.  The Jodhpur-class marks Mazgaon Dock's first foray into warship construction.
   ¶ After space trials here the Mysuru will be posted to the Confederate Naval Base at Rudra.  It will replace an Aligarh-class destroyer which will be retired at the end of the year.
   ¶ Three more Jodhpur-class destroyers are slated for completion through the end of next year.  Two are under construction by Ganges Gravitics at its Jodhpur Highport shipyards.  The other ship will also be constructed by Mazgaon Dock Ltd. Ω

⑆ KIANGSI / KIANGSI (0723.27-D3588B) Date: 3001-Nov-12

Image - Secretary Liu Xiaoyuan

Secretary Liu[ρ]

   ¶ The Ministry of Government Affairs announced its plan today to improve the efficiency of the Republic's unwieldy Bureaucracy.
   ¶ "Each Cabinet Minister has been directed by the Prime Minister to inform the Vice Ministers, Deputy Ministers and Under Ministers that they are to instruct their ministries to implement the new plan immediately," said Liu Xiaoyuan, Third Assistant First Secretary to the Second Under Minister for Governmental Procedures, who headed the efficiency task force appointed by the Twelfth Minister (Government Affairs) three years ago.
   ¶ Secretary Liu entertained questions from reporters after reading her prepared statement, an unusual occurrence, and was asked, after a quick, impromptu discussion among the reporters present, about the uncharacteristic speed with which the task force completed its assignment.  "I can only attribute our quick results to the steadfast support of the First Secretary, the Second Under Minister, the Fourth Deputy Minister, the Eighth Vice Minister, the Twelfth Minister and the Prime Minister herself," Liu said.  "I believe our success demonstrates the Government's commitment to improving efficiency throughout the Bureaucracy."
   ¶ When asked about her expectations for the reforms, Liu claimed, "The reforms should be fully implemented by the end of the next decade."  She admitted after further questioning that this target "may be a little optimistic." Ω

Adapted from Melbourne Times #4

⑆ LIVINGSTONE / NYANZA (1136.17-B34485) Date: 3002-Apr-17

Image - Tutankhamen scout (from ~Space Rockets~)

Science Vessel Tutankhamen[σ]

   ¶ The Federation Scout Service suspended its search today for a missing science vessel.  The Tutankhamen, a private starship owned by the Ensanche Archaeological Institute (EAI), a Commonwealth research house, jumped out-system from Livingstone late last year and has been missing for over three months.
   ¶ Federation scouts conducted a detailed survey of the Livingstone system but were unable to find any trace of the ship.  A systematic search of neighboring systems over the past several weeks was similarly unsuccessful.
   ¶ Ensign Alice Honi, a scout spokesperson, indicated that it was unlikely the ship had been destroyed.  "Our surveys would have detected wreckage in any of the systems within normal range of the ship's jump drive," said Honi.  "Similarly, the ship likely would have been detected had it made a controlled landing somewhere.  While some sort of foul play can not be completely ruled out, it is likely the Tutankhamen has mis-jumped as a result of using unrefined fuel at Livingstone."
   ¶ The loss of the ship was of particular note because of its crew.  The two Commonwealth archaeologists aboard, Dr. Alabama Wang and Dr. HowardCarter Sandsifter, both of the EAI, had recently discovered the Saladin, a five-hundred year old generation ship, here on Livingstone. Ω

⑆ EHIME / EHIME (1509.09-E4585B) Date: 3002-Apr-30

Image - Cruiser Yamato

SNS Musashi[τ]

   ¶ The cruiser Musashi jumped out-system today on its way to a rendezvous with the generation ship recently detected by the Nishikido Observatory.
   ¶ The Musashi hopes to reach the generation ship and begin evacuation of its ship's complement to Gunma.  The Musashi has been retrofitted with 200 emergency low berths for the mission but this is not expected to be sufficient to evacuate the entire complement of the sublight starship.
   ¶ "We estimate this ship has been underway for over three hundred years of ship-board time,"  said Lieutenant Ohki Yoneko, a spokesperson for the Admiralty.  "Our estimates suggest that the complement could have grown to over 50,000 in that amount of time."  Lt. Ohki went on to explain that the evacuation of 50,000 persons could take as long a three months and cost the Imperial Government over ¥55 million.
   ¶ The Imperial Government has had a long-standing policy of funding the evacuation of newly discovered generation ships although this is the first such evacuation in over a century.  The reaction of Gunma residents to the arrival of possibly as many as 50,000 new inhabitants remains uncertain. Ω

⑆ NEW CANAAN / GAEA (2215.10-A3597B) Date: 3002-Apr-30

Image - Suning Taleb

Aspirant Taleb[υ]

   ¶ The Synodic Administration was rocked today by the death of an advisor to the Supreme Aspirant.  Suning Taleb, a member of the Order of the Dorji, was found in her chambers today, dead of an apparent overdose of an illegal psychic drug.
   ¶ Aspirant Taleb, who was considered to be a protege of the Supreme Aspirant, was a practitioner of the empathic talent.  She was only recently inducted into the Dorji but, at 33, was the youngest Aspirant ever to do so.  Her talent was considered to be one of the most powerful ever known.
   ¶ Supreme Aspirant Ganesa, speaking through her palaver, expressed sorrow but declined to comment on the circumstances of her aide's death.  "I am saddened by the departure of this child and will miss her sound counsel."  Ganesa will attend the memorial celebration for Taleb scheduled for next week.
   ¶ The Synod has always forbidden the use of psychic drugs.  Members of the Synodic Orders have decried the use of psychic drugs as being counter to the principles of spiritual practice.  Psychic drugs are purported to increase psionic capabilities but often have drastic side effects including psychic injury and death. Ω

⑆ HVI-UNAPFI / AURIGA (1909.09-A4585B) Date: 3002-May-03

Image - Aeroi factor

Factor edn-Liuy[α]

   ¶ The Auriga District Factor for Nri ow-Paluudar accused a rival enterprise today of industrial sabotage.  Moalin edn-Liuy, speaking from her headquarters here, insisted that biotech giant Cedrin aal-Khurew was responsible for the recent destruction of an NoP factory on nearby twe-Olibgu.
   ¶ "Intelligence gained by our investigators indicates that the mercenary band known as 'Timoshenko's Tentacles' was engaged by Cedrin aal-Khurew nearly two months ago," claimed edn-Liuy.  "This mercenary band is well-known for its proficiency with gravitationally-polarized explosives."
   ¶ Examination of the ruined factory by local government officials at twe-Olibgu have been unable to determine a specific cause for the explosion which completely destroyed the facility.  While grav-polar explosives were mentioned as a possible cause in their report, it was only one of several possibilities suggested by investigators.  Another possibility was a failure of the contra-gravity separators known to have been used at the facility.
   ¶ Cedrin aal-Khurew refused to comment on the NoP accusation.  Were such allegations to prove true it would be the first known instance of industrial espionage by one Aeroi interest against another in the Colonies Sphere.  The News Service was unable to reach a representative of "Timoshenko's Tentacles," a mercenary band reported to be comprised mostly of Meren but commanded by a former Commonwealth Army officer, to confirm the purported engagement by CaK. Ω

⑆ AZTLÁN / PROCYON (0911.20-B3596B) Date: 3002-May-07

Image - Commonwealth starship Endeavor

Corvette Endeavor[φ]

   ¶ Empress Ana expressed her outrage today at news of an attack by Commonwealth naval forces upon an Imperial naval base in Pollux District.  Speaking through her seneschal the Empress characterized the attack as "a personal affront to myself and to all the loyal subjects of Aztlán".
   ¶ News arrived at the capital yesterday of the assault on the Imperial Navy's facility at Artemis by elements of the Commonwealth's elite 3rd Cruiser Squadron.  The attack damaged the base reactor and left 81 casualties.
   ¶ A spokesperson for the Commonwealth Embassy confirmed that the Ambassador had been called to an audience with the Empress.  First Secretary Jovito Vural would not comment on the attack but insisted that "the Commonwealth has, on many occasions, warned Her Majesty's Government of the possible repercussions of its military adventures in Pollux District."
   ¶ Later in the day, an Admiralty spokesperson indicated that all Imperial Naval forces in Pollux District had been placed on war time alert.  The spokesperson refused to comment on whether a formal State of War with the Commonwealth was imminent. Ω

⑆ THERID / THERIDIA (2813.25-83567B) Date: 3002-May-07

Image - dolphin with waldoes

Foreseer Wakemaker[χ]

   ¶ In her first major action as Foreseer, Havitar Wakemaker has sought to ban the immigration of non-Dolphins.  The League Coalescence is expected to take up the proposed legislation next week.
   ¶ Wakemaker, who rejects the custom of assuming a chosen name from Human literature or history, was elected to succeed Pericles Wisdomseeker after his retirement at the end of last year.  Wakemaker emerged as Foreseer during a tumultuous Coalescence that required five separate ballots.
   ¶ Wakemaker was accused of harboring Monosentient sentiments during last year's debate in the Coalescence but repeatedly denied such allegations.  She has long warned though of the danger faced by "true sentients" from "lesser sophonts," a refrain that echoes the Monosentient tenets of two decades ago.
   ¶ A spokesperson for First Coalescent Surfsparkler refused to comment on the proposed legislation but noted that a great deal of support existed in the Coalescence for the Foreseer's programs. Ω

⑆ AMAZONAS / OURORA (1934.24-93598B) Date: 3002-May-08

Image - Type-S Scout/Courier starship

Tereshkova-class Scout[ψ]

   ¶ A spokesperson for the Commonwealth Embassy confirmed today that a Commonwealth scout vessel had been dispatched to Europa District to investigate reports of contact with a new sophont race.  Major Suning Hayes, the mission scout attache, confirmed that the C.S.S. Yeager, a Tereshkova-class scout, based at the Commonwealth scout base at Nunavut / Fomalhaut, had been dispatched to Europa.
   ¶ "While we have not yet been able to speak directly with the Commonwealth citizens being held by Casa Carneiro we felt it prudent to dispatch a vessel to investigate the reported First Contact," said Maj. Hayes.  "Of course, the Commonwealth reiterates its demand to speak with its citizens currently being held by the Community."
   ¶ Three Commonwealth citizens arrived at Amazonas three weeks ago aboard the Carneiro frigate Diligência and have been kept under arrest by the Casa Carneiro Security Ward.  The Commonwealthers, two Human females and a Dolphin male, were reportedly seized at Moxico / Ourora while travelling in a ship of unknown design.
   ¶ The Security Ward has repeatedly denied the rumored First Contact.  While it confirms that the Commonwealthers are being held it insists they are being held under charges of piracy. Ω

⑆ DONEGAL / EUROPA (2632.29-A23689) Date: 3002-May-10

Image - Delgado freighter (from ~Space Rockets~)

Freighter Delgado[ω]

   ¶ An Ouroran freighter has apparently been attacked in the upper reaches of Donegal's gas giant.  The warship Krolux responded to a distress call from the Delgado but apparently arrived too late.  When the Krolux matched vectors with the Delgado the freighter was adrift and its hull had been breached.
   ¶ "The freighter showed extensive signs of plasma weapons fire," said Second Tharr Rurinon Voosin, a Meren naval spokesperson."  A rescue party from the Krolux discovered no survivors of the attack.  All indications are that the Delgado was boarded after the hull breach and its cargo ejected into space.  Several dozen cargo pallets were found adrift with the ship."
   ¶ The freighter belonged to House Moreira, the Ouroran mercantile giant.  A statement released by the local Moreira factor condemned the act of piracy and offered to cooperate fully with Meren authorities in their investigation.  The Delgado was one of three 5000-ton freighters operated by Moreira in Europa District.
   ¶ The loss of the Delgado is expected to severely hamper Moreira's efforts to meet the terms of its recent shipping arrangement with the Meren Worlds.  Moreira has begun to challenge the Aeroi mercantile house Ysinal udi-Quinan in Europa District since the end of the Markets War. Ω

⑆ SPARTA / LORELEI (2710.16-50068A) Date: 3002-May-12

Image - Paladin Cathryn Cannata

Paladin Cannata[α]

   ¶ A spokesperson for the Joint Observers Contingent (JOC) confirmed today that allied Colonial States military forces had toppled the Spartan government and were holding top leaders pending the organization of a war crimes tribunal.  Spokesperson Cathryn Cannata, a Paladin in the Abrahamic Guardians, stated that the allied action had been taken in response to the use of a planetoid impact weapon by government forces last October.
   ¶ "Consultations among the JOC member Governments resulted in a unanimous decision to remove those responsible for this horrendous crime," said Cannata.  The JOC includes military forces from most major Colonial States including the Abrahamic Synod, the Empire of Aztlán, the Commonwealth of Earth, the Federation of Nyanza and the Ouroran Community.
   ¶ The military action, which included military forces from all of the member Governments, took less than two days.  The cooperation of Aztlán and Commonwealth military forces was particularly remarkable in light of the extreme tension between the two states in Pollux District.
   ¶ The fate of Sparta remains unclear.  Sources in the JOC have denied that control of the world will be given to those elements which opposed the former government.  It was suggested rather that the JOC would oversee elections which would lead to the establishment of a new government. Ω

⑆ ULAN-UDE / SIRIUS (1820.25-635678) Date: 3002-May-12


Image - Clothed humanoid robot

Ottobah Cugoano[αα]

   ¶ Ottobah Cugoano, the robot that has been banned from speaking in the Commonwealth, was arrested here today after speaking at a conference on sentient rights.  Cugoano was taken into custody by Ministry of Justice (MoJ) constables after delivering its remarks at the Arias University Conference on the Status of Intelligent Beings.  The MoJ constables declined to disrupt the conference but instead arrested Cugoano as the robot left the university grounds.
   ¶ Arias Chancellor, Hedi Iromadze, criticized the MoJ action.  "The Subversive Acts Statutes are a barbaric and immoral stain upon the Commonwealth," said Iromadze.  "The fact that the Government has chosen to enforce them in this instance makes the very case they are trying to suppress."
   ¶ Cugoano, a former diplomatic robot emancipated after being purchased by a private foundation two years ago, has been a vocal advocate of sentient rights, especially for high-order robots.  The robot was banned from speaking or writing publicly last year under Article Seventeen of the Subversive Acts Statutes.
   ¶ The emancipation of high-order robots, which are capable of independent action, has been repeatedly struck down in the Commonwealth Courts.  Sources close to Cugoano suggest that its arrest may be used to bring the issue of robot emancipation before the Commonwealth High Court. Ω

⑆ HEJAZ / HEJAZ (2924.14-83586B) Date: 3002-May-14

Image - microcravity gliders

Hartoonian and O'Neil microgravity glide[αβ]

   ¶ Saadoun O'Neil took the gold medal today in the individual's microgravity glide event.  O'Neil, from Njed, displaced reigning Kalīfa Games champion Amneh Shihabi who placed fourth in this year's event.
   ¶ The microgravity glide competition was held in the new Sahat al-Kristal facility constructed especially for the Games.  The Sahat al-Kristal seats over 60,000 and is also used for grav ball competitions.
   ¶ O'Neil, gliding in his first Kalīfa Games, performed a program that included a quintuple gyro.  He was the only competitor to accomplish the maneuver.  Shihabi had attempted the quintuple gyro but failed in three separate attempts.
   ¶ O'Neil will glide tomorrow night in the microgravity pair's event with partner Irina Hartoonian.  They will face Shihabi and her partner, Chaya Nyamle, who are also the reigning pair's champions. Ω

Adapted from Melbourne Times #5

⑆ AMAZONAS / OURORA (1934.24-93598B) Date: 3002-Jul-17

Image - Tutankhamen scout (from ~Space Rockets~)

Science Vessel Tutankhamen[σ]

   ¶ The Casa Carneiro Security Ward was outraged today after it released three individuals believed to be Commonwealth citizens into the custody of the Commonwealth Ambassador in a goodwill gesture.  Shortly after arriving at the Embassy with the former detainees, the Ambassador held a press conference announcing the Commonwealth had granted official political asylum to one of the individuals.
   ¶ "This person, Tavan Ganix, from the world Rugila in Europa District, has been instrumental in the return of Drs. Wang and Sandsifter to the Commonwealth," said Ambassador Midori Dawnchaser.  Until this announcement, Ganix had been believed by the Security Ward to be a Commonwealth citizen who served as an assistant to her companions, Dr. Alabama Wang and Dr. HowardCarter Sandsifter of the Ensanche Archaeological Institute, who also appeared at the press conference.
   ¶ The Ambassador praised the Community for its release of the three individuals but firmly rejected claims by the Security Ward that they had been involved in piracy.  "Both Dr. Wang and Dr. Sandsifter are well respected researchers known for their archaeological activities throughout the Colonies Sphere, including their recent discovery of the generation ship Saladin at Livingstone in alpha_gammaNyanza District," said Dawnchaser.
   ¶ The Ambassador refused to comment on reports of the dispatch of a Commonwealth scout vessel to Europa District shortly after the trio arrived at Amazonas.  Nor did she answer any questions about the activities of the Commonwealth researchers or Mx. Ganix in Europa. The individuals themselves did not speak or take question at the press conference. Ω

⑆ AZTLÁN / PROCYON (0911.20-B3596B) Date: 3002-Jul-19

Image - Empress Ana

Empress Ana[αγ]

   ¶ Empress Ana announced today that a formal State of War now exists between Aztlán and the Commonwealth of Earth.  "It is with deep regret yet solid resolve that I call upon the loyal subjects of Aztlán to take up this challenge.  It is the duty of a proud and principled people to resist provocations and predatation such as the Commonwealthers have delivered upon Imperial Aztlán," said the Empress in remarks broadcast live from the Imperial Palace.  "We will no longer tolerate the intimidations of our adversaries," she said.  "I have called upon the Imperial military forces to remove this threat to the stability of the Empire to ensure the rightful place for ourselves and our progeny in the Colonies Sphere."
   ¶ Grand Duke Jaime de Andraca, the Foreign Minister, speaking after the Empress made her address, indicated that the formal Declaration of War had been delivered directly to the Commonwealth Government by Her Majesty's Ambassador at Earth.  The Commonwealth Ambassador had been called to the Imperial Palace earlier in the day to receive the Declaration simultaneously on behalf of his Government.  The Commonwealth Embassy declined to comment on the day's events.
   ¶ Admiral Duchess Maria Estenssoro, the War Minister, briefed the press shortly after the Foreign Minister's remarks.  She indicated that elements of the Imperial Navy and the Imperial Army had been sent sealed orders weeks ago and would be moving against strategic targets in Pollux District immediately.  The Minister declined to offer a specific timetable, insisting that "all Commonwealth forces that currently threaten the Empire would be dealt with in a quick and effective fashion."
   ¶ Sources within the Admiralty confirmed that a major offensive had been launched in Pollux District.  The extent of the operation was not disclosed but one source commented, "The end of Commonwealth influence in Pollux will shortly be at hand."  Ten worlds in Pollux District are members of the Commonwealth of Earth and Commonwealth military forces are based on several independent worlds as well.  No worlds in Pollux are members of the Empire but several provide bases for Imperial forces.
   ¶ The State of War comes as little surprise to many observers.  Tensions in Pollux District have increased steadily in recent months.  Several armed clashes between Aztlán and Commonwealth units have occurred in the District.
   ¶ Sources in the Imperial Household also confirmed reports that the Crown Princess, a flight officer in the Imperial Navy, was among those forces deployed to Pollux District.  The Household would not identify Princess Sola's specific assignment but asserted she had insisted on serving in a front line unit.  Princess Sola, who recently wed Don Arturo Kumate, has not yet borne an heir and her continued service in the Navy has been opposed by officials in the Imperial Household. Ω

(See Talespin: The Princess Bride.)

⑆ EARTH / SIRIUS (1720.19-A3697B) Date: 3002-Jul-19

Image - Earthsteward Emile Cevera

Earthsteward Cevera[κ]

   ¶ The Earthsteward announced today that the Empire of Aztlán has declared war upon the Commonwealth.  Speaking from the Stewards' Hall, Earthsteward Cevera indicated that the Empire's Ambassador had delivered the formal Declaration earlier today.  The State of War became effective today and was delivered simultaneously with a formal announcement on Aztlán in Procyon District.
   ¶ The Earthsteward called for resolve on the part of the citizenry in facing this crisis.  "We will protect ourselves and defend our freedom throughout the Colonies Sphere," he said in a live address that will be rebroadcast on all Commonwealth worlds.  "Let no one forget who is the aggressor here.  The Empire of Aztlán has long sought the way of the warrior over that of the diplomat.  While we would prefer the latter we are well prepared and determined to oppose the former."
   ¶ Speaking after the Earthsteward, Security Affairs Minister Fokin suggested that Aztlán forces had already begun hostilities in Pollux District.  "The Empire's military forces have been probing our defenses in Pollux for months now," she said.  "They will soon learn that they have miscalculated gravely.  We have more than sufficient force in Pollux and neighboring districts to repulse any Aztlán incursion."
   ¶ A source in the Security Ministry said an Aztlán assault upon Earth was unlikely.  The source suggested Aztlán strategy would seek to intimidate independent worlds in Pollux and neighboring districts through assaults upon Commonwealth forces in the region.  The source indicated that the Declaration was not unanticipated in the Ministry and that Commonwealth forces in Pollux had been reinforced in recent months.
   ¶ "The campaign will most likely be centered around the world of Prometheus," said the source.  Prometheus is a member of the Commonwealth and its population is nearly six billion.  "While the Aztlán have no hope of overcoming the defenses at Prometheus they might be able to cut the world off by seizing neighboring systems," continued the source.  "The challenge for our forces will be to prevent that from occurring."
   ¶ A spokesperson for the Foreign Affairs Ministry indicated that the Commonwealth had briefed the Missions of several Colonial States but that most had insisted upon the need to consult with their Governments before taking a position upon the State of War.  The Commonwealth has no alliances with major Colonial States nor does the Empire.  A source within the Ministry suggested that the major Colonial States would remain neutral in the conflict. Ω

⑆ AMAZONAS / OURORA (1934.24-93598B) Date: 3002-07-19

Image - Casa Barcellos logo

Casa Barcellos logo[αδ]

   ¶ Casa Barcellos announced plans today to begin colonization efforts on three worlds in Europa District.  Extensive surveys have been conducted of the worlds leading to their selection as prime colonization sites.
   ¶ Barcellos survey teams have been studying the worlds for nearly five years.  Colonists will be recruited primarily from Amazonas but Barcellos will accept settlement candidates from all Community worlds.
   ¶ The three worlds each have extensive biological systems including primitive, and in the case of one world, advanced fauna.  Each world's system also has at least one gas giant for wilderness refuelling and at least one planetoid belt with confirmed ore deposits.
   ¶ Barcellos expects to have the first settlements established within two years with self-sufficiency established from the outset.  If the colonization effort is successful it will bring the total number of Community-settled worlds in Europa to five. Ω

⑆ THERID / THERIDIA (2813.25-83567B) Date: 3002-Jul-19

Image - dolphin with waldoes

Foreseer Wakemaker[χ]

   ¶ In the wake of her recent success in passing legislation to ban the immigration of non-Dolphins, Havitar Wakemaker has proposed harsh restrictions on Robot autonomy.  While Robot emancipation has not been recognized in the League, current practice has been to not enforce strict compliance with existing Robot ownership laws.
   ¶ "The people must be protected at all costs from the threat posed by these automatons," said the Foreseer in a speech before the Coalescence.  Her proposed legislation calls for the deactivation and dismantling of any emancipated Robot and for prison sentences for the emancipating owner.
   ¶ First Coalescent Cinderella Surfsparkler, who led the opposition in the immigration debate, declined to address the Coalescence.  Sources close to Surfsparkler indicated that while she opposed the Robot legislation she had chosen to avoid a direct confrontation with Wakemaker, who has enjoyed wide support in the Coalescence.
   ¶ The source declined to comment on rumors that the First Coalescent would challenge Wakemaker for the Foreseership in the next regular session of the Coalescence.  Surfsparkler, who was very close to former Foreseer Pericles Wisdomseeker, has been rumored to regret not running for the Foreseership after Wisdomseeker retired.  Sources near to Surfsparkler have confirmed that she did not expect Wakemaker to be successful in her bid to be elected. Ω

⑆ KIANGSI / KIANGSI (0723.27-D3588B) Date: 3002-Jul-23

Image - Bioluminescent plankton

Fatshan's Taikoo Ocean coast[αε]

   ¶ The Ministry of Security confirmed today that the ecosphere of Fatshan has been assaulted by terrorists.  An anti-plankton virus was introduced into the world's oceans and has already destroyed over 25% of the native bioluminescent plankton population.
   ¶ "Efforts are underway to replenish the plankton," said Lieutenant Liu Arisande, a Ministry spokesperson.  "Nevertheless, decreases in the breathability of the atmosphere are expected to be severe, and evacuation of the populace has already begun."
   ¶ Lt. Liu indicated that the atmospheric deterioration was expected to occur over a period of several months and expressed confidence in the navy's ability to evacuate the world's nearly 80,000 residents to nearby worlds in that time.
   ¶ The Ministry had no comment on the identity of the terrorists responsible for the ecocide but sources within the security ministry indicate that their investigation as been focused on a terrorist cell known as the Imminent Spark.  The group has been involved in similar though unsuccessful attacks on two other Kiangsi worlds.  The group opposes all Terran interstellar expansion. Ω

⑆ NEW CANAAN / GAEA (2215.10-A3597B) Date: 3002-Jul-28

Image - Supreme Aspirant Ganesa by Sarah Huerta

Supreme Aspirant Ganesa[ζ]

   ¶ Supreme Aspirant Ganesa withdrew from her position today in a move that is certain to affect the Abrahamic Synod for years to come.  It is the first time any Supreme Aspirant has ever stepped down.  In a statement released after her official withdrawal, Ganesa assumed responsibility for the apparently illegal actions of her late protégé Suning Taleb, whose death was recently determined to have been caused by an overdose of an illegal psychic drug.
   ¶ "The actions of my advisor, Aspirant Taleb, rest squarely upon my shoulders," said Ganesa.  "The use of psychic drugs is the ultimate abomination.  I must return once again to the hajj to seek absolution."  Ganesa, who is 94 years old, will travel to an undisclosed world to begin her quest.
   ¶ The Synodic Administration convened in emergency session to select a new Supreme Aspirant.  The Synod was convened by Aspirant Benedict Anders, who led the investigation into Taleb's death.  Anders has been highly critical of the Supreme Aspirant since the finding was made about the use of the drug.  Anders heads the Order of the Atom and was most recently Ambassador to the Imperial Court of Aztlán before joining the Administration last year.
   ¶ The Synod is faced with an unusual task.  It has been customary for the Supreme Aspirant to give their spiritual guidance to the Synod in selecting a successor.  Never before has a successor been selected without the counsel and advice of the Supreme Aspirant.  Ganesa had previously begun this process — recommending Taleb shortly before the Aspirant's death. Ω

⑆ HEJAZ / HEJAZ (2924.14-83586B) Date: 3002-Jul-28

Image - Grand Vizier Daoud Erakat

Grand Vizier Erakat[αζ]

   ¶ The Caliph called Daoud Erakat today to be his new Grand Vizier.  Erakat, a native of Homs, was a close advisor to former Grand Vizier Amneh Khalfan, who was assassinated eight months ago.  Erakat has been acting in Khalfan's place since the assassination.
   ¶ The Caliph had originally called his son, Prince Tallal, to be Grand Vizier.  This call was opposed by the Gathering of Sheikhs and was eventually withdrawn.  Members of the royal family have traditionally avoided any official role in the government.  Prince Tallal has since been deployed with the Navy in Shang-ti district.
   ¶ Erakat will be installed in a formal ceremony next week.  A spokesperson from his office indicated there would be no change in existing policies.  Erakat has continued the efforts of his predecessor to expand commercial ties with the Commonwealth of Earth.
   ¶ These policies have been controversial and some observers have suggested that Khalfan's assassin might have received assistance from elements opposed to the opening to the Commonwealth.  Investigators have not completed their investigation of the assassination but to date no evidence has been revealed to suggest the assassin had not been working alone. Ω

⑆ DEDN / EUROPA (2934.30-D3588B) Date: 3002-Jul-31

Image - Delgado freighter (from ~Space Rockets~)

Freighter Delgado[ω]

   ¶ The Domain of Trade announced an agreement today with Ouroran House Moreira for exclusive rights to interface shipping in Europa District.  The announcement followed the release of the Navy's report on the pirating of a Moreira freighter at Donegal / Europa last May.
   ¶ In its report, the Navy identified the Alarçon, an independent freighter of Nyanzan registry, as being responsible for the attack on the freighter Delgado.  The Alarçon and its crew were seized in Cinnabar District by Moreira security forces and are currently being held by Meren naval authorities there.
   ¶ The Alarçon has held several commissions from the Aeroi mercantile firm Ysinal udi-Quinan (YuQ), primarily in the piracy suppression role.  A spokesperson for its District Factor confirmed YuQ's past association with the Alarçon but insisted its last engagement was completed several months prior to the attack on the Delgado.
   ¶ The District Factor for Moreira praised the Domain action.  "House Moreira is dedicated to expanding commerce between the Meren Worlds and the Colonies Sphere," said Marianna deGrieff at a press conference following the government announcement.  She also announced that Moreira would replace the Delgado and add two additional 5000-ton freighters to its interface operations, bringing its total shipping capacity in Europa to 25,000 tons. Ω

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