Nuntius Inimici - Inimician Broadcasting Corporation
Europolis, 28/09/2020 - In a unanimous decision by the European Nuclear Arms Authority, the Empire of Inimicus was re-granted its licence to stockpile 200 nuclear warheads, in a huge morale boost for the Imperial Regime. Inimicus formally re-applied to the ENAA in July after the Three-Year Plan of Emperor Artabanos, which involved temporarily suspending major parts of EU legislation, came to an end. "This decision shows Inimicus is back where it belongs: at the heart of the European family of nations", Imperial Defence Officer Boris Mancov commented this afternoon, "Inimicus has shown it is capable of handling nuclear weapons securely and has, in the eyes of the ENAA, secured the right to defend its people by whatever means necessary."
The Imperial Defence Office and its subsidiary the Imperial Nuclear Authority announced today that a stockpile of 200 nuclear warheads, the maximum allowed by the ENAA decision, commenced production the moment the ENAA declared its judgement. Additionally, the IDO and INA publicised some details about 50 new ICBM launch sites spread across the Empire, as well as about 10 newly-produced mobile ICBM launcher sites. "We will be ready", IDO Mancov said, "To counter any threat to our Empire with resolute force if necessary. Let the Inimician People sleep soundly in their beds to night, safe in the knowledge the Defence Office is standing guard."
In other news, rumours from the North Diessenian Presidential Palace about a possible agreement with the Kingdom of Reitzmag involving the construction of a canal from the Caspian to the Persian Gulf were met with hostility in the Imperial Consulate. Lord Christopher Strathclyde, Executive Representative Leader and Imperial Consul, spoke at a press conference today: "Inimicus cannot stand idly by if a significant military power which has only recently been openly hostile to the Empire and its allies gains access to what the Empire considers its protected naval zone. We call upon the Kingdom of Reitzmag to cease its attempts at gaining access to the Persian Gulf immediately or face action."
Asked what these actions may involve, Lord Strathclyde commented, "If Reitzmic ships pass through the Persian Gulf, if it comes to that, the Imperial Navy will act with appropriate force. We hope it will not come to that, and would be willing to work with the North Diessenian government to prevent such things from happening. If North Diessen proves unresponsive, as it has been lately, the Empire will not shun the protection of its national space by any means."
Telum, 02/10/2020 - The Imperial Defence Office announced this evening that the military threat level for the whole Empire is to be raised from Level 3 (threat possible) to Level 4 (threat likely) out of a possible 5 Levels. A joint statement by the Defence Office and officials from the Capital Ready Defence Command, which determines the strategic position of the Empire in the region constantly, declared:
"Following the declaration by the Four Assembled Powers, of which the Empire is an integral part, of a no-fly zone over the territory of Eastern Haane, commencing tomorrow, Saturday 2nd October, at 1200 hours GMT+2, the Capital Ready Defence Command has advised the raising of the Imperial Threat Level from 3 to 4. This indicates a threat to the territorial integrity and safety of the Empire is likely. Several reasons underpin this decision:
"First, the Imperial Armed Forces are currently embarking on a military mission abroad, which could evoke retaliatory responses; second, this military mission involves a currently contentious issue that could antagonise one or several of the Empire's neighbours; and third, elements of the military of the Kingdom of Reitzmag are currently present in the region, with Reitzmic officials having stated they will not obey the no-fly zone as ordered by the Assembled Powers."
Large numbers of Inimician military vessels are currently operating in the Mediterranean to enforce the no-fly zone from tomorrow. The fleet is thought to include several of the brand-new Artabanos class Supercarriers, capable of carrying up to 95 aircraft each, as well as a small number of nuclear-powered, nuclear-armed Lator Penatis-class submarines. Nuntius Inimici will be following events closely as they develop tomorrow.
Telum/Astro, 7th October 2020 - In a joint declaration by the Imperial Foreign Office and the Artabanos Foundation, His Imperial Majesty Emperor Artabanos, Consul and Executive Representative Leader Lord Christopher Strathclyde, and Imperial Foreign Officer Sarah Gladwell, announced the creation of a mass relief fund for those suffering in Eastern Haane. Or, in the words of Emperor Artabanos, "what remains of it".
The Artabanos Foundation, the massive charitable wealth fund managed by the Emperor, has agreed to contribute €75 million to the fund, and the Imperial Government has matched this sum. "The Empire is currently engaged in efforts to stop unauthorised transports and military aircraft from flying over and landing in Eastern Haane", Foreign Officer Gladwell announced, "It is only fair that the Imperial Government does its duty in providing relief efforst to the Haanean people while doing so. We cannot deprive Eastern Haane of resources and food, and let the country starve to death."
Starving to death, it seems, is what Haaneans have been suffering, if a recent announcement from the Government of the People's State of Eastern Haane is to be believed. "Everyone knows how much I love food", His Imperial Majesty contributed to the announcement, "And I take sincere pity on the people of Eastern Haane for not having any. I can't vouch for what water tastes like, but people tell me it's pretty important."
The collected €150million will primarily be spent on airlifting water and other basic nutritional requirements to the worst-affected areas in Eastern Haane. Imperial Consul Strathclyde encouraged other nations and organisation to make a similar announcement: "We ask all friendly nations to join with us in #Pledging75, assisting in the immensely vital effort to relieve the suffering of the Haanean people. Whether communist, capitalist, left-wing, right-wing, or somewhere in between, we are all humans. That, in a nutshell, is what this move stands for."
Initial shipments of the #Pledging75 Artabanos Foundation fund are expected to reach Eastern Haane within several days, subject to inspection times in airfields of the Kingdom of Spain.
Food packages are loaded onto an Imperial Air Force cargo plane at Portus Inimici Imperial Aerodrome
IS THE HOUSE OF NOBLES DYING OUT? -- //-- PALACE PROMISES ECONOMIC REFORM TO REAP BENEFITS OF EURORAIL AND GDP GROWTH
Telum, 3rd Feb 2021 - Yesterday, His Imperial Majesty Emperor Artabanos formally signed the Imperial Decree appointing Marquis Maximillian de Barrington, Imperial Consul, to the House of Nobles. However, appointments like this have not been a common occasion of late: indeed, this is the first appointment made to the upper house of the Imperial Diet since the restoration of the Empire. Since 2012, 97 Nobles have passed on, leaving 97 vacant seats in the House of Nobles -- unlike the House of Commons or the National Imperial Council, there are no elections to the Nobles; members are instead appointed directly by the Emperor. Some politicians in Telum are stepping up criticism of Emperor Artabanos for not appointing new members.
"The Constitution clearly says the Emperor is responsible for appointing the members of the House of Nobles", claims Jeff Speller, Imperial Councillor and long-time critic and convicted would-be assassin of the Emperor, "The fact that He is attempting to subvert democratic scrutiny in this way is unacceptable." When asked how the scrutiny of an appointed body could be called democratic, Mr Speller refused comment.
Telum University's Professor of Political Science Mia Hall explains the constitutional settlement surrounding the House of Nobles: "Although the Constitution gives the Emperor the right to appoint Nobles, it does not obligate Him to do so. Now, I'm not aware of the Emperor's intentions here, but there are some who suggest He is trying to informally abolish the House. This might be a strange way of abolishing an assembly, but it is, ultimately, a legal one."
Not all scholars agree. Dr Maria Gerbranda of Lacerta Politics Institute counters: "Article 35 of the Constitution stipulates that the House of Nobles should have 150 members. This implies the Emperor is subverting the Constitution by deliberately not appointing any. If He is intent on abolishing the House, then he simply has the option of leaving the House of Nobles suspended indefinitely, as Article 36 sets the duration of Noble sessions as determined by Imperial Decree." Such a move, however, is likely to infuriate the remaining Nobles.
Nuntius Inimici's Polling Report for the first week of Feburary included questions of approval of Imperial Diet bodies. The results of a 5,000-participant poll are as follows:
Body/Person Approve % Disapprove % National Imperial Council 53 26 House of Commons 42 43 House of Nobles 17 75 Emperor Artabanos 88 4 Vicarius Cocx 63 12 Consul de Barrington 35 62 Consul Strathclyde 23 15 Walter Cocx 57 31
Intriguingly, de Barrington's appointment to the House of Nobles comes with another political conundrum: the National Imperial Council recently adopted a resolution banning any individual from being a member of more than one body of the Imperial Diet. Since Marquis de Barrington is also a member of the National Imperial Council, his appointment to the House of Nobles presents him with a constitutional conundrum: he can only remain a member of one body. Which he will choose is a question for him -- or, perhaps, for the Emperor.
In other news, a short statement released by the Imperial Treasury and Imperial Bank suggests the national government is intending to reap the economic benefits of the opening of international rail links under the Eurorail brand. "Provincial administrations will be encouraged to facilitate economic growth with stimulus packages from the national government", the statement reads. Imperial Treasurer Barrington commented: "By using the recent growth seen in the Inimician economy and the improved access links to other countries around us facilitated by Eurorail, the Inimician government will utilise labour and wealth from across our region to stimulate our economy. This will mean more money in the pockets of all Inimicians."
Telum, 11th Feb 2021 - Marquis Maximillian de Barrington, one of the first ever Imperial Consuls in the Empire, this morning resigned his office as well as his seat on the National Imperial Council, citing "irreconcilable differences" with his colleagues and superiors. Marquis de Barrington was appointed to the House of Nobles last week, raising concerns about his eligibility to sit in the House as well as on the National Imperial Council. Some around the Imperial Palace have credited the Marquis's appointment to "Imperial pressure" on him to quit government office, although this has not been confirmed by any of the Emperor's spokespeople.
The resignation of Marquis de Barrington as Consul leaves one of the highest offices in the Empire vacant. The two Imperial Consuls, whose role could be seen as equivalent to other nations' Prime Ministers, are responsible for the day-to-day running of the national government, liaising with Provincial Administrations, and managing the National Imperial Council. Typically, the latter duty occupies one Consul full-time (Lord Christopher Strathclyde has assumed this role the last few years) while other duties are the responsibility of the other Consul.
Immediately following the resignation announcement, rumours began to surface of the Emperor preferring other candidates, such as former European Councillor Sir Augustus Barrington, at the helm of the national administration. Other names mentioned include Nicholas Benfield, another European Council veteran, Sarah Gladwell, whose expertise in the Imperial Foreign Office is recognised across party lines, and even Jeff Speller, whose appointment may not seem a practical choice, but would placate many of the Emperor's political opponents on the National Imperial Council and eliminate a voice of stern opposition to His rule for good. The Emperor is expected to make an announcement naming the new Imperial Consul imminently, although some sources claim He is under advice to await the results of the European Commissioner and Council Speaker elections, as the Inimician candidates standing in those races would potentially be required to fill national offices.
A statement by the Imperial Palace thanked Marquis de Barrington for his "tireless service to the Nation", and expressed hope that "he will continue to fight for true Inimician ideals from the benches of the House of Nobles." De Barrington was further lauded for his "excellent decision-making qualities", and it was particularly noted that "following the near-demise of His Imperial Majesty, Marquis de Barrington aided the smooth running of the State". The latter point is particularly intriguing, given that sources indicate a power struggle between Vicarius Wilfred Cocx and his family, and the Barringtons and their allies, raged heavily following the days of Emperor Artabanos's crash, with some even suggesting Marquis de Barrington pressured the Emperor to attend the inaugural flight Himself.
Marquis Maximillian de Barrington, former Imperial Consul
EX-CONSUL DE BARRINGTON ARRESTED WITHIN 24 HOURS POST-RESIGNATION --//-- DID MARQUIS DE BARRINGTON AID NEO-VENETIAN ASSASSINS?
Cuius, 12th Feb 2021 -- After apparently attempting to cross the closed-down border between Inimicus and Neo-Venetia, former Imperial Consul Marquis Maximillian de Barrington was arrested on suspicion of Trafficking, High Treason, and Personal Treason against the Emperor, by Terra Diutius Provincial Constabulary early this morning. A statement by Diutius Sergent-at-Arms Lidia Legdan released just after 6am claimed "officers discovered the Marquis concealed in the boot of an armoured BMW attempting to use rural roads south of Cuius Township to cross into Neo-Venetia. The Marquis is currently held for questioning at Cuius Police Station, and is to be transferred to the Militarae Imperial Guard offices sometime today."
The arrest of the recently-resigned Marquis, who was the subject of a recent row involving the Emperor, has sent shockwaves through the Inimician political establishment. De Barrington's former Consul colleague, Lord Christopher Strathclyde, told Nuntius Inimici reporters that "This is the most shocking illumination of the Neo-Venetian affair I could have thought of", while Chancellor of the Treasury Sir Jonathan Barrington, the Marquis's brother, made an emotional statement to the press, asking his brother to "finally elucidate" his position. Vicarius Wilfred Cocx declined to comment on events.
The Marquis's supposed flight to Neo-Venetia connects him to events of last summer, when His Imperial Majesty Emperor Artabanos was gravely injured after boarding a test flight of the first Inimician-built supersonic jet, which was shot down from Neo-Venetian territory and crash landed at Portus Inimici airport. Several high-ranking Inimician politicians were killed in the disaster, including Aedile Elbert White. "If De Barrington was indeed making for the border", Nuntius Inimici political editor Colin Husky explains, "this would without a doubt have been at the invitation of someone in the Neo-Venetian administration. This, in turn, makes him a clear suspect for involvement with the horrid assassination attempt on the Emperor's life."
Marquis de Barrington was discovered heading south near Cuius, towards Neo-Venetia
Marquis de Barrington remained friendly with officers during his arrest
National Imperial Councillor for Terra Diutius Dilkes Ayla issued a strongly-worded statement to the press this morning: "If it is true, and Max Barrington was the mole inside the Palace that made all of this possible, he deserves whatever punishment he has coming for him. He was a trusted friend of His Imperial Majesty, and he appears to have betrayed this trust in the most horrid, despicable of ways."
Voices of opposition also rose in the Council, with Green Councillor Jeff Speller claiming: "We must not rush to conclusions about the Marquis's presence in Diutius yet. Isn't it remarkable how he transitioned from the third most powerful man in the country to a suspected traitor within the space of a week? The Emperor must answer for what has happened and why De Barrington was dismissed in the first place. Only then will the Council be in a position to judge the full extent of De Barrington's involvement with the Neo-Venetians."
His Imperial Majesty is expected to make an announcement regarding the arrest of Marquis de Barrington shortly. Unless released, the Marquis faces trial in the Imperial Crown Court, on which the Emperor sits personally, in what will no doubt be the most explosive and divisive trial in recent Inimician history. Should the Marquis be convicted, he could legally be sentenced to death. "No Inimician citizen has been sentenced to death during Emperor Artabanos's reign", Colin Husky explains, "Yet we must now ask the question -- will the Emperor's personal opposition to capital punishment outweigh the immense anger He must feel at the horrific betrayal one of His closest allies apparently committed."
His Imperial Majesty Emperor Artabanos of Inimicus
EUROPEAN COUNCILLOR TILKI TO RESIGN FOLLOWING SPEAKER ELECTION SHAMBLES --//-- WAS TILKI NEEDED TO MANAGE DE BARRINGTON'S SCHEMES?
Hetty Tilki at an election rally last summer
Telum, 16th February 2021 - Inimicus European Councillor, Ms Hetty Tilki, today resigned her office after a crushing defeat in the Council Speaker elections this week. In a statement, Ms Tilki said she "had never felt at home" in her role, which she won in an EU-mandated special election last August. "The European Council never fully accepted me as one of their own", the ex-Cllr said. Ms Tilki's election as European Councillor last summer came as a shock to commentators and pollsters alike, and possibly even to herself, as she defeated former Cllr and government veteran Nicholas Benfield to assume Inimicus's Council seat. With her resignation, which is rumored to have followed Imperial pressure, Tilki will return to "the former passions and pleasures" she had before her election, which include a journalism role at Nuntius Inimici, a popular online blog, and a heavy social media presence.
Ms Tilki's brief tenure as European Councillor followed the resignation of Inimician council veteran Sir Augustus Barrington, who, as Ms Tilki's official deputy, will once again attend and vote in Council sessions until a new special election can be held.
It is also rumoured that Ms Tilki may still be called to advise and consult on affairs in the Imperial Palace. "The Emperor considers Tilki a potentially powerful political force", Nuntius Inimici Political Editor Colin Husky explains, "Her online presence is a particular strength the Emperor will seek to utilise. Neither He nor any of His friends in high office have successfully managed to gather a following even as remotely extensive as Tilki's. Her appointment to a high office of state seems imminent."
Particularly, the national administration may seek to use Tilki's extensive platform as a means to disseminate official information on the Barrington Affair, which saw former Imperial Consul Maximillian de Barrington arrested on charges of Treason while attempting to cross into Neo-Venetia. "It is particularly ironic", Colin Husky comments, "that De Barrington's brother, Sir Augustus, will now deputise for someone whose move to the national government seems to be directly influenced by Maximillian's treasonous case."
With the Barrington Affair dominating headlines, the Palace agenda, and the National Imperial Council, no date for the next European special election has as yet been set, although the Imperial Electoral Commission issued a statement earlier this morning, claiming "everyone at the IEC is working as hard as possible to get this election off the ground."
Telum, 18th Feb 2021 -- Formal charges agains Maximillian de Barrington, former Marquis, Imperial Councillor, and Imperial Consul, were made public this morning by the Imperial Palace press division. In the one-page document, which sets out the exact crimes De Barrington is accused of, no date for a formal hearing or trial is set, contrary to precedent in Inimician criminal cases. Rumours circulating in the Imperial Palace claim the Imperial legal team requires more evidence from Neo-Venetian sources to be able to build a successful case against Mr De Barrington, who was stripped of all titles and fuctions by Imperial Decree this week.
"Mr De Barrington was a notoriously efficient worker", one unnamed source claims, "He did not leave a paper trail -- most information we have of his betrayal results from intercepted Neo-Venetian communications." This posits a problem for the Emperor's lawyers: as Neo-Venetia has been declared a no-go zone by the national government, and any Neo-Venetians found in the Empire are to be interrogated and deported immediately, it is difficult for any Neo-Venetian officials' testimony to be formally gathered and used in Court. A temporary change in the law is therefore expected imminently.
Questions were also asked about the Neo-Venetian issue by Imperial Councillor Jeff Speller in a Council sitting this morning. Mr Speller demanded to know whether the Emperor is currently planning to "kidnap" Neo-Venetian officials to testify in Mr De Barrington's case. His Imperial Majesty declared that He cannot divulge militarily sensitive information to the National Imperial Council. "It's not unlikely", Nuntius Inimici political editor Colin Husky comments, "that testimony from Neo-Venetians is necessary to make a compelling case and convince Crown Court judges that Mr De Barrington is guilty. After all, many judges on the Crown Court were appointed by Mr De Barrington over the past few years."
The full charge sheet accusing Mr De Barrington of High Treason, Treason against the Emperor, and leaking of State secrets, is as follows:
The State of the Empire of Inimicus, Plaintiff
Mr Maximillian de Barrington, Defendant
Lidia Legdan, Sergent-at-Arms of the Province of Terra Diutius, in the Empire of Inimicus, under the Fair and Proper Jurisdiction of His Imperial Majesty Emperor Artabanos, and in the name and by the Authority of the same, on her official oath, makes and charges:
That at and within the Province of Terra Diutius, in the Empire of Inimicus, on the 12th day of February, 2021, one Mr Maximillian de Barrington did willfully, unlawfully, and feloniously attempt to cross the Threshold of the Province of Terra Diutius, in the Empire of Inimicus, with the sole intention to collaborate with foreign and hostile powers, thereby betraying his Sacred Oath to the Constitution of the Empire of Inimicus, and engaging in High Treason;
Further, that Mr Maximillian de Barrington indulged in conspiracy to effect the death of His Imperial Majesty Emperor Artabanos, thereby betraying His Sacred Oath to the same, and engaging in High Treason;
Further, that throughout a period as yet unspecified, but ending no later than the 12th day of Feburary, 2021, Mr Maximillian de Barrington did willfully, unlawfully, and feloniously supply, give, and receive payment for, information held confidentially under the Seal of His Imperial Majesty, Emperor Artabanos, thereby betraying His Sacred Oath to the Constitution of the Empire of Inimicus, and committing an offence under the Imperial Secrets Act (2012);
Contrary to the form of the statutes in such cases made and provided, and against the peace and dignity of the Province of Terra Diutius, and the Will of His Imperial Majesty Emperor Artabanos.
NEO-VENETIAN ASSASSINATION SUSPECTS NAMED AND SHAMED --//-- DE BARRINGTON'S LIAISON ALSO UNDER SUSPICION
Telum, 23rd Feb 2021 -- The Imperial Palace today released international arrest warrants against four Neo-Venetian politicians and military officers suspected of being involved with the downing of Needletail One, the fateful crash which nearly led to the death of His Imperial Majesty Emperor Artabanos, and sadly killed over a dozen high-ranking Inimician politicians. Several of the Neo-Venetian suspects are high-ranking figures in the Neo-Venetian Social Republican Army, the organisation largely responsible for the communist coup in Neo-Venetia last March. The four named individuals are:
- Dominic Dalfarra, the Speaker of the Neo-Venetian National Assembly;
- Andrew 'Marco' Brookfield, Deputy Minister of Defence and member of the Central Committee of the Social Republican Army;
- Paul 'Lando' Ambrogio, Northern Group Command, Social Republican Army;
- Col. Peter Zan, Northern Command, People's Army of Neo-Venetia.
In a statement, Vicarius Wilfred Cocx claimed that the latter two individuals "are thought to be directly responsible for the organisation and transport, and final execution of the missile strike that downed His Imperial Majesty", while the former two are "facilitating politicians", who "wrote and signed orders, directed military units, and, importantly, liaised with an Inimician source of information." This source of information is a reference to the current criminal case against former Imperial Consul Maximillian de Barrington, who was charged with treason and the leaking of state secrets last week.
Vicarius Cocx called upon "all friendly and like-minded nations to assist in the capture and bringing to trial of these hardened criminals." He further addressed the four named men directly by saying: "You cannot hide. We have named you, we will shame you, and we will arrest you. You cannot run, you cannot hide. We will get you. The Imperial Guard is on your tail." Pictures and descriptions of the named men were circulated just after Vicarius Cocx's statement, and bounties of €100,000 are currently on offer for information leading to the arrest and capture of each individual.
It is specifically believed that Dominic Dalfarra, the highest-ranking individual on the warrant list, was the direct liaison for Maximillian de Barrington. Dalfarra's testimony, therefore, would be key in the case against the former Imperial Consul. "This man is key suspect No 1", Nuntius Inimici Political Editor claims, "And his capture and bringing to trial would bind the whole case against De Barrington together."
It is still unclear what the Imperial Government intends to achieve with these warrants. Neo-Venetia has been completely locked off from the international community since March, when an armed communist insurgency separated the territory from Angleteric control.
Vicarius Wilfred Cocx addresses the press following the publication of the arrest warrants
TREASURY CHANCELLOR, PEOPLE'S TRIBUNE ARRESTED ON TREASON CHARGES
//WARRANT ISSUED FOR SIR AUGUSTUS BARRINGTON'S CAPTURE
Telum, 28th Feb 2021 -- Chancellor of the Treasury Jonathan Barrington and People's Tribune Glennis Mayfair were arrested on charges of high treason and the attempted assassination of His Imperial Majesty Emperor Artabanos this morning. A representative from the Imperial Guard confirmed "both officials are currently in custody, having already been charged" in what commentators are calling the end of the largest Palace-wide conspiracy in recent Inimician history.
Sir Augustus Barrington, Inimicus's temporary European Councillor, appears to have so far evaded capture, although a warrant for his arrest was issued late last night and, reportedly, law enforcement across Inimicus has been placed on high alert to find him. Flight tracker data seemed to suggest Sir Augustus's private jet, which was en-route from Europolis to Telum last night, made a sudden course change due west, before disappearing from the radar.
This recent round of arrests has resulted in the all members of the prominent Barrington family having been removed from office and either placed under arrest or being hunted. A press release from the office of Vicarius Wilfred Cocx this morning read: "Imperial Guard investigations resulted in the whole Barrington network being implicated in the heinous crimes of last summer, when our Emperor was so very nearly taken from us all. Justice will always reign in Inimicus, and today's arrests are testimony to that."
The rolling up of the Barrington cell appears to be tied to the recent publication of several names of Neo-Venetian officials and military officers by the Vicarius, who swore "swift judgement" on all those involved with the Emperor's fateful crash. His Imperial Majesty's press office has so far declined comment on the arrest of His former close allies. Nuntius Inimici political editor Colin Husky comments: "These events must cause His Imperial Majesty great pain and suffering: to see His former friends, those He trusted most, at the heart of a conspiracy against Him, is among the worst pains anyone could imagine. We should all stand by Him at this time."
Sir Augustus Barrington
MAJOR STUART, HERO OF NEO-VENETIA RAID, IN EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW --//-- IMPERIAL GOVERNMENT GUILTY OF WAR CRIMES?
Major Ettore Stuart, whose heroic actions in Neo-Venetia city rescued the mission from disaster
Portus Inimici, 11th March 2021 -- After the Imperial Government's statement yesterday confirmed the deployment of Inimician special forces in the territory of Neo-Venetia last week, many across the Empire were left wondering: How? Who? Today, Nuntius Inimici reveals one of the many heroes behind the daring raids, whose swift action following the death of the senior officer commanding the operation arguably saved the mission from total collapse. An extensive interview with Major Ettore Stuart of the Imperial Special Forces Command reveals how, after the initial plan for extracting hostages in Neo-Venetia was compromised by overhwelming Neo-Venetian resistance, Inimician operatives evacuated to a nearby park, where helicopters brought them to safety.
Major Stuart relates how at least one Imperial Navy helicopter was shot down by Neo-Venetian coupist forces using handheld missile devices, also known as MANPADs, leading to the demise of both pilots. Further anti-air resistance came from heavy installations throughout the city, the location of which had been known to the Imperial Armed Forces beforehand. In response, mission command decided to launch guided missiles from nearby Imperial Navy submarines. Stuart recalls "deafening noise, screams and shouts" after these missiles, which are among the largest in the Imperial Navy's arsenal, hit Neo-Venetia's capital city.
Stuart's testimony begs the question: was the Imperial Government justified in launching some of its largest non-nuclear missiles into the centre of a densely-populated capital city? "There is no doubt these strikes caused dozens of civilian casualties", explains former Major-General Lethbridge-Stuart, "However, Imperial Navy protocol dictates that, when Inimician lives are at stake or an operation is seriously compromised, this is entirely warranted. Clearly, the situation was dire to such a degree that the commanding officers saw no other way out."
This picture appears to be corroborrated by Major Stuart's testimony: "Hundreds of armed personnel, some SRA, some simple civilians brandishing their bedside cabinet pistols, converged on the secondary landing site. Air support was critical to us at that point, and there was no way we could get it if these surface-to-air sites were still active." Imperial Defence Officer (IDO) Boris Mancov, who assumed responsibility for the raids, confirmed that "Protocol was followed entirely", and that "Special Force Command operatives released an emergency broadcast, prompting emergency action."
Nevertheless, some in the National Imperial Council have called IDO Mancov to account, claiming the Imperial Armed Forces willingly and knowingly committed atrocities against civilian populations. Jeff Speller IC relates to Nuntius Inimici: "No matter the cause, the Imperial Government has no right to launch missile strikes against civilian populations. Are Neo-Venetian lives worth less than Inimician ones?" Speller has requested a special session of the National Imperial Council to discuss his grievances. IDO Mancov did not seem fazed by Mr Speller's accusations: "A man who was himself convicted of attempting to assassinate Emperor William would obviously not grasp the seriousness and importance of apprehending the suspected criminals who attempted to end Emperor Artabanos's life."
The full verbatim interview with Major Stuart may be read at nuntiusinimici.in/ettore.
SIMGE GALANTH NEW IMPERIAL CONSUL; KAREN SMITH NEW CHANCELLOR --//-- COMMONS ELECTION SCHEDULED FOR MAY 3RD
Simge Galanth (left) and Karen Smith
Telum, 9th April 2021 -- Following the arrest of several members of the Barrington family and associated allies, replacement appointments for the offices of Imperial Consul and Chancellor of the Treasury, which were held by those suspected of crimes, were made by His Imperial Majesty Emperor Artabanos today. Former Duchess of Terra Quaestoris Simge Galanth, who led her Emperor's Finest party to victory in the recent National Imperial Council elections, has been appointed to the Imperial Consulate, where she will share the important duties associated with this office with the other Imperial Consul, Lord Christopher Strathclyde. Galanth is the first woman to serve as Imperial Consul, and the first Quaestorian to ever serve on the National Executive. Galanth served as Aedile up until the present moment, and is currently an Imperial Councillor for Terra Quaestoris. This, however, is not thought to interfere with her Consular duties.
Karen Smith, currently a People's Tribune, has been promoted to the office of Chancellor of the Treasury, and will therefore be responsible for the Empire's day-to-day finances. Smith has been lauded for her efficient decision-making in the People's Tribune office, and is yet decidedly non-partisan. "I have, myself, full confidence that Simge Galanth and Karen Smith will serve My Empire with dignity, efficiency, and patriotism", the Emperor announced in a statement today.
Related to today's announcement, elections to the House of Commons have been called for May 4th. Unlike most nations' lower houses of Parliament, the Inimician House of Commons sits for one month every year only, a time during which it discusses pertinent matters of state and elects members of the Common Executive, including People's Tribunes, Aediles, and Quaestors. Since 2014, the Commons have sat in June every year.
The Emperor's announcement of elections today sparked waves of activity from political parties in Inimicus, who have been preparing their election campaigns all year. Inimician Liberal Appeal (ILA) Chairman Michael Dowding announced his party's open hostility to the People's Movement (PM): "This year, we stand, more than ever, against the forces of facism that would seek to divide us." A newcomer in this year's House of Commons could be the Emperor's Finest, a party founded last year -- Simge Galanth, EF leader, announced the start of her party's election campaign this afternoon. Given the Finest's popularity in recent months, it is expected their performance in this election will cost traditional parties significant amounts of seats.
Former European Councillor Hetty Tilki
Nation-wide, 22nd April 2021 - Campaigning ahead of the House of Commons elections scheduled for May 3rd has begun in full swing across the Empire. Centre-Conservative Union (CCU) and Inimician Liberal Appeal (ILA) leaders have been spotted out on the streets in their respective key voting areas, attempting to cling onto supporters who, polls show, are shifting more and more towards the Emperor's Finest, a newcomer force formerly led by Imperial Consul Simge Galanth. Her replacement, former European Councillor Hetty Tilki, is expected to take the Commons by storm.
Smaller parties, including Jeff Speller's United Green Front (UGF), the Central Progressive Party (CPP), and Adolf Danube's People's Movement (PM), are expected to show little to no electoral change compared to last year's Commons, and media coverage has largely steered clear of these minor political forces. Danube, whose controversial conduct over recent years includes orchestrating the smoke bombing of the House of Commons in 2014, claimed this was "evidence of the Imperialist framing of Inimician politics".
Notably, all major parties, including the Finest, have signalled new emphases on how Inimicus should behave itself abroad. ILA leader Michael Dowding went so far as to condemn the Imperial Government's actions in Neo-Venetia, stating "Inimicus has no business raiding a foreign nation unannounced". Even the Emperor's Finest, whose support for the Imperial Government had hitherto been unrelenting, compiled manifesto commitments claiming "the Imperial Armed Forces should only be deployed abroad in the utmost need and distress". Press releases from the Centre-Conservative Union, Inimicus's third party, even called for "the dissolution of the Treaty of Telum and the mutual defence agreement with Spain". Whether these proposed policies translate into government action remains to be seen, as the Commons, and the Common Executive which it elects, form only a minor part of the Inimician structure of state.
Voters in Terra Praestoris, the Emperor's province, are further due to elect a National Imperial Councillor after the resignation and accusation of Sir Augustus Barrington earlier this year. Frontrunners in this race include the Finest's Hetty Tilki and the People's Movement's Adolf Danube. This race has mainly centred around the Imperial government's handling of the Needletail One fallout, and associated arrests and foreign operations.
Lastly, Inimicus will also elect a new European Councillor on May 3rd, in line with European legislation mandating the direct election of Councillors. Although all parties except the People's Movement have stated their disagreement with these rules, instead calling for the National Imperial Council to determine who should represent Inimicus in Europolis, well over a dozen candidates will appear on the ballot paper. Nicholas Benfield, who served as Inimicus's European Councillor during the reign of Emperor William in 2013, currently leads the polls for this race, with other candidates trailing by at least fifteen percentage points.
The Imperial Diet, House of Commons chamber
Inimicus, 29th April 2021 - With the House of Commons election just days away, Inimicians across the Empire have been making up their minds about who they will send to Telum this year. Polling shows fewer and fewer undecided voters as polling day nears, with the majority of undecideds siding with the Emperor's Finest. The Finest, a new movement centred around support for Emperor Artabanos's policies, and combining them together into what it calls 'Artabanism', first gained popularity last year after three Imperial Councillors with a Finest background were elected to office. For this election, the Finest are led by former European Councillor and influential, popular vlogger Hetty Tilki, whose strong performance in territorial and regional debate has helped steer her party to unprecedented heights in the polls.
The Finest are now predicted to win at least 250 of 700 Commons seats this year, with the Inimician Liberal Appeal's 150-something MPs trailing far behind. The Centre-Conservative Union and the People's Movement follow at around 100 MPs, and the United Green Front and Central Progressive Party, popular with urban populations, both poll at between 30 and 40 seats. Translated into real scores, these polls would not only imply the most extensive election victory for a new party in Inimician history by the Finest, but would also see the People's Movement, highly critical of the Emperor and the Imperial System, nearly double in size. The Movement returned 55 MPs in the 2020 parliament, and has benefitted from controversies surrounding the Emperor's handling of the investigation into corruption and the Needletail One crash.
Long-standing Movement leader Adolf Danube is expected to have strong support in his home territory, Terra Praestoris, as well as rural areas in Terra Legati and Terra Rosarum. Urban areas generally have not returned Movement MPs, and indeed, the Movement is not standing candidates in most constituencies in the Districto Teli. Although Movement motions and proposals have generally been subject to a rigorous cordon sanitaire in previous parliaments, should the controversial party return close to a hundred MPs, mainstream parties will find it hard to ignore them for long. "We will take our banners, ideas, and people to this parliament", Danube confirmed at a Lacerta rally this afternoon, "And we will show the elitists, the aristocrats, the plotters in power what the People really want - a true, clean, Inimician Republic." While the Movement formerly attracted mainly those on the far right, their recent shift to constitutional reform may be at least partly credited with their porential electoral success. A recent report by Nuntius Inimici showed that 22% of Inimicians are now actively in favour of abolition of the Imperial System, with 74% against abolition, and 4% undecided.
In related news, polling for the National Imperial By-election in Terra Praestoris, for the seat left vacant by the banishment of Sir Augustus Barrington, shows a clear lead for Emperor's Finest leader Hetty Tilki, who is now expected to win the seat she sorely lacked during her time as Councillor. It is rumoured that her surpise election to the European Councillorship led to pressures inside the Imperial Palace, which may have forced her to resign. Her election to the National Imperial Council would, however, no doubt settle this score. Similarly, polling for the European Councillor race shows current deputy and former Councillor Nicholas Benfield as clear frontrunner. Voters seem particularly pleased about Benfield's current conduct as Deputy Councillor,
Electoral Results Map of Inimicus. Purple: Centre-Conservative Union; Blue: Inimician Liberal Appeal; Pink: Emperor's Finest; Red: People's Movement; Yellow: Central Progressive Party; Green: United Green Front; Grey: Independent.
Telum, 3rd May 2021 -- The Imperial Electoral Commission confirmed the results of the House of Commons election 2021 proceeded according to standards set out in law. Polls closed at 6pm today, following an election predicted to see an earth-shattering victory for the Emperor's Finest, a catch-all party advocating strongly for the Imperial system, and support for Emperor Artabanos. Today's results show exactly how earth-shattering this victory truly is. From no seats won in 2020, the Finest will send 292 members to Telum come June, a staggering 36% of seats.
"The Inimician People have spoken", Finest leader Hetty Tilki announced to roaring crowds in Lacerta after the results were announced, "They have said Yes to the Imperial System. They have said 'I serve' to His Imperial Majesty. And they have said 'Convict Them' to the traitors who sought to destroy Him. Today is a victory for all of Inimicus, and for the Emperor."
Gains were also made by the People's Movement, who nearly doubled their MPs by winning 90 seats. Outspoken critics of the Emperor and the Imperial System, the Movement capitalised on recent controversies surrounding the arrest of members of the Barrington family, and the Imperial Armed Forces raid into Neo-Venetia. Movement leader Adolf Danube called today "a wake-up call for the Emperor and His clique" and announced he would be filing motions in Parliament calling for the impeachment of the Emperor.
Results from the Terra Praestoris Imperial Council by-election are expected shortly, with preliminary results suggesting a narrow yet consistent lead for Finest leader Tilki, who is trailed by Movement leader Danube and other parties. Full results of the Commons vote are given below.
Party 2020 PARLIAMENT: 2021 PARLIAMENT: CHANGE United Green Front: 80 33 (4.1%) -47 (-62.5%) Inimician Liberal Appeal: 262 143 (17.9%) -119 (-45.4%) Centre-Conservative Union: 199 102 (9%) -97 (-14.3%) Central Progressive Party: 83 31 (3.9%) -52 (-62.7%) People's Movement: 55 90 (11.3%) +35 (63.6%) Independents: 21 9 (1.1%) -12 (-57.1%) Emperor's Finest: N/A 292 (36.4%) +292 (N/A)
MPs for the 2021 House of Commons take their oath in the former National Senate room, Telum.
Telum, 17th May 2021 -- Ahead of the opening of House of Commons proceeedings for the year 2021 on June 1st, the 700 MPs for this year's sitting have sworn or pledged allegiance to the Constitution of the Empire of Inimicus and His Imperial Majesty the Emperor. Members further pledged they have neither offered nor received bribes or gift to be elected to their office, and promised to fulfil their duties faithfully and to the best of their ability.
This week also marked the start of the official Pre-Parliamentary Period (PPP), introduced at the end of the 2017 Parliament, in which MPs can submit pre-Parliament motions usually relating to House of Commons Standing Orders, as well as to present candidates for the offices the House of Commons elects. All major parties have submitted candidates for People's Tribunes (general executive officers responsible for civilian contact with the Imperial government), Quaestors (finance ministers), and Aediles (Justice ministers).
People's Movement leader Adolf Danube, notable critic of the Imperial system and of His Imperial Majesty Emperor Artabanos, submitted motions calling for the "Extension of any term of the House of Commons to at least one year", implying that MPs would sit all year before being re-elected. The Emperor abolished the permanent sitting of the House of Commons in 2014 after widespread corruption scandals and public opinion shifts against the Commons and in favour of the National Imperial Council, which has since taken over much of the day-to-day legislative business previously occupied by the Commons. Other Parliamentary duties were delegated to each of the seven Provincial governments -- this devolution was later formalised in Constitutional amendments, taking power away from the central government in Telum and giving it to Provincial Assemblies and Colleges.
Other pre-Parliament motions include a 'Motion of Approval of His Imperial Majesty' filed by Emperor's Finest leader Hetty Tilki, which calls upon Members to "applaud and approve of the conduct of His Imperial Majesty, Emperor Artabanos, and voice appreciation of His stable leadership, figurehead status, and His unrelenting battle for justice, security, and prosperity for the Inimician People." This Motion of Approval was met with a counter-motion by People's Movement MPs, who presented a Motion of Disapproval against the Emperor and all Emperor's Finest MPs.
"This infighting isn't helping anyone, especially ordinary Inimicians, who expect Parliamentarians to behave like adults", Hetty Tilki then commented, referring to declining approval ratings of the institution of the House of Commons. Since being transformed into a temporary body, average approval ratings have soared from under 50% in 2013 to over 65% in 2019. The last Parliament, however, which saw not a single bill meeting approval or a single Parliamentary motion passed, appears to have shaken public confidence in the elected body.
By Colin Husky, Political Commentator
Telum, 26th May 2021 -- With only days to go until the formal starts of Inimicus's Ninth Parliament, MPs, journalists, and political enthusiasts have flocked to the capital to engage with next month's proceedings. Hotels in the city are fully booked. Short-term accommodation lets are all but sold out. Restaurants and bars have received more bookings than in any month of the year so far. Whatever next month brings politically, there is certainly still a huge aura of interest surrounding the House of Commons.
The official Pre-Parliamentary Period ends today, five days before the start of proceedings. More pre-parliamentary motions have met the threshold for submission than in any parliament before -- with a grand total of 77 motions MPs will have to consider before any other business can be conducted. Motions range from those calling for the removal and forced abdication of the Emperor to those proposing the complete abolition of the House of Commons. The former point is likely to win the support of the People's Movement, whose 90 MPs gathered in the Ritz in Telum yesterday night to celebrate their best Commons result ever. Conversely, the Emperor's Finest, whose 292 MP-block is only about 100 shy of an overall majority, ran on a platform of delegating Parliamentary and provincial powers to the National Imperial Council and the Emperor.
Inimicus's main center parties, the Inimician Liberal Appeal and the Centre-Conservative Union, have both announced party reviews into their poor performance at this year's vote. High-ranking Liberal officials, including leader Michael Dowding, have recently been seen entering Conservative big-wigs' offices, suggesting on-going talks between the two groups have intensified. Sources told Nuntius Inimici the traditional giants, whose performance at this month's elections was their worst ever, are looking for ways to counter the Emperor's Finest's momentum, possibly by drawing attention to the Emperor's orders to continue to incarcerate those suspected of involvement with His attempted assassination in July last year. This would signal a major policy shift for both parties, who have generally favoured Emperor Artabanos's hands-on reign, especially after His predecessors' widely criticised conduct from 2011 to 2014.
United Green Front and Central Progressive Party representatives have reportedly also been in talks, about a formal merger of the two parties. Every motion proposed by MPs from either group have so far been endorsed by at least three MPs from the other, leading analysts to suggest an alliance between the two simply necessitates nothing more than formalising. Comining the UGF's 33 and the CPP's 31 MPs would still make a combined party the smallest single group in the Commons.
Nuntius Inimici will broadcast live coverage of Parliamentary proceedings every day from 9 to 6. Keep in touch through our live blogs and commentary on ni.in/commons or through channels NI1 and NI2.
By-party layout of the Ninth Parliament. From left to right: Emperor's Finest (292), Inimician Liberal Appeal (143), Centre-Conservative Union (102), People's Movement (90), United Green Front (33), Central Progressive Party (31), Independents (9)
Telum, 13th June 2021 -- In a shock vote, the House of Commons has declared its support for controverial Commission candidates Josephine Areai, from the war-torn nation of Istkalen, and Sofie Čikarová, spearhead of the Party of the European Left. Following a narrowly-accepted motion by People's Movement leader Adolf Danube, which called for MPs to cast a ballot on Inimicus's votes for Commission, Parliament swiftly decided Inimicus's preferences within half an hour.
Surprisingly, the People's Movement, whose party principles place it on the far right of the political spectrum, voted together with the United Green Front, Central Progressive Party, and splinters of the Emperor's Finest and Inimician Liberal Appeal, to give Ms Čikarová a narrow win in the Commons. It is understood Adolf Danube instructed his MPs to vote for Čikarová, who is an incredibly controversial figure in Inimicus, to cause an almost certain contrast between Parliament's choice and the National Imperial Council's, which is due to vote on the Empire's Commission preferences next week.
Similarly, Movement MPs supported Areai, along with large fractions of the Centre-Conservative Union, Inimician Liberal Appeal, and smaller parties. Parliament expressed its support for Areai by just two votes, with virtually all Emperor's Movement MPs preferring Jean-Claude Juncker, despite his opposition to the European Commission (Sanctioning Powers) Act.
During and immediately after the vote, legal experts questioned the legality of Parliament assuming the prerogative to decide on the national Commission vote. "Ultimately, following the Constitution, this power is reserved to the Emperor", explains legal scholar and European Court of Justice Candidate Benjamin Steyn. "He has delegated this power to whatever instrument He feels fit, in this case, the National Imperial Council. The House of Commons was not given such power in the Imperial Decree calling for its convention, and this vote should therefore not have happened."
Jeff Speller, Imperial Councillor, however, claims Parliament was given the right to decide on matters "of its own choosing", and that therefore, this vote stands. Whether the National Imperial Council will hear it, however, is another matter. "If the Council neglects this decision by the directly-elected representatives of the people", Speller explains, "there can no longer be said to be any democracy in Inimicus. The people's rule will have ended."
Meeting chambers of the House of Commons (left) and the National Imperial Council
Telum, 18th June 2021 -- National Imperial Councillors have determined Inimicus's votes for European Commission. By a large majority, the NIC chose Jean-Claude Juncker for Premier and Emma Granger for Internal Affairs Commissioner. These preferences completely contradict the choices made by the House of Commons last week, whose members cast their ballots for controversial candidates Josephine Areai and Sofie Čikarová. Given that Areai resigned from the Internal Affairs race not too long ago, the Council did not consider her in its voting sessions today, meaning even the likes of Jeff Speller IC, whose position was to vote as the Commons did, could not cast their vote for her.
Nevertheless, the choice of Čikarová vs. Juncker causes an unprecedented constitutional crisis on the Empire level. The Constitution does not document who, or which body, is mandated to determine the Inimician vote for Commission. Custom has dictated that the National Imperial Council votes on candidates, but a House of Commons motion by People's Movement leader Adolf Danube triggered a vote by MPs, who narrowly backed Areai and Čikarová. "Who holds power in Inimicus?", asks political correspondent Colin Husky, "Parliament or the Council? More importantly, perhaps, what is the function of Parliament if it does not hold any power?"
Preliminary polling conducted for Nuntius Inimici suggests a near 50/50 split in popular opinion: 43% support the Council determining Commission votes, with 42% favouring the Council. Additionally, 66% support a consensual vote, where both the Council and Parliament determine Inimicus's vote together. This consensual option has also been raised by several Imperial Councillors, including Jeff Speller and Imperial heavyweight Basil Lawson. His Imperial Majesty, who naturally possesses the Prerogative to end this crisis, has not spoken out on the issue yet, but is expected to do so in due course.
Telum, 29th June 2021 -- Inimicus's temporary legislature, the House of Commons, was disbanded a day early today by His Imperial Majesty Emperor Artabanos, who made yet another surprise appearance in the grand House of Commons meeting chamber during the House's morning sitting. The Emperor, citing Nuntius Inimici polling figures which suggest well over half (63%) of Inimicians now suggest Parliament should never again have a say in Inimicus's choice for European Commission, claimed MPs had "overstepped" their "constitutional bounds". The Emperor's announcement follows weeks of infighting among parliamentarians over which one of Inimicus's legislatures, the directly-elected temporary House of Commons, or the permanent part-appointed National Imperial Council, is legally mandated to determine the Empire's votes for European Commission.
The Emperor, whose constitutional power is absolute, albeit bound to constitutional principles, finally decided on a compromise vote, partially maintaining the Commons' wishes, partially concurring with the National Imperial Council. Following the speech in which He set out this choice, People's Movement MPs attempted to file motions calling for the immediate deposition of the Emperor, the quashing of His decision, and the forced resignation of all members of the Imperial Executive. These proposals were met with vigorous backlash from Emperor's Finest MPs, resulting in fillibusters, disordery conduct, and even physical threats made against MPs in the last week of Parliament's sitting.
His Imperial Majesty, upon disbanding the Commons a day before the scheduled end date on 30th June, also referenced how well over 80% of polled Inimicians agree with His compromise decision, and 86% now view Parliament less favourably than before this year's sitting. Artabanos further warned MPs that "a procedural review" will take place to determine whether the House of Commons "can continue in its current shape". Making amendments to the procedures of the Commons would, however, require a Constitutional amendment, which His Imperial Majesty does not have the power to enact Himself.
In other news, the death of Lord Bentlarch of Orbis Terrarum yesterday brings the House of Nobles, the other chamber of the Inimician Parliament, closer to a dysfunctional death. 150 Nobles sit in the Upper House, and all are appointed by the Emperor. Artabanos, however, has refused to appoint any further Nobles since 2014, leaving nearly half of all Noble seats vacant. Rules of procedure in the Upper House dictate that no sitting may commence unless a quorum of over 75 Nobles are present in the Chamber -- in recent weeks, following the rapid deaths of seven Nobles from old age, this has caused increasing difficulty for the Noble Speaker, Frits Steiner, to start any sessions.
In 2014, 142 Nobles formally sat in the House. As of yesterday, 78 remain. With well over twenty Nobles being over 80 years old, it is considered only a matter of time before the House of Nobles dies a quiet death. His Imperial Majesty Emperor Artabanos has been a long-time critic of the House of Nobles, which only has advisory powers, and vowed to stop appointing its members when He acceeded to the Throne. Critics, including Imperial Councillor Jeff Speller, accuse the Emperor of "attemping to subvert democratic order" and "escaping from any and all scrutiny". Nevertheless, Nuntius Inimici polling now shows stronger support for the formal disbanding of the House of Nobles than support for keeping it in place.