Zeitgeist Magazine's Utania This Week
Month 18th, 301 AP

Peace in our time!
Dignania is finally at peace! After two years of fighting, and two months of armistice negotiations, Dignania will now partition into two states in a permanent armistice, while peace negotiations continue. Utanian peacekeepers have collected a fair amount of kudos and international praise for their crucial role in negotiating some of the tough aspects of the truce, such as the end to the naval blockade by Zartanian warships, causing President Okarvits to call his commitment to peace in Dignania, despite political opposition, a "vindication".

Two more revolutionary guerilla groups in Rovens have signed a truce with the PIMR government, leaving only a handful of revolutionaries still ostensibly fighting the government. The Army, meanwhile, is experiencing internal contortions having been forced to withdraw from the frontline with the communists who control the north-west of the country.

Trade wins
Utania and Feniz have signed a Û7.2 billion (C2.4 billion) trade deal for Utania to supply Feniz with agricultural produce, including almost 4 million tonnes of grains, fruits and vegetables, and almost seven million live animals. This represents the largest trade deal by an independent Utania. In return, Feniz becomes Utania's primary supplier of crude oil and petrochemical products.

Despite the trade win with Feniz, Utania's exports remain low with the disappearance of markets that existed under the Guwimithian regime, such a Guwimith Is. and Northern Gronk. Unemployment, unwanted crops and sagging standards of living in the Utanian threaten to undermine an otherwise bouyant economy.

The President this week approved the development of hemp crops to supplant cotton, in an experiment to return to natural crops native to Utania. Utanian hemp plants have existed for centuries but were banned by the Guwimithian government. While the cotton industry was worth an estimated Û40 billion to the local economy, including C8.7 billion in exports, President Okarvits is keen to expand Utania's markets.

It is also only one week until the Sultan of Feniz pays a visit to Utania. The itinerary is due to be published next week, and will include one day in which the Sultan will pay a personal visit.

Mistakes by the thousands
The Bureau of Census has released a revised figure for population in Utania: 46.9 million people, an increase of 710,000. Errors were detected in the Nystonia-state and Utani B'yan-state calculations and corrected in the computer programming code. This also marginally changes the area of Nystonia and Utani B'yan states bringing the total area for Utania to 945,600 sq.km. The average density is now 49.63 people per sq.km.

The Utanian Electoral Commission revealled earlier this week that a "preliminary review" of the national census reveals large discrepencies between actual population figures and the electoral estimates for population. Some MPs are calling the review "disasterous" in that they severely undermine the authority of the current Parliament. Opinions vary greatly on how to respond to the crisis, with some calling for fresh elections, while others call for Presidential elections based on the current electorates to go ahead.

Lasanne will be worst hit, losing one seat overall, and concentrating seats in Luka and around the rich industrial city of Hamilton. Rural seats will lose seats in Parliament, such as the Burovian leader's seat of Waitaki, which will lose three of its four MPs.

Utani B'yan state in the south of the country is worst affected, having grown in population by a massive 20.3%, and in number of MPs from 58 to 72. Against predictions, the benefactors may not only be the government parties, but the Liberal Nationalists and Burovians who have enormous support in the east of the state, a region which will gain four seats. The capital, Utan Krysaror, will gain two MPs.

With so many changes in the population, the electoral commission is expected to announce sweeping changes to the current electoral structure.

Savana state is due for quite a revolution, too, but of a different kind. The census has revealled massive emigration from the state and religious capital to the prosperous and more fertile east of the state, base for the Utani Progressive movement lead by billionaire James Angorit. An estimated 300th people have left the region around Navoomi for the Savaj electorate in only four years.

Nystonia state appears to have escaped the deluge of errors and possible electoral fraud: its electorates have certainly grown, but there is no glaring errors. The UEC promises to have a review of that state within two weeks for the purposes of state elections due next month.

Nystonian state governor, Edward Cryer, has started the campaign trail by attacking the morality of a mother of four murdered at the weekend whose children had three separate fathers. A man has been arrested for her murder, having fled to Yoamith before surrendering to police via a local radio station. Nystonians are due to elect a new state Parliament and Governor in April.

©Zeitgeist Magazine, 301 AP.

©Mike Ham, 2001. All rights reserved. No reproduction without, at least, tacit approval. ;-)