by Max Barry

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Region: The Coalition of Democratic Nations

OOC: Wow, it's nearly been two months since my last News post. Best get to it.

Ascoobian News Network: July 8th, 2024

Southern Tensions

Unprovoked, Nord citizens attacked the multinational force policing the Panama Canal Zone in a massive demonstration that unfortunately forced troops to open fire on the aggressive crowd as it threatened to overrun the guards. Despite the propaganda being distributed by the Citizens United Party, the multinational force guarding this nexus of trade is made up of troops from Karthspiri, Paglaum, the UFC, and their very own Nordamy.

For the first time since the London Conference, Ascoobis is considering placing troops along their part of the UFC border with Nordamy and threatens to do so if the Libertarian Nord Government cannot keep its citizens from assaulting the zone and disrupting global commerce. To provide room for tensions to de-escalate, the Ascoobian Air Force has been restrained from providing assistance to the multinational Force at the Canal and the airfield in the Canal Zone remains on lockdown.

Common Decency isn't so Kommin

In a recent swing in generosity, the Kommin government has dipped its feet into world affairs and invited numerous Karthspiri as migrant workers in hi-tech industries. As well as sending medical and economic aid to the people of Nordamy. While the Ascoobian Government applauds the latter efforts to provide a bedrock of support for impoverished people, it can't help but voice its concern at the influx of Karthspiri citizens into important postions in Kommin industry. Especially as the Karthspiri Government stops at nothing to disrupt and weaken the Western World, as seen by their unwarranted intervention in the 2nd Nord Civil War. It suggests that the Kommin Government take greater care in who they take in. As any migrant could easily be a foreign spy or saboteur seeking to undermine the ATCO in the Atlantic.

Healthcare on Life Support

The Confederacy of Nordamy is certainly an experiment that the world watches unfold with pity. It is the closest that a nation has come to the abolishment of a centralized state, a most would go as far as to call it anarchism. Now the nation's Universal Healthcare is being put on the chopping block. Another step towards lawlessness, the loss of the freedoms that they say these steps are being taken to preserve.

Director of Health Dexter Grey comments:

"The Nord proposal to abolish universal healthcare with promises of "freedom and less spending" are empty promises and excuses for private interests to extort the nation's and make money off of suffering. There's not freedom when your unconscious in an ambulance or on an operating table. There's no freedom in that. After all, what could be freer than a system that's free at the point of service and paid for through a small tax? You're ill; you go get treatment. That simple. No haggling with what is or isn't "covered", no negotiations between the hospital and the insurance company, and no company having entire divisions dedicated to finding ways not to cover you. It's really less bureaucracy overall if the system is working as intended. Mark my words, if the system isn't scrapped altogether, it's going to be sabotaged more than it is already to justify scrapping it at a later date. This is just another offensive in the Ultra-Wealthy's war on the Nord people. I implore that any self-respecting Nord to lobby their representative to battle this effort if that representative hasn't been bribed off already.

If this goes through, we expect disaster, a Nord Diaspora. As Nord wages drop and injuries becoming more likely because of deregulation, this is the last expense recovering families need to drop on their plate, and for many, this will be the last straw. It's going to be a choice between moving elsewhere or living under the constant fear that any slip up in their health status will mean a lifetime of debt if they aren't deep in debt already.

It's a disgrace the disregard that our neighbor has for its people. Here in Ascoobis, we see the way forward is for the Government to invest in its people and others in the UFC. By freeing those living here of the burden of worrying about things, such as education and healthcare, they're free to pursue their desired path to become the best productive citizens that they could be and become the envy of the world. For going in the exact opposite direction, and with the increasing wealth inequality, the Nord economy is living on borrowed time. Not even Kommin aid will be enough when their middle-class is sucked dry and pushed into poverty by unimpeded conmen and snake-oil salesmen, unable to participate in the economy. This is not hyperbole, this is history. We saw the same occur at the end of the 1920's and those same economic policies are once again rearing their ugly head to convince the greedy and gullible."

Ascoobis has taken steps to propose to the rest of the UFC to simplify the process of immigration from Nordamy, anticipating a massive wave of residency applications if Nord internal politics continue down their path.

Referendum Defeated

Measure 2908 of the Ascoobian Provincial Congress to ban the sale of Tobacco Products is defeated in a state referendum 79% to 20% of eligible voters. 1% did not participate. The common conception of those that admit to voting 'no' is that they may not be smokers themselves, and some disapprove of it, but would like the right for it to exist for others, despite the health effects. Note that Ascoobis has among the smallest population of smokers in the Western Hemisphere due to cultural sensitivities and stringent antismoking education.

Luna 2030

The United Federation of Columbia's Federal Aeronautical and Space Agency, FASA, is proud to announce its overarching plan to take UFC to Mars by 2040. Included in this plan, which is getting much buzz online, is the plan for a permanent Moon outpost to launch the manned Mars mission from by 2040. The plan itself is vague, describing the planned outpost to be at the scale of most Antarctic outposts today. Many, however, point out that any base capable of launching an independent space mission will have to be much larger and more complex.

Conscription Reintroduced?

With the world tensions rising as of late and the multiple Civil Wars in our neighbor Nordamy, talks are being had of amending the State Constitution to allow for conscription. A move in this direction is likely to be intercepted by courts on the Federal Level, as it'd be seen as a repeating of the past by Cerma and Washinton, cutting into old wounds best left untouched. Generals are concerned that this will lead to a lowering of morale and rigorous standards to accommodate the unfit citizens that would be forced into the ranks.

In Other News...

  • Internet Sensation Rufus the Yodeling Cat passed away yesterday from Throat Cancer.

  • Relic of a yet-to-be-verified Central American Tribe discovered in a Mayan Temple in Yucatan.

  • British Prostitution Legalisation Bill gains traction as the newly-crowned Queen Charlotte voices her best wishes to the lawmakers, trusting them to make the best decision for Britain.

  • German Tiger Tank loaned to the Ascoobian Empire in 1942 for testing was found buried in mint condition using RADAR technology in the Mojave Desert after being lost in a dust storm 77 years ago. The question remains whether Tiger 008 belongs in an Ascoobian or German museum.

  • Ascoobian Nuclear Energy Mongul Ernesto Smythe heads too China in order to negotiate the importation of Chinese-produced Thorium to lessen the costs to operate Ascoobis' Nuclear Power grid.