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The News in Brief

Monday, January 25
Patriarch preaches about modesty

The Patriarch spoke about the importance of modesty at the Sunday service at Holy Trinity cathedral.

"Only select people are granted the gift of modesty. May God give you modesty and submission," Ilia the Second stated. He wished peace and unity to Georgia.

Ilia the Second stated that Georgia is in hardship today and its territorial integrity has been violated but people must not lose hope. The Patriarch said that modesty, prayer, fasting and good works will "return everything that is lost to us".

The Patriarch blessed four surnames today: Komakhidze, Gegechkori, Mikaberidze, Beridze. Ilia the Second also blessed pupils and teachers of Tbilisi schools of No. 189 and 15.

Russia's Archbishop Ilarion not to visit Georgia in January

The scheduled visit of Archbishop Ilarion, a representative of the Moscow Patriarchate, to Georgia at the end of January has been postponed, Archpriest Davit Sharashenidze, head of the Georgian Patriarchate’s Press Service, has told Interpressnews without specifying the reasons for this postponement.

Archbishop Ilarion stated his intention to visit Georgia at a press conference at the Moscow Patriarchate at the beginning of January. He said he would be negotiating with the Georgian Patriarch on the problems in the relationship between the Georgian and Russian Churches.

Yulia Latynina: Kremlin has lost all rights over Caucasus

Yulia Latynina has discussed the Russian-Georgian war on the Access Code programme on the Ekho Moskvi radio station. She called the Kokoity regime in South Ossetia "Ossetian Hamas, supported by barbarian Russia".

An anti-barbarian alliance existed between Georgia and Russia as they were both being destroyed by The Kremlin for years. However, in 2008 we were fighting on their side. Who supports barbarians is barbarian himself," Yulia Latynina said.

The Russian journalist said that a very significant result of the August events of 2008 was that The Kremlin, through its actions, has lost all rights over the Caucasus.
(Rustavi 2)

Hague Tribunal experts to visit Georgia

A Hague Tribunal group of experts will visit Georgia in early February to study the circumstances of the August war, Nezavisimaia Gazeta reports. This investigative work will take place on Russia’s appeal and to clarify some issues set out in the EU mission report.

The report of the Tagliavini Commission said that Georgia started the war in August, but Russia had conducted prior provocations and responded disproportionately to Georgia's actions. The Russian side is ready to work with the experts and provide any kind of information.

Konstantine Gamsakhurdia leaves for Moscow

Konstantine Gamsakhurdia, Chair of the Parliamentary Commission investigating the death of the first President of Georgia Zviad Gamsakhurdia, has left for Moscow. Gamsakhurdia, with colleague Bezhan Khurtsidze and invited expert Mikheil Osadze intends to question former senior Georgian officials now living in Russia. Meetings with Shota Kviraia, Tengiz Kitovani, Bezhan Trusrtsumia and Igor Giorgadze are planned.

Konstantine Gamsakhurdia hopes Igor Giorgadze, who is a fugitive, will address Konstantine Gamsakhurdia himself and provide him with necessary information. Giorgadze alleges that he has information proving that Zviad Gamsakhurdia was murdered. The talks will be recorded and certified by a notary to grant their contents legal force.

Drivers on strike in Sokhumi

The Sokhumi trolleybus drivers' strike is continuing, Interfax reports. They are demanding an increase in salary.

Driver Merab Malia says that they have a very small salary – about 2,000 roubles a month. They say they also have to act as their own conductors and even repair their vehicles if they are damaged.

The trolleybus is the cheapest form of transport in Sokhumi, costing 3 roubles. The de facto administration is refusing to increase salaries. About 80 people are employed at the trolleybus park.

Roe deer appears in school in Akhaltsikhe district

A roe deer has entered a school in the village of Uraveli in the Akhaltsikhe district. Locals think that it arrived in the village while trying to escape from either some wild beast or hunters.

Representatives of the Environment Inspection arrived to examine the baby deer. After assuring themselves that nothing was wrong with the animal they let it go in the forest.

This is second time a roe deer has appeared in a village. A similar incident occurred in the Borjomi-Kharagouli district several months ago.
(Rustavi 2)

President of European Olympic Committee views sports infrastructure of Georgia

President of the European Olympic Committee Patrick Joseph Hickey was awarded an honorary doctorate at the Ilia Chavchavadze State University in Tbilisi on Sunday. Rector of the University Gigi Tevzadze personally bestowed this doctorate, awarded by the academic board of the University.

Mr. Hickey visited a sports complex in Tchiookashvili Street where refurbishment works are underway. The purpose of the European Olympic Committee President's visit to Georgia was to view the sports infrastructure in the country, because Tbilisi has applied to host the 2015 Youth Olympics.
(Rustavi 2)