25 FEB 3303
Earlier this week, automated stellar probes in the HIP 16497 system picked up an unusual heat signature. Local explorers promptly launched an investigation, only to discover that an asteroid had inexplicably disappeared from the system.
"It's most peculiar," said Kate Panamen of the Mars High Astrocartography Institute. "Given the asteroid's orbit, it shouldn't have come into contact with anything in the system for aeons. Nevertheless, the investigators found an expanding cloud of dust in the asteroid's supposed location. We're at a loss to explain how it could have been destroyed."
Both Federal and Imperial sources denied rumours that the destruction of the asteroid was a result of experimental weapon testing.
25 FEB 3303
This report presents the latest data on expansion and withdrawal among the galaxy's minor factions.
Here are the latest factions to have expanded into new systems:
HIP 8593 Empire League
V886 Centauri Future
Liberals of Delta Pavonis
Kuwemargl Patrons of Law
Labour of Kalads
Ciboney Empire Consulate
Defence Force of HR 8793
Yhele Empire Party
Expansions occur when a minor faction reaches a sufficient level of influence and there is a populated system within striking distance. Expansion is costly, so when a faction expands, the wealth and development level of the system it controls are temporarily reduced.
Here are the latest factions in withdrawal:
Colanja Gold Power Services
Limapa Blue State Commodities
Official Darkates Freedom Party
The Pilots Federation
Iptera Allied Corp.
Natural LP 811-17 Conservatives
Autocracy of Phi Gruis
Partnership of LHS 2819
HIP 13269 Silver Drug Empire
Factions are considered to be in withdrawal if their level of influence within a system drops below a certain level. If the faction's influence remains low for a total of five days, the faction must leave the system entirely. If the faction manages to increase its level of influence, it remains in the system.