News of 3208 Turn 69

Lee Zhang removed by order of First Citizen

Dateline 3207.399 – Sol Q0

Shock news is coming in of the arrest and removal from office of First Minister Lee Zhang of the Earth Empire.
In a packed press conference Senator Hilmi Ozkok, Minister of External Affairs made a statement –
“Lee Zhang, his wife and one of their domestic servants were arrested at his home earlier today as part of an on-going in depth joint Imperial Security / Imperial Audit Investigation. I cannot, at this stage, discuss the details of this investigation, but the charges against Lee are very serious indeed and relate to breaches of Imperial Secrets legislation and espionage. Under the circumstances, the First Citizen has, relutantly, removed him from office, and in the interim I will be taking on the duties as caretaker First Minister while a replacement is elected.”

Press speculation on Earth is rife – with explanations ranging from a hostile intelligence ‘sting’, through bribery and corruption and an AI-controlled plot to alien-inspired conspiracy theories.
What is clear, however, is that Lee Zhang’s new wife and their gardener are involved, and that spme sort of major security leak has occured.
This comes at a time of considerable difficulty for Lee Zhang, his political capital had fallen somewhat after the attack on Shi’ar and the on-going Amoss crisis – and conservatives (including the influential Neo-pope) have been gunning for him over his policy of raprochment with the Venerian Republic. He was also being accused of going soft on the Mars issue. Whilst his record on the economy had been good – the loosening of imperial ties to the Homeworlds was also a source of annoyance for traditionalists.

Whether this has been engineered by his opponents, or is genuninely a matter of espionage will no doubt unfold as there will inevitably be a long trial. The mere fact that the authorities on Earth have imprisoned Lee without bail indicates that they may very well have some pretty strong evidence against him.

Whatever the outcome, the conservative factions on Earth will be taking this opportunity to retrench – there being every chance of a new, less amenable, First Minister taking charge in the wake of this crisis.
Speaking in the Senate the Former first Space Lord, Senator Danso Tupac Ashanti today said:

“The allegations against Senator Lee Zhang are of the most serious nature and if proved are totally unacceptable. If we cannot trust those in the highest positions of power then we are doomed to repeat the mistakes that the republic has made in the past.

Now is a time for strong leadership rather than inter-necine strife. Earth is the home of humanity and we are the leaders of humanity. We need to rally around and choose one of our number that will provide strong purpose and direction for us all. There are numerous threats out their to the very existence of Earth and it is up to us to ensure that they are all effectively and promptly dealt with.

Lee Zhang’s record in office is not all bad, although it remains to be seen whether history shall remember him as a traitor of the worst sort, or as a reformer of the economy who brought economic prosperity. We need to maintain economic prosperity while ensuring our own security and safety from all those who would do us harm.”

FRB Condemns Martian ‘Destabilisation’

Dateline 3208.018 Binni, Q0

The government of the Free Republic of Binni, an independent enclave on the Martian colony of Binni, Q0, has condemned what it calls ‘destabilisation’ of the Republic by the neighbouring Martian planetary administration. A number of rebel guerilla movements have sprung up across the continent which is home to the FRB in the recent octants and the FRB government has found itself losing control of remote areas. The FRB claims that these groups are backed by the MAFC
with the aim of overthrowing the democratically elected FRB government, formed from members of the previous Ancongo regime which was toppled in an Earther military operation in 3203. The MAFC, however, points to the crackdown by the FRB on opposition movements in the wake of their election win three years ago as the more likely source of dissident

Pro-Government Supporters Gather for Mass Protest

Dateline 3207.391 Ivanova Q3

Pro-government supporters of Ivanovan Prime Minister Rupert Tagupa continue to arrive in the capital, New Kiev, for mass protests against President Mendoza Liliana’s decision to dissolve parliament and call new elections. Nearly 5,000 additional pro-government supporters traveled by bus and train from Eastern Province to boost pro-government forces already massed outside parliament. Inside, pro-government coalition deputies continue to meet, in direct defiance of President Liliana’s decree dissolving parliament and calling new elections in early 3208. He took the step after accusing Tagupa of illegally expanding his power. Prime Minister Tagupa told lawmakers, today, all matters concerning preparations for early parliament elections will be made only after Ivanova’s Constitutional Court issues a ruling on the validity of the president’s decree. But a senior official with Liliana’s government says territorial election commissions in the planet’s 20-plus regions have already begun preparations. President Liliana has instructed the Colonial Security Council to provide funding for the elections.

There have been no reports of violence, so far, and opposition protesters appear to be largely staying away from the streets. Polls suggest, if an election were held today on Ivanova, President Liliana’s Our Ivanova Party would place a distant third behind Kandi Ignelzi’s Unity Coalition Bloc and Prime Minister Tagupa’s Regions Party.

Government Forces Bloody End To Siege.

Dateline 3207.378, Bettah Q5

Local militia forces led by offworld mercenaries have forcibly ended a 300-day armed standoff at the compound of Christian fundamentalist group the Whip of God. The group, denounced as “terrorists” by the Bettah authorities, have been engaged in increasingly tense confrontations with what they describe as a “Satanically-inspired” government. The Bettah
government has tried to keep a close lid on news around the siege, and has denied both that government troops took heavy casualties in an initial attempt to storm the compound, and that members of the militia took revenge after storming the compound by massacreing prisoners.

Law reforms ‘shield state from payout’

Dateline 3208.031 Jabneh Q0

The Government of Jabneh has been accused by concerned citizens of using legal reforms to protect itself from a compensation claim that alleges it failed to allocate enough police to investigate child sexual abuse in the mid-3190s.
The Opposition claimed the Government was hiding behind law reform to deflect a claim brought by a former police chief inspector over the drop in the number of police investigating child sexual abuse to as low as 30. Former chief detective inspector Mac Jaeschke is suing the colonial government for contributing to his stress-related resignation by understaffing the police Child Protection Enforcement Agency. His case was dealt a major blow when the Office of the Regulator ruled that the colonial government was immune from damages claims arising from the allocation of resources.
An opposition legal affairs spokesperson said it was now “simply impossible to sue the Government for its own negligence”. Inspector Jaeschke claims child sex investigations were delayed or suspended when the number of officers fell from 50 to less than 30 while he had more than 40 strike forces under his command. By contrast, 180 officers are now devoted to the child protection and sex crimes unit, with plans to expand to 220.

Two days after his ruling against Inspector Ball, judge David Ipp told a conference he was obliged by law to do it, even though it was unfair. Mr Ball’s lawyers are considering whether to seek leave to appeal to the Central Office of the Regulaor on Centaur. With the credibility of tort reform at stake, the Law Council of Jabneh said the time had come for an objective assessment of the restrictions on compensation payments. The Civil Liability Act was introduced by Jabneh’s Landise government in 3202 to stem the rise of compensation claims in court.

Kudriavy confirmed as President

New Venus, Q0 3208.001

A vote in the Republican Representative Council (Rep2Con) has confirmed the Republican Executive Committee (RExCom) decision to select former Vice President Andrei Kudriavy as President of the Republic of New Venus. In an unusual move which illustrates some of the behind the scenes manoeuvering, Admiral Erica Von Daniken, at one time tipped for the top spot herself, has resigned from the Defence Ministry and transferred to the Foreign Ministry, and has been confirmed by Rep2Con as the new Foreign Minister.
RExXom has also appointed her as the new Vice President, and the new Defence Minister, Pyotr Romanenko, is a veteran of the Venerian Revolt and a known supporter of Von Daniken. “RExComologists” say that this is an indication of the extent to which conservatives have been able to regain the initiative in the Committee following the disappearance of the
modernising president Heinlein. Nevertheless, the succession of his deputy, Kudriavy, shows that for now the Heinleinist modernisers still have the upper hand.
Nikolai Stoliarova, firebrand RExCom representative for Quadrant 4 and rumoured to have been Kudriavy and Von Daniken’s defeated opponent, has controversially resigned his post on the Committee and returned home.
Quad4RepCon will now vote for a new RExCom representative.

Governor Accuses Mars Of Supporting Rebels

Dateline 3208.013, Lardec Q3

Governor Evans of Earther colonies in Quadrant 3 has accused the MAFC of supporting a rebel colony on Lardec against the Imperial authorities. Evans has recently taken a robust line against the Hopeful Arrival colony on Lardec, throwing the full weight of Earther military resources behind the rival Regeneration Creek colonists, supported by Earther megacorp Lifetree, in an ongoing conflict on the planet.
However, during the two-year lull since the last bout of fighting, Hopeful Arrival has built up a considerable arsenal of equipment via the colony’s sister planet of Norma, also settled by the two Lardec colonies, where Martian forces intervened to end fighting in 3204. The Martians are accused of being partial towards the Hopeful Arrival colonists, both on
Norma and Lardec, of arming the Hopeful Arrivers, and of helping to stir unrest on a strife-torn Earther world. MAFC Supreme Councilor Lowell counters that Evans is merely attempting to justify the violent, one-sided settlement of a dispute to which there are two sides, and that Mars has had no involvement with or interest in actions on Lardec.

Seven Worlds Alliance defeats DCLC attack

Dateline 3207.386 Lon Chaney Q1

An attack against the Right First Time Colony (RFTC) on Lon Chaney by its neighbour the Democratic Colony of Lon Chaney (DCLC) has been repelled with orbital and ground force assistance from an expeditionary force sent by the Seven Worlds Alliance. Pacifier strikes from the CVI ‘Starbuck’ – the flagship of the
Seven Worlds Fleet – disabled DCLC missile batteries and armoured and motorised columns, while a Guard Company from Pratt landed under fire to secure red mercury mines from an DCLC pincer movement in a disputed mountain region. High Admiral Xen of the Alliance said that the DCLC attack had been “unprovoked” and “opportunistic” and that the Alliance
fleet – coincidentally in-system on an anti-piracy sweep, was merely being a “good neighbour”.

Wolfer Coach Found Dead

Dateline Asvina Q5 3207.392

The touring Wolfer Royal Ultracricket team was rocked by the sudden death of chief coach Albertha Espenlaub. Asvinan police are treating the death as suspicious, but despite the shock, the Wolf team had to go on and play the Q5 home team in the planned test match. The upset damaged the away team’s confidence and as a result they only just managed to win – the Asvinan Eleven conceding on the 9th day of the match, with a final score of 345 for 7 casualties the Wolfer Test team winning by 3 casualties. This is the closest match in 50 years.

A spokesperson for the WUCC said “This really isn’t cricket y’ know – everyone knows that despite the rough nature of the sport, off the pitch we are all just jolly good chums. I do hope Espenlaub wasn’t done in.” Fans of the Asvinan Eleven expressed their sadness for the death by leaving items of cricket equipment and memorabilia on the steps of the visiting team’s hotel.

Religious Law Causes Protest

Dateline 3207.358 Veta Q3

The Vetan Senate was rocked by controversy as opponents of a new law on religions took to the streets in vocal demonstration outside the Senate building. The local Vetan Righteous Democracy Party – currently in the majority in the planetary government, forced through legislation outlawing ‘profane and insulting materials’ – being interpreted as meaning anything that was critical of the Christianist beliefs of the RDP. RDP run local councils have already been accused of refusing planning permission to non-christianist places of worship, and the leader of the RDP, President Suzy Windmeyer has been reported as saying that she thinks that all non-believers are fundamentally evil. The President’s office has forcefully refuted this, saying that the President has been taken out of context and in any case she was not speaking in her official capacity – and she was speaking in private and off the record.

Bluejack Solido Trashes Hotel Room

Dateline 3207.361 Carsh Q7

Shock rocker Bluejack Solido trashed his hotel room and dressing room during a tour stop on Carsh. Solido and his band members reportedly set fire to a T-shirt and carpeting and smashed expensive lighting equipment in their dressing room at the Carsh City Civic Center before their Saturday night show. The fire was out by the time firefighters reached the arena, but officials warned the band that their concert would be canceled if they were called in again.
After the show, the group destroyed four rooms in the Carsh City Sheraton, burning carpets and staining sinks with hair dye, said Mohamed Federowicz, the hotel general manager. Federowicz said Solido immediately took responsibility for the hotel damage and offered to pay for all of it. Interdimensional Records, the band’s label, has not commented. Solido is currently in New Mald City, part of his tour of the album “Mechanical Annihilation.” The rocker has caused controversy with his dark music and explicit lyrics about berserkers, suicide and sex.

Rancher Finds Ancient Treasure

Dateline 3207.382 T21 Q1

Herd Operative grade 3, Chana Alires, was on a routine trip to check on the Fort Ranch breeder herd, when he spotted something in the long grass near the trail. On closer investigation it turned out to be a damaged container of great age – thought to have been jettisoned by a passing shuttle or ship. The container, which was badly scorched and corroded probably dates back over a century to the formation period of the colony, according to Professor Duane Connell of the T21 College’s Museum of Planetary History. “It is a remarkable find because it adds a lot to our knowledge of earlier, failed, colonies on this world”. More remarkable still were the contents, which were very largely intact – these consisted of a collection of valuable jewels, religious icons and credit chips, valued at over 1 million credits. Under local laws, finds of this sort can be retained by the finder as legitimate salvage, provided the owner is unable to be identified within 4 octants. Local rumours that the canister might also have contained forerunner artifacts have been strenuously denied by the local government and scientific community.


Colonial Referenda and Memberships – from our colonial correspondent

The following colonial worlds are planning referenda:
Awakening Q1, Lashdose Q1

Referenda have been held on the following worlds:
Deadlock, Q1 has voted toapply to join the Free Worlds Alliance.
The following worlds have voted against holding a referenda on giving up their independence: None

Robot Factory Destroyed by Religious Extremists

Dateline 3207.388 Microsoft Q6

Adherents of the Church of the Latter Day Mukuls are being blamed for the huge explosion at the Rossum Universal Robot factory on the outskirts of Gates City. The factory, which employed some 250 citizens, exploded during the early hours of the morning. Security police report that three improvised explosive devices detonated with a few minutes of each other, causing major structural damage and causing the collapse of the main assembly building. 17 employees perished in the explosion. A spokesperson for the tiny Mukulist communicty on Microsoft said “This is nothing to do with us. We blame the AI-Robotic Conspiracy which is trying to discret us and your completely reasonable beliefs. We have always been persecuted here on Microsoft, and this is being used as an excuse to persecute us further”. Sirian Security Police have made 87 arrests of known Mukulist sympathisers, and expect further arrests to follow.

Reactor Leak – 200 Dead

Dateline 3208.025 Lotus Q0

The Port Authority Main Reactor in Brahma City on Lotus suffered a catastrophic containment failure, causing widespread damage and around 200 fatalities. The reactor, which provided supplies for the cities spaceport has an unblemished safety record going back over 50 years. Local security services have ruled out criminal or terrorist actions – according to a spokesperson for the operating company, Energen, “We are greatly distressed. Such accidents are very very rare – and our condolences and sympathy go out to the families that have suffered berevement as a result of this event”. Industry sources suggest that Energen will be compensating the victims’ families with ‘a substantial but undisclosed sum’.

Democracy Protest Brought Under Control

Dateline 3208.009 Barba Q0

An unlawful and potentially riotous protest was brought under control in Stabilotown on Barba by rapid deployment of the Wolfer Police’s elite anti-riot teams, according to a recent press relase by the Barban Police Department. An approved political demonstration for universal suffrage, organised by a pressure group known as ‘The Free Wolves’, was licensed for 300 participants, but exceeded the limit, thus coming under the illegal assembly regulations. According to government sources on Barba, the police acted swiftly before the additional numbers caused a breach of the peace. Independent observers question the police account of events, saying the limit on protesters was not exceeded and the police acted with undue enthusiasm. 35 arrests were made, mainly for public order offences. One police officer was slightly injured.

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