First Union News

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EMPEROR RUSHED TO HOSPITAL FOLLOWING ANNOUNCEMENT

Following a speech made in the Union Diet Emperor Charles IV collapsed suddenly and was rushed to St.Pauli Lowes Hospital. The Emperor, who is 82 years old, was described by hospital staff as being “awake, alert but run down” Staff at the hospital asked that well wishers keep clear of the entrances to the hospital to allow staff and patients access. It is thought that the Emperor has been suffering with a virus for the last week and that his hectic schedule had worn him out. Soon after his collapse he was visited in hospital by CrownPrince Hans and his daughter in law Helena. As the CrownPrince left the hospital he spent time thanking the public for their support for his father as well as briefly speaking to the press. “My father is fine, just tired but being in his 80’s and refusing to slow down I guess things will catch up with him every now and again. He’s been ordered to rest for a few days during which time I’ll be taking over his duties along with my younger brother Henry.”

The collapse came just moments after he finished his speech to the Diet.

— Begin quote from ____

Honourable Councillors, I have come before you today to talk of a shift in foreign policy. For many years we have looked within our boarders to secure a bright future for our citizens. I believe this policy has taken us as far as it can, our people are well taken care of, but I desire more for them. I wish to create a Union that is a responsible neighbour, a beacon of human rights and a haven of learning. I will be ordering our foreign office to begin opening embassies around the world as well as seeking partners for trade. We have much to offer the world and in turn their are many opportunities for Teutons out in the wider world. It is our responsibility to ensure no opportunity is closed to our young people and I hope you will support me in this change of policy."

— End quote

The speech went over well in the Diet and Chancellor Gunter Schmidt commented that “I stand ready to offer what support His Imperial Majesty requires in order to help our nation fulfil its potential.”

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[size=100]FALKENBERG MILITARY BASE TO BUILT[/size]

The Ministry of Defence today announced the construction of a new naval base on the island of Falkenberg. The island is largely uninhabited save for the small religious group of Odinist which maintain a shrine on the Eastern coast. Minister of Defence Gustav Heng announced the decision stating, “The island is strategically important and also provides us with an opportunity to provide security and, should it be necessary, support to merchant shipping in the area. We have consulted with the Guardians of the Shrine and the military operations will in no way hamper or detract from the religious community.” It is thought that the base will accommodate one of the home fleets as well as two squadrons of aircraft and around 20,000 soldiers.

The island falls under the jurisdiction of the Odinsson family, therefore Prince Stefan, who is currently a Marine Major onboard INV Patrick will be invited to open the new base and it is suspected that he will serve some time there before deploying onboard a ship again.

Some members of the Diet however were not happy about the announcement, Leader of the Opposition Claudia Winter claims that the base “is a frivallous piece of business, it adds nothing to our national defence but much to our natonal expenditure, the money would have been better spent on schools and hospitals.”

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[size=100]EMPRESS SOPHIE TO HAND OVER REIGNS[/size]

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Today Empress Sophie announced that she will stand down as Patron of two important Teutonic Union charities. The 82 year old Empress was the lead patron of both the Teutonic Wildlife Trust (TWT) and the Outward Bound Association (OBA) but today ended her long standing relationship with the two groups saying “These wonderful organisations need and deserve someone who will be able to actively promote them, at my age that’s becoming more and more difficult. I have enjoyed working with them and wish them well for the future.”

Just an hour later the two charities both announced that they had taken Empress Sophie’s recommendation and appointed Princess Tanya Herzog as their new lead patron. The director of the TWT stated, “Princess Tanya was recommended by the Empress and has a reputation for being a caring and dedicated young lady , she was an excellent candidate as far as we are concerned.” Meanwhile the OBA said “As a young lady she participated in many OBA courses, to have a patron with her level of recognition who appreciates our work is amazing.”

The 23 year old has been seen as having a close relationship with the Empress who she once described as a “wonderful mentor” There have also been rumours that Princess Tanya and the Empresses grandson, Duke Leopold have become close friends in recent months, some sources suggesting a possible romantic element to their relationship. This would mark the first union between the Herzog and Imperial families in over 300 years.

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SHOCKS IN NEW CABINET PROPOSAL

With elections six months away the Emperor has announced his long awaited cabinet reshuffle. Several key positions having been left vacant following the RabTech scandal, which saw four cabinet members taking money from the company to further their contracts with the government. The new cabinet is to be discussed in the Diet in the week ahead with a vote to approve it being expected on Friday. The Diet may call individuals into session to answer their questions, what many political commentators refer to as “The Job Interview”. One of the major shocks in the potential line up is the inclusion of 24 year old Princess Tanya Herzog as Minister for Youth, in keeping with the tradition of having a person under the age of 30 in the position, the young Princess however has very little experience of politics.

Below is a summary of the key positions:-

Foreign Minister:- Duke Gerhard Faust, the husband of Queen Luise II the Duke is a former businessman with experience of working in several countries

Home Affairs Minister:- Mr. Charles Tesche, a former Professor at Thale University he has been a Junior Minister for the last four years.

Finance Minister:- Mrs. Velma Harnes, the former head of The Bank of The Union (the nations central bank) for five years.

Education Minister:- Professor Kurt Slinag - Former lecturer in Educational Theory at St. Pauli University.

Minister of Defence:- Prince Stefan Odinsson - A former member of the Air Force and current patron of the Teutonic Veterans Association

Minister for Youth:- Princess Tanya Herzog - A patron of many youth charities and seen as a protege of Empress Sophie

Minister of Health:- Dr. Alexandra Madberg, lead surgeon at St.Pauli Imperial Hospital and Imperial Physican.

Minister of Religious Affairs:- Kenneth Schulean - A former religious minister who has for the last four years been a media consultant on issues of religion.

Minister of Justice:- Prince Henry Rinter - incumbent in the position for the last 18 months.

The new cabinet line up seems to be one that will lead to several people being called in front of the Diet, this is likely to include Princess Tanya and Kenneth Schulean who are seen as being the least experienced in government affairs.

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[size=100]FOOTBALL MATCH ABANDONED AFTER CROWD TROUBLE

The National Championship game between F.C. St. Pauli and Thale City was abandoned after 72 minutes following crowd trouble which saw St.Pauli goalkeeper Manuel Kopke hit by a coin and requiring five stitches to a head wound. Trouble erupted following a disallowed goal for St. Pauli was immediately followed by the award of a controversal penalty at the opposite end. The games between the Union’s two most successful clubs has always been heated during the last few years but trouble has never boiled over into the stadium.

Riot police entered the stands as the two sets of fans clashed making a total of 42 arrests.

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[size=100]FALKENBERG MILITARY BASE CAUSES PROTESTS[/size]

As construction crews arrived on the island of Falkenberg protesters denied them access to the site chosen by the Ministry of Defence for the nations newest military base. Falkenberg military base was scheduled to start a six month construction period after which it would be home to around 20,000 members of the military. The island was a controversial choice at it is largely inhabited except for a small Odinist community who believe the island to have significant religious value. Around 1,000 protestors braved harsh wind and rain in an attempt to stop the construction workers starting their work. Amongst the protesters was Princess Princess Isabella Odinsson, the eldest daughter of the only Odinist monarch of the Union, King Harald. In a statement to the press she said, “For hundreds of years Odinists in the Union faced persecution and have been treated as second class citizens, meanwhile our Christian neighbours have had governments pander to their every whim. This move to build what is an unnecessary military base clearly just a fresh attempt at degrading our minority religion. This island serves as a vital link to our Gods, its a sanctuary of peace and tranquillity and now if the government have their way that will be spoilt by screaming jets and sounds of gunfire.”

Meanwhile the Princesses father King Harald said “The Union once upon a time had several issues regarding religious persecution, for a long time now we have lived in peace and I see no reason to change that. My daughter is her own person, if she feels passionately about this then she should protest. She is old enough to be responsible for her own actions and she must accept the consequences of her involvement should it be determined what she is doing is illegal.”

Meanwhile Emperor Charles IV said , “This base is vital for the continued security of our nation, we have taken care to locate the base away from any religious sites and frankly the Princess needs to appreciate the fact that she has a responsibility for the safety of all the Union, not just her Odinist friends.”

The protest is expected to continue for some time as the protesters have set up a temporary camp.

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[size=100]FALKENBERG ARRESTS INCLUDE PRINCESS ISABELLA[/size]

32 Odinist Protestors, including Princess Isabella Odinsson were arrested today as Military Police moved in to remove the camp that had prevented the building of the Union’s latest military base. The 35 year old Princess from the Odinsson family had been one of the leading spokespeople of the protest movement that sprang up just days after the Emperor announced a large military base would be built on Falkenberg Island, a place held sacred to Odinists. 100 members of the Union’s Military Police Regiment moved into the protesters camp at sunrise and gave them two hours to leave following the High Court in St. Pauli giving the government permission to move the camp on. It is rumoured that the Princess, along with 31 others had been uncooperative and had to be physically removed from the site. The Princess was last night being held in custody at Thale, the nearest major settlement to Falkenberg, before appearing in court in the morning. She is charged with “Trespass, failing to comply with a lawfully obtained court order and resisting arrest.” it is expected that she will be released on bail pending a full hearing at a future date.

The incident is the first time that a member of royalty has been arrested in over 200 years. Crown Prince Hans Ginter commented on the arrest saying, “Princess Isabella has always been passionate about many causes, however here she is failing to see the desperate need her nation has for this base. Her actions show nothing but contempt for the law of the land and as such she is not above that law.”

Her father, King Harald Odinsson declined to comment but has made his way to Thale to be there at tomorrows hearing, his wife and Isabella’s step mother Queen Stefani Odinsson however said; “Isabella was campaigning for a cause very important to many of our people, I suspect that despite the arrest she will continue to oppose the building of this base, like many Odinists do. She must remember however she has a place in our Union as a role model and leader and any action she does take must be within the law.”

A First Union poll shows that 73% of the Union support the building of the base, compared with only 4% of Odinists in the Union. The base construction is due to start tomorrow now the camp has been removed.