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The News in Brief

Friday, January 8
President visits Germany

President Saakashvili is paying a working visit to Germany, his administration has reported. He will attend an international conference dedicated to the problems of Georgia called Georgia at a New Crossroads. The conference will discuss the situation in Georgia's conflict regions, its relations with the West, internal reforms and the necessity of drafting a new security plan and the participation of NATO, the EU and the USA in this process.

Representatives of friendly countries such as the U.S., Germany, France, the Czech Republic, Lithuania and Latvia will attend this conference, to be held in Munich. Representatives of NATO and the European Parliament will also be present. Georgian MPs and Government members are accompanying the President to Germany. The conference will continue until January 10. (Rustavi 2)

Parliament appoints non-plenary session

Georgian lawmakers will have to attend Parliament straight after the New Year holidays as a non-plenary session has been appointed on January 15. The MPs will vote on draft laws which they failed to adopt at the last plenary sessions in 2009, the Economic Liberty Act proposed by the President among them. The constitutional amendments which specify the mechanisms for setting the dates of the elections are also on the agenda.

Parliament will resume full working in February. (Rustavi 2)

Alasania wishes Merry Christmas to several families

The leader of the Alliance for Georgia Irakli Alasania visited 12 families in Tbilisi yesterday and wished them Merry Christmas. Alasania and his allies presented the family of the Tabatadzes, who have five children, with computers. The children asked for these during a meeting with residents of the Nadaladevi district a few weeks ago.

"When I met the residents here they gave me a letter. We have responded to this by presenting these computers. We will carry out similar actions in accordance with our budget," Alasania said. (Interpressnews)

Four robberies reported in Gali district on Christmas night

Four robberies were reported in the Gali district of the occupied region of Abkhazia on Christmas night. During one of them a woman was injured so seriously that she will need several operations. The first has been conducted but surgeons failed to remove a bullet from her knee. The woman was hospitalised in Zugdidi with the help of ethnic Abkhaz who helped the family to take her across the administrative border by detours.

The eyewitnesses of all four of the robberies, which occurred in the villages of Tagiloni and Nabakevi, identified the same truck as that driven by the robbers. It belongs to the Russian occupation army. (Rustavi 2)

Ambassador of Lithuania visits orphanages

The Ambassador of Lithuania to Georgia has visited the Tashiskari and Surami orphanages and presented the children with sweets and Christmas presents, accompanied by the MP for the region. They viewed the newly opened workshops for children, where they can learn enamel and felt crafts and carpet knitting, established by a project sponsored by the Embassy of Lithuania.

As part of the same project, the Government of Lithuania will provide jobs for those who leave the orphanages. (Rustavi 2)

Light earthquake hits remote Racha Region

On December 6 a light earthquake was recorded in the remote Racha region of Georgia. According to the Centre of Seismology it measured 3-4 on the Richter scale and its epicentre was in southeast of Oni. The earthquake brought no damage to the region, the local administration reports. (Rustavi 2)