Friday, November 27, 2009

The Queen's speech at the opening of CHOGM, 27 November 2009

The Queen's speech at the opening of CHOGM, 27 November 2009

President Richards, Prime Minister Manning, President Museveni, Secretary-General, Ladies and Gentlemen,

This diamond anniversary year is an important time for the Commonwealth to look back - and, more importantly, look forward. In doing so, I believe we can be pleased with how far the Commonwealth has come in its 60 years, and yet how true it has remained to its origins. But this does not mean we should become complacent or rest on past successes. Like any good organization we must continue to pay close attention to the things that giveit distinctive character.

In my view one of the core strengths of the Commonwealth lies in the commitment to common goals and values. Our shared pledge to “the pursuit of peace, liberty and progress” that my father helped to enshrine in the London Declaration in 1949 means as much today as it did then. We cherish freedom, democracy and development as dearly as ever.

But the Commonwealth's strength lies as much in people as it does in values.

Few other global organizations can boast the same rich diversity of humankind and yet also such a commonality of spirit.The Commonwealth can be proud of the fact that in each of its six decades,
it has shaped the international response to emerging global challenges. And on this, the eve of the UN Copenhagen Summit on Climate Change, the Commonwealth has an opportunity to lead once more. The threat to our environment is not a new concern. But it is now a global challenge which
will continue to affect the security and stability of millions for years to come. Many of those affected are among the most vulnerable, and many of the people least well able to withstand the adverse effects of Climate Change live in the Commonwealth.

A second area of opportunity for the Commonwealth is nurturing its young people. As with environmental challenges, this area is not new; but while the Commonwealth may rightly celebrate reaching its 60th anniversary, the future of this association lies with the one billion who are under 25 years of age. The Commonwealth must show that it is relevant to and supportive of
our young people who need to be convinced that the Commonwealth can help them to realize their ambitions.

Mr. President, Mr. Prime Minister, it is a pleasure for me to be back in Trinidad and Tobago, and in the Caribbean. This region is dear to the Commonwealth. For small island states, the buffeting of the economic storms of the last twelve months has provided a stern test; and great resourcefulness has been shown in order to meet the challenge. As an organization the Commonwealth
must remain dedicated to building resilience among its smaller members.

But it is not enough to look within the boundaries of the Commonwealth. In a world where political, economic and environmental problems and opportunities cross continents, the Commonwealth will also need to prove its relevance beyond its own borders and develop a truly global perspective. The motto of Trinidad and Tobago says: 'Together we aspire, together we
achieve'. There could be no better description of the Commonwealth's ethos and no better guideline for achieving this CHOGM's stated goal of a more equitable and sustainable future.

I hope the leaders here present - informed by the Commonwealth Youth Forum, the People's Forum and the Business Forum held earlier this week - can map out the route for another sixty years of success. And with these challenges in mind I am delighted to declare open this twentieth meeting of the Commonwealth Heads of Government

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Imperium Provides Military Foreign Aid to USA

-- Imperial News Service

The Ministry Of State Security ( M.O.S.S. ) has provided some limited aid to the US Military; by responding to two specific request from the Imperium's "macro" neighbor-nation.

The Veterans Administration Hospital ( Harry S. Truman ) located in Columbia, MO, USA has collection points for the deposit of donated cell-phones; which will be shipped to the US troops stationed / deployed in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The CommiCzar personally hand-delivered no-less than nine ( 9 ) cell-phones (which were no longer of any use within the Imperial Family and Government) to the Columbia, MO VA Hospital; with a "Special Note of Thanks" attached to each of the nine cell-phones.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Vikesland Back in the Space Race

-- Vikelandic News Service

October 28th, 2009- The Vikeslandic Star rocket project is now back into action. The build of this experimental multi use rocket was halted due to recessional budgetary concerns and was mothballed until now. The Rocket will see completion this winter with a test launch in spring of 2010. This rocket will be testing the cluster engine reliability as well as gather data on max. altitude and the new fin design performance. The recovery parachute has been upgraded thanks to an earlier test of the chute system by an earlier prototype.

Once tested and completed the 4 ft. high rocket will be able to accomodate various sized payloads and missions. The future hope is to launch a remote controlled plane atop the Vikeslandic star to quickly set it to a high altitude to begin its missions.

Monday, October 12, 2009

International Monarchist Conference Issues Plea for Mohammad Reza Ali Zamani

The International Monarchist Conference (IMC), confederal organization gathering 64 organizations monarchists representing 29 nations, protests against the judgment with the capital punishment of Mohammad-Reza Ali-Zamani, a 37 years old monarchist militant member oAssociation of the Iran Monarchy Association.

He had appeared last on August 8, in company of the french woman Clothilde REISS before the revolutionary Tribunal of Teheran Mohammad Reza Ali Zamani has just been condemned to dead for its role in the protest movement which shook the Islamic Republic, after the presidential election of June.

It s' acts of the first capital punishment marked by Iranian justice against one of the participants in the demonstrations which followed the disputed re-election on June 12 of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to the presidency of the Republic.

Mohammad-Reza Ali-Zamani is today in deferment until November 4, 2009.

Beyond the political commitment monarchist of Mohammad-Reza Ali-Zamani, it is the whole of the international community which must mobilize itself today to save the life of a political prisoner condemned to died of the simple fact of its opposition to an illegitimate and theocratic islamist dictatorship.

In order to help with the mobilization of energies and the consciences, the International Monarchist Conference thus decided to create a “Comitee for the release of Mohammad-Reza Ali-Zamani” and launching a petition to save Mohammad-Reza Ali-Zamani.

Other initiatives are in preparation.
Sylvain ROUSSILLON General secretary of the IMC

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Church of Mankind Everlasting Excommunicates Imperial Grandson

-- Imperial News Service
Sunday 11 October 2009

In a rare action, the State Church of the Imperium of DeWaCo Estates has excommunicated a member of the Imperial Family. The CommiCzar and Lord Imperator of the Imperium released the following statement about the action.

The CommiCzar of the Imperium of DeWaCo Estates has Formally and Officially Excommunicated one of His Grandsons; which was brought about, as a result of, His Grandson's continuous wrong words and deeds against a majority of Imperial Citizens and Subjects.

His Grandson's actions may not have been seen as wrong in some of the eyes and ears of other members of the Imperial Family and other Citizens and Subjects , as witnessed by the
CommiCzar; however, the word has gone out to all Imperial Citizens ( Family & Friends ) and Subjects ( Employees ) alike.

As of yet, not all members of the Imperial Family have endorsed or shown full support for the CommiCzar's Open and Official Declaration of Excommunication of His Grandson; however, His
absolute public and private dis-association with His GrandSon is now a chapter in the Imperial Family's and Government's history.

The CommiCzar's Declaration of Excommunication of His Grandson will remain in full effect, until such time that His Grandson privately expresses His apologies to each Imperial Citizen and Subject that He has offended in deed and words ( spoken and/or written ), and has publicly expressed His regrets in a signed statement to that effect.

The Lord Imperator also expressed his hope that the grandson comes to His senses...and soon; not only for the sake of all of the members of the Imperial Family and the Subjects of the Imperium, but for His own good too.

We at the post join the Government of the Imperium in prayers that reconciliation can be achieved soon and fairly.

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Rwandan Genocide Suspect Arrested in Uganda

-- Wikinews
Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Ugandan authorities have extradited one of the most wanted suspects from the 1994 genocide in Rwanda to the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda. The suspect was captured Monday in Kampala following a tip-off.

The fugitive, Idelphose Nizeyimana, was flown on a chartered plane early Tuesday to Arusha, Tanzania, where the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR), has its headquarters.

Nizeyimana was one of the men on the tribunal's most-wanted list, accused of helping ethnic Hutus organise the mass murder of ethnic Tutsis and moderate Hutus in Rwanda's Butare province in 1994.

The former army captain and intelligence officer was also accused of ordering the execution of the symbolic queen of the Tutsi tribe and Tutsi intellectuals. Nizeyimana was indicted by the ICTR nine years ago on five counts of genocide, complicity in and incitement to genocide and crimes against humanity.

ICTR spokesman Roland Amoussouga said that the Ugandan police, working with Interpol, arrested Nizeyimana after he crossed into Uganda from the Democratic Republic of the Congo using fake documents. "This is a very important development and the tribunal wishes to commend the Uganda, Interpol and the Ugandan government for this outstanding cooperation that they have displayed," he said.

Nizeyimana had been at large for fifteen years, reportedly hiding among Hutu rebels in the forests of eastern Congo Kinshasa. It is not clear why he went to Uganda. However, Ugandan police say he was arrested following a tip-off that he had been staying at a guesthouse in Kampala. The United States had offered a $5 million reward for information leading to Nizeyimana's arrest.

The ICTR was formed in late 1994 to prosecute key genocide suspects. Six people have been acquitted and 30 others have been found guilty or pleaded guilty to charges. 26 others are being tried and four suspects are currently awaiting trial. Many low-level suspects were tried in traditional village courts in Rwanda.

Ethnic Hutus had slaughtered as many as 800,000 ethnic Tutsis and moderate Hutus in Rwanda during a three-month killing spree in 1994.

Thursday, October 01, 2009

Maxistan Goes Photographic

-- Staff Reporter

Breaking with tradition, Maxistan has begun issuing passports and identity cards with photographs of the bearing. In departing from its former procedure of providing a detailed description of the holder, Maxistan has joined the majority of the world's governments by embracing images as a means of representing persons. Sources have not been able to determine if all new applicants will be required to use the new 'image' style passports and identification cards. Holders of the descriptive passports will not be required to surrender them at this time.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Imperium's Civil Alert Defense System Fails Latest Test

-- Imperium News Service

The Imperium's Civil Alert Defense System (C.A.D.S.) failed a recent equipment test; when Officials of the MicroGovt-Agency where unable to provide proof to the Officers of the Imperial Government, that *ALL* of the equipments assigned to the C.A.D. System were in 100% working order.

The C.A.D. System is tested on a seasonal schedule; as well as, at random non-scheduled times throughout the year.

The C.A.D. System is an internal alarm / alert series of systems (equipment), which provide emergency notice to the Citizens, Subjects, Protectorates (Protected Persons), and Visitors/Tourist (customers/businessmen), in the event of a storm, fire, accident, "act of war", or any other emergency that might occur. ("War" or "Warning")

To pass the test, *ALL* available systems / equipments must perform 100% efficent, 100% of the the times tested.

* The Cell-Phones were 100%
( central communication )

* The Iron Bell Alarm was 100%
( continuous series of rings )

* The Field Flares were 100%
( "red" for alarm / alert )

* The Fire Arms were 100%
( continuous fire into the sky )

* The "War or Warning" Flags were 100%
( flown for visual )

* The Air-Horns were 100%
( continuous series of blasts )

* The Bull-Horns were 0%
( batteries were depleted )

The Imperial Government of the Imperium of DeWaCo Estates has not commented on the actions that maybe taken to correct this failure.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Aruban General Election, 2009

General elections were held in Aruba on 25 September 2009 to choose the 21 members of the Estates (the parliament of Aruba). Aruba is an autonomous region of the Kingdom of the Netherlands and has full autonomy over its internal affairs with defence and foreign affairs overseen by the Dutch government. The elections were the seventh to be held for membership of the Estates since autonomy was granted by the Dutch in 1986.

The Estates are the 21 seat legislature of Aruba and members are elected for four year terms using a proportional representation system of election, with each party being allowed to place up to 29 people on their party list. The members are not elected to constituencies and represent the entire electorate. The party or coalition which wins a majority will select a Prime Minister. Prior to this election the People's Electoral Movement (MEP) were the governing party, holding eleven seats. The main opposition Aruban People's Party (AVP) held eight with the Network of Eternal Democracy and the Aruban Patriotic Movement holding a seat apiece.

Eight political parties contested the election and there were 64,600 eligible voters. Pre-election polls showed the Aruban People's Party were expected to win, campaigning to reduce inflation and abolish a tax on local business. The AVP also pledged to address concerns over the island's oil refinery operated by Valero Energy, which has been closed since mid-July and provided jobs for around one thousand people, and a recent decline in tourists visiting the island. The People's Electoral Movement pledged to diversify the economy and reduce debt and living costs.

A turnout of 85% was recorded for the election which proceeded without disruption. The AVP, led by Mike Eman, claimed 48% of the vote and twelve seats in the Estates. The MEP won 36% of the vote and eight seats, with the final seat being won by the Real Democracy Party. This means that Nelson Oduber, Prime Minister of Aruba prior to the elections, has lost control of the Estates for the first time in eight years. The victory was marked by AVP supporters letting off fireworks and unfurling flags in the green livery of the party. Oduber blamed the MEP's defeat on Dutch interference in Aruba's affairs, in particular referring to a recent announcement that the Dutch authorities would commence an investigation into corruption on the island.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

'Last Ottoman' Dies at Age 97

-- Wikinews
Friday, September 25, 2009

Ertuğrul Osman, the last surviving pretender to the Ottoman throne, died on Wednesday after a renal failure at the age of 97. His wife, who was by his side, when he died, confirmed this was the case. The location of his death is a hospital in Istanbul. He had spent one week in hospital at the time of his death.

Osman was born on August 18, 1912 at Yıldız Palace in Istanbul, Ottoman Empire. He was a former Prince of the Ottoman Empire and the 43rd Head of the dethroned House of Osman from 1994 until his death. If the throne were reconsecrated, he would have assumed the name Sultan Osman V.

He was fourth in line to rule when the monarchy was abolished in 1923, and the modern Republic of Turkey replaced the Imperial Dynasty. He was regarded by Turks as the "last Ottoman".

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Norman Borlaug, Father of the Green Revolution, Dies at Age 95

-- From Wikinews
Sunday, September 13, 2009

American agronomist and Nobel laureate Norman Borlaug has died aged 95. Borlaug, known as the father of the Green Revolution that transformed agriculture in the 20th century, died of complications from cancer at his home in Dallas, Texas in the United States late on Saturday evening.

Borlaug was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1970 for his development and introduction of high yield crops, and also received the Presidential Medal of Freedom and Congressional Gold Medal, the two highest civilian awards in the U.S.. His work is often credited as saving over a billion lives.

Born in 1914 in Cresco, Iowa Borlaug worked on the family farm before enrolling at the University of Minnesota, gaining a master's and a Ph.D. in plant pathology and genetics.

In 1944 he began working for the Cooperative Wheat Research and Production Program, a joint project of the Mexican government and the Rockefeller Foundation. It was there that he led the development of new disease-resistant, high yield wheat varieties.

His introduction of these varieties to Southeast Asia in the 1960s averted mass famines, and led to countries such as India and Pakistan becoming self-sufficient in food. This was soon heralded as the start of a "Green Revolution", and later his efforts were extended to Africa.

From 1984 until his death Borlaug taught as Distinguished Professor of International Agriculture at Texas A&M University, whilst continuing his research in Mexico and his promotion of agricultural development around the world. In 1986 he established the World Food Prize to recognize contributors to improvements in world food supplies. In 2006 A&M created the Norman Borlaug Institute for International Agriculture to continue his work.

As well as his agricultural work, when younger he was a keen wrestler, competing for his high school and the University of Minnesota. He was inducted into the National Wrestling Hall of Fame in 1992.

Borlaug is survived by two children, Jeanie and William, five grandchildren and six great-grandchildren. In a statement his children said: "It is the hope of the Borlaug family that his life be an example to all. We would like his life be a model for making a difference in the lives of others and to bring about efforts to end human misery for all mankind."

A memorial is planned to be held at Texas A&M.

400 Pound Python Seized by Wildlife Officials in East Florida

-- From Wikinews
Sunday, September 13, 2009

A "monster" Burmese python, weighing in at 400 pounds and stretching 18 feet long, was seized by Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission officials on Friday after it was deemed unsafe in its cage near Lake Apopka, Florida.

The snake, named "Delilah", is at least 16 years old. Melvin Cheever was caring for Delilah after his brother moved to West Virginia and left the snake behind temporarily. Officials with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission visited the home after a complaint arose questioning the security of the snake's chain-link cage.

"I fed her this morning, gave her seven rabbits. She is as docile as can be. She's as happy as can be," said Cheever.

Officials called it the largest snake they had ever witnessed. Lt. Rick Brown with the organization's investigations section said, "To me it's a Goliath. It's a monster of a snake."

The incident occurs amid fears of snakes following the death of a 2-year-old Sumter County girl who was killed by her family's pet python earlier this summer.

Delilah was transported to a properly licensed caregiver, but is expected to remain there only temporarily.

Bomb Explosion in Kashmir Kills Three

-- From Wikinews
Saturday, September 12, 2009

Officials have said that at least three people were killed after a car bomb detonated in the Indian-administered province of Kashmir on Saturday.

The explosion occured in the city of Srinagar's main jail. Two police officers and a civilian were among the dead, and ten more police officers were wounded after the blast, several of them in critical condition.

Hemant Lohia, a senior police official, said explosives were inserted into a car and detonated by remote control as a police bus drove by.

Nobody has taken responsibility for the explosion, although the attack has been blamed on Muslim separatists, who have had an insurgency in the area since 1989. Clashes in the past month have increased, following a lull in violence.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

England Regains the Ashes in the Oval Sunshine

England regain Ashes in the Oval sunshine
From Wikinews
Monday, August 24, 2009

England has beaten Australia to win the 2009 Ashes series having won the fifth test by 197 runs at The Oval in Kennington, London.

Having previously won in 2005, England and Australia were level going in to the final test—and after a poor start on Friday morning, England looked to be in trouble.

However, England managed to bowl Australia out for 160 in the first innings, and on returning to the crease, Australia needed 542 runs in their second innings to secure victory—an unprecedented total for a final test, which indeed proved to be out of reach.

Celebrations this time round are expected to be lower-key compared to 2005; however, the crowd were in good spirits leaving the ground yesterday afternoon, having seen England's Andrew Flintoff play his final Test for the team.

Captain Andrew Strauss said "It's a special moment for us, we had to dig deep in a very hard series. It has not sunk in yet" in a post-match interview with former England captain Michael Atherton.

The victory is in stark contrast to the previous competition in Australia in 2007, where England were beaten 5–0 in the series.

Australia will next have the opportunity to regain the Ashes in 2011 in Australia.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Australian Receives Bravery Award for Rescues in Indonesian Air Disaster

From Wikinews,
Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Australia has given a bravery award to a Sunshine Coast resident who rescued several people after an air disaster in Indonesia. Kyle Quinlan was a passenger in the March 2007 crash of a Garuda Indonesia jet in Yogyakarta.

The jet overshot the runway and burst into flames. Quinlan received chest injuries but still got up and opened an emergency exit. He extinguished a fire blocking an escape and prevented panicked passengers from trampling a wounded victim. After helping an injured colleague with the Australian air force to safety, he then returned to the wreckage several times to help people before being forced to retreat by the heat.

"There was smoke and fire everywhere," Quinlan said of the accident, which killed 21 people from Indonesia and Australia. "People were screaming and others were dead. It was horrific."

Quinlan is to receive a Bravery Medal, the second-highest bravery award, in a ceremony at the Australian Bravery Decorations early next year. "What I did that day just came naturally. I certainly don’t feel like a hero," the 26-year-old told reporters. "In that situation all I did was help. If I was in trouble I’d like to think another person would do the same for me."

After the crash Quinlan travelled to hospital with his injured friend, and later worked with the Australian Embassy to give details of Australian nationals on the flight and recount his memory of how the disaster unfolded.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Her Majesty Appoints Governor for Turks and Caicos Islands

On 14 August 2009,Her Majesty has reaserted direct rule on the Turks and Caicos Islands after Misick's last legal appeal failed. The Caribbean islands' administration has been suspended for up to two years and power has been transferred to the directly appointed governor, with the Royal Navy also stationing a supply vessel in between Turks and Caicos. Politicians were accused of selling crown land for personal gain and misusing public funds. Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs Chris Bryant said of the decision to impose rule, "This is a serious constitutional step which Her Majesty's Government has not taken lightly but these measures are essential in order to restore good governance and sound financial management."

The move was met with vehement opposition by the corrupt and ousted Turks and Caicos government, with Misick's successor Williams calling it a "coup". Despite this, the civilian populace was reported to be largely welcoming of the enforced rule. Her Majesty's government stated that they intended to keep true to their word that the country would regain sovereignty in two years or less, and Foreign Office Minister Chris Bryant said that elections would be held in 2011. Governor Wetherell, stated that he would aim to "make a clean break from the mistakes of the past" and create "a durable path towards good governance, sound financial management and sustainable development". Wetherell continued to say that, "In the meantime we must all learn to foster a quality of public spirit, listen to all those who have the long-term interests of these islands at heart, and safeguard the fundamental assets of the Territory for future generations... Our guiding principles will be those of transparency, accountability and responsibility. I believe that most people in the Turks and Caicos will welcome these changes."

Saturday, August 01, 2009

Jaipur's Queen Gayatri Devi dies at 90

-- From Wikinews
Thursday, July 30, 2009

Maharani Gayatri Devi, formerly the Rajmata of Jaipur and one of the last of India's surviving royalty, died Wednesday, July 29, after a ten-day illness. She was 90 years old.

Born in 1919 into the royal family of Cooch Behar, in 1939 Devi married Maharaja Sawai Man Singh II of Jaipur, becoming his third wife.

After India gained independence in 1947, the popular Devi ran for parliament in 1962 as a member of the Swatantra Party, winning her constituency with a then-record 78% of the vote. Devi won reelection twice, but she ran afoul of tax laws after the abolition of privy purses in 1971 and was jailed for five months.

After her release from prison, she withdrew from politics and published an autobiography, A Princess Remembers, in 1976; the 1997 film Mémoires d'une princesse des Indes (Memoirs of a Hindu Princess) was based around her life.

A funeral planned in Jaipur for today has drawn thousands of attendees. Gayatri Devi is survived by two grandchildren.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Colombia's Relations with Venezuela Deteriorate Over Swedish Rockets

-- From Wikinews

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

The President of Venezuela, Hugo Chávez, announced on Tuesday that "We will freeze relations with Colombia." He attributed the decision to "new aggression by the government of Colombia." Further, he said, "I've ordered to withdraw our ambassador from Bogota, to withdraw our diplomatic personnel."

This diplomatic move follows claims by Colombia that amongst weapons its military has captured from the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) are AT4 anti-tank rockets manufactured by Saab Bofors Dynamics of Sweden. Colombia further alleges that the weapons were first sold to Venezuela before being given to the FARC.

This is not the first time that this happens," Colombian Vice-President Francisco Santos said. "In several operations in which we have recovered weapons from the FARC, we have found powerful munitions and powerful equipment, including anti-tank weapons, from a European country that sold them to Venezuela and that turned up in the hands of the FARC."

"It is correct that they have found these weapons to be Swedish-made," said Jens Eriksson, adviser at the Swedish foreign ministry. "We are working together with Colombian authorities to investigate the matter further and we have contacted Venezuelan authorities to clear up how these arms ended up in Colombia."

Venezuela denies the allegations. "To me it seems that this is a new attack against our government based on lies," Venezuelan interior minister Tarek El Aissami said on Monday. "We absolutely deny that our government or our institutions are providing assistance to criminal and terrorist organizations. It's laughable, it sounds like a cheap film made by the American government."

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Holy Empire of Reunion backs Lavalon LoSS Bid

The Republic of Lavalon has concluded a treaty of friendship with the Holy Empire of Reunion. The Treaty, signed on the 29th of July, binds the signatories in perpetual friendship.

In furtherance of the aims of the treaty, the Holy Empire of Reunion will be supporting the Republic of Lavalon's bid to join the League of Secessionist States.

Information on the Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Lavalon can be found here, a copy of the treaty can be found here.

All media enquiries should be directed to

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

His Excellency the Right Honourable Roméo-Adrien LeBlanc has Passed Away

His Excellency the Right Honourable Roméo-Adrien LeBlanc, twenty-fifth Governor General of the Royal Dominion of Canada (1995-1999) and a member of Her Majesty's Privy Council for Canada, died today.

LeBlanc's time as the Queen's viceregal representative was considered to have been low key and largely uneventful, especially in comparison to that of his successor, Adrienne Clarkson. He was, however, the first Acadian governor general, which earned praise from the Acadian community, and he was also the first from the Canadian maritimes to be appointed as viceroy.

As Governor General, LeBlanc was viewed as having been a role model for Acadians, and was complimented for having drawn the attention of the country to Acadian history and culture. As such, he was seen as a symbol for reconciliation, given the past relations between the Acadians and the Canadian Crown's predecessor. At the same time, LeBlanc was also credited for returning Rideau Hall to a status closer to that which it held a century previous, when it was the centre of life in the capital.

After being released from the Queen's service, LeBlanc returned to New Brunswick. There, after a lengthy battle with Alzheimer's disease, he died on 24 June 2009.

Requiescat in pace.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Tropical Depression Dissipates, Impacts Mexico

From Wikinews, Saturday, June 20, 2009

Tropical Depression One-E, the first tropical system of the 2009 Eastern Pacific hurricane season, was declared dissipated by the National Hurricane Center at 5 pm PDT yesterday, but its remnants continue to impact Mexico. Ahead of the storm, advisories were posted for coastal areas. Shelters were prepared, but because the storm never broke tropical depression status, they were not opened.
A satellite image of the depression

Although it was a weak storm, it managed to drop heavy rainfall—measured in inches—and spawn gusty winds. Thousands of residents in the Mazatlán region were left in the dark, while several trees were downed throughout the city.

Numerous small villages were flooded, forcing the evacuation of some residents. Structures were also damaged. To assist in cleanup efforts, members of the Mexican army were deployed throughout Sinaloa. On some major roadways, landslides resulted in traffic accidents.

NOAA predicts the upcoming Pacific hurricane season will be below average, with 13 to 18 named storms, of which 6 to 10 are expected to become hurricanes. They define a "normal" season as having 15.3 named storms, with 8.8 hurricanes.

TD 1-E marked the earliest date in the year that a tropical cyclone had impacted the Mexican state of Sinaloa. Usually, such storms don't strike the area until August.

Health and Safety Culture is Damaging Children in the UK

From Wikinews Friday, June 19, 2009
According to a survey conducted by Teachers TV, almost half of teachers believe that safety measures in UK schools are over the top and curb children's learning.

The survey, which consisted of 585 school staff, found that 44.3% believe safety regulations currently in place at schools negatively affect learning. About the same percentage, however, believed that the rules were not overtly restrictive.

Those who were questioned were also asked to provide examples of the most restrictive health measures in their school. Among them were: banning running in playground, cancelling physical education classes when the grass was wet, and making students wear goggles when putting up posters.

Other examples included banning consumption of sweets due to choking hazard and not allowing children to play with toilet tube rolls.

"Almost half the education workforce feels that health and safety regulations negatively affect students' education and their personal development, along with the education workforce," said the chief executive of Teachers TV, Andrew Bethell.

"The more extreme examples are thankfully not the norm, but schools still need to take into consideration the workforce's concerns when trying to protect pupils," he said.

Friday, June 19, 2009

World War One Veteran Becomes World's Oldest Man

From Wikinews, Friday, June 19, 2009

Henry Allingham has become the world's oldest man at the age of 113, after the death of Tomoji Tanabe, a 113 year old man in Japan. Mr Allingham, the only surviving founding members of the RAF and one of only two surviving World War I veterans was born on June 6, 1896 in Clapton, London.
"It's fantastic news. He is very frail now but I'm sure he'll be very pleased to hear it. We are very proud of him."

—Henry Allingham's nephew, Ronald Cator

Mr Allingham has five grandchildren, 12 great-grandchildren, 14 great-great grandchildren and one great-great-great grandchild. The majority of his family live in the USA, but his nephew still lives in Britain.

He joined the Royal Naval Air Service in 1915, before transferring to the RAF at its inception in 1918. Along with being the sole survivor of the Battle of Jutland, an honorary member of the Royal Naval Association, a recipient of the Legion d'Honneur and a doctorate in engineering from Southampton Solent University, an hon

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

William McIntyre, Former Justice of the Supreme Court of Canada has Passed Away

Ave Atque Vale: William McIntyre, 1918-2009

The former justice of the Supreme Court of British Columbia, the British Columbia Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court of Canada died earlier this week.

He was, in my opinion, an underappreciated jurist. His majority decision in Dolphin Delivery (in fact, a unanimous decision, subject only to a few quibbles from Beetz and Wilson JJ) has attracted considerable attention from tort law scholars in recent years. And few judges in his time ever tried to breathe life into Diefenbaker's Bill of Rights - as he did in his dissent at the Court of Appeal in R. v. Miller and Cockriell - for which he was later criticized (ironically, given the contrasting reputations of all the judges involved) by both Laskin CJ and Dickson J. (in R. v. Miller).

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

North Korea Conducts Test of Nuclear Weapon

-- From Wikinews, Monday, May 25, 2009

North Korea's official news agency is reporting that the country's government has carried out a "successful" test of a nuclear weapon. Yonhap News Agency in South Korea also reports the possible test.

"According to the demand of our scientists and technicians, our republic has successfully conducted another underground nuclear test on May 25 ... as part of measures to strengthen its nuclear power in self-defense," said the Korean Central News Agency as quoted by Yonhap. North Korea claimed the test was 'part of the measures to bolster up its nuclear deterrent for self-defence'.

Yonhap says an "artificial earthquake" was detected that suggested a test had been conducted, but that the government was working to confirm the report. "The government is still trying to verify whether it in fact was a nuclear test, but it believes there is a possibility," said presidential office spokesperson Lee Dong-kwan.

The United States Geological Survey (USGS) reported that at approximately 00:54:44 UTC, a magnitude 4.7 earthquake was detected 70 kilometers (45 miles) North, Northwest of Kimchaek, North Korea. South Korea reports the magnitude at a 4.5. North Korea previously conducted a nuclear test in 2006. That blast was measured at a magnitude 3.6.

South Korean officials have called an emergency meeting to discuss the event. South Korea has also banned its citizens from entering North Korea, except the Kaesong Joint Complex, from Tuesday. Russia is convening an emergency session of the United Nations Security Council on Monday. Japan's government has set up a special task force at the crisis management center in the prime minister's official residence.

The People's Republic of China, the United States, Russia and the European Union have all condemned the test. Russia, the US and the EU claimed the tests are a breach of United Nations' Security Council Resolutions. Iran has refused to condemn it, stating it was an

Monday, May 25, 2009

CommiCzar of the Imperium Issues Executive Order Addressing Non-Traditional Lifestyles

-- Imperium News Service
Executive Order: E.O. #XO/24/05/09
Entitled: "Don't Ask and Don't Tell" Act



It shall be the Law of the Land, from this day forward and until amended, that any Citizen, Subject, or Protectorate who lives his or her life not consistent with traditional personal values
established by society, shall be allowed to continue his or her alternate lifestyle, free from legal intrusion or prosecution; but bears the personal responsibility, and is required to follow, the basic and proven principle commonly refered to as: "DON'T ASK AND DON'T TELL"



To project one's personal alternate lifestyle openly and publicly, within an atmosphere, location, community that follows the more traditional beliefs, especially with regards to one's sexual preference or orientation, runs the risk of possible personal harm; which can result in bodily injury, emotional trauma, political or religious persecution, and financial crisis; which, if ever proven that an individual of an alternate lifestyle was personally responsible for any public display that served as the catalyst for any such personal attack, that individual would then bear his or her fair share of the responsibility, in proper proportion, as his or her actions contributed to the results.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Dr. Mark Thompson: Recent Church of Scotland Actions 'Not True Christianity'

Opinion, from Dr. Mark Thompson:

Last night the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland (operating as its Supreme Court) voted 326 to 267 to confirm the call of a practicing and openly gay man to be the minister of the congregation of Queen’s Cross in Aberdeen.

The decision comes at a time when the same issue has critically divided the Anglican Communion. A non-celibate gay man is Bishop of New Hampshire in the United States, his appointment confirmed by all but a small minority in The Episcopal Church. His presence at the inauguration of President Obama was nothing less than a presidential imprimatur. The Canadian churches are pushing ahead with the liturgical blessing of same-sex unions. Powerful gay lobbies are operating in many Anglican provinces around the world, including here in Australia. Meanwhile the Archbishop of Canterbury, caught between his published private opinions and the official position of his church, keeps trying to hold everyone together.

Other denominations both in Australia and beyond have also been dealing with various levels of gay activism within their membership.

The statement released by the Fellowship of Confessing Churches states the issue with unusual succinctness: this vote ‘sends a clear signal to the world that our denomination has departed from the teaching of the Christian Scriptures, upon which its very existence depends’. This statement resonates with the stated concerns of orthodox Christians around the world and in various denominations. The written word of God states repeatedly and unambiguously that homosexuality is a contradiction of God’s creational design for human sexual expression; to use the words of the Fellowship’s statement again, ‘the clear Scriptural pattern that recognises the sanctity of marriage between one man and one woman as the only proper place for sexual intimacy’.

To acknowledge the Bible’s teaching on this matter as the true expression of God’s mind is not in any way to condone violence against homosexual persons. Such violence is itself a failure to take seriously the teaching of Scripture. Christians completely repudiate any such violence against anyone with whom we might disagree and where violence has been perpetrated in the name of Christ or of his people we need to acknowledge it and genuinely repent of it. What is more, homosexual persons are entitled to certain protections under the law (e.g. the right to live free of a fear of violence, the right to own property, and the right to be paid the same salary for the same work). However, these protections should not extend to insisting that all must agree with their decisions or behaviour. It is not an act of violence to say that something is wrong or morally repugnant.

Nor is this a sign of some psychological weakness, a ‘homophobia’ which is little more than giving way to our own fears and insecurities. This psychologising of dissent or opposition is a common enough tactic in modern debates. In the popular media and in liberal circles, it is used to suggest that there is something seriously deficient in those who disagree with the consensus they are promoting. It can also be a way of avoiding serious engagement with the arguments of your opponents. After all, if their opposition is borne out of pure irrational bigotry then surely it is appropriate just to marginalise and ignore them. However, the Christian opposition to homosexual behaviour over the past two thousand years has not arisen out of fear or ignorance. It arises from God’s clear expression of his mind and purposes for human beings. It is carefully reasoned and grounded firmly in God’s revelation.

The advocates of the right of actively homosexual persons to be recognised as faithful Christians and entrusted with Christian leadership of various kinds have also sometimes argued that their opponents are all captive to naïve and fundamentalist readings of Scripture which cannot be taken seriously in the twenty-first century. They point to other practices condemned in Scripture (almost invariably the Old Testament) which Christians do not take seriously and in fact have not taken seriously for a very long time. The food and clothing laws of Leviticus are often cited in this regard. So too is the insistence in the same Old Testament book that adultery should be punishable by death. Christians once justified slavery on the basis of biblical teaching, so the argument goes, and excluded women from leadership in the Christian congregation.

However, even a basic understanding of biblical theology demonstrates the difference between most of these cases and the issue of homosexual behaviour. The food and clothing laws of the Old Testament relate to the distinct national identity of Israel as God’s chosen people. With the advent of Jesus the situation is quite different. Indeed, it is Jesus himself who declares all foods clean. Adultery, however, is very different, as the repeated denunciations of it in the New Testament testify. It is no less serious an affront to God as it was in the Old Testament, since it still involves the repudiation of God’s intention for a faithful life-long union between a man and woman. Yet the Old Testament demand for judicial execution is replaced by congregational discipline: a call to repent and temporary exclusion with the goal of full restoration. Here is an appropriate analogy with the New Testament perspective on homosexual behaviour.

The appeal to the Christian attitude towards slavery as a precedent is to a certain degree disingenuous. After all, it was evangelical Christianity, motivated by obedience to the Scriptures rather than a desire to set them aside in favour of a contemporary public consensus, which overturned the slave trade in Britain. That abominable trade in human misery had been wrongly equated with the slavery found in Israel under the Old Covenant. Furthermore, the bonds of brotherhood in Christ took precedence over all social station and effectively undermined the practice of slavery as it existed in the first century Mediterranean world (as Paul more than hints to the slave-owner Philemon).

The case of women and Christian leadership is nowhere near as straightforward. It is certainly a matter of demonstrable fact that there is no universal Christian consensus on what kinds of leadership are appropriately exercised by women and what are not. There are many who insist that women are to be considered in every way equal to men and yet that this equality is not at all compromised by recognising men and women as complements of one another rather than duplicates. Yet others prefer an undifferentiated egalitarianism. The New Testament clearly considers gender an important issue when it comes to how we should behave within the Christian congregation. Yet debate continues as to how giftedness and opportunity are related to the very few restrictions on the appropriate ministry of women in the apostolic writings.

The push for what is euphemistically called ‘homosexual inclusion’ is sometimes portrayed as the next chapter in the history of enlightenment and emancipation. The prejudices of the past and the morally bankrupt practices which arose from them have one by one been overturned as knowledge replaced ignorance and freedom overcame oppression. The mistreatment of those who were different in race or gender to those with power was rightly exposed and action was rightly taken to eliminate it. Now, we are told, there is one further kind of discrimination which needs to be overcome: discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. Yet such a picture cloaks a raft of differences.

Most important of these is the simple fact that the Christian objection focuses on behaviour rather than the inward struggle with temptation. Each of us is tempted to seek fulfilment, pleasure or meaning apart from God and his good word to us. We could rightly speak about our orientation or attraction to selfishness, pride, greed, anger, promiscuity and so forth, and of our responsibility to seek God’s help to resist that orientation. Those troubled with homosexual temptation need support and care rather than repudiation. And part of that support may well be to help such people avoid circumstances which would provide opportunity to surrender to that temptation.

Nevertheless, the issue in New Hampshire, Canada, Scotland and elsewhere is homosexual activity, indeed the embrace of an actively homosexual lifestyle while claiming to submit to the Lordship of Christ.

The sad but unavoidable truth is that any Christianity which endorses homosexual activity is not authentic Christianity. It cannot appeal to the universal teaching of the Christian churches over the past two thousand years. It can lay no claim to the mandate of Scripture. It cannot legitimately suggest that Jesus overturned the teaching of the Old Testament on this issue. Indeed, when speaking to the Pharisees about divorce he explicitly reiterated God’s creational intention: ‘Have you not read that he who created them from the beginning made them male and female, and said, “Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh”? So they are no longer two but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate.’ (Matt. 19:4–6)

It is important for Christians to be vocal in their opposition to moves such as that just made in Aberdeen. We need to insist that this is an aberration which is inauthentic. The lobbyists will certainly try to use it as evidence that there is no Christian consensus on this issue. This will no doubt be part of the debate in the House of Lords this week as activists try to wind back religious exemptions to the laws which prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. Yet we continue to say ‘no’ and to argue that homosexual practice is morally repugnant because God has made this clear in the Scriptures. And the good word of the good God who made us all is always worth living by.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Vikesland Reports Increase in Border Violations

-- Vikelandic Broadcasting Company

Illegal incursions onto Vikesland have been on the rise the past few months. The individuals taking these illegal actions do so using ATV's or snowmobles. They incur damages to gates and roads without any regard for the land owners or Vikesland itself.

In one case a steel gate was completely removed from its location to allow tresspassing to occur. This very afternoon a group was spotted driving ATV's onto Vikeslandic soil. Myself and the Grand Duke took our own AtV's and searched for them but to no avail.

We sat and pondered ways to up automated security. It was agreed that remote motion sensing cameras was the best route. Any tresspassers caught on camera will be given to Macro authorities and charged.

A separate incident involving a trespasser into the compound of the Vikesland Embassy in Brandon occured last week. Myself the Prince chased off the intruder without any problems. Lighting for the compound will be increased in hopes of further pre-empting intruders.

Saturday, May 09, 2009

His Grace, Robert VII, Attends G-G's Graduation

His Grace, the Duke of Florida attended the graduation ceremonies at Lake City Community College, and treated the Most Hon. Bo Register, Marquess of Mobile, to a celebratory supper afterwards.

The Duke was on hand to witness the Governor-General's graduation, Cum Laude with two degrees, Associate of Science degree in Agribusiness Management and an Associate of Arts degree in the Liberal Arts.

His Grace indicated that the education might be put to good use in restoring the agriculture based businesses that are at the heart of the Dominion's economy.

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

UK Home Secretary Announces ID Card Pilot Launch

From Wikinews, Wednesday, May 6, 2009

U.K. Home Secretary Jacqui Smith has announced a voluntary pilot scheme for identity cards. Greater Manchester has been chosen for the pilot and passport holders over 16 will be able to submit applications for the card at post offices and pharmacies.
UK Home Secretary, Jacqui Smith

A number of other high street retailers are negotiating with the government to be permitted to take photographs and fingerprints for the scheme.

Opposition leaders stand against the planned compulsory nationwide scheme, calling for the £5.3 billion programme to be scrapped. The pricetag does not include the costs that agencies and other government departments will incur procuring equipment to verify the cards.

The trial is also supposed to be in effect at London City and Manchester airports. This is opposed by the British Air Line Pilots Association (BALPA), claiming it is effectively compulsory; in order to get airside passes pilots will have to produce one of the new national identity cards.
When any old chemist in Wythenshawe or Ancoats is responsible for collecting personal information that is supposed to be private and secure, there is a real chance for that information to be used for fraudulent purposes

—Michael Parker, No2ID

BALPA general secretary, Jim McAuslan, emphasised some of the concerns of the association's members, "Like every other citizen, they ask themselves what will happen to the data they are coerced into providing; whether it will it be safe, whose hands might it fall into, and what might they do with the data?" As do many of the ID card scheme's detractors, he made the Orwellian comparison, "Our members increasingly have a sense that a line is being crossed in the relationship between state and citizen; a sense that Big Brother knows best."

Wikinews contacted No2ID about the proposal, and received feedback from their press spokesman, Michael Parker. He emphasised that this announcement is not a sure sign that the cards will actually be available later this year. Regarding the choice of post offices and chemists to serve on the front line of issuing the cards he said, " totally undermines the whole idea of the project as a 'gold standard' 'unbreakable' ID card that would guarantee we are who we say we are. When any old chemist in Wythenshawe or Ancoats (Manchester districts) is responsible for collecting personal information that is supposed to be private and secure, there is a real chance for that information to be used for fraudulent purposes."

No2ID is an independent group set up to campaign against the ID card system, and what they describe as the 'database state'. When Wikinews asked if they trust the UK Government with a database of 60 million individuals' details his response was cutting and blunt, "I would say 'Not as far as I could throw them', but then it would be easy to download 60m peoples' details onto a CD and then throw that quite far..."

Despite the existence of pressure groups such as No2ID, the government asserts that there is broad public support for the introduction of compulsory ID cards.

Friday, May 01, 2009

Runaway EMU Train Collides with Freight Train in India

From Wikinews, Friday, May 1, 2009

At approximately 06:00 a.m. (00:30 GMT) Wednesday, between four and seven people were killed when an Electric Multiple Unit (EMU) passenger train crashed into a stationary freight train at Vyasarpadi Jeeva station, in Chennai, India. Between eleven and twenty persons were injured, and rushed to General Hospital in Chennai.

Officials are unsure of the number of persons aboard the passenger train, which was operated by an unknown person. "It is not clear who operated (it)," said S. Jayanth, acting general manager of Southern Railway. The operator of the EMU train was not in the train when it left 15 minutes to half an hour before the scheduled departure time. It is said some passengers did board the passenger train.

The EMU train ignored all signals, and drove about 7 kilometers (4 mi) at high speed, jumping tracks, before colliding with the goods train.

The driver of the goods train, Arumugam, has been confirmed as one of those who has died. The goods train was traveling between Arakkonam to Chennai. The motorman, guard and assistant jumped from the goods train sustaining fractures.

"We heard a loud noise and saw several compartments in flames. The smell emanating from bodies from the mangled coaches was nauseating," said M.N. Selvi, a nearby resident.

The platforms at the Vyasarpadi Jeeva station were destroyed, and electrical cables were torn down. The EMU train caught fire in the collision destroying two compartments completely. The other compartments were thrown from the tracks. The freight train was loaded with oil tanks, however reports indicate that only the EMU train was set ablaze.

All train services were canceled for a time on one of the busiest rail lines of India. "Train services are disrupted due to the mishap but we hope to restore the services in two to three hours time," an Indian Railways spokesperson.

Railways Minister Lalu Prasad announced that an inquiry will be held.

Car Plows Into Crowd During Dutch Queen's Day Celebrations

Car plows into crowd during Dutch Queen's Day celebrations
From Wikinews, Thursday, April 30, 2009

Five people have died and at least 13 are injured after a car plowed into a crowd in front of Het Loo Palace in Apeldoorn, the Netherlands during celebrations of Queen's Day. At around 11:50 local time a black Suzuki Swift went through barriers erected to separate the onlooking crowd from traffic, subsequently striking a monument. Members of the Dutch royal family watched the incident take place from the open-topped bus. The incident was witnessed by many onlookers and photographers as well by media covering the pageant.

"He came out of nowhere and dragged ten to fifteen people. There is blood everywhere and people being resuscitated," a photographer following the parade for De Telegraaf said.

At around 12:00, all official activities in Apeldoorn were cancelled. Other Dutch cities have also cancelled or scaled back activities, such as the Radio 538 concert in Amsterdam and all celebrations in Rotterdam. The mayor of Apeldoorn stated that, "A good day has ended as a drama." Offical Flags throughout the Netherlands have been placed at half-mast. The Queen responded in a video speech and expressed her sympathy for the victims.

During a press conference held at 15:45, police reported that the man, who was still conscious but heavily injured after the accident, had told police that it was a deliberate act. It was also reported that the 38-year-old, a Dutch national, had not been in contact with the police until earlier that day when he was stopped at one of the barriers. He has no prior history of psychological problems and there are no indications that any sort of terrorist group was involved.

The Queen's Day celebrations, observing the birthday of the Dutch monarch, take place annually on April 30. Citizens of the country traditionally celebrate by holding late-night markets and decorating the streets of the Netherlands in orange bunting, honoring the House of Orange.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

India Buys 250,000 OLPC Laptops

From Wikinews Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Two Indian government organizations have placed orders for 250,000 X0-1 laptop computers. The laptops, designed by the One Laptop Per Child Association, will be distributed to students in nearly 1,500 schools.

The order stands in contrast to criticism the Indian government had previously voiced over the OLPC organization. The Indian government had even started its own $100 laptop program, although it was soon abandoned.

OLPC India CEO Satish Jha has repeatedly stated he would like to sell three million OLPC laptops to India this yea

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Italian Cruise Ship Thwarts Attack by Somali Pirates

From Wikinews,

An attempted hijacking of an Italian cruise ship carrying 1,500 passengers by Somali pirates was thwarted on Sunday by the vessel's security guards. Nobody was injured. The incident occurred about 180 miles north of Victoria, the Seychelles.

According to the captain of the ship, Ciro Pinto, six pirates in a speedboat approached the ship and started shooting, but were forced to flee after security started firing pistols and spraying water from hoses at them.

"One white small boat with six people on board approached the port side of the ship and started shooting," Pinto said, saying that two hundred rounds were shot. He continued that "our security started shooting in the air [...] and also we started spraying some water" in an effort to stop the pirates.

Witness reports say that there were many passengers on the ship's deck when the incident happened, and some of them threw chairs at the attacking pirates.

The ship, which is named the Melody, is owned by the Italian MSC Cruises company. It had departed from South Africa and was en route to Italy.

Piracy is rampant in the waters off the eastern coast of Africa and the Gulf of Aden. Since the start of this month, pirates have attacked approximately a dozen ships, despite the presence of about a score of naval warships patrolling the vicinity.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

ANC Leads in South Africa Vote

-- From Wikinews, Saturday, April 25, 2009

Early results show the African National Congress holding a commanding lead in South Africa's general election.

But it is still unclear whether the party has met its goal of the two-thirds majority in Parliament required to amend the constitution.

With half of the vote counted, the ANC has 66% of the vote. Its nearest rival, the Democratic Alliance, has 16%, while ANC splinter-group the Congress of the People trails with 8%.

The results will see ANC leader Jacob Zuma elected as President of South Africa when the National Assembly reconvenes in May.

Provincial elections are also being held, and the ANC looks likely to lose power in the province of Western Cape to the Democratic Alliance. This will be the first time an opposition party has won control of a provincial parliament since the end of apartheid.

The election campaign has focused on crime, poverty, and the suitability of Zuma to be President. Zuma was acquitted of rape in 2006, and corruption charges against him were withdrawn shortly before the election after prosecutors found the charges had been politically motivated.

During the campign, opposition leader Helen Zille warned that Zuma's election would turn South Africa into a "failed state".

Turnout has been high, with long lines of voters queuing to cast their ballot in South Africa's fourth election since the end of apartheid. The election has generally been peaceful and with few irregularities, though a COPE official was shot dead in his home and one election official has been arrested for attempting to stuff a ballot box with ballots marked for the Inkatha Freedom Party.

400 representatives will be elected by proportional representation, half from national and half from provincial lists. Forty parties are contesting the elections.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Exoplanet That May Have Liquid Water Oceans Discovered

Discovery of smallest exoplanet yields 'extraordinary' find
From Wikinews, Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Scientists have made two major discoveries in the search for other Earth-like planets. British astronomers say they have discovered the smallest known Earth-like exoplanet called Gliese 581 e and also discovered that a nearby planet called Gliese 581 d, discovered in 2007, is in the much sought after 'habitable zone'. Astronomers also believe there is a possibility that 581 d could have liquid oceans on its surface, calling the find "extraordinary."
Artist's impression of the planetary system around the red dwarf Gliese 581.
Image: European Southern Observatory.

"The Holy Grail of current exoplanet research is the detection of a rocky, Earth-like planet in the 'habitable zone'," said astrophysicist at Switzerland's Geneva University, Michel Mayor.

Astronomers say 581 e is 20.5 light years away from Earth and that it's roughly 1.9 times larger than Earth, making it the smallest exoplanet discovered to date. It was found using the High Accuracy Radial Velocity Planet Searcher (HARPS). It orbits too close to its parent star, Gliese 581, which would make it too hot, unable to support life. It takes just over 3 days for it to orbit the star.

Exoplanet 581 d, however, is another story. Astronomers say this makes it possible to not only support life, but have liquid water in the forms of oceans. 581 d is approximately 7.7 times larger than Earth. Astronomers originally thought it was too cold to have liquid water thus would not be able to host Earth-like life.

"It is very exciting that such a promising candidate for an Earthlike planet has been found so close to us. It means there are likely to be many more when we search further," added Mayor.

Monday, April 20, 2009

British Author J. G. Ballard Dead at 78

From Wikinews, Monday, April 20, 2009

British author James Graham Ballard, known as J. G. Ballard has died at the age of 78. Ballard died on Sunday after a long battle with prostate cancer.

According to a spokesperson, Ballard had been sick "for several years" and that it was "with great sadness" to have to make the announcement of his death. He died at the home of his long-time partner.

Ballard is best known for writing the novels Crash in 1973 and Empire of the Sun in 1984 which won the James Tait Black Memorial Prize. Both books went on to be major motion pictures.

"He was a colonial figure in some senses. He had grown up in Shanghai and had very good manners. He was very generous and polite and it took a long while before he would do anything that wasn’t very controlled," said friend and author Iain Sinclair to The Times.

Ballard was born in Shanghai, China in the Shanghai International Settlement in 1930. When he was 12, he and his family were forced to live in a camp run by Japanese forces during World War II. Ballard says that he won't say happy things about his experience in the camp, but also no unpleasant ones either. In an interview with BBC News, Ballard said "I remember a lot of the casual brutality and beatings-up that went on, but at the same time we children were playing a hundred and one games all the time."

In 1946 he moved to the UK with his sister and mother where he began to write. Twenty years later, in the 1960's, he employed himself as a full time writer. He produced his first novel in 1961 titled The Wind from Nowhere and The Drowned World just a year later.

Friday, April 10, 2009

West Florida, Australia, and New Zealand Condemn Fiji Takeover

-- Wikinews
Friday, April 10, 200

The international community has condemned the Fijian president's decision to abrogate the constitution.

President Ratu Josefa Iloilo abrogated the country's constitution earlier today in response to a Court of Appeal decision declaring the removal of Prime Minister Laisenia Qarase and the appointment of military strongman Voreqe Bainimarama as interim Prime Minister unlawful.

Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd condemned the move, saying that it would take Fiji backwards. He called for the government to obey the court of appeal's ruling and hold elections promptly.

"This is the right course for Fiji and the only way forward for the people of Fiji," he said.

New Zealand Foreign Minister Murray McCully said that the abrogation of the constitution "will merely compound the problems faced by ordinary Fijians".

"The President's decision, no doubt prompted by the Commodore, to override the constitution, sack the judges, and depend upon the military to keep an unlawful regime in power, will compound the already serious economic difficulties confronted by Fiji," McCully said.

In a televised address this morning, President Iloilo abrogated the constitution, revoked all judicial appointments, and appointed himself as head of state. He said he would appoint a new interim government in the coming days to implement the reforms of the People's Charter for Change, Peace and Progress and pave the way for "true democratic and parliamentary elections" to be held by September 2014.

Fiji's government was overthrown by a military coup in 2006

Fiji - Court Rules Interim Regime Unlawful

-- From Wikinews
Thursday, April 9, 2009

Fiji's Court of Appeal has ruled that the removal of Prime Minister Laisenia Qarase and the appointment of Fiji's interim regime following the military coup in 2006 was unlawful.

It has ordered President Josefa Iloilo to appoint a caretaker Prime Minister to dissolve Parliament and call elections. However, it has denied former Prime Minister Qarase's argument that he should be reinstated, instead ruling that the President should appoint an independent person.

Former Prime Minister Qarase welcomed the decision. "We are very happy with the decision of the Court of Appeal today... the Constitution of Fiji 1997 is the supreme law of Fiji and it has to be respected by everybody including the President," he said.

Interim Attorney-General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum said that the ruling had created a power vacuum. "There is a vacuum, because the court has not said that (ousted prime minister Laisenia) Qarase comes back as Prime Minister, the court has simply said that the President has to appoint a caretaker Prime Minister, a third party," he said.

He said the government would be appealing the ruling.

Fiji's military government was reportedly on alert in anticipation of the ruling, with police manning roadblocks throughout Suva, the capital city.

The case was brought by former Prime Minister Qarase. It questioned whether President Iloilo had constitutional authority to replace the Qarase administration with an interim government headed by military strongman Voreqe Bainimarama.

Soqosoqo ni Duavata ni Lewenivanua Party lawyer Brad Walker argued that the President's powers to dismiss the Prime Minister were constrained by the constitution. State counsel Richard Gordon QC argued that the President had powers to act outside the Constitution to protect the country in times of crisis. But the court ruled that the President's prerogative powers had been extinguished by the 1997 constitution.

A previous decision by Fiji's High Court ruled that President Iloilo's actions were lawful and valid.

The case was heard by Judges Justice Randal Powell, Justice Ian Lloyd and Justice Francis Douglas.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

G-G Attends League of Small Nations Meeting

-- Wintworth House

The inaugural meeting of the revitalized League of Small Nations was held this past Saturday. Representatives of the Dominion of British West Florida (GG Register), Grand Duchy of Greifenberg (Paul, Grand Duke of Greifenberg), Republic of Molossia (President Baugh), and the Principality of Vikesland (Prince Christopher I) were present.

After some initial technical difficulties the meeting was called to order by His Grace Paul, Grand Duke of Griefenberg. The charter, and officers were approved in short order.

Molossia nominated the acting Secretary-General, (The Grand Duchy of Griefenberg) for Secretary-General, the nomination was seconded by the Principality of Vikesland and received unanimous consent.

Vikesland nominated Molossia as Treasurer, British West Florida seconded the motion, and Molossia was elected, again by unanimous consent.

A discussion of expulsion of members who appeared unwilling or unable to meet their obligations to the League then followed. British West Florida argued for the benefit of the doubt to be extended to those nations who had not yet made their intentions plain to the League. After much discussion it was agreed that while the league's patience is not infinite, the nations in question would be offered one more opportunity to show their ability to meet their obligations.

Discussion then turned to the Summit Conference. It was agreed that the Summit would be held in or near Saint Louis, with all member state delegations to arrive by the evening of 7 October 2010. Grand Duke Paul graciously agreed to take the lead in organizing the site and events.

The League agreed that the Treasurer would maintain the league's funds in a special account under their name and the authority of the League. A new account will be created by subsequent treasurers with remaining funds transferred from the old treasurer to the new following the transfer of the office.

The League agreed to work together on a League web page, to be ready before the Summit. Molossia graciously agreed to to continue to host the League web page, and to remain as its web master, until other arrangements could be made.

Japanese Ship Escapes in Somalia

- From Wikinews, Tuesday, March 24, 2009

A cargo ship owned by a Japanese company has escaped an attack by pirates off the coast of Somalia. The ship outran two pirate boats that opened fire on her yesterday.

The ship, owned by Mitsui O.S.K. Lines and flagged in the Cayman Islands, came under attack at around 4 p.m. Somali time (UTC+3) as gunfire came from two small priate boats. The vessel, with a crew of eighteen from the Philippines, suffered light damage to its front and windows were broken.

The Jasmine Ace was en-route from Sharjah, United Arab Emirates to Mombasa, Kenya. The 126.75m car carrier had loaded with 377 used cars in Sharjah on March 17.

The ship sped up to try and outrun the high-speed boats, and began to zig-zag as an evasive manoeuvre. The pirates chased for forty minutes but finally gave up. Nobody was injured in the attack.

Piracy is rife in Somalia. Japan sent two destroyers earlier this month to combat piracy in the region, joining an international task force. Indian cargo ship MSV Al Rafiquei was hijacked on Saturday and the ship and the sixteen Indians on board were released on Sunday. Pirates seized the crew's mobiles as well as five barrels of petrol and twenty of diesel. The crew were also assaulted up by their captors.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Anglicans Begin to Return to Parish Churches in Zimbabwe

-- Staff Writer

The Anglican Bishop of Harare has despite the presence of riot policemen at the altar has resumed Sunday Services.

Bishop Sebastian Bakare told representatives of Zimbabwe's Security Service 'If you wish to attack me, I an in your power', while conducting services last week.

After securing an affidavit from Polic Commissioner Augustine Chihurj denying any police operation to force Anglicans away from there churches Anglican priests begin encouraging their parishioners to return to their churches for worship. Tensions remain high, but emboldened by the new power-sharing government and men of the Faith like Bishop Bakare of Harare, members are beginning to return to their accustomed places of Worship.

Canadian PM Seeks to Abandon Gun Registry

-- From Wikinews, Sunday, March 22, 2009

Stephen Harper, the Prime Minister of Canada, asked hunters and fishermen to contact opposition members of parliament (MPs) to abandon the Canadian Firearms Registry.

Harper was the keynote speaker at the Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters conference held Saturday in Mississauga.

Harper asked those attending the rally to support the bill to abolish the registry. He said, "There are MPs in all these parties that know what we know: that law-abiding hunters and farmers are not part of the crime problem, and that you should be respected and not demonized, So I challenge you to press these MPs to follow their consciences and do what they know is right, vote to abolish the long-gun registry and fight crime instead."

"Hunters are not the ones on the streets breaking the law — they're enjoying the sport and the country," said Frank DiRocco, an avid hunter and angler from Woodbridge, Ontario.

"Instead of action on crime, we got the federal long gun registry, which became a bloated bureaucratic nightmare to responsible hunters, farmers and rural Canadians. It cost taxpayers some CA$2 billion and it hasn't done a thing to reduce gun crime." said Harper.

The Conservatives have provided amnesty for unregistered gun owners.

At this time there is no legislation set before the House of Commons. Conservative Garry Breitkreuz from Saskatchewan tabled the bill killing the long-gun registry.

England Wins Women's Cricket World Cup

-- From Wikinews, Sunday, March 22, 2009

England beat New Zealand in the final of the 2009 Women's World Cup tournament at North Sydney Oval, North Sydney in Australia to win the title for the third time. The other two matches for the 3rd place play-off between Australia and India ended with India beating Australia by 3 wickets and the West Indies beating Pakistan by 3 wickets as well.

In the final New Zealand won the toss and elected to bat first, but were bowled out for 166 in 47.2 overs. Lucy Doolan was the top scorer for New Zealand with 48 and Nicky Shaw finished with the best bowling figures for England taking 4/34. Chasing the target of 167 England was comfortable in their chase until they lost some quick wickets towards the end. Ultimately Nicky Shaw came to the rescue again to guide England to the title after some anxious moments. Lucy Doolan was the star bowler for New Zealand taking 3/23.

Nicky Shaw of England was declared the player of the match and Sarah Taylor was declared the player of the series. This is England's first World Cup win after their triumph in the 1993 World Cup final

New Zealand Pilots Receive Bravery Awards

-- From Wikinews, Saturday, March 21, 2009

The International Federation of Air Line Pilots' Associations (IFALPA) has awarded two New Zealand pilots with the Polaris Award for their bravery in landing their plane during an attempted hijacking and then confronting the alleged hijacker.

Pilot Dion McMillan and co-pilot Ross Haverfield were given the awards at an IFALPA conference in Auckland today. They were flying over New Zealand's South Island in February 2008 when the incident took place. A woman armed with a knife said she had two bombs in her luggage and told them to fly to Australia.

McMillan issued a mayday call advising air traffic control of the situation and the pilots performed an emergency landing at Christchurch International Airport. McMillan and Haverfield then waited until the passengers had disembarked before confronting the woman, who had already stabbed one passenger.

A fight broke out in which Haverfield was stabbed in the foot and McMillan's hand was stabbed so badly he was off work for several months. Asha Ali Abdille, a 33-year-old Somali woman living in New Zealand, was subsequently arrested. Her trial is pending and will begin in September.

McMillan accepted Haverfield's award on his behalf, the co-pilot not attending the black tie dinner at Auckland's SkyCity Convention Centre, which was put on as part of an IFALPA convention lasting a week. He could say very little about the event due to the pending court action, but he did say of his hand "The movement's good but there's still not much feeling left."

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Cricket: West Indies Regain Wisden Trophy

-- From Wikinews, Thursday, March 12, 2009

The British West Indies cricket team held on to a draw in the fifth and final test of the five match test series at Queen's Park Oval, Port-of-Spain, Trinidad against the England cricket team to win the five test series 1-0 and regain the Wisden trophy after a gap of nine years. This is their first major test series victory in five years.

To win the match, West Indies were set a target of 240 runs in 66 overs or to bat two sessions for a draw. West Indies pair of Fidel Edwards and Denesh Ramdhin thwarted the English attack to finish on 114-8 and drawing the match.Earlier in the day Kevin Pietersen scored 102 runs to enable England to declare at 237/6 in their second innings.

England had drawn the previous two tests in Barbados and Antigua and Barbuda and had lost the first test in Jamaica by an innings and 23 runs. The second test in Antigua was abandoned. Matt Prior was declared Player of the match and Ramnaresh Sarwan was declared the player of the series.

Monday, March 09, 2009

Republican Gunmen Strike Again in Northern Ireland

-- From Wikinews - Tuesday, March 10, 2009

A policeman has been killed in County Armagh, Northern Ireland by gunmen a mere 48 hours after two soldiers were killed.

In what is presumed to be the work of dissident Republicans hoping to derail the peace process, the police officer was shot in the head before 10:00 p.m. on March 9.

The officer, described as an experienced veteran with 20 years of service, was responding to a call for help from a female member of the public in the Lismore area of Craigavon when he was shot. A two vehicle patrol was sent to the incident given previous trouble in the area, with the members of one vehicle dealing with the incident and those of the second vehicle providing cover, it was the members of the vehicle providing cover that was attacked.

The PSNI, believe that the officer was hit by long range gun fire from a shooter secreted in the Republican stronghold of the Drumbeg estate. There are unconfirmed reports that a second officer has also been injured.

The shooting led to a call for unity and calm from a broad spectrum of the community ranging from spokesmen for the Ulster Volunteer Force, who called for the gunmen to be dealt with through the courts.

This is the first death of a police officer to sectarian violence in over a decade, and comes after a nine month period in which intelligence indicated that dissidents were aiming to kill a policeman.

Chief Constable of the Police Service of Northern Ireland Sir Hugh Orde has appealed for the community to help police bring those responsible to justice.

Sir Hugh said: “Shortly before 10pm officers in Craigavon were going about their duty, serving the public of Northern Ireland, answering a call for help. Sadly one of those officers paid the ultimate price when cowards and criminals gunned him down. I pay tribute to him and send my deepest sympathy to his family.

"His death comes some 48 hours after a similar attack in Antrim that saw two young soldiers murdered and four other people seriously injured.

"This has got to stop and I have a direct appeal to the community to help us to do so.

"We need people with information to come forward. My police officers are men and women from within this community – your community – who have opted to protect and serve you. They are your neighbours, he said.

The Chief Constable paid tribute to the dedication of his colleagues: "My officers joined the police service to serve the community here. Every day and night they respond to reports of burglary, domestic abuse, missing persons, vehicle theft, rape… the list goes on. Last night in Craigavon it was a call to a broken window. Such is the desire within my organisation to win the support of all within the community my officers responded knowing the threat to their lives was a very real possibility.

"But last night their commitment was met with the very worst in human nature. This morning the Police Service of Northern Ireland has lost an officer. But I say to you – the people living on this island – you have lost a member of your community. This was not only an attack on the peace process – it was an attack on the community here.

Triple Understanding Reached - UN ICC Condemned

Triple Understanding Reached, UN ICC Condemned.

-- Wentworth House, Embassy of the Imperium of DeWaCo Estates, High Commission Office of Independent Long Island

Monday, 9 March 2009 – Commonwealth Day.

In a rare show of multilateral agreement, the Heads of Government of the Imperium of DeWaCo Estates, Independent Long Island, and the Dominion of British West Florida have released a joint statement (the text of which follows) condemning the United Nations' International Criminal Court for issuing an arrest warrant for a serving head of government.

The His Excellency the Lord Imperator of DeWaCo stated "The Proud People of the Imperial Commonwealth stand in support of the resolution; and would hope that wisdom will prevail, with regards to this matter.". Our own Governor-General remarked that “While we do not sanction any UN actions under Chapter VII, we do call upon them to at least follow their own rules!”. The Governor of Independent Long Island had no additional comments, but according to the Governor-General, having Independent Long Island as a co-signatory to the statement speaks volumes about the breadth of reaction to this latest usurpation by the United Nations.

The full text of the statement (also transcribed below) is available from the Dominion Archives:

Whereas the International Criminal Court, an Agency of the United Nations has issued a Warrant for the Arrest of a Head of State, and

Whereas the Authority of the International Criminal Court is limited to those cases brought before it by competent authority, and

Whereas the nature of Crimes committed by Heads of State or Government, no matter how heinous do not enlarge the Jurisdiction of International Bodies, and

Whereas the Government of the Sudan has neither requested nor authorized intervention by the United Nations Criminal Court,

Now Therefore, we the undersigned Heads of Government and Heads of State, do

Reject the claim of the United Nations International Criminal Court to have the Authority to issue a Warrant against a Head of State or Government, and

Renounce any association with this or any other attempt to use a Foreign Court to interfere in the Domestic Activities of a Sovereign Nation or people, and

Call upon the International Criminal Court of the United Nations to confine itself to the activities authorized by its Charter, and

Call upon the United Nations Security Council to act according to Chapter VII of its Charter in the interest of the Peace and Security of the Sudan.

We further resolve and declare that usurpation of national sovereignty by any external body is a security matter for which no court of competent jurisdiction can be established without the consent of all parties involved.

His Excellency D.W. Corbett
- CommiCzar & Lord Imperator, Imperium of DeWaCo Estates

The Mt. Hon. Bo Register, Marquess of Mobile, GSB
- Governor-General, Dominion of British West Florida

Hon. Most Rev. Dr. Cesidio Tallini
- Governor of Independent Long Island

Saturday, March 07, 2009

4.6 Earthquake Struck Melbourne on Friday Night

Earthquake strikes Melbourne, no reports of injuries
From Wikinews
8 March 2009

An earthquake with a magnitude 4.6 shook the Australian city of Melbourne late Friday night, spanning more than one hundred twenty miles.

The epicenter of the quake was located just north of Korumburra, located in Southern Gippsland, but the earthquake was strong enough to be felt as far as Melbourne.

No injuries were reported, although some homes around the area of the epicenter lost power for about ten minutes. Only minor damage was reported.

"There's [sic] no reports of injury to the SES, however we have received approximately 30 calls for assistance across the state this evening," stated Allan Grigs, from the State Emergency Service. "Most of the calls have come from the Melbourne metropolitan area ... crews are now out just assessing the damage to these properties. It is reported as minor damage at this stage."

According to Geoscience Australia's John Scheider, "the last earthquake of any significant size in that area was the magnitude 5.0 earthquake at Thomson Reservoir [area] in 1996."

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Seven Killed in Gun Attack on Sri Lankan Cricket Team in Pakistan

-- Wikinews, Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Six policemen and a civilian driver were killed and seven members of the Sri Lankan cricket team have been injured in a coordinated gun and rocket attack by 12 to 14 gunmen in Lahore, Pakistan at about 8.00 a.m local time.

The Sri Lankan players were ambushed en route to the Gaddafi stadium to play the third day of the second test, near the liberty roundabout. According to eye witnesses the team convoy was stopped by two vehicles blocking their path.

Security for the tourists included varying the route to the stadium; however, the attack occurred just outside the stadium, with the gunmen surrounding the team convoy on four sides. Wearing ballistic vests and armed with AK 47s, grenades and rockets, the gunmen first targeted the police escort, who bore the brunt of the attack, before turning their sights on the cricketers.

The masked gunmen used rockets to disable the lead vehicle. The driver of the team bus was able to avoid injury and was able to drive out of the area within a minute of the ambush, however injuries were sustained by the team as they were hit by both small arms fire and the resulting spall. No one has claimed responsibility for the attack and no suspects have been arrested.

The team escaped to the safety of the stadium and received first aid in the dressing rooms. The gunmen and police continued to exchange fire for half an hour before the gunmen escaped.

Bloodied and in shock, the team were evacuated from the stadium by air force helicopters landing on the wicket, with Tharanga Paranavithana and Thilan Samaraweera requiring hospital treatment for shrapnel wounds to the chest and leg respectively.

After the attack the tour was immediately cancelled. The team has been recalled and will leave Pakistan as soon as possible. The Sri Lankans were not even meant to be in Pakistan, being there only because the Indian team had withdrawn from a tour in the wake of the 2008 Mumbai attacks.

In view of the attack the ICC, issued a statement noting their "dismay and regret" and has called into question the future of international cricket in Pakistan, including Pakistani involvement as co-hosts of the 2011 Cricket World Cup.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Al-Shabaab and AU Peacekeepers Clash in Somalia

-- Wikinews

Thursday, February 26, 2009

In ongoing clashes that started Tuesday in Somalia, Islamist rebels Al-Shabaab battled troops from the African Union's peacekeeping force, African Union Mission to Somalia (AMISOM).

According to rights groups and other sources, 81 people have been killed. Among them are 48 civilians, said the Elman Peace and Human Rights Organisation. Another 90 civilians have been injured, the group added.

On Sunday, Al-Shabaab attacked Burundi troops with suicide bombers at an AMISOM base in Mogadishu. 11 troops were killed and 15 wounded.

Xuddur, the capital of Bakool, is reported to have fallen under Al-Shabaab control.
Political map of Somalia as of February 3, 2009.

"Al-Shabaab fighters are now patrolling the town and the other group fled," local elder Hussein Abdi Isak told Reuters in a phone interview.

The United Nations Security Council issued a statement to "condemn in the strongest terms the attacks on the African Union mission in Somalia." The statement was passed unanimously and urges all Somalis "to reject violence and extremism."

"This is a kind of setback, no doubt about it, but this is not the time to despair," the President of the United Nations Security Council, Japan's Ambassador Yukio Takasu, told reporters. "On the contrary, I think all of us have much stronger determination to continue to provide and accelerate the logistical support to AMISOM."

The African Union says its peacekeeping force in Somalia — which is supposed to number 8,000, but currently has about 3,500 soldiers from Uganda and Burundi — is in dire need of reinforcement.

However, Nigeria, which was supposed to send 850 officers and soldiers within weeks, says it now has second thoughts.

"At the time the commitment was made to go to Somalia, what was on ground was peacekeeping," Foreign Minister Ojo Maduekwe said. "But the situation in Somalia has deteriorated considerably. We are not in a hurry to start getting the body bags to this country."

"If we are going to risk the lives of our young men and women, if we are going to put our young men and women in harm's way, it has to be a carefully analyzed mission response. It should not be without adequate planning and it should not be without adequate logistical, material support," he added.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Sweden's Crown Princess to Wed in 2010

-- WikiNews

On February 24th the Swedish Royal Court announced that the Crown Princess Victoria was to be married in 2010 to her boyfriend and former fitness trainer Daniel Westling. Victoria, 31, and Daniel, 35, have been in an relationship for 7 years. Since the wedding is to be held in the summer of 2010 it gives the court 18 months to prepare, contemplate the wedding dress of Victoria, and complete the guest-list – which will include Europe and the world's most prominent guests.

According to the Swedish constitution, Victoria must ask for the kings approval for the marriage, who then has to call a cabinet council where the government gives its approval. This was done expediently on Tuesday morning, just before the court announced the engagement.

After the wedding, Daniel will be given the title of Prince Daniel, Duke of Vastergotland, but he will not be in line to succeed the Swedish throne. This is because of the fact that Daniel is of neither royal or noble ancestry.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Vikelsandic Royals on Charity Tour of Cuba

-- Vikeslandic Broadcasting Service

Feb. 23, 2009 - On feb. 4th, 2009 the Royals of Vikesland and 15 Vikeslandic nobles and citizens alike went on an aid mission to the back country of Cuba. The convoy delivered items such as aspirins, writing utensils, scribblers, soap, toothpaste and brushes, toys and clothing. Below is a video showing the hi-lites of the mission.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Vikeslandic Navy Supports Molossia in Caribbean

-- Official Sources

On Feb 11th 2009, Prince Christopher lead a naval recon operation to Ernst Thallmann island, also known as Cayo Blanco. This operation was on behalf of the Molossian government who is currently at war with East Germany. Ernst Thallmann island is the last known land base for the East German Gov't and is located off the coast of Cuba.

Video provided by the Government of Vikesland here:

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Dominion - Barony of Caux Hold Talks

-- Staff Writer
Tuesday 10 February 2009

His Excellency the Governor-General and His Lordship John I of Caux held an impromptu teleconference earlier this evening. This was the first such conference between the two nations, and made use of voice over the Internet protocol (VOIP).

The office of the Governor-General has previously stated that VOIP and Voice and Video of the Internet will be more widely utilized as part of the Government's on going cost containment program.

While the agenda was not released, sources close to Wentworth House indicated that the meeting was primarily a 'get acquainted meeting', and a preliminary to further meetings of members of the League of Small Nations.

Sunday, February 08, 2009

Bush Fires Rip Through Victoria, Australia

-- Staff Reporter Andrew
8 February 2009

Today, well last night and today, massive fires have ripped through Victoria, Australia, just north and east of Melbourne. To date 640 homes have been destroyed and 90 people have been killed. Both tolls are expected to rise.

Entire towns have been destroyed. I heard on the news tonight that at one point 100 bush fires were burning throughout Victoria. Some have been deliberately lit.

It is quite tragic, to put it mildly. It's the worst bush fires since Ash Wednesday in 1983. Please everyone remember those who are suffering in your thoughts and prayers.

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Primates' Meeting Starts n a Low Key

-- Anglican Church of Canada

Date: February 1, 2009

By Paul Feheley

Archdeacon Paul Feheley, Principal Secretary to the Primate, is accompanying Archbishop Fred Hiltz to the Primates' Meeting in Alexandria, Egypt, and will be filing reports as he is able. This is the first.

The sun shone brilliantly in the ancient Egyptian city of Alexandria on Sunday as the Primates of the Anglican Communion gathered for the first time since 2007. This meeting, announced at the Lambeth Conference last summer, seems to lack both the tension and the focus that recent gatherings of global primates have had. It also seems to be attracting less attention, at least thus far.

The staff of the Anglican Communion Office here quite outnumbers the accredited press and the lobby groups from both the right and left are nowhere to be seen. Have we reached a point in the life of the Communion where weariness and frustration over sexuality issues has run its course? Have people simply stopped coming because they know that nothing will change and that opinions are locked in no matter or how many more studies are mandated?

The primates' four-day agenda has a few critical issues before it including discussions on Zimbabwe, global warming and a Christian response to the current crisis in the world economy. Other issues such as Gaza and other wars, violence, HIV/AIDS, human rights violations in many of the Communion's provinces -- one Primate was denied a visa to travel here -- have not made it to the agenda.

Archbishop Fred Hiltz, our Primate, is attending his first Primates' Meeting and will make a presentation on mission priorities in Canada on Monday. He intends to speak about the Five Marks of Mission and the Millennium Development Goals as well as about the question of cross-border interventions by some Primates.

In the past few Primates' Meetings, the final communiqué has spoken to issues that have been routinely ignored by some of the Primates who signed onto the document. One hopes that whatever the final words of this meeting are, they will be honored. It is easy, perhaps too easy, to get entangled in the politics and lose the honesty that is needed. All Anglicans in the Communion have the right to look to these leaders for integrity and commitment to the words they affix their names to.

My hope is that the Primates will envision a world in need not of more rhetoric, nor more study, nor more delays but rather of action that the gospel may be proclaimed. My hope is that the Son of God will look down onto this country that once provided him a home as a refugee and say, "Well done good and faithful servants."

Heavy Snow Disrupts UK Transportation and Communications

From Wikinews, Monday, February 2, 2009

The heaviest snow to fall for 6 years has caused transport problems in some parts of the United Kingdom, especially in London, where it was the heaviest snow for 18 years. It was caused by cold air travelling westwards towards the British Isles from Poland and Russia. As showers moved across the North Sea towards the east coast of Britain, it fell as snow. Throughout Monday, weather fronts pushed in from the south east in Belgium and France towards the South East of Britain. The weather fronts pushed their way further north and westwards.

Almost a foot (30cm) of snow has fallen in the south-east of England, halting train and bus services and making driving treacherous. Flights to and from London's Heathrow and City airports and the outer London Gatwick and Stansted airports are suffering delays and cancellations. In some affected areas, the majority of schools have been closed.

The centre of London, which usually sees no snow at all most years, has around 4" (10cm) of laying snow, whilst Kent, Sussex and Surrey have up to 10" (25cm). The snow reduces further north but has still disrupted travel, with England's Highways Agency advising against car journeys unless essential. The agency had 500 gritters clearing main roads during the night and 600 motorway patrols out in the morning. Stretches of motorway and main road have been blocked by jack-knifed lorries or closed as a pre-emptive measure.

The snow caused disruption to British transport websites, with National Rail Enquiries, Transport for London and South West Trains websites all brought down by heavy traffic. The Highways Agency's site was also unavailable and returned with interactive features turned off. People calling and texting during the abortive rush hour jammed the mobile telephone networks. Mobile network '3' said it had seen "a very steep jump in the number of picture message sent across the network" whilst T-Mobile UK reported 73% more calls, 21% more texts and 20% more broadband bandwidth being used than usual.

The Met Office has a severe weather warning in place for England, Wales and parts of Scotland, with further snow expected across the country later in the week.