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Excerpts from the Uralican Daily News, 26 December 2009 Edition


Uralica

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Merry Christmas To All!

SYKTYVKAR - The celebrations began on the night of the 24th, and as is Uralican custom, they last right through to midnight on the 1st of January, which is Eastern Orthodox Christmas as well as New Year's Day. The typical gift-giving custom of most nations is slightly more frugal in nature in Uralica, with most people instead spending money on charity organisations such as the Salvation Army, Samaritan's Purse, and the like.

But this is but one part of the Uralican Christmas festivities. Always having been a musical nation, Christmas carols (unlike a lot of countries that celebrate the holiday, these are pretty much exclusively Christian in nature) are sung in huge public gatherings, the country's myriad symphony orchestras perform Christmas music new and old, and several annual Christmas play and ballet productions (the most popular being Tchaikovsky's Nutcracker) are put on. It really is a joyous time for all involved. And the lighting displays are incredible.

See also: TOP 10 URALICAN CHRISTMAS CELEBRATIONS, D1

Inter-Uralican Highway Network Officially Opened

KRASNOSLOBODSK - A synchronised tape-cutting at both extremes of Uralican Highway UH-1 - that is, Krasnoslobodsk, Mordoviya, and Nizhnevartovsk, Yugra - marked the official opening of the Inter-Uralican Highway Network, a road system that is expected to speed up journeys between Uralica's most important cities quite considerably. The highway system connects virtually every major centre in Uralica - out of the ninety-two settlements that will have city status as of 1 January 2010, only two of them are not within 10 kilometres of the nearest highway in this system, and even these two have a direct connection.

Speed limits on this new highway system vary from 90 to 115 km/h, however during the winter months, it is advised that travellers - especially in the more northern highway sections - slow down.

As the construction of the highway progressed over the months, there were several new bridges constructed as well, most notably the 4.5-kilometre long Ob Bend Bridge, connecting Lapyt-Nank to Salyakharad. The Cheboskarsk Narrows Bridge, connecting Tsykmä with the other side of Cheboksarskoye Reservoir near Korotni, is expected to be finished by mid-January, completing Highway UH-8.

District of Tatarstan To Be Given To Uralica on Tiger Day

AGRYZ, TATARSTAN - in a move widely applauded by Tatar Christians and a large number of politicians, Tatar officials have agreed to "neaten up" Uralica's southern border with the area by allowed the Agryy district of Tatarstan to be annexed into Uralica as part of Udmurtiya South County.

When asked about the status of the Tatar language within Uralica, Jarkko Salomäki stated that, while Tatar will not become an official national language of Uralica as Chuvash did, it will become an officially recognised regional minority language within Udmurtiya South County.

This is not the first such language to have such status bestowed upon it. Bashkir is an officially recognised regional minority language within Permsky Rayon. Before Chuvashia's annexation into Uralica, Chuvash was an officially recognised minority language in Mari El. Finally, Swedish and Norwegian are officially recognised minority languages in Sapmi county, while Swedish also has this status in Karelia.

Tatarstan, largely an Islamic region, also has a large minority of Christians, and news of this annexation has caused a swapping of Christians and Muslims in the area, although many Muslims have stayed behind, since Uralica has a zero-tolerance policy towards bigotry as defined in their Criminal Code, within the Constitution - "3.3.5.b. Should any violate Section 3.3.5 of the Uralican Criminal Code, under the auspices of religious or racial bigotry, or violent disagreement with one's lifestyle, it is considered a slightly greater charge under this Code, and shall be classified with the addition, 'with bigoted intent,' in charges. Should, however, these charges be found false beyond a reasonable doubt, the accuser can be found liable for damages under section 2.4.1, referring to civil cases."

"Our court system is very strict," says Chief Justice and Tribal Council member Yuri Shvidki. "We don't put up with any legitimate bigotry. This makes me recall the time where Uralica was called on to revisit the case of race riots in Kondopohju between the Russo-Karelian majority and the Azeri-Caucasian minority that happened there a whole year and a half before Uralica even existed. Although it was found that a group of around a hundred Chechen gangsters had indeed started the riots, there were also around fifty Russians and maybe six or seven Karelians that had to be tried for their roles as well, and I had to preside over a couple of those cases where the people actually had to be extradited to Uralica. Those ran pretty hot, and I remember saying to those present, 'Read our constitution. You can't forcibly remove people from the state without evidence that they are actually a threat to the common security of the people in the area.' Because seriously, the attitudes of some of these people was shocking. There were people who had actually left the town because their court refused to petition the government to remove all non-Russians and/or non-Karelians from the area. So they're all like, 'MOTHER RUSSIA! DEATH TO CHECHENS! BAWWWWWWWWW!!' and I'm like, 'Sit down and shut up or I will have every last one of you on contempt charges!' Then I quote the part of the Criminal code, and that had the extremists up in arms, so I had to have them forcibly removed from the courthouse. It sucked. Anyway, because these checks and balances are in place, just like the peaceful Chechens from Kondopohju were protected from those extremists, so the Tatars will have protection against any such forms of bigotry."

The expected date of the handover is on 13 January, which is a national holiday in Uralica, called Tiger Day, because it was that day in 2009 that the Siberian Tiger Alliance were released from terms from the War of the Coalition. The move will give Udmurtiya South a longer border along the Nizhnekamskoye Reservoir.

It should be noted that the largest settlement in the district, the namesake of the district, Agryz, is not quite city size.

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