PM announces cabinet, Gov says they will fix Avar FGM, Brink in town, Ilia II in Moscow, McCain and Lindsey Graham will visit in Jan on Dont Worry About Trump tour, Margvel says he will fight changing directly elected president, Varsh steps down in Batumi, Karasin says up yours, Chachibaia new top general, Broadcaster and Border Police chiefs step down, Transgender day of remembrance, peacekeepers monument at Krtsanisi, campaign finance numbers, parties to be funded up to twenty, Israel sick of fake asylum seekers, winds, Luftansa strike, Narmania helps cars, Omsbudsman tells Vake pool let women swim, trade up, WB says grown up, Pharmadepot bought, Kiev flights, Lelos beat Samoa, Bidzina sells de Kooning, new Chokhatauri Art Palace, Jr Eurovision win, Will on spas

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  1. The MEME this week is a highlight video of the Lelos’ impressive victory against Samoa. It’s a great moment for Georgia and for its rugby team, which is gaining recognition around the world.
    Link: http://bit.ly/2gljYp1

    Luis Navarro of the Foreign Policy Research Institute writes about Georgia’s political situation after Otsneba’s electoral victory. The party has clear majorities at nearly all levels of government, and one of the parliamentary opposition parties, the Patriots Alliance, is allegedly favored by Bidzina. The two parties have in common the desire to amend the constitution to ban same-sex marriage, for example.
    Link: http://bit.ly/2gq4hdO

    Caucasus Analytical Digest devotes an issue to the Parliamentary Election results. They consider several factors: undecided voters, whether the outcome should be viewed positively or negatively from a democratization standpoint, and whether anti-Western propaganda had much of an effect on the outcome.
    Link: http://bit.ly/2fVJMHW

    Social Science in the Caucasus analyzes gender and minority representation on the political party lists. Women won 24 of 150 seats, and ethnic minorities won 11 out of 150. These figures seem disappointing but are actually the highest in Georgia’s history. Among the top six parties, the Burjanadze-Democrats had the highest proportion of women on their party list, 41 percent. Georgian Dream had the lowest at 12 percent. The National Movement had the highest proportion of ethnic minorities at 8 percent, and the Free Democrats came in last at 3 percent.
    Link: http://bit.ly/2gk3UAx

    Giorgi Lomsadze reviews Ali & Nino, the film adaptation of the popular novel. The movie is being promoted by the Azerbaijani government; one of the producers is Leyla Aliyeva, the daughter of President Ilham Aliyev. Lomsadze’s view is that the film is very beautifully shot but the plot doesn’t stay true to the novel and the script is stale. He thinks it’s more a travel advertisement for Azerbaijan than a quality feature film.
    Link: http://bit.ly/2fJhFZE

    The Wrap profiles film director Rusudan Glurjidze, whose film House of Others is under consideration for the Oscar for best foreign language film. Her film covers the lives of two families living in homes in Abkhazia forcibly vacated during the civil war during the 1990s. She says that as an artist, it’s her duty to raise attention to the issue.
    Link: http://bit.ly/2g8eKKD

    Will Dunbar publishes his guide to Tbilisi for The Calvert Journal. It covers where to eat, shop, and sightsee. Included are some well-known spots like Bassiani, Rooms, and the Betlemi Quarter. Also in there are some lesser-known spots like Keo da Kote.
    Link: http://bit.ly/2glgRxy

    Dunbar publishes another piece for the Calvert Journal this week, a letter from Tbilisi to the outside world. This is a picture of a vibrant city that is, in Dunbar’s own words: under threat from a mixture of fast money, neglect and bad government.
    Link: http://bit.ly/2fsvVoD

    Dunbar also has a piece on the Soviet-era resort in Tskalbuto.
    Link: http://tankmagazine.com/issue-69/features/william-dunbar-vladimir-shioshvili-georgia

    The European Alumni Association Georgia publishes its fourth podcast which focuses on the following issues: Visa liberalization, the EU and the Eastern Partnership countries relations with gas and electricity issues, the official visit of the EU and NATO, the elections in Europe, the Georgian Orthodox Church’s official visit to the EU and NATO, and a bunch of other things. The podcast is in Georgian, you can find it at soundcloud or listen live every monday at 2:30 PM on Radio Rioni.
    Link: http://bit.ly/2gq8236

    Radio Free Europe-Radio Liberty posts an infographic about petty corruption in post-communist countries with data from the hardest-working NGO in the South Caucasus, Transparency International. Georgians will be pleased to know that they are in the least corrupt category: fewer than 10 percent of households reported having paid a bribe to get basic services. Moldova and Tajikistan are the most corrupt–more than half of households reported paying bribes.
    Link: http://bit.ly/2gq1OA6

    Former US Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld makes the case in the Wall Street Journal for why Georgia belongs in NATO. He cites the recent democratic election and the government’s steadfast commitment for Euro-Atlantic integration despite the change in the ruling party in 2012. Georgia also made a big commitment to America’s war in Afghanistan.
    Link: http://bit.ly/2fJjOod

    The Clarion has a brief on levels of knowledge about Eastern Partnership countries within EU member states. In their view, the initiative would be a lot more effective if EU officials had more expertise in the region.
    Link: http://bit.ly/2fVQIoy

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