Télé-Outremont: La nation ce soir



Télé-Outremont / Mercanti / Nouvelles / « Un force de dissuasion nucléaire sera-t-il le dernier effort de l'Outremont ? »

Will a nuclear
deterrent be Ultramont's last stand?

20 décembre 2021

Today's proceedings in the Legislative Assembly involved a fiery debate on the topic of nuclear deterrents. Despite the international consensus on the support for non-proliferation of nuclear weapons, Ultramont remains in a precarious situation. With the Imperium Suavidici across the strait possessing such ballistics capable of reaching the Boreus in minutes, many question if Ultramont will be able to defend itself both territorially and in terms of its regional autonomy without an arsenal of its own.

"Without a sufficient arsenal to challenge that of the Imperium, our scope of freedom as a sovereign country will be severely limited" claims grès-clair opposition chief Bernard Groulx, "Rayvostoka's relative free will in Auroria despite the Imperium's heavy pressures is guaranteed by its atomic weapons. We are currently in a state where the Imperium holds the advantage of force above us; at any time, they may demand our country for their amnesty!" The current réformiste Premier, Jacques Beaudouin, had quite the opposite opinion today, condemning the opinions of the opposition chief as "warmongering" and affirming that "what we are talking about here is a total reversal of decades of carefully-constructed foreign policy and détente with the added risk of nuclear annihilation. The choice to arm Ultramont with nuclear bombs will only serve to create more security problems in Auroria, imagine the potential for disaster of three nuclear powers in the region, two which live under the threat of a common other."

The question of embracing the nuclear option first attracted attention in 1943 in the midst of the Boreus Strait War, during which Ultramont began to endure a string of defeats at the hands of the Imperium. Despite François Massé's persistent calls for the development of hydrogen weapons similar to those of Andrenne or Cogoria, he was quickly abated by his ministry due to concerns of further international retaliation, as well as the unlikelihood that such weapons could even be readied for military use during the war. Military engineer Joseph Marie Perrault suggests that today, the development of atomic weaponry could take less than three months at full speed depending on available resources. "Morally, I would never oblige to overseeing the construction of a nuclear weapon, I'm a messianist after all. But if I truly wanted to construct one, it wouldn't be such an inordinate task. Nuclear technologies have become significantly easier to develop since the Fascist Wars, so the problem of timeframe really has no bearing on the matter anymore."

In general, public opinion is not in favour of the development of nuclear arms. Polls show near consistent rebuke and condemnation of armaments mostly out of fear of atomic warfare, malfunctions, retaliation, and the unresolved chain of command. That being said, other non-nuclear deterrents have been praised in this circumstance despite yielding the same precedents as nuclear arms. For the past decade, military researchers have been working on a project to mass produce large-yield ordinances and other explosives with high explosive power and less of the environmental impact of atomic weaponry. The sole issue with respect to this project is cost and effectiveness. Conventional explosives will never yield the same destructive power as a nuclear weapon, and are more expensive to develop in the long term.

Finally, nuclear weaponry may pose less of a real threat if than suggested by proponents of a nuclear deterrent. "The greatest asset of our regional autonomy is without question our mobile forces," confirmed the Minister of Defence today after the session, "we have curated a military force more than capable of defending Ultramont without the nuclear option, and to switch to a policy of nuclear deterrence sacrifices time and money spent, safety, manpower, and reputation. With respect to others, our dignity is not reliant on weapons of mass destruction."
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Télé-Outremont / Mercanti / Nouvelles / « Les réformistes font leur offre pour le pacte de Luscova »

Reformists make their bid for the Luscova Pact

22 décembre 2021

Yesterday evening, the Commission of State finalized their bid for the Luscova Pact, officially submitting a request for full membership. The State Commissioner in question, Jean-Michel Payette, sent the formal application to Luscova, Norsia himself and on the directive of Premier Beaudouin.

In the 2019 elections, Ultramont's Reform Party promised an appeal to the Luscova Pact in their campaign. Then-chief of the Reform Party Jacques Beaudouin proclaimed in his campaign speech in Lineum: "Ultramont should no longer have to suffer in the dark! We must prove to the world that Ultramont commands real respect, can and will build strong economic partnerships, highly developed infrastructure, and peacekeeping. A stepping stone for us, and for a free Auroria!"

A "free Auroria" is certainly the context for this move. With the IPQS a full member of the Luscova pact, an Ultramontese membership would upset the preeminence of their Constantine Doctrine. This will prove to be a challenge for the global community, compelling many nations to chose whether or not to admit another Aurorian nation disturbed by regional imperialism into a circle which has already been damaged by similar scandal from the same area. Many analysts predict the Imperium will not remain in the Pact for long if Ultramont is admitted, as it will force Ultramont and the Imperium Suavidici's delegations to collaborate in all matters economic, defensive, and infrastructural. However, the move will push Ultramont into firmer ties with nations in Meterra, Iteria, and Craviter, culminating in a good deal of economic reprise and trade.

"This move will force the Pact to confront the reality in Auroria. Whether to uphold the longtime economic advantages of the irredentist Imperium Suavidici with the added interest of Aurorian stability, or to uphold the novel economic possibilities of Ultramont with an assured faltering of the balance of power in Auroria," spoke Télé-Outremont diplomatic analyst Geneviève Bédard, "it may take a long time potentially for the entire discussion of the matter to foment a consensus or majority decision. We just can't be sure so soon."

Shadow Minister of the Exterior, Marcus Tiberius holds an opposing viewpoint: "Obviously, the advantage in the eyes of the people is the economic benefit. Foreign business, new markets. These things are appealing to the consumer, but the impact on Auroria may be more volatile than we think. Ultramont's sovereignty needs to be regionally driven. We're injecting ourselves into an eastern communion that could bring more conflict into the region. With Ultramont pursuing extra-regional accommodations, the Imperium will have free rule over the rest of the continent! What of Rayvostoka if Ultramont abandons Auroria? What of Navsland? What of Scalvia? Our solution to the Constantine Doctrine should not be to run away. Rather, we need to have our own sway in the continent."

Whatever the decision, many people have praised the Beaudouin regime for finally fulfilling their promise to place their bid. Only time will tell now how the international community will react to Ultramont's appeal for membership. Will our ambitious island country finally get its due diligence?
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Télé-Outremont / Mercanti / Nouvelles / « DERNIÈRES : l'Outremont ratifie la seconde traité de Luscova »

BREAKING: Ultramont signs the second treaty of Luscova

26 décembre 2021

Following four days of discussion and voting, Ultramont was admitted to the Luscova Pact by an overwhelming margin of votes, garnering no rejections and only a handful of abstentions on the matter of impartiality. While the vote was technically concluded on Christmas day, Ultramont's standing plenipotentiary to the Luscova Pact, Madame Darcy Dupuy, ratified the treaty today, marking Ultramont's official partnership with other cosignatories.

"I am pleased to announce, here in Luscova, that Ultramont has accepted its approval to join the Pact," announced Dupuy yesterday morning, "I can only say to you, the people of Ultramont, that if it weren't for the resiliency and commitment to the principles of democracy and progress you bear in your hearts, Ultramont would most certainly find itself left behind in a world of potential aggressors. Happy Christmas."

Premier Beaudouin also released an announcement to the press today, despite being on break for the holidays, stating: "Ultramont is a nation of victors, and this is but the final, crowning achievement. An achievement to reward the victors who have worked so hard to craft a nation worthy of having a say in the matters of the world. Happy Christmas to the good people of Ultramont and to my peers in the National Assembly who have worked equally hard to push Ultramont through to the top. Let's celebrate, and enter the new year, a new nation."

Ultramont's admission to the Luscova Pact has fomented a great deal of praise for current political leaders, fomenting a new height for the current regime. However, the parliamentary opposition, ever-loyal, have expressed on a more quiet note their concerns with the situation. "The grés-clairs remain, as we have stated clearly before, very skeptical of Ultramont's adherence to the second treaty of Luscova." Stated Marcus Tiberius, Shadow Minister of the Exterior, "We cannot stress anymore the risk of Ultramont's self-isolation from the region through this measure. While we have garnered support from abroad, we run the risk of cutting off our allies in the area. And with that being said, in spite our eternal scrutiny for the sake of political welfare."

Madame Dupuy's agenda has been publicized, and stands very clear in terms of objective. Ultramont will work to provide any assistance necessary to the rollout of the Ascana Compromise (an international investigation into the political affairs of Rayvostoka), Ultramont will work to establish new and improved commercial relations with its trade partnerships in the Pact, and lastly, Ultramont will conduct itself positioning the notion of its absolute sovereignty over any other motion or objective.

Many have speculated that in response to Ultramont's admission to the Luscova Pact, the Imperium will simply withdraw all together. Télé-Outremont diplomatic analyst Geneviève Bédard has an alternative prediction. "A seat at Luscova may be too valuable a commodity to trade off. I suspect that if the Imperium choses to retain that seat, it will use its potential recognition of Ultramont as an independent state as leverage for political gain. In that instance, it would be beneficial to demand additional compromises in order to balance out such an offer. This outcome would be both favourable to Ultramont and the Imperium Suavidici, and could put into place a slow reparation of relations."

Dupuy will be based in Luscova for the coming year, against a background of habitual travel to Gabréal for additional diplomatic business. With a strong foot pressed firmly onto the world stage, the fruits of this new communion are yet to be seen.
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Télé-Outremont / Mercanti / Nouvelles / « L'Outremont et l'Empire suavidique signent un accord de comptabilité »

Ultramont and the IPQS sign mutual recognition deal

1 janvier 2022

After communication between Ultramont and its cross-strait nemesis reached improved diplomatic depths throughout Noël, a deal was reached in time for the new year promising mutual recognition and a flurry of other settlements to bring Ultramont and its decades-old enemy into a period of reconciliation.

The new deal, eclectically named the Straight New Deal (nouveau accord juste) was reached just after Christmas and ratified independently, with no signatory affair scheduled attributed mostly to a lack of diplomatic procedure for harbouring Suavidici ambassadors and security risks. The Ultramontese copy was signed by foremost diplomat and national plenipotentiary appointed to the Luscova Pact, Mme Darcy Dupuy, who previously served as Reformist Justice Commissioner and Attorney-general.

Specifically, the deal entails mutual recognition on the parts of the Imperium Suavidici and Ultramont. Recognition promises diplomatic transparency, direct communication, and comprehensive commitment to the terms of all collaborations the two nations are a part of, for instance trade, and the tenets of the second treaty of Luscova. It also promises an end to irredentist rhetoric on the part of the Suavidici government and an endorsement of each nation's territorial integrity, and allows for transit flows between the two countries, with terrestrial customs checkpoints for Suavidici citizens to be revealed in Tenebricum. The deal also contained concessions, as it does detail several compromises in order for the agreement to remain fair. Most strikingly, Ultramont was to cut diplomatic ties with longtime ally Rayvostoka in light of their questionable political freedoms, civil freedoms, and most of all their government corruption. This move was deeply unpopular with longtime supporters of anti-imperialist kinship, however, the government affirms that their position in Auroria is in the interest of order, and not solidarity.

In exchange for these diplomatic changes, the Imperium Suavidici is to remove their stake in the tripartite Faraways Condominium by withdrawing from the three-part plan. This is an equally surprising term, as the Faraways served as one of the most terrifying and passionate diplomatic incidents in Ultramont's early 21st century history. With the Imperium out of the agreement, the Faraways remain an Ultramontese-Scalvian joint-possession operating under under the same procedure as before, but with Ultramont reaping an incredible surplus from the Imperium's departure, its stake increasing from one-third the profits of the island's natural resources to three-fifths.

Dupuy commented that "In almost every way, Ultramont is not prepared for reconciliation with the Imperium Suavidici, and this is by no means an agreement for total reconciliation. This is an agreement that calls for consistency and peace in Auroria, and it will allow us to unload a heavy burden. Our pacing is crucial here. If the Imperium abides by our concessions, we can establish an active prerogative of détente."
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Télé-Outremont / Mercanti / Économique / « L'efficacité des remèdes de Termifume s.a. sont mis en revue »

Effectiveness of Termifume's replacement products called into question

14 février 2022

When it comes to Ultramont's billion-dollar drug market, there is no bigger name than Termifume. The company, specializing in nicotine replacement therapies, has earned a great deal from the sale of its addiction therapies since its establishment in 1972. When the company was first founded, its only product was a pint-sized inhaler meant to deliver nicotine in a safer, albeit less discreet manner. Today, the company has several options to chose from: chewing gum, nicotine patches, caplets, nasal sprays, and a condensed version of the original inhaler. The most popular among these being the chewing gum and the skin patches, which account for 87% of Termifume's sales.

While the apparent benefit of nicotine replacement seems like a miracle, it may be too good to be true. The Consumer Safety Board of Ultramont released a report in January which analyzed to a considerable degree the effectiveness of Termifume's exclusive addiction remedies. In the report, it was noted that in long-term personal case studies, Termifume's Nicogomme chewing gum and Nicarré arm patches successfully drove consumers to quit using tobacco products only 12% of the time. The study concluded that while "Nicogomme and Nicarré are effective in the management of unpleasant withdrawal and abuse symptoms, the products did not satisfy most subjects' cravings, leading them to abandon the products altogether."

Termifume has been invariably clear in affirming that its remedies are not to be used as replacements for cigarettes and other tobacco products which deliver a potent "buzz" and that they only serve as a treatment for the symptoms of dependency. However, its own branding suggests that Termifume is extremely effective in helping overcome addiction.

"The chewing gum, the patches, they never really helped me. They're kind of like melatonin—it only actually works if you can convince yourself its working. For me personally, it just eased the nausea. I still want to smoke, everyday. I'm just dying to light a cigarette, everyday. I pray to God every morning to give me a solution for that" an anonymous commenter mentioned to Télé-Outremont. "Termifume helped me overcome the physical symptoms of my addiction. For me, that was enough to help me quit. But for everyone else in my circle, it wasn't, and I was forced to distance myself from my friends." Another commenter added.

Today, some departmental authorities allow individuals to have a small black star embossed permanently onto the back of their national identity card, blacklisting themselves from the purchase of most addictive nicotine products. However, this alternative has also been criticized as mostly ineffective, as many sufferers tend to turn to illicit markets in order to be able to purchase these products illegally. For this reason, the "black star" solution has mostly been swept under the rug.

In light of the controversy stirred by the Consumer Safety Board's report, the Ministry of Health released a statement, affirming that: "While there are plenty of ways to remedy the physical symptoms of drug dependency, the best solution to addiction is prevention. And prevention is principally achieved through education. The Ministry of Health will continue to administer anti-smoking campaigns in schools, inform the youth about the interminability of addiction, and push electronic cigarettes to replace cigarette-smoking in those who already suffer from nicotine addiction. Once you have started, there is no easy way to stop, and that realization in people—especially in children—can save their own lives before they ever needed saving."
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Télé-Outremont / Mercanti / Nouvelles / « DERNIÈRES : une junte militaire renverse le gouvernement impérial à Suavidé »

BREAKING: Military junta topples imperial government in Suavidicum

8 juillet 2022

Reports have come in from Suavidicum and other affected places within the Imperium Suavidici that a coup d'état launched by a military-led cabal has toppled the imperial government. In an effort to consolidate his power, the former Senator and self-proclaimed Dominus, Marscellus Nero, has put into action a change in power justified by alleged conspiracies within the Senate of the IPQS, and has ascertained the legitimacy and safety of the Imperator. Realistically, however, there is no way to know for certain what the current conditions of the Emperor are, as for the time being he has been confined to his home by the Ferra Custodia, an elite paramilitary group under the control of Nero.

A special announcement was received from Marscellus Nero containing shocking rhetoric, calling for the unification of Kyllian peoples, death to enemies of the state, and endorsing other ultranationalist elements. The response to this turn of events has been varied in Ultramont, where some feel sympathetic to the Suavidici who will likely have to endure the hardships of the new regime, and others feel relieved that the often centralized and consistently aggressive imperial government has been weakened by internal turmoil.

"The Suavidici are people, just like us!" Exclaimed a group of university students from Gabréal, "never forget the suffering dealt during the Massé regime. What has happened then is happening again in Suavidicum. Forget the politics, these are our brothers and sisters!"

"Honestly, I'm sort of glad to know that the IPQS was weaker than we all thought." Confesses another student interviewed shortly after, "I was fourteen when the Faraway islands were in dispute and I remember just how serious everyone was. No one ever thought there'd be war again. Seeing all this chaos makes me kind of hopeful that there will be a better chance at peace in Auroria."

Premier Beaudouin made a bold take during a high-pressure meeting of the Legislative Assembly yesterday, in which he claimed: "With a new clique now in control of Suavidicum, we have no way to ascertain that the Imperium will honour détente. So far, it seems that they have resumed their rhetoric of 'reunification'. We need to make a stand against them now and strike a deal; otherwise, there is no reason we should continue to endure the terms of their recognition." This comment in particular landed Beaudouin in hot water, with many accusing him of using the Fair Deal as a façade for reconciliation rather than a launchpad towards amity. This morning, he revised his statements in a press conference: "In times of unrest, I am motivated to speak without thinking beforehand. My thoughts on the deal with the Imperium are firm, it is a beacon of progress not to be deterred. My suggestion is this and only this: the government of Ultramont should not turn a blind eye to what is happening in Suavidicum. These are not the same people we have made our commitments to."

Officially, the government of Ultramont has decided to not take any immediate action regarding the situation in the Imperium Suavidici other than issuing a travel advisory in that country for political and security concerns. Moving forward, there is uncertainty as to whether or not previous negotiations with the imperial government will remain upheld during the regime of Marscellus Nero, but the government plans to address this unsolved mystery in the coming days as the transition of power is solidified.
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Télé-Outremont / Mercanti / Nouvelles / « Les campagnes électorales démarrent en Outremont »

Party electoral campaigns commence in Ultramont

30 juin 2022

As the staunchly nationalist Premier Jacques Beaudouin of the Reform Party summoned his entourage in private chambers for a final cabinet meeting, there was only silence permeating the halls of the National Assembly, a quiet and uneventful end to Beaudouin's regime. With the current legislature approaching its dissolution, the mandatory 30-day electoral campaign cycle has commenced, with polls to be organized by CÉRO, the national elections authority.

Many successes have been attested to the departing government: the passage of Propo 6, successful ascent to a seat in the Luscova Pact, consolidation of the long-disputed Faraways, and the Straight New Deal, an accord focused on achieving détente with the neighbouring Imperium Suavidici. Many perceived failures have come from the Beaudouin regime: the diplomatic cutoff of regional ally Rayvostoka, a lackluster resolution to the ÉdO workers' strike, refusal to provide funding to the proposed Motoroute 4 between Ordurum and Medianium, and a delayed response to multiple crises emerging on the continent.

Beaudouin has stated that he will be running for reelection against grés-clairs leader Bernard Groulx and PSO leader Jules Dubé. Leaders Marcellus Aurelius of the Bloquistes and Jean Marie-Jean of the Herboristes will not be running with intentions of premiership but rather of garnering support for their groups in the National Assembly in order to secure their political interests. The pool of candidates this period is unique in their ubiquity. Each candidate is a male under 45 years of age, with relatively little political experience as ministers in government, and an educational background in law. Some have criticized the lack of diversity in this group, which lacks female representation, considerable time in office, and cultural or personal distinction with the exception of Marcellus Aurelius, a Tenebrian representing the distinct interests of the Tenebrian people.

Issues addressed in this election are variable. There are concerns about regional security, the geopolitical ambitions of the IPQS and its new military administration and other powers within and without Auroria continue to cause alarm to some, namely the hostile country of Iolanta whose troops continue to encroach on Scalvian territory. Nothing has yet been done to address these issues. There are concerns about the rising cost of medical care and inaccessibility for patients in impoverished circumstances. The lack of transportation infrastructure south of the Péries has caused communities to suffer economically. Ultramont's defensive weapons budget has monopolized funding needed in other departments, has the time come to invest in the more affordable nuclear deterrent? And on the topic of nuclear energy, should the next government permit Énergie de l'Outremont to construct a thermonuclear reactor in Houïde?

Beaudouin has stated that if reelected, he intends to get straight to work on a revised Motoroute 4 plan to connect the western and eastern Départements in southern Ultramont. Additionally, he intends to raise the question of universal healthcare once again, this time allocating massive subsidies for health checkups, physical exams, dental checkups, and some medical imaging such as ultrasounds and X-rays. Beaudouin is also planning to collaborate with Scalvia on a plan to assist that country with their Iolanta invasion. Beaudouin has also suggested a request of membership with the UAS in solidarity with Aurorian democracies, despite his government's original disapproval of the organization, and has also suggested electoral reform in order to strengthen democracy at home.

Bernard Groulx has proposed tax relief in lowering the TGC by 0.2% and dissolving Énergie de l'Outremont altogether, denationalizing the country's federation of energy providers who have stirred controversy in previous years for their high fees and supply issues fomented by workers' strikes. Groulx has also promised to commence a nuclear research programme to arm Ultramont with tactical nuclear weapons and a rocketry programme to put Ultramontese spationautes into orbit, and possibly onto a moon. Groulx has also threatened to take a direct approach at intervening in the Scalvian-Iolantan conflict, and also wishes to immediately renegotiate with the Nero regime.

Jules Dubé's campaign has been riding on a renewed interest in universal healthcare. If elected, he plans on putting into motion a plan to introduce Ultramont to free public healthcare immediately. Dubé also promises brand new subsidies for public education and university fees. In order to balance the books, he also plans to propose a revision of Ultramont's current income tax workarounds and put a national control tax on marijuana, and on electronic cigarettes. Dubé has made his pacifistic views clear, and has stated he will do no more than support Ultramont's ally, Scalvia, with financial contributions and with shipments of equipment. Dubé wishes to bring Ultramont into a membership with the Union of Aurorian States.

Marcellus Aurelius continues to uphold Tenebrian interests in the National Assembly and wishes to pressure the next government to prioritize infrastructure development in southern Ultramont. He also wishes for Surêté nationale to be splintered in order to form an independent Tenebrian police force administered by the national government. As for Jean Marie-Jean, his political caucus only invested in a single issue, continues to fiercely occupy the National Assembly in order to see the total legalization of cannabis nationally alongside safe, common-sense regulations and dispensary policies.

With only thirty days to secure the nation's support, each candidate has a tight schedule, moving from city to city in order to address crowds, the press, and find opportunities to strengthen their party's support. A national leaders' debate will be held in the city of Franc-Sirènes per tradition by CÉRO to be broadcasted and moderated by staff from Télé-Outremont on August 15. Voters have also been encouraged by the CÉRO to take their time to analyze the promises and perspectives of each candidate in order to find a candidate they agree with and would like to vote for. All Ultramontese who are able to vote are encouraged to do so, as high levels of electoral participation are key to a functioning democracy and a representative government, one that could bring about the changes this nation needs for a brighter future.
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Télé-Outremont / Mercanti / Nouvelles / « DERNIÈRES : les réformistes ont saisi une majorité politique à l'Assemblée législative »

BREAKING: Reformists seize political majority in Legislative Assembly

1 août 2022

With the nation's ballot count finally wrapped up, Ultramont's next National Assembly has been confirmed. A second Reformist government has been elected with a stronghold in the Legislative Assembly.

Without a doubt, it is the public support the Reformists have managed to garner throughout the previous session of the National Assembly that was conducive to a reelection. Even Pésoist leader Jules Dubé revealed that his party would continue to provide confidence and supply for a potential second Reform Party minority government before the national campaigns. Parti Outremont leader Bernard Groulx has made a notable effort to appeal to rural departments in Tenebria, capitalizing on the government's slow response to the rising infrastructure demands and practically nonexistent supports.


Reelected Premier Jacques Beaudouin at tonight's Reform Party conference.

At 21:38, Télé-Outremont's ballot analysts projected a Reform Party victory with a minority government. But against all odds, a Reformist majority was confirmed by the Elections and Referendums Board of Ultramont after the polls in Port-Blanc–Caronum–Embarras announced the Reformist candidate, Chantal Lévesque would fill the 47th seat in the Legislative Assembly.

And just before the stroke of midnight, Jacques Beaudouin, then Premier-elect of Ultramont, delivered a brash yet enthusiastic victory address to the Reform party conference in Gabréal. He thanked all participants in the 2022 election, his supporters, his family, and stirred nationalist colours by praising the arbiters of the Ultramontese revolution. Before departing the stage, he made sure to promise in his coming term as Premier a centralized budget, focusing on defence, critical infrastructure and subsidies in the health system. He also alluded to possible reforms in the electoral system.

Bernard Groulx's defeat was hardly lamented despite misplacing three seats, moving from 27 to 24. Though Parti Outremont's clout has weakened, the grès-clairs will once again form the country's official opposition. In Groulx's concession speech, he congratulated the Premier on his election, but promised not an inch of laxity in his shadow ministry. Additionally, Groulx has promised to push the new government forward in its obligations to the Tenebrian heartland and promises to push for action regarding the recent political flux in the IPQS. The grès-clairs will undoubtedly continue to be a staunch adversary to the Reform Party during its next 4 years in office.

For the Parti Social Ouvrier, the loss has been dramatic. Swept from 16 seats to just 11, Pésoist leader Jules Dubé swore to revive the party in his concession speech and to continue to uphold the party as a platform for minorities, for the impoverished, new immigrants, and any person overlooked or overworked by the "blue and green cats," a popular euphemism used by that Party in reference to the Reformist-Conservative dichotomy which dictate the politics of Ultramont. "We are sad to see some of our deputies disappointment in their crushed ambitions, but as long as our government continues to undermine the everyday man, we will continue to fight for him." Dubé promised in his closing address.

The current Chancellor, André Plombfèvre, will officially summon the National Assembly and swear in Beaudouin as Premier alongside his cabinet tomorrow in the first sitting since dissolution. Talks of fiscal policy and spending will likely dominate the discourse of the first weeks in session before an official budget can be passed in the new year. As for now, the country awaits for the doors of the Ancien palais to be opened once more.
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Télé-Outremont / Mercanti / Nouvelles / « Le premier ministre et le ministre de la défense annoncent un projet de recherche sur les armes nucléaires »

Premier and Defence Minister announce nuclear weapons research project

16 août 2023

This morning, Premier Jacques Beaudouin and Defence Minister Jean-Michel Gagnon jointly publicized a statement on Projet salamandre, a nuclear ordnance research program which will aim to provide Ultramont with the materials and insight to develop a hydrogen-based nuclear deterrence force. This move has come as a surprise to many who remembered the Reformists' decision to not pursue deterrence research and development in 2021, in which Beaudouin himself cautioned the Assemblée Législative that a nuclear deterrence force would only worsen tensions within Auroria. As a gesture to his previous position on the matter, Beaudouin has clarified that "The issue of geopolitics has made the pursuit of nuclear deterrence essential, today. State security in the region has proven to be easily compromised, and with it, any sensible management of an explosives arsenal. For this reason, the theoretical physics department at the Université Collège St-Ignance à Gabréal has been given the following instructions: develop small, non-strategic weapons which would become the determinant character of Ultramont's dissuasion force, in lieu of ballistic missiles."


Projet Salamandre's official emblem.

Projet salamandre seemingly also has plans to enrich Ultramont's energy sector by introducing nuclear power as a potential supplier. Rather than purchasing designs or reactor constructs from abroad, the project plans to employ a secondary team of scientists and engineers to develop an original nuclear power generating system. Energy of Ultramont has approved this and has subsequently revealed its much-speculated plans to construct a station in Houïde by the end of 2025. Ultramont Aeronautics has also agreed to supply the project with both funding and its own personnel and materials. As Gilles Parizeau, senior political analyst at Télé-Outremont, suspects, "The Salamander Project has likely been around in some incarnation since the Faraways Crisis at least, gathering support under wraps and strategizing in order to secure funding and legitimacy. It is only now that its favourable and necessary existence can be revealed to the public. Without the transparency, I doubt the project could have ever been done at all. Confidential weapons testing is cause for concern internationally. The Réformistes are in no rush to complete the project. They want to be as open as possible and must hence take upon themselves, as a consequence, a great deal of responsibility."

Despite the plainness and honesty alleged in today's announcement, the surprise has already provoked an outrage in some of Ultramont's citizens. The Université Collège St-Ignance à Gabréal, whose theoretical physics department has now become associated with Projet salamandre, is also home to the country's largest non-proliferation group. With over a hundred student-members and near five-hundred non-student members, many have already made plans to organize a protest in light of the news. "This is not the kind of Ultramont we want." Stated Jeunesse-paix-sécurité president Enrico Giordano. "This announcement is more than just some casual notice, it's a declaration of war. Ask yourself, why do we need a nuclear arsenal when the military capabilities of Ultramont already exceed what should be necessary? We showed enough force when we landed marines in the Imperium. That was already a clear disregard for an opportunity at peacemaking. Anything more is an abuse of power, and so I am calling on Premier Jacques Beaudouin to resign. Today, he has made his allegiance known."

Opposition leader Bernard Groulx has expressed a positive opinion on the announcement of Projet salamandre, but felt sensibly in also expressing some degree of concern. "I have always supported the idea of a deterrence. But Jacques Beaudouin has proven once again that he and his party cannot keep any promises. Two years ago, the Reformists felt morally obligated to shoot down the proposal for such a thing. But now that deterrence has curried favour in recent months, they pretend as though they hadn't once boasted that God himself would condemn us for such scrupulous violence. I maintain that an arsenal would actually provide more security in Ultramont. That is the point of deterrence, after all. It's now up to our Premier to make that clear in spite of his broken word."

The government revealed soon after this morning's publication that much of the official testing would be done in the remote Faraway Islands in order to guarantee security and public safety, though no mention of Scalvia has been made with regards to the project. Moreover, the Defence Minister reminded the public that the specifications of the project would remain privy to those whom it may concern, such as testing schedules, weapon categories, and personnel clearances granted by the Ultramontese Army, who will be overseeing Projet salamandre's civilian research.

Despite the project's utmost confidentiality, the daunting power of the nuclear button has been guaranteed to fall into Ultramont's hands within the next couple of years. What exactly the government foresees accomplishing with this new responsibility can only leave one to imagine.
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Télé-Outremont / Mercanti / Nouvelles / « Le premier ministre et le ministre de la défense annoncent un projet de recherche sur les armes nucléaires »

Defence Minister addresses Salamander Project concerns

20 août 2023

With skyrocketing publicity surrounding the newly announced Projet salamandre—the government's latest endeavour to arm Ultramont with tactical nuclear weapons—the pressure of emerging concern and opposition has begun to take its toll on the project's image. This afternoon, the Ethian nation of Iolanta voiced threats of sanctions against Ultramont if the tests were not suspended. "The threat of nuclear warfare in the Aurorias grows ever larger. Esthursians have begun to arm themselves, and the nuclearized Imperium has found itself in a disastrous civil war with an insane dictator at its head!" Spoke Foreign Minister Valent Comitianus this afternoon. The Foreign Minister also referenced the recently concluded war in Iolanta, a war which featured a sinister nuclear threat to the Commonwealth of Scalvia before Iolanta's unconditional surrender. In a press conference rapidly assembled this evening, Defence Minister Jean-Michel Gagnon took the time to address the inquiries.

"It is, in fact, such threats to peaceable nations such as Scalvia and Iolanta, that justify Ultramont's nuclear deterrence." Argued Gagnon. "One must only cast a glance at the balance of power in the Aurorias to understand what I am saying. There is a disturbing alignment of anti-democratic actors with nations wielding control of nuclear arsenals, this is something which cannot be tolerated any longer. Deterrence must be upheld if we are to stave off the sort of aggression which threatens peace in the continent."


Jean-Michel Gagnon speaking at tonight's press conference.

Regarding international security risks, the Defence Minister said, "The development of arms in a peaceful country will not create potential for nuclear warfare. It will do the opposite. Consider that the Aurorias are menaced by an arsenal guarded by regimes whose priorities are illiberal, whose security is doubtful, and whose tactical and political competency has proven highly questionable. Ultramont will meet their match to the best of its abilities. An Ultramontese dissuasion force, specialized in non-strategic use, will prove an equally effective deterrent against the menace of these regimes without being too high-risk. This dissuasive protection will also extend over Ultramont's peaceful, democratic allies in the region and even further abroad. The IPQS, for instance, whose nuclear arsenal currently falls under the control of a ruthless military dictator, will have less of a reason to exploit its arms for its own dire purposes should there be a countermeasure up Ultramont's sleeve."

The issue of Iolanta's threat of sanctions garnered a brief discussion between the Defence Minister and the Deputy Premier who was also in attendance during the press conference, standing behind Gagnon among other politicians. "As this is a political issue, rather than a tactical one, I will simply rephrase what has been advised by our government." Said Gagnon. "We strongly discourage any economic action against Ultramont in this regard, as it will only prove counterproductive. Such sanctions should also be levied upon other nuclear powers in Eras if there exists any desire to uphold regional stability by means of non-proliferation. For this reason, we ask the government in Iolanta to reconsider their aims, and establish a dialogue with our government before any harsh penalties are issued. There is always a time for negotiation. Provocation is not a solution."

To much surprise, Gagnon ultimately excused himself from the press conference before addressing the growing anti-proliferation movement in Gabréal. Ever since Wednesday's announcement, protests organized on UCSIG's quad had become so raucous that classes were subsequently suspended all Friday evening. These protests were organized by the university's own representatives of the anti-war movement, Jeunesse-paix-sécurité, which now faces forcible dissolution as a consequence of Friday's unrest.

The student club's current President, Enrico Giordano, responded to correspondence sent by Télé-Outremont this evening, writing, "Jeunesse-paix-sécurité was founded in my third year of undergrad as a response to this worsening threat of nuclear proliferation in our region. Our group started out with a lot of support, although our members trickled away in the coming months. We had dozens of official members, though only a handful regularly attended our meetings by the next year. But those who stayed understood this problem wasn't just going to magically disappear, so we kept up the club meetings. When we read Wednesday's news headline, we all were reminded of our club's purpose here on campus, and got to work straight away. I'm working as hard as I can, between exams, class, and work, to really make a difference however possible. I continue to stand by my comments from last week, Premier Beaudouin must resign! We need a Premier who understands what peace is. Both the Reformists and the Conservatives clearly have no intention of volunteering such leadership."

Giordano says he plans to continue its protests in spite of the challenges posed by the University's administration.
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Télé-Outremont / Mercanti / Nouvelles / « La sonde Oeillet prend des instantanés de Matrones »

Eyelet spacecraft takes snapshots of Freya

22 octobre 2023

After a ten-year journey from Eras, Ultramont Aeronautics' Eyelet imagery probe has finally reached its two orbital targets around the gas giant Freya, and taken dozens of images of the bright red planet, including some which tease the planet's fiery rings. The spacecraft's path has so far transited the planets Ethra, Yu Reshaam, and Othyr.

Since its first test capture of Eras' moons in 2013, the planetary snapshots taken from each transit have generated a considerable deal of interest among both astronomical imagery enthusiasts and scientific research communities in Ultramont. However, Freya's photos in particular have become famous considering the planet's previous transit was conducted over two decades earlier. While the previous three objects have been imaged as recently as 2019, the Ottar-1 probe sent into space by the the Prydanian Space Agency (Prykosmos) was the last satellite to take photos of Freya in 1999. Ottar-1 operated with only 1/100th the focusing power of the Eyelet spacecraft.


Ultramont's Eyelet probe photographed before its launch.

The Eyelet probe will continue on its current trajectory, using Freya's gravitational pull as a slingshot towards the planets Abaddon, Rudra, and Hända, the last three gas giants in the solar system. It is believed that Eyelet will reach each of these planets respectively by 2025, 2027, and 2030, though there are concerns about the probe's photovoltaic cells which are showing signs of degradation.

"The Eyelet probe is quite experimental, and Ultramont Aeronautics suffered from a lack of funding in the late 2000s." explained mission director Lucien des Pouilles. "Cost reduction was unfortunately prioritized over extensive materials testing, and so we weren't absolutely sure the photoelectric units possessed the durability to withstand the twenty-year duration of its mission. All things considered though, we're only just starting to see small signs of depreciation, and Eyelet does have a standby battery which can be activated manually at the spacecraft's theoretical targets. The problem with this measure is that we wouldn't be able to monitor the probe at all times or make sure it had reached its ideal capture-marks."

People are hopeful the fallout garnered by the Eyelet spacecraft's discoveries will generate a boost in research funding. "The bottom line is that Ultramont, and quite frankly, all the Aurorias, are quite behind in its space exploration activities." remarked Festus Arborius Sulla, Administrator of Ultramont Aeronautics. "Since the lunar landings conducted by the western countries in the 1970s and 80s, there has been a noticeable decline in space program funding worldwide. The Aurorias have been no exception, and given their novelty in this domain, it's been hard to justify subsidizing space science without results. I am hoping these recent images serve as a reminder for why our programs exist. Just imagine what else Eyelet will see on its trip, and how much imagery will improve in the future! Imagine having a hi-res photo of Freya as your desktop wallpaper!"
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Télé-Outremont / Mercanti / Nouvelles / « DERNIÈRES : l'Outremont rompt ses relations diplomatiques avec la Jolanthe, anticipe des sanctions »

BREAKING: Ultramont severs relations with Iolanta, sanctions to come

3 novembre 2023

Premier Beaudouin announced this afternoon an aggressive new policy made in Ultramont's foreign affairs in response to growing humanitarian concerns in the Ethian nation of Iolanta. This development comes not long after as Esthursia's appeals to the international community to take action against Iolanta, and their own economic retaliation. Jean-Michel Payette, who acts as Commissioner of State, has also clarified that Ultramont's new agenda on Iolanta will involve a total withdrawal of diplomatic staff and resources from the country as well plans for sanctions.

The country of Iolanta shares few residents with Ultramont, though they are an Aurorian nation in the Ethian southeast near strong allies such as Scalvia, the FEU, and Esthursia. It is a state first established as a colony, much like Ultramont and many other Aurorian nations, governed in the Predicean metropole. Moving through periods of Aydini and Suavidici colonial administration, the native peoples grew to become subaltern in the minority rule of ethnic Prediceans, Suavidici, and Aydini residents. Historically, Iolanta was a sunny tourist destination that attracted many Ultramontese travelers in the winters. The country earned discontent on the part of the Ultramontese government for its invasion of Scalvia last year.

Jean-Marie Flavius Hyginus travelled to Iolanta in 2021 for business deals and spoke about his time there to Télé-Outremont. "The resort in Güney Antalya was fantastic. Incredibly clean, well-managed, just a pleasant spot for all travelers, tourists and businessmen." Hyginus recollected. "But there was always a little bit of awkwardness. The service staff kept largely out of sight, never talking. That's when I came to realize the country was segregated. Even management was ‘apologizing’ to me about the native folks passing through the lobby. When we went in town, there were even walls put up around certain neighborhoods. Safe to say they didn't advertise these things in the brochures."

Ultramont has recently been focusing on policy stepping up its involvement in the Aurorias, starting with its intervention into the Imperium which began last year, its plans for nuclear deterrence, and in joining the A5 group of nations last month. This next move seemingly solidifies Ultramont's commitments to preserving liberty and democracy in the region, though many people expressed concerns with the level of acceleration in Ultramont's reaction as well as its effectiveness. "Iolanta is a segregated society, meaning they can source their general labour from the oppressed majority. So sanctions will already have little effect.” Retorted the State Opposition Critic Marcus Tiberius this evening on Twitcher. "How can suppressing diplomatic relations help to solve the Iolantan apartheid? In doing so, we have lost the single medium through which we can actually make an impact, bilateral dialogue. Rushing into a cutoff with no notice will do little good if we cannot threaten punishments as leverage."

Iolanta will likely not respond with retaliation of their own, considering the country's self-reliance and general isolationism, though Ultramont’s cutoff seems to play an important symbolic role. By joining Esthursia in further distancing from Iolanta's apartheid (sépareté) state, other governments can be inspired to make the same move. As of this evening, it is anticipated that Ethian partners such as Hexastalia and Scalvia will respond with similar punitive economic action against Iolanta.

"Iolanta’s asylum seekers are always welcome in Ultramont." Premier Beaudouin stated this evening to the press. "Our diplomatic position does not suggest we are abandoning our interest in the oppression of Iolanta's natives. Though their means and incentives to leave the country have been heavily restricted by the Iolantan administration, we encourage a sewing of dissent by whatever means necessary. No Ethian shall be oppressed, nor shall they settle for oppression!"
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Télé-Outremont / Mercanti / Nouvelles / « Accord de partenariat éthursien-outremontois signé au sommet de Gabréal »

Esthursia-Ultramont partnership deal signed at Gabréal Summit

2 décembre 2023

Gabréal residents may have noticed a hue and cry overtaking the old Gabrielville quarter over the past week in preparation for the arrival of a chargé d'affaires and their delegation from Weskerby. Festive banners and flags were raised in the quarter to make way for the momentous summit between the Union of Esthursia and the Republic of Ultramont, where the long-awaited Esthursia-Ultramont Partnership Deal was expected to be signed. Yesterday morning, the avenues between Jean-Michel-Vallée International Airport and the National Assembly building were closed to make way for the meeting of representative Heithrun Johannsdottir and Ultramontese Chancellor André Plombfèvre at the Champ de parlement.

In their conference at the Hôtel-sénat, both delegates took a great deal of time elaborating on a strengthening of political, economic, and defensive ties between Esthursia and Ultramont. Mme Johannsdottir spoke on the development of his nation's own nuclear weapons program in conjunction with Ultramont's and affirmed that Ultramont's shared interest in upholding economic liberalization, democracy, and civil rights was highly praiseworthy. She also expressed his approval on Ultramont's swift and decisive isolation from the Iolantan apartheid, the regulations thereof now being put into place by the Ultramontese government.

Mr. Plombfèvre, who was reappointed Chancellor by Prime Minister Beaudouin following his recent reelection, also spoke on the quality of friendship and amity which has grown between Ultramont and the nations of the Aurorian continent of Ethia. "We have seen in the past few years a gradually concordant attitude towards antidemocratic regimes across the Aurorias. The Esthursia-Ultramont deal which we have all worked hard to reach will be another step in the right direction. With enough action and support, we can end the violence and injustices that disturb both Ethia and the IPQS.


Artwork for the 2023 Gabréal Summit between Ultramont and Esthursia.

The Esthursia-Ultramont Partnership Agreement will govern several new economic, diplomatic, and military protocols shared between the countries in order to strengthen their relations and markets. The most auspicious protocols include a permanent and comprehensive free trade agreement which will include a vast reduction in trade barriers, tariffs, and bilateral rules on market access, transportation, origin, and sanitation. There are also plans to generate a customs union among several markets shared by both countries, primarily in automotive technologies, consumer electronics, pharmaceuticals, fossil fuels, and financial services.

The deal will also govern cooperation between Esthursia and Ultramont's recently inaugurated nuclear weapons programs. Together, both countries have agreed to a limited nuclear test ban. This will prevent the exercise of nuclear weapons tests in the upper atmosphere, the ocean, and in outer space. Esthursia and Ultramont will also compare particulars about their weapons and establish a joint security protocol for the safety and integrity of each other's materials. A diplomatic protocol ensuring peace and friendship between both countries, as well as a unified commitment to upholding regional stability and development has also been drafted into the Agreement.

The Esthursia-Ultramont deal was subsequently signed by Mr. Plombfèvre and Mme Johannsdottir at the Édifice Rocher in Gabrielville. In the evening, Prime Minister Beaudouin attended the ceremony with the entire diplomatic staff of the Esthursian embassy in Gabréal and gave a brief statement alongside both delegates after the signing, signalling his approval for wider economic networks between the nations of the Aurorias. Beaudouin also remarked that the deal would provide a great deal of economic growth for Ultramont, with new jobs, new capital, and common market access serving as the most "substantial benefits of this forward-minded agreement."
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Télé-Outremont / Mercanti / Nouvelles / « DERNIÈRES : Outremont explose une arme nucléaire aux Lointains »

BREAKING: Ultramont detonates nuclear weapon in the Faraways

11 décembre 2023

Military officials at Port-Sainte-Marie in the Faraway Islands are reporting on the successful testing of the M-67 tactical nuclear charge developed by Dr. Henri Villeneuve’s Salamander Project.

The nuclear payload was buried beneath a small hill and detonated in the northern flats of Sandreau, the largest island in the Faraway archipelago. The weapon had a very small yield of about one hundred tons of TNT and was designed to be delivered by a low-range cruise missile. The blast evaporated the hill and generated a massive shock wave which could be felt throughout the island.

Footage of the blast was publicized by military shortly after the experiment, although several different angles of the explosion were recuperated by Scalvian soldiers based in the area and shared over social media such as twitcher. The controversy continues to flare despite the government’s promises to establish rigorous safety procedures and to relegate the weapons to a non-strategic role.

Footage from the detonation of Chiot.

Dr. Villeneuve released a statement this evening announcing that “the testing of the M-67, which has tyrannized Port-Sainte-Marie’s main hangar for just over four months, has been a resounding success.” He has also revealed that the Salamander Project plans to continue perfecting the weapon’s design over the coming months by conducting two more tests before the end of 2024. Villeneuve has also reported investing his effort into a civilian nuclear program which will establish a thorium power plant in Houïde.

The non-proliferation movement previously headquartered at the UCSIG has also made several announcements today. Paix-jeunesse-sécurité president Enrico Giordano has developed a following across Gabréal since the beginning of the Salamander Project. His organization’s demonstration at the Palais Saint-Valentin during the November the 2nd celebrations were attended by hundreds. He has also become a contended figure as his past twitches have pointed to supporting sabotage.

“After the club was disenfranchised by Collège Saint-Ignace, our organization had to gather all we could and we’ve seriously upped our activism efforts online. We are sticking around for as long as our warmongering government continues to endorse the creation and testing of weapons of mass destruction. Today’s test has only proven how little our government has listened to common sense. Nuclear weapons will never be a benefit for our civilization. If you think these tests are wrong, come march with us at next month’s protest in Gabréal.”
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Télé-Outremont / Mercanti / Politique / « Comment la guerre de Néron a changé les relations outremontoises-suavidiques »

How Nero's War changed Ultramontese-Suavidici relations

25 janvier 2024

With the tide of civil war in the IPQS turning against Nero, public opinion on the Imperium Suavidici and its place in Ultramont's international relations has shifted. With a 94% rate of disfavour towards the IPQS in 2013, the first month of 2024 has seen this rate dropped to 26%. Owing to a patriotic sense of superiority, or perhaps a wider movement for tolerance and democracy, many Ultramontese people have not only developed a more profound sympathy for the citizens of the IPQS, but have even shown favourable opinions towards the restoration of its previous regime. How could a nation once so fiercely opposed to Suavidici suprematism have suddenly changed its mind?

Ultramont and the IPQS did not have any formal relations until 2021. While the hostilities mounted in the Fascist Wars soon came to pass in its aftermath, the Imperium Suavidici, Ultramont, and their economies remained entirely isolated from each other for 64 years. The IPQS assumed a policy of Tenebrian irredentism, claiming Ultramont as an imperial province without sovereign power, and Ultramont turned to rapid industrial growth in order to move its economy forward in the absence of its biggest trading partner. In 2013, Ultramont's claims over the Faraway Islands renewed tensions, and resulted in a bitter compromise that served as a reminder to many people why the Suavidici and their government were never to be trusted.

In 2021, Ultramont and the IPQS fell at odds once again after the former was admitted to the Luscova Pact, contravening the Imperium Suavidici's presumptive authority over Ultramont. Notorious for their realpolitik, the recently elected Reformist government negotiated the bittersweet Fair Deal, restoring relations, trade, and even travel, but at the expense of Ultramont's cousinship with Rayvostoka. At the time, public opinion on the IPQS remained consistent with what it had always been. There was absolutely no love for the Suavidici, their way of life, nor their government which seemed to take pleasure in interfering with Ultramont's foreign affairs.

So what changed, exactly? Gilles Parizeau, senior political analyst at Télé-Outremont explains that Nero's War created a moral obligation. "When war began, a wave of support for the Suavidici had already sprung out. As for those who felt the Suavidici somehow deserved this misfortune, Nero's ultraviolence and war crimes challenged their points of view. The simple truth emerged that Suavidici blood runs red, just as ours does. And with their hostile government now out of the picture, there was no monolith upon which the people could cast their stones. Where there was once an enemy, there was now a sufferer in need of our help."

Parizeau also claims that Ultramont's recent military and economic growth has bred a chauvinistic attitude. "My opinion is that Nero's atrocities were not the only factor in this shift. Ultramont's new economic fortune and defence policy highlighted the new power imbalance which had come about. By charging ourselves with the downfall of Nero, by maintaining an economic profit throughout this emergency, and by developing powerful weapons of war, Ultramont has found itself for the first time indulging it its absolute and undisputed sovereignty."

Geneviève Bédard, Télé-Outremont's chief diplomatic analyst, disagrees with that notion. "Ultramont is no more patriotic than it was in the forties. What I believe has prompted this moral shift is the current of democratism which has washed over much of Eras. Historically, Ultramont's acrid relationship with its southern neighbour lead the government to persistently condemn the IPQS as hostile and backwards, which simply became the truth we all accepted at the time. Such attitudes became reflected in our education system, in our politics, and in our media. But the interconnected world has of today seen an explosion of liberalism in reaction to the crimes of its authoritarian regimes. What indignities are felt in Nero's Imperium are now felt worldwide. Not only does this explain why public perception of the IPQS has changed, but it explains how Nero will eventually lose this war. International justice was something he never took into account."

The implications of this change in public opinion are predicted to have far-reaching consequences. The Reformist government lead by Jacques Beaudouin has indicated its commitment to cooperating with a restored Suavidici government and involving Ultramont in its reconstruction process. Some economists have speculated that the Reformists may even take advantage of the opportunity in order to establish a free trade area, which would create ample opportunity not only for Ultramont but for the Imperium Suavidici as well.

Could peace, love, and friendship across the Boreus Strait finally be achieved?
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Télé-Outremont / Mercanti / Nouvelles / « DERNIÈRES : Un séisme frappe Val-d'Outremont, Montagnardie, Plombésie »

BREAKING: Earthquake strikes Val-d'Outremont, Montagnardy, Plombésie

31 janvier 2024

Just minutes ago, the Ministry of Public Safety (MSP) issued an emergency alert triggered by the country's earthquake early warning system. A high-intensity foreshock was detected by several seismograph monitors along the Jacobin fault line, with its epicentre sourced to the mountainous region between the départements of Abyssia and Deux-Rivières. Residents of those départements, as well as Gabréal, Gaulterre, Bonafortuna, and Grand-Portail were urged to take immediate action in order to protect themselves from the impending quake. Benevalentium, Sengéants, Hautes-Eaux, Oultreval, Nouvelle-Saintonge, and Polévant residents were also advised to take certain protective measures.


Map released by the MSP, based on seismic intensity in each département.

The subsequent trembling was felt for three-and-a-half minutes across the regions of Val-d'Outremont and Montagnardy. In Gabréal, many communities have already reported homes collapsing from the stress caused by the quake, small fires, and gas and water mains leakages. Power flow has also been interrupted to Strâtcone and several other areas on the metropolitan grid. Physical damage across the city has been moderate to severe with countless instances of windows shattering, trees and light posts falling over, and major roadways buckling. The current number of injuries and fatalities as a result of this earthquake are not yet known.

Individuals close in proximity to the Gulf of Ultramont, particularly those currently residing in coastal cities such as Gabréal, Port-Saint-Ignace, Baie-Yipée, Fort-Ursule, and Baie-Libre have also been warned of potential tidal waves and flooding as a consequence of the Jacobin fault line's movement and are urged to evacuate as soon as possible. Gabréal's floodgates are expected to partially mitigate the impact of urban flooding, but the extreme risk of tidal overflow has compelled local authorities to evacuate residents close to the estuary of the Saint-Saëns river after the trembling has subsided.

More updates to come on this growing emergency.
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Télé-Outremont / Mercanti / Nouvelles / « 1 292 morts déja dans le séisme outremontois, 4 751 blessés, efforts de secours mis en place à l'étranger »

1,292 killed in Ultramont earthquake, 4,751 injured, relief efforts put into motion overseas

2 février 2024

The Ministry of Public Safety (MSP) has released a preliminary report today indicating that the earthquake which shocked Ultramont on Wednesday morning has taken 1,292 lives and injured 4,751 others so far. The majority of the casualties are related to the flooding and tidal waves generated as a result of the quake. The Ministry estimates that three-quarters of the reported casualties occurred in the Gabréal département, with the vast majority of those occuring in the Gabréal metropolitan area.

Gabréal's downtown core remains damaged by flooding and critical infrastructure repairs are now underway. Roads in the lower island are still completely waterlogged and the resulting property damage has been catastrophic. Entire neighbourhoods such as Fauxons, Michel-Ange, Haltonne, and Cacheraïe now sit in metre-high pools of water and will require extensive reconstruction efforts once the areas are drained. Métro and light rail functionality in the lower island has also been compromised. Electricity was restored successfully to the entire metropolitan grid yesterday evening, though latent power cuts in some areas, such as western Strâtcone, continue to occur. Overall, the downtown area and the upper island managed to endure most of the tidal destruction created by the quake, whereas Gabréalais communities located along the Saint-Saëns floodplains have taken a tremendous toll and will likely require complete renovation and reconstruction.

The city of Port-Saint-Ignace also suffered a significant number of casualties as a result of tidal flooding, though the second greatest number of regional casualties outside of Gabréal occurred in Abyssia, whose capital of Duratia suffered incredible damage, being situated not too far from the earthquake's epicentre. Officials in the town have blamed the national government for overlooking earthquake-reinforcement standards and infrastructure in Plombésie, and instead opting its attention to fortifying the capital instead of communities which may be more at risk.

The total damage caused by the quake has cost Ultramont's economy an estimated £60 billion. This, combined with the number of casualties makes Wednesday's earthquake the worst in recent history, second only to the 1921 quake which caused similar destruction and prompted the development of Ultramont's earthquake-readiness program. To remedy the £60 billion price tag, economic relief has been promised by the governments of Andrenne, Hexastalia, Saintonge, Tardine, Esthursia, Goyanes, Prydania, Scalvia, and Kaliva. The emergency assistance provided by Saintonge and Prydania's military and civil defence service in particular has been crucial in reducing and managing casualties, preserving the integrity of important infrastructure, and accelerating search-and-rescue efforts. Santonian, Hexastalian and Esthursian monetary relief has also given the national government a head-start in its plans to recover and rebuild lost public works, facilities and business.

The Legislative Assembly passed an emergency bill this afternoon detailing its own measures to help Ultramont through its recovery. In addition to the provisions for reconstruction, the Reformists have instituted a disaster insurance program for those affected by the earthquake. This includes financial aid for families and individuals who have sustained injuries, lost property, or were forced to relocate. It also provides health coverage for medical and psychosocial support. The bill also details modifications to Ultramont's earthquake-readiness program managed by the Ministry of Public Safety. The government's conclusion is that the earthquake early warning system was crucial in minimizing casualties by informing residents in affected areas of the appropriate safety measures and evacuation orders. The bill will thus oversee an increase the number of seismic monitors and expedite the communication of earthquake alerts. It will also make alterations to future earthquake-proofing measures in urban building codes, as well as create programs to encourage homes, businesses, and schools to practice earthquake safety drills and simulations.

While Ultramont's economic and national recovery will be a prolonged issue, the MSP has provided the assurance that the immediate danger of the quake has passed, and that the flooding in Gabréal will subside over the following weeks, at which point residents will hopefully be able to return home.
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Télé-Outremont / Mercanti / Nouvelles / « L'Outremont et l'IPQS libéré signent un accord de reconstruction et partenariat »

Ultramont and liberated IPQS sign reconstruction and
partnership agreement

18 février 2024

In a stunning purple-and-gold-decorated peace conference held in the shattered city of Suavidicum, Ultramontese Chancellor André Plombfèvre and recently-restored Suavidici Emperor Gaius Augustus Flavian have signed into existence the Ultramontese-Suavidici Reconstruction and Partnership Agreement (USRPA) which will oversee the creation of a common market in the northern Aurorias and uphold a series of new diplomatic agreements, such as an extensive reconstruction plan for Suavidicum, a peace and friendship treaty, and new joint security protocols. The negotiations which were key to the creation of the newly-established North Aurorian Common Market (NACME) are largely believed to have been conducted behind the scenes in the lead-up to Nero's deposition, and were then incorporated into the broader USRPA plans which have been in the works since the finalization of the Fair Deal in 2022. The USRPA will now replace it as the sole instrument governing Ultramont and the IPQS' mutual foreign and economic policy.

The North Aurorian Common Market will become Ultramont's greatest economic partnership by merging its own national market with Suavidicum's in an effort to foster massive economic growth, generate new investments and business partnerships, and promote reconstruction efforts in the private sector. The GDP-value of this integrated market is estimated to be nearly seven trillion livres, making NACME the most substantial economic area in the Aurorias and second-most substantial in the world next to Goyanes.


The new NACME flag, a symbolic representation of the new common market.

NACME's framework will incorporate the typical procedures of Ultramontese foreign partnership agreements. Protocols have been elaborated on rules of origin, market access, phytosanitary procedures, and shipping, similar to the EUPA agreement struck in December of last year. NACME will also specify commercial language protections in order to facilitate economic relations within industries preferential to either the Santonian or Umbrial language. Additionally, the single-market free-trade agreement establishing NACME seeks to eliminate 90% of all tariffs between both countries, freeze any remaining trade protections, eliminate visa requirements for passport-holding travelers, and harmonize its external tariffs, all the while protecting each nation's individual tax systems, fiscal policy, foreign economic partnerships, and nationalization policies. The North Aurorian Economic Forum (NAEF) will emulate the role of the International Economic Forum as an economic commission negotiating monetary and fiscal policy at a regional level in order to maintain the stability of the single integrated market. Plans to introduce a shared currency have not been given much interest by both parties as a result of cultural reservations and broad opposition to extensive shifts in each country's monetary policy.

Some of the peculiarities laid out in the broader USRPA deal are its proposed infrastructure projects, namely the Boreus Strait Tunnel which has been given the amusing moniker, the "Strunnel". The Strunnel is to be an undersea rail passage connecting both nations across the Boreus strait, with one terminus in Antionicum, Ultramont, and the other in Dente Montibus, IPQS. The construction of the Strunnel is to be overseen by a subsidiary of the NAEF. Upon completion, the tunnel will be serviced by Aurolink, a transnational railway company which will also be managed by the NAEF, though much more distantly. Aurolink's railways will couple both nations' primary commuter and passenger rail networks, allowing citizens of the IPQS and Ultramont to travel to the other nation by high-speed train without any visa requirements.

The USRPA also lays out new military and diplomatic conventions. Both nations have agreed to coordinate a joint patrol of the Boreus strait and have agreed to a limited collective security agreement in which both countries will commit to armed intervention on the other's behalf in the event of a domestic security threat. This was mostly included as a protection against the return of a potential Nero-like figure, threatening the integrity of both the North Aurorian Common Market and the USRPA as a whole. Ultramont has also agreed to finally withdraw the 21st Naval Assault Squadron from the Imperium Suavidici and forgo its training of the luctatores, freedom-fighters who have played an important role in the resistance by assisting the Ultramontese defence against Nero's influence in the northern IPQS and by providing humanitarian assistance to affected residents of Suavidicum in the final, most violent days of Nero's regime. Luctatore leader Major Pius Lucilla is expected to be honoured by Emperor Augustus in the coming days as Operation Mastodon is quickly concluded.

Finally, a momentous step forward in Ultramontese-Suavidici relations will be achieved through the USRPA. Ultramont and the IPQS have renegotiated the terms of the 2022 Fair Deal and have agreed to honour and recognize each country's national sovereignty and right to dictate its own foreign policy without interference. A consequence of this agreement is that Ultramont will be permitted to reestablish relations with the People's Republic of Rayvostoka, so long as it respects a code of deliberate ambiguity with regards to the legitimate independence of "the imperial territory of Palmyra" as it is considered by the Imperium Suavidici. Additionally, Ultramont has sworn to enact an "everything-but-arms" approach in its economic partnership with Rayvostoka henceforward and will remain neutral in its relations with the Imperium Suavidici.

As Ultramont and the Imperium Suavidici embark on this transformative journey, the USRPA sets the stage for a harmonious future characterized by economic prosperity, redevelopment, and mutual respect for national sovereignty. The signing of the USRPA stands as a testament to diplomacy triumphing over conflict, democracy triumphing over authoritarianism, and offers a promising narrative of collaboration and progress in the northern Aurorias.

Télé-Outremont / Mercanti / Mondiale / « La vieille église, la nouvelle église et les Habitants éthiens »

The Old Church, The New Church, and the Ethian Habitants

8 avril 2024

In the 16th century, Ultramont was settled by both indentured servants and recruits from the Santonian realms of Piémont and the Pouilles. All off these colonists were catholiques, adherents to the courantist doctrine of the Santonian national church, which broke away from the mainstream courantist church about 1346. Its influence in the new colony was indisputable. The Bonaventurists, a monastic order, were highly involved in the propagation of the Santonian doctrine across the Boreus as well as the overall development of the colony. In addition to Saint Justin's Oratory in Gabrielville, the Bonaventurists established schools, hospitals, shelters, orphanages, and farms. But it wasn't just the monkhood that played a role in the colony's growth, even the church's prelates became highly implicated in the political administration of the colony.

That came to an end during the rule of the Flavians over the thousands of Habitants installed on the Boreus. Political and commercial failure in the metropole left Ultramont vulnerable to Suavidici conquest, and when the colony was finally lost, the Flavians forced Habitants to practice their faith in secret. These 82 years of crypto-messianist tradition would permanently alter the religious landscape of the country. The Bonaventurists were forced out of the important roles that they and the wider church held in order to support their communities. This led to critical unrest among Habitant settlements during the occupation which only provoked more religious suppression. When the courantist states of Meterra ended Suavidici rule in Ultramont and restored the free practice of messianism, the religious orthodoxy of the antebellum period had totally vanished.

Famous Historian Maximilien Archambault describes the state of messianism in Seigneurial Ultramont as a "tetrapod" of individual actors: the Habitant laity which had adopted puritanical elements as a result of their secret worship, the courantist emigrés of Meterra who were promoted into positions of power by the Predicean navy, the restored Ultramontese clergy (or "New Church") which sought to embrace the status quo among catholiques in order to unite against the courantist preferentialism, and the upper Santonian clergy (or "Old Church") which saw courantism as a force to restore the former religious orthodoxy. Naturally, "New Church" disagreed with "Old Church", which also resented the Santonian ecclesiastical hegemony in general as a result of the Bastard's War, and preferred the Ultramontese church to be autocephalous. The situation quickly led to borderline schismatic sentiments within the Ultramontese communion. The result of this was the Separatist Controversy.

New Church clergy began to openly denounce the Santonian national church after the Tenebrian Revolt of 1687 saw the violent removal of Santonian missions from the south of the country, which were later reinstated by courantist clerics once the Revolt had been subdued. This had been done at the behest of the courantist seigneurial government. The Old Church was beginning to be seen as weak by those who associated with the New Church, and many officials began to consider officially separating. Paul de Verrier, a powerful manorial lord and leader of a local Separatist congregation, grew a large following in Port-Saint-Ignace and Gabrielville. His criticisms of the Santonian Church in Ultramont were popular among other manorial families and the privileged merchant class in the port cities. When in 1688, Old Church hierarchs annnounced their intention to renounce the catholicité requirement for those in the country's civil and legal administration, Verrier and his followers officially renounced the Santonian national church.


A map detailing the journey of the Habitant Separatists into southern Ethia.

More than a dozen Separatist sects broke away in the following years numbering over eight thousand people total. Each of them faced religious and legal persecution under Michel Labarre's seigneurial administration. As a result, the vast majority opted to leave Ultramont for the "Bleeding Country", as Verrier described it to his congregation, located in Selia and southern Ethia (near modern-day Volshaan) The influx of Santonian-speaking Separatists into southern Ethia via Dogazi in the late 17th century would later distinguish the FEU and Scalvia as some of the more fascinating constituents of the Santophonie. Verrier and other New Church Separatists who had followed him to his colony in Selia penned an official charter in 1689, honouring the free practice of the Santonian doctrine within fully-autonomous congregations. At a time when religious persecution was ubiquitous, especially in Ultramont, these new Ethian Habitants had effectively created a utopia of religious tolerance, though it was preferential to Santonian doctrine.


The flag of the Ethian Habitants, the Santo-Ultramontese folk of southern Ethia.

Verrier's colony in Selia was succeeded in terms of displacement by the Laurentine settlement, which was founded by Joseph Marie d'Aldo in 1692. Both colonies protected the congregational practice of Santonian courantism. At first, Aldo's settlement north of Volshaan was not as successful in attracting colonists, however, its growing autonomy and population in comparison to the isolated religious retreats within Selia would see the Laurentine settlement become incredibly successful. In 1693, under a great deal of pressure, the Santonian national church conferred power to the New Church in order to fix the growing schism within the Ultramontese communion. Most domestic Separatists subsequently rejoined the Church of the Holy Heart of Ultramont, which was now a fully autocephalous church empowered to practice the Santonian liturgy, while the remnants of the Old Church left the country for Saintes. Eventually, the Ultramontese Church became so popular among both Santonian courantists and mainstream courantists, that it was endorsed by the seigneurial government and reinstated as the "legal church" of Ultramont.

Verrier, Aldo, and their followers never returned to Ultramont. The peace and agrarian bliss of the Bleeding Country captured the hearts of the Separatists who wouldn't look back to see their religious issues resolved in their violent and mercantile homeland. The Separatist colonies near Laurentine in the Bleeding Country would be integrated into the Federal Ethian Union after struggling to uphold their self-determination as a people. Those who settled in Selia pursued a traditional way of life which is often romanticized in Scalvian society. The "Ethian Habitants", as they are known today, are a unique ethnic group in southern Ethia with great pride in their Santo-Ultramontese cultural heritage as well as their background in religious tolerance. On the other hand, the monopoly of the Church of the Holy Heart of Ultramont would not last nearly as long, as the demand for religious reform would resurface during the Unification of the Churches period just 30 years later.
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