Another month means another EuroNews issue! Be it on the beach or in a mountain chalet, get comfy and take a stroll through the articles we gathered for this hot month. Enjoy your reading!
The flag of South St Maarten who won the election
July’s election was highly anticipated and it was expected to be very dense of events since the inability of the incumbent, St Scarlett, to run because of reaching the term limit. In the end, it turned out to be one of the most quiet we’ve ever witnessed, having only two candidates, neither of whom released a clear platform for the election: Blechingia and South St Maarten.
Blechingia is a relatively new nation residing in Europe since November 2019. As his election disclosure reveals he has served as Legislator in the South Pacific, but the length of the term is unknown. Like his rival for the term, he did not release any information nor statement regarding his electoral campaign.
South St Maarten is one of the most well known Europeans. Before this election, he served as 2nd Deputy Commissioner for three terms, from December 2018 to September 2019, and he’s also the organizer of the famed Eurovision Song Contest. As stated previously, he did not release a defined platform nor any kind of further information on his campaign.
As soon as the polls opened South St Maarten gained the lead with more than seven votes over his opponent and succeeded at keeping and enlarging the vantage, thus closing and winning the election with a total of 50 votes.
Total votes cast: 61
Blechingia: 11 (18%)
South St Maarten: 50 (82%)
Written by Regnum Italiae
The flag of Korsinia, also known as Laver
Island, the first European to join Thaecia
It’s no secret that there has been a mass exodus of regulars in Europe in recent months. From people such as Potus branada and Suomessa leaving NS altogether, to long time regulars such as Laver Island (better known by his main of Korsinia) and Dizgovzy abandoning Europe for another region, and with other regulars such as Miharr, Bathera, and Yahlia spending more time in regions such as Thaecia than they do in Europe. The European RMB is nearly unrecognisable today when compared to what it was just 4 months ago, with a host of young newcomers dominating the landscape of the RMB. So the million-dollar question is: what happened?
Let’s get the first demographic out of the way first: the prominent regulars who CTEd and left NS altogether. Well, there’s really not much to say about them. They simply had enough of NS and had to focus on real life obligations. Suo, also known in Europe by his real identity of Mikko Kokkonen, is a professional ice hockey player who already had issues keeping up with NS life even while he was active in Europe due to demands of his career. Potus, who was also known by his real name in Europe, left for largely the same reasons. Speaking with him in the end of May, he was doing well for himself, focusing on his studies and even participating in a campaign to reshape the internet as we know it and remove the presence of big business.
Now to Laver/Kors and Diz’s departures. Now both prominent government officials in Thaecia, both left largely in protest of incumbent WA Delegate Imperium Anglorum’s (IA for short) apparent inaction when dealing with perceived troublemakers in Europe, notably Gor Kebab and The Oriental Empire, who they claim are the primary sources of the long-running toxicity in Europe. Diz himself as had a flurry of confrontations with Gor, and while it’s in the best interest of EuroNews not to take a side in past conflicts that have long ended, it’s prudent to say that the Diz/Gor feuds served as one of the catalysts that divided Europe and lit the fuse to the exodus. Laver has gone on to say that he vows never to return to Europe unless action is taken against both Gor and Orient, claiming that IA is enabling their apparent toxic behaviour and that he’ll play no part in such a community.
On the topic of IA, another major reason for the mass exodus of regulars is the lack of approval of IA’s rule of Europe. A general consensus among many regulars is that IA is an ineffective and inactive leader whose reign is undemocratic. Many cite his lack of engagement in the European community and preference to engage in the WA community rather than his own as a reason for their disapproval of him. Another reason is the rather unique system of electing delegates that Europe employs. Rather than holding presidential elections and the like, Europe’s leader is decided solely based on who has the most WA endorsements. Detractors claim that IA’s rule is illegitimate as many newcomers to Europe may not be aware that they are actively voting for IA as their leader by endorsing him right off the bat.
Another issue is the apparent over-complication of European law and IA’s apparent mishandling of former Home Secretary Feria-Alkaline’s tampering of the passage of the Defence Office Act tabled by Regnum Italiae, with many citing that Feria had committed the same offence to aid in the passage of the Statute Law Revision Act. Whether these criticisms are justified or are simply more outrage thrown towards IA due to his increasing unpopularity is debatable. The effects are noticeable though: regulars such as Miharr, Eritei, and Bathera have unendorsed IA and have moved to Thaecia as their main, the aforementioned Laver and Diz have given up on Europe altogether and now revolve their NS lives around Thaecia, while others such as Yahlia and myself have simply gone with the wave and followed their friends to Thaecia.
But why Thaecia?
It started with Laver, who is incredibly active in Thaecia with his nation Korsinia. His popularity in Europe encouraged many Europeans to have puppets in Thaecia, and when regulars started backing away from Europe en masse Thaecia seemed to be the most logical alternative due to the existing European presence there. With Laver as the Prime Minister of Thaecia, Diz as the Speaker of the House, and myself being a member of the Thaecian House of Commons, the presence of Europeans serving as elected officials in Thaecia provided more incentive for European regulars with an existing framework in Thaecia for Europeans to integrate into.
Honestly, that question is impossible to answer. It appears that the current status quo is here to stay, with no “side” in any hurry to concede to the other. As such, many Europeans are trapped in a sort of limbo, being active in both regions with no real definitive affiliation with the other. Many who call Thaecia their new home have already embraced the community, and have renewed incentive to stay away from Europe as its RMB has devolved into spam, RP, political bickering and rule-breaking. Others, on the other hand, have found it difficult to fit in with the Thaecian community, with its alien society when compared to Europe’s serving as a barrier for Europeans whose friends have moved to Thaecia and have nowhere else to go, with one or two considering quitting NS altogether as a result.
What happens from here’s uncertain. And it’ll be foolish to make any speculations on my part, but I suppose we can only hope for the best.
Written by Republic of Satherland
Europe keeps being a workshop of ideas, with residents releasing tons of factbook and dispatches. Now, let’s dive in some of the best and most interesting ones I’ve seen.
Eurasies is one of our most prolific authors with 27 dispatches released in less than 80 days (in the moment of writing). His latest creations, following a longstanding regional trend, is a series of national newspaper issues. In the last one, linked down here, we can read the summary of a debate between the main parties of the nation.
2020 Electoral debate
Scott Mueller | July 27, 2020
With the Eurasies legislative elections, which will decide who will be the 600 new deputies who will represent the nation, we have summarized this debate with the best questions and the best answers.
1 - Are they supporters of a Monarchy or a Republic in Eurasies?
We do not have a firm position on it, but a Monarchy seems better to us.
Definitely a Republic, it is the fairest system and where the people are given a voice when governing.
We will always be in favor of a Republic, in a Monarchy the plutocracy is usually established, which disadvantages the worker and helps the rich.
Whatever is best for our dear Eurasies and us.
Government systems do not matter to us, we only care that this system complies with protecting our planet.
Both systems derive from the power of the bourgeoisie, we need a system in which nobody is above anyone.
2 - Should the rich pay more taxes than the poor?
Absolutely not, the poor come in more quantity, and the rich in less, if we charge the rich too much, there would be no wealth gaps, leading to an economic crisis.
That depends a lot on the financial situation that the government has at that time, we will always try not to fiscally exploit our citizens, regardless of their level of wealth.
Our answer would be yes but moderate, they could be a good source of income for the government, but we do not want to end the rich either.
We declare ourselves neutral, because neither the rich nor the poor deserve to be exploited economically.
The economic classes should allocate their taxes voluntarily, if they do not give us money, the services fail, so at any time they would have to do it.
Absolutely yes, our party's desire is to close the gaps between the poor and the rich, we seek equality, and progressive taxes would be a good solution.
3 - What is your position on abortion?
Pro-life, if a woman becomes pregnant it is because she did not use contraception and was irresponsible, now she must take care of her baby.
We are pro-life but we do not consider it 100% illegal, it should only be aborted if the mother's life is in danger or she has been the victim of rape.
Pro-choice, each woman should be able to make her own decision as to whether or not she wants to abort her child.
Pro-choice, so we will prevent creatures from being born that are likely to harm the world.
Pro-life definitely, we need many workers to create our Marxist and egalitarian society, women should have no right to almost nothing, a woman with rights is a woman who supports oppressive capitalism.
4 - Are resident foreign entitled to vote?
No, not at all, they come to Eurasies to live, not to vote.
Only if it is shown that they are legal residents and without criminal records.
We must agree with the liberals on this point.
No, why ?, they shouldn't vote, they sure don't know what Eurasian politics is like.
Definitely yes, more votes mean more seats for small parties.
Foreigners should not even be allowed in Eurasies.
5 - What is your political ideology?
After this debate, who will you vote for?
Comments  | E-mail
I have always voted for the conservative party, but liberal ideas catch my eye.
Come on President!, liberalism forever, death to communism!
Of course by the PoP, we will win comrades!
Even after tons of works, Eritei continues to bring out masterpieces. Her most recent one is the Wikipedia-style article of the Chamber Judge Vid Mijatović. The factbook dives deep into the Chamber Judge life while keeping the reading easy and interesting.
Judge Vid Mijatović
Valitinia Vasucci (m. 1991)
Vid Luka Mijatović
University of Milan
"Early in life I wanted to be a scientist, study the natural flow of machines. I also took a degree in Political Science, thought it would be fun. Turns out I ditched science and went for politics, got a job as an understudy in the National Assembly, and it all went from there. Moral is, follow your heart, but keep watch for other opportunities, your study can always change for the better."
- Vid Mijatović, talking to the 2012 graduating class of Maritime High School Zadar
Judge Vid Luka Mijatović (2 December 1965) is the Chamber Judge of the House Chamber. He currently sits through his second term as Judge, already a long time as is, as most Judge's do not spend two terms as Judge. He is also the second Croatian to serve as Chamber Judge, and first Atheist.
Mijatović was born in the small town of Korčula, in southern Croatia. He was the only son to Zvonko and Anđelka Mijatović. He got the highest grades of his entire town during his childhood, and graduated with highest honours from his high school, and earning himself a full payed scholarship to the University of Milan. He origionally studied in Science and Techology, however switched his major to Political Science halfway through his study. After graduating, he got a job as an understudy in the National Assembly. A few years later, Mijatović became the Deputy Junior Judge (DJJ) of the National Assembly, then two years later became Deputy Senior Judge (DSJ). Two years after resigning as DSJ, he was invited by Empress Rose I to become the Chamber Judge of the House Chamber. Mijatović became the 31st Chamber Judge, the second Croatian to be Chamber Judge, and the first Atheist to be Chamber Judge.
Mijatović was born on December 2, 1965, to Zvonko and Anđelka Mijatović, as an only child. Mijatović was a calm kid, his parents saying that they could simply lay him down and he'd be fine. He grew up comfortably, with his parents holding up good jobs, however that meant that his parents were always away from home during the day. This meant that he also grew up with his aunt, Vanja Jozić, and her children, who came over as well. Mijatović also grew up with a fascination for technology, he was baffled as a child about all the technology that was around him, and watched new ones pop into existence around him (even if it wasn't that quickly that it happened).
When Mijatović went to school, he never really became a popular kid. He was always more interested in what the teacher was doing or what classwork they were doing. He was always focused in his study, even as a child (though not as much). When he attended high school, Mijatović always scored high 90's. He was always focused in his studies, however he also made friends and sometimes didn't focus a lot, yet still gained high marks. When he graduated high school, he was on the honours roll, and he was also elected as valedictorian for the school. Mijatović was the first student from his school to receive the grades he did, and he was also offered a full-paid scholarship to the University of Milan. Mijatović accepted, and even though his Eturian was still somewhat shaky at the time, he packed up his things, and headed to Milan.
When Mijatović first arrived in Milan, he was stunned. He had never left his hometown, and so has also never seen a big city before. Mijatović started his time in Milan by learning Eturian, with language classes for him also payed for by the university. He picked up the language fairly quickly, and flew through his first year with ease.
Although he was invested in his studies, Mijatović also began to party with other students. He went to a number of parties yet still somehow always had extremely high grades. It was at one of these parties that he met (his now wife) Valitinia Vasucci. Vasucci and Mijatović became fast friends, and started dating only 6 months after meeting.
Mijatović originally started his major in Science and Technology, however he also took a course in Political Science, since he thought it would be interesting. He eventually became more interested in politics than technology, so halfway through his study he switched his major to Political Science. Only 5 years after entering university, in 1987, he graduated summa cum laude and as valedictorian for his graduating class.
A year after graduating from university, and working as a barista, Mijatović landed a job as an understudy in the National Assembly. His job was to simply deliver messages, help politicians understand things, and escort out rowdy politicians. This was the start of his career, although not nice, it was better than what he was doing before, and part of his job was to learn from the politicians and be able to copy them to become a politician himself. Mijatović slowly gained more respect in the National Assembly, already making political favours as he could, and even becoming Head Secretary for Matters of the Assembly.
In 1991, he married his long time girlfriend, Valitinia Vasucci, and just one year later, had his first child, Davor Mijatović-Vasucci. He was known as a family man, taking some time off from his work to help his wife, who had recently been laid off from her job. A year after that, Mijatović had a second child, Jasminea Mijatović-Vasucci. He took more time off to help, however was forced to return to the National Assembly or risk losing his job.
Whilst as an understudy and secretary, he caught the attention of previous Common Judge Olinto Boni. He liked Mijatović, and after being elected out, informed the new Judge, Albano Zetticci, about his likings for Mijatović. Zetticci also grew a liking for Mijatović, and in 2005, offered him the position of Deputy Junior Judge of the National Assembly (DJJ). Mijatović accepted the offer, leaving his post as secretary to become DJJ. As DJJ, he simply assisted both the Deputy Senior Judge (DSJ) and the Common Judge, acting more as the messenger of the two.
Two years later, when the DSJ resigned, Zetticci offered Mijatović the position of DSJ. Mijatović accepted, and became DSJ the next month. As DSJ, he often wound up being the temporary Judge, as Zetticci's health was quickly declining in his age. Mijatović, who everyone at first thought wouldn't be able to handle the pressure, was able to control the assembly extremely well, and earned large amounts of praise from the assembly. When Zetticci resigned in 2008, he was replaced by Marino Colombo, who although liked Mijatović, replaced him with another DSJ, offering him the position of DJJ. Mijatović declined however, wanting to do more than return to being the DJJ.
Mijatović searched for jobs in the meantime, again returning to his post as secretary. He was at first thinking of running for the National Assembly, or the House Chamber, or maybe even becoming the Common Judge. However, in late 2009, Mijatović was asked by Empress Rose I to become the Chamber Judge after the election in 2010, as the past Judge, Gaspar Beauchemin, had resigned his post earlier in the year. Mijatović accepted the post, and on March 1, 2010, was sworn in as the 31st Chamber Judge of the House Chamber. This also made him the second Croatian in Eriteian history to serve as Chamber Judge, the only other being Judge Mislav Ivanković in 1840.
After becoming Chamber Judge, Mijatović appointed Vittoria Marcelo as his Junior Judge. He was a relatively unknown face in the House Chamber, as he worked primarily with the National Assembly, and really only communicated with the Chamber Lords when it was necessary. He quickly grew in popularity however, as he was able to control the (at the time) out of control House Chamber. Mijatović's appointment as Judge, was extremely popular, including in Croatia, where they felt more represented with a Croatian as Chamber Judge. He is also the first speaker that is Atheist, as all Judge's before hand had been apart of one religion.
Under his Judiciary, Mijatović opened the Junior Judge Program, a program that is aimed at helping the youth of Eritei learn more about not only what it means to be in a leadership position, however also to introduce them to positions (Common Judge, Chamber Judge, as well as politicians) that they would normally not be able to meet. He resides over the program, and helps young Eriteians to learn more about politics and other subjects.
Mijatović was an influential figure in having the 2020 Chamber elections done using a proportional representation system, instead of the traditional direct vote system. He wanted to do it slowly, however he still wanted to see an election change sooner or later.
Mijatović had already served one term, however he decided to continue for a second term, and he was allowed to continue as Judge. This made him part of the small amount of Judge's that stayed for two terms, however this made him the first Croatian to serve as Chamber Judge for longer than one decade.
Coat of Arms of Mijatović as Chamber Judge
Mijatović has a very public image. Along with the Junior Judge Program, he also makes many public appearances, often meeting with young children, but also with the general public. He also makes a lot of visits to Croatia, as he want's to keep the connection between Croatia and Eritei strong. He also created the youth program, Kids for Parliament, with other Members of Parliament and Chamber Lords. In this program, teenagers are brought into Parliament and act out a day in parliament, as well as giving them opportunities to travel around Eritei and the world.
Mijatović also is known for his visits to the Republic of Croatia, as his position of Chamber Judge allows Eritei and Croatia to strengthen their already strong ties even more. Mijatović was awarded the Order of Duke Trpimir by President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović, as he campaigned highly for both stronger relations, and international recognition of the two Croatian states.
Mijatović has had a very open life with the public, unlike previous Chamber Judge's. He's been very open in order to show that anyone can become whatever, even a regular person like himself. He does however keep the more private matters of his family out of the picture, like in 2015, when he announced that just two years ago that his wife was having a battle with breast cancer, and survived.
Mijatović has kept away from describing his own political views, saying that he prefers to keep the seat of Judge as a neutral seat, instead of one that simply favours one side of the debate over the other. He has had controversial calls, like letting the Marxist-Leninist Party speak 1 hour longer than allowed, however most of his calls are as neutral as possible.
Mijatović has also written a book, called, "Moj Život Suca" (My Life as Judge) where he talks about not only his time as Chamber Judge, but also his journey to get there, and how the title as second Croatian Judge has affected him.
Mijatović has never scored below 85 on any school test or project, other than one, where he missed the deadline due to miscommunication
Mijatović originally came to Milan with no idea of anything, and had to learn both Eturian (which he knew a little of) and Italian.
Mijatović has been named Baron of Korčula, his home town
His wife, Vasucci, joined the National Assembly under the Liberal Party after the election in 2008, two years before he became Chamber Judge
(as said before) He is the second Croatian to serve as Chamber Judge, first Croatian to serve longer than a decade, and first Atheist to be Chamber Judge
Although not shown here, the banner of his Coat of Arms says, "Za neovisnost · Za jedinstvo" (For Independence · For Unity)
Mijatović keeps his political leanings a secret from the public, possibly because the position of Chamber Judge is a neutral position, or possibly because he would rather keep himself separated from allegations due to his political leanings. Either way, it has worked for him, since no one can blame him for liking one party over another, and that he does his job as neutrally as possible.
For: Democracy, Croatian Identity, Cultural Acceptance, Education
Against: Oppression, Hate, Racism, Nationalism
"I started in science, however found out that I liked politics. It turned out great for me, not because I didn't want to do it, but because I did"
"I while ago, I was just a smart kid in Southern Croatia. The next, I'm the Chamber Judge of Eritei"
"You know, I try my hardest, however when people who should be representing the Empress' thoughts are worse than those who are elected to represent the peoples really says something about this here democracy"
"The Honourable Lord that represents the Liberal Ideology must remain seated as the Judge speaks, or be removed from the Chamber! You can shout and shout but the same Liberals represented by my wife are ten times better behaved than this one Honourable Lord is!"
"I don't believe in a God, my parents did, however I don't. What does that mean for me? Nothing. For Eritei? A lot, and I couldn't care less"
"My job is to keep the Chamber Lord's in check, but I'm first a Croatian. Our culture is important to us, so simple political borders won't separate our culture, one that has never once felt different to each other once"
Remember Europeans, keep sharing your creativity with each other, there’s plenty of really good stuff out there!
Written by Regnum Italiae
Europeans of the Month
Nothing is more important for keeping our region alive than its community! So, here is this issue’s Europeans of the Month to award some of our members for their contributions to NationStates Europe!
The award for Newcomer of the Month goes to... Union europae!
UE has been a pleasure to have in Europe, having only been around for a couple of weeks they have already developed their nation lore quite a bit and become very active on the RMB, writing posts, sharing their creations, giving out likes and getting involved in regional activities such as Outer Sparta’s football tournament. Welcome to our region!
The award for RMBer of the Month goes to... Anskerdank!
Anskerdank went on a break a while ago after some tough times, and while he returned briefly last month it seems that this month marks his full return, and he has become fully active on the RMB once more. It’s good to have you back, we welcome you with open arms!
The award for Flag of the Month goes to... Pontus and trebizond!
I may be biased towards yellow flags but this nation’s flag is a unique and interesting design. Its colours work well together, it contains a recognisable emblem and it is certainly fitting of a monarchy based nation. Good work!
The award for Motto of the Month goes to... The Poland-Lithuania Commonwealth!
“Elige Unum Quod Ne Constanter Quidem Fidelis!” (Steadiness Chooses the Faithful One)
This is a very fancy-sounding Latin motto which fits the grand Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth greatly but is also unique not being used by the real-life counterpart. I’m not entirely sure what it means but I like it!
The award for Factbook of the Month goes to... Elisabethshagen!
Full Name: Königin Elisabeth DLV. zu Elisabethshagen
Title(s): Königin zu Elisabethshagen, Wächterin des Reiches
Age: 26 (12. April 1994)
Bio: Königin Elisabeth zu Elisabethshagen is the latest in the long row of sovereigns of her country: Fivehundredfiftyfour Elisabeths reigned before herself.
Nation they Represent: Elisabethshagen
Position in said nation: Königin (Queen)
Political Views: Liberal
Additional Information: New in her role as head of state
Likes: Safety for young families / peace / compassion with others / untouched nature
Dislikes: War / MDWs / intolerance / ignorance
Full Name: Richard Hartmann
Age: 50 (2. September 1969)
Bio: Kanzler Richard Hartmann is the long term chief of the Elisabethshagenian government. He is in his third legislation period.
Nation they Represent: Elisabethshagen
Position in said nation: Kanzler (Chancellor)
Political Views: Social democratic
Additional Information: Experienced charismatic diplomat
Likes: International cooperation / Law and Order / Good (school) education for all
Dislikes: Crime / Corruption / MDWs
Name of Security: Wachregiment Elisabethshagen
What are they?: Military guards
This is a nice factbook detailing those who are in charge of the nation, something which I don’t see combined into a single informative factbook that often. It includes likes and dislikes, political viewpoints and brief descriptions of who they are. I enjoyed reading this factbook!
Honourable mention to Eurasies who continues to produce excellent and very informative factbooks!
And last but definitely not least, the award for General Excellence this month goes to... Alienage!
While Alienage did briefly leave the region amidst the drama and people disappearing to other regions, he could not stay away and has become one of the most active users of the RMB who remains despite everything. In addition, we’ve seen some really great factbooks come out of his mind including one that details his politician’s political views. It’s great to have you around still Alienage!
Written by St Scarlett
The State Flag of Maine with the motto ‘Dirigo’
meaning ‘I lead’ in Latin
This is the start of a new series by South St Maarten, primarily for non-Americans which will explore some of the lesser-known states in the United States of America. Today, we start with Maine.
Biggest City: Portland
Population: 1,338,404 (2018)
Land Area: 35,385 mi² (56,946 km²)
Date Joined The Union: 6 February 1788 or 15 March 1820
Borders: New Hampshire (West), Canada (North), The Atlantic Ocean (East & South)
Nickname: The Pine Tree State
Native American tribes have lived in the state of Maine for hundreds of years. Tribes such as the Micmac, Maliseet, Passamaquoddy, Abenaki, and Penobscot fished, hunted, and lived in Maine's thick forests, hence the nickname "The Pine Tree State". The medieval Vinland settlement as described in Norse lore could have been in Northern Maine. Fort St. George was built in present-day Maine by English explorers in 1607 as a permanent colony. However, the harsh winters forced them to leave after but one year. By 1700, the British had claimed all of Maine and incorporated it into their Massachusetts Bay colony, despite being split from the rest of the colony. Meanwhile, France (and temporarily the Netherlands during the Franco-Dutch War) claimed the upper half of Maine. The Seven Years' War brought the end of the dispute and by 1776 Maine was firmly in British hands.
During the Revolutionary War Maine was still part of Massachusetts but was largely uninvolved in the war, as many of the major battles in Saratoga, Boston, New York, Trenton, Princeton, and Yorktown took place south of the area. The war came to a close and in 1788, Massachusetts (including Maine) ratified the constitution and joined the United States of America. During the War of 1812, Maine's coastal towns were constantly attacked by the British, and the lack of support from Mainland Massachusetts started the movement for individual statehood. The famous Missouri Compromise kept the balance of Slave and Free states in the USA by simultaneously making Missouri a slave state and splitting Maine off and making it a free state.
Culture, Landscape, and Transportation
Since the 1820s, Maine's history has been rather unremarkable. Compared to the bustling Atlantic metropolises to its South (Boston, New York City, Philadelphia, Washington DC), Maine is known for a relaxed, quiet lifestyle. Known for its Maritime cuisine, clams, lobster, and red snapper. Maine is also known for the blueberries that are common in its vast forests. Most of the state is uninhabited and completely forested. The world-famous Appalachian Trail ends at Mount Katahdin, which at 5,269 feet (1,606 m) is the tallest mountain in Maine. The Kennebec River almost splits the state in half and the capital, Augusta, is located on its banks. Northern Maine identifies closer to Nova Scotia (Canada) than any other US state. The many beautiful lakes and ponds that are scattered throughout the state and are popular vacation spots for American tourists.
Maine is connected to the rest of the United States by many roads, including Interstate 95, which goes from the Canadian border all the way to Miami, Florida. Augusta, Portland, and Bangor all have significant airports with daily flights. Portland also has a train station where Amtrak's Downeaster provides daily service to New Hampshire, Massachusetts, and beyond. Boating is popular for recreation but is rarely used as a daily mode of transportation.
Next month we will head far west to a hidden gem in the Rockies, America's potato state: Idaho.
Written by South St Maarten
“Today, the United States has one of the highest high school dropout rates in the world. Among students who do complete high school and go on to college, nearly half require remedial courses, and nearly half never graduate.” (Source)
It might come as a surprise to some that this statement is not “recent” whatsoever. This quote is in fact from the first Obama administration as part of a program to reform the U. S. education system. Yet this still holds true today, with a second Obama term and a Trump term. And even with controversial Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos, primary, secondary, and post-secondary education has remained mostly the same in the United States for decades, with the notable increase in technology-oriented schooling.
This has all changed and will continue to be questioned due to the pandemic. Tens of millions of students stopped going to school in the United States. It seems now, that the school year has ended, that the online schooling venture was overall, not successful for learning and student engagement. While most schools were able to transfer over to online schooling, “One survey found that soon after schools closed in late March, 65% of parents reported some sort of online learning; by early April, that number had jumped to 83%. Separate surveys in May showed that 95% to 99% of teachers were facilitating remote instruction, and nearly 90% of families said their children had received educational resources from school.” (Source) by no means were all students able to do such- “Teachers in two separate surveys estimated that only about 60% of their students were regularly participating or engaging in distance learning.” (see above)
This pandemic has lasted a long time. Children, who are used to going to a school environment, will start to suffer and decline educationally if they are deprived of that routine; if they are deprived of that environment. Thus, there have been cries from much of the general public to reopen the schools, come fall or as soon as possible. Students need the school environment to be successful. They need a place where they can be held accountable to learn. This is not even taking into account the philanthropic work that schools do for many students. So many lower-income students rely on schools for a free, warm meal and the safety of the building. Many students confide in their teachers and counsellors due to the status of their home life. Hispanic and black students have been disproportionately affected by this compared white and Asian students.
Parents are able to make their own choices regarding their children's education. Private schools and the prospect of choice have been a major tenet of the DeVos tenure. Many private/religious schools do not have to operate under the same guidelines as public schools, and thus an increase in enrollment is expected come fall. But the question is, will there be a federal or state enforcement of the “no five-day schooling” rule? Can the government enforce masks in schools? (Yes, they absolutely can.) Thus comes the question of what will be done with public schools. Each state is allowed to set its own education system and requirements. The states have also had widely differing approaches to how they’ve handled the pandemic and will likely have different approaches to the start of the school year. No student or teacher wants to do completely online learning again, after this spring. Yet for safety, it is also in our best interests to not do full five-day schooling. Thus comes the seemingly most popular solution (possible slight variants)- (With masks on at all times) going to school Monday and Thursday for half of the student body, Tuesday and Friday for the other half, with Wednesday being online for everyone as the school is sanitized.
It is imperative that we get children back to school while maintaining the safety of everyone involved. It is not a choice to make- we must be able to do both.
The Viking’s graffiti in Hagia Sophia, dated 9th century
Hagia Sophia (Opinion Piece)
“HALVDAN WAS HERE” reads a piece of 1400-year-old graffiti on a balcony in the world’s largest Orthodox Cathedral. Well, Ottoman Mosque. Or, if you ask Mustafa Kemal Atatürk and Turkey’s secular base, a Historical Museum and World Heritage Site. The Hagia Sophia is one of the most beautiful buildings in the world, in spite of it being defaced by so many people over its 1500 years of standing. As Turkey continues to abandon secularism under authoritarian President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, the Hagia Sophia has had its status as a museum seized by Erdoğan and once again, converted into a mosque. This has angered many proponents of secularism and history as Istanbul has hundreds of mosques, with the massive Camlica Mosque much larger than the Hagia Sophia.
I’m not here to support what Erdoğan has done by seizing a historical monument and converting it again into an exclusive religious organization. In my opinion, this is just another sign that Turkey has long abandoned its secularism. Erdoğan has stated that since it is no longer a museum then no entry fees will be charged it will be open to the public. However, since it is now a mosque, Islamic rules apply where tourists must abide by the rules of Islam- women must be veiled and enter separately from men, all paintings and mosaics must have the persons depicted covered. This is extremely concerning and has been condemned by both Muslim and Christian leaders. The Pope, the Director-General of UNESCO, the United States and European Union, and many other religious and state figures have condemned this action by Erdoğan. It is regrettable what has happened to the Hagia Sophia, as it has very much harmed inter-religious relations within Turkey, especially after the Christian minority has been suffering at the hands of the re-Islamization of Turkey starting with Prime Minister Menderes, not including the social situation before the rise of Atatürk.
But why should we be concerned about this affecting our daily lives? Turkey is one of the most important members of NATO, even with its strained relationship with Greece. Turkey, at least in name, is still a secular republic but is continually abandoning that for a program of re-Islamization. This take-over of the Hagia Sophia, a historical monument showing the interconnectivity of religions, cultures, and Eurasia itself, is just another move by Erdoğan to consolidate his ideological supremacy and policy of Islamization within Turkey. Thus, it is very concerning that this path taken by Erdoğan will continue and Turkey may leave NATO, side with Russia, or attempt political domination of the Middle East instead of cooperation with the West. We should be concerned with the take-over, as it is neither the first nor the last example of Erdoğan's policies. Yet there is not much we can do.
The Newcastle United takeover
by the Saudis is off
Every ongoing major league in Europe has been wrapped up or almost wrapped up as the 2019-20 season was delayed by the COVID-19 outbreak. League champions have been crowned in every single one of them as well, with Real Madrid winning the La Liga. Despite being down by two points against Barcelona when La Liga first resumed, they went on a spectacular run (coupled by Barcelona’s lackluster performances) to win their 34th La Liga title. While the Serie A at the time of writing has not fully concluded, Juventus have won their 9th consecutive league title despite a not-so-stellar finish to the season. Inter Milan only trail Juventus by four points while Atalanta and Lazio trail by five, meaning the race was much tighter than usual. European competition will be expected to resume in August barring any new setbacks with players testing positive or new outbreaks in key locations. PSG’s Kylian Mbappe and Man City’s Sergio Aguero will miss their upcoming games due to injury.
Man City’s appeal over their European competition ban over Financial Fair Play (FFP) violations has been overturned by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS), meaning they will play in the Champions League next year. Although the CAS found no evidence of City violating FFP, the club did not cooperate with UEFA on the ongoing investigation. The decision leads to further questions about whether or not FFP actually works to promote a level playing field and prevent clubs from gaining a grotesque financial advantage over others, and has been roundly criticized for not addressing such concerns and giving the green light for clubs to skirt FFP rules.
The Newcastle Saudi takeover talked about in an earlier edition of EuroNews has failed as the Saudi Public Investment Fund decided to withdraw the £300 million deal as they were running out of patience after a delay; the Premier League looked to clarify the links between PIF and the Saudi government before a potential approval. Newcastle fans dreamt about the takeover as it would inject new life into the club and help them become more competitive, but human rights groups opposed the deal, pointing out Saudi Arabia’s numerous human rights violations such as murdering journalists, funding terrorist groups, and oppressing women.
It’s not just football leagues that are resuming. The 2020 Major League Baseball (MLB) season has resumed in late July and they will only play 60 regular season games, 102 less than what usually happens. The shortened season raises the stakes for everyone involved as every game becomes even more crucial. Despite the precautions, the MLB has not been immune to the coronavirus as 17 Miami Marlins players were tested positive, putting their season on hold.
In addition to baseball, basketball season has resumed with the National Basketball Association (NBA) restarting the season in an NBA “bubble” located in Orlando to lower the risk of coronavirus transmission and infection. The regular season is close to finishing with the playoffs expected to start in mid-August. Since the US has seen a big uptick in new cases, the risk of the coronavirus interfering with American sports leagues is quite high despite all the precautions in place.
Written by Outer Sparta
Hello and welcome to this issue’s National Trivia section! This month we’re covering the US state of Maine, the Eurasian nation of Turkey who recently made a big change to one of their most significant landmarks, and an underappreciated kingdom in the pacific ocean.
While most US states can easily trace their names back to native American words or the names of important people from both Europe and the USA itself, Maine’s name seems to be a mystery for the most part. It is widely believed to be named after the historical Province of Maine in France, though nobody knows where that entity got its name either. A town by the name Maine also appears in England in the Domesday Book, this town is now known as Broadmayne.
While many Americans can trace their ancestry back to the British Isles, few claim to be of English descent. Either due to mass immigration in the nation’s early days or due to people want to identify with more “exotic” nationalities. Along with Utah, New Hampshire and Vermont, Maine is one of the few states where this is not the case. Here the vast majority of counties identify as majority English ancestry with a tiny bit of French mixed in.
Hagia Sophia has been an important building to many different people over the centuries since it was built, from Christian East Romans to modern Islamic Turks. As a result, it has seen many changes, such as the addition of its impressive minarets, whilst retaining a lot of its Christian roots, such as it’s many beautiful mosaics. When Constantinople was seized by the Ottomans many of their soldiers attempted to steal marbles from the then cathedral’s floor, it is said that Sultan Mehmet II took a sword to them, not wanting its beautiful décor to be defaced.
Many people have heard of the city of Istanbul, formerly Constantinople, but a lot of people do not realise that this is not the nation’s capital, despite being the largest city. This puts it in a similar situation to countries like Australia, Canada, and the USA who many assume have their capitals at their largest cities: Sydney, Toronto, and New York respectfully. The capital of Turkey is, in fact, Ankara, which has an interesting etymology in that it is named after the Greek and Latin words for ‘anchor’ (‘Ἄγκυρα’ and ‘Ancyra’ respectively), despite being in the middle of the land, nowhere near an ocean.
Aerial view of Hunga Tonga, the youngest
island in the world
Tonga is a part of the largest region of Oceania, Polynesia, which stretches from New Zealand to Hawaii to Rapa Nui and as such its people are related to the natives from Tuvalu, Fiji, and French Polynesia, amongst others. This can be seen in its linguistics as even its name, Tonga, can trace its roots back to a word meaning “southwards” the same as the Hawaiian region of Kona, whose name comes from the same root.
Despite being a part of the British Empire Tonga has retained its original monarchy. While it is not alone in this fact when you look at nations such as Lesotho, it is the only nation in the Pacific to retain its own monarchy and the only one to never be controlled by a colonial power. Tonga was able to do this by never ceding its power to the British, never becoming more than a mere protectorate, and so is one of a few nations that was never controlled by a foreign government. It was protected by the British Treaty of Friendship all the way up to 1970 when it took on its own path. As a member of the Commonwealth of Nations, Tonga, and the UK are still on good terms. The country became a constitutional monarchy in 2010.
Written by St Scarlett
Edited by Dizgovzy, Outer Sparta, Regnum Italiae, Republic of Satherland, and South St Maarten
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