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US Secretary of State Tillerson to Visit Russia in April - State Department
Publish Time: 2017-03-21 13:03:00
US State Secretary Rex Tillerson will visit Russia in April, a US State Department's spokesperson told Sputnik."In April he will travel to a meeting of the G7 in Italy and then on to meetings in Russia,‎" the spokesperson said without specifying the date of the visit.Moscow will neither confirm nor refute at this stage the information about Tillerson's visit to Russia in April, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said Tuesday.Earlier in the day, media reports emerged citing US officials that Tillerson will visit Russia on April 12. "At this stage we do not intend to neither confirm nor refute the information which emerged [in media]," Zakharova posted on her Facebook account.
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World
British banks handled vast sums of laundered Russian money
Publish Time: 2017-03-21 13:00:00
Britain’s high street banks processed nearly $740m from a vast money-laundering operation run by Russian criminals with links to the Russian government and the KGB, the Guardian can reveal.HSBC, the Royal Bank of Scotland, Lloyds, Barclays and Coutts are among 17 banks based in the UK, or with branches here, that are facing questions over what they knew about the international scheme and why they did not turn away suspicious money transfers.Documents seen by the Guardian show that at least $20bn appears to have been moved out of Russia during a four-year period between 2010 and 2014. The true figure could be $80bn, detectives believe.One senior figure involved in the inquiry said the money from Russia was “obviously either stolen or with criminal origin”.Investigators are still trying to identify some of the wealthy and politically influential Russians behind the operation, known as “the Global Laundromat”.They estimate a group of about 500 people were involved. These include oligarchs, Moscow bankers, and figures working for or connected to the FSB, the successor spy agency to the KGB.Igor Putin, the cousin of Russia’s president, Vladimir, sat on the board of a Moscow bank which held accounts involved in the fraud.British-registered companies played a prominent role in this extensive money-laundering network. The real owners of most of the firms used in the scheme remain secret, however, because of the anonymity provided by controversial offshore laws.The Global Laundromat banking records were obtained by the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP) and Novaya Gazeta from sources who wish to remain anonymous. OCCRP shared the data with the Guardian and media partners in 32 countries.The documents include details of about 70,000 banking transactions, including 1,920 that went through UK banks and 373 via US banks.The data is understood to be part of the evidence gathered in a three-year money-laundering investigation led by police in Latvia and Moldova. 
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Crime
One person detained on charge of transporting alcoholic beverages without excise stamps
Update Time: 2017-03-21 12:32:00
Officers of Investigation Service of Finance Ministry detained one person on charge of transporting alcoholic beverage without excise stamps by his car. Non-excise products are confiscated. The charge envisages imprisonment from 2 to 4 years. 
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Justice
Person charged for having physically assaulted Rustavi 2 Gen. Director imposed penalty
Publish Time: 2017-03-21 12:24:00
Rati Gachechiladze, charged for having physically assaulted Nika Gvaramia, Director General of Rustavi 2 TV Company has been imposed to pay the 3.100-GEL fine. Lavrenti Maghlakelidze, Judge of Tbilisi City Court made the decision.The judge said that he charged person admitted the crime and cooperated with the investigation. Gvaramia was beaten in one of the restaurants in Tbilisi on January 7. 
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Conflicts/Terrorism
Meeting of Group on Incidents Prevention and Response Mechanisms to be held
Update Time: 2017-03-21 12:15:00
The meeting of Group on Incidents Prevention and Response Mechanisms will be held in Gali today. Lali Basaria, wife of Giorgi Lukava kept at Drand Prison arrived at Enguri Bridge. Basaria met with Kakhaber Kemoklidze, Deputy Head of Analytical Department of State Security Service who heads the Georgian delegation. Basaria said that her husband dad been pardoned for 55 days but he had not been handed over to the Georgian side. Kemoklidze said the Georgian side had no information about Lukava’s pardoning. Lukava, 52, has been imprisoned for already 6 years. He is charged for being chef of separatist gang in Abkhazian war. De-facto Abkhazian court sentenced Giorgi Lukava to 20 years in prison. 
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Politics
Law Committee to discuss Law on Secret Wiretapping vetoed by President
Update Time: 2017-03-21 12:07:00
The Georgian Parliamentary Law Committee today will discuss Law on Secret Wiretapping vetoed by President Giorgi Margvelashvili. The law approved by parliament three weeks ago was not signed by President and was returned to the supreme legislative body with motivated remarks. The ruling Georgian Dream party is set to override the veto. The opposition welcomes president’s decision. The deadline for adoption of the law is March 31. 
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Culture
Play “Dagny” on stage of Rustaveli Theater
Publish Time: 2017-03-21 10:26:00
“Dagny,” a play which won in the competition of young dramatists, will be on stage of experimental stage of Rustaveli Theater. One-act play was directed by Giorgi Chaladze. The play is about last days of Dagny Juel-Przybyszewska, a Norwegian writer. 
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Politics
Co-Chairmen of parliaments of Nordic-Baltic Eight (NB8) member states visiting Tbilisi
Publish Time: 2017-03-21 10:15:00
Co-Chairmen of parliaments of Nordic-Baltic Eight (NB8) member states are holding meetings in Tbilisi. They already met with Irakli Kobakhidze, Chairman of Georgian parliament, Vice-Speakers and Chairmen of Foreign and European Integration Committees. Enhancement of cooperation and observation of processes afterwards granting of visa-liberalization is the purpose of the visit. The delegation members will also meet with President and Prime Minister. 
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Weather/Disasters
Speed of wind in Tbilisi
Publish Time: 2017-03-21 10:07:00
The speed of last night’s wind in Tbilisi reached 32 meters per second. Georgian weather forecasters prognosticated wind in east Georgia today as well. Weather conditions in Tbilisi will turn to the warm and sunny starting March 23. Air temperature will be 16 degrees by Celsius scale. 
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Society
Emergency Situations Agency worked during whole night
Publish Time: 2017-03-21 12:05:00
Emergency Situations Agency received more than 200 calls last night due to the strong wind and caused problems in Tbilisi. The services worked during the whole night in emergency regime. Several trees fell, houses were unroofed and advertising banners were damaged in the wind. Construction materials damaged a car at Samtredia Street. District governors visited different regions and inspected the situation. 
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Society
Istanbul-Tbilisi flight postponed
Publish Time: 2017-03-21 09:30:00
The flight from Istanbul to Tbilisi has been postponed due to strong wind in Georgia. The plane was due to land at Tbilisi International Airport at 5 AM Tbilisi time. The flight schedule was not changed though. 
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Society
“Constitution Belongs to Everyone” - President held a meeting with Students
Update Time: 2017-03-20 20:20:00
As a part of the campaign “Constitution Belongs to Everyone”, the President of Georgia Giorgi Margvelashvili, together with the members of the Administration of the President and the representatives of NGOs has held a meeting with the Students of Tbilisi universities.The Presidential campaign aims to increase public participation in the Constitutional amendment process before its final approval.As a part of the campaign, the President plans to visit all regions of Georgia. For the first stage the meetings will be held with the students and the scientific community.
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Politics
President vetoed the draft-bill on so-called secret wiretapping - the assessments of MPs
Publish Time: 2017-03-20 20:00:00
President of Georgia Giorgi Margvelashvili vetoed the legislative package about so-called secret wiretapping. Margvelashvili said during the special briefing that he would provide parliament with motivated remarks about the package. President spoke about reasons of his decision.One of the remarks of the President is related to the agency, which according to the amendments, will be authorized to conduct a covert investigation.Giorgi Margvelashvili called on the ruling team to write  better legislation.Parliamentary opposition justifies the president's decision. The ruling party reminds the President that the President’s Parliamentary Secretary was also involved in discussion process over the draft. The legislative package was approved by the parliament on March 1.  It was approved with 87 votes in favor and 2 – against. The parliament has to override the veto till March 31, as deadline for adopting the law expires on that day. 
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Politics
The parliamentary delegations of NB8 countries are visiting Georgia
Update Time: 2017-03-20 18:43:00
The parliamentary delegations of NB8 countries are paying a visit to Georgia. The Speakers and Vice-Speakers of the Parliaments of NB8 countries have visited territories near the occupational line. The Speakers has held a meeting with the EUMM representatives at the Mission Office in Gori town, Shida Kartli region. The delegation members visited Orchosani village where the so called border-marking banners are installed.Within the scope of the visit the meetings are scheduled with the President of Georgia Giorgi Margvelashvili, Speaker of Parliament Irakli Kobakhidze and the Catholic-Patriarch of All Georgia, Ilia II.NB8 is the Informal Format of Regional Cooperation between Baltic (Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia) and Nordic (Sweden, Finland, Norway, Iceland, Denmark) countries.
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Politics
Format of President’s speech in parliament not known
Update Time: 2017-03-20 18:26:00
The President of Georgia Giorgi Margvelashvili will deliver his annual report to the Parliament on April 7.The format of the meeting is still unknown.Preparation works has been already launched at the Presidential Administration. The speech is also worked out. The statements in that regard have been made at the Parliament today. 
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Weather/Disasters
Strong wind hit Tbilisi
Publish Time: 2017-03-20 17:45:00
Strong wind hit Tbilisi today. Several trees dug out by strong wind, which have fallen on vehicles, two cars have been damages. No fatalities have been reported so far. Rescuers have been called. As Emergency Situations Agency reported, mainly trees have fallen.The strong wind unroofed the apartment buildings in Gori town, Shida Kartli region today.
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Society
Catholicos-Patriarch hosted Iranian delegation
Publish Time: 2017-03-20 16:22:00
Catholicos-Patriarch of All Georgia Ilia II has hosted the Iranian delegation at the Patriarchate today. The meeting was attended by the representatives of the Iranian Embassy and the Georgian Muslim Department. Catholicos-Patriarch assessed the visit as historical and emphasized its importance.
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Justice
Chief Prosecutor makes yet another explanation regarding the so-called Cyanide Case
Publish Time: 2017-03-20 16:08:00
Chief Prosecutor has made yet another explanation regarding the so-called Cyanide Case. In parallel, after publishing the letter in Kviris Palitra newspaper, the lawyers of Archpriest Giorgi Mamaladze say that the main witness of the case Irakli Mamaladze tries to give another direction to the case; therefore he mentioned Soso Okhanashvili and Archbishop Dimitri. Irakli Mamaladze denies the accusations.
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Politics
President vetoed draft-bill about so-called secret wiretapping
Publish Time: 2017-03-20 15:00:00
Georgia’s President Giorgi Magvelashvilin vetoed the draft-bill about so-called secret wiretapping. President held a special briefing today and spoke about reasons of his decision.As Margvelashvili has said at the briefing, the package of bills adopted by the parliament is against the decision of the Constitutional Court and envisages unreasonable expenses. The  so-called wiretapping bill will be sent back to the parliament with the president’s motivated notes. The legislative package was approved by the parliament on March 1.  It was approved with 87 votes in favor and 2 – against. 
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Politics
MFA released a statement on the third anniversary of annexation of Crimea
Update Time: 2017-03-20 12:19:00
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Georgia released a statement regarding the the third anniversary of annexation of Crimea.“The so-called referendum conducted in Crimea three years ago under the pressure of Russian armed forces led to the illegal occupation and annexation of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the City of Sevastopol by the Russian Federation. These acts were committed in complete disregard for the Constitution and legislation of Ukraine, as well as for the fundamental norms and principles of international law. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs condemns again the aggression committed against Ukraine and the attempts to forcefully change the borders – an experience our country has already come through. This practice of occupation and annexation undermines the established international order posing a serious threat to international security and stability. Today as never before, the firm and consolidated position by the international community is of utmost importance in order to resist the ongoing aggression against sovereign states and to ensure peace and stability through establishment of meaningful international security mechanisms on the ground. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Georgia reaffirms its firm support for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine within its internationally recognized borders” - the statement reads.
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