VKS – News from Valkyria

VKS

The VKS (Valkyrian: Valkyrisk kringkastingsselskap), known in Austral as the Valkyrian Broadcasting Corporation, is the national broadcaster of the Valkyrian Republic. Before September 2022, the VKS was known as the KTN. The VKS is owned by the Valkyrian government but retains constitutional editorial independence.

Predecessor newsfeed: KTN Breaking News (archived link)

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Government passes gender and sexual rights law

Gender and Sexual Identity Rights Act 2022 will protect rights of rainbow Valkyrians
Tove Jakobsdóttir (she/her), Chief politics writer
Tuesday, 13 September 2022
Austral | Valkyrisk | Austurmál | Fjellspråk | Läntinen

Ravneby — The Storting passed the Gender and Sexual Identity Rights Act 2022 on Tuesday, a historic law that marks the first time a Valkyrian legislature passed legislation expanding rainbow rights. Previously, such rights only came after a referendum, with repeated criticism from human rights activists that people’s rights should not be at the mercy of direct democracy.

The legislation reiterates existing rights and freedoms, such as same‑sex marriage and polyamory. It also enumerates transgender rights that had only been mentioned in the Valkyrian constitution without any statutory enforcement. As such, transgender people will now have the right to receive gender‑affirming treatment from the National Health Service and gain protection against hate crimes and other forms of discrimination.

The National Police will now have a hate crimes division to investigate acts of hate speech and violence against anyone potentially targeted due to their gender or sexual identity. Until now, the National Police did not have a specialised division for hate crimes. The new division will also investigate similar crimes committed against other protected groups in Valkyria.

Furthermore, the new law requires the Immigration Service to expedite the applications of rainbow individuals in states where their gender or sexual identity puts them at risk. Under previous law, sexual identity was the only protected migrant group. Additionally, the legislation prohibits Valkyria from giving international aid to states with discriminatory policies and diverts such assistance to states that protect against discrimination.

Official pride flags
Original
Rainbow
Bisexual
Intersex
Pansexual
Transgender

The human rights law includes some symbolic acts as well, such as recognising five different pride flags as official variants of the Valkyrian flag and several awareness periods throughout the year. During these periods, students will receive education on the history of gender and sexual identity, discrimination, human rights movements, and prominent figures.

During the third reading of the bill, Prime Minister Steve Bennett said the legislation was “long overdue” and would ensure the rights and freedoms of a historically oppressed community in Valkyria. The bill faced staunch resistance from the right-wing opposition and religious organisations. Nicole Chancellor, the leader of The New Right, called the bill an “affront to the natural state of things and Valkyrian tradition”.

The Gender and Sexual Identity Rights Act 2022 passed in a 376–229 vote, with the governing Alliance of Social Democrats overwhelmingly voting in favour alongside a few liberals and communists and nearly every member of the New Conservative Coalition voting against the bill. Jarlskona Kate Murphy signed the legislation within an hour of its passage in the Storting, a noticeable change from her promulgation of legislation during the Conservative government, which often occurred at the last minute.

In other news…

  • Valkyrian withdrawal from Hystaiga nearing completion
  • Investigation underway of alleged cults in Valkyrian north
  • World leader criticised for partying like a normal person

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Valkyria completes withdrawal from Hystaiga

Peace talks continue between Hystaiga and Valkyria
Michael Karlsson (he/him), International writer
Thursday, 22 September 2022
Austral | Valkyrisk | Austurmál | Fjellspråk | Läntinen

Ravneby — Valkyrian Prime Minister Steve Bennett announced on Thursday the completion of Valkyria’s withdrawal from Hystaiga, marking the effective end of the Kalkara War. The conflict began in November 2019 after then‑Prime Minister Stella Kaufman accused Hystaiga of shooting down a Valkyrian fighter jet mid‑October and complicity in a June 2019 chemical attack on a Ravneby nightclub.

While the National Police conducted investigations into the two incidents, the agency could not affirmatively conclude that Hystaiga was responsible for shooting down the fighter jet and attacking the nightclub and only said that Hystaiga could “plausibly have played a role” in the incidents. Nevertheless, the Storting declared war on 5 November, sparking international criticism by not letting the investigations run their course or first seeking dispute resolution with Hystaiga.

Bennett, who had only been the Socialist opposition leader at the time, opposed the Kalkara War from the beginning of the conflict. Due to his opposition to the war, Bennett was viewed unfavourably by 72% of Valkyrians in a March 2020 poll conducted by the KTN, making him the most unpopular party leader at the time, followed by The New Right leader Nicole Chancellor at 63% disapproval.

After successive military failures, rising deaths, and the death of Lucilla Steffánsdóttir Bennett, public opinion turned against the Conservative government and in favour of the Socialist leader, culminating in the largest protest in Valkyrian history in May 2021. Despite the protest, the governing New Conservative Coalition held firm on continuing the Kalkara War, with Kaufman arguing that a surge of troops from the military reserve would ensure eventual victory in the conflict.

However, the surge resulted in marginal gains on the battlefield without the Valkyrian Defence Force making any gains in cities that were characterised as Hystaigan strongholds that were regained by the Hystaigan resistance. While the Valkyrian military held on to Karelia, the Hystaigan capital, for nearly a year between April 2020 and April 2021, it could never regain control over the city, even through the mid‑year surge.

The Hystaigans’ ability to regain and hold on to Karelia provided the Hystaigan political and military leadership a firm base of operations and allowed resistance cells in other Hystaigan cities to weaken Valkyrian control before the Hystaigan military advanced on the occupied cities. To avoid potential encirclement in some cities, the Valkyrian military opted to withdraw, including in Dystalia in September 2021, where nearly 50,000 soldiers were said by several unnamed sources to have been surrounded for three hours before the Valkyrian military established control of an “escape corridor”.

Having won the general election in July 2022, Bennett announced that Valkyria would begin withdrawing troops from Hystaiga and end the Kalkara War, negotiating an armistice with Hystaigan Supreme Voice Blisse Starke in August to ensure a ceasefire during the withdrawal period. The agreement required the withdrawal to be complete by 1 October, during which the ceasefire would expire if Valkyria did not complete its withdrawal by then.

Despite having an armistice in place, the two states are still negotiating a final peace treaty. On 23 October, Hystaiga and Valkyria will conduct twin constitutional referendums to ask their respective populations whether future declarations of war must have authorisation from the World Forum. Other topics discussed during negotiations were reparations and having an independent investigation conducted by the World Forum, but these issues will remain unresolved until after the referendums are voted upon.

In other news…

  • Valkyria considering designation of Hazelian separatist group as terrorists
  • Opinion: Valkyria should be a counterweight to Huawan in geopolitics
  • Shrine dedicated to the valkyries opens in Sjávarborg

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Transcript: Bennett speech on Ryccian invasion

"I am calling for a global coalition to isolate Ryccia"

Austral | Valkyrisk | Austurmál | Fjellspråk | Läntinen

Valkyrian Prime Minister Steve Bennett:

My fellow Valkyrians, in these past few days, I held three meetings: an intra-party discussion within the Socialist Party, a government parties discussion between Alliance leaders, and an all-party discussion between parliamentary leaders. In these talks, we agreed that Cordilia faces a threat – a fundamental threat – to peace, freedom, and democracy that must be confronted. Once again, the stability of this region has been undermined by Ryccia, a rogue state ruled by tyrants.

After three years of unjust war and struggle, we are a nation weary of war. However, we cannot idly stand by and watch the devastation we all saw in Doge Land and continue to see – the disgusting atrocities we saw committed by Ryccia against the forces of our Peonic neighbour in their illegal use of chemical weapons. It is clear that Ryccia is a nation ruled by war criminals who deserve nothing less than imprisonment for their crimes.

It is true that Valkyria is a nation tired of war, but we are as much a nation tired of injustice. As such, I am calling for a global coalition to isolate Ryccia economically, geographically, and politically and a World Forum resolution authorising international military action against Ryccian military forces operating beyond the Ryccian border. We must punish Ryccia for their egregious conduct – from their violation of national sovereignty to their use of illegal weapons.

As it stands, the Valkyrian Republic maintains longstanding sanctions against the Ryccian military regime in place for past transgressions against the rules and norms of international civil society. In the past, we sanctioned the military leadership of Ryccia, but we have now extended financial sanctions against all current Ryccian government officials, barring them from further access to Valkyrian bank accounts and the Pacifinext stock exchange.

Furthermore, we will sanction any state that aids or abets the Ryccian regime in this illegal and unjust invasion and use of banned weapons. The sanctions imposed on these states will be the same as the sanctions placed on Ryccia and will remain in place until we can determine that they are no longer assisting Ryccia in their illegal conduct.

This government will introduce legislation barring anyone from having both Ryccian and Valkyrian citizenship. Anyone who holds citizenship in both nations will have to decide which to retain. If a person were to retain Ryccian citizenship and renounce Valkyrian citizenship, they will have a specified deadline to leave this nation or face deportation by the Immigration Service.

However, we will continue to host all Ryccian refugees within Valkyria’s borders and welcome more as they come. All Ryccians requesting asylum will be treated in accordance with national and international law and shall receive due diligence in the processing of their requests for asylum. This also applies to all of Doge Land’s civilians seeking refuge from this unjust and unlawful war.

Valkyria is a nation that stands for peace, freedom, and democracy for all people, and it is for this reason that we will provide humanitarian aid to Doge Land and, following authorisation from the World Forum, open our railways as needed to the transport of Peonic troops, weapons, vehicles, and equipment through Valkyria and into the north toward Doge Land. Let it be known that we are actively considering further action to counter the Ryccian regime.

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Valkyria will export missile defence systems to Cordilian states

The move is a historic reversal of longstanding defence policy
Daniel Mikkelsen (he/him), Deputy politics writer
Wednesday, 19 October 2022

Austral | Valkyrisk | Austurmál | Fjellspråk | Läntinen

Ravneby — Valkyria will begin exporting missile defence systems to Cordilian states, Prime Minister Steve Bennett told the Storting on Wednesday. The decision marks a historic change to the longstanding Valkyrian policy on military exports, which had long been restricted as part of an effort to prevent the nation’s rivals from discovering the capabilities of Valkyrian weapons and other military technology.

However, the reversal is also out‑of‑character for Bennett, who emerged as a voice against violence during the Kalkara War. Defending his decision, Bennett argued that Valkyria will only export defensive or passive military technology that cannot be used for offensive purposes. By extension, the announcement ruled out the donation of Valkyrian small arms to states invaded by Ryccia, which had been a subject of debate within Valkyria.

Nonetheless, Bennett also stated that states receiving missile defence systems from Valkyria will undergo a “stringent review” by the Intelligence Directorate-General (Generaldirektoratet for Etterretning, GDE) to determine whether the states in question meet a set of criteria that ensures adequate arms control and limits on exportation. According to the prime minister, the GDE review should last no less than six months.

The policy change will not affect Huawan, which is set to receive 50 Týr air defence systems unconditionally from the Valkyrian government. Huawan will be exempt from the new export policy regime due to the “unique relationship” between the two neighbouring nations and the longstanding trust built between them.

In other news…

  • Hystaigan, Valkyrian war limitation referendums likely to pass, polls show
  • Former President Victor Cutter calls Ryccian junta "suicidal dumbfucks"
  • Switch streamer's abusive husband should be imprisoned, home secretary says

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Hystaiga, Valkyria pass twin referendums limiting war powers

The World Forum will have the final say on their ability to declare war
Tove Jakobsdóttir (she/her), Chief politics writer
Thursday, 27 October 2022

Austral | Valkyrisk | Austurmál | Fjellspråk | Läntinen

Ravneby — The Valkyrian Electoral Commission announced the passage of Special Referendum 1 on Thursday following Sunday’s vote, amending the national constitution to limit the Valkyrian government’s ability to declare war. The announcement came after Hystaiga’s election authority confirmed the passage of their twin referendum on Wednesday. From now on, the two Cordilian states will need authorisation from the World Forum on any offensive declaration of war.

Valkyrian constitutional amendment:

Hystaigan constitutional amendment:

As a result of the two states passing the twin referendums, Hystaiga and Valkyria will be able to open a new chapter in their ongoing peace talks that may prove to be the most difficult phase. Hystaiga has been adamant in discussing reparations after the 23 October vote, an issue that divided Valkyrians in a recent VKS poll, with 43 per cent saying that Valkyria should pay nothing in reparations versus 40 per cent saying otherwise.

The Valkyrian government has said little about whether they will agree to pay reparations to Hystaiga. During the 19 October Questioning session in the Storting, The New Right leader Nicole Chancellor asked for the government’s position on reparations, resulting in Prime Minister Steve Bennett responding that “we will have to wait and see”. The issue of reparations will represent Bennett’s biggest challenge yet during his premiership, tackling an issue that will affect both Hystaiga and Valkyria for at least a generation.

In other news…

  • Transition to green energy will accelerate, Valkyrian energy minister says
  • Government reveals effort to build continental rail system in Cordilia
  • Inside the 'Restore the Ryderverse' movement

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Valkyrian government proposes abolition of rent

The move will significantly curtail private property ownership in Valkyria
Tove Jakobsdóttir (she/her), Chief politics writer
Monday, 14 November 2022

Austral | Valkyrisk | Austurmál | Fjellspråk | Läntinen

Ravneby — The Valkyrian government will abolish landlordism, Prime Minister Steve Bennett said in a speech from the Utøvende on Monday. Following months of interparty negotiations, the governing Alliance of Social Democrats have agreed to specific legislation that will abolish rental housing ownership in Valkyria.

Entitled the Housing Act 2022, the legislation will authorise the national government to expropriate all private property in Valkyria that is either actively being used as rental housing or has been used for that purpose at any time since 2019. The bill also sets a timeline to ban all rental housing by 2026.

The move to nationalise housing in Valkyria has been a long-term goal of the Socialist Party, which gained piecemeal reforms from former Prime Minister Margaret Harrison, whose homelessness legislation came with significant backing from leftists in the Alliance. With the proposed Housing Act, Bennett says homelessness will become nonexistent by the decade’s end in Valkyria.

The Alliance, a bloc of democratic socialists, social democrats, pirates, and green leftists, reached an agreement in principle in July to nationalise housing but its implementation was a matter of debate for months, culminating in a November breakthrough that will see the Socialists achieving total victory on the issue. Following fierce protests against landlands in Ravneby, Gullkysten, and other Valkyrian cities, rent could be a thing of the past.

Under the terms of the Housing Act, the national government will raise taxes to expropriate private housing, maintain the properties, and end monthly rent payments for all tenants as late as January 2026. By then, no person in Valkyria will be legally allowed to rent out property to another person. The legislation will also indefinitely extend an eviction moratorium that was implemented during the GID-20 pandemic.

Anyone in Valkyria who is currently or in danger of becoming homeless will be able to register at a housing office or online for a home within 50 kilometres of their place of usual habitation. The bill will also allocate funding for additional social workers to visit homeless people and help them find shelter.

Monday’s announcement by the prime minister was met with vociferous criticism from the New Conservative Coalition, the Liberal Party, and Valkyrian business leaders, with Liberal leader Jason Sullivan calling the proposed legislation the “death of capitalism” in Valkyria. Some Coalition politicians, such as New Right leader Nicole Chancellor, took to Stream to compare the leftist government to Bruuma.

Political observer Ryan Danielson told the VKS that the Housing Act will be the Valkyrian government’s biggest challenge yet on an issue that has “animated” the conservative and liberal opposition, “For a bill like this, which is the most socialist bill to have ever stood any real chance of passing, we will see how far left this government will be able to go in a historically conservative nation such as ours.”

However, University of Ravneby politics professor Njála Sigurdsdóttir says that Valkyria has been undergoing a left-wing shift in political balance dating back to Patrick Beckley’s presidency in the early 2000s, “The Valkyrian people are reacting to what they see as the excesses of capitalism – inequality, homelessness, and an increasingly out of reach cost of living. This change has been happening for a long time, and we’re finally seeing it come to a head.”

Financial markets reacted negatively to Bennett’s announcement, with the real estate industry facing the biggest blows. Pacifinext was down 4.86% at closing, but housing companies on the index were down a staggering 29.57% on average. Despite the negative financial reaction, Bennett is expected to move forward with the proposed law, as he has long called the stock market an “unacceptable gauge” of political support.

In other news…

  • Valkyrians increasingly dissatisfied with League of Cordilia, poll shows
  • Investigation underway on alleged cults in Valkyrian north
  • Conservative leader holds on despite intraparty feuds

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Bennett defends controversial housing bill

Valkyrian prime minister under fire after unveiling nationalisation plan


Tove Jakobsdóttir (she/her), Chief politics writer
Tuesday, 15 November 2022

Austral | Valkyrisk | Austurmál | Fjellspråk | Läntinen

Ravneby — Just a day after announcing the Housing Act 2022, a bill that would nationalise rented private property in Valkyria, the Valkyrian prime minister took to the floor of the Storting to defend what he called “distortions and misinformation” about the legislation.

The Monday announcement drew criticism from conservative and liberal politicians, businesspeople, financial markets, and foreign leaders who issued varying statements of concern and trepidation. From comparisons to Bruuma to concerns about fair compensation, the Valkyrian government’s proposed housing bill drew a global reaction that reportedly caught the government by surprise, according to sources associated with the Alliance of Social Democrats.

Prime Minister Steve Bennett said it was “disingenuous” for opposition politicians and foreign leaders to draw comparisons between the proposed legislation and the Bruuma, “Valkyria is a multiparty democracy while they are a dictatorship.” The Socialist leader also stated that the government was democratically elected in July to carry out the agenda that led to the Housing Act.

The Valkyrian prime minister also accused his critics of hypocrisy, “The opposition repeatedly talk about the homelessness crisis, yet they often stand for policies that will worsen that same crisis.” Bennett claimed that the Housing Act would implement the constitutionally-protected right to housing by ensuring “every person in our nation will have a roof to sleep under”.

Despite his defence of the proposed housing bill, Bennett did not state whether landlords would receive fair compensation. Following a question posed to him by Opposition Leader Stella Kaufman on the matter, the prime minister only said, “They will be compensated.”

Following the chorus of criticism against the proposed legislation, the Valkyrian Renters Association and the Valkyrian Workers Union came out in favour of the Housing Act, calling the legislation “a necessary bill to solve the homelessness crisis amid a skyrocketing cost of living”.

Meanwhile, protests both in favour and against the proposed legislation have begun in Ravneby, signalling the start of a possibly long and arduous debate.

In other news…

  • Peace talks continue between Hystaiga and Valkyria
  • Economists increasingly worried about potential stagflation crisis
  • Breastfeeding mother harassed in viral video

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