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Cool Barbie production schedule brought forward

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The most recent episode saw the introduction of new villain Kronos, played by MAO recipient Sam Legg.

With the publication of Cool Barbie XII – A Last Chance yesterday afternoon, Austenasian Television Productions (ATP) have announced that the next two episodes will both be out within a month.

Fans of Cool Barbie, the sci-fi fantasy series by ATP, are used to having to wait months between episodes; Cool Barbie XI was published in December last year.

However, episodes XIII and XIV, previously planned for next year, will now be published respectively on 30 August and 9 September this year, instead.

These next episodes lead up to the series finale, which has only been brought forward slightly, to late next year or early 2019.

Cool Barbie is based in an alternate world where toys are alive, and the eponymous Barbie doll’s interactions with various aliens and villains.

All the Cool Barbie episodes can be seen on the Austenasia YouTube channel.

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State Intelligence Agency publicly acknowledged

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The logo of the SIA, Austenasia’s secret service.

His Imperial Majesty the Emperor publicly confirmed the existence of the secretive State Intelligence Agency in an Imperial Edict published earlier today.

The existence of the State Intelligence Agency (SIA) had been kept a carefully guarded secret since its creation eight years ago today, on 8 August 2009.

The then Emperor Terry I had instructed his son the then Prime Minister, Crown Prince (now Emperor) Jonathan, to create an intelligence agency to guard the national security of the young Austenasian state.

Since then, the SIA has engaged in several information-gathering operations to protect the Empire against both foreign and domestic threats.

In today’s Edict, the Emperor relinquished direct control over the SIA. Iron Lord Daniel Dankovsky, Acting Representative of the newly-annexed town Jovanovo, has been appointed Director-General of the SIA.

The precise activities of the SIA will remain covert.

Two new Towns annexed as Axvalley dissolved

A satellite view of Jovanovo, one of the Empire’s two new Towns.

This morning, an Act of Parliament was passed dissolving the Crown Dependency of Axvalley while annexing two new Towns, Jovanovo and Ionisia.

Axvalley, a farming estate bordered by Brazil, had joined the Empire in February 2013, one of the first of the great territorial expansions that Austenasia had seen under Emperor Jonathan I. As a Crown Dependency, Axvalley functioned with complete autonomy under its Governing Commissioner, Rubens Machado.

However, after four and a half years under Austenasian sovereignty, the people of Axvalley decided that they wished to return to Brazil. Their right to political self-determination being respected, legislation was drawn up to dissolve the Crown Dependency.

However, at the same time, the government received requests from two other places to be annexed as Towns.

The first, Jovanovo, consists of two rural properties bordered by Montenegro, measuring nine and a half acres. The second, Ionisia, is comprised of a residential property on the Greek island of Samos.

Jovanovo and Ionisia have populations of twelve and three, respectively, and are both wholly Orthodox Christian in the religious composition of their residents.

Ionisia is home to Prince Aggelos of Imvrassia, who has been appointed Acting Representative of the new Town.

These latest changes leave the Empire of Austenasia with a population of 84, and a land area of roughly eighty one acres.

Ecosystem restoration begins in Oregonia

The flag of the Crown Dependency of Oregonia

Governing Commissioner Adam von Friedeck, Duke of Washington, has declared the Crown Dependency of Oregonia to be a site of ecosystem restoration in a proclamation issued yesterday.

The Duke of Washington – who is more commonly known as King Adam I of Überstadt but prefers not to use his royal title when acting as Governing Commissioner – ordered the Imperial Oregonian Militia to uproot invasive species and plant native flora in its place.

Oregonia consists of an uninhabited area of woodland and is bordered by Überstadt and by the U.S. state of Washington.

The Governing Commissioner explained that the “area around Oregonia is overrun by noxious weeds and neglected by American authorities, despite their recognizing it as a critical habitat area. I hope that fighting invasive plants in Austenasian territory can contribute to solving the problem in some small measure.”

New Territory in North America

Hoagland, the newly acquired Austenasian Territory.

In the first territorial expansion of the Empire since December 2016, Austenasia expanded today with the annexation of the Territory of Hoagland in North America.

Hoagland, an enclave of the U.S. state of Ohio, consists of 14,628 square feet of grassland. Between August and November last year, the land was a member state of the Holy Roman Empire as the Free City of Hoogland.

Hoogland’s former Statholder, Grant Hawkins – also known as Pope Euclid I, as Pontifex Maximus – offered the land to the Empire and has been appointed Governor of the newest Austenasian Territory.

The name Hoagland, a deliberate variation on the land’s former name, is originally derived from the Afrikaans for “high land.”

Austenasian Territories are areas of land with no permanent residents, and are administered by a Governor who usually lives nearby to the land.

Parliament declares Austenasia a Christian country

The Christian “Chi Ro” sign, already used on state symbols from the national coat of arms to the ensign of the Imperial Air Force.

At 7:40 am this morning, Imperial Consent was given to an Act of Parliament establishing Christianity as the state religion of the Empire.

Christians make up the majority of the Empire’s population, and much of Austenasia’s symbolism and ceremonies have been inspired by Christianity. For example, the Chi-Ro holds a prominent place on the Empire’s coat of arms, and Emperor Jonathan I made his coronation oaths while holding a Bible.

The Act of Parliament has reaffirmed the provisions included in the Constitution that all have the right to choose and practice their own religion without discrimination or persecution. The Emperor has announced that he will consider the creation of an ombudsman-like position to ensure that no religious discrimination takes place.

No particular denomination has been specified as Austenasia’s state religion, but rather Trinitarian Christianity as a whole.

Austenasia has never before had an official religion, but since its founding the largest religion in the Empire has always been Christianity, which has influenced many of its laws and national symbols.

Several Christian feast days have been made national public holidays, and local authorities have been given the right to declare a local public holiday on the feast day of the patron saint of their town or territory.

Three towns dissolved in unprecedented Act of Parliament

Thanasia (L) and Porthbokon (R), two of the Towns which were yesterday ceded back to the United Kingdom.

At 9:00 am Wrythe time yesterday morning, an Act of Parliament was passed ceding the Towns of Zephyria, Thanasia and Porthbokon back to the United Kingdom.

Zephyria, which was the first inhabited territory to join the Empire outside of Wrythe, was annexed in April 2009. As the residential property of which it is comprised is soon to be rented out by the Town’s residents – the family of Lord Marshal William – while they move to another property, it was considered best that it no longer be part of Austenasia. However, Zephyria’s former population of three have retained their status as Austenasian subjects.

Thanasia and Porthbokon have both been ceded absolutely, with their populations also having lost their Austenasian nationality. Thanasia was ceded by the request of its population, whereas Porthbokon was ceded unilaterally by the government due to it having been unable to contact its Representative, Lady Evren, for over a year.

Two non-residential subjects, contactable only via Thanasia, have also had their status as such revoked.

Speaking earlier to Parliament, Prime Minister Lord Admiral Joseph Kennedy stated that the cessions “should not be misinterpreted as a sign of the Empire stagnating. The Government is working on a series of reforms that will soon be presented, and first among those reforms is guaranteeing that the House of Representatives will be comprised of active Representatives who will actually partake in the governance of our beloved Empire.”

The House of Representatives now has six instead of nine members. The three towns which have been ceded rarely voted, meaning that legislation required near unanimity of all voting rather than a simple majority; with the three less active towns gone, the legislature should become far more efficient.

Despite one third of the Empire’s Towns having been ceded, less than a tenth – 9.75% – of Austenasia’s population has been lost. Of even less magnitude has been the effect on the Empire’s land area, with Zephyria, Thanasia and Porthbokon together having comprised a mere 0.21% of Austenasian territory.

One demographic effect of this has been to push the proportion of Christians in the Austenasian population into the majority, from 49% to 54%, with both Thanasia and Porthbokon having been entirely atheist.

The total population of the Empire now stands at seventy four people, including thirteen non-residential subjects.