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Preparations for Georgian National Final Underway
Publish Time: 2017-01-17 21:25:00
Georgian National Final of Eurovision Song Contest (ESC) will be held in Tbilisi Concert Hall on January 20. Preparation works for the concert have been already launched. Twenty-five contenders will perform on stage of Tbilisi Big Concert Hall. The voting procedure will last during 15 minutes.The winner in the National Final will represent Georgia at 2017 Eurovision Song Contest ( ESC) in Kyiv, Ukraine. The National Final will be aired live by First Channel of GPB starting 20:00. 
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Society
New public movement established
Update Time: 2017-01-17 20:42:00
Presentation of a new public movement “New Unity for Georgia” was held today. Founders of the movement claimed that the union would be oriented on changing the current reality and creation of different structure in political arena. Founders said that cooperation with the movement will be possible for any citizen, public activists, political parties and representatives of non-governmental organizations except pro-Russian forces. Members of the new movement are Nikoloz Vashakidze, former deputy foreign minister, diplomats Mamuka Zhgenti and Mamuka Gamkrelidze and politicians Paata Davitaia and Bachuki Kardava. 
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Politics
UNM selects delegates for January 20 Congress
Update Time: 2017-01-17 20:39:00
The parliamentary oppositional United National Movement (UNM) Party completed selection of delegates for the Party Congress scheduled for January 20. A total of 7 thousand and 136 delegates are registered for the event. According to Nino Kalandadze, UNM member, a new governing body, political council and UNM Party chairman will be elected during the congress. Invitations will be distributed from UNM central office and Presidential Library. 
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Politics
David Petraeus: Putin is Enemy of International Order
Update Time: 2017-01-17 20:32:00
“Putin (President of Russian Federation) is the enemy of international order, who intruded into Abkhazia and South Ossetia (Georgia’s two occupied territories),” General David Howell Petraeus, a retired American military officer and public official told Voice of America. The Georgian office of Voice of America also asked the retired general whether policy of US toward Russia after coming of new President Donald Trump into power. 
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Politics
European anti-corruption body tells Georgia well done, but do more
Update Time: 2017-01-17 20:27:00
The Council of Europe on Tuesday called on Georgia to do more to reduce corruption while at the same time acknowledging it had made considerable progress. The Council's anti-corruption body, the Group of States against Corruption (GRECO), welcomed positive developments in the South Caucasus country of 3.7 million such as the introduction of a monitoring mechanism for submitting asset declarations by public officials including parliamentarians, judges and high-level prosecutors.But it recommended further enhancing transparency of the legislative process through the publication of all draft legislation, and called for mandatory disclosure of parliamentarians' conflicts of interest.GRECO said that continuation of the reform of the judiciary was of prime importance and welcomed the recently launched reform of the prosecution service with the view of de-politicising it. "It is crucial now that the new rules be extended to cover all prosecutors, that they are effectively applied in practice and kept under constant review," GRECO said, as reported by Reuters."Now the reform must be effectively implemented and possibly followed by additional measures to further reduce the influence of the government and parliamentary majority on the appointment procedure of the chief prosecutor and on the activity of the prosecutorial council," the report said.Dozens of former state officials have been convicted in Georgia on various charges, including misspending funds, since a government led by former president Mikheil Saakashvili lost an election in Oct. 2012.Western countries have aired concerns that the new government has used selective justice and political persecution against opponents in the mountainous country which is a pivot of geopolitical rivalry between Russia and the West.Georgia is seeking closer links with both NATO and the European Union. The Council of Europe, based in Strasbourg, France, promotes human rights and democracy in Europe and has 47 member states.GRECO, which comprises 47 Council of Europe member states, Belarus and the United States, aims to improve the capacity of its members to fight corruption by monitoring their compliance with anti-corruption standards.
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Culture
Presentation of first volume of Ekvtime Takaishvili’s essays
Publish Time: 2017-01-17 19:31:00
A presentation of the first volume of essays by Ekvtime Takaishvili, Georgian historian and archaeologist was held at Academy of Sciences today.  The book includes materials about expeditions and researches conducted in Tao-Klarjeti (current territory of Turkey), photos and charts. Publication of additional 11 volumes is planned. The first volume was published by “Artanuji” Publishing House with support of Tbilisi City Hall.  
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World
Brexit: UK to leave single market, says Theresa May
Publish Time: 2017-01-17 18:58:00
Theresa May has said the UK "cannot possibly" remain within the European single market, as staying in it would mean "not leaving the EU at all".But the prime minister promised to push for the "freest possible trade" with European countries and to sign new deals with others around the world, BBC reports.She also announced Parliament would get to vote on the final deal agreed between the UK and the EU. But Labour warned of "enormous dangers" in the prime minister's plans. Mrs May used her much-anticipated speech to announce the UK's priorities for Brexit negotiations, including: Maintaining the common travel area between the UK and Irish Republic Tariff-free trade with the EU A customs agreement with the EU New trade agreements with countries outside the EU Continued "practical" sharing of intelligence and policing information "Control" of immigration rights for EU citizens in the UK and UK citizens in the EU A "phased approach"Mrs May said there would not be a "blow-by-blow" account of negotiations, set to get under way after Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty is invoked by the end of March.
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Society
Conference on topic of reduction of traffic jams
Update Time: 2017-01-17 18:49:00
Strategies about reduction of traffic jams in Tbilisi were discussed during the conference organized by Georgian Employers’ Association. Tbilisi City Hall and Sakrebulo (City Assembly) presented their projects. Foreign partners working on improvement of transport system management shared their experience with Georgian colleagues.  
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Culture
Money collected from SMS Voting to be transferred to Dimitri Tsintsadze Fund
Publish Time: 2017-01-17 18:42:00
The money collected from SMS voting during the Georgian national final of Eurovision Song Contest (ESC) will be transferred to Dimitri Tsintsadze Charity Fund. The national final will be held on January 20 and will be aired live by First Channel of GPB starting 20:00. Twenty-five contenders will perform on stage of Tbilisi Big Concert Hall. The voting procedure will last during 15 minutes. The winner will present Georgia at 2017 ESC in Kyiv, Ukraine. 
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Society
First Children’s Hospice opened
Update Time: 2017-01-17 18:36:00
The first children’s hospice, a type of care and philosophy of care that focuses on the palliation of a chronically ill, was opened in the village of Dighomi in Georgia. The Construction began in October of 2015 at the initiative of Open Society-Georgia Foundation, Medical Corporation Evex and with support of President’s Reserve Fund.  The hospice will serve children free of charge and in 24-hour regime. More than 1 million GEL was collected for the construction during one year. 
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Politics
President evaluates agreement reached with Gazprom
Update Time: 2017-01-17 18:17:00
Georgian energy sector was harmed as well as political and economic interests of the country – this is how Georgian President Giorgi Margvelashvili evaluates the recent agreement reached with Gazprom Company.President said he presumed that Georgia could face more problems in the future. Eka Mishveladze, President’s Press Speaker voiced President’s viewpoint during the special briefing today. 
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Justice
Pre-trial sitting into case of Givi Targamadze’s car explosion
Update Time: 2017-01-17 18:07:00
A pre-trial sitting into case of car explosion of Givi Targamadze, a member of United National Movement (UNM) Party was held at Tbilisi City Court. The case of Boris Chagunava was separated from Khechuashvili’s case by prosecutor’s office on December 28, 2016. Khechuashvili is wanted. He is charged for pre-meditated murder. Chagunava is accused of illegal keeping of explosive devices. He admits the guilt. Discussions into Chagunava’s case will resume on January 26. An apparent car bomb exploded in central Tbilisi on October 3, 206, targeting the car of a member of parliament for the National Movement. The car’s owner MP Givi Targamadze was sitting in the front passenger seat as it exploded. He was not seriously injured.
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Justice
Court trial into so-called ritual murder case
Publish Time: 2017-01-17 18:05:00
The court trial of charged persons into so-called ritual murder continues at Tbilisi City Court. The case refers to murder of Luba Kochiachvili which may be the first case in Georgia detecting possible signs of cannibalism. The charged persons gave their testimonies and talked about details of the crime. Discussions take place into two parts: closed and open hearings. The charged persons are daughter of the killed woman and her boyfriend. Two other persons are charged for non-notification of the crime.  
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World
MEPs divided as they elect new European Parliament president
Publish Time: 2017-01-17 16:59:00
The European Parliament will elect a new president later to replace Martin Schulz, in what is expected to be a divisive and unpredictable vote. There are at least seven candidates in the running for the top job, with the two main contenders coming from Italy.Whoever wins will play a crucial role in Brexit, as the European Parliament is mandated to have the final say on any final deal between the UK and the EU. A secret ballot will be held among 751 MEPs in the French city of Strasbourg, Sky News reports.The frontrunner is Italian politician Antonio Tajani, a former spokesman for Italy's scandal-prone former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi.Mr Tajani has previously served as European commissioner and is the candidate of the centre-right European People's Party, the largest group in the parliament. Another Italian, socialist Gianni Pittella, is also in contention.Throughout most of the parliament's history, the EPP and the Progressive Alliance of Socialists & Democrats have rotated the presidency under a "grand coalition". However, that arrangement has recently fallen apart amid disagreements over who should succeed Mr Schulz, who is returning to domestic German politics after nearly five years as EU legislative leader. Therefore it is the smaller, populist parties like UKIP and France's National Front who could decide which candidate wins.Liberal and former Belgian prime minister Guy Verhofstadt, who is also the parliament's Brexit negotiator, had hoped he might have a chance given the spilt, but that now looks unlikely.Green candidate Jean Lambert is from the UK, though she has virtually no chance of winning and is unlikely to be a MEP by the time of the next elections in 2019.Today's vote could go on for up to four rounds as an absolute majority in the European Parliament is needed to win the presidency. Whoever wins, while not formally part of the Brexit negotiations, will lead a parliament which expects to be kept informed and will hold sway as it could potentially veto any deal.
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Politics
Georgian PM to visit Spain and Switzerland
Update Time: 2017-01-17 16:20:00
Georgian Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili will leave for Spain and Switzerland with a working visit. Kvirikashvili will take part in Tourism International Exhibition and World Economic Forum in Davos. The visit in Spain will begin with a meeting with General Secretary of World Tourism Organization (WTO). The Georgian delegation also includes Foreign Minister Mikhel Janelidze and Minister of Economy and Sustainable Development Giorgi Gakharia. 
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Justice
Court trial into so-called ritual murder case continues
Publish Time: 2017-01-17 16:05:00
The court trial of charged persons into so-called ritual murder continues at Tbilisi City Court. The case refers to murder of Luba Kochiachvili which may be the first case in Georgia detecting possible signs of cannibalism. The charged persons gave their testimonies. Discussions take place into two parts. The charged persons are daughter of the killed woman and her boyfriend. Two other persons are charged for non-notification of the crime.  
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World
Apollo astronaut Eugene Cernan, the last man to walk on the Moon, dies aged 82
Publish Time: 2017-01-17 13:21:00
Apollo astronaut Captain Eugene Cernan, the last man to walk on the Moon, has been remembered as a "patriot and pioneer" following the 82-year-old's death on Tuesday (AEDT).A gifted aeronautical engineer and navy jet pilot, Mr Cernan was a leading astronaut for NASA for 13 years, but is best known for spending three days on the Moon's surface in December of 1972.He was the last man to touch the Moon and his footprints remain there, testament to one of humanity's most astonishing achievements but also to one man's pioneering spirit. His words as he left the Moon hint that he knew he would be the last visitor for some time, ABC News reports.
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World
American among 5 Dead in Mexico Nightclub Shooting
Publish Time: 2017-01-17 13:16:00
Five people were killed, including an American, when a gunman opened fire at a Mexican club during a music festival, authorities said.At least a dozen more were injured, including at least four Americans, according to authorities. The rampage occurred inside the Blue Parrot nightclub in Playa del Carmen about 2:30 a.m. local time, according to a statement by the attorney general of the Mexican state of Quintana Roo. Playa del Carmen is a popular tourist destination not far from Cancun.The attorney general said that one person entered the club armed with a gun and two others tried to stop the attack.Among the dead were four men and a woman, including two people who were part of a security team, authorities said. The woman died from a fall in the incident. "We can confirm that one U.S. citizen died on January 16 from injuries sustained at the nightclub shooting at The Blue Parrot Night Club," the U.S. State Department said in a statement. "We extend our deepest condolences to family and friends of the U.S. citizen victim.The American who died in the incident was Alejandra Villanueva, according to her brother, Robert Aaron Martinez. "She was a hard worker. She was always looking out for my mom and my little brothers," the brother said. "She was working and going to college and pretty much the only one helping my mom."Two wounded Americans, one from New York and the other from Texas, were treated and discharged from a local hospital.Officials said the shooting -- on the last night of the 10-day BPM Festival -- was not believed to be a terrorist attack. Three people, who were nearby at the time, were detained by the Public Security Department and authorities were trying to figure out if they were connected to the shooting.In a statement, the BPM Festival said the violence began outside the club. "The violence began on 12th street in front of the club and three members of the BPM security team were among those whose lives were lost while trying to protect patrons inside the venue," the statement said. "We are overcome with grief over this senseless act of violence and we are cooperating fully with local law enforcement and government officials as they continue their investigation."
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World
January 17 declared day of mourning in Kyrgyzstan
Publish Time: 2017-01-17 12:54:00
President of Kyrgyzstan Almazbek Atambayev has today signed a decree "On declaring January 17, 2017 a day of mourning in the Kyrgyz Republic over the victims of the crash of cargo plane Boeing 747”, the Kyrgyz President's press office reports, according to Kabar News Agency.The cargo plane Boeing 747 of Turkish airlines crashed on Monday at 7.18 am in the village of Dacha-Suu in Chui oblast of Kyrgyzstan Sokuluk destroying 15 houses. As a result of the crash, according to recent data, 15 houses destroyed, 35 people killed, including adults and children from the village and members of the crew.
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World
Istanbul nightclub attack suspect 'captured by police'
Publish Time: 2017-01-17 12:52:00
The alleged gunman who killed 39 people during an attack on a nightclub in Istanbul during new year celebrations has been captured in the city, according to reports. Turkey's Deputy Prime Minister has congratulated police for detaining the suspected gunman accused of killing 39 people at an Istanbul nightclub on New Year's Day.Numan Kurtulmus, who is also the government spokesman, wrote on Twitter: "I congratulate our police who caught the perpetrator of the Ortakoy massacre. "Our war with terror and the powers behind it will continue to the end."
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