IT - Inquista Today (News)

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    IT will bring you the latest news from Inquista through an array of multimedia sources, including text-based articles, TV-video broadcasts and audio-only programs.

    The Inquista Today Team:

    • Rosemary Barker will bring you the latest news live from Inquista every evening at 19:00 CEST.
    • Kathy Vickers will keep you up-to-date with the latest gossip and celebrity drama.
    • Lex Burnley will offer his opinion, insight and commentary on the political topics trending today.
    • Ezra Archer will bring you the latest profiles and interviews of people and personalities making the news headlines.

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    August 18, 2019 // Inquista to Change Official Name and Dissolve Political Parties

    RB: A series of wide-ranging amendments have been made to the Fundamental Laws of Inquista, most namely of which include the elimination of political parties and the establishment of ‘theological blocs’. Furthermore, the official name of the Microstate of Inquista has been changed to ‘the Most Blessed State of Inquista’. Good evening. I'm Rosemary Barker and this is Inquista Today.

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    RB: Since founding the Black Swan Movement in 2013, Archbishop Craticus has vowed to undo the party system within the College of Bishops, which he has previously described as the “catalyst for political polarization and corruption” within the Inquistan Orthodox Church. After winning a supermajority of seats in the in the 2018 ecclesiastical elections, the ability to amend the Fundamental Laws of Inquista became a guaranteed certainty for the Archbishop and his party. Now, the Archbishop and his supermajority of bishops have done just that, eliminating political parties and replacing them with theological blocs. Using the same supermajority, the Archbishop also changed the official name of Inquista to the Most Blessed State of Inquista, which has come to a surprise to many, including political insiders within Inquista.

    RB: In order to make sense of these events, I have two very special guests joining me tonight in the studio. With me tonight is Emmett Viscomi, a political analyst with the Inquistan Tribune, as well as Bradley Costa, the Chief Assistant to the Archbishop. Thank you both for joining me this evening.

    EV: Hi. It’s great to be with you.

    BC: Happy to see you again, Rosie. Thanks for having us.

    RB: Let’s begin with the renaming of Inquista. Where did this come from and why is this being done? Bradley, you’re an assistant to the Archbishop, so let’s begin with you.

    BC: Sure. Well, this may seem like a surprise to many, and yes, it has happened suddenly. However, it’s no secret that the Archbishop has never been a fan of Inquista’s formal name since Inquistan reunification. Inquista is 3,082 km2 big. Yes, we’re city-state and by far the smallest nation in the EU in terms of territory, but we’re not a microstate. The Black Swan Movement has felt that this name has undermined everything that Inquista is – we’re the largest economy in Europe, one of the most populated countries in the World, and very culturally and spiritually significant – so it doesn’t seem apt to refer ourselves as something small. It hasn’t made sense since Inquistan reunification, really.

    RB: I see that point. Inquista’s name has historically evolved quite often. I mean, the formal microstate name was only adopted when Inquista dissolved into three states: North, South and East Inquista. Before then, we were simply the State of Inquista. When Inquista was a secular state, we were known as the Most Serene Republic of Inquista. So, yeah, I get it. Emmett?

    EV: I actually get it, too. I wasn’t so much surprised to hear that this was being introduced to the College of Bishops, as much as I was actually just caught off-guard in terms of timing. At the same time, it’s also very predictably Craticist. I mean, this is the same Archbishop of ours who renamed our national currency after another country in the European Union started using the franc. Archbishop Craticus has sought to shape Inquista through a narrative of religious nationalism, and of course, the Inquistan Orthodox Church is anything but small to this Archbishop, so why would the country be small? Especially, as Bradley has pointed out, there is a lot that the Archbishop feels that the nation can be proud of. Blessed, even.

    BC: (laughs) I’m not sure if you’re saying that tongue-in-cheek Emmett, but we are blessed. Inquista is a truly blessed state. We’re a nation founded by Saint Dominico and others following the Great Persecution, and they continue to protect us and look over us from heaven to this day.

    EV: The Most Blessed, even.

    RB: You bring up a point there, Emmett. Archbishop Craticus did rename the currency of Inquista from the Inquistan Franc to the Inquisto, so there is a lot of precedent to this decision. As you say, putting the identity of Inquista, and emphasising the greatness and uniqueness of our country, is something that the Archbishop has long championed. However, this is a big change. I mean, a supermajority of votes in the College of Bishops was necessary to make this change to the Fundamental Laws of Inquista. Why didn’t Inquistans get a choice in this? Shouldn’t we have held a referendum?

    BC: (laughs) No, I don’t think any Inquistan would want a referendum on the matter. The Inquistan people chose to give their overwhelming support to the Archbishop and the Movement when they elected to give them a supermajority of seats in the College of Bishops. Inquistans trust our Archbishop to put the Inquistan Orthodox Church before anything else. When the Inquistan Franc was renamed to the Inquisto, most Inquistans were quite pleased. From what I am aware of, most Inquistans are supportive of the new name as well. We’re moving the country forward.

    EV: I actually take exception to this. This really is something that should have been put forward to a referendum. Archbishop Craticus and his party – theological bloc, or whatever – have governed our Church by bashing political elites for being supposedly undemocratic, by promising to democratize bureaucracies, and by fighting what they call political corruption, yet they don’t leave major changes to our Fundamental Laws up to the people. Instead, they’re using their new supermajority to propel anything they can.

    BC: Then why even elect our bishops in the first place then? Don’t get this confused: the Inquistan people chose to elect a supermajority. I really think most Inqusitans stand behind our Archbishop on this. It’s a more meaningful name and it’s a more beautiful one too. It would have been an unnecessary expense and waste of time to hold a referendum on a matter that most Inquistans, I’m pretty sure, support.

    RB: If we’re going to discuss parties – I mean, theological blocs – and supermajorities, then let’s talk about the new political reforms rolled out the College of Bishops. Emmett, can you explain what theological blocs are, and how these differ from political parties?

    EV: Sure. If I had to compare what theological blocs are to anything, I’d actually compare them to political groups that currently exist in the European Union-

    BC: (scoffs) Uh, yeah, no.

    EV: You can roll your eyes at that, but it’s true. They’re basically nearly identical. Theological blocs are formal groupings of bishops in the College of Bishops, similar to political parties, but less institutionalized and with less structural power. Bishops can move freely between blocs and also form their own. However, to be part of a bloc, or to make new one, you must be an incumbent bishop part of the College. So basically, no outsider theological blocs can exist without being part of the College, and no College outsider, like Councillor Firoux, can lead a theological bloc.

    RB: Councillor Firoux is the leader of the Christian League. What does this mean for him?

    EV: He certainly isn’t the leader anymore. He can’t lead a theological bloc unless he’s a bishop. If I am to be frank, this is a convenient fact for the Movement, who have now effectively silenced the leader of their opposition.

    BC: But see, this is the problem. This isn’t about silencing the opposition. This is about ending political corruption and about depoliticizing the Inquistan Orthodox Church. Our Church shouldn’t be a politically divided institution. It simply doesn’t make sense for people, like Councillor Firoux, sitting in Europolis, deciding what the College of Bishops should do or not do. If he wants to shape the policy of the Church, then he should work to elect himself as a bishop. Our Church should be governed by bishops, not political elites sitting overseas. This is partly why the Archbishop has moved to create these theological blocs. These theological blocs are barred from collecting funds, whether they be from corporations, unions or individuals. Instead, the administrative costs of these blocs will be covered by stipends provided the Church. These blocs are supposed to be a means for like-minded groups of bishops to work together, not to become intuitions in of themselves. We can all wear different stripes, but we’re all playing for the same team, which is our Church.

    RB: Okay, so the theological blocs are basically loose grouping of College Bishops? You mentioned that they can’t collect funds, and have their administrative costs covered by the Church, but then how do elections work?

    BC: Candidates for election can be endorsed by a theological blocs. If they don’t receive an endorsement, then candidates can run as independents. Independently-elected bishops can then form or join a bloc once they’re in the College. You will see theological bloc endorsements on the ballots, beside the name of candidates. But all the campaign funding, including political fundraising, will have to come from the candidate themselves. Big party apparatuses, like fundraising, have been gutted. The Movement has already banned donations from corporations, unions and foreign entities. However, this means candidates, not parties, must now fundraise for themselves, and they’re only allowed to accept a donation that amounts to 1,000 Inquistos or less, per month, from an individual Inquistan.

    EV: The problem is, while we all support any decision to limit corporate greed and political corruption, this is also a blatant attack against the political freedoms of Inquistans. Our unions and businesses have been already been shut out of political decision-making. Fine, I will accept that. But the Archbishop has basically shut out all smaller political players, such as those who are not sitting in the College, of ever making political breakthroughs. All the while, the Archbishop is also silencing their strongest of his opponents, including Councillor Firoux, who happens to have more fundraising money than him. The fact that Councillor Firoux will be barred from leading a theological bloc, despite being democratically elected by his supporters, seems undemocratic and politically oppressive to me. This a political stunt.
    RB: What does this mean for the current parties? As of now, they’ve officially been dissolved. There is no Black Swan Movement, there is no Christian League and there is no Green Inquista.

    BC: The Archbishop fully intends for his current Secretariat and for his like-minded bishops to remain working together, and they will form a theological bloc in the coming days.

    EV: Yeah, I see a very powerful Craticus-led theological bloc emerging out of this. I’m very concerned for the Christian League, who will now not only lose their leader, but they might actually combust entirely. I have no idea how they will cope with this. The Christian League almost split into two separate parties this past summer, when Councillor Firoux narrowly beat Silas Kligenberg for leadership of the party. Silas Kligenberg threatened to start his own party, but it never actually materialised. This could be a chance for the supporters of Councillor Firoux, who mostly comprise of ardent pro-European, liberal Orthodox democrats to form one theological bloc, while the more business-oriented and moderate Orthodox supporters of Silas Kligenberg form their own bloc.

    RB: And Green Inquista?

    BC: (laughs) Oh no.

    EV: They’ll easily be able to transform themselves into their own theological bloc. Bishop Lallana has already promised this. She will surely have a home for her own bishops and for those who subscribe to liberation theology, progressive orthodoxy and ecotheology. It will be interesting to see if anyone else joins her bloc. I don’t see former Green Inquista bishops moving anywhere else. It will be especially interesting to see how her bloc benefits from the former Christian League, who I suspect will not be able to organize themselves into a theological bloc uniformly. There’s a possibility, if the Christian League splits, that Bishop Lallana’s theological bloc is the second largest theological bloc in Inquista, which means yes, libertarian theology will be second biggest force within the Inquistan Orthodx Church.

    BC: A force and theology that most Inquistans reject, I might add.

    RB: It will be very interesting to see how political machinations develop following these reforms. I will be sure to keep a close eye on them, and we, here at Inqusita Today, will keep you up with the latest.

    EV: You will have your work cut out for you.

    RB: (laughs) That’s what I look forward to, Emmett. I would like to thank you both for joining me tonight and helping me make sense of these reforms. Emmett, Bradley, thank you.

    BC: You’re welcome, Rosie. Anytime.

    EV: It’s been a pleasure, thank you.

    RB: And thank you all for joining us this evening as we discuss the latest news from Inquista. This has been Inquista Today. Thank you. Good night.

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    DISASTER Strikes Mikaela Kligenberg's WILD Ibiza Party and It Ends in CATASTROPHE

    Article by Kathy Vickers
    August 19, 2019

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    HORRIFIC SCENE: Authorities raid the renowned El Burro Marica club in Ibiza after distressed patrons call for police assistance.

    Shocking news is emerging following recent events in Ibiza, Spain. The government of Derecta has worryingly announced that Prime Minister Cayetana Valcárcel-Aranjuez y Pérez de Viñastre has been abducted over the weekend while attending Mikaela Kligenberg’s Ibiza party at the El Burro Marcia club. Mikaela Kligenberg’s party, which was held in celebration of Spain’s one-year anniversary of EU membership, was raided by police during the same evening as the Derectan PM’s abduction.

    Insider sources currently believe that Mikaela Kligenberg, Queen Irene of Red Croatia and Queen Anastasia of Icholasen may have coordinated the abduction. The three women, who all wore elegant light-coloured dresses, were seen traveling to Ibiza from Spain’s capital city.

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    MEAN GIRLS: Mikaela Kligneberg (L), Queen Irene (C), and Queen Anastasia (R) all coordinated light-coloured outfits, MALICIOUSLY leaving the Derectan Prime Minister wearing dark-coloured clothes in an attempt to HUMILIATE her.

    The three suspicious women were seen travelling together with the Derectan Prime Minister, who was dressed in contrasting dark colours. Insider sources report that the three women intended to humiliate the Derectan Prime Minister by suggesting that she attend the party wearing “business casual” clothing. Upon joining the three women, the Derectan Prime Minister seemed to quickly realise the fashion set-up, and then later in the evening changed her outfit. The Derectan Prime Minister stunned the patrons of the El Burro Marica club with a graceful, sleek black dress, which came to contrast with the lighter outfits of Ms. Kligenberg, Queen Irene and Queen Anastasia. According to sources, the three women were utterly infuriated by this and soon challenged the Derectan Prime Minister to a physical confrontation.

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    STUNNING: Prime Minister Cayetana Valcárcel-Aranjuez y Pérez de Viñastre looked ready to sign a free trade agreement in her business casual attire, before GRACEFULLY changing into her GORGEOUS black dress. The Prime Minister’s whereabouts and current outfit are unknown, however.

    Eyewitnesses claim that the Derectan Prime Minister initiated the physical confrontation herself, but that she acted in self-defence. Mikaela Kligenberg is believed to have then taken up the defence of the other two women, verbally attacking the Derectan Prime Minister in a shrieking verbal barrage that resulted in police being called to the scene. Patrons reported hearing very distressing sounds emitting out of Mikaela Kligenberg, leaving many to wonder whether she had been injured, possessed or both.

    As police arrived at the club, they were immediatey bombarded with smoke bombs and flares, which obstructed their ability to resolve the dispute between the women. Eyewitnesses report that Queen Irene of Red Croatia fled the scene immediately before the police arrival, coincidentally when the flares and smoke bombs were detonated. Not long after, the Derectan Prime Minister went missing.

    Police searched the premises of the club, only to find the corpse of a deceased woman, Canadace, age 97, who was dead in her wheelchair in the corner of the club. Queen Irene and Prime Minister Cayetana Valcárcel-Aranjuez y Pérez de Viñastre were nowhere to be seen. Mikaela Kligenberg and Queen Anastasia are said to have worked cooperatively with the Spanish Police in attempt to cover up their roles in abducting the Derectan Prime Minister.

    Prince Tommy of Icholasen was also seen at the club, reportedly working as a bartender. Inside sources claim that Prince Tommy has become destitute, after relapsing into a severe bout of alcohol and drug abuse. Eyewitnesses are believed to have seen Prince Tommy an Queen Anastasia arguing about money and royal responsibility, leading royal insiders to believe that Queen Anastasia has exiled Tommy from Icholasen due to his neglect of responsibilities and his wasteful spending of money.

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    DISGRACE: Prince Tommy of Icholasen was seen working a job in Ibiza, likely due to BANKRUPTING the Nicoleizian Royal Family and WASTING AWAY his inheritance.

    Royal insiders are reportedly worried that Prince Tommy’s lewd behaviour, wasteful spending and drug and alcohol problems are spurring a rise in republicanism in the country as well as bankrupting the entire Nicoleizian Royal Family. In order to remedy the national economic burden of the Nicoleizian Royal Family, royal insiders are suggesting that they are entertaining an offer from Premier Eilidh Whiteford and the Party of June, who seek to privatize the Nicoleizian Royal Family. Numerous potential buyers are interested in the deal, which will likely be unveiled shortly after the Nicoleizian by-election in Romain.

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    Opinion: "Councillor Firoux Has Many Friends, It's Just Too Bad That None of Them Are In Inquista"

    Opinion by Lex Burnley
    August 22nd, 2019

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    The knives are out against Councillor Firoux in Inquista. Councillor Firoux's European career is certainly secure. However, is his political career in Inquista officially over?

    It seems very likely that Councillor Firoux will soon be re-elected as the Speaker of the European Council in an unopposed vote. Councillor Firoux has acted as the Speaker of the European Council since Councillor Mountain of the United Kingdom stepped down from the post in 2018. You'd be probably be forgiven if you mistakenly believed that Councillor Firoux had been Speaker of the European Council since at least 2017, or 2016, or maybe even 2015. Councillor Firoux is now by far the longest serving Councillor in European Council, first taking up the job in 2013. He's made his mark by legalizing gay marriage in the European Union, banning capital and unusual punishment, and at one point, also controversially banning the use of nuclear weapons.

    Councillor Firoux's long and established career in Europolis has made him good friends with many political insiders within Europe. This isn't surprising given the fact that Councillor Firoux is also the leader of the European Progressive Alliance - the biggest voting bloc of councillors within the European Council. Besides his fellow councillors, Councillor Firoux has established personal and professional relationships with almost every commissioner that has served during his tenure - including virtually every premier commissioner. When people claim that Councillor Firoux is 'in bed' with the premiers, sometimes it's a literal reference and not just a metaphorical one. Councillor Firoux's other European friends include a long list of monarchs, prime ministers, presidents and business elites who have showered him with praise, political support and financial donations.

    Councillor Firoux has many friends, it's just too bad that none of them are in Inquista. After all, it's the ones in Inquista that count the most if he ever planned on ever becoming Archbishop.

    Let's make no mistake: Councillor Firoux's has built his entire political career with the intent of becoming Archbishop. Even before he was an elected politician, when he still worked as an appointed ambassador of Inquista, Councillor Firoux made numerous risky decisions to criticize the Church of Inquista, including its foreign policy. Those were gutsy risks to take for someone who was a church-appointed member of the Inquistan Foreign Service. It's also what ultimately helped him become the Councillor of Inquista. From there, Councillor Firoux has seemingly used his position in Europolis to counter the current Archbishop of Inquista at every turn. When Archbishop Craticus defends the sanctity of the traditional family, Councillor Firoux quickly proposes legislation to strengthen non-traditional marriage rights, and when Archbishop Craticus moves to stop refugees from entering Inquista, you then see Councillor Firoux moving to protect the rights of those refugees. Councillor Firoux's eyes are just as laser-focused on Inquista as he is on Europe.

    When Bishop Ashton Pearson resigned as the leader of the Christian League in 2018, Councillor Firoux finally played his cards in the open. He ran for leadership of the Christian League himself, despite not being a member of the College of Bishops. It was a bitter race against Silas Kligenberg, but Councillor Firoux managed to prevail mostly unscathed. Surely, Councillor Firoux's prospects of becoming Archbishop should be better than ever?

    Wrong. Very wrong.

    In an attempt to depoliticize the Inquistan Orthodox Church, and to combat political corruption, Archbishop Craticus has dissolved Inquista's political parties and has replaced them with less structured theological blocs. Only incumbent members of the College of Bishops can lead these blocs. Councillor Firoux is not a bishop, so he will be barred from leading a theological bloc. This terrible, bad, no-good news is just the start of Councillor Firoux's problems. He has not just only lost his leadership position in Inquista, but he will also very likely have his own political base snatched away from him by other Inquistan leaders and his own supposed allies. Soon enough, Councillor Firoux might have all his political capital bled dry, with his political opponents all eager to take a stab at him.

    The knives are out. To Councillor Firoux's right, Archbishop Craticus is coalescing a broad-tent of like-minded bishops, ranging from the moderate, to the conservative, to the ultra-Orthodox, who are all united under a broad banner of religious nationalism. To Councillor Firoux's left, Bishop Lallana is building an army of progressive Orthodox bishops dedicated to liberation, social justice and ecotheology. In 2011, both of these theological blocs led by Archbishop Craticus and Bishop Lallana may have seemed like fringe entities, but both parties, as well as their leaders, have become very popular, and they are continuing to eat away at the political centre. Just before the last Inquistan ecclesiastical election in 2018, several members of the Christian League jumped party ship to join the Archbishop's Black Swan Movement and Bishop Lallana's Green Inquista. It is very likely that we will see more bishops jump ship now that the party lines have been temporarily dissolved until the new theological blocs are formed. The Archbishop and Bishop Lallana both know this, and have openly courted members of the Christian League to join their theological blocs once they have been created.

    It's not just opponents from other political stripes that are against Councillor Firoux. Silas Kligenberg has re-merged as a political threat and he plans to stab Councillor Firoux in the front, not in the back. While most members of the former Christian League have defended Councillor Firoux and have lambasted the College of Bishops for preventing him from holding his leadership position, Silas Kligenberg has openly welcomed it. In an interview with IBC News, Silas Kligenberg stated that while he does not approve of the Archbishop's justifications for political reforms, he does "welcome the opportunity to reform Inquista's political parties, including the Christian League," and that it was "time to refocus and bring new energy to Inquista's best governing group".

    Silas Kligenberg, much like the Archbishop and Bishop Lallana, has met with the former members of the Christian League, and he too is hoping to court them to his own corner. It has been reported that Silas Kligenberg hopes that one of the bishops stands down from their see, so that he can fill their seat, and take leadership of the former Christian League. Multiple members of the League previously endorsed Silas Kligenberg in his previous attempt at party leadership, and many members of the Inquistan public remain enthusiastic about his fresh and insurgent dive into politics. It wouldn't take much to imagine that one of the League bishops may stand down, and Silas Kligenberg may then ascend to anointed leadership. This is his Kligenberg destiny, after all.

    Councillor Firoux's best hope is that one of his few allies in the League (either Bishop Anja Emerett or Bishop JennaMarelle Johnson) is able to hold peace over the former Christian League, and that they are able to become the leader of the theological bloc. This ploy, however, is obvious. Both Bishop Emerett and Bishop Johnson will have their leadership scrutinized, and neither of them will be able to shake-off the notion that they're mere puppets of Councillor Firoux himself. Silas Kligenberg doesn't seem intent to let this happen anyway, and may very well prefer splitting the entire former party into two rather than compromising on the matter.

    If the former Christian League splits, then it's over for Councillor Firoux. He will have no leadership position, no political base, and likely, no political support either. His ambition to become Archbishop will be dashed. Permanently. What Councillor Firoux needs is more allies in Inquista, and he needs them now more than ever.

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    GLOWING Mikaela Kligenberg Flaunts BREATHTAKING Engagement Ring

    Article by Kathy Vickers
    October 10, 2019

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    SEEMINGLY IMPOSSIBLE: The 34-year old (and not getting any younger) Mikaela Kligenberg has finally traded in her purity ring for an actual ring.

    Mikaela Kligenberg was photographed as she was seen entering the Grande Hotel in Saint Dominico today, where she was spotted flashing a new ring. Mikaela Kligenberg has not made any formal announcement as of yet, but inside sources, as well as today’s photograph, have confirmed that Mikaela Kligenberg is officially engaged. Close fans and followers of Mikaela Kligenberg have also noticed that she no longer wears her purity ring, which she has publicly and humiliatingly worn since she was 15-years old.

    The 34-year old Kligenberg heiress has been known to lead a rather dry, action-less and virtually non-existent love life, which has been woefully documented on her reality television series, Keeping Up With the Kligenbergs. Mikaela Kligenberg’s sudden engagement has caught many by surprise, and according to inside sources, it has even shocked some of her closest friends and family members, who were convinced that Mikaela Kligenberg would never be able to find love.

    Inside sources claim that Mikaela Kligenberg is engaged to Captain Juan-Bernardo Fernandez-Velasquez, who she met during her recent fracas in Ibiza, Spain.

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    DESPERATE: Mikaela Kligenberg has gotten engaged to Captain Juan-Bernardo Fernandez-Velasquez despite knowing him for less than 2 months.

    Mikaela Kligenberg has been seen beaming with the Captain while they have spent time out and about in Saint Dominico. Despite her apparent happiness, inside sources remain sceptical of her budding romance. Mikaela Kligenberg only met Captain Juan-Bernardo Fernandez-Velasquez less than two months ago, and many inside sources believe that the Captain is taking advantage of the Kligenberg heiress’s fame and fortune. Other inside sources claim that Mikalea Kligenberg has also become shamefully determined to get married before she reaches 40, with one insider source stating that “Mikaela would probably be willing to marry a Nicoleizian onion farmer at this point if it meant that she wouldn’t die alone.”

    Another insider source stated that "Mikaela is shocked, mortified and astonished that Queen Anastasia of Icholasen has had three husbands while she's had none. It's total jealously on Mikaela's part."

    Captain Juan-Bernardo Fernandez-Velasquez, who also goes by the moniker ‘El Capitán’, is a now-former Captain of the Spanish Legion. The Captain was apparently scouted out by Mikaela Kligenberg while he was marching in a parade during Spain’s EU anniversary celebrations. After finding and haranguing the Captain, Mikaela Kligenberg apparently then invited him to join her disastrous venture to Ibiza, which he accepted.

    It remains unclear if Captain Juan-Bernardo Fernandez-Velasquez played any role in the Ibiza catastrophe, but it has been reported that he is currently wanted by Spanish authorities. Attendees of Mikaela Kligenberg’s wild Ibiza party have claimed that the Captain proved himself to be the most talented and impressive dancer of the evening, which apparently won him a special place in Mikaela Kligenberg’s heart. The Captain subsequently fled Ibiza alongside Mikaela Kligenberg that evening, and inside sources claim that he now resides in one of Mikaela Kligenberg’s villas.

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    TALENTED: The Captain has all three B’s – brains, brawn and blazin’ speed.

    Since coming to Inquista, Captain Juan-Bernardo Fernandez-Velasquez has become a professional racing driver and dancer. The Captain has become a Formula One driver for Force Inquista-Kligenberg Motors, as well as a Inquistan Super Street Rally driver for K-Racing Point. It has also been reported that the Captain will be joining Mikaela Kligenberg as a dance coach on her new upcoming dance competition series, the Greatest Dancer.

    Captain Juan-Bernardo Fernandez-Velasquez’s sudden professional racing career and involvement in television are single-handedly attributed to Mikaela Kligenberg, who is said to have used her Kligenberg influence to land him his opportunities for Kligenberg-controlled race teams in both the Formula One and Inquistan Super Street Rally leagues. This, together with the fact that the Captain will be a dance coach alongside Mikaela Kligenberg on the Greatest Dancer, has led one insider source to refer to the Captain as “a user and abuser” of Mikaela Kligenberg’s wealth and connections. The same insider source warned that, “Mikaela has a history of showing kindness to leeches, such as with people like Prince Tommy of Icholasen, who just use up other people’s money and influence. Mikaela needs to be careful.”

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    NOBODIES: From left to right – Curtis Pritchard, Oti Mabuse, Matthew Morrison, Mikaela Kligenberg, Todrick Hall, Aleshia Dixon and Captain Juan-Bernardo Fernandez-Velasquez make up the cast of presenters, judges and coaches of the Greatest Dancer.

    However, some rumours have also suggested that Mikaela Kligenberg is actually using the media attention surrounding her relationship with the Captain as a means to promote her up-coming show, the Greatest Dancer. The Greatest Dancer joins Mikaela Kligenberg’s long line-up of current reality television shows, and network bosses are apparently worried that the show will underperform in reaping television ratings, in part due to a lackluster group of panelists and presenters. Network bosses are apparently hoping that increased media attention on Mikaela Kligenberg will bring in viewers, but they are also hoping that the Captain's own appearance on the show will also bring in more viewers. Captain Juan-Bernardo Fernandez-Velasquez has apparently already impressed the network bosses, with one insider source stating that the Captain possesses amazing dance moves with “ass-quaking capabilities off the Richter scale.”

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    March 22, 2020 // Tensions and Protests Explode as Councillor Firoux Recalled by Archbishop Craticus

    RB: In an emergency session of the College of Bishops called early this morning, Archbishop Craticus and his Craticist Bloc have passed a super-majority motion to recall Councillor Firoux from the European Council. Councillor Firoux will remain in his position until an impending Council by-election, but he will be unable to exercise any powers invested in his office, including his ability to vote in the European Council. The opposition Reformist and Progressivist blocs have taken a united stand against this motion, and have also grilled the Archbishop on his handling of the war in Reitzmag. Bishop Anja Emerett, the leader of the Reformist Bloc, has called for state-wide protests, which have since sprung up around the country in response to Councillor Firoux’s recall. Good morning. I'm Rosemary Barker and this is Inquista Today.

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    RB: Councillor Firoux has been recalled in a super-majority motion passed in the College of Bishops early this morning. This motion was initiated during an emergency session of the College, which was called only an hour after Bishop Emerett of the Reformist Bloc and Bishop Lallana of the Progressivist Bloc took Archbishop Craticus to task on the war in Reitzmag and the Inquistan bombing of East Moreland. In the emergency session, Archbishop Craticus referred to Councillor Firoux as ‘anti-Inquistan’ and an ‘EU puppet’. Bishop Emerett has called for state-wide protests to contend the Archbishop’s recall of the Councillor. Thousands of Inquistans have since taken to the streets.

    RB: In order to catch you all up on this rapidly evolving story, I will joined by Angelo Valente, a political analyst with CBC Inquista. Angelo is reporting to us live from Saint Dominico's Square, where many of the protestors are congregating. Hello, Angelo! Great to have you delivering the latest from the scene.

    AV: Hi Rosie! I’m very happy to be speaking to you right now, especially at a time like this.

    RB: Angelo, you are there in Saint Dominico’s Square. Give us the latest. It looks like there is a lot of commotion behind you.

    AV: Yes, I am here in Saint Dominico’s Square, right on the doorstep of the Archbishop’s Palace. According to our current estimations, there are approximately 18,000 protestors here. However, more people are pouring in by the second. I wish we could show you what’s going on behind the camera, because there seems to be flood of people as far as the eye can see behind us here.

    RB: Oh wow, 18,000 already?

    AV: Yes, 18,000 already. Keep in mind, it has only been about two hours since the emergency session was called this morning, and about an hour since Bishop Emerett took to Twitter to announce the start of the protests. These protests are very fresh. Even though Bishop Emerett said she would lead the protest here in Saint Dominico’s Square herself, she encouraged Inquistans to begin protesting everywhere in Inquista. Reports are now coming in of protestors congregating in Ludovico Square, Valetta Square, City Gates Square, and dozens of other public forums. Inquistans are taking to the streets everywhere and anywhere. But yes, our current estimates believe that about 18,000 have gathered here, and it’s growing exponentially.

    RB: What is the mood like among the protestors? What have they been saying as you’ve spoken to them?

    AV: The mood is very intense at the moment. You can feel the frustration and anger in the air. Many of the protestors are chanting and shouting, as I’m sure you can hear over me. I’ve spoken to quite a few protestors, and it seems like these protests have been a long time coming. These protests are about more than just Councillor Firoux’s recall. These protestors are airing all their long time grievances, including demands for equal LGBTQ rights and further European integration. Among the sea of people here, I’m seeing many European Union flags as well as many colourful pride flags. I’m also hearing chants of ‘Comrade Becky, no surrender, four day week and a three day bender.’

    RB: That’s interesting. So this is more than just a protest against Councillor Firoux’s recall? Is it fair to say that these are also protests against Archbishop Craticus’ fundamentalist approach to Inquistan Orthodox church doctrines?

    AV: That’s absolutely a part of it. At least, that’s what I’m hearing here. Protestors here are calling for a shift in the Inquistan Orthodox Church. Many feel that the Church, particularly under the current Craticist Bloc, has shifted significantly towards a type of Church that existed just before the Inquistan Civil War. These protestors see the Church as becoming increasingly intolerant, anti-European as well as very undemocratic. Many are also very uncomfortable with Inquista’s bombing of East Moreland.

    RB: Very undemocratic? Correct me if I’m wrong, but isn’t it well within the College of Bishop’s right to recall a councillor, even if a councillorship is an elected position?

    AV: Well, it is within the College’s right. Not only is it within the college’s right, but Councillor Firoux wrote the damn bill that allowed them to do it in the first place. In Councillor Firoux’s Elected and Accountable Council Act, clause two of section four allows EU member-state governments to recall councillors through a simple-majority vote. In the case of the College of Bishops, the Craticist Bloc has a supermajority, so it was painless for them to remove him. But that’s the thing. The Archbishop has been trying to isolate and freeze Councillor Firoux out of Inquistan politics for a very long time. First, the Archbishop dissolved all political parties within the College of Bishops, then he barred Councillor Firoux from leading a theological bloc due to his councillor position, and now the Archbishop has recalled him from office. Even though these actions are all within the Archbishop’s and College’s rights, many see these political machinations as massive breaches of democratic trust.

    RB: Just to remind our international viewers, there are three ‘theological blocs’ within the College of Bishops: the Craticist Bloc, headed by Archbishop Craticus, the Reformist Bloc which is de jure headed by Bishop Emerett - although Councillor Firoux is widely seen as the de facto leader - and the Progressivist Bloc, headed by Bishop Lallana. As Angelo mentioned, these loose bloc formations were formed after political parties were dissolved in Inquista last year.

    AV: As the Archbishop attempts to hit the final nail in Councillor Firoux’s political coffin, many feel that he’s also hitting the final nail into the coffin of Inquista’s democracy. People here feel that it’s become a tyranny by the majority.

    RB: But this isn’t the end of Councillor Firoux’s political career. In fact, this might not change anything. Councillor Firoux is still technically Inquista’s councillor until the by-election.

    AV: That’s certainly true. However, he’s only nominally Inquista’s councillor. He can’t exercise any powers invested in his office, including his ability to vote. He won’t be able to access any of his office’s funds. He won’t be able to fulfill his speakership duties within the European Council. It’s also not guaranteed that he will be able to run in the upcoming by-election, which is yet to be scheduled. We will likely see the Archbishop put several hurdles before Councillor Firoux’s ability to nominate himself, and we will likely also see the by-election delayed for some time, especially with Inquista’s current involvement in Reiztmag.

    RB: How has Councillor Firoux reacted?

    AV: The Councillor has remained adamant that he will stay in office, and that he will continue to remain Speaker of the European Council. However, he will have to delegate all responsibilities to his Deputy Speaker, Marion Rousselot. The Councillor has also stated that he believes his recall is a direct retaliation against the criticisms that he has levied against the Archbishop’s alleged orders to bomb East Moreland in Reitzmag. Councillor Firoux has made some very pointed remarks towards Inquista’s own approach to Reitzmag. Let’s also not forget that the emergency session to recall the Councillor was also called less than an hour after Reformist and Progressivist bishops questioned the Archbishop on his handling of the war. The connection between the two events seems likely, or at least, that’s what the feeling is.

    RB: I mentioned at the top of the show that the Archbishop had less than pleasant words to say about the Councillor this morning. The Archbishop branded Councillor Firoux as ‘anti-Inquistan’ and an ‘EU puppet’.

    AV: That’s correct. The Archbishop said those words after reading Councillor Firoux’s statements from European Council floor aloud to the College of Bishops. Bishops of the Reformist and Progressivist blocs clapped as the Archbishop finished reading the Councillor’s statements. In his statements, the Councillor called for a peaceful end to the war in Reitzmag, immediate and urgent humanitarian assistance to the regions impacted by the war, as well as an economic reconstruction package to help rebuild East Moreland. The Archbishop and the Craticist Bloc clearly don’t see the situation in Reitzmag the same way. They clearly perceive the Councillor’s statements as a critique of Inquista and as a betrayal. The Archbishop expects the Councillor to brave a united front with the Inquistan government to the international community. Instead, Councillor Firoux has somehow created a united front among the Archbishop’s opposition.

    RB: That’s a point. The Archbishop’s opposition has historically been quite fractured. The old League, which has now become the Reformist Bloc, has no historical working relationship with the Progressivist Bloc, which was once Bishop Lallana’s old Green Inquista. They now seem to be taking a united stand together.

    AV: Exactly. Even within the Reformist Bloc, there’s division between the ultra-Europhiles who are loyal to Councillor Firoux, and then there are the ultra-business-friendly liberals loyal to Silas Kligenberg. However, even Silas Kligenberg has come out behind Councillor Firoux. In fact, I’ve heard that Silas Kligenberg is apparently soon going to be joining the protests here in the square, alongside Bishop Emerett, Bishop Lallana, and several top members of the Reformist and Progressivist blocs.

    RB: Oh wow. This situation is so complex and is moving so, so, so fast.

    AV: Things are escalating by the minute. Just as I’ve been talking to you now, my phone has been going off with alerts and I’ve noticed that people have now flooded every inch of the space here.

    RB: Thank you for reporting to us from the scene, Angelo. We really appreciate it. Again, thank you.

    AV: My pleasure, Rosie.

    RB: And thank you all for joining us this morning as we discuss the latest news from Inquista. This has been Inquista Today. Thank you.

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    April 7, 2020 // One Week After a Revolution, Inquistans Begin to Shift Focus to the Future

    RB: After a week of mourning following the shocking revelations made by the former Archbishop’s chief assistant, and the storming of the Archbishop’s Palace, Inquistans have begun to chart their way forward. El Caudillo and the now-dissolved College of Bishops have jointly agreed to hold an election for a new College on May 4th. As Councillor Edward Firoux returns to Europolis, College leaders in Inquista scramble to assemble their campaigns. Several high-ranking members of the Craticist bloc remain under investigation, while several await trial and several more have escaped overseas.

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    RB: Inquista has returned to some sense of normality this week, after El Caudillo suspended martial law and the national state of emergency last week Friday. Martial law and the national state of emergency were declared by the former Archbishop in the final moments of his reign, not long before being murdered in a public uprising which has now become known as the March Revolution. El Caudillo and his military-backed provisional government have maintained peace since the revolution, but have promised a quick transition and return to democratic and Church-led governance.

    RB: El Caudillo has now met with the College of Bishops, who were officially dissolved by the provisional government the day after the March Revolution, and they agreed upon a new ecclesiastical election on May 4th. This election will be taking place two years after the 2018 election, and marks the first time in Inquista’s modern united history that an election will be held before the end of a full term.

    RB: Councillor Edward Firoux has since returned to the European Council, where he has been fighting against a proposal by Pravoslaviyan Councillor Tupac Shakur, who has attempted to condemn Inquista’s provisional government. Councillor Shakur’s proposed condemnation also seeks to prevent a new College of Bishops from being recognized as legitimate, and instead seeks to have the now-dissolved College and Craticist Bloc remain in power.

    RB: Several members of the Craticist Bloc are currently under investigation, including Bishop Secretaries Gino Rieni and Noah Elis. They are currently suspected of being integral and active members of the Crusade Against Corruption, according to the documents leaked by former Chief Assistant to the Archbishop, Bradley Costa. Chief Bishop Secretary Lotan Woodrick, the former Archbishop’s deputy, is one of five bishops currently facing trial for their involvement in the Crusade Against Corruption. Other suspected collaborators include Bishop Secretaries Jordyn Finsch and Ronaudinho Hugh, the Bishop Secretaries of State and the Treasury, who are believed to have escaped to Angleter. Due to anti-corruption laws which were passed under former College, any and all persons who are currently under investigation, facing trial or have been convicted for any crime, are unable to stand for election as a bishop. As such, 26 of the Craticist Bloc’s remaining 185 bishops are currently barred from running in the upcoming election.

    RB: El Caudillo has called for Angleter and the international community to extradite wanted and suspected Crusaders back to Inquista. Despite surfacing and revealing much of the information, Bradley Costa, who is currently residing in Icholasen, is also wanted for his role as the second-in-command of the Crusade Against Corruption.

    RB: Virtually all incumbent bishops, who are otherwise not barred, have since declared their intention to run for re-election. Almost all Craticist bishops have since announced their intention to run as non-affiliated bishops and have distanced themselves from their theological bloc group. Many of these former Craticist bishops hope to form a new theological group should they be able to re-take their offices.

    RB: Bishop Karinn Lallana is looking to expand her circle of Progressivist Bishops. Bishop Anja Emerett, who is leader of the Reformist Bloc, and who is widely credited with starting the protests which led up to the March Revolution, is hoping to use the momentum of her protests and her current popularity to launch the Reformist Bloc to success. It is still unclear who the de facto leader of the Reformist Bloc is, however, as several high profile figureheads affiliated with the group are looking to join their ranks in the College of Bishops. Councillor Firoux has filed to run in the upcoming election, alongside Silas Kligenberg and shock-entry Mikaela Kligenberg, who have all been endorsed by the Reformist Bloc. El Caudillo and his deputy, Air Marshal Harriet Copala, have filed to also run in the upcoming election, but as non-affiliated bishops.

    RB: Following the election of the College on May 4th, the members of the ecclesiastical legislature will then elect a new Archbishop on May 15th, who will then be acclaimed to office. The electoral field is currently wide open, with many possible future Archbishop’s in the running. Most analysts predict that either a non-affiliated or a Reformist majority is likely within the College of Bishops, although no polling has been completed as of yet. Within the Reformist Bloc, Councillor Firoux, Bishop Emerett, Bishop JennaMarelle Johnson and Silas Kligenberg are all regarded as possible contender for the Archbishop’s seat. Mikaela Kligenberg, whose candidacy has shocked many, is also regarded as a possible contender, as she is seen as having channels of influence throughout the entire membership of the Reformist Bloc.

    RB: Inquista Today will be keeping you updated with the latest of 2020 Election. In order to provide you with more in-depth coverage, Inquista Today will once again host Inquista Decides – presented by yours truly - to bring you more political analysis of the ever-evolving election cycle. Please join me, Rosemary Barker, every evening as we cover the election’s latest news.

    RB: And thank you all for joining us this evening as we discuss the latest news from Inquista. This has been Inquista Today. Thank you.

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    Mikaela Kligenberg Becomes the First Female Archbishop of Inquista; Appoints Gender-Balanced Secretariat

    May 16, 2020

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    Mikaela Kligenberg has been elected as the new Archbishop of Inquista

    On May 15th, Mikaela Kligenberg was elected the 3rd Archbishop of Inquista by the College of Bishops, succeeding the late Archbishop Paul Craticus. Archbishop Kligenberg was elected in a razor-thin vote, where she received 116 votes to Bishop Edward Firoux's 114 votes in the second round of voting.

    In the first round of voting, Bishop Edward Firoux led with 108 votes, Bishop Michael Cunard received 71 votes, Bishop Silas Kligenberg received 28 votes, Bishop Karinn Lallana received 21 votes and Bishop Juan-Bernardo Fernandez-Velasquez received 2 votes. In the second round, the votes behind Bishops Michael Cunard, Silas Kligenberg, Karinn Lallana and Juan-Bernardo Fernandez-Velasquez rallied behind Archbishop Mikaela Kligenberg, who emerged as a surprise unity candidate.

    Archbishop Kligenberg has become the first-ever female Archbishop of the Inquistan Orthodox Church. After being acclaimed as the new head of the Inquistan Orthodox Church, Archbishop Kligenberg was immediately tasked with forming a new Secretariat. Today. Archbishop Kligenberg announced 9 men and 9 women to her secretariat. While an equal amount of men and women have been appointed to the Secretariat, the Archbishop's own presence in the Secretariat as the 19th member means that it is actually slightly woman-dominated.

    Bishop Edward Firoux has been appointed Chief Secretary and will act as Archbishop Kligenberg's deputy. It is expected that Bishop Firoux will be delegated a considerate bulk of responsibilities by the Archbishop. Archbishop Kligenberg has assumed leadership of the Reformist Bloc after being elected Archbishop, and Bishop Firoux has since been appointed as deputy leader of the bloc.

    Former Reformist leader, Bishop Anja Emerett, has been appointed as Secretary of State. Bishop Silas Kligenberg, the first cousin of the Archbishop, has been made Secretary of the Treasury and Economy. Key swing-vote and personal friend of Archbishop Kligenberg, Bishop JennaMarelle Johnson, has been made Secretary of Trade and Secretary of International Development.

    Despite not being Reformists, Bishops Juan-Bernardo Fernandez-Velasquez and Hariett Copala played crucial roles as swing votes which helped Archbishop Kligenberg clinch a majority vote in the second round of voting. For perhaps those reasons, Bishop Juan-Bernardo Fernandez-Velasquez has been named Secretary of Defence and Peacekeeping and Secretary of Veteran Affairs, and Bishop Hariett Copala has been named Secretary of Justice and High Inquisitor of Inquista.

    Another notable addition of the new Secretariat includes Bishop Matthw Hargrave, who becomes the first-ever openly gay bishop appointed to the Secretariat. Bishop Hargrave has been made Secretary of Social Equities and Social Development, and is expected to support the Archbishop in a number of reforms concerning the status of gender and sexuality in the Inquistan Orthodox Church, including the expected legalization of gay marriage.

    Archbishop Kligenberg has also received widespread praise for the racial diversity of her secretariat, which includes 3 women and 2 men of colour, making 26% of the Secretariat visible minorities.

    The College of Bishops will begins its first legislative session on Monday, May 18th.

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    The Inquistan Orthodox Church Legalizes Gay Marriage, Bans Conversion Therapy and Passes Other LGBTQ Reforms

    May 18, 2020

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    Public celebrations of today's milestone reforms near Saint Dominico's Square

    The first legislative session of the new College of Bishops was entirely dedicated to passing several reforms concerning the rights and privileges of Inquista's sexual minorities. Most notably, a historic and landmark decision was made to amend the Fundamental Laws of Inquista in order to enshrine and safeguard the right for any two individuals to marry, regardless of their gender or sexual identities. Previously, the Fundamental Laws of Inquista only permitted marriage between a man and a woman. When Bishop Secretary Firoux, as Inquista’s Councillor, wrote and passed an amendment to the European Declaration of Human Rights which guaranteed equal marriage rights, the then College of Bishops refused to legalize gay marriage in Inquista. Upon being elected to office just days ago, Archbishop Mikaela Kligenberg promised to bring Inquista and Inquistan Orthodox Church in line with the rest of the European Union on equal marriage rights.

    The College also banned the practice of conversion therapy and classified it as a form of torture, which is a punishable criminal offence. Amendments were also made to Inquista’s educational policies, which previously suggested that school counsellors should recommend students struggling with their sexuality to seek out mental health counselling or conversion therapy. Now, primary and secondary school counsellors will be required to undergo training to offer emotional support to students regarding their sexuality, and will allow students to create GSA support groups.

    Other reforms include equal adoption rights for same-sex couples, hate speech laws expanded to include gender expression, sex reassignment surgery will no longer be needed to make changes to sex markers on government forms, and MSM (men who have sex with men) will be able to freely donate blood (previously, MSM had to be sexually inactive for at least 1 year to donate blood).

    During the College session, Archbishop Kligenberg apologized to the Inquistan LGBTQ community on behalf of the Inquistan Orthodox Church, apologizing for the Church’s decision to actively fight against gay marriage in light of the amendments that were made to the EU’s UDoHR, as well for the trauma which has been inflicted by conversion therapy practices supported by the Church. Bishop Secretary Matthew Hargrave, the Secretary for Social Equities and Social Development, and Inquista’s first openly-gay Secretary Bishop, delivered an impassioned speech about the importance of today’s reforms and the impact it will have on the lives and wellbeing of Inquista’s LGBTQ community. Following the College’s legislative session and the changes that were made to the Fundamental Laws of Inquista, which took immediate effect, Secretary Bishop Hargrave became the first person to be legally married in a same-sex marriage ceremony in Inquista, when he was married to his partner on the steps of the College of Bishops by Archbishop Kligenberg herself.

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