Russian ambo Istambul killed, EU visa lib progress, Lari slides, Akhalaia sentenced, Abkhaz protests, Russia human rights payout, Tedo in Turkey, Ajara Supreme Council probs, Europol, Trump pulls Batumi building, Norway CoE proj, new USAID cash, embezzling detentions, cop adults journo on ice, train fire, Svan avalanche, Vasadze says control media and women, Kakheti gets roads, German shuki in Guria, TBC helps Dutch, Qatar Doha flights, Melua gets medal, French pin Ovashvili, Demna get award, parliament talks budget and Syria aid, Inguri, Akhmeta metro, ISET loves Pinochet, Stephen Jones interview, Bitfury

One thought on “TBLPOD22dec2016

  1. The MEME this week is a dashcam video of someone driving down a snow-covered road near the village of Tskhvarichamia, not far from Tbilisi. The only color you can see is white.
    Link: http://bit.ly/2hdB6N5


    The Institute for War and Peace Reporting has a piece about the Inguri hydroelectric station, which is on the Administrative Boundary Line between Georgia and Abkhazia and provides power to both sides. The plant needs repair, but because it’s a joint Georgian-Abkhaz project, it’s difficult to agree on how to do that, and who should pay for it. Plus, shutting it down to make repairs to create a short-term energy shortage in the area.
    Link: http://bit.ly/2hWLXtD

    Inge Snip writes for EurasiaNet about the White Noise Movement, a group of people advocating for decriminalization of recreational drugs. They organized the big protest on Rustaveli last week. They rely on action rather than words, something that they call artistic activism.
    Link: http://bit.ly/2h5yzBv

    Giorgi Lomsadze writes for EurasiaNet too, this time about the small town of Akhmeta in Kakheti, which is making plans to name its metro stations, airports, seaports, and ropeway. What’s the catch? The town of 7,000 people has none of those things. Town Council Chairperson Gela Jugashvili told a local television station that the whole thing is a misunderstanding, but it’s really funny.
    Link: http://bit.ly/2hvbzwI

    The ISET blog looks at the economic lessons learned from Chile, a country that underwent so-called shock therapy to marketize its economy under the military dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet. The reforms were really difficult in the short term but bore serious fruit 10 and 20 years later, something that Georgia’s reformers also hope for. The lesson to be learned? Chile stuck with the pro-market path even after Pinochet gave up power, and Otsneba should continue the National Movement’s economic policies, too.
    Link: http://bit.ly/2hWQzzS

    The Smithsonian Magazine has a piece on Georgia, the Eden of the Caucasus. The article is packed with historical insights and interesting anecdotes, and it finishes with some recommendations on where to eat and stay when visiting Georgia. Most of it is devoted to Kazbegi and the surrounding area.
    Link: http://bit.ly/2hgtdIB

    Roads and Kingdoms takes us to Svaneti, Georgia’s most remote and exotic region. The piece is well-written but plays on a few too many stereotypes and cliches, and makes a few dubious claims. For example, the author claims that Georgian priests regularly attack minorities, without defining what regular means.
    Link: http://bit.ly/2hgtBXq

    The Caucasus Research Resource Centers, better known as CRRC, publish a statistical analysis on the validity of the parliamentary election results. They test for election fraud, finding that the voting tally was accurate but still had some of the same problems from 2012. They recommend the Central Election Commission digitize the voting process and increase transparency of the vote counting process, among some other things.
    Link: http://bit.ly/2i5eFYS

    Expertpolls.ge, which is a project of the Georgian Institute of Politics, has an infographic breaking down the new parliament. It’s got info on the parliamentary speakers, the chairpersons of each committee, and the parliamentary factions and their members.
    Link: http://bit.ly/2h5HdzW

    Also for the Georgian Institute of Politics, TBLPOD’s Joe Larsen interviews Professor Stephen Jones, who’s a really accomplished expert on Georgia and always has lots of interesting things to say. They discuss the parliamentary elections, Trump and Brexit, and the lessons that Georgia can learn from the years right after the First World War.
    Link: http://bit.ly/2h5HBhG

    DF Watch investigates Bitfury, a bitcoin company that first started operating in Georgia in 2014. They mine and store bitcoins on servers located in Gori and Tbilisi, and they get a number of tax benefits from the government, mostly because they got Free Industrial Zone Status for their land in Gldani.
    Link: http://bit.ly/2hvgaiz

    The New York Times has a good explainer on the possible fallout of the assassination of Russian Ambassador to Turkey Andrey Karlov. Despite many people speculating that the incident will drive a wedge between the two countries, both sides are firmly blaming it on third parties.
    Link: http://bit.ly/2h5ItD0

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