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The News in Brief

Tuesday, October 6
US will not specify exact location of missile shield

The Pentagon will not specify the exact location of the US missile shield system yet, Assistant Secretary of Defence Alexander Vershbow said in a recent interview with Russian news agencies. He said it was too early to discuss specific countries where the anti-missile defence system could be located because it is still under construction.

In an interview with Interfax, Vershbow said that the US is now considering the joint use of Russian radar as part of broader cooperation on missile defence, along with sharing data on a possible missile attack. “I think that the basic idea of sharing this kind of information against a common threat makes sense. And of course it could be just the beginning of a programme of cooperation between NATO and Russia, or between the United States and Russia on missile defence,” he is quoted as saying.

The Assistant Secretary refrained from commenting on the report of the Tagliavini Commission, saying that he could not assess the document until the State Department had expressed its official position on it.
(Rustavi 2)

Saakashvili to speak in Parliament

President of Georgia Mikheil Saakashvili will address his Parliament about the necessity of an economic stimulus and additional legislative guarantees to protect investment in the post-crisis period. He announced this at his meeting with the Government’s economic team about two weeks ago.

The President said that he would outline his views on the steps to be taken in the near future.

Saakashvili considers it necessary to create additional legislative and perhaps Constitutional guarantees to protect investments and property.

The Government is working on an economic stimulus package which will acknowledge the inevitability of economic reforms and present it to Parliament, Speaker David Bakradze has stated.

General Inspection detains Ministry of Interior employees

Officers of the General Inspection of the Ministry of Interior have detained Levan Zarandia, an employee of its Financial-Fiscal Main Division who worked for one of its auto service centres, the Ministry reports. Levan Zarandia was supposed to service BMW cars belonging to the Ministry but is alleged to have illegally appropriated 6,000 GEL for this purpose and sought to conceal the traces of his crime by submitting forged invoices.

The General Inspection is conducting an investigation. The offence carries a term of imprisonment of up to 9 years.

Teachers Union rallies outside Parliament

The Teachers Union rallied outside Parliament yesterday demanding the implementation of budgetary amendments proposed by the President. They had collected 100,000 signatures on a motion which demanded salary increases and the revision of their social allowances and contract terms and submitted the motion to Parliament as a draft law.

Christian Democrat MPs declared their solidarity with the protestors. Parliament speaker Davit Bakradze said that the motion would be discussed within the next two weeks at an Education Committee session.
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Movement for Fair Georgia welcomes Tagliavini report

The Movement for Fair Georgia has said that the position expressed in the report of the independent investigation into the August war coincides with its own.

“Saakashvili`s crime has been confirmed by the independent commission of the European Union. The report has presented an unbiased assessment of the activities carried out by both the Russian and Georgian Governments and says that the war began with Saakashvili’s attack on Tskhinvali. According to international norms, this act was a crime,” Petre Mamradze of the party has said.

Mamradze added that the same assessment had been made by the Movement in August 2008, when it asserted that the war in the Tskhinvali region was a military-political adventure of the Georgian Government. Mamradze said Saakashvili was committing yet another crime now by trying to convince the public by making misleading statements that the commission had justified his policy.
(Rustavi 2)