LULA IS INTERROGATED IN PRISON AGAIN

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE BRAZIL 247 NEWS AGENCY)

 

OPEC Warns of Oil Surplus in 2019

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE SAUDI NEWS AGENCY ASHARQ AL-AWSAT)

 

OPEC Warns of Oil Surplus in 2019

Wednesday, 14 November, 2018 – 10:45
A worker checks the valve of an oil pipe at Nahr Bin Umar oil field, north of Basra, Iraq. Essam Al-Sudani | Reuters
London – Asharq Al-Awsat
OPEC sees demand for its own crude falling even faster than expected in 2019 as a slowing global economy crimps demand and rival supplies surge.

For 2019, demand will likely grow by 1.29 million barrels per day to 100.08 million bpd — some 70,000 million barrels per day less than in the September report. Meanwhile, the cartel now sees the output from non-member nations increasing by 2.23 million bpd next year, up 120,000 bpd from its last forecast.

“Although the oil market has reached a balance now, the forecasts for 2019 for non-OPEC supply growth indicate higher volumes outpacing the expansion in world oil demand, leading to widening excess supply in the market,” the group wrote.

“The market now increasingly looks concerned about the prospects of too much supply,” said Norbert Ruecker, head of commodity research at Swiss bank Julius Baer.

“Hedge funds and other speculative money have swiftly changed from the long to the short side,” he added.

Saudi Minister of Energy, Industry and Mineral Resources Khalid al-Faleh said Monday that OPEC and its allies have agreed that technical analysis of the energy market shows a need to cut oil supply from 1 million barrels per day (bpd) from October levels.

“Hopefully, Saudi Arabia and OPEC will not be cutting oil production. Oil prices should be much lower based on supply!” US President Donald Trump wrote on Twitter.

Nigeria Increases Output

Nigeria will raise its crude oil production to 1.8 million bpd in 2019 from around 1.6 million bpd currently, head of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) Dr. Maikanti Baru told Reuters on Tuesday.
Baru added that the country currently produces 1.6 million bpd of oil and 0.4 million bpd of condensate.

“The expected deals are to be signed this month. We are almost done,” he stated. The NNPC boss hinted that the corporation could also sign crude-for-product agreements with Shell and ExxonMobil.

China posts faster industrial growth

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE SHANGHAI CHINA NEWS AGENCY ‘SHINE’)

 

China posts faster industrial growth

China’s economy posted steady growth in October with the industrial output enjoying a faster growth than September.

The value-added industrial output expanded 5.9 percent year on year in October, 0.1 percentage points faster than September, National Bureau of Statistics data showed yesterday.

On a monthly basis, output in October grew 0.48 percent from September, the bureau’s figures showed.

In the first 10 months of the year, industrial output rose 6.4 percent, flat with that for the first nine months.

Growth accelerated in most sectors last month. Twenty-five of the 41 main sectors grew faster than in September, accounting for 61 percent of the total. Among them, the electronics, iron and steel, gas supply industries maintained double-digit growth.

Output from the high-technology industry grew 12.4 percent in October, up 1.2 percentage points from September, and was 6.5 percentage points higher than the overall industrial output growth to account for 14 percent.

The strategic emerging industry also posted a year-on-year increase of 10.1 percent, which is 1.7 percentage points higher than last month, accounting for 19.1 percent in the overall figure, indicating optimization of the industrial structure.

“The industrial production continued to move up to medium and high ends,” said Liu Aihua, spokeswoman for the statistics bureau.

The service sector expanded 7.2 percent year on year in October, falling 0.1 percentage points from the previous month.

The information transmission, software and information technology service industry, and the leasing and business service sector increased by 35.7 percent and 8.6 percent, respectively, year on year.

The fixed-asset investment growth quickened to 5.7 percent year on year in the January-October period from 5.4 percent in the first three quarters, hitting a four-month high.

The country’s economic growth was operating within a reasonable range, and the trend for its long-term sound development remained unchanged, Liu said.

To ensure economic stability, China unveiled a flurry of policies that have paid off, she said.

Infrastructure investment posted a significant rebound to 3.7 percent year on year for the period from January to October, up from 3.3 percent in the first nine months, lifting the headline FAI figure by 0.8 percentage points. The pace of growth picked up for the first time this year.

Private-sector investment, which accounts for about 60 percent of the total fixed-asset investment, also expanded at a faster pace of 8.8 percent in the first 10 months, compared with an increase of 8.7 percent in the first three quarters.

“We believe that the momentum in infrastructure sector is likely to continue till the end of 2018,” said Australia and New Zealand Banking Group.

However, property investment continued to cool as the government maintained its tightening measures to curb speculation in the market. Property investment growth fell to 7.7 percent year on year in October from 8.9 percent in September, taking year-to-date growth down to 9.7 percent from 9.9 percent.

Growth of housing sales measured by floor area in October fell to the lowest in six months.

Looking ahead, both property and land transaction growth pointed to a further downside in property investment growth, analysts from China International Capital Corp said.

Retail sales growth slowed more than expected to 8.6 percent in October from 9.2 percent in September. It climbed 9.2 percent for the first 10 months.

Liu said the slower consumption growth was partly caused by the shift of Mid-Autumn Festival from October last year to September this year.

The country’s e-commerce giant Alibaba netted a record of 213.5 billion yuan (US$30.7 billion) in sales on Sunday, the Singles Day online shopping spree, exceeding the combined sales for Black Friday and Cyber Monday in the United States.

CICC analysts said the weak retail sales in October also reflected softer discretionary consumption demand. Auto sales, which take up around 10 percent of total retail sales, plunged 6.4 percent last month and became one of the major drags.

Liu warned about downward pressure on the economy. However, with inflation being mild, fiscal deficit ratio at a low level, the government’s debt ratio within a reasonable range and foreign exchange reserves being sufficient, the country has ample room to maneuver its macro-economic policies, she said.

Earlier data showed consumer prices rose 2.5 percent year on year in October, unchanged from the previous month. While on a month-on-month basis, the Consumer Price Index grew 0.2 percent, 0.5 percentage points slower than September.

By category, prices of food, tobacco and alcohol rose by 2.9 percent year on year, housing prices went up by 2.5 percent, and prices of transportation and communications increased 3.2 percent.

From January to October, CPI rose 2.1 percent from a year ago.

India: Participation in Asean, East Asia summits sign of continued commitment, Modi

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF INDIA’S HINDUSTAN TIMES)

 

Participation in Asean, East Asia summits a sign of continued commitment, says PM Narendra Modi

Prime Minister Narendra Modi is participating in the Asean-India and East Asia Summits in Singapore on November 14-15.

INDIA Updated: Nov 14, 2018 00:04 IST

HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Nanredra Modi in Singapore,Asean summit,PM Modi in Singapore
Prime Minister Narendra Modi embarks on the plane to leave for Singapore on November 13. (Twitter/PMO)

Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Tuesday his participation in the Asean-India and East Asia Summits in Singapore reflects India’s “continued commitment” to strengthen its engagement with Asean members and the wider Indo-Pacific region.

Besides participating in these two summits during November 14-15, Modi will also join the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) leaders’ meeting and hold a bilateral meeting with US vice president Mike Pence.

“My participation in these meetings symbolises our continued commitment to strengthening our engagement with Asean member states and with the wider Indo-Pacific region. I am looking forward to my interactions with other Asean and East Asia Summit leaders,” Modi said in his departure statement.

On Wednesday, Modi will be the first head of government to deliver the keynote address at the Singapore Fintech Festival. As the world’s largest financial technology event, he said, the festival is the right forum to showcase India’s strengths in this fast-growing sector and to forge global partnerships for fostering innovation. Modi said he would also have the opportunity to interact with participants and winners of the India-Singapore Hackathon. “It is my firm belief that if we provide the right encouragement and a nurturing ecosystem, our youth has the ability to become global leaders in providing solutions to the challenges facing humanity,” he added.

Besides Pence, Modi will hold bilateral meetings with Singapore PM Lee Hsein Loong, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha.

First Published: Nov 14, 2018 00:02 IST

Hundreds protest reported Gaza ceasefire

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE TIMES OF ISRAEL)

 

Hundreds protest reported Gaza ceasefire, block Sderot roads with burning tires

Some demonstrators in rocket-battered town clash with police, chant ‘Bibi go home’; protesters said planning rally in Tel Aviv Wednesday

Protesters burn tires at the entrance to the southern town of Sderot, Novermber 13, 2018 (Hadashot screenshot)

Protesters burn tires at the entrance to the southern town of Sderot, November 13, 2018 (Hadashot screenshot)

Hundreds of people were demonstrating Tuesday evening at the entrance to the town of Sderot over Israel’s reported agreement for a ceasefire with Gaza’s Hamas terrorist rulers, after a 25-hour period that saw over 460 rockets fired at Israeli communities near the Palestinian enclave.

Protesters were blocking roads and burning tires, with some chanting, “Bibi go home,” using a nickname for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Confrontations were reported between protesters and policemen.

Police said they were working to restore order, saying they would “allow freedom of expression and lawful protest” but not “disturbance of public order, violence towards policemen and civilians and riots on major roads.”

Some 500 people were reported to be taking part in the protest.

According to Hadashot TV news, some southern residents planned further demonstrations and road blockages in Tel Aviv on Wednesday to protest the truce.

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Zionist Union leader Avi Gabbay expressed support for the protesters, saying it was a “justified” response to the government “forsaking” them.

He said the government had failed the south by “neglecting” the issue of Gaza since the 2014 war.

“This is not the time for another fragile truce,” he said. “This is the time for a true diplomatic initiative in Gaza, that will lean on the recommendations of the security establishment.”

Hamas and other Gaza terror groups said Tuesday they had accepted an Egyptian-mediated ceasefire with Israel. Terms of the deal were not immediately known, and there was no immediate comment from Israel. But a senior Israeli diplomatic official appeared to confirm the reported armistice.

“Israel maintains its right to act. Requests from Hamas for a ceasefire came through four different mediators. Israel responded that the events on the ground will decide [if a ceasefire will go into effect],” the official said, on condition of anonymity.

Many southern residents were unhappy with the decision.

“It’s better that we suffer in shelters and they put an end to it once and for all,” Reut Bassis of Sderot told Hadashot. “A month from today the same thing will happen…it doesn’t make sense that our lives are like this.”

Another Sderot resident, Miri, said: “The IDF is hitting empty buildings, while sending them trucks with cement and construction materials. Where’s our self-respect? We’ve been at war for 17 years.”

Another man, Yohanan Cohen, said he had lost faith in the prime minister. “I’ve been a Likud man for 40 years but I promise I won’t vote Likud anymore. We’re captives of Hamas.”

People gather outside a house that was hit by a rocket fired from the Gaza Strip in the southern Israeli city of Ashkelon, on November 13, 2018. (Nati Shohat/Flash90)

Channel 10 news reported Tuesday evening that at least four senior ministers opposed the decision.

The report said Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman, Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked, Environmental Protection Minister Ze’ev Elkin, and Education Minister Naftali Bennett proposed an alternative response, but it was rejected by the other ministers.

An unnamed minister who attended the seven-hour meeting Tuesday told the news outlet that no vote was held to determine the next steps. A source with direct knowledge of the discussions confirmed to the Times of Israel there was no vote.

The source confirmed there were several disagreements between cabinet members, some of which were the focus of debate for a number of hours. They would not comment on the content of the disagreements.

At the conclusion of the meeting, the security cabinet released a statement that read, “The security cabinet discussed the events in the south. The cabinet received briefings from the IDF and defense officials on the [IDF] strikes and widespread operations against terror targets in Gaza. The cabinet instructed the IDF to continue its strikes as needed.”

According to the military, over 460 rockets and mortar shells were fired at southern Israel over the course of 25 hours on Monday and Tuesday. The Iron Dome missile defense system intercepted over 100 of them. Most of the rest landed in open fields, but dozens landed inside Israeli cities and towns, killing one person, injuring dozens more, and causing significant property damage.

A home in the southern Israeli town of Netivot that was hit by a rocket fired from the Gaza Strip on November 12, 2018. (Israel Police)

In response to the rocket and mortar attacks, the Israeli military said it targeted approximately 160 sites in the Gaza Strip connected to the Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad terror groups, including four facilities that the army designated as “key strategic assets.”

In recent weeks, Egyptian and UN mediators had appeared to be making progress in brokering informal understandings aimed at quieting the situation.

Last week, Israel allowed Qatar to deliver $15 million to Gaza to allow cash-strapped Hamas to pay the salaries of thousands of government workers. At the same time, Hamas has lowered the intensity of violent border protests in recent weeks.

The fighting on Monday and Tuesday cast doubt over understandings previously brokered by Egypt and UN officials to reduce tensions. Just a day earlier, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had defended those understandings, saying he was doing everything possible to avoid another “unnecessary war.”

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Israel: Defense Minister Liberman resigns over disagreements with Prime Minister

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE TIMES OF ISRAEL)

 

Defense Minister Liberman resigns, says Israel ‘capitulated to terror’ in Gaza

Yisrael Beytenu leader slams ‘drastically inadequate’ response to massive rocket fire on south, calls for elections as soon as possible; Netanyahu to take over defense portfolio

Yisrael Beytenu chairman Avigdor Liberman announced Wednesday that he would be resigning as defense minister and called for the government to be dismantled and for new elections to be set.

“I am here to announce my resignation from the government,” he said at a hastily organized press conference at the Knesset after a Yisrael Beytenu party meeting, during which he told MKs of his decision.

Liberman said his decision came in light of the ceasefire reportedly agreed on Tuesday between Israel and Palestinian terror groups in Gaza following an unprecedentedly fierce two-day barrage of over 400 rockets fired by Hamas and other terror groups toward Israel.

A day earlier, Liberman and other ministers severely criticized Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu over the decision.

“What happened yesterday, the ceasefire, together with the deal with Hamas, is a capitulation to terror. There is no other way of explaining it,” he told reporters on Wednesday.

“What we are doing right now is buying quiet for a heavy price with no long-term plan to reduce violence toward us,” he said of the deal, which wasn’t officially confirmed by Israeli officials. He also slammed the military’s response to the rocket fire. “To put it lightly, our response was drastically lacking to the 500 rockets fired at us,” he said.

Fire and smoke billow following Israeli air strikes targeting Hamas infrastructure in Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip, near the border with Egypt, on November 12, 2018. (Said Khatib/AFP)

Liberman also directly criticized Netanyahu, saying he “fundamentally disagreed with him” on a number of key issues, including the government’s allowing $15 million to be transferred in cash from the Qatari government to Hamas on Friday.

“I opposed it. The prime minister needed to write an executive order for it to go above my head,” Liberman claimed, saying that the money went first to the families of Hamas members killed on the Gaza border in clashes with the IDF and then to funding for rockets to fire at Israel.

He said that he made his decision because “I could not remain [in office] and still be able to look residents of the south in the eyes.”

Liberman concluded his prepared statement by calling for elections to be held “at the soonest possible date.” During a subsequent question-and-answer session he predicted that right-wing voters would “see through the other parties’ hypocrisy” and reward his Yisrael Beytenu party with 20 Knesset seats.

A Likud source said in response that there was “no need to go to elections at this time of sensitive security,” despite the coalition losing five seats with Yisrael Beytenu’s expected exit.

After Yisrael Beytenu’s pull out, the coalition will hold a paper-thin majority in the 120-seat Knesset. New elections must be held by within the coming 12 months.

“The government can complete its term,” the Likud source said in a statement. “In any case, in the meantime, the defense portfolio will go to Prime Minister Netanyahu.”

The Jewish Home party, however, is expected to demand the position of defense minister for its leader, Education Minister Naftali Bennett.

Liberman has clashed frequently with Bennett, whose religious-nationalist party will compete with Liberman’s secular right-wing Yisrael Beytenu over the votes of many hawkish Israelis in the upcoming Knesset elections.

The two men have traded barbs repeatedly in recent weeks, with Bennett accusing Liberman of being soft on Gaza and Liberman replying in kind, while also asserting that policy decisions regarding the ongoing violence emanating from the Strip were made by the ministers in the high-level security cabinet rather than his office.

Earlier Wednesday, Netanyahu defended his decision to accept a ceasefire with terror groups in Gaza after the worst escalation in violence in the Strip since 2014.

“In times of emergency, when making decisions crucial to security, the public can’t always be privy to the considerations that must be hidden from the enemy,” he said at a ceremony in honor of Israel’s first prime minister David Ben-Gurion.

“Our enemies begged for a ceasefire and they knew very well why,” he added.

The deal has provoked criticism from within Netanyahu’s government as well as from Israelis who live near the Gaza Strip and want further action against Hamas, the terror group that rules the enclave.

Sources close to the defense minister told Haaretz that he was “incensed” by a briefing in which Netanyahu appeared to indicate that Liberman supported the reported ceasefire.

The security cabinet reportedly agreed to the ceasefire with Hamas on Tuesday afternoon, in a decision that several cabinet ministers later said they opposed. The decision was slammed by some opposition leaders, who called it a capitulation to terror after a deadly two-day conflagration that saw over 400 rockets and mortar shells fired at southern Israel.

Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman (C) leads discussions at military headquarters in Tel Aviv, November 12, 2018 (Ariel Hermoni/Defense Ministry)

Channel 10 reported that at least four senior ministers who attended the cabinet meeting opposed the decision, which was made by Netanyahu without a vote. But Housing Minister Yoav Gallant, who was at the meeting, said the ministers all accepted the decision.

The ceasefire was hailed by Hamas as a victory ostensibly imposed on Israel on Hamas’s terms. Rocket fire at Israel came to a halt on Tuesday afternoon, after two days of incessant attacks.

Liberman, Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked, Environmental Protection Minister Ze’ev Elkin, and Education Minister Naftali Bennett proposed an alternative response, but it was rejected by the other ministers at the meeting, according to Channel 10.

An unnamed minister who attended the seven-hour meeting Tuesday told the outlet that no vote had been held to determine the next steps. A source with direct knowledge of the discussions confirmed to The Times of Israel that no vote took place.

The source said there were several disagreements between cabinet members, some of which were the focus of debate for “a number of hours.” The source would not, however, comment on the content of the disagreements.

At the conclusion of the meeting, the security cabinet merely released a statement that read: “The security cabinet discussed the events in the south. The cabinet received briefings from the IDF and defense officials on the [IDF] strikes and widespread operations against terror targets in Gaza. The cabinet instructed the IDF to continue its strikes as needed.”

Missiles from Israel’s Iron Dome air defence system in the south of Israel destroy incoming missiles fired at Israel from the Palestinian enclave of Gaza above Ashkelon on November 13, 2018. (GIL COHEN-MAGEN / AFP)

According to the military, over 460 rockets and mortar shells were fired at southern Israel over the course of 25 hours on Monday and Tuesday. The Iron Dome missile defense system intercepted over 100 of them. Most of the rest landed in open fields, but dozens landed inside Israeli cities and towns, killing one person, injuring dozens more, and causing significant property damage.

In response to the rocket and mortar attacks, the Israeli military said it targeted approximately 160 sites in the Gaza Strip connected to the Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad terror groups, including four facilities that the army designated as “key strategic assets.”

As news of a ceasefire broke, Liberman’s office put out a statement saying that any claim that he had backed ending Israel’s offensive was “fake news. The defense minister’s position is consistent and has not changed.”

Similarly, Bennett’s office said any reports that he had supported a halt to strikes were “an absolute lie” and that the minister had “presented his resolute position to the cabinet that he has expressed in recent months and his plan for Gaza.”

Times of Israel staff contributed to this report.

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On The Minds

On The Minds

Actions and Consequences The Youth

This issue is at the forefront of the American Social problem. I am a firm believer that in order for a lesson to be learned it must leave an impression. If it doesn’t then it is simply brushed aside as a road that can be traveled again without fear of consequence. Actions in any scenario are only changed or molded though uniform consequences and an understanding that if you choose to cross the line it will cost you more than an ear full. Words have almost no meaning if they aren’t backed up with an actionable threat. Something our politicians need to understand in the foreign relations world. Now I am not talking about beating your child I’m talking about leaving an impression. Does smacking your child on the butt convey an actionable threat yes, so the child must respect that consequence. Its supposed to…

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Building the Wall

On The Minds

The America of the past is gone in many respects replaced by soft hearts and political correctness instead of looking at the big picture and doing what needs to be done to make that big picture as beautiful as possible. The short shortsightedness and “easy way” nature of our leadership has created an environment where breaking our nation boarder laws is the norm. Our boarder patrolmen already fighting an uphill battle are now also being told to not follow laws on the books and are being shot and killed by guns our country’s government sold to the Mexican cartels. In yet another show of stupidity our current administration has become known. America has great laws on the books we just need to enforce those not look for ways to get around them. America had basically eradicated many diseases that just decades ago were deadly. Now we see those same diseases…

View original post 231 more words

Randon Thought

On The Minds

What if our DNA is just a complex computer system/code used by a superior species to hold data over long periods of time safely until their return? 97% of our DNA we don’t understand what if its an encyclopedia of information we just can’t read yet.

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Georgia: Truth, Knowledge, History Of This South West Asian Nation

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE CIA WORLD FACTBOOK)

 

Georgia

Introduction The region of present-day Georgia contained the ancient kingdoms of Colchis and Kartli-Iberia. The area came under Roman influence in the first centuries A.D. and Christianity became the state religion in the 330s. Domination by Persians, Arabs, and Turks was followed by a Georgian golden age (11th-13th centuries) that was cut short by the Mongol invasion of 1236. Subsequently, the Ottoman and Persian empires competed for influence in the region. Georgia was absorbed into the Russian Empire in the 19th century. Independent for three years (1918-1921) following the Russian revolution, it was forcibly incorporated into the USSR until the Soviet Union dissolved in 1991. An attempt by the incumbent Georgian government to manipulate national legislative elections in November 2003 touched off widespread protests that led to the resignation of Eduard SHEVARDNADZE, president since 1995. New elections in early 2004 swept Mikheil SAAKASHVILI into power along with his National Movement party. Progress on market reforms and democratization has been made in the years since independence, but this progress has been complicated by two ethnic conflicts in the breakaway regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia. These two territories remain outside the control of the central government and are ruled by de facto, unrecognized governments, supported by Russia. Russian-led peacekeeping operations continue in both regions.
History The territory of modern-day Georgia has been continuously inhabited since the early Stone Age. The classic period saw the rise of the early Georgian states of Colchis and Iberia, which laid the foundation of Georgian culture and eventual statehood. The proto-Georgian tribes first appear in written history in the 12th century BC.[14] Archaeological finds and references in ancient sources reveal advancement of early Georgian political and state formations – their urban heritage and advanced metallurgy and goldsmith techniques that date back to the 7th century BC and beyond.[15] In the 4th century BC a unified kingdom of Georgia – an early example of advanced state organization under one king and the hierarchy of aristocracy, was established.[16]

Christianity came to Georgia with its first missionaries and it was declared the state religion as early as AD 337. The conversion to Christianity provided a great stimulus to literature and the arts and helped to unify the country. Early and medieval Christian scholarship, the links with the rest of the Christian world and dynamic exchange with the Islamic world, together with the development of national literature and the political consolidation of the state in the 11th century AD culminated in a true renaissance in the 12-13th centuries AD.[17]

This early Georgian renaissance, which preceded its European analogue by several hundred years, was significant and was characterized by magnificent secular art and culture, the flourishing of a romantic- chivalric tradition, breakthroughs in philosophy, and an array of political innovations in society and state organization, including religious and ethnic tolerance. The Golden age of Georgia left a legacy of great cathedrals, romantic poetry and literature, and the epic poem “The Knight in the Panther’s Skin”. This Golden Age was interrupted at its peak by the Mongol Invasion in the 13th century AD Throughout the next six centuries, Georgia was conquered by repeated invasions by Persians and Turks, resulting in the disintegration of the Georgian state into several small kingdoms. Due to this national crisis, in 1783 Georgia signed the Treaty of Georgievsk with the Russian Empire, placing the eastern Georgian kingdom of Kartli-Kakheti under the Russian protectorate. Despite Russia’s commitment to defend Georgia, it rendered no assistance when the Turks invaded in 1785 and again in 1795. This period culminated in the 1801 Russian annexation of remaining Georgian lands and the deposing of the Bagrationi dynasty.

A few decades later, Georgian society produced a modernist nationalistic elite which united Georgian society around the dream of the restoration of their once glorious state. In 1918, this dream was fulfilled and the Democratic Republic of Georgia (1918-1921) was established. This democratic experiment was short-lived, as in 1921 Georgia was occupied by Bolshevik Russia. Georgia was incorporated into the Soviet Union in 1922. Georgia gained its independence from the Soviet Union in 1991, and, after a period of civil war and severe economic crisis, Georgia was mostly stable by the late 1990s. The bloodless Rose Revolution of 2003 installed a new, pro-Western reformist government that aspired to join NATO and attempted to bring the secessionist territories back under Georgia’s control. These efforts resulted in a deterioration of relations with Russia, in part because of the continued presence of Russian troops. As of 2007, most Russian military forces have been withdrawn, with the last remaining base in Batumi handed over to Georgia in 2007.[18]

Georgia in antiquity

Ancient Georgian Kingdoms of Colchis and Iberia

Two early Georgian kingdoms of late antiquity, known to ancient Greeks and Romans as Iberia (Georgian: იბერია) in the east of the country and Colchis (Georgian: კოლხეთი) in the west, were among the first nations in the region to adopt Christianity (in AD 337, or in AD 319 as recent research suggests.).

In Greek Mythology, Colchis was the location of the Golden Fleece sought by Jason and the Argonauts in Apollonius Rhodius’ epic tale Argonautica. The incorporation of the Golden Fleece into the myth may have derived from the local practice of using fleeces to sift gold dust from rivers. Known to its natives as Egrisi or Lazica, Colchis often saw battles between the rival powers of Persia and the Byzantine Empire, both of which managed to conquer Western Georgia from time to time.

In the last centuries of the pre-Christian era, the area, in the form of the kingdom of Kartli-Iberia, was strongly influenced by Greece to the west and Persia to the east.[19] After the Roman Empire completed its conquest of the Caucasus region in 66 B.C., the kingdom was a Roman client state and ally for nearly 400 years.[19] In A.D. 330, King Marian III’s acceptance of Christianity ultimately tied the kingdom to the neighboring Byzantine Empire, which exerted a strong cultural influence for several centuries.[19]

The early kingdoms disintegrated into various feudal regions by the early Middle Ages. This made it easy for Arabs to conquer Georgia in the 7th century. The rebellious regions were liberated and united into a unified Georgian Kingdom at the beginning of the 11th century. Starting in the 12th century AD, the rule of Georgia extended over a significant part of the Southern Caucasus, including the northeastern parts and almost the entire northern coast of what is now Turkey.

Although Arabs captured the capital city of Tbilisi in A.D. 645, Kartli-Iberia retained considerable independence under local Arab rulers.[19] In A.D. 813, the prince Ashot I also known as Ashot Kurapalat became the first of the Bagrationi family to rule the kingdom: Ashot’s reign began a period of nearly 1,000 years during which the Bagrationi, as the house was known, ruled at least part of what is now the republic.

Western and eastern Georgia were united under Bagrat V (r. 1027-72). In the next century, David IV (called the Builder, r. 1099-1125) initiated the Georgian golden age by driving the Turks from the country and expanding Georgian cultural and political influence southward into Armenia and eastward to the Caspian Sea.[19]

Medieval Georgia

Kingdom of Georgia at peak of its military dominance, 1184-1225

The Georgian Kingdom reached its zenith in the 12th to early 13th centuries. This period has been widely termed as Georgia’s Golden Age or Georgian Renaissance. The revival of the Georgian Kingdom was short-lived however, and the Kingdom was eventually subjugated by the Mongols in 1236. Thereafter, different local rulers fought for their independence from central Georgian rule, until the total disintegration of the Kingdom in the 15th century. Neighbouring kingdoms exploited the situation and from the 16th century, the Persian Empire and the Ottoman Empire subjugated the eastern and western regions of Georgia, respectively.

The rulers of regions which remained partly autonomous organized rebellions on various occasions. Subsequent Persian and Osman invasions further weakened local kingdoms and regions. As a result of wars against neighbouring countries, the population of Georgia was reduced to 250,000 inhabitants at one point.

Within the Russian Empire

In 1783, Russia and the eastern Georgian kingdom of Kartli-Kakheti signed the Treaty of Georgievsk, according to which Kartli-Kakheti received protection by Russia. This, however, did not prevent Tbilisi from being sacked by the Persians in 1795.

On December 22, 1800, Tsar Paul I of Russia, at the alleged request of the Georgian King George XII, signed the proclamation on the incorporation of Georgia (Kartli-Kakheti) within the Russian Empire, which was finalized by a decree on January 8, 1801,[20][21] which was confirmed by Tsar Alexander I on September 12, 1801.[22][23] The Georgian envoy in Saint Petersburg reacted with a note of protest that was presented to the Russian vice-chancellor Prince Kurakin.[24] In May 1801, Russian General Carl Heinrich Knorring dethroned the Georgian heir to the throne David Batonishvili and instituted a government headed by General Ivan Petrovich Lasarev.[25]

The Georgian nobility did not accept the decree until April 1802 when General Knorring compassed the nobility in Tbilisi’s Sioni Cathedral and forced them to take an oath on the Imperial Crown of Russia. Those who disagreed were arrested temporarily.[26]

In the summer of 1805, Russian troops on the Askerani River near Zagam defeated the Persian army and saved Tbilisi from conquest.

Democratic Republic of Georgia, 1918-1921

In 1810, after a brief war,[27] the western Georgian kingdom of Imereti was annexed by Tsar Alexander I of Russia. The last Imeretian king and the last Georgian Bagrationi ruler Solomon II died in exile in 1815. From 1803 to 1878, as a result of numerous Russian wars against Turkey and Iran, several territories were annexed to Georgia. These areas (Batumi, Akhaltsikhe, Poti, and Abkhazia) now represent a large part of the territory of Georgia. The principality of Guria was abolished in 1828, and that of Samegrelo (Mingrelia) in 1857. The region of Svaneti was gradually annexed in 1857–59.

Brief independence period and Soviet era

After the Russian Revolution of 1917, Georgia declared independence on May 26, 1918 in the midst of the Russian Civil War. The parliamentary election was won by the Georgian Social-Democratic Party, considered to be a party of Mensheviks, and its leader, Noe Zhordania, became the prime minister. In 1918 a Georgian–Armenian war erupted over parts of Georgian provinces populated mostly by Armenians which ended due to British intervention. In 1918–19 Georgian general Giorgi Mazniashvili led a Georgian attack against the White Army led by Moiseev and Denikin in order to claim the Black Sea coastline from Tuapse to Sochi and Adler for independent Georgia. The country’s independence did not last long, however. Georgia was under British protection from 1918-1920.

In February 1921 Georgia was attacked by the Red Army. Georgian troops lost the battle and the Social-Democrat government fled the country. On February 25, 1921 the Red Army entered the capital Tbilisi and installed a puppet communist government led by Georgian Bolshevik Filipp Makharadze, but the Soviet rule was firmly established only after the 1924 revolt was brutally suppressed. Georgia was incorporated into the Transcaucasian SFSR uniting Georgia, Armenia and Azerbaijan. The TFSSR was disaggregated into its component elements in 1936 and Georgia became the Georgian SSR.

The Georgian-born communist radical Ioseb Jughashvili, better known by his nom de guerre Stalin (from the Russian word for steel: сталь) was prominent among the Russian Bolsheviks, who came to power in the Russian Empire after the October Revolution in 1917. Stalin was to rise to the highest position of the Soviet state.

From 1941 to 1945, during World War II, almost 700,000 Georgians fought as Red Army soldiers against Nazi Germany. (A number also fought with the German army). About 350,000 Georgians died in the battlefields of the Eastern Front. Also during this period the Chechen, Ingush, Karachay and the Balkarian peoples from the Northern Caucasus, were deported to Siberia for alleged collaboration with the Nazis. With their respective autonomous republics abolished, the Georgian SSR was briefly granted some of their territory, until 1957.

The Dissidential movement for restoration of Georgian statehood started to gain popularity in the 1960s.[28] Among the Georgian dissidents, two of the most prominent activists were Merab Kostava and Zviad Gamsakhurdia. Dissidents were heavily persecuted by Soviet government and their activities were harshly suppressed. Almost all Zviad Gamsakhurdia, was the Chairman of the Supreme Council of the Republic of Georgia (the Georgian parliament).

On April 9, 1989, a peaceful demonstration in the Georgian capital Tbilisi ended in a massacre in which several people were killed by Soviet troops. This incident launched an anti-Soviet mass movement, soon shattered, however, by the in-fighting of its different political wings. Before the October 1990 elections to the national assembly, the Umaghlesi Sabcho (Supreme Council) — the first polls in the USSR held on a formal multi-party basis — the political landscape was reshaped again. While the more radical groups boycotted the elections and convened an alternative forum (National Congress), another part of the anticommunist opposition united into the Round Table—Free Georgia (RT-FG) around the former dissidents like Merab Kostava and Zviad Gamsakhurdia. The latter won the elections by a clear margin, with 155 out of 250 parliamentary seats, whereas the ruling Communist Party (CP) received only 64 seats. All other parties failed to get over the 5%-threshold and were thus allotted only some single-member constituency seats.

On April 9, 1991, shortly before the collapse of the USSR, Georgia declared independence. On May 26, 1991, Zviad Gamsakhurdia was elected as a first President of independent Georgia. However, Gamsakhurdia was soon deposed in a bloody coup d’état, from December 22, 1991 to January 6, 1992. The coup was instigated by part of the National Guards and a paramilitary organization called “Mkhedrioni”. The country became embroiled in a bitter civil war which lasted almost until 1995. Eduard Shevardnadze returned to Georgia in 1992 and joined the leaders of the coup — Kitovani and Ioseliani — to head a triumvirate called the “State Council”.

In 1995, Shevardnadze was officially elected as a president of Georgia, and reelected in 2000. At the same time, two regions of Georgia, Abkhazia and South Ossetia, quickly became embroiled in disputes with local separatists that led to widespread inter-ethnic violence and wars. Supported by Russia, Abkhazia and South Ossetia achieved and maintained de facto independence from Georgia. More than 250,000 Georgians were ethnically cleansed from Abkhazia by Abkhaz separatists and North Caucasians volunteers, (including Chechens) in 1992-1993. More than 25,000 Georgians were expelled from Tskhinvali as well, and many Ossetian families were forced to abandon their homes in the Borjomi region and move to Russia.

In 2003, Shevardnadze was deposed by the Rose Revolution, after Georgian opposition and international monitors asserted that the November 2 parliamentary elections were marred by fraud.[29] The revolution was led by Mikheil Saakashvili, Zurab Zhvania and Nino Burjanadze, former members and leaders of Shavarnadze’s ruling party. Mikheil Saakashvili was elected as President of Georgia in 2004.

Following the Rose Revolution, a series of reforms was launched to strengthen the country’s military and economic capabilities. The new government’s efforts to reassert the Georgian authority in the southwestern autonomous republic of Ajaria led to a major crisis early in 2004. Success in Ajaria encouraged Saakashvili to intensify his efforts, but without success, in the breakaway South Ossetia.

Geography Location: Southwestern Asia, bordering the Black Sea, between Turkey and Russia
Geographic coordinates: 42 00 N, 43 30 E
Map references: Asia
Area: total: 69,700 sq km
land: 69,700 sq km
water: 0 sq km
Area – comparative: slightly smaller than South Carolina
Land boundaries: total: 1,461 km
border countries: Armenia 164 km, Azerbaijan 322 km, Russia 723 km, Turkey 252 km
Coastline: 310 km
Maritime claims: territorial sea: 12 nm
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
Climate: warm and pleasant; Mediterranean-like on Black Sea coast
Terrain: largely mountainous with Great Caucasus Mountains in the north and Lesser Caucasus Mountains in the south; Kolkhet’is Dablobi (Kolkhida Lowland) opens to the Black Sea in the west; Mtkvari River Basin in the east; good soils in river valley flood plains, foothills of Kolkhida Lowland
Elevation extremes: lowest point: Black Sea 0 m
highest point: Mt’a Shkhara 5,201 m
Natural resources: forests, hydropower, manganese deposits, iron ore, copper, minor coal and oil deposits; coastal climate and soils allow for important tea and citrus growth
Land use: arable land: 11.51%
permanent crops: 3.79%
other: 84.7% (2005)
Irrigated land: 4,690 sq km (2003)
Total renewable water resources: 63.3 cu km (1997)
Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural): total: 3.61 cu km/yr (20%/21%/59%)
per capita: 808 cu m/yr (2000)
Natural hazards: earthquakes
Environment – current issues: air pollution, particularly in Rust’avi; heavy pollution of Mtkvari River and the Black Sea; inadequate supplies of potable water; soil pollution from toxic chemicals
Environment – international agreements: party to: Air Pollution, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands
signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements
Geography – note: strategically located east of the Black Sea; Georgia controls much of the Caucasus Mountains and the routes through them
People Population: 4,646,003 (July 2007 est.)
Age structure: 0-14 years: 16.7% (male 413,506/female 364,407)
15-64 years: 66.6% (male 1,489,081/female 1,605,021)
65 years and over: 16.7% (male 311,098/female 462,890) (2007 est.)
Median age: total: 38 years
male: 35.5 years
female: 40.4 years (2007 est.)
Population growth rate: -0.329% (2007 est.)
Birth rate: 10.54 births/1,000 population (2007 est.)
Death rate: 9.37 deaths/1,000 population (2007 est.)
Net migration rate: -4.45 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2007 est.)
Sex ratio: at birth: 1.14 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.135 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 0.928 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.672 male(s)/female
total population: 0.91 male(s)/female (2007 est.)
Infant mortality rate: total: 17.36 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 19.42 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 15.01 deaths/1,000 live births (2007 est.)
Life expectancy at birth: total population: 76.3 years
male: 73 years
female: 80.07 years (2007 est.)
Total fertility rate: 1.42 children born/woman (2007 est.)
HIV/AIDS – adult prevalence rate: less than 0.1% (2001 est.)
HIV/AIDS – people living with HIV/AIDS: 3,000 (2003 est.)
HIV/AIDS – deaths: less than 200 (2003 est.)
Nationality: noun: Georgian(s)
adjective: Georgian
Ethnic groups: Georgian 83.8%, Azeri 6.5%, Armenian 5.7%, Russian 1.5%, other 2.5% (2002 census)
Religions: Orthodox Christian 83.9%, Muslim 9.9%, Armenian-Gregorian 3.9%, Catholic 0.8%, other 0.8%, none 0.7% (2002 census)
Languages: Georgian 71% (official), Russian 9%, Armenian 7%, Azeri 6%, other 7%
note: Abkhaz is the official language in Abkhazia
Literacy: definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 100%
male: 100%
female: 100% (2004 est.)