Shineshore ceded to Canada

A satellite view of Shineshore.

In an Act of Parliament passed earlier this morning, the town of Shineshore was ceded back to Canada after many months of no contact between its Representative and the imperial government.

With Shineshore’s Representative, Alastair Cranston, not having voted on any parliamentary matters since January, and with the other members of government unable to contact him for several months, the decision was made that Shineshore would unfortunately have to be given up.

Shineshore was originally annexed by Austenasia in April 2014 as a Crown Dependency, transitioning into a Town in September later that year. Situated next to Lake Ontario, the town had a population of five.

A provision was included in the legislation which permits the Empire to re-annex Shineshore should its population contact the government with that request.

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Calsahara conquered by Westarctica!

 

Grand Duke Travis addresses his forces in the Westarctican command tent.

Last Sunday, October 29th, forces of the Grand Duchy of Westarctica invaded and conquered the Realm of Calsahara.

A Westarctican force of seven was led by Grand Duke Travis himself, and met with no opposition as they invaded and secured Calsahara, an area of land bordered by California.

Calsahara was proclaimed a colony of Westarctica, to be administered by a Viceroy and Captain-General, the first land claim of Westarctica outside of the Antarctic continent.

Calsahara was founded in November 2009 by the now Grand Duke Travis, prior to his return to the Westarctican throne. Travis reigned as King Montague until his abdication in favour of his son Nicholas in November 2014.

The former King continued to control Calsahara as head of government until January 2017, when he resigned and relinquished all power to his son.

However, several months of ineffective governance followed, leading Grand Duke Travis to decide that it would be in the best interests of Calsahara for it to be incorporated into Westarctica. The former King Nicholas – also a Prince of Westarctica – now serves as Viceroy of Calsahara.

Rushymia to be re-established as Crown Dependency

The emblem of Rushymia.

An Act of Parliament was passed earlier today authorising land to be claimed on which to restore the former kingdom of Rushymia.

Rushymia was an entity existing under British sovereignty between 1995 and 2000 in the primary school attended by the now Emperor Jonathan I and Crown Princess Caroline.

The last of the kings to have ruled Rushymia abdicated without a successor. He left the right to his title to whoever could first retrieve a plastic bottle he placed high up a fence, a feat only achieved by Emperor Esmond III in October 2010.

The title King of Rushymia has been held ever since by the Austenasian Monarch, but in an entirely ceremonial capacity.

This Act of Parliament has authorised Rushymia to be re-established as a territorial entity, this time under Austenasian sovereignty.

No options have yet been announced as to possible locations for the Crown Dependency-to-be.

James von Puchow reports on Catalan referendum

James von Puchow reports on experiences as an accredited international visitor during the Catalan referendum on self-determination; October 1, 2017.

Following an open invitation by the Government of Catalonia – the Generalitat – for members of the international public to observe the planned self-determination referendum in Catalonia on Sunday 1 October 2017, I attended several polling stations on the day of voting across north-eastern Catalonia.

Based in the coastal town of Vilassar de Mar, I was part of a group of people from Scotland who made use of their accreditation to ensure that the vote taking place was conducted according to transparent principles whereby voters were registered, given free access to the ballot box and were not restricted in voting for one of either options available on the ballot paper.

Whilst I am able to confirm that voting took place in the dozen polling places I visited and consulted, and that there were clear contingency plans in place to prevent individuals from having more than one cast vote assigned to their Spanish ID number, I regret the police violence on the day of voting which not only resulted in several hundred voters being injured, but also prevented many others from attending their polling place to vote for fear of being hurt.

It is of course understandable that many on the day will have not turned out due to their principle opposition to the referendum being held, as the Madrid central government did conclude that this poll went against the Spanish constitution and principles of permanent unity of the autonomous communities which make up the state, I did meet voters who turned out to vote against independence – many of whom had decided to camp outside polling places with fellow residents the night before 1 October to make sure there was peaceful resistance to any attempts to shut down the referendum.

Although my sympathies for Catalan independence and a democratic consultation being held are known, my role in Catalonia during the referendum was to act impartially and allow for a vote to take place – be the final result a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ to an independent Catalonia in the form of a republic.

It was upsetting however to witness the consequences and aftermath of police action, for example, in the town of Sant Julia de Ramis, where the national police had smashed open glass doors, ripped the shirts of those forming human chains, bruising and cutting those who peacefully resisted the seizing of ballot boxes and voting materials. I maintain that if the Spanish state was authentically steadfast in not recognising the result of any referendum on independence, it would have let the referendum in Catalonia take place as planned and ignore the declared result.

It should be underlined that I am most of all in favour of an accorded referendum being organised between the administrations of Barcelona and Madrid, and am highly worried that any declaration of independence based on the events of 1 October in the coming days will make any attempts of talks near impossible.

This being said, Madrid and the conservative Spanish government appear unwilling to allow any consultation, and the Generalitat is clear in its demands for questions of Catalan independence to be addressed. A current stalemate is not healthy for what I hope to be a modern European democracy, and it is highly unfortunate that any actions by either administration from now on will prevent all voices in Catalonia being heard – be they for independence, federalist, or, in support of continued unity within Spain.

I urge the Austenasian Government to watch events closely as either the birth of a new European nation or a crackdown on the pro-Catalan independence movement forms the narrative of this chapter in the history of Catalonia. Questions regarding Catalans’ rights to self-determination, their right to vote and right to express themselves are not just questions to be addressed within the confines of the Spanish constitution as these are rights we all have as citizens of the modern world. It is ultimately heartbreaking to have watched scenes of extremist pro-Spanish protestors in Barcelona use fascist salutes in defiance of this referendum – as police stand by doing nothing – yet at the same time witness members of the public be attacked in broad daylight for simply holding a ballot paper.

Nine years of independence celebrated

17 September 2017 Leave a comment

His Imperial Majesty published a brief video message from Spain.

The Empire of Austenasia yesterday celebrated nine years since its foundation in 2008.

Although the actual anniversary of the Declaration of Independence is on the 20th, Independence Day is celebrated on the third Saturday of September.

Emperor Jonathan I was not in Austenasia itself due to having recently moved to Spain for several months, but published a brief video statement from the newly-claimed Austenasian Consulate-General in Castile and León.

As is customary, an honours list was published by the Emperor, albeit one smaller than previous years due to a large amount of honours having been already granted this year less than four months ago on 4 June, when Imperium Day coincided with the moveable feast of Pentecost.

Furthermore, a parade in celebration of the occasion took place in Jovanovo, and messages of congratulations were received by the imperial government from numerous dignitaries and national leaders from across the world.

Planning has now begun for next year’s Independence Day celebrations, which will see the tenth anniversary of Austenasia’s foundation.

Emperor, Princess Consort and Emperor Father arrive in Soria

13 September 2017 1 comment

The location of Soria within Spain.

Emperor Jonathan I, Princess Consort Hannah and Emperor Father Terry arrived safely in the Spanish city of Soria on Monday evening.

The Princess Consort, as part of her university degree, is spending an academic year abroad in Spain working as a language assistant in a Spanish primary school. Emperor Jonathan I will be living with her for the year, working as a private tutor.

Emperor Father Terry flew out with the imperial couple from London Gatwick airport on Monday 11th, and will be staying with them until Friday.

The Emperor retains full access to the internet, and has stressed that living in Spain for a year will not negatively impact his level of communication with members of government or his ability to exercise his duties as Monarch.

Jonathan I and Princess Hannah will return from Spain for a week around Easter next year, and return permanently in June.

Categories: Austenasia

IGS Expedition to Cheam and Nonsuch Parks

10 September 2017 Leave a comment

An area of open grassland in Nonsuch Park.

The Imperial Geographical Society yesterday conducted an expedition of exploration through Cheam Park and the adjoining Nonsuch Park.

The two parks together make up a large area of fields and woodland which straddles the border between the London Borough of Sutton and the county of Surrey.

The expedition of three was led by Emperor Jonathan I, and discovered a dry riverbed, some basic wooden shelters constructed in the woods, and some wild parakeets.

Views of various London landmarks, including Battersea Power Station, Wembley Stadium, and the BT Tower were available from high ground on Cheam Park.