Shirekeep Gazette

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The Shirekeep Gazette: More reputable than the ravings of a lunatic...

Welcome to the Shirekeep Gazette. The Gazette is a newspaper printed in Shirekeep, Imperial County, the Imperial Republic of Shireroth, and distributed across Micras. It was founded in 4926 ASC by Vilhelm Benkern with the intention of providing a free and frequent source of information in the following categories:

News: Relaying domestic Shirerithian affairs faithfully and according to the highest standards of journalistic integrity, for the domestic or foreign reader.

Reportage: On the ground reporters across Micras bearing witness and informing denizens about matters beyond Shireroth's borders.

Comment: The regular supplement Raynor Village Magazine provides interest items, poetry, letters, historical articles and more.

Anyone interested in writing as a reporter or columnist should contact V Benkern, Editor.

The Gazette also carries summaries of newly promulgated Imperial Decrees, Edicts and Ministerial Ordinances.

Past editions can be found here

Recent Headlines

Date Headline Subject Summary
XIII.1652 AN Florian Republic Mulls Foreign Policy Shift Diplomacy
Jeremy Spencer: Leader of the Florian Independence Party.
Northcliff: The Florian Republic, a small Apollonian state bordered on its western frontier by the Jingdaoese Empire, and much tormented by its own population of Jingdaoese separatists, has recently garnered an unprecedented level of international attention, exceeding even that which attended the notorious Moon Hoax, with the on-again/off-again referendum in Xhusor. Although the Florian government has seemingly for the moment backed down and now intends to permit the referendum to proceed, the situation has thrown up some unexpected developments. Firstly, in surprising news, the Imperial Government has signed a freshly inked treaty with the Florian President Edwin Farrar to establish a non-aggression and free trade pact. The treaty obliges the two powers to refrain from hostile acts against each other and opens up the port of Musica to Florian imports.

The second development arising from tensions with the ethnic Jingdaoese minority in Xhusor and elsewhere has been a growing push and impetus in the Florian Parliament to hold a referendum on departure from the controversial USSO alliance, with many parliamentarians rallying to the strident denunciations of the pact which have been made in recent sessions by Jeremy Spencer, the forthright, some might say aggressive, leader of the Florian Independence Party. Our correspondent in the Florian Republic was recently able to secure a brief interview with Mr Spencer and these were the key points which arose:

  1. When asked about the benefits of USSO membership, Mr Spencer was dismissive, stating: "We have seen the country not benefit from USSO membership. Our economy has not improved and trade has been ultimately been quiet due to our domestic issues such as Xhusor War which we believe was completely pointless (arising from Jingdaoese intransigence and duplicity) , because now we have to deal with a referendum which could damage (the Republic's) reputation in years to come". Furthermore when asked whether the USSO had increased his country's sense of security, Mr Spencer answered: "Leaving the USSO would definitely make the Florian Republic Safer. Instead of being dictated by a country which has a horrible past we need to protect ourselves from this threat." It is clear that many parliamentarians share Mr Spencer's view that the irrational fear of a distant hypothetical enemy (Shireroth) has led them to ignore the very real danger of Jingdaoese led subversion at home.
  2. When asked about the contributions of the USSO Common Market to the Florian Republic's economic development, Mr Spencer was openly contemptuous: "Many of our citizens are mislead by a weak government which promises nothing. There is is a massive unemployment rate which the government has ultimately failed to reduce." Forty-four percent of the country's working age population is estimated to be without a full-time salaried job, many rely upon handouts and subsistence agriculture merely to survive. This is potentially a sore point, which is doing much to fuel popular anger against the USSO, since Passio-Corum, and Jingdao, has made a great play about how USSO membership benefits and enriches all of humanity. Mr Spencer was clear however, that the intentions of the Pallisicans are very far from being altruistic: "We totally believe that it is solely the corporations of Passio-Corum that have benefited from using the USSO common market to further their penetration of rival economies rather than supporting other member's of the USSO."
  3. Finally, when asked about the future intentions and long term objectives of the Florian Independence Party he merely answered: "Protecting our Citizens from dangerous countries is one of our priorities and withdrawal from the USSO will fufill this."

Forthright, ambitious, strident, succinct and aggressive; Mr Spencer may lead one of the smaller parliamentary parties but it is clear that he has caught the mood of the moment with regards to the shift in public attitude towards the USSO, catching the government badly off guard and making a referendum on USSO membership still more of a likelihood.

21.XII.1652 AN Xhusor Referendum Latest Diplomacy Shirekeep (IRS): In response to a direct question by this newspaper, the reigning Steward, Liv Dravot, directly stated that "the Imperial Republic of Shireroth supports the suppression of Jingdaoese peoples wherever they may be found." The question was prompted by breaking news that the Florian Republic has dispatched a battalion of light infantry to help suppress separatist turmoil which has been spreading in the restive Xhusor province following the announcement of an independence referendum. The Shirerithian government is watching the situation closely. Meanwhile the Ministry of Military Affairs has been forced to deny that it has been inundated by requests for leave from serving personnel in the Imperial Forces who are keen to use some of their precious vacation time to travel to the Florian Republic and help crack Jing skulls with the cudgel (a specialist Shirerithian baton consisting of a handy length of solid oak tipped with a hefty lead weight).
1652.6616.AN.ASC Trans-Benacian Railway Edges Closer Domestic Shirekeep (IRS): Proposals submitted by commercial parties detailing the route and viability of a Trans-Benacian Railway, linking Shirekeep to the city of Kingsrise in the far west have reportedly earned the favour of the reigning Steward Liv Dravot. The Imperial Government is presently formulating proposals which, as they pretain to inter-state trade and infrastructure can be promulgated via an Imperial Decree. The route, which will link central and western Benacia, has the potential to open up the former Amokolian and Batavian lands to settlement and development. As such there is likely to be a certain degree of interest on the part of the autonomous Imperial States concerning the final route, accordingly it is likely that some or all aspects of this project will ultimately be put before the Landsraad for approval.
1652.6616.AN.ASC Tensions Rise with Jingdao Diplomacy/Military Shirekeep (IRS): Following the Auspicious Occasion the territories of the former Kingdom of Batavia were liberated from Elwynnese occupation and granted limited self-government by the Imperial Republic. The Jingdaoese Empire responded to this, after spurning a generous adjustment of the Armistice Line, by announcing its intent to form a new province of Badawei in Western Benacia utilising displaced persons and the descendants of slaves captured by the Jingdaoese during their own brief occupation. This, combined with other provocations, resulted in the Imperial Forces being obliged to conduct a precautionary artillery bombardment against suspicious persons and structures in the enclave of 's Koningenwaarde (Tianhoucheng). Making the usual allowances for Jingdaoese provocations and propaganda, the Ministry of Military Affairs has ordered a significant reinforcement of the western provinces, with air assets arriving in the next few days and auxiliary reinforcements arriving at intervals through the remainder of the year. It is likely that other steps will be taken as the extent of USSO perfidy becomes more apparent.
1652.6616.AN.ASC Publication of the Shirekeep Gazette Resumes Domestic Shirekeep (IRS): The Shirekeep Gazette today celebrated publishing its first edition since publication was suspended in 1646 following the arrest and detention of several editorial staff and correspondents for spreading anti-state subversion and opposition to the dynastic succession established for the descendants of Our Lady the Radiant Sun, the late Kaiseress. We celebrate in our first full edition the commitment of the Imperial Government to righteous thought, freedom of lawful expression and the defence of our established and permitted liberties.

Previous Headlines

Date Headline Subject Summary
1646.6440 AN.ASC Sxiro-Natopian Defence Cooperation Deepens Military Lindstrom (Natopia):As part of the integration of Shirerithian and Natopian Forces within the framework of the Shirerithian-Alexandrian-Natopian Entente the Natopian Defence Force announced that it had assumed responsibility for the Cibola, Keltia, Space, Tapfer and Trans-Euran "theatre commands". The Cibola Command would be apportioned to Alexandria once it completes the ratification process for the SANE treaty. At present the Apollonia and Benacia Commands fall under the responsibility of the Imperial Forces of the Imperial Republic of Shireroth, which serves as the lead nation on those two continents.

Isabella Simrani-Kalirion, the Natopian Defence Minister, stated that the door had been left open to the possibility of Theatre Commands being reallocated to other partner nations as they signal their alignment with the Western Alliance.

A Theatre Command is a continental region in which a lead nation has responsibility for the command and control of all allied forces deployed on operations, that is to say away from their day to day domestic defence and security responsibilities, in that region.

Theatre Commands are answerable to the Joint Military Council (JMC) of the Western Alliance, comprising of the heads of government and defence ministers for each member nation, which coordinates the overall strategic and defence priorities of the armed forces of the member states.

In practical terms, the new dispensation means that Shireroth will take primary responsibility for containing the threat of Jingdao and the Voorpost Pact (the so-called USSO) in Northern Apollonia whilst Natopia takes over responsibility for coordinating military support to the Hammish Republican Army and the conduct of freedom of navigation and counter-piracy operations in the Sea of Storms. Shirerithian military assets, which include a naval task force and teams of military advisers, deployed to the Sea of Storms and on to the Hammish mainland, now come under Natopian operational control.

1645.6415 AN.ASC Defensive Preparations Continue Military Goldshire Hamlet: With the apparent refusal of the USSO to countenance lifting the illegal, immoral and hypocritical blockade on Neo Patrova, where a ceasefire and unity government has continued without incident, the Shirerithian and Natopian Governments yesterday announced that they deemed the Shireroth-Alexandria-Natopia Entente (SANE), otherwise known as the Western Alliance, to be in effect. This announcement comes even though the Alexandrian ratification process has been stalled by a defeat in the Empire's legislative assembly in Geneva. With the Entente in operation the two allies can formally begin to coordinate their armed forces through an integrated command structure. This has already resulted in a flurry of orders opening Natopian ports and air space to Shirerithian forces and placing the 3rd Expeditionary Fleet at the disposal of the Eastern Armada[1]. At present the deployed reinforcements in the Northern Sea remain at a numerical disadvantage to the combined fleet of Jingdao and Gerenia. However, spikes in activity observed in the Mesior Naval Base and around dockyards throughout the islands of Amity and Yardistan, suggest that this may not remain the case for much longer. Rumours are also circulating that Shirerithian fighter and heavy bomber squadrons are being redeployed from the frontier with Minarboria to dispersal runways in the Shirerithian Imperial State of Goldshire, suggesting that the Imperial Republic is preparing to use long-range strike forces to off-set any numerical disadvantage in-theatre.
1645.6414 Envoy to the Maritime Markets Trade Ardashirshahr: ESB Group director Huldah Llynadorion, acting as a personal emissary for the group's chairman, Daniyal Dravot, today boarded the Luftangriffschiff Zerstörer LZ-019 for a journey to Blore Heath. A spokesman for the ESB Group said that the purpose of the visit was to begin negotiations for the listing of the ESB Group's Keltian operations at the Port of Blore Heath and that any suggestion that the Imperial Government might be seeking to hire the Fleet of Blore Heath, the Bacchian Vine Fleet or the Knights of Mt.Nysa, in light of the recent and ongoing confrontations with the USSO, were egregiously wide of the mark.
1645.6413 Ceasefire in Neo Patrova Military In a brief statement released to the press, Royston Merrick, commander of the SHAM Forces in Neo Patrova, declared that the military objectives of his campaign in the western districts of that territory had been substantially achieved. The Magister's statement stressed that the SHAM had not come to Neo Patrova to as conquerors but rather to provide humanitarian assistance and to help rebuild Hamland's shattered agricultural sector, which had been devastated by both the civil war and an ongoing long-term ecological catastrophe, to the point where the Hammish would be in the position to resume exports of wheat. The statement concluded that it was for the factions in the Hammish Civil War to reach a negotiated settlement and that the SHAM would not and could not be writing blank cheques for the combatants in perpetuity. The Magister will be attending talks in Freedom City with the leadership of the Samerican Militia to discuss the implementation of the ceasefire and the delivery of Shirerithian food aid from the nearby colony of Crowsilver.
1645.6413 Jingdaoese Provocations Risk War Diplomatic The joint Jingdaoese-Gerenian declaration of a blockade upon the Hammish territory of Neo Patrova[2] has resulted in reciprocal mobilisations[3][4] by the powerful Shirerithian and Jingdaoese navies, adding yet another contentious chapter to the long history of the Sxiro-Jingdaoese Confrontation.
1645.6412 Fighting continues in Neo Patrova Military
Shirerithian naval assets arrive off-shore in the Camoleo/Samarne Estuary.
Neo Patrova: Following a dawn assault, the naval base held by Samerican Militia allies of the Ravaillac Loyalists and the Hammish Republican Army was captured by the 2nd Army Corps of the NPA. The defenders fought valiantly and disdained the opportunity to surrender meaning that there were, regrettably, no survivors. The NPA reportedly endured heavy casualties with 2,740 fatalities and 6,500 wounded, during the six day operation.

With the fall of the naval base, which will take months to restore to operability, the entirety of the Neo Patrovan side of the Camoleo/Samarne estuary is in the hands of the NPA, providing a firm bridgehead for the NPA in northern Apollonia and the springboard for an overland advance towards Freedom City. The majority of the NPA flotilla is now proceeding eastwards, in parallel with the shoreline towards Freedom City. Monitoring the ongoing impact of the Hammish Civil War, Task Force 41 of the Imperial Navy of Shireroth's Eastern Armada, has diverted from its normal patrol pattern to take up station in the Northern Sea. The Kalir Class Carrier-Cruiser ZNS Yarad I, escorted by three Duchy Class destroyers, has been observed from the Shoreline and carrier based aviation has been conducting continuous patrols on the edge of territorial waters since their arrival.

1645.6411 Humanitarian Work in Hamland Military Neo Patrova: Magister Royston Merrick today announced, during a tour of territory liberated by the 2nd Army Corps from Samerican Militias, that far from extorting grain from the Hammish overseas territory, the Sxiro-Hammish Agricultural Mission had been obliged to organise food aid. "Although the long term aim is to see Hammish agriculture restored to the point where exports can resume, this will not be possible if the workforce starves in the meantime. Our purchasing officers in Crowsilver and the overseas Elwynnese territories are bulk buying wheat, rice and oats in order to replace the winter stores lost during the fighting. We will do everything in our power to mitigate this humanitarian catastrophe."
1645.6410 Alexandria and Natopia Make a Stand Diplomacy Following on from the Shirerithian decision to deploy Task Force 90 to the Sea of Storms to protect its commercial shipping from interference by overzealous Passian revenue collectors, the Empress of the Natopians authorised the deployment of the 1st Exploratory Group of the Natopian Navy to the Sea of Storms as part of the intriguingly named Operation Butterstorm[5]. In that same order, the Court of the Verdant Gardens (the Natopian ministry of defence) was also tasked with cooperating with its Shirerithian counterpart, the Ministry of Military Affairs, to provide safe and unfettered transit for Shirerithian merchant vessels passing though the international waterways of the Sea of Storms by any means necessary within the limitations of international maritime law.

Meanwhile the Empire of the Alexandrians, in a strongly worded communique[6], denounced the actions of the Greater Pallisican Trade Association as being "completely outside of ... international custom and tradition". The communique, in response to correspondence received from the Shirerithian Ministry of the Exterior, concluded with a declaration of intent to work alongside Alexandria's Natopian allies put the issue before the Micras Treaty Organization, with the intent of securing the authorisation of an Festivals de las Armadas, an international naval coalition last mooted against the Maritime Free Republic to ensure the safety and security of global commerce in the face of what the Emperor of the Alexandrians described as Passasian piracy.

1645.6410 AN.ASC International Condemnation of Passio-Corum Mounts Diplomacy The Imperial Republic of Shireroth reacted with outrage to news that the Realm of Passio-Corum was imposing a "Targeted Tax" on Shirerithian vessels found to be carrying agricultural or dual-use equipment bound for the Commonwealth of Hamland. The claims of the so-called Supreme Arbiter that Shirerithian merchant vessels sailing on the Sea of Storms had previously been targeted for extortion by agents of the Realm of Passio-Corum in no way explained or excused the imposition of this new charge on vessels of another sovereign nation operating in international waters.

The revelation that Passio-Corum has had the effrontery to seek to lay claim to an entire ocean as its own sovereign domain has set the international community in uproar. The most widely accepted international standard with regards to what can be defined as a territorial water is found MTO's Convention on the Laws of the Seas, which clearly upholds the time honoured custom that it is only within a distance of 24 kilometres from a country's base shore line that a nation's laws on customs, taxation, and immigration can be imposed.

In response to the Imperial Republic's announcement that it was dispatching a task force to the Sea of Storms to uphold the rights of navigation that are the right of all nations, statements of support have been received from Minarboria[7], Natopia[8] and Talenore[9].

Practical offers of support to the Shirerithians have included safe anchorage for Shirerithian commercial vessels as well as intelligence sharing on the movements and dispositions of assets of the Navy of the New Zimian War League.