Amendment made to Commerce Bill
In a secret session, Parliament members attached an amendment to the pending Standards and Commerce bill. The amendment requires a unified stock and commerce market to establish and maintain exchange rates. This would render several rim-world banks and markets incapable of setting currency values, as has been a practice. Additional restrictions offer more hindrances to outside markets, restricting their buying and selling purvues to local business as opposed to the 'verse-wide economy, which the unified market would govern. News of the amendment has caused an uproar in the border and rim world business communities.
4500+ March on Unity Square
Unity Square in Nottingvale, Londinum was the site of a civil demonstration by citizens opposed to the Unification movement this morning. Over 4500 participants, primarily students but also including prominent business owners and city officials marched through the streets to the square, bearing signs and banners with slogans supporting the Rim worlds' many claims to independence. Among the slogans were "Right to Liberty," "Alliance [does not equal] Empire," and "Yangtze go home," referring to Parliament's progressive party leader Jack Yangtze, one of the biggest proponents of the Unification movement. These signs and banners were then left planted into the soil of the square for all to see as the peaceful demonstration dispersed.
While no arrests were made, several fines were imposed upon participants for littering. Coordinators of the demonstration were also fined for safety violations.
Yangtze Calls for a Bold Push to Unity
Parliament Progressive Party leader Jack Yangtze delivered a powerful speech in session today, calling for supporters to boldly step forward and support his proposal for universal Unification. Yangtze proposes a bill that will introduce standardization of commerce and interplanetary law for "all world states and off-world establishments engaging in trade relations with Allied worlds and the businesses based therein." The bill would require a significant change in current commercial practices, requiring that all commerce within the Alliance be regulated and use standardized measures and currency: the Alliance Credit. Contrary to reactionary opposition statements, the bill would not decrease the value(s) of non-Alliance currency, but would only require that values be converted to or represented as Alliance Credits in all legal documentation.
Yangtze cited the late Lord James Marbury and appealed to the liberal parties to support the bill in Lord Marbury's memory. Opposition leaders responded with harsh criticism of Yangtze's exploitation of Marbury's passing, and further noted that certain language in the bill would never have been considered for endorsement by Marbury's party while he was alive.
There has been some speculation that this bill would be the first major political step toward aggressive action against rim worlds.
Lord Marbury of Persephone Dies
Lord James Marbury, Speaker of the Persephone House of Lords, died of a heart attack today at the age of 68. Doctors attribute the heart attack to heightened levels of stress following today's vote on the adoption of Alliance Credits as the primary currency of the planet.
Marbury was a staunch opponent of the Unification movement, stating often that "diversity of government is tantamount to diversity of culture" in his orations. While his views on independence were well-known, he embraced several of the concepts that the Alliance Parliament cites in its argument for Unification. Marbury supported standardizing units of measure and the establishment of trade regulation, and helped several governments on rim worlds to grow and establish greater trade relations with core and border companies.
In addition to his position as Speaker of the House of Lords, Lord Marbury also lead the Committee for Regulation of Interplanetary Commerce. His father, John, was a parliament member and member of the House of Lords. The Marbury family legacy continues with Lord James' son, Peter, currently studying political science at Devereaux University of Londinum.
Antilles Freight Declares Bankruptcy
Antilles Freight, primary carrier of iron ingots and limestone from Verbena, has announced today that it is filing for bankruptcy. This news comes within a month of rival company Trans-Universal opening its orbital shipping platform at Verbena LaGrange 2.
Antilles is expected to sell numerous assets and appeal for both government and corporate subsidies.