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The News in Brief

Tuesday, November 22
Georgia wins Junior Eurovision 2016 for third time

A 10-year old Georgian singer, Mariam Mamadashvili, has become the winner of Junior Eurovision 2016. Mariam performed a song named “Mzeo” (The Sun) at the contest. Malta was hosting the Junior Eurovision this year.

In total, 17 countries took part in the contest.

Mariam Mamadashvili has been living in the USA since 2015 and studying at Tomlinson Middle School. In 2015, she enrolled at the Broadway Method Academy where she still attends vocal, dancing and acting classes.

Georgia won Junior Eurovision for the third time. In 2008 kids’ musical group “Bzikebi” (The Wasps) claimed the first place, and in 2011 the group Candy made it to the final.

Ivanishvili sells de Kooning painting at Christie’s for USD 66 mill

A large, colorful abstract Willem de Kooning painting from one of the artist’s most productive periods was Tuesday sold at Christie’s post-war and contemporary auction in New York. The price: USD 66.3 million.

The Dutch-American artist’s ‘Untitled XXV’ from 1977 was acquired by billionaire Bidzina Ivanishvili in 2009 for USD 35 million. Its current value was estimated to about USD 40 million before the auction.

It was purchased by an anonymous client who bid by phone. Ivanishvili, the former prime minister of Georgia, sold it through Lynden Management Ltd, a person familiar with the matter said, as reported by Bloomberg Pursuits.

Ivanishvili reportedly owns a collection of art whose worth is estimated at about USD 1 billion. The most expensive artwork in the collection is Pablo Picasso’s ‘Dora Maar’.

In September 2015, de Kooning’s ‘Interchange’ was sold for USD 300 million, and so far it is the largest sum paid for a painting, along with Paul Gauguin’s ‘Nafea faa ipoipo’ (When Will You Marry?).
(DF watch)

Georgia-NATO defence drills conclude outside Tbilisi

A ten-day defence exercise between Georgia and its partner countries including NATO member states concluded outside Tbilisi on Saturday after a special ceremony honoured participants of the intensive joint drills.

The NATO-Georgia Exercise 2016 was held from November 10-20 at the Joint Training and Evaluation Centre (JTEC), located within the Krtsanisi National Training Centre (KNTC) outside Georgia's capital.

The drills involved Georgian officers along with 250 service members from 13 countries, including 11 NATO member states.

Focusing on developing skills of a multi-national staff working on brigade-level operations, the event represented the first-ever exercise where General Staff of the Georgian Armed Forces (GAF) led the drills on NATO crisis reaction scenarios.

It was also the first exercise to be jointly planned by the alliance and its Georgian partners, said the Ministry of Defence of Georgia.

NATO Special Representative for the Caucasus and Central Asia James Appathurai called the exercise "one more milestone in NATO-Georgia's long and deep cooperation” before the launch of the event earlier this month.

On his official Facebook page Appathurai said the the exercise also recognised "Georgia’s devoutness to strong defence, NATO operations and international security”.

The NATO-Georgia Exercise 2016 followed the Agile Spirit 2015 drills, the first occasion held within the Substantial NATO-Georgia Package (SNGP) framework.

SNGP is a series of 13 defence capacity building measures agreed between Georgia and NATO at the Wales Summit in 2014.

Gender equality issues discussed in Tbilisi

Ms. Sophie Japaridze, Assistant to the Prime Minister of Georgia on Human Rights and Gender Equality met with Ms. Melanie Verveer, Special Representative of the OSCE Chairmanship-in-Office on Gender Issues. The discussion was related to various institutional mechanisms practiced at the Government Administration, including gender equality issues.

Parties talked about the National Plan on fight against abuse of women and protection of the victims of corporal punishment for 2016-2017.

Ms. Japaridze briefed the distinguished visitor about the current services and future plans for the support and protection of the victims of corporal punishment.

Parties discussed a set of legislative amendments initiated by the Ministry of Justice of Georgia for the ratification of the Council of Europe Convention (aka Istanbul Convention) on the Prevention and Combat of Violence Against Women and Corporal Punishment.

Focus was made on various challenges within the scope, including the early marriage, social reintegration and compensation of the victims of violence.

By the close of the meeting, Ms. Sophie Japaridze spoke about the root causes of the problems and measures designed by the authorities of the country for their prevention and combat.