Zeitgeist Magazine's Utania This Week
November 5th, 301 AP


All is not well above the skies of Utania. The Û745 million Starlight satellite has failed a series of technical tests that may impair the satellite's communi- cation bandwidth, announced the company spokesman last week. Technicians are still testing the satellite, and concede that they do not yet know what impact this will have, if any, on Starlight's transmissions, December 1st.

President Okarvits this week introduced the newest member of his cabinet. Anita KANGAAPAULI, the 44 year old former-BWA Undersecretary for Environmental Issues for Udan-Woo takes up the position of Special Minister for Environmental Strategy for the President, a position he announced at the Canhoto conference.

A political war-of-words broke during the week after a man trying to stop his son buying drugs was chased through city streets in downtown Luka by two machete-armed youths and stabbed, leaving him a paraplegic. The opposition candidate for Governor claimed it was a clear sign of the failure of Governor Hope's "liberal" drug policies. The Governor countered saying his opponent was "trying to sell cheap, simplistic solutions to very difficult issues".

In the latest polls, for the Governor's race in Lasanne, due November 17th, Governor Hope has lost ground to opponent Rupert McKay, 52% to 41%, a drop of 6% in the Governor's support. McKay only took command of the Peoples Party- dominated opposition fifteen weeks ago and is seen as a "long shot". His opposition coalition is set to win seats from the four-party government which currently holds 54 of the 93 state seats.


The government is planning to introduce its cooperatives legislation to Parliament next week, but is not expecting a warm reception. The previous edition of the proposed legislation was laughed out of Parliament, with too many loopholes. The Attorney General reports that he is now "confident" they have it all fixed up.

President Kope of Rovens this week conceded that the long-awaited national election will not be possible on December 1st, due to "simple physical limits" of completing voter registration before the end of this month. He promised that it would be held six weeks later, but given that it was Kope who promised to have an election before the first aniversary of the nation, this enhances the population's trust of politicians none.

The Lendosan Confederation has banned religion-based parties from participating in elections. While two local religious parties protested, the government here was quite adament that there would be no scenes similar to the anti-Armatirion protests on a similar ban. The Cruistian Democrats asked the President to send a formal protest, but the President refused: there are no Utanians affected in the far-away nation. Yes, cynics reply, plus there is some thirty billion in trade to be protected.

While the Utanian Football Association (UFA) is about to release its summer schedule for games to introduce eight new teams to the competition, players are complaining that the heat and humidity of northern cities like Luka will make playing "unbearable". The UFA has agreed to suspend any matches in northern cities when the temperature exceeds 30 degrees celcius, but the players are still not happy, and warn of exhaustion, heatstroke and even deaths. Football matches are normally suspended over the humid Utanian summer.


Meanwhile, rumours are abounding about a possible LUKA 302 bid for the Vexgames. The Luka Herald broke the story in their weekend edition, claiming that Vexgames officials had let the suggestion slip. President Okarvits could not be drawn on the topic, and his culture minister was similarly tight-lipped. Governor Hope, however, was genuinely surprised at the possibility. "I have not been consulted", he remarked, adding that he hoped the same applied to his election rival Rupert McKay, "Unless the President knows something about this election that I do not."

He was sacked, but now he is back: former head of the Lendosan Capitalist Party, Senator Paulo Dias is now forming his own party, probably known as the Reform Party, a more moderate right-wing party that is "actually interested in (the peoples') well-being".

In overseas news, from the basket of "Say-Wot?", scientists have successfully joined the living circuitry of a snail's nervous system to a microchip, opening the door to a whole host of cybernetic possibilities, such as artificial limbs. The condition of the snail is unknown, but French Chefs are said to be horrified.

The Number One single in Utania at the moment is the psychodelic flashback "Mutilated Lips" by the Westrian band "Ween", while the top album is Utani Jennifer Otoma's album "On the 6". Rocketing up the charts -- with a heavy dose of synchronicity, given recent events in Luka -- is "Last Junkie on Vexillium (Heroin is so passe)" by the Dandy Warhols.

©Zeitgeist Magazine, 301 AP.

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