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Documenting current events in Alcenia. Provided by the Alcenian Public Press, a non-profit dedicated to bringing you fair, unbiased, and factual news.

Top Stories

Former President Johanna McKinney dead at 94

March 3, 2020

JARSON, IV — Johanna McKinney, the first woman to serve as president and an icon of modern conservatism in Alcenia, died early Tuesday night, her family has announced. She was 94 years old.

Her legacy has been rife with controversy, her name being guaranteed to start heated arguments among political junkies. She was the first president (and to date only) to be impeached by the House of Commons over allegations that her 1982 re-election campaign engaged in voter intimation against Hispanic-Alcenians, among other illegal practices. A majority of Senators voted to convict but failed to reach the two-thirds required to remove her from office. She went on to win in a landslide victory, becoming one of the most popular presidents in Alcenian history. The economic reforms she undertook, while hailed in her time, have cast a dark shadow over Alcenia since as conservative presidents after her attempting to replicate her success to arguably mixed results. "McKinneyism" has been blamed for a number of social and economic woes in Alcenia and she has been compared to Britain's Margaret Thatcher, who died in 2013.

A state funeral will be held in the coming weeks. It will be the first state funeral since the death of Benjamin Elliston in 2009. Ardai Ross, 90, is now the oldest current living former president.

Massive communication outages wreak havoc in Thelen, VL

February 23, 2020

THELEN, VL — A massive outage of internet, phone, and radio communication systems has left approximately 340,000 people without service including police and fire departments who have been unable to communicate with their personnel in what has been described as a 'catastrophic' incident, the cause of which is still being investigated. Mayor Jason Calutta said in a brief press statement Sunday afternoon "We are coordinating with public and private sector providers in investigating the cause of this outage. At this time we cannot speculate what happened other than something has obviously gone very wrong." VelloLink, the largest internet service provider in Vellonia, said they believe "a massive hardware failure" is behind the outages and that "At this time we cannot say when we can start getting service back up as we need to canvass the entire city looking for the source [of the outage]." The outages have caused around 2,400 businesses to close early as they have been unable to process customer invoices, orders, appointments, et cetera. "It's been an absolute nightmare" said Karen Erna, manager of a local Star One bank. "No one can access their accounts, we can't process withdrawals, deposits, anything. We can't talk to anyone. It feels like we've been thrown back into the dark ages."

Mayor Calutta said if the outages are not resolved "soon" he will declare a state of emergency and begin requesting assistance from the state. The Vellonia State Police said they would look into the possibility of sabotage as the cause of the outages.

White nationalist leader found guilty of perjury, obstruction of justice charges

January 22, 2020

EASTON, NV — Draco Albus, the leader of the infamous white nationalist group Identity Alcenia, was found guilty Wednesday afternoon of perjury and obstruction of justice charges stemming from the 2017 Iglesia del Sagrado Corazón shooting, where 17 churchgoers were murdered by Nathan Blumenthal. Albus, who was born Dustin Clair, told the National Police Bureau and testified in court that Blumenthal was not a member of his organization, which has been designated as a terrorist organization by the Department of Domestic Security. Blumenthal himself denied being a member, however leaked documents that showed Blumenthal was on the membership rolls and paid dues to the organization after the attack prompted the NPB to arrest Albus at his Easton home on June 27, 2019, exactly two years after the shooting. Albus will be sentenced February 3, 2020.

Nievia honors young boy who died in home robbery

December 27, 2019

SANASENI, NV — Governor Olvia Hoffman issued a proclamation Friday afternoon that posthumously awards the Nievia Badge of Honor, the highest civilian award issued in Nievia, to Eli Willard, an eight-year-old boy who died defending his family from an armed robber.

It happened on the night of June 1, 2019 at approximately 2:20 AM. A man, identified as Nicholas Tanner, broke into the Willards home with the intent to burglarize. He went up stairs where Eli's mother was sleeping and bound and gagged her, threatening to kill her with a knife he brandished. He then went into the bedroom shared by Eli and his sister Elisa. Eli immediately awoke and tackled Tanner, knocking him off his feet. He grabbed Tanner's knife and stabbed him once before Tanner gained the upperhand on Eli. Elisa, in the ensuing struggle, escaped and freed her mother. They called 911 while Eli and Tanner continued to fight. Police say Tanner stabbed Eli several times before fleeing the house. Eli died on the way to the hospital, at the age of 8.

The story prompted state-wide outrage and condolences for the Willard family. Eli's father was a member of the Alcenian Army and was killed in action by an improvised explosive device. A GoFundMe page was started for the family which raised $50,000 within a week and an intense manhunt was launched for Tanner. He was captured two days after the attack and, after treated for the injures sustained in the attempted robbery, charged with second-degree murder. He was found guilty on December 2 and was sentenced to life in prison with a chance of parole in 35 years. Authorities said Eli's actions possibly saved his sister and his mother's lives, which prompted a campaign to have him officially recognized. With Governor Hoffman's proclamation, he is the youngest recipient of the Nievia Badge of Honor.

BREAKING: Praetor James Brand dies at 85

December 17, 2019

SUNALIE, AFD — The Praetor of Congress, James Kilgore Brand, has died at the age of 85. Brand, who was the oldest member of Congress, was known as a shrewd and effective negotiator, commanding bipartisan respect in both the House of Commons and the Senate. He was first elected in 1982 when he was 48 years old, representing Keiwasta's 1st riding. He held that seat through for the next 37 years and was instrumental in passing major pieces of legislation, including the Fair Campaigning Act of 2001 which he co-authored with Social Republican representative Dale Heward. He caused a stir within the Conservative Democratic Party in 2011 when he signed off on legislation that provided $93 million to clinics that perform abortions as part of a compromise with the Social Republicans over school vouchers. Over the years he consistently shrugged off suggestions to run for president or for the Senate, always intent in staying in the House. "It's where the fun always is," he once remarked. On January 5, 2019, after the Conservative Democrats took control of the House, he was elected Praetor, a fitting promotion for a seasoned lawmaker.

The timing of Brand's death means it is unclear if the House will nominate Brand's successor before the Christmas recess. No member of the chamber stands out as an obvious choice to take the office, and it is likely there will be intense jockeying in the days before a selection is made. In the meantime, Praetor pro tempore Colin Specht will serve as Acting Praetor. A special election will also be held in his riding to fill the vacant seat.

Ilanuras becomes third state to enact 'right-to-work' law

December 16, 2019

RHODES, IL — Governor Wyatt Douglas signed into law Monday afternoon legislation that makes his state of Ilanuras the third to implement so-called 'right-to-work'. The bill was approved in the Social Republican-controlled House of Representatives by a narrow vote of 79-75. Two Social Republican members broke party lines and voted in favor of the bill. The bill then cleared the Conservative Democratic-controlled Senate by a margin of 22-16.

There were protests outside the Ilanuras Capitol in Rhodes organized by several labor unions. Smaller counter-protests formed close by. Keir Rowantree, a conservative comedian, commentator, and native of Ilanuras was present at these demonstrations and became involved in a physical altercation with members of the United Motor Workers. "Union THUGS attacked me and my camera man in Rhodes TODAY!" Rowantree posted on Twitter along with a video of the altercation. A spokeswoman for the union, after condemning the legislation, criticized Rowantree's footage and account of events. "Rowantree is a known right-wing agitator. This deceptively edited video does not show the full story of Rowantree provoking and harassing picketers at the Capitol," she said. Police made no arrests in relation to the fight.

Governor Douglas said the bill would "Give freedom back to workers..." and "...allow them to work with their conscience." The law disallows joining a labor union or paying union dues as a condition of employment and also disallows employers from preventing their workers from unionizing. However, essentially all major labor unions in Ilanuras have voiced opposition to the law, arguing it weakens their protection of workers and allows non-union workers to enjoy benefits that they bargained for. The law takes affect on May 1, 2020.

House of Commons adopts resolution 'condemning' pornography industry amid growing calls for ban

December 10, 2019

SUNALIE, AFD — The House of Commons adopted a resolution Monday morning condemning various pornographic companies "...for [their] role in contributing to human trafficking and sexual abuse of young women and girls." The resolution, which was adopted by a vote of 167-0, comes as an online campaign calling the for prohibition of pornography in Alcenia gains steam, powered by a coalition of concerned parents, religious groups, conservative, and far-right activists. The hashtag #BanPorn received 34,000 mentions on Twitter Friday afternoon from supporters and opponents. A letter was sent to Attorney General Kevin Casales that same day asking his Justice Department to begin enforcing age-old obscenity laws which are still on federal books. The letter was signed by three members of Congress: Representatives Rosa de Leau (C-IL), Levi Wolters, (C-IV), and Dorothea Kaufmann (C-BK), who all also co-sponsored the resolution. Attorney General Casales has not replied to the letter but did in 2017 say that pornography, particularly its exposure to minors, was a "...growing concern for the department." President Carlyle also made comments that appeared to urge parents and internet service providers to do more to prevent children from accessing pornographic sites. The movement comes as part of a backlash to the revelation that several high-profile pornography producers were involved in human trafficking, fraud, and coercion. The owners of BigBros, which is owned by Cosmopolitan Entertainment, were arrested on these same charges after several women who starred in their films came forward with allegations of deception, intimation, and rape. The National Police Bureau has begun investigating other pornographic companies which the Alcenian Adult Film Association has called a "witch hunt" and a "modern-day inquisition."

Opponents to the #BanPorn movement argue pornography is protected by the Constitution under Article VII, which protects freedom of speech, among other rights. The Alcenian Civil Liberties Union represented and successfully defended various early producers of pornographic media back in the 1970s and 1980s who were prosecuted under obscenity laws, setting precedent that continues to this day. However, that precedent has weakened in the time since, with the Supreme Court ruling in Lewis v. Darbe Media that state courts can rule certain pornographic material as obscene and prohibit them under their own laws. Since this ruling, many states have outlawed, either through statute or court ruling, the sale of physical pornographic material. The legislatures of some of those states have turned their attention to the internet, hoping to restrict or even prohibit the access to pornographic websites, but efforts on that front have been halted by the aforementioned ACLU and many other internet freedom advocacy groups such as the Electronic Frontier Foundation. The ruling did not effect federal obscenity laws, which remain largely unenforced and inactive. As of now, there are no pending Supreme Court cases that could reverse the precedent that allows pornography to be mostly legal in Alcenia. "It's only a matter of time before some state passes a law that blatantly violates established precedent, forcing a ruling from the Supreme Court," says Dale McCarmon, an attorney and expert on free speech litigation whom APP consulted for this issue. "With the current composition of this Court, its very possible porn could be deprived of constitutional protection. But these things are never straightforward."

Vellonia Attorney General recuses himself in governor criminal probe

October 28, 2019

LA CASA CALLIENTE, VL — Vellonia Attorney General Clarence Madden announced Monday morning that he would recuse himself from the criminal probe into allegations of embezzlement and inappropriate sexual relationships by Governor Sarah Summerfield. Madden, who was appointed by Summerfield in 2017, said he could "...not handle this case in an objective manner. These charges against the governor are very serious and I believe they should be handled by someone who can offer fair and impartial attention to them." Accusations against Governor Summerfield first came to light in September 2019, when Alessio Beirne, a former boyfriend of Summerfield's, alleged she engaged in "very long" sexual relationships with "up to seven staffers, aides, advisors, and other people she had direct power over." He also alleged she embezzled millions of dollars from the state treasury to cover up the affairs. Summerfield and her husband, Daniel Summerfield, were in the process of divorcing when the accusations came to light. A criminal probe into the accusation of embezzlement was opened by the Vellonia Department of Justice. The VDoJ did not look into the sexual relationship allegations until Beirne stated in early October that some of her affairs with aides and staffers were "coerced". In mid-October, a woman, whose name has not been released, filed a suit against the governor, alleging she coerced her into a sexual relationship while she worked for her between October 2018 and April 2019. The VDoJ then expanded the scope of the probe, leading Attorney General Madden to recuse himself, due to his appointment by Summerfield. Spokespersons for the Vellonia Department of Justice said they will select a Special Prosecutor to handle the case, who will be non-partisan.

Summerfield has denied all the accusations against her and promises she will fight them. "These are slanderous accusations from my former husband and various political opponents. I categorically deny them and will fight them while I serve the people of Vellonia."

Charges dropped against Illanuras man accused of second degree murder of "zoophile" neighbor

August 23, 2019

DARRENCE, IL — A man who was arrested last week for killing his neighbor after he allegedly caught him having sex with his dog has had the charges dropped, the local district attorney announced Thursday morning. Richard Muriel, 32, was going on vacation on August 16 and left his neighbor, Seth Pommel, 25, in charge of watching his house and feeding his dog. On the morning of the killing, Muriel left at around 9:40 AM and returned an hour later to retrieve a forgotten item. Police say that is when he came across Pommel having sex with his dog. Police say Muriel began to beat Pommel severely, finishing it off with a kick to the head, which the Darrence County Coroner's office was what killed Pommel. After turning attention his dog, which had to be put down as a result of internal injuries, Muriel called 911 and told dispatchers "I think I just killed my neighbor. He was raping my dog...". Police arrived within nine minutes and placed Muriel under arrest for second degree murder. However, Nancy McNamara, the local district attorney, says Muriel will not be prosecuted for the killing. "The evidence we collected makes us confident the defendant was truthful as to why he beat the victim to death. We don't believe he intended to kill the victim. There is precedent for dropping charges in this kinds of cases." The precedent, sometimes known as the "Righteous anger defense", says that people who severely injure or kill another person who was caught in the act of victimizing another person (especially a loved one) should not face charges for that killing. In this case, however, this loved one was a canine, not a person. The righteous anger excuse has been invoked several times in Alcenian criminal justice history, most notably in Sidanevi where a man did not face any charges after he killed his daughter's former boyfriend whom he caught in the act of raping her.

Muriel is relieved to have the charges dropped. "I'm sorry he's dead. But I think anyone would react the same way in my shoes." Pommel's family disagrees. "He [Muriel] lost a dog. I lost a son" says Pommel's mother. "You can get another dog, I can't get another son." She said she plans to file a wrongful death suit against Muriel after learning the charges against him were dropped.

Report: Small businesses are the worst offenders of labor law violations

July 8, 2019

SUNALIE, AFD — The Department of Commerce's Bureau of Labor released a report Monday morning showing that small businesses make up 78% of labor complaints found to be substantial. The figure is the first of it's kind, coming after President Carlyle signed into law the federal budget for fiscal year 2019 which requires the Secretary of Commerce compile statistics on labor regulation violations. The Bureau of Labor defines a small business as having fewer than 20 full-time employees and/or fewer than 50 part-time employees. This definition has been in place since 1983. A report of labor complaints and their investigations showed that small businesses under this definition that had complaints filed against them were found to be in violation 78.6% of the time. However, larger companies received more complaints overall but we're less likely to be found in violation. The Bureau of Labor collected approximately $148.4 million in fines it imposed on offending businesses. Among labor regulations, wage theft was the most common violation found, constituting 46.8% of substantial complaints. It is estimated that Alcenians lose around $23.2 billion in wage theft every year. Safety compliance violations were second, often coupled with complaints of worker's compensation denials.

Social Republican Congressman Jack Hew says these figures are worrying. "About half of all employed Alcenians work at small businesses. We often hold big corporations up to much higher scrutiny, as we should, but it seems we've let serious crimes against Alcenian workers slip under the radar." He recommends more stringent enforcement against small businesses engaging in illegal labor activities but believes awareness will make the biggest impact. "Know your rights," Hew told the APP, "if you think you're being taken advantage of, do the research and make a complaint. You're likely not the only one."

Vellonia announces gender-neutral change to anti-domestic violence campaigns

July 4, 2019

LA CASA CALLIENTE, VL − The Vellonia Department of Health and Human Services unveiled Friday afternoon a plan to move towards gender-neutral language in public ad campaigns about domestic violence. For the past thirty years, many domestic violence and abusive relationship support and awareness groups have lodged complaints against the state for disregarding male victims of both, always depicting them as the perpetrator and using female pronouns for victims. That will change, says Sharon Mueller, director of the VDHHS. "It's about time we acknowledged men are victims of abuse, too, and that women can be abusers," she told the Vellonia State Press. Muller also stated the change will bring more awareness to domestic violence in same-sex relationships. "We'll start using more fair language when describing abusive relationships and start training social workers to be unbiased when dealing with such cases."

This comes fives years after the La Casa Calliente Police abandoned a long-standing protocol that prioritized the safety of women in domestic relationships and often only had one officer responding to calls of domestic violence. After same-sex marriage was legalized in the state, a new protocol was put in place that trains officers to take into account prior history of both the caller and other partner and to be more gender-neutral. The LCCPD also sends two officers to a domestic violence call, one to speak with each partner, who then come to a conclusion based on their findings.

There's still work to be done, says Andrew McNair, president of the Vellonia Society for Equality, a group that provides legal support to people it believes are being unfairly treated by the justice system. He says that despite the new protocol, men are arrested in opposite-sex domestic violence calls around 74% of the time while many studies have shown that only around half of abusers are men. "I hear a lot of cases where a man was being attacked by his wife or girlfriend, had visible marks on his body, and ended up arrested because police refuse to believe women can be abusers. It's unacceptable," McNair told the Vellonia State Press. He also says abuse in lesbian relationships are completely ignored by authorities. He cites one case in particular wherein a 26-year-old gay woman endured five years of abuse at the hand of her partner who was not arrested once. "They didn't believe her. They didn't take it seriously," said McNair. After escaping the relationship, the VSE provided her with legal support to file a suit against the LCCPD, accusing the police of failing to do their jobs, which the woman won. Still, little change has come as a result, said McNair. "We get cases like hers many times a year."

Sidanevi to become first state to make unsolicited nude pictures a crime

July 1, 2019
SHEPARD, SD − The Sidanevi Public Assembly voted Monday morning to criminalize unsolicited nude pictures sent over electronic communications. The law, which is expected to be signed by Governor Sean Neil, received bipartisan support and comes after a highly publicized case involving a member of the University of Sidanevi's faculty. Thomas Rosario, a professor at the UoS, was accused of sending an unsolicited photograph of his genitals to an unnamed 19-year-old male student. The student reported Rosario, which led to ten other students coming forward with similar complaints. He was charged with second-degree sexual harassment and is currently awaiting trial. In response to the case, the student body of UoS wrote to lawmakers in Shepard asking them to make sending unsolicited nude images a crime. "He's only being charged because he was a in a position of authority over students," Leslie Peláez, president of the university's student council said. "There's no law stopping someone some sending inappropriate images to a stranger unless its repeated. We have to fix that." Peláez says that 1 in 6 women at the University of Sidanevi have received a "dick pic" at least once during their attendance at the school. The law imposes a penalty of $500 and/or thirty days in jail for sending an unsolicited explicit photo to an adult. The law also explicitly makes sending unsolicited explicit images to minors a crime. Before the law, this was commonly prosecuted under laws prohibiting lewd acts with a minor. Repeat violators of the law risk being added to the sex offender registry.

The relevant text of the bill is as follows:

Using means of electronic communication to send an image of a person's penis, vulva, vagina, buttocks, anus, or any other part which would compel a reasonable person to assume was sexual in intent, to a person eighteen years of age or older who did not solicit or request such image, shall be a Class IV misdemeanor, punishable by a fine not more than $500 or confinement not longer than thirty days, or both.

(a) Using means of electronic communication to send an image of a person's penis, vulva, vagina, buttocks, anus, or any other part which would compel a reasonable person to assume was sexual in intent, to a person under the age of eighteen who did not solicit or request such image, shall be a Class II misdemeanor, punishable by confinement not longer than two years, enlistment to the Sidanevi Sexual Offender Registry for a period not longer than two years, or both.
(b) Using means of electronic communication to send an image of a person's penis, vulva, vagina, buttocks, anus, or any other part which would compel a reasonable person to assume was sexual in intent, to a person under the age of fourteen, shall be a felony, punishable by confinement not longer than five years, enlistment to the Sidanevi Sexual Offender Registry for a period not longer than five years, or both.

(a) Any person who is found to be in violation of 340.11 three times or more within one year shall be enlisted to the Sidanevi Sexual Offender Registry for a period not longer than four years in addition to the penalties prescribed in 340.11.
(b) Any person who is found to be in violation of 340.12(a) two times or more in the period of one year shall be enlisted to the Sidanevi Sexual Offender Registry for a period not longer than four years in addition to the penalties prescribed in 340.12(a)
(c) Any person who is found to be in violation of 340.12(b) more than once in the period of one year shall be enlisted to the Sidanevi Sexual Offender Registry for life addition to the penalties prescribed in 340.12(b).
(d) Any person who was enlisted to the Sidanevi Sexual Offender Registry and was removed under 340.13(a) or 340.13(b) who is found to be in violation of 340.11, 340.12(a), or 340.12(b) within two years of removal from the Sidanevi Sexual Offender Registry shall be enlisted again to the Sidanevi Sexual Offender Registry for a period not longer than ten years.

Vellonia revokes more than 500 firearms licenses in wake of New Zealand shooting

March 24, 2019
LA CASA CALLIENTE, VL − A monthly report released Sunday morning revealed that the Vellonia State Police has revoked 546 firearms licenses in the wake of a terrorist attack against a mosque in Christchurch, New Zealand in which 50 people were killed. The report, which details statistics such as the number of reported crimes, arrests, traffic stops, tickets issued, and among other things, shows that the VSP cited mental health concerns as the top reason for revoking a firearms license. To compare, in February the Vellonia State Police revoked 122 firearms licenses, of those, 43 were for mental health concerns. This massive increase can directly be attributed to the recent shooting in New Zealand says Captain Tracy Laurier, head of the VSP Violent Crimes Division. "That tragedy showed we've got to act more to prevent such an attack from happening here," she said.

This report has not been without controversy. 68% of revoked licenses were held by Hispanic-Alcenians, leading to accusations of racism against the state. In fact, the very idea of requiring a license to own a firearm has been met with intense resistance. Currently, Vellonia is the only state to require a license to own any kind of firearm made after 1982, the year it passed the Controlling Violence Act, creating the license system for guns. For weapons made prior the law's passage, only a background check is required at the point of purchase. To acquire a license, one must be a resident of Vellonia at the time of application, be 21 years of age, pass a 8-hour course on firearms safety including live training, and have no 'significant convictions' within the last five years. Even if one has met all the requirements, the issuance of a license is ultimately discretionary if the state feels the applicant may have nefarious intentions. After issuance, a license is valid for five years and is renewed by a simple background check. Several state agencies, including the Vellonia State Police, are authorized to revoke any license if they believe the public safety may require it and holders of the revoked license are required to surrender all firearms in their possession. They can appeal the revocation within 15 days of receiving the notice but are still required to surrender their firearms until the matter can be resolved. Critics argue this requirement opens up the process to abuse. In 2014, a lawsuit was filed against the state by Julio Vasquez who claimed the state discriminated against him by revoking his license despite having no mental health concerns and no criminal record; his brother, however, was wanted in connection to a robbery in Adado, VL. He won the suit and a judge ordered the State of Vellonia to reinstate his license, return his weapons, and pay $35,000 in restitution to cover Vasquez's legal fees.

Lower courts have held that firearms licenses are constitutional and so far no case regarding the matter has reached the Supreme Court. Polling shows that 39% of Alcenians believe that a license should be required to own a gun, compared to 46% of Vellonians.

Congressman-elect draws ire after comments made about homosexuals

December 26, 2018
SWEETPLAINS, VL − Jacob Arenas, a Christian Democratic congressman-elect from Vellonia, ignited controversy Wednesday afternoon after he used a slur against homosexuals in a recent interview with The Eagle Times. The Eagle asked Arenas his thoughts on the eleven-year-old drag queen boy called David is Fantastic, whose recent performance in a La Casa Calliente gay bar last week sent social media buzzing with discussion around the ethics of children in the LGBT+ community. Arenas told the reporter from the Eagle "Well, I think, well I think this is gonna show what I can't say, or couldn't say anymore, because I'm going to say it now: faggots rape children. Okay? Just look it up, I'm serious. Every gay man I know was molested, alright. This is not a joke. This is how they recruit. It's appalling." Arena's answer to the question ignited intense controversy across social media with many calls for the congressman-elect to resign or apologize. Liberal commentator and contributor to Talking Points Tiffany Muser made a Tweet with 34,000 'likes' that read "Disgusting. This Xdem politician says gay people rape children. This kind of bigotry and homophobia has no place in Congress and does not represent Velllonians!" In contrast, conservative commentator Anita Reyna told APP through an internet interview "I'd drop the slur, but what the congressman-elect said is based in fact. It's an issue we ought to discuss." Other participants in the squabble argued Arenas' comments distract from the issue that David is Fantastic presents. Conservative actor Kevan Royle said on Twitter, with 54,000 thousand 'likes': "Thanks Mr. Arenas for creating a distraction from the real issue, which is an 11-fucking-year-old kid DANCED at a gay bar for MONEY."

APP conducted a poll asking our readers to weigh in on the subject.

Do you think Congressman-elect Arenas' comments were appropriate?
Answer %
Yes 39 39
No 58 58
Don't know/care 3 3
Do you think children should participate in drag queen shows?
Answer %
Yes 6 6
No 92 92
Don't know/care 2 2

President signs resolution to keep government funded

December 21, 2018
SUNALIE − In what will likely be his final act before the Christmas recess, President Carlyle signed into law on Friday a joint continuing resolution that will keep the government funded until February, next year. The bill was the result of the Social Republican Congressional Conference's failure to agree on 2019 budget proposal before the lame duck session of Congress expires, when the Christian Democrats will take control of both chambers of Congress. The Social Republicans had split after the progressive caucus demanded a provision that naturalizes Tenochtitlanese refugees as citizens. This proposal was rejected by House Majority Leader Isiah Perez, who argued naturalization was "Out of line, and out of the question." The Christian Democrats watched idly and comfortably as their items were accepted by the Social Republicans on a compromise: the Democrats would accept an increase in Alcare spending in exchange for a provision in the bill that extends the prohibition on abortion and birth control coverage. This compromise soured the progressive caucus, leading to the internal battle within the SRCC. The Republicans determined that they could not resolve their dispute before Congress leaves for the the Christmas recess, which begins on December 22. Congress will not return until January 3, when the 76th Congress is sworn in, which is after the previous appropriations law (the Government Solvency Act of 2017) expires on December 31. The passed and signed resolution extends that deadline to February 7, 2019.

Once the Christian Democratic majority takes office, it is unlikely the progressive caucus will receive their proposed provisions and House Minority Leader Patricia Weaver (who will become the Majority Leader after January 3) has hinted that the compromise with the remainder of the SRCC will not go foward and that the CDCC will pass a funding bill which includes the cut to Alcare and the extension on the abortion and contraceptive coverage ban.


Federal Communications Agency adopts new regulation affecting digital personal assistants

December 21, 2018
SUNALIE − The Federal Communications Agency (FCA) by a unanimous 5-0 vote, adopted a new regulation on Friday afternoon that prohibits television or radio broadcasts from attempting to activate digital personal assistants often found on smartphones. The rule will go into effect on March 1, 2019 and comes after numerous complaints lodged against radio broadcasting companies and television stations accusing them of attempting to command the digital assiatns on their smartphones to play songs, look up products, and repeat advertising slogans. One commercial by Andy's Burgers and Fries, that was aired nationwide, included a part in which a man says "Siri, play 'Gimme Gimme That Chicken Tendie!'" Around 10,000 viewers complained that their smartphone began playing the song, despite having been supposedly calibrated to recognize only the owner's voice.

The rule was proposed in February 2018 and went through various stages of debates, interrogation, and some litigation before coming to the five-panel regulatory board. FCA Director Hiram Dersh said that "This rule will stop companies from abusing their customers property and will follow in line with the tend of 'deadvertising' that this administration as undertaken." The panel voted unanimously in favor. Violations of the rule include a $5,000 fine for the first offense, a $10,000 fine for the second offense, and a $25,000 fine for the third offense. Subsequent offenses will prompt an investigation by the FCA and possibly result in the loss of the violator's broadcasting license. As of now, the regulation only affects radio and television companies, the FCA's primary domains in the realm of consumer broadcasting and does not affect the internet or private citizens.