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The Aftermath...


Imperator Azenquor
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[b]***Sygh-Varthys, Vaule***[/b]

Two months after the uprising in the south, the country was finally returning to some semblance of normalcy. Thousands of soldiers deployed to the south of the country, both for the war against Cochin and to defeat the rebel forces, began a slow, phased withdrawal. The military began its careful assessment of the damage to its equipment and infrastructure while the government began its effort to tally the cost of the damage to the civilian infrastructure.

Region by region as the military withdrew, the government announced the lifting of the state of emergency in those provinces and the reconstruction process began. In the south, citizens were busy trying to go about their normal lives, but in the capital, it was far from normal. In the market places and the main squares of the city, the usual crowds of people were much smaller than normal, and the political debates in the open air cafes were almost entirely about the uprising. Most were concerned about what the reaction from the Imperator would be.

Some speculated that he would call for national unity and would push for only General Stepashin to be punished; others felt that he would instead use the opportunity to begin a massive purge of the armed forces. They would not have to wait long to find out:

===


[b][u]VNN News: Tribunal for Southern uprising begins[/b][/u]

[IMG]http://i328.photobucket.com/albums/l358/ImperatorAzenquor/2265679890_3a9d1cd2af_b.jpg[/IMG]
-Supreme Court Building

[i]“In Sygh-Varthys today, the Tribunal for Crimes of Treason (TCT), held its first session. The Tribunal has been formed by the judiciary in order to hear cases against individuals responsible for the recent southern uprising. According to the Tribunal’s mandate, the judges will be able to hear both military and civilian cases and has been given the authority to file warrants against any official regardless of his or her level of immunity.

During the first sitting of the Tribunal, the State Prosecutors filed official charges against General Stepashin, Lt. Anatoly Sforza unit commander of the 1st Sygh-Varthys Military battalion and the remaining 20 soldiers in Lt. Sforza’s unit, all members of the 10th Parachute Regiment, all members of the Stepashin-led National Salvation Council (NSC) and several divisional commanders who led rebellious military units during the uprising. According to the public indictment, all of the above individuals have been charged with acts of treason and undertaking acts of terrorism against the state, charges for which the maximum penalty is death.

The Tribunal also revealed that it will be presenting charges against an additional 2,800 individuals in the next 24 to 48 hours. As a security precaution to prevent attempts to flee the country, the passports of individuals who have been charged but are not yet in custody have been cancelled by the Interior Ministry.

In other news, local police in the East Ingushetia Autonomous Community (EIAC) have arrested five individuals in connection with the bombing of the Church of St. Stephen in Esternaya. According to an initial statement, the G.P.S.R. found forensic evidence during its investigation into the bombings which led them to identify the five suspects who have now been detained. Under the terms of the Prevention of Terrorism Act (East Ingushetia), the five suspects will be brought before a closed-door military court sometime in the next few days. Additionally, the suspects will remain in custody until further notice.

The human rights group Universal Rights, and the Humanitarian Aid Division of the government have expressed the ‘utmost concern’ about the conditions of the detainees and has urged the judiciary to provide ‘unrestricted access’ to those who have been detained.”[/i]-Reporter

===

[b]***Imperial Palace, Sygh-Varthys, Vaule***[/b]
[IMG]http://i328.photobucket.com/albums/l358/ImperatorAzenquor/800px-Palace_of_Parliament-1.jpg[/IMG]

With both the uprising and the war with the Kingdom of Cochin at an end, the Imperator and his staff resumed their day to day activities at the Palace. Despite the damage to the Palace caused during the uprising, the Imperator continued holding meetings in the damaged conference room.

After meeting the Prime Minister and approving his new government, Pyotr sent an urgent message to every clerical official in the Vaulian Orthodox Church.

[quote][b]
To: All Cardinals of the Vaulian Orthodox Church
Fr: The Office of the Imperator
Re: Conclave[/b]

By order of His Most Orthodox Royal Highness Imperator Pyotr, you are hereby summoned to an emergency meeting of the College of Cardinals to be held tomorrow morning at 7:32 a.m. at the Imperial Palace in Sygh-Varthys.

Please note that failure on the part of any Cardinal to attend this emergency conclave shall be deemed to be an abandonment of their clerical duties and responsibilities and shall be dealt with accordingly.
[/quote]

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[b]***Imperial Palace, Sygh-Varthys***[/b]

In a dimly lit conference room in the north wing of the Imperial Palace, Patriarch Alexei sat watching the sunrise. The leader of the Vaulian Orthodox Church watched anxiously as the members of the College of Cardinals filed into the room and took their seats around the conference table. While most of the other Cardinals were calmly making idle chit-chat, Cardinal Fyordorov looked nervously around the room while trying to avoid making eye contact.

After a two hour wait in the conference room, the Imperator entered the room and stood in front of the assembled clergy. Without wasting a moment, the Imperator addressed the Cardinals:

[i]“Gentlemen. As you are aware, the Orthodox Church has served as the official state religious organization of our nation since the 1700s. Over the years, the church has grown and adapted in order to retain its relevance and its position in Vaulian society. The very organization of which you are all members is indicative of this.

Under the existing governing doctrine of the Church, the College has the primary responsibility for approving changes to church doctrine and for granting the divine mandate to the Imperator. These responsibilities are not to be taken lightly and are not to be abused by the College of Cardinals. Such misuse of authority is unforgivable and must be dealt with in order to preserve the authority of the College of Cardinals.

Now to the matter at hand; immediately before General Stepashin’s uprising began, it was this body that approved a resolution calling for my Impeachment. This resolution, based upon the most fanciful of lies, was approved by a majority of you who sit before me now. At no time did you attempt to verify that the information presented to you was factual, instead, a majority of you played your part in a treasonous plot against the state. Your roles in this plot helped to give the traitors a veneer of the legitimacy that they so desperately claimed.

Gentlemen, you have dishonored yourselves and you have dishonored the Church. In light of these circumstances, as a part of my duties as the head of the Church, I must take action to restore honor to the College of Cardinals. After careful consideration, I have decided to permit those of you wishing to do so to resign now.”[/i]-Imperator

The assembled Cardinals quietly murmured to each other, but none of them accepted the offer to resign. Cardinal Fyordorov began sweating profusely. Patriarch Alexei cleared his throat and spoke:

[i]“Your Highness, on behalf of the College of Cardinals, I offer my resignation as Patriarch of the Orthodox Church.”[/i]-Patriarch Alexei

For a moment, the Imperator could not mask his surprise. As the other Cardinals sat silently, the Imperator’s look of surprise morphed into one of visible disgust. Ignoring protocol, Pyotr shouted at the Cardinals:

[i]“You spineless cowards! The Patriarch, who had no part in this, is willing to offer his resignation yet none of you are willing to do so?! Have you no shame!”[/i]-Imperator Pyotr.

As the Cardinals remained stunned, two Imperial bodyguards entered the room and quickly surveyed the situation. The Imperator took a deep breath to calm himself before he addressed the Cardinals again.

[i]“In light of these circumstances I have decided not to accept the resignation of Patriarch Alexei. Instead I have decided to expand the College of Cardinals to include 20 new Cardinals who I will name at a later date. Additionally, I will be removing Cardinal Fyordorov from the College with immediate effect. He will be stripped of all ranks and positions and will be excommunicated from the church.

Good day gentlemen.”[/i]-Imperator

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[b][u]VNN News: Karpov approved as Governor, protests begin in East Ingushetia[/b][/u]


[i]“The Regional Parliament of East Ingushetia today endorsed the appointment of Andrei Karpov as governor of the Autonomous Community in a controversial vote which saw several opposition parties walk out of the chamber to express their disgust. Nonetheless, the vote now confirms Mr. Karpov as the next Regional Governor of East Ingushetia.

According to initial voting predictions, the appointment of Mr. Karpov would likely have been rejected by a margin of 51-49 had all Members of the Regional Parliament (MRPs) been able to cast their votes. However, as soon as the Speaker convened the session of the Parliament, a controversy erupted over three female MRPs from the Islamist bloc who were wearing hijabs inside the Parliament building. It is understood that the Speaker ordered them to remove their headscarves on two occasions. The MRPs refused to comply and were expelled from the chamber by the Speaker before the vote could take place, a move which likely affected the outcome.

In a statement released after the vote, the Islamic Action Front (IAF) [which is officially banned, but whose members run as Independent MRPs] claimed that the decision to expel the three female MRPs from the Parliament was a [b]‘government-backed conspiracy to disenfranchise the people of East Ingushetia’[/b] and that the party will not recognize Mr. Karpov as governor. The Islamic Action Front (IAF) is also said to be contemplating a full withdrawal of all of its party members from government institutions in the province.

The move has also caused outrage among Muslim women in the province who have been continually protesting the hijab ban since its inception three years ago. The group which led those protests, the Islamic Women’s Council (IWC) has called for its supporters to stage peaceful protests across the province against the hijab ban. The Council also confirmed that 84 of the women who were arrested for violating the hijab ban have started a hunger strike to protest against their continued detention.

On the other side of the political spectrum, the Union of Patriotic Right Forces (PRF) regional party chief for East Ingushetia has praised the appointment of Mr. Karpov as [b]‘a correct decision to maintain the territorial integrity of the country against those within who would destroy it’[/b] and has pledged to support the Governor’s agenda for the duration of his term. When asked about the hijab ban, the party chief praised the ban as an important initiative to [b]‘let it clearly be known that this is a Christian nation’[/b]. The regional party chief was also asked to comment on the hunger strike called by the women detained for violating the hijab law. In what will undoubtedly attract harsh criticism, the party chief suggested that [b]‘if they want to starve to death, let ‘em’[/b].

We will continue to monitor these and other stories as they develop. Tomorrow we will join our own Ray Porter who will be attending one of the planned protests in Esternaya Square.”[/i]-Reporter.

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[b]***8:30am Imperial Palace, Sygh-Varthys***[/b]


Natalya Vache, Director of Vaule’s Special Forces unit rushed through the hallways of the Imperial Palace with a determined look on her face. She made her way through several corridors until she arrived at the Imperator’s office. She paused for a moment to straighten her epaulets before knocking on the door and entering.

Inside the Imperator’s office, Vache was surprised to find only Prime Minister Svatek who was busy looking through a mountain of files. Vache simply stood at attention in front of the Imperator’s desk and waited patiently for his arrival. The Prime Minister occasionally glanced up from his files and looked at her, but he still did not acknowledge her presence.

After a ten minute long wait, the door swung open and the Imperator entered the room. Without missing a beat, Lady Vache saluted and said:

[i]“Your Majesty. Natalya Vache reporting as requested.”[/i]-Vache

Pyotr nodded before taking his seat and inviting Vache to do the same. Prime Minister Svatek also curtly greeted the Imperator, making a point of continuing to ignore Lady Vache.

The Imperator handed a dossier to Lady Vache, then waited for her to skim through it. After a few minutes and a tense silence, Pyotr spoke:

[i]“Lady Vache, you have served the Vaulian military with distinction over the past 15 years. This service has not gone unnoticed by my office. Your work as the head of the now defunct intelligence agency SWoRD was nothing short of excellent.”[/i]-Pyotr

[i]“Thank you, your Majesty. It has been a privilege to serve thus far.”[/i]-Vache

[i]“In light of the recent military coup attempt, I’ve decided that this nation needs a stronger intelligence unit; a unit that has the authority to identify and eliminate all external and internal threats and can remain outside of the normal military and political command structure.

A unit that will not have to rely upon the judiciary to issue warrants in a timely fashion. After careful consideration, I have formulated a policy to create and fund this new intelligence unit. I would like to offer you the position as the leader of this new unit. You are under no obligation to accept, however if you decide to do so, I would be extremely grateful.”[/i]-Pyotr

Without even a moment of hesitation, Lady Vache replied:

[i]“I gladly accept your gracious offer and I am willing to assume my new post as soon as it is possible to do so.”[/i]-Vache.

Pyotr smiled for a moment before standing up and replying:

[i]“Excellent. I’ll be in touch with you shortly to work out the specifics of your new appointment.”[/i]-Pyotr

In a swift movement that would make even the most seasoned drill instructor jealous, Lady Vache saluted the Imperator, bowing slightly, before turning towards the Prime Minister and glaring at him. In a very low voice she said:

[i]“Goodbye you commie !@#$%^&!”[/i]-Vache

Before the Prime Minister could even think of a reply, Vache opened the door and left the room. Visibly angry, Prime Minister Svatek turned towards the Imperator and asked:

[i]“With all due respect, are you sure she is the right person to put in charge of a new intelligence unit, especially one that will have such far reaching powers?”[/i]-Svatek

[i]“Of course. She’s efficient, ruthless and a master tactician. Her service record is absolutely extraordinary. And most importantly I know where her loyalty lies.”[/i]-Pyotr

Prime Minister Svatek nodded then asked the question that had been on his mind since the entire meeting began:

[i]“How will I be able to present legislation to Parliament that will essentially create a massive new intelligence organization that will be above the law and that will only be accountable to itself?”[/i]-Svatek

The Imperator shrugged, then said:

[i]“You're the politician Bryon. Figure it out or I'll replace you with someone who will.”[/i]-Pyotr

Prime Minister Svatek simply replied:

[i]“Fair enough.”[/i]


[b]***9:02am, Office of the Prime Minister, Sygh-Varthys, Vaule***[/b]

As soon as Prime Minister Svatek walked into his office, he found a large envelope with the Imperial Seal waiting on his desk. He quickly opened it and found the draft text for the bill:


[quote][b]Improving National Defense Capability for the 21st Century Battlefield[/b]

To strengthen the defenses of the Serene Republic of Vaule against the external and internal threats which they face on a daily basis, this legislation hereby establishes the Imperial Magesterium Council, hereafter referred to as the Magesterium.

The Magesterium shall be tasked with the identification and elimination of any and all national security threats seeking to damage or undermine the Serene Republic of Vaule.

The Director of the Magesterium shall be appointed by decree of the Imperator after preliminary consultations with the Prime Minister of the Serene Republic.

The Officers of the Magesterium, hereafter referred to as agents, shall be appointed by the Director and may be dismissed at his/her discretion.

The Agents of the Magesterium shall exercise their duties within the sovereign territory of the Serene Republic only. [Such territory includes any Embassy of the Serene Republic established anywhere in the world]

[The Director of the Magesterium and any agent or party acting on behalf of Magesterium shall not, under any circumstances, be under the jurisdiction of or be answerable to any judicial or legislative body of the Serene Republic.]

The Magesterium shall be funded by a fixed Parliamentary budgetary allocation whose specific amount shall remain classified. [Additional funding will also be allocated from the national military budget as needed]
[/quote]

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[b][u]VNN News: First cases completed by Tribunal[/b][/u]


[i]“After several weeks, the Tribunal for Crimes of Treason (TCT) has announced that it has completed the first batch of hearings related to the uprising and attempted military coup d’état against the government. According to a progress report filed by the TCT, its group of 70 judges have overseen the first round of trials and have reached verdicts in these high-profile cases. The Tribunal has officially communicated these verdicts to the legal counsel for the defendants and, after doing so has released a basic summary to the public.

It is understood that based on information obtained by State Prosecutors during these trials, the Tribunal will be issuing additional arrest warrants for 32 individuals who are linked to the coup attempt and will be issuing judicial summons for a further 21 individuals who are believed to have information which may be relevant to other cases to come before the TCT. Naturally, the names of these individuals will not be revealed to the public in order to safeguard their security and anonymity.

Of the first 70 cases before the Tribunal, it is understood that 50 defendants have filed appeals to their verdicts which, if approved, will lead to a re-trial of their case before another judge affiliated with the Tribunal. The remaining 20 defendants have, we understand, decided not to appeal the rulings against them. This means that 20 new cases will be brought before the Tribunal as early as tomorrow morning.

In other news, the Vaulian Humanitarian Aid Division and an unnamed independent Human Rights Organization (HRO) who have been granted permission to observe the Tribunal and its proceedings issued their first joint report today. In it, the two HROs acknowledge that due judicial process is being followed, but expressed concerns that the backlog of cases are resulting in individuals being held in custody for prolonged periods of time without being able to have their day in court. The HROs have also urged the Tribunal to allow them increased access to detainees to ensure that their rights are being respected. The Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, who is also Chairman of the TCT acknowledged receiving the report and revealed that he has issued instructions to address the HRO’s concerns. The Chief Justice has also raised the possibility of allowing an international observer to work alongside the HROs as well.

That is all we have to report at the moment. We will continue to watch these and other stories as they develop. I am Ray Porter reporting, for VNN News.”[/i]-Reporter


[quote] [b][u]Summary of Verdicts of the TCT[/b][/u]

Lt. Anatoly Sforza –(Treason: Guilty, Conspiring to overthrow the government: Guilty, Killing non-combatants in a combat zone: Not Guilty) Sentence: Death (under appeal)

Sr. Gen. Anatoly Morgunov- (Treason: Not Guilty, Breaching the Armed Forces Code of Conduct: Guilty, Conspiracy to overthrow the government: Guilty, Abuse of Power: Guilty) Sentence: Death (under appeal)

Gen. Bayar Khan – (Treason: Not Guilty, Breaching the Armed Forces Code of Conduct: Guilty, Conspiracy to overthrow the government: Guilty, Abuse of Power: Guilty) Sentence: Death (under appeal)

Cardinal Fyordorov- (Treason: Not Guilty, Conspiracy to overthrow the government: Guilty, Abuse of Power: Guilty) Sentence: 35 years imprisonment (under appeal)

20 unnamed soldiers in Lt. Sforza’s unit – (Treason: Not Guilty, Conspiracy to overthrow the government: Not Guilty, Breaching the Armed Forces Code of Conduct: Guilty) Sentence: Expulsion from Armed Forces, 3 year imprisonment.

Yekaterina Andropov – (Conspiracy to overthrow the government: Not Guilty, Providing support to armed rebels: Not Guilty) Sentence: n/a, released and compensated for time served.

Xenia Sharapov – (Treason: Not Guilty, Conspiring to overthrow the government: Guilty) Sentence: 20 years imprisonment (under appeal)

Radislav Liu – (Treason: Not Guilty, Conspiring to overthrow the government: Guilty) Sentence: 20 years imprisonment

(*At this time, we at VNN have only obtained information regarding the first 27 cases)

[/quote]

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[b]***Parliament Building, Sygh-Varthys, Vaule***[/b]


With the government’s new budget signed into law, there was a flurry of activity in Parliament. Officials rushed through the halls of Parliament, delivering memos and crunching the numbers for the new budget. Civilian, military and Crown officials could be spotted in nearly every hallway and office.

Amidst the chaos, Lady Vache blended in perfectly with the crowds of people. She politely pushed her way past several politicians and military officials as she headed towards the Defense Minister’s office at the other end of the hallway. A few of the military officials recognized her, but did not think it strange that she was there.

As she finally makes it to the door, she does a quick scan of the crowd, then disappears into the office, locking the door behind her.



[b]***Office of Maxim Mikhailov, Defense Minister***[/b]


Maxim Mikhailov stood waiting in his office as Lady Vache walked in. He smiled as she quickly locked the door before turning to face him and saluting.

[i]“Senior General Natalya Fyordorovna Vache, reporting for budgetary consultations”[/i]-Vache

[i]“Of course Lady Vache. Which defense budget allocation are you interested in?”[/i]-Mikhailov

[i]“I’m interested in the unallocated portion of the military budget. Particularly the money that the Defense Ministry will save after cancelling the other two next gen fighter projects”[/i]-Vache

Mikhailov looked surprised for a moment, and ruffled through the stack of papers in front of him. He looked back up at Lady Vache with a raised eyebrow and replied:

[i]“With all due respect Lady Vache, how exactly is it that you found out the other two next gen programs were cancelled? That isn’t exactly public knowledge. As a matter of fact, the only people who are supposed to be aware of the cancellation are myself and the PM.”[/i]-Mikhailov

[i]“With all due respect Mr. Mikhailov, my department makes it our solemn duty to ensure that we know the goings on of His Most Orthodox Royal Highness’ government. Now, as for the budget…”[/i]-Vache

[i]“Let’s cut to the chase. How much of the unallocated funds will you need for this new project of yours?”[/i]-Mikhailov

Lady Vache looked put off for a second, before recovering her usual blank expression. She smirked for a moment and glanced at the papers in front of the Defense Minister before breaking the silence:

[i]“All of it”[/i]-Vache

[i]“All of what?”[/i]-Mikhailov

[i]“The unallocated funds from the military budget.”[/i]-Vache

[i]“All of it?! That’s almost B$3 billion. To be spent on a project that I’m not even allowed to see the specifics of.”[/i]-Mikhailov

[i]“Of course. It is a project that has been deemed important to the National Security of the nation. A project that has been approved by individuals who have much more authority than yourself. I assure you that my office will keep you as informed as we are able to do so.”[/i]-Vache

Mikhailov nodded and pulled out a piece of Defense Ministry stationery. He quickly wrote ‘Release 3bn to holder of note, off-record.’ He added his signature and turned over the note to Lady Vache.


[b]***Abandoned Office Building, Zhukovgrad***[/b]

On the outskirts of the city of Zhukovgrad, in the former industry zone, the effect of the recession was there for all to see. Several buildings that once housed office blocks and corporations lay abandoned and decaying. Suddenly, hundreds of construction workers flooded into the area carrying tools and equipment with them. They quickly put up signs in front of three of the abandoned buildings before erecting barriers to keep the construction zones out of sight. Each sign simply said:

“Vaule Infrastructure Development Company (VIDC) Urban renewal project: Coming soon: Imperial Waste Management Systems”

Once the signs and barriers were in place, several truckloads of equipment arrived at each of the sites. The head of the construction team glanced at his watch, before opening an envelope marked ‘Classified: State Secret’. Inside was a single page list:

[quote][b]Work Order for *classified*[/b]

-Conduct structural repairs to the identified buildings
-Replace regular glass window panels with bulletproof variant
-Remove existing telephone and electrical wiring
-Install high-security telephone and fax communication lines
-Install provided fiber optic cables alongside a secure internal network
-Rooms #8, 12, 32, 86 and 91 are to be sound-proofed
-Structural changes to basement to accommodate military grade bunker & fallout shelter
-Large telecoms networking room to support *classified*
-Independent electricity, water and heat systems

Note: All correspondence re project should be directed to Imperial Waste Management Systems[/quote]

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[b]VNN News: PRF introduces ‘One true faith’ legislation, Tribunal completes initial appeals[/b]


[i]“The Parliament has started debating a controversial piece of new legislation introduced by Rinald Kanič , the leader of the Union of Patriotic Right Forces (PRF). This legislation, titled the ‘One True Faith’ Act, was presented to the Parliament for debate and review this morning. Under the terms of the proposed legislation, all non-Orthodox Christian denominations which operate or are seeking to operate in the Serene Republic will not be recognized as religions by the state. Accordingly, these religious organizations will have significant restrictions placed upon their activities and would not be able to obtain the tax-exempt status and benefits currently afforded to state recognized religions.

In his presentation to the Parliament, Mr. Kanič sought to outline the reasons for the controversial new law. He sought to allay fears that the law would result in persecution of other Christian denominations stating that ‘the state has not placed any firm restrictions in place to prohibit the practicing of any non-Orthodox Christian faith’ and reiterating that his legislation is ‘not a ban on religion’. In what was widely viewed as a reference to Catholicism, Mr. Kanič suggested that the state reserved the right to ensure that ‘those religious organizations whose members owe their allegiances to foreign powers’ are not granted the same state sanctioned benefits as those religions that are ‘indigenous’ to the Serene Republic.

He continued by stating that ‘it is an undisputable fact that the Serene Republic of Vaule was, is, and will remain a Vaulian Orthodox nation’. The Orthodox faith is therefore, according to Mr. Kanič, the official Christian religion of the Serene Republic. This, he reiterated, is evidenced by the fact that the nation’s head of state is required to be a member of the Vaulian Orthodox Church and that citizens of the Serene Republic swear an oath to the Imperator as the religious and political leader of the nation.

The governing Party for Social Justice (PSJ), has expressed some concerns about the initial draft of the proposed law, but has suggested a willingness to support the law if revisions are made to ensure that the law does not undermine the ability of the Serene Republic’s citizens to worship freely. In his response, Prime Minister Svatek suggested that while the government has in the past used its authority to ban the practice of certain religions in the Serene Republic, he would not be in favor of the use of this authority against all non-Orthodox Christian churches. The Prime Minister conceded that there were almost no adherents of non-Orthodox Christian faiths residing in the country, but expressed concern that, if not drafted properly, the proposed law could be used to prevent other Christian churches from being set up in the future.

The PRF has received surprise support in its initiative by the College of Cardinals of the Vaulian Orthodox Church. In a statement released a few minutes ago, the College echoed the sentiment that Vaule is ‘by its very nature an Orthodox Christian nation’ and that this nature ‘should be preserved’. The statement also added that ‘there should, nonetheless, be spaces to permit other Christian religions to practice in, even if they are not recognized as being official’.

The Parliament will continue debating and redrafting the ‘One True Faith’ act tomorrow and will likely call a vote on the proposed legislation sometime in the next few days.

In other news, the Tribunal has rendered secondary verdicts in three high-profile appeal cases brought before them. According to an official statement from the Tribunal, the initial guilty verdicts against Anatoly Morgunov, Bayar Khan, and Anatoly Sforza have been upheld by the courts. The case against Cardinal Fyordorov, who was sentenced to 35 years in prison for his part in the uprising, was also upheld by the Tribunal. The sentences are expected to be carried out shortly. That is all the news we have for now. Thank you for joining us here on VNN.”[/i]-Reporter

[b]***News credits roll***[/b]

Two minutes after the credits, a message written in white letters on a black background appears on screen:

[i]Warning: The following broadcast is rated R due to extremely graphical content. Those under the age of 21, or who are of weak constitutions are strongly urged not to watch any further.[/i]

A voice is heard reading out the list of charges against Sr. General Anatoly Morgunov. As soon as the voice finishes reading out the charges, Morgunov is brought into view wearing his military uniform with the rank epaulettes removed. The voice is heard again:

[i]“Mr. Anatoly Morgunov, you have been sentenced to death for your crimes against the state and the dishonor you have brought upon the Armed Forces of the Serene Republic. Do you have any last words, sir?”[/i]-???

Looking directly ahead with a resolute look on his face, Morgunov simply replied:

[i]“No. I do not. History will vindicate me.”[/i]-Morgunov

A firing squad, whose faces are blurred, steps into view. They aim their rifles squarely at Morgunov. As soon as the command to fire is given, the screen goes black as the sound of several gunshots breaks the silence. When the picture returns, the former General has been placed into a body bag and taken away.

Two minutes later, the same voice begins reading out a new list of charges, this time against Bayar Khan. The former General is, like his predecessor, brought into view wearing his military uniform. When asked if he has any last words, the former General simply replied in a booming voice:

[i]“There is no God but Allah! And Muhammad is His messenger!”[/i]-Khan

Again, the screen goes black and the sound of gunfire is heard. When the picture returns, two Imams have, after placing the body in a body bag, removed the body to conduct the appropriate Islamic burial traditions.

The execution of Lt. Sforza follows an almost identical pattern to the previous two executions.

Once all three executions are completed, the regular VNN programming schedule resumes.

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[b][u]VNN News: ‘One true faith’ legislation stalls, record number of executions[/b][/u]


[i]“In Parliament today, the controversial ‘One true faith’ legislation which was introduced by the Union of Patriotic Right Forces (PRF) faced its first roadblock. In the second debate on the bill, a number of MPs voiced reservations about its content and urged the PRF to redraft the bill in order to obtain their support. According to an anonymous source in Parliament, the PRF has quietly agreed to rework some of the language of the legislation in order to gain additional support and has postponed voting on the bill until further notice.

During the Parliamentary session, the leader of the PRF cited the election of Pope Celestine VI as ‘evidence that the true faith is under attack’ and urged his colleagues to ‘defend the true faith from those who would destroy it’. Another MP from the Union of Patriotic Forces (PRF) proposed that the legislation be amended to ‘withdraw citizenship from any individual who gives allegiance to a foreign power’.

In other news, the non-governmental National Statistics Institute published a report on the death penalty in the Serene Republic. According to the NSI report, in the last four months, the government of the Serene Republic of Vaule has executed a total of 23,942 individuals for a range of crimes from murder and terrorism to treason and sedition. The vast majority of individuals who were executed were convicted of crimes related to the last uprising. According to the statistics, the three month total is a record high.

The revelation has sparked a public debate about the frequent use of the death penalty. On average, the Serene Republic of Vaule executes approximately 5,200 people each year. Human Rights Organizations have voiced their opposition to the death penalty and have urged the government to cease further executions immediately. In response to the criticism, the Speaker of Parliament has announced that the Parliament will debate ending the practice, but that it was ‘extremely unlikely’ that the death penalty would be outlawed in its entirety.”[/i]-Reporter

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[b][u]VNN News: Orthodox Bishop condemns Pope, supports ‘One True Faith’ act[/b][/u]


[i]“In a controversial public speech, the Bishop of the city of Esternaya (in East Ingushetia) waded into the controversy over the proposed One True Faith law being debated in Parliament. Bishop Anatoly Gaznayev expressed his enthusiastic support for the proposed legislation and urged the Parliament to [b]‘strengthen, rather than weaken’[/b] the proposed legislation. He also denounced the attempts to redraft the legislation in the Parliament as being neither constructive nor in the national interest.

The Bishop also urged the leadership of the Union of Patriotic Right Forces (PRF) to [b]‘stand firm in defense of the faith’[/b] and not to be [b]‘drawn to make unnecessary compromises in the interest of political expediency’[/b] during the legislative process. He also sought to downplay some of the domestic criticism of the legislation by suggesting that much of the criticism is misplaced. Bishop Gaznayev also supported the notion of the Serene Republic of Vaule as ‘a predominantly Orthodox Christian nation’ and that the character of the nation is under threat from the spread of other ‘non-Orthodox Christian groups’.

In closing, the Bishop called on the Parliament to [b]‘increase the transparency around the issue’[/b] by publishing the draft text of the One True Faith act so that it can be subjected to national review and debate outside of the Parliament. This, he suggested, would cause much of the criticism of the legislation to be disproven and would end the [b]‘malicious rumor mongering’[/b] regarding the bill’s contents.

Before leaving the podium, the Bishop could not resist taking a parting shot at the newly enthroned Catholic Pope Celestine VI. Bishop Gaznayev suggested that the new Pope is [b]‘nothing more than a pathetic fraud being used to prop up the decrepit and rotting ruins of the Catholic Church’[/b]. He also suggested that he did not consider Pope Celestine to be [b]‘any kind of Christian’[/b] and [b]‘sincerely’[/b] hoped that he would [b]‘turn from the evils of his false Church before being judged by the Almighty’[/b].

Though it is not customary for religious officials to publically wade into politics and political debates, the Office of the Patriarch of the Orthodox Church is quietly distancing itself from the Bishop’s comments and is expected to release a statement shortly after a meeting by the College of Cardinals and the Holy Council. The Parliament will also continue debating the bill in its next session tomorrow.”[/i]-Reporter

Edited by Imperator Azenquor
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[b][u]VNN News: Ingush Regional Parliament suspended, FLE threatens ‘jihad’[/b][/u]


[i]“The Regional Parliament of the East Ingushetia Autonomous Community (EIAC) was temporarily suspended this afternoon after a heated debate ended in violence between MRPs (MRP = Member of the Regional Parliament). According to the Speaker of the Regional Parliament, the decision was taken to suspend the Parliament for 48 hours to allow the Judiciary Committee of Parliament to take punitive action against the MRPs who acted contrary to Parliamentary procedures.

The trouble started during an address by the controversial Regional Governor Andrei Karpov on the status of the reconstruction process in the province. Governor Karpov’s speech was interrupted by a female MRP from the Islamic Action Front (IAF). The unidentified MRP staged a loud protest against the ban on the Islamic headscarf in the province, and refused to return to her seat after being warned by the Speaker. It is then understood that Governor Karpov noticed that the MRP in question was wearing a hijab, in violation of Parliamentary rules. Governor Karpov insisted that the MRP remove her hijab, which she refused to do. The Governor then insisted that the MRP in question be ejected from the Parliament and charged for violating the law.

At this point, several MRPs from the Islamic Action Front (IAF) hurled abuse at the Governor and swarmed around the female MRP in an attempt to prevent her removal from the chamber. The Speaker attempted to bring the chamber to order, and ordered the female MRP to leave the chamber. Again, the MRP refused to comply. Parliamentary security entered the chamber and attempted to forcibly remove the MRP. A scuffle ensued after which 5 IAF MRPs, including the unnamed female MRP, were arrested.

In other news, the Front for the Liberation of East Ingushetia (FLE), an organization of several militant separatist forces, issued a declaration threatening a ‘jihad’ against the government of the Serene Republic of Vaule if East Ingushetia is not granted ‘irreversible and total independence’. According to the statement, the militant group is threatening ‘a campaign of terror’ against government forces in the province. The group has called on the government to withdraw all forces from the province and to dissolve the regional government ‘immediately’.

The Office of the Prime Minister is expected to issue a response to the ultimatum in the next few hours. It is widely expected that the ultimatum will be resoundingly rejected and that security precautions in the province will be increased over the next few days. Military analysts believe that while the operational capability of the separatists in the province has been significantly damaged by government security operations, the militant group remains a threat in small areas of the province. It is not believed that the group is capable of a sustained or widespread campaign, but may attempt to exploit local level security weaknesses. Some political and security analysts believe that this latest ultimatum from the militant group is likely an attempt by the group to remain relevant or an attempt to derail a planned visit to the province by His Orthodox Royal Highness the Imperator.

The Chief of the Guardians of the Peace of the Serene Republic (G.P.S.R.) in East Ingushetia has asked citizens to be extraordinarily cautious and to report any unusual activity to the authorities. We will continue to watch this situation and we will have teams of reporters on the ground in the province in the next few hours. This is Ray Porter, for VNN News."[/i]-R.Porter

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  • 2 weeks later...

[b][u]VNN News: Govt under pressure over economy, OTF legislation amended[/b][/u]


[i]“The government of Prime Minister Svatek is facing mounting criticism over its handling of the national economy. Despite significant cuts in government spending, and a new government employment program, unemployment continued to rise for the sixth straight quarter. According to the official report from the Central Bank of the Serene Republic, the Buryatian Ruble lost 2.1% of its value against the three regularly traded international currencies. At the close of currency trading today, Buryatian Ruble was trading for (Marscurian Dollars) M$28.12 per Ruble, a new record.

Amidst the gloomy economic news, the government was able to meet the debt reduction targets for this quarter and to reduce the overall budget deficit by 9%. If the government wishes to remain on track with its current debt reduction plans, the Finance Ministry will have to oversee an additional B$92 billion of budget cuts over the next five months.

With the economic depression continuing, and the economic recovery sluggish, the Prime Minister and his government are facing harsh criticism from the public. Evidence is also emerging that the Party for Social Justice (PSJ) is also losing support among its unionized worker base, a factor that could very well cost the party the next election. As more workers lose their jobs, more and more anger will be directed towards the government and its economic programs.

In other news, the controversial One True Faith legislation has been further delayed as several parties attempt to amend the proposed law. Several amendments proposed by the governing PSJ to limit the scope of the new law were vigorously rejected by other parties in Parliament. The Union of Patriotic Right Forces (PRF), who introduced the legislation, drew fire from opposition groups after approving an amendment to the law. According to the new amendment the state would no longer recognize marriages that are conducted by members of the Catholic clergy as either civil or religious unions. Under the proposed amendment, all marriages performed by the Catholic Church in the last two years would be declared null and void unless the affected individuals obtain a civil marriage certificate.

If approved in its current form, the legislation would impact everything from tax returns to inheritance and property ownership. Despite adding the new amendment, the PRF has acknowledged that it does not yet have sufficient support to bring the One True Faith act to a vote in Parliament. However the PRF leadership is confident that sufficient compromises will be made to allow passage of the bill.”[/i]-Reporter

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[b][u]VNN News: Full text of the One True Faith act revealed[/b][/u]


[i]“After several days of arduous negotiations with other political parties in the Parliament, the Union of Patriotic Right Forces (PRF) has announced that it has sufficient support to pass the controversial One True Faith act as early as tomorrow morning. According to a senior PRF spokesman, the party agreed to several last minute amendments to the act in order to win the support of the New Nationalist Front (NNF) and the Christian Democrats. The spokesperson also suggested that members of the Slavic Unity Party (SUP) would likely abstain during the vote tomorrow.

Despite the Party for Social Justice (PSJ) holding the majority of the seats in the Parliament, it appears that the party is deeply divided about the One True Faith act, especially since the act has been watered down significantly. These divisions could damage the government of Prime Minister Svatek if his MPs defy his government’s rejection of the proposed legislation. Our sources in Parliament have also revealed that an identical version of the legislation has been introduced in the Senate where the governing PSJ holds only 32 of the 100 seats.

A group of PRF MPs who support the proposed legislation cited the recent situation in the Vatican City as further evidence of the need of such legislation. With the votes scheduled to be held at 2:00 pm tomorrow afternoon, it appears that the entire debate over the controversial bill is reaching its conclusion.

This is Ray Porter, reporting live from Parliament.”[/i]-R. Porter

[quote][b][u]The One True Faith Act (in defense of Orthodoxy)[/b][/u]

[u]Introduction[/u]
Recognizing the historic nature of the Orthodox Church as the official and predominant religion of the Serene Republic of Vaule, and the undisputable fact that His Most Orthodox Royal Highness Imperator Pyotr is the head of the Vaulian Orthodox Church, we the representatives of the people of Vaule declare our intention to defend Orthodox Christianity in our nation.

[u]Indigenous religions[/u]
This act hereby defines an ‘indigenous religion’ as any recognized religion which has existed in the Serene Republic of Vaule for at least twenty-five years. Pursuant to this definition, this act hereby establishes the following as the recognized indigenous religions of the Serene Republic:

-Vaulian Orthodox Christianity
-Sunni Islam
-Buddhism
-Shamanism

[u]Non-indigenous, recognized religions[/u]
This act hereby defines a ‘non-indigenous, recognized religion’ as any religion which is not native to the Serene Republic of Vaule, but which is recognized by the government fo the Serene Republic of Vaule as being a religion or a religious organization.

[u]Unrecognized, non-indigenous religions[/u]
This act hereby defines a ‘non-indigenous, unrecognized religion’ as any group, cult, organization or so-called religion which is not native to the Serene Republic of Vaule, is not recognized as a religion by the Serene Republic of Vaule, or promotes ideals which are contrary to the Constitution of the Serene Republic of Vaule.

This act establishes Roman Catholicism and Scientology to be un-recognized and non-indigenous religions.

[u]Limitations on non-indigenous religions[/u]

Religious organizations which are ruled to be non-indigenous, but which are recognized by the Serene Republic of Vaule are permitted to obtain the tax exempt status which is normally granted to religious organizations and are permitted to recruit, fundraise and operate as they normally would. Such religions however are strictly prohibited from involving themselves in politics and are prohibited from providing financial support to any individual who is standing for public office.

Religious organizations which are ruled to be non-indigenous and are not recognized by the Serene Republic of Vaule are not allowed to hold tax exempt status and are classified as businesses for tax purposes. Such organizations are prohibited from actively recruiting members to their cause and are prohibited from providing funding to individuals standing for public office.

Any Cult or religious organization whose members are required to swear any form of allegiance to a foreign leader or individual are automatically classified as non-recognized religions. Members of such organizations may, upon the discretion of the relevant judicial authorities, face charges of treason.

[u]Marriage Laws (Civil and Religious)[/u]

As established in the Marriage Act, any marriage ceremony that is conducted by a religious official from a recognized religion is also considered to be a legal civil marriage in the eyes of the state. On the other hand, any marriage ceremony that is conducted by a religious official from an unrecognized religion shall not be considered a legal civil marriage unless a separate civil marriage ceremony is held and an appropriate civil marriage certificate is granted.
[/quote]

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[b][u]VNN News: One True Faith act rejected by Parliament, Ruble falls [/b][/u]


[i]“After a battle that lasted several weeks, the extremely controversial One True Faith act was rejected in an unprecedented dual-vote in both the Parliament and the Senate this morning. The bill, which was introduced by the Union of Patriotic Right Forces (PRF) failed to obtain the much-touted support of centrist MPs of the governing Party for Social Justice (PSJ), or many of the other Opposition parties in Parliament. While support from the New Nationalist Front (NNF) and the Christian Democrats was initially a by-gone conclusion, there appears to have been a sudden reversal of these parties’ positions in the last 24 hours.

We understand that minutes before the scheduled vote, Minister of Religious Affairs, Father Yuri Morgunov circulated an open letter to his fellow Members of Parliament urging them to reject the One True Faith act. His impassioned plea urged his comrades to remember the religious oppression of the Soviet Union and not to ‘intrude upon religious freedoms’. The letter from Father Morgunov also carried an additional significance as he was one of the few openly anti-Soviet members of the Vaulian Orthodox church during the Communist period, and he authored twelve books on the role of religion in politics.

The letter appeared to have a dramatic effect as, when the vote was called moments later, several MPs who had previously supported the legislation changed their positions and sided with the government. Without the support of all of the other Opposition parties in Parliament, the One True Faith act had no chance.

In other news, another dismal day at the stock exchange as the bench-mark Vaulian Standard Industrial Index (VSII) lost 312 points to close at a new low of 10,492.44 points. In currency trading, the Vauleyo-Buryatian Ruble fell against the Marscurian dollar to a new value of B$1.00 to M$27.15. The currency slid amidst rumors that the Vaulian Central Bank is preparing to devalue the Vauleyo-Buryatian Ruble, or to eliminate the Ruble entirely.

In response to further poor economic performance, the Finance Minister is expected to reveal the government’s additional spending cuts and new medium term economic goals as the Finance Ministry re-evaluates our nation’s economic direction. The Finance Minister can expect a hostile reception in Parliament given the continued soaring unemployment and the ongoing strike action in some sectors.

We will continue following these and other news stories. This is Ray Porter reporting, for VNN News.”[/i]-R.Porter

[quote][b]Open letter from Father Morgunov[/b]

Colleagues,

As we debate this proposed change to our nation’s fundamental religious rights and freedoms, I am shocked and extremely appalled at your lack of profound outrage. Our entire debate has focused primarily upon the incompatibility of the proposed legislation with our Constitution, but should we not also be discussing the moral implications of what is proposed?

I believe that our nation stands at a moral crossroads. We must decide between the current status quo or legislation that shores up the Orthodox Church at the expense of all other faiths. The legislation before us is not aimed at defending the Vaulian Orthodox Church. This cowardly bill attacks the Roman Catholic Church directly and is only cloaked in a thin veneer of impartiality.

To those who support this legislation, I respect your right to do so but I believe that it is dishonorable to veil this obvious attack on one particular religious group as defending another. It can not and must not happen.

For the entirety of my adult life I have been an unapologetic member of the Vaulian Orthodox Church. I, like many of us here, can vividly remember the religious restrictions imposed upon our nation under the Soviet Union. I remember when religion was declared to be contrary to the principles of Socialism. I also recall that the government of the VSSR labeled religion as an obstacle to progress and singled out the clergy for oppression.

In my lifetime, thanks to the sacrifice of many, we have forged our own nation in which an individual is free to worship as he so chooses. We have created a system were religious restrictions are only based upon that which is incompatible with society. Now I am shocked to witness this colossal step backwards. For the first time in several decades, the Parliament which is duty bound to uphold the rights of all citizens, is considering legislation that is a clear attack on members of one religious group. The size of this group is irrelevant, but the motivations behind this legislation are not. The fact that this One True Faith act was not immediately thrown aside by the members of this chamber is a tragic indication of the extent to which this chamber has fallen.

If indeed this act is approved, and the power to determine which religions are legitimate and which are not will rest solely at the whim of a Committee of government, where does this slide stop? What is there to prevent this Committee from deciding one day in the near future that Islam is not a recognized religion? What is there to prevent this Committee from deciding that Atheism is the only true religious belief? The solution is painfully obvious. Except in cases where such decisions need to be made in the defense of the security of the state, recognition of a religion should not rest simply with a legislative Committee.

I urge you to choose the moral position when you are asked to vote your conscience. I urge you to carefully analyze this legislation and not to be fooled by its language and its technicalities. I am certain that my decision will be based upon my fundamental morals and principles, will yours?

Lastly, I wish to inform the Speaker of Parliament and the Prime Minister that, should this legislation be enacted into law, I would be forced to tender my immediate resignation from the Parliament and from my position as the Minister of Religious Affairs. If indeed this legislature is willing to approve such an act, then it is no better than its Soviet predecessor and I will not insult my person by remaining a member thereof.

I pray that you will act as you have sworn to act, and to protect the rights of all of our citizens.

Y. Morgunov[/quote]

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[b][u]VNN News: Unemployment reaches new high, gov’t considers early election[/b][/u]


[i]“For many people facing the difficult task of finding and keeping a job in the current tough economy, today’s news from the Ministry of Finance makes the situation seem that much more gloomy. In a short statement to the press, Finance Minister Sharapova revealed that unemployment has again risen to a new high of 19.7% as the government continues its fiscal adjustment programs and slashes spending on social programs. In her statement Dr. Sharapova conceded that the unemployment rate is forecast to continue to rise over the next 6 to 12 months, but suggested that the overall health and stability of the economy would improve in the short and medium term.

The Finance Minister also announced that the government will present the new budget for the next fiscal year in the next few days. The new budget is widely expected to contain further cuts to the Education, Healthcare and State salaries as the government aims to significantly reduce the national debt. The budget will also include further cuts to unemployment benefits and Social security payments and a massive reorganization of the national healthcare system.

As the budget will likely face significant opposition both from the parliament and from the national public, sources close to the Prime Minister have suggested that the government is considering the prospect of an early legislative election in order to sure up support for the austerity budget. This, the government suggests, may address their declining approval ratings and may take advantage of the relative disarray of several major opposition parties.”[/i]-Reporter

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[b][u]VNN News: East Ingushetia Autonomous Community restricts secessionist rhetoric[/b][/u]


[i]“The Regional Parliament of the East Ingushetia Autonomous Community (EIAC) has approved new legislation which prohibits what the Parliament refers to as ‘secessionist rhetoric or statements’ and ‘incitements to violence’ by any individual, political group or organization. Under the new legislation, individuals who have breached the new law are liable to face up to 3 years imprisonment for doing so. The bill was approved by an overwhelming majority of the regional legislature and was immediately signed into law by Governor Karpov. The law was vehemently opposed by 3 Independent MPs who are nominally allied to the banned Islamic Action Front (IAF).

In other news, the Governor of East Ingushetia introduced legislation in the Regional Parliament aimed at entrenching the province’s ban on the headscarf into the Regional Charter. If this proposal is approved by a two-thirds majority of the Regional Parliament, the hijab ban would become a fundamental law of the East Ingushetia Autonomous Community and would require a 2/3 majority of the Parliament to agree to revisit the law. This move came as the Islamic Action Front (IAF) began a renewed campaign to overturn the ban. This campaign is being countered by a heavily financed campaign led by the Vaulian National Front (VNF).

Tomorrow afternoon, voters across the Autonomous Community will be called upon to elect the 50 members of the next Regional Parliament. While previous elections have resulted in overwhelming VNF victories, this election is likely to be a more competitive contest after a landmark court ruling that paves the way for moderate, pro-separatist MPs to stand for election under the newly created Ingush Liberal Party (ILP). According to the ruling, as long as the ILP MPs do not accept funding or political assistance from the banned IAF or other banned organizations, they will be permitted to stand for election and remain registered as a political group.

Despite the fact that the Regional Governor of the province is not elected by the voters, Governor Karpov is expected to lead the VNF’s campaign to maintain it’s dominance, while the political newcomer Marissa al-Abdullah has been elected to spearhead the ILP.”[/i]-Reporter

===

[b][u]Classified Government Report[/b][/u]

[b]***Status of Magesterium Council***[/b]

-The following report is for Imperial Eyes only-

Your Majesty,

You requested a report on our progress and the current status of our capabilities. At my direction we have targeted certain national ‘hot-spots’ to begin experimental implementation of our program before moving to a nation-wide implementation.

The details are in the attached report.

Signed,
[i]Natalya Vache[/i]

===

[quote][b]Report on the Divisions and capabilities of the Magesterium[/b]

[b]Magesterium Intelligence Directorate [/b]

-Unit status: Operational
-Director: N. Vache
-Staff: ~230
-Agents: 900
-Informants: 1,132
-Soldiers: 0
-Divisions: External Intelligence, Internal Intelligence

[b]Magesterium Censorship Bureau [/b]

-Unit status: Operational
-Director: [b]**Classified**[/b]
-Staff: ~100
-Agents: 50
-Soldiers: 0
-Divisions: Internet Censorship, Press Censorship, Publication Censorship

[b]Magesterium Foreign Affairs Bureau[/b]

-Unit status: Semi-operational
-Director: -vacant-
-Staff: 5
-Agents: 22
-Soldier: 49
-Divisions: External Foreign Affairs, Internal Foreign Affairs

[b]Magesterium Imperial Guard[/b]

-Unit status: Not Operational
-Director: -vacant-
-Staff: 4
-Agents: 0
-Soldiers: 52
-Divisions: Amazon Corps, Praetorian Guard

[b]Operational Capability Summary[/b]

The Intelligence Directorate has established a significant presence in several provinces. The Intelligence Directorate has established two main hubs, in the city of Sygh-Varthys and the East Ingushetia Autonomous Community (EIAR). The Sygh-Varthys hub is currently 92% operational.

As ordered, the hub has established an informant network and a surveillance network. At present, the network includes several wiretaps as well as agent-led surveillance. Priority has been assigned to leaders of separatist and militant organizations.

The Censorship Bureau has focused primarily on establishing an ability to filter information on the internet. At present, the Censorship Bureau has simply focused on prohibiting access to banned websites.

The Foreign Affairs Bureau is only partially operational, with agents placed at 5 Vaulian embassies abroad. These agents have been assigned diplomatic or diplomatic security credentials. Their current role has been restricted to assisting the embassies in the maintenance of information security and network encryption. The agents have been placed without the knowledge of any of the Diplomatic staff or the government.

Other Magesterium Bureaus, such as the Religious Affairs Bureau, will become operational once the requisite funding is available and if the need arises.[/quote]

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[b][u]VNN News: Shock result in East Ingushetia Parliamentary Election[/b][/u]


[i]“In the East Ingushetia Autonomous Community (EIAC) the governing Vaulian National Front (VNF) party was dealt a stunning defeat at the polls. According to the preliminary results released by the Vaulian Electoral Commission (VEC), with a turnout of 74.6%, the VNF only managed to hang onto 25 seats in the 50 seat Regional Parliament. This result has the VNF losing 20 seats from its previous total of 45. According to the initial results, the moderate, pro-separatist Ingush Liberal Party (ILP) won a record 24 seats and a single seat was won by an Independent candidate affiliated with the banned Islamic Action Front (IAF) party.

Regional Governor Karpov has criticized the election results and has requested recounts in several regions where ILP candidates won by slim majorities. Despite his party’s setback at the polls, Governor Karpov has assured his supporters that the VNF would continue to govern the province’s affairs and that he would be using ‘all of the powers of the office of Regional Governor’ to frustrate the agenda of the ‘Islamic separatist parties’.

On the other side of the political spectrum, jubilant supporters of ILP leader Marissa al-Abdullah surrounded her campaign office in Itzkograd to celebrate her resounding victory. In a short speech to her supporters, Mrs. Abdullah vowed to fight for equality and social justice and for the ‘rights of the East Ingush peoples’. In her speech, she noticeably avoided the use of separatist rhetoric and instead called for ‘peace and unity’ among all political camps in the province.

The local division of the Guardians of the Peace of the Serene Republic (G.P.S.R.) has deployed additional security personnel in potential hotspots across the province in order to head off any post-election violence.

The newly elected Members of the Regional Parliament (MRP) will be sworn-in tomorrow afternoon at a special session of Parliament."[/i]-Reporter

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