The FINANCIAL -- Tbilisi’s heavily jammed traffic is infuriatingly worrisome, and it leaves no one indifferent, not even the pedestrians. No, I should have said, especially the pedestrians. Due to alarmingly high air contamination levels, humming “all I need is the air that I breathe” has a whole new meaning for the dwellers of the Capital.

The gloomy portrait of the Middle East today should not obscure that peace is achievable. The basic premise for any such peace must be to preserve the territorial integrity of states. This means countering all forces that exist only to pursue their dystopias at the expense of others and with the help of outsiders, including Daesh (also known as the Islamic State) and Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) and People’s Protection Units (YPG) terrorists. Their vision of endless bloodshed must be countered and defeated.

The FINANCIAL -- Back in 1991, I attended a big “Whither Socialism” conference hosted by my alma mater, the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. A session I remember most vividly featured a Hungarian dissident, a poet, telling stories about the ineffectiveness of communist propaganda. “Communists”, he told a sympathetic audience, “tried to convince us that jeans can cause impotence in young males, and that Coca Cola is bad for people’s health”. At this point, a trembling female voice could be heard in the back of the conference hall: “But Coca Cola is bad for people’s health!”

The FINANCIAL -- Interest in bank profitability is increasing every year. Google search data for Georgia shows that in 2017, there were 4,700 pieces (articles, blogs, comments and other documents) found for “Banks’ Profit” (ბანკების მოგება,) while the same indicator in 2016 amounted to merely 2,990 pieces.

The FINANCIAL -- The digitization of the economy is one of the most important drivers behind the profound transformation of the labor market and the way people work, which is thought likely to become even more significant in the years to come. This new paradigm represents a major challenge for employers, workers and public authorities, and the challenges needs to be fully understood in order to identify the most appropriate policy options to transform them into opportunities for all.

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