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World
Chile rocked by 6.9-magnitude quake; no major damage reported
Publish Time: 2017-04-25 02:35:00
A strong earthquake of magnitude 6.9 struck off the west coast of Chile on Monday, rocking the capital Santiago and briefly causing alarm along the Pacific Coast but sparing the quake-prone nation of any serious damage, Reuters reports. The quake was centered about 85 miles (137 km) from Santiago, and some 22 miles (35 km) west of the coastal city of Valparaiso. The U.S. Geological Survey twice revised the magnitude before settling on 6.9, a strength usually capable of causing severe damage.The epicenter's shallow depth of 15.5 miles (25 km) below the sea allowed it to be felt hundreds of miles (km) away. Santiago office buildings swayed for about 30 seconds at the end of the workday. Closer to the epicenter, residents scrambled for higher ground, remembering the lessons of the country's devastating earthquake and tsunami in 2010. "It was short but very powerful," said Paloma Salamo, a 26-year-old nurse, who was in a clinic in Viña del Mar, just north of Valparaiso, when the quake struck.
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World
Chinese weatherman struck by lightning while filming live show
Publish Time: 2017-04-25 16:57:00
A weather anchor made headlines across China today after being hit by lightning during his live programme. Xiao Dong, from the city of Dalian, was reporting in a thunderstorm on a rooftop while being struck yesterday morning, according to a video report on People's Daily Online.Luckily, the man is said to have been struck by the sparks, not the bolt of the lightning. As such, the man didn't sustain major injuries. After being hit, Xiao Dong described that his arms, hands and fingers felt numb - as if 'ants were crawling over them'. He also reported pain in the palm. Xiao Dong was holding an umbrella with a metal handle as he reported in the storm. It's believed that the metal handle had attracted the electric charge towards him. His colleague, the cameraman, allegedly held an umbrella with a wooden handle, and he was not hit.
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Media
Grigol Gogelia elected as Chairman of GPB Board of Trustees
Publish Time: 2017-04-25 13:08:00
Grigol Gogelia has been elected on post of Chairman of Board of Trustees of Georgian Public Broadcaster (GPB) with the second term. Six members supported Gogelia’s candidacy through secret balloting, 2 members abstained from voting. Gogelia’s membership term expires in 2018. Also during the sitting, Marina Muskhelishvili was elected as deputy chairperson of Board of Trustees. Some members asked GPB management for provision of information about ongoing processes in the broadcaster. 
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Weather/Disasters
Weather conditions to improve in Georgia on April 26
Publish Time: 2017-04-25 10:28:00
Weather conditions are expected to improve in Georgia on April 26. According to Monitoring and Forecasting Center of National Environmental Agency, rain and wind are in the forecast in western Georgia today. The temperatures will be +7 +12 degrees.As for eastern Georgia, rain and wind are expected in some areas, while the temperatures will be +11 +16 degrees. Dry weather and strong winds are in the forecast for today; temperatures will be +14 degrees.Weather forecasters prognosticate that weather will brighten up on April 26 in Georgia. The temperatures will rise to +15 degrees in western Georgia and + 12 +17 degrees in eastern Georgia. 
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Regions
Meeting of Group on Incidents Prevention and Response Mechanisms begins
Publish Time: 2017-04-25 10:05:00
The meeting of Group on Incidents Prevention and Response Mechanisms begins in Gali region. The Georgian side will raise the issue of detention of father and son Archil and Paata Togavas in Rike village and arrest of murderer of Georgian citizen Giga Otkhozoria. Release of Giorgi Lukava being kept in Drand Prison will be also discussed during the meeting. 
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incident
One person detained on charge of selling non-excise tobacco
Publish Time: 2017-04-25 10:43:00
Officers of Investigation Service of Finance Ministry detained one person on fact of selling cigarettes without excise stamps. Non-excise tobacco products are confiscated. The detainee faces from 2 to 4 years in prison if found guilty. 
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Economics
Two Energy Companies vs. Georgia
Update Time: 2017-04-25 20:06:00
Two large energy companies operating in Georgia KazTransGas and Inter RAO may apply to International Court of Arbitration, an institution for resolution of international commercial disputes, regarding violation of liabilities by the country. Kazakh investors demand return in the management of KazTransGas-Tbilisi or selling the company. Inter RAO has notified Georgia of an investment dispute on compensation due to depreciation of the Georgian national currency Lari. The companies sent letters to Georgia’s President and ministers of foreign affairs, justice, and energy.  The Georgian Energy Ministry counts on reaching an agreement in both cases. 
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Society
Sitting of Board of Trustees being held
Publish Time: 2017-04-25 12:05:00
The Board of Trustees of Georgian Public Broadcaster (GPB) will elect Chairman and deputy chairperson during the sitting today. The chairman will be elected with 3-year-term with majority of votes. General regulations will be determined and approved before the balloting process. 
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Politics
Government to begin work on decriminalization of economic crime
Publish Time: 2017-04-25 16:05:00
The Georgian government will begin working on decriminalization of economic crime. The amount for criminal responsibility will be increased up to 100 thousand GEL while prison term will be abolished in certain cases. Also, tax advantages for incomplete constructions will be extended by 2 years. A differentiated package will be activated regarding state healthcare program. A total of 24 issues were discussed during the governmental sitting earlier today. 
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Society
NGOs evaluate transparency quality of MIA
Update Time: 2017-04-25 18:29:00
Transparency International – Georgia and Human Rights Education and Monitoring Center (EMC) evaluate transparency quality of Ministry of Internal Affairs (MIA). Based on the research, problems at MIA have been detected with respect of access to public information, statistics production and staff policy. 
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Politics
President makes statement about new version of Constitution
Publish Time: 2017-04-25 14:20:00
The new version of Constitution does not contribute to ensuring the balance policy among branches of authorities – This is the viewpoint of Georgia’s President Giorgi Margvelashvili. President’s Press Speaker Eka Mishveladze introduced the standpoint to the public. Mishveladze said that President proposed working on constitutional changes with participation of wide public and through higher political consensus. 
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World
PACE delegates demand Agramunt's resignation over his Syria trip
Publish Time: 2017-04-25 10:07:00
The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) demands resignation of Pedro Agramunt from post of PACE President.Italian representative Michele Nicoletti made a relevant statement at the PACE session in Strasbourg on Monday. After that, a number of deputies rose from their seats and supported the statement with applause. Addressing Agramunt, Nicoletti said that the president should show political responsibility and resign in order to demonstrate that a serious mistake brings serious consequences. The proposal was supported by other PACE deputies in their addresses. Agramunt said that he took note of this position and he would inform after lunch whether the issue would be discussed at public hearings on Tuesday. Read also PACE President explains his visit to Syria with Russian Duma delegation He interrupted the plenary session for 10 minutes before responding positively to the question whether he was ready for a public discussion of his visit to Syria. After a recess, it became known that PACE would hold a public discussion of Agramunt's Syria visit tomorrow, April 25. As UNIAN news agency reported earlier, a delegation of PACE deputies from the Czech Republic, Belgium, Serbia, and Italy and the State Duma of Russia led by PACE President of Pedro Agramunt visited Syria in March.
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Society
Differentiated packages of State Health Insurance to be activated
Publish Time: 2017-04-25 18:05:00
Differentiated packages of State Health Insurance Program will be activated for Georgian citizens starting May 1. Based on the proposed changes, persons having different incomes will receive dissimilar packages. A component of medicines will be added to the package. Citizens, who have less than 100 thousand rating points, will receive financing to cover expenses of medicines prescribed for medication of chronic diseases. One part of the population will be able to use components of both state and private insurance packages. The issue was discussed during the governmental sitting. 
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Politics
State Minister for Reconciliation and Civil Equality expected in parliament
Update Time: 2017-04-25 12:20:00
Ketevan Tsikhelashvili, State Minister for Reconciliation and Civil Equality is expected in parliament today. Tsikhelashvili will present a report and future action plan during the expanded sitting of Parliamentary Interim Commission for Restoration of Territorial Integrity and Committee of Diaspora and Caucasus Affairs. The opposition believes that office of State Minister for Reconciliation and Civil Equality should be abolished. 
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Politics
Protest at Moduli building
Update Time: 2017-04-25 16:29:00
A protest organized by National Movement Party was held at so-called Moduli building in Tbilisi with demand to investigate activities of Soso Gogashvili, Deputy Head of State Security Service. Protesters claim that Gogashvili became owner of various properties through corruption. Members of Free Zone and Reformation Center NGO joined the protest. National Movement Party has already applied to Prosecutor’s Office with demand to launch investigation into the issue. 
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Politics
Zaza Bibilashvili makes statement about change to be made into Election Code
Update Time: 2017-04-25 18:31:00
Zaza Bibilashvili, one of the leaders of the United National Movement, says that the election code will be changed in order for the National Movement to be fined if it expresses support to Mikheil Saakashvili, former president of Georgia. According to Bibilashvili, the initiative of the Central Election Commission – to declare participation of a person, who has no right to participate in the pre-election campaign, as violation is specifically directed against one person who is considered by Ivanishvili as the main threat.According to him, "in parallel with the violence on the constitution," the government has taken another step to further restrict democratic processes and usurp power in the country. "These changes prove that Ivanishvili thinks that protection of his family-clan regime is possible only through illegality and injustice. He understands that his government cannot last long in the conditions of fair and democratic electoral environment. We guarantee that, together with the Georgian people, we will remove him from Georgia as the biggest enemy of the country," Bibilashvili said. 
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Politics
Package of Constitutional changes to be discussed in Strasbourg
Update Time: 2017-04-25 12:09:00
The package of amendments to be made into Constitution of Georgia prepared by Constitutional Commission will be discussed in Strasbourg today. Members of Parliamentary majority and minority will meet with Secretary of Venice Commission, an advisory board of Council of Europe. The opposition will talk about the remarks and faults over the document. 
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World
French presidential candidates to stage TV debate May 3
Publish Time: 2017-04-25 12:47:00
Centrist candidate Emmanuel Macron and far-right rival Marine Le Pen will hold a TV debate on May 3, four days before the run-off vote in France’s presidential election, aides to Macron said on Monday.The debate will be broadcast nationwide on two TV channels, a source said, as reported by The Guardian. Macron first sought a debate with Le Pen in February “which she refused. Now we are going to have one,” the source added.Le Pen’s campaign director, David Rachline, earlier said that the debate “should take place,” as it would help the public “to see with great clarity the two choices of society which are being put forward”.Macron, a 39-year-old political novice and former banker, headed the pack in the first round of voting on Sunday, picking up 23.75 percent of the vote. He will face off with Le Pen, 48-year-old head of the far-right National Front, who won 21.53 percent.The other candidates, including those from the traditional mainstream left and right parties, were eliminated. Macron is campaigning on a centrist platform that favours business, the European Union and maintaining France’s welfare safety net. Le Pen is campaigning on a nationalist platform that would curb immigration and weaken ties with the European Union.
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Culture
Exhibition New York photos shot by Georgian photographers
Update Time: 2017-04-25 21:10:00
An exhibition of photos of New York taken by 5 Georgian photographers will be opened at “Black & White” Gallery on April 27. The exhibition will be held within the framework of Georgian-American Week. 
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Politics
Meeting with Secretary of Venice Commission
Update Time: 2017-04-25 16:07:00
The package of amendments to be made into Constitution of Georgia prepared by State Constitutional Commission will be discussed in Strasbourg today. Members of Parliamentary majority and minority are meeting with Secretary of Venice Commission, an advisory board of Council of Europe. The opposition will talk about the remarks and faults over the document. The meeting is closed for the media. 
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