'Georgia to lift state of emergency Friday'

Georgia's parliament speaker said Wednesday that the national state of emergency will be lifted on Friday. "The state of emergency will be lifted on Nov. 16," Nino Burdzhanadze, a close ally of Georgia's President Mikhail Saakashvili, said in parliament. Saakashvili introduced the 15-day nationwide state of emergency on Nov. 7 after police violently dispersed opposition protests in the capital. The United States and other Western nations have strongly urged Saakashvili to quickly remove the measure, which banned independent newscasts.