In The News Turn Six

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Prefect Han's Arrest

The arrest and subsequent transportation of Prefect Han has drawn mixed reactions from Chinese media. The Beijing Gazette harshly criticised the action and condemned 'weak' Chinese leadership that permitted an elected official to be arrested and tried by a non-Chinese power. As it has many times before, the Gazette called for withdrawal from the Federation, calling it a tyrannical scheme by western governments to impose control over China. Instead it praised Prefect Han for attempting to 'reclaim' the lost territories of outer Manchuria.

The Shanghai Times differed in its view, saying that Prefect Han's actions were "preposterous" and "severely weakened Chinese dignity in the eyes of foreign powers". Whilst it deplored the loss of life that occurred, it stated that "no self-respecting state rattled its saber at its own ally during wartime", and condemned Han for threatening the war effort.

The Ghost of Sunlight banned in China

The Ghost of Sunlight, a new film by famed Korean director Lee Yeong-Ji, has been banned in the territories of the Chinese Federation due to what the government's Ministry of Culture declared was 'seditionist' intent, reports the Shanghai Times. The film is a dramatic retelling of the life of Kim Dae-Jung (1924-2004), 8th President of South Korea, who is considered a national hero by the Korean people for bringing the nation through Second Impact, reunifying the two Koreas and attempting to resist Chinese dominion. The movie portrays the Chinese invasion in an "extremely negative light, with Chinese soldiers spending its time… raping and pillaging…", which contradicts the official Chinese stance that Korea was a failing state into which China intervened for humanitarian reasons.

Cao Ling drive enters 12th week

The Beijing Times has written an article about the popular Cao Ling drive. The Cao Ling drive is named after Chinese schoolgirl Cao Ling, of Deng Xiaoping Memorial High School. During the Beijing Devastation, Cao Ling was drafted as a reservist and charged with scavenging resources from the city ruins. During this, she went missing. Her wealthy parents, 12 weeks ago, organised a drive pleading for people with information about their daughter to come forth. It quickly became a rallying cry for many others: many young reservists went missing during the period, many of them girls. The drive has thus grown to represent a search for information for all the missing children.

Kolkata University lauded for successes in mathematics

The Kolkata Daily has reported that Kolkata University- India's largest and oldest public university- has recently received accolades from across the world for a recent breakthrough in the field of mathematics. With terms such as 'fields medal' being bandied around, the Daily focused its attention on an unlikely hero of the piece: young mathematics student Rameshwar Chandrasekhar, who was apparently instrumental in the breakthrough. Educated for several years in Paris, Chandrasekhar's family migrated to Kolkata after the Ramliel attacks, where his stellar grades hastened his acceptance into the university. In the piece, Chandrasekhar attributes his success to 'divine inspiration', referencing a visit from a 'goddess with gossamer-grey hair', saying he hoped that his praise reached here wherever she was now.

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Chaos as Belgian Defeat triggers Mass Exodus from Border Regions

French public broadcasters have encouraged people to remain in their homes after the defeat of the French Army in Belgium triggered a mass exodus of people living in towns, cities and departments along the border. Many army units have found their path of retreat greatly throttled as major roads and cities become choked with refugees fleeing the oncoming German army. The chaos is also making reinforcing units or bringing supplies to the front much, much harder than it otherwise would be.

Ministry of Agriculture Implements War Rationing across France as Prices Escalate

The Ministry of Agriculture, Food, Fisheries and Forestry has begun rolling out its new rationing protocols. Under this directive, all citizens across France and Spain will be issued with special ration books filled with coupons and charged to register with a regional shop, which will be placed under government control. During this time, citizens will be required to purchase through their registered shops only. Certain commodities, including gold and many fabrics, have also been brought under control; these resources will now be directed to the military as a priority. To cope with demand for clothing and other necessities, special cheap 'utility' brands have been created to fill department stores.

Le Parisien has reported on the effect this has had on restaurants. Although "Restaurants are not subject to exact rationing", quotes the newspaper, nonetheless restaurants are required to restrict the quantity of meat to one dish per customer, and price caps have been enforced so as to not "allow the rich man to bypass the rations of the poor man". However, with global food production at its lowest ebb in years and UN forces controlling the South Atlantic, eastern Mediterranean and much of the south Pacific rendering imports much more difficult, the cost of importing many foodstuffs has soared dramatically. Restaurants reliant on local produce may survive, but many of their more 'cosmopolitan' rivals will probably fold within the next month.

Such rationing has been in place in Italy ever since Rome was destroyed, of course.

Casualties Heavy as French Forces hold back German Offensive in Alsace-Lorraine

"In a scene reminiscent of horrid Verdun, a random pattern of corpses lie twisted and mangled for miles in both directions, bodies pulped by bolt warheads." So writes Etienne Lagarde for the Le Figaro, one of France's most popular national papers, about the constant grinding battle raging in Alsace-Lorraine. Powerful German forces constantly clash against the fortifications of the Thomas Line, with heavy casualties dealt on both sides before the Germans withdraw. "They say up to 3,000 of our troops die on the worst days," he writes. Although the French army holds the line for now, it is starting to be ground down due to inferior equipment and, most pressingly, a gap in Superheavy capability. Although the French Dreadnoughts are capable of parity with E-Destroyers due to their firepower and rugged, reliable construction, Germany is able to replace its losses far quicker, and the Dreadnought Corps is being worn down by attrition.

Massive Anti-War Protests in Spain As French Africa 'Close to Toppling'

La Croix has criticised Government reaction to anti-war protests in Spain. Across the country, tens of thousands marched in protest of 'the French war', with Barcelona and Madrid clocking over 150,000 each. In many cases, the Spanish police forces were unwilling to police or crack down on the protesters, and French security units had to be called in to restore order. This only exacerbated tensions which led to major clashes between security forces and protesters in Seville, Valencia and Madrid. In the chaos, hundreds were injured and nine people were killed, including one French soldier and a young boy. Vigils for the dead Spaniards are planned to be held on the 15th of August (the boy's birthday), but such an event has the potential to spiral into a full riot.

The vigorous protests come as French forces in Africa suffer major setbacks, with most of Libya, including Tripoli, having fallen, and the UN having managed a successful joint land and amphibious attack that leaves 70,000 UN forces within 100km of Tunis. French forces are stretched, demoralised and in retreat across all fronts, and some believe that within two weeks, Algiers will fall. There are already rumours that the King of Morocco is intending to surrender to the UN, despite the fact that Morocco remains a French Mandate.

Spanish citizens are thus terrified that, should French Africa fall, UN forces will be quick to invade across to Spain, embroiling the country in a war it never wanted.

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