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The Week in Brief

Friday, July 11
US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice called for high-level talks on Georgia’s conflicts while on a visit to Tbilisi amid high tensions in the region.

Violence in Georgia’s separatist regions continued this week, leaving at least seven dead and many more injured. The UN secretary general called for “maximum restraint.” Russia and Georgia continued to trade accusations over who is to blame.

Moscow confirmed its warplanes flew over separatist-controlled Georgian territory this week to “let hot heads in Tbilisi cool down.” A furious Georgian government condemned the violations of its borders and recalled its ambassador to Russia.

Ex-parliamentary speaker and political heavyweight Nino Burjanadze officially unveiled her new think tank, saying more should be done to shore up a Georgian democracy which is “not steady.”

Parliament is planning to strip the country’s main opposition coalition of state financing after its members renounced their MPs’ status following May’s disputed parliamentary elections. Coalition members say the move is a form of political repression.

The director of the country’s last pro-opposition television channel claimed that businessmen have been told by the Finance Ministry not to advertise with the channel. A spokesperson for the Finance Ministry department said the claim is “simply slander.”