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The News in Brief

Monday, January 4
Patriarch preaches on national, material and spiritual values of Georgia

In his Sunday sermon at the Holy Trinity cathedral Catholicos-Patriarch Ilia ll talked about the national, spiritual and material values of Georgia.

"Each monastery in Georgia has been a place of learning. However, when we are asked about our values, we canít answer. We know that Georgia is rich with martyrs and holy fathers, but we canít name them. All Georgians must be aware of our values during the process of globalisation. I think a book should be written with the participation of the Science Academy and the University. All Georgians, and the whole world, should know about our values. We must show everyone that these values have been created over centuries and not in one day," Ilia ll said.

The Patriarch said that the most precious value is a human being, his life, though society does not pay much attention to this. "We look very casually at a dead person, a murder. All of us Ė Church, Government, and society Ė should care for human life."

Ilia ll also talked about the importance of time. He said all should appreciate time and get up early in the morning in order to do everything. Consequently, they must go to bed earlier. After the sermon, blessed sweets and bread were distributed at the Trinity Cathedral.

January 4 is Ilia IIís birthday. His Holiness and Beatitude (Irakli Shiolashvili) was born in Vladikavkaz on January 4 1933, to Giorgi Ghudushauri-Shiolashvili and Natalia Kobaidze. After finishing the 22nd Secondary School in Vladikavkaz in 1952 he continued his studies at the theological academy in Moscow. On December 23, 1977, upon the death of Catholicos-Patriarch David V, Metropolitan Ilia was elected the new primate of the Georgian Orthodox Church. He was enthroned on December 25, 1977 in Svetitskhoveli Cathedral.

Strong wind unroofs 9-storey block in Batumi

Strong wind has unroofed a 9-storey apartment block in the city of Batumi, Adjara Region. The incident occurred in Khimshiashvili Street late on Saturday night. The roof fell onto a Fiat car and rainwater began trickling and dripping down the walls of the building.

The residents of the block are blaming the company which put the roof on a year ago for the incident. They say that this company must reimburse them for the damage suffered.

Two elderly women die after gas leak in Tbilisi

Two elderly women were found dead by rescuers in the district of Dighomi Massive in Tbilisi on Sunday night. According to preliminary information the women died after a gas leakage caused by the incorrect installation of a gas water heater in the apartment. Both were over 80.

Two other residents of the same block of apartments have reported being slightly intoxicated for the same reason.

Man, 40, found killed in Tbilisi

Giorgi Enukidze, 40, was found killed in the Gldani district of Georgia's capital Tbilisi on Saturday. According to preliminary information, the murder occurred after a quarrel. Giorgi Enukidze was badly wounded with a knife.

An investigation has been launched regarding the incident. It is being treated as premeditated murder, though neighbours say they have heard nothing about it.
(Rustavi 2)

Prize awarded to tourist in Batumi

A lot of tourists are greeting the New Year in the town of Batumi. The Georgian Tourism Department has arranged a special event for them and awarded a special prize to the 550,000th tourist to Batumi. The prize was awarded to a woman from Turkey.

The Head of the Tourism Department and the Head of the Adjaran Government handed over the prize to Daria Gulukhatsoglu. She will be able to spend ten days at the Intourist Hotel in Batumi in Summer and go sightseeing there.
(Rustavi 2)

Georgian Government sends letter to EU

The Government of Georgia has sent a special letter to the EU Commissioner responsible for External Relations and European Neighbourhood Policy, calling upon the EU to closely observe the local government elections of Georgia in 2010.

On the instruction of the President of Georgia, Vice Premier Giorgi Baramidze sent this letter to Benita Ferrero-Waldner. The Georgian Government believes that the early involvement of EU monitors in the local elections will ensure their transparent and fair conduct, the guarantee of stability and democratic development in the country.
(Rustavi 2)