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[center][b][u][size="6"]First Monarch Elected![/size][/u][/b][/center]
Following preliminary elections, the Regency of Kurland has recognized the appointment of Alaric von Ösel, who was today crowned Duke of Kurland, in the restored castle near his home town of Arensburg, on the Isle of Ösel. The ceremony took place just before noon, out in the courtyard of the castle, with spectators allowed on the wall and sides of the courtyard. Von Ösel swore his undying loyalty to the State and People of Kurland, and was presented with the crown at high noon. Initially, the plan was for the People's Council that had been governing the isle to present the crown to the Duke, but the Duke-elect refused to accept it from any governing body, and in a surprising move, pulled a family of four from the crowd, and ordered the Councilors to allow them to do the honors.
"I will not accept the crown from a politician, governor, religious figure, or businessman," he'd declared. "I rule for the people, and thus, I shall accept my crown from the people."
And so, the Ducal Crown was placed upon the new monarch's head by seven-year-old Jörg Huff, a moment that was photographed and caught on film, and Alaric was officially named Duke Alaric I von Kurland. His former surname will not be used in national matters, as a way of showing the bond of Monarch and State, though it is unclear whether this will become commonplace.

[center][b][u][size="6"]Population Census Conducted[/size][/u][/b][/center]
In order to govern the people, one must know how many people must be governed. Duke Alaric I, with the support of the Regency, has established a stand-alone Census Bureau, headed by Regency Councilor Wilhelm Schräder of Kurland, and has also reorganized all old Livonian post offices into the new Kurlandic Postal Service. Census forms are being distributed door-to-door by the KPS, and, to ensure accuracy, rounds will be made again in one week's time to collect the forms and distribute replacements, which then must be filled out and handed back to the KPS employee on the spot. The Duke was quoted as saying that this action was vital to the establishment of permanent central governance, as it would allow the people a proper voice.

[center][b][u][size="6"]Regency Government Establishes Police Force[/size][/u][/b][/center]
The Regency of Kurland, realizing that the various local police departments were struggling to contain crime on their own, has passed a bill that will establish a National Kurlandic Police Department, under the direct authority of the newly crowned Duke Alaric I. The NKPD will, over time, build stations in every major town, but until then, NKPD officers will form attaches at the local departments, wherein their authority will surpass that of the local police. A somewhat unpopular clause in the act allows the officers to shoot to kill if a suspect draws a firearm. Opponents say that this is giving the law enforcement agencies an alibi for persecution of minorities. In response, the Duke has warned the NKPD that if 'any foul play is suspected' and if there is 'reasonable evidence that the life of an officer or civilian is not at risk,' he would personally see to it that the officer responsible would be discharged from the force and imprisoned for 'Abuse of Power' charges, and if he was found guilty, he would be executed. Some have called this barbaric, but nonetheless, only a fool would notice that every police officer in Kurland was on their best behavior.

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[center][b][u][size="6"]Grand Marshall Appointed[/size][/u][/b][/center]
Duke Alaric I recently announced the appointment of a suitable candidate for the rank of Grand Marshall, the highest position in the Kurlandic Army. Emelrich von Reval, formerly a major general in the Livonian Army, has been deemed appropriate for the position by both the Duke and the Regency, and he accepted the position in a ceremony held in Riga. Just hours later, he announced plans to completely organize the Kurlandic Army with a series of reforms. He has recalled many former Livonian soldiers, and set up recruitment stations in every town. Veterans will undergo a two-week training program, while new recruits will spend two months in boot camp before joining active service, though any Kurlandic soldier may be subject to extra training. Grand Marshall von Reval refused to comment personally, though his aide refused to release any further information.
[size="2"][i]Livonian veterans stand at ease in their new Kurlandic uniforms[/i][/size][/center]

Grand Marshall von Reval placed an order with several private Kurlandic arms manufacturers in an effort to standardize the Kurlandic armory.

[code]Order for Standard Light Weapons
300,000x G36K
300,000x USP
500,000x KM2000
100,000x MG3
100,000x MP5
50,000x Remington 870
40,000x M82
15,000x PzF 3
5,000x FIM-92
10,000x HK69A1

Order for Armored Fighting Vehicles
910x M1A1
910x Marder A3
910x M113A3
150x Wiesel 2 AWC
200x Bv 206
150x Gepard
100x MIM-23

Order for Artillery
910x M270
300x M198
300x FH77
300x 2A36
100x L118

Order for Aircraft
30x F-15E
20x F-111

The necessary ordnance would be issued to troops and units, and the surplus would be kept in reserve storage in bases throughout Kurland until they were needed. It is rumored that von Reval, formerly a businessman, had dipped into his own savings to assist in the massive payment.

[center][size="6"][u][b]Census Completed![/b][/u][/size][/center]
With all forms processed, the First National Census has been completed, showing that 5,800,000 citizens reside within Kurland. More in-depth details will be available on the Bureau's webpage.

[u][b][center][size="6"]Administrative Divisions Finalized[/size][/center][/b][/u]
A subcommittee created by the Regency has used the population data from the census to separate the country into different administrative districts, or counties. Counties will be assigned seats in the legislative body depending on population. County governments will mirror the central elective monarchy, with an elected Graf as the executive. Grafs may be elected for life, but they must undergo a confirmation vote every two years. Each county will also have a fifteen-member Council, also elected.

[i][size="2"]Counties of Kurland and Population
1: Kurland (650,000)
2: Semgallen (525,000)
3: Livland (2,275,000)
4: Lettgallen (450,000)
5: Kreis Dorpat (310,000)
6: Kreis Pernau (150,000)
7: Jewe (215,000)
8: Harrien (875,000)
9: Ösel (150,000)[/size][/i][/center]

Provisional councils have been appointed by Duke Alaric and the Regency, pending the first county elections.

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[center][size="6"][u][b]Constitution Drafted[/b][/u][/size][/center]

Duke Alaric and the Regency Council gathered in the Ducal Palace in Riga today to review and approve the Constitution of the Duchy of Kurland. After some minor modifications, each attendee signed the Constitution, which will forevermore form the basis of Kurlandic Law.

[i]We the People of the State of Kurland, in the interest of our lives, material welfare, and the expediency of good governance, do hereby establish the sovereign Duchy of Kurland.[/i]

[b]Section A: Sovereignty, The Monarch, and The Succession[/b]

Article I. Establishment of Sovereignty
The Duchy of Kurland hereby asserts her independence, and shall henceforth recognize no foreign ruler and tolerate no foreign influence upon her land. It is the duty of the Duke, Diet, and the Military to uphold the freedom of Kurland and defend it in peace and in war.

Article II. The Monarch
The Duke or Duchess is the supreme authority within Kurland, drawing that authority from the people, and represents the State personified. It is his or her duty to give their utmost effort for the betterment and protection of the State, and therefore, anything not specifically designated to another official falls to the Monarch. The Monarch appoints the Ministers of every department and the board of the High Court. The Monarch may not modify existing laws or enact new laws without it passing through the Diet.

Article III. The Succession
The Monarch shall be elected by a general election, and will rule until abdication or death. Upon death, a Regent from the administration will be appointed to oversee the election and govern the nation until the new Monarch is crowned. In order to be elected, an individual must be over the age of twenty-five, have held political office for five years or have served in the officer corps for at least two terms. A person who does not fulfill these requirements may still enter the running if a significant portion of the population indicates support for their campaign. A simple majority is required to win the election; if no single candidate received a majority, then the three Candidates with the most votes shall proceed to a second election, in which a mere plurality is required. In the event of a narrow victory, another Candidate or government official may call for a recount of the votes.
Section B: The Diet, The Chancellor, The Court, and The Regency[/b]

Article I. The Diet
The Diet is the legislative body of the Duchy, and shall be comprised of one house containing members from each County in Kurland. The Counties will be assigned one Legislator per one hundred thousand legal citizens. A Population Census should be conducted every five years to ensure fairness. Elections will also be held once every five years, and Candidates for each seat require approval from a majority of their County‘s Voters. All Legislators are bound to their County, and the Graf and County Councils may, at any time, call for the impeachment of one of their legislators, which requires 2/3 of the total vote to be successful. All members of the Diet are required to attend a Legislative Summons, which are issued by the Chancellor to call together the assembly. Any member of the Diet may propose legislation, though their motion must be endorsed by at least four other Legislators before going up for vote. All motions must achieve majority votes to pass, but will not come into effect until enacted by the Monarch. The Monarch is free to veto any legislation from the Diet, but a Ducal Veto may be overridden by a ¾ supermajority. The Monarch may also dismiss the Diet during a State of Emergency for a period of up to one year. At the end of this one year period, the Diet reassembles, and may repeal any laws enacted by the Monarch during that time.

Article II. The Chancellor
The Chancellor is the Head of Government and President of the Diet. He or she is elected by the General Populace to preside over assemblies of the Diet. He or she may call the Diet together at any time.

Article III. The Court
The High Court of the Duchy of Kurland will consist of a High Judge and a six-man Board of High Justices that shall preside over all national criminal cases and Constitutional debates. The High Judge is selected from amongst the Justices, and is the only one actively involved in the cases. The rest of the Justices observe the case and vote with the Judge on the verdict once all evidence has been presented. In criminal convictions, the Monarch may issue a Ducal Pardon to the convicted, usually with certain Terms of Pardon.

Article IV. The Regent
Upon the death of the Monarch, a Regent shall be appointed from the Ministries or the Military to preside over the next Ducal Election and govern the nation with limited authority until the end of those elections. The Regent must acquire legislative approval to exercise any of the Ducal powers.

[b]Section C. The People, The Military, and Party Politics[/b]

Article I. The People
The People are the source of the Government’s authority, and it is with their good blessings that the Government rules. The People vote for their members of the Diet, the Chancellor, and the Monarch, and as the People are the ones who put the Government in power, the Government is not permitted to pass any legislation that would interfere with the personal lives of the people. By accepting their position, each official recognizes that it is not the place of the Government to dictate how individuals live their lives.

Article II. The Military
The Military consists of the Kurlandic Army, Air Force, and Navy, and is the primary defense of the Duchy against foreign threats. The Military is subordinate to the Minister of Defense, who is in turn subordinate to the Duke. In the event of widespread dissent, or if an unpopular leader refuses to abdicate, it is the duty of the Military to topple the regime and rebuild it as the People demand.

Article III. Party Politics
Having recognized the problems that come of direct links between political parties and legislations and defining political parties as any organized group of individuals with similar religious, economic, or political goals, no political party shall receive official recognition from the Government, though they will not be explicitly banned unless found guilty of treason or conspiracy. Under no circumstances should this article be changed to allow for official recognition of political parties.
Section D. The Constitution[/b]

Article I. Amendments to the Constitution
The Duke, Chancellor, or any member of the Diet may, at any time, propose an amendment to the Constitution, which will require 2/3 approval from the Diet and the signature of the Duke. Any Amendment may be repealed by the High Judge within six months of passing if deemed unconstitutional. The Judge’s veto may be overturned in a national referendum, in which the People decide whether or not to pass the Amendment.

Article II. Suspending the Constitution
No government official may suspend or abolish the Constitution under any circumstance.

[b]Section E. The Basic Rights of the People[/b]

Article I. (Protection of Human Dignity).

Human dignity shall be inviolable. To respect and protect it shall be the duty of all state authority.
The Kurlandic people therefore acknowledge inviolable and inalienable human rights as the basis of every community, of peace and of justice in the world.
The following basic rights shall bind the legislature, the executive, and the judiciary as directly applicable law.

Article II. (Rights of liberty - Personal Freedoms).

Every person shall have the right to free development of his personality insofar as he does not violate the rights of others or offend against the constitutional order.
Every person shall have the right to life and physical integrity. Freedom of the person shall be inviolable. These rights may be interfered with only pursuant to a law.

Article III. (Equality Before the Law).

All persons shall be equal before the law.
Men and women shall have equal rights. The state shall promote the actual implementation of equal rights for women and men and take steps to eliminate disadvantages that now exist.
No person shall be favored or disfavored because of sex, parentage, race, language, homeland and origin, faith, or religious or political opinions. No person shall be disfavored because of disability.

Article IV. (Freedom of Faith, of Conscience and of Creed).

Freedom of faith and of conscience, and freedom to profess a religious or philosophical creed, shall be inviolable.
The undisturbed practice of religion shall be guaranteed.
No person shall be compelled against his conscience to render military service involving the use of arms. Details shall be regulated by a federal law.

Article V. (Freedom of Expression).

Every person shall have the right freely to express and disseminate his opinions in speech, writing, and pictures and to inform himself without hindrance from generally accessible sources. Freedom of the press and freedom of reporting by means of broadcasts and films shall be guaranteed. There shall be no censorship.
These rights shall find their limits in the provisions of general laws, in provisions for the protection of young persons, and in the right to personal honor.
Art and scholarship, research, and teaching shall be free. The freedom of teaching shall not release any person from allegiance to the constitution.

Article VI. (Marriage and the Family; Children Born Outside of Marriage).

Marriage and the family shall enjoy the special protection of the state.
Marriage is defined as the union between any two consenting adults.
The care and upbringing of children is the natural right of parents and a duty primarily incumbent upon them. The state shall watch over them in the performance of this duty.
Children may be separated from their families against the will of their parents or guardians only pursuant to a law, and only if the parents or guardians fail in their duties or the children are otherwise in danger of serious neglect.
Every mother shall be entitled to the protection and care of the community.
Children born outside of marriage shall be provided by legislation with the same opportunities for physical and mental development and for their position in society as are enjoyed by those born within marriage.

Article VII. (School Education).

The entire school system shall be under the supervision of the state.
Parents and guardians shall have the right to decide whether children shall receive religious instruction.
Religious instruction shall form part of the regular curriculum in state schools, with the exception of non-denominational schools. Without prejudice to the state’s right of supervision, religious instruction shall be given in accordance with the tenets of the religious community concerned. Teachers may not be obliged against their will to give religious instruction.
The right to establish private schools shall be guaranteed. Private schools that serve as alternatives to state schools shall require the approval of the State and shall be subject to the laws of the Länder. Such approval shall be given when private schools are not inferior to the state schools in terms of their educational aims, their facilities, or the professional training of their teaching staff, and when segregation of pupils according to the means of their parents will not be encouraged thereby. Approval shall be withheld if the economic and legal position of the teaching staff is not adequately assured.
A private elementary school shall be approved only if the educational authority finds that it serves a special pedagogical interest or if, on the application of parents or guardians, it is to be established as a denominational or interdenominational school or as a school based on a particular philosophy and no state elementary school of that type exists in the municipality.
Preparatory schools shall remain abolished.

Article VIII. (Freedom of Assembly).

All Kurlanders shall have the right to assemble peacefully and unarmed without prior notification or permission.
In the case of outdoor assemblies, this right may be restricted by or pursuant to a law.

Article IX. (Freedom of Association).

All Kurlanders shall have the right to form corporations and other associations.
Associations whose aims or activities contravene the criminal laws, or that are directed against the constitutional order or the concept of international understanding, shall be prohibited.
The right to form associations to safeguard and improve working and economic conditions shall be guaranteed to every individual and to every occupation or profession. Agreements that restrict or seek to impair this right shall be null and void; measures directed to this end shall be unlawful. Measures taken pursuant to Article 12a, to paragraphs (2) and (3) of Article 35, to paragraph (4) of Article 87a, or to Article 91 may not be directed against industrial disputes engaged in by associations within the meaning of the first sentence of this paragraph in order to safeguard and improve working and economic conditions.

Article X. (Privacy of Correspondence, Posts, and Telecommunications).

he privacy of correspondence, posts and telecommunications shall be inviolable.
Restrictions may be ordered only pursuant to a law. If the restriction serves to protect the free democratic basic order or the existence or security of the Federation or of a Land, the law may provide that the person affected shall not be informed of the restriction and that recourse to the courts shall be replaced by a review of the case by agencies and auxiliary agencies appointed by the legislature.

Article XI. (Freedom of Movement).

All Kurlanders shall have the right to move freely throughout the federal territory.
This right may be restricted only by or pursuant to a law, and only in cases in which the absence of adequate means of support would result in a particular burden for the community, or in which such restriction is necessary to avert an imminent danger to the existence or the free democratic basic order of the Federation or of a Land, to combat the danger of an epidemic, to respond to a grave accident or natural disaster, to protect young persons from serious neglect, or to prevent crime.

Article XII. (Occupational Freedom; Prohibition of Forced Labor).

All Kurlanders shall have the right freely to choose their occupation or profession, their place of work, and their place of training. The practice of an occupation or profession may be regulated by or pursuant to a law.
No person may be required to perform work of a particular kind except within the framework of a traditional duty of community service that applies generally and equally to all.
Forced labor may be imposed only on persons deprived of their liberty by the judgment of a court.

Article XIII. (Compulsory Military or Alternative Service)

Men who have attained the age of eighteen may be required to serve in the Armed Forces, in the Ducal Border Police, or in a civil defense organization.
Any person who, on grounds of conscience, refuses to render military service involving the use of arms may be required to perform alternative service. The duration of alternative service shall not exceed that of military service. Details shall be regulated by a law, which shall not interfere with the freedom to make a decision in accordance with the dictates of conscience, and which shall also provide for the possibility of alternative service not connected with units of the Armed Forces or of the Ducal Border Police.
Persons liable to compulsory military service who are not called upon to render service pursuant to paragraph (1) or (2) of this Article may, when a state of defense is in effect, be assigned by or pursuant to a law to employment involving civilian services for defense purposes, including the protection of the civilian population; they may be assigned to public employment only for the purpose of discharging police functions or such other sovereign functions of public administration as can be discharged only by persons employed in the public service. The employment contemplated by the first sentence of this paragraph may include services within the Armed Forces, in the provision of military supplies, or with public administrative authorities; assignments to employment connected with supplying and servicing the civilian population shall be permissible only to meet their basic requirements or to guarantee their safety.
If, during a state of defense, the need for civilian services in the civilian health system or in stationary military hospitals cannot be met on a voluntary basis, women between the ages of eighteen and fifty-five may be called upon to render such services by or pursuant to a law. Under no circumstances may they render service involving the use of arms.
Prior to the existence of a state of defense, assignments under paragraph (3) of this Article may be made only if the requirements of paragraph (1) of Article 80a are met. In preparation for the provision of services under paragraph (3) of this Article that demand special knowledge or skills, participation in training courses may be required by or pursuant to a law. In this case the first sentence of this paragraph shall not apply.
If, during a state of defense, the need for workers in the areas specified in the second sentence of paragraph (3) of this Article cannot be met on a voluntary basis, the right of Kurlandic citizens to abandon their occupation or place of employment may be restricted by or pursuant to a law in order to meet this need. Prior to the existence of a state of defense, the first sentence of paragraph (5) of this Article shall apply mutatis mutandis.

Article XIV. (Inviolability of the Home).

The home is inviolable.
Searches may be authorized only by a judge or, when time is of the essence, by other authorities designated by the laws, and may be carried out only in the manner therein prescribed.
If particular facts justify the suspicion that any person has committed an especially serious crime specifically defined by a law, technical means of acoustical surveillance of any home in which the suspect is supposedly staying may be employed pursuant to judicial order for the purpose of prosecuting the offense, provided that alternative methods of investigating the matter would be disproportionately difficult or unproductive. The authorization shall be for a limited time. The order shall be issued by a panel composed of three judges. When time is of the essence, it may also be issued by a single judge.
To avert acute dangers to public safety, especially dangers to life or to the public, technical means of surveillance of the home may be employed only pursuant to judicial order. When time is of the essence, such measures may also be ordered by other authorities designated by a law; a judicial decision shall subsequently be obtained without delay.
If technical means are contemplated solely for the protection of persons officially deployed in a home, the measure may be ordered by an authority designated by a law. The information thereby obtained may be otherwise used only for purposes of criminal prosecution or to avert danger and only if the legality of the measure has been previously determined by a judge; when time is of the essence, a judicial decision shall subsequently be obtained without delay.
The Ducal Government shall report to the Landtag annually as to the employment of technical means pursuant to paragraph (3) and, within the jurisdiction of the Federation, pursuant to paragraph (4) and, insofar as judicial approval is required, pursuant to paragraph (5) of this Article. A panel elected by the Diet shall exercise parliamentary control on the basis of this report. A comparable parliamentary control shall be afforded by the Länder.
Interferences and restrictions shall otherwise only be permissible to avert a danger to the public or to the life of an individual, or, pursuant to a law, to confront an acute danger to public safety and order, in particular to relieve a housing shortage, to combat the danger of an epidemic, or to protect young persons at risk.

Article XV. (Property, Inheritance, Expropriation)

Property and the right of inheritance shall be guaranteed. Their content and limits shall be defined by the laws.
Property entails obligations. Its use shall also serve the public good.
Expropriation shall only be permissible for the public good. It may only be ordered by or pursuant to a law that determines the nature and extent of compensation. Such compensation shall be determined by establishing an equitable balance between the public interest and the interests of those affected. In case of dispute respecting the amount of compensation, recourse may be had to the ordinary courts..

Article XVI. (Socialization).

Land, natural resources, and means of production may for the purpose of socialization be transferred to public ownership or other forms of public enterprise by a law that determines the nature and extent of compensation. With respect to such compensation the third and fourth sentences of paragraph (3) of Article 14 shall apply mutatis mutandis.

Article XVII. (Citizenship; Extradition).

No Kurlander may be deprived of his citizenship. Citizenship may be lost only pursuant to a law, and against the will of t
No Kurlander may be extradited to a foreign country.

Article XVIII. (Right of Asylum)

Persons persecuted on political grounds shall have the right of asylum.
Paragraph (1) of this Article may not be invoked by a person who enters the ducal territory from a member state of the European Communities or from another third state in which application of the Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees and of the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms is assured. The states outside the European Communities to which the criteria of the first sentence of this paragraph apply shall be specified by a law requiring the consent of the Diet. In the cases specified in the first sentence of this paragraph, measures to terminate an applicant’s stay may be implemented without regard to any legal challenge that may have been instituted against them.
By a law requiring the consent of the Diet, states may be specified in which, on the basis of their laws, enforcement practices, and general political conditions, it can be safely concluded that neither political persecution nor inhuman or degrading punishment or treatment exists. It shall be presumed that a foreigner from such a state is not persecuted, unless he presents evidence justifying the conclusion that, contrary to this presumption, he is persecuted on political grounds.
In the cases specified by paragraph (3) of this Article and in other cases that are plainly unfounded or considered to be plainly unfounded, the implementation of measures to terminate an applicant’s stay may be suspended by a court only if serious doubts exist as to their legality; the scope of review may be limited, and tardy objections may be disregarded. Details shall be determined by a law.
Paragraphs (1) through (4) of this Article shall not preclude the conclusion of international agreements of member states of the European Communities with each other or with those third states which, with due regard for the obligations arising from the Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees and the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, whose enforcement must be assured in the contracting states, adopt rules conferring jurisdiction to decide on applications for asylum, including the reciprocal recognition of asylum decisions.

Article XIX. (Right of Petition).

Every person shall have the right individually or jointly with others to address written requests or complaints to competent authorities and to the legislature.

Article XX. (Restriction of Certain Basic Rights by Laws Respecting Defense and Alternative Service).

Laws respecting military and alternative service may provide that the basic right of members of the Armed Forces and of alternative service freely to express and disseminate their opinions in speech, writing, and pictures (first clause of paragraph (1) of Article 5), the basic right of assembly (Article 8), and the right of petition (Article 17) insofar as it permits the submission of requests or complaints jointly with others, be restricted during their period of military or alternative service.
Laws respecting defense, including protection of the civilian population, may provide for restriction of the basic rights of freedom of movement (Article 11) and inviolability of the home (Article 13).

Article XXI. (Forfeiture of Basic Rights).

Whoever abuses the freedom of expression, in particular the freedom of the press (paragraph (1) of Article 5), the freedom of teaching (paragraph (3) of Article 5), the freedom of assembly (Article 8), the freedom of association (Article 9), the privacy of correspondence, posts and telecommunications (Article 10), the rights of property (Article 14), or the right of asylum (Article 16a) in order to combat the free democratic basic order shall forfeit these basic rights. This forfeiture and its extent shall be declared by the High Court.

Article XXII. (Restriction of Basic Rights).

Insofar as, under this Basic Law, a basic right may be restricted by or pursuant to a law, such law must apply generally and not merely to a single case. In addition, the law must specify the basic right affected and the Article in which it appears.
In no case may the essence of a basic right be affected.
The basic rights shall also apply to domestic artificial persons to the extent that the nature of such rights permits.
Should any person’s rights be violated by public authority, he may have recourse to the courts. If no other jurisdiction has been established, recourse shall be to the ordinary courts. The second sentence of paragraph (2) of Article 10 shall not be affected by this paragraph.[/quote]

[size="6"][u][b][center]Elections to Be Held![/center][/b][/u][/size]
With the Constitution passed, the Regency has agreed to begin the first elections immediately. Until the Diet is sworn in, the Regency shall retain their Provisional powers.

OOC: Will make a separate election thread.

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The Diet's building in Riga was a newly-renovated structure, modeled after the Reichstag building in Berlin, and, indeed, parts of it were still unfinished, most notably the dome. It was located a distance from the central square, distinctly separate from the towering commercial buildings of central Riga. The Diet, ducal palace, and High Court building were all constructed on the southern side of the city, and were more commonly being collectively referred to as Alaric's Square. Now, large crowds of people were making their way away from the square, clutching miniature Kurlandic flags and other patriotic paraphernalia, while a small group of well-dressed individuals entered the Diet's building from the plaza in front.

The ceremony swearing in the Diet, Ministers, and Justices had ended, and Duke Alaric and Chancellor Sigimund Schräder had already dashed their hopes of a week's vacation before first assembling. Alaric and Sigimund both argued that the country had issues to deal with now, not in a week's time, and so the Diet was meeting immediately after the ceremony.

Alaric, Sigimund, Grand Marshal Emelrich von Reval, and a handful of the ministers had already entered the building, and were standing off to the side of the door to the Diet's chambers, watching the legislators file inside.
Emelrich gave a derisive snort as the six Kurlandic Orthodox Church officials entered, dressed in their traditional robes. "Christians...why are they even here?"
Alaric turned and watched the last man enter the portal to the chambers and said, "Because there were enough Christians in one particular place to matter, I suppose."
The grand marshal shook his head. "Presumptuous pricks. What kind of idiot mutters into the air for help?"
"Now, now, Emelrich, you're in a political climate, be tolerant," Sigimund said, but he was smiling.
"I will if they will," Emelrich retorted.
"Do you want to leave?" Alaric asked, faintly annoyed. He agreed with the marshal in part, but there was really only so much you could say about the KOC representatives and Emelrich had already said it all.
"Yes, actually, I have an army to organize and ordnance to sign for," von Reval said, glancing at his watch. "And I don't have the damn supply officer and weapons company reps here to sign !@#$ for. Face it, Alaric, I'm more useful away from here."
"I'm inclined to agree. Go on."
"[i]Danke,[/i] sir," Emelrich said, saluting and walking briskly towards the door, pushing two members of the Diet aside roughly when they got in his way.

Alaric led the Chancellor and his Cabinet into the chambers behind those two members, overhearing the younger of the two complain, "That von Reval is such an ass..."
"Get used to him," Alaric said bemusedly, stepping around them and heading for the center of the front of the room, where a podium stood at the focal point of the many chairs placed in a semicircle around them. Behind that was a slightly elevated section with five chairs behind a low wall, for the Duke, Chancellor, and whoever else was relevant for that session, as had been unceremoniously dictated by Alaric during furnishing. It was here that the duke and Sigimund approached, while the ministers headed for a separated group of seats to the side. Alaric sat in his high-backed chair and waited patiently with his fingers laced together on his lap as the last few legislators entered the chambers and a secretary closed the doors. At this point he stood and adjusted the microphone on the desk built into the low wall.

"Alright, settle down, settle down," he said, shushing the chatter between the politicians. "I'd like to take a moment of your time before this momentous occasion begins." He waited for silence before continuing. "Today, we have officially established the First Ducal Government of Kurland under the Duchy's Constitution. It's a great moment for our country, and a great task to take on. But this is a burden we must shoulder wholeheartedly- now, not tomorrow." His eyes twinkled maliciously at Friedrich von Gontard, the FPO legislator who had suggested the week-long break. "But first, I felt it appropriate to address you collectively, considering the recent developments in the politics of our nation...
"You are all now servants of the Duchy of Kurland and the people thereof. All of us are. Our allegiance lies with our kin and our country, and so do our interests, for when Kurland and the people prosper, we shall prosper, and when they suffer, we shall suffer. Remember, our nation does not need politicians. It needs statesmen. We serve the will of the people, not your own goals and ambitions. I cannot stress this enough; when you are in this room, you are a servant of Kurland, and no other allegiances should enter into the equation. So check your morality and biases at the door." He glanced contemptuously at the bright robes of the six KOC legislators, which stood out from the black and gray suits of the rest of the Diet. "That is all. Thank you."

Surprised at the abrupt ending, it took a moment for the legislators to react, and they began applauding as Alaric walked down the stairs and exited with the Ministers, to go have his own first cabinet meeting.


[b]Legislation Passed[/b]
Legislative Motion 1[/u]
Confirmation of the Establishment of the National Kurlandic Police Force
Summary: Vote to confirm Regency action of establishing a National Police Force and officially allocate funds for the establishment of stations throughout the Duchy.
For: 55
Against: 4
Approved by Duke

[u]Legislative Motion 2[/u]
Kurlandic Armed Forces Establishment Act
Info: A motion to officially establish the Kurlandic Armed Forces as recommended by Grand Marshal Emelrich von Reval, and entrusting all military matters to the Ministry of Defense.
For: 59
Against: 0
Approved by Duke

[u]Legislative Motion 3[/u]
Tax Act
Info: A motion to officially break the population down into tax brackets, determined by income, and also allocates funds to the Treasury Department for the creation of a Ducal Tax Service to collect and manage taxes.
For: 52
Against: 5
Abstain: 2
Approved by Duke

[u]Legislative Motion 4[/u]
Currency Act
Info: A motion to officially declare the Ducal Mark the currency of the Duchy, using the gold standard.
For: 38
Against: 16
Abstain: 5
Approved by Duke

[u]Legislative Motion 5[/u]
The Capital of Kurland
Info: A motion to officially designate Riga as the seat of the Duchy's government.
For: 53
Against: 2
Abstain: 4
Approved by Duke

[u]Legislative Motion 6[/u]
Drug Education Act
Info: A motion to require a mandatory Drug Education class for at least one year in all schools, teaching the actual scientific facts about the nature and effects of all known mind-altering substances, including, but not limited to, alcohol, tobacco, marijuana, cocaine, ecstasy, mushrooms, heroin, and crystal meth. Class is intended to dispel all illusions about drugs.
For: 46
Against: 13
Approved by Duke

[u]Legislative Motion 7[/u]
Privacy Act
Info: A motion to establish minimum standards for all agencies and businesses for protection of the privacy of citizens of the Duchy.
For: 38
Against: 21
Approved by Duke

[u]Legislative Motion 8[/u]
Living Wage Act
Info: A motion to mandate employers to pay a living wage of 15.25 marks/hr to all employees working in the Duchy.
For: 41
Against: 15
Abstain: 3
Approved by Duke

[u]Legislative Motion 9[/u]
National Healthcare Act
Info: A motion to provide a national healthcare system that will be available for all citizens of the Duchy, but allow citizens the option of private healthcare. Also provides for the establishment of an Institute of Drugs and Medical Devices under the Ministry of Health.
For: 46
Against: 8
Abstain: 5
Approved by Duke

[u]Legislative Motion 10[/u]
National Drinking Age
Info: A motion to formally set the legal drinking age at 18, and allow for the consumption of alcohol by those that are at least 14 while under responsible parental supervision. Motion also increases penalties for alcohol-related crimes.
For: 51
Against: 6
Abstain: 2
Approved by Duke

[u]Legislative Motion 11[/u]
Tobacco Act
Info: A motion to ban smoking in public except in designated areas. Motion also sets the legal tobacco-smoking age at 21 and levies fines for smoking while pregnant, in the presence of pregnant women, children under 15, and in non-designated areas.
For: 47
Against: 11
Abstain: 1
Approved by Duke

[u]Legislative Motion 12[/u]
Capital Punishment Act
Info: A motion to allow for the execution of those found guilty of murder and other excessively violent crimes.
For: 53
Against: 6
Approved by Duke

[u]Legislative Motion 13[/u]
Brighter Horizons Act
Info: A motion for the government to pay for all university costs for any citizen, provided that citizen meets basic requirements.
For: 34
Against: 22
Abstain: 3
Approved by Duke

[u]Legislative Motion 14[/u]
Renewable Energy Act
Info: A motion to encourage the use of hydroelectric, solar, wind, and natural gas energy by offering incentives to companies and entrepreneurs and investing in renewable energy.
For: 54
Against: 3
Abstain: 2
Approved by Duke

[u]Legislative Motion 15[/u]
Emissions Act
Info: A motion to decrease harmful emissions by improving public transportation and encouraging the use of non-gas vehicles.
For: 36
Against: 15
Abstain: 8
Approved by Duke

[u]Legislative Motion 16[/u]
Free Speech Act
Info: A motion to remove all restrictions on all forms of media. Motion would remove all government censorship of expletives and nudity, while maintaining the ability of the government to assert minimum restrictions on violent media.
For: 51
Against: 7
Abstain: 1
Approved by Duke

[u]Legislative Motion 17[/u]
Worker Protection Act
Info: A motion to preserve the ability of all employed citizens of the Duchy to form unions and bargain with their employers and subjects all companies to twice annual inspections by the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs to ensure healthy work environments.
For: 43
Against: 12
Abstain: 4
Approved by Duke

[u]Legislative Motion 18[/u]
Official Language Act
Info: A motion to officially recognize German as the national language of Germany and mandate that one must be fluent in German to work.
For: 51
Against: 3
Abstain: 5
Approved by Duke

[u]Legislative Motion 19[/u]
Church Tax Act
Info: A motion to abolish all tax exemptions for religious institutions and levy a tax on all religious organizations within Kurland.
For: 54
Against: 5
Approved by Duke

[center][size="6"][u][b]Ducal Cabinet and High Court Revealed[/b][/u][/size][/center]
[u][b]Ducal Cabinet[/b][/u]
Foreign Minister: Alfbern Landau
Minister of Defense: Sigifrid Protz
Minister of Special Tasks: Leon Emil Gerig
Treasurer: Leopold Kranz
Minister of Justice: Theodorich Kasun
Minister of Security: Ingvarr Hoffman
Grand Marshall: Emelrich von Reval
Minister of the Interior: Othmar Fleischer
Minister of Transportation, Building, and Urban Development: Erich Unterbrink
Minister of Economics and Technology: Völund von Mitau
Minister of Agriculture, Environment and Nature Conversation: Cerdic Foth
Minister of Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, and Youth: Kayetan von Harrien
Minister of Education and Research: Lothar Auer
Minister of Health: Wilhelm Waxweiler
Minister of Food, Agriculture, and Consumer Protection: Wilhelm Fabel
Minister of Labor and Social Affairs: Friedrich Rademacher
Minister of Economic Cooperation and Development: Eadwig Holtzer

[u][b]High Judge and Justices[/b][/u]
High Judge: Theodorich Kasun
Bernard Prinz
Sigihard Schuchardt
Kunibert Roth
Hákon Rot
Dietrich von Dünaburg
Rainer Volk

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Grand Marshal Emelrich von Reval sat in his office at the Bassenheim Military Installation outside of Riga, mulling over a number of maps of the region and a stack of suggestions, reports, and requests from his subordinates. The equipment he'd ordered had long since arrived, and was now either in use or stored in reserve in several military bases across the country, and since then, he'd received his new budget from the Diet, and was now trying to figure out how to best allocate those funds. He'd sent out word to his subordinate officers, requesting their feedback on where to point the military. Unfortunately, most of the officers seemed to think their own unit deserved priority over the others; an absurd notion, for none of Kurland's military personnel had any combat experience.

Emelrich had pretty much ruled out most of these suggestions, and had narrowed it down to three ideas. Lieutenant General Arthur Krantz wanted to take a leaf out of Germany's book and fortify the Kurlandic coast and borders; Colonel Arndt Hasek wanted to invest in expanding the existing military installations, though some of his ideas seemed a bit too expensive; Captain Gundahar Wägner wanted to lengthen the army's training program from two months to eight, using that time to train each soldier in every specialization. This idea also included a much more disturbing suggestion of allowing the army to pick orphaned or abandoned children out of the foster care system; they would be given healthcare and an education, including mandatory strength and conditioning classes, and at age 16, they could choose to continue into a Special Ops program or reintegrate into civilian life.

He couldn't really see the merit in Colonel Hasek's idea; it would be far too expensive to add underground extensions to every last base in Kurland. And Lt. General Krantz's plan didn't seem entirely necessary, though certain parts of it appealed to Emelrich. Captain Wägner, on the other hand, seemed to have the right idea; an army with perfect discipline was surely something to strive for. The Grand Marshal pulled a blank sheet of paper toward him, pushed aside the Hasek Plan, and placed the Wägner and Krantz plans above his blank paper. He circled the parts of each plan he liked, then proceeded to copy those bits onto his paper.

From Krantz's recommendation, he decided to place fixed artillery batteries all along the coasts of the islands of Ösel, Dagö, Mohn, and Worms. The smaller islands under Kurlandic control would be placed directly under government control, and military posts established there with large numbers of stationary artillery to ensure the defense of the coast and the Gulf of Riga. He implemented Wägner's training program, and, after a bit of hesitation, the spec ops program. When he was done, he folded his paper in half and sealed it into an envelope; Emelrich didn't have the authority to immediately implement these changes, so he would have to take it to the Duke first.

The Grand Marshal arrived by helicopter at the ducal palace less than half an hour later, and he was ushered inside by the guards he'd hand-selected to provide palace security. He dismissed the guards once he crossed the threshold into the palace and made his way to the duke's office alone. He was stopped at the door by another guard long enough for the young man to recognize Emelrich for who he was, at which point he snapped a crisp salute and said, "His Eminence is currently in his office, sir. His secretary just delivered some new bills from the Diet that he's going over right now."

"Thank you, sergeant," Emelrich said, smiling politely to the man as he pushed open the door to the Secretary's office, which acted as a hallway to the Duke's office. The secretary, a gorgeous blond in her mid-twenties, was sitting behind her desk, typing something up on her computer, but stopped when she noticed the grand marshal. She flashed a dazzling smile his way.

"Hi!" she said brightly, standing up and walking around her desk to Emelrich. She extended her hand and continued, "You must be the Grand Marshal. Emelrich, isn't it?"
"Yes," Emelrich said, returning the smile and shaking her hand. "And you are...?"
"Alexia. Alexia Westerberg. Are you here to see the duke?"
The grand marshal nodded. "If possible."
"I'll see if he's available," Alexia replied, walking briskly back to the door behind her desk that had a brass plaque marked 'Duke Alaric von Kurland'. She poked her head inside the portal and said, "Your Eminence? Grand Marshal von Reval is here to see you."
"Send him in," Emelrich heard Alaric reply.
"The Duke will see you now, Grand Marshal," Alexia said sweetly, withdrawing her head from the doorway.
"Thank you, Ms. Westerberg..."

Emelrich stepped into Alaric's office, and Alexia closed the door behind him. The duke looked up from a stack of papers on his desk and gave his visitor an exasperated smile. "More !@#$ for me to sign, eh?"
"But of course," Emelrich smirked, placing the envelope in front of him.
"What's this?" Alaric asked, picking it up and tearing it open.
"A few ideas I've compiled for the defense budget. Since it involves relocating a few thousand citizens, I figured it would require your signature."
Alaric scanned the paper for a moment, then scrawled his signature across the bottom of the page. "Make sure each displaced person is fully reimbursed for their lost property," he said, pushing the paper back to Emelrich. "And just be aware I'm a bit wary of the whole spec ops program in there; if it doesn't provide good results, or if it spawns more than one sociopath per year, I'm pulling the plug."
"Fair enough," Emelrich grinned, taking the paper and sliding it into a pocket.
"And do that as quietly as you can; if the Church hears about that, I'll never get any peace and quiet with their reps harassing me about the sacredness of youth or some !@#$%^&*..." Alaric sighed and rubbed his temples. "It's bad enough as it is. Bishop Junge was in here this morning talking about restoring the moral fabric of society or some crap...wanted to put an end to Drug Ed, declare war on drugs, and Odin knows what else; I stopped listening after fifteen minutes."
"We could always kill them, you know," the grand marshal suggested, as though this were a perfectly normal thing to say.
"Tempting, but most of them will probably keel over before the bullet even reaches their head," Alaric chuckled. "Especially Weeber; that old !@#$%^&'s gotta be living on borrowed time."
"Well, let me know if you change your mind," Emelrich said. "I have to go work my way through the paperwork for this reform." He patted the pocket and made his way to the exit.

[u]Legislative Motion 20[/u]
Sensible Drug Policy Act
Summary: A motion to decriminalize all mind-altering substances, defining drug addiction as a medical condition rather than a crime. Motion will also completely legalize cannabis, psychedelic mushrooms, and acid, with certain conditions.
For: 47
Against: 10
Abstain: 2
Approved by Duke

[u]Legislative Motion 21[/u]
Don't Ask, Don't Tell
Summary: A motion to ban homosexuals from serving openly in the military.
For: 8
Against: 50
Abstain: 1

[u]Legislative Motion 22[/u]
Firearm Registration Act
Summary: A motion to create a nation gun registry and enact certain controls and regulations on the ownership of firearms.
For: 46
Against: 8
Abstain: 5
Approved by Duke

[u]Legislative Motion 23[/u]
Reasonable Reimbursement Act
Summary: A motion that confirms the government's right to eminent domain, but requires the government to pay citizens for all property and costs for moving.
For: 49
Against: 5
Abstain: 6
Approved by Duke

[u]Legislative Motion 24[/u]
Referenda Act
Summary: A motion to allow referendums on any legislation passed by the government, provided that at least one quarter of the populace signs a petition requesting such. A referendum will require a majority vote from all registered voters.
For: 42
Against: 7
Abstain: 10
Approved by Duke

[u]Legislative Motion 25[/u]
None of the Above Act
Summary: A motion to add an option to voting ballots that will allow voters who do not agree with any of the candidates in any election to select a 'null' option.
For: 37
Against: 21
Abstain: 1
Approved by Duke

[u]Legislative Motion 26[/u]
Term Limit Act
Summary: A motion to enforce term limits for all elected members of county and national government, barring all individuals from holding office for more than two five-year terms.
For: 41
Against: 12
Abstain: 6
Approved by Duke

[u]Legislative Motion 27[/u]
Religion in Government Act
Summary: A motion to ban government members from openly wearing strictly religious symbols or clothing during government assemblies.
For: 53
Against: 6
Approved by Duke

[u]Legislative Motion 28[/u]
Advancement of Culture Act
Summary: A motion to encourage the arts by providing funding for cultural institutions and offering incentives to rising artists.
For: 45
Against: 11
Abstain: 3
Approved by Duke

[u]Legislative Motion 29[/u]
Euthanasia Act
Summary: A motion to legalize euthanasia for terminally ill or elderly patients at the discretion of the patient and/or their family.
For: 51
Against: 6
Abstain: 2
Approved by Duke

[u]Legislative Motion 30[/u]
Standardized Education Act
Summary: A motion to allow the Ministry of Education to set educational standards for all schools and colleges.
For: 53
Against: 5
Abstain: 1
Approved by Duke

[u]Legislative Motion 31[/u]
Prison Act
Summary: A motion to reserve penitentiaries for certain violent criminals only, while instituting a mandatory death sentence for the most heinous of crimes and establishing alternate sentences for non-violent offenders.
For: 48
Against: 7
Abstain: 4
Approved by Duke

Edited by Rauchen
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[center][b][u][size="6"]Bishop Hermann Junge Dies[/size][/u][/b]
[size="1"]Archbishop and Member of the Diet Wilhelm Weebel prepares to perform last rites for Bishop Junge[/size][/i][/center]
Tragedy befalls the Duchy this as Hermann Junge, Kurlandic Orthodox bishop and member of the national Diet, died at the age of 46. The religious and political leader was gunned down in the midst of a ceremony on Sunday by an unidentified assailant. Witnesses say that a black-haired, bearded rose from his seat in the middle of the church and fired three .44 slugs at the Bishop using what appeared to be a Desert Eagle. The assassin was able to escape in the ensuing panic, and NKPF officials are offering a 10,000 mark reward to any individual who provides information leading to the assailant's capture.

Duke Alaric declined to speak at Junge's funeral, waving reporters away and stating, "If you've nothing nice to say, then say naught at all." Bishop Junge and Duke Alaric were traditionally political rivals.

Already, the district has chosen Diethelm Tiedemann, former Chancellor and now a member of the Norse Revivalist Party, as his replacement.

[size="6"][u][b][center]Kurlandic Libertarian Party merges into the Nationalist Party of Kurland[/center][/b][/u][/size]
[size="1"]KLP Chairman Ludwig Boesch and Chancellor Sigimund Schräder, leader of the Nationalists, shake hands after the announcement[/size][/center]

The Nationalist Party came closer to gaining majority in the Diet today when they and the Libertarians announced the merging of their two parties. Chancellor Sigimund Schräder says the merge is a result of the similarities of Nationalist and Libertarian ideologies and a willingness to work towards a less divided country. The KLP was the smallest of the political parties, with only two representatives in the Diet and 300,000 registered voters. A number of members of the KLP have rejected the merge, and have broken off from the majority, led by Gerhard Baumhauer. Both of the KLP representatives in the Diet have indicated support for the merge.


With the specified Baltic islands vacated, orders were given by Grand Marshal von Reval to secure the islands. The Second Regiment of First Division had been deployed across the islands to speed along the evacuation process and secure given locations, with their headquarters located on the northeastern coast of Ösel. When the last citizens were extracted from the operation area, the troops would establish temporary defensive perimeters on each island while government-contracted workers moved in to begin construction of the necessary military infrastructure, according to the demands of the grand marshal.

[i][size="1"]Construction materials being transported to the islands[/size][/i][/center]

The largest islands, Ösel, Dagö, Worms, and Mohn, which had not been completely seized by the government, would have a series of coastal defenses positioned and constructed along the coastline. Artillery batteries with anti-aircraft, STS and STA missiles, and fortified ground-based artillery were established where necessary, and most sites would include a bunker that would function as the local unit's HQ.

The smaller islands were, for the most part, completely cleared of civilians and effectively turned into military bases. Extensive coastal and air defenses were built all across these locations. In addition, each soldier deployed to defend the islands would be trained in the use of the portable Stinger SAM system.

[i][size="1"]Kurlandic troops stationed on Dagö[/size][/i][/center]

[code]Order for Military Construction

50x MGM-31 Pershing II STSs
150x MGM-52 Lance SRBMs
250x MIM-104 Patriot SAMs
100x S-75 Dvina SAMs
400x MIM-23 Hawk SAMs
250x Gepard 1A2 SPAAG
750x GDF-002 AA
200x 2A36 Giatsint-Bs
300x FH-70s

Funds were allocated for airstrips on the islands of Nargen and Runö to allow for the use of helicopters and recon craft, and the ports at Arensburg, Kertel, Hapsal, Reval, Riga, Libau, and Windau were to be expanded to increase their military support and economic capabilities.

[quote]Deployment Orders

First Division HQ: Arensburg, Ösel
1st Regiment, 1st Division: Kurlandic Expeditionary Force
2nd Regiment, 1st Division: Estonian Islands

Second Division HQ: Bassenheim Military Installation, Riga, Livland
3rd Regiment, 2nd Division: Riga
4th Regiment, 2nd Division: Riga

Third Division HQ: Kerpen Army Base, Reval, Harrien
5th Regiment, 3rd Division: Reval
6th Regiment, 3rd Division: Reval

Fourth Division HQ: Salza Air Force Base, Mitau, Semgallen
7th Regiment, 4th Division: Mitau
8th Regiment, 4th Division: Mitau

Fifth Division HQ: Hohenlohe Military Installation, Windau, Kurland
9th Regiment, 5th Division: Windau
10th Regiment, 5th Division: Windau

Sixth Division HQ: Kettler Army Base, Dünaburg, Lettgallen
11th Regiment, 6th Division: Dünaburg
12th Regiment, 6th Division: [url="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kr%C4%81slava"]Dünabrücken[/url]

Seventh Division HQ: Donar Army Base, Dorpat, Kreis Dorpat
13th Regiment, 7th Division: Dorpat
14th Regiment, 7th Division: Kohtla-Järve

Eighth Division HQ: Fenris Air Force Base, Pernau, Kreis Pernau
15th Regiment, 8th Division: Pernau
16th Regiment, 8th Division: Laisholm

First Marines HQ: Garmr Military Installation, Hapsal, Harrien
1st Marine Brigade: Hapsal
2nd Marine Brigade: Hapsal

Second Marines HQ: Odin Military Research Complex, Oger, Livland
3rd Marine Brigade: Oger
4th Marine Brigade: Oger

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[center][b][u][size="6"]New Industry Flies 'High'[/size][/u][/b][/center]
[size="1"]An employee of Toka-Cola Inc. picks cannabis plants from a plantation in Semgallen[/size][/center]
After the passing of L.M. 20, the Sensible Drug Policy Act, a number of companies have been founded taking advantage of the new market. Aside from smoke shops selling herbs and legal psychedelics, there are also stores and restaurants featuring sodas, food products, and clothing made from hemp. Many plastic products in Kurland are now made from biodegradable hemp plasticDomestic auto manufacturer Greenride, known for its solar-powered and biodiesel vehicles, has also announced plans to create a line of cars made from hemp fibre and running on hemp-based fuel, as was done by American auto-maker Henry Ford in 1941.

Studies show that hemp is the fastest-growing industry in Kurland, and with the support of the majority of the government and eco-activists, the trend is expected to continue. The success is to the detriment of other industries, however, as several timber companies declared bankruptcy as more and more of the nation's paper is derived from hemp.

[center][b][u][size="6"]Shootout in Reval[/size][/u][/b][/center]

The second-largest city in Kurland was the site of a deadly gunfight when a KNPD transport convoy was attacked by a number of heavily-armed assailants. Officials say that at least 20 men, identified as affiliates of the Jungingen crime family, blocked off the street on which the convoy was traveling with several pickup trucks and one eighteen-wheeler and opened fire with AK-47s, while several snipers armed with Dragunovs fired from the rooftops. The men allegedly believed the convoy, which was transporting convicted murderer Konrad Rurikovich for execution, was the guard detail for a monetary transfer of the National Bank of Kurland. Rurikovich is not believed to have any connection to the Jungingens.

The police, though under heavy fire, were able to form a defensive square with their vehicles and held off their assailants until two squads of soldiers arrived from the local military base in Sikorsky Black Hawk helicopters. Police and military officials say that eleven gunmen were killed and eight more were taken into custody. Seven NKPD officers and one soldier were killed in action. Reval is currently in a state of emergency as police and military officials search for any escaped attackers. It is unknown if the patriarch of the Jungingen family, Erich von Jungingen, will be taken into custody as part of the investigation.

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"Have you been able to contact the Swedish government?" Duke Alaric asked of his foreign minister as he entered his office.
"No, sir," Minister Alfbern Landau replied, placing a thin folder on the duke's desk. "In fact, as far as I can tell, they dropped off the radar years ago. I'm shocked that neither the Germans nor any foreign imperialists have claimed it for their own."
Alaric took the folder and flipped through the short report, then said at length, "I have no interest in overextending ourselves over the entire nation; however, Gotland and Öland are of interest to us." He put the folder down and continued, "Have Emelrich dispatch a regiment to take control of Kalmar and Gotland counties; distribute aid, ensure that the area is orderly and secure. While you're at it, perhaps you should let our German brothers know that there's a nation in anarchy on their doorstep."
"Yes, sir," Alfbern said, heading out the door and taking out his cell phone as he walked.

The 3rd Regiment of the 2nd Division was deployed via air and sea transport to Kalmar and Gotland counties. Upon arrival, the Kurlandic troops set up aid stations and began distributing food and medical supplies to the populace, while attempting to restore utilities to communities. Meanwhile, Minister Landau sent a missive to the German government informing them of the anarchy in Sweden.

"With the extended silence of the Swedish government, the Duchy of Kurland has decided to take control of the counties of Gotland and Kalmar, and is now in the process of restoring order and services to the populace."

-Duke Alaric I

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"Sweden is in anarchy [i]again?[/i] This is a dissapointment. But for the time being we are unable to enforce our protection policies over this land. We would appreciate it if you would be able to keep Sweden safe until we are able to end this war and restore order in our own territory." - Field Marshall Tambarskjelve

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[quote name='Kaiser Martens' timestamp='1312334306' post='2770580']
"Sweden is in anarchy [i]again?[/i] This is a dissapointment. But for the time being we are unable to enforce our protection policies over this land. We would appreciate it if you would be able to keep Sweden safe until we are able to end this war and restore order in our own territory." - Field Marshall Tambarskjelve

"Understood. To comply with your request, the 4th, 5th, and 6th divisions will be deployed to Sweden to provide security and maintain order until such time that Germany is able to reassert their authority over the territory."
-Grand Marshal Emelrich von Reval

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[center][size="6"][u][b]New Counties Integrated[/b][/u][/size]
The phase of military occupation in Kalmar and Gotland counties have come to a close with the election of new counciles and Grafs in each one and the establishment of NKPD stations in each region. The county governments, both drawn from the local populace, are taking over efforts to rennovate the failing utilities left behind by the long-defunct Swedish government. Graf Jarle Abramsen of Gotland told reporters that many services provided by the Swedish government have fallen into decay, most urgent of which being the sewer and sanitation systems; the sewers in Visby were plagued with clogs, and without weekly trash pickup, certain areas were overflowing with trash. Duke Alaric I von Kurland made a visit to the preserved medieval town and said in an interview that he was 'appalled' by the conditions in the city, and has donated five million marks of his own fortune to restoring the town and getting it back up and running. He has also diverted funds from the defense budget to the new territories in an effort to bring Kalmar and Gotland up to Kurlandic standards. Public services in the two counties are expected to be fully operational within two weeks.

[i][size="1"]Reval, Harrien
4:18 pm[/size][/i]
A well-dressed man staggered down a side alleyway in the city of Reval. In his left hand he held a pistol, and with his other he clutched his left side. Blood flowed freely between his fingers, covering his hand and staining his suit jacket. Sirens sounded in the distance, and the public service announcement system droned on in the distance. The man leaned against a dumpster about halfway down the alley and then slid down the wall beside it, sitting with his knees drawn up and his pistol hand resting on them. His head lolled back against the concrete wall, eyes closed, and he tried to steady his ragged breathing. “Where the $%&@ am I?” he whispered, opening his eyes and glancing down the way he’d come, watching a National Police cruiser roll by, emergency lights flashing and sirens wailing. The PSA system restarted as the sound of the sirens faded.
“Attention, citizens. The city is under a state of emergency. Law-abiding citizens are required to stay indoors and off the street and are advised to lock the doors to their homes. Any individual found outside is subject to suspicion and may be brought into NKPD or military custody. All individuals who come across a checkpoint are required to provide valid identification and submit to search procedures and may be taken into custody. Resisting security efforts is grounds for immediate arrest. Please cooperate with all security personnel. This is not a drill.”[/i]

“When will that thing shut up,” the man, Erich Handschuhe, groaned, sliding down the wall a little further. He knew he couldn’t stay here long, but he was so exhausted…
Erich was an associate of the Jungingen crime family, one of 45 individuals charged with ambushing a convoy that was, according to a tip-off, transporting more than a hundred million marks; the biggest payday of all time. The plan had been simple; twenty guys in pickups and semis would block in the convoy and open fire, ten more would take up sniper positions on roofs, then the last fifteen would pour out of the alleys to the side and surround the convoy. When the guards were neutralized, they would grab the transport truck, unblock the street, meet up with another group of associates, and transfer the cash to bags, which would then be stashed while one of the men ditched the truck.
It had started off well enough; Erich’s men had blocked the convoy from continuing, assuming the Reval Correctional Facility decals on the truck were a decoy, and then Hans’s boys arrived to block the other way. But the guys in the alley were late; some of them had gone to the wrong alleyway, and this gave the cops enough time to organize a defense. More cops started showing up, hemming in the men in the trucks, and then Kerpen Army Base had dispatched two helicopters with a squad of soldiers each to the area, and while the troops swept the area and cleared out the assailants in the alley, the two choppers circled, blasting the snipers with their machine guns.
Erich and the other bosses lost control of the situation as their men realized the mission was failing, and their men began to flee the scene, some of them jacking the trucks they’d driven there, but since most of them had pockmarks from the police’s bullets, they were easily tracked down; Erich had seen one of the helicopters blast the eighteen-wheeler with a missile as it trucked down the street, and that was when he decided this was no longer a safe place to be. He’d ditched his Kalashnikov under a dumpster and tried to flee into a nearby building, and ran right into one of the soldiers on the stairs. The man was a little underweight, so Erich was able to get on top of him and kill him with the soldier’s own pistol, but not before the soldier had torn a jagged cut in his ribcage with a combat knife.
Now he’d been wandering for what felt like hours, surviving on sheer luck; he’d barely avoided running out in front of a column of military-class jeeps that were sporting some dangerous looking machine guns…but every man’s luck was finite, and Erich was sure his supply was just about exhausted. The only safe place he knew of was the Jungingen safe house on the eastern side of town; problem was, he had no idea where he was or how far away the safe house was. He groaned again as he reflected on this, and was surprised to hear a grunt in reply. He froze, held his breath, and didn’t dare to make a sound.
“Who the hell is that? This is my !@#$@#$ alley!” a gruff voice growled from the other side of the dumpster. He heard shuffling footsteps and could just see the top of a man’s head over the corner of the dumpster. “It’s hard enough to sleep with all them goddamn sirens and that !@#$@#$ monotone going on and on and on and-” The voice cut off as its owner turned around the trash container and spotted the bleeding mobster. “Who the hell are you?” a grubby, dirty, and bearded homeless man demanded.
Erich swore; he had run into one of the only homeless people in all of Reval.
“There’s no need for that language, !@#$%^&,” the bum said reproachfully. Erich raised an eyebrow at the man. “So who the hell are you?”
“I hardly think that’s any of your business,” Erich said coldly, waving his gun menacingly.
“I’m inclined to agree,” the homeless man said, eyeing the USP warily. “Well what the $%&@’s going on out there?”
“Uhm…terrorist attack,” Erich said; it wasn’t far from the truth.
“That right?” the hobo asked, glancing at the gun and the blood dripping down his side. “I suppose the gubment is in an uproar. Explains a lot.”
“Yeah…listen, where am I?”
“You drunk?” the homeless man asked, deciding that he’d be safer pretending the gun and blood didn’t exist. “That makes two of us.” He gave a gap-toothed grin and continued. “That’s Dierik Avenue,” he said, pointing the way Erich had come, “and that there is Graf Street.”
Erich closed his eyes and thought for a moment. Graf Street…he’d seen signs for the road when he’d first arrived in Reval, on his way to the safe house, which was on Loki Rd. If this drunken bum was right, then he was just a few blocks away.
Said bum was now creeping backwards, hoping to break this man‘s line of sight, who he now thought was a terrorist, then haul ass onto the main road and signal some cops. He was sure that if he managed to catch the perpetrator of the attack, he’d be honored, maybe even get a house of his own…then, maybe he’d have a chance to use his college education, instead of getting screwed by drug dealers all the time. Erich opened his eyes as he started to cut around the dumpster and aimed his gun at the man.
“Not so fast,” he said flatly. “Where are you going?”
The homeless man opened his mouth stupidly for a moment, then said quickly, “I’m getting my…uh…liquor. Its under the dumpster, see?” He pointed at the bottom of the container, hoping Erich would look, but the mobster just laughed.
“You think I’m stupid?” he demanded. “You were going to scream for help, weren’t you?”
“No! Never!” the man gasped, now terrified. “Please, don’t kill me! I swear I won’t tell anyone!”
Erich smiled coldly. “No. You won’t.”
The homeless man took his chances then, turning and bolting down the street. Erich forced himself to his feet and rested his gun arm atop the dumpster and fired three bullets at the screaming man as he tried to reach the street. The first shot struck his arm, the second his back, and the third his leg. The man’s screams intensified as he fell to the ground, and they would surely attract attention. Erich stumbled around the container and emptied his gun into the homeless man, who fell silent, and forced open a door in the building to the right. He threw the gun into a trash can by the door, having no more ammo for it, and slowly made his way through the building to the other side. He pushed open the door, which would take him onto a street perpendicular to Dierik Avenue, and prepared to force himself to run across the street.
He found himself watching a trio of Marder IFVs rolling down the streets. He froze, blood still oozing through his fingers, as the third Marder stopped alongside him and the 20mm turret turned to him, manned by a Kurlandic soldier. “Put your hands in the air and step out into the open,” the soldier bellowed over the roar of the engine. “Make a sudden move and you’re dead.”
Erich was forced to comply, moving his hand away from his wound as the other two Marders stopped. He could see one of the soldiers on the radio, and soon, an NKPD patrol car turned onto the street and pulled up alongside the Marder closest to Erich. While one of the policemen forced the mobster into handcuffs and pushed him into the car, the driver climbed onto the Marder and had a word with the soldier on the turret. After a moment, the cop nodded, shook the soldier’s hand, and got back into the car.

NKPD interrogation resulted in Erich’s confession to the murder of a the homeless man, Heinrich Bergson, and of Private First Class Wolf Lindemann. As per protocol, Erich was turned over to the army for further questioning, where it turned out the interrogation officer had taught PFC Lindemann in high school. The officer, none too pleased, was able to gain details of the plot from Erich, who was later delivered to a military prison with a black eye and cut lip, both of which were perfectly within the bounds of emergency law, but were kept quiet nonetheless. The information was passed on to Minister of Security Ingvarr Hoffmann, who, in turn, gave it to Duke Alaric, who decided to give the matter his personal attention.

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With the end of the Brüderkrieg, the Kurlandic Expeditionary Force was withdrawn from its deployment. Having been involved extensively in Haas's last stand, the regiment had taken heavy casualties, and now returned to the homeland battered, scarred, and resentful.

[quote]Combat Report to Grand Marshal Emelrich von Reval
[u]Initial Strength[/u]
5,000 infantry
50 tanks
50 IFVs
50 APCs
50 MLRSs
150 artillery
25 rotary-wing aircraft

[u]Combat Losses[/u]
2,654 dead
1,177 wounded
17 tanks destroyed; 24 damaged
28 IFVs destroyed; 9 damaged
34 APCs destroyed; 12 damaged
12 MLRSs destroyed; 2 damaged
33 artillery destroyed; 51 damaged
7 helicopters destroyed; 11 damaged

Some damaged pieces were abandoned in the field. The rest can be salvaged and are en route with the troops home.

Col. Týr Bernat

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[center][b][u][size="6"]"Stop the Hate" Bill Introduced[/size][/u][/b][/center]
Chancellor Sigimund Schräder proposed legislation this week in the Diet that would ban hate speech and increase penalties for hate crimes. Officially "Legislative Motion 32," the bill has been dubbed the "Stop the Hate Bill" by many legislators. Chancellor Schräder spoke before the Diet, declaring that it was time that Kurland as a nation moved beyond such petty disputes. Duke Alaric also spoke before the Diet, declaring his support for the bill and what it stands for.

"It is the 21st century; different ethnicities have interacted for thousands of years. There is no room for bigotry and racism in a modern society, and it is time that we accepted this on a national level."

The very nature of the bill puts any opposition in a delicate position; any legislators who voice concerns about the bill are accused by others of hiding their own intolerance under the guise of free speech. A poll conducted in several areas of the country indicated an average of 82% of Kurlandic voters support the motion, and many spokespeople for grass-roots organizations support it on the grounds that there is naught to be gained from shouting racist slogans on the street.

[b][u]New Legislation[/u][/b]
L.M. 32
Tolerance Act
Summary: A motion to ban public hate speech and increase penalties for hate crimes. Hate speech is defined as any communication that disparages a group on the basis of race, gender, ethnicity, religion, sexuality, or other, non-political characteristic. Hate crimes are defined as any illegal action against another individual at least partially on the basis of those characteristics. The act would also allocate funds for education on cultural, religious, and ethnic differences.
For: 42
Against: 6
Abstain: 11

L.M. 33
Veteran Assistance Act
Summary: A motion to provide military veterans who fulfill certain requisites with government assistance for medical procedures and reintegration into civilian society. Act will establish a Veteran Assistance Committee to this end. Requisites for assistance are at least two terms in the military OR combat experience OR injury in the line of duty.
For: 51
Against: 6
Abstain: 2

Edited by Rauchen
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The 4th, 5th, and 6th Kurlandic Divisions have been withdrawn from Sweden and Norway and returned to their bases. The 1st Regiment of the 1st Division, which had been deployed in the Kurlandic Expeditionary Force and lost almost half of its strength, has been restored to full strength from a growing pool of volunteers.

Funds have been set aside from the military to establish a Ducal Intelligence Agency, but only a minute amount for a small organization. Since the DIA was answerable solely to the monarch, Duke Alaric chose to deal with the organization personally until a satisfactory director was found.

Edited by Rauchen
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[size="5"][center][u][b]State of Emergency Lifted in Reval[/b][/u][/center][/size]
Duke Alaric I declared an end to the State of Emergency in Reval, over the objections of the Graf of Harrien. The city has been under a raised alert status since a heavily-armed ambush on an NKPD prison transport convoy that was transferring convicted mass murderer Konrad Rurikovich for execution. The Chief of the Reval NKPD station has reported that all surviving perpetrators have been reprimanded and will go on trial before the Harrien county court in one week's time. Several of those in custody have admitted to their offense, further incriminating the group. If convicted of even a few of the many charges brought against them, the defendants could face execution.

[center][size="5"][u][b]Intelligence Agency Founded[/b][/u][/size][/center]
Duke Alaric I today issued a statement formally establishing the Ducal Intelligence Service, and appointed Wilhelm Sommer, a former air force intelligence officer, as the Director of the DIS. The purpose of the DIS, according to Duke Alaric and Director Sommer, is to 'acquire and relay all intelligence regarding the security of the Duchy and the citizens thereof.' The DIS will operate in a primarily defensive fashion, concerning themselves only with situations that will affect Kurland.
Mob Bosses Found Dead[/center][/b][/u][/size]
Friduric and Matthäus von Jungingen, the two brothers rumored to be the head of the Jungingen organized crime syndicate, have been reported dead off the coast of Gotland. Officials say that the cause of death is unknown, and officially believe at this time that it was simply an engine malfunction, but an NKPD insider told reporters that this may be the start of a war between the Jungingens and another family. It is also rumored that several suspected associates of several crime families have been taken into custody, but the government has neither confirmed nor denied these rumors. The deceased's family and friends declined an interview, and some of them have been allegedly taken into government custody.

[size="5"][u][b][center]Kurland and Germania Sign Pact[/center][/b][/u][/size]
A meeting in Stockholm between Kurlandic and German leaders to discuss the official transition of Sweden to Germanic control and formally establish relations between the new Germanic regime and Kurland ended with applause from the gathered dignitary when an agreement was reached. Germania formally recognized Kurlandic authority over Gotland and Kalmar, and Kurland officially turned over authority in and defense of Sweden to the Germans. The two states also signed a mutual defense pact, agreeing to defend one another from aggression and including a clause for economic cooperation. Duke Alaric I said on the matter, "The Treaty of Stockholm will be the basis of Kurlandic-German friendship for years to come."

[u][b]Diet Vote for the Approval of the Treaty of Stockholm[/b][/u]
For: 51
Against: 6
Abstain: 2

Edited by Rauchen
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The Germanian Althing agreed with a 65% majority to pass the Treaty of Stockholm. Those who did not support this only voiced such an opinion due to a general belief that isolationism would be desireable, but with the dynamic and potentially threatening neighbors in Europe, even those who would rather remain in peace recognize the need for mutual protection.

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Despite the growing tensions in neighboring states, the ducal government has found that its current military is too expensive to maintain at present, and is therefore slashing military funding by 33%, which will remove the Fourth and Eighth Divisions and the Second Marines and their equipment from active service, to be placed in a special emergency reserve. Should Kurland find itself in an escalated and extended war, these men would be the first to be called upon to fight. The remaining armed forces would be raised to Alert Level 3.

On the brighter side of things, the artillery batteries and defense systems on previously designated Kurlandic islands have been completed and are now fully operational. This new Coastal Defense Corps will cooperate with the nation's Coast Guard and Heer in the event of war, but will otherwise be manned by skeleton crews. For the time being, the focus will be on installing and maintaining radar stations at each battery.

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[size="5"][u][b][center]Ministerial Consolidations[/center][/b][/u][/size]
In an effort to make the government more efficient, Duke Alaric has announced the merging of several of the ducal ministries:

The Ministry of Security and its departments have been merged into the Ministry of the Interior, but Security Minister Ingvarr Hoffmann will be replacing Othmar Fleischer as Minister of the Interior. This means that the National Police Force will now be answerable to the Interior.

The Ministry of Food, Agriculture, and Consumer Protection, seen as redundant by many government officials, has been split in two and its responsibilities split. The Food and Agricultural responsibilities will be transferred to the Ministry of Agriculture, Environment and Nature Conservation, while Consumer Protection will now fall under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs. Minister Wilhelm Fabel of the disbanded ministry has been dismissed, while Labor Minister Friedrich Rademacher and Minister of Agriculture, Environment, and Nature Conservation Cerdic Foth will retain their positions.

[size="5"][u][b][center]High Justice Resigns[/center][/b][/u][/size]
In failing health, High Justice Dietrich von Dünaburg has resigned his seat on the board of Justices, now unable to even leave his bed for illness and age. His seat will remain empty while Duke Alaric and High Judge Theodorich Kasun search for a suitable replacement amongst the lower courts. The most favored candidates are Herman Messner, a liberal judge from Riga, and Julius Schroeder, a socialist judge from Reval, though the government has given no indication they intend to appoint either.

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[size="5"][u][b][center]Julius Schroeder Becomes High Justice[/center][/b][/u][/size]
After a few weeks of having an empty seat on the Board, Duke Alaric has finally announced the appointment of Reval judge Julius Schroeder. The appointment was ceremonially approved by both the Diet and Chancellor Schräder, and has been met with a general acceptance by the Kurlandic community. Schroeder says that as a Justice, he will uphold the Constitution and the rights of the people, and has vowed to do his best to improve life in Kurland.

The island of Worms, already acquired by the military for defense reasons, has been brought up to consideration for further development. In preparation for this, video and picture-taking devices have been banned from all nearby coasts, specifically in Harrien and Ösel counties. Duke Alaric began meeting frequently with Grand Marshal von Reval, Commandant Heinrich von Hesse, Generalfeldmarschall Luitger Habach, Defense Minister Sigifrid Protz, and Special Tasks Minister Leon Gerig, throwing out ideas for future development of the island of Worms, which occupied a strategically important position between Dagö, Ösel, and Harrien; having a firm hold of this island meant the ability to fire artillery in defense of assets on those territories, and control of an entrance into the Gulf of Riga, and a location for quick-deployment to many of the Kurlandic Isles. All of the officials agreed, Worms could not be overlooked.

The pre-existing artillery batteries on the island would remain intact, but the military began acquiring and transporting large amounts of construction materials to the island via plane, ship, and truck. A simple dirt airstrip was constructed near the abandoned village of Hullo, which was occupied and turned into a sort of de facto command post for all military activity on the island. Smaller military detachments were stationed in the similarly empty towns of Sviby, Söderby, and Diby. In all, a total of 1,000 infantry (both Army and Marines) and 250 Air Force personnel were stationed on Worms at the time being. While the brass planned out the entire island, these troops were tasked with completing the dirt airstrip, which would allow increased transport of materials to the island, and then paving and improving it to increase its support capabilities.

Edited by Rauchen
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[center][size="5"][u][b]What's in a Name?[/b][/u][/size][/center]
Ever since the establishment of the Duchy of Andorra as a vassal to the Angevin Kingdom of France, several members of the Diet, including Chancellor Schräder, had been vying for the head of state's name to change. These members argue that 'duke' is a suzerainty's title, and because of its history, its bearers were generally viewed as lesser in status. They say that Alaric and all successive monarchs should adopt the title of Grand Duke or King, to set them aside from the growing number of vassal states around the world. Duke Alaric declined to get involved in this debate, saying, "My title is but a superficial name for my role. I don't care if my title is Duke, King, or High Asswrangler. I will offer the same service to the state and people regardless."

The issue is expected to go to a vote this week.

[u]L.M. 35[/u]
"Troll Act"
Summary: A motion to change the title of the Monarch to High Asswrangler, and adjust of the nation's formal name to the Asswranglery of Kurland. Bureau and ministry names will be adjusted accordingly.
For: 6
Against: 52
Abstain: 1
[color="#FF0000"]Vote Failed[/color]

[u]L.M. 36[/u]
Vote for Elevation
Summary: A motion to change the title of the Monarch to King, and adjust the nation's formal name to Kingdom of Kurland and adjust all bureau, ministry, and military names accordingly.
For: 49
Against: 6
Abstain: 4
[color="#008000"]Vote Passed[/color]

After extensive meetings on the subject, it was decided to turn Worms into the headquarters for the Raiders special ops force. It was large enough to support all of the facilities deemed necessary to train and separate the different phases of training.

The airfield was completely paved, and its infrastructure expanded to support cargo aircraft, helicopters, and small numbers of fighters or bombers. SAM missiles were deployed around the perimeter and throughout the base, and the five F-16 fighters were flown in to ensure the security of cargo shipments and the entire area.
A steady stream of aircraft brought in extra construction materials, and heavy machinery and manpower came over a bridge connecting the island to Harrien. Soldiers were posted on both sides of the bridge and along the Harrien coast and all islands near Worms. Two Island class patrol boats were deployed to patrol the sea lanes around Worms.

Upon arrival, the construction crews would begin building barracks, which in the future would be used to house Raiders that had completed training; in the short term, these barracks would serve as temporary housing for the construction crews until the entire complex was fully constructed. Until then, the workers would be housed in large canvas tents set up in designated areas and patrolled by Army MPs equipped with shotguns loaded with beanbag rounds and stun guns, or in the abandoned houses in the nearest town, also MP-patrolled.

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[size="5"][u][b][center]National ID Implemented[/center][/b][/u][/size]
After a series of ugly debates between the counties of Kurland, Harrien, and Semgallen regarding travel between counties and identification of emigrants and immigrants, the national government has stepped in, revoking the privilege of the counties to issue identification cards and instituting a national ID card. Each county's databanks have been compiled into one national database by the Ministry of the Interior, which will issue all ID cards. The new IDs will have its holder's photo, physical description, birthday, and current place of residence. On the back, any serious medical conditions will be listed in case of emergency. A motion by NRP representative Malthe Ingvarrson to include the criminal record of citizens on the back of the ID was cut from the final draft on grounds of civil rights, and to prevent potential police bias; opponents argued that police might err in their judgement if they have instant access to that information.

[u][b][center][size="5"]Titles of Nobility[/size][/center][/b][/u]
The royal government has announced that it intends to begin bestowing titles of nobility upon those individuals who "show superb talent and abilities and loyalty to the Crown." Those who are granted one of these titles by the King will technically be part of the Kurlandic government, and will perform whatever responsibilities they are entrusted with by the King, primarily performing an advisory role to the government. A title does not grant many extra privileges to its holder; they are given lodgings in Riga, and basic living expenses are covered by the government, but all luxuries must be provided out of the holder's own salary. If someone holds an office in a business, they may not be granted a title unless they first resign from their office. Current government members are eligible, except for the King and Chancellor. King Alaric has not yet deemed any citizens suitable for a title.

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[center][b][u][size="5"]Treaty of Oslo[/size][/u][/b][/center]
Kurlandic and Norwegian representatives attended a series of meetings this month in the palace at Oslo, and after a period of discussion, announced the signing of the Treaty of Oslo, a mutual defense pact between the two states. The Diet ratified the treaty with a 36-13 vote, with ten legislators opting to abstain.
"This is a significant step in ensuring that the current level of peace and stability in the Baltic continues for years to come," Foreign Minister Alfbern Landau said, just hours before the Slavorussian assault on England's Finnish port. "I look forward to a long, prosperous relationship with our Norwegian brethren."

With the sudden outbreak of hostilities in the Baltic, the military's alert level has been raised to Level 3. 25,000 reserve troops have been activated to bolster the paltry 66,000-man regular army. As it is unlikely that the Russo-English conflict will expand to include Kurland, the reservists, who are primarily composed of soldiers who had shifted to the Reserves when the military lost spending, will undergo a brief refresher training course in order to bring them back up to the Kurlandic military's high standards.

Meanwhile, work on the Worms military complex continued as planned; the barracks were completed on schedule, and work began immediately on the training facilities.
[i][size="1"]Worms Raider Barracks[/size][/i]

The training centers will consist of a series of buildings outfitted for various levels of Raider training.

The Raider Educational Institute will be set apart from the rest of the facilities, and will be constructed on the outskirts of Hullo, and will include three buildings with a total of ten classrooms for intellectual pursuits. Students will be divided by different age groups; 5-10, 11-15, and 16-20. These groups will be further divided into individual classes based on date of birth. Around REI will be the various sport fields and activity centers for the positive physical development of the students. A clinic and small auditorium will also be included in construction. Most of the town of Hullo will be preserved for the parkour training unit of the later stages.

The Raider Basic Training Camp will be positioned in and around the village of Fällarna, which will be expanded and improved upon in order to provide realistic urban combat simulations. The training camp will hold barracks, firing ranges, tracks, fields, courses, and other necessary facilities. This area will also be subject to the creation of artificial terrain, such as a swamp, to prepare trainees for combat in all situations. At present, the Raider training doctrine is being reviewed by leading military officials, so parts of the camp's construction will be postponed until that time, meaning that efforts will be focused on the REI.

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  • 2 weeks later...

With Kurland's entrance in the Anglo-German War, government-owned military factories went into high gear, pumping out war materiel at greatly increased rates.

Order for Military Equipment
Artillery: 1,500x L118 Light Gun, 3,000x M270 MLRS, 500x Flakpanzer Gepard, 250x M109 Howitzer, 1,000x FH-77 Howitzer,
IFVs: 5,000x Marders
APCs: 4,000x M113s
Missiles: 1,000x AGM-129, 500x BGM-109G, 20,000x STS missiles[/quote]

Small arms and ammunition stockpiles were to be expanded in anticipation of future use, and a shipment of these weapons, ammo, and artillery and armor from existing reserves and stockpiles were sent by rail from various military bases, through Germania, en route to the German operations base in Frisia, from where they could be easily shipped to Kurlandic troops in England. Food supplies were sent behind the supply train, bound for the same destination. This would be the first of what would become regular rail shipments to the Kurlandic detachment at the German ops base. Meanwhile, the Kurlandic coastal units- those deployed along the main coast, on Ösel, Gotland, and in Kalmar- were reinforced by an extra regiment, and potential defensive strategies were hashed out, just in case.

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  • 2 weeks later...

"Kurlandic peacekeeping forces have begun a complete withdrawal from England, turning over full responsibility for the region's protection to Germania. Humanitarian aid that had been initially intended to alleviate the British people in the aftermath of a British-USI War were reallocated to assist Germanic aid efforts in England. All areas formerly under the protection of Kurlandic troops have been formally turned over to Germania. A Kurlandic presence will be maintained in the Great Yarmouth borough, which will be the location of a Kurlandic military base. The civilian populace will be allowed to keep their property, and will be granted Kurlandic citizenship. The borough will maintain a degree of autonomy and the local government, like in Kalmar and Gotland, will consist entirely of native citizens. The region will be holding elections shortly."

-Foreign Minister Alfbern Landau

The remaining peacekeepers in England were withdrawn and returned to their pre-war deployments, except for the 12th Regiment, 6th Division, which would remain in Great Yarmouth. Generalmajor Tyr Bernat was appointed to oversee the military presence in Yarmouth and ensure the peaceful establishment of a local government.

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