The messenger logo

The News in Brief

Wednesday, December 23
New Ministers attend Government session

The two new Ministers attended a Cabinet session for the first time yesterday. The Prime Minister welcomed and wished success in their work to Khatuna Kalmakhelidze, 30, the new Minister of Corrections and Legal Assistance, and State Minister for Diaspora Affairs Papuna Davitaia.

"The spheres which they have assumed control over are not easy ones to deal with. Much was done by the previous Ministers but much also needs to be done by the new ones," Gilauri said at the beginning of the session today.

Minister of Corrections and Legal Assistance Khatuna Kalmakhelidze said that she was learning about the situation in her Ministry and its plans for 2010. "My key priority is to provide the painless resocialisation of probationers and convicts," the Minister said.

The new State Minister for Diaspora Affairs said that he will present a detailed action plan after assessing the situation in his office. (Rustavi 2)

Georgia-China political consultations take place in Tbilisi

Georgia-China political consultations have been held in Tbilisi. At the meeting, the sides discussed ways to strengthen relations between the two states and their work programme for 2010, in particular exchange visits by delegations from the respective Ministries of Foreign Affairs and relevant executive and law enforcement bodies.

Director of the Department of Asia, Africa, Australia and the Pacific Rim Levan Asatiani led the delegation of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Georgia and the Chinese delegation was headed by Deputy Director of the Department of East Europe and Central Asia Zhang Xiao. (Interpressnews)

Pregnant woman dies of H1N1

Another pregnant woman died of H1N1 flu in the Kutaisi Maternity Home on Monday. Sofo Ioseliani, 18, was hospitalised two days ago; however, she had undertaken medical treatment for five days previously in Tskaltubo. Reportedly, her death was caused by delayed hospitalisation. Ioseliani had double pneumonia and was six months pregnant.

Seven other patients infected with H1N1 are being treated in the Kutaisi hospital, however, only one of them is in a serious condition. (Rustavi 2)

Tsagareishvili demands protection of the rights of independent MPs

MP Gia Tsagareishvili has demanded the upholding of the rights of independent MPs in Parliament. Tsagareishvili said at a briefing yesterday that he would present a relevant legislative amendment to Parliament.

Tsagareishvili said that the independent MPs have no right to assistants and this makes their work difficult. He complained that an independent MP could not deal with the numerous tasks an MP must undertake. His amendment will give independent MPs, of which there are five at present, the right to hire assistants. Five new employees should not be a difficult problem for Parliament, he said. (Rustavi 2)

CDM demands free treatment for children under 7

Improving medical services for children will be a priority in the healthcare programme of the Christian Democratic Party in 2010. MP Magda Anikashvili has outlined details of their proposal for sponsored healthcare for children, which states that the age at which a child is entitled to a free medical service should rise from three to seven years.

Anikashvili said at a briefing yesterday that the Government should take care of children's health until their immune systems are fully formed, which happens at the age of seven. "Seven years is the age at which the immune system of children is strong and social adaptation has occurred, i.e. they have been one year at school. At that stage it is recommended to hand over the responsibility of treatment to their parents," Anikashvili said. (Interpressnews)

Maestro TV chief accuses Government of robbery

Director General of TV company Maestro Erosi Kitsmarishvili has accused 'zonder brigades' of the Government of assaulting a courier who was delivering 45,000 dollars to him.

Kitsmarishvili declared at a briefing yesterday that the courier was bringing money lent to him by businessman Kibar Khalvashi to address the financial problems of Maestro TV but had been assaulted and robbed.

"The courier got out of the car and was in our entrance hall when he was stopped and taken to a guard's room, where they searched him and took away his jacket and the money," Kitsmarishvili said. (Rustavi 2)

Labour Party objects to hospital privatisation

The Labour Party objects to the Government's plans to sell off the Republican Hospital and the Infectious Diseases hospital. Giorgi Gugava of the party has said that this "anti-social" decision to privatise the two largest hospitals while epidemics of various types of flu were searing the country equalled murder.

Gugava called upon potential buyers of these facilities not to bid for them, because State property sold off during the governance of Saakashvili will return to State possession after Saakashvili's term has expired. (Rustavi 2)