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The News in Brief

Monday, July 13
Opposition leader’s son wounded

Gaga Gachechiladze is currently in hospital suffering from a chest wound. Gaga is the son of Levan Gachechiladze, the leader of the Protect Georgia public movement and one of the leaders of the extra-Parliamentary opposition.

Doctors say that Gaga’s condition is quite serious but stable for now. Doctors have been observing him since Sunday morning in order to decide whether to perform surgery or not.

Gaga Gachechiladze was taken to the Republican Hospital at 1 a.m. on Sunday. Several other young men were injured during the same incident, which reportedly followed a clash which occurred outside the Matrioshka Restaurant in Tbilisi. Details of the incident are obscure yet.

Detectives have been working at the scene. The knife Gaga Gachechiladze is believed to have been wounded with has been found. Reportedly law enforcers have already visited Gaga Gachechiladze, although he is not commenting on the incident.

Saakashvili – strengthening the economy will mean saving the country

Strengthening the economy of Georgia in today's regional political situation will be a matter of saving the country, President of Georgia Mikheil Saakashvili has declared at a meeting with Georgian businessmen working abroad and bankers.

Saakashvili said that for several months the world economic crisis has seriously concerned Georgia, and to this can be added increased internal political problems and threats and political slogans which have an economic price. As a result of these the country has lost tens of thousands in investments and tens of thousands of jobs, the President said.

Rescuers searching for young man drowned in river in Tbilisi

Rescuers are searching for a young man in the Mtkvari River in Tbilisi. It is reported that several men were swimming in the river at the Metekhi Bridge last night. An emergency brigade which arrived at the scene warned the young men that swimming was banned there. Despite the warning, two men jumped into the water later. Rescuers dragged one of them out, but the other was taken by the river flow.

It is reported that all the men were drunk.
(Rustavi 2)

Nika Gilauri holds meeting with Georgian businessmen living abroad

A meeting between Prime Minister Nika Gilauri and Georgian businessmen living abroad has taken place behind closed doors in Government offices. The businessmen are in Georgia on a working visit.

Nika Gilauri said that a good tradition of Georgian businessmen living abroad returning to Georgia to get acquainted with the economic situation in the country has already emerged. This is the second such visit.

The Prime Minister said he had acquainted the businessmen with a new economic package which was released to the general public some time ago. He said that the businessmen made certain observations about the banking sector and the economy in general which would of course be considered as they are high level experts.

Next public christening of babies to be held today

Catholicos-Patriarch of All Georgia Ilia II will conduct the seventh public christening of new babies in the courtyard of Svetitskhoveli church today at 4 p.m.

The Lazare welfare fund told Interpressnews that 410 requests for baptism have been made. Ilia II will arrive at Svetitskhoveli to bless the children at 19.00.

Every child being baptised is at least the third born to an Orthodox married couple. The Patriarch of Georgia acts as the Godfather to these children, as he has done to over 2,000 to date.

Russian media discuss the Georgian issue

The Russian media has spotlighted Barack Obama’s visit to Moscow and the Georgian issue. Yulia Latynina of Ekho Moskvi radio has said the most important issue - whether Russia would start another war against Georgia or not - was resolved during the US President’s visit to Moscow. She said the Kremlin will not make any final decision until it has thoroughly analysed what kind of PR consequences such a war would bring. She asserts that Russia is seeking to blame Mikheil Saakashvili for everything, although it has been unable to persuade the US President to hold this view.

Yulia Latynina drew attention to the fact that when Barack Obama was talking about Georgia at the press conference held after his meeting with Dmitry Medvedev some key phrases such as “we agree” and “renewed” were removed from the translation of what he said. He actually said “We do agree that no one has an interest in renewed military conflict,” but this was translated as “None of us are interested in a military conflict.”

“It is evident from this phrase that Obama and Medvedev discussed the issue of war and agreed that no one is interested in the resumption of the military conflict,” Yulia Latynina said. She also talked about new preparations for war and said that Russian troops in the vicinity of Elbrus mountain close to the Georgian border were in counter-terrorism mode.
(Rustavi 2)