BECK: Hello and welcome to Empire Report. I’m Beck Russum and joining me at the desk again tonight is none other than our very own Victoria Hutchins. She’s been doing an absolutely wonderful job covering for Alan this week while he’s taking some much-needed time off for his birthday.
VICTORIA: It has been my pleasure to fill in. If anyone deserves a bit of a break, it’s Alan.
BECK: And if you’re watching, Alan, we haven’t forgotten that you promised to share pics of your surfing adventure on Tangaroa when you get back.
VICTORIA: I can’t wait to see Alan Nuevo hanging ten on a monster wave.
BECK: That makes two of us. Now, we go from catching waves to tonight’s top story, the new trade deal that has been making waves. The Human-Xi’an Trade Initiative, or HuXa as it’s come to be known, has continued to be hotly debated since its unveiling in March. It should come as no surprise that the rhetoric from both sides has only escalated since it was announced that the Senate will hold its vote to decide the issue next week on June 6th.
VICTORIA: In the wake of the vote announcement, anti-HuXa advocates from across the Empire have begun gathering at the popular Xi’an-owned CTR stations to protest the Initiative. They have called for a boycott of the repair and refuel shop, as well as boycotts of all Xi’an corporations operating in the UEE, like Aopoa and Torral Aggregate. Some have gone so far as to suggest that even companies with strong ties to Xi’an interests like MISC should likewise be avoided, in the interest of encouraging Citizens to spend their credits at entirely Human-owned businesses.
BECK: Later in the program we will be sitting down with Empire Report special correspondent and political strategist, Ben Warden, author of Steps for Humanity: A Study of Political Discourse, to hear more about what those in the Senate are saying, as well as his predictions for the results of the vote.
VICTORIA: Next, ready-to-eat meals can be a huge help when you’re traveling or when fresh food isn’t available. But for some, that convenience is coming at a price.
BECK: That’s right, Victoria. The UEE Health Division released a statement earlier today showing that the recent outbreak of severe food poisoning that sickened dozens and left many more hospitalized has been traced back to a batch of foodpacks that were improperly sealed. Bevic Group, who manufactures Ma’s Ready-to-Eat Meals, has issued a full recall of all the home stew flavors — which include the beef, chicken and fish varieties — and urges everyone to check the production batch serial code on the packaging before consuming. They also went on to clarify that the other flavors of Ma’s remain safe to consume and that they are committed to food safety for all their products. A full list of affected packages along with contact information for Bevic is available on our spectrum.
VICTORIA: Definitely important to get the word out. Would hate to think of a poor solo pilot getting sick just before a long haul.
BECK: Of course, as terrible as food poisoning can be, it seems there’s a bigger threat looming for travelers in Kellog thanks to a new pack of outlaws operating in the system. We go now to Emily Havilan, who has been investigating this troubling trend. Emily?
EMILY: Fear and terror are on the rise in Kellog as a new criminal organization has begun preying upon one unfortunate group in particular — research scientists. According to local Advocacy Agents, five ships have been hit already and that may only be the beginning of this worrying trend. It seems that there is likely —
BECK: I’m sorry, Emily. I have to stop you right there for this breaking news. The Empire Report has just received word from Earth that there has been an attempt on Imperator Costigan’s life. Facts are still coming in as comm-drones arrive, but early reports say that the assassin was not successful and that Imperator Costigan has been taken to an undisclosed secure location until the threat is fully neutralized. The Imperator was scheduled to speak at the Banking Federation Summit going on in New York City this week, when the assailant opened fire at the stage. At least two members of the 1st Marine Combat Battalion were injured in the initial attack as well as —
VICTORIA: We have a quick update, there’s been confirmation that one of the Marines guarding the Imperator has died from their injuries sustained in the line of duty. The other Marine is in critical condition, along with several civilians who were attending the summit and got caught in the crossfire.
BECK: New York City has been placed on complete lock-down with all incoming and outgoing traffic stopped. It is not clear yet what motivated the attack or who was behind it, but a joint effort by local authorities, the Advocacy, and the 1st Combat Battalion is being made to apprehend those — Wait … I am being told that at least one of the assailants has been shot dead near the scene of the attack after a confrontation with Marines. No word yet on their identity.
VICTORIA: To re-highlight what we know so far, a failed assassination attempt was made on Imperator Costigan at the Banking Federation Summit in Sol. One believed assailant has been killed on site. We still do not know if they were working alone or what their motivations were. Our thoughts are with the victims and their friends and family during this tragic time.
BECK: Advocacy Director Thomas Carmody is scheduled to give an official statement in the next few minutes, and we will have further updates once that comm-drone arrives. Until then, we need to take a quick break, but please stay tuned as we bring you more details on this shocking turn of events.