The Nuvrenon News: News from Tavaris

Original date of publication: May 2nd, 2017

Alliance of Northwest Gondwana, a Historic Trade Agreement, Established in Crystal Coast

THE ALLIANCE OF NORTHWEST GONDWANA, Crystal Coast-- Just months after Prime Minister Šano Šonai Tuvria pledged in his election night victory speech that Tavari isolationism was over, the Kingdom of Tavaris has joined with nine fellow countries in Gondwana’s largest free trade agreement, and one of the largest in the world. Tavaris, along with Ayaupia, Hausberg, Libertanny, Lunaria, Reijia, Sanctmunitis, Talusi, Vultuca, and Zukchiva ratified the Charter Establishing the Alliance of Northwest Gondwana on Tuesday after weeks of negotiations at a summit held at the Hotel Živara in Crystal Coast.

Deputy Prime Minister Žarís Nevran Alandar has already confirmed a majority exists in the Diet to formally ratify the treaty. A vote is expected sometime next week. Prime Minister Šonai Tuvria himself was in Crystal Coast for the signing ceremony, and gave brief remarks after he signed the treaty on behalf of King Zaram V. “This is a historic moment not just for Tavaris but for each and every one of us. In a world filled with chaos, we have pledged ourselves to come just a little bit closer. We will shelter together against the storm, and together, we will lift each other up.”

The agreement comes not a moment too soon for the government, which has seen unprecedented levels of dissatisfaction in the past week. After defense industry profits increased sharply this year, the Democratic National Party (DNP) has come under sharp fire from not just from the opposition Goddess and Country party, but also their own coalition partner, the Socialist Party for Democracy (SPD). SPD leader Utani Delora Tanvani had tough questions for the Prime Minister during her question period on Friday. “What are you doing for peace in the world?” She asked the Prime Minister, and his stammering answer about the Alliance was barely heard over jeers - some from other coalition members. However, the DNP-SPD coalition is not seen as in jeopardy, after Ms. Delora Tanvani clarified later to reporters: “I think sometimes the best criticism comes from our partners, and the Prime Minister knows that I think that way and values that. So, no, the coalition is fine.”

The distraction may be welcome for the government, but the Alliance has set politicians to the east in a rage. An emergency session of the Federal Congress of Bana was called on Tuesday to “make plans for the response to Tavari-led regional hegemony,” as Federal Premier Maku Mtebe put it in his statement to lawmakers. “This is nothing less than a make-or-break moment for the Federation of Bana,” said Mr. Mtebe to the Congress. “The Tavari have pulled the rug out from under us and taken nearly all our regional trading partners away from us. This is an attack on the Banian economy, and if we do not respond, we risk fading into obscurity.” While Mtebe would later clarify he meant responding economically rather than militarily, the Royal Tavari Armed Forces placed King’s Island and the eastern coast of Avnatra on Alert Level Two, urging residents to “remain vigilant.”

When asked if she had a response to Premier Mtebe, Prime Minister Šonai Tuvria shook his head. “This is not an act of aggression, it is an act of peace. Perhaps someday they will join us. But for now, I am going to focus on our future, not theirs.”

Date of Original Publication: APRIL 28th, 2018

Arms Company Profits are Through the Roof. Peace Activists Ask: Why?

NUVRENON-- The nation’s largest producer of firearms, Zandria, Inc., announced in an earnings call with investors on Tuesday that its quarterly revenue exceeded projections by 24%, an absolutely stunning number that sent their stock price soaring. The company reported total revenue for the quarter ending March 31 of ŋ740.4 million nashdat, or approximately SH$617 million. Though the figure is before the deduction of costs, the number was high enough to send the price of one share of Zandria to ŋ453 (SH$377.50) on the Zhrat Zaram Stock Exchange this afternoon, its highest ever. If one is a shareholder in the company, this is incredible news. For the community of Acronian peace activists, however, the reaction was far different: fear.

“If Zandria’s profits went up, it’s because more people are buying guns. If more people are buying guns, then somewhere in the world, more people are dying needlessly,” said Tinor Avan Tokrania, the President of the Tavari Network for Peace, which describes itself as the largest organization of peace activists in the country. The Tavari Network for Peace mobilized a demonstration outside the Nuvrenon headquarters of Zandria on Tuesday afternoon, with up to three dozen activists standing outside the building’s door and calling on leadership to explain where the increased profit had come from.

Mr. Avan Tokrania, who is 77 years old, has been a prominent anti-war and anti-militarization activist for decades. He was arrested at age 19 for refusing to report for conscription and served 6 years in prison - an extraordinarily rare sentence and the maximum amount allowed under the law - because he refused to accept any offer from the Royal Tavari Armed Forces for placement in non-combat roles. Since his release from prison, he says he has organized at least one anti-war demonstration of some sort every month, for the past 52 years. And he says he has never been this concerned before. “As soon as I saw the headline on FNN [the Financial News Network], my jaw dropped and I knew we had to say something. We have to start talking now and we can’t stop talking until something gets done, because this is a warning sign that something is seriously wrong,” said Avan Tokrania.

Zandria, Inc, declined comment for this story, and publicly available transcripts of the call with investors does not indicate from what sources the increased revenue originated. There is no law or regulation that requires publicly traded companies to outline their earnings in any particular way, only that they be audited by an outside firm before they are presented to investors. However, the figure stands out as Zandria’s highest ever performance over projections. This same quarter last year, Zandria outperformed expectations by only 1.1%. However, Zandria has exceeded projections every quarter for the past 9 quarters, by a higher amount each quarter, and this is despite the fact that Zandria’s deliveries to its largest customer - the Royal Tavari Armed Forces - have remained stable during that entire period, public records show.

“Tavari who are not on active or reserve duty are strictly regulated in buying firearms,” said Quince Narkley, a global financial analyst based in Sani Bursil who specializes in the arms industry. “If the Tavari government isn’t purchasing more firearms - and the record shows that they aren’t - then essentially the only place Zandria could be selling to is the international market.” According to Narkley, the Tavari arms industry is among the largest in the world and has always sold internationally, but he says this is an indicator of a sharp increase. “Most other Tavari arms manufacturers are privately owned and don’t report their numbers, so it’s hard to be certain if this is a whole-market trend or just one firm, but it’s plain that Zandria is selling more guns to more people. And it looks like a lot more guns.”

While it is true that a vast majority of arms manufacturers in Tavari are privately-held, the industry trade group Tavari Allied Defense Manufacturers reported in a press release on March 19th that “the industry is stronger than ever,” and called upon Parliament to pass legislation to ensure its continued success, such as the easing of environmental regulations and a tax break for businesses. “Our industry is poised for an incredible era of prosperity that can lift the entire Tavari economy to new heights, but we can only do it if the civil governments acts as a partner to allow us to continue our success.” The press release did not cite any reason for the increased profitability in the industry.

Avan Tokrania, the peace activist, says that an uptick of violence around the globe is the likely explanation. Avan Tokrania became visibly emotional as he spoke. “I’m not an economist or a politician or a psychic, but I’m not stupid and I know how numbers work. Zandria’s firearms are going to Novaris, they have to be. And they’re probably going to Aurora, too. They’re being used for people to murder their own neighbors and fellow citizens, sister against sister. And they aren’t the only ones. Tavaris makes guns because Tavaris wants money. And all of it, every single nashdat, is blood money. We’re fueling our economy on murder, rape, crime, and pillage. Akrona weeps.”

Original date of publication: May 23rd, 2018

Leaked Documents Show Tavaris Took Cash From Alva in Exchange for Not Drilling for Oil

NUVRENON-- Since at least 1998, the Kingdom of Tavaris has been accepting cash payments from the Great Khanate of Alva in exchange for Tavaris agreeing to restrict new permits for offshore oil drilling. The trove of documents, shared exclusively with the News, show that the Ministry of International Trade and Development has made several “non-binding memorandums of understanding” with the Great Khanate under the terms of the Tavari-Alvan Trade Agreement of 1997. The treaty sets out the processes by which the two countries trade with each other and how they set tariffs, and contains a provision that allows for the two governments to “make arrangements for commerce in areas not regulated by this treaty by agreement.” There is no requirement that such agreement take the form of a treaty amendment, or even that it needs to be made public.

The deals between Tavaris and Alva as shown in the documents are simple. Tavaris agrees not to repeal the Petroleum Extraction Limitation Act of 1990 and agrees to neither extract oil on land or sea, nor allow any other country to do so in Tavari territory, beyond the limits set in the agreement. Tavaris also agrees to import Alvan crude oil for refining with sharply reduced fees and export it back to Alva after refining with similarly reduced fees. In exchange, Alva has paid into the Tavari treasury an amount equivalent to SH$30 billion (adjusted for inflation) since 1998, typically in annual lump sums. According to a 1998 memo from the Minister of International Trade and Development, the primary aim of the agreement is to “allow for the Kingdom to maintain its principled stance on the environment without completely sacrificing income, while allowing for Alva to maintain its strength in the global oil market by not needing to be concerned about a potential Tavari expansion in the market.” The Minister of International Trade and Development at the time was Nari Nevran Alandar, the mother of current Deputy Prime Minister Žarís Nevran Alandar, who now holds the same portfolio.

“The Ministry of International Trade and Development negotiates deals with countries all around the world in the best interest of the Tavari people and the people of the world,” said the Ministry of International Trade and Development in a written, unsigned statement. “While we are not able to disclose the exact nature of every single trade arrangement due to the sensitive and changing nature of international communications, we assure the Tavari people that every action we take is in accordance with national and international law.” The government of the Great Khanate of Alva had no comment.

“If this action was taken between two Tavari corporations, it would constitute illegal anti-competitive collusion,” said Tana Inar Voshtai, a Professor of Business at the University of Dravai. “However, there is no binding international law that forbids this sort of anti-competitive behavior between sovereign states, nor is there an international requirement that agreements between states be made public to the citizens of those states.” Alva in particular is known for a lack of government transparency, Inar Voshtai emphasized, but said that an action like this by the Tavari government “surprised [her].”

It was reported in 1997 and 1998 that the DNP government at the time, led by Prime Minister Mani Ovrošt Tanadar, was considering repealing part of the Petroleum Extraction Ban Act of 1990 to allow for limited extraction of oil in the Eastern Pacific ocean off the north coast of Tavaris where there is no Tavari habitation. At the time, the government said it scrapped the plans after strong opposition from the Church of Akrona and other Akronist political organizations, which has long viewed the extraction and usage of fossil fuel products as harmful to life and against religious doctrine. The revelation of these reports places that in doubt, as it may have been the promise of money from Alva that changed their minds.

Former Prime Minister Prime Minister Mani Ovrošt Tanadar had no comment on this story. Nari Nevran Alandar, the former Minister of International Trade and Development and mother to the current Deputy Prime Minister, passed away in 2012.

Original date of publication: June 6th, 2018

Death of Anara Man in Royal Marshal Custody Sparks Outrage, Demands for Policing Reform

ANARA, Indar Province-- Vrapaal Costel, a 26 year old Anara resident of Ayaupian descent, was shot and killed by a corporal of the Royal Marshals on Thursday night after being apprehended while spray-painting graffiti on a building. Costel was a member of the Ayaupian refugee community, the descendants of Ayaupian Civil War refugees who sought asylum in Tavaris between the 1920s and 1940s. Ayaupian-Tavari are not Tavari citizens, and they are technically undocumented residents, as the government ended their visa program in 1969. A Supreme Civil Court decision in 1974, Ocrapaal v. His Majesty the King, granted Ayaupian-Tavari born on Tavari soil to parents the status of “non-citizen nationals.” Anara Province, of which the City of Anara is the capital, is home to nearly two-thirds of the Ayaupian refugee community, and this incident is only the most recent in a long and sometimes violent history of Ayaupian conflict with the authorities there. And for thousands of people in the province, citizen or not, it was the last straw.

On Friday morning, the Royal Tavari Marshals Division of National Police - the branch of the military that deals with keeping order within the country - released a statement that a Marshal “had been involved in a Marshal-involved shooting in which the perpetrator of the crime died after threatening the life of the Marshal.” According to the statement, the Marshal ordered Costel to get onto the ground, but instead, Costel turned and moved toward the Marshal “while holding an unknown, metallic object,” and the Marshal fired his gun “in defense of his life.” However, two hours later, video of the incident captured by the security camera of a business across the street went viral on Pigeon - and it showed that the encounter was vastly different than what the Marshal’s statement had said.

In the video, Costel can be seen spray-painting an anti-law enforcement slogan on the wall, “All Marshals Are Bastards.” The Marshal comes up behind Costel while he is still spraying and shouts “get on the ground.” Costel appears to turn his head slightly, as if to look at who is speaking, at which point the Marshal immediately fires six shots into Costel’s back in quick succession. Costel did not move toward the Marshal, and the object in his hand is clearly visible and illuminated, even visible as a can of spray paint even from the angle of the security camera across the street. After shooting, the Marshal returns to his vehicle and remains there for four minutes before walking over to Costel and attempting to provide aid. An ambulance would not arrive for eleven more minutes, and Costel was pronounced dead at the scene.

On Friday afternoon, the Division of National Police issued a brief statement, saying “Upon further review of evidence that was not immediately available to the Division of National Police, the Marshal involved in the shooting has been suspended while an investigation takes place. The Division of National Police takes these situations very seriously.” However, as the video gained tens of thousands, and then millions of shares and comments, the sentiment of the community turned from shock into anger, and for some, into rage.

“This is just the latest example of police brutality in this country,” said Ulyon Naast, an Ayaupian anti-police brutality activist who is chairman of the organization Demilitarize NOW. “Tavaris does not have police. Tavaris has a military. Tavaris, almost entirely alone on this planet, uses its military to enforce its civil laws and impose law and order on the populace.” The Royal Tavari Marshals are a division of the Royal Tavari Armed Forces and, except in a few large cities, the only police force in the country. “When you put soldiers on the streets - soldiers that aren’t even from these communities - and tell them the enemy they are at war with is crime, this is what happens. You get executions. You get war crimes.”

Many people took note of the fact that Costel was both a racial and religious minority, and said that this would not have occurred had Costel been Tavari, or even just Akronist. “The Marshals have always reserved a special brand of cruelty for people they see as ‘anti-cop,’” said Naast, “and since most Ayaupian-Tavari aren’t typically Akronist, that’s a real stigma up in Indar Province, it’s very deep Akronist territory, and if you spend too much time out there and they don’t see you convert, they will ostracize you at best. At worst, well, this.”

On Pigeon, many other people shared their experiences with the Marshals. One person, under the username “Defund Marshals Now,” said that they had lost an eye in a Marshal-involved shooting at anti-police brutality rally last year. Several people spoke about how tear gas had been deployed at rallies they had attended over the years, often just moments after the official end time the event permit expired, as the Marshals aggressively enforced an order to clear-out the area.

On both Saturday and Sunday, thousands of people turned out in the streets of Anara, many of them holding signs reading things like “No More Soldier Police” and “Akrona Commands Compassion, Not Hate.” However, on Sunday, there was also a counter-protest of people who called themselves “Concerned Citizens for Real Justice.” Idi Nošar Dínvridís, a spokesperson for the counter-protesters, said that “Had that man simply followed the orders of the Marshal, he would still be here. He chose not to comply, and the Marshal had an obligation to respond to the perceived threat to his life. Marshals put their lives on the line for us every day, and they deserve our respect.”

Arguments like these are common in every instance of Marshal shootings, but to people in Anara, this moment feels different. “I think something has been sparked here,” said Naast, the anti-police brutality activist. “I see more Tavari here, more people from outside the Ayaupian community in the streets. In the past, people told us things would get better for us if we just joined the Church, and then we wouldn’t have to worry so much. But today, people are saying that it’s the society that needs to change, not us. And that’s important.”

Original date of publication: July 7th, 2019

“A New Dawn” as Tavaris, Federation of Bana Announce Normalization of Relations

NEWPORT, Bana-- For the first time in 50 years, and only the second time since the turn of the 20th century, the Kingdom of Tavaris and the Federation of Bana will exchange ambassadors and establish embassies in each other’s capital cities. The move marks an earth-shattering rupture of the status-quo between the two countries, which have been bitter rivals and at several times opponents in war since Tavari unification in 1304. Banian Premier Maku Mtebe said in a joint statement issued with Tavari Prime Minister Šano Šonai Tuvria - the first such statement issued in history - that the establishment of formal diplomatic relations marked “a new dawn in a chaotic world, and a new chapter in the histories of both our countries.”

Mr. Šonai Tuvria said in the written statement - also the first document to feature the signatures of Acronian and Tavari leaders together since the 1894 Joint Executive Agreement on the Repatriation of Cultural Heritage - that “While this does not answer the many questions each of our countries has for each other, nor does it settle our long-established disputes, it marks the first step in a true, good-faith attempt to begin to bridge our divide.” Mr. Šonai Tuvria added that he was “proud” to be making the move alongside his Banian counterpart.

The last time there was a Banian Embassy in Tavaris was between 1941 and 1970. Formal diplomatic relations were terminated in 1970 first by the Banians over a dispute regarding the flight paths of commercial and military planes departing from the newly-built Nuvrenon International Airport and military airbases near Lansai eastward across the Strait of Vultuca. Bana regarded the flight paths as unlawful intrusion into Banian airspace and closed the Embassy after the Kingdom of Tavaris refused to order the flight paths to be changed. At the time, the Tavari government stated the view that no Tavari planes, commercial or military, were entering Banian airspace and that Bana had no right to demand that Tavari not only avoid entering Bana but also avoid getting within a certain distance of the border. Before 1941, the only period in which Bana and Tavaris shared embassies was between 1887 and 1900, the so-called “sunshine years” of warmer relations between the countries. Since 2012, the countries have communicated through “back-channel” lines of communication set up by the Asilican embassies in each country.

The change in attitude comes almost entirely from the dramatic change in the Banian government upon the election of former Premier of New Rania, Arik Rao, to the office of President. Rao, the first ever feline to serve as President of Bana, is said to have strongly influenced the Federal Premier to seeing the chance for the dawn of a new era, and to leave the baggage of the history behind. While the President of Bana is a figurehead, Mr. Rao campaigned on a promise to use his constitutional duty to advise the elected government to impress the idea of a detente.

Prime Minister Šonai Tuvria made it a point of his campaign in 2017 to emphasize Tavaris reaching out and joining the international community, but Bronu Andrat Ižrovin, a professor of international relations at the University of Good Harbor that it will be very difficult for him to convince everyone in his party to agree to embrace the Banian overture. His party, the Democratic National Party, “is known to have a very significant camp of conservatives that will likely see talks with Bana as disrespectful to Tavari war dead,” Andrat Ižrovin said. While Mr. Šonai Tuvria won the leadership of his party largely from burgeoning centrist supporters who are more neutral to Banian issues, the party’s center-right factions are sure to take a much more critical look. Analysts say to pay particular attention to Minister of Defense Nama Oren Kantoreš, whose decades-long career in both the party and in politics have been built on tough rhetoric towards the Banians.

“Nama Oren Kantoreš has been in Parliament for decades and is in her second term as Minister of Defense. Her political career was nearly destroyed in 2004 and 2005 when, in her first term at Defense, she convinced the government of the time to join the Arkian Civil War on a side that ended up losing. And while she owes a great deal to Šano Šonai Tuvria to giving her a second chance in cabinet and rehabilitating her image into that of an elder stateswoman, this is sure to drive a wedge between the two,” said Andrat Ižrovin.

The names of the ambassadors from each country are to be announced in coming days.

Original date of publication: August 18th, 2020

In Overwhelming Referendum Result, Rodoka Votes to Become 12th Province

LANTAŽ, Rodoka-- 400 years after Rodoka was first settled by Tavari colonists, Rodoka has voted in a referendum to become a fully-fledged province of the Kingdom of Tavaris. Results came in quickly, and they showed an overwhelming win for the Yes side - more than 2 to 1 in favor. With 68% Yes and 32% No, unofficial results posted by the Election Commission showed a runway lead.

The referendum was the last step required under the terms of the Rodoka Act (2020), passed by Parliament in January as one of Prime Minister Šano Šonai Tuvria’s first acts in office. With 2020 being the 400th anniversary of Rodokan settlement, this year was seen as an important milestone. The Act passed with little opposition in Parliament, with both the government coalition and the official opposition in favor of the legislation.

In becoming a province, Rodoka gains more ability to legislate for its own affairs. Most notably, the Rodokan Assembly and the Prime Minister-appointed Administrator will be replaced with a Legislative Council that appoints a First Councillor and a provincial cabinet. As a province, Rodoka will have the ability to set its own income tax rate, set regulations for various industries and building codes, administrate its public schools, and regulate road infrastructure and vehicle registration. Under its previous status as an Unprovinced Territory (UPT), these matters were legislated for Rodoka by the national Parliament after input from the Assembly. The Rodoka Act (2020) mandates that the legal protections and autonomy afforded to the sovereign Rodokan Native Tribal Administration will remain in place. The tribal-governed areas will retain their ability to govern resource usage as well as most functions that would otherwise be granted to the provincial government.

Alongside the referendum, Rodokans also voted to elect new members for a newly-expanded Legislative Council to 150 seats - increased from the 20-member Rodokan Assembly.

“This is a long time coming. It’s long overdue,” said Elina Moenarr Ratas, the presiding officer of the Rodokan Assembly and a long-time advocate of provincehood. “Rodoka has been a part of Acronis for 400 years now and it’s high time that we have our equal say.”

Many Rodokans on the streets agreed with Moenarr Ratas - when the results were announced, groups gathering in squares all across the island began to cheer. In Lantaž, the capital and oldest settlement on the island, High Street was packed with celebrants. Shouts of the popular pro-provincehood slogan “Equal Rights! Equal Voice!” could be heard from almost every corner.

“We’re Tavari,” said Moenarr Ratas, the Assembly presiding officer. “We have been for a very long time. I’m just so glad and relieved that we can finally be treated like it.”

Original date of publication: August 26th, 2020

Government Announces Repeal of Whaling Quotas, Massive Expansion of Commercial Whaling

NUVRENON – In an unexpected announcement on Wednesday, Prime Minister Šano Šonai Tuvria announced that the government was repealing quotas imposed on commercial whaling, allowing Tavari commercial ships to harvest whales without limit. Previously, annual quotas were set by the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries in conjunction with the Ministry of Environment, under a regime outlined in the Commercial Whaling Act of 1971. The Act does allow the government to set quotas as “undefined,” though no government has done this in the history of the law.

“As part of the process of establishing further control of affairs for the Native Rodokans, the government is waiving the cap to allow the Rodokan Native Tribal Administration to permit whatever number of harvest-able whales they deem appropriate for their cultural practices and economic needs,” said the Prime Minister in a statement. “Whaling has been an aspect of Rodokan indigenous culture for generations. However, this act will also allow other Tavari commercial whaling operations to expand, strengthening the economy of the whole country.”

The Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries released a report on Wednesday indicating that with this change, they expect the whale harvest to increase exponentially in both the Eastern Pacific ocean off the coasts of Rodoka and Metrati Anar and in the Sherman Channel, off the northern coast of Rodoka between that island and mainland Novaris. The quota set for the 2020 fiscal year was previously set at 545 whales. Even with this change taking place slightly less than three-quarters of the way through the year, MAF estimates the number of whales harvested by the end of the year to be as high as 800.

The change was praised by the Rodokan Native Tribal Administration, which hailed the move as “a further positive step in reconciling Native Rodokan traditions with Tavari law.” The Whaling Council, a trade group of the largest whaling companies in Tavaris, also supported the move, saying “with the stroke of his pen, the Prime Minister has allowed us to make many more good jobs for good Tavari people.” In contrast, the Tavari Environmental Protection Federation, the largest group of environmental activists in the country, decried the move as “wrong for the environment and wrong for Tavaris.” The Federation announced plans to hold a protest outside MAF headquarters next week.

Original date of publication: September 25th, 2020

“Banians Go Home”: Protest at Newly Opened Banian Embassy Turns Violent

NUVRENON, Tavaris-- In the latest escalation of public disagreement with the recent rapprochement between Tavaris and the Federation of Bana a protest that drew thousands to the Embassy of the Federation of Bana turned violent on Friday afternoon, with both Tavari Royal Marshals and Banian embassy security personnel firing tear gas and rubber bullets into a crowd that had begun to press on the gates of the embassy. 89 people have been arrested, and some 200 people have been treated at local hospitals for injuries.

The Embassy of the Federation of Bana, which now occupies the building formerly used as the Embassy of Vakarastan, opened on Thursday to little fanfare, with only a brief press conference and ribbon-cutting ceremony attended by invited members of the press and diplomatic staff from both Tavaris and the Federation of Bana. At that time, the street was closed by Marshals. Today’s protest was organized primarily by a group calling itself the Tavari Integrity Project, whose website indicates it was founded only last month. The Project’s stated goal is “to impress upon the current government that the Tavari people do not and will not accept the complete and utter supplication to Bana in the recent ‘normalization’ of relations.” No leader nor designated spokesperson was clear as of press time, and no one contacted agreed to speak on the behalf of the organization.

It is estimated that between eighty to ninety thousand people showed up to the protest, which is just the latest protest to garner significantly more attention than expected in the capital this year. Earlier this year, a protest against the defense industry and Tavari military policy filled Palace Square and also resulted in violence and arrests. The protest at the Banian Embassy on Friday is believed to be the largest protest held in Nuvrenon for more than twenty years.

While most of the protest was peaceful, in the afternoon the crowd became “agitated,” according to Major Anira Tandri Nakoran, the commander of Marshal forces at the protest. “Earlier in the day, people were calm and the event was your typical chant-and-hold-signs protest. As it got later, however, the crowd became agitated and began to try to force their way to the gate [of the embassy].” While a safety barricade had been set up to keep the crowd at least two avnai from the gate, the crowd pushed forward and eventually reached the gate and the fence. When people began to grasp the fence and shake it, Banian security personnel issued an order to disperse and, according to attendees, almost immediately began shooting tear gas into the crowd.

“It wasn’t even a minute and they were shooting off tear gas canisters in every direction. There was mass panic, everyone running, people got trampled,” said Mona, a protestor who declined to give her full name. “The Banian military were absolutely the aggressor here.”

Another protestor, Ovor Zakani Menanat, 34, said that he felt the protest, including the press to the gates, as “justified” and “an expression of the very real frustration that Tavari across the country are feeling as they see their own elected officials ignore centuries of violence and hateful conduct from the Banians.” Zakani Menanat says he and his two sisters were both affected by the tear gas and that they intend to file a civil suit against the Embassy because the three siblings have “severe asthma” and the tear gas has caused “irreparable harm” to their lungs.

“They burned down East Harbor and killed tens of thousands of people. They’ve shot at our ships, they’ve invaded us three times at least. Now, here we are, rolling out the welcome mat for them so they can invade us again,” said a protestor who gave only the word “furious” as his name. “I can’t believe that airheaded [expletive deleted] Tuvria wants to make us all pretend that we’re happy jolly friends with these [expletive deleted] cat people and the [expletive deleted] banana farmers.”

The Embassy of the Federation of Bana issued a statement Friday saying: “Our security personnel acted in accordance with applicable law and procedure to defend the embassy, which is sovereign territory of the Federation of Bana. We regret that these events had to occur and intend to cooperate fully with Tavari investigators as we find out all the details of what happened today and how they can be prevented in the future.”

The Royal Tavari Marshals declined to issue a statement, and the Tavari government declined to respond before press time.

Original date of publication: September 29th, 2020


LANTAŽ, Rodoka-- An explosion caused by what authorities believe was a deliberate bombing attack at the historic East Parish Temple of Lantaž has destroyed the building and left the capital of Rodoka reeling in violence unseen in the city since perhaps the Great Fire of 1634. The explosion occurred at 4:44 PM (West Tavaris Time), which the temple’s website was just prior to dinner being served in the Temple’s public cafeteria. No count of casualties has been released either by the Church or the Bureau of Intelligence and Security, but an unnamed Church source says that “two to three dozen people” were likely to have been at the temple at that time.

“At this time we are treating this incident as a terrorist attack and are mobilizing all resources we have to investigating this terrible tragedy,” the BIS reported in a statement.

THIS STORY IS BREAKING, more as it develops…

Original date of publication: October 1st, 2020

Furious Matron Castigates Temple Attackers, Calls on Akronists: “We Must Defend Life”

CRYSTAL COAST, Tavaris-- On Wednesday evening, in a primetime live address broadcast on all major news networks, Vana Dandreal, the 37th and current Matron of the Church of Akrona gave a courageous, at times even outraged speech that sought to castigate the attackers and asked Akronists around the world to prepare to defend themselves. “The Church of Akrona is not now - and will never be - intimidated by the likes of craven, cowardly criminals who seek attention through cheap theatrics and evil deeds,” Her Beneficience said in the opening of her address.

She said they live “crammed [in a] dark, disgusting bunker” and continued: “You do not scare us. You can not defeat us. You are weak, impotent, and powerless, and you and your aims will amount to absolutely nothing.”

She continued: "The Church of Akrona will build seven temples to replace the one you destroyed. If you ever manage to destroy another, the Church of Akrona will build seven temples for that one as well. We will build them in Acronis. We will build them in Ni-Rao. We will build them in Lapimuhyo. We will build them in Asilica, we will build them in Tretrid, we will build them in Asendavia, we will build them in Morstaybishlia, we will build them on the Moon . And you could try and blow each and every one of them up, and if you did, we would worship atop the rubble. "

In absolute defiance of the act of terrorism, she bid that all Akronists heed her call that now was the time to rise up to “defend life.” “As followers of Akrona, we know that life is sacred, and so too we know that life must be protected. From time to time, it needs to be defended. And I am here to say now: now is the time we must defend life.” She indicated that in her capacity as Chief Administrative Officer of the Church of Akrona, she would order an increase in Church security measures and open for bids from private security contractors. For people in their daily lives, she said, the way to defend life was to “be vigilant, be aware that there are forces out there that wish to harm you, and prepare yourself to face that threat.”

Neither the Matron herself nor the Church Public Affairs Office would offer clarification on what in particular, if anything, the ‘forces’ were that were threatening to harm Akronists." In a written statement, the Church of Akrona said “Her Beneficience was speaking in response to the literal bombing and destruction of a Temple, which any reasonable person could conclude is a threatening action. Any attempt to construe the Matron’s words as being some sort of reference to perceived opponents is not only baseless, it is insulting in the face of such tragedy.”

Original date of publication: October 30th, 2020


NUVRENON, Tavaris-- For the first time in over a hundred years, the Diet of the Kingdom of Tavaris has authorized the King to declare war on a foreign state. In a vote of 993-179 in the Diet, the motion to authorize war on Balistria passed at 11:02 AM, East Tavaris Time. His Majesty King Zaram V is expected to issue the formal declaration of war in a cabinet meeting on Friday afternoon. Upon the King issuing the declaration of war, it will be the first time Tavaris has been at war since the end of the Sixth Tavari-Banian War (a conflict that was part of the worldwide Great War) in 1919. The entirety of DNP and the opposition Liberal Party supported the bill. Some, but not all, of the members of the Green Party and the Socialist Party for Democracy voted against the resolution in both chambers. Results were much more mixed among the Communist Party and the minor parties.

The Royal Tavari Armed Forces are already mobilizing to Balistria, both by plane and by sea, under order of Prime Minister Šano Šonai Tuvria. The Prime Minister has the legal authority to deploy Tavari troops in response to a threat for up to 60 days without Diet authorization. Tavari troops are responding as part of a global outpouring of military support to Alksearia, who like Tavaris is a member of the Union of Commonwealth Alliances. The declaration of war, once made formal by the King, will allow Tavari troops to remain in Balistria indefinitely, until such time as the Diet votes to declare peace.

In addition to the declaration of war on Balistria, the Diet passed two Acts to Authorize Military Force, one for Ni-Rao and one for Karolingia. While not formal declarations of war, the bills authorize Prime Minister Šano Šonai Tuvria to mobilize Tavari troops in Karolingia and in Ni-Rao for up to one year without further Diet authorization. Previous Tavari military actions in foreign countries this century, such as the Banian Civil War in the 1940s or in the Arkian Civil War from 2004-2005, were undertaken with bills like these that fall short of formal war.

Unlike the declaration of war on Balistria, the other two votes were much closer and much more hotly debated. The bill for Ni-Rao passed by a vote of 680-492. Not even the entire DNP caucus in the Diet voted in favor of the bill. Authorizations for military force are typically voted on under rules that allow for Delegates to vote against their party. The bill for Karolingia passed by a narrower margin because the Akronist parties largely abstained from the vote for Karolingia when they had not for Ni-Rao, with a vote result of 452-320.

“No one enjoys making these decisions, but it is absolutely imperative that we use the resources we have to help where we can when the safety of Tavaris and indeed the entire world is at stake,” said Deputy Prime Minister Žarís Nevran Alandar. “The world must, and will, know that Tavaris does not waver in its commitment to defend its allies and to ensure a peaceful world.”

Tova Manakat Dovrai, the deputy leader of the Socialist Party for Democracy, had strong words for the Prime Minister after the votes concluded. Rising in the chamber without being recognized by the Speaker, Manakat Dovrai shouted “This is warmongering! This is a farce, and you should be ashamed!” It is believed he was directing his comments at the Prime Minister. Despite the acrimony, the SPD has already given its assurance that it will remain in the coalition government “for now,” according to a statement issued late Thursday evening by SPD headquarters.

Original date of publication: December 5th, 2020

Crown Prince Otan No Longer Commanding Officer of Aircraft Carrier Žavražan

NUVRENON-- Crown Prince Otan, who has served in the Royal Tavari Navy since his 18th birthday and as the commanding officer of one of the Navy’s two aircraft carriers since February, is no longer serving in the latter position, the Ministry of Defense announced on Saturday. Whether or not he is still in active duty in the Navy was not immediately clear, and the nature of the Prince’s departure from the position was not mentioned by the Ministry’s official statement. However, unnamed Ministry sources have confirmed to the News that the Prince - known as Captain Nuvo Šolosar in the Navy - was asked to step down because the Žavražan is soon to be ordered to assist in Ni-Rao, and the government felt it unsafe to place the heir to the throne in an active war zone.

The official location of the Royal Tavari Navy’s two aircraft carriers at any given time is classified as a state secret in the interest of national security. However, the News has obtained a written copy of the orders issued to Žavražan, which entail heading first to the port in Nuvrenon to bring on a new command staff and then to the Port of Amao in North Ni-Rao.

The Prince made headlines and stirred a minor political debate in 2008 when, upon reaching the age of 18, he applied to serve in the military under the same terms that any other Tavari 18-year-old would: by going through boot camp and then serving a 36-month period of mandatory conscription. Members of the Royal Family are explicitly exempted from conscription under the law, and at first the Ministry of Defense stated that it could not legally accept Crown Prince Otan as a conscript. While many members of the Royal Family have served in honorary military positions over the years, no royal has served as a member of the “rank and file” since the end of the Fourth Tavari War in 1683. However, Otan continued to express his desire to serve on the same terms as the rest of the public, and a mass outpouring of support for the Prince from the people led to a change in the law to allow for a “one-off exception” in the case of Otan himself only.

By all accounts, the Prince’s service in the military has been exceptional. His appointment as commanding officer of the Žavražan was hailed by both officers and conscripts across the military, especially after it became public that the Prince had scored the highest score on the Commanding Officer’s Aptitude Test in 40 years. Both the Prince and the Navy have maintained that the Prince has received no special accommodation in regard to his position. “The Prince has slept in the same bunks, participated in the same drills, and been responsible for the same tasks as every other sailor in the Navy,” said retired Admiral Antor Nikrat Dovrodan, who made the formal recommendation that the Prince be promoted to Captain. “People think that because he made Captain at 30 he must have been given special deference. It’s just not true. The Prince is the best damned sailor I have ever known in my life. I’m heartbroken to see him taken off command, and I’m sure that he is too.”

An anonymous high-level Ministry of Defense official, who was not authorized to speak publicly, stated to the News that “the Ministry [of Defense] always knew that they would never actually allow the Prince to serve in any military situation where the risk of actual military engagement was high. Prince Otan knew that too. Still, though, it hurts. It hurts us, because we know he would do great, and it hurts him even more.”

The official stated that the decision on where the Prince will go from here has not yet been made. “It’s likely he will leave active duty military status, probably by either an honorable discharge or by being allowed to retire early through an administrative exception.” The source added that if the latter happened, which would entitle the Crown Prince to lifetime military benefits including a pension, it would be “the final insult” to the Prince “by giving him the one thing he always demanded never to have: special treatment.”

The Office of the King declined comment on this story.

Original date of publication: December 5th, 2020

BREAKING: Prime Minister Announces Crown Prince Otan to be Awarded Medal of Supreme Merit, Named Ambassador to the League of Novaris

NUVRENON-- In a press conference called shortly after the News published a wire report regarding Crown Prince Otan’s separation from the Royal Tavari Navy, Prime Minister Šano Šonai Tuvria announced that Crown Prince Otan is to be awarded the Medal of Supreme Merit, the third-highest honor given to members of the Armed Forces, and that he will “be retired from the Royal Tavari Navy by order-in-council.” The Prince has served as an active duty officer in the Navy since 2008.

Current regulation requires 20 years of military service before becoming eligible to retire. Formally retiring from the military grants a lifetime pension and access to military healthcare facilities, as well as the right to use the post-nominal (Ret.) or (Retired), along with their rank at the time of retirement, among other honors. Crown Prince Otan, having served slightly more than half the minimum, would ordinarily not be entitled to these benefits. The Prime Minister stated that the Prince will be afforded these benefits by order of the King and the government.

“In 2008, when the Crown Prince joined the military, the government made a promise to him that he would be treated the same as any other sailor, and that he would be subject to the same expectations of service in combat. Today, the government broke our promise to the Prince. We have removed the Prince from command through no fault of his own, but simply because we determined it would be unsafe for the heir to the throne to serve in combat. I have apologized to the Prince in person, and these actions today are an effort by the government to make the Prince whole,” said the Prime Minister.

Additionally, the Prince will be awarded the Medal of Supreme Merit (Naval), which is awarded to members of the Navy who “perform far beyond the call of duty with remarkable distinction and honor in the service of the Navy.” Along with Medals of Supreme Merit for the other three branches, it is the third-highest military honor, and the highest for service not related to combat. The Prime Minister said a full description of why the Prince was given this honor will be read when the medal is formally awarded to the Crown Prince at a later date, but it will include reference to his “remarkable sense of duty and obligation to the Empire” and his “particularly capable handling of the Tavari military response to the destabilization of Lunaria as a brand-new captain of one of the Empire’s flagships.”

The Crown Prince’s career move after the military will be two-fold: he will be named Ambassador to the League of Novaris, in which the Kingdom of Tavaris is an observer state. Additionally, he will be named as Ambassador-at-Large to the Global Community of Monarchies, meaning he will be a special envoy of the Kingdom to other monarchies on Urth. Building relationships with foreign monarchies has been a priority of the Prime Minister, along with building economic partnerships. “Our Royal Family have always served as representatives of Tavaris to other countries, but to be clear, these are not ‘honorary’ positions. This is not like being the nominal head of some charity. These are formal, official postings in the Tavari Foreign Service, for which the Crown Prince duly applied and interviewed. The Prince, in both of these positions, will be afforded staff, office space, and budget funding from the Ministry of External Affairs. We have been looking for a permanent representative to the LN for some time, and the Crown Prince has proven himself as a capable leader of people as well as diplomatically-minded and dedicated to both strongly representing Tavari interests and providing a listening ear to consider the points of view of other countries. I would not have appointed the Prince to these positions unless I was certain he could perform well. I am more than certain he can and will.”

The Prince was not available to be present at the press conference either in person or virtually, and did not respond to requests for comment. While not confirmed by the Prime Minister, the Prince is believed to still be on board the Žavražan as it returns to port in Nuvrenon. The Prime Minister did, however, comment on why the announcement of the Prince’s departure was made at an unusual time - a Saturday morning - and without many specific details. “When we became aware that the Nuvrenon News was preparing to leak the MoD order to the Prince before the government had completed preparations for the move, we released a preliminary statement as a way of staying ahead of the news media. Certain legal and constitutional questions regarding the Prince’s retirement were yet to be fully answered until now. It is significantly unusual, and frankly concerning, that the news media would leak classified military orders concerning the location of one of our most strategically important vessels. These are not issues of kitchen table gossip, this is national security. Nevertheless, the government is certain that these moves are the best moves for the country.”

Closing out the press conference, the Prime Minister said “We thank Captain Nuvo Šolosar for his selfless and remarkable service of more than a decade in the Royal Tavari Navy, and we look forward to seeing him continue to serve the country in diplomatic roles. It is unusual, indeed unheard of in our modern system of government, for members of the Royal Family to serve in government roles such as these, but Crown Prince Otan has proven himself to be unusually competent.”

Original date of publication: December 23rd, 2020

“I am a Proud Lesbian Woman,” Deputy Prime Minister Announces at Press Briefing

Privétia Tauríllien, New Leganés–Deputy Prime Minister Žaris Nevran Alandar is in the capital of New Leganés on behalf of the government today to celebrate that country’s 100th anniversary of democracy, and at her press briefing before the commencement of official events, she had a few minor updates to give. She announced that her chief of security, Linai Nakana Modrovai has resigned, that negotiations with the ANG on purchasing land for a permanent headquarters have concluded successfully, and as a final footnote to her address, she came out as a lesbian.

“As a final note, I have some news of a personal nature that I need to share with you,” Ms. Nevran Alandar said at the press briefing. “Normally I don’t comment on things of this nature, especially not on foreign visits, but in the interest of ethics and transparency, I feel I need to be honest with you about the reason why my chief of security has resigned. She and I have entered into a committed romantic relationship. I am, and always have been, a proud lesbian woman.”

At the time of her announcement, the assembled audience - which also included various international media outlets and, on the other side of a set of barricades, members of the Cukish public - is reported to have burst into applause. Ms. Nevran Alandar quickly raised a hand to silence them and added “I’m unmarried at 45 and I played football in high school. This shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone.”

The Prime Minister clarified that she made the announcement in an effort to “get out ahead of any surprise news” about the relationship, which she said she feared would “distract” from the purpose of her visit to New Leganés and also to her upcoming visit to Tavari troops in Alksearia. “I’m getting it out of the way now in the hopes that at least some of the headlines in the next few days will be about today’s celebration of democracy and tomorrow’s visit to our brave women and men in uniform, and not about some trumped up scandal about how the Deputy PM was secretly dating her bodyguard.”

Her (now former) chief of security, Linai Nakana Modrovai, has served as the Chief of Security for the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister (ODPM) since 2015. Nakana Modrovai did not respond to requests for comment, and the ODPM declined to comment. In responding to questions, Ms. Nevran Alandar said that Nakana Modrovai “will be returning to the private sector” and that there are “no plans at this time” for Nakana Modrovai to begin attending any functions of state. “She is not an elected official and therefore not a public figure,” she added.

“We’ve just started dating, I’m not going to trot her out and make her cut any ribbons yet. I like to take things slow,” the Prime Minister said in her typical wry sense of humor.

Congratulations have begun to pour in from all sectors. “I’m very pleased for the Deputy Prime Minister and I hope this brings her great happiness,” said Leader of the Opposition Movra Vodroni Alištar. The Matron is said to have called Ms. Nevran Alandar directly to send well wishes, according to a Church official.

Ms. Nevran Alandar is the first openly lesbian woman to serve as Deputy Prime Minister, and only the fourth to serve as a Delegate of the Diet.

Original date of publication: January 11th, 2021

Renovations Complete at Royal Naval Base Kanor Minor, Now Largest in Tavaris

MAAPAGULINN, Kanor Major-- With the ceremonial cutting of a ribbon by Minister of Defense Nama Oren Kantoreš, the Royal Tavari Naval Base at Kanor Minor was officially “re-inaugurated” on Monday after a major renovation and refit that lasted six years. With the project now complete, RNB Kanor Minor is the largest naval base in Tavaris, and the third-largest military facility overall, behind only Joint Defense Facilities One and Two.

“I am very proud to announce that, with this project now complete, Royal Naval Base Kanor Minor is now the shining crown jewel of the Royal Tavari Armed Forces, not just in the Rodoka Sector but in the whole of the country. Tavari everywhere can rest easier tonight knowing they are safer and more secure today than they ever have been,” said the Minister of Defense in brief remarks at the base. The base has more than doubled in size, both in terms of land area and population. It is larger even than Royal Naval Base Sinajärv, and now becomes only the second facility outside the Home Islands (Sinajärv being the first) with the capability to berth both of Acronis’ aircraft carriers, if necessary.

The Ministry of Defense would not comment on specific upgrades to the facility, citing national security. However, plans presented to the Rodokan Native Tribal Authority, which governs zoning and development on the island because it is part of the Tribal Authority’s treaty reserve, indicate that the facility will now serve as a “critical nexus for communications, signals intelligence, and Tavari forward defense capabilities.” Most controversially, the Ministry of Defense told the Rodokan Tribal Authority that it “could not rule out” the future presence of nuclear facilities on the base, the closest the government has ever come to indicating it might be working to develop nuclear capabilities. A nuclear-powered carrier docking at the base in the future is also a “theoretical possibility,” the MoD also said. The admission was required for the Tribal Authority to grant their approval to the expansion, which they did in 2015.

“Obviously we would prefer that there be no nuclear materials of any kind whatsoever on the base,” said Jaakob Viha Ratas, a spokesperson for the Rodokan Native Tribal Administration, which governs all of the Isles of Kanor with the exception of the military bases there. “However, we recognize the importance of the Kingdom to be able to properly secure our defense. This is a sacred tradition for us, going back to the Tavari-Milofite War when we took the islands in the name of Tavaris in the first place.”

Original date of publication: January 11th, 2021

Tsunami Warning Issued for Anarís After Urthquake in Far Northern Tavaris

ANARÍS, Metrati Anar-- The Tavari National Weather Center issued a tsunami warning for the island of Anarís, home to the city of the same name, after a 6.2 Urthquake occurred in the far northern region of Tavaris. The epicenter of the quake was in Crystal Province, approximately 30 monai (approximately 31.5km) southeast of the coast of the Pacific Ocean. The region of the epicenter is completely uninhabited. While some 275,000 out of the approximately 400,000 people who live in Metrati Anar live on the island of Anarís, authorities did not order an evacuation, stating the tsunami would be “relatively small” by the time it reached the island, and that “the warning was issued to get people off the beaches and out of an abundance of caution,” according to a spokesperson for the National Weather Center.

“Urthquakes occur relatively frequently in the northwest of the Tavari home islands,” said Mitara Navrai Todralak, a professor of geology at Crystal Coast University. “There is a major underwater volcanic hotspot between Tavaris and Lunaria, and various associated fault systems nearby.” Navrai Todralak noted that while today’s quake is the largest in two years in the region, it is “by no means unusual.”

“Anarís is always prepared for tsunamis, and for the direct impact of quakes as well,” said Edori Navar Tendrokai, the Administrator of Metrati Anar. “We live in an active tectonic region. We’ve closed the beaches, but we expect a relatively minor event once the wave reaches here.”

The Royal Tavari Armed Forces maintain some facilities in the Tavari far north. A request seeking comment about the status of these facilities after the quake was not returned by press time.

Original date of publication: January 18th, 2021

Tavaris Announces Nuclear Capability; Coalition Collapses In Response

NUVRENON-- Ending a decades-long period of ambiguity regarding nuclear weapons, the Kingdom of Tavaris announced today that it has successfully produced and tested a nuclear weapon. In addition to its native nuclear capability, through a defense agreement with Vistaraland, the Kingdom will acquire additional nuclear warheads and deploy them “in such positions across the country as to provide sufficient defensive capability across the whole of the Kingdom.” According to the Office of the Prime Minister, the treaty was negotiated in the preceding months and is the result of a policy of increased outreach to Vistaraland, which was once considered to be an opposing force in Northern Gondwana.

“At this time, I can confirm that the Urthquake that occurred in far northern Tavaris on January 11th was the result of the most recent underground test detonation of a nuclear warhead. The test was successful, and the Kingdom of Tavaris will proceed with the construction and deployment of these warheads,” said Prime Minister Šano Šonai Tuvria.

“In the past, we have used our stance of deliberate ambiguity - our refusal to confirm or deny that we sought nuclear weapons - as a deterrent. As the number of nuclear states on Urth increases, this strategy becomes increasingly ineffective as a deterrent. As a result, the Kingdom has decided to proceed with a nuclear weapons program.” Mr. Šonai Tuvria added that “This is an awesome responsibility that no one takes lightly.”

Mr. Šonai Tuvria took care in his address to, in her words, “offer unprecedented transparency” into the Tavari nuclear program. “It is in our interest, and the interest of every nuclear state, to be as open about these weapons as possible, to keep tensions low.” Mr. Šonai Tuvria explained that Tavaris will not pursue a so-called “nuclear triad” of sea, land, and air-based nuclear weapons. Instead, it will focus on sea and air-based weapons only. Mr. Šonai Tuvria also confirmed that, in compliance with long-standing agreements with the Rodokan Native Tribal Administration, “part, but not all, of the nuclear arsenal will be stored in military facilities on Native Rodokan tribal lands,” meaning Royal Air Base Sinajärv, Royal Naval Base Sinajärv, or Royal Naval Base Kanor Minor. The others, said Šonai Tuvria, “will be stored in other locations across the country.”

In addition to its home-grown nuclear program, Tavaris has signed a treaty with Vistaraland for the exchange of up to four nuclear warheads from the Vistari arsenal to the Royal Tavari Armed Forces. Going forward, the two countries will share knowledge and cooperate in the design and production of further nuclear weapons.

“We are thankful to and proud of our allies in Vistaraland, and we look forward to many years of future cooperation,” said the Prime Minister. In his statement, he added that the nuclear weapons, purchased from Vistaraland, would become Tavari property and exclusively under the control of the Royal Tavari Armed Forces and, ultimately, of his office.

The treaty was ratified by a razor-thin majority of the Diet, due to the complete refusal of any of coalition partner Socialist Party for Democracy (SPD) members to vote in favor. Only scattered members of other various parties joined the Democratic National Party (DNP) in voting for the treaty, 590-582. Almost immediately after the vote, the SPD announced that it would be withdrawing from the government coalition, leaving Šonai Tuvria’s party DNP with a minority government. “The Prime Minister is currently in talks with the King to call an early election. We expect the Diet to be dissolved on January 20th, with the election to take place on February 10th,” said a spokesperson for the Office of the Prime Minister.

“The conditions under which we formed this coalition no longer exist, and as such, we have withdrawn from government,” said Utani Delora Tanvani, the leader of SPD and former Minister of External Affairs. She has already tendered her resignation to the Prime Minister. “To be clear, it is our position that we did not leave government voluntarily, we were pushed out. The DNP did not honor its promises to us. We were under the impression that we would be building a government focused on broadening Tavari economic relationships through peaceful diplomacy. We did not sign up to give Šano Šonai Tuvria a blank check to gallop across the planet waging war and buying nuclear warheads from imperialists,” her statement continued.

The Office of the Prime Minister had no comment when contacted by the News except to refer us to the Prime Minister’s address. Deputy Prime Minister Žarís Nevran Alandar declined comment for this story, but sources within her office indicate that she, along with the rest of the party apparatus, are already preparing for the campaign.

“This has changed the political calculus entirely,” said an unnamed source in the Deputy PM’s office who was not authorized to comment publicly. “No one expected this. That said, DNP hasn’t felt this energized in years.”

Original date of publication: January 20th, 2021

Diet Dissolved for Election in Shadow of Largest Protest in Years

NUVRENON-- More than 150,000 people gathered at the Palace of the Diet on Wednesday to protest the announcement of the Tavari nuclear weapons program. It is the largest protest seen in the capital in more than twenty years - a title it took from the protests at the Banian Embassy that happened only in September. The crowd flooded out of the streets that had been cordoned off for the event by the Royal Marshals and the Nuvrenon Metropolitan Police Department, requiring them to close off more of the city than expected. The Marshals estimated a crowd of “between 150,000 and 200,000.”

The massive protest takes place on the same day as the Diet is officially dissolved, as the Democratic National Party (DNP)-Socialist Party for Democracy (SPD) coalition collapsed Monday - also a consequence of the Tavari nuclear program. Members of Parliament had to be escorted into the building through back entrances in order to attend the ceremony, which is typically a very formal event. Prime Minister Šano Šonai Tuvria formally read the order, given by the King on his advice, that closed the current session of the Diet and ordered that writs of election be issued for February 10th.

According to tradition for the event - also followed at the opening of the Diet - Delegates wear a black robe and a traditional powdered wig, which was once the mandatory dress code. While most Delegates did so, members of SPD, the Tavaris Greens, and the Tavari Communist Party (TCP) did not.

“This isn’t a time for playing dress-up. This will be the single most consequential election of our lifetimes,” said TCP Leader Atra Metravar. “I hope the Prime Minister is paying attention to the people that are outside this building today.”

Outside as the Diet went through the formal rituals of ending the session, more than twenty different speakers addressed the massive crowds. Foremost among them was noted longtime peace activist Tinor Avan Tokrania, who is the president of the Tavari Network for Peace, which bills itself “the largest organization of peace activists in the country.”

“All of us here today, all of us all around the world, have to stand up NOW, because this is the most pivotal moment any of us could imagine. Our country has made a terrible choice, a sickening choice, a choice that will damn us and all the generations that come after us into a never-ending spiral of violence, fear, hate, and yes, as they call it, mutually assured destruction,” said Avan Tokrania, who even through a microphone and sound system had to shout to be heard. “This is the moment. Today. Now. We have to do everything we can to tell them no, because every single second we spend sitting on these terrible, terrible weapons is another chance for the worst to happen.”

Original date of publication: January 23rd, 2021

Tavaris Announces Defense Agreement with Aponivia

WENDAKE, Aponivia-- In a rare announcement of new government policy during an election period, Tavari Prime Minister Šano Šonai Tuvria announced on Saturday that Tavaris had concluded a significant defense agreement with Aponivia, a country in West Novaris with a history of connection with Tavaris.

“This agreement was negotiated over the past several months, and while the announcement was held up due to some last minute bureaucratic loose ends needing to be tied up, the bulk of the work was concluded by the time Parliament dissolved. Significant credit is due to the hard work of Utani Delora Tanvani, who was External Affairs Minister during the negotiations even if she is now my electoral opponent,” said the Prime Minister in a statement to assembled reporters in the Aponivian capital. Šonai Tuvria is technically in a “caretaker” administration between elections, and statute generally disallows any new international agreements from being effected while the Diet is dissolved. It is likely the defense agreement will need to be ratified by a vote of the Diet when it resumes after the election.

The agreement establishes defensive and military cooperation between Aponivia and Tavaris. The navies of each country will be permitted to operate in the territorial waters of the other, and the Royal Tavari Army and Royal Tavari Air Force will establish a permanent presence in one Aponivian military base each, with the possibility of expansion later with mutual agreement. The agreement establishes that Tavaris will defend Aponivia in the event of an attack from external forces. Notably, as both countries are known to be environmentally conscious, the agreement establishes significant environmental regulation on both militaries as the operate in the territory of the other country.

“Aponivia is a peaceful country. This agreement is done primarily to ensure that it stays that way. Security is important, but more important is stability, which we feel is an interest served by this agreement,” said Prime Minister Erick Blue of Aponiva.

Former Minister of External Affairs Utani Delora Tanvani was not in Aponivia to inaugurate the agreement, but instead on the campaign trail in the city of Anara. Her campaign released a written statement on the agreement. “Our two countries have been partners since the first time Akronists reach the shores of Lobakroa. I am very pleased that, in our efforts to step up and become part of West Novaris, we have been able to forge this partnership with Aponivia.”