UPA (Utanian Press Agency)
Release: September 4, 300 AP.

Hope sacks Intelligence chief

President Hope today announced the sacking of his Intelligence Director, Thomas Abels, in an apparent move to distance himself from the I'ana occupation voter backlash. Abels is the leader of the Utanian Nationalist Party, and was Secretary for Security under the Charles Asher Governorship of Lasanne.

The official reason for the sacking, from the President's office, is "differences of opinion". "Yes, that's right", says Abels, "I opined that I should keep my job and the President felt otherwise."

Abels was the architect of the I'ana occupation, and vocal supporter of a tougher line against the UNVCOCN administration, which, he felt, was dictating too much to an independent nation. President Hope's Conservative Party has suffered an enormous loss in support recently over the occupation of the I'ana archipelago.

Abels, 61, was one of the country's leading Intelligence experts, having worked in the Guwimith Foreign Intelligence Department for some twenty years before accepting a Ministerial role under Charles Asher's government in the 70's. Abels then fled the precursor party to the Conservatives (the CLM) to start his own Nationalist party in the 80's. He was engaged in Hope's cabinet because of his intelligence background, but his leadership of the Utanian Nationalist Party was always going to be a problem.

The Nationalist Party, whose support has been growing recently, supports the creation of an expanded Utanian international presence. They support "liberation" of Gvonj (another former Guwimithian province) from UNV control, by force is necessary, and want closer ties to the nationalist Zartanian Empire. More extreme factions in the party advocate invasion of South Bay, Ptica Island and elsewhere to "expand Utanian borders to their Imperial maximum", reflecting on the age of the Savaj Empire, when the empire spanned the globe with colonies and conquests.

Abels will no doubt gain support for his sacking, despite being branded with the I'ana occupation, though the President is hoping that this will reflect his rejection of the controversial action.

©UPA, 300 AP.

©Mike Ham, 2000. All rights reserved. No reproduction without, at least, tacit approval. ;-)