Zeitgeist Magazine's Utania This Week
July 23rd, 301 AP


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Hijacked

The Aij Utani passenger jet delayed in the South Bay capital Lochboer due to "technical problems" has, in fact, been hijacked by the same paramilitary group that "invaded" Utania at the beginning of June. The hijackers are demanding the release their paramilitary commander and 51 other paramilitaries from an Utanian military prison, but President Okarvits has refused. Utanian negotiators are continuing to seek a mutually acceptable and peaceful solution to the crisis. 183 passengers and crew are trapped aboard the jet sitting on a disused part of the Lochboer airport.

It's (almost) official: Utania's minority government will continue to govern with much stronger support from the Burovians. Prime Minister Barth is expected to put forward his coalition as a minority government and the Burovians are expected to support the proposal, despite overtures from the Conservatives who wanted to form a minority government of six parties.

The final seats were also finalised, too. The Liberal Nationalists won Charleston by 894 votes; the Democrats -- as former Lasanne state Governor Michael West -- won in Gyum'th by a mere 304 votes, and returned Burovian former Deputy Speaker back to his old position; and the Utani Saedaj won by a mere 174 votes over the Democrats in Mulgrave, elavating the Democrat, David Schammel, to the Speaker's chair.

Meanwhile, the man who lead the humanitarian mission to the Chiquiti in January this year on the President's behalf, an Utani Progressive Party MP, John Kopeya, has lost his seat in Nystonia state to the Cruistian Democrats. Kopeya was praised for his role in Chiquiti and the President offered to keep him employed. Kopeya hasn't decided what to do next, but said he felt "it is for the best" that he no longer has Parliamentary responsibilities.

Assasination

Rovens plunged into political chaos once again after the assasination of one of the country's leading communists. The government has been negotiating with the communists for months to reintegrate the communist-controlled north-western quarter of the country into the rest of the country, but the Communists have cancelled negotiations and walked from their role in the PIMR government after the assasination, claiming the government is behind the act of "political terrorism". Rioting has broken out across the country.

While economists can't say how big the Utanian economy actually is, they feel confident enough to say by how much it grew last calendar year: 8.9% growth. Wages grew by 5.6% from an average of Û19,793 last year to the present Û20,800. (Though note they are the average, not the median wage, which is at Û12,000 this year.) That wages grew slower than the economy points to a massive increase in company profits last year: estimated growth in company profits is about 14%. All this growth is also fueling inflation, projected to exceed 7% this year, with an increased risk of hyper-inflation.

Lawyers for the defamed partners and their descendants of Atosu Savante lodged an injunction in the federal court against the government negotiating a settlement with Mr Savante. They are demanding that the government settle the matter in an open court, so that they can prove themselves innocent of Mr Savante's accusations. The Federal Judge agreed, saying the government was unwise to pursue the matter privately. The government is appealing.

No sense of humour

When prospective-Prime Minister Kemp was asked whether his Conservative party would push for a ban on genetic research toward human cloning, he joked "who could afford to do such research in Utania?" His Cruistian-Democratic coalition partners -- staunch pro-life campaigners -- were unimpressed, and Mr Kemp apologised. Moderate Conservatives questioned their Kemp-backed alliance with the Cruistian-Democrats.

Christiana passed into law the end of the Death Penalty, calling on all nations to do likewise. This prompted Emperor Areopatre XXIII -- no doubt at the insistance of his courtiers -- to restate the "importance of the Savaj Code of Justice" to the social stability of the Empire. The traditional, 1,000 year old code includes the right of execution for repeat offenders. While it has not been publicly used in decades, traditional Savaj are very reluctant to let such things go. This statement severely weakens the President's campaign to abolish the Nystonian death penalty, with several members of the Utani Saedaj Party expected to back the Nystonians, as happened -- at the state party level -- when the original Nystonian bill was passed into law last year.

Achenar is moving closer and closer to a self-cultured form of communism, not the a-cultural form they have pursued to date. The country may revert to its traditional name, Trinia, and reinstate many of the traditional institutions if it passes a referendum in the next month. But, it has split the Communist party, with opponents, the new Socialist Federalist Party, calling for specifics of what the reforms would entail.

As a poscript, UTW's condolances to the people of Albion-Merite whose Emperor announced a TRIPLING of personal income tax: from 5% to 15%. Such a rise, offered financial analysts, suggested that the Treasury was suffering a massive short-fall, which may result in a credit down-grading for the Empire.


©Zeitgeist Magazine, 301 AP.

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©Mike Ham, 2001. All rights reserved. No reproduction without, at least, tacit approval. ;-)