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.

Wiwaxia’s The Unspeakable Distance of the Stars wins 2016 Golden Delta Film Festival

EZAJUN – 23 films from 21 countries around the world were selected for the 2016 Golden Delta Film Festival, that took place in Ezajun, Neo Delta, last December. Since the nominations were announced, in the beginning of that same month, The Unspeakble Distance of the Starsthe science fiction comedy-drama from Wiwaxia, made headlines, gathering the most nominations for the festival. When the results were announced, in a ceremony with stars from the cinema world, all the expectations were comfirmed and the Wiwaxian film received 3 awards: best film, best actress, and best screenplay. Hyansen so Felwe (The Troubles of Peace) from Kojo, got two awards, including best director.

One of the stars of the night was Karolina Klimešová, from Drabantia, who won the award for best supporting actrees: ‘I just don’t know what to say. Such a surprise! Thank you!’, said Klimešová during her speech at the ceremony. The best song category was one of the most difficult to predict and went for the film Hermano Mathías, from Balonis. Mike Dawning, from the Pasalian film Where Are You, My Brother? gave one of the most emotional speeches of the night. Other highlights were the best documentary, A Long Way From Bhagurah, from Lallemend, and the acclaimed Hopponese film, 顎に矢印 (Arrow to Chin), that won best animation.

See the comple list of winners below or click here.

2016 winners

2016 winners

Preparing for the New Year

Pasaliapolis, Pasalia

The year 2016 is heading straight toward its end and everyone is anticipating the celebrations. It has again been a year full of joy and sadness in this country and world. What are we looking for in 2017? 2017 marks the year in which PM Marshall will again run for the job. We will look forward to the new plans of high speed transit the DOT will present in May. We at PNB are really excited about the renovation of our headquarters being finished. In case you and your family will want to enjoy the festivities down at the oceanside in Pasaliapolis please note that the PPD has announced the ban of fireworks near the New Zoological Garden. This is to improve the health of its animals and we will all understand that. Furthermore don’t be surprised to see police blocking downtown streets with trucks and armored vehicles. This is to ensure upmost safety. Please be prepared to let police search your bags for any forbidden items like firecrackers or glass bottles. The Bank of Pasalia has announced to keep its observation deck open this year. The deck was closed last year after a fatal incident involving two men happened. The fireworks will begin at midnight and are expected to last about 30 minutes. CRT will run at increased frequency and offer free shuttles buses from stations into neighborhoods to disencourage drunk driving. Police will conduct breathalyzer tests until noon of Jan 1. PNB will broadcast the celebrations from major cities like Latina, Quentinsburgh, St. Richards and many more. PNB will be here for you again on Jan 2 and Have a happy and safe 2017!

Ulethoskeptics Rally in Tasa Valley, Draw Thousands

AMITYE, MAURETIA (TeleMaura News Ingerish) – Preliminary campaigning has begun in some key constituencies across Mauretia, as the parliamentary session comes to a close early next year. Nearly four thousand people gathered at Keyen Chemical Company’s amphitheater in Amitye yesterday with hopes that their voices will be heard in Qolna Mauretana. “Why is it that only some on the Island understand what we want?” asked liberal–publican Assemblian Adil Ferbuge (MPM-Anditasa) in his keynote address. “We want our jobs protected! We don’t want all our corporations moving across li tabrea!” This reference to the loss of 1,700 manufacturing jobs in Anditasa to a fellow EUOIA member last month received among the loudest cheers of the rally. “We don’t want to be losing ground to other nations,” Aṭanazyu bon-Bakar said. “Why does the Island think the rest of Uletha is more important [than us]?”

The official attendance at the rally was 3,956. It is believed that this figure includes the nearly seventy media members that covered the event. It is the largest political rally this year with a nonpartisan Ulethoskeptic leaning. Although Queen Gabriela was not in attendance, her presence was often felt. Her most recent confecio, which declared that she believed in doing what is best for Mauretia first, was a frequent rallying cry. La Eloiṭeva‘s public policy realignment has buoyed her already lofty approval rating, as evidenced by the words of speakers and public attendees alike.

QP Locar Bertun (MF-Iola Essa), however, surprised many by attending the event. A self-proclaimed ‘Uletho-moderate,’ she spoke immediately before the keynote address by Mr. Ferbuge. She praised the role that Mauretia plays in the EUOIA but equally emphasized caution. “A prosperous Mauretia can make for a prosperous Uletha—not the other way around.” After the rally, she projected excitement. “The people are inspired,” she said. “They are worried about unchecked globalization, and they are want to see some real changes to policy.”

Ms. Bertun’s appearance sent shockwaves through Labor (MF) this morning, with many critical. “[Ms. Bertun] should not be pandering to isolationists,” decried Qoncilioi shadow leader Kefas Brietia (MF-Banasa). “She may be a soft Ulethoskeptic, but she has no business being there. They do not see the bigger picture of prosperity in the new global economy.” Even so, Ms. Bertun sees plenty of reason for her appearance. Amitye and the industrial midlands of the Tasa Valley have long been a MF stronghold, but the party suffered surprise losses to the MDX and MPM in the last election. In an interview with teleMaura this morning, Ms. Bertun attributed those losses to her party not hearing the fears of the workers. “I reject isolationism, but the people view [us] as pro-Uletha at their expense,” she remarked. “The MDX and MPM preyed on their fears. We need to prove to them… that we are balanced on this issue and respect their economic interests.”

Mr. Ferbuge took exception to the idea that the MDX and MPM are isolationist. “We want integration to be in the broader fabric of Mauretia,” he said. “Our nation has long been international in its viewpoint. We just want to protect our people first. That is the responsibility of government. I believe Ms. Bertun would agree with this sentiment.”

BREAKING NEWS- Woolonian Traditionalist Rebels attack at Woolbridge bus station, Temporary Freedemian embassy in Woolport with synthetic bia-bia poison

WOOLBRIDGE, WOOL COUNTY, WOOLONIA – Within a month of a statement from President Ferdinand Sealy warning against complacency in the war with the Woolonian Traditionalist Rebels, two attacks occurred in Wool County that reminded the nation that they were still at war.

The Central Woolbridge Transit Center in Woolbridge and the Freedemian embassy in Woolport were stormed within hours of each other, poison darts flying. At the Freedemian embassy the perpetraters were immediately tranquilized and taken into custody. One ambassador was injured, but was only grazed by the dart and survived after being bused to a nearby hospital. Eight died at the scene at the Central Woolbridge Transit Center, 7 by poison darts and one who ran into traffic trying to get to safety.

The damage from the attacks was minimized by a newly established bia bia antidote that acts as fast as the poison (helping save the Freedemian ambassador), as well as the fact that it appeared the synthetic poison was not as potent as the natural poison from the bia bia plant.

Names of the victims have not yet been released. The nation of Woolonia, as well as ally Freedemia who has been targeted for their ties to Woolonia, are both on high alert.

President Sealy released a brief statement talking about the concerns of the WTR having synthetic poisons at their disposal and the fact that all Freedemians and Woolonians need to be ready for anything and never let their guards down. He also said that he had a very important announcement to make at a later time.

The attack with synthetic poisons marks another departure from the WTR’s normally strictly traditionalist means of warfare, which has many in Woolonia concerned that a larger attack could be imminent.

President Sealy warns against complacency in fight against Woolonian Traditionalist Rebels

PASTUREVILLE, PASTURE COUNTY, WOOLONIA– President Ferdinand Sealy of Woolonia was in Pastureville early this morning to give a speech about the current state of the Second Woolonian Civil War.

Pastureville had been one of the areas hit hardest at the start of the war. The Woolonian Traditionalist Rebels’ primary stronghold is the Pastureville Highlands, which is a large rural area outside of the city that includes the city of Sabara. Rebels had pushed in as far as the Pastureville City Limits before Woolonian forces successfully pushed back.

Things have been relatively quiet since Operation Firewolf back in October, when Woolonian forces and drones successfully took out every known stash of bia bia poison and bia bia plants in the nation, a poison that the Woolonian Traditionalist Rebels generally use as their primary weapon. As a whole, the war appears to have died down. There have been no attacks since Operation Firewolf, no statements have come from the WTR, and no further incidents have been noted, in Woolonia nor in ally Freedemia, whom the WTR also declared war on back in July. Some have even gone so far as to celebrate the “end” of the war. However, in his speech, President Sealy explicitly warned against complacency, and reminded the nation that the threat is just as real today as it was at the beginning of the war.

“By all standards and indications, we are still at war. Technically, our ally Freedemia is still under imminent threat of war. The minute that we become complacent, the second that we step back and say “Well, I guess we won!”, the very moment we let our guard down, is the moment they’ll attack.  This isn’t over!!! The Woolonian Traditionalist Rebels still have control of most of the Pastureville Highlands. Sabara is still a stronghold. Autoroute 56 is still closed. Government security is still at an all time high. And our ally Freedemia has still had war declared on them for the first time in history. Government officials and civilians have been killed. Freedemian politicians have had failed assassination attempts against them. We have not reached a resolution. We may have won this battle, but if we become complacent now and forget what’s at stake, we will lose this war.”

It has yet to be shown whether Woolonians will heed President Sealy’s message.