First Council Casino Hotel, Newkirk - KAYAK

Dec/29/2020 news: \\ political party law reformed: idea > individual; transparency; female % \\ Pashinyan responds to "not being enough pro-Russian" \\ who owns which business? \\ protests & snap elect. \\ burglary case & HHK MP \\ humanitarian aid for Artsakh \\ Vitalik flexes muscles \\ bills pass

Your 14-minute Tuesday report in 3589 words.

Pashinyan about pre-war negotiations and "avoiding" the war:

The idea that a flexible foreign policy could have avoided this war is being constantly circulated. Those [former officials] who believe in this thesis must answer at least one question: as a result of their "flexible" policy, why was it not possible to avoid the war of 2016, which was preceded by the unprecedented escalation of 2015 and 2014?
The "flexible" policy adopted by Armenia for many years led to the introduction of Russian proposals in January 2016, which proposed the return of 7 territories (5 + 2) without any legal status for Nagorno-Karabakh.
Why did Russia make such an offer? For one simple reason, as a result of Armenia's "flexible" policy, the Madrid process had come to a standstill because Artsakh could receive a Status outside Azerbaijan only with the consent of Azerbaijan.
It was obvious to Russia and everyone else that Azerbaijan would not agree to this, so it was necessary to find ways to break the deadlock.
And, by the way, if certain people claim that Armenia's foreign policy after 2018 was not sufficiently pro-Russian and this was the reason for the war, then why in the conditions of the "sufficiently pro-Russian" policy of 2016 were Russian proposals born and why did the April war take place?
There was only one way to prevent this war: return the regions and forget about Artsakh's legal status. Now, after the war is over and we know the outcome, the number of supporters of [giveaway of 7 regions] is growing. What they forget is that if we gave away the lands to avoid the war, we would have the same situation in Syunik borders. They used to accuse us of "selling lands" [he means the contradictory statements like Nikol sold the lands, and why didn't Nikol sell the lands earlier to avoid the war].
The biggest failure by the supporters of the "flexible policies" is that they spent years trying to avoid a war instead of preparing for it. Our biggest failure is that we weren't able to recover enough embezzled public property in the past 2.5 years to help us better prepare for the war.
https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1039231.html

businesses owned by opposition leaders

What are the known businesses owned by some of the famous people you might have seen in the public square lately?

Vazgen Manukyan

20% share in Lorva Amrots Ltd which plans to operate two hydro-power plants on Dzoraget river. Manukyan purchased the shares in 2011 after being appointed by Serj as the head of the Public Council.
In 2015-2016, he owned 30% shares in Vanavka Group. In 2015-2017 he had 30% shares in Jermakunq Group. These companies extracted and bottled water. At the time, the director of these companies was charged with illegal bottling and causing ֏55 million in damages to the state. The corruption case was sent to the IRS, which terminated the investigation after "not finding a crime". The companies export the products mostly to Russia.
 

Arthur Vanetsyan

Vanetsyan is a poor boy, according to the public declarations database. But if you have time, take a look at the investigative report I covered in Ap29/2020 news, according to which Vanetsyan's family allegedly used offshore firms and owns mining shares. More on that here. Here is a Hetq investigative report.
Vanetsyan's father owns AV Group flower importing business. About a year ago, the police investigated several flower sellers near a stadium. An opposition outlet claimed that the sellers were "beaten and forced" to testify that Vanetsyan's father was running an underground business. This was never properly proven and the opposition's claim that Vanetsyan was about to be charged did not happen. The police confirmed that there was an investigation against several flower sellers. These flower sellers ended up hiring Vanetsyan's co-party-creator Arsen Babayan as a lawyer.
Vanetsyan's father owns 50% shares of A B Export oil import company that began operating in 2017. It was a minor player that quit the market in 2019. Vanetsyan's father also owns 60% of A B Trans transportation company.
In Nov/2019, CivilNet wrote about Arthur Vanetsyan's cousins' possible involvement with Zangezur Copper factory (massive business). The same offshore firm in Cyprus, which purchased Zangezur shares, was tied to Vanetsyan's cousins' another business in the same offshore.
Vanetsyan's cousins also own a Switzerland-based Exoil wholesale cooking oil and shipping company. In 2019 it had a revenue of $148 million (11 billion Rubles). The cousins don't do this business in Armenia.
Per 2019 registration, Arthur Vanetsyan himself owns one apartment, $10,000, and ֏1 million.
Media reported in May/2020 that Vanetsyan's cousin purchased a ֏300 million mansion in Yerevan, which was donated to then-new political party "Hayreniq", co-founded by Arthur Vanetsyan and Arsen Babayan (the guy who is accused of helping HHK to fabricate documents in 2018 to hijack the Constitutional Court by appointing HHK MP Hrayr Tovmasyan as a judge).
Arthur Vanetsyan's mother served as the chief of the personnel-management department in Serj and Pashinyan administrations, before quitting and working as Serj's aide.
Vanetsyan's wife owns Villa Montessori preschool in Yerevan. She also runs the Young Education Center Ltd.
 

ARF Ishkhan Saghatelyan

Pashinyan appointed Saghatelyan as Gegharquniq governor for a brief period after the 2018 revolution, when Pashinyan created a unity-government, represented by all political parties. The honeymoon soon ended and each party went their way.
Saghatelyan owns shares in i-mega Service Ltd. It's a tourism agency founded in 2006. It operates in Armenia, Artsakh, and Georgia.
Saghatelyan founded Navasar company and serves as director. It's owned by his father.
Saghatelyan family owns the Tsovasar hotel complex on Lake Sevan shores. It's 10,000 m2 (a hectare?).
As of 2018, Saghatelyan declared ownership of 8 pieces of land, 2 apartments, ֏18.5 million, $45,000, and €15,000.
Saghatelyan's father is the mayor of Gegharquniq's Geghamavan settlement. This municipality had recently sent a letter demanding Pashinyan's resignation.
Saghatelyan used to be a shareholder of Shiman Ltd which is no longer active.
 

BHK leader Gagik "dodi gago" Tsarukyan

BUCKLE UP, KIDS! Overall, Tsarukyan runs 54 companies. Студент, комсомолец, спортсмен, u наконец, он просто красавиц.
His business empire was covered in details here. Textile, gas stations, malls, Multi Group empire, Shangri-La Casino, Ararat Cognac & Wine Factory, BMW official office Euromotors (also Hyundai, Gazel, Niva), Multi Motors, Magas Invest, Multi Wellness, Olimpavan sports complex, Kotayk beer factory, TechnAlyumin door & window factory, Multi Rest House hotel chain, Paravon luxury restaurant, Onira Club, Zvartnot's airport's upper-level service company Avia Service, Farm Adama, Multi Pharm pharmacy, Multi Leon gas stations, Multi Solar solar panels.
He owns shares in Frank Mueller Yerevan watch company, Fortsa, Multi Gold, Multi Diamond jewelry firms, several fish-breeding businesses.
He also runs businesses in Russia, Belarus, Ukraine, Czechia, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Latvia.
Per official declaration, he owns $168 million, €29 million, ֏675 million, 14 pieces of land, 6 houses, 2 public buildings, 1 apartment.
 
Details for BHK MP Mikael Melkumyan and HHK Vahram Baghdasaryan in the link below.
 
https://fip.am/14388
https://hetq.am/hy/article/88755
https://www.reddit.com/armenia/comments/gagkyp/apr292020_wednesday_news_armenia_being_sued_fo?
www.civilnet.am/news/2019/11/01/Զանգեզուրի-պղնձամոլիբդենային-Մաքսիմ-Հակոբյանի-ու-նրա-որդու-փոխարեն-նոր-բաժնետերեր-Ժնևից-և-Աջափնյակից/369792
www.1lurer.am/hy/2020/01/29/Բենզինի-շուկա-Արթուր-Վանեցյանի-հայրը-դուրս-է-եկել-ոլորտից-Միքայել-Մինասյանի-մերձավորը՝-խոշորների-մա/182670

opposition continues the demonstrations

The street demonstrations, organized by the former regime and its allies, continue. They demand Pashinyan's resignation and the appointment of their candidate Vazgen Manukyan as the Prime Minister for the duration of a year, after which they agree to hold new elections.
ARF leader Artsvik Minasyan said they don't plan to discuss snap elections with Pashinyan. "Right now, our only demand is Pashinyan's resignation. We demand SIS to immediately hold every criminal accountable". The demonstrators gathered in front of the SIS building to present the demands.
https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1039316.html

Pashinyan meets leaders of several opposition parties

QP leader Lilith: there is a possibility there will be a meeting between Pashinyan and the three Parliamentary political parties. They could discuss snap elections. The impression is that politicians who demand Pashinyan's resignation do not want snap elections in an attempt to bypass the citizen's right to form a government. Our political team reaffirms the position that none of us is clinging on seats. //
LHK MP Gorgisyan: we cannot hold snap elections now, under this chaotic situation. We will discuss snap elections if Pashinyan discusses his resignation and transfer of power. (LHK wants its leader Marukyan to be elected as Prime Minister by a Parliamentary vote) //
Pashinyan met BHK leader Tsarukyan. The latter is against holding snap elections unless Pashinyan resigns now, and presumably, he wants Vazgen Manukyan appointed as PM.
LHK leader Marukyan also wants Pashinyan to resign now so a new Prime Minister can form a new government cabinet "consisted of experts".
https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1039261.html , https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1039268.html , https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1039299.html , https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1039322.html , https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1039323.html , https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1039327.html

felony case: ex-HHK MP charged with armed attack on ex-IRS official

In August of this year, Russia extradited a former HHK MP Alraghatsi Lyovik to Armenia. He was wanted for allegedly burglarizing and shooting at a senior IRS official a decade ago. At the time, his case was "frozen". It was relaunched in 2018. (magic wand)
NSS says: suspect Lyovik, with the help of citizens AK and AN, organized an armed burglary against IRS Chief (?) Avetisyan in 2008.
AK was in the United States. In 2004, he stole $150,000 from jewelry shops in Los Angeles. He got caught but managed to flee to Armenia.
Once in Armenia, AK colluded with policeman AN to organize a similar criminal ring in Armenia.
[MP] Lyovik personally knew AK, and learned about their burglaries. Since Lyovik had bad relations with the IRS chief (victim), he decided to punish the victim by urging AK to burglarize his house. Lyovik revealed the plot to his brother-in-law, who happened to be the victim's personal aide. The latter gave all the personal habits and details about the victim to the burglars.
[read the article for the full story, or wait for a Hollywood movie in theaters near you]
The burglars and organizers are charged with felonies.
https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/203835 , https://youtu.be/brdozVbwQ6A , https://factor.am/274836.html , https://armtimes.com/hy/article/183522 , https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/203835 ,

Russian Orthodox chapel will be built

... in the Armenian settlement near Nakhijevan where Azerbaijan had earlier shut down a Russian helicopter, which killed and wounded Russian pilots. It'll be on a hill in Yeraskh. Construction starts on January 6th.
https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1039259.html

Russian peacekeepers conducted training

... to stay in shape. A report by WarGonzo's Semyon Pegovn who returned to Artsakh to meet the New Year there.
https://youtu.be/-c1BSTkC-a8

Russia and Turkey comment

Russian MFA: The situation in Nagorno-Karabakh should not be used for the infiltration of foreign mercenaries into the region. Here we have exactly the same position as our Turkish partners.
Turkish MFA: we see that a ceasefire has been established. We hope to establish the joint RU-TR monitoring center soon.
https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1039281.html , https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1039282.html

Vitalik Balasanyan will return the lands, kicks junkies, and restrict Facebook

Artsakh President Arayik earlier announced that he will allow his opponents to take jobs in the new coalition government. Kocharyan-ally Vitali Balasanyan became the Security Council chief.
Vitalik: we will return Hadrut and Askeran region with the help of Russian and Armenian military-political efforts. We are in a better situation now to solve territorial issues.
We will soon create border guard forces. It will report to MoD, which will report to the Security Council (his office).
Drugs have no place in Artsakh. Drug users must quit or leave Artsakh now.
We need to return to traditional values of giving women as wives after asking if the man had served in the army.
No public official will be allowed to use Facebook during work.
More: https://youtu.be/DceHyi4AB5g
https://www.panarmenian.net/arm/news/289056/

search operations are paused / the "welcome to Azerbaijan" sign

Azerbaijan received criticism for refusing to allow search teams to enter the Hadrut region yesterday. They also prevented UNESCO from checking the status of several Armenian cultural sights, after complaining that UNESCO was "biased" against Azerbaijan during the war.
HR Ombudsman: Any untrue information can not be a reason to disrupt the humanitarian process [referring to unconfirmed rumors on social media that Armenians opened fire at Azeris in Hadrut. An unofficial Iranian social media channel claims 3 Azeris were killed but due to an internal fight.]
The Human Rights Ombudsman also criticized the Azeri troops for installing a provocative "welcome to Azerbaijan" sign on part of a road that went under Azeri control near Syunik borders. The Ombudsman says it's meant to intimidate the locals.
https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1039233.html , https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1039237.html , https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1039244.html , https://factor.am/325511.html

Parliament votes: BHK MP Naira Zohrabyan's chairmanship

Context: BHK MP Naira Zohrabyan referred to the majority of Armenian voters as human trash *(or as she says: impure), and called for the establishment of forced re-education camps so people won't vote for a "wrong party" again. The ruling QP party launched a process to terminate her chairmanship in Parliamentary Human Rights Committee. Read yesterday's thread for more details.*
QP MP Arthur: the law states that the Parliament can appoint and terminate the chairman. The termination of this seat does not require the same procedures as in the case of MPs and Judges. Armenian Constitution states that in Armenia, human beings are of the highest value, and inalienable human dignity is the inseparable basis of their rights and freedoms. MP Zohrabyan's public conduct is against it. //
The law gives the second-largest political party the mandate to appoint the chairman of this particular Committee. BHK, being the second-largest party, said they wouldn't appoint a replacement if Zohrabyan is voted out.
QP MP Arthur: per rules, if BHK refuses to appoint a new candidate, the largest (QP) party will receive the mandate. //
Parliament voted 78-4 to terminate Zohrabyan's chairmanship. BHK and LHK did not vote.
BHK MP Zohrabyan: this termination was a Constitutional crime.
https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1039245.html , https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1039264.html , https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1039304.html , https://factor.am/325132.html

Parliament votes: registering parties becomes easier / ideology instead of person / financial transparency

The goal of this reform is to have political parties that are more about ideology and less about an individual. The reform will boost internal democracy within parties; it will expand the powers of the Party Assembly.
Parties will be required to add more anonymous voting mechanisms.
The law also requires more financial transparency.
The required membership to register a party is lowered from 800 to 300.
Some of the public funding given to political parties will depend on the % of female members in the administrative boards.
Parliament voted 99-1 to approve it.
https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1039270.html , https://youtu.be/bPuZViCCCxo

Parliament votes: monthly fees towards soldiers' recovery are raised

Most workers pay a monthly 1000 Dram towards the Soldiers' Fund, which takes care of wounded soldiers and families of those who died. The govt found it necessary to raise the fee to cover thousands of new recipients. Here are the new fees and salary brackets:
֏1,500 for < ֏100k/month
֏3,000 for < ֏200k
֏5,500 for < ֏500k
֏8,500 for < ֏1 million
֏15,000 for > ֏1 million
Parliament voted 89-0 to approve it.
https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1039296.html

Parliament votes: ban on public smoking is delayed until 2022

The govt had adopted a law to ban smoking in public cafes and the public display of cigarettes in grocery shops. The ruling party wanted to delay parts of the bill that were set to go into effect in January, citing possible financial issues for businesses caused by the pandemic.
QP MP: the cigarette industry pays $383 million to state coffers.
Healthcare Ministry: it will be a mistake if you delay this bill for the sake of $10 million in tax revenues.
Parliament voted 86-0 to delay the anti-smoking bill until 2022.
https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1039295.html

Parliament votes: no tax on goods donated to Armenia

QP MP: When you donate a charitable product to the Republic of Armenia, you are exempt from customs duties and other tax payments, except for one payment, which we are trying to exempt with this bill as well. //
Parliament voted 80-0 to approve it.
https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1039297.html

how is the Judicial Branch doing?

The Supreme Court protects or punishes judges. It also handles complaints. It's separate from the Constitutional Court.
bad boys
19 complaints against judges were heard, 14 of which were petitioned by Justice Ministry and 4 by Judicial Ethics Board. 10 judges ended up receiving disciplinary penalties, 3 received a warning, 3 were reprimanded, 2 were terminated, 4 were cleared.
the system is overloaded
61 judges are handling 6470 felony cases.
86 judges handle 175,940 civil cases.
24 judges handle 17,390 administrative cases.
The number of Arbitration cases rose from 3100 to 9900.
finances
This year, Supremes appointed 20 new judges. Supreme's budget remained the same this year. They returned ֏607 million in savings back to state coffers.
https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1039249.html , https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1039284.html

anti-corruption: SIS busts an IRS agent

SIS says: IRS border inspector took a bribe from a citizen to help him avoid paying Millions of ֏ in import taxes by splitting a large load into smaller pieces, so each piece would fall below the taxable threshold.
https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1039293.html

IRS wants you to file less paperwork

IRS says the latest reforms will help the exporters and simplify the process in which Armenia is used as a transit country for trade. Some tasks can be done online.
More: https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1039247.html

update: electricity prices

...won't go up for low-income families or those using less than 400 kWh. That's 90% of consumers. The rest will pay 3 Drams more. The rates are presented (6-10¢):
https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1039285.html

police to guard Lake Sevan against poachers

Police and Nature Ministry have set up additional checkpoints as part of measures against whitefish poaching in Sevan. 24/7 monitoring on all alleys leading to the lake. They will also travel across markets to catch contraband whitefish.
Why? It's the egg-laying season. Fishing is banned for now. The legally-allowed fishing tools were temporarily removed from the lake.
https://youtu.be/8ZyRGpEazMQ
https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1039339.html

rare Caucasus Leopard is spotted by cameras again

https://youtu.be/2nidC5QJaIg

"only 10% of villagers should do agriculture"

...the rest should have access to other jobs. There is an opportunity now because many businesses operate remotely. Call Center workers don't have to visit an office. Businesses would rather pay less to hire a rural remote worker than more to hire someone in a Yerevan office.
The High Tech Ministry has an ongoing program to teach IT to 5,000 citizens. We must help workers to expand their skillset. We're working on a program to allow a worker to quit the job, not worry about the food on the table, and have enough time for education and learning new skills.
The villagers should ideally lease their smaller lands to large agricultural producers," said Economy Minister Qerobyan.
Full interview: https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1039319.html

State regulators bust another price-fixing ring: fruit mafia

Yesterday, the Economic Competition Committee busted the egg industry's alleged price-fixing and anti-competitive practices. Today they say a similar collision was observed in the orange, mandarin, kiwi, lemon industry.
The companies Best Fruits, Art-Fruits, and Promout were slapped with a ֏39 million in penalties for colluding to raise the prices for the products that had an increased demand during the pandemic period.
http://www.competition.am/.../resources/Vo370_17_12_2020.pdf
https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1039269.html

Lenovo slapped for "anti-competitive practice"

The Economic Competition Committee heard a petition filed by Oazis Computer company against Lenovo. The latter was issued a warning for anti-competitive behavior.
Public Regulator: "Lenovo" company had the ability to influence the process of importing Lenovo computers to Armenia from non-EAEU trade bloc countries. "Lenovo" took steps to reduce the import of Lenovo computers from non-EAEU states, by discriminating against Oazis Computer importer. Lenovo is given a month to correct the issue and fix the requirement and standards related paperwork.
(Facebook next?)
https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1039333.html

Artsakh will also increase childbirth benefits

First child: ֏300k instead of ֏100k
Second child: ֏300k instead of ֏200k
(or ֏500k if one parent is disabled)
As for monthly child care subsidy payments, it goes from ֏15k to ֏27k until the child turns 2.
https://factor.am/325487.html

year wrap-up: births in capital Yerevan

girls 2019: 10173
girls 2020: 10489
boys 2019: 11251
boys 2020: 11430
https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1039278.html

year wrap-up: tax revenues

2018: ֏1.257 trillion
2019: ֏1.458 trillion
2020: ֏1.379 trillion
https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/203846

COVID stats

+2483 tested. +348 infected. +22 deaths. +1267 healed. 13881 active.
https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1039240.html

chess news

Levon Aronyan has advanced to the Airthings Masters quarter-finals where he will play against Hikaru Nakamura. He is 1pt behind the leaders. The winner receives a $60,000 prize.
https://www.chess.com/news/view/airthings-masters-chess-day-4
https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1039228.html

French city of Valence to name a street

... after Artsakh capital Stenapakert. It already had Ijevan Park, Armenia Street, and Yerevan Street. Stepanakert Street will be located in a newly built district. There will be Toros Street as well.
https://youtu.be/EuQV5bt4Ytc
https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/203833

Italian city of di Lovere has officially recognized the Artsakh Republic

https://www.facebook.com/HayastaniDespanutyun/posts/3499573803472410
https://factor.am/325379.html

Kapan Medical Center has a new CT scanner

... thanks to generous diasporan donors like you. The first one was installed during the war in Goris city.
https://factor.am/325090.html

Artsakh children receive New Years' gifts

Focus on Children Now charity organization distributed gifts to hundreds of Artsakh kids residing in Gegharquniq province. Backpacks, clothing, items of basic necessity, money, and postcards written by kids living in the United States.
https://www.focusonchildrennow.org/
https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1039302.html

Himnadram donates to refugee families

700 Artsakh families continue to live in 40 settlements of Gegharquniq province. The All Armenia Fund (HimnaDram.org) has provided food and household items to 241 families ahead of New Year.
https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1039313.html

daily life in Syunik bordering villages Shurnukh and Vorotan

https://youtu.be/E1UJd4NtLLs
https://www.civilnet.am/news/2020/12/29/Շուռնուխ-Որոտան․-կյանքը-անկոչ-հարևանների-հետ/414772

donations for Artsakh & recovering soldiers

www.1000plus.am (recovering soldiers & their families)
www.HimnaDram.org (for Artsakh & Armenia)
www.ArmeniaFund.org (U.S. tax-deductible)

archive of older posts

Armeniapedia's archive of my daily news threads:
http://www.armeniapedia.org/wiki/Daily_Anti-Corruption_Reports

disclaimer

All the accused are considered innocent unless proven guilty in the court of law, even if they "sound" guilty.
submitted by ar_david_hh to armenia [link] [comments]

COVID-19 Megathread #6

This post is updated daily.
You can also follow the Reddit Live thread here.
 
COVID-19 has now infected more than 215,956 people. There have been 8,757 confirmed deaths and 84,080 confirmed recoveries attributed to the virus.
 
Recent Updates
Note: These are the updates from the last 48-72 hours.
MARCH 18 -
 
MARCH 17 -
 
MARCH 16 -
 
Tracking COVID-19
 
Reputable Sources for Information:
submitted by hoosakiwi to news [link] [comments]

Tales of Specter (Chapter 6)

CHAPTER 6
Astrapian City
SpenceSpecter Journal:
Entry - ??? It's been days and weeks since the Castle of the Valkyrie Queen crashed into the surface of the earth. Mostly I don't know where the heck are we... However I’m back to the Clan...
There is no place like Home...
I never thought that this place can look so good. The Specter Clan did a fantastic job in making it secure.
Specter says "Darkcrow, can you walk now?" "Well... With the Mechanic's help, I can walk, but it's going to take awhile before my leg is healed completely." He replied Spencer sits on his bed and think about what can he do.
Melody interview with my Clanmates, How did she found Specter also known as Me the Legendary Demon-Hunter.
One of the elf girl said "OMG! HOW DID YOU FOUND THE REAL SPECTER BLACKWING" and she continued ask questions for an extended period of time.
Melody said "Did you know about Me and Specter? I'm his Girlfriend." The Elf Girl said "OMG! Me and my friend have been waiting for this day for years! We've been Specter fans from the beginning! Sooooo... You guys are together now?" Melody replied "Well maybe... I do love Specter, He so cool and edgy..." The Elf Girl said "AHHHH, She's soooo Lucky to have him!" and they decided to scream in romantic excitements Melody blushed and stopped the rest of her reply.
Roger legs has fixed and he gone to trained outside in the clan with the clan mechanics. The clan mechanics added some new features of weapon in his robotic hand. Also the clan warriors added some new features of armor on his robotic body. After the upgrades, Roger is ready for combat for future missions.
The Clan Warrior said "This is the new metal coats for your new body, It can protect you from Corrosion and Bullets!” Roger will be a great robot warrior for the Specter Clan!
Lily, well she is now awake and has a interview with the knights on the other kingdom about the crash of the Castle of the Queen Valkyrie. She also has a chat with the Mechanic's of the Elf Clan about her motor skills.
Spencer said "Yeah, well it's good that she enjoy herself and not think about the sad stuff."
Victor, on the other hand, he kinda problem in his past-life as a Gambler. He can't stop thinking about it, he even tried to get the Specter help him to get cured, but they couldn't help.
Victor is a total greed loving Magi-Caster and I liked him... But his problem, is he attached on a past life. What is he hiding?
The next day after training and having fun, the Clans resume their meeting.
Specter says "Axelegore kill my partner Lurk and I have to avenge him for good. But i need the 7 orbs to combine into "The Elemental Orb" "The Elemental orb is a powerful magic artifact. It was used by the 6 knights of Lairon, but the creation of the Elemental orb is Unknown..." Specter explained the story
Specter says "Gizmo, The Small Chimera Furry who the former of the Axelegore Orders and has reveal the story of Axelegore Plan and the 6 knights but he died due to the battle with Cupiditas in The Castle of the Valkyrie Queen..." Gizmo is the Chimera Furry with a chip on his shoulder, but he has a bit of a hero complex. I can relate to that.
Specter says "We got the 5 orbs and the next one is the Electric Orb." The Mechanic's look at the 5 orbs and then to Specter. "We can make a Orb." One of the Mechanic's Replied.
Specter says "You can't unless you got them all 12 of them..." One of the Mechanic's look at each other and said "What, do we do?" "Well... We got the 5 orbs correct?" "Correct!
Specter says "Victor, did you seen the Electric Orb before?" "Yes, I saw it in the treasury before all of this chaos broke loose." Victor said with regret. "We have to get it back then."
Victor said "Mostly the Electric Orb was on Astrapian City, The most futuristic city with full of Money and Violence. It was found by the mayor for some unknown reasons. "It's know for power the entire city." "Do you remember where?" "Yes, It was in the Empire Astrapia State Building." "Can we get it?" Victor said "It's a risky try..." "We have to take down the entire state security force with all the Mercenaries and military there to defend it.”
Victor said "The mayor is worked for Axelegore, His name is unknown but the people called him The Black Dragon"
Specter says "Black Dragon, Is that the 4th orders?" "Yes they are, they were created recently. but yeah, that person is very dangerous.
List of Axelegore Orders
The Sky Crasher Leader: Gruz "They are the one, Sky Pirates who try to fly by shooting and cast magic to destroy all of the traveling ship and make them to banned traveling with airship all over the world and make their home."
The Dark Mechanicus Leader: Cogwheel "They are the ones who have all invented the really big and dangerous machine for the warfare and combat that does most of what the Dark Mechanicus does.
The Phantom Cultist Leader: Light "They are the ones who use their magic to battle and cast through the battlefield. They are the magical and powerful of all the orders.
The Black Dragon Leader: The Black Dragon. "This is the most unknown order, they are invisible to everyone except other members and seem to only be used as assassins by the other orders."
Specter says "They are one tough Orders..." "We can try but the attempt is most dangerous and failed to do this." Darkcrow said. Victor said "We are ready to go then, let's head to the city."
Specter says "Right, we got a world to save!" Victor and you all head to the city and begin your attempt to save the world.
The Astrapian City is a miles away from my Clanhouse and my Village but it's a very long walk to prepare for the Electric Orb... I packed up some food as well as the Orbs also my old dagger and my ropes...
Specter says "Where can i use the ropes for?" The ropes are for climbing big and small rocks. so, you can try climbing some nearby rocks. You find a few rocks you can climb near your current location.
Specter says "Well, i have to use the ropes or the dagger later until we headed to Astrapian City..." You begin to climb the rocks while packing the Orbs in your pack. While climbing, you accidentally drop one of the Orbs.
Victor grab and said "I got it!" and after a quick examination of the Orb, he said "Yes, it's still good!" You all continue to climb rocks until one of the rocks you are climbing is slightly wet.
After you climb a thousands steps. You see a great view and found Astrapian City.
"Woah..." he whisper. "We have to be very careful now, we are in their lands and they may have powerful fighters." Victor says.
Specter says "You got it!" Victor says "Right then, let's start heading to the city and quietly drop our pace until we find a good place to sleep." You all continue your journey to Astrapian City.
Astrapian City A cyberpunk world where everyone is a gambler, perverts, hackers, creepers and rogue.
"Everything is illegal is legal" is their motto!
Interesting Fun Fact! Astrapian City has the highest crime rate in Lairon Region! (Surprised?)
The buildings are tall and the streets are very wide. There is a large park area in the center of the city.
The city is ruled by a The Black Dragon and his council of advisors.
Specter says "What a bunch of rogue..." Just a bunch of gamblers and perverts though. We should ask for a job at the gambling hall... Well, looks like we are already in a lot of trouble.
Victor said "Those guys can break a skull on you for good!" which scared you a bit. You all go into a dark alley way to rest for the night.
Roger sleeps while standing up and Victor get a little too close to your personal space before going to sleep.
Specter says "This is kinda creepy place..." The three of you look around and see if there is any potential danger. "Yeah, this place is creepy..." Victor says in a low voice. You all feel your weapons ready just in case.
Well it's just a drunk guy who drank a lot of beer... and passed out. Still, might be best to keep an eye on him. The Six all proceed to sleep and wait for midnight to start to find the Electric Orb.
Specter wake up and their items got stolen! They all wake up at the same time and check your stuff.
To his surprise, his weapons are gone. He look at Victor, he's still asleep, he whisper to him that his weapons are missing.
Specter says "Damnit! Victor wake up our stuff is gone!" Victor slowly wake up and feel his stuff. "Hmm, my things are gone too..." "Well I guess we might as well get up..."
Specter says "Where the thief at!" You all notice the drunk guy sleeping at the end of the alley. You wonder if he is the one who took your stuff.
Then you wonder if killing him is going to make things worse for you.
Specter says "Hey, you drunk head! Where our stuff!" The drunk guy wakes up and immediately realizes something is wrong. You all wonder if it would be better to wait for him to pass out again. However, he starts running in your direction.
Specter says "Hey, that the Thief! Get him!" You all quickly begin chasing the guy. You try to grab his leg, however he eludes your grasp. By now other people have seen the commotion and are also taking an interest.
Specter says "Where the orbs and our stuff!" The Drunk guy starts running in random directions trying to get away from you all. The drunkard runs into a dead end alley and the Specters and you all wonder what to do next.
Specter says "I tell you one last time! Where is our stuff!" Victor then says something that surprises you all. "We might as well let him go and get our stuff back, he is just a little drunk right now..."
The drunk guy return the weapons and the orb back to Specter and run away from him
And Specter said "God! I hate this city!" So, the thief was not punished, but you are all satisfied that he will not do it again. But you realize there something over the dead end alley wall.
It's the Empire Astrapia State Building! Making you all think... "Hey, I thought that...!" Victor says something that surprises you all.
The Empire Astarpia State Building One of the Tallest Building in Astarpian City. It's also the Tallest Building in Entire Lairon Region with over 150th floors and powered and controlled by the Electric Orb with 1,000,000 gigavolts per years!
It was named Astrapia State Building by Victor as a joke for the Mayor.
Specter says "That's the Empire Astrapia State Building, or should i called E.A.S.B" "So Victor, what are you going to do with the Empire Astrapia State Building?" "I'm going to make a profit of course!" "Wait but isn't it illegal to use?
Victor said "Have you read the motto of Astarpian City?" "No?" "It's Everything is illegal is legal!" Victor then said "If you know what you are doing, it's perfectly legal to use.
Specter says "What kind of motto is that..." "Indeed." "How stupid can the government of this city get? (Sigh) Well, we can come back for the Building later, I guess. “Are you questioning my intelligence?" "No, but I’m asking you a question. Darkcrow can't stand up yet. but he found a way to enter the Empire Astrapia State Building. There two girls employees are entering the dressing room at the back door. And he saw one of the mafia with a VIP pass entering the E.A.S.B entrance door.
Specter says "Darkcrow, What's your plan?" "Plan? I don't have a plan, yet." "Just wait, maybe the best way is to..." Melody and Lily interrupts Darkcrow plan. Darkcrow said "Geez! What you doing here..." They both replies at the same time "Specter's orders!" Lily said. "We're here to escort you to the Empire Astrapia State Building! Melody said. Darkcrow complain. "Specter!"
Specter says "Well.. I don't even know... because I like some girls escort our team..."
Darkcrow punched Specter in a shoulder. "Ow! Why you punch me for?" "I don't know... I’m just pissed at something right now!" Darkcrow secretly doesn't want the girls joining his team mission. One of the gang at outside at the entrance of the E.A.S.B said to the gambler who want to gamble in E.A.S.B "Hey man, Give me your money or we'll beat you up!" Gang beat the Gambler to his death and drop his VIP pass.
"What the?" Victor said when he saw the crime.
"Well, it's obvious now that this is a perfect place to steal some stuff!" Specter said.
Specter steal the VIP pass.
"Alright team, we need to get out this stinky alley and find the Electric Orb!" Victor nods. You all take a good look outside the Empire Astrapia State Building. But the guards blocking you and said "May i see your pass, please?
Specter present his VIP pass.
You and the rest of your team pass the guards while they say "Wow! You're really lucky, man! Welcome to the Empire Astrapia State Building!"
Empire Astrapia State Building A huge skyscraper. While you're on the 40th floor, you can see the nice views of Astarpian City. This means that there should be some spare items around here somewhere.
Specter says "We need to register a room to rest up for the plan."
And you're all surprised to see that this city has a hotel on top of the sky city. Of course, it's the Empire Hotel Astarpia State Building.
The hotel room has a very luxury bedroom, kitchen, and a very large living room. A butler awaits your orders and ready to serve you at all times. You can make people think you're really rich by just telling them your name is Master Specter.
The butler announced the Black Dragon has a ceremony at E.A.S.B event hall. Tonight at 12:00 AM "Be there or we'll kill you!"
"You bet, boys!" Victor said. You nod at each other. "Go get some rest of the guys, we're heading to the ceremony." Specter ask. "Yes, Master Specter." The butler leave your hotel room.
Specter says "Geez! What we gonna do to get the Electric Orb!"
Victor says "I don't know." Spencer thinks for a moment. Roger says "Does anyone remember where the location of the location was? Victor said "Basically it's on the top to the tower." Spencer stands up "Let's get to the 100th floor!"
Specter says "But, how we gonna get the Electric Orb without getting caught by Black Dragon and his guards"
Specter hears and saw in the peephole. About those Bunny-Suit waitress talking in the hallway about The Black Dragon Identity.
The one waitress said "Did you know that he is working with Axelegore. That's why we should sit next to the VIP area in the event hall." Another waitress replies "Well, I heard he is the head of the Black Dragon Order.”
Specter says "Melody, Lily. I think you gotta need a distraction as the Bunny Girls Waitress at The Black Dragon."
"Haha, good idea!" Victor laughs. Spencer says "Victor, let's use your trick card to open the control room."
Specter says "Darkcrow, Roger. You guys up to make money at the Casino for me."
Darkcrow said "You serious, man?" Roger said "Yeah, I'm programmed to never ever to do gambling!" Victor says "Well, you can help me at the Control Room instead." Darkcrow said "Really, this is my worst mission of my life!
Specter says "I bet you, all the money from the Casino is yours!
Darkcrow agreed with his greedy attitude "Deal!" Melody replied "Hey Specter, why do I really need to distract The Black Dragon with the Bunny Suits anyways?"
Spencer says "I think the plan is, you seduce him with the bunny suit to prevent him from calling the guards, so we can get the orb from the room. also you with Lily!
Specter says "Lily, on the other hand is also has a Magi-Ability: Lilith"
Linda "Lily" Lilith Skyhound, The Demon Pilot in the Sky, Specter Ex-Girlfriend.
Magi-Ability: Lilith She can turn into a lilith or a succubus and any type of class such as Knight, Wizard or Cleric anything she wants! According to her beautiful and seductive dress of the entire female class!
She can take the job of a magical-demon to be tricked actively by the Black Dragon, but she is not stupid and agrees with Specter. Lily said "I agreed with the plans of Specter, also if I wears the bunny suits, I can turn my class Pilot into Magician! " Spencer: "Yes, I think you can do it. Lily said "Melody, are you doing this?" Melody replied "Of course :)" Lily said "Beautiful, let's get ready!"
11:55 PM before the shows started…
The plan has already started at E.A.S.B. Lily and Melody are in the dressing room where they going to serve some wine to the mayor also known as The Black Dragon, Darkcrow is on his black suits and got some chips and some cheating cards to his pocket. While Specter, Roger and Victor wearing a suit and they now going to the 100th floor.
The Bunny Waitress Team is on their way to the Casino as well, Specter decide not to tell them of the plan, they will probably just do the distraction.
Darkcrow is on his poker table with some Mafia around him. He gulp nervously... and he got the sweat all over him and said "Oh, hello there!" The mafia has a menacing look all over him! "Do you know how to play game?" The game master asks politely. "Why yes! I got a huge game of 5D-Jacks going on right now! Come let do this!" Darkcrow says happily.
Darkcrow sweating nerverously and wished "Man, i wish Roger should join me in this Casino!
Meanwhile, Victor, Specter and Roger enter the control room...
Spencer uses his magical powers, but no one is around, in fact the room seems deserted.
Specter says "No one here..." "It's empty!" Victor said with a creepy laugh. "Let's get the work done!" "What happens if the boss comes back?" Roger asks.
Specter says "Well, we have to stay focus." Suddenly, The Electric Orb is gone!
"Where is it?" Victor asks. "I don't know, someone must have took it." Roger says.
Specter says "It's must be that Black Dragon Guy at the Event Hall!"
"We have to find it!" Victor says. "Orb's power can be accessed by anyone." Roger points out.
Specter call Melody in her small microphone on her Bowtie.
"Melody! Lily! The Black Dragon got the Electric Orb!”
"We're in the begin in the ceremony now!" She replied. "Got it! Thanks Blueberry!" He replied. "We're on our way, we'll be there soon!" Roger said. "Huh, whoever he is, he must be a powerful and intelligent guy..." Victor mutters.
Specter end the call with Melody.
and Victor said "You called your Girlfriend, Blueberry?" "Yeah, she's a big hero around the campus..." Specter said with a cheeky smile. "Heh, well alright, I guess it's just as well that we have you along then."
Meanwhile at Melody...
Melody said "The Black Dragon got the Electric Orb!"
"That's great!" Lily replied. "Let's get going, we have to meet The Black Dragon in the ceremony!" Melody said. "OK!" She agreed.
The show announcer said "And now, the biggest guest! we like to announce..."
PLEASE WELCOME! THE MAYOR OF ASTARPIA CITY AND OWNWR OF E.A.S.B!
THE BLACK DRAGON! The Black Dragon has a shiny black silky tuxedo and a sharp white hair that cover his one eyes also with a black fedora and a Skull staff on his hand. He looks like Specter.
"Hello Everyone! Thank you for attending my biggest event so far!" He has a microphone in his hand.
Dragon said "This ceremony about my greatest city of them all and my biggest power in this city!"
Then, the Dragon begin to speaks...
"Now, I want you know that this event WILL be a historical moment! Axelegore, He one of my working partner with this work and this city, Our powers will rise above the world! I make this promise! Now, this isn't a speech this time, this is a question and answer session. If you don't ask me, you don't sit at the table! I HAD THIS! BABY!" he present the Electric Orb!
The Crowd gasp and say "WOW!" "Now, ask me a question, and i will answer!" The Dragon said while smiling. "This Orb can powered our City to the Unlimited Powers!" That mean More Crimes, More Violence’s and More Deaths in this Death Arena for those weaklings heroes who tries to restore the Orb! Now it's your turn to be the Dragon! "Why didn't you restored the other Orbs?" A Man asked. "It's a long story..." Dragon began to tell his tale... Dragon disagree the tale "But, it's a secret!" "Don't worry about it!" He replied. "But..." The Man said. "IT'S A TRUTH, NOT A BIG DEAL AND I'M NOT GOING TO TELL YOU!" He replied angrily!" "I WANT TRUTH NOW!" He yelled to him!
Dragon yelled "OK, I'll reveal the truth, WHOEVER SHOOT THAT MOTHERFUCKING MAN HEAD WIN FOR A THOUSANDS BUCKS!" The man said "Wait, please no!" Then he turned to the Crowd and said "I'm sorry for my actions, I'm new at this and it was a mistake to come back here!"
Dragon said "IT'S TOO LATE! EVERYONE DRAW!" Everyone shoot at the Man Head and lead him in the painful death with a thousands bullet shot through the entire body...
The Black Dragon is a very powerful and dangerous man with a huge killing streak. Surprisingly, he dislikes to talk about his past.
Dragon said "What a Bloodbath! Guards, Send this man corpse to the Cremation Room. Before those grubs eaten him alive. Also here some thousands bucks whoever kill that guy!" He throw the Bill towards to the Crowd!
Everyone starts to grab the Bill! Dragon laughed insanely "Haha! I loved this city!" Melody was serious and said "What a dangerous man..."
Suddenly, Dragon invited "Who's that pretty woman? You want to join us for some drinks?" He pointed his staff to Melody... Melody accepted, this is some kind of amazing thing... Melody said "Me?"
"Yes, come sit next to me!" Dragon replied. "Really?" She replied back. "Yes, really! Don't I know you?" Dragon questioned. Melody walk down the stairs and sit with Dragon but Lily started sit with Dragon, But he said "Stop! NOT YOU!"
Lily said "But..." Dragon replied "Aren't you the blue haired bunny-suit woman that I pointed to her? Lily said "Yes, I'm her partner." "Oh, you look prettier! Come sit next to me…” Dragon agreed her info! Melody and Lily were sitting next to Dragon… They talked about life as the mayor of Astarpian City and then he said. "So tell me, have you ever loved a boy before?"
Melody reply with embarrassment "Wha.. What? No! Please, who would love a girl like me? Dragon said "Tell me, have you ever loved a boy before?"
"Seriously?" She replied. "Serious" He replied. "No, why would I?" Melody replied again. "Tell me, have you?" Dragon replied again. "No! Melody replied. Dragon said "Well, this is your lucky day for you. Because I'm here!"
The next moment, Dragon started to stare at Lily very close...
Then he said "Hmmm, you're not quite pretty enough to be a succubus, but you could make an excellent-" Lily said "What?"
Dragon interrupted him "I was going to say you could make an EXCELLENT PAWN ... or MEAT..."
Lily ask the Crowd "WHAT?!" Meanwhile... Specter, Roger and Victor is now on the Casino and saw Darkcrow won a lot of pokers chips bets from the mafia. The mafia are well known defeated and broke!
Darkcrow said "FUCK YEAH! FIFTY TIMES IN THE ROW!" He high fived the Crowd surrounding him. Roger said "Let's stake our winnings here!"
Specter says "Yo! Dark! Are you done here?" Darkcrow said "Yeah! I won 50 times in a row!" Victor and Specter got some chips from Darkcrow. "Victor, what do you think of Darkcrow's winning? Victor, disagree his winning streaks and said "Amateur! I won 100 times in this Casino!" Darkcrow look confused and said "What? You're joking!" Victor said "I swear to God! I'm the best Gambler here! Darkcrow said "OH YEAH?"
"Yeah, you're still an amateur." Victor said and walk away. Specter said "Let's stake our chips here! Dark shouted "Oh yeah! Victor, For now on, You're now my rival!" and high fived him.
Victor said "Hah, you and your 50 winning-streak in the row. Enough with the High Fives! Let's play Poker right here! Right now!"
Specter says "Enough! You Greedy Rats! We're have to find Melody and Lily!" "Oh, sorry! Let's go!" Darkcrow said. They left the casino room to find Melody and Lily and Darkcrow came back to get the chips "Sorry, but the chips coming with us!" He steal the chips and put them in the loot bag!
Meanwhile... Melody and Lily trying their best to distract Dragon! "Hey you! Stop staring at my butt!" Lily said. "Oh wait, are you talking to me?" Dragon replied. "Yeah, you better stop that." she replied. "Or what?" he replied. Melody try to sneaky steal the Electric Orb... and Dragon caught her! "What are you doing?! You trying to shock me?" he said in annoyance. "NO! But you have to let us go." Melody replied. "Oh yeah, I should let you go..." Dragon said. She smiled. "NOT, IF I GIVE YOU A KISS!" Dragon laughed insanity. “No, No, No, No!” Melody tries to run for it! He ran towards her and kissed her.
Suddenly, Specter saw Dragon kissing Melody in her lips... Dragon saw Specter and said "Aw... was that your Girlfriend that I kissed her in front of you?"
Specter says Rghh..." Specter stare at Dragon angrily and completely cover with red haze and aura in his body! "Should have waited until we're alone!" Dragon now knows. Melody tries to free herself from Dragon, but he is too strong! “By the way, as the mayor of the Astarpian City, She is now shall will be my QUEEN!” Dragon shouted!
Specter says "YOU GET AWAY MY GIRLFRIEND, YOU FUCKING FREAK!" In his demonic voice! He dash towards Dragon and gave him a punch in the face cause his skull break and then another one, and then another one! But Dragon won't go down! He punch back, and then several of them!
Specter summon the dead, demon and ghosts from out of nowhere to be his ally to protect from the Crowd! Several Ghosts and Demons started to appear around the area! More ghosts, skeletons and demon appeared to back them up! "Come on Specters! Do your thing!" Darkcrow orders. Dragon cast his mysterious Magi, and blew many specters away, including the crowd! Grim and evil spirits are powerful indeed! The crowd shoot the dead with their Tommy Gun. But no effects to the dead! The ghost slice through the crowd! The crowd died instantly!
Specter cast his powerful weapon Hades Scythe! Dragon casted an spell against him, but Specter block the attack! Then, he used his weapon, Hades Scythe to cut Dragon's arm! It was bleeding! The battle now begin to heating up! Dragon said "Damnit! Where that Rogue come from!" Then, in a flash of light, Dragon see a man standing there holding a very large scythe! He was tall, with dark shadow aura and long red hair!
Specter says "Dragon, You're souls is mine... AND I WON’T FORGIVE YOU!!!" He swing his scythe and Dragon casted his own Magi against him, but the Specter easily blocked the attack! "Let's make one thing clear, before I kill you!"
Specter ignore his orders and attack his wrath! “IT’S TOO LATE, TO PAY YOUR CONSEQUENCE!” He attacked him, with several ghosts, skeletons, and demons supporting him! Dragon casted some sort of shield against Specter attack! The clash of the powerful auras shock both fighters and their minions!
Suddenly, Dragon cast Nova! Nova appears to be a powerful explosion of light and sound! He can barely hear anything, but he see everything! Demons, Specters and even some ghosts blown away instantly!
“NGAHHHHH! DRAGOOOOON!” Specter shouted!
Dragon is retreating with his cutted right arm and left the Electric Orb behind. Dragon run for his life and got collapse on the ground and Suddenly, the mysterious pirate grab him and take him to the familiar ship.
Dragon said "Thanks for saving me, Gruz..." Gruz reply "No problem, but I think it's time we stop this little fight. The other group is ready to retreat this rogue wrath." "Hmm, let me just finish this fight, and then we can attack together!" Dragon replied
Gruz said "I'm afraid, you can't do that! Step on it, Sizzling Sisters! We have to retreat!"
The Sky Crasher ship retreat to the another place instead of the E.A.S.B.
Meanwhile... Melody and her teams trying to stop Specter wrath, Specter walking down the hallway to the exit to find Dragon!
Melody said "Specter! Just listen to me!" But he's not listening to anyone. He's too focused on killing Dragon cowering at the Sky Crasher ship. Melody said "Come on! Specter! Just listen to me!" She grab him and kiss him!
Specter heart is filled with love... He calmed down the Wrath... The shadows aura began to fade away..
Specter return to his former self... Melody take back her right hand away from him and just stood there awkwardly "Uh... Just let me come with you..." He said sadly. She said "Sorry Specter."
Specter says "Melody..." She turn around and she run away. She left him standing alone.
Meanwhile in Dragon...
Gruz said "Dragon, I can't believe that Specter Boy, destroyed your headquarter!"
Dragon said "Heh! I know..." Gruz said "I take it you want revenge?" Dragon said "Of course..." Gruz nods and hands over a small black orb.
Gruz, The Captain of the Sky Crasher Magi-Ability: Chaos
The Black Dragon, Leader of the Black Dragon Magi-Ability: Omega
Gruz: He can cast every Dark Magi from every Dark Magi-User.
Dragon: While Dragon on the Other Hands. He has the power to cast every Magi whatever he likes!
Gruz: Well, Axelegore is on Death Island with the Entire Orders also aren't you wanna stay with your crew at Death Island first, It's for resting for the battle you and that Specter Boy?
Dragon: Yes, fly your ship to Death Island.
Gruz: WELL THEN, OF WE GO TO DEATH ISLAND!
END OF CHAPTER 6
You have reached to Chapter 6
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Back to the Moon, Part 1: Back to America

I started running through the Forest of Magic at speeds which made the U.S. Air Force look like toys. My demonic body absorbed and changed all the evil energy from that cursed place to be fuel for me as I most likely had a total immunity to curses and other things like that.
I keep leaping with my legs until I had the force to fly, then in mid-air, I grew my demon wings and along with some magic, pierced the Hakurei Border and flew back into the real world. Luckily for me, it was around 3 AM and my flight back to D.C. was going to be in 6 hours or so, that means I can safely use magic without disrupting people's lives. I saw that the True Moon was out and noticed that some Lunarians were watching.
Or maybe that's just Chang'e. I knew most people were sleeping at that time, so I teleported at a hotel around the Tokyo International Airport. One which I had heard was at the highest of quality.
Hotel 1899 Tokyo... at least according to the Vice Presidents and managers of the Golden Grin, was one of the best hotels that they experienced in Japan when they would have their vacations. My VP of Security, Jen told me in person that I should try staying at least in Japan for a few weeks while reserving at least a few days for Hotel 1899 if I got stressed out managing the Golden Grin.
I went into the hotel with my bags, and started asking for a room. I asked them if they had one with a queen sized bed and asked if they had a round window. To my surprise, I actually managed to find one. Handing me a keycard after payment, I went over to my room and placed my stuff down. Tired and concealing my magical presence.
Looking into the round window, I saw Yorihime's face in it. Shaking my head, I knew I was a bit too sleep deprivated, so I went to sleep for a little bit until I woke up 3 hours later, completely recharged. Knowing that I have around 3 hours to get my shit together or look stupid. I grabbed my stuff, hailed a taxi, then went into the airport, then went through standard airport procedures.
Getting into the first class lounge, the tile patterns reminded me of the Overdrill job in First World Bank. I was very tempted to see which ones I could press down to open a secret vault of gold, but my professionalism as the owner of the Golden Grin got in the way of my curiosity and I sat in a moon chair until my plane arrived. Grabbing my stuff, I went into the airplane. Alot less people than when I arrived, but that's most likely a good thing, as people are loud and annoying, especially in casinos.
I received a text from my VP of Security, something about their Fast Tactical SWAT Units having an overabundance of equipment and boredom, and they wanted to see if I wanted to upgrade the abilities of my security guards. They claimed if was a "one-time offer" to stay the safest and the most secure for "a price so competitive, they're basically handing out freebies." Most of my guards were nothing but men with suits, pistols, flashlights, handcuffs, and batons.
Some of them were more trusted armed personnel who wore light body armor, wielded sub-machine guns, and were even on the security council. The newbies had nothing except for a badge, sometimes they had nightsticks and handcuffs, but were basically just there to prove they were security material.
Knowing that extra security in the casino wouldn't ever hurt, especially in comparision to the financial hit I would take if there was basically a 2nd Golden Grin job, I accepted my VP's request for the advancement of my security personnel and started sleeping on the airplane.
I slept for 14 hours until I landed at the Golden Grin Airport, (the airport I had built to be convenient to my overseas gamblers while increasing my revenue and public image) GenSec managed to pull a few strings and I could stay for at most 8 more hours in Vegas before having to go back to D.C.
I was escorted by GenSec Elites to the Golden Grin, these same people who I used shoot and kill were now the ones protecting my life and assets. We had some small talk and they wanted to see if they could be deployed in Vegas to guard my casino as they liked liveliness of my casino and saw potential in my staff. I accepted their offer and I oversaw the improvements my security force went through.
They were now less of a deterrent for thieves and cheaters and more of a group of Golden Grin's personal law enforcement. They were trained with basic SWAT tactics while enjoying the luxury of GenSec's armor and weapons, Jen showed me their improvements in person when a few armed thugs from some gang tried to get my casino as part of their extortion racket, but instead of giving in and being scared, all gangsters were taken down with minimal casualties and apprehended.
GenSec offered me a deal for being able to equip my trustworthy armed guards with UMP-45s and Benelli M4s, some even with GenSec's G36s. They also showed me their tactical flexibility by having the shotgun guards in the back, where there wasn't a whole lot of space to move through, the SMG guards in more open areas, in the front entrance of the casino, where if a hit was to occur, these men with tan vests and some other top secret light armor handling G36s would be the frontline for defense and important back-up to the FTSU that would bust the crime.
I asked to see their aim and ability to deal with pressure as when I originally robbed this casino, I was able to shout down Elites with my crew. Knowing that I was a security freak, I was taken to the back where GenSec set up a training range to test how tough the guards were. Those little bastards were extremely vicious for a bunch of rent-a-cops, unable to be coerced with death threats and being able to hit a tiny red target at 30 feet across. They were essentially lesser Elites.
Seeing how denying their offer would be silly and potentially my end as the owner of the Golden Grin, I accepted their deal in exchange for a safer Golden Grin. I was reminded that my security guards were still not a replacement for real police officers, but that didn't matter to me, as Vegas had a pretty high crime rate and being able to prevent or even overcome that issue would be crucial.
Signing the contract along with my VP of Security, where they would train my entire security personnel and arm them, they escorted me back to the Golden Grin Airport and I was back to D.C. in a couple of hours, after getting my luggage and finding my van, I took everything back to the Safe House and started crafting a spell that would take me from anywhere to the Lunar Capital. I had all this new magical powers acquired from Makai and not using them would be a waste. I was going back to the Moon, without too much fear of losing the Golden Grin or Makai.

Tsuki ni modorimashou...
submitted by HoxifierMargatroid to touhou [link] [comments]

Today's Pre-Market Movers & News [Monday, February 3rd, 2020]

Good morning traders and investors of the StockMarket sub! Welcome to the new trading month and a fresh start! Here are your pre-market news this AM-

(CLICK HERE TO VIEW THE FULL SOURCE!)

Today's Top Headlines for Monday, February 3rd, 2020

STOCK FUTURES CURRENTLY:

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LAST WEEK'S MARKET MAP:

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LAST WEEK'S S&P SECTORS:

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TODAY'S S&P SECTORS:

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TODAY'S ECONOMIC CALENDAR:

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THIS WEEK'S ECONOMIC CALENDAR:

(CLICK HERE FOR THIS WEEK'S ECONOMIC CALENDAR!)

THIS WEEK'S UPCOMING IPO'S:

(CLICK HERE FOR THIS WEEK'S UPCOMING IPO'S!)

THIS WEEK'S EARNINGS CALENDAR:

($DIS $GOOGL $SNAP $TWTR $ABBV $F $QCOM $UBER $SYY $SPOT $ON $PINS $TWLO $BMY $CMG $IRBT $CHKP $MRK $CNC $SNE $SIRI $GM $GILD $PTON $BP $ABG $LITE $WYNN $ATVI $CTLT $NSSC $ACM $GOOS $SAIA $DSPG $RACE $RCL $COP $AMG $RL $PLUS $NXPI $MCK $CI)
(CLICK HERE FOR THIS WEEK'S EARNINGS CALENDAR!)

THIS MORNING'S PRE-MARKET EARNINGS CALENDAR:

($SYY $ON $CHKP $ABG $CTLT $SAIA $ACM $DSPG $NSSC $AMG $PINE $LUB)
(CLICK HERE FOR THIS MORNING'S EARNINGS CALENDAR!)

THIS AFTERNOON'S POST-MARKET EARNINGS CALENDAR:

()
([CLICK HERE FOR THIS AFTERNOON'S EARNINGS CALENDAR!]())
T.B.A.

EARNINGS RELEASES BEFORE THE OPEN TODAY:

(CLICK HERE FOR THIS MORNING'S EARNINGS RELEASES!)

EARNINGS RELEASES AFTER THE CLOSE TODAY:

(CLICK HERE FOR THIS AFTERNOON'S EARNINGS RELEASES!)
NONE.

FRIDAY'S ANALYST UPGRADES/DOWNGRADES:

(CLICK HERE FOR FRIDAY'S UPGRADES/DOWNGRADES LINK #1!)
(CLICK HERE FOR FRIDAY'S UPGRADES/DOWNGRADES LINK #2!)
(CLICK HERE FOR FRIDAY'S UPGRADES/DOWNGRADES LINK #3!)
(CLICK HERE FOR FRIDAY'S UPGRADES/DOWNGRADES LINK #4!)

FRIDAY'S INSIDER TRADING FILINGS:

(CLICK HERE FOR FRIDAY'S INSIDER TRADING FILINGS!)

TODAY'S DIVIDEND CALENDAR:

(CLICK HERE FOR TODAY'S DIVIDEND CALENDAR!)

THIS MORNING'S MOST ACTIVE TRENDING TICKERS:

  • AIMT
  • LK
  • GILD
  • CLVS
  • CHKP
  • ON
  • YANG
  • XOM
  • ROKU
  • CNP

THIS MORNING'S STOCK NEWS MOVERS:

(source: cnbc.com)
Las Vegas Sands (LVS), Wynn Resorts (WYNN) – These will be among casino stocks on watch, on news that gambling revenue in Macao fell a worse-than-expected 11.3% amid the spread of the coronavirus.

STOCK SYMBOL: LVS

(CLICK HERE FOR LIVE STOCK QUOTE!)

STOCK SYMBOL: WYNN

(CLICK HERE FOR LIVE STOCK QUOTE!)
Delta Air Lines (DAL), American Airlines (AAL), United Airlines (UAL) – These and other airline stocks will also be in the spotlight, as new restrictions on travel to and from China are implemented.

STOCK SYMBOL: DAL

(CLICK HERE FOR LIVE STOCK QUOTE!)

STOCK SYMBOL: AAL

(CLICK HERE FOR LIVE STOCK QUOTE!)

STOCK SYMBOL: UAL

(CLICK HERE FOR LIVE STOCK QUOTE!)
Apple (AAPL) – Apple shut down all its stores and corporate offices in mainland China due to the coronavirus. The closure is scheduled to last until Feb. 9.

STOCK SYMBOL: AAPL

(CLICK HERE FOR LIVE STOCK QUOTE!)
Aimmune Therapeutics (AIMT) – The drugmaker received Food and Drug Administration approval for the first-ever treatment for peanut allergies.

STOCK SYMBOL: AIMT

(CLICK HERE FOR LIVE STOCK QUOTE!)
Check Point Software (CHKP) – Check Point reported quarterly profit of $2.02 per share, 3 cents a share above estimates. The cybersecurity company’s revenue also beat Street forecasts, boosted by an increase in subscriptions.

STOCK SYMBOL: CHKP

(CLICK HERE FOR LIVE STOCK QUOTE!)
Boeing (BA) – Boeing faces a new obstacle in getting the grounded 737 Max back in service, according to The Wall Street Journal. The paper quotes people familiar with the matter as saying that European regulators want what they regard as potentially hazardous wiring relocated to avoid short circuits.

STOCK SYMBOL: BA

(CLICK HERE FOR LIVE STOCK QUOTE!)
Verizon (VZ) – Verizon was downgraded to “neutral” from “outperform” at Credit Suisse, which said the stock lacks positive near-term catalysts. Credit Suisse feels positive influences for the stock are weighted toward the back half of the year, ahead of the mass market launch of 5G service.

STOCK SYMBOL: VZ

(CLICK HERE FOR LIVE STOCK QUOTE!)
Seagate Technology (STX) – Seagate was upgraded to “buy” from “hold” at Stifel Nicolaus, pointing to improving fundamentals for the disk drive maker.

STOCK SYMBOL: STX

(CLICK HERE FOR LIVE STOCK QUOTE!)
Nike (NKE) – The athletic footwear and apparel maker’s stock was added to the “Analyst Focus List” at J.P. Morgan Chase, which sees a recent pullback as a buying opportunity. J.P. Morgan points to Nike’s innovation and product pipeline.

STOCK SYMBOL: NKE

(CLICK HERE FOR LIVE STOCK QUOTE!)
Uber (UBER) – Uber was added to the “Best Ideas” list at Wedbush, which feels the ride-hailing service has laid the groundwork for growth, especially amid the streamlining of the Uber Eats operation.

STOCK SYMBOL: UBER

(CLICK HERE FOR LIVE STOCK QUOTE!)
Northrop Grumman (NOC) – The defense contractor’s stock received a double downgrade at Goldman Sachs, which pushed its rating to “sell” from “buy.” Goldman said the company’s organic revenue growth is slower than that of its peers and that profit margins are compressing.

STOCK SYMBOL: NOC

(CLICK HERE FOR LIVE STOCK QUOTE!)

FULL DISCLOSURE:

bigbear0083 has no positions in any stocks mentioned. Reddit, moderators, and the author do not advise making investment decisions based on discussion in these posts. Analysis is not subject to validation and users take action at their own risk. bigbear0083 is an admin at the financial forums Stockaholics.net where this content was originally posted.

DISCUSS!

What is on everyone's radar for today's trading day ahead here at StockMarket?

I hope you all have an excellent trading day ahead today on this Monday, February 3rd, 2020! :)

submitted by bigbear0083 to StockMarket [link] [comments]

Today's Pre-Market Movers & News [Monday, February 3rd, 2020]

Good morning traders and investors of the wallstreetbets sub! Welcome to the new trading month and a fresh start! Here are your pre-market news this AM-

Today's Top Headlines for Monday, February 3rd, 2020

STOCK FUTURES CURRENTLY:

(CLICK HERE FOR STOCK FUTURES CHARTS!)

LAST WEEK'S MARKET MAP:

(CLICK HERE FOR LAST WEEK'S MARKET MAP!)

TODAY'S MARKET MAP:

(CLICK HERE FOR TODAY'S MARKET MAP!)

LAST WEEK'S S&P SECTORS:

(CLICK HERE FOR LAST WEEK'S S&P SECTORS CHART!)

TODAY'S S&P SECTORS:

(CLICK HERE FOR TODAY'S S&P SECTORS CHART!)

TODAY'S ECONOMIC CALENDAR:

(CLICK HERE FOR TODAY'S ECONOMIC CALENDAR!)

THIS WEEK'S ECONOMIC CALENDAR:

(CLICK HERE FOR THIS WEEK'S ECONOMIC CALENDAR!)

THIS WEEK'S UPCOMING IPO'S:

(CLICK HERE FOR THIS WEEK'S UPCOMING IPO'S!)

THIS WEEK'S EARNINGS CALENDAR:

($DIS $GOOGL $SNAP $TWTR $ABBV $F $QCOM $UBER $SYY $SPOT $ON $PINS $TWLO $BMY $CMG $IRBT $CHKP $MRK $CNC $SNE $SIRI $GM $GILD $PTON $BP $ABG $LITE $WYNN $ATVI $CTLT $NSSC $ACM $GOOS $SAIA $DSPG $RACE $RCL $COP $AMG $RL $PLUS $NXPI $MCK $CI)
(CLICK HERE FOR THIS WEEK'S EARNINGS CALENDAR!)

THIS MORNING'S PRE-MARKET EARNINGS CALENDAR:

($SYY $ON $CHKP $ABG $CTLT $SAIA $ACM $DSPG $NSSC $AMG $PINE $LUB)
(CLICK HERE FOR THIS MORNING'S EARNINGS CALENDAR!)

THIS AFTERNOON'S POST-MARKET EARNINGS CALENDAR:

()
([CLICK HERE FOR THIS AFTERNOON'S EARNINGS CALENDAR!]())
T.B.A.

EARNINGS RELEASES BEFORE THE OPEN TODAY:

(CLICK HERE FOR THIS MORNING'S EARNINGS RELEASES!)

EARNINGS RELEASES AFTER THE CLOSE TODAY:

(CLICK HERE FOR THIS AFTERNOON'S EARNINGS RELEASES!)
NONE.

FRIDAY'S ANALYST UPGRADES/DOWNGRADES:

(CLICK HERE FOR FRIDAY'S UPGRADES/DOWNGRADES LINK #1!)
(CLICK HERE FOR FRIDAY'S UPGRADES/DOWNGRADES LINK #2!)
(CLICK HERE FOR FRIDAY'S UPGRADES/DOWNGRADES LINK #3!)
(CLICK HERE FOR FRIDAY'S UPGRADES/DOWNGRADES LINK #4!)

FRIDAY'S INSIDER TRADING FILINGS:

(CLICK HERE FOR FRIDAY'S INSIDER TRADING FILINGS!)

TODAY'S DIVIDEND CALENDAR:

(CLICK HERE FOR TODAY'S DIVIDEND CALENDAR!)

THIS MORNING'S MOST ACTIVE TRENDING TICKERS:

  • AIMT
  • LK
  • GILD
  • CLVS
  • CHKP
  • ON
  • YANG
  • XOM
  • ROKU
  • CNP

THIS MORNING'S STOCK NEWS MOVERS:

(source: cnbc.com)
Las Vegas Sands (LVS), Wynn Resorts (WYNN) – These will be among casino stocks on watch, on news that gambling revenue in Macao fell a worse-than-expected 11.3% amid the spread of the coronavirus.

STOCK SYMBOL: LVS

(CLICK HERE FOR LIVE STOCK QUOTE!)

STOCK SYMBOL: WYNN

(CLICK HERE FOR LIVE STOCK QUOTE!)
Delta Air Lines (DAL), American Airlines (AAL), United Airlines (UAL) – These and other airline stocks will also be in the spotlight, as new restrictions on travel to and from China are implemented.

STOCK SYMBOL: DAL

(CLICK HERE FOR LIVE STOCK QUOTE!)

STOCK SYMBOL: AAL

(CLICK HERE FOR LIVE STOCK QUOTE!)

STOCK SYMBOL: UAL

(CLICK HERE FOR LIVE STOCK QUOTE!)
Apple (AAPL) – Apple shut down all its stores and corporate offices in mainland China due to the coronavirus. The closure is scheduled to last until Feb. 9.

STOCK SYMBOL: AAPL

(CLICK HERE FOR LIVE STOCK QUOTE!)
Aimmune Therapeutics (AIMT) – The drugmaker received Food and Drug Administration approval for the first-ever treatment for peanut allergies.

STOCK SYMBOL: AIMT

(CLICK HERE FOR LIVE STOCK QUOTE!)
Check Point Software (CHKP) – Check Point reported quarterly profit of $2.02 per share, 3 cents a share above estimates. The cybersecurity company’s revenue also beat Street forecasts, boosted by an increase in subscriptions.

STOCK SYMBOL: CHKP

(CLICK HERE FOR LIVE STOCK QUOTE!)
Boeing (BA) – Boeing faces a new obstacle in getting the grounded 737 Max back in service, according to The Wall Street Journal. The paper quotes people familiar with the matter as saying that European regulators want what they regard as potentially hazardous wiring relocated to avoid short circuits.

STOCK SYMBOL: BA

(CLICK HERE FOR LIVE STOCK QUOTE!)
Verizon (VZ) – Verizon was downgraded to “neutral” from “outperform” at Credit Suisse, which said the stock lacks positive near-term catalysts. Credit Suisse feels positive influences for the stock are weighted toward the back half of the year, ahead of the mass market launch of 5G service.

STOCK SYMBOL: VZ

(CLICK HERE FOR LIVE STOCK QUOTE!)
Seagate Technology (STX) – Seagate was upgraded to “buy” from “hold” at Stifel Nicolaus, pointing to improving fundamentals for the disk drive maker.

STOCK SYMBOL: STX

(CLICK HERE FOR LIVE STOCK QUOTE!)
Nike (NKE) – The athletic footwear and apparel maker’s stock was added to the “Analyst Focus List” at J.P. Morgan Chase, which sees a recent pullback as a buying opportunity. J.P. Morgan points to Nike’s innovation and product pipeline.

STOCK SYMBOL: NKE

(CLICK HERE FOR LIVE STOCK QUOTE!)
Uber (UBER) – Uber was added to the “Best Ideas” list at Wedbush, which feels the ride-hailing service has laid the groundwork for growth, especially amid the streamlining of the Uber Eats operation.

STOCK SYMBOL: UBER

(CLICK HERE FOR LIVE STOCK QUOTE!)
Northrop Grumman (NOC) – The defense contractor’s stock received a double downgrade at Goldman Sachs, which pushed its rating to “sell” from “buy.” Goldman said the company’s organic revenue growth is slower than that of its peers and that profit margins are compressing.

STOCK SYMBOL: NOC

(CLICK HERE FOR LIVE STOCK QUOTE!)

DISCUSS!

What is on everyone's radar for today's trading day ahead here at wallstreetbets?

I hope you all have an excellent trading day ahead today on this Monday, February 3rd, 2020! :)

submitted by bigbear0083 to wallstreetbets [link] [comments]

Kate posts a copy of her interview with AOTC to her website, to let Manukau know who she is

(To start with: massive props to Eels, who interviewed me. As this is also going up as an extra to his paper, this is from his perspective. Huge thanks, mate, couldn't do it without you.) A picture from the event, to set the scene
On Tuesday, at her own request I met the Green Party rising star Captain_Plat_2258 for an interview. Known as Kate to those near her, Miss Plat only entered frontline politics in the past couple of weeks, but has already made a name for herself, being mentioned by both Green Party co-leaders in my interviews with them last week as one to watch. Going into the interview, I had many questions to ask Miss Plat, about her background, about her inspirations, about her current priorities, and about the shape of her career going forward. The Kate that I met was a confident one, proud of her past work as a campaigner for the Prime Minister and as a judge. She is a humble character, but you can see a fiery ambition in her. She entered politics to change things and wishes to have a platform to effect such change.
While being very new to frontline politics, Miss Plat is generally thought rather highly of amongst the Whatsapp chats and off the record conversations, and she has fitted in well. Personally, I am gratified that she is one of few parliamentarians to appreciate all my references, and she admitted to me late in the interview that she was also partial to the Arctic Monkeys. For this alone, she’s gained my great respect and friendship.
I was joined in the Information Action Ratio with the Green Party candidate for Manukau, Captain_Plat_2258, Known colloquially as Kate. As she walked in through the door, she couldn’t help but stop and tell me that she appreciated the reference I made in calling the bar by this name. She arrives wearing a casual suit; red blazer, black trousers and shoes, and a green-party-green t-shirt. She has made a name for herself as an up and coming member of the Green Party. I greet her with a how do you do?
Confidently, Miss Plat replies “Wonderfully, eels, thank you for having me.”
I jump right into it with a question about her background: “Miss Plat, you’re a new arrival to the political scene, at least nationally. Were you involved in local politics at all before moving to the national stage?”
It turns out that she has quite an impressive career behind her: “Thanks for the question. When I was attending Auckland University I was involved in the Young Greens and actually ended up helping out with The Prime Minister’s first Manukau run, and a couple of local council elections. When I left University I did volunteer work for Amnesty International for a bit alongside my job as a legal aid and public defence lawyer, and that basically catches us up to today.”
I asked her why she has decided to switch her life from that of the lawyer and enter politics. She replied very characteristically that she wanted to change things, and for that she needed a national voice
“Well the thing that really got me into politics was the 2016 Presidential Election in the United States. It worried me, the 45th President, Mr Trump worried me, and it kind of opened my eyes to the fact that this world of ours isn't perfect and there's a lot to do. It was really at that point that I decided I wanted to be involved in improving the world in some way. Hence the activism, and the Young Greens membership. The idea to run as a Green candidate was actually sparked by the election of the current Greens government though, I looked at all of their policies and of the political movement that they were a part of and I decided that I wanted to be a part of that. I wanted to advocate for the ideas that had started my interest in politics in the first place on a national level.”
This leads neatly into my next question, which was why she’d decided to join the Green Party. From her answer, it seemed like the obvious choice.
“Well I'd been a member of the Young Greens in University, and rejoined them a little bit after the election of the current Coalition Government. There are a couple of reasons why, but chiefly among them is that - in my observation - the Green Party has fought for the issues I believe in the most throughout their entire existence. They've advocated for compassionate government, for a society that values people more equally and props up our vulnerable the most. They represent a shift in thinking throughout Aotearoa, towards a culture that values all of those who live here and believes that they all deserve a good and happy life. Most of if not all the policies they platformed last election lined up very well with my own ideals.”
I change tack a bit, noting that her entry into the fray is at a good time so to speak. The last edition of the Ascension of the Cream predicted a 10 seat Green Party at the election, and everyone is expecting a Green victory. And now, we see a young firebrand enter the Green Party and get selected to stand for election to Parliament. I put this to her: “So you joined frontline politics only a couple of weeks ago. An election is coming up where the Greens are predicted to do quite well. Is there any ulterior motive in the timing of this entry?”
Her reply was that this was the earliest that she could join, as judged by the other things going on in her busy life, and she didn’t seem to suggest that she joined for the election.
“Well I actually considered running in the last election, but I simply couldn't find the time. I was working on an important case, and there was simply no time for politics outside of my Amnesty work back then - which was consuming most of my free time outside of the office and courtroom. Over this term a lot of pressure has been taken off of both my legal work and my volunteer work, ironically because of the measures the government has taken and their positive impact. It was a lot of good work though, and I hope to continue to support such causes in government.” She then turned to her prospects for being an MP. “As for Manukau, it's going to be a fairly close race. If I was being opportunistic, I could easily have asked to run for a different electorate with less of a fight. This campaign is about representation, and progressive values. I have no intention to be just another politician.” Captain_Plat_2258 is not widely expected to win her seat of Manukau, but current polling shows that it is still very much up in the air, with her having made significant inroads into the electorate in recent polls, putting her 9 points behind the Leader of the Opposition, but is expected to enter Parliament either way, being placed at #6 on the national list.
My next question asks about incorporating her past experiences into her current work:” Can we expect any of your courtroom experience to be brought to bear in Parliament next term?”
Her answer was firmly a yes and no type response. “Oh yes, I intend to work closely with the Minister for Justice to deliver a more fair and rehabilitating legal system in any way that I can. But most of my passion actually lies in the area of social development and public services, as I may have hinted at in my campaign opener and in response to your third question about why I got involved in the Greens. My work outside of politics has shown me that it is incredibly important for the government to pay consideration to the less well-off in society.”
I decide to ask her about her ambitions. Her initial reply was the standard politician's anwer, so I spend some time pursuing this line of inquiry.
“In my interview with the Prime Minister yesterday, they mentioned you by name as a rising star in the party. Do you see yourself as such, and do you have ambitions within the party?”
“Well I'm very flattered by the comments from the Prime Minister, and I want to make something clear. My ambitions in politics are entirely based on doing the most good I can - continuing the causes I advocated in my work before politics. The path forward for me will be built based on what will achieve that. Right now, that looks like it'll be with the Green party considering all they have achieved and have pledged to achieve. But my ambitions aren't based on party politics, they're based on progressive ideas. If the Green party continues on the road it's going down, then I will continue working with them and advocating for them as long as they do.”
I push her further “Would you take a cabinet spot if it was offered?”
“I would and would be very grateful, but I would do so in areas I have experience with. I'm unlikely to take a position as the Minister for Defence or the Minister for Health, they aren't areas I have experience with. I believe to do the most good I must be in an area that I am knowledgeable in and have qualifications for.”
“If Mr Meatloaf resigns as Co-Leader in the near future, would you run?”
Miss Plat suggests she would: “Well it's very situational, but it's definitely a possibility I'll leave open. The current leadership is part of what re-sparked my interest in national politics, and I would be honoured to be a part of that. It would also certainly be a way for me to ensure the party continues to advocate the causes I believe in, for obvious reasons. But I'm not rooting for Mr Meatloaf to step down any time soon, he’s doing a lot of good work and I support him in it.”
I ask her if this is all sustainable” You’re very active at the moment, nobody can deny it. And by what people are saying in the political Whatsapp groups, you’ve fitted in well. Are you at any risk of burnout if you continue at this pace?”
She replies with characteristic vigour: “Oh I doubt it, a couple years in legal aid and you can withstand anything. But I think what makes this a really comfortable position for me is that it doesn't feel like shouting at a brick wall. The people of New Zealand are enthusiastic about this movement that we're a part of, they show that in the way they vote. So what keeps me going is that I feel like I have the people of Aotearoa behind me. It's really a wonderful feeling, seeing changes you've hoped for since you were just going into University being implemented with the support of the people.”
I return now to a previous line of inquiry, about why she should be elected on her first try, and whether the electorate should trust her right now: “Is a fresh face really what’s needed for New Zealand at the moment? Or should we be seeing you as a danger: an untested radical being swept into parliament in an election predicted to be a Green landslide?”
With a grin, she replied: “Well you may predict my answer here, but I think a fresh face is absolutely needed. As for being tested, I think this Manukau election will be a bit of a trial by fire for me. I'm going up against the Leader of the Opposition and he's technically an incumbent given he was the MP for Tamaki, most of which became Manukau. It's absolutely a winnable election, but it'll take more than the broad support for the Green party to win it for me.” Then she hit back at me for calling her a radical, staunchly defending her position as a young firebrand: “ As for 'radical', I'd say that in my case radical is good. A lot of the reforms the Greens have made could be called 'radical', but they've genuinely benefited the people of Aotearoa. I think radical changes can be good, as long as you have a very clear idea of what their impact will be and how to keep the country stable while they happen. Some of the greatest changes in our history were fairly radical at the time.”
“In the end it all depends on the will of the people, and if the people of Manukau decide they want me then I welcome their support. And I think the people of Manukau will welcome a fresh face, after years of National, ACT, and then Liberal MPs jumping in and out of the seat.”
I cheekily press her further. It is pretty clear from recent polling that Miss Plat is assured to enter Parliament, but I want to hear her answer: “If you’re not elected in Manukau, you’re #6 on the list. Do you expect to win a list seat?”
Her answer was as humble as it was confident, and she reiterated her love for her local area and restated that she wished to represent it: “Well it's hard to say, I'm in a good position on the list which I'm very thankful for but there are a lot of parties all which have pretty good levels of support. We're very likely to win the election, but whether or not I get into Parliament could come down to Manukau. And to be honest, I'd prefer to win Manukau as an electorate than get into Parliament on a list. MMP is brilliant for giving all our residents proper representation in Parliament, more than FPP ever was. But I believe strongly in the power of local representation and hope to be that for the people of Manukau. But if I enter Parliament from the list or in my electorate I will advocate just as hard for the issues I believe matter.
I ask her about the makeup of the coming Parliament: “This is an election that’s harder than for a while to predict, with the creation of the Feminist Initiative and Forwards!, as well as a plausible intervention from later_slater1407 in Ikaroa-Rāwhiti. How do you expect parliament to end up, and who would you be happy to see in coalition?”
Her reply yielded an interesting view into the inner thoughts of Green Party members. While her party leaders tried their best to hide their plans, Captain_Plat was quite happy fo volunteer her thoughts on the matter: “Well I would be very happy to see a return of the current government, but I think the Feminist Intiative is also a party to consider. Labour is a loyal supporter, but they are sometimes unpredictable and I believe that the Feminists would be just as strong to advocate for progressive issues as them if they were needed. If the Feminist Initiative offers it, I imagine we would be very open to a Confidence and Supply arrangement even in the likely even that Labour stays with us, because it would make pushing for progressive reforms easier and because I believe their party brings an interesting set of policies to the table. It really does all come down to the election results, and what Labour wants to do. My prediction is Labour returning to the number of seats they had at dissolution (4), and us with either the same or some gains. It really is unpredictable though, this early into the campaign.”
I ask the question I seem to be asking everyone these days: “Would you be open to working with the Kiwi Party?”
She answered me straight:” I would, but for obvious reasons they're not as close to my personal ideology as Labour or the Feminist Initiative. I do believe that they as a party are genuine in that they really do want to help New Zealanders, we simply disagree on the ways that can actually be done. But even outside of a formal Coalition, I think there are many points we can work with Kiwi to get positive changes. Government is sometimes about pushing your own policies, and it's sometimes about seeking across-the-aisle support.”
I return to another earlier line of inquiry about her power in the party: “Changing tack a bit, how much influence do you have in the party? Did anything you proposed make it in the manifesto for example?”
She was well trained and didn’t give me much. “I don't think I could say I have any more influence in the party than anyone else, I just think the Greens leadership is wonderfully open to new ideas and there's a very positive atmosphere when we discuss policy. There are many points on which they took my suggestions, and I was very open to their feedback as well. It doesn't so much feel, in the moment, like a junior party member sending proposals to leadership - it feels much more like an open discussion where we can all contribute and work to a consensus. So it's not so much about my influence, the Green party is just a very comfortable workplace.”
Unsatisfied by this answer I pushed a little further but she wouldn’t budge. “Are there any policies you wrote that made it into the manifesto?”
“Well now, I can't say too much but there are a couple points about reversing undue privatisation and increasing public service funding that I contributed to”
“Aren’t you proud of your policies?” I ask, trying to get some policy out of her. I get more than I had previously
“I am very much proud of my policies, but at the time of this interview the manifesto hasn't been officially released yet so I can't say too much. My main contribution to it involved reversing the 2014 partial-privatisations of utility companies, and I also contributed to improvements to the system by which we calculate minimum wage and benefit rates. You'll see it all when ARichTeaBiscuit releases the manifesto.”
My parting shot on this matter was a snarky one, and seemed to make Kate feel a little guilty: “I’m also happy to pass up the opportunity to cover your policy.”
I change the subject. “Who would you regard as your main political inspirations?”
This is a question Miss Plat has a quick and detailed answer to, almost as if she has been waiting for it. Again she seems to me more inspired by American politics than domestic: “Well that's an easy one, Bernie Sanders is my biggest inspiration. I was gutted by his losses, but he had a hard fought campaign that really put people at the forefront of considerations - reminding me of another one of my inspirations, the 1935 Prime Minister Michael Joseph Savage. I also draw inspiration from such people as Alexandria Ocasio Cortez; a representation of progressive values for many people everywhere. Seeing women like that in politics gives me a lot of hope for the progressive fight. I have great respect for people with the guts to stand against overwhelming odds because they care about people. m: sorry about the policy thing, not sure when the manifesto is released and I want it to be a big announcement when it comes”
I ask her for her domestic inspirations
“Well, as I mentioned I very much admire Michael Joseph Savage. More recently though, when I was younger I experienced two particularly amazing women; Helen Clark and Jacinda Ardern. Now, they don't align with me as closely as the first inspirations I mentioned on a policy level, but they had a net-positive impact on this country and they were both very wonderful people. They represented empathy in politics, to me, and while my older self knows they didn't make as many radical changes as I may have liked - my younger self saw them and it said to me 'politicians can be caring and kind'. They were also both women in power, something that only really started happening during and just before my lifetime; in New Zealand that is.”
I decide to push her a little more on the policy question: “Assuming you do become an MP, what would be your personal priorities in the role?”
This time I at least get a consistent vision for her: “A focus on income inequality reduction and the strengthening of our public services. Things that will really benefit the 'bottom 90%' of people. as it were. The people are the most important thing to focus on as a politician, at least for me. They are what you're meant to be working for, so they're who I intend to work for.”
I can’t help but push further, but I come up short. “Any bills you wish to give your name to?”
“Well it really depends on what happens at the time, but in the likely event that bills that focus on areas related to my last answer come up then I will likely jump to sponsor or even help author them.”
I decide that the interview has now run its course, so I close up with a softball: “Alright Miss Plat, I know you are a busy woman, so I won’t keep you too much longer. Final question: What’s your favourite album?”
She seems pleased at this. “Heh heh, what a difficult question. Given my surroundings I wanna say it's tied between The Kills - Blood Pressures and Arctic Monkeys - Tranquility Base Hotel and Casino but choosing favourites is so very difficult in music and if you asked me on any other day of the week I might respond completely differently.
I can’t help but fanboy over the Arctic Monkeys myself: “I get you. As you may guess from all the references in my paper, I’m a great fan of the Arctic Monkeys but I can never tell you which is my favourite out of their albums. Probably Whatever People Say I am, That’s What I’m Not” or Tranquility Base Hotel and Casino. Good times. Anyway, Good Day Miss Plat, it’s been a pleasure
She replies with an acceptable response: “Good day to you too, it was lovely to be here.”
submitted by Captain_Plat_2258 to MNZPElection11 [link] [comments]

Today's Pre-Market Movers & News [Monday, February 3rd, 2020]

Good morning traders and investors of the stocks sub! Welcome to the new trading month and a fresh start! Here are your pre-market news this AM-

Today's Top Headlines for Monday, February 3rd, 2020

STOCK FUTURES CURRENTLY:

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LAST WEEK'S MARKET MAP:

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TODAY'S MARKET MAP:

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LAST WEEK'S S&P SECTORS:

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TODAY'S S&P SECTORS:

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TODAY'S ECONOMIC CALENDAR:

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THIS WEEK'S ECONOMIC CALENDAR:

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THIS WEEK'S UPCOMING IPO'S:

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THIS WEEK'S EARNINGS CALENDAR:

($DIS $GOOGL $SNAP $TWTR $ABBV $F $QCOM $UBER $SYY $SPOT $ON $PINS $TWLO $BMY $CMG $IRBT $CHKP $MRK $CNC $SNE $SIRI $GM $GILD $PTON $BP $ABG $LITE $WYNN $ATVI $CTLT $NSSC $ACM $GOOS $SAIA $DSPG $RACE $RCL $COP $AMG $RL $PLUS $NXPI $MCK $CI)
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THIS MORNING'S PRE-MARKET EARNINGS CALENDAR:

($SYY $ON $CHKP $ABG $CTLT $SAIA $ACM $DSPG $NSSC $AMG $PINE $LUB)
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THIS AFTERNOON'S POST-MARKET EARNINGS CALENDAR:

()
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T.B.A.

EARNINGS RELEASES BEFORE THE OPEN TODAY:

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EARNINGS RELEASES AFTER THE CLOSE TODAY:

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NONE.

FRIDAY'S ANALYST UPGRADES/DOWNGRADES:

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FRIDAY'S INSIDER TRADING FILINGS:

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TODAY'S DIVIDEND CALENDAR:

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THIS MORNING'S MOST ACTIVE TRENDING TICKERS:

  • AIMT
  • LK
  • GILD
  • CLVS
  • CHKP
  • ON
  • YANG
  • XOM
  • ROKU
  • CNP

THIS MORNING'S STOCK NEWS MOVERS:

(source: cnbc.com)
Las Vegas Sands (LVS), Wynn Resorts (WYNN) – These will be among casino stocks on watch, on news that gambling revenue in Macao fell a worse-than-expected 11.3% amid the spread of the coronavirus.

STOCK SYMBOL: LVS

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STOCK SYMBOL: WYNN

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Delta Air Lines (DAL), American Airlines (AAL), United Airlines (UAL) – These and other airline stocks will also be in the spotlight, as new restrictions on travel to and from China are implemented.

STOCK SYMBOL: DAL

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STOCK SYMBOL: AAL

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STOCK SYMBOL: UAL

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Apple (AAPL) – Apple shut down all its stores and corporate offices in mainland China due to the coronavirus. The closure is scheduled to last until Feb. 9.

STOCK SYMBOL: AAPL

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Aimmune Therapeutics (AIMT) – The drugmaker received Food and Drug Administration approval for the first-ever treatment for peanut allergies.

STOCK SYMBOL: AIMT

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Check Point Software (CHKP) – Check Point reported quarterly profit of $2.02 per share, 3 cents a share above estimates. The cybersecurity company’s revenue also beat Street forecasts, boosted by an increase in subscriptions.

STOCK SYMBOL: CHKP

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Boeing (BA) – Boeing faces a new obstacle in getting the grounded 737 Max back in service, according to The Wall Street Journal. The paper quotes people familiar with the matter as saying that European regulators want what they regard as potentially hazardous wiring relocated to avoid short circuits.

STOCK SYMBOL: BA

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Verizon (VZ) – Verizon was downgraded to “neutral” from “outperform” at Credit Suisse, which said the stock lacks positive near-term catalysts. Credit Suisse feels positive influences for the stock are weighted toward the back half of the year, ahead of the mass market launch of 5G service.

STOCK SYMBOL: VZ

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Seagate Technology (STX) – Seagate was upgraded to “buy” from “hold” at Stifel Nicolaus, pointing to improving fundamentals for the disk drive maker.

STOCK SYMBOL: STX

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Nike (NKE) – The athletic footwear and apparel maker’s stock was added to the “Analyst Focus List” at J.P. Morgan Chase, which sees a recent pullback as a buying opportunity. J.P. Morgan points to Nike’s innovation and product pipeline.

STOCK SYMBOL: NKE

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Uber (UBER) – Uber was added to the “Best Ideas” list at Wedbush, which feels the ride-hailing service has laid the groundwork for growth, especially amid the streamlining of the Uber Eats operation.

STOCK SYMBOL: UBER

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Northrop Grumman (NOC) – The defense contractor’s stock received a double downgrade at Goldman Sachs, which pushed its rating to “sell” from “buy.” Goldman said the company’s organic revenue growth is slower than that of its peers and that profit margins are compressing.

STOCK SYMBOL: NOC

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DISCUSS!

What is on everyone's radar for today's trading day ahead here at stocks?

I hope you all have an excellent trading day ahead today on this Monday, February 3rd, 2020! :)

submitted by bigbear0083 to stocks [link] [comments]

Ascension of the Cream Special Article 1 - 16th April 2020 - An interview with Captain_Plat_2258

This is a one-off article that is being released in online format only initially, but will be featured in the next article for the sake of clarity. Captain_Plat_2258 requested this interview as a part of her campaign, and as such I have given her permission to post it on her website in addition to publication here
here is an image taken at the interview. The caption refers to my talking off the record about the state of my garden, and does not pertain to the interview
On Tuesday, at her own request I met the Green Party rising star Captain_Plat_2258 for an interview. Known as Kate to those near her, Miss Plat only entered frontline politics in the past couple of weeks, but has already made a name for herself, being mentioned by both Green Party co-leaders in my interviews with them last week as one to watch. Going into the interview, I had many questions to ask Miss Plat, about her background, about her inspirations, about her current priorities, and about the shape of her career going forward. The Kate that I met was a confident one, proud of her past work as a campaigner for the Prime Minister and as a judge. She is a humble character, but you can see a fiery ambition in her. She entered politics to change things and wishes to have a platform to effect such change.
While being very new to frontline politics, Miss Plat is generally thought rather highly of amongst the Whatsapp chats and off the record conversations, and she has fitted in well. Personally, I am gratified that she is one of few parliamentarians to appreciate all my references, and she admitted to me late in the interview that she was also partial to the Arctic Monkeys. For this alone, she’s gained my great respect and friendship.
I was joined in the Information Action Ratio with the Green Party candidate for Manukau, Captain_Plat_2258, Known colloquially as Kate. As she walked in through the door, she couldn’t help but stop and tell me that she appreciated the reference I made in calling the bar by this name. She arrives wearing a casual suit; red blazer, black trousers and shoes, and a green-party-green t-shirt. She has made a name for herself as an up and coming member of the Green Party. I greet her with a how do you do?
Confidently, Miss Plat replies “Wonderfully, eels, thank you for having me.”
I jump right into it with a question about her background: “Miss Plat, you’re a new arrival to the political scene, at least nationally. Were you involved in local politics at all before moving to the national stage?”
It turns out that she has quite an impressive career behind her: “Thanks for the question. When I was attending Auckland University I was involved in the Young Greens and actually ended up helping out with The Prime Minister’s first Manukau run, and a couple of local council elections. When I left University I did volunteer work for Amnesty International for a bit alongside my job as a legal aid and public defence lawyer, and that basically catches us up to today.”
I asked her why she has decided to switch her life from that of the lawyer and enter politics. She replied very characteristically that she wanted to change things, and for that she needed a national voice
“Well the thing that really got me into politics was the 2016 Presidential Election in the United States. It worried me, the 45th President, Mr Trump worried me, and it kind of opened my eyes to the fact that this world of ours isn't perfect and there's a lot to do. It was really at that point that I decided I wanted to be involved in improving the world in some way. Hence the activism, and the Young Greens membership. The idea to run as a Green candidate was actually sparked by the election of the current Greens government though, I looked at all of their policies and of the political movement that they were a part of and I decided that I wanted to be a part of that. I wanted to advocate for the ideas that had started my interest in politics in the first place on a national level.”
This leads neatly into my next question, which was why she’d decided to join the Green Party. From her answer, it seemed like the obvious choice.
“Well I'd been a member of the Young Greens in University, and rejoined them a little bit after the election of the current Coalition Government. There are a couple of reasons why, but chiefly among them is that - in my observation - the Green Party has fought for the issues I believe in the most throughout their entire existence. They've advocated for compassionate government, for a society that values people more equally and props up our vulnerable the most. They represent a shift in thinking throughout Aotearoa, towards a culture that values all of those who live here and believes that they all deserve a good and happy life. Most of if not all the policies they platformed last election lined up very well with my own ideals.”
I change tack a bit, noting that her entry into the fray is at a good time so to speak. The last edition of the Ascension of the Cream predicted a 10 seat Green Party at the election, and everyone is expecting a Green victory. And now, we see a young firebrand enter the Green Party and get selected to stand for election to Parliament. I put this to her: “So you joined frontline politics only a couple of weeks ago. An election is coming up where the Greens are predicted to do quite well. Is there any ulterior motive in the timing of this entry?”
Her reply was that this was the earliest that she could join, as judged by the other things going on in her busy life, and she didn’t seem to suggest that she joined for the election.
“Well I actually considered running in the last election, but I simply couldn't find the time. I was working on an important case, and there was simply no time for politics outside of my Amnesty work back then - which was consuming most of my free time outside of the office and courtroom. Over this term a lot of pressure has been taken off of both my legal work and my volunteer work, ironically because of the measures the government has taken and their positive impact. It was a lot of good work though, and I hope to continue to support such causes in government.” She then turned to her prospects for being an MP. “As for Manukau, it's going to be a fairly close race. If I was being opportunistic, I could easily have asked to run for a different electorate with less of a fight. This campaign is about representation, and progressive values. I have no intention to be just another politician.” Captain_Plat_2258 is not widely expected to win her seat of Manukau, but current polling shows that it is still very much up in the air, with her having made significant inroads into the electorate in recent polls, putting her 9 points behind the Leader of the Opposition, but is expected to enter Parliament either way, being placed at #6 on the national list.
My next question asks about incorporating her past experiences into her current work:” Can we expect any of your courtroom experience to be brought to bear in Parliament next term?”
Her answer was firmly a yes and no type response. “Oh yes, I intend to work closely with the Minister for Justice to deliver a more fair and rehabilitating legal system in any way that I can. But most of my passion actually lies in the area of social development and public services, as I may have hinted at in my campaign opener and in response to your third question about why I got involved in the Greens. My work outside of politics has shown me that it is incredibly important for the government to pay consideration to the less well-off in society.”
I decide to ask her about her ambitions. Her initial reply was the standard politician's anwer, so I spend some time pursuing this line of inquiry.
“In my interview with the Prime Minister yesterday, they mentioned you by name as a rising star in the party. Do you see yourself as such, and do you have ambitions within the party?”
“Well I'm very flattered by the comments from the Prime Minister, and I want to make something clear. My ambitions in politics are entirely based on doing the most good I can - continuing the causes I advocated in my work before politics. The path forward for me will be built based on what will achieve that. Right now, that looks like it'll be with the Green party considering all they have achieved and have pledged to achieve. But my ambitions aren't based on party politics, they're based on progressive ideas. If the Green party continues on the road it's going down, then I will continue working with them and advocating for them as long as they do.”
I push her further “Would you take a cabinet spot if it was offered?”
“I would and would be very grateful, but I would do so in areas I have experience with. I'm unlikely to take a position as the Minister for Defence or the Minister for Health, they aren't areas I have experience with. I believe to do the most good I must be in an area that I am knowledgeable in and have qualifications for.”
“If Mr Meatloaf resigns as Co-Leader in the near future, would you run?”
Miss Plat suggests she would: “Well it's very situational, but it's definitely a possibility I'll leave open. The current leadership is part of what re-sparked my interest in national politics, and I would be honoured to be a part of that. It would also certainly be a way for me to ensure the party continues to advocate the causes I believe in, for obvious reasons. But I'm not rooting for Mr Meatloaf to step down any time soon, he’s doing a lot of good work and I support him in it.”
I ask her if this is all sustainable” You’re very active at the moment, nobody can deny it. And by what people are saying in the political Whatsapp groups, you’ve fitted in well. Are you at any risk of burnout if you continue at this pace?”
She replies with characteristic vigour: “Oh I doubt it, a couple years in legal aid and you can withstand anything. But I think what makes this a really comfortable position for me is that it doesn't feel like shouting at a brick wall. The people of New Zealand are enthusiastic about this movement that we're a part of, they show that in the way they vote. So what keeps me going is that I feel like I have the people of Aotearoa behind me. It's really a wonderful feeling, seeing changes you've hoped for since you were just going into University being implemented with the support of the people.”
I return now to a previous line of inquiry, about why she should be elected on her first try, and whether the electorate should trust her right now: “Is a fresh face really what’s needed for New Zealand at the moment? Or should we be seeing you as a danger: an untested radical being swept into parliament in an election predicted to be a Green landslide?”
With a grin, she replied: “Well you may predict my answer here, but I think a fresh face is absolutely needed. As for being tested, I think this Manukau election will be a bit of a trial by fire for me. I'm going up against the Leader of the Opposition and he's technically an incumbent given he was the MP for Tamaki, most of which became Manukau. It's absolutely a winnable election, but it'll take more than the broad support for the Green party to win it for me.” Then she hit back at me for calling her a radical, staunchly defending her position as a young firebrand: “ As for 'radical', I'd say that in my case radical is good. A lot of the reforms the Greens have made could be called 'radical', but they've genuinely benefited the people of Aotearoa. I think radical changes can be good, as long as you have a very clear idea of what their impact will be and how to keep the country stable while they happen. Some of the greatest changes in our history were fairly radical at the time.”
“In the end it all depends on the will of the people, and if the people of Manukau decide they want me then I welcome their support. And I think the people of Manukau will welcome a fresh face, after years of National, ACT, and then Liberal MPs jumping in and out of the seat.”
I cheekily press her further. It is pretty clear from recent polling that Miss Plat is assured to enter Parliament, but I want to hear her answer: “If you’re not elected in Manukau, you’re #6 on the list. Do you expect to win a list seat?”
Her answer was as humble as it was confident, and she reiterated her love for her local area and restated that she wished to represent it: “Well it's hard to say, I'm in a good position on the list which I'm very thankful for but there are a lot of parties all which have pretty good levels of support. We're very likely to win the election, but whether or not I get into Parliament could come down to Manukau. And to be honest, I'd prefer to win Manukau as an electorate than get into Parliament on a list. MMP is brilliant for giving all our residents proper representation in Parliament, more than FPP ever was. But I believe strongly in the power of local representation and hope to be that for the people of Manukau. But if I enter Parliament from the list or in my electorate I will advocate just as hard for the issues I believe matter.
I ask her about the makeup of the coming Parliament: “This is an election that’s harder than for a while to predict, with the creation of the Feminist Initiative and Forwards!, as well as a plausible intervention from later_slater1407 in Ikaroa-Rāwhiti. How do you expect parliament to end up, and who would you be happy to see in coalition?”
Her reply yielded an interesting view into the inner thoughts of Green Party members. While her party leaders tried their best to hide their plans, Captain_Plat was quite happy fo volunteer her thoughts on the matter: “Well I would be very happy to see a return of the current government, but I think the Feminist Intiative is also a party to consider. Labour is a loyal supporter, but they are sometimes unpredictable and I believe that the Feminists would be just as strong to advocate for progressive issues as them if they were needed. If the Feminist Initiative offers it, I imagine we would be very open to a Confidence and Supply arrangement even in the likely even that Labour stays with us, because it would make pushing for progressive reforms easier and because I believe their party brings an interesting set of policies to the table. It really does all come down to the election results, and what Labour wants to do. My prediction is Labour returning to the number of seats they had at dissolution (4), and us with either the same or some gains. It really is unpredictable though, this early into the campaign.”
I ask the question I seem to be asking everyone these days: “Would you be open to working with the Kiwi Party?”
She answered me straight:” I would, but for obvious reasons they're not as close to my personal ideology as Labour or the Feminist Initiative. I do believe that they as a party are genuine in that they really do want to help New Zealanders, we simply disagree on the ways that can actually be done. But even outside of a formal Coalition, I think there are many points we can work with Kiwi to get positive changes. Government is sometimes about pushing your own policies, and it's sometimes about seeking across-the-aisle support.”
I return to another earlier line of inquiry about her power in the party: “Changing tack a bit, how much influence do you have in the party? Did anything you proposed make it in the manifesto for example?”
She was well trained and didn’t give me much. “I don't think I could say I have any more influence in the party than anyone else, I just think the Greens leadership is wonderfully open to new ideas and there's a very positive atmosphere when we discuss policy. There are many points on which they took my suggestions, and I was very open to their feedback as well. It doesn't so much feel, in the moment, like a junior party member sending proposals to leadership - it feels much more like an open discussion where we can all contribute and work to a consensus. So it's not so much about my influence, the Green party is just a very comfortable workplace.”
Unsatisfied by this answer I pushed a little further but she wouldn’t budge. “Are there any policies you wrote that made it into the manifesto?”
“Well now, I can't say too much but there are a couple points about reversing undue privatisation and increasing public service funding that I contributed to”
“Aren’t you proud of your policies?” I ask, trying to get some policy out of her. I get more than I had previously
“I am very much proud of my policies, but at the time of this interview the manifesto hasn't been officially released yet so I can't say too much. My main contribution to it involved reversing the 2014 partial-privatisations of utility companies, and I also contributed to improvements to the system by which we calculate minimum wage and benefit rates. You'll see it all when ARichTeaBiscuit releases the manifesto.”
My parting shot on this matter was a snarky one, and seemed to make Kate feel a little guilty: “I’m also happy to pass up the opportunity to cover your policy.”
I change the subject. “Who would you regard as your main political inspirations?”
This is a question Miss Plat has a quick and detailed answer to, almost as if she has been waiting for it. Again she seems to me more inspired by American politics than domestic: “Well that's an easy one, Bernie Sanders is my biggest inspiration. I was gutted by his losses, but he had a hard fought campaign that really put people at the forefront of considerations - reminding me of another one of my inspirations, the 1935 Prime Minister Michael Joseph Savage. I also draw inspiration from such people as Alexandria Ocasio Cortez; a representation of progressive values for many people everywhere. Seeing women like that in politics gives me a lot of hope for the progressive fight. I have great respect for people with the guts to stand against overwhelming odds because they care about people.
I ask her for her domestic inspirations
“Well, as I mentioned I very much admire Michael Joseph Savage. More recently though, when I was younger I experienced two particularly amazing women; Helen Clark and Jacinda Ardern. Now, they don't align with me as closely as the first inspirations I mentioned on a policy level, but they had a net-positive impact on this country and they were both very wonderful people. They represented empathy in politics, to me, and while my older self knows they didn't make as many radical changes as I may have liked - my younger self saw them and it said to me 'politicians can be caring and kind'. They were also both women in power, something that only really started happening during and just before my lifetime; in New Zealand that is.”
I decide to push her a little more on the policy question: “Assuming you do become an MP, what would be your personal priorities in the role?”
This time I at least get a consistent vision for her: “A focus on income inequality reduction and the strengthening of our public services. Things that will really benefit the 'bottom 90%' of people. as it were. The people are the most important thing to focus on as a politician, at least for me. They are what you're meant to be working for, so they're who I intend to work for.”
I can’t help but push further, but I come up short. “Any bills you wish to give your name to?”
“Well it really depends on what happens at the time, but in the likely event that bills that focus on areas related to my last answer come up then I will likely jump to sponsor or even help author them.”
I decide that the interview has now run its course, so I close up with a softball: “Alright Miss Plat, I know you are a busy woman, so I won’t keep you too much longer. Final question: What’s your favourite album?”
She seems pleased at this. “Heh heh, what a difficult question. Given my surroundings I wanna say it's tied between The Kills - Blood Pressures and Arctic Monkeys - Tranquility Base Hotel and Casino but choosing favourites is so very difficult in music and if you asked me on any other day of the week I might respond completely differently.
I can’t help but fanboy over the Arctic Monkeys myself: “I get you. As you may guess from all the references in my paper, I’m a great fan of the Arctic Monkeys but I can never tell you which is my favourite out of their albums. Probably Whatever People Say I am, That’s What I’m Not” or Tranquility Base Hotel and Casino. Good times. Anyway, Good Day Miss Plat, it’s been a pleasure
She replies with an acceptable response: “Good day to you too, it was lovely to be here.”
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7 Clans First Council Casino and Hotel - Kansas Live - YouTube

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