New Def Min and Min for Reconciliation, Def Min nepotism allegations, more Constitutional Court pressure, Lottery mess, Yerevan hostage mess over but ripples, Margvel in Brazil, Otkhozoria family gets apt, Kremlin stooge marriage referendum gets sigs, Usupashvili tops Republican list, Tsereteli and Bobokhidze in Kutaisi for Nats, GYLA says Misha broke campaign law, pardons, Pankisi man arrested for online threats, ABL abduction, Zestaponi fire, no hammer and sickles, growth up, over three mil tourists this year, Gori wind farm, Biltmore sidewalk issue, Chinese coat factory, Mestia museum, UNDP ag, Gudauri water, Iranian eco village, plots to eco refugees, Batumi counterfeit talk, Abkhaz writer Iskander dies, Zura Tsereteli has a sculpture of Christ, sumo win, white cubs, Girchi video, match fixing, Gem Fest

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  1. The MEME this week is a video that the political party Girchi posted on their Facebook page. The video shows the party’s leader, Zurab Japaridze, doing the Van Demme splits between two big rig trucks, one truck carries the logo of Otsneba, the other of the National Movement. The video represents the party’s centrist stance, and it looks cool. Girchi is made up of former individuals close to the National Movement.
    Link: http://bit.ly/2aFz3Bd


    Lincoln Mitchell’s Georgia Analysis is devoted to the country’s undecided voters. A recent poll from the National Democratic Institute and Caucasus Research Resource Centers found that more than half of voters are still undecided. Mitchell thinks this is good and bad: the public is disillusioned with each of the main political parties, but the situation is stable enough that they don’t feel the need to pick a clear side.
    Link: http://bit.ly/2b6Qnve

    Giorgi Lomsadze writes in EurasiaNet about President Margvelashvili’s allegations that Georgian security forces are politically motivated.
    Link: http://bit.ly/2aTZ76P

    Also in EurasiaNet, Josh Kucera writes about allegations that Georgia’s Defense Ministry is packed with unqualified officials, and that nepotism is to blame.
    Link: http://bit.ly/2bdugmk

    Maia Edilashvili-Biermann has a great piece in EurasiaNet about Georgian women fighting against domestic violence. More shelters are opening up to help abused women, and increasing numbers of women are willing to report abuse to the police.
    Link: http://bit.ly/2aTZ4rL

    DF Watch was an in-depth piece on tension between Christians and Muslims in the village of Adigeni, near Akhaltsikhe. Members of the Muslim community asked for a separate burial space at the local cemetery; some Christians saw this as a move toward Islamization of the cemetery, and voted against it. The two groups clashed in February of this year.
    Link: http://bit.ly/2aEAauE

    DF Watch also has a piece on match fixing in Georgian football. There are at least six known cases of successful or attempted match fixing over the past two years.
    Link: http://dfwatch.net/match-fixing-plagues-georgian-football-44200

    The Guardian has a heartfelt piece on the Armenian village of Movses, near the border with Azerbaijan. Many homes there are in plain view of Azerbaijani snipers, and shootings are common. About 300 of the villages 2,000-some residents are expected to move to Russia this year.
    Link: http://bit.ly/2b6uD6c

    Foreign Policy has a good piece on Ukraine’s failure to combat corruption. The country’s leaders think that they are too important to fail; that the West will prop them up, even if they refuse to reform the country’s political and economic system.
    Link: http://bit.ly/2ayyxz4

    Caucasus Research Resource Centers released a study on how legal professionals view Georgia’s judicial system. Overall the results were pretty positive, although lawyers working in the NGO sector think that religious minorities and members of the LGBTI community are treated unfairly.
    Link: http://bit.ly/2bdtWE7

    Calvert Journal has a piece on photographer George Nebieridze. The photographer is based in Berlin but grew up in Tbilisi, and he’s set to release a book of photos chronicling a year in the Georgian capital.
    Link: http://bit.ly/2b7hDfx

    The Center for European Policy Analysis publishes a report on what Western governments can do to combat Russian propaganda. They recommend starting by tracking Russian propaganda in a systematic way: what the Kremlin is saying, where, and when. Also, governments should use social media to express alternatives to Russian narratives, something that they’re already doing against Daesh.
    Link: http://bit.ly/2bduzgR

    The New York Times magazine features a literary piece–a love story that takes place in Tbilisi.
    Link: http://nyti.ms/2b2jZg7

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