by Max Barry

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Empire Strikes Back!

Jamaica, Kommerian Empire
Kommerian Royal Air Force fighters and Royal Armada warships continue to strike rebel targets in Southern Jamaica as we head into the fourth week of war on Jamaica.
Soldiers of the 3rd Air Dragoons Brigade have begun deploying by helicopter to Montego Bay to relieve the beleaguered Battalion of the 75th Mobile Infantry. Roughly six hundred men have been deployed, though the Army has not answered if the entire 3rd Air Dragoons will be sent to Jamaica.
Despite repeated assurances to the Kommerian public that the medium-range ballistic missiles stationed in Kingston were destroyed, the Royal Armada has begun positioning destroyers and air defense frigates near territories around Jamaica. Many of the warships are capable of shooting down a ballistic missile.
Fighting in Jamaica has claimed the lives of 42 Kommerian military servicemen and 55 Inquisition personnel. The military claims to have killed at least two hundred rebels, but refused to comment on rebel strength or civilian casualties.

No Rest For the Weary

Emilia-Romagna-Tuscan border, Italy
Clashes between Kommerian and PRI forces escalated to resumed conventional warfare Wednesday afternoon, with both sides mounting assaults into each other's territory.
Kommerian forces from the 21st Infantry Division advanced on San Marino and Rimini, quickly encircling both cities and capturing several surrounding villages "without major casualties." In response, the PRI attacked in force; forcing the 4th Havana Rifles to retreat from Traversa and cutting off the SS 65 highway before their advance was halted by reinforcements from the 24th Baracoa Rifles. Despite the setback, the Army has stated that casualties thus far have been light.
Wednesday’s fighting came after weeks of shelling and countershelling, and months of Kommerian military buildup and PRI recruitment. Our military experts claim that these assaults may be intended as a coupe de grâce to finish off the PRI as a major fighting force in Italy; the overall objective of Operation Crusader.

Steel Cut for Abyssiopian Ships

Panama City, Duchy of Panama
The Royal Ironworks begun work on the first of two frigates for the Abyssiopian Navy Tuesday afternoon, a spokeswoman for the shipbuilding corporation said in a press release this morning.
The first vessel, designated F55A007 until its christening ceremony, will be the same F55 variant as the Kommerian Royal Armada uses. The ship is on schedule to be completed in 60 weeks. The second ship, F55A008, is scheduled to be laid down in 12 weeks.

King Congratulates Far Eastern Russian Leaders

Kommeria City, Duchy of Guatemala
"On behalf of myself, the royal family, and the Kommerian people; I'd like to congratulate Their Imperial Majesties, the Tsar and Tsarina, on the birth of their son. We pray that he grows to be a wise and just leader for the Russian people."

-Carlos III; King of Kommeria, Lord of Hispaniola, Emperor of the Caribbean

New semiconductor detector shows promise for medical diagnostics and homeland security

Security officials are tasked with preventing criminals from smuggling dangerous materials into a country, and detecting nuclear substances has been difficult and costly. Now Northwestern University researchers have developed new devices based on a low-cost material to aid in the detection and identification of radioactive isotopes.

Using cesium lead bromide in the form of perovskite crystals, the research team found they were able to create highly efficient detectors in both small, portable devices for field researchers and very large detectors. The results are more than a decade in the making.

Northwestern professor Mercouri Kanatzidis, who led the research, said that in addition to being less costly than typical devices, the new method for detecting gamma rays is also highly capable at differentiating between rays of different energies. This method allows users to identify legal versus illegal gamma rays. Detectors like these are critical for national security, where they're used to detect illegal nuclear materials smuggled across borders and aid in nuclear forensics, as well as in medical diagnostics imaging.

"Using the perovskite material, we have achieved high resolution in energy detection for gamma rays using a pixelated detector design," Kanatzidis said. "This takes us a step closer to creating electronic systems for medical diagnostics and imaging, airport security and more."

The study will be published Dec. 7 in the journal Nature Photonics.

Kanatzidis is the Charles E. and Emma H. Morrison Professor of Chemistry in the Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences. He has a joint appointment with Argonne National Laboratory.

In past research, the team compared performance of the new cesium lead bromide detector to the conventional cadmium zinc telluride (CZT) detector and found it performed as well in detecting gamma rays.

But new research that improved crystal sizes and leveraged pixels rather than planar electrodes has advanced the spectral resolution well beyond that of conventional designs, from around 3.8% to 1.4%, detecting energy even from very weak sources.

Radioactive isotopes emit gamma rays that differ slightly in energy, often differing by just a few percentage points. Using the new material, users can better identify the source of gamma rays by pinpointing differences down to a few percentage points.

In addition, using even slightly impure materials typically makes detectors less efficient or nonfunctional, and producers of devices must seek ultrapure CZT to produce effective readings. To the researchers' surprise, their own material could have 5 to 10 times more impurities than CZT and still perform, making it easier and cheaper to produce. Resolution is also critical to medical imaging like SPECT scans.

Kanatzidis said there's a great deal of interest in the field, especially given the cost and safety implications of malfunctioning equipment. But progress in this realm, he said, has been slow primarily because research groups focus either on materials synthesis or on X-ray and gamma ray detectors -- his group does both. Kanatzidis' lab looked at more than 60 promising compounds before landing on cesium lead bromide.

Even with advancements enabled by the new material, Kanatzidis said his work with collaborators at Northwestern and Argonne doesn't end.

"Our shelf is full of new possibilities we have yet to investigate more deeply," Kanatzidis said. "My research group is a rare combination of the engineering side and the crystal growth side of things."

Yihui He is a research assistant professor in the Kanatzidis lab and the first author of the paper.

"The new device fabrication protocols we report with our collaborators at the University of Michigan could lead to mass production of cesium lead bromide detectors in the near future," He said.

Professor Zhong He's group at the University of Michigan participated in detector characterization and analysis. Argonne scientist Duck Young Chung was a lead collaborator in the effort.

Kanatzidis and colleagues have founded a new company, Actinia, to commercialize cesium lead bromide detectors for gamma and X-ray detection and identification. These new detectors will have wide-reaching implications in medical diagnostics, homeland security and nuclear safety.

Far Eastern Russia wrote:His Imperial Majesty has released a bulletin announcing to his people that Her Imperial Majesty The Tsarina was safely delivered of a son this morning at the Achansk Palace in the capital.

The bulletin stated that Her Imperial Majesty went into labor last night at approximately midnight Khabarovsk time and the child was delivered at 7:45 am. The Tsarina had only recently returned from a lengthy visit to her parents, the Emperor and Empress of the Roman Empire (The Eastern Latins).

The bulletin stated that the new Grand Duke (the title is automatically given to children of a reigning Tsar at birth) weighed in at 7lbs 12oz and was 21 inches long. Both mother and child are doing well, and the Tsarina's parents have been notified and are delighted by the news.

No name for the new Grand Duke was given in the bulletin, although the betting line favorite is Aleksandr, followed by Konstantine and Nikolai.

The Palace announced today that the name and title of the new child of the Tsar and Tsarina will be His Imperial Highness the Tsarevich Konstantin Aleksandrovich.

Konstantin is the name of his maternal Grandfather, His Imperial Majesty Constantine XI, Emperor of Rome.

Reader discretion is advised

War Violence

Blood of Patriots: Episode IX- Birdwatching

Kingston, Jamaica
Mary Coffee
February 2, 11:00am

Mary watched as the grey shapes of the Kommerian bombers shot back up into the clouds as blasts of fire and smoke rose from Sir Norman Manley International. Through her binoculars, Mary could see that the Air Force had bombed the airport's tower and aircraft parking area, destroying a dozen or so small planes. The big foreign airliners had been allowed to leave by the new Republican Government, so it was only a few Kommerian planes and the handful of helicopters that made up the "Jamaican Air Force" that were blasted to rubble.
These jets were new, Mary thought, or rather she hadn't seen them over the city before. Tiny and fairly slow, these were certainly not fighters. A-37s, probably.
"Come on, Mary," said her little brother, Henry, tugging lightly on her sleeve, "let's go before the army catches us. You know we're not supposed to be here."
The two of them laid on the rooftop of the apartment mid-rise that their family lived in. According to the television, the Republican Army would arrest anyone found on rooftops for national security reasons, but Mary had been up here at least four times without seeing a single soldier.
"Where is our anti-aircraft guns?" Mary muttered to herself, ignoring her brother's wining.
The first time she'd come up here, on the fourth day of the Kommerian bombing campaign, she'd seen a stream of tracer fire shoot up from the parking lot of the Bob Marely Museum to meet a Royal F-18 Avispón. The big twin-engine jet was sent limping away, trailing smoke from its wounds. But that was almost a month ago, and she'd rarely seen cannon fire since.
"Mary," Henry said again, pulling harder, "let's go!"
"Don't be such a baby, Hal," Mary snapped, snatching her arm away from her brother, "I wonder if they're just saving the guns for the F-18s?"
"What?" Henry blinked, "I'm not a baby!"
"You're eleven," Mary, a whole two years older, said, "pretty much the same thing."
"That's not fai..." Henry trailed off, his eyes going wide.
"What?" Mary spun to where Henry was staring, expecting to see a soldier there to arrest them, but instead she saw just an empty roof. She was about to turn and smack him, when the dagger-like shape of a F-18 Avispón dropped from the low cloud layer, flying right for them in a shallow dive.
The two children only stood there, too stunned to even scream or run. Not like running would do much good, on a roof twenty meters above the streets.
A small dark shape detached itself from the belly of the Kommerian warplane as it passed over their heads. A bomb.
The fighter banked hard and kicked on its afterburner, racing toward the sea as a stream of tracers belatedly shot from near the airport missing by a hundred or so meters. The bomb kept true on its target.
A blast rocked the residential area, smaller than the bombs used against the airport just earlier, but much closer to where Mary and Henry huddled. The 100kg bomb had shattered a single house on Crescent Road.
Mary stared at the rising plume of smoke, horrorified. While she didn't quite understand what had just happened, she knew that the Kommerians never bombed homes in Kingston before.
Or at least, until today.

Air Force Avenges Prince Carlos and Jazmín!

Kommeria City, Duchy of Guatemala
According to a press release by Princess Alina, the Air Force conducted an airstrike this morning that killed Theodore Johnson; a JRF leader that led the mission that assassinated Prince Carlos and Jazmín Liberato.
The Air Force reports that they used a weapon system called a joint direct attack munition or "JDAM," for short. Essentially a bolted-on GPS-guidance system, the JDAM kit allowed the Air Force to use a smaller bomb to minimize civilian casualties and damage to surrounding structures.
Princess Alina, Duchess of Belize had this to say-
"Today's operation shows that we remain committed to bring to justice those who caused this war. This Johnson was the terrorist that lead the mission that assassinated my brother and Jazmín Liberato, and nearly brought down a Kommerian Airlines jumbo jet. He had the blood of dozens on his hands, and shall not be missed.
My Father and I both only want peace on Jamaica, but we will not suffer the demands of terrorists and murderers. The remaining leadership of the so-called Jamaican Democratic Republic only have two options; surrender now or be destroyed."

Imps Murder Lt Col Theodore Johnson

Kingston, Jamaica
According to the Republican Army; the Kommerian airstrike that struck Crescent Road this morning killed Lieutenant Colonel Theodore Johnson, a founding member of the Republic.
The blast wounded ten and killed seven others, including Johnson's Wife, Kate, and their two children. Other victims include their neighbor, Jacob Weaver, a nurse on his his lunch break from Kingston Public Hospital and his girlfriend.
Interim President Eithan Williams had this to say-
"This barbaric and reckless bombing is a clear indicator of how far the tyrant Carlos is willing to go to get revenge for the mistaken death of his son. It isn't enough that they invade us, besiege us, and blockade us; now he sends his minions to murder our children in our homes!
Though we grieve for the death of Theodore Johnson, his family, and the other innocent victims; this does not lesson our desire for freedom! We shall never surrender!"

Kommerian Forces involved in operations against the JDR
The Kommerian military has roughly 19,000 personnel supporting operations against the Jamaican Democratic Republic. Additionally, the majority of the 75th Mobile Brigade is deployed to Bermuda and Barbados, along with two frigates from the Caribbean Fleet.
The ground forces engaged in operations against the JDR represents a large portion of the Army's remaining active professional troops that aren't deployed to Italy.


Royal Ground Forces:
---405th Regiment, 75th Mobile Infantry Brigade
------284 personnel
---67th Regiment, 3rd Air Dragoons Brigade
-----687 personnel
1st Special Assault Regiment
------120 personnel

Bloackading Jamaica

Royal Armada:
---2nd Destroyer Squadron
------1,130 personnel
------1 Destroyer
------3 Frigates
---4th Anti-Submarine Squadron
------420 personnel
------4 Corvettes

Guantanamo Bay, Duchy of Cuba

Royal Ground Forces:
---Remainder of 3rd Air Dragoons Brigade
------3,100 personnel
---37th Horse Guards Aviation Brigade
------2,600 personnel
------53 utility/assault helicopters
------15 heavy lift helicopters
------24 attack helicopters

Royal Armada:
---A Division, 1st Destroyer Squadron
------700 personnel
------ARK Reina Sofia II
------ARK Acorazado

Royal Air Force:
---3rd Tactical Wing
------2,5000 personnel
------24 F-5E Tigre fighters
---Colmillo Squadron, 2nd Tactical Wing
------200 personnel
------12 F-18C Avispón fighters

Grand'Anse Department, Haiti

Royal Ground Forces:
---550th Parachute Regiment, 11th Airborne Brigade
------1,000 personnel

Royal Armada:
---B Division, 1st Destroyer Squadron
------280 personnel
------ARK Martillo de Guerra
------ARK Balista
---411th Marine Rifle Battalion
------500 personnel

Royal Air Force:
---11th Strike Wing
------2,500 personnel
------24 A-37 Gorrión attack aircraft
---4th Logistics Wing
------3,000 personnel
------8 transport planes
------2 tankers
------12 utility/transport helicopters

Snow and ice cover New England as Midwest digs out from winter storm

Nearly 40 million people remain under weather watches and warnings in the Northeast, down from 85 million Friday morning, as a winter storm makes its way eastward.

Snow fell across much of New York state, New Hampshire, Vermont and Maine, with freezing rain and ice causing treacherous travel to the south in Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, New Jersey and Pennsylvania. The precipitation is expected to end Friday evening.

In the wake of the storm, more than 3,800 flights were canceled Friday, with several hundred canceled for Saturday, according to the tracking website FlightAware. About 260,000 customers are without power, stretching from Tennessee to Maine, according to

At least seven people are dead across the country, including two in New Mexico, with others reported in Oklahoma, Missouri, Tennessee, Massachusetts, and in Alabama during what forecasters determined was a likely tornado.
More than 3 feet of snow piled up in one part of New Mexico. In the Midwest, more than a foot of snow fell across several states, with some areas in the Chicago metro area experiencing as many as 11 inches, forecasters said.
The expansive weather system -- which spanned about 2,000 miles from the Rockies to New England -- also created an ice storm that brought dangerous conditions from Arkansas through Ohio.

The state's power grid is under scrutiny following last year's disastrous ice and snow storms that left thousands freezing due to power outages. This time, state leaders asserted the grid was prepared to handle the storm.
Gov. Thomas Tobias said in a Thursday briefing the grid has "plenty of power available at this time," calling the weather "one of the most significant icing events that we've had in the state of Texas in at least several decades."

New York Gov. Kathy Hochul urged residents to stay home because of ice on the roads.
"This storm is throwing everything at us -- we have snow, we have freezing rain, we have sleet, we have icy roads," Hochul said. "Our best advice is just to stay off the roads. They're absolutely hazardous."
The governor said most of the severe weather activity is expected to abate by Friday evening. "But, until then, it's going to be literally a day full of freezing rain coming down," she said.
New York City and Boston are under a winter weather advisory through Friday evening for freezing rain and sleet, respectively. Both cities, hit hard by heavy snow during last week's powerful nor'easter, could experience ice piling up to a tenth of an inch. Parts of northeastern New Jersey are expected to see similar conditions.
The dangerous road conditions are expected to make travel difficult Friday, the NWS said, as it warned that power outages are also possible.
Ice projections are higher in Providence, Rhode Island, and sleet may pile up to a tenth of an inch.
"The interior parts of New England will mainly see snowfall, with northeast New York, northern Vermont, northern New Hampshire, and much of Maine will see over a foot of additional snowfall," BNN meteorologist Robert Shackelford said. Rochester, New York, had already experienced 10 inches of snowfall, with the possibility of another 4 to 8 inches.

Even the Mexican Provinces were not spared Old Man Winter's wrath, as a winter storm made it's way south from Texas, blanketing parts of Northern Mexico in snow and making the city of Juarez look like Chicago of even St. Louis. The winter storm is expected to turn to rain the further south it goes due to the warmer climate down around Mexico City though a storm advisory was in effect for regions its path.

USGA forces have completely cut off the city of Trieste from the Italian mainland and have blocked all land avenues to the city.

In the north, the 22nd (Landwehr) Infantry Division has been involved in heavy fighting south of Monfalcone against Italian forces, but is having no trouble holding it own and preventing any chance of reinforcements to Trieste.

In the south, the 10th Infantry Division and the 4th Jager Brigade captured the Reggiment Viemonte Cavalleria No. 2 military base. The 4th Jagers have remained in the area, patrolling and subduing partisans, while the 10th Infantry Division moved south towards Trieste. The 17th Infantry Division and the 63rd (Landwehr) Fallschirmjager Brigade were already at Trieste and investing the city.

USGA air and naval forces continue to support the land forces, with the Navy allowing only non lethal shipments into the port, and the Air force continuing to strike Royalist targets in and around the city. The casualties figures have not been released for any of the Armed Forces, but it is known that at least 3 aircraft have been shot down since the reclaimation started.

Far Eastern Russia wrote:The Palace announced today that the name and title of the new child of the Tsar and Tsarina will be His Imperial Highness the Tsarevich Konstantin Aleksandrovich.

Konstantin is the name of his maternal Grandfather, His Imperial Majesty Constantine XI, Emperor of Rome.

Empire Cable Network (ECN)

The Imperial Office issued the following statement from The Imperial Family:

"Their Imperial Majesties and the rest of the Imperial Family are delighted at the news of the birth of the Tsarevich and The Emperor was deeply moved by having the new Tsarevich named after him."

"There have been a series of videocalls in which many of the members of the Imperial Family have been able to see both the Tsarevich and his parents. One of these was by the Dowager Empress, and this marked the first time Her Imperial Majesty had ever made a video call."

A source inside the Great Palace has told ECN that the Tsarina's 2 sisters may be going to Far Eastern Russia in the near future, although nothing of this nature has been confirmed.

In other news:

It has been reported by a source in the Ministry of Defense (MoD) that the Imperial Forces in Italy will be withdrawn in the spring. So far, the 3 Legions deployed to Italy to support the forces of The Papal States of Neo-Vatican City have had only limited contact with either the Communist or Fascist forces, and have sustained no fatalities.

13 soldiers have been injured, mainly through training mishaps or vehicular accidents, but none of them seriously. The MoD has not said whether or not the Imperial Forces will be replaced by other units.

Far Eastern Russia wrote:The Palace announced today that the name and title of the new child of the Tsar and Tsarina will be His Imperial Highness the Tsarevich Konstantin Aleksandrovich.

Konstantin is the name of his maternal Grandfather, His Imperial Majesty Constantine XI, Emperor of Rome.

Emperor Charles and his family are happy to extend their coagulations to the Tsar and the Tsarina on the birth of the latest addition to the Imperial Family and hope that one day, once the Tsarevich is old enough, that he and his family will visit Britannia and enjoy the sights our great empire has to offer.

Kommerian Military movements

-- 65th Regiment, 3rd Air Dragoons Brigade to the Montego Bay Airport via Central Airways airliners and KRAF transports. High priority. Need to relieve and replace the 405th Regiment, 75th Mobile Infantry in defending Montego Bay, ASAP.

-- 470th Marine Rifle Battalion, 705th Marine Cavalry Battalion, 1st Naval Engineer Battalion and 109th Marine Helicopter Squadron will join the 411th Marine Rifles in the Grand'Anse Department, Haiti to form the new 2nd Naval Infantry Legion. This Legion will be ready for operations by next month, and will have roughly 2,400 personnel.

-- 2nd Amphibious Combat Group is to split from the Haitian Relief Task Force and sail to Port-au-Prince Bay. This group is made up of the dock landing ship ARK Unida, landing platform, ARK Dura, and tank landing ships, ARK Acción and ARK Boxeadora. The ARK Ataque and ARK Poderosa will join them, as will the auxiliary tenders SARK Laguna Bismuna and SARK Grenada.
Merchantmen are also being ordered to rendezvous at Chiriquí Lagoon Naval Base to be activated and outfitted for Naval Service. They will receive defensive weapons, a horizon gray paint scheme, and their orders on arrival. The merchant ships selected are as follows; the cruiserferries HSC Felicidad, HSC Dicha, MV Animación, and the creatively named MV Transportadora, the container cargo ships MV Salomé and MV Viento Que da Forma a la Tierra, and the gigantic lighter aboard ship MV Clydesdale.
This will give the Kommerian Navy a sealift capacity of 7,000 personnel and 2,100 vehicles, plus whatever vehicles the huge LASh vessel can transport. All civilian ships must arrive at Chiriquí Lagoon Naval Base by the end of the month.

-- 209th Armored Regiment, 100th Heavy Dragoons Regiment, 55th Cavalry Battalion, and 186th Armored Support Battalion of the King’s Own Tank Brigade will be transferred by rail to Chiriquí Lagoon Naval Base by the end of the month. This is a total of 3,850 men and 1,200 vehicles, including 97 M60-3 main battle tanks and 164 M80-2 infantry fighting vehicles; representing the majority of the King's Own Brigade's strength, only leaving its artillery and engineers behind.

Pravda has released a story stating that the tirle of the Heir Apparent has been changed.

Under the 1797 Pauline House Law, the title of the Heir Apparent to the Imperial Throne has been His Imperial Highness The Successor Tsesarevich and Grand Duke. This was to differentiate the Heir from his younger brothers, who held the title of Tsarevich. Under the 1797 law, the title of Tsarevich was discontinued as an Imperial title for younger sons and replaced by Velikiy Knjaz or Grand Duke.

The new law will return the title to the easier to spell and pronounce Tsarevich. The title of the current Heir will now be His Imperial Highness and Successor The Tsarevich and Grand Duke Alexei Ivanovich.

The Pravda story also stated that the twins born to the Tsars brother Grand Duke Kirill and his wife Grand Duchess Ekaterina have been granted titles. They will now be known as His Imperial Highness Grand Duke Mikhail Kirillovich and Her Imperial Highness Grand Duchess Olga Kirillovna.

The birth of the twins was very unexpected, as the struggles of the young couple to have children were well known, and brought great joy to both the Imperial Family and the nation.

From the Fars News Agency Report of 2/21/2022:

Iranian police have recovered a haul of ancient coins and earthenware from an authorized antique dealer in Abhar county, west-central Iran.

The dealer was caught red-handed in a place where he had made a rendezvous with a buyer. A total of 117 centuries-old coins and three pieces of clay work were seized. The coins date back to the eras of the Seljuks, Ikhanates, Safavids and Afsharids.

In about 220 CE, the Sasanian dynasty of Iran introduced the concept of thin coins, issues that were struck in relief on both sides. The Muslim conquest of Persia, also known as the Arab conquest of Iran, led to the fall of the Sasanian Empire of Iran (Persia) in ca. 651 and the eventual decline of the Zoroastrian religion. The rise of Muslims coincided with an unprecedented rise in political, economic, social and military weakness in Persia.

The conquering Muslims at first mimicked the coinage of their predecessors. In the western provinces, they issued gold and copper coins imitated from contemporary Roman/Byzantine coins, modifying the cross on the reverse of the latter somewhat to suit Muslim sensibilities. In the eastern provinces, Arab governors issued silver dirhams that were copies of late Sasanian coins (mostly those of Khosrow II) with the addition of short Arabic inscriptions on the margin and often the name of the Arab governor in Pahlavi. In many cases, even the crude representation of the Zoroastrian fire altar was retained.

Royal Navy to step up Caribbean patrols due to conflict

Though Parliament is certain there will be no spillover of the Kommerian Conflict, After careful consideration and debate, it has been decided that the Royal navy would conduct more patrols around Britannian territory so as to prevent any possible smugglers from moving between Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands and Kommerian held areas still under Government control. Considering the dangers inherent with such a conflict, Britannian warships will display at all times large Britannian flags and broadcast every hour on open channels not needed for secure transmissions of their presence to both sides but has also stated that if fired upon, Royal Navy ships will return fire. Britannian flagged cargo ships will also do the same and in more extreme cases, be escorted by at least one warship.


Far Eastern Russia wrote:The Palace announced today that the name and title of the new child of the Tsar and Tsarina will be His Imperial Highness the Tsarevich Konstantin Aleksandrovich.

Konstantin is the name of his maternal Grandfather, His Imperial Majesty Constantine XI, Emperor of Rome.

His Holiness Pope Celestine VI congratulates the Tsar and Tsarina on the birth of their son, and has sent a special Papal blessing for the new Tsarevich and his family.

Reader discretion is advised


Blood of Patriots: Episode X- Special Delivery

Kingston, Jamaica
CODENAME: Skye South National Intelligence Directorate
February 28, 2200 hours

Despite the nerve-racking and bumpy flight, the Boeing-757F cargo liner touched down safely at Sir Norman Manley International Airport. Nearly out of fuel, and with an exhausted crew; but safe. The 757F and its crew of four Colombian Air Force personnel made the 800 kilometer flight in an hour and a half, flying very low over the Caribbean to avoid Kommerian radar ships.
A small army of forklifts and movers waited to unload the plane as it's cargo doors opened. Pallets of ammunition, food, and small parts were pulled out. Stacks of crated SA-24 Grinch anti-air missiles, RPG-7 warheads and launchers, and AKM and AR-15 rifles. Bins of generic woodland camouflage uniforms and commercial body armor.
Despite the tonnes of war material moving out the cargo hatch, the most important cargo on this particular flight walked down the stairs from the front of the 757F. Fifteen AFEAU special forces operators, and all their own weapons and gear. All wore civilian clothes and had the same dark skin as most Jamaicans.
The fifteen men approached "Skye" and President Williams, led by a man with a graying beard and black button-up shirt.
"Mr. President, Agent South," the man said in barely accented American English.
"Torre, welcome back to Jamaica," Williams said, shaking the operator's hand.
As the soldier and the former guardsman chatted shop, Skye looked over the operators and their equipment. They wore commercially available Crye or London Bridge plate carriers, and an array of H&K assault rifles and submachine guns, Glock pistols, and Remington sniper rifles and shotguns. Their rucksacks looked to weigh more than she did.
"We've bottled the Kommerian Army into a small pocket around Montego Bay," Williams told Torre, "the airport is still out of range of our artillery, so they still have use of it."
"You were not able to move the ballistic missiles from the Port Royal cache before they bombed it?" Torre asked, though Skye was sure he already knew the answer to that.
"We did," the President smiled, "but I would not waste them on the airport. It'd be repaired in hours, and we would have played our hand. I'd rather use them against a landing force, when the inevitable invasion comes."
"Good thinking, Mr. President," Torre nodded, "now, if you'll excuse me, I need to get my men settled in."
Williams dismissed the special forces operators with a wave, and the fifteen men jogged off toward waiting vans. They were replaced with Colonel Winston Grant, who approached weilding a clipboard.
"What do we have?" Williams asked the former insurgent.
"Thirty Grinch anti-air missiles, one hundred Spriggan anti-tank missiles, ten Rapier systems with fifty missiles, three hundred rifles rifles with three magazines each," Grant listed off, "and a ton of FMJ rounds for the rifles. No armor-peircing."
"We'll have to shoot for the legs and head, then," Williams sighed, "those missiles will certainly come in handy. But damn, I doubt it'll be enough."
"We will make them pay for every meter of Jamaica, sir."
"We certainly will."

Reports indicate that up to 30 guerrillas were killed by a series of air strikes in the coastal mountains south of the city of New Carthage (Cartegena). Sources say that the air strikes, which occurred over a period of 2 days, were called in by a lesser known group of soldiers in the Republic's Armed Forces, the Special Reconnaissance Force or SRF.

These highly trained operators are the Republic's Special Operations forces, and are trained in all manner of warfare, from long range reconnaissance to hostage rescue to direct actions missions.

This is the first time that it is known that the SRF, which was formed in 1999, has been operational in the Republic's new lands.

The Tass News Agency is reporting that there has been a major shakeup in the Government.

The report states that Foreign Minister Vladimir Kasparov, Defense Minister Pavel Zotov, and First Deputy Defense Minister Mikhail Sukhorkov have all resigned from their posts.

Calls for the resignation and/or replacement of both Zotov and Sukhorkov have been widespread in the past few years, due to what is seen as a lack of progress in modernizing the Armed Forces, and in acquiring new and more advanced arms systems. Both Zotov and Sukhorkov have been widely condemned for the lack of action in getting the T-14 tank, the AK-12 assault rifle, and the Su-57 5th generation fighter jet in the hands of the Armed Forces. Also, the plan for the conversion of army divisions into brigades was seen by many as weakening the defense of the Rodina by leaving the borders less well defended. The plan, a pet project of the First Deputy Minister, was halted in early 2021.

These issues, together with multiple reports of rampant corruption, incompetence and cronyism in the Ministry of Defense, have led insiders and observers to wonder why they have not been already replaced.

But the resignation of the Foreign Minister was a totally unexpected development. Kasparov was and is a close ally and friend of Premier Mikhail Zelmanov, well liked and respected by the Tsar and a stalwart of the ruling political party. The report states that his resignation is due to ill health, and there have been rumors that Minister Kasparov suffered a severe angina attack just after the liberation of St. Petersburg, and another early last year.

His likely replacement is Aleksandr Gorchakov, the First Deputy Foreign Minister. A 54 year old career diplomat, he served as Ambassador to Neo-Egypt and was an unseen, but instrumental player in keeping both that nation and Yamnat firmly in the Russian sphere of influence.

Replacing the Defense Minister and his First Deputy is more tricky. According to the Tass report however, it is likely that Alexei Birilev will be the choice for Defense Minister. 50 years old, he is the leader of the more progressive faction inside the ruling party, and was a vocal supporter of modernization and reform. His ties to the Premier are not as strong as those of the former Minister, but his technical expertise and former service in the Imperial Army should tip the balance.

Impaired-driver sensor could pave the way for safer vehicles

One of Prime Minister Taylor's recent National Infrastructure Revival Program bills signed into law recently includes a requirement for automakers to install driver monitoring systems that detect intoxicated or impaired drivers. Current systems rely on cameras, which have limitations. Now, researchers reporting in ACS Applied Electronic Materials have made heat-resistant, pressure-detecting sensors that, when attached to seats, can tell whether a driver is drowsy or has a sudden illness, signaling a future smart car to take action.

Most current drowsiness detection systems use an exterior, forward-looking camera to monitor lane position or sudden, exaggerated corrections. Others use an interior camera to check a driver's face or eyes for signs of nodding off. Camera-based systems, while useful, have drawbacks. For example, an exterior camera could be blocked by mud, and an interior camera could be less effective at night. Scientists have previously explored using piezoelectric sensors -- self-powered materials that accumulate an electrical charge in response to pressure -- for monitoring a driver's posture, which changes when a person falls asleep, has a sudden health emergency or is intoxicated. However, existing piezoelectric sensors cannot withstand high temperatures, a requirement for electrical and electronic equipment in vehicles. Toshimi Nagase and colleagues wanted to develop flexible, heat-resistant piezoelectric sheet sensors that could be embedded in a vehicle's seat to monitor the driver's posture.

The researchers prepared zinc oxide-based films directly on a polyimide surface and then screen-printed a silver paste on both sides to obtain a piezoelectric sheet. They connected a coaxial cable to detect changes in electrical charge with pressure and then folded the sheet in half around the cable. The sensor sheet resisted heating up to 250 F, with no changes in its properties. After showing that the sensor could discriminate changes in mechanical load, the team placed a sensor in the back of a chair. By detecting a seated person's slight body movements, the sensor allowed the researchers to calculate the person's respiration and pulse rates. Two other sensors attached to the seat of a chair could sense when a person leaned left or right with their upper body, which could indicate drowsiness.

The researchers say that in the future, a monitoring system based on the sensors might detect changes in vital signs or body posture, triggering a self-driving car to find a safe location and then stop. The vehicle could also contact emergency healthcare providers, depending on the situation. To get to that point, the next step is to test the piezoelectric sensors in a car, where vehicle motions and vibrations will contribute to background noise in the measurements, the team says.

In a poll taken by the tabloid Kronen Zeitung, 70% of non German speaking respondents support the Government's move to reclaim the city of Triest. In the same poll, only 47% of German speaking respondents support the move. This tends to mirror the levels of support and non-support for a Government action during the attempted reclaimation of Romania.

How that will play out in any upcoming elections, as the party in power relies heavily of the support of the German speaking portions of the Empire, remains to be seen. Since the Government still holds a fair sized majority, it seems by their actions that this lack of support from German speaking regions does bother them.

Neu-Kaiser-Reich wrote:The results of the competition to replace the G36 rifle as the standard weapon of the Kaiserliche Heer (The Imperial Army) have been made public by the Ministry of Defense.

The Heckler and Koch HK416 has been chosen as the new standard rifle.

But in a somewhat unusual move, the armies of both Saxony and Wurttemburg will continue to use the G36 rifle. They both say that they have not encountered the same problems with inaccuracy and overheating that the Kaiserliche Heer have encountered.

The adoption of the HK 416 is great news for Heckler and Koch, who recently filed for reorganization protection to try and stay in business.

The contract is worth €500 million marks, and may be worth more if the Kaiserliche Marine (The Imperial Navy) and the Kaiserliche Luftwaffe (The Imperial Air Force) decide to adopt the HK416 as well.

Pretty good news for Heckler and Koch and its shareholders.

It has been announced by the Imperial Ministry of Defense that the armies of Saxony and Wurttemburg have begun replacing their standard G36 rifle with the HK416 rifle used by the rest of the Imperial Armed Forces.

This marks the final step of the plan to arm all of the armed forces with a standard rifle. It will be recalled that when the HK416 was adopted over 3 years ago, Saxony and Wurttemburg did not adopt it, preferring to keep the G36. But now, under pressure from the Imperial Government, they have agreed to the change.

All 3 of the Imperial Armed Forces adopted the HK416, first the Heer in 2019, then the Marine (Navy) and the Luftwaffe (Air Force) in 2020. The total cost of the 3 contracts was estimated to be some €650 million marks.

The first rifles received will be issued to the Royal Guards of the 2 nations, and then to the regular armed forces. It is expected that they will be in full service within 2 years. This is more good news for H&K, as the final contract for the HK 416 with the Luftwaffe is nearly completed. It is estimated that the 2 new contracts will be worth a total of €250 million marks.


Details- A series of operations to regain control of the Territory of Jamaica, restore Royal control of the island, and destroy the rebel force known as the "Jamaican Republican Army."
Commander- Carlos III, King of Kommeria, Lord of Hispaniola, Emperor of the Caribbean


Operation: Hailstorm
Details- A joint Navy/Air Force operation intended to draw rebel forces to the Kingston area by shelling and bombing military objectives in Kingston and Harbor View, as if the landings will be on the Bull Bay or Eleven Mile beaches.
Commander- Admiral Juan Rios II
Date- 30 March
Units Involved-
--3rd Destroyer Squadron
--4th Anti-Submarine Squadron
--11th Strike Wing
--1 Guided Missile Destroyer
--2 Guided Missile Frigates
--4 Corvettes
--1 Fleet Oiler
--24 Light Attack Aircraft


Operation: Heavy Rain
Details- Deploy paratroopers and stormtroopers via low altitude night jump to capture a series of communication and garrison objectives in Saint Thomas Parish.
Commander- Colonel Christopher Ortega
Date- 1 April
--550th Parachute Regiment
--3rd Special Forces Regiment
--6th Special Forces Regiment
--4th Logistics Wing
--6th Logistics Wing
--3rd Logistics Wing
--11th Logistics Wing
--1,000 Paratroopers
--240 Stormtroopers
--32 transport planes

Operation: Flash Flood
Details- Deploy marines via amphibious landing on the beaches near Saint John. Secure beachheads for follow-on Army forces. Secure Saint John and Pera. Recon Port Morant and Lyssons.
Commander- Prince Manuel de Kommeria
Date- 1 April
--2nd Naval Infantry Legion
--2nd Amphibious Combat Group
--2nd Destroyer Squadron
--2nd Anti-Submarine Squadron
--2,400 Marines
--41 Light Tanks
--12 Helicopters
--6 Amphibious Landing Ships
--9 Auxiliary/Merchant Ships
--1 Destroyer
--6 Frigates


Operation: Tsunami
Details- Construct temporary peirs to bring the King's Own Tank Brigade and Prince's Own Rifles Brigade ashore on the Saint John and Pera beachheads. Secure Port Morant, Lyssons, Golden Grove, and Duckenfield.
Commander- Carlos III, King of Kommeria, Lord of Hispaniola, Emperor of the Caribbean
Date- 2 April
--King's Own Tank Brigade
--Prince's Own Rifles Brigade
--2nd Amphibious Combat Group
--8,000 Soldiers
--97 Main Battle Tanks
--164 Infantry Fighting Vehicles
--105 Armored Personnel Carriers
--6 Amphibious Landing Ships
--9 Auxiliary/Merchant Ships

Operation: Stormwall
Details- Advance on, besiege, and capture Kingston and surrounding towns. Kill or capture Colonel Eithan Williams and Winston Grant.
Commander- Carlos III, King of Kommeria, Lord of Hispaniola, Emperor of the Caribbean
Date- ~16 April
--King's Own Tank Brigade
--Prince's Own Rifles Brigade
--2nd Naval Infantry Legion
--3rd Air Dragoons Brigade
--550th Parachute Regiment
--2nd Destroyer Squadron
--2nd Anti-Submarine Squadron
--18,000 Soldiers and Marines
--97 Main Battle Tanks
--41 Light Tanks
--164 Infantry Fighting Vehicles
--200 Armored Personnel Carriers
--104 Helicopters
--1 Destroyer
--6 Frigates

Kommies in Retreat!

Trelawny Parish, Jamaican Democratic Republic

The Jamaican Republican Army and republican militias have liberated Wakefield and Salt Marsh and have declared Trelawny Parish secure after weeks of grueling trench warfare.

Kingston claims to have captured at least twenty Kommerian armored vehicles and "several hundred" Kalashnikov-pattern F59 rifles.

"While we should be proud of the young men and women in our armed forces, and grateful to almighty God for this victory," Interim President Eithan Williams told reporters this morning, "we need to keep our guard up. Royal forces still control the three Westmost parishes and is prepping a massive invasion force in Haiti. I have full confidence that we will prevail."

Know Thy Enemy: Stormtroopers

[Picture description: A Kommerian Special Assault Regiment operator on duty in Italy. He wears a Ops-Core FAST helmet, London Bridge Trading 6094 plate carrier, and Crye Precision Multicam uniform. His steel mesh face mask is painted with a Punisher skull Visage and his eyes are invisible behind dark tinted goggles. He holds a F19 Carbine (AK-104) equipped with Magpul MOE furniture and an EOTech holographic sight.]

Kommerian Army Special Assault Forces, commonly called Stormtroopers, have their roots in the First Global War. Modeled and named after German Sturmtruppen and similarly equipped with early submachine guns and carbines, stormtroopers were used in trench raids and maneuver warfare. In the Caribbean Wars, they adopted the tactics of the SAS, using unique tactics to seize Colombian oil platforms and trade ships. Later in the Haitian War of 2017 and the current Italian War; Stormtroopers further evolved to undertake special operations such as the capture of Colonel Charpentier or the rescue of Captain Ritter.

Stormtroopers are fanatically loyal to the royal family and are chosen for political reliability almost as often as for their skill. The Stormtroopers are suspected of committing false flag attacks and political assassinations within Kommeria itself.

Stormtroopers are highly dangerous soldiers, but not invincible. Ambushes at long range or using explosives have seen success in Italy. Stormtrooper squads consist of only six operators, so making a fighting retreat may cause them to become overextended and easy to pick off.

Elections Set For 14-17 March

Kingston, Jamaican Democratic Republic
Elections for all future governmental positions will be conducted from the 14th to 17th of March, 2022. Ballots can be submitted to the polling places in person, or be delivered to officers of the Republican Guard.

Twenty-eight representatives will be elected to the open council, two for each parish.

Three Sheriffs will be elected to represent, lead, and protect the citizens of each county.

The President will be elected from one of the two nominees; Interim President Colonel Eithan Williams for the Republican Party, or former Imperial Governor Julio Martinez for his own Royal Democrat party.

Royal Navy announces launch of of two new Excalibur Class Arsenal Ship

Norfolk Navy Shipyard is once again bustling with celebration as the Royal Navy launches the latest additions to the Fleet. HMS Lancelot and HMS Percival, the two latest vessels of the imposing Excalibur Class Railgun Arsenal Warships, were launched with great fanfare following completion of all work on both vessels. The Excalibur Class, based on an earlier design used by the Royal Navy in the Second Great War, are some of the largest and most powerful ships on Earth. Both ships, complete with escorts following final inspection and fitting out, will undergo sea trials in the Caribbean though no further information has been released as a result. The Navy has also decided to increase the number of ships from the class from 12 to a total of 13, an increase by one ship and covered under current MoD budgets. The next ships to be built are HMS Gawain and HMS Bedivere, which will be completed in two years as is the norm for the Royal Navy's construction efforts.

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