The onset of fall has brought to Russia, as it often does, flu and conspiracy theories. Back in the news is Moscow’s seasonal talk of an imminent American biological attack, to be launched from medical research labs in Russia’s neighborhood.
Georgia is letting go something it has held dear for decades – the plastic bag – becoming the first former Soviet state to adopt a ban.
It’s not just that the Caucasus nation is catching up with global efforts to reduce plastic pollution. The move marks the end of an era.
In the post-Soviet neck of the woods, a convoy of black cars remains the preferred mode of ground transportation for prime ministers. The region's cutthroat roads make little accommodation for bicyclists, often leaving human-powered transport only for the fashion-forward or suicidal.
In Armenia and Azerbaijan, it's par for the course that sports competitions against the other side are treated as proxy battles. Boxers, wrestlers, and even chess players are enlisted into the war that the two neighbors continue to wage against one another over the territory of Nagorno-Karabakh.
But when one of the competitors may be the sister of an Azerbaijani soldier who axe-murdered an Armenian counterpart in his sleep, the rivalry reaches a new level.
Georgia could get its first female president very soon if the establishment-backed candidate Salome Zourabichvili can watch her tongue.
Outside the United States, the loss of Senator John McCain has been felt perhaps most deeply in Georgia, which lionized the late Arizona Republican as the best friend it had in the country Georgians regard as their closest ally. Now, some Georgians have proposed honoring McCain’s memory with a street bearing his name.
A pro-LGBTQ armband has earned Georgian soccer star Guram Kashia an award in Europe, but also harassment and ostracism at home.