The messenger logo

The News in Brief

Monday, September 21
Orthodox world celebrates Nativity of the Mother of God today

The Georgian Orthodox Church celebrates the Nativity of the Mother of God today and a festal liturgy will be conducted in every Orthodox Church throughout Georgia. Catholicos-Patriarch Ilia the Second will serve the liturgy in the Holy Trinity Cathedral.

This feast (September 21 - September 8, old style) is the first in the Church year dedicated to the most important of Orthodox Christian saints. According to St. Andrew of Crete “it is the beginning of all holidays: it is a gateway to blessing and truth.” These words of one of the Church's fathers explain the meaning of this feast in a figurative way: the miraculous birth to the elderly Joachim and Anna of a daughter, called Mary, who later brought forth our Lord Jesus Christ and became our heavenly protector.

Saint Joachim was of the line of David, king and prophet; Saint Anna was of the line of Aaron the priest.

Georgian girl goes missing in Toronto

More police officers and other resources are being deployed in the search for Mariam Makhniashvili. The 17-year-old girl was last seen by her family on Sept. 14, when she left for Forest Hill Collegiate Institute with her brother from their home near Bathurst Street and Eglinton Avenue West. The sister and the brother separated to enter the school by different doors. Mariam has not been seen since.

Her parents reported her missing when she did not arrive home from school that afternoon. School Principal Peggy Aitchison said Mariam did not attend classes on Monday. Toronto Police Staff-Insp. Larry Sinclair said on Friday that the teen’s disappearance is “completely out of character.”

”She’s been in Toronto for less than 90 days. To the best of our knowledge she has no friends and her only relatives in Canada — and North America — are her parents and her brother. So that was the reason we stepped it up.” Sinclair also asked residents within a radius of three kilometres to check their property in case the girl may be staying there. “Mariam, all we’re asking for is for you to contact [your] parents, the police, somebody that you know that we don’t, just to let us know that you are safe,” Sinclair said.

The girl’s parents, Vakhtang and Lela, said there was no dispute or argument that would have prompted her to run away. The Makhniashvili family has been in Toronto for only a few months. Vakhtang Makhniashvili said Mariam had not yet made friends since she had only been at school for a week. The family moved to Toronto from the Republic of Georgia for a better life.

Kakha Dzagania - Berezovsky has met Saakashvili in Tbilisi

The Labour Pary says that Boris Berezovsky secretly entered Georgia recently and met President Mikheil Saakashvili. At a press conference yesterday one of its leaders Kakha Dzagania said that Berezovsky secretly visited Tbilisi from London on September 11th to meet Saakashvili, and during a visit to the tomb of Badri Patarkatsishvili was accompanied Givi Targamadze, who has previously said that Berezovsky and Patarkatsishvili had been plotting a revolution.

The Labour Party is calling on Saakashvili to publicly admit his meeting with Berezovsky and say what the two talked about. The Georgian authorities categorically deny that Boris Berezovsky has visited Georgia.

Georgian and U.S. servicemen hold joint charity event

Georgian servicemen and members of the US Marine Corps held a joint charity event at the Martkopi Special Organisation for People with Disabilities on Saturday. The American soldiers, visiting Georgia, were the initiators of the event. They personally offered assistance to the organisation’s leadership in conducting repair and cleaning works.

“Helping mentally disabled children is a matter of dignity for all of us. Alongside Georgian servicemen there are US marines and Air Forces and Fleet personnel, standing ready to work side by side. Today, instead of having a rest, we decided to come here and make our share of contribution voluntarily,” Sergeant Major Brent L. Dorrough said, adding that the purpose of their visit is not only training Georgian servicemen.

The American Marines said that such assistance will become frequent. Servicemen from both sides expressed a willingness to continue helping the organisation in future.
(Rustavi 2)

Separatist South Ossetia celebrates 19th anniversary of ‘independence’

Separatist South Ossetia is celebrating the 19th anniversary of its self-declared independence. A programme of solemn events began in the separatist region of Georgia on Saturday. A military parade will be held and the separatist anthem will be played for the first time in the centre of Tskhinvali on Sunday.

Delegations from Georgia’s other separatist region Abkhazia and the State Duma of the Russian Federation are expected in so-called South Ossetia. Reportedly, Eduard Kokoity has also invited the Presidents of Venezuela and Nicaragua, who recently recognised the independence of the breakaway region, to the separatists’ joy. Security measures have been intensified.

The separatist leader has made a special statement regarding Independence Day. Eduard Kokoity said that he sees no prospect of resolving relations with the current Government of Georgia.
(Rustavi 2)