His Imperial Majesty Emperor Jonathan I this morning gave Imperial Consent to the Bribery Act 2017, which “makes new provision for the definition and prohibition of bribery”.
The Act of Parliament, which can be read here, gained the required five out of nine votes yesterday afternoon, and was passed by the Speaker on to the Monarch earlier this morning.
Prior to the passing of this Act, the crime of bribery was illegal only under a short subsection of a six year old Imperial Decree of the Emperor’s predecessor, Declan I.
The Bribery Act 2017 sets out a far more detailed definition of the crime, and also makes it a criminal offence to accept or request a bribe; it had previously been illegal only to offer or give one.
The Act was authored by the Emperor himself, who has an A-level qualification in Law. Its passage sees a return to the writing of detailed, comprehensive criminal law by Jonathan I, with the Emperor having authored several lengthy Acts of this type since his ascension to the Throne in 2013.
Fortunately, this new Act may never be needed; in Austenasia’s eight and a half year history, nobody has ever been charged with committing bribery.
- On 9 February, Florenia expanded for the first time in its nearly six-year history. King Eran I annexed his personal residence – which until now had been in the United States of America – as the Dominion of Lexington. Afula, which prior to this was Florenia’s only land claim, remains the nation’s capital.
- On 10 February, James von Puchow as Chief Minister of Landashir released a declaration ceding Landashir’s final land claim – a residential property now in the UK – and having it assume the status of a non-territorial nation as opposed to a nation-state. From now on, Landashir’s government “shall operate as a general council of all registered Landashir’n nationals.”
- On 12 February, the Molossian Navy conducted a weapons test, successfully launching two rockets from a newly acquired RC1 Rocket Cannon.
- Princess Hannah celebrated her 21st birthday on 27 February with a meal and drinks out with her fiancé Emperor Jonathan I and several friends from the University of Chester.
- Zealandia, while well-known for its frequent changes of governmental system, has always retained its actual name; that is, until now. The country has changed its name to Uskor after the results of a referendum were announced on 24 February. Charlotte Lindstrom, founder of the nation and its paramount leader throughout its history, was sworn in as Chairwoman of Uskor on 27 February.
Apologies for the delayed publication of this news due to technical difficulties.
Local elections on Thursday 9th February in Wrythe and New Richmond saw HIH Emperor Father Terry and Victoria Hathaway, Countess of Sidney elected as the respective Mayor for each city.
The local elections also saw – as expected – the incumbents Emperor Jonathan I and Lord Admiral Joseph Kennedy re-elected as Representatives of Wrythe and of New Richmond respectively.
An Act of Parliament passed last month created city status to be granted to various prominent towns. The Emperor called local elections in the two towns granted city status in order for them to elect a mayor.
Mayors have the power to chair their city council, veto changes to the city arms, and unilaterally implement bye-laws in relation to local governance.
Since his abdication as Emperor in February 2010 up until now, the now Emperor Father Terry has not been involved in politics, but enlisted in the Austenasian Army in August 2011 and served as a consul in 2013.
Victoria Hathaway, Countess of Sidney is a resident of a new area of New Richmond annexed to the city in December 2016, and was appointed one of this year’s two consuls on New Year’s Day.
A new Austenasian Embassy to the United Kingdom was officially claimed this morning, the residence of the newly appointed Ambassador to the UK.
Lee Cant, a retired accountant who volunteers as an anti-corruption activist, was appointed Austenasian Ambassador to the United Kingdom by Emperor Jonathan I on 4 February.
The position had previously been held ex officio by the Chief Ambassador, a remnant of the time when the United Kingdom was the only country bordering the Empire. As of September last year, however, the Chief Ambassador has been Lord Rear Admiral Alastair Cranston of Shineshore; as Shineshore is an exclave of Canada, it was thought time that the offices of Chief Ambassador and Ambassador to the UK were separated, which was done by an Act of Parliament last month.
The university accommodation rented by the Emperor during his time at the University of Roehampton was previously claimed as Austenasia’s Embassy to the UK between September 2015 and June 2016.
The new embassy – officially claimed this morning – consists of Mr Cant’s own residence in Hackney, London.
As Austenasia holds no diplomatic relations with the UK, both ambassador and embassy are primarily ceremonial, with their main function currently being to raise awareness of the Empire rather than to maintain actual diplomatic relations.
- On 24 January, Dictator for Life Travis McHenry – who formerly served as King Montague I from 2009 to 2014 – resigned as Calsahara’s head of government. The Calsarahan government is now entirely in the hands of McHenry’s son, King Nicholas. McHenry remains a Calsaharan military officer and webmaster of the nation’s website.
- On 19 January, it was announced that a new Delveran colony founded in the American southwest had experienced success with crop growing.
GRAND UNIFIED MICRONATIONAL
- 2 January saw the first Quorum of the new Chairman, King Adam I of Überstadt. Thomas Merrell of Zenrax was appointed Vice Chair, Bradley of Dullahan as Chief Justice, and Emperor Jonathan I as Archivist.
- After three years of relative diplomatic inactivity, Juclandia has announced that it will “take her head out of the sand” and engage with the international community of small nations, partially in an attempt to help combat a perceived drift towards far-right and far-left politics; “our culture, our values and our principles can help others moderate their own discourse”.
- In the third week of January, Lord Spiritual Richard of Mercia and Sôgmô Will Soergel of Sandus met in Reykjavík, Iceland. The two leaders discussed matters of national importance and toured the local area.
- A new information sign has been erected at the Molossian border with the US. Previously, information brochures were available for passers-by to take, but these would often run out.
- On 26 January, President Baugh of Molossia announced the construction of a Friendship Gateway in a symbolic gesture of opposition to plans for a US-Mexico border wall. The gateway is “to symbolise inclusiveness and openness”, and donors who buy a brick for the gate will have their names inscribed on a plaque.
- On 25 January, the Principality of Ongal issued its first gold currency, golden Dukats made of 14 carat gold. The coins were issued in celebation of the marriage of a princess in the ruling family.
An Act of Parliament was passed last night which finally recognised the Federal Republic of St.Charlie to be defunct.
After Prime Minister Alexander Eastwood controversially took supreme power as Chancellor in August 2015, the St.Charlian government effectively ceased to function. After a year and a half of complete inactivity, Eastwood informed Emperor Jonathan I on Saturday 21st earlier this month that he considered the nation “defunct”.
Yesterday’s Foreign Affairs Act 2017, amongst other provisions, cites “the inability of the St.Charlian government to continue to function to the extent necessary to exercise sovereignty” as the reason for the Empire revoking recognition of the Federal Republic.
Although the inactivity of St.Charlie’s government has long been known, Chancellor Eastwood’s admission that he himself considers the nation defunct has been seen as the official death-blow to the country.
Alexander Reinhardt, arguably St.Charlie’s most famous politician, refused suggestions that he should declare himself monarch in an attempt to restore the nation’s sovereignty.
St.Charlie was founded as a Kingdom on Christmas Day 2000 by King Patrizio I, who ruled until overthrown in November 2008 by Reinhardt, who established the Federal Republic. For years afterwards, St.Charlie was known as one of the most politically and culturally advanced small nations in the MicroWiki community, with a population peaking at 150 and land claims around the world.
Austenasia entered into mutual relations with St.Charlie in August 2009, signing an official treaty of mutual friendship with the nation in December later that year, and the now Emperor Jonathan I met with St.Charlian leaders in 2011 and 2012.
A decrease in governmental activity had been noted in St.Charlie by early 2014, which the then President put down to many St.Charlian leaders having to spend more time on other commitments as they grew older. The Presidency was abolished by Prime Minister Eastwood the following year, who declared himself head of both state and government as Chancellor.
There has been reaction to St.Charlie’s ‘official’ demise from members of the MicroWiki community. King Adam I of Uberstadt and Lord Admiral Joseph Kennedy both reflected on how they had warned Eastwood that his reforms would damage St.Charlie, whereas Mercian diarch Richard Cunningham called it the “End of an era”.
HIM Emperor Jonathan I has called for local elections to take place in the Empire’s two cities on 9 February.
Wrythe and New Richmond became Austenasia’s first two towns to be granted city status earlier this month, on 8 January and 9 January respectively.
The local elections will see the electorates of both cities elect a Mayor, who will hold responsibilities in local government.
The position of Representative will also be up for election, but it is expected that the incumbents – Jonathan I in Wrythe and Lord Admiral Joseph Kennedy in New Richmond – will be re-elected.
As the positions of Representative and of Mayor are incompatible, it remains to be seen who will run for election as Mayor in the two cities.
Alongside calling the elections, the Emperor also granted a mural crown to the arms of both cities in recognition of their new status.