Freedemian Court rules in favor of Feldman in Leo Jono vs Brian Feldman, but with several reservations

QUENTINSBURGH- In the case that has made international headlines, Leo Jono vs Brian Feldman, the Freedemian National Court has ruled in favor of Brian Feldman, though with many reservations.

The court decided 6-4 that Leo Jono was technically free to deny the service of creating a turtlefruit pizacyro since first of all, turtlefruit wasn’t a topping offering, and second of all since it went against his belief that turtlefruit does not go on pizacyros.

However, the reason the court ruled decisively and unanimously for Brian Feldman was that by blacklisting Feldman from getting even normal pizacyros, Leo Jono had denied Feldman a service not based on his own beliefs, but based on Feldman’s differing belief, which is against the very same belief freedom and belief discrimination laws that upheld Leo Jono’s right to not provide turtlefruit as a topping.

The courts also cautioned that while they may have ruled in this case, technically, pizacyro preference is not a belief that counts as a religious or cultural belief, and labeled that portion of the case “frivolous” to prevent any further cases or legal battles on the topic.

Freedemian National Court to hear case over “Turtlefruit DOES GO on Pizacyros” controversy

QUENTINSBURGH– This week, the Freedemian National Court is expected to hear a strange case- one centered around the “Turtlefruit DOES GO on Pizacyros” movement. No, the case will not decide whether turtlefruit goes on pizacyros or not (though that would end a lot of the debate). The case of Leo Jono vs Brian Feldman centers largely on denial of services for beliefs other than religious or cultural ones, such as food preference.

Leo Jono’s Authentic Pizacyro’s is located in the Vera Point neighborhood in Quentinsburgh. Last July, long time customer Brian Feldman asked Leo Jono if he could get turtlefruit on his Pizacyro, which turned into an argument, with owner Leo Jono insisting “no self respecting chef would ever defile a pizacyro in such a way” and that he owned an “honorable establishment that would never create such trash”. Leo Jono’s being one of the most popular non-chain pizacyro restaurants in Quentinsburgh, the incident angered a lot of turtlefruit-lovers, and Feldman rallied about 15,000 people to sign a petition for Leo Jono’s to offer turtlefruit as a topping for his pizacyros. When Feldman came in, ordered a normal pizacyro and presented the petition to Leo Jono, Jono told Feldman he had been blacklisted and was no longer allowed as a customer at Leo Jono’s. This spurred quite a few protests and a large boycott of the business.

The case focuses on whether or not Leo Jono was allowed to blacklist Feldman for presenting the petition in favor of turtlefruit pizacyros. Freedemia has religious/belief protections, so theoretically Leo Jono was fully allowed to deny the service of creating a turtlefruit pizacyro because it went against his beliefs and his customer policy. However, the question becomes whether Leo Jono was allowed to blacklist Feldman over his belief that “turtlefruits do go on pizacyros”, which could be considered discriminating against Feldman due to what he believes in. Some also question if food preference can be considered a belief protected under the original law that would warrant denial of service, as it seems very trivial in comparison to religion, cultural beliefs, etc.

Lawyers for Leo Jono argue that the denial was not over Feldman’s belief that pizacyros and turtlefruit go together, but over “harrassment of the company”. Feldman’s lawyers rebut, saying that after the initial confrontation Feldman had not done anything threatening or harrassing, as he had peacefully presented the petition to Leo Jono and even ordered a turtlefruit-free pizacyro.

Some argue the case is frivolous and should be thrown out. Others believe the case is frivolous, but that they should follow the standard set by Heinz Doofenschmidt v United Freedemian Union and rule before labeling the case frivolous.

The case is expected to divide the court, but it is currently unclear how many will want to rule which way.

Embassies officially available in Terwen

CAMPECH – After years of problems, embassy spots are officially available in Campech.

For the past 76 years, embassies have been limited to a small, cramped office building in Downtown Campech.  The building, formerly named Embassy Centre, was built in 1941 right after Terwen’s current government was formed, has 12 floors where countries were crammed in because of no available space for embassies in Campech.  The building has been continually deteriorating structurally and has no offices available.  There was so little space left in the building that some countries literally shared an office.

The need for a new embassy area became very apparent 5 months  ago when a fire caused the top 2 floors of the building to become completely unusable.  The fire started when one of the building’s servers overheated and exploded because of its lackluster cooling room.  The fire proceeded to completely destroy the server room, and then cause the floor it was on, Floor 12, to have to be completely evacuated because of the damaged asbestos making the air toxic and lead pipes melting from the fire.  The fire then went down to Floor 11 before it was finally put out.  Even though no one died in the fire, it ruined a major database and several country’s embassies.

Campech Officials had already been negotiating with the neighborhood of Greenwich to replace the historic area of North Greenwich with a dedicated embassy area, but as has happened many times over in the past, the neighborhood refused as all the other neighborhoods of Campech had.

However, because of the Embassy Centre fire and questionable structural condition of it,  the Prime Minister of Terwen issued an executive order demanding the construction of dedicated embassy areas in North Greenwich.  People living in the houses that would have to be destroyed were given vouchers that allowed them to buy a house or condo in Campech for 75% off, or wait until a condo building built in the location of the old Embassy Centre Building was complete, in which they would be given the condo for free.

Construction on this embassy area started one month later with the destruction of many old houses in North Greenwich, even as protesters blocked the path of many construction vehicles.  The construction carried on for 4 months until the embassy area was ready.

“I am very fortunate to see a true embassy area finally opening in Campech.  Campech finally has a safe, spacious embassy area that will show Terwen’s importance and strength.” said Prime Minister Fredrick Montclair in a press conference today.

With embassies available, guidelines for embassy construction have been released.  These embassies may take 1/4, 1/2, or one whole block depending on how substantial the relations between that country and Terwen are, and must be located in the spaces marked “Available Embassy Area.”  Countries who build an embassy must send a PM to iBallasticwolf2 about it, but do not need permission to build an embassy as long as they follow the guidelines.

The old Embassy Centre Building will be demolished in 2 months after the countries using it have moved out.  A new condominium tower 20 floors high will be built in the current location of Embassy Centre.

Opinion: Constructing QUARTA’s Trams was the biggest waste of taxpayer money in recent Quentins History

QUENTINSBURGH- The following is an opinion editorial by recently hired QDOT transit planner Greg Sullivan, who specializes in helping find cost-effective transit/roadway solutions. The contents do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of PWN News.

There’s been a lot of talk recently about QUARTA potentially wasting taxpayer money with a few of their big infrastructure projects.

A lot of the discussion arose again when QUARTA announced plans to put emergency call buttons at every QLine Metro entrance, in every metro station, in/at every park and ride, and at all major bus stops and transit centers. I think this is largely unnecessary. Quentinsburgh is one of the safest cities in the world, and QUARTA is one of the safest transit systems in the world. Most metro stations already have these buttons on the platforms, and transit centers and park and rides usually have either existing buttons, a staffed building, or phones that already serve this role. But it’s an understandable move. QUARTA has been safe for years, and it seems like they’re making sure that continues to be the case. I still think that the cost may be worth more than the benefit in a system already known for safety, though.

I think there’s also a strong argument that QLine metro lines 11 and 12 (constructed originally as lines 10 and 11 and running most recently as lines 9 and 11) were a waste , as the area seems like bus rapid transit, like QLine 15 off the coast, may have been a more effective and more reasonably priced alternative that would have worked very well in the area. While the area is growing, it’s still not big enough to have truly needed a heavy rail line, even if it’s just a local one. These lines could have been built as BRT and simply rebuilt as a light rail as density and demand grew enough to warrant it.

But there’s one part of the QUARTA system that is the single biggest waste in the system’s history, and that’s the construction of the 3 stand-alone trams; the PlaneTrain, the Fairgrounds Tram, and the Geolympiad Shuttle.

For one, these trams aren’t linked to the main metro system track-wise. They don’t use the same train cars (in fact, they don’t even use the same company! Tram cars are made by Starmobility, while subway cars come from Chang y Sainz) and thus cannot be linked into the main system. You can see evidence of that along the Geolympiad Shuttle, where the tram LITERALLY runs ALONGSIDE the metro line 2 for two whole kilometers. That’s TWO MILES OF REDUNDANT TRACK. There’s also a one-station redundant stretch along Clayton Road.

This also leads to “island routing”, or lines that literally seem to go nowhere productive and can’t be expanded without certain parts being redundant. Take the Fairgrounds Tram, for example. QUARTA has been looking for a way to extend it and make it more effective for years. The problem? The subway system surrounds the tram and serves the area well enough that there’s nowhere to expand the tram without it being an even bigger waste of money than it already is.

But the biggest problem is the fact that PRACTICALLY NO ONE RIDES THEM.

As implied by the names of the three trams, the Fairgrounds Tram, Geolympiad Shuttle, and PlaneTram, these lines were built for very specific venues and in some cases, very specific events as well.

The Geolympiad Shuttle tram got huge amounts of riders DURING the 2016 Pancontinental Games in Quentinsburgh, as visitors/spectators used the tram to get back and forth from venue to venue. Ridership was easily in the hundreds of thousands. But that ridership only lasted through the Geolympiad itself. Currently, the most ridership on the entire line is Read University students using it as an extra way to get across campus or a way to connect to nearby metro lines that do not come far into campus. A little extra amount comes from those going to Quentinsburgh Firestorm baseball games, or the Horizon Plaza Mall and Hotel Complex (also built for the Geolympiad). Ridership today? only 5,000- on a good day. To make matters worse, the area is already surrounded by subway routes. Something as simple as a couple infill stations and a really reliable bus circulator could have done the trick, for the Geolympiad and even today for the occasional rider.

The Fairgrounds Tram is even worse. There was no real big event that warranted even the consideration of such a cost-ineffective transit project. The Quentins State Fair has seen declining visitors year after year, especially as Thrill Planet becomes more accessible, and less and less events are being hosted at the Quentins Fairgrounds. Yet we have a tram that was built especially for the Quentins Fairgrounds. Ridership, at best, is around 100 on a good, non-fair day, most going to either a small expo at the fairgrounds or trying to transfer between QLine Metro lines 1/14 and line 2 without going downtown. During the state fair that number can reach as high as 500 daily (yayyyyyyyyyyy *sarcasm*). The tram was built with the capacity of handling 15,000 passengers or more daily. A bus could have EASILY done the job.

The PlaneTram is easily the most effective and cost-worthy tram of the three, being used by hundreds of thousands of passengers every day. I wouldn’t call it a waste persay. But the same need could have been easily and effectively met by a frequently running airport shuttle bus, without the cost of new construction.

To be clear, I’m not referring to QUARTA’s small but successful trolley system. The Downtown Trolley has been running surprisingly well after some route tweaks, the James Street Trolley has greatly improved surface transportation in downtown Quentinsburgh, and the Waterside Park Tram (which, ironically, is actually a trolley) provides a quick connection to Waterside Park Isle and to Quentinsburgh Beach. All three have proven to be valuable assets to the system.

But the three standalone trams, as well as the costs of continued operation, have been a weight around QUARTA’s ankles for a long time, and will continue to be until they figure out what’s the best financial decision for the trams.

 

Zenergy Electronics rebrands as Zenergy Technology (ZT), releases first full line of devices and computers running ZComOS, teases ZeeBoy Platinum and ZeeBox17 releases for the summer

SAN GRANDE, FREEDEMIA– Freedemian electronics company Zenergy released their first official line of computers and mobile devices on Monday. The line currently includes 6 devices, the Zeno (which comes as an all-n-one desktop or a traditional-style PC tower), the ZenoBook, the ZenoBook Lite (sort of a lightweight hybrid between the ZenoBook and the Zeno Pad), ZenoPad, ZenoPhone, and ZenoPhab. The devices are the first full quality non-beta devices that Zenergy has released, and the first that run on the newly improved ZComOS.

“It’s one of the most aesthetically pleasing operating systems we’ve seen in a while,” app developer Ravia commented. “It almost has that same wow factor that StepStone did when it was first released.”

Zenergy first announced the new line back in October 2015, though it had been in the works for years behind the scenes.

Zenergy has gone for the same “seamless experience” concept StepStone Technology has, with a standard UI across all computing devices (though phones especially have what one may call the “lite version”). The devices don’t actually navigate through the home “launch screen”, but through a modern-looking half-screen menu window that appears when you press either the built in Z button or click on the Z icon in the bottom left corner of the screen. (The Z Button is the default in phones, the Z icon is the default on laptops and desktops, and tablets can be adjusted to have the on screen Z Icon in addition to the Z button.) Essentially, this means your home menu is always accessible, no matter what app or program you’re in, in contrast to having to leave a program or move windows around to get back to it.

Some of the later Zenergy Beta models (such as the ZenergyPhone Beta 10) will be eligible for a software upgrade from ZComputeOS Beta 4.3 to ZComOS 1.0, but most of the older test models were not made to run the new system. Zenergy does plan on releasing one final update to ZComputeOS Beta (to be dubbed Beta 5 Final) as a final thank you to those who were early adaptors of the Zenergy computing line.

Zenergy also included a free, fully functional, official ZeeBoy emulator in every new device, as an homage to the days when Zenergy ruled handheld gaming. This may have been done in an effort to compete with MegamerGames‘ GamePhone SuperNova.

Zenergy’s market share is expected to grow dramatically in the near future as these devices hit the shelves. Currently Zenergy has about 1% of the Freedemian mobile device market, with Stepstone, Saehan Group, and Cyclo dominating.

Zenergy gaming fans will also be ecstatic to know that the new ZeeBoy Platinum and ZeeBox are coming out this June. The extent of their success may depend on the third party game offerings they’re able to attract to the platforms.

Zenergy Device (1).jpg
The release images of the smaller ZenoPad and the larger version of the ZenoPhone.

Bill in response to Freedemian restroom shortage would reduce penalties for public urination

QUENTINSBURGH– Reeds Poplator Selena DiCostranado introduced a bill Friday afternoon addressing a problem related to the Freedemian restroom shortage in an unique way. The bill, currently simply dubbed Populus Bill 46, would lessen sentences/punishments for public urination. Essentially, the bill says public urination cannot be classified as a lewd act, and can only be punishable by law in the case of related vandalism or desecration/hate crimes.

The reasoning behind the bill, according to DiCostranado, is that public urination is something done out of desperation, not done for the purposes of being lewd. Even with Amendment 30, which switched the country from an indecent exposure model to an indecent behavior model and made non-lewd exposure legal in all 11 states, most ordinances continued to consider public urination “lewd”.

Currently, the legislature seems torn on the matter. Quentins Poplator Samantha Bond expressed concern that the country’s image as a clean, hygienic, beautiful nation would be at risk if people thought urinating on the side of the road or in public spaces was acceptable. Guijarros Poplator Jared Greenbrooks expressed concern that the bill, if passed, would set a dangerous precedent and could lead to something like public defecation becoming legal down the road.

Others supported the bill wholeheartedly, with the main reason for supporting it being the reduced punishment.

“It’s ridiculous that depending on the city, people have been fined, held for questioning, and even charged with lewd acts simply for not peeing on themselves when they couldn’t hold it anymore,” Trenchent Poplator Harrison Mead stated. “People have to pee, whether that’s in a toilet, in the grass, or in their pants. It’s not really a choice. Reducing the punishment for public urination to only being punishable when used for vandalism or desecration just makes sense.”

It does seem like the bill has a fair chance of passing the House of Populus, with the most recent stats estimating about 29 out of 47 Poplators are very likely to vote for the bill (a majority is 24). The House of Decisions is expected to vote that the decision only needs to be voted on by the House of Populus to become law.

While much of the attention was brought to the issue by then-vice-presidential candidate Diane Wooten-Whitaker peeing on herself during a live debate, the Freedemian restroom shortage has become a much more widely recognized issue over the past couple years, with studies and surveys showing that most Freedemians were choosing not to drink as much as they should for fear of not being able to find a public restroom, leading to greatly increased cases of heat stroke and dehydration-related illnesses and health problems.

Freedemia has in the past had an odd relationship with public restrooms, and with no ordinances in 99% of cities or towns requiring public restrooms and until recently, no statewide or nationwide requirements at all, many businesses and public places had opted to only have restrooms for employees or paying customers, some even going as far as to charge for bathroom usage. (Some lower level local courts had upheld these practices in the past, with the reasoning being the money would help pay for cleaning and maintenance.)

Some steps have been taken that are expected to make a difference over time, such as the passing of the slightly controversial RAWAA, which requires public businesses to provide public restrooms. However, in some places, including DiConstranado’s home state of Reeds, the shortage (as well as the rebellion among business owners refusing to comply with the law) is still bad enough that people are still finding themselves not able to find a restroom.

This bill comes in the midst of a greater move for the health and well-being of Freedemians, largely under the vice presidency of Patrick Houser. Other major recent moves have been about making sure water was accessible for all Freedemians, such as providing easier universal access to free drinking water (WAWAA) and removing water from “no food, no drink policies” (Walden v. VAULT). Healthcare reform is expected to happen in the coming months as well, with the emphasis being accessibility for all Freedemians, thus increasing the health of the country as a whole.

Freedemian National Court rules in Walden v. VAULT that water cannot be included in “no food, no drink” policies, solidifies water’s status as an essential right and need

QUENTINSBURGH– The Freedemian National Court made a long awaited ruling during a special judicial session on Saturday in the case Walden v. VAULT. The ruling mainly ruled that water cannot be included in “no food or drink” policies, including “no outside drinks allowed” policies, based on a court case between VAULT (Vandover And Urban Laneston Transit) and an asthmatic passenger.

QUARTA, Quentinsburgh’s transit system, stopped including water in their “no food, no drink” policies back around 2013 when it became clear during an abnormally dry and hot season that the hundred-degree temperatures (Fahrenheit) and difficult access of water in some places was part of the reason heat strokes and other exhaustion/dehydration related illnesses were so rampant in Freedemia. A couple other Freedemian transit systems, such as PLATA in Personsboro/Leonard, GoFARTher in Franklinsburgh, and LART in Trenchent/San Grande, followed this lead, which would lead to a lot of businesses and school systems also changing their policies similarly.

However, VAULT was not one of these transit systems, which would end up leading to this case. In July 2016, on one of the hottest days in the year, Maurice Walden ran to catch a VAULT bus to get to work with a bottle of water. While he was allowed on the bus, when an out of breath Walden tried to drink some of his water, the driver (who will remain unnamed) asked him to follow the “no food, no drink” policy. Walden, an asthmatic, attempted to explain that he needed the water after running to catch the bus, but the driver made Walden put the water away anyway. Walden would have an asthma attack a few minutes later.

While he ended up being okay, Walden reported the way he was treated to VAULT, only to get a letter saying that he had been in violation of the “no food or drink” policy. Walden would sue VAULT, and over the course of the year the case would make its way up to the National Court.

The ruling in favor of Walden asserted that water is a “fundamental right and an essential need”, and that the only times it is reasonable to include water in a “no food or drink” policy is if its a location like a science lab where drinking water could result in the direct harm of the person drinking. This is a pretty big deal, and solidifies through the courts the importance of easy access to water. President Angela Rosenthal has been trying to emphasize the importance of water and restroom access for a while, passing WAWAA and the slightly more controversial RAWAA, but this is the first time that the judiciary upheld the importance.

Vice president Patrick Houser praised the decision as a huge step forward. “This day marks a step towards a time where Freedemia becomes, even moreso, a world leader in fundamental rights and environmental consciousness”, he said during a brief remark after the ruling. Houser has been known as a champion of moderate environmentalism since his election in 2016 to vice president, advocating for a faster move to public transportation, more reliable renewable and green energy, easier access to water, and higher standards in green architecture and design.