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II

ECONOMIC FOCUS CENTER TO DEMOCRATIC CHANGE'S LATEST PARTY BROADCAST

Multi-language advertisement campaign raises profile of new party

SANTIAGO, SANTANDER -- A national multi-language advertisement campaign by the republican Centro Democratico is making a splash at a time where none of the other parties are doing so - and it's helping them catch the attention of voters.

The advertisement campaign focused on the party's commitment to grow the economy and has signaled that it will be a central message in the upcoming elections.

Cambio Democratico's campaign was short on details but has seized the attention of voters, who in a recent IOP poll listed jobs and the economy as their foremost concern as the country heads into the 1693 elections.

OOC commentary: Initial campaign has drawn a lot of attention to you, people are curious and are paying attention. Good positive winds start to gather behind your sails after this.

III

VICE-PREMIER ALVAREZ ENDORSES THE PROGRESSIVE FEDERALIST PARTY

Leftist leader puts his weight behind PFP

PARAP, WECHUA NATION -- Vicaquirao Alvarez, long-time Wechua Prime Minister and Vice-President of the Government, has announced that he will be joining the Progressive Federalist Party.

"The legacy of the Coalition for Federal Progress and the New Prosperity Plan rests with the Progressive Federalist Party. It is a broad front for our nation's left and center left, providing a unifying political force to advance a progressive and federalist agenda. I'm joining the PFP, and I'm proud to endorse it ahead of the 1693 general elections."

V

OIL SPILL STOPPED, CLEAN-UP ONGOING AT ALKHIVA OIL REFINERY

ALKHIVA, ALDURIA -- The Aldurian Oil Company said today an unspecified hydrocarbon release from the wharf at its Alkhiva oil refinery has been stopped and a clean-up is ongoing.

The company said a sheen was observed in the early afternoon on the water near the wharf at the Alkhiva Oil Storage and Refinery Facility (AOSRF), which can process 245,271 barrels per day of crude oil.

The spill triggered a health advisory from the Aldurian regional Department of Health for residents of Alkhiva and nearby coastal communities around the wharf, according to local media reports. Environmental assessment teams and crew are on site.

“We have issued a community notice and ask the public to remain clear of the area so crews can quickly contain and clean up the released volumes,” the company said.

VII

PFP IN TROUBLE AS VILLALOBOS RESIGNS FROM LEADERSHIP

"The party is formed, now it's time for new leadership," says Villalobos after his resignation

CÁRDENAS, FCD -- Fernando Villalobos, founder and leader of the center-left Progressive Federalist Party, has abruptly resigned from leadership of the party.

PFP party spokesperson, Maria Lopez, has confirmed the resignation. The Party's Central Committee is currently meeting in the party headquarters in Cardenas to select a new leader that can take the party to success in the next elections.

ALDURIAN OIL COMPANY ACCUSED OF COVER-UP IN ALKHIVA OIL SPILL

Local health authorities and the Department of Energy confirm "spill worse than originally reported"

ALKHIVA, ALDURIA -- The federal government has accused the Aldurian Oil Company (AOC) of falling short in the information it has provided about the Alkhiva oil spill, in a clear sign of the growing frustration in Cardenas with the handling of the spiraling environmental disaster.

“In responding to this oil spill, it is critical that all actions be conducted in a transparent manner, with all data and information related to the spill readily available to the federal and regional government and the people of Nouvelle Alexandrie,” said Josefina Barcelo, the Secretary of Energy and Environment.

In a letter to the AOC's CEO Frank Gary that despite claims by the AOC that it was striving to keep the public and the government informed, “those efforts, to date, have fallen short in both their scope and effectiveness.”

The Aldurian Oil Company remains government-owned. In the letter, Secretary Barcelo asserts "as a government-owned entity, the AOC is entrusted to maintain the interests of the people first, and this has not happened here."

The statement followed allegations that the AOC had engaged in a “cover-up” about the extent of the damage and the amount of crude flowing from its Alkhiva Oil Storage and Refinery Facility (AOSRF).

TV images of oil sloshing into the sea have underscored the gravity of the situation and raised public concern and anger about the unfolding catastrophe.

MARCEL DE LA CROIX RISES TO INTERIM LEADER OF THE PFP

Reports are coming out of the PFP Central Party Committee meeting tonight - Marcel de la Croix has been chosen to lead the Progressive Federalist Party in the interim.

VIII

THRACI TERRITORIAL AND MILITARY EXPANSION IN EURA THREATENS TO EXPLODE INTO WAR

Constancia and Nouvelle Alexandrie taken aback by the dramatic expansion

Constancia: "The only rational response for Constancia to such an aggressive expansionist move would be a declaration of war"

CÁRDENAS, FCD -- The Thraci Confederation has expanded into Razjania, a neighboring unclaimed area in Eura, in its latest territorial claim. The move has prompted Constancia and Nouvelle Alexandrie, who were operating troops in the area to quell the Razjania Insurgency, to strongly condemn the expansion.

The government of Constancia went even further, strenuously objecting to the expansion, saying "the only rational response for Constancia to such an aggressive expansionist move would be a declaration of war."

Premier Lavaud and Secretary of Defense Rawa Vilca have yet to comment on the developing matter. Sources inside the Lavaud administration confirm that Nouvelle Alexandrie also objects to the expansion and that there are preparations underway in the eventuality of a conflict with the Thraci Confederation.

NOUVELLE ALEXANDRIE WITHDRAWS FROM TREATY OF KARPUZ

CÁRDENAS, FCD -- The Treaty of Karpuz, according to the Department of State, is now kaput.

The Treaty of Karpuz linked Nouvelle Alexandrie and the Thraci Confederation into a commitment of cooperation, friendship, and non-aggression.

Today, the Department of State has announced that Nouvelle Alexandrie will withdraw from the Treaty and close all travel to and from the Thraci Confederation to any Nouvelle Alexandrian destinations.

XII

MEGACITIES FUEL HOME PRICES IN TEST TO POLICYMAKERS

PUNTA SANTIAGO, ALDURIA -- New home prices in Nouvelle Alexandrie grew at a faster pace over the last year, driven by red-hot demand in the country’s megacities despite several rounds of government cooling measures, raising the challenge for policymakers as they try to curb financial risks.

Over 1693 AN, new home prices rose 3.9%, quickening from a 3.8% gain in the year before. The relentless upward price pressure was mainly driven by bigger cities like Parap, Judah, Punta Santiago, Piriya, and Wechuahuasi.

With the New Alexandrian economy still posting consistent growth, authorities have stepped up curbs on the property sector to safeguard against financial risks as concerns grow of a speculative bubble in some parts of the market.

The price uptick can be mainly attributed to the record volume of credit issued throughout 1693, said Frank Houlihan, an analyst with property agency Regency Estates.

“The flows of business loans, which enjoy a huge interest rate spread with the normal mortgages, into the property sector, have particularly fueled the upward pressure in top-tier cities.”

Central bank data showed new bank loans leapt to new highs in late 1693 boosted by seasonal demand, with household loans, mostly mortgages, more than double the level seen in the year before.

TOP EXECUTIVES AT THE ALDURIAN OIL COMPANY RESIGN OVER OIL SPILL COVER-UP

AMAPOLA, ALDURIA -- The CEO of the Aldurian Oil Company, Frank Gary, and several top company executives, who faced sharp criticism from an oil spill in Alkhiva that was worse than initially reported, resigned on Tuesday.

The board’s chairman, vice chairman, three directors, and a board nominee of the Aldurian Oil Company (AOC), all resigned effective Wednesday, according to a notice to the Premier and the Council of State.

The resignations were disclosed the same day the AOC was hit with a proposed class-action lawsuit in an Aldurian regional court by residents of Alkhiva, nearby fishermen, and local environmental activists.

ÇERID REFUGEES ESCAPING THRACI EXPANSION NUMBER 2,000

Local authorities ask federal authorities for “help, funding, and bodies” at the border

NARBONNE, ALDURIA -- Local authorities and border officials along the Southern Aldurian Riviera are asking the Department of Interior for help as 2,000 Çerid refugee applications have been filed over the course of the last few days in the wake of the Thraci expansion into the Euran Green of Razjania.

“We need the Department of Interior and the Border Guard to send help, funding, and bodies to the border to help these refugees and to help us help them,” said Frank Gautier, spokesperson for the border communities along the Southern Aldurian Riviera. “This is a crisis and we must do what we can.”

Refugee applications at border crossings along the Southern Aldurian Riviera have spiked, with not only Çerid being refugees. Tens of thousands of others have filed asylum applications, escaping the advance of the Thraci Confederation in the Euran Green.

The Department of Interior confirmed to NBC News the amount of Çerid applicants, which were all applications from border crossings along the length of the border. “We’re in the process of dispatching units, first aid, resources, and more agents to make sure that we can take in these refugees and set up housing for them immediately,” said John Musgraves, the Department of Interior’s spokesperson. “In line with international obligations and longstanding humanitarian traditions, the duty to rescue those in distress should be upheld, irrespective of nationality or in this case, non-human status”, he urged.

XIII

ANA ROSARIO ALCA BOOTED FROM LEADERSHIP AS PARTY REELS FROM CAMPAIGN LAUNCH FIASCO

After a meteoric rise in the polls, Cambio Democrático struggles to get campaign off the ground

CÁRDENAS, FCD -- Cambio Democrático's leader, Ana Rosario Alca, has been removed as the leader of the political collective amid internal turbulence within the party after serious campaign mishaps have seriously threatened the party's meteoric rise.

"Ana Rosario Alca has made several mistakes that will cost us the election... hence we were compelled to remove her from the party leader," said an anonymous high-ranking party source.

The party's failure to offer a manifesto has deeply hurt its image, which was already vulnerable to criticism over the lack of any policy specifics and sloganeerism.

XIV

SANTIAGO ETIENNE TAKES THE HELM OF THE AILING CAMBIO DEMOCRATICO

Etienne makes clean break with Alca and past leadership as he seeks to change the party's fortunes

NEW LUTHORIA, NEW LUTHORIA -- Santiago Etienne was elected as the new leader of Cambio Democrático today in an emergency party meeting.

Etienne was elected unanimously, after delivering a powerful speech that reenergized the demoralized party. Recent allegations of foreign funding from Calbion were not addressed, but it was clear that Etienne was having a clear break with the past.

"As leader of Cambio Democrático, I will not be distracted by recent events - I continue to be focused on jobs, health, and education. During this campaign, I intend to lay out a more comprehensive agenda - and to provide an alternative for citizens across the political spectrum. My promise to you is that I will always stand up for you and your family. Unlike other parties, Cambio Democrático will never demean, insult, or harass working people under my leadership. I am grateful for the opportunity to serve."