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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

News in Brief

Georgia to Switch to Normal

TBILISI, Georgia -- The national state of emergency that followed a police crackdown on opposition protests will be lifted on Friday, Georgia's parliamentary speaker announced.

"The state of emergency will be lifted Nov. 16, and we will switch to a normal life," Nino Burdzhanadze, a close ally of President Mikheil Saakashvili, said in a televised statement.

Saakashvili introduced the state of emergency last week after police violently dispersed protests in the capital. The United States and other Western nations have urged him to remove the measure. (AP)

Smoker Numbers Rising

The number of smokers in Russia is steadily rising, the Federal Consumer Protection Service said Wednesday.

Sixty-five percent of men and 30 percent of women smoke, the agency said, noting that increasing numbers of young people are taking up the habit.

In the past 20 years, the number of smokers in the country has increased by 440,000, the service said, Interfax reported. (MT)