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Riverside land claimed in territorial changes

The new Territory of Cenomannica

Wednesday 11th August saw territorial changes taking place for Austenasia, with a new territory being claimed from the U.S. state of Maine while most of New Pontunia was ceded back to Louisiana.

The new Territory of Cenomannica overlooks a waterfall in the Machias River, Maine, and was claimed for Austenasia by the now Lord Archie Birch.

Cenomannica spans 660 square feet and is part of a public park boasting scenic riverside views.

Meanwhile, the autonomous crown dependency of New Pontunia has been downsized to a single house, the family home of its leader Duke Andrew I.

New Pontunia joined Austenasia in October last year as an already existing nation of twenty three people claiming thirteen residential properties and two public parks. The dependency was significantly downsized in February with the cession of the two parks and four of its houses.

The decision to further “streamline” the dependency down to the Duke’s house alone was made due to most of its residents – friends who had initially joined prior to it joining the Empire – having fallen out of contact with Andrew I or no longer being interested in living independently from the United States.

Another territory claimed as Hoagland ceded

Satellite view of Travarn

Saturday 10th July saw Hoagland ceded back to the United States of America at the same time as a new territory was annexed from the same country.

Hoagland was claimed in July 2017 as an Austenasian Territory after previous periods under the sovereignty of Adammia and the Holy Roman Empire, and was governed by its founder, Grant Hawkins, who lived nearby.

Consisting of a grassy area bordered by Ohio, Hoagland was administered by Hawkins until earlier this year, when he and his family moved aware from the area. Hawkins was unable to find a replacement for the office of governor, and so the decision was made to dissolve the claim.

In a symbolic nod to their previous claims over the land, Adammia and the Holy Roman Empire have both been given a nominal chance to reclaim Hoagland before it is ceded back to the USA.

Simultaneously, however, a new Territory has been established with the annexation of Travarn.

Travarn is comprised of a wooded area and contains a hunting post. It is the personal property of Lord Hunter Prater, who has claimed it for Austenasia and been appointed its governor, and it is an enclave of north Alabama.

Travarn measures 40 acres, whereas Hoagland was just over a third of an acre; this exchange of claims has therefore been a large net territorial gain for Austenasia.

Ministry of Territories and the Diaspora established

Tuesday 19th January saw a new Cabinet Ministry created by Parliament to enable greater political participation for non-residential subjects and for the governors of uninhabited territories.

Lord Andrew Creed, newly appointed Minister of Territories and the Diaspora

Out of Austenasia’s population of one hundred and twenty one, only eighty five live in Austenasia itself. The other thirty six, known as non-residential subjects, form an Austenasian diaspora the majority of whom live in the United Kingdom, USA, Greece, and New Virginia.

Given non-residential subjects do not live in a Town, they are not represented in Parliament. Their comparatively limited ability to have their voices heard has been noted before, but Emperor Jonathan I and PM Lord John Gordon agreed to enact concrete steps towards enabling their greater political participation.

The newly-established Ministry of Territories and the Diaspora has therefore been tasked with creating a group for non-residential subjects which will allow them to have a greater involvement in Austenasian politics and culture. The exact form this group will take and the time-frame for its creation have not yet been confirmed, but membership will be voluntary.

The new ministry has also been given the responsibility of “relaying to Cabinet the concerns, requests or opinions of Governors”, that is, the officials that administer uninhabited Austenasian land claims, who have prior to this not automatically had any official means of having their voices heard in lawmaking or policy.

Lord Andrew Creed has been appointed the first Minister of Territories and the Diaspora. He is Austenasia’s longest serving Governor, having administered Corinium Terentium since December 2013.

Bregusland’s territory to be ceded in the New Year

The Crown Dependency of Bregusland will be dissolved as a territorial entity at the end of the year.

This was formalised by an Act of Parliament passed yesterday.

The land composing the Crown Dependency will be ceded back to the United States due to its population moving to a new property. The current residents of Bregusland will be granted non-residential subjectship and so remain Austenasians.

Bregusland was founded as an Austenasian Territory in March 2019, expanding into a Crown Dependency with the annexation of a neighbouring house in March earlier this year.

Two new Territories annexed from southern U.S.

An Act of Parliament passed yesterday annexed two new Austenasian Territories after two areas of land were claimed for the Empire by their owners.

Blue Ridge (above) and Florencium Carolina (below).

One, Blue Ridge, is composed of the garden of a residential property whereas the other, Florencium Carolina, is composed of an area of private rural land.

Both new territories have been annexed from southern states of the USA, with Blue Ridge from Florida and Florencium Carolina from Texas.

The two landowners who claimed the territories have been given noble titles and made governors of their respective claim. Lord Michael Simpson is Governor of Florencium Carolina, and Lord Aydan Dillon is Governor of Blue Ridge.

Imperial Geographical Society’s May Expedition goes ahead to Navasota River

The bass caught by the Expedition to the Navasota

Friday 1st May saw a small expedition of the Imperial Geographical Expedition (IGS) undertaken to the Navasota River in Texas.

The expedition consisted of two people, namely King William I of Gradonia and his father.

William I, who in Austenasia serves as Representative of Nahona, put forward the idea after it was noted that the traditional IGS expedition annually undertaken at the start of each May would be unable to take place due to restrictions on movement enacted in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

Every May since 2009 (not including 2018, when the Emperor was in Spain) has seen the IGS launch an expedition to an area of countryside in Surrey. This year, however, the traditional expedition was cancelled due to a lockdown being in force in the United Kingdom to combat the transmission of the coronavirus.

William I and his father were, however, able under American regulations to travel to an isolated spot by the Navasota River.

While there, they went fishing, and King William made a catch – a 6.1 pound bass – at an area which the expedition named Peter’s Promontory in honour of the fish-related miracle related in Matthew 17:24-27.

Some pieces of citrine quartz were also found in the area.

King William also led a small IGS expedition of two members on 9 February earlier this year, which explored the city of San Antonio and its Alamo Mission and river walk.

Coronavirus measures implemented as pandemic continues

15 April 2020 1 comment

On 16 March, three cases of suspected coronavirus infection were reported by the Austenasian Times. All three individuals have by now either tested negative for the coronavirus or stopped displaying symptoms.

Despite this good news, the ongoing pandemic and the reactions of governments around the world continue to affect life for all Austenasians, both residential and non-residential.

Palasia and Bregusland restricted travel last month, a fact reported by Lonely Planet in a recent article about the reactions of various “micronations” to the pandemic.

However, these are not the only towns of Austenasia to have implemented a response to the disease.

The Austenasian capital Wrythe, the towns of Theodosiopolis and Dragovina, and the Harlemum March are all under lockdown.

Theodosiopolis and Harlemum, which are both represented by Dionisiy I, have furthermore stocked up on protective masks and anti-viral medicine.

Kingeston, which consists of uninhabited parkland bordered by Canada, has declared a state of emergency, and is encouraging visitors to observe social distancing and wash their hands. Peach Ponds meanwhile, which likewise consists of parkland (albeit bordered by the USA) has taken a stricter approach, enforcing a stay-at-home and not accepting visitors.

In Mouzilo, the sole resident – Manolis Afentoulis, Duke of Thessalia – has implemented strict social distancing and remained within the borders of the crown dependency for over three weeks, working on various cultural projects.

With lockdowns and social distancing being enforced in the United Kingdom, United States, and other countries around the world, many activities which Austenasians would usually join outside the borders of Austenasia itself have also been cancelled.

Last weekend saw Western Easter unable to be celebrated by the Imperial Family by attending church with other Austenasians, as is customary. Likewise, Emperor Jonathan I and the other Orthodox Christians of Austenasia will be unable to observe Orthodox Easter this upcoming Sunday 19th with church attendance. The Emperor will instead be listening to a livestreamed service from the safety of the Imperial Residence.

Likewise, the Imperial Geographical Society conducts an expedition on the first Monday of May, but will not be doing so this year.

As long as the pandemic continues, similar measures and precautions will unfortunately have to be taken in order to ensure public health.

Mouzilo joins the Empire as Ionathanopolis dissolves

The new Crown Dependency of Mouzilo

Thursday 14th saw former Ashukov district Mouzilo become an Austenasian Crown Dependency, while the Town of Ionathanopolis was ceded back to the USA.

Mouzilo, an enclave of central Greece, had been a constituent district of the now-defunct Ashukov Federation.

With Ashukovo having collapsed, Mouzilo’s leader and sole resident, Manolis Afentoulis, arranged for his land to be annexed by the Empire of Austenasia.

However, Thursday also saw a loss to the Empire as the Town of Ionathanopolis was dissolved. The Representative of the Town had last contacted the government in August 2017, and numerous attempts to get in contact with him since had yielded no reply. The decision was therefore made to dissolve the Town.

Ionathanopolis had a population of five, which with the simultaneous annexation of Mouzilo resulted in a net loss of four people from the Austenasian population. However, this has been offset to a loss of two, with two non-residential subjectships having been granted by the Monarch on the same day under legislation passed last year.

The legislation which annexed Mouzilo and dissolved Ionathanopolis was also used to formally recognise the collapse of Ashukovo.

In other news, Jonathan I announced the formal start of spring 2019 in the Austenasian calendar on 13 February.

Austenasia breaks population record

A graph tracking the growth of Austenasia’s population since its foundation.

Earlier today Austenasia’s population reached its highest number in history, with the registration of six new residents in New Richmond pushing the number of Austenasians up to 89.

New Richmond is already the most populous inhabited claim of the Empire, with twenty residents now living in its five different boroughs.

The previous population record had been 88, between March and June 2016, reached after a period of almost uninterrupted growth since Austenasia’s foundation (with the sole exception of former emperor Declan I losing Austenasian nationality in August 2013).

The population began to decline with a net loss of one person upon the simultaneous cession of Harenfall and annexation of Ionathanopolis on 27 June 2016. This culminated in a low point of 74 after Zephyria, Thanasia, and Porthbokon were dissolved in August the following year.

However, the number of Austenasians has since begun to steadily climb, and out of Austenasia’s population of 89, at least 53 will be eligible to vote in the upcoming general election.

Austenasia itself is home to 71 people, with 18 Austenasian nationals living abroad; the largest populations of expatriate Austenasians are in the United Kingdom (8 people) and the United States of America (4 people).

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.”