Auroran Continental Press Organisation (Open to Syndication)

The Auroran Continental Press Organisation (ACPO) is an independent non-profit international media corporation from Aurora that reports on news affecting the United Nations of the Auroran Continent and Aurora more broadly. We strive to bring you news that is accurate and balanced. Our reporting consists of current affairs coverage, editorials and analysis.
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Only players who have countries in Aurora or in the UNAC can post here. Articles here are meant to be balanced and neutral. If you have a country in Aurora or the UNAC you can post whatever you want. Please use the template below when posting articles and preferable only post one article per post. You can use whichever version of English you like. You can post in another language but please have a translation in a spoiler.

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31 January 2022
Rivendale, Faethalria - Ich bien ein Faethalrien.

I stood in the Grand Square in the city of Rivendale among a crowd of young people who were protesting the appeal of a case of gender-based violence by Leona von Zitterburg. Leona von Zetadotter had assaulted her husband Gerhard von Zetadotter in late 2021. She was arrested for the crime by Faethalrian police and sentenced to 12 years in prison by Judge Julia Wetterburg of the Kleine Tausberg Magistrate Court. At the time of the writing, she was still fighting her case. What made the case particularly interesting was the level of discrimination and abuse at the hands of the police that the case exposed. While this is not an indictment on the Faethalrian judiciary as a whole, it nevertheless serves as a reminder of the struggle our nation has faced in healing from centuries of matriarchal rule.

The Second Auroran Imperial War of 2017 was a turning point in the history of our nation. At that point, our country was partitioned and new ideas around ethnicity and nationhood emerged. The kind of ultranationalistic hyperfeministic fascist bigotry that characterised our national and ethnic identity during the reign of Amalda Harimann over what was then the Matriarchy of Ethalria was cast out when we could no longer call ourselves Ethalrian. We had to put on new names and adopt new values about egalitarianism and inclusivity and we had to confront a world that rightfully distrusted us. The shadow of our great national shame still linger. When foreigners visit our land, we lower our voices and take extra care to be as non-threatening as possible. I like this new us. It’s gentler and freer. Now a women’s strength is no longer judged by how many men she can get, just as a man is no longer judged by his submissiveness to a woman.

Unfortunately, the traces of our past have not left us. We still see a gender pay gap, unequal job and education opportunities and systematic injustices in state institutions. President Jane Augusta and her government have done a tremendous job in moving our country towards progress. But, we find ourselves pining for old traditions and values which despite their surface-level charm augre the past we come from. So then, what does it mean to be Ethalrian? We haven’t yet figured that out, but we do know what it should no longer mean: no more war, no more racism and species, no more sexism and no more authoritarianism. To Gerhard and all the other gender, racial and sexual minorities that continue to fight both the state and their oppressors, know that the new Ethalrians stand with you.

The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not represent the Auroran Continental Press Organisation

President of the Free University of Rivendale Students’ Union and equality activist
MSc in Astrophysics and Astronomy
Fellow of the Duchess of Jubliak Scholarship

15 January 2022
Orléans, Southern Coast - Earlier today, the Prime Minister of the Federation of the Southern Coast announced at the People’s Parliament Complex that their country would be starting nuclear weapons tests.

When asked whether her country had considered alternative defensive strategies other than a nuclear deterrent, they said that the nuclear deterrent had been considered as one of the best defensive strategies available for their country. When asked about the extent this announcement might affect their geopolitical situation in relation to multilateral defensive structures such as the IRSA as well as political and economically powerful nations such as but not limited to Great Morstaybishlia, the Prime Minister stated that they would pursue amicable diplomatic relations regardless of their nuclear deterrent.

We spoke to Professor Lindale Cray from the Institute of Strategic Policy Research at the University of Rockport regarding the proliferation of nuclear arms and the multipolar world order that this contributed to bringing about. She stated the following: “The proliferation of nuclear arms is in part a consequence of the waning influence of the superpowers has allowed for middle powers to enter the scene and in turn acquire such weapons. Although these actors have proven more assertive, there is the danger that we will see an increase in petty conflicts, proxy wars and non-state actors”.

We will bring you any further information on the date and location of testing as soon as we get it.

Journalist and reporter
Aura, Emberwood Coast

13 February 2022
Tilden, Free Pacific States - Axdel recently withdrew from the Puntalian Compromise Treaty and is sending its fleet to that country. Axdel’s recent actions make very little sense and there are a lot of conspiracy theories that have emerged regarding that attack.

What exactly is the function of this attack on Rodenia? Does Axdel plan on strongarming Rodenia into accepting a new treaty? And what exactly would this new treaty entail? Do they expect Rodenia to allow its former Puntalian possessions independence? Or do they want the reformation of the old Puntalia? What about the government of New Puntalia? Have they been consulted in any of this?

Never mind the fact that Axdel’s objectives are unclear. Another concern is, how exactly would Axdel go about executing this plan? Do they plan on putting boots on the ground, conducting airstrikes, or blockading them? Why do they think that they can successfully execute this plan knowing that Pacilvania is supporting Rodenia? Furthermore, Rodenia is not a pushover. They are capable of defending themselves?

Thirdly, how much will this cost? What exactly will this cost? How much money will this entire process cost? How many Axdelian soldiers need to fight in a foreign war that has absolutely nothing to do with them? What does Corbinn plan on telling the parents, spouses, and children of the soldiers who are being sent to war? Even if the aims of this entire process are relevant to Axdelian interests, is this kind of military escalation really necessary?

Why did Axdel choose to act alone? Why did they not consult with MBE, vocalize their disagreement, seek out the support of other nations, or go through the International Forum first?

The insinuation by one of the Allied Media Axdel papers that the war is being started due to a decline in steel exports is the most obscene and ridiculous contrivance I have ever heard. No one in their right mind would believe that a country as progressive and a government as responsible as Axdel’s would start something like this because one of its least important industries facing a slump in sales.

I would imagine that the reasons for this kind of escalation are much more complex. I would speculate that there are factors specific to the Axdelian president and Axdel more broadly. Corbinn is running for another term soon and a tough stance with a foreign country whom his country hates may improve his chances of getting reelected. That is not to say that Corbinn is solely motivated by his political career, but his political ambitions may be a partial motivator. Maybe he genuinely believes that the treaty is wrong and that the war is not finished. However, it is physically impossible for Corbinn to go at this alone.

In case it’s not abundantly obvious to everyone, Axdel is one of the most progressive, peaceful, developed nations in the world if not all of history. A single man cannot simply wake up one day and say “Let’s completely destabilize the international order and waste Axdelian resources and lives”. The Axdelian cabinet and legislature have to be on board. Public support has to be high. I speculate that Axdel is not actually going to go through with serious military action.

I think that Axdel will retreat eventually, but they would have made a point. They would have shown the world that they have the resolve and the power to fight for their interests. Secondly, by withdrawing and exciting the natural impulses of the UCA, they are forcing a renegotiation of the PCT for a more favorable outcome.

The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not represent the Auroran Continental Press Organisation

Agnar Moutuara
Adjunct Professor at the Shiro Academy in Tilden, Free Pacific States for Political Science and Political Commentator and Contributor to Oan News

22 March 2022
Aura, Emberwood Coast - The changes in the Ethalns over the past 3 years have significant implications on the stability and unity of the United Nations of the Auroran Continent (UNAC) that have hitherto been largely ignored.

Firstly, the area of Great Morstaybishlia known as Marisilia is pursuing referendum on their independence. Marisilia was once part of the Grand Matriarchy of Ethalria but was ceded to Great Morstaybishlia when that nation was defeated in various wars in the 20th century. Most of the population consists of ethnically Ethalrian people who continue to speak the Ethalrian language and continue to share affinities with people from the other Ethaln states. This area was incorporated into Caltharus and consists of multiple provinces that are broadly defined as lying east of the Ider River (arguably one of the largest and most important waterways in the world). Should this referendum yield an independent Marisilia, the difficult and painful work of disentangling the institutions of Great Morstaybishlia will take effort and time most likely be painful. This is especially worsened by the fact that participation in continental-level institutions such as the UNAC and the Kiribzone is not guaranteed. The internal divisions in that nation especially between urban areas which benefit from and may be inclined to remain within the MBE as well as the rural areas which hold stronger nationalistic sentiments. Some experts speculate that the area may precipitate internal conflicts ranging from terrorism to civil war if the divisions are large enough. If different parts of Marisilia are allowed to stay and others leave, it will be impossible to create a sustainable and contiguous nation. As such, Marisilia may bring disruption that spans the entire continent.

The unification of Vöhmia and Kothetria into the North Ethalrian Confederacy and now the North Ethalrian Republic has led to some challenges. Firstly, nations such as the Oan Isles are ardently opposed to reunification efforts because they believe it portends a reunited and belligerent Ethalria or one that schews the balance of power in the UNAC. North Ethalria has managed the process remarkably peacefully and others may argue that it is a success. However, Oan military spending remains high partly out of fear of North Ethalria reverting to the militarism of the previous regime. With mistrust simmering under the surface, there are fears by some analysts that the UNAC may struggle to make traction on major policy areas. For example, nations with large fishing resources may be reluctant to accept the draft Fisheries Policy which favours non-fish-endowed states. North Ethalria may want more strict data privacy protections because its citizens’ data is often stored and processed in former Bursil Alliance states due to the advent of social media.

The 2019 invasion and annexation of Kostoria-Obertonia by Faethalria remains a sore topic for some. The UNAC tacitly endorsed the event and it ended in a relatively successful outcome with the Southern Auroran Front and KO National Party being dethroned. But on the other hand, Faethalria was expanded to the sea, increasing its military, political and economic influence. Although Thalria’s Communist regime and its exclusion from UNAC bodies may insulate the continent from its underperformance to some extent, its threats and posturing undermine the security policy of the UNAC. Sarentria and Durentrus have remained largely uneventful. Have Faethalria and Tuvaltastan resolved their undersea fuel exploration and fishing disputes? Has the use of the Ider River by North Ethalria brought discomfort to Caltharus which might have questions about its security?

Thus, the events in this part of the world have seriously brought into question the resilience and stability of the UNAC. Despite proving remarkably well composed, the UNAC is treading carefully and one wonders whether divergences in perspective and interests may grow or diminish.

The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and not the ACPO

Odal Moriv
ACPO Correspondent

21 FEBRUARY 2022
Akhalibisi, Tuvaltastan - The government of Packilvania recently announced that they are imposing sanctions on Axdel. We aim to unpack the economic impact of these sanctions if any.

Quota on noble gases and raw urth metals: Noble gases are used to produce some forms of fluorescent lighting, LED displays, particle accelerators, satellite cooling systems, and lithography equipment. Raw earth metals are used as catalysts in reactions so they often work well in solar panels, microchips, lithium-ion batteries, and other components. Although Packilvania is not banning exports of noble gases and rare urth metals, they are making bilateral trade of these substances between Axdel and Packilvania more difficult. Bilateral sales of these substances are advantageous for Axdel because they circumvent the costs associated with buying them on the open market. Although the nominal prices might not change, real prices created by the diminished supply may make accessing these materials more costly for Axdelian manufacturers. Axdelian manufacturers can mitigate the effects of this by buying these substances on the open international market or using a third-party UNAC state as a transshipment port. Furthermore, it is unknown to what extent Axdel depends on Packilvanian imports at all. Overall, the effects of this on the Axdelian economy will be mild at most, but this is a powerful signal to Axdel that there are economic implications for geostrategic decisions.

Tariff hike on Axdelian steel imports: Although Packilvania has a domestic steel manufacturing industry, Axdelian refined metallurgical products (RMPs) are useful in a variety of applications such as construction, shipbuilding, manufacturing, etc. Axdel has proven to be particularly well-positioned in this sector and thus, these goods have been a lucrative source of foreign currency for the Axdelian economy. While UNAC markets are substantial, the construction and manufacturing boom in Packilvania proved a highly profitable buyer of Axdelian goods. Axdel also benefitted from the fact that it did not bear any of the last mile costs of selling RMPs to Packilvania as opposed to the UNAC where these costs are borne collectively. Again, it is unclear where Pax’s imports are significant.

Asset freezes on powerful individuals: The asset freezes on powerful people in the government are meant to pinch the elites especially if they have assets denominated in Packilvanian dinars or located in Packilvania. It is unknown how much wealth the sanctioned people have in Packilvania. We can only speculate whether this will have any impact at all. Nevertheless, unlike Packilvania where a small cohort of powerful people have much to lose through these kinds of sanctions, the reality is that the political and economic landscape in Axdel is more diverse. Furthermore, the rest of the UNAC provides a cushion against these kinds of actions.

On a scale of 1 to 10, these sanctions are a solid 3. The Packilvanian government clearly wants to give itself room to negotiate and is signaling strongly that it is willing to impose severe economic consequences on Axdel due to the Puntalian Crisis. Economic sanctions on their own do not achieve geostrategic goals but when used in conjunction with a variety of other measures, they can prove effective. Given the economic disparity between Pax and Axdel, it is unknown to what extent reciprocal sanctions from Andel might be impactful.

Nevertheless, Packilvania’s sanctions portend a slightly more severe problem. The economic consequences of the war are propagating and it is only a matter of time before they hit the UNAC. For instance, ASTRA’s work on the Soltan Nuclear Fission Reactor might face delays. Oan microchip manufacturing capabilities hinge on Axdelian tools many of which rely on noble gases for precision lasers. Space vehicles from Emberwood Coast rely on Axdelian components which in turn need rare urth metals. Thus, the UNAC will need to brace for the economic impact of these actions. Furthermore, it is unclear to what extent the UNAC will side with Axdel given that it did leave the PCT first and it is unclear to what extent Axdel consulted with them before acting. We patiently await Diego Corbinn’s government’s response to the matter.

The NCEF/UCA’s Heilen Plan is an interesting attempt to cushion against the effects of Packilvanian economic sanctions. This plan aims to decouple the extent of economic interlinkage between Pax and the UCA/NCEF as well as provide support to the UCA/NCEF and its allies. However, it is unclear how effective this plan is. Perhaps in the long term, it might be feasible, but it is incredibly difficult to decouple from countries with economies as large as Packilvania’s. For instance, most of the UCA/NCEF member states are developed, thus the costs of manufacturing and outsourced professional services like call center work and software development might increase. The question is the extent to which consumers in the UCA/NCEF will bear these effects and the kinds of demands they will make from their governments. Many of them are recovering from the last Puntalian Crisis as well as other disputes.

Karas Endal
ACPO Correspondent

23 February 2022


Whether or not the UCA and Axdel can defeat Rodenia depends on what their strategic objectives are, whether they can agree on those objectives and whether they possess the resources and tactical capabilities to accomplish those objectives. This article will go through potential types of objectives, what it would take to achieve them and whether the UCA and Axdel have the resources to accomplish those goals.

Firstly, war is not free. There are direct costs as a result of financial capital, physical resources, and human capital directed toward the war effort such as the cost of healthcare, food, housing, ammunition, equipment purchase, maintenance and repairs, and fuel. Secondly, there are indirect costs such as lost economic output due to the redirection of economic activity to the war effort and disruption of normal trade as well as the cost of repairing and rebuilding the damaged military and civilian infrastructure, disarmament, humanitarian costs, and provision of basic services in affected areas. Furthermore, the loss of political goodwill between belligerent states can have intangible albeit material costs that span into the future. These consequences are expected of war and are thus not in themselves evidence of whether the war effort would fail or is even worth it at all. These costs only make sense when weighed against the potential benefits of their expense.

Objective 1: Invade and occupy Rodenia. This objective would require 840,000 soldiers (assuming a 20 to 1000 ratio of soldiers relative to a total population of 42 million people). Assuming Axdel and all members of the UCA contribute forces to this objective, then it is feasible. However, the main problem that arises here is that nations would have to create an integrated command structure that requires entrusting the lives of their soldiers to the hands of foreign commanders and the political and strategic interests of their civilian overlords.

Objective 2: Installing a puppet government in Rodenia. This is unlikely to be successful. Despite the fact that Santon is a dictator, it is unlikely that the population would accept a foreign government unless there was an adequately large ideological movement within Rodenia that aligned with and was willing to assume the role of a puppet government of the UCA-Axdel. Moreover, this would require the incredible cost of nation-building and political transformation which would bog down UCA-Axdel resources in Rodenia for years if not decades.

Objective 3: Expelling Rodenia from Puntalia. This is much more attainable than the aforementioned goals. This would require defeating and expelling Rodenian forces. Assuming there is no armistice with Rodenia and it is reasonable to assume that Rodenia would keep fighting, a border defense would have been maintained for years. Furthermore, this would require reestablishing public institutions and the provision of public services which fall on the UCA-Axdel alliance. Moreover, the success of this would, in part, rely on the ability to set up a functioning post-occupation government e.g., New Puntalian rule or an independent government.

The question is, is there enough agreement among UCA member states and Axdel to present a united front and effect a single strategy? Firstly, Axdel and the UCA were not singularly in agreement with the Puntalian Compromise Treaty, so it is arguable that they are united in at least negotiating more favorable terms. However, Axdel’s unilateral move to send naval forces and unilaterally withdraw was a surprise to the entire world. While UCA intelligence might have suspected it, it is unclear whether there was any coordination. Secondly, UCA members have their own domestic issues. Tavaris is facing the potential secession of parts of its country and thus sending troops to a foreign war of little consequence is unlikely to be in their political objectives. Sokala is dealing with the ramifications of its war with Iphelklori. it is unclear if the Alksearian public will be happy with another war just over a year since the Balistrian Coalition War. No one knows what’s happening with Aivintis, Atlae and Kaldrbuth. Axdel might be dissuaded should the IRSA and UNAC be annoyed by the spillover effects. With all due respect, the other members are inconsequential. Norgsveldet might have to bear the slack for the rest of the alliance. It is entirely probable that Norgsveldet might have its own aspirations that may result in friction with Axdel.

But of course, that depends on the fight that Rodenia can bring to the table and how much Packilvania (arguably its only ally) is willing to bring to the table. The reality is that the economic prosperity Pax has enjoyed is in part influenced by its economic links to the UCA and Axdel (and the UNAC more broadly). Santon might fight like a devil and be willing to use extraordinary force to achieve his goals, but that does not say much about how well-trained and equipped his forces are. Packilvania might seem like a brutal dictatorship, but one might be surprised by how squeamish they are and how much they value building the image of a responsible global actor.

Karas Endal
ACPO Correspondent

24 FEBRUARY 2022

URGIA, ALKSEARIA - An article published by the ACPO recently came across my desk at the National Alkari University. I am not one to typically write rebuttal articles as I normally bring it up in my International Relations class or in my Public Relations classes. I normally have my students discuss articles, but this was an article I couldn’t help but feel disappointment and disgust at what I read. As a Professor of Graduate Studies in International Relations and a Professor of an undergrad and Graduate course is public Opinions, I would like to weigh in on the conversation of “Alksearian attitudes”[sic]

The author of the article, Karas Endal, brings up a conversation about whether the UCA and Axdel are in a position to militarily deal with Rodenia. I am not a military expert, and I am rusty on military history post-1985 so I will refrain from those points of discussion. What was, in my professional and personal opinion, an example of lazy reporting and reporters not doing research were the comments made about domestic issues.

The author does get right that it has only been a year since the Coalition War, almost 2 years in just 4 months. What the author doesn’t get right is public opinion regarding the Coalition War and potential wars. I will first discuss points about the Coalition War and then further explain potential attitudes. To begin, the Coalition War was not an offensive war; it was indeed a defensive war. The aggressor was Balistria. Their government delivered an ultimatum, and when it was rejected, declared war. In addition, they murdered the sitting regent of Alksearia, King Eldras VI (blessed be his name) on live TV for all to see.

In modern Alkari history and not since the AIW has there been quite the insult to another nation. Eldras - as he insisted on being called - was not an unpopular statesman. In fact, his approval ratings were one of the highest since the start of polling in the early 1910s. On average, during his reign from 1993 until his death in 2020, his approval rating sat at 84%. The lowest it ever dipped was during the 2001 Council of Lords controversy that his approval dipped down to 77%. His Father, Eldras V, by contrast was more divisive. Eldras V’s approval hovered around 62%. The major distinction between the two approval ratings is mainly Eldras VI’s age. He was only 17 when he inherited the throne from his father, and he was largely unhappy with the formality of his titles. On many occasions, it was known for Eldras to be referred to only as “Eldras” or as “Lord Eldras.” This had the effect of making him seem closer to his people. He was known for doing outreach work with various groups. He also oversaw the start of a new kingdom where had a parliament and brought aspects of democracy to our nation. Now, obviously, he is not without his faults and his failings, but even so, nothing he did was to the harm of the general people, and the general people - the public opinion - reflected that.

The Coalition War was seen as a necessary step after being dealt a devastating blow. His murder on national TV was nothing more than an insult the very core of Alksearia. Her people are now being guided by another young leader, Queen Dorothea. She had to take the reigns during one of the worst political crises of Alksearia since the Succession Crisis in the 1780s and 1790s. Eldras’s popularity helped the transition into his daughter taking over as she has affirmed the same principles as he did when Eldras first ascended.

The attitude of the public during that war was one of nationalism. There were people who felt no grater pride in their nation than defeating the one who killed their beloved leader and there were people who believed the only way to correct the wrong was to subjugate the Balistrians under Dorothea. The public never once looked at the war with disgust, but rather, they looked at the war with pride and with determinism.

Dorothea has affirmed our nation’s commitment to both our allies, especially to the UCA and to Tavaris. Dorothea was not a fan of the Puntalia agreement as the only concessions were on the UCA side, and Rodenia essentially got away with invading their ally. Any potential war against Rodenia would be seen by the general Alkari public as a necessary move rather than an imperialist action. And don’t just trust my word for it. The Political Science department at the University of Urgia-Nova, the most prestigious university in Alksearia (dare I say, in most of northern Arcturia), did a series of polls on attitudes towards Rodenia and potential war. When the Puntalian Crisis first happened, approval ratings for a potential war was nearly 45%. After the signing of the treaty, support hovered near 40%. However, with recent events, and the fact that the treaty has done nothing for the region, a series of polls were conducted during the last 3 months. The first saw a return to a 45% support for war, followed by a 53% support for war, and finally, a recent poll published on 31st March, showed a 58% approval for war.

While there has been turmoil on the domestic front pertaining to Balistria and the Coalition War, it is sufficient to say that support for war with Rodenia is present. It is not a warmongering tactic and it is certainly not grandstanding done by Dorothea. Rodenia is seen as a threat to an ally, and is illegally occupying one of our allies in the UCA. Dorothea, with the support of her people, wishes to see a unified Puntalia.

Finally, in more of a personal opinion than a professional one, I find the language of the ACPO to be quite dismissive of the severity of the situation regarding Rodenia. This is a brutalist dictatorship with whom Alksearia downgraded relations with in 2002 and then severed relations with in 2021 after the Compromise Treaty, and finally being downgraded to a Rogue Nation in early 2022. Rodenia does not affect the people of Aurora, but it most certainly does provide a threat to the stability of Arcturia. After all, the invasion of Puntalia was under false pretense and they have refused to even show the evidence for the invasion in the first place. It is without a doubt that we are afraid of the next move the Rodenians make as we have allies on three sides of Rodenia. Who’s next in the bloodlust of Rodenia?

I urge the ACPO to publish a corrective article, and especially addressing the misleading points they made about UCA capabilities and the misguided lens that Alksearia would be unhappy assisting a treaty ally.

The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and not the ACPO.

Dr Lucas Alarie, Ph.D, MA
Graduate Professor of Internal Relations specializing in Alkari relations with the UCA and with Norgsveldet and Tavaris and also is the Undergraduate third Chair of Political Science department the University of Urgia

OOC: Written by Shadow

25 FEBRUARY 2022

AURA, EMBERWOOD COAST - The Auroran Continental Press Organisation (hereinafter referred to as ACPO) welcomes the rebuttal by Dr. Lucas Alarie to the article “Can the UCA, Axdel defeat Rodenia”. The ACPO promotes and encourages free speech including perspectives and opinions that might differ from those expressed on our platform. The ACPO does not normally respond to rebuttals from the public unless explicitly asked to do so, but given that Dr. Alarie explicitly asked us to take action on our side, we will respond accordingly.

Our journalists have the freedom to publish articles on the stories of their choosing. Under Emberitian and broader UNAC law, journalists and their work are protected. However, as the editors of ACPO, we strive to ensure that the views and opinions expressed by our journalists are balanced, reflective, and circumspective. Furthermore, we believe that our journalists are highly skilled and astute as such we have faith in their work and we have faith in our internal editorial process.

Thus, Karas Endal will NOT be asked to publish a “corrective” article or be compelled to amend their article unless they explicitly venture to do so of their own volition. Mx Endal has the freedom to respond and refrain from responding to Dr. Alarie’s rebuttal as they do to any other opinion from the public. We will not opine on the appropriateness of the perspective and response that Dr. Alarie presented. However, we will clarify that the article that Mx. Endal published stated the following: “It is unclear if the Alksearian public will be happy with another war just over a year since the Balistrian Coalition War.”[sic]

Mx. Endal wanted us to convey the following statement in response to the article referenced above: “It was inconclusive from my investigations that Alkari public opinion would favor Alksearia joining the war in light of the material consequences that such a war would have notwithstanding the predominance of ideological and political differences they might have with Rodenia and personal sentiments about the legitimacy of their invasion of Puntalia. However, I would like to address a point where I believe the article was intellectually dishonest. At the time that the invasion occurred, international law experts stated that it was illegal. However, the illegality of its invasion is rendered null and void given that the Puntalian Compromise Treaty was a legally binding agreement that recognized Puntalia’s legal sovereignty”.

Again, we would like to appreciate the article and its author for sending it to us and we welcome further submissions from the public. Please note that the Editors of ACPO reserve the right to decide which articles are published on ACPO’s platform.

Office of the Chief Editor
Auroran Continental Press Organisation

4 APRIL 2022
SANI BURSIL, GREAT MORSTAYBISHLIA - The Auroran Cup Qualifiers have finished and the nations that have qualified are as follows:

In group A: Staynes, the Oan Isles and Astra

In group B: Oscrelia, Tuvaltastan and Nolova

In group C: Baykalia, K’undzeti and Blueacia

In group D: Kothalria, Caltharus and Tivot

In group E: Dragonia and Valerica

In group F: Korstazia and Valeria

The 2022 Auroran Cup is expected to be hosted in various venues in several parts of Aurora.


Arin Solion
ACPO Sports Correspondent

16 MAY 2022

ICAF Tavaris 2022 World Cup Logo
Nuvo, Tavaris - The Kingdom of Tavaris had the privilege (and challenge) of hosting the biggest sporting event in the world, the International Confederation of Association Football (ICAF) World Cup. Qualifiers for the event started in the second half of 2021 and ended recently. Qualifiers were held at the continental level with each continental association being allocated spots in the World Cup according to a weighted distribution system.

There were fears that the competition might not go ahead given that the Kingdom of Tavaris was recently partitioned with about a third of its territory and population ceded to the People’s Commune of Acronis. This created uncertainty about venues and travel arrangements. I would be lying if I said that the shadow of the recent partition did not loom over the occasion. Nevertheless, Tavaris put on a good show, and once the matches began, eyes were squarely on the opening game.

Tavaris and Izria opened the matches. Izria won the match 2 goals to Tavaris’s 1. It was a disappointing showing from the hosts, raising doubts about whether they will make it beyond the first stage of the tournament. The match was hosted at the Shano Tuvria Memorial Stadium. At the 8-minute mark, a bold attempt by Izria to break through Tavarian defenses was thwarted by the goalkeeper. At the 15-minute mark, a player from Izria was given a yellow card. The first goal came around the 24-minute mark from Izria’s Larus Hotas. Analysts felt that Tavaris’s defenders were slightly chaotic. Tavaris equalized at the 46th-minute mark (courtesy of Ibran Endrokasht), giving hope that the Orcian Kingdom might triumph.

A little overeager, Tavaris’s jersey number 3 (A. Dalaran) got a yellow card around the 47th-minute mark for tripping Izria number 7 (Huuma), with the ref facing vehement protests from Tavaris’s number 10 (A. Zantratri). A clear shot at the goal by Tavaris at the 57th-minute was repelled by Izria’s number 1 with a strong hand-block. With Izria’s somewhat more “aggressive” playing style, they got a yellow card at the 59th-minute. But, Izria’s number 21’s (Haavalssi) goal at the 61st-minute more than made up for it.

Despite Tavaris number 7’s efforts, his solo attempt and mixed signaling (as the commentators put it) opened the opportunity for Izria’s number 4 to get at the ball with a beautiful header. Zantratri got a yellow card (ironic given his earlier protests). 3 minutes were added to the match. It was a great match and portended some great outcomes for the rest of the tournament.

Arin Solion
ACPO Sports Correspondent

17 APRIL 2022
Nuvrenon, Tavaris - Tavaris Union has been announced following the promulgation of the Ranata Accords by Elatana, Tavaris, Rodoka and Metrati Anar. the Tavaris Union is a sui generis quasi-confederal state whose central government retains authority over monetary policy, the Tavari language and territorial waters among other areas while leaving the member states with power over their internal affairs. The Council of the Union, comprising their heads of government and symbolically presided over by their share monarch, the Emperor of the Tavari, is the supreme overarching authority of the union.

With Tavaris and Acronis, settling their border disputes, an unknown future lies ahead for the two countries. The UNAC has not released a statement, but we can infer from their aversion to communism that the policies of the Acronian Communist Party will not be well received. Despite failing to amend the constitution, the ACP retains considerable authority to pass legislation. Thus, there are fears of significant capital flight from that country if policies averse to the private sector are implemented. While commentators feel that it is unlikely that sanctions would be imposed on trade, it is likely that if Acronis implements arbitrary barriers to Auroran trade, tit-for-tat trade disputes are likely to arise. Furthermore, it is unclear how debt to foreign entities will be settled as Acronis assumed a third of Tavari national debt. The Tavari nasdat has lost ground against the Kirib in the Auroran Stock Exchange due to these uncertainties.

Karas Endal
ACPO Correspondent

24 August 2022
Tilden, Free Pax States - One might look at Pax as a thuggish misogynistic dictatorship and leave things there, but when you peel the layers of history, there is more nuance. I am not going to vindicate the tyranical rule of the Bedonite dynasty but explain the context in which their rule arose and how it shaped the way they govern Packilvania today and why their people are complicit. The Bedonite dynasty was at the head of the Carriers of Mercy an organisation that was once part of the Packilvanian Communist Party but declared war when the Communist leadership threatened to destroy them. That war was horrific and saw the first and last use of nuclear weapons by a government against its own citizens. The Communists had come to power by usurping the Demir dynasty.

Why are parties banned? The Bedonites saw that the Communist party was prone to factionalism, frivolity and cruelty and they saw their own quasi-political party, the Carriers, was able to usurp the ruling government. For them, parties are purveyors of instability and threats to the ruling class.

Why is the Parliament weak? In the 1910s, Parliament was powerful. It removed the Sultana as head of Paxism because she married a Thaerist foreign king and it was the oven in which revolutionaries were baked. Thus, despite reintroducing it as part of historically linking their own dynasty to the Demirs and dynasties before them, it wanted to prevent the Parliament from having the power to unseat their political system.

Why is the country theocratic? When the Communists took over, they introduced atheism and banned religion. As such, the Bedonites saw that atheism was bad, and created a theocratic state to counterbalance its influences. The older generations in Pax grew up under communism so their religious views are weak, but the youth see religion as a rebellion against the stagnation of their atheistic apologetics of their parents and grandparents. young men especially like the conservative Paxism of Pax because it strengthens their social role.

Why is the country misogynistic? Because the Paxist monarchy of the Demirs ended with a woman, the Bedonites reasoned that the power of their government would come undone if a woman came to rule. Furthermore, the Communists were much more pro-woman than the Demirs. The Bedonites and their supporters reasoned that gender equality breaks down social structures and is a symbol of the Communists and thus sought to dismantle it.

Why is everything heavily censored? Although the Communists watched everyone, they were not as effective at surveillance as the Bedonites, which enabled rebellions to form. Thus, to the Bedonites the solution was more surveillance and censorship. Furthermore, they saw the internet as both an opportunity and a threat that needed to be heavily guarded to prevent instability.

This shows us that beliefs about what is right or wrong are strongly influenced by historic context. This does not mean that Packilvania is justified in the way it rules nor that they should be ignored. Further, it does not mean that the people are stupid for allowing such a government to rule over them. They saw the Communist Party’s cruelty and stagnation, and they see the religious freedoms, stability and economic progress and they pined for their traditions that had been destroyed by the Communists and they made a choice to follow the Bedonites and their absolute reign. Thus, it is important that the whole story is considered so that appropriate approaches can be taken when seeking to propagate liberal democratic moral ideals.

Political commentator and strategist

31 AUGUST 2022
AURA, EMBERWOOD COAST - Packilvania is an interesting case study of the difficulties of preventing capital flight. Capital flight is the process of a net loss in financial capital from a country. This arises when rich investors move their funds from an onshore to an offshore financial center. It also arises when wealthy people emigrate.

Ordinarily, most Packilvanians are wary of and uninterested in the outside world. The incredible opportunities for upward social mobility that their rapidly growing economy provides diminishes interest in living and studying abroad for most of the middle and lower-class (who most likely would not afford the journey in any case). the main challenge for the government is retaining capital from rich people trying to evade taxes or enjoy the lifestyles of wealthy liberal democratic nations.

Earlier this year the government of Packilvania tightened the capital control rules to force the rich to report on their investment and financial activities to the tax authorities. Further, the central bank tightened the leash on the banks to compel them to prevent the rich from moving their money out before the year-end deadline for the reporting is reached. This follows on the back of tightened capital control, money laundering and tax evasion legislation that has seen large firms and high net-worth individuals fined and arrested.

Nevertheless, the government knows that taking an excessively hardline against investors is dangerous because it might stymie investment in the local economy. Although the return on investment from the ever-growing economy is high, investors also value stability. As such, the Packilvanian government has been modernizing civil law, and strengthening and professionalising its institutions to create a world-class business environment (with mixed but generally positive results).

But this also means off-setting the the opportunity cost of living in Packilvania as opposed to South Hills or Great Morstaybishlia. As such, this has included policies such as gentrification, loose employment and environmental regulations and tax loopholes for the wealthy. This precarious balance between creating, retaining and punishing the wealthy is something that the UNAC must also explore. As the regions in Novaris present incredible opportunities for wealth generation, the UNAC needs to coordinate and think about this. The UNAC needs to think about the role of offshore financial centres like Oceansend, Blueacia and Tivot, about tax shifting and responsibility sharing to ensure that the UNAC continues to attract and retain the investment needed to bring about and equitably distribute its prosperity and wealth.

Political commentator and strategist

3 October 2022
Aura, Emberwood Coast - Earlier last month, I had the privilege of visiting some of the motor vehicle assembly plants of some of Urth’s biggest car manufacturers. It was a fun and insightful experience as I saw all the elements that create the ideal car.

First, I visited Gyllir Motor Corporation - TEPwiki in the Federation of the Southern Coast. They had an amazing plant. You could hear the humming of the conveyor belt in the background and the sounds of the pneumatic systems of the robotic arms putting everything together. It was definitely a nuts and bolts back-to-basics experience. They make cars that do their job simply and effectively. I was lucky enough to try their new hybrid models and it was a lot of fun. I was especially pleasantly surprised by how relatively quiet the hybrid models were.

Then I headed to Mirhaime to the factory of the Potza Motorworks Corporation - TEPwiki. I was surprised to learn that the company had been a family-run business for most of its history. It was definitely smaller than the Gyllir factory but nevertheless, it was a decent experience. The staff were super friendly and they gave me a PMC-branded cap and T-shirt after my trip. If ever you’ve used the Buddy - TEPwiki ride-hailing service, you’ll notice a lot of their cars are Gyllir and Potza. These are usually the more affordable of the vehicles we looked at.

After that, I headed to Volkia and visited The kind of luxury they ploughed into their vehicles was the kind of experience I had at their factory. It was quite pretty for a car factory. Unfortunately, it was a little chilly so I was shaking from the cold quite a bit. But I got to see a lot of amazing things. I love Velox Motors because the performance of their cars is otherworldly. I can’t get over the satisfying purr you get when it turns on. Unfortunately for most of us, Velox cars are not likely to be within budget. Velox focuses on luxury cars so you’re less likely to see one casually about. Velox has a plant in the Oan Isles but I decided to come to the main factory so I could get the full experience.

I came back home to Aurora to see the cars being made here. First I went to see Redrugus. Their cars are famous for being used by the Oan government as their VIP transport of choice. One thing I love about their engines is the power. Simply pure power. RR is really good at making some of the most potent engines in the world. Even aerospace companies like Allegiance - TEPwiki trust their engines. Their cars are not for the faint of wallet.

I left Montefuse and headed for Audelli Group - TEPwiki in North Ethalria, the mother company of RR. Despite experiencing incredible political and economic change, the company still maintains that unchanged devotion to quality engineering. It was fun learning about the manufacturing process. I had to use Goggle Translate in some cases because the tour guide would switch to Ethalrian for words he didn’t know. Don’t judge me, I’m still working on my Ethalrian on Octalingo, so one day, I’ll understand the language.

After that, I ended up in Spiiker - TEPwiki in Blueacia, another subsidiary of Audelli, Spiiker. One thing I love about Blueacia is the reliably warm weather and clear seas, which contrasted with the grey skies of Volkia in the colder and darker months. Spiiker is well known for its sports vehicle manufacturing. Their cars are some of the fastest in the world. They supply a lot of cars for the racing circuit and watching their vehicles is always an experience and a half.

Sid Belham
Car enthusiast
Follow or add me @sidbelham on Peepl, CafeVibes and Pigeon
Or drop me an email at sidbelham@gogglemail.caek

11 October 2022
Lambertupol, Great Morstaybishlia - Taxes are usually a bane for many people because they decrease discretionary income. Nevertheless, taxes are critical for providing the government with the means to build infrastructure and provide services that encourage business activity and provide for the wellbeing of their people. Furthermore, they help the government to redistribute wealth from the rich to the poor and to control the supply of currency in their economies.

Off-shore financial centres that attempt to leverage base erosion and profit shifting techniques i.e., low taxes and secretive banking structures, are countries that typically lack the land, capital and labour to develop other industries. Therefore these countries tend to be small and tied to larger onshore markets that create wealth through conventional industries. Notable example of these are Blueacia and Tivot. These countries leverage their proximity to larger Auroran nations to attract companies. Due to the incredible size and quantity of the companies and banks that leverage their services, these nations have become incredibly wealthy.

However, one will quickly note that this wealth is distributed among very few people. Were the populations to the larger, they would be unable to sustain the extravagant incomes and fabulous wealth that their people enjoy. Larger nations need to approach their relationship with taxation and economic development differently.

Low taxes can be helpful because they allow companies to invest more of their money into their operations, product development, growth and human capital and low taxes help consumers have more income to spend on the goods and services produced by the economy.

Nevertheless, for low taxes to be useful, they need to accompanied by building comparatively advantageous trade relationships with other countries, creating stable political systems and inspiring confidence in businesses to invest in and establish roots There.

The exact combination of taxes and government expenditure that each country must adopt vary considerably based on their circumstances and tax policy alone cannot encourage economic development.

Prof Exavion Soulstar
Professor of Economics at the University of Lambertupol, and Editor for the Journal of Fiscal Policy

Peepl, Cafe Vibes and Pigeon: @exavion.soulstar

Princess Journal, Coming of Age and the Feminine Archetype

By Te Pukō Te Whuanua

Nabeed Nahajhdam, director of Halo’s “Princess Journal”

ACPO journalist Te Pukō sat down with Packilvanian born director Nabeed Nahajhdam on his work on the new Halo series, Princess Journal and life in the international film and television scene as a director from Pax.

Te Pūko: Hi Nabeed, It’s lovely to have you with us as ACPO. Jumping to it, what inspired you to pursue a career in film and television.

Nabeed: Growing up in a Packilvania that was opening to the world, I gained exposure to movies and series from around the world. I was fascinated by cultures, worlds and characters that they created and conveyed and sought to becoming part of that. I was a very, shall we say, rambunctious child and my parents indulged my pretend plays, nurturing the buddying seed of someone who wanted to be in the spotlight.

Te Pukō: I understand that you actually left Packilvania to study performance at the University of Tokapa’s School of Drama and Theatrical Performance which specialises in the Oan form of musical known as Firelight theatre. What led you to make this decision and how has it shaped your world views.

Nabeed: I was privileged enough to come from a home that had recently become quite affluent due to the economic prosperity and liberalisation under the Bedonite government, so I was able to travel overseas including the Oan Isles where I watched my first Firelight play. Although I had done stints on adverts and some small shows in Packilvania, I really felt better suited to the stage and decided to come here. I was fortunate to have parents who supported my career choice both emotionally and financially.

Te Pukō: Tell us a bit about how you got to working with Halo on the much anticipated Princess Journal.

Nabeed: I had recently won an award for producing a Packilvanian soap opera about a wealthy family from the province of Jumhurikesh. It was such a nice way to explore and examine coming of age, young love and the challenges of youth under strict parents and rigid social norms. With the praise that the show garnered among audiences and critics, I was approached by Juan Gomez de Buio who works for Halo to work on a project for them on a similar stoey line told from the perspective of a fictional princess from a small fictional obscure quirky country.

Te Pukō: Can you give us a run down of what the show will be about?

Nabeed: Of course! Princess Journal is about a young girl who despite her title and status longs to be among her peers and have the freedom to pursue her love of the servant boy without the restrictions of her title. She goes on misadventures learning about love, friendship, family and navigates the challenges of growing up not only as a woman but as a princess.

Te Pukō: What are you hoping audiences will draw from the new show?

Nabeed: I hope that people will at least be entertained by the new show. If anything, I hope that adults will become more sympathetic of teenagers and teenagers will feel more seen.

Te Pukō: What do you say to critics and fans who feel like as a man especially from a highly religious and socially conservative country is not suited to direct a series like this?

Nabeed: Firstly, I understand to an extent. That is why my approach with this project is to do as much research as possible and to give my team especially female actors and producers the reign to identify and correct my assumptions and flaws and fill in gaps in Knowledge. I do however think I am a competent director and I urge people not to look at my species and national origins, and make assumptions about my creativity or capability.

Analysis: Cescolians Refuse to Use Tavari Našdat
By Prof Uriel Toryke, School of Economics, University of Damezkador, Kaltar

Delegate of the Diet of Metradan and Leader of the Zampana Party, Niballo Garguillo has announced that members of the Cescolian ethnic group will refuse to handle the Tavari Našdat which became the sole legal tender of Metradan on 1 January 2024, and will instead use the Cescolian Aureo, the currency of their home country. Garguillo cited various political reasons relating to disdain of Tavari political and economic domination of Metradan. The boycott has alledgedly taken the government by surprise and has large scale public support as demonstrated by ongoing picketing by the population.

Adopting the Našdat has many potential benefits. It makes trade with other member states of the Tavari Union frictionless, it stymies the effects of inflation due to the relative stability and resilience of the larger economies namely Tavaris, and it makes borrowing from foreign banks easier due to the confidence in the Tavari economy and the Našdat. Nevertheless, it has drawbacks because it reduces the control of the country over monetary policy such as the ability of the Metradan central bank to devalue the currency to make exports more competitive, and to institute capital controls to prevent capital flight.

Nevertheless, these kinds of boycotts are notoriously ineffective and there is scant academic research to support that it would have the intended outcome. Metradan Cescolians make up only 20% of the population and thus engaging in trade and transactions with other members of the society becomes extraordinarily difficult which can give rise to black markets, and a failure of the boycott. Furthermore, the threat of arrest or seizure of personal property due to the failure to pay taxes in the recognised legal tender can result in people backing out of the boycott. With institutions such as banks and asset managers carrying out their work in the national currency, it is impossible for equivalent parallel institutions to effectively function and meet regulatory approval if they participate and uphold the boycott. Furthermore, acquiring Cescolian Aureos can normally be done through trade and receipts of remittances, investments and debt that may prove economically onerous especially given the existence of tariffs and non-trade barriers with that country and the fairly mediocre trade intensity of the Metradan economy (in my opinion).

In my opinion, the entire exercise is a last ditch attempt to gain political relevance, foment and exploit racial and ethnic divisions, and coerce the Metradan government to some kind of political or economic concessions. Assuming the Metradan government is competent (which I doubt given their ineptitude in foreseeing and preventing the political crisis at hand), they would ignore these trite concerns and pursue their plan as envisioned.


Analysis: Economic Sanctions Against Mirhaime and Sayyed
By Prof Uriel Toryke, School of Economics, University of Damezkador, Kaltar

The Red Crown Economic Union, the Norgsveldet Crown Union, Tretrid, Vistaraland and Axdel have implemented a full embargo against Mirhaime and Sayyed due to their invasion, occupation and attempted annexation of Crimpteian and Askarabani territory following the invasion by the latter two countries of Sayyed in 2023.

In the domain of realpolitik, states often use coercive tactics against each other to induce certain outcomes. The actions they undertake sit on a scale of increasing intensity and scope known as the escalatory ladder which starts with political condemnation on one end and total nuclear war on the other end. A full embargo arguably lies somewhere in the middle. While not being on the most intense part of the scale, it is nevertheless a fairly drastic measure to take in response to state action.

The benefit of a full embargo is that it cuts a nation off from trade with another nation. This prevents it from receiving foreign exchange, or imports for consumption and inputs into its industries. Secondly, it restricts the flow of remittances and investments and potentially credit by which that nation can further its actions. It usually entails restrictions on indirect inflows such as through tourism. It can cut a nation’s ships and airplanes from mooring at ports or flying through the airspace of another nation respectively. It can also include freezing the assets of citizens of the target country held in the sanctioning country. A full embargo aims to isolate that country and induce enough economic suffering on the population and constrain its industries to such a degree as to force the state to undertake or cease a particular action.

The problem with a full embargo is that it gives little room for the nation or nations imposing the embargo to escalate upwards because the next rung on the escalatory ladder is supporting or instigating military action against that nation. This gives little room to negotiate especially if the sanctioning nation is not willing to go into or support combative actions against the target country. Secondly, nations with deep pockets, motivated populations and/or isolated economies and autocratic regimes tend to be less susceptible to economic sanctions. Furthermore, the embargo is only effective if the nation or nations imposing it wield substantial economic sway over the target country and it is difficult or impossible for the target country to find alternatives. Moreover, trade sanctions can be difficult to enforce due to entrepot services provided by other nations (importing something and reselling it at a markup and sticking your nation’s label on it).

In the case of Mirhaime and Sayyed, the sanctioning countries are surprisingly influential over their economies because to my knowledge they have a reasonably high level of economic relations through trade, investment and migration. Mirhaime is more likely, methinks, than Sayyed to experience demonstrable economic hardship and political instability due to this conflict because it is expending unholy amounts of treasure and blood to win a war in a far flung land which it must still occupy, and rebuild at extraordinary and crippling cost. Sayyed might be willing to take it on the chin because they have a chance to resolve a longstanding international dispute and improve their security situation in that region.

I recall that the sanctioning countries did push a resolution through the Security Council to condemn the invasion and annexation of Crimpteia and Askaraban and call for it to end, but I think there were still more actions available through that body such as a call for international sanctions or proceedings at an ad-hoc or permanent international court on the legality of these actions. Furthermore, the sanctioning countries have some small but not negligible economic dependence on the sanctioned countries especially Mirhaime, so they will suffer economic consequences due to this as demonstrated by protests in Cynebury and complaints by the Tretridian Leader of the Opposition Eahlstan Colasunu.

To my knowledge other nations especially the biggest ones, are not participating in the embargo or imposing notable sanctions of their own so Mirhaime and Sayyed have alternatives in trade and investment especially if their industries and projects can compete for increasingly limited international funds. I have some suspicion that countries such as Packilvania, despite the New Year’s Speech by the Sultan, are unlikely to participate or cooperate in the embargo/sanctions because they (a) want to fill the hole left by the sanctioning countries and (b) they prefer to have their strategic rivals bogged down and weakened by international disputes. Even allies might benefit from the reputational and economic damage that the sanctioning countries might experience by bringing the sanctioning countries further into their economic and political orbit especially South Hills and Great Morstaybishlia.

Furthermore, there is some discourse in the international community that a full embargo can be a breach of international law and norms especially when it is not supported or enabled by a ruling from an international court or resolution of the Security Council because it aims to impose disproportionate suffering on the civilian population to extract strategic objectives which is problematic. However I am not an international law expert so I cannot opine further on that matter.

If I was a policy maker in Andel or Molebaai, I would have gone up the escalatory ladder one rung at a time and solicited the support and cooperation of more and larger nations through multi-lateral structures such as the IF and the UNAC. In addition, I think that Sayyed’s attempted integration of Crimpteian territory was not entirely illegitimate since to my knowledge it was through a referendum and not a unilateral annexation. We can argue the merits or demerits of said referendum but I think the Security Council blundered in their decision to block recognition of a referendum and instead should have demanded an end to military occupation and the presence of IF peacekeepers and observers. Given the Concordo-Novaran alignment of the SC, the outcome did not surprise me.

Journey to City of Genies: Ubran, Packilvania (Part I)
Motui Tuatuma

Packilvania is often perceived as a brutal place where people live under the constant fear of religious and ethnic persecution. There is no denying that Packilvania has many challenges. However, the media in liberal democratic countries often ignores the incredible progress that the country is making, the brutal history it is recovering from and still affected by, and the fact that the lives of its people are starkly different than expected.

ACPO has written several articles that do not necessarily reflect well on Packilvania. They wrote an article about why Packilvania is a dictatorship, and about Packilvania sanctioning Axdel. The SEY News wrote about how an irredeemable despot rules Packilvania, and how its banking system is hopelessly corrupt. So, it is easy to see how one’s perceptions of this faraway, isolated country can be negatively skewed. While there is truth to some of the criticisms against this country, there are many misconceptions and prejudices.

I decided to travel to this country for a few weeks. I reached out on the website Chatter, a social media application from Packilvania to people in Packilvania to host me and show me about it. Through my friend, Ulmahid who was an exchange student at the University of Tokapa, I met Yalkhad, who agreed to be my tour guide and host.

I applied for a visa from the Packilvanian embassy in Tokapa. I paid about 100 KRB. The process was admittedly arduous as I had to submit several documents, get travel insurance, provide my itinerary and undergo an interview. It took about 2 months to get my visa which is valid for about 90 days. I charted a flight with Rekomi Airlines from Tokapa International Airport and had a layover in Astryon for about a day.

I then flew to the Supreme Magister Exarion VI International Airport in Ubran, a city in the Packilvanian province of Fidakar, with a population of 8.9 million people. Ubran is a bustling metropolis located deep inland.

The city sits on the banks of the Yukud River which originates from the Uliveru Mountains in Tasselvalta, the northernmost region of Fidakar. It is surrounded by mountains. The weather is hot and it rains often. As my plane approached, the tall gleaming skyscrapers of downtown rose like shining pinnacles on the shores of the mighty river that formed Packilvania’s southeastern frontier.

Yalkhad picked me up from the airport. He was a Shirazi Packilvanian, wiry and balding, but full of excitement. He drove me to his house tucked in the Makhees Kilmayon Ashkhanad district named after a struggle icon in the Carriers of Mercy. We drove through streets bustling with activity as hawkers sold vegetables and knick-knacks on the side of the road. Business people wearing white robes and black cloaks hurriedly ate food cooked by old women in narrow market alleys. Bicycles and cars competed in the narrower streets with bicycles seemingly winning the battle, forcing cars to give way. Not far from apartments were offices, malls, workshops and warehouses.

City officials armed with flags, whistles and reflector jackets tried to aid the traffic lights in coordinating the chaos. Large trucks picked up rubbish as people dressed in yellow overalls swept the streets. A gregarious old man was waving a book on whose cover I glimpsed “Bas Magdamar”. At the top of his lungs, he “proclaimed the good news of the coming of Pax” (as Yalkhad explained). Between grungy apartments and glass skyscrapers sat temples (majhid) decorated with colourful ceramic tiles and geometric patterns and seemingly built hundreds of years ago. From their high towers (minaret), priests (imam) chanted a call to prayer that both marked the day and oriented a busy city to acknowledgement and reverence of the divine.

After an exciting introduction to a great city, Yalkhad took me home. We navigated through narrower streets, where cars were infrequent and drove slowly. Children playing in the middle of the road would pause their games and wave and smile at us as they made way for our vehicle which felt like an intruder. We reached his house, more a townhouse of three stories, which sat at the end of a long driveway and was concealed by trees and shrubs.

Yalkhad helped me with my bags and insisted that he carry them, despite my willingness and ability to do it myself. I relented as his wife enthusiastically welcomed me. “Ashamiliya”, she said repeatedly, a word I heard learnt meant to assimilate. While the word had previously conjured images of Packilvanian military invasion, it meant to be in harmony and unity of spirit with Noi, oneself and each other.

The children jumped about and tugged my clothes and carried my things inside. Yalkhad’s wife, Ismariya, had prepared a banquet featuring a variety of delicacies. Ismariya asked me to take off my shoes at the threshold of the house and offered me a comfortable pair of slippers. We entered the house and after I was shown my room and given a chance to gather my wits and find my bearings, I was shown to a large room which simply had a carpet and a long low table called a jhabad where many dishes were laid before me. Sauteed buffalo beef strips cooked in various spices and herbs, octopus slices served with lemon and coriander, fried soybean cubes served with chilli paste, sesame seeds, green onions and so much more. After gorging myself on the exquisite fair, I was treated to traditional coffee served in ornate copper jugs. The children ate with us and simply looked at me with fascination and giggled among themselves and I spent most of the time conversing with Yalkhad, the only member of the family who spoke Staynish/Codexian.

He was a businessman who owned a supermarket and laundromat (which explained the magnificent house). He often did business with foreigners, buying goods from abroad, which forced him to learn the language. He told me that from many engagements with foreigners, he always got the sense that people feared or hated his country. He was always troubled and confused because while he had grown up in poverty under the Communist Party, he had become a wealthy man. He says that the cities were constantly changing and developing as new high-rises filled the skyline or a metro line was laid. He was so proud of his country and so grateful to the imperial family that he found it odd that so many people from other nations reviled them. So, he has resolved to invite foreign guests to his home and show them his country. I was one of many guests who had graced his home. He was not alone in this pursuit and many groups and individuals welcome tourists into their homes as he does.

In part two of this article, I will share the rest of my experience including a visit to the downtown, the Majhid of the Solitude, and the forests of Jubrakhad to see tigers. Stay tuned.

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