Lauchenoirian Guardian

Lauchenoirian Guardian

Two LDA representatives defect to Liberal Party after Marwick social media row
3rd November 2019

Two Lauchenoirian Democratic Alliance (LDA) representatives have defected to the Liberal Party after President Alex Marwick had come under fire for posting “inappropriate” memes on social media containing “sexist” caricatures of Kerlian Councillors. The two representatives quit the party, joining the Liberal Party after releasing a joint statement claiming that the LDA had “violated all their founding principles”.

The two representatives, Claudia Borrell from Costeno Province and Bernard Wallace from Melissa Province, resigned from the party, which has been losing support since the election. Their joint statement called the party a “mistake”, saying: “the LDA was founded on the principles of democracy and of listening to the people, yet in our name President Marwick has ignored the voices of Lauchenoirians, instead doing as he likes and embarrassing our country. The LDA is a failed experiment, and does not deserve to go on.”

The Lauchenoirian Democratic Alliance received 5.3% of the vote nationally, however at present are polling below 1%. The party was founded in the aftermath of the civil war, with the aim of promoting democracy and creating a party which listened to the people. The party presented themselves as an alternative to the Liberals who were not partly responsible for the war – however, the party has been buried in scandal since the election, and most of their support has reverted to the Liberals, according to polling.

President Marwick has been widely criticised both at home and abroad for his actions, particularly surrounding the extradition of Peter Bloch to Shuell in August. He has also been called “childish” by several opposition politicians, over his tendency to post memes on social media and his lack of knowledge of traditional politics. At 31, Marwick is Lauchenoiria’s youngest ever President, and many have said since his election that he lacks the experience and maturity needed for the position.

His most recent scandal involved the posting of memes on his social media accounts depicting caricatures of Kerlian Councillors with enlarged breasts in revealing clothing, which have been widely criticised as “completely sexist”. The post received a number of responses claiming that Marwick’s actions were “proving Kerlile right about the continued existence of misogyny in the world”.

Lauchenoirian Guardian

Xiomeran journalists convicted of attempted arson
6th November 2019

The two Xiomeran journalists, Tlixō and Xōne, who were involved in the summer’s extradition debacle, have been convicted of attempted arson following an attack on the Xiomeran embassy in August. They have each been sentenced to five years in prison for the attack. They have been in pre-trial detention since August after attempting to leave the country and return home after the arrest of their families.

The judge told the pair that while he understood there were political factors in the action, they “do not excuse the use of violence” and that the pair had “badly misjudged” their actions in choosing to attack the embassy. The attack had happened after the Xiomerans had requested the extradition of the pair for running an illegal media outlet, which was critical of their government. The pair will serve out their sentence in Elfwood Prison in Melissa Province

The pair attempted to leave the country in August after the Xiomeran government arrested the families of all individuals involved with the outlawed Huenyan News Network (HNN), including a number of individuals in Laeral and Zamastan. However, due to the embassy attack, the Lauchenoirian authorities arrested the pair at Buttercity International Airport while they were attempting to leave.

In light of the verdict, Foreign Minister Sandra Pavía called upon the newly-crowned Empress Yauhmi of Xiomera to free the families of the journalists. “It is unfair that the families of these two individuals should rot in prison because they cannot answer the summons of their government. If the Xiomerans wish to question the pair, the Xiomeran Ambassador may speak with them, but we cannot ignore the independence of our judiciary and release them to return.”

Protesters were outside the court during the sentencing, calling on the Lauchenoirian government to release the pair. Anti-Xiomera protest groups have called the prosecutions “political”, and claimed that the actions of the journalists had not posed a danger to human life, and thus should have been considered a “legitimate protest”. Fringe groups have also claimed the Lauchenoirian government arrested the pair in an attempt to improve relations with Xiomera.

Lauchenoirian Guardian

Controversial extradition law scrapped by Parliament
7th November 2019

The controversial Extraditions Act (2019), which was passed on the 1st August this year, has been repealed by Parliament after extensive debate. The law, which allowed for the extradition of individuals from Lauchenoiria to countries which use the death penalty in certain circumstances, generated large amounts of controversy last summer, when it was hurriedly passed in response to a wave of high-profile extradition requests from Xiomera, Kerlile and Shuell.

The law allowed the President of Lauchenoiria to sign an order approving the extradition to a country which actively uses capital punishment, defined as having carried out a judicially-sanctioned execution within the last 5 years and retaining capital punishment on the statute books, under certain conditions. The individual must have been over 21, must have committed a violent crime, and the country in question must have given assurances in writing that the individual will not be executed.

Protests took place in Buttercity and Usera following the passage of the Act, and government approval ratings plummeted during the affair, with many accusing the administration of being in the pocket of dictatorships. President Alex Marwick caused controversy after signing orders approving the extradition of Jasmine Eddington to Kerlile and Peter Bloch to Shuell. The Eddington order was later overturned in court. Eddington was later killed in a plane crash after being extradited to Sanctaria following a request.

Peter Bloch was returned to Shuell, where little of his fate was known until yesterday, when it transpired that Bloch was part of a program in Shuell allowing prisoners to compete in the Olympics and earn a pardon if a medal was won. Mr. Bloch came 3rd in the men’s 800m, being pardoned and given a medal for Exceptional Service to the State. This will come as welcome news to the 72% of Lauchenoirians who opposed his extradition, according to opinion polls carried out in August.

Parliament voted by 87 votes to 12, with 21 abstentions, to scrap the unpopular law, leading to celebrations by demonstrators outside the Parliament building. One Green MP called the law a “terrible mistake, that we should be ashamed of”. Following the repeal of the Extraditions Act, it will once more be illegal for Lauchenoiria to extradite to any country which uses the death penalty – including Xiomera, Kerlile, Shuell and Shen. The government has explicitly stated they do not intend to change the law again.

Prime Minister Alvarez welcomed the change, saying: “the passage of the Extraditions Act was a mistake, and I am pleased that we have today corrected it. The actions taken in the summer have brought great shame upon our nation, and we must make sure nothing similar can ever happen again. We must strive to make Lauchenoiria a fair, open and inclusive nation which stands up to injustice. I am also delighted to see that Peter Bloch has managed to win a bronze medal and a pardon, and wish him all the best in his future endeavours.”

President Marwick did not respond to a request for comment.

Lauchenoirian Guardian

Traffic control fault caused by ‘aging equipment’
10th November 2019

A fault in the traffic control system in Buttercity, which caused all traffic lights in the city to flash to red simultaneously was the result of ‘aging equipment’, Transport Minister Curtis Dennell has reported. The error in the system, which happened yesterday afternoon, caused a large traffic jam in the city centre, before seeming to correct itself. Dennell has given assurances that the replacement of faulty equipment would be provided for in the next round of budget allocations.

Dennell this morning announced a pledge to increase the budget for road repairs and associated matters, which has caused controversy with anti-car groups. Dennell, a member of the Lauchenoirian Democratic Alliance (LDA), one of the partners in the governing coalition, stated that it is “necessary to provide more funding for roads to improve our aging system for the long-term, rather than just make temporary repairs following the war.”

Climate Alliance Lauchenoiria held a demonstration in Union Square, Buttercity this evening calling on the government to refrain from diverting money to road infrastructure in light of the incident and to give greater funding to public transport instead. Approximately 200 people attended the demonstration, which called on the government to enact measures to encourage public transport use, including raising road tax for vehicles (with an exemption for disabled people who cannot access public transport).

A spokesperson for the group said: “The fact that this caused hours of mayhem shows just how many cars are still on our roads. Now more than ever, we need to be encouraging those who can to give up their car and take public transport, especially in the city where it is so convenient and frequent. Everyone who is able must play their part to halt climate change before it is too late.”

Paul Doberman, the controversial leader of far-right political party Lauchenoiria First has accused the government of “either being horribly negligent, or lying”, claiming that either they are “willing to risk the lives of road users” by not maintaining the traffic control system, or that they are lying about the fault. Conspiracy theorist social media accounts, linked to Lauchenoiria First, have been suggesting that the fault was the result of an “attack” by persons unknown. No evidence has been found to support this theory.

Lauchenoirian Guardian

Trade deal with Shuell to be voted on by Parliament this week
10th November 2019

A proposed trade deal that has been negotiated with the Incorporated States of Shuell is to go to vote in the Federal Parliament this week. The deal, which Prime Minister Alvarez says will be greatly beneficial to the Lauchenoirian economy, has been worked on for several months, and covers areas such as Shuellian investment in Lauchenoirian industries, cybersecurity, and defence equipment.

Alvarez has described the deal as “mutually beneficial to both nations”, and has claimed that the deal is “proof” Lauchenoiria is not just focusing on mending the damage done by the war, but is also looking to the future and seeking “new ways to improve the lives of the Lauchenoirian people”. It is expected that the coalition government will look for cross-party support on the deal.

The deal is not without controversy, however, with some claiming that it will “inevitably” lead to environmental deregulation, increased wealth gaps and Shuellian interference in Lauchenoiria. These theories have been dismissed by the government as “scaremongering”, and have assured Lauchenoirians that a trade deal with Shuell will not lead to any Shuellian involvement in domestic politics.

The Green Party have come out as neutral on the deal, in a surprise to many, with Green MPs being given a free vote on the matter. Leader Lucie Scott said: “while there are naturally many flaws in this deal, and I cannot urge members of my party to vote for it, I recognise there are positives which will be greatly beneficial to our country. It is a complicated issue, which is why every Green MP should be given the chance to decide for themselves whether or not to support the deal.”

The Communist Party opposes the deal, having campaigned in the June election on opposing trade with Shuell and a number of other nations they describe as “hyper-capitalist”. Leader Élia Agramunt voiced her opposition on social media today, calling the deal a “betrayal” of democracy, citing Shuell’s autocratic nature as a reason why parties claiming to support democracy should not be willing to trade with them.

It is expected that the deal will manage to pass without issues, although it is anticipated that the debate in parliament will be heated. It is also expected that a number of new bills will be announced by the government this week, after details emerged that an early morning cabinet meeting has been scheduled for tomorrow at 7:30am. No topic of discussion has been announced, though the government has been quick to state that it is not an emergency meeting.

Lauchenoirian Guardian

Maximusian President visits Lauchenoiria
11th November 2019

President Lucas Brown of Libertas Omnium Maximus has visited Lauchenoiria in order to meet with Prime Minister Josephine Alvarez. The pair met in a closed-door meeting on Friday evening and again on Saturday afternoon. During his visit, President Brown also toured the capital Buttercity and visited the city of Carville in Costeno province – a city which suffered great damage, which was briefly occupied by LOM during the war.

Prime Minister Alvarez, speaking on Sunday evening, called the meeting with President Brown “productive”, saying that the pair had discussed a multitude of topics, and that she looked forward to “further strengthening our relations with LOM” in the future. This is in line with the reported aims of President Brown, who it was reported was aiming to improve relations between the two nations. She did not, however, confirm or deny rumours that the possibility of a trade deal had been discussed.

Following their meeting, President Brown travelled to several areas which had been affected by the civil war, including Carville, which had been occupied by Maximusians during the war. LOM was instructed to pay 150 million Sanctarian Pounds compensation for the damages suffered by the city during the Maximusian invasion. Security was tight during President Brown’s visit, as the city holds mixed opinions towards the Maximusians. The Lauchenoirian Guardian spoke to two residents of Carville regarding the matter.

“They destroyed our city,” Sara Campana, a resident of the impoverished north-east of the city. “They said they were liberating us, and yet everywhere we go the damage is clear. They [Lauchenoirian government] rebuilt the businesses and the homes of the wealthy, but on my street, there is still rubble that hasn’t been cleared away. If LOM had really wanted to ‘liberate’ us last year, they should’ve thought more about the horror they were unleashing on the population.”

However, not all agree with those sentiments. Jonatan Jordà, who lives in the north-west of the city, told the Lauchenoirian Guardian: “the Maximusians saved us last year. Before they came, the city was being held by a mix of Chaher’s forces… and the Kerlians. People were living in terror, afraid that if they said the wrong thing they would disappear in the night. Yes, the damage was great, but it would have been far worse for so many if they had let us continue to live under Kerlian rule.”

President Lucas Brown has today returned to Libertas Omnium Maximus, where he is expected to make an official statement regarding the visit today.

Lauchenoirian Guardian

Further protests outside Zamastanian Embassy take place
12th November 2019

Climate Alliance Lauchenoiria today protested outside the Zamastanian Embassy after Zamastan announced an oil import and military protection treaty with United New England (UNE) yesterday. This is the second protest in six days, following a demonstration last Thursday outside both the Zamastanian and Shen embassies regarding a deal between the pair to open a Zamastanian factory in Shen.

Two protesters were arrested after attempting to breach a police cordon and approach the embassy buildings, however they were later released without charge. A source within the Buttercity Police Department has indicated that new regulations were handed to the police on Sunday indicating that they should prevent protests outside embassies disrupting the passage of persons visiting said embassies. As a result, the Climate Alliance protesters were restricted to the other side of the street from the embassy.

A spokesperson for Climate Alliance Lauchenoiria said: “the Zamastanian government continue to ignore the climate crisis, making more and more deals that will add to the destruction of our planet. Even now that Anya Bishop has been ousted, they continue to try and make things worse. It is our duty as human beings to call them out and make sure they know we will not stand idly by and watch them steal our future. Shame on them.”

Last week’s protest on Thursday passed without incident at the Zamastanian embassy, causing protesters to move on to the Shen embassy, where the Shen ambassador invited a group inside to discuss climate issues. This move, which broke up the protest early, has been praised by some on social media, with moderate environmental groups praising Ambassador Zhang Xiao for being willing to listen, “unlike those in Zamastan and Xiomera.”

Lauchenoirian Guardian

Climate Alliance call off weekly Xiomeran Embassy protests after ‘victory’
16th November 2019

Climate Alliance Lauchenoiria have called off the weekly demonstrations which have been taking place outside the Xiomeran embassy since August every Wednesday. This comes after news from Xiomera that the controversial plan to develop Manauia Island, a protected nature reserve, has been significantly altered. The protests were sparked after environmental groups condemned the Xiomeran government for the plans, which they said would lead to biodiversity loss and have a detrimental impact on the environment.

Empress Yauhmi announced on Wednesday that the Manauia Island project would be scaled back to a “much more sustainable level”. Under the previous plan, the entire island would be open to development, however the new plan will only permit development on one third of the island, and all development will be required to meet strict sustainability measures. The other two thirds will remain as “protected zones”, with one third being turned into a national park, and the remaining third being an autonomous homeland for the indigenous Teyatia people.

The protests, which have taken place every Wednesday outside the Xiomeran Embassy since the 28th August, were mostly peaceful, however several incidents took place during them. On two separate occasions, police had to forcibly remove and arrest protesters who chained themselves to the entrance to prevent individuals entering or exiting the embassy. Protesters one week also climbed the embassy building to drop a banner. In what was the most widely known incident, thanks to a video circling on social media, Ambassador Chēmā also had a milkshake thrown at her.

A spokesperson from Climate Alliance said: “the fact the Xiomeran government have changed their tune is a great victory for all environmental campaigners around the world. Activists on Manauia Island and abroad have fought hard to prevent this destructive development, and we are thankful that so many have continued to make their voices heard. In light of the Xiomerans commitment to sustainability, we no longer need to come out every week. This is a great victory for the world today.”

Nōlinyauh, the Xiomeran Secretary for International Affairs told the Lauchenoirian Guardian: “The Xiomeran Government is pleased to hear that the disruptive and unnecessary protests that targeted our embassy and diplomatic personnel are being brought to an end. We hope for more productive and less confrontational dialogue in the future."

Lauchenoirian Guardian

Lauchenoirian government expresses ‘concern’ over Zamastan-Xiomera standoff
19th November 2019

Foreign Minister Sandra Pavía, speaking on behalf of the Lauchenoirian government, has expressed her concerns over a developing situation in the waters near Xiomera, after Zamastanian ships crossed into Xiomeran waters without permission. The Zamastanians have since withdrawn, and are being pursued by Xiomeran vessels. No exchange of fire has been reported.

Pavía, speaking in Parliament today, told representatives: “I am greatly concerned about the possibility of escalation in this situation, and hope that it can be resolved peacefully. I will not lay blame without proof, however I will be speaking to Xiomera and taking up their offer of being provided with evidence. If it does indeed transpire that Zamastan made a hostile incursion into Xiomeran waters, we would condemn that wholeheartedly – such blatant aggression cannot be tolerated.”

Samantha Clavell, leader of the Pacifist Party and Minister for Culture and the Arts, who visited Xiomera last month, has posted on social media asking “both sides” to “keep their heads cool” and think things over before escalating. She has been an outspoken critic in the past of Zamastanian government policy, calling the country “warmongers” for their tendency to get involved in international conflicts more frequently than other nations.

The government is expected to request evidence of the incursion from Xiomera, after Xiomeran Defence Secretary Xochiqui offered to provide nations in the IDU who ask for evidence of the Zamastanian incursion and their actions, both in data and video form. It is expected that once this evidence is reviewed, the government will be releasing another statement. It is also expected they will contact Zamastan to ask if they wish to provide any further evidence as well.

Lauchenoirian Guardian

Lauchenoiria condemns Zamastan for intrusion into Xiomeran waters
20th November 2019

The government has today condemned Zamastan after a fleet of Zamastanian naval ships entered Xiomeran waters and ignored requests to leave. After the incident, Foreign Minister Sandra Pavía requested data from both parties involved, and today said that after reviewing the evidence, it was "clear that Zamastan was the party at fault."

Pavía called on President Foley Sakzi, only elected President of Zamastan this week, to "unreservedly apologise" for the act of aggression. She said of the incident: "this is a worrying sign that Zamastan is going to continue to behave in a provocative manner to other nations, and coming from a state with such a long history of being involved in international conflicts, it is a worrying sign that they may be seeking another."

A group of anti-war campaigners held a demonstration outside the Zamastanian Embassy today. This has become a frequent occurrence, with several other protests taking place outside the embassy in recent weeks, varying from pro-democracy, climate and anti-war groups. In contrast, protests outside the Xiomeran embassy have stopped this week, after their government promised to roll back the proposed Manauia Island development.

While Pavía acknowledged that Lauchenoiria and Xiomera have recently had uneasy relations, she has said that Lauchenoiria will stand with "any nation which is unfairly threatened by hostile powers for no justifiable reason", and has pledged that if Zamastan should take further hostile action, the government would "consider" economic sanctions. She also, however, ruled out any military action.

Lauchenoirian Guardian

Agramunt criticizes Shuell Olympics, claiming ‘unfair disadvantage’ to communist athletes
4th December 2019

Élia Agramunt, the leader of the Communist Party, has criticised the Shuell Olympics, claiming that it is ‘impossible’ for a communist athlete to win a medal. Her comments have courted controversy after she took to social media to complain about Shuell’s treatment of communists. The Communist Party previously objected to Lauchenoiria’s decision to send athletes to Shuell, and also to accept aid from Shuell in February this year.

Agramunt posted the following on social media this afternoon: “the decision by the Olympic Committee to host the games in Shuell has the result of producing a distinctly unfair advantage for athletes who support communist ideals. Given Shuell’s hatred of anyone left of centre, no communist, or for that matter socialist or social democrat, can feel comfortable while in the country. This added stress negatively impacts on their performance, and a decision to host games in a country such as this is shocking.”

Supporters of the Olympics and opponents of the Communist Party took to social media themselves following her comments, calling them untrue and ‘rude’. A group in Summersea which was set up to support those made homeless by the war, called Agramunt an “opportunist with a hatred of Shuell” and defended the Olympics, noting that Shuell had allowed communist athletes to compete despite their history and policies.

Shuell has a mixed reputation in Lauchenoiria, with many people supportive of the autocratic capitalist state after Shuell began providing aid to war-torn communities in February this year. However, many in Lauchenoiria are still opposed to the government’s increasingly friendly policies towards Shuell, including signing a trade deal. The Communist Party are opposed due to Shuell’s dislike of communists, while others are opposed to their government’s authoritarianism.

Lauchenoirian Guardian

Environmental protesters call on governments to hold climate conference
17th December 2019

Supporters of Climate Alliance Lauchenoiria took to the streets this evening to call on the governments of the world to hold a conference aimed at tackling the causes of climate change. Approximately 2,000 people attended the demonstration in the capital of Buttercity, in scenes reminiscent of the two weeks of protest which took place in September this year. The activists urged the Lauchenoirian government to either host the conference themselves, or attend if another nation was willing to do so.

Climate Alliance have been widely critical of a number of governments in recent months, including those of nations such as Zamastan and Xiomera. The group held weekly protests outside the Xiomeran Embassy for months over the proposed development of Manauia Island, which were stopped after the project was scaled back by Empress Yauhmi. They have also protested the building of factories, airport expansions, and the prioritising of the economy over the environment by the present Lauchenoirian government.

Ambassador Zhang Xiao of Shen made headlines when he invited a group of the activists into the Shen Embassy to discuss the matter of climate change, in a move which gained the newly-appointed Ambassador much support online. Following actions by Climate Alliance outside various nations embassies, public opinion of both Xiomera and Zamastan among Lauchenoirians deteriorated – while for Shen, it improved. No protests have taken place outside embassies since Shen.

Shen has, however, come under further criticism from Climate Alliance this week, along with Legionas, after the two nations announced a joint venture to build a theme park, the construction of which would require destruction of the local environment. The proposal also contained plans to expand a nearby airport. Activists claim that, while the demonstration was not focused on this proposal in particular, it was the ‘catalyst’ for their call for multilateral climate action.

A spokesperson for the group said: “every month, there has been a new announcement by some government or corporation of a project that will increase emissions. Airport expansions, destruction of nature, unsustainable development and even warmongering… all of these things will hasten our journey towards extinction. We simply cannot sit by and allow this to happen, allow the future to be stolen from our children and grandchildren. That is why we are calling on all the governments of the world to sit down, come up with an action plan together, and implement it – before it is too late.”

The Lauchenoirian government declined to comment on the protests, however, the Green Party – which is the current official opposition – have backed the calls, and have stated that if they win the election in April, they would make sure Lauchenoiria hosted such a conference, if no other government had done so in the interim.

Lauchenoirian Guardian

Former SDP leader defects to Feminist Party
11th January 2020

Cassidy Laurens, former leader of the Social Democratic Party, has today announced that she is quitting the SDP in order to join the Feminist Party. Laurens, who was in the centre of a scandal during the 2019 election campaign where she was criticised for making "pro-Kerlile" comments, has said that Lauchenoiria needs to do more to combat sexism in the present day.

"In 2020, women in Lauchenoiria are still subjected to sexist comments on the street, discriminatory hiring practices and abuse because of our gender," says Laurens. "The progress towards full equality has been halted because of a lack of motivation among those in power to tackle the problem, and conspiracy theories about Kerlile that have led to any woman seeking equality to be labelled a traitor and spy."

"I have joined the Feminist Party because they are the only party which is serious about tackling sexism. The SDP have let themselves down by distancing themselves from any woman who is willing to stand up against sexist abuse. I am not abandoning the SDP: rather, they are abandoning their principles and the entire female gender out of fear because of rumours and suspicion spread by the far-right to discredit women and encourage hatred."

The SDP lost all their seats in the 2019 parliamentary elections after Laurens, then party leader, was caught on microphone sympathising with Kerlian policy on women's issues. Following this incident, the party plummeted in the polls due to widespread dislike of the Matriarchy after the 2018 war, and related invasion of Yervia Province and other locations by the Kerlians. It also prompted speculation that Laurens was a Kerlian sleeper agent known as an "Aurora".

The Feminist Party has long contended with rumours that it is secretly funded by Kerlile, and subject to influence by the Kerlian ruling Council. The party has consistently denied these rumours, calling them slanderous. Paul Doberman, leader of Lauchenoiria First, has been the main champion of these rumours in recent years, and has been running a campaign for increased vetting of female candidates in elections in light of the allegations of Kerlian sleeper agents infiltrating Lauchenoiria.

The Feminist Party has welcomed Laurens, with leader Katherine Wright saying: "we are thrilled to have a skilled, and caring woman like Cassidy Laurens in our party. She has consistently proven that she cares deeply about women's rights, and about improving the lives of Lauchenoirians across the country. The SDP ought to take note of this, and revise their policies on women's rights before they lose yet more talented individuals like Laurens."

Lauchenoirian Guardian

Religious schooling amendment approved by Aelurian Parliament
29th January 2020

An amendment to the act governing private schooling in Aeluria has been passed by the Aelurian Parliament which will allow religious private schools to open on the island, which will be the first religious schools in Lauchenoiria since 1952. The change has been long-awaited by the Lurian community on the island, as similar laws have been blocked in the past by the Lauchenoirian Supreme Court.

Members of the Lurian religious community on Aeluria, the majority religion on the island, have long sought permission for their children to pray in school, which has been illegal since the 1952 communist revolution. Unlike mainland Lauchenoiria, where the majority of people are now atheists, Aeluria has strong religious traditions which has long been a point of contention between the island and the mainland, and was a major factor in their push for independence.

Lurian campaigners hope that after the passage of a new constitution in 2019, the law will be accepted as under the new constitution, only state-funded institutions must remain secular. However, a legal challenge has already been launched by the Lauchenoirian Atheist Association and the Communist Party. A spokesperson from the Aelurian Independence Party (AIP) who sponsored the bill has said the party is ‘confident’ the legal challenge will fail.

Under the new law, religious groups will be allowed to set up private schools on the island from the 2020/2021 academic year onwards, but such schools will still need to follow certain compulsory aspects of the curriculum. Pupils in religious schools will still be taught about other religions, and teenagers must also receive sex education. However, in these schools, prayer will be permitted and schools may take pupils to religious services – both things which are banned in state-funded schools.

Plans for several Lurian schools have already been submitted, along with plans from one Christian group which intends to start a boarding school if permission is given. The school would aim to attract students from Christian families across Lauchenoiria, as religious schooling on the mainland is still illegal – a policy which is unlikely to change anytime soon. It is expected there will be a lot of demand for Lurian schools across the island.

Lauchenoirian Guardian

Usera University raid happened after ‘false information’ given
17th February 2020

A search carried out in the early hours of Thursday morning of a student residence block at Usera University was based on ‘false information’, a spokesperson for the Drug Investigation Squad has confirmed. The search of the residence, in which 430 students are living, has been criticised for “alarming” students and being carried out in an “overly-aggressive” manner. The DIS has since confirmed that the information that alleged that a known drug dealer was hiding in the residence was false.

The statement read: “At 5:30am on the 13th February we entered a block of student residences following information we received from a source initially judged credible that the drug lord Henry Terrence was located in the building. Following a search in which no evidence was discovered, we re-evaluated our analysis of the initial information and discovered it was false. We are deeply sorry for any alarm caused to the residents of the building.”

However, an online post has been circulating which went viral, claiming that the drug story is a “cover-up”, and the raid was really to catch a so-called “Aurora”, a Kerlian sleeper agent sent to infiltrate Lauchenoiria, and that the Aurora managed to escape across the Kvaskm border. While this rumour has gained a lot of traction, and has been reposted by Paul Doberman, Lauchenoiria First leader, it is uncorroborated.

The Usera University Union, known locally as Triple U, has condemned the raid, claiming that it was “overreach” on the part of the DIS, and that more investigation should have been carried out before the raid happened. They have also offered support to any student affected by the raid who was upset. Witnesses of the raid claimed it felt “like when the Kerlians came”, referencing the Kerlian invasion of the city in 2018.

The DIS has promised a full investigation into their operating practices in light of this incident, however two separate protests are still taking place outside one of their buildings in Usera – one calling for drug legalisation, and another for “less authoritarian” search practices. Seven individuals have been arrested at the legalisation protest for possession of illegal substances.

Lauchenoirian Guardian

Government announces temporary ban on visitors who have travelled to Shuell
6th March 2020

The government has announced that they are imposing a temporary ban on individuals entering Lauchenoiria who have travelled to Shuell within the last fourteen days, after the number of cases of AD14 Adenovirus increased. The virulent and dangerous virus has made headlines across the IDU, and Lauchenoiria is one of several countries to impose travel restrictions on visitors who have been to Shuell. Lauchenoirian citizens who have been to Shuell within the last 14 days are to be quarantined upon their return.

There have as yet been no confirmed cases of the AD14 virus in Lauchenoiria. Numerous political parties and groups have been urging the government to institute this travel ban since the news of the adenovirus first spread, with disability rights campaigners among the number, saying they were being put at risk. The Lauchenoirian government is trying to reassure people that the risk is low, and it is unlikely that the adenovirus will come to Lauchenoiria, but they will continue to monitor the situation.

An unknown number of Lauchenoirians are trapped in hotels in Shuell due to the virus, with all foreign visitors to the country having been restricted to their hotels. The Olympics, which were being held in Shuell, have been cancelled due to the outbreak. Athletes and spectators are reported to have been contacting the Lauchenoirian embassy and asking for help returning home.

“I will be seeking dialogue with the Shuellian government on the issue of our citizens presently in Shuell, but as it stands, it is unlikely they will be able to return home until the quarantine in Central is lifted,” Foreign Secretary Sandra Pavía told the press. “The Lauchenoirian government also intends to offer our support to Milintica in dealing with any outbreak in their country.”

Updated travel advice also warns Lauchenoirians against travelling to Shuell, or a number of other countries with confirmed cases – including Milintica, where health care services struggle with underfunding. Shuellian citizens presently in Lauchenoiria, including a number of aid workers, have been assured that the Lauchenoirian government will allow them to remain in the country until the crisis in their home has passed. Prime Minister Alvarez took to television today to urge Lauchenoirian residents to remain calm.

“There have not been any cases of adenovirus in Lauchenoiria, and it is my hope this will continue to be the case. If, however, the virus reaches us, the National Health Service in Lauchenoiria is well-prepared for any crisis. We have the resources to fight this virus should we need to, and prevent its spread. There is no need to worry in Lauchenoiria at this time, but my thoughts are with all those in Shuell and elsewhere who have been affected by this virus.”

Lauchenoirian Guardian

Elections 2020: each party’s main platform
13th April 2020

On Sunday, Lauchenoirians will go to the polls again for the second time in twelve months: and for the first time since the passage of the new constitution. Lauchenoirians will be voting in the first round of the presidential elections on Sunday, which will be followed by the second round alongside parliamentary elections on the 26th. This election will see the number of members of parliament increase, and will mark the end for many Lauchenoirians of what has been a difficult process of recovery following the civil war in 2018.

The political landscape in Lauchenoiria has changed massively since the 2017 capitalism referendum, and this is reflected in the policies of the major political parties – and, indeed, in which parties are now considered major. Opinion polls have fluctuated greatly over the course of the last ten months, being influenced by such varied matters as the extradition crisis, adenovirus outbreak and Aurora affair. It is impossible to predict who will win this election. To provide voters with information on the policy platforms of the main parties, we have produced this handy guide to all major national parties.

Coalition Parties

Liberal Party

The Liberal Party is, at present, the largest party at a national level. They are currently the majority party within the governing coalition, led by Prime Minister Josephine Alvarez. They were also the party which held the capitalism referendum in 2017, under the leadership of Laura Moore and Leanna Walker. The party generally supports free market policies but with a social security net, and socially liberal policies.

In this election, the Liberal Party has pledged to cut tax rates for small and medium businesses, while increasing taxes on fossil fuel companies to make up for the harm to the environment. They have emphasised their intention to support the remaining post-war rebuilding efforts with tax breaks for construction companies and those seeking to help individuals affected by the war. They’ve also pledged to support new businesses, especially in a number of sectors including food production and pharmaceuticals. They also would seek greater ties with other nations, to improve our trade relationships, and work closer on international matters such as climate change.

Conservative Party

The second party in the coalition, the Conservative Party is known for its free-market economics and social conservatism. Their leader is Thomas Averforth, a wealthy businessman from Butterfly Island. The party has grown in popularity in recent years, and is popular among religious groups and middle class Lauchenoirians. The party is known for its opposition to large social welfare programmes, support for business and opposition to abortion and drugs.

In this election, the Conservatives have pledged to increase funding for the police department, and enforce the legal drinking age of 21 to a greater extent. They have also promised tax cuts for all businesses, and increased funding for new enterprises, to be paid for with cuts to social welfare programmes and the privatisation of certain health services, including optical services and dental services. On foreign policy, they have pledged to increase Lauchenoiria’s trade with Shuell and LOM, and have agreed to legalise private gun ownership – which many see as a result of Shuellian influence.

Lauchenoirian Democratic Alliance (LDA)

The LDA, a new party at the 2019 elections, place themselves as an alternative to the Liberal Party for those who disagreed with that party’s approach to the war. Current President Alex Marwick is the founder of the LDA – however, he is not running for re-election, and the LDA has put up no presidential candidate. Over the lifetime of this parliament, a number of LDA representatives defected to the Liberal Party, after the extradition crisis which saw their poll numbers plummet. The remaining members of the LDA are standing in only a few provinces, and it is unlikely, given current numbers, that they will retain representatives.

Pacifist Party

The Pacifist Party has remained part of the coalition to, in their own words, “ensure the stability of post-war Lauchenoiria”, however in January, they agreed to form an electoral alliance with the Green Party. More information on this alliance is below.

Opposition Parties

Green-Pacifist Alliance

In January, the Green Party and the Pacifist Party agreed to form an electoral alliance, on the grounds that both parties had very similar policies. The Alliance is led by Lucie Scott, the leader of the Green Party. The Alliance would prioritise environmental and pacifist issues, but they also want to increase funding to social programmes and reshape the economy to make sure that economic fluctuations do not harm too many people.

They would provide grants to renewable energy companies, paid for by large taxes on the fossil fuel industry, and other polluting industries in order to hasten the transition to 100% renewable energy. They would also cut military spending in half and halt all new weapons research. This money would be used to fund social programs, especially those to help people with PTSD. They also would give funding to construction companies using environmentally-friendly materials. On foreign policy, they would seek to cooperate with any other willing nation on international matters, such as the climate or women’s liberation – including controversial suggestions such as Kerlile.

Communist Party

The Communist Party dominated Lauchenoirian politics from 1952 until very recently, though their numbers have been slipping in recent years, to the point where the party had their worst-ever result in 2019. After that election, they elected their new leader Élia Agramunt, who has managed to stabilise the party’s numbers and improve their reputation by clearly severing the party’s links with the Chaher regime and the past. It remains to be seen whether this will be enough to save them.

The Communists aim to undo the 2017 capitalism referendum, if elected. They would nationalise all private business, and increase funding to the construction sector and social welfare programmes. They would nationalise the pharmaceutical industry and ensure that production of drugs used in the treatment of PTSD was increased to deal with the post-war epidemic of trauma disorders. On foreign relations, they would cancel the trade deal with Shuell and increase tariffs on imports to prevent overreliance on foreign industry.

Left Alliance

A long-standing alliance of socialists, communists and other left-wing ideologies, the Left Alliance has become increasingly popular post-war, with their poll numbers continuing to climb. Previously, LA had a poor relationship with the Communist Party, but since Agramunt became leader of that party, the two have had a better working relationship, and it is expected that the two will work closely in the future.

The Left Alliance would re-run the capitalism referendum, rather than overturning the result without consultation, which is one of their main policy differences with the Communists. The other major difference is that the LA would not increase tariffs on imports, and would continue to have positive trade relations with other nations. The LA would also cut military spending, while the Communists aim to keep military spending at present levels.

Feminist Party

The Feminist Party has long been rumoured to be a Kerlian front, and following the war, the party lost both their seats in the federal parliament after a wave of anti-Kerlian sentiment. However, their numbers have bounced back slightly in the wake of the Aurora scandal, after many Lauchenoirians felt that the government was instituting an unfair ‘witch hunt’ against women and feminists under the guise of trying to catch Kerlian sleeper agents. The former leader of the Social Democratic Party, which has chosen not to run in this election, Cassidy Laurens defected to the Feminist Party in January.

The Feminists aim to create compulsory training courses for law enforcement officers, teachers, health professionals and others who deal with members of the public on diversity and inclusion. They would also ban ‘sexist’ advertising, and charging different prices for similar items labelled by gender. They would also provide free sanitary products in schools, universities, libraries and other public buildings. They would increase funding for social programmes and give tax cuts to businesses helping with the post-war rebuilding efforts.

Lauchenoiria First

Lauchenoiria First is a far-right party led by the controversial, well-known figure Paul Doberman. Doberman is known to court controversy on social media and in his media appearance, and has often been criticised as sexist. LF wants to end immigration to Lauchenoiria, ban Kerlians from entering the country and get rid of anti-discrimination legislation that the party calls harmful to free speech.

They would increase military spending, cut back on social welfare programmes, and deport all Kerlian citizens living in the country. They would employ 10,000 more border patrol agents, and institute stricter visa regulations for all visitors to the country. They would also require politicians and public officials to undergo full background checks, and ban individuals born outside of Lauchenoiria from holding public office.

Lauchenoirian Guardian

Calls for Doberman to be excluded from TV debates after treason allegations
16th April 2020

A petition calling for Lauchenoiria First leader Paul Doberman to be excluded from further TV debates has gathered over 30,000 signatures after an incident during last night’s debate. The incident occurred after Doberman accused Communist Party leader Élia Agramunt of being a Kerlian sleeper agent, which he has accused numerous female politicians of since the civil war. Doberman went on to imply that Prime Minister Alvarez should be “shot for treason”.

While answering a question on the funding of mental health services, he accused Agramunt of being a member of the Aurora Programme, saying “we can’t trust any female with a position of power after last year. Charissa Clarke wanted to enslave us men in this country, just like the weak excuses for males they have north of the border. The far-left traitors who support the Kerlians in secret are led by Agramunt, who is probably another one of these Auroras!”

Alvarez interrupted Doberman at that point, replying: “Mr. Doberman, I find your witch-hunt against women in this country to be deeply disturbing. My government has looked into the Aurora matter extensively, and I can confirm that these agents are no longer any threat to our country. While I may disagree with Ms. Agramunt, I find these unfounded allegations offensive, and they are proof of what Ms. Wright [Feminist Party leader] was saying earlier: we still have much work to eliminate sexism in this country.”

Doberman responded by laughing, and pointing at Alvarez, shouting: “you’re one to talk! You’re already a slave of the Kerlian state, taking orders from your evil little Councillor wife! Nobody really believes that Hale wants reform, or any of them, it is all a trick to get us to let down our guard, and it’s a shame really that you can’t be taken out and shot for treason!”

At that point, the moderator stepped in, cutting off the mics of all leaders and cutting to a commercial break, though arguments could still be heard in the background unamplified. The petition, set up last night, asks that only candidates who “are committed to behaving in a civil manner” are invited to future debates. In light of the debate, the Liberal Party has gained in the polls, but Lauchenoiria First’s numbers remain steady, indicating that those who already supported LF are not put off by Doberman’s behaviour.

Lauchenoirian Guardian

Polls open in Lauchenoiria for 2020 Presidential Elections
19th April 2020

Polls have opened in Lauchenoiria for the first round of the 2020 Presidential elections. There are x candidates running in this election, and the two candidates with the highest share of the vote will go through to the second round of voting, which will take place next week alongside the parliamentary elections. This is the second presidential election in twelve months, thanks to the passage of a new constitution, and the incumbent President Alex Marwick has chosen not to run for re-election.

Polls opened at 7am, and will remain open until 10pm this evening. Voters have a choice of candidates from the Liberal Party, Conservative Party, Communist Party, Green-Pacifist Alliance, Feminist Party and Lauchenoiria First. A number of parties have chosen not to field candidates in this election while still running in the parliamentary elections, including the Left Alliance – who have urged their supporters to vote for the Communist candidate, Nataniel Zavala. All Lauchenoirian citizens over the age of 18 may vote.

It is expected to be a three-horse race between the Liberal, Conservative and Communist candidates, though there is an outside chance that the Green-Pacifist candidate could manage to scrape enough votes to reach the next round. The Liberal candidate, Emilia Obando, served as Justice Minister in Laura Moore’s government, and was known to be good friends with Leanna Walker – something that will help her chances among supporters of the anti-Chaher faction in the civil war.

Conservative candidate Fabián Sandoval, from Summersea, is a newcomer on the scene of national politics, however has led the Conservative Party in Costeno Province for eight years, and is a popular figure in local politics, despite the previous unpopularity of the party in the province. It is thought that the party is aiming to gain votes in the province on the back of the influence of Shuellian aid workers, as right-wing politics become more popular in the province as a result.

As part of the alliance between the Green Party and the Pacifist Party, their presidential candidate is Pacifist Party leader Samantha Clavell, a lifelong peace activist, who had also been active in environmental movements. The parliamentary party will be led by Green leader Lucie Scott. Clavell is known for her opposition to war and serves in the current cabinet as Minister for Culture and the Arts. As someone who was neutral during the civil war, she aims to appeal to people across the divide.

Feminist leader Katherine Wright is their presidential candidate, though her poll numbers indicate that she has very little chance of making it through to the second round. Lauchenoiria First is putting forward Paul Doberman once again, who has spent the debates attempting to court controversy. With only six candidates, this election will have far less choice than in 2019, when 11 candidates battled it out. Of the 2019 candidates, Paul Doberman is the only one running in 2020.

Lauchenoirian Guardian

WOE announce worldwide coordinated protests for Saturday
18th June 2020

Watchdogs of Our Earth (WOE), a direct-action group which is one of the members of Climate Alliance Lauchenoiria has announced that they will be coordinating protests in seven nations across the IDU on Saturday. The demonstrations will call for international action on climate change including global emissions targets and for a worldwide climate conference to take place this summer.

WOE, seen as the radical wing of Climate Alliance will coordinate with climate groups in Laeral, Eiria, LOM, Milintica, Tsiba and – controversially – Kerlile to organise demonstrations in the capital cities of each of these nations to call on their governments to come together and tackle climate change and biodiversity loss. Representatives of WOE will be travelling to involved nations, and it is thought that members of the wider Climate Alliance seek to join up with groups abroad to create a global climate activist organisation.

Jo Nuñez, a spokesperson for WOE told the Lauchenoirian Guardian: “Climate change is a global issue, and needs global solutions. We have been calling on the Lauchenoirian government to act, but their actions alone will not be enough. We must put pressure on the largest polluters, and create a global network of activists who are willing to stand up to the exploitative system that will destroy our planet.”

Since last year, Climate Alliance has been calling on the Lauchenoirian government to host a global climate conference to discuss targets nations across the IDU can agree to. Rumours have spread in recent weeks that the Lauchenoirian government may announce such a conference soon, following pressure from the new coalition partners of the Liberal Party, the Green-Pacifist Alliance.

WOE and affiliated organisations have reassured the governments of participating nations that they will remain peaceful and “within the boundaries of the laws of these countries”. The protests in Lauchenoiria, which will take place in Buttercity, Usera, Liaville and Summersea are all backed by the wider Climate Alliance organisation. In Lauchenoiria, protests will begin at 2pm on Saturday. Times in other nations may vary.

Lauchenoirian Guardian

Worldwide WOE protests take place
20th June 2020

Worldwide demonstrations are taking place across the IDU on the issue of climate change, calling for all governments to come together at a climate conference to discuss the way to move forward with emissions targets. The demonstrations are led by Lauchenoirian direct action group the Watchdogs of Our Earth (WOE) and have a stated aim to begin forming a united global climate activist group.

Four demonstrations are taking place across Lauchenoiria, including in the capital of Buttercity as well as Usera, Summersea and Liaville on Aeluria. So far, no arrests have been made in Lauchenoiria and the protests remain peaceful. Demonstrations are also taking place in the capital cities of Laeral, LOM, Eiria, Tsiba, Milintica and Kerlile, as well as in other cities like New Riga and Atlantis in Eiria, and Althea, Hanshui, Songshan and Lyrene in Laeral.

The protesters today have published a list of five demands that they want the governments of the world to follow:
- Immediately plan and hold a climate conference this year
- Commit to net zero carbon emissions by 2025
- Halt all purchases of fossil fuels from abroad
- Invest in renewable energy and public transport
- Legally protect all ancient forests

Jo Nuñez, who is coordinating the Buttercity protest, made a speech calling for the government to immediately begin a plan to phase out fossil fuels, saying: “the time to act is now! We must do something before it is too late, before people begin to die because of climate change and before biodiversity loss makes it impossible for us to turn back from the dark path we are on. We demand the government listens immediately!”

Prime Minister Josephine Alavrez is expected to make a statement to Parliament on Monday about climate change. Representatives from Climate Alliance Lauchenoiria, of which WOE is one part, have been invited to sit in the viewing gallery to watch the speech. Speculation suggests she will announce a climate conference to be hosted by Lauchenoiria, which all other nations will be invited to.

Lauchenoirian Guardian

Prime Minister announces climate conference to be hosted in August
22nd June 2020

Prime Minister Josephine Alvarez today addressed parliament to announce that Lauchenoiria will host a climate conference in August 2020. Delegations from all other IDU nations will be invited to attend the conference, which will last for two weeks. The conference will discuss a number of topics related to climate change, with the view to agreeing international measures to tackle the problem.

This comes after worldwide climate protests which took place simultaneously in a number of IDU nations on Saturday, led by Lauchenoirian climate activist group the Watchdogs of Our Earth (WOE). The holding of a climate conference was one of the five key demands of the activists behind the demonstrations, and today the social media pages of various climate activist organisations have been celebrating this victory – while also warning governments that their work is not done.

Representatives of Climate Alliance Lauchenoiria were in the viewing gallery during Alvarez’s speech, and one of the attendees spoke to the Lauchenoirian Guardian afterwards, saying: “we are glad that the first of our demands has been listened to, and that the government is taking the climate crisis seriously. But we cannot now sit down and say that we’ve solved the problem; we must continue to put pressure on the government to act quickly and strongly, and on the conference itself to agree meaningful solutions.”

Members of CAL were outside the Federal Parliament celebrating the announcement of the conference, but in the last few days there has been a dispute between members of CAL on the subject of emissions targets. The WOE-led protests on Saturday called on governments to reach net-zero emissions by 2025, but less radical elements of CAL are saying this is too soon and “over-ambitious”.

All other IDU nations will be invited to attend the conference by the Lauchenoirian government including – controversially – both Xiomeran governments. As Lauchenoiria is officially neutral with respect to the conflict brewing in Xiomera, the government has decided to favour neither government. If either party chooses to attend it is expected that security at the conference will need to be incredibly high.

Lauchenoirian Guardian

Shuellian company hired to provide security for climate conference
7th July 2020

Shuellian company Standard Security Services has been granted a contract by the Lauchenoirian government to provide extra security during the two-week Climate Conference taking place in August. Standard Security will be providing approximately 110 guards to ensure the safety of all diplomats and other personnel attending the conference. They will work with venue security alongside the local police department to keep the venue secure throughout the conference.

Delegations from multiple countries are expected to attend the conference, which will take place over two weeks starting on the 3rd August in Elopolis. Hotels in and around the city are already seeing a huge increase in bookings. The city, in Ulinaria Province, is the closest mainland city to Butterfly Island, and is the site of the headquarters of a number of renewable energy companies.

The question of security for the conference has been a concern since it was announced that both factions in Xiomera’s current civil conflict will be invited to attend, as Lauchenoiria is remaining officially neutral in the conflict. The Lauchenoirian government have stated that they hope the hiring of Standard Security Services will reassure those concerned about possible clashes between both sides of that conflict.

When contacted, a PR specialist for Standard Security, Rainer Felsenbaum said: "Standard Security Services is pleased to announce that we will be present at the 2020 Lauchenoirian Climate conference to provide protection at the request of the Lauchenoirian government. Over a hundred professional, well-trained contractors will be flying to Lauchenoiria from Shuell in the upcoming weeks, and will remain there until the end of the conference, barring any unforeseen circumstances."

A delegation from the Xiomeran government led by Emperor Xochiuhue has already signed up to attend the conference, alongside delegations from Eiria and Milintica. Given the conflict existing between those nations and that Xiomeran government, it is likely that strict security will be needed. Activist groups such as Climate Alliance Lauchenoiria are already planning for environmental activists from all across the IDU to travel to Lauchenoiria in order to put pressure on the participating governments.

Lauchenoirian Guardian

Online outrage following comments from Paul Doberman about women
22nd July 2020

There has been outrage on social media following comments from controversial far-right leader of Lauchenoiria First, Paul Doberman. On Monday evening, Doberman posted comments in a thread discussing legislation recognising gender non-binary people claiming that women are only women if they ‘have given birth’. The comments sparked outrage from both trans rights groups and groups supporting those with low or no fertility.

The Transgender and Non-Binary Recognition Bill, which is presently being debated by the Federal Parliament, will streamline the process for transgender people to change their legally recognised gender, and will also create a third gender category for non-binary individuals in Lauchenoirian law. Recognition of non-binary people has long been campaigned for by trans rights groups.

On social media, trans rights campaigners commented on a post by Doberman opposing the bill, beginning an online debate with the far-right politician on the topic. In the course of the debate, Doberman responded to one individual saying: “trans women aren’t women. Women are only those who have given birth, who know what it is like to carry life within them. If you can’t do that, you’re not a woman.”

Numerous groups responded to the post, including both trans rights groups and fertility campaign groups and clinics, with the Buttercity Fertility Clinic’s official account posting: “Some cis women cannot have children. Some choose not to. Some trans men and non-binary people give birth. Whether or not you have children, or plan to, does not determine your gender.”

The official social media account for the Kerlian Embassy in Lauchenoiria also posted, to many people’s surprise given the Matriarchy’s lack of recognition for trans people. They posted without replying directly: “Women across the IDU are united against this kind of blatant misogyny from people like Paul Doberman. Women are not walking wombs, placed on this planet only to be fertilised by men. #ThisIsWhyWeNeedFeminism.”

The bill is being debated throughout this week, and Parliament will vote on it on Friday, with it expected to pass with a clear majority. Despite opposition from the Conservative Party and Lauchenoiria First, most other parties are in favour of the bill, including the Feminist Party which has rumours of Kerlian funding. The Communist Party has refrained from taking an official position, with representatives expected to be allowed to vote freely.

Lauchenoirian Guardian

Seven arrested for drug smuggling after raid near Kvaskm border
26th September 2020

Seven Lauchenoirian citizens have been arrested for intent to supply illegal substances following a raid on a property two miles west of the Kvaskm border. It is thought that those arrested had recently returned to Lauchenoiria over the border with a large quantity of illegal drugs. The operation was carried out by the Lauchenoirian Drug Enforcement Agency in the early hours of Friday morning.

A spokesperson for the DEA told the Lauchenoirian Guardian: “this operation was carried out against a known smuggling gang that we’ve been watching for months. They travel to Kvask, return with drugs and distribute them to criminal members of their gang to sell to the Lauchenoirian population. This operation was the successful culmination of months of surveillance and planning to make Lauchenoiria a safer place.”

Pro-drug legalisation groups plan to hold demonstrations in Usera and Liaville this evening following news of the arrests. Legalisation groups have grown in Liaville and the rest of Aeluria since the civil war in 2018, when tobacco was briefly legalised on the island after the declaration of independence which was supported by forces from the notoriously drug-friendly Kvask, a collection of anarchist communities which borders Lauchenoiria.

The seven members of the smuggling gang, which has not yet been publicly named by the DEA, have been remanded in custody pending trial due to previous convictions and the likelihood of fleeing to Kvask if bailed. A provisional date for the trial has been set for the 17th October. It is expected that more arrests of members of the same gang will follow, though it is unknown if any Kvaskm citizens are involved.

Opinion polling suggests that support for legalisation of recreational drugs in Lauchenoiria has risen in the last three years, however still falls far short of a majority. A recent poll conducted by Mariposa Polling indicated that only 34% of Lauchenoirians would support the legalisation of tobacco or cannabis for recreational purposes, though the number is higher in Yervia province and on Aeluria. The present government has no plans to introduce legislation on changing the status of recreational drugs.

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