New Mako Times

The United States of Izaakia, the jolly green giant, so far the only nation to whole-heartedly embrace both nature and technology in its ambition to build a fairer and more environmentally friendly world. We look into some of its key environmental strategies over the last few years. In part one of this series we take a look at Izaakias ocean strategy.
Perhaps the most uniquely Izaakian environmental policy is its ocean strategy, unsurprising perhaps for a nation with two majestic ocean creatures on its flag. The government strategy on the ocean is three-fold, firstly it aims to restore ocean habitats, like kelp forests, which have expanded 20 fold in Izaakian waters over the last 10 years. These planted underwater forests not only provide a unique and valued ecological environment, but also sequester 8 times more carbon dioxide that the tropical rainforest, providing a win win situation for a low overall cost.

The second part of this ocean strategy is to prevent overfishing and banning destructive fishing methods such as trawling, Allowing keystone species such as whales and sharks to regain their former numbers as a larger fish population can sustain these numbers. This is particularly important in the waters around Keyli, where whales migrate to every year to feed.
The final part of its ocean strategy is to prevent the land from contaminating the sea, whether it be from banning single use plastic, to moving from a combined sewer system to a 2 flow system, the Izaakian strategy on water quality has produced the cleanest waters in the region, with over 90% of waters now of bathing quality.
Overall, the USI provides leadership on the ocean ecosystem, and sadly most other nations do not follow our example, for one nation cannot sustain a nation

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Dr Stella Solstice Blanc, First Montwælda President of the United States, Mei Mei Honorary Princess of Huawan.
March 27th 1993 - October 19th 2022 - Aged 29

Born to a wealthy family Stella Solstice Blanc was a shining star from her birth to her death, exceeding all expectations, and in her short 29 years achieved more than most people would dream to achieve in a century. Throughout her early years she excelled academically, athletically and socially, her sparkling personality and strong work ethic destining her for great things.

Following graduation from university, she served in the Izaakian foreign office in as the youngest ever Ambassador to Besern and won plaudits for her response to the conflict in Besern. She was recruited by the liberal party and became an MP in a 2020 by-election before rising to the head of the party in January 2021 after the previous leadership team was embroiled in scandal.

In February 2021 Stella Blanc became the youngest ever Prime Minister after winning a general election by the largest margin in Izaakian history. Using her large majority Stella Blanc made significant reforms to Izaakias informal constitution, removing the monarch, embedding a new bill of rights and formally setting the the relationship of all three nations in the United States of Izaakia. She became the First President of the United States of Izaakia following the abolition of Monarchy.

Her premiership will be remembered not only for her constitutional reforms, but for her stabilising influence on Izaakian politics, stabilising a country that had been brought to the brink by the previous two Prime Ministers. Her major policy changes included economic and taxation reforms, revolutionising the Izaakian education system, and enhancing Izaakias environmental policies.

Abroad she will be remembered for her direct, outspoken and often showman-like behaviour, but also her fierce opposition to oppressive regimes and support of democratic values. Her premiership led Izaakia into several conflicts abroad, including the N&GB war, the Valoran War, the Ryccian War, the Emerald and Denver Civil War and the Hazelian War of Independence. These conflicts were all marked by the successful completion of conflict aims, and often with low losses of life by Izaakian servicemen and civilians, generally showing her strategic and political brilliance.

She was sadly assassinated at the Slaughter House Massacre in a brutal attack by Ryccian special forces, one of 4 assassination attempts during her premiership. She was pregnant and engaged to be married at the time of her death. Her tragic and untimely death will leave the United States of Izaakia without its most treasured daughter, the much needed medicine for a poorly nation, she has left us stronger, fairer and richer.

Vice President Godrick Hercules Kim
May 14th 1986 - October 19th 2022 - Aged 36

Brought up by a single immigrant parent in one of Izaakias poorest district, young Kim was always ambitious and driven. That drive took him into politics in a campaign for equality and opportunity for all. He became minister of defence where he oversaw the integration of Izaakian, Montacian and Brodlancian forces, and the conflicts against N&GB and Denverian Nationalists. He later became Vice President, and at the time of his death was an expectant father and engaged to be married to Dr Stella Blanc. He was assassinated at the Slaughter House Massacre by Ryccian special forces.

Foreign Secretary Kiki Okiko
August 6th 1962 - October 19th 2022 - Aged 60

Kiki Okiko was born in Izaakian Hai Men in 1962. The majority of her career was spent in the diplomatic service, spending 20 years as Ambassador to Huawan. She became an MP in 2004 and served as a junior foreign minister in the liberal government of the time. In 2022 she became Foreign Secretary and has been responsible for a revival in Izaakias international image. She was sadly assassinated at the Slaughter House Massacre, aged 60. She leaves behind a husband, 3 children and 7 grand children.

Chancellor Amadeus Patrick Pond
09 May 1936 - October 19th 2022 - Aged 86

Amadeus Patrick Pond was born on a Sheep Farm south of the Iceborn Alps. In 1952, aged 16 he was conscripted into the Izaakian Armed forces and served in the Great War, rising to the rank of Lieutenant and seeing action in the Keylian, Hai Men and Karnetvorian fronts. At the end of the war he volunteered to stay on in Izaakian Occupied Karnetvor where he served as Secretary to the Board of Economic Development and Re-building. This is where his passion for economics and development first begins. By the time of the transfer of sovereignty in 1965 Amadeus pond had become head of the board for development, and revolutionised the local economy, creating one of the richest areas in Karnetvor and Cordillia.
Aged 29 he returned to Izaakia and studied economics and development at New Mako University, completing a Degree, Masters and the Docotorate by the age of 36.

He was then hired as a professor at New Mako University and in 1986 gained tenure for life. He was one of the most prolific and respected economists in the world, however, often contrasted with Izaakian economic traditions which preferred libertarian economic models. He taught President Blanc and is often said to have had a major impact on her political beliefs. In 2022 President Blanc offered the 85 year old professor a role in her government, which he accepted and has since revolutionised Izaakias economy. He was assassinated by Ryccian forces at the Slaughter House Massacre. He leaves behind a widow, 2 children, 5 grand children, and 12 great grandchildren.

Home Secretary Priya Persephone Patel
September 7th 1953 - October 19th 2022 - Aged 69

Priya Persephone Patel was born in Izaakston in 1953. She was a well respected human rights lawyer for most of her career. She joined parliament in 2016, and became Home Secretary in 2022, her major legacy includes liberalising the justice system, and ending short prison sentences of less than 6 months.

Other massacre deaths, obituaries on page 12-19
Euros Volk - Education Minister
Philipe Sainz - Minister of Defence
Athena Popadomalus - Space Minister
Jerry Knight - Development Minister
34 Police personnel.
12 Household Staff.
6 Border Guards


State Funeral for President Stella Solstice Blanc

At 6am cannons were fired from castles, forts and ships across the United States of Izaakia, one shot for each of the 61 victims of the Second Slaughter House Massacre. The eerily quiet streets of Izaakston were lined with black banners embossed with silver sharks, and the route of the funeral possession busy with the pitter patter of international news crews setting up for the day.

At 8am a 2 hour documentary was broadcast across the USI and the world, showing the highlights and lives of the 61 victims of the Ryccian Assault, ending in a half hour tribute to President Blanc at 9.30am to 10am.
From 11am to midday Izaakian dignitaries, politicians and leaders from across the region including the Peony of Huawan, Valentinos Antonides of Thalapadis, and President Elliott of Qaweritoyu amongst countless others began to filter into the Pantheon of Gods in Izaakston.
The Pantheon of Gods is a very sizeable round building, in a neoclassical style with 140 Montacian columns holding up a domed roof adorned with frescos of the gods. But on this day, even this vast building seemed too small for the magnitude of this occasion.

In the centre of the Pantheon was a circle of 60 coffins, the other victims of the Slaughter House Massacre, with their coffins draped in the Black Izaakian flag of mourning. These 60 coffins surrounded a round raised platform with a large fire, a lectern, a pedestal and an alter.
The seating arrangement was arranged from the centre, where family members of the deceased sat, then senior Izaakian dignitaries and politicians. Further out foreign heads of state and representatives were arranged by the seniority of their tenure. And finally in an outer ring was sat more minor members of the Izaakian establishment.

A half mile across the city, in the Houses of Parliament President Blancs body had been prepared. At exactly midday cannons fired from the palace at the sea front, and the Black Guard entered the chamber where she had been lying in wait. She was laid on an antique carved oak stretcher that to date had only been used for the funerals of Izaakian Emperors and Empresses since the 11th century.
She was carried by the Black Guard from the parliament building to a gun carriage in parliament square. The carriage was pulled by 2 experimental robot horses, and a procession began along the streets of Izaakston.
The procession was led by the First Imperial Izaakian Dragoons, followed by the highland band, famous for their drums and bagpipes, then the gun cart carrying the President and finally the Black Guard. As the procession moved along Parliament Street, many of the mourners were moved by the site of President Blancs body exposed to the elements, dressed in white with gold adornments. Two gun shot wounds were visible from where the blood had soaked into the clothes.

At Imperial Park the procession stopped in totem avenue, as the 4 Keya’Iluti tribes paid tribute to president Blanc, and dressed her stretcher with white edelweiss flowers. Surrounding her body in a halo of green and white. The procession then proceeded to the pantheon.
At the steps of the pantheon, the procession stopped, and at exactly 12.30 silence fell, and moments later the CosmosLaunch Inter-Stella Class rocket flew over on its ascent to space, followed shortly by a flyover by the IAF display team. At 12.35, the stretcher carrying President Blanc was lifted by the First Imperial Marine Guard, and to the beat of a single drum, was carried into the Pantheon, through the mourners and onto the alter at the centre.

A moments silence was observed before Admiral FitzHerbert the interim Izaakian head of state began his speech. In his speech he paid tribute to many of the fallen patriots, but in particular to President Blanc, of which he said that he “admired her courage, her directness and how she always embraced change for the better, without comprise” he later called her “Izaakias and indeed Pacifica’s bravest and most impactful leader, she stabilised a country in crisis, strengthened its institutions and built a legacy around our welfare and safety. We are now perhaps the safest and most secure we have been in over a decade, all because this brilliant woman never gave in, neither bullets nor bombs could dull her keen sense of justice and dedication, no threat would cause her question her course of action, and no adversity could dull her lust for life and her optimism, she is a inspiration to us all, the whinging example of public service, and this shall be her legacy”
He finished with an old Izaakian imperial poem, called the Road to Montacia Bay. A touching poem about the relentless toil and struggle to regain the homeland of Montaica.

As he stood down, the former Empress Astrid Iceborn took the stage in her role as head of the montaican polytheism religion and paid tribute to President Blancs service to the USI, and the many reforms she made to improve the lives of Izaakians and the developing world. She also said that her foreign policy showed compassion for the oppressed, and the wisdom of the goddess Intelligencia. She ended on the note that President Blanc and the 60 martyrs will be dining with the gods, and President Blanc will be at the head of the table with the Queen of all gods the goddess Montacia, and is probably asking “who elected you queen?”
The whole temple burst out in a chuckle.

Empress Astrid and Admiral FitzHerbert then approached the fire, and placed a letter into it, in what is an ancient Montacian tradition to send tribute to the dead to ease their passage to the afterlife. The audience was then encouraged to do the same, all filing passed 60 coffins in a circle and then the exposed tragically young body of President Blanc, many shedding tears, and placed their letters of tribute into the flames.
When all the mourners were seated again, the coffins were removed by the priests and priestesses of the temple. The other 60 bodies were to be released to their families, however the last body to be removed was that of President Blanc, where many said their last good byes. Her body was removed and flown to Montacia, where her body will be interred in the Sacred Valley of Kings, an honour never previously afforded to someone outside the Iceborn family.

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Author Xanthe O’Hara
Madam President, Who Are You?

As I’m driving towards the Presidents Farm I can’t help but think how little we actually know about her. She’s been a key figure in many events of our recent history, but she’s always been behind the scenes. Even as President she’s so far shied away from the limelight and runs her office from a remote farm. The remoteness of the farm isn’t lost on me after I’ve been driving 45 minutes down small winding lanes after an hour on the M2 motorway. Her home is in a wonderful part of the Southern Wolds, the gentle green hills, dotted with picturesque little villages and farmsteads. It’s a part of Izaakia often overlooked in favour of its great cities, mountains and coasts, but no less beautiful and important to our way of life.

As I turn up the track to the farm house, on what is a pleasant late summer day, I’m starting to regret the low ground clearance on my car. Around half way up is a small Shepard’s hut in a dark blue, and out of it comes a charming PC who asks for my ID before sending me through. I find the informality and lack of intrusiveness of the whole security system both welcoming and concerning considering the fate of the presidents predecessor. As I approach the house I notice the building work, turning an old stone cow shed into offices for the Presidential Staff, if not the grandest presidential office in the world, it’ll certainly be the most tranquil and picturesque.

I pull up to the house, which is a charming midsized country house in golden wolds stone, draped ivy. I notice the garden is well cultivated, and well adorned with hardy tropical plants. As I exit the vehicle I notice a dark green off-road vehicle barrelling down a dirt track from the farm at a significant rate of knots. It skids to a stop on the gravel drive near to me and President Storm jumps out with a pair of dogs. She’s very pleasant and welcoming, and apologises for smelling like manure as she’s just been tending to the cows.

She invites me into the house, and offers me a drink before making apologies as she goes to clean up and change. I am certainly struck by the lack of pretence or ceremony, I’ve interviewed many senior statesmen and women in my career and this will go down as the most unusual before it starts. I take my coffee alone in the sitting room and take in my surroundings, from the oak beams, to the cast iron fireplace, it can only be described as a very traditional, homely, but meticulously tidy farmhouse.

After a few short minutes, she returns apologises profusely for not having been ready to receive and offers lunch outside. We have what she describes as a beef sandwich, but in reality is a delicious BBQ’d steak from one of her cows adorned with Chimmi Churri and salad in a flat bread accompanied by a beer. As we’re eating and admiring the view we get to work and start doing the interview.

I firstly ask how long she’s been at this lovely home?

“Oh we’ve been here since 2005, back then it was little more than a run down cottage so we got it cheap. You see the old part of the house on the left there, that’s the original building and when we got here the roof had collapsed and it needed a total rebuild, had to connect it to the electricity and water, really needed the works. We added the other wing and the connecting area in 2013 when we were first expecting children.”

We don’t actually know much about you, would tell us a bit more about your family?

“Well, my husband Rory, he’s an Architect in the city, he’s actually designed quite a bit of the new Blancopolis city centre that’s being built, apparently it’s going to be very sustainable. We have three kids, 2 boys and a girl, they’re all in primary school for now, although not too long left now for the eldest, and of course you’ve met our two dogs Sharkey and Greybeard. My parents actually live across the valley, you can see the wind mill, it used to be a grain mill, but they moved in there about 10 years ago, they’re a tremendous help with the farm. Actually Rory’s parents are considering moving here too now they’re retired, theres a sheep shed that we don’t use that we might renovate.”

So you’re quite close to your parents, what was life like growing up?

“Well, daddy was a colonel, so we moved around a fair bit between bases, often overseas on detachments, and mummy was a teacher who would follow his career and teach in the local or base school. So as you can imagine, it was a pretty unsettled childhood, we moved house every couple of years, so I guess I’m a bit of an army brat. I have a brother and a sister, they both live in the city, and as we were growing up we were very close. From there i suppose I went to uni where I met Rory, studied Geography, and then went to the Artemesia Military Academy and the got a commission as a Second Lieutenant in the Black Watch”

You’re not famous for being a member of the Black Watch, but actually as a commander in the Special Air Service. Could you shine some light on your career?

“Well, as you know not much happened in terms of Izaakian conflict between when I was commissioned in 2005 and 2019 I suppose. So in the early days of the black watch it was mainly training exercises abroad and peacekeeping missions. There’s nothing particularly exceptional about my career at that point. In 2009 I applied for a commission as captain in the SAS and from there never looked back. The SAS was a really interesting place to work, and tends to be based in Izaakia, so it was great for raising a family. There were a few special operations that we shouldn’t put in the press, but I suppose the main one in the early days was the 2010 embassy siege in Izaakston where we got the hostages out alive. By 2017 I’d been promoted to Commanding General of the SAS, and that’s when things really started to kick off.”

Shall we start with the Unification Incident, what was your role in that?

“To be honest, it was all a bit of a shock. You see there were no conventional Izaakian armed forces in Montaica and Brodlancia at the start. It was run by the secret service and mercenaries out of the Prime Ministers office. So actually the first thing I knew was from the news, and then I got a text from an ex-colleague who was doing mercenary work letting me know what was going on. I suppose the rest is common knowledge, the SAS and armed forces along side empress Astrid helped prevent a coup by Le Rogue, and then stabilised the Montacia and Brodlancia regions following the Le Rogue invasion. That’s actually, how I became a duchess, the Empress was highly thankful, although you can just call me Clara.”

Would you describe yourself as a royalist or as a Republican?

“I would say I’m a traditionalist and a democrat. The idea of an unelected head of state doesn’t sit comfortably with me, but at the same time our system is built around being a constitutional monarchy, and not a republic, and I think recently we’ve seen the weaknesses in that system. I think at some point before the next election we need to decide a way forward, do we return to a constitutional monarchy, or do we reform the system into a Republican one. The current system where I have what is in effect unlimited power is not sustainable. Some people like President Blanc can wield that power effectively and for the better, but we can’t always be sure to avoid rogue elements in our leaders.”

You famously saw active combat in N&GB, Ryccia and Valora, do you think it was right for us to be involved in these countries, and what do you think we can learn?

“Absolutely, we have to stand up for a more secure and democratic future for everyone, the tyrants of the world need to know there is a line they cannot cross. I think our main learning from these conflicts is that you shouldn’t leave before the job is complete.”

What do you want your legacy as President to be?

“Hopefully one of stability, growth and an ever closer Union. I think the main way we can do that is to rebuild bridges that have been burnt with foreign nations and neighbours. Our relations with our fellow democracies have never been in such a poor state, and I think it’s time to reset that.”

You’re currently in the process of moving the Presidential office here to the farm, what made you break with tradition?

“Well, it’s home, I think I will work better in these surroundings and I think it’s good for people from the city to work here and see a bit more of what they’re working towards. It’s also better for the kids to keep them away from the limelight”

How do your staff feel about working 2 hours drive from their homes in Izaakston?

“Theres a train station in the village, it takes 25 minutes from Izaakston on the South Wolds Express and it’s a 5 or 10 minute walk from there. So it’s not a major issue for them, or for me to get to parliament.”

Do you mind if I ask a few quick-fire questions?

“Sure, go ahead.”

What’s your favourite animal?

“After Sharkey and Greybeard it’s got to be the Highland Cow”

What’s your favourite dish?

“Roast lamb with a mustard glaze, with roast potatoes, Yorkshire puddings, vegetables and gravy”

What’s your favourite drink?

“Gin and Tonic, we actually make a gin here, the hillside over there has juniper berries”

What’s your favourite pass time?

“I love sailing, surfing, swimming, anything with water really.”

Thank you for your time and your hospitality Madam President.

As I drive away from the interview, I’m miffed about not knowing the train was 4 times faster to get here, but also struck by the impression the President has made. As a successful military woman, I was expecting her to be formal and ordered, but the reality was much different. She was remarkably informal, comfortable in her own skin and well reasoned. Her home and life are both exceptional, and i come away from the interview reassured that the fate of our country is in a pair of safe hands.


Toppling the Throne of Lies

At the Assembly of the World Forum the Izaakian ambassador Gustave Graves has debated and repudiated the Emeraldian and Thalapadian conspiracy to eliminate Ludville. We take a look at the facts.

Looking at the recent history of the region over the last few years, we have seen the nation of Emerald Denver fall apart as rebellions broke out against the Socialist-Communist regime that grips onto power. The nation has fallen apart in the most dangerous and violent way, often spilling over into the South Pacific, with conflict in the north at Spiras, and the threat of naval attacks from rogue elements common.

As we look back on what can only be described as an unhappy and unequal union, we can only see irresponsibly poor and in many cases oppressive governance. This is the governance that caused Denver, and Ludville to break away. Once the so called legitimate communist government of Ludville was overthrown, for what can only be described as overbearing governance, and replaced by nationalist, they have come under constant threat.

That threat has been constant, and a permanent feature of Ludvillian life. This heightened tension was then recently escalated irresponsibly by Thalapadis violating their national territory, and murdering a person, with permission of the Communist puppet government in exile. A conspiratorial provocation which led to a Ludvillian response as designed by the two conspirators in order to force the nation back under the thumb of emerald.

The attempt at the WF to force a resolution to invade, and break lines which emerald has so far been unable to break. A clear violation of the founding principles of the WF and common decency. Our fearless ambassador Gustave Graves has countered these falsehoods at the WF, standing often alone against the conspiracy, and in return has been victim to brutal abuse and threats by fellow delegates. His call is simply for a delegation from the real government of Ludville to put forward their case, and his simple demand has been mocked and ridiculed, with Emeraldian threats to murder any attempted delegation.

To Ambassador Graves all I have to say is, you may be spacing overwhelming opposition at the WF in your quest for truth. But at home you have 90 million Izaakians behind you.


LoC and CE, Defensive Organisations, or Imperialisms Last Hurrah?

The League of Cordillia and Concordia Entente are on the face of it, and on paper defensive organisations. One a union comprising many of the worlds foremost democracies, and the other a clumsily glued together collection of Cordillias communists, absolute monarchists and criminal cartels.

But what they both have in common is one thing, since they’ve created a sense of security at home, these coalitions of the declining great empires and middling nations have taken this as an invitation to be more adventurous abroad. A last hurrah for some, and a fleeting opportunity to try and punch above their weight for others.

In our examination of the history of these two organisations we shall start chronologically, not from the beginning, but the conception. When Izaakia reclaimed its rightful territories in Bailtem, recovering them after 400 years since the Gianaltan colonisation, the region widely condemned and punished the USI. Perhaps those critiques were fair, who knows what was going on in Ernest LeRogues head, or that of his successor Mountbatten. There’s a reason that one of them is in prison and the other a mental asylum. But what it’s undoubtable is that this placed Izaakia as the preeminent power in Pacifica.

The fear of no longer being at the top struck fear into the imperial nations of Gianalta and The Frost Empire in particular, but to a lesser extent, Sedunn, Karnetvor, Stoinia, and a new found fear in Sallodesia of reincorporation, and Snolland in fear for its colony on Izaakia new doorstep. This initial unease lasted around a year, until the conflict in N&GB where the USI under the inspired leadership of President Blanc overthrew a nuclear oppressor, for the first time wielding its new found power and influence.

Despite these clear honourable intentions and good deeds, the Frost Empire and Gianalta instituted what was no less than a blockade on Izaakias Bailtemic nations. The Frost Empire unhappy about Izaakias opposition to their abuse of democracy in Reizen and Gianalta trying to regain its influence in Montacia and Brodlancia by severing Izaakia in two. This attempt by the two nations under the security of their impending alliance eventually failed when faced with uneven odds so far from home. Whilst this was going on, the Concordia Entente was finalised, a discussion which had been started shortly following Izaakias reunification.

Since then the Concordia Entente and its members have taken their security as an excuse to interfere abroad. This has come in many forms, from Gianaltan attempts to force their world view through sanctions, trying to make up for its past mistakes, but without the necessary influence to do so, to The Imperial Frost Navy pretending it still rules the seas with its illegal blockades and illegal claims of territorial waters. Both nations trying to claw back some long lost influence. Meanwhile the middling nations of Sallodesia and Stoinia have taken up military bases around the region and taken an active role in almost every conflict since the formation of the CE. Often acting in conjunction to try and wrestle influence from Izaakia, and stick their nose into situations where they are neither welcome or helpful. All these events would not have happened if these nations stood alone. Which is why we must conclude on the evidence that the CE is a danger to regional security, and the last hurrah of imperial nations in decline.

As scarily dangerous as the CE is, at-least they have a democratic foundation and accountability to their people. On the flip side of the situation we now have the LoC, a collection of nations in central Cordillia who seem to have nothing more in common than a desire to cause terror and mischief. Amongst those nations we have Huawan, an absolute monarchy, side by side with a near communist UPRAN, a criminal cartel in Viliakmon, two nations that were in a brutal ethnic war until last year, a fading triangle empire and a small aggressive nation full of sweatshops barely out of a civil war itself.

A Union full of the worst kind of misfits, that can never truly work together and often end up condemning their fellow members antics. The Union, which seems to have been formed with the sole purpose of starting a fight and escalating an Izaakian controlled situation with Ryccia. Since its formation we have seen a similar expansion of military bases and attempts to gain influence abroad as we’ve seen in the CE, however, in a much more sinister and undemocratic way.

This has recently led up to the events we see in Emerald Denver, a cluster-fudge of apocalyptic proportions. What had already become an every man’s war with so many fingers in the pie that the nation was only getting stuffed. But a fragile peace between emerald Denver and Ludville ensued, to be provoked into conflict again by Thalapadis with its illegal murder of a person within Ludvilles sovereign borders. Now this nation which has provoked a war expects WF support, which it may well get from its LoC partners and from the CE members who wish to overstretch their power by being everywhere, all the time, at once.

This is a scandal and an outrage that the WF would be used for such an end. But this event highlights further the danger that these two organisation, eager to prove a point pose to the peace and stability of the region. Only with a strong Izaakia to counterbalance these organisations can any form of sense, independence and proportionality remain in the region.

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Izaakia at a Crossroads?

President Storm and former Empress Astrid were seen walking together on Holy Island in Keyli today. Many are speculating that President Storm was keeping her promise to examine the constitutional options available to Izaakia, with the main options being a new Republican constitution and the other being a return to a constitutional monarchy, where an informal constitution reigned.
It is understood that Storm and Astrid have a strong relationship, and that Astrid is keen for a return to the role. However, strong opposition would be expected from Blanc loyalists.


Budget Day Brings Surprises

Chancellor Fifi DePfeffel has presented her budget to parliament today. Headline figures for economic growth are 6.5% for the USI, bringing the total GDP to 6.82 Trillion, with the population increasing by 3.1 million overall leading to the USI population exceeding 100 million for the first time.

The Izaakian economy has grown 10.3%, driven primarily by immigration under the 30 for 30 scheme at an 8% (1.9 million) increase in the population to 25.9 million. GDP per capita raised a comparatively low 2.2%.

The Montacian economy has grown 4.4%, largely driven by a 3.3% increase in per capita GDP and a population increase of 0.5 million to 46 million.

The Brodlancian economy has grown 6.1%, driven by a 3.6% per capita growth, and an increase in population of 0.7 million to 29.2 million.

The Government has cut taxation by $300 billion from the previous budget, eliminating most of the fiscal headroom in the budget. With Space, Social Security and Foreign Aid taking 3% budget cuts, and Health taking a 1% real terms budget reduction. Spending on the military will increase by $40 billion to $266 billion, which whilst lower than during the conflict with Ryccia, is much higher than expected based on the previous governments announcements bringing military spending to 3.9% of GDP. Internal development, housing, education, policing and the environment have also had major spending increases.

The government maintains a budgetary surplus of $20.4 billion for as yet unspecified projects. The Izaakian sovereign wealth fund investments grew by 7% ($206billion) however due to the N&GB, Valora and Ryccian conflicts, and other commitments abroad and at home, including Blancopolis construction, this money has been spent, leaving the Sovereign Wealth fund at $2.94 trillion.

Inflation in the 2022 to 2023 period has run high at 4.4%, above the USI target of 2%, meaning many Izaakians are worse off compared to last year. The Bank of Izaakia has announced it is increasing the base interest rates from 0.75% to 1.25% to try and control inflation.

Major Policy Announcements include:

Reduction in alcohol tax by 10c in pubs compared to shops.

Increasing the retirement age from 66 to 67 from 2025.

Confirmation Blancopolis will be a low tax zone until at-least 2035.


The government has described the results as promising, and spending commitments as sensible in order to supercharge the economy.

The Department for Fiscal Responsibility has estimated costs of conflict in 2022 to be in the region of $1.04 trillion.

The leader of the opposition (Framboise Madeleine) Charles Boulangerie described real term declines in wages and health spending as a scandal.

Conservative leader Mr Choo has described the immigration statistics as shocking, and has said beaches should be mined, and anti-aircraft guns placed at airports to keep the swarming masses out.

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The Importance of Deterrence

In a world that is increasingly turbulent, it is increasingly important that the United States of Izaakia reacts firmly and with an even hand to any threat to its interests. Much like the old saying, “spare the rod, spoil the child” we cannot afford to allow nations, statelets and factions to get out of hand, if we allow our red lines to be crossed once, they will be crossed again and again.
This is why we have had to intervene in the Straits of St Michael against yet another rogue faction from Emerald and Denver. We cannot allow the disruption of trade and our national interest, and there is no price we should be unwilling to pay to pursue this. However, a note of caution we should also not be drawn into unnecessary civil conflicts like Emerald Denver which have no realistic chance of a sustained victory. The Sallodesian, Stoinian and other international forces in Emerald and Denver are paying a severe price for not understanding the situation they marched into. We must avoid repeating their mistakes and only enter into conflicts that have a clear objective, and high probability of overwhelming victory, and once we are there we must be careful not to fall into an endless conflict.
This is why the intervention in Detroixia is perhaps more of a risk than the interventions in N&GB or Ryccia. It is a far more complex scenario, which we have not designed and no clear good outcomes. We may very well defeat the communist insurgents, and very soon, but the apparent cost of that is an Islamic Warlord has gained recognition on our Bailtemic border. How will this play out? Can we accept a fractured state on our border? and can we accept the precedent of allowing a warlord to gain recognition for being convenient? Only time will tell, but i would not be surprised if the conflict in Detroixia escalated beyond its original scope.


Montwælda President, who are you?

Xanthe O’Hara
Twice in one year, I find my self asking the same question. We have a new President, but who are they? When I reached out to the Presidents office for an interview, I was relieved to find the journey to meet the new president would be much shorter. I hopped on the underground, over to New Mako and round the Circumnavigation Clockwise route to the tippy top of New Mako Island. Within 30 minutes from home I was stood outside the Little Mako Bridge Station looking across the bridge with 60mph winds and bracing -15°C temperatures and wondering why I didn’t just drive here.

There are no buses, or trains to Little Mako Island, a bridge on the New Mako Ring Road built in the 1930s was deliberately build too low, blocking access to buses over the bridge to little Mako. So I walked the 200 meters over the bridge, exposed to blisteringly cold winds, sea spray and snow. Little Mako Town is a place like no other in Izaakia, it is the second oldest settlement in Izaakian Keyli, and following the great fire of 1768 in New Mako the only place in Izaakia that has a significant number of early Izaakian architecture from the 17th and Early 18th centuries.

Little Mako town is dominated by a 17th century star fort, and the old town is quaint and rustic. This is where our new president lives, in a historic 17th century townhouse near the centre of Little Mako Town. As I knock on an old oak door, I hear a voice behind me in the street and it says “He’s not in.”

I turn around and it’s President Walter Rombold with a big grin, and in his hand he has a paper Jim Nortons bag and a cup holder of 4 hot drinks. Curiously, he seems to have ditched the security team. I introduce myself as the door opens behind me and a rather flustered looking police officer looks relieved as he says,
“Mr President, we thought we’d lost you, god forbid you get hurt on my watch”.
The president replied, “I won’t tell anyone if you don’t” and winks at the guard before handing him a Jim Nortons cup of coffee.

It’s quite a first impression, he’s cheeky, confident and quite charming. He invited me in and we entered the drawing room, which had a roaring wood fire I was more than happy to see after my bracing walk. He offered me a hot cup of Jim Nortons Hot Cocoa, a Cruffin, and a couple of Jimbits.

He tells me he’s just going to be two seconds, he needs to drop off a Chai Latte for his partner and then we can begin our interview. As I’m sat there waiting, I can’t help but notice his book collection on the shelves, there’s an impressively broad mix of books, everything from a first edition of “A Theory of Evolution”, to a well thumbed “A Fools Guide to Engineering” and “101 Jokes for Dads”.

He comes back, and we start our interview.

Mr President, thank you for having me in your lovely home, have you lived here long?

“No I’ve always been the same length” he jokes, “Yeah, we’ve been here 10 or 11 years now, it used to be my grandparents home, gods rest their souls. It’s been in the family since 1634 when it was built, this downstairs area used to be the store for the old smoke house out back. Historically, most of the family have either been fishermen, or fish smokers, I guess I’m the first one to majorly rebel from the family business. Anyway, the smoke house moved to a new facility across town to cope with increased demand and ever higher standards at the turn of the millennium, so we turned this into a proper town house. I must show you what we did with the old smoke house later”

Ah, that’s very interesting, so you’re from a founding family here in keyli?

“We Rombolds like to say, we were the first Montacians to fish Montacia, the first Montacians to fish Hai Men and the first Izaakians to fish Izaakians. I’m sure none of those claims are true, but we won’t have been far off”.

So what was life like growing up here on Little Mako?

“Well, we weren’t that well off as a family, we were generally just about managing growing up. I grew up in a terrace just by the docks, dad was a fisherman and mum worked in the shop that used to be here. It wasn’t until the 1990s when fish stocks started to rebound following quota limits that the family started to be a bit successful. I have 3 brothers, 2 sisters, as you can imagine it was quite chaotic but good fun. Days out used to involve taking dads fishing vessel out to the outer islands of the Mako Archipelago, and quite often being boarded by Marine Protection Officers who were making sure we hadn’t been fishing inside the Marine Park. In many ways it was quite idyllic.”

You mentioned your 5 siblings, what do they do for a living, are they all as successful as yourself?

“Oh they’re far more successful, one sister is a Barrister in Izaakston the other is a chef, she owns the restaurant on the corner, you may have seen it on the way in “The Little Fisherman”. My brothers all work in the family business, one runs the smoke house, one runs shop, and the other runs the fleet, which sounds grand but is only 5 vessels.”

So what did you do after school, and how did you first get into politics?

“After school I went to University, at the New Mako University and studied Marine Science, with a year abroad at Ohayo Institute of Marine Science and Engineering in Keanu and Hurley. After that I got a job at the Department of Fisheries, which is conveniently just over the bridge on the mainland” (I noted he refers to new mako as the mainland and not Keyli) “From there I worked my way up to be a senior civil servant and after 20 years at the department, I thought I’d try and use the connections i’d made in the liberal government of the time to try and earn a seat in parliament to make a larger impact. This was in 2004, and we lost, and I didn’t get a seat. It was the year Ernest Le Rogue stormed into power with a huge landslide.
After that I took a job at the family firm, which was still struggling after the economic crash of 2002 just after it had borrowed money to expand across town. We just about managed to avoid bankruptcy, and by 2009 the company was back on its feet, and I stood for election, winning this time.”

During your time in parliament you’ve been quite vocally in favour of stricter fishing quotas and ocean conservation, is that not like a Turkey voting for Christmas?

“It seems counter intuitive doesn’t it? But no, if you look at the data, the stricter the controls the better the fish stocks, the safer it is to fish them and the better it for the ecosystem. At the end of the day, I hope our oceans are well stocked for future generations of Rombold fishers”

During the Le Rogue attempted counter-coup, and the stand off between Empress Astrid in parliament and the Le Rogue Mercenaries you had quite a following of your activities on social media. Could you tell us a little more about that?

“Well, we were effectively blocked in parliament by the mercenary and royalist forces, so I thought we best make the most of it. We were there for two days, with not much to do, most of the other staff had evacuated, and admittedly I’d underestimated the situation and stayed, but we had a fully functional bar. So with my aides we added a bit of joy to proceedings, including the first known game of beer pong in the chamber, and I think the nation enjoyed the frivolousness in what was otherwise pretty dark times”.

Since then, you’ve been a government backbencher until only May last year, and since then you’ve been Environment Minister, Home Secretary and now President a pretty spectacular rise. But let’s focus on October last year, you were the only cabinet minister to still be alive on that dreadful morning, what was that like?

“Yeah, as you can imagine it was a complete shock to the system. I missed the retreat because I was in Little Mako General Hospital welcoming my first grandchild that night, it was such a joyous occasion. I got to bed around 1am, and then at around 4am I heard two military helicopters flying really low and land in the square up the street. Less than a minute later there’s a repeated loud banging on my door, I’m there in my PJs, half asleep and open the door, 2 dozen armed military men storm in and search the house top to bottom. I’m there half dazed wondering if I’ve done anything wrong and the captain of the men invites me to take a seat, and he broke the news. It was like being hit by a freight train, I don’t think I heard anything after that, I was in a trance, the next thing I truly remember clearly I was fully dressed sat in front of Admiral FitzHerbert who was asking me for support in declaring martial law.
I don’t think I can truly describe the emotion of that night, to go to sleep happy at welcoming a new family member, and to wake up with your world completely changed, your friends and colleagues all dead, your country in chaos and the possibility of a new attack on Izaakia, potentially nuclear very much on the cards. It’s a night I will never forget. And by the way, they called my new granddaughter Stella.”

Since then, you’ve served under 4 presidents since becoming a minister, what did you think of them?

“Let’s start with Admiral FitzHerbert, a true titan of Izaakia, at the time of the assassination of President Blanc he had just been diagnosed with terminal cancer, and was planning to retire and take treatment to prolong his life. But he did his duty to his country whilst incredibly ill, and not a single person knew of his illness, he never missed a step, and always kept up with events. He truly is one of the greatest modern Izaakians, when I heard of his death I was sad, but also glad he’d lived to guide us through those tough times.

Another great Izaakian was President Blanc, she may have only been in power for two years, but she will go down in history as perhaps our most consequential leader. She took a shattered nation and glued the pieces back together, not only that, she gave us a certain swagger and self confidence.

We of course have President Storm, done an admirable job. But I guess she decided it just wasn’t for her. It takes a great deal of courage and self knowledge to do something so brave and public.

The less we say about president pervert the better.”

One day in the distant future, when you look back on your presidency, what would you like to be remembered for?

“Blimey, I’ve barely been in the job for a few weeks and you’re already imagining me out of a job. In all seriousness though, I would like my legacy to be a cleaner Izaakia, a richer Izaakia and most importantly I would like my leadership to be known as extremely boring and stable.”

You mentioned a cleaner and richer Izaakia, what are your main policy goals over the next parliament?

“Domestically, I’d like to overhaul the education system, put a lot more emphasis on technical skills and qualifications and put it on an equal footing with academics. I’d also like to seriously expand our thriving science and research industry especially building that connection between our scientists and our industrial base.
Abroad, my main focus is on building relations with our regional partners, and integrating them better into our economy. I think we also have an important role to play in development, and breaking interstate dependencies, particularly ones that are exploitative.”

**To close the interview, just going to ask a few quick-fire questions. **
What’s your favourite dish?

“Don’t tell my fishy family, but I’m a sucker for Spicy Hai Men Style Beef Noodles, topped off with a dessert of New Mako Mess”.

What are your favourite pass times?

“I love fishing, unsurprisingly perhaps. But I also love classic automobiles and motor bikes, you can see the old smoke house in the back, I’ve got a couple classics in the man shed. I also like to ride bikes and swim to keep me a bit in shape.”

What’s your favourite drink?

“Hot Chocolate, or if we’re going alcoholic a good Little Mako Pilsner”.

And finally, perhaps most importantly, what’s your favourite sport and team?

“Oh, this feels like a trick question, but Ice Hockey and the Little Mako Cubs”

Before I left, he showed me around his modest classic car selection, he seemed to prefer not the grand old classics, but the humble working man’s classics. He offered me a lift to the station, and where I was expecting a staff member in a large SUV I was surprised to find the President was going to take me across to New Mako in a small classic Tuk Tuk van that his family used to own for their fish shop.
Through my career, I have met many Presidents, Monarchs, Prime Ministers and Dictators, both Izaakian and foreign. But I’ve never met a leader so grounded in reality, he gives off an impression of having no pretences and seeming to genuinely be enthusiastic about people and solving issues. It’ll be fascinating to see how this new leader develops.