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The News in Brief

Thursday, January 8
Hand grenade found in centre of Tbilisi

A hand grenade was found in the centre of Tbilisi yesterday. Construction workers on Kostava Street, where a new house is being built, noticed it and called the police.

The grenade was active, and sappers worke to defuse it. Police are investigating how the Russian-made F1 grenade came to be outside a library. (The Messenger)

Georgian Foreign Ministry concerned about Middle East

The Foreign Ministry of Georgia has expressed its concern over the escalation of tensions in the Gaza Strip, the Press and Information Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Georgia reports.

“The escalation of tensions in the Gaza Strip and the deteriorating humanitarian situation have been triggered by rocket attacks launched by Hamas against innocent Israeli civilians,” the Georgian Foreign Ministry pointed out. According to the Georgian Foreign Ministry, the escalation of violence jeopardizes peace processes in the Middle East and may threaten the security of the entire region.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is intensifying his diplomatic drive to secure a Gaza ceasefire, meeting with Arab Foreign Ministers in New York to press for an end to hostilities from both Israel and Hamas while preparing to travel to Washington for talks with United States President George W. Bush, the UN HQ reported. (Black Sea Press)

Defence Ministry announces call up of contracted servicemen

On Monday the Defence Ministry of Georgia announced the call up of military men serving on four year contracts. All eligible citizens of Georgia up to the age of 35 have been called up according to these contracts.

During their four years of service persons serving according to the contracts will be provided with high salaries, uniforms, catering and free medical services. They will also have social and legal privileges. Persons wishing to serve according to contracts must register at the military mobilization centres in towns and regional centers. (Black Sea Press)

Doctors, police save lost hunter

One of the lost hunters found unconscious in Tefi forest, Svaneti Region, has survived.

The Tsalenjikha Police Chief went alone to the place where the hunters were trapped in the snow and brought the survivor down independently. Other police took him to Zugdidi hospital where the doctors provided necessary treatment and saved him. Unfortunately, the second hunter died. When police found him, Mamuka Antia was already frozen in three metres of snow. (The Messenger)

Georgia to participate in Eurovision Song Contest

Georgia will participate in the Eurovision Song Contest to be held in Moscow this May, Georgian public TV said on January 5.

Georgia had initially refused to participate as a result of the August war. But now the Georgian First Channel says it has decided to participate, citing “requests” from the European Broadcasting Union, the event’s organizer.

“We have received lots of letters from the European Broadcasting Union requesting that we take part in this year’s Eurovision Song Contest. So we have decided to participate,” Natia Uznadze, Producer of the public TV’s international projects, said.

Georgia debuted in the contest in 2007 and last year its representative Diana Gurtskaia was 17th of the 25 contestants. (The Messenger)