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Politics
Law on so called secret wiretapping takes effect as of today
Update Time: 2017-03-30 16:32:00
The law on so called secret wiretapping takes effect as of today. Operational-technical agency will be enacted. Opposition still demands amending the law.The representatives of "United National Movement" and "European Georgia" say that the law does not ensure the protection of citizens' personal data. They are preparing the Constitutional law suit.The parliamentary majority does not share the opponents’ position. According to the bill, the new Agency will be controlled by the Parliament and Prime Minister.The Agency will be supervised by Personal Data Protection Inspector as well.
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Politics
"Yet another step towards annexation" - MPs assessing agreement on integration of so called South Ossetia’s troops with Russia’s armed forces
Publish Time: 2017-03-30 16:13:00
The agreement on integration of so called South Ossetia’s troops with Russia’s armed forces will be signed in Moscow today.The agreement envisages South Ossetian residents’ military service in Russian Army and their departure for the Russian military bases voluntarily. The members of Parliamentary minority and majority condemn the fact and assessing it as yet another step towards the annexation of the region. Opposition calls on the government to act strictly.
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Justice
Court discusses high-profiled case of Sergo Tetradze
Publish Time: 2017-03-30 16:03:00
Tbilisi City Court is discussing the high-profiled case of Sergo Tetradze's torture and death in a closed format. The prosecutor asked to close the session as the state secrets may be revealed during the interrogation of witness. In addition, the questions may be asked in relation with the material classified as secret.Lawyer of Bacho Akhalalia does not share the position of the prosecutor and demanded to hold the session in an open format, however according to judge’s decision the session has been closed. Bacho Akhalaia attended the session.Beside Akhalalia, Megis Kardava and Nikoloz Dzimceishvili are also charged into Sergo Tetradze’s case.
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Politics
Members of Parliamentary Assembly of CoE hold meeting with majority and minority faction representatives
Publish Time: 2017-03-30 12:17:00
Work of Constitutional Commission and amendments to the Constitution were discussed during a meeting between members of Parliamentary Assembly of Council of Europe and the opposition parties.The committee members are holding a meeting with the parliamentary majority and minority faction representatives for the time being.
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Conflicts/Terrorism
Agreement on integration of so called South Ossetia troops with Russian armed forces to be signed today
Update Time: 2017-03-30 12:06:00
The additional agreement on integration of so called South Ossetia’s troops with Russia’s armed forces will be signed by Russia and so-called South Ossetia’s defense ministers in Moscow. The agreement envisages South Ossetian residents military service in Russian Army and their departure for the Russian military bases voluntarily. 
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Politics
President pays a visit to Lithuania
Publish Time: 2017-03-30 12:12:00
The President of Georgia, Giorgi Margvelashvili, together with the Georgian delegation is paying an official visit to Lithuania. The Presidential delegation includes politicians and Abkhazian and Ossetian citizens, who have crossed the EU border without visas.Within the scope of the visit President Margvelashvili will hold a meeting with his Lithuanian counterpart  Dalia Grybauskaitė.
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Politics
President to address parliament with annual report on April 7
Publish Time: 2017-03-30 10:08:00
The President of Georgia Giorgi Margvelashvili will deliver his annual report to the Parliament on April 7.The format of the President’s address at the Parliament is still unknown.Opposition demands holding debates, however the majority do not see the need of it.MPs have questions toward he President regarding the ongoing processes in the country.Georgia’s Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili plans to attend the plenary session.
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Politics
Venice Commission experts visit Georgia
Update Time: 2017-03-30 10:01:00
The members of the Venice Commission delegation are visiting Georgia. The delegation is headed by Thomas Markert, Secretary of the Commission.Within the visit the members of the delegation will hold meetings with Irakli Kobakhidze, Chairman of Constitutional Commission and tamar Chugoshvili, Secretary of the Constitutional Commission today.The meeting with the members of the Constitutional Commission is also scheduled.
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Society
WHO representatives in parliament
Update Time: 2017-03-29 20:43:00
Eleven thousand people die of tobacco consumption every year in Georgia. Three thousand people among them are passive smokers – the alarming statistics was introduced to Georgian lawmakers by representatives of World Health Organization (WHO) today.  Foreign specialists stressed on the necessity to make tobacco control mechanisms and regulations stricter. The Health Committee is working on legislative regulations, which will be activated in 2017. 
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Politics
PM wraps up visit in Brussels
Update Time: 2017-03-29 20:23:00
The Georgian delegation headed by Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili is wrapping up its visit in Brussels, Belgium.Kvirikashvili and young members of the delegation walked along the historic part of the city. Students of Belgium’s high-educational institutions joined Georgian guests and took photos. Georgian Ministers once again evaluated the importance of visa-free travel regime activated for Georgian citizens starting March 28. 
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Politics
Will number of self-governing cities reduce in Georgia?
Publish Time: 2017-03-29 20:05:00
The number of self-governing cities may reduce from 12 to 5 in Georgia. The self-governance status is said to be abolished to 7 cities. The Ministry of Regional Development and Infrastructure is in charge of preparing the corresponding draft-bill about changes to be made into Local Self-Government Code, which was activated in 2014. Public and media organizations applied to Irakli Kobakhidze, Chairman of Parliament and Giorgi Kvirikashvili, Prime Minister with a special statement over the issue. The address released on behalf of 120 organizations says that reduction in number of self-governance cities will be a step backward in country’s development.According to undersigned organizations, it is unacceptable to abolish the self-governing entities formed after 2014. The authors of the address urge the Government to formulate a clear position and not make a decision that would hamper the process of development. “Such a move will distance population from the government, hamper ongoing projects and reduce the level of local democracy,” reads the address.The ruling party talks about ineffectiveness of the reform carried out in 2014. The opposition criticizes the ruling team and reminds it of given promises. The opposition accuses the majority of attempt to centralize the power. The issue is the subject of disagreement. “Detailed discussion is necessary about the issue. At the moment, some decisions were adopted hastily. When it comes to self-governance, it is very important to have a cautious approach," Irakli Kobakhidze, Chairman of Parliament claims.
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Sport
Georgia to host 13 international sports events within the framework of Check in Georgia project
Update Time: 2017-03-29 19:06:00
Georgia will host 13 international sports events within the framework of Check in Georgia project this year. Presentation of the international sports events was held by Minister of Sports and Youth Affairs Tariel Khechikashvili, First Deputy Minister Akaki Lodia and Deputy Minister of Economic Development Ketevan Botchorishvili.The following sports events will be held in Georgia: Judo Grand Prix; international car racing championship; Davis Cup match, Georgia – Lithuania; European championship in sumo; World Run - Wings For Life; European Championship in Wushu; European Rafting Championship; World Youth Rugby Championship; European Fencing Championships; European Youth Football Championship; World Youth Handball Championship; Chess World Cup; final phase of Women's Volleyball European Championship.The organizers say that the scales of the events and are unprecedented. Georgia will host guests from about 70 countries during the sports events. 
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Politics
Changes to be made into Self-Governance Code
Update Time: 2017-03-29 18:07:00
The number of self-governing cities may reduce in Georgia. The Ministry of Regional Development and Infrastructure is in charge of preparing the corresponding bill about changes to be made into Code on Self-Governance. The self-governance status is said to be abolished to 7 cities. Public and media organizations applied to Irakli Kobakhidze, Chairman of Parliament and Giorgi Kvirikashvili, Prime Minister with a statement. The address released on behalf of 120 organizations says that reduction in number of self-governance cities will be a step backward in country’s development. “Such a move will distance population from the government, hamper ongoing projects and reduce the level of local democracy,” reads the address.The ruling party talks about ineffectiveness of the reform carried out in 2014. The opposition criticizes the ruling team. 
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Politics
Constitutional Commission to have prepared changes by end of April
Publish Time: 2017-03-29 18:05:00
The State Constitutional Commission will have prepared final changes to be made into the main law of the country by the end of April. Working on Constitutional reforms continues. Draft constitutional changes will be presented to the plenary session of the Constitutional Commission on April 10, - Parliament Speaker Irakli Kobakhidze said. Members of Constitutional Commission will meet with representatives of Venice Commission, advisory board of Council of Europe, on March 30. An international conference “Constitutional Reform in Georgia” is underway in Tbilisi. The conference aims at gaining support to constitutional reform on local and international level. President’s authorities and election rule, balance among executive branches and parliamentary control are being considered. Representatives of parliamentary and non-parliamentary parties, non-governmental organizations and foreign experts are attending the conference.
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World
U.S. Senate backs Montenegro's membership in NATO
Update Time: 2017-03-29 17:01:00
The U.S. Senate on Tuesday overwhelmingly backed the expansion of NATO to allow Montenegro to join the alliance, hoping to send a message that the United States will push back against Russian efforts to increase its influence in Europe.The long-delayed vote was 97-2 in favor of Montenegro's accession to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. That was well above the two-thirds majority needed in the 100-member Senate to ratify Montenegro's membership.There was no immediate confirmation of whether President Donald Trump would formally deposit the instrument of ratification, the last step in the U.S. ratification process.However, his administration had supported NATO membership for the tiny Balkan nation, one of Europe's smallest, despite Trump at times criticizing the alliance as he campaigned for president last year.While campaigning, Trump accused other NATO members of failing to pay their fair share while adopting a conciliatory tone toward Russia. But as president, Trump has pledged his support for the alliance.Reuters reported last week that Secretary of State Rex Tillerson wrote to the leaders of the Senate this month to say Montenegro's membership in NATO was "strongly in the interests of the United States."
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World
Polish consulate in western Ukraine comes under rocket fire
Publish Time: 2017-03-29 16:55:00
A Polish consulate in western Ukraine came under fire overnight. A suspected anti-tank missile hit the building’s top floor, but luckily no one was harmed. The consul heading the mission called it a terrorist attack.The incident happened early on Wednesday morning in the city of Lutsk, the capital of Volyn region. The Polish Foreign Ministry said somebody fired a rocket launcher at the building and the blast caused structural damage.Photos of the consulate showed a big hole in the roof of its topmost floor and a window below it with the glass shattered and some debris stuck in it.Consul General Krzysztof Sawicki called the night incident “a true terrorist attack” that was intended to kill people in the Polish mission, according to the local news website Volyn 24. The report added that an embassy staffer was spending the night in the room apparently targeted by the attacker, but was unhurt because the rocket hit the roof rather than the window.Police searched the area and found a cap from an RPG-22, a Soviet one-shot disposable anti-tank rocket launcher, according to TV news 112. The police said the rocket was fired from a backyard.Ukrainian Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin called the night attack “a provocation” and said law enforcement officials would find whoever is responsible, Russia Today reports. 
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Military
Georgian Defense Minister hosts US Assistant Secretary of Defense
Update Time: 2017-03-29 16:43:00
Georgian Defense Minister Levan Izoria hosted US Assistant Secretary of Defence Laura Cooper. Izoria talked about reforms carried out in the ministry. The sides also discussed joint multi-national military training projects. 
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Society
"Closer than ever” banner put up at Vilnius airport
Update Time: 2017-03-29 16:23:00
A special banner was put up at the airport of the Lithuanian capital Vilnius with regard to the visa-free travel between Georgia and the European Union. The banner says - "Closer than ever” in English languages and Georgian languages. The photo of the banner has been posted by the Vilnius Mayor on his personal page of Facebook."Visa-free travel took effect between the EU and Georgia yesterday. Georgians are now able to freely travel to the EU. Soon passengers will arrive at the Vilnius airport from Kutaisi. We have made a surprise for them", - says the Mayor.
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Regions
Concert Hall to be built in Kvareli
Update Time: 2017-03-29 16:20:00
A concert hall will be built at Ilia Lake in Kvareli, Kakheti region. President of Latvia Raimonds Vējonis, being on an official visit in Georgia, and Georgia’s President Giorgi Margvelashvili attended the presentation of joint Latvian-Georgian project “Music Island.” The two presidents talked about friendly relations between the two countries and gave symbolic keys to each other. Ecologic cottages will be also arranged at the territory at the initial stage with 1.5 million Euro investments. Georgian and Latvian delegations’ members attended the activity. 
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Politics
Public and media organizations apply to Parliament Chairman, PM
Update Time: 2017-03-29 16:07:00
Public and media organizations applied to Irakli Kobakhidze, Chairman of Parliament and Giorgi Kvirikashvili, Prime Minister with a statement. The address released on behalf of 120 organizations says that reduction in number of self-governance cities will be a step backward in country’s development. “Such a move will distance population from the government, hamper ongoing projects and reduce the level of local democracy,” reads the address.  
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