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: http://dbwf.net/archives/proclamations/Statement_on_ICC_Issues_Warrant_to_Arrest_Pres_of_Sudan.pdf

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.