News of 3208 Turn 71

Senate Chooses Ashanti As New First Minister.

Dateline 3208.109, Sol, Q0.

Earth’s Grand Council of the Senate, meeting in emergency session, has selected Senator Danto Tupac Ashanti as the new First Minister. Senator Ashanti, from an old military family, has had a distinguished naval career, commanded the Imperial Guard, and won membership of the Legion of Honour for saving the life of the First Citizen during an incident on Old Mars in 3168. He led Earth forces to victory at the battle of Safeway Station. He has apparently been chosen as a
candidate acceptable both to the right wing Republicans and New Republicans, as well as the bulk of the governing Imperial Party. He is also known to be close to the Emperor (or ‘First Citizen’), in contrast to Zhang, who was rumoured to have had a sometimes stormy relationship with the Imperial Family. First Minister Ashanti has elected to retain
the Ministry of Defence brief and has promised more money for the Navy.
Lee Zhang, unusually for a First Minister, had managed to accrue control over several ministries, and so new appointments will follow for those. The announcement of a new Finance Minister is still pending, but the new Foreign Minister will be Senator Sebastian Rathbone, youngest son of the First Citizen.

Some details about the arrest and detention of former First Minister Lee Zhang are now emerging. It seems that several staff of the Zhangs, both domestic and part of their charitable foundation, had been working for some years for Martian Intelligence. No formal charges are to be brought against Lee or madame Zhang, who have both been released, and Lee Zhang remains part of the Grand Council of the Senate with a significant following there, but his removal as First
Minister has thrown the Imperial Party into crisis, and a snap leadership election is now imminent. Some on the liberal wing of the party have muttered in off the record briefings that the entire episode smacks of a “very Earther coup” by the right-wing Republicans.

Compensation claim goes to Q0

Dateline 3208.087Avalon Q1

A claim for compensation stretching back five years has reached high levels of government in the Centauri Conglomerate and Venerian Republic. The orbital at Avalon (formerly known as T22) was allegedly sold to the GFA Navy by the local Centauri representative during the so-called Four Power Manoeuvres in the system in 3202, which remain shrouded in mystery to this day (as does the whereabouts of the Centauri representative to T22).
The GFAN sold the orbital on to the Venerians when the Avalon system later voted to join the Venerian Republic, but the Centauri have always maintained that the original sale was illegal and the orbital has effectively been expropriated, and that they are therefore due compensation. The local Venerian authorities insisted that the case be pursued through
local Venerian courts, but the Centauri objected to the lawyer provided for them by the Venerian State, claiming that as a servant of the Republic he could not be unbiased. Legal wrangling over the choice of lawyer – under Venerian law all attorneys are appointed by government – continued for some time, but the Conglomerate’s Legal Division has now lost
patience with the process and taken it to the Centauri Democratic Board, the Conglomerate’s governing body, asking them to intervene directly with the Venerians over the matter.

Exterminator scare as contact lost with colony

Dateline 3208.057, W2 Q7

A wave of ‘Exterminator jitters’ is spreading across southern parts of Quadrant 7 following the abrupt loss of contact with the W2 colony. Local Earther authorities were sanguine about the lack of communication, but said that they were nevertheless “taking it seriously”. “It could be that it’s just a downed transmitter” commented Commodore Burke of the
IEN, “but we’ll be taking a look just to be on the safe side.”
The fledgeling colony had been involved in a low-tech but occasionally desperate four-year civil war over red mercury deposits on equatorial Golden Isle, and privately the IEN are pointing to this as a more likely reason for the sudden comms blackout.

Great Lama Dies Dateline 3208.057 – V7, Quadrant 7
Her Most Holiness the Great Lama Willow of Lordag, foremost spirtual leader and guide for over 8 million Buddhists on V7 has died, aged 147. The Great Lama, who is believed to be the re- incarnated spirit of the Bodhisvata Tara was the 22nd incarnation, associated with the Buddhist Cult of Tara – followers of whom are more numberous on V7 than anywhere else in the Universe. There are a range of lengthy ceremonies planned, not least the ritual of finding the next incarnation which involves shredding the feathers of a rare red parrot. Believers are sure she will be found on V7, but if necessary a search of all Taran communities throughout human space will ensue.

Drought threatens Colony’s Survival

Dateline 3208.062 – Gunny Q1

The struggling colonists on Gunny, Q1 may have to abandon the colony if the situation on the Western Continent doesn’t improve. Initial surveys failed to pick up on a seasonal rainfall reduction that has significanlty reduced the amount of water available for the colony’s newly constructed farming region. Unable to afford the very high costs of imported food, the colonial council is having to consider abandoning the planet unless something happens to improve the situation. Remaining on the colony would, according to local sources, only precipitate a humanitarian crisis. Despite this, a large number of colonists have declared that they will stay and “tough it out”.

Leadership Crisis as Planetary Governor Struggles with Party Revolt

Dateline 3208.074 – L’Fayet Q7

The planetary governor of the economically struggling GFA world of L’Fayet is having to fight for his political liife. Despite his administration bringing the local economy out of the doldrums last year, his opponents within this own, party are expressing extreme doubts as to his ability to lead the planet to further recovery. Planetary Governor Ronald Henderson (Star Party) has been dogged by what his party sees as an increasing number of political ‘gaffes’ in recent octants where some unguarded remarks have been picke dup by the media and, according to his PR people “Blown up out of all proportion”. Governor Henderson said to INN “Look – I’m a regular guy and you all know I’ve been a team player here. I mean, I didn’t mean anything by my remarks, I happen to be very fond of water sports myself…”. His political opponens in the Reform Party – led by war veteran Joanna Wulf (who was wounded in the Exterminator war) are having a field day – openly talking about a ‘Lame Megadon Governor’

Presidential Hopeful Speaks for ‘Unity’

Dateline 3208.088 – Daland Q1

Muhammed Her, a much respected party leader in Quadrant 1, has declared his intention to contest the next Presidential election in Q0 – challenging President Ryszard Kapushinski’s established Presidency. This sort of regional challenge is very unusual in Sirian politics, as presidential elections are generally very closely managed affairs – the various candidates being selected in a series of private meetings. Whether such an outside can influence the close-knit Q0 political cliques remains to be seen – but once again there is a sense of the outer quadrants challenging the established Q0-dominated political order.

In his carefully coded speech, Mr Her called for a’ unity of purpose’ for all workers of the SSR – and bringing back the Spirit of the 11th June Revolution (of 2926). This appeal to that partiular historical event is not without significant to Sirius-watchers – as it was the first revolution that removed Sirius from the Solar Republic.

Corruption Scandal as Credits for Honours Inquiry Launched

Dateline 3208.121 – New Luna Q0

A number of senior government figures on New Luna are under investigation by the Imperial Audit Office over issues of receiving payments in return for honours in the Imperial Honours List. Accusations arise from a series of articles in the campaiging (and often scurrilous) newspaper ‘Private Spy’. The accused, all senior members of the New Luna senate with close connections with New Luna’s First Minister Fung Ho – who may or may not be interviewd as part of the investigation.
A number of senior industrialists and corporation heads recieve honours from the First Citizen each year, including titles of rank, such as ‘Lord’. The official line is that this is in recognition of the public works and contribution to the economy and people of the Solar Republic.

Factory Orbital Wrecked in Space Traffic Disaster

Dateline 3208.117 – Barba Q0

A Centauri-registered class 5000 merchant vessel, the SS Flying Butress, crashed into a major Wimpey-Fergusson orbital factory over Barba Q0 with devastating results.

Structural breaches in the factory’s hull caused the deaths of over 20 workers, and a further 48 were treated for decompression injuries and shock. The factory, which manufactured a range of precision engineering components, was extensively damaged, and placed into a hazardous orbit. Elements of star guard and the Wolf Fleet were deployed to push the stricken orbital into a safer orbit in a daring 4 hour operation.

The class 5000 merchant ship broke up in orbit and while some parts of the wreckage remain in orbit for crash investigation crews to recover – about 20% of the wreckage burnt up on re-entry into Barba’s atmosphere. 18 of the merchant ship’s 24 crew were rescued by shuttles from Barba Station 2. Initial reports indicate that the merchant ship may have been forced to take a rapid evasive maneuver to avoid another smaller vessel on an unregistered flight plan.

The Wimpey-Fergusson Corporation is reported to be launching its own investigations into the crash – a spokesperson announced that the factory would be unlikely to be operational again within a year – and may possibly be a complete write-off.


Colonial Referenda and Memberships – from our colonial correspondent

The following colonial worlds are planning referenda: P23 in Q5 and Orion in Q4

Referenda have been held on the following worlds: Lashdose, which has voted to remain part of the Q1 Security Union.

The following worlds have voted against holding a referenda on giving up their independence: None reported.

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