La Pluma y la Espada 1 sólido (ſ) — Jueves y Domingo — Sargoza y Zama
The Sollégan Navy (Armada Sollégana) will be stepping up its patrols in the Meridian Sea, announce sources in the Office of Defense (Officio de Defensa), especially in Bonaventura Bay and along the entire circuit from El Alcanze to the mainland ports. Though the full details of the deployment have not been revealed owing to operational security concerns, it is known that the Littoral Squadron has been reinforced by several otherwise independent fleet formations. According to Office of Defense spokesman Enrique Vasquez, the Navy as a whole and the Littoral Squadron in particular intend to take on a more "proactive" approach to safeguarding the sea lanes surrounding Solléga.
With the ongoing conflict in the former Pannonia, many military vessels of an assortment of foreign powers have traversed both Bonaventure Bay itself and the Meridian Sea. Vasquez adds that the Sollégan Navy has no desire to interfere with the operations of these groups, but will "closely monitor" their movements in proximity to Sollégan home waters and traditional trade lanes.
Though left unsaid by the Office of Defense, it is speculated by many here and abroad that the recent sinking of the Remion-based freighter Oyleric under suspicious circumstances is the principle cause for this escalation in Sollégan naval presence. On Wednesday, Remion's Ministries for Transport & Infrastructure as well as Defense released the details of their investigations: alleging that the vessel was deliberately attacked, sunk, and then proceeded to accuse the Tarusan Empire of the deed. While both the Caudillo and Prime Minister have declined to comment on their opinion regarding these allegations, the consensus on the part of experts appears to be that the allegations bear some merit - at least as concerns the deliberate nature of the Oyleric's sinking, if not as to the identity of the perpetrator.
"The integrity and inviolability of international commercial sinking is a foundational cornerstone of the current international system," noted spokesman Enrique Vasquez, "and the Sollégan Navy views it as a solemn duty to uphold that principle."
Historically, a similar position has been held by successive governments here at home - and the Republic and League have always taken a dim view on piracy, commerce raiding, and submarine warfare throughout the centuries.
Families of sailors should note that furlough for any servicemen with the Navy and select individuals in the Air Force have been cancelled, pending special exceptions. No end date for this notice has been announced, and all special events that were planned for the Week of Limes have been cancelled - save for those occurring on specific museum ships, such as the Esperanza.
The Tibur Special Tribunal sentences 196 Tarusan servicemen to a total of 1,900 years in prison today between them all, accusing each of involvement in crimes against humanity aimed towards the ethnic Zaran inhabitants of Csgenia/former Pannonia. The conduct of the Special Tribunal has been highly criticized by internationally and here at home, with many claiming that a proper defense could not be mounted and advocating for appeal. Some minor protests occurred today at the embassy of the Senate & Republic of Remion in Sargoza, both by sympathetic citizens and members of the Tarusan ethnic minority.
The Week of Limes begins today, honoring such fruits as citrus, limes, lemons, and more - such fruit having been treasured among ocean-going ships for their ability to help sailors fend off scurvy and other disease. The celebration culminates in parades in most Sollégan cities on the coming weekend, and assorted festivals in the nation's various ports in the days leading up. It also commemorates the final harvest of lime that might be made in the year before the autumn, though agricultural experts anticipate a later harvest this year than on average. Disappointing to many is that the traditional tours of navy vessels that occur during the Week of Limes have been cancelled owing to increased fleet activity.
In a speech before the Grand Council, its President Felix Aquino-Velez announced a flurry of diplomatic activity on the part of his administration. With approval by both houses of legislature, formal recognition has been extended to all the so-called "successor states" of the former Pannonia, with communiqués dispatched to the Kingdom of Csgenia, the Eugenian Republic, and the Bourdignian Confederation noting this change in status. Permanent diplomatic relations are set to be established with all three, and new ambassadors appointed by the Caudillo in due time. The former embassy of the Republic & League in Kispest will continue to serve in the same capacity, and new facilities will be scouted out in the respective capitals of Eugenia and Bourdignie to serve the same purpose.
Worthwhile to note, however, is that the advisory against travel by Sollégan citizens to the territory of former Pannonia has not been lifted.
Aquino-Velez made no secret of the fact that this move was directly inspired by the recent intervention by military forces of the Holy Frankish Empire into former Pannonia, with he admitting that the reticence by the Republic & League to become involved in our neighbor's unfolding crisis may be partially to blame for the current state of affairs. It is his hope, he adds, that recognition of all three actors will aide in affording them some measure of legitimacy and hopefully bring the Imperials to the negotiating table.
In the meantime, he went on to condemn Imperial involvement altogether. "It's naked irredentism," the President went on to comment, referring to the Imperial intervention. "The Confederation has a democratic mandate, multiethnic state or no, and its sovereign will must be respected." Indeed, in Imperial press releases on the subject, government officials appeared quite forthright in their admission that the intervention was a direct attempt at annexation of the Frankish-majority border regions of Bourdignie.
Recognition has also opened up all three countries to officially receive developmental aid, in the form of both grants and concessional loans for the purpose of reconstruction and economic growth. Priority of these is being extended to the Bourdignian Confederation in general, and to the coastal areas of the Kingdom of Csgenia - with particular emphasis towards the Serault Canal's surrounding hinterlands.
Initial fears that Solléga would be directly drawn into conflict appear to be unfounded, however, at least for the present time. Though the military remains at a heightened state of alert, recall orders for soldiers on leave and reservist activations have been cancelled in large part this morning. Additionally, it has been announced that the cancellation of several planned events for the Week of Limes was premature - such as the Toledo Air Show - and many of these will continue to proceed as previously scheduled this coming weekend.
La Pluma y la Espada 1 sólido (ſ) — Jueves y Domingo — Sargoza y Zama
A tentative convention regarding the intake of refugees from the Pannonia Crisis has been laid out by the Office of Immigration (Officio de Inmigración, OI) and approved by the Grand Council. According to the figures published by the OI, up to 25,000 refugees may be admitted from the recently recognized Kingdom of Csgenia, Bourdignian Confederation, or the as yet unrecognized Socialist Republic of Eugenia - though the language is broad, and technically allows for any individual that meets the set criteria within the territory of former Pannonia to petition for refugee status and asylum.
Most controversial perhaps is the inclusion of ethnic cleansing as a potential reason for seeking asylum: as despite accusations and cursory reports, no significant material evidence has yet surfaced to indicate population transfers or forced displacements of targeted ethnic groups have actually occurred. In responding to accusations of bias and politicization of the humanitarian crisis, OI representative Raúl Hernández noted that "the ongoing conflict remains fluid," and that the language of the convention is meant to allow for "changing situation and reality."
This figure published by the OI doesn't include the 23,240 refugees already temporarily housed on Sollégan soil - though it does grant them the same legal status and protections as new arrivals. No timeline is specified as to their return, and provisional authorization to work has been extended to all adult arrivals - with a potential pathway to naturalization along similar avenues for regular immigrants.
The National Renaissance Party (Partido de Renacimiento Nacional, PRN) has already declared its intent to propose an amendment to the convention adding just such a timeline, with party adjutant (Partido Adjunto) César Gabriel de la Fortunada commenting that there is no reason to subvert the established immigration framework - much of which has been built by legislation sponsored by the PRN. "We ought to, of course, open our hearts and homes to our neighbors," Adjutant de la Fortunada said this morning, "but always remember that they are our neighbors and guests, not tenants." The only significant change proposed thus far has been a petition for an amendment which would require refugees to return to their home territories, or leave Solléga in some other manner, within five years following the termination of hostilities in former Pannonia.
As it stands, the majority of the extant refugee population currently resides in Segovia or Cardoza. The majority of these entered via ferries on the Serault Lake, and are largely Frankish by pedigree. So far, the housing situation has remained stable - and the tent cities that critics claimed would emerge have so far failed to materialize - though the PRN remains skeptical, and President of the Grand Council Felix Aquino-Velez staunch in his resolution that no such thing will transpire.
"I sign this convention in the hope that we may help to ameliorate some of the real suffering and distress faced by our neighbors, and by the most vulnerable among them," the President noted in a speech immediately following his vote in favor of the convention. "However, my administration will continue to ensure that the stability and security of the Republic & League remains paramount; we will be cautious in our approach to this unfolding crisis."
A coup d'état in Remion! The democratically elected government of Old Tibur has been overthrown, and replaced by a stratocratic council of generals and other military leaders. Though many former leaders of the republican government are missing or deceased in the aftermath of the coup, the new regime promises no reprisals or further political violence against that caste - or others. The Republic & League so far has refrained from weighing in on the matter, nor in extending recognition to the new government.
Firefighters in El Alcanze threaten a strike following another failure in negotiating a new contract between their union and the provincial government. Working without a contract for the past decade, the Unified Fire Brigades of El Alcanze (Brigadas de Bomberos Unificadas de El Alcanze) is known as one of the lowest paying throughout the Republic & League, and with some of the most onerous working conditions. Uniquely, it is also the only provincial fire service in the country, and has traditionally experienced difficulties in negotiating its position vis-a-vis the provincial government. According to union spokesman Enrique Jiménez, legal action is currently being considered by the union against the provincial government.