We've received reports from the Lugh system of the Federal-backed Lugh for Equality faction losing ground in the political struggle with the rising Crimson State Group. According to opinion polls, support for the Crimson State Group independence movement has risen to over 66%. The staggering increase in influence has seen them victorious in a civil war against the Lugh Defence Force and thereby gaining control of the Balandin Gateway starport. Observers indicate that the group's success is due to a huge level of support from independent pilots.
Financial forecasters are also astounded at the volume of trading by the Crimson State Group and are now predicting an economic boom for them. This can only come as more bad news for the beleaguered system owners. The question on everyone's lips is how will the Federation respond to this? Especially considering rumours of other Federal systems seeking independence.
Last night a relaxed-looking Senator Zemina Torval announced what had happened to the leaders of the Sorbago rebellion in a press conference following the return from her holiday cruise.
"We managed to fight off the Federal rabble-rousers due to excellent support from many independent pilots fighting to support the honourable tradition that is Imperial slavery, and I'd like to pass on my thanks to them.
Production has already restarted, and a small number of slaves that had succumbed to the persuasions of the foreign trouble-makers have now been punished."
She also commented on the recent uprising in Ongkuma.
"These rabble-rousers don't appear to learn very quickly. We will have the system back in working order soon."
Senator Torval has paid generous combat bonds to independent ships that have helped her in large numbers over the last few weeks. It is understood the ringleaders of the Sorbago rebellion were executed.
It seems many private pilots have been helping Senator Patreus' warships against the government of Durius, and that the government is suffering serious losses.
Despite Senator Patreus' actions Durius has still not settled the debt. Governor Malachai gave the following interview from his governmental headquarters:
"It is heart-warming to see the support for a down-trodden system like ours from commanders of independent ships. Sadly there are those who are siding with Patreus. We hope they will see the error of their ways before it is too late."
There are reports from sources close to Senator Patreus that he is pleased with his force's progress so far. Another aide quipped that "Governor Malachai is clearly deluding himself!"
Rumours are coming in from multiple sources that rebellion has broken out amongst slaves in Ongkuma.
This news has surprised commentators given the speed with which the Sorbago rebellion was crushed last year. Some commentators speculate that the rebel leaders are relying on intervention from independent pilots, although many consider this to be a foolish hope after the widespread support the Senator received in the Sorbago campaign.
Indirect confirmation came from a comment in social media from a lowly shipyard loader driver, who posted that the 'Cleopatra' and the 'Marlin', two of Senator Torval's Majestic Class Interdictors, were being provisioned to leave for the Ongkuma system.
Senator Torval is still on her holiday cruise on the 'Xanadu' so was unavailable for comment.
Congressman Jane Garvey for Dulos agrees with Congressman Albertson from Sanna.
In a statement this morning made outside Congress on Mars, amid some persistent 'Oniongate' protesters, she said:
"The latest round of Federal tax rises is unfair on the frontier. In Dulos, like Sanna, we only get one vote. The core systems get hundreds. They control Congress and take our money. We too would like to become independent and masters of our own destiny. Then our votes will also matter. We are supposed to be a Federation, but we are not. We have two tiers, and it is the successful frontier systems like mine in the lower tier that pay for the lethargy and luxury here in the core."
She then entered Congress amid clapping and cheers from the protesters - who seem to support anyone who speaks against the government.
The armed conflict between Senator Patreus’s Imperial forces and those of the impoverished Durius system continues.
Patreus is paying well for outside assistance, but an exhausted Governor Malachai has spoken out.
"What can we do? Our people are dying. We cannot pay even the interest on these crippling debts. Those irresponsible fools that accepted this money in the first place are long gone, but we are left to pick up the pieces. How can we ever hope to get out of this hell?
I call on those independent governments out there like ours thinking of getting into debt with this evil Senator to think twice. We are forced to protect our homes because that is all we have left."
In what is usually a quiet time for politics the Shadow President has given an interview to support Admiral Vincent.
"Our military forces have always operated independently of government. In fact some of the worst events in our long history were caused by political meddling in military matters. President Halsey is out of order to distance herself as she has. Our forces need to be able to enforce the law in far flung systems, and we should be pleased that they do so very well. It is clear that sometimes the law they are enforcing is the problem, and it is up to Halsey to change that."
If it is indeed the case that these actions took place without direct orders from the President it suggests a rift between the beleaguered President and her top Admiral.
Christmas celebrations and official public holidays have begun throughout Federal, Alliance and some independent systems.
In ancient times the date once marked the shortest day on Earth and developed into a key date for various ancient religions still observed by some. The now traditional Christmas celebration of commercial excess, parties and present-giving is in full swing.
In Imperial systems the focus of the present-giving celebrations is the New Year in the standard calendar, and of course Empire Day, the day after.
Senator Denton Patreus refused to comment today when questioned regarding the apparent failure of the rebellion in the Jera system despite his support.
Reports from the system have indicated that the local security forces with the support of hired independent pilots experienced little difficulty in suppressing the attacks by the rebel forces. One of the pilots commented:
“I’ve never had a job this easy. It’s like the rebels can’t even be bothered to fight. It’s the easiest money I’ve ever made!”
A source close to the senator revealed that more forces may be sent to the system.
In a move that is sure to worry some independent governments, Senator Denton Patreus has announced his forces have been sent to aid the long-suffering rebels in the Jera system.
He answered questions on the steps of the Imperial Opera House on Conversion in the Achenar system.
"The left-leaning government in Jera has long been oppressing hard-working minorities. This is the fundamental problem with democracy - the bullying of the aspirational minority by the indolent majority. That bullying has to stop."