Secessionists on the march again
Cody Fiddler, Senior Venerian Correspondent
After the failure of an attempted military/political secession by several Venerian worlds in Quadrant 4 and a resultant military crackdown (see INN 3208-9) which occurred while the rest of the Universe was distracted with the Amoss Crisis in Q6, the secessionist movement appears to have resurfaced, now as a peaceful protest spreading across Venerian worlds in Q4. Calling itself the Quadrant Four Liberation Organisation (Q4LO), it is fiercely critical of President Kudriavy, and seems to draw for its inspiration on a semi-mythical “golden age” under President Heinlein, whose ship disappeared while on its way to the Quadrant – the subject of much conspiracy theory in Q4, where it is widely believed Heinlein was “assassinated” by the current regime.
A copy of the organisation’s charter, which INN has obtained, says that it regards the current president and his appointed regional governor, Krystal D’Kanta, as illegitimate, and the organisation is committed to a peaceful negotiated withdrawal of Q4 from the Republic, to form the “Republic of Heinlein”. Needless to say, the authorities on Q4 worlds are less than amused, though there has been no formal crackdown on it as yet.
Ashanti to step down?
Nigel Bruce, Imperial Correspondent
There are persistent rumours in the corridors of power and the clubs where the Senior Citizens meet that First Minister Ashanti may be preparing to step aside in the forthcoming elections to the Imperium. I have not been able to get to the bottom of these rumours, and no-one can say why he might go, but there is certainly a growing strand of opinion as to who might replace him. The current darling of the Earther right is Governor Armstrong of Quadrant 6, and there is a strong body of conservatives touting his name as the next First Minister.
When asked about these rumours, Governor Armstrong himself said: “I have no ambitions regarding a role in Quadrant 0. However, if called upon to serve the Empire, I will, of course, do my duty”.
Referendum “invalid” says First Minister
Ted Maul, INN
Trouble is brewing on Z155, where Christian Socialist First Minister the Very Reverend Floralpattern has invoked emergency powers to crack down on protests after refusing to be bound by the results of a planet-wide referendum on joining the Q1-based Free Worlds Alliance.
The Christian Socialists, dominated by the First Church of Earth, represent a 60% majority of colonists, but are over-represented in officialdom and law enforcement bodies. Four years ago there were fierce riots on the streets as the Free Thought Party, representing minority Satanist interests on the planet, attempted to take seats in parliament and force a no-confidence vote on the First Minister’s leadership.
Since then Reverend Floralpattern has taken an ever-firmer grip on power, strong-arming the parliament into cooperation. The referendum on joining the Alliance was widely seen here as an attempt by the Free Thought Party to appeal over the head of the First Minister to the people directly, and the surprise Yes vote has been interpreted by the Minister and his supporters as having been achieved by trickery, even ‘witchcraft’.
“Be under no illusion,” the Reverend said recently, “Satan and his Devils stalk our streets. There will be no surrender to the forces of Evil while I live and breathe!”
Centauri leadership issues profit warning
Astrid Chang, Centauri Correspondent
In its most strongly worded statement to date, the Centauri Democratic Board (CDB) has said that Shareholders (citizens) of the Conglomerate must prepare for “sacrifices” ahead. Explaining the Board’s “Vision Statement” regarding the current war with the ‘Roaches’, CEO Virgil Atlantic has stressed that commerce remains the “lifeblood” of the Conglomerate, but that in order to ensure continued business for the longer term, some operational restructuring may be necessary. The CDB intends to take firmer control over devolved operations, and may have to re-route dividends into emergency measures in order to deal with an enemy that “cannot be negotiated with, bought off or ignored”. He went on to say that any such sacrifices “will be noted and restitution, as far as possible, will be made in due course.” Looking beyond the end of the current conflict, Mr Atlantic said that “A good performance now will pay dividends for the Conglomerate in the longer term.
To this end, some unusual business decisions may need to be made.
However, some Shareholders have been upset with the vagueness of these assurances, and are looking to the terms of their contracts.
Peace protestors march against “xenocide”
Barbara Wintergreen, Asteel Bureau Chief
A new protest movement has hit the streets of Asteel, and they want leaders to “give peace a chance”. The protestors argue that humanity is guilty of inhumanity, and has not made sufficient efforts to negotiate with the ‘Roach’ aliens in Sector EJ, instead moving to a wholesale policy of ‘xenocide’. They argue that the military – led by Earther Admiral Giraud – have overstepped the mark in orbital bombardment of alien cities, and that we have allowed ourselves to be ‘bounced’ into ‘Total War’ without reference to our political leadership.
At the moment they are a small but determined group, and parallels have been drawn in some quarters with the ‘Berserker Cult’ movement that emerged during the early days of the First Exterminator War, but the protestors strongly resist such comparisons.
“The Exterminators were machines,” said one student demonstrator, who did not wish to be identified, “but these are living, thinking, sentient creatures.” ‘Mr Carter’, a shipping executive added: “This is an emotional moment for all of us, but let’s not make snap judgements. This is clearly an important species we’re dealing with, and I don’t think that you or I, or anybody, has the right to arbitrarily exterminate them.”
I’m Barbara Wintergreen, and this is My Asteel.
Dino-Flu closes port
Ships are being turned away from the Orbital Station at Proptrnss, Q7, in an attempt to contain a virulent outbreak of Dino-Flu. Although only 15 people are so far reported to have died, the outbreak and resulting quarantine has led to widespread public panic in major cities, where streets are almost deserted apart from a few braver individuals in face masks. Local authorities have appealed for calm and for people to go about their business in an orderly manner, but this seems to have had little effect and ordinary commerce is almost at a halt.
Colonial Referenda and Memberships – from our colonial corespondent
The following colonial worlds are planning referenda: A14 Q0, Gumboot Q1, Morpork Q2, P18 Q5, Palicei Q6, The Flats Q7
Referenda have been held on the following worlds:
Result – voted to apply to join:
Bhadrapada Q5 T97 Union of Xyon
Z13 Q7 T97 Eastern Defence Bloc
Z155 Q8 T97 Freedom Alliance (disputed)
Checkno Q1 T97 Freedom Alliance
The following worlds have voted against holding a referenda on giving up their independence: None.