Lawmakers in Georgia pass 'foreign influence' bill

Lawmakers in Georgia are pressing ahead with a law that has ignited widespread protest. They voted on Tuesday to override a presidential veto on the legislation, which requires non-governmental organizations and media outlets that receive 20 percent of their funding from overseas to register as "agents of foreign influence."

The ruling party says the law is "absolutely important" for Georgia's future. However, opposition lawmakers fear it will be used to limit the activities of people the government finds unfavorable.

President Salome Zourabichvili called on people to sign a referendum against it. She asked Georgians on social media if they want a "European future" or "Russian slavery."

Mass demonstrations have continued for weeks. Protestors say their democracy is in danger and that the ruling party is trying to distance Georgia from the West and make it an "ally of Russia."

Georgia is applying to join the European Union. EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said he "deeply regrets" the lawmakers' decision.

US officials joined in with some criticism of their own. State Department spokesperson Matthew Miller said the legislation is "anti-democratic" and puts relations between the US and Georgia "at risk."