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    June 13, 2017

    Whirlwind Legislative Session to Take Inquista; Senior Leadership Being Shaken Up

    Article by Justin Crawford


    The Archbishop's throne room, where the Summer Ordinance Speech was made 

    SAINT DOMINICO - Archbishop Craticus has called for the College of Bishops to reconvene tomorrow, one month earlier than normally scheduled. The College of Bishops typically sits for a five week period every other month and a half; starting with a spring session that is called shortly after Easter (April-May), followed by sessions in the summer (July-August), autumn (October-November) and then finally ending in the winter (January-February). Not only has Archbishop Craticus called for this year’s summer session to convene early, but the Archbishop has also scheduled a marathon session that looks to continue for eight weeks at the very least. 

    Delivering the Summer Ordinance Speech from the throne room in the Archbishop’s Palace, it quickly became evident as to why the Archbishop has called for an early and lengthy session. Archbishop Craticus has outlined mountains of reforms that will be tabled by his ministers, many of which look to make some wide-ranging and drastic changes to the Inquistan Orthodox Church as a whole. The reforms include transformative changes that will completely remake the executive branch of the Church, rebranding the Ministries into the Secretariats. Other changes to the structure of the Church include the expansion of the College of Bishops, which may lead the episcopal sees of Inquista to be tripled in number. These changes will consequently re-draw the administrative boundaries of Inquista’s ecclesiastical legislature. Further reforms include a complete overhaul of the Church’s ethical procedures, which will likely strengthen and give powers to Church watchdogs and transparency critics. Proposals that had been previously outlined in the Black Swan Movement’s Momentum Manifesto will also naturally be present, such as the creation of further “sunshine lists” that will publicly document all expenses made by  the Church and all senior Church officials. Other proposed pieces legislation will primarily concern themselves with public safety, increased surveillance laws, and laws that look to tackle sexual assault. It was initially expected that Archbishop Craticus and the Black Swan Movement would utilise this summer session as a time to push for some of the Movement’s more hard-line, conservative social policies. Those seem to have been postponed for now. 

    The reasons for this marathon session have not been fully explained, but with the next Inquistan election scheduled for February, Archbishop Craticus and the Black Swan Movement have little time to complete everything on their Momentum Manifesto. With the election also replacing the winter session, Archbishop Craticus has even less time to crown his achievements. This could also explain the drastic changes that will transform the Church’s executive structure. While the Archbishop of Inquista has traditionally controlled virtually every inch of the Inquistan Orthodox Church, a practice only further entrenched by Archbishop Craticus himself, it seems that the Black Swan Movement has decided to start playing a long-term strategy in their governance of the Church and country. Despite that Archbishop Craticus may have a tight grip on his ministers, he also has cultivated a growing group of seasoned, talented bishops that are biting to have more independence in their respective roles. Increasing independence to the Ministries has already been piloted under the Momentum Manifesto. Perhaps, too, this is a beginning of an attempt to groom an heir to succeed Archbishop Craticus as the leader of the black Swan Movement - a movement that is entirely synonymous to Archbishop Craticus himself. 

    The reforms to the Ministries will be the first to be proposed in the summer session. Unconventionally, once the reforms are expected to pass, a new executive team will be drawn up then-and-there, meaning that some ministers may find themselves with either new senior jobs or no senior jobs at all during the midst of the College session. The details of the specifics of the reforms will come to light as they are tabled in the College, but a brief memo has been provided. The memo states that we can expect the following:


    The Ministries of the Holy Inquistan Orthodox Church will be renamed "The Secretariat to His Holiness the Archbishop". The Secretariat will be composed of the following:

    Chief Secretary to His Holiness the Archbishop (Bishop Chief Secretary) 
    Secretary of State to His Holiness the Archbishop (Bishop Secretary of State)
    Secretary of the Treasury and Economy to His Holiness the Archbishop (Bishop Secretary of the Treasury and Economy)
    Secretary of Trade to His Holiness the Archbishop (Bishop Secretary of Trade)
    Secretary of International Development and Aid to His Holiness the Archbishop (Bishop Secretary of International Development and Aid)
    Secretary of Immigration and Citizenship to His Holiness the Archbishop (Bishop Secretary of Immigration and Citizenship)
    Secretary of Environment and Climate Change to His Holiness the Archbishop (Bishop Secretary of Environment and Climate Change)
    Secretary of Health to His Holiness the Archbishop (Bishop Secretary of Health)
    Secretary of Education to His Holiness the Archbishop (Bishop Secretary of Education)
    Secretary of Defence and Peacekeeping to His Holiness the Archbishop (Bishop Secretary of Defence and Peacekeeping)
    Secretary of Public Safety to His Holiness the Archbishop (Bishop Secretary of Public Safety)
    Secretary of Justice to His Holiness the Archbishop and Attorney General of Inquista (Bishop Secretary of Justice and Attorney General of Inquista)
    Secretary of Transport and Infrastructure to His Holiness the Archbishop (Bishop Secretary of Transport and Infrastructure)
    Secretary of Public and Church Services to His Holiness the Archbishop (Bishop Secretary of Public and Church Services)
    Secretary of Social Services and Disabilities to His Holiness the Archbishop (Bishop Secretary of Social Services and Disabilities)
    Secretary of Youth, Families and Social Development to His Holiness the Archbishop (Bishop Secretary of Youth, Families and Social Development)
    Secretary of the Status of Women to His Holiness the Archbishop (Bishop Secretary of the Status of Women) 
    Secretary of Ethics, Transparency and Democracy to His Holiness the Archbishop (Bishop Secretary of Ethics, Transparency and Democracy)
    Secretary of Labour, Skills Development and Employment to His Holiness the Archbishop (Bishop Secretary of Labour, Skills Development and Employment)
    Secretary of Sport, Culture and Tourism to His Holiness the Archbishop (Bishop Secretary of Sport, Culture and Tourism)

    There will also be 2 Special Commissions and 2 Chief Bishop Commissioners:
    Special Commission on the Reconciliation and Integration of Former Inquistas (headed by the Chief Bishop Commissioner on the Reconciliation and Integration of Former Inquistas)
    Special Commission on Oversea Church Affairs (headed by the Chief Bishop Commissioner on Oversea Church Affairs)


    With twenty bishop secretaries expected to take up their post, that number will almost double that of the previous senior Church leadership – Archbishop Craticus formerly only had twelve ministers. These changes reflect the budding talent under Archbisop Craticus’ inner circle. The two special commissions are also of note. The nature of those commissions are still unknown, however.

    From the memo, notable changes include the renaming of the Ministry of National Defence to the Department of Defence and Peacekeeping, reflecting the changing, values-based nature of Inquista’s defence policy under Archbishop Craticus. The Ministry for the Environment will also be rebranded as the Department of Environment and Climate Change, possibly indicating the future direction in which Archbishop Craticus aims to tackle ecological issues. The latter of which will likely not come as a surprise, as the Black Swan Movement has made climate change one of their central issues; an issue that was previously overlooked and often outright denied by the Christian League. 

    Archbishop Craticus and the Black Swan Movement have been tight-lipped as per usual, and media sources have been unable to eek-out any secret appointments. With that being said, Archbishop Craticus will probably make no disruptive changes in the existing senior positions, and many  ministers will likely take up their new secretariat counterparts. The only exception might be Minister Ameera Paigean, who is the current Minister of Justice. With the postponement of her social policy reforms, it is a likely sign that she will be the only one to be axed from her position. The big question mark; however, is seeing who will assume the position of Bishop Chief Secretary. The Bishop Chief Secretary will likely play a pivotal role as second-in-command, and may very well be the eventual successor to Archbishop Craticus himself. 


    The following names are regarded as “people to watch”, who might take up the Chief Secretary position:

    Bp. Ronaudino “Ron” HughBishop Ron Hugh is the current  Minister of Finance. Minister Hugh is one of Archbishop Craticus’ oldest allies, and has repeatedly led Inquista’s economy to the forefront of growth within the European Union. Hugh’s emphasis in tackling income inequality,  as well as his repeated insults against the Kligenberg family, have made him a favourite amongst Inquista’s working class people. 
    Bp. Jordyn FinschBishop Jordyn Finsch is the current Minister of Foreign Affairs. Minister Finsch is also one of Archbishop Craticus’ oldest allies, and has played a key role in the transformation of Inquista’s value-based foreign policy.
    Bp. Lotan WoodrickBishop Lotan Woodrick currently holds no ministerial position, but is said to be one of the Black Swan Movement’s most noticeable “rising stars”. Previously a secret intelligence officer, Bishop Woodrick has authored some of Inquista’s more recent security legislation, and has promised an official investigation into the “Taylor Swift matter.” 
    Bp. Amelia LynneAmelia Lynne is the current Minister of Health. Minister Lynne is credited with ”fixing” Inquista’s formerly dysfunctional healthcare system, turning it into a gold-standard of what a two-tiered healthcare system ought to look like. While known to be obsessed with the intricacies and complexities of administrative policy, Minister Bishop Lynne is also known to be a staunch social conservative.


    Bets are already circulating on who the next Bishop Chief Secretary will be. Bets are also taking place on how many secretaries will be male and female, and how many minorities will make it into a senior position. Latest opinion polling puts Archbishop Craticus at an 68% approval rating, 1% up from April, but 3% down from his 71% all-time high in January. 

    As always, get involved in the conversation and use the hashtags #CityNews and tweet us directly at @NewsFromTheCity


  • Admin

    February 17 2018

    Inquista Taking A Risk With Country Newbie at EuroVoice

    Article by Susan Banks

    Related image

    Kane Brown Performing Live in Saint Dominico

    SAINT DOMINICO - It has been almost a year since the last EuroVoice competition which took place in Dikaíoma, Derecta. Isleym gave an absolutely unforgettable performance that evening, capturing first place with 64 points. Isleym secured Icholasen's first-ever win at Europe's favourite music competition, paving the way for Eurovoice XXXII's hosting in Saint Regina. Inquistans are eagerly looking for an improvement from the last music competition in Derecta, where Inquista's Birdy tied for second place with 57 points. Birdy also previously competed in Eurovoice XIII: Ruhr Park. 

    Inquista, it seems, hopes to re-capture the magic of The Band Perry, the country-pop group that secured Inquista's run-away victory in Eurovoice XXV: Zadar. Country music has always been a risky choice at EuroVoice contests, with a historic tendency to under-perform, despite the relative popularity of the genre in Saint Dominico itself. The Band Perry's ability to break the mold of mainstream EuroVoice tastes has laid the groundwork for relative country newcomer and upstart, Kane Brown, who has been confirmed as Inquista's artist that will perform in Icholasen.

    Kane Brown, who had his start in recording novice rap tracks in the underprivileged Far End of south Saint Dominico, transitioned to a music country career when he released his debut EP Closer in 2015. Brown released his eponymous debut album Kane Brown in December 2016, and has made considerable waves in the country music scene. Inquista's country scene has traditionally been associated affluent Inquistans, but Brown's music has overcome all societal divides to produce passionate and heart-wrenching love songs that all Inquistans have come to enjoy.

    The Inquistan Broadcasting Corporation, which organizes and runs Inqusita's participation in the EuroVoice song competitions, has confimed that Kane Brown will perform a new song for the competition, one which has not been included in his debut album. Singles from Brown's debut album include Thunder in the Rain and What Ifs. Clips of those songs can be found below.

    Good luck to Kane Brown and to all the performers of EuroVoice XXXII: Saint Regina.

    As always, get involved in the conversation and use the hashtags #CityNews and #EuroVoice

    Please also tweet us directly at @NewsFromTheCity


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    February 22, 2018

    The Week in Review Before Tomorrow's Election

    Article by Justin Crawford

    L to R: Abp. Paul Craticus (BSW); Bp. Ashton Perason (CL); Bp. Karinn Lallana (GI); Adrian Flemming (BSW); Cllr. Edward Firoux (CL - EPA)

    SAINT DOMINICO - It is an impossibly rare sight in the European Union: a national government has successful come to a full term without an early election. In fact, this election marks the second time an Inquistan government has completed a full term, and is indeed Inquista's second time heading to the polls since 2011. Many European countries can't seem to get enough of the excitement that comes from marking ballot papers, but that excitement has not been as palpable in Inquista in recent weeks. For many Inquistans, this seemingly unnecessary election will merely be another coming out party for Archbishop Craticus and the Black Swan Movement, while, for others, they simply don't care about what's emerging as the greatest debate about this election season - European politics. 

    Archbishop Craticus and his Black Swan Movement, which just 5 years ago were making a loud splash in Inquistan politics, have stuck close to the script and have downplayed the election campaign in an uncharacteristically quiet tone. Few opinion polls have been conducted since June of 2017, when Archbishop Craticus was riding high with an exceptional 68% approval rating, but polls in recent months put the Archbishop slightly higher now at 69% approval. This approval rating is still lower than January 2017, when the Archbishop enjoyed an all-time high of 71% approval. Archbishop Craticus' approval ratings are not necessarily reason to believe that it will equate to support for the Black Swan Movement, as both the Christian League and Green Inquista command historically immovable bases of support. What's perhaps more interesting to see unfold, however, is whether the Christian League or Green Inquista will lead the opposition. Support for the Christian League has been consistently sliding for the past two years, and Bishop Karinn Lallana has emerged as a media darling for Inquista's opposition supporters. Polling data in 2017 suggested that Green Inquista has made considerable inroads, and could be in position to usurp the opposition throne. One should not forget that two bishops left the Christian League for the Black Swan Movement, and a further three bishops left for Green Inquista in June 2017. Even more worryingly for the Christian League, there is a growing threat to Councillor Edward Firoux's seat at the Europan Council. Councillor Firoux will also have his European seat contested in this election, and is again being challenged by the Black Swan Movement's Haiden Flemming. Recent opinion polls indicate that the Councillor election is too close to call, and with Archbishop Craticus publicly asking Inquistans to shake Firoux off the European stage, as well as with Bishop Karinn Lallana emerging as Craticus' rival at home, it may be time that Inquistans put Firoux to the curb and leave the Christian League both without a Councillor seat and in third place in the College of Bishops. 

    Now, let us take you through the week.

    Monday: The Candidates Dig Their Trenches and Throw Accusations

    The archbishopric candidates started their final week of the election campaign by engaging Inquistans in public and pitching their cases.

    While Archbishop Craticus has run a quiet campaign that has purposely dodged media attention, that does not mean the Archbishop has shied away from speaking to big crowds. Speaking at the sites of several significant Inquistan cathedrals throughout the day, including the Burnt Cathedral - one of Inquista's European Heritage Sites - Archbishop Craticus emphasized a need to progress Inquista's cultural and religious legacy, and called for a greater embrace of the fundamentalist movement in the Inquistan Orthodox Church. Archbishop Craticus has certainly made a point in laying a plan out for the future of Inquista, one which will seek to tackle domestic and social issues more seriously, but spent equally, if not more time stressing the successes of his time as Archbishop. Archbishop Craticus knows how to play to his audience, dubbed in Inquista as the "Theresa Mays," with a pitch of strength and stability. It is not without Archbishop Craticus that Inquista has managed to become what was once impossible to imagine - Inquista has somehow not only become extremely politically stable, which was unimaginable during the time of Inquistan unification, but it has also become one of the most secure and safest states, with a tumbling crime rate and no recorded terrorist attacks in the last 6 years - which is a feat many other European countries can't claim to. The area where Archbishop Craticus is the strongest, however, is his play to his second 'base', the poor and the disenfranchised. On the topic of corruption and the economy, Archbishop Craticus has no equal. Not only has Archbishop Craticus been merciless in expelling and exposing Church corruption, but has looked to also remove financial corruption from the equation, and has banned corporate and union donations to politicians and political parties, including donations from overseas individuals and entities. Archbishop Craticus' economic record, while certainly having blemishes in recent months with stagnating growth rates, has been historically marked by roaring growth rates for the past 5 years that have catapulted Inquista to becoming the largest economy in Europe. Income levels, especially among the poor, have skyrocketed and Inquista has transitioned from one of Europe's most unequal societies to one of Europe's more fairer economies, albeit still lagging behind the likes of Fremet and Angleter. Unemployment in Inquista's most vulnerable neighbourhoods are at an all time low, with a record low 5% unemployment in South Inquista. 

    Bishop Ashton Pearson, the leader of the Christian League, has struggled to raise funds for a campaign that has traditionally been reliant on corporate donations. This has not stopped the business-friendly Christian League from running a vicious campaign however, with the party accusing the Black Swan Movement of tarnishing relations with the European Union and for not properly utilizing Inquista's economic clout. Despite the Archbishop's economic record, Bishop Pearson has traversed to businesses all across Inquista's main financial hubs, pitching how the Christian League could better Inqusitan business, and how the Christian League would push for Inquista to play a more active role as an economic powerhouse abroad. Bishop Pearson has also relied on Councillor Firoux's own publicity, using the Councillor's position in the European Council as a symbol of the party's willingness to engage abroad, which is contrasted sharply with the Black Swan Movement's relative euroscepticism. 

    Green Inquista's Bishop Karinn Lallana spent much of Monday afternoon and evening engaging with several internet news outlets. Bishop Lallana accused Archbishop Craticus of dividing Inquistan civil society, and advocated for a more inclusive and progressive Church doctrine. Bishop Karinn Lallana spoke of the importance to combat climate change, a topic nearly completely absent from Inquistan and European politics, and said that Archbishop Craticus had failed personally to protect Kaasian refugees. Bishop Lallana did not stop short of accusations there, going on to say that "the Archbishop doesn't really care about poor people", and that "the Archbishop makes buddies with the likes of Trympov, while making no effort to support the European Union."

    Tuesday: Bishop Karinn Lallana Steals Debate Spotlight - For Better or Worse

    Tuesday evening marked the first and only debate in the Archbishopric race. The debate looked to be an uneventful affair, as it was broadcast live at a relatively late 10 o'clock, but would nonetheless become a viewership goldmine. The debate topics for the evening looked to be pretty standard. At first the debate started on the subject of the economy, where Archbishop Craticus again took pride in reading out numbers and statistics that backed up his economic record, while Bishops Ashton Pearson and Karinn Lallana derided his record as being anti-business and anti-poor respectively, and Archbishop Craticus seemed to take visible enjoyment in pin-pointing to the contradicting nature of the two labels. 

    The debate topic then moved on to immigration, where, again, Archbishop Craticus used numbers and statistics to showcase how few refugees and immigrants were accepted into Inquista, which finally united Bishop Pearson and Bishop Lallana in their denunciation. Both Bishop Pearson and Bishop Lallana pledged to accept Kaasian refugees, as well as more Sahrawi refugees.

    The real fireworks came as the topic shifted to international affairs. Archbishop Craticus wasted absolutely no time in disparaging Bishop Pearson and the Christian League for "putting Inquistans second" to "other Europeans", and accused the Christian League of using Councillor Edward Firoux to obstructing his foreign policy by having him take stances opposite of the Church in the European Council. As the beaming Archbishop smiled, thinking he had completed a checkmate against both Bishop Pearson and Councillor Firoux, it was Bishop Lallana who seized the moment. Bishop Lallana questioned what foreign policy Archchishop Craticus even had to speak of, and accused him of sponsoring terrorism in Black Sea against Kaasian refugees, and of allowing Dragan Trympov to infiltrate Inquistan politics. Bishop Lallana accused Archbishop Craticus of using Dragan Trymov as a puppet to make a speech on his behalf in Omnibus on Monday, and accused Archbishop Craticus of allowing Dragan Trympov to "store blood money" in Inquistan banks. Bishop Lallana went on to further say that she has been bombarded with horrifically malefic comments by "online bots," which she believes are coming out of Pravoslaviya and are paid for by the Black Swan Movement. Bishop Lallana ended her tirade by accusing the Archbishop of being a hypocrite for banning foreign political donations, but for allowing Pravoslaviya to participate in the Inquistan election against her.

    The Archbishop, still smiling, denied all of Bishop Lallana's assertions. Archbishop Craticus stated he easily could of invited Dragan Trympov to campaign in Inquista, but he has not done so, and has in fact not spoken to him at all. Bishop Pearson was seen shaking his hips and jigging behind his podium throughout the exchange.

    The debate was designed to then move on to further topics including education, healthcare, and other domestic issues, but was continuously sidetracked by Bishop Lallana who attempted to turn every topic into the subject of Pravoslaviyan interference. When the topic of hospitals came up, Bishop Lallana found the nerve to pivot the subject from hospitals, to surgeons, to plastic surgeon Ben Carlson, to Taylor Swift, to Dragan Trympov. Bishop Lallana then demanded for an immediate investigation into the Taylor Swift Affair, and demanded for an investigation of Trympov's involvement in the incident. Archbishop Craticus rebuked Bishop Lallana's comments by stating that an investigation into the Taylor Swift matter would eventually be made, but at a later date, and that a connection between the attempted murder and Dragan Trympov was "baseless." 

    Wednesday: Edward Firoux on the Defensive in European Councillor Debate

    Another live debate was broadcast the following evening, this time involving the candidates for Inquista's European Council seat position. Incumbent Edward Firoux enjoys not only the backing of his Christian League and his European Progressive Alliance colleagues, but also the tacit approval of Green Inquista, who once again did not field a candidate for European Councillor. Councillor Firoux is widely seen as being exceptionally more progressive than most Christian League politicians, especially on social issues, which has won him just enough approval from the Green Inquista to shield him from a charge against him on their side. Despite this, it is little secret that Bishop Lallana and Councillor Firoux are by no means friends. In the past, Firoux has referred to Bishop Lallana's frequent media outbursts as "car wrecks", and has been caught off-camera referring to Bishop Lallana as a "moron." Bishop Lallana, too, has had sharp words for Councillor Firoux, famously saying "he talks a big game, but you will always find him in bed with eurosceptics - and I am not just using a metaphor."

    Proudly calling himself a eurosceptic, however, is none other than Hadrian Flemming himself, who is looking to put Councillor Firoux out of his job in Europolis. Mr. Flemming, the Chief Director of the Black Swan Movement's foreign policy think-tank We March Forward, came into the debate looking to unnerve Councillor Firoux, which he may have successfully done. The debate between Councillor Firoux and Mr. Flemming teetered between a hostile debate and a teenage internet flame war, as the two exchanged harsh critiques of one another's values. Mr. Flemming contended that Councillor Firoux voted based on his personal musings or that of the Christian League, but almost never voted in position with the Church, and by extension, in alignment of the Archbishop's decree.

    Councillor Firoux defended his voting record in the Council as being representative of the views that elected him, and that he had no responsibility to vote however way the Archbishop "begged" him. Councillor Firoux went on to assert that he has established himself as a veteran of European politics, and that he had more than enough experience and expertise to make decisions without the Archbishop's consultation. Mr. Flemming then accused Coucillor Firoux of using the European Union as a mechanism to undermine the Church, pointing to Councillor Firoux's latest comments on gay marriage as a signal that the European Union would impose gay marriage onto Inquista. Councillor Firoux did not even allow Mr. Flemming to finish before declaring that he, and a "a majority of Inquistans," are in favour of gay marriage and would seek to legislate it in the European Union. Mr. Flemming retorted by saying that Firoux was looking to dilute Church doctrine with "progressive nonsense." Mr. Flemming stated that if the European Union ever infringed upon the affairs of the Church, that he would immediately push for Inquista to leave the European Union.  

    Mr. Flemming's ability to unnerve Councillor Firoux may pay-off, as many analysts concluded that Councillor Firoux was seen as the clear loser of the debate. With the Councillor election already in a toss-up, Wednesday night could have been the start of the unraveling for Councillor Firoux's esteemed career in Europolis.

    Thursday: It's Official - The Election is Not About the Archbishop, It's About the European Councillor (and Taylor Swift)

    It's the day before the election and all previous campaigning seems to have officially gone out of the window following the dramatic back-to-back television debates on Tuesday and Wednesday. The Christian League has gone completely on the defensive as they look to save the one thing they still have - Councillor Edward Firoux. Following Wednesday's debate, all hands are on deck to ensure that Councillor Firoux is re-elected and that Mr. Flemming's ambitious advance is halted. Christian League bishopric candidates, even ones running in tight marginal races, have seemingly abandoned their own hopes and have joined others in knocking on doors and making last minute phone calls in favour of Councillor Firoux.

    The Black Swan Movement seems to smelling blood, and has followed in suit, with Archbishop Craticus focusing all his energy on Thursday also by appearing in public, canvassing, calling for Inquistans to vote for vote Mr. Flemming as their European Councillor. Archbishop Craticus echoed Mr. Flemming remarks, telling Entertainment Tonight Inquista that Councillor Firoux soley represented the faction of progressive Inquistans in the European Council, and had no regard in representing all Inquistans, nevermind the Church or the Archbishop as its authority. Councillor Edward Firoux also joined Entertianment Tonight Inquista later that evening, stating that Archbishop Craticus is a fundamentalist within the Inquistan Orthodox Church, and that his views are not the views of all Inquistans either. Councillor Firoux asserted that he would openly use the European Union as a means to block the Archbishop of misguiding the Inquistan Orthodox Church.

    Bishop Karinn Lallana made no effort to come to Councillor Firoux's side, instead looking at the last minute mayhem with envy. Deciding that she wanted the campaign season to end on a bang of her own accord, Bishop Lallana looked to make her own noise. Bishop Lallana visited several international radio stations in the late afternoon, claiming that Archbishop Craticus allows Dragan Trympov to store illegally laundered money in Inquistan banks, and in return, Dragan Trympov has agreed to act as his mouthpiece. Bishop Lallana went on state that Dragan Trympov "probably" orchestrated the attempted murder of Taylor Swift, but he did so "at the request" of Archbishop Craticus himself, and that should Bishop Lallana be elected as Archbishop, she would appoint Taylor Swift as her deputy and would immediately investigate the suspects of the attempted murder on Swift's life.


    Polls open tomorrow, Friday, at at 8:00AM and close late in the evening, at 10:00PM. First results are not expected until early morning Saturday, with the full results of the election likely known by Saturday afternoon. 

    As always, get involved in the conversation and use the hashtags #CityNews and #ElectionsInquista

    Please also tweet us directly at @NewsFromTheCity

     


  • Admin

    June 5th, 2018

    Archbishop Craticus’ New Secretariat Proves His Religious Nationalism Has Room for Every Inquistan

    Article by Justin Crawford


    SAINT DOMINICO - Archbishop Craticus has finally announced his long-awaited secretariat, which is the newly-minted leadership of the executive branch of the Inquistan Church. Since reforming the executive branch almost a full year ago, it has largely been business as usual, with the soon-to-be defunct executive ministries continuing to serve in their former capacities. The 12-person Ministries of the Church has been expanded to become the 20-person Secretariat to the Archbishop, providing more expansive portfolios and scopes of power to the political inner circle of the Church’s executive. Before any new appointments were made, however, came the next round of ecclesiastical elections in February. After having won 186 seats in the College of Bishops on the 23rd of February, Archbishop Craticus returned to the Archbishop’s Palace with 140 new colleagues. A much larger caucus of talented and multifaceted bishops stood before him, and the strengths and diversity of the new caucus are what the new secretariat has looked to tap into. The Archbishop’s Secretariat is easily the most diverse ever, and it is studded with experts and leaders in over dozens of social and technical fields. A gender-balanced secretariat that reflects the diversity of the Inquistan people was perhaps not what many would expect of a leader that openly espouses views he defines as religiously nationalist, but playing both identity politics and uniting Inquista’s marginalized (and often socially conservative) communities has always been the centre-piece of Craticus’ foremost priority, which it to keep Inquista united and the Inquistan Church strong.  

    Speaking at the inauguration at the Archbishops Palace, where Craticus’ 20 Bishop Secretaries were sworn into office, the Archbishop praised the members of the Black Swan Movement for the talents and skills that they have brought to the table. The Archbishop stated that he has been blessed to be able to work alongside the most talented group of individuals who have ever had the pleasure to serve the Inqusitan Orthodox Church and the Inquistan people. The Archbishop also touted how blessed he was to have such a strong secretariat, and he made sure to precisely recount the merits of each appointment and their contributions to the Church. Despite ringing on how well equipped his secretaries were, Craticus made no mentions of several glass ceiling-shattering facts, such as how 50% of secretaries were women and 20% were visible minorities. These are statistics that are not just ground-breaking and significant for Inquistan politics, but they are genuinely accurate reflections of Inquistan society. Despite this, the Archbishop made no mention of these facts, and, after his speech, he rebuked all reporters who asked him to comment on it.

    Significant secretariat appointments include the naming of Bishop Secretary Lotan Woodrick as the Archbishop’s Chief Secretary, effectively making him the second-in-command to Archbishop Craticus himself. This position is widely seen as being filled by the person who shall one day be expected to succeed Archbishop Craticus in leading the Black Swan Movement. All former cabinet ministers were once again re-appointed, but this time to their new secretariat position, including the distinguished Bishop Secretary Ronaudinho Hugh, the Secretary of the Treasury and Economy, and Bishop Secretary Jordyn Finsch, the Secretary of State.  

    The Archbishop also took time to emphasize the new portfolios added to the executive, such as the Secretary of the Environment and Climate Change. Special emphasis was put on the words climate change, which represents not only the engraving of the issue into the name of the office, but a large plank in the Archbishop’s overall policy for his term. Bishop Secretary Sharon Philips, who notably un-seated the leader of the Christian League, Ashton Pearson, from his own diocese in the recent elections, was given the portfolio of immigration and citizenship, another portfolio that is expected to be a major point of policy focus in coming days. A portfolio on the Status of Women has been created and will be led by Bishop Secretary Kalilah Burquest. Bishop Secretary Katherine Young, Bishop Secretary of Justice, is filling a position that will likely be of notice very soon, as rumours of an investigation into the so-called Taylor Swift Affair continue to mount. Another point of note includes Bishop Secretary Michael Cunard, who will take up the portfolio of trade, and who can be expected to accompany the Archbishop in many of his international visits in the future.

    The full list of the Archbishop’s Secretariat can be found below.


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    June 6th, 2018

    Archbishop Craticus Makes Major Immigration, Trade and Foreign Policy Announcements Before Heading to Monatgue

    Article by Justin Crawford

    Archbishop Craticus spoke this morning before departing to Montenbourg

    SAINT DOMINICO – Archbishop Craticus made several major policy announcements today, after holding a press meeting outside the College of Bishops. The Archbishop was joined by the newly sworn-in Bishop Secretaries of State, Trade, International Develop and Aid, and Immigration and Citizenship, who also held their own press briefings following the announcements.

    The Archbishop began by outlining proposed pieces of legislation that would soon make it onto the College floor. The first series of policies concentrated on continued immigration reform. The proposed policies outlined tougher economic requirements for Inquista’s current point-based immigration system. Currently, Inquista’s points-based immigration system generally favours skilled workers and those seeking family reunification, while allowing some ground for migrants upon humanitarian reasons. The reformed points-based system now being put forth almost entirely favours economic migrants, awarding many more points to factors concerning economic sustainability, which in turn will effectively significantly cut down family migrants and refugees. The target amount of immigrants being accepted into Inquista will also be decreased, with a number yet-to-be determined in the college of Bishops. The Archbishop reiterated that he would not look to help bring in more refugees from Dromund Kaas, citing that he believed that they would never be able to integrate into Inquistan society.

    Despite this, a proposed law called the ‘Law of Ascent’ will be made, as promised by the Archbishop. The Law of Ascent gives all people of the Inquistan Orthodox Faith the right to enter, settle and receive naturalization in Inquista, allowing them to circumvent the point-based immigration scheme. The Archbishop announced that no person belonging to the Inquistan Church will be turned down at the Inquistan border, unless they were deemed an explicit safety risk.

    In the next series of policy points, which focused on humanitarianism and international trade, the Archbishop outlined his hopes and expectations for his upcoming state visit to Montenbourg, which he would be visiting following the press conference. The Archbishop outlined his goals to increase Inquista’s current amount of free-trade agreements with European countries, and promised to increase funding as well as guarantees to the protection of Inquistan Orthodox faith schools overseas. In addition to these matters of trade, the Archbishop promised he would simultaneously tackle issues surrounding climate change and security. Archbishop Craticus committed to double Inquista’s current humanitarian aid spending, which is already the highest in the European Union. In order to fund increased humanitarian efforts, Archbishop Craticus announced that Inquista’s national defense spending will be reduced, and much of the army will become re-orientated towards performing humanitarian and peace-making duties rather than focusing on homeland defense. 

    As always, get involved in the conversation and use the hashtag #CityNews and #INQxMTB

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    June 7th, 2018

    Inquista Awards Highest Civil and Secular Honour to Angleter’s Emryc Isla

     Article by Justin Crawford

    user posted image

    Emryc Isla is the leader of the Citizen Alliance in Angleter (photo credit to the National Observer)

    SAINT DOMINICO – In a surprise development this morning, Bishop Secretary of State Jordyn Finsch announced that Emryc Isla, the leader of Angleter’s Citizen Alliance, would be accepted into the Order of Inquista, thus granting him the highest civil and secular honour in the country. In what appears to be an apparent snub of Angleteric Prime Minister Courtenay, Bishop Secretary Finsch said that he had received permission to do so from Archbishop Craticus, who is currently visiting Montenbourg on a state visit.

    “Mr. Isla is a principled and stalwart leader who has fostered civic engagement and strengthened democracy in his country. His commitment to public service and to the people of Angleter is most admirable, and we would like to honour him for his selfless efforts,” Bishop Secreatry Finsch stated as he made the announcement to the press. The announcement made by the Bishop Secretary mostly echoed the full announcement published on the Order of Inquista’s own dispatch, which read:

    “The Order of Inquista is granted to Inquistans and other nationals who have made lifelong contributions to the betterment of humanity and civil society through their actions and endeavours. Membership is accorded to those who exemplify the order's Latin motto, desiderantes meliorem patriam, meaning "they desire a better country", a phrase taken from Hebrews 11:16. Mr. Emryc Isla has made great strides in strengthening Angleter’s democracy by increasing public participation in Angleter’s government. Mr. Isla has done so by selflessly engaging in grass-roots democratic activities that have fostered civic engagement and action. Mr. Isla shall be honoured with the Order of Inquista for his merits.”

    The move to award Mr. Isla with the honour has puzzled many political experts, including Dr. Damian Kemp, a professor of political science at Saint Augustine University. “The Order of Inquista has been granted to very, very few foreign nationals. In the past, honouring foreign individuals has only been done when they have been considered to be very significant throughout the world. While we can all judge Mr. Isla’s merits for what they are, it is strange to see an opposition figure be awarded the honour instead of the country’s current prime minister. I can’t pinpoint to what the exact intent is here, nor do I think this is particularly great foreign policy maneuver.”

    Mr. Isla will be presented with the honour at the Inquistan Embassy in New Birmingham tomorrow at 11:00am GMT. The honour is normally granted in Saint Dominico in person by the Archbishop of Inquista, but Archbishop Craticus’ state visit in Montague has left Bishop Secretary Jordyn Finsch to carry out the honour in Angleter in his stead.

    As always, get involved in the conversation and use the hashtag #CityNews and #OrderOfInquista

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    June 13th, 2018

    Inquista Launches Highly-Anticipated Taylor Swift Investigation 

    Article by Susan Banks


    S. Bp. Katherine Young announced the special investigation in the College of Bishops this afternoon

    SAINT DOMINICO - The international scandal which rocked Europe more than three years ago will finally be investigated, Bishop Secretary Katherine Young announced today. Bishop Secretary Young, the Bishop Secretary of Justice and Attorney General of Inquista, announced that an official special investigation into the so-called Taylor Swift Affair has been launched, and that justice will "soon" be served.

    Everybody remembers the tragic events that unfolded in 2014, where EuroVoice superstar Taylor Swift was struck down as her plane flew over the Teutonic States. At the time, Taylor Swift was believed to have not survived the attack, and was pronounced dead. Miraculously, in 2016, someone claiming to be Taylor Swift emerged in Icholasen, where she was seen wearing an all-pink body suit. A week later, this same individual was spotted in Inquista, where she underwent full-body plastic surgery under the knife of controversial plastic surgeon Dr. Ken Carlson. Some doubts were raised over whether this was the true Taylor Swift who had resurfaced, with so-called Taylor Truthers claiming that the Taylor who emerged in the body suit was an impostor. These suspicions were further flamed when the Pravoslaviyan newspaper Denes Nad Pravoslaviya reported that Taylor Swift was indeed alive, but was instead living in Pravoslaviya. Many Taylor Truthers latched onto this theory, most notably Pravoslaviyan tycoon and politician Dragan Trympov, who has been adamant about her new life in his country. More confusingly, however, Denes Nad Pravoslaviya used internet images of Inquistan Bishop Karinn Lallana as proof of her survival, which drew the Inquistan Bishop into the mystery. Despite all the cries of fraud, the Nicoleizian individual purported to be Taylor Swift returned to Icholasen steadfast about her true identity, and launched an unsuccessful entry into politics. The true identity of the real Taylor Swift remains at large, as well as questions as to who attempted to kill her and what their motives are.

    Bishop Secretary Young stated that the investigation will look into discovering the true identity of the real Taylor Swift. Secretary Bishop Young named ‘Nicoleizian Taylor’ and ‘Pravoslaviyan Taylor’ as the two primary candidates, but hasn’t yet ruled out Bishop Karinn Lallana either, despite the latter’s continuous denial that she has anything to do with Taylor Swift. Bishop Secretary Young will simultaneously investigate who made the initial assassination, what their motives were, and how they can bring that person or party to justice. Bishop Secretary Young refused to answer any questions as to who the suspects behind the assassination are, but possible suspects could include the aforementioned Dragan Trympov, the Nicoleizian Ministry of Eurovoice, Dr. Ken Carlson, or the Nicoelizian Taylor Swift herself. Some Inquistans have speculated online that  Peter Montfort was behind the assassination, and they claim he orchestrated the assassination in order to bolster ratings for the floundering EuroVoice competition.

    Bishop Secretary Young announced that she will carry out the investigation with Inqusitan prosecutors, and that subpoenas may go out as soon as next week. Bishop Secretary Young hopes to cooperate with the government of Icholasen and Pravoslaviya on the matter. 

    As always, get involved in the conversation and use the hashtags #CityNews and #TaylorSwiftInvestigation

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    June 19th, 2018

    The Christian League Initiates Leadership Election

    Article by Justin Crawford


    The Christian League's support is a far cry from the time of Alexander Kligenberg

    SAINT DCOMINICO – The leadership selection process for the Christian League officially begins today, with the nomination period opening this morning. No candidates have announced their intentions to run as of yet.

    Ashton Pearson, who was recently unseated in his own bishopric in this year’s election, stepped down as the permanent leader of the party after delivering the party’s worst ever result and second consecutive defeat. Despite this, and despite not being present in the College of Bishops, Pearson remains the interim leader until a new one is elected. A leadership selection process and schedule has been agreed upon by Christian League party officials. Nominations are open as of today and will remain open until July 3rd. A campaign period is then scheduled to take place for July and most of August, with a week of voting planned to take place from August 20th until August 27th. The winner will then be declared on August 28th.

    The voting process itself will be decided by the candidate that wins the most victories in Inquista’s 330 separate dioceses. The popular vote will not matter - only the amount of dioceses won. There are no run-offs, second rounds, preference votes or ranking system. Whomever wins the most dioceses in the first round wins the contest. It’s that simple.

    The nature of the voting process is likely being utilised in order to secure a party leader with widespread appeal across Inquista, and one which will be able to galvanize support upfront without having to play the field strategically. While no candidates have declared their candidacy yet, or even hinting at their intentions, the rather limited field of existing Christian League bishops leaves little room for speculation. The most obvious potential candidate is Bishop Anja Emerett, who just returned to the College of Bishops since her stint as the Premier Commissioner of the European Union. Other notable possibilities include two other star newcomers, Bishop Wendell Herschel, a former military chaplain who is a veteran of the Marrakechian-Sahrawi conflict, and Bishop Kevin Mattonay, who holds two PhDs and was a former lecturer of Christian Theology and Orthodox Studies at the New Inquistan Divinity School. There is also always the possibility of Councillor Edward Firoux making a run for the party’s leadership, despite being shut out of Saint Dominico and busy with his position as Deputy Speaker in Europolis.

    Whoever eventually runs and ultimately wins the party’s leadership will have their work cut out for them for the next three years. The last round of elections and recent polling continues to show the Black Swan Movement in an insurmountable lead, with the Christian League and Green Inquista just about evenly supported as they lag behind. 

    As always, get involved in the conversation and use the hashtags #CityNews and #CLLeadership

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    June 25th2018

    Edward Firoux to Run for Christian League Leadership 

    Article by Justin Crawford

    Councillor Edward Firoux made his announcement in Europolis this morning

    SAINT DOMINICO - Councillor Edward Firoux, Inquista's Councillor to the European Union, has become the first candidate to launch a bid for the leadership of the Christian League. In an announcement made this morning in Europolis, Councillor Firoux said that he was "feeling good" about being the first and only person so far to stand for the party's leadership, and that this move was the "next natural step in taking Inquista's leadership to task."

    For many, this announcement was an oxymoron – it was both a surprise and an obvious progression of events. Councillor Firoux likely boasts the the highest name recognition amongst Christian League politician currently in office, despite occupying a position in Europolis instead of Saint Dominico itself. While European Councillors are typically considered political non-factors, with much of the inner politics of Europolis totally obscured from the view of Inquista's public, Councillor Firoux has really developed the position into a point of opposition against the Black Swan Movement and Archbishop Craticus.

    The fact that Councillor Firoux made his announcement in Europolis, instead of in Saint Dominico, should not be lost on anyone’s radar. This move appears to be an emphasis of Councillor Firoux’s vision for Inquista, which he hopes to see become a leader in European integration. Making his announcement in Europolis, Councillor Firoux was flanked by three of Inquista's four former and still-living European Commissioners: Joanna Anzio, JennaMarelle Johnson and Bishop Anja Emerett. The only missing Commissioner endorsement is from Mikaela Kligenberg, who has refused to answer any questions regarding the announcement. Despite the seemingly near-unanimous support from Inquista's former European leaders, Bishop Emerett appears to be the only Bishop within the College who has lent him an ecclesiastical endorsement.

    Councillor Firoux, who calls himself a liberal Christian democrat, has championed for causes that have earned him both the ire of the Archbishop and his own party. Firoux's stances on social issues, which includes support for gay marriage, puts him at odds with most of the College of Bishops. Firoux is also an unabashed defender of the European Union and its institution, and has spoken at lengths of Inquista's need to be a leader in European integration, which has made him enemies within all corners of Inquista’s political landscape. Many Christian League Bishops also resent how Councillor Firoux has overshadowed much of the party, and an anonymous Christian League Bishop has told News From the City that Councillor Firoux’s leadership bid could be characterized as a “coup from Europolis.”

    In addition to announcing his candidacy, Councillor Firoux made it clear that he would remain as European Councillor until the next Inquistan election. Councillor Firoux said he would not pursue a seat in the College of Bishops until then, and that he would name Bishop Emerett as the party’s “College Leader” until he assumed his own College seat.

    As always, get involved in the conversation and use the hashtags #CityNews and #CLLeadership

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    June 28th2018

    Kligenberg Heir to Contest Christian League Leadership

    Article by Justin Crawford


    Silas Kligenberg doesn’t make news headlines nearly as often as he used to

    SAINT DOMINICO - Silas Kligenberg, the presumptive heir of the Kligenberg business empire, has put his business ambitions aside as he announced his candidacy for the leadership of the Christian League. Silas Kligenberg’s announcement makes him the second candidate to join the Christian League leadership election, following Councillor Firoux.

    Politically, Silas Kligenberg is perhaps one of the least known members of the Kligenberg family. However, anyone who has watched the #1 reality TV program Keeping Up with the Kligenbergs knows exactly who Silas Kligenberg is. Dubbed the “bad boy” of the Kligenberg family, Silas did not shy away from acting as the primary instigator of trouble within the family for much of the show’s early history. Silas’ antagonistic actions landed him in hot water on many occasions, and he was nearly removed from the program after fans derided Silas for excessively roughhousing his female cousins Mikaela and Renata. Silas’ antics often included throwing Mikaela into swimming pools, force-feeding her alcoholic drinks, and chastising Renata for being "too frigid" around men, often pressuring her to sleep with them (Renata has since announced her engagement to a woman). Despite this, in more recent series of the program, Silas has partially reformed his image by opening up about his struggles with depression and mental illness, addiction to alcohol and drugs, and his battle with sobriety. Silas credits his late uncle Alexander Kligenberg for opening him up to God, who in turn has been a driving force of his recovery. While Silas has maintained a business career his whole life, he is also an ordained presbyter of the Inquistan Orthodox Church, and routinely delivers special sermons to recovering addicts, war veterans recovering from PTSD, as well as victims of sexual violence.

    Silas Kligenberg delivered his candidacy announcement before members of the press at the Inquistan Chamber of Commerce. Silas began his speech by thanking Alexander Kligenberg for his “everlasting guidance,” and by thanking the Inquistan Church for being an active and omnipresent part of his daily life. Silas went on to call his uncle “the great unifier” of Inquista, and announced that “it is time that another Kligenberg comes to unite our country once again.”

    Silas is the only son of Jordan Kligenberg, the youngest brother of Alexander Kligenberg. Jordan Kligenberg took over Kligenberg Industries once Alexander became a prominent member of the Inquistan clergy. Thus, as Jordan's sole child, and Mikaela’s reluctance to take on any corporate leadership roles, Silas is the presumed heir to the family's massive business empire. Pursuing a political career could throw this all in doubt, however. Despite this, Silas seems to have support from his family in the matter. Mikaela was present at his announcement speech, and was seen affectionately giving him a hug before he made his way to the podium. Despite widely recorded love-hate relationships with much of his kin, Silas maintains a close bond with his family.

    Further in his speech, Silas went on to brand himself an “anti-PC, free-market-loving progressive,” and spoke at length about the need to encourage further economic growth for the country. Silas denounced Archbishop Craticus as being too “anti-business” and claimed that the Archbishop was waging war against Inquista’s business community. Silas also accused Archbishop Craticus of “watering down” free-trade deals with “anti-growth provisions”. Silas further accused Archbishop Craticus of being “too meek in Europe”, and called for Inquista to take a more active role in European politics, instead of “sucking up to loser nationalists” and “focusing on feel-good humanitarian projects in total non-countries.”

    Silas Kligenberg didn’t just take swipes against Archbishop Craticus. He also made several attacks against his Christian League colleague and leadership opponent, Councillor Edward Firoux. Silas claimed that Councillor Firoux is “too obsessed with Europolis,” and “has a soft spot for European bureaucracy”. Silas further attacked Councillor Firoux for wishing to bring Inquista into the Eurozone, which Silas claimed would gamble with Inquista’s monetary integrity and economic future. Instead of orientating itself towards the European Union, Silas announced that Inquista should focus on multilateral relationships, such as re-orientating itself towards the British-Angleteric-Duxburian axis. Silas also said that Inquista should pursue a powerful alliance with the Duxburian Union in order to establish a “world order around the Kael and the Inquisto.”

    Silas Kligenberg’s affinity towards the Duxburian Union should not come as a surprise, as he is known for maintaining a very close relationship with his slightly-tamer older cousin Robert Kligenberg, whom he names as his best friend. The two have previously appeared on KUWTK spin-off Rob and Silas Take Verrington, as well as the reality TV program Pot Barons (Silas and Rob Kligenberg have been business partners in the marijuana industry).

    Silas completed his speech by stating that “Inquista needs to heal its social divisions,” and called for greater personal freedoms in the face of “the Archbishop’s Church of Control.”

    As always, get involved in the conversation and use the hashtags #CityNews and #CLLeadership

    Please also tweet us directly at @NewsFromTheCity


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