Woman trampled in Suvuma protest was Khaiwoonese journalist, Khaiwoon calls for ‘caution and care’

Yupmin Emily Baiwopha
Yupmin Emily Baiwopha

KHAIWOON — While Neo Delta celebrated the return of its ambassador from Suvuma, Khaiwoon mourned the death of a young reporter killed in the violence sparked by the diplomatic tussle.

Speaking at the Legislative Assembly this morning, Khaiwoon’s foreign minister Alan Satmooë confirmed that the woman fatally injured last Sunday by the stampeding crowd at the anti-Neo Delta riot in Suvuma was a Khaiwoonese journalist, Yupmin Emily Baiwopha.

Baiwopha, 29, was a native of Khaiwoon who had served as a volunteer aid worker in Suvuma for three years after graduating from college, before starting a career in journalism with the Times of Khaiwoon.  She was covering the rising tension in Suvuma for the Times when she was trampled by protesters fleeing tear gas and rubber bullets fired by Suvumese riot police protecting Neo Delta’s embassy.

A spokesman for the newspaper said Baiwopha’s coworkers were in shock.  “She had such a sharp mind and an energetic personality,” said Kevin Hambex. “It’s hard to believe she’s gone.”

Baiwopha’s family did not offer a comment to the media.

Khaiwoon maintains diplomatic relations with Suvuma as well as informal relations with Goytakanya.  Instead of an embassy in Goytakanya, Khaiwoon operates a ‘Khaiwoonese Affairs Bureau’ facilitating numerous commercial ties.

Satmooë, the foreign minister, urged governments to “exercise caution and care” with respect to the dispute over Goytakanya.

“For decades Khaiwoonese diplomats have helped the Suvumese and Goytakano parties avoid a repeat of large scale violence by following a careful path of restraint and discretion, neutrality and compassion, engagement and development.”

“Recently however, we have seen a handful of governments jumping in, picking sides, shaking things up and inflaming the situation. We fail to see how these actions help move the two parties toward a peaceful solution.  All they do is worsen tensions, destabilize the Suvumese leadership, jeopardize the safety of Goytakano people in Suvuma, and provoke needless violence against the innocent.”

“Khaiwoon has lost a daughter,” he added. “We do not wish anyone else to experience the same.”

Baiwopha’s remains arrived at Khaiwoon International Airport this afternoon.  A memorial service is planned for Friday evening.


Sci-fi bestseller “Love Database” awarded Best Monsoon Novel 2015 in Khaiwoon

Jamie Khanra's science fiction story,
Jamie Khanra’s science-fiction bestseller, “Love Database,” winner of Best Monsoon Novel 2015

KHAIWOON — The rainy season in Khaiwoon is sometimes called the “reading season,” that long stretch of hot, humid days between May and September when the city-state experiences roughly two meters of rainfall and people tend to spend many evenings indoors, away from the thunderstorms, with air conditioning and a good book.  And every October when the rains end, the Times of Khaiwoon names its “Best Monsoon Novel” — the best novel that was available during the rainy season — one of the most prestigious honors in modern Khaiwoonese literature.

For the first time ever, this year’s winner is a science-fiction novel:  Love Database, by Khaiwoonese author Jamie Khanra.  Khanra imagines a future Khaiwoon in which a supercomputer has been put in charge of a wide range of social processes, including matchmaking.  To this end it administers an enormous Love Database, containing everything it can possibly learn about the hearts and desires of every citizen of the country, and it utilizes the Love Database to arrange romantic encounters for the entire population.

The novel follows several people from all walks of life as they navigate the surprisingly unlikely choices the Love Database makes for them, and how their lives change as a result.  A mixture of comedy, drama, and love story — with a fair amount of philosophy thrown in for good measure — the novel becomes an exploration of the often enormous gap between what people think will make them happy and what actually will.

Khanra, 37, a graduate of the University of Khaiwoon, is a computer programmer and first time author who had been working on the story in his spare time for over five years, before finally getting it published in February.  He said he has been amazed by the novel’s success in the bookstores, yet still never imagined that it would be selected for this award.

“It’s a shock,” he told reporters at his apartment in the Oktogon Hill neighborhood this morning. “It’s a huge honor.  I just hope my story, and this story, will be an inspiration to help people reach deep inside their hearts and discover whatever path will make them truly happy in life.”

Khaiwoon ratifies Gobras Peninsula Free Trade Agreement

An anti-GPFTA rally was attended by a few hundred demonstrators in Gobras City.
An anti-GPFTA rally was attended by a few hundred demonstrators in Gobras City.

KHAIWOON – Khaiwoon’s parliament today passed a bill ratifying the Gobras Peninsula Free Trade Agreement (GPFTA), completing the treaty’s ratification process and bringing the free trade agreement into effect.

Foreign ministers had signed the GPFTA in February, but ratification was required by the governments of all three member states.  Alora approved the agreement in June, followed by Gobrassanya’s ratification last month.  Khaiwoon’s vote had been expected sooner but was delayed due to minor objections from the opposition party KPD.

The GPFTA is a wide-reaching free trade pact that reduces travel restrictions between the three member states, liberalizes a large number of trade regulations, facilitates higher level cooperation among border security forces, and allows for the creation of special administrative regions along the Aloran-Gobrassian border, where international trade and travel will be opened up significantly.

A small anti-GPFTA rally was held outside Khaiwoon’s foreign ministry, while a somewhat larger demonstration attended by several hundred people took place in Gobras City, calling for Gobrassanya’s withdrawal from the treaty.  One demonstrator described the agreement as “part of a secret plot by the Assembly of Nations to destroy Gobrassian sovereignty.”

A public opinion survey released yesterday by the Times of Khaiwoon indicated that the protestors were a small minority.  According to the poll, 78% of Khaiwoonese surveyed said they favored GPFTA ratification, as did 67% of Gobrassian respondants.  The Southern Uletha Economic Cooperation Council (SUECC), which supported the GPFTA negotiations, released a statement applauding Khaiwoon’s ratification and called the agreement “an important step forward for regional cooperation.”

Khaiwoon’s “Khinba” turns 50

A skyscraper in central Khaiwoon wishes Khinba a happy 50th.
A skyscraper in central Khaiwoon wishes Khinba a happy 50th.

KHAIWOON – Khinba, the fictional schoolgirl-detective and arguably the most famous Khaiwoonese citizen in the world, turned fifty years old yesterday, though she is still officially ten.

The petite cartoon sleuth, produced by Khainimation Studios in Khaiwoon, made her television debut in 1965 on the public broadcaster KiTCh, switching over to the private KTV network in 1971. Today “Khinba” is one of the longest-running and most widely distributed television series in the world, broadcast in over fifty countries and twenty languages.

The adventures of the optimist Khinba, and her pessimist sidekick Winston the Rabbit, have also been made into nearly 600 volumes of comic books, twelve feature-length animated films, and eight video games. Last November, she was selected to appear on Khaiwoon’s annual license plate sticker for 2015, affixed to every vehicle in the city-state, in honor of her fifty years of achievements.

A ceremony marking the anniversary of Khinba’s first broadcast was held yesterday at the Presidential Residence, where Khaiwoonese President Bukhwa Naikhet awarded the animated character the prestigious Order of Khaiwoon, in recognition of “a half-century of exceptional crimefighting and representing the very best of Khaiwoon around the globe.”

A spokesman for Khainimation joked that Winston the Rabbit was “slightly disappointed” at not being inducted into the Order alongside Khinba, but that “he’ll get over it, eventually.”

W. Khemwet Mupbag, former AN Deputy Chief Secretary, dead of heart failure, age 66

Mupbag as a panelist at last year’s Aid2020 International Aid Conference

KHAIWOONW. Khemwet Mupbag, 66, former Deputy Chief Secretary of the Assembly of Nations, died yesterday at his condominium in the Orchid Gardens area of central Khaiwoon. The cause of death was heart failure.

Mupbag, born in 1949 to Khaiwoonese parents living in Gobrassanya, was known as a talented young lawyer, a respected diplomat, Khaiwoon’s Ambassador to the Ardisphere (1989-1992) and Ambassador to the Assembly of Nations (1992-1999). In 1999 he served briefly as Khaiwoon’s foreign minister, before returning to St. Richards to fill the position of AN Director-General of Organizational Affairs.

In 2002 he was elected by the Assembly to the office of Deputy Chief Secretary, the second-highest post in the organization, serving a full six-year term through 2008. During this time he championed initiatives to reform the AN and improve its effectiveness, particularly in the field of international aid. When his AN term ended he returned to Khaiwoon, where he was appointed chairman of the Khaiwoon International Aid Fund, helping to raise and allocate funding for international aid projects worldwide. He also taught an advanced seminar at the University of Khaiwoon.

Khaiwoonese President Bukhwa Naikhet described Mupbag as “one of the greatest ‘world citizens’ of our time” and Prime Minister Munbap Y. W. Pertynoo said that Mupbag’s contributions to global peace and prosperity “will never be forgotten.”

In St. Richards, the flags outside the Assembly of Nations were lowered to half mast, and a moment of silence was observed in the Assembly chamber. A memorial service will be held in Khaiwoon next weekend at the Khaiwoon International Center, with many foreign dignitaries expected to attend.

Mupbag’s sister, Omwap Mupbag-Henderson, released a statement to the media revealing that Mupbag had been diagnosed with a fatal heart condition in 1979, and had never expected to live past the age of 40.

A Fresh Look for Khaiwoonese Football

New home kit for the Khaiwoonese national team.

KHAIWOON — Officials of the Khaiwoonese national football team, popularly known as the “Wepphu” (WEP-fuh), presented the team’s new home and away kits to fans and media today in a special event held at National Stadium in Oktogon Hill.  The team’s nickname derives from Khaiwoon’s national bird, the wepphu.

The kits, created by Gobrassian designer Orbun Amoreri for Victorie sportswear, keep Khaiwoon’s traditional red and gold colors while changing the waves to more closely match those of the national flag, and introducing a new, larger font for the numbering.

Amoreri, a native of Gobras City, joked about his country’s stunning 3-1 loss to Khaiwoon at last year’s South Central Cup.

“After the 2014 disaster, I couldn’t imagine that I would ever do anything to help the Wepphu,” he said.

“But when I heard that they couldn’t find a decent designer here in Khaiwoon, I decided to take pity on them,” he added, to raucous laughter.

Khaiwoon team president Martin Hobarow replied that the Wepphu are looking forward to playing the Gobrassian national team again in the near future “if Gobrassanya think they can handle it,” he smiled.

The Khaiwoonese team will wear their new kits for the first time next week, in a special exhibition match against West Commonia.

Sickness on luxury cruise ship sends 120 to hospital

The Plurinesian Sunrise in port at Khaiwoon.
The Plurinesian Sunrise in port at Khaiwoon.

KHAIWOON — The Plurinesian Sunrise, a luxury cruise ship owned by Plurinesian Cruise Lines, Ltd., arrived at Khaiwoon Cruise Terminal this morning with 117 passengers and three crew members requiring hospitalization for a form of gastrointestinal virus they contracted while onboard.

The cruise, which was returning from Tsakuna and other destinations in Niulutan-Riu, had originated in Khaiwoon two weeks earlier.  Passengers began reporting sickness while the ship was still in Niulutan-Riu, but the full scale of the outbreak was not realized until yesterday afternoon, when the ship was about halfway back to Khaiwoon, approximately 200 kilometers northeast of the city-state.

The ship docked in Khaiwoon at approximately 4 o’clock this morning and affected passengers were taken to Baipatmat Hospital and New Central Hospital.  A spokeswoman for Khaiwoon’s Health Ministry stated that all of the passengers were in stable condition and were expected to fully recover within the coming days. Khaiwoon’s Office of Disease Control will be conducting a full investigation of the incident while the ship remains in port.

This outbreak was the second in as many months for Plurinesian.  A similar virus swept through the Plurinesian Paradise while it was sailing in Onnutu last month, sending more than 85 passengers to hospitals in Leluwa.