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eu member states back visa liberalization for georgia


brussels — european union member states have backed a proposal to allow georgian citizens into europe's passport-free area without visas for short stays.the 28 member states on monday endorsed the visa waiver which will allow georgians with a biometric passport to enter the 26-nation schengen area for 90 days for business, tourist or family reasons but not to work.monday's backing was another major step to make the georgian visa waiver a reality after the eu legislature also backed it earlier this month. both the council of member states and the parliament still need to sign it formally.georgia had long been seeking the waiver and eu home affairs commissioner dimitris avramopoulos called it "a historic day for georgia and its citizens."






european parliament grants georgia visa-free travel


the european parliament has approved a proposal on visa liberali ion for georgia, allowing conditional visa-free travel for citizens of the small post-soviet country.the policy, which has a snap-back mechanism in case of m violation of terms, was approved on thursday with 553 votes in favour, 66 against and 28 abstentions.the short-term travel visa waiver - expected to come into force in late march following formal approval by the european council - applies to the schengen area, which includes 26 countries.giorgi kvirikashvili, the country's prime minister, called it "a truly historic day", expressing gratitude to the eu.he also said the government was convinced that georgians would show "exceptional responsibility in accepting this milestone result and achievement, and will scrupulously o






european parliament grants georgia visa-free travel


the european parliament has approved a proposal on visa liberali ion for georgia, allowing conditional visa-free travel for citizens of the small post-soviet country.the policy, which has a snap-back mechanism in case of m violation of terms, was approved on thursday with 553 votes in favour, 66 against and 28 abstentions.the short-term travel visa waiver - expected to come into force in late march following formal approval by the european council - applies to the schengen area, which includes 26 countries.giorgi kvirikashvili, the country's prime minister, called it "a truly historic day", expressing gratitude to the eu body.he also said the government was convinced that georgians would show "exceptional responsibility in accepting this milestone result and achievement, and will scrupulou






eu's mogherini urges kosovo ratify montenegro border deal


pristina, kosovo — the european union's foreign policy chief has urged kosovo's opposition to ratify a border demarcation agreement with montenegro, the last remaining condition before its citizens enjoy visa-free travel with europe's schengen member countries.federica mogherini was in kosovo, the last stop on her tour of the western balkans, where she met senior leaders on saturday. she commended them for their "constructive stand" in lowering recent tensions with serbia."it's time to vote for the ratification of the agreement. that would release the visa liberalization for the kosovo people," she said at a news conference with prime minister isa mustafa. she urged opposition political parties to leave aside their political interest "and work together for the reconciliatory path to take t






pakistan retaliates after us denies politician visa


islamabad — the chairman of pakistan's senate says the body will not welcome any u.s. delegation, member of congress or dignitary in islamabad.the move comes after the u.s. failed to issue a visa to the senate's deputy chairman, a member of the right-wing jamiat ulema-e-islam political party.chairman raza rabbani says in a statement that no pakistani senate delegation will visit the u.s. until an explanation for the delay in issuing a visa to maulana ghafoor haideri is given by u.s. authorities.a u.s. embassy spokesman in islamabad said sunday they could not comment on visa cases due to privacy laws.haideri was to travel sunday to new york to attend a meeting at the united nations.jamiat ulema-e-islam chief maulana fazlur rehman is known for pro-taliban and anti-u.s. stances.






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european parliament pushes for reimposition of visas for us


brussels (ap) — the european parliament is pushing for the bloc’s executive to temporarily reimpose visa requirements for u.s. citizens visiting the european union in a standoff over washington’s failure to grant visa-free travel for nationals of five eu countries.the legislature on thursday urged the european commission to act within two months. the commission was legally bound to propose by last april that visas be reintroduced for u.s. citizens for 12 months but the 28-nation bloc’s member countries preferred to take no action.u.s. citizens can travel to all eu countries without visas but the u.s. hasn’t granted visa-free travel to citizens of bulgaria, croatia, cyprus, poland and romania. the commission has cautioned that suspending the visa waiver for americans would also hurt trade,






european parliament pushes for reimposition of visas for us


brussels — the european parliament is pushing for the bloc’s executive to temporarily reimpose visa requirements for u.s. citizens visiting the european union in a standoff over washington’s failure to grant visa-free travel for nationals of five eu countries.the legislature on thursday urged the european commission to act within two months. the commission was legally bound to propose by last april that visas be reintroduced for u.s. citizens for 12 months but the 28-nation bloc’s member countries preferred to take no action.u.s. citizens can travel to all eu countries without visas but the u.s. hasn’t granted visa-free travel to citizens of bulgaria, croatia, cyprus, poland and romania. the commission has cautioned that suspending the visa waiver for americans would also hurt trade, touri






draft of executive order looks to re-examine visa programs


washington—the white house and lawmakers in congress appear poised to take on another contentious slice of immigration policy: the visa programs favored by technology and other companies.a draft of an executive order under consideration directs the government to re-examine a range of visa programs to ensure they prioritize and protect “the jobs, wages and well-being of united states workers.”the draft doesn’t single out any...






colson leads no. 21 notre dame past georgia tech


south bend, ind. — bonzie colson had 20 points and 11 rebounds and no. 21 notre dame beat georgia tech 64-60 on sunday night for its fifth straight victory.matt farrell added 17 points for the irish (22-7, 11-5 atlantic coast conference).tadric jackson led georgia tech (16-13, 7-9) with 20 points, and josh okogie had 14 points and 10 rebounds. the yellow jackets have lost three of four.josh heath's jumper with four seconds left pulled georgia tech to 62-60, but farrell made two free throws for the final margin.notre dame struggled to shoot over georgia tech's zone defense, going 10 of 29 from 3-point range while being outscored 38-16 in the paint by the yellow jackets.okogie scored nine points in the first six minutes of the game, but colson got hot for the irish not long after. colson sco






official sides with georgia over florida in water lawsuit


atlanta (ap) — a judicial official is siding with georgia in a decades-long dispute with florida over water rights, recommending that the u.s. supreme court refuse florida’s request to cap georgia’s use.the court will consider tuesday’s recommendation by special master ralph lancaster, who was appointed to oversee florida’s suit against georgia. the justices have the final say in the case, which could affect millions of people and major industries.the dispute focuses on a watershed in western georgia, eastern alabama and the florida panhandle. the chattahoochee and flint rivers flow through georgia and meet at the florida border to form the apalachicola river, which flows into the apalachicola bay.florida blames georgia farmers and metro atlanta for low river flows that are harming fisheri






georgia couple who threatened black family sob in court


a couple have been jailed after they made death threats and uttered racist slurs at a child's eighth birthday party in the us state of georgia.jose torres, 26, and kayla norton, 25, both wept as a judge handed down prison sentences of 13 years and six years respectively. us confederate flag pair jailed over threats to georgia black family






georgia's 'white ice cube' building imploded


the former georgia archives building has been brought down with a controlled explosion.the iconic marble landmark has been vacant since 2003, after it was revealed to be sinking.






authorities say 11-year-old case of missing georgia teacher has been solved; sus


share storythe associated pressocilla, georgia (ap) — authorities say 11-year-old case of missing georgia teacher has been solved; suspect arrested.the associated presscustom-curated news highlights, delivered weekday mornings.thanks for signing up!






johnny cueto, santiago casilla visa issues: age-old problem


the trump administration’s approach to immigration probably has nothing to do with visa issues involving pitchers johnny cueto and santiago casilla and other athletes trying to report to training camps.the state department hasn’t exceeded the standard wait time this year when issuing special visas for athletes, according to a source familiar with the process. that means the problem lies with the giants’ cueto and a’s casilla — or their teams. however, the spring training absences of the bay area pitchers highlight a continuing trend as american professional sports embrace globalization. the united states’ complicated immigration system has caused hundreds of foreign athletes over the years from arriving on time although there is a process designed especially for them.here is a brief explan






trump visa ban blocking visitors to us will be applied to those with dual nation


as if the late friday executive action by president donald trump hasn’t already caused m ive problems with green card holders and visitors to the united states, the state department is in the process of issuing an advisory saying the visa ban will also be applied to those who claim nationality in two countries.according to the wall street journal, the state department is set to extend friday’s immigration and travel lockdown to other visitors coming and going from the u.s.according to the statement, the 90-day ban imposed by the president’s executive action extends beyond citizens of iraq, iran, somalia, sudan, syria, libya and yemen.should a visitor who hails from one of those countries, but travels on a p port from another country, attempt to leave of visit the u.s., they could find them






echr postpones transfer of georgia's opposition tv


tbilisi, georgia — georgia's main opposition-minded television station says the european court of human rights has ordered the suspension until next week of a ruling by the country's supreme court that hands the station to a government-friendly owner.the supreme court ruled late thursday that rustavi-2 tv station should be given to its former owner, kibar khalvashi.but the station published late friday what it said was a copy of an order from the echr to suspend the move until wednesday.rustavi 2, georgia's most popular tv station, has been sharply critical of the government. the opposition sees the verdict as an attempt by the authorities to silence criticism.the court backed khalvashi's claim that he was forced to sell the station cheaply under former president mikhail saakashvili.






europe raises the visa stakes with united states


brussels – the european parliament has passed a nonbinding resolution calling for the reintroduction of visa requirements for u.s. citizens, raising the stakes in a long-running battle over the united states’ refusal to grant visa-free access to citizens of five european union countries.in the vote on thursday, european lawmakers played tit-for-tat in their dispute with the united states, demanding restrictions on american travelers unless the trump administration lifts travel requirements for citizens of bulgaria, croatia, cyprus, poland and romania.“you’re talking about citizens from countries, like poland, with a major diaspora” in the united states, said claude moraes, the british lawmaker who leads the committee on civil liberties, justice and home affairs in the european parliament,






eu gets breakthrough in cutting roaming costs


brussels — the european union has clinched a breakthrough in cutting costly mobile-phone roaming costs in the bloc ahead of the summer holidays.the eu presidency announced wednesday that officials from the 28 eu nations and the european parliament reached a deal on how much operators may charge each other for using their networks to provide roaming services, which should cut costs substantially.up to now, eu citizens have to pay hefty costs to use roaming facilities when they visit or work in other member states. it was long seen as an impediment to creating a seamless market among the member states.the measure still needs to be approved by the full legislature and the eu member states but the common stance agreed is seen as a vital breakthrough.






dollar general plans to create 1,000 jobs in georgia in 2017


jackson, ga. — dollar general is planning to create 1,000 jobs across the state of georgia this year with the addition of new stores as well as a new distribution center.the goodlettsville, tennessee-based company said in a news release that it wants to add 1,000 discount stores and create about 10,000 jobs across the country in 2017.news outlets report that dollar general currently has more than 700 stores and more than 5,000 employees in georgia.the growth plan in georgia includes opening a new distribution center in jackson. the land, purchased in may, sits in s and spalding counties, south of atlanta. gov. nathan deal said in a statement last year that the center will create 500 jobs.the company has not given further details about where the new stores will be.






california joins brief challenging travel ban to support iraqi pair who worked f


california has joined a third amicus brief in support of a lawsuit challenging president trump’s travel ban, this time backing two iraqi visa holders who were detained by officers at new york's john f. kennedy international airport despite having done work for the u.s. government. state atty. gen. xavier becerra joined the friend-of-the-court brief filed in federal court in new york supporting the lawsuit by hameed khalid darweesh and haider sameer abdulkhaleq alshawi. the two men had been threatened with violence in iraq due to work they and their families did for the u.s. government, becerra said. darweesh was denied entry while holding an iraqi special immigrant visa for which he was eligible due to his work as an interpreter and engineer for the u.s. in iraq from 2003 to 2011. alsh






eu parliament calls to end visa-free travel for u.s. citizens


brussels—the european union’s parliament on thursday asked for the bloc to scrap visa-free travel for u.s. citizens within two months in retaliation for the u.s. continuing to exclude five eu countries from its no-visa regime.while the request is nonbinding and unlikely to change eu policy, it reflects hostility among some european politicians...






planned back-channel talks between u.s., north korea scuttled


seoul—plans for back-channel talks in new york between north korean government representatives and former u.s. officials were scuttled friday after the state department withdrew the visa approvals for pyongyang’s top envoy on u.s. relations, according to people familiar with the matter.the talks, which were scheduled to take place on march 1 and 2 at a hotel outside the united nations headquarters in manhattan, where north korea has a mission, were contingent on the granting of a visa for choe son hui, the...






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planned back-channel talks between u.s., north korea scuttled


seoul—plans for back-channel talks in new york between government representatives from north korea and former u.s. officials were scuttled friday after the state department withdrew visa approvals for pyongyang’s top envoy on u.s. relations, according to people familiar with the matter.the talks, which were scheduled to take place on the first two days of march at a hotel near the united nations headquarters in manhattan, where north korea has a mission, were contingent on the granting of a visa for choe son hui, the...






thousands protest in georgia to back opposition tv station


tbilisi, georgia — thousands of georgians have rallied in the capital in support of the country's opposition-minded television station that they suspect is about to be transferred to a more government-friendly owner.rustavi-2 is georgia's most popular tv station and the sunday demonstration on tbilisi's main avenue attracted people from a wide political spectrum.some carried signs calling for the imprisonment of bidzina ivanishvili, the billionaire founder of the ruling georgian dream coalition.rustavi-2 has changed hands in murky deals several times.the current controversy stems from a case filed by a former owner, kibar khalvashi, who is seeking to regain control.the supreme court is expected to rule on the case soon. station supporters claim the court is under government pressure to tra






eu lawmakers come out against visa-free travel for americans


in the nonbinding resolution, the european parliament played tit-for-tat in a long-standing dispute, demanding that u.s. travel requirements for citizens of five countries be lifted.brussels — the european parliament has adopted a nonbinding resolution calling for the reintroduction of visa requirements for u.s. citizens, raising the stakes in a long-running battle over the united states’ refusal to grant visa-free access to citizens of five european union (eu) countries.in the vote thursday, european lawmakers played tit-for-tat in their dispute with the united states, demanding restrictions on american travelers unless the trump administration lifts travel requirements for citizens of bulgaria, croatia, cyprus, poland and romania.“you’re talking about citizens from countries, like poland






eu court opinion goes against belgium in asylum case


brussels — a top official of the european union's highest court says belgium must grant a humanitarian visa to a syrian family seeking asylum even though the family has no strong ties to the country.advocate general paolo mengozzi said in an opinion tuesday that any eu member state should provide a visa on humanitarian grounds if there is fear for grave consequences otherwise.the belgian government has refused to grant humanitarian visas to the family from the besieged city of aleppo, arguing the links are too tenuous. it has been fined 4,000 euros ($4,270) a day for defying a local appeal tribunal. the family is believed still to be in syria.the opinion is not binding on the court itself but is often followed in the final ruling.






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poll: republicans maintain a ntage in state party affiliation


states that have more registered republicans than democrats outnumber states where the opposite is the case, according to a gallup survey released monday.the survey found 21 states are solid republican or lean that way while 14 states are solid democratic or lean the way. fifteen states, meanwhile, are competitive, gallup said. while there are more red states, there are more registered democrats nationwide: 47 percent are affiliated with the democratic party. gallup said that the cl ification of states is tied to the outcome of the 2016 presidential election in each state. president trump, therefore, won all 21 solid or leaning gop states and hillary clinton won all 14 solid or leaning democratic states.mr. trump won nine out of the 15 competitive states: michigan, pennsylvania, wisconsin,






visa's earnings rise 7 percent, beating analysts' estimates


new york — visa reported a 7 percent rise in earnings in its latest quarter thursday as shoppers stepped up their use of debit and credit cards. the company also benefited from its acquisition of visa europe.san francisco-based visa said thursday it earned $2.07 billion in the last three months of 2016, or 86 cents per share, compared with $1.94 billion, or 80 cents per share, in the same period a year earlier.the results topped analysts' estimates, who were looking for visa to earn 78 cents per share, according to factset.visa said it processed $1.8 trillion in payments on its network in the last quarter of the year, up 39 percent from a year earlier, adjusting for currency fluctuations. a significant portion of that jump is the inclusion of visa europe into their results.even without vis






what's the difference between a 'college' and a 'university'? | campus life news


you say “college,” he says “university.” let’s sort the whole thing out. (photo: getty images)at some point you may have wondered what the difference is between a “college” and a “university.” for example, lynchburg college announced friday that at the start of the 2018 academic year, it will officially be called the university of lynchburg, according to a statement issued by the school.and you might also be familiar with confusing duos within the same state, like boston college and boston university. although here in america we talk broadly about going to “college,” the differences between that term and “university” are actually kind of important (especially if you’re a student trying to get mail at, say, georgia college, not the university of georgia).what’s different?it boils down to th






dozier helps no. 19 sc sweep georgia 77-75


columbia, s.c. — pj dozier scored seven of his 21 points in the final 2:21 as no. 19 south carolina finished off a regular-season sweep of georgia with a 77-75 victory urday.the game s (19-4) also maintained a share of the top of the southeastern conference, their 9-1 league mark their second-best in program history behind a 10-0 start in 1997. that team, which went on to win the team's only sec title, was honored at halftime for its accomplishments. but not even that group defeated the bulldogs (13-10, 4-6) twice that season, georgia handing the 15-1 game s their lone sec loss.south carolina was up 67-58 after justin mckie's 3-pointer with 3:15 to go. georgia used a 15-8 run over the next 3 minutes to draw within 75-73 with 9 seconds to go. but mckie followed with two free throws to make






us emb y in berlin forced to suspend visas for nationals on trump’s ban list


the u.s. emb y in berlin said on its facebook page on monday that visa issuance had been suspended to nationals, or dual nationals, of iraq, iran, libya, somalia, sudan, syria and yemen.“per u.s. presidential executive order signed on january 27, 2017, visa issuance to aliens from the countries of iraq, iran, libya, somalia, sudan, syria and yemen has been suspended effective immediately until further notification,” it said.“if you are a national, or dual national, of one of these countries, please do not schedule a visa appointment or pay any visa fees at this time,” the emb y added.(writing by paul carrel; editing by joseph nasr)






tara grinstead case: suspect arrested in death of long-missing georgia teacher


ocilla, ga. -- authorities in georgia say they believe they have solved the case of a georgia teacher who has been missing for 11 years.watch: “48 hours:” stolen beautyj.t. ricketson of the georgia bureau of investigation said thursday that a suspect is in custody in connection with the disappearance of tara grinstead. she was 30 years old when she vanished in october 2005 from her home in the farm town of ocilla in south georgia.ryan duke gbi via wgcl grinstead was a local beauty contest winner who taught at irwin county high school.  cbs affiliate wgcl identified the suspect as ryan duke. duke has been booked into the irwin county sheriff’s office detention center on murder charges, the station reports.police did not provide a motive, and said that duke hadn’t come up during their invest






french holocaust scholar visiting u.s. detained for more than 10 hours and threa


henry rousso, a french historian and one of the most pre-eminent scholars on the holocaust, said he was detained for more than 10 hours by federal border agents in houston and told he would not be allowed to enter the united states before lawyers intervened to stop his deportation.rousso said in a telephone interview sunday that he arrived at the george bush intercontinental airport around 2 p.m. wednesday on a flight from france when immigration authorities began to question his visa and his reason for being in the united states.rousso, an expert on france after world war i, was scheduled to give a keynote address friday afternoon at a conference organized by the hagler institute for advanced study at texas a&m university in college station.“it would be in no means difficult to look up wh






georgia teen slain over misunderstanding


a community in georgia is left stunned after 17-year-old jordan middleton was pronounced dead on saturday (feb. 25). a reported misunderstanding that began with the high school basketball star being snuck into a columbia county home by the homeowner’s daughter, ended with one fatal shot, according to local station wjbf.read: georgia woman shoots 15-year-old teen in the headmiddleton reportedly snuck into the home in the grovetown neighborhood around 2:47 a.m. with the aid of the 14-year old girl. the incident quickly turned deadly, after the young teen’s father heard noises and the family dog’s aggressive barking. after grabbing his gun, the father, who has now been identified as derrick fulton, began to search the house for an intruder. fulton initially called out that he was armed and de






jay johnson confirms that he's been hired at georgia


former gophers offensive coordinator jay johnson has been hired as an offensive analyst at georgia, johnson confirmed friday night.the news was first reported by dawgs247.com.a lakeville native, johnson returned to minnesota last year and had a one-season stint as the gophers offensive coordinator. after averaging 22.5 points per game in 2015, the gophers increased that total to 29.3 under johnson, who had previously worked at louisiana-lafayette and a host of other schools.the gophers finished 9-4 last season, but athletics director mark coyle fired johnson, along with head coach tracy claeys and the rest of the coaching staff in january.at georgia, johnson will be working under head coach kirby smart and offensive coordinator jim chaney.ohio standout qb armstrong commits to gophers for 2






plea agreement reached in south dakota's eb-5 visa case


aberdeen, s.d. — the man who once ran south dakota's scandal-ridden investment-for-visa program has reached a deal with prosecutors in a high-profile financial misconduct case.the aberdeen american news (http://bit.ly/2ks65y3 ) reports that 53-year-old joop (yope) bollen pleaded guilty wednesday to one of five felony counts he was facing.bollen, of aberdeen, had previously pleaded innocent. he was accused of diverting more than $1.2 million from an account created as part of a contract with the state to protect it against costs or liability from the eb-5 visa program.authorities say the money was mostly replenished.the charges dealt with a company bollen founded that had handled south dakota's participation in the eb-5 visa program. bollen was scheduled to go to trial in february.






first planned north korea-us contact in trump administration canceled: wsj


plans for the first contact between north korea and the united states after president donald trump took office were canceled after the u.s. state department denied a visa for the top envoy from pyongyang, the wall street journal reported on saturday.the talks, between senior north korean foreign ministry envoy choe son hui and former u.s. officials, were scheduled to take place on march 1 and 2 in new york but were called off after choe was denied a visa, the journal said.it was not clear what led the state department to deny the visa but north korea’s test-firing of a ballistic missile on feb. 12 and the murder of north korean leader kim jong un’s half brother in malaysia may have played a role, the report said.south korean and u.s. officials have said they believe north korean agents ass






california police officer shot to death while responding to traffic accident


2 georgia police officers shot while serving warrant; conditions not knowntribune news servicestwo central georgia police officers have been shot while serving a search warrant in crawford county. georgia bureau of investigation special agent j.t. ricketson tells local new outlets that a multi-jurisdiction drug task force went around 2:30 a.m. monday to a home on state highway 42. byron...two central georgia police officers have been shot while serving a search warrant in crawford county. georgia bureau of investigation special agent j.t. ricketson tells local new outlets that a multi-jurisdiction drug task force went around 2:30 a.m. monday to a home on state highway 42. byron... (tribune news services)






female officers in high demand at st. paul police department


allison rogers knew she wanted to be a police officer, but others had their concerns: did she consider teaching instead? had she seen the most recent news articles about officers who were killed in the line of duty?so rogers pursued a degree in corrections instead.“i had a lot of people telling me i wouldn’t want to be in the profession,” said rogers. “more out of fear than that it wasn’t a noble profession. i’m a pretty small … i’m 5-foot-1. with my boots, i’m 5-3.”in her second year at minnesota state university, mankato, she gained the confidence to switch tracks to law enforcement after speaking with an officer from her hometown of waseca, minn., where she served as a police reserve. on a recent urday morning, rogers, 23, was among 88 people who packed an informational meeting at the n