Zeitong Mateneen (News Topic)
(OOC: In this thread, I will publish major news items from Van Luxemburg, out of the Zeitung Mateneen (Freely translated: General Times). This newspaper is written in Vun Lëtzebuergesch, which means that they all have been translated.)
Collapse in A6 road tunnel
A large amount of emergency vehicles wait outside the unfinished Autobahn tunnel
KULMBACH, FROM OUR REPORTER - Yesterday Night, around 22:00 hours, a part of the Kulmbacher tunnel collapsed. Two construction workers were heavily wounded in the accident, which took place on the A6 from Kulmbach to Reittern, currently under construction.
Part of the tunnel crumbled because of a weakened support pillar. A few tonnes of concrete and rock descended upon the two construction workers, who were underway in their van to another part of the tunnel. The van was crushed, but Military Search-and-Rescue dogs could locate the two men fairly quickly. They are heavily wounded, and were transported to the University Medical Center in Luxembourg for treatment. Their state is 'serious' and 'life threatening', according to a spokesperson of the UMC.
The first emergency vehicles could reach the scene in several minutes, because of the completed part of Autobahn inbetween Kulmbach and the tunnel. While still not officially opened, this part of the A6 was filled with emergency vehicles after the accident, since it was still unknown how many construction workers were inside the tunnel at the moment it collapsed.
The Kulmbacher tunnel is a vital part of the A6 Autobahn, which runs from Kulmbach to Weiler-la-Tour. The tunnel runs under the Zinzener Appeninen, a major mountain range that divides Zinzendorf, Enzersdorf and Luxembourg. The cost of the so-called 'Kulmbacher Strecke', of which the tunnel is the longest, currently stands at $50 Billion.
A6 Autobahn Kulmbach-Weiler-la-Tour opened
The A6 near Kulmbach, a few days before the opening
KULMBACH, FROM OUR CORRESPONDENT - Today, the Autobahn A6 from Kulmbach to Weiler-la-Tour was partly opened. The Luxembourg Autobahn authority announced that they were far from finished with the A6. The Zinzendorf Autobahn Authority is, though. They opened their part of the motorway today.
The A6 was officially opened by Graf Ludwig von Zinzendorf, commissar of the Region Zinzendorf. He opened the Zinzendorfer part of the motorway, till the Kulmbacher tunnel, which has costed the regional Autobahn Authority some $60 billion USD to construct. The A6 now ends at the Kulmbacher tunnel, still in Zinzendorf, after it collapsed three weeks ago. Construction workers are still extremely busy trying to open the tunnel before the summer holidays, but they think that the probability of this happening is extremely low. 'Currently, the structural integrity of the tunnel is compromised. We are trying to fix the tunnel, but we are not sure if we can actually pull it off. We need to cover the tunnel walls in concrete once again, and check all pillars to make sure they are structurally sound. A very time consuming and costly process.' one of the construction workers spoke.
For the coming months, the last exit before the Kulmbacher tunnel will also mark the end of the A6. This exit leads to Sankt Georgen am Längsee, a renowned wintersports resort. Speed freaks are already excited about the unlimited possibilities of the quiet, new part of the A6: due to it being only partly opened and not connecting any major cities at this moment, it will be a very calm 2x3 motorway. And, due to it's status as a Van Luxemburgian Autobahn, it hasn't got any speed limits either.
(OOC: Yes ladies and gentlemen, I'm open for comments both ICly and OOCly. Please do!)
VLT Automotive presents year report: share owners delighted
The VLT headquarters in Esch-sur-Alzette
ESCH-SUR-ALZETTE - Kristin Becker, head of the Board of Directors, presented the year report of VLT Automotive Group N.V. today at their headquarters in Esch-sur-Alzette. The automobile manufacturer made a profit of $31 Trillion USD.
The huge automobile conglomerate from Esch-sur-Alzette mainly made profits on the production of the more expensive vehicles, sold across the globe as a Van Luxemburgian quality product. The Venezian daughters Monteluci and Lepanto saw a huge increase in terms of sales, after their takeover by VLT this year. They mostly sold in Van Luxemburg. Monteluci's venture in Formula One was not a succesfull one, but Mister Monteluci himself has promised that they are gearing up for another season of the worldwide racecar battle, which will probably visit Van Luxemburg for a GP race once again.
Most of VLT's profit was relinquished to the major shareholders, being the Grand Duke of Van Luxemburg and the State. However, the staggering amount of $12 trillion USD was reserved for future projects, aswell as advertising and automobile development. VLT has also planned the acquirement of a fleet of new car carrier ships, since the old ones cannot possibly fulfill the hige amount of transport routes. Private transporters had already been hired to transport more ships abroad than ever: over 1000 million vehicles left the various factories and shores for a foreign destination.
Expectations for the coming year are good: VLT will see another increase in profit, although it will probably be not as much as this year.
'Green' Energy: a possibility for Van Luxemburg?
From Chicken farmer to Wind farmer
LUXEMBOURG - The government has recently decided they will start preparing locations for 'green energy production'. But will it work?
'Van Luxemburg has never been a nation that was very green. Why would it suddenly need to change? We never had any problems with the current situation, and the greenhouse effect is just a lie anyways.' If you would ask a random passer-by what they think about the Van Luxemburger plans, chances are they will find the plans 'ridiculous' and 'unneeded'. This really illustrates how the average Van Luxemburger thinks about the environment. They still drive petrol- and diesel-powered cars, and have always been somewhat careful with energy. Why would they need to make everything greener?
The position on 'green' cars is even worse. Even while hybrid cars such as the Toyota Prius don't sell, the average hybrid car buyer has seen his precious automobile treated like dirt more than once. Hybrid cars have even been vandalised or their drivers have been intimidated by a group of violent automobile supporters. While Diesel engines have always been accepted, and hydrogen and biofuel vehicles are heading the same way, hybrid vehicles have always been discriminated in traffic by motorists.
'This is exactly why we do not produce hybrid cars. The Van Luxemburger opinion of these cars is so bad, that we risk getting punished by our customers if we put hybrid vehicles in our showrooms.' according to a VLT spokesperson. He also doubts the chance of the governmental plan succeeding. 'Van Luxemburg has never been excessively green, but maybe we can give it a chance today'.
According to Grand Duke Koen van Luxemburg, 'Green Energy is an interesting solution. If we have zero emissions from our energy production, we can compensate the emissions produced by our motor vehicles.' He said. This may mark the Van Luxemburger opinion on Green Energy in the coming years.
Short border skirmish near Campolongo: No one injured
Infantry disembarks on a patrol on the Van Luxemburger-Dié border.
CAMPOLONGO, FROM OUR REPORTER - Yesterday night, the clash of both a Dié and a Van Luxemburger patrol led to a small skirmish, in which no one was seriously injured. Île Saint-Dié has filed an official complaint about the fight.
A Van Luxemburgian convoy of the 22nd Mechanised Brigade was involved in the skirmish, which was fought out against troops of the military of the People's Republic of Île Saint-Dié. Nobody was seriously injured, but one vehicle of the Dié Military was found on Van Luxemburgian soil. The jeep had been crippled by gunfire.
'It proves that we were rightfully allowed to open fire. The vehicle was on our soil, and we didn't trespass theirs. The jeep was located some 300 metres across the border into Van Luxemburg, and our troops have acted responsibly by firing warning shots first. We could not foresee that Dié troops would return fire.' a Van Luxemburger official said after the incident. The government of Île Saint-Dié has filed an official complaint with the Van Luxemburger government, and stated that their troops did not trespass the border until Van Luxemburger troops fired at them.
Relations between Van Luxemburg and Île Saint-Dié have always been cold, ever since the People's Republic was created in 1814. After the Second World War, Van Luxemburg has never reclaimed the territory captured by Dié during the war, and it remains a sole enclave on the Van Luxemburger continent. Sometimes, the impasse between the two nations is broken by a short gunfight, such as this incident. Van Luxemburger Citizens can still cross the Dié territory by using the Transitautobahn constructed specifically for this job. According to persons who have visited the 'Bouteille Isolante' (As the Dié Enclave is officially named), it is 'a deserted area where buildings are ghostly appearances scattered around the land, uninhabited.'
In Memoriam: A.G.M. (Arnoud) van Doorne, 1925-2008
Van Doorne on a photo portrait some years ago
KLEIN ZWITSERLAND - Yesterday evening, Arnoud van Doorne passed away at the age of 82 years. The former Van Luxemburger premier died of a heart attack in the Sint Servaas Hospital in Klein Zwitserland, his hometown.
Van Doorne had already been in Hospital for several weeks: he was in bad health and suffered of Parkinson and Alzheimer. The heart attack took place at 21:54 local time: he was declared dead at 21:59. His body was subsequently moved to his house in Klein Zwitserland, where his family can visit him. In two days, his body will be moved to Luxembourg, where he will lie in state for all Van Luxemburger citizens. He will be granted a state funeral with military honours.
Van Doorne was Premier of the Van Luxemburger government from 1964-1976. He served three subsequent terms, in which he was able to resolve economic and military issues with 'unseen swiftness', according to the Grand-Ducal Family. He was a long-serving member of the centrist DCP party, from 1941 till 2008. He spent his live mostly in Nieuw Zwitserland, except for his political years in Luxembourg and his study in Sint-Annabeek. He was noted for his multilingual approach to national problems, and was one of the leading persons that assisted in ending the divided state of Van Luxemburger society untill the 1960's. He was known for his enjoyment of motorbikes and advocated the unique position the motorbiker has in traffic. He was also a strong supporter of the Van Luxemburger Autobahn culture: he is seen as one of the reasons Van Luxemburg has got such an extensive network of motorways.
'Van Luxemburg will never find another Premier like him. He is unique, and will always be unique.' current Premier Nicolas Hirtz added to the statement of the Grand-Ducal Family in a press conference. Hirtz also announced that all Van Luxemburger flags are to be kept half-mast for a period of one week: all governmental events have been cancelled until the funeral. 'These measures are not overdone in any way. Mister Van Doorne deserves this period: he was a great person in Van Luxemburger history.' Hirtz commented on the measures he took.
It is expected that Van Doorne will be awarded the Grand-Ducal Cross, the highest decoration in the Grand Duchy, after his death. He had been awarded with the Golden Military Lion, the highest military decoration, before. He also carried a Van Luxemburger Cross of Merit and the Van Luxemburger Golden Ducal Lion, the highest civilian decoration.
Yet Unknown Criminal arrested: Police denies everything
The criminal was arrested on the A78 near Venezia
VENEZIA - A rather mysterious arrest took place on the A78 near Venezia yesterday: So far, the police denies all involvement. The IVD claims to be 'unaware of an arrestation'
This rather vague picture was made by an onlooker yesterday. The heavily armed arrestation team has surrounded the suspect's car with their vehicles, and are in the process of capturing the passengers. Currently, the Arvaglio Polizia Stradale, Polizia Communale and the national intelligence agency IVD deny any involvement. The Van Luxemburger Arméi did not respond to our inquiry.
It could well be that the suspects arrested in this action are affiliated with the Mafia in Arvaglio, usually only active in the most southern tip of the Van Luxemburger region Arvaglio. The Police has recently started a crackdown on all Mafia members, and has arrested quite a few criminals. This could be the most recent addition in the series.
Monteluci M6 4x4, an up-and-coming icon?
The Monteluci M6, a new civilian appearance on VL roads?
ESCH-SUR-ALZETTE - The Monteluci M6a is mostly known from it's impressive looks in use with the Grand-Ducal Marechaussee and other military units geared towards civilian services. But the M6 might receive a second, civilian life?
The FTS (Federal Traffic Service, Van Luxemburg's vehicle registration office) has registered more than a thousand M6'es on civilian license plates in late 2007. This is not unique for a military vehicle, but it has never took place in such major numbers. Can we speak of a new icon in mobility here?
'It is indeed possible that the Monteluci will receive the same attention as the Civilian Humvee did almost twenty years ago. The first vehicles are coming out of Military ownership and are being sold off by the Ministry of Defence as we speak. The Marechaussee versions have had special modifications to make them perform better, and they usually have a low mileage, while the price is attractive. It is a great way to acquire a cheap and reliable car.' According to Herman Vollenbroek of the FTS.
The reliable M6 can also be easily modified, according to mechanics. The engine technology can be easily replaced or modified, meaning more power or more fuel efficiency. 'We have even seen M6'es modified with Monteluci 6.0 V12 engines. I haven't gotten the chance to drive one of those examples yet, but according to our inspectors it leads to a very powerful vehicle. Some have even described it as a reincarnation of the Lamborghini LM002.' According to Vollenbroek.
The FTS has stated that they expect the rise of the M6 to continue. They also said that it would be no problem to let the vehicle apply to Van Luxemburger civil motorvehicle laws. 'Monteluci has partly prepared the vehicle for the Civilian market already'