Hello there again! First, a little announcement for those who haven't heard yet: it's kind of a long story, but it boils down to me losing my computer's hard drive and everything on it, including all of my SC4 files. Since I'm highly unlikely to get another computer with SC4 capability before my birthday in late October, don't expect any SimCity updates from me until then.
That said, on with the update!
Two members of Al-Pieda arrested in presidential plot
by Constantine Williams
Flag of Al-Pieda
VERSON, STATE OF CALIGULA, SHAYDEN - On Monday, two members - one man and one woman - of the self-described "fringe pielitical group" Al-Pieda were arrested in their North Hampton, Verson apartment after police detectives uncovered a plan to target Ronald Smith, the incumbent President of Shayden, at an upcoming event in the north-eastern state of Caligula.
Co-founded in 1996 by former Trentannian MP William Williams and Shaydian comedian Albert Davies (whose initials are the group's namesake), Al-Pieda is an international association of people whose stated goals are to "give power back to the people [with the pie] because so many feel powerless nowadays in the face of big politicians and industrialists". Members usually take care to look as ridiculous as possible as they throw their tarts, smiling broadly, spouting anti-pretentious poetry and repeating "gloop, gloop, gloop". Their methods have varied over the years; originally, the group only sanctioned the use of custard pies to splatter its targets. However, soon after Mr. Williams died of cancer in 2005, they diversified and they now reportedly sport "a wide variety of pies to throw, from apple to plum to banana-cream". Nevertheless, the most popular flavor by far is still the ever-lovable custard pie, which features on the association's flag.
They have claimed responsibility for many pieings and food-related incidents over the years; their first high-profile target was multibillionaire Will Doors, co-founder of software giant Mycrosoft, back in 1998. More recent incidents include the successful pieing of the King of Mervey in 2006, a missed attempt at hitting the outgoing Shaydian president in 2008, and claimed involvement in the infamous food fight in the debate chamber of the International Assembly of the United Sovereign Nations in late 2011. They are believed to have inspired numerous copycat groups and induviduals, some of them relatively famous themselves - such as the Shayden-based Bakers Without Borders and the mysterious Biotic Baking Brigade, as well as the Les Entartistes, which is of Posilliponian origin and is arguably as "successful" - if not more so - than Al-Pieda itself.
The current Pieman-General of Al-Pieda, Maria Kenson, was not available for comment when we attempted to reach her; however, we did manage to get into contact with her press secretary, who released a statement saying that...
Two alien planets found orbiting binary system
by Ruth Sampson
An artist's illustration of the alien solar system Kako-47, a twin star system that is home to two planets. The larger planet, shown in the foreground and believed to be an ice giant, is located deep within the system's habitable zone.
SHINGLETON, STATE OF EDISON, SHAYDEN - Astronomers have for the first time discovered two alien planets whirling around a pair of stars: a complete solar system with twin suns unlike anything previously found outside of the realm of fiction.
Most stars like our sun are not singletons, but rather come in pairs that orbit each other. Scientists had already found planets in these binary systems, so-called circumbinary planets with two suns, as early as the late 1990s. To find more circumbinary planets, astronomers analyzed data from NSEP's prolific Kako space telescope, which has detected more than 2,300 potential alien worlds since its March 2009 launch. Kako had to date detected four systems with circumbinary planets — Kako-16, 34, 35 and 38.
The scientists have now announced the detection of Kako-47, the first system seen with multiple worlds encircling a pair of stars. The star and its planets, called Kako-47b and Kako-47c, dwell about 5,000 light-years away, in the constellation Cygnus, the Swan.
"Kako-47 shows us that binary stars can have close-in planetary systems, just like the ones we see in single stars," study lead author Jerome Orosz at Shingleton State University told the Francistown Times. "Most of the stars in the galaxy are in binary or higher-order multiple systems, so the fact that planetary systems can exist in these types of systems is important. If we were restricted to looking for planets around single stars, we would be missing most of the stars in the galaxy."
In other news...