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The News in Brief

Tuesday, October 13
Unique discovery in the far north of Dighomi Valley

In the far north of the Dighomi Valley in the Naqulbaqevi area unique 3,000 year old burial places have been found.

The National Museum of Georgia has told Interpressnews that the cemeteries and the artefacts found therein have revealed major information about the way burials were conducted in that era.

Scientists from the Otar Lortkipanidze centre for archaeological research are working at the site.

Archaeological works in the area began in the early eighties of the last century when the remains of a medieval settlement and a late Bronze and early Iron Age cemetery were found during the expansion of the Georgian military road. For 2007 - 2009 the joint British-Georgian company the IDP group, which plans to construct a new technology centre on the site, has financed the archaeological work. The same company has undertaken to build a visitor centre there where people can view the finds made during the excavations.

The artefacts found at Naqulbaqevi confirm that it was once an important nexus of trade routes. They will be transported in the near future to the Tbilisi Archaeological Museum storehouse where more than 10,000 archaeological exhibits found in the capital are preserved.

Separatists and occupiers assault family of ethnic Georgians in Gali

Russian occupiers and Abkhaz separatists have assaulted and robbed the Kobalia family of ethnic Georgians in the Gali district village of Saberio. The incident occurred late on Sunday night. More than five masked gunmen stole nuts using the family’s vehicle, bound the members of the family and disappeared. Locals found Valeri Kobalia’s vehicle abandoned five kilometres from the village.

The robbers tortured a four year-old child and kidnapped Merab Kobalia, demanding an $80,000 ransom from the family. They say a so-called crime boss informed them about this ransom, which they could never afford.

Eyewitnesses say that the robbers were soldiers serving at the Russian checkpoint in Saberio.

Reportedly Russian occupiers also beat up a resident of the village of Otobaia, Zurab Alpenidze, on Sunday after a dispute with him.
(Rustavi 2)

Minister of Foreign Affairs to visit Great Britain

On 12-13 October 2009 Minister of Foreign Affairs of Georgia Grigol Vashadze will pay a visit to London. Within the visit, on 12 October, Mr. Vashadze will meet Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs David Miliband and Minister of State and Minister for Europe Baroness Glenys Kinnock. The same day, bilateral consultations at director level between the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office will be held.

On 13 October the Georgian Foreign Minister will hold meetings with Shadow Foreign Secretary William Hague and Chairman of the Defence Select Committee James Arbuthnot. Vashadze will also meet British media representatives and will give interviews to The Economist, The Times, The Financial Times etcetera.
(Rustavi 2)

Labour Party accuses Saakashvili of corrupt deals with Russian companies

The Georgian Labour Party has begun this week of disclosure what it says are “Saakashvili`s corrupt deals”. Giorgi Gugava, the Political Secretary of the party, announced at a briefing yesterday that it would soon publish evidence of Saakashvili’s machinations.

Gugava accused the President of having ties with Russian business interests in Georgia. “Despite Saakashvili’s anti-Russian rhetoric he has close ties with Russian companies from which his family gain serious benefit. 40% of the Beeline cellphone company belongs to Saakashvili’s family. In addition, Promishlen Invest is also Saakashvili’s partner and has obtained several enterprises in Georgia - Madneuli, the arsenic company Lukhumi and the Tbilisi jewellery factory,” Gugava said.
(Rustavi 2)

Slight earthquake strikes capital

A slight earthquake struck the Georgian capital at 10:03 p.m. on Sunday. According to the seismology monitoring centre report, the epicentre of the quake was in the Chughureti-Nadzaladevi district and measured four on the Richter Scale there.

The earthquake caused no damage in the city. Seismologists do not rule out more quakes occurring in the next few days.
(Rustavi 2)

Interior Ministry welcomes school pupils

Yesterday pupils from public school number 157 visited the newly constructed building of the Ministry of Internal Affairs. Pupils, guided by Goga Grigalashvili, the Head of the Patrol Police, were able to view the Interior of the Ministry and get acquainted with the technical features of patrol police vehicles.

During the visit the teenagers were given brochures about driving licenses produced by the Service Agency of the Interior Ministry and attended an anti-drug session.
(Rustavi 2)