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The News in Brief

Wednesday, August 4
Borjomi Gorge fire under control

The fire that has been raging in Borjomi Gorge is under control for now. The main open areas of fire have already been localised. Over 200 rescuers will stay in the area of this natural disaster. The final extinguishing of the fire may be hampered by bad weather, although helicopters are all set at the scene for an emergency situation.

Georgian Minister for Protection of the Environment and Natural Resources, Goga Khachidze called on citizens to demonstrate more responsibility and attention when moving through the woods. In his interview with Rustavi 2 TV Channel, the minister said on Tuesday that the fire in Borjomi woods was supposedly caused by negligence.

Goga Khachildze called on local citizens and tourists not to leave flaming bonfires in the woods and refrain from throwing down cigarette-ends. He said each fire destroys the environment and the cost to the country is high, as planes or helicopters are often needed for rescue operations due to the difficult landscape.

"August's tourist season is at its height and everyone should understand that each act of negligence might result in severe consequences. Therefore, we call for more attention and responsibility," the minister said.

Goga Khachidze said the fire has consumed 15 hectares. He also added the total damage caused by the disaster will be calculated only after the fire is completely extinguished. (Rustavi 2)

Nika Gilauri Speaks about Economic Growth Tendencies

Prime Minister Nika Gilauri spoke about economics growth tendencies on the governmental sitting today.

Gialuri noted that banks’ loan portfolios showed significant growth, increasing from GEL 5.3 billion in the beginning of the year to GEL 5.9 billion now.

The Prime Minister states that bank deposits also increased from 3.4 billion to 3.9 billion and that exports increased from GEL 516 to GEL 718 billion. GDP in the first quarter increased by 4.5% to 7.5% in the second quarter.

Gilauri stated final data of economic activity will be known in September. (Interpressnews)

Emergency power breakdown hit Georgia

Emergency power breakdown hit Georgia on Tuesday. High-voltage electricity transmission line `Kolkhida 2` was switched off for about half-an-hour causing full breakdown of the energy system of the country. The 220-kwt electricity transmission line was damaged.

According to preliminary reports, the power breakdown was caused by high temperatures.

Repair work is already underway. Electricity supply will be resumed eventually. Initially the electricity supply was resumed for objects of vital importance. (Rustavi 2)

Investigation launched over heist of unique books in Tbilisi State University

An investigation has been launched over the theft of unique books in Tbilisi State University. A General Inspector of the Georgian Education Ministry has examined the violations that occurred in the University's library.

An internal audit was conducted in the university after the crime. 39 unique editions of 17th, 18th and 19th centuries have been stolen from the library's depository. It is estimated the total cost of the books is tens of thousands of euros.

The director of the library Tamar Nemsitsveridze's powers have been temporarily suspended during the investigation. (Rustavi 2)

Georgian New Rightists object to educational reform

Georgian New Rightists disapprove of the educational reform. The Organizational Secretary of the political party objects to the abolition of Survey Institutes and their merging with universities.

Manana Natchkebia says the government finds it important not to define prior directions in science, but to fill the budget by selling buildings of survey institutes and decrease funds allocated for developing science in the country.

The New Rightists say in the process of the educational reform no advantages were intended for fields which play significant role in development of science. (Rustavi 2)

Citizen of Georgia on Dry Cargo Ship that Runs Aground on Shoal

A Georgian citizen was on the dry cargo ship under a Sierra Leone flag ‘Eastern Planet’, that ran aground on a shoal in Southern Spain on 30 July, Internet portal reports .

16 seamen – 12 Ukrainians, three Russians and citizen of Georgia were on board.

The vessel's power was cut off; they had not food and water. After the seamen were interviewed, it was found that they had not been paid for 2 months.

Local trade unions and Red Cross Committee provided the sailors with water, food and first aid.

International Transport Workers’ Federation is holding negotiations on the repatriation to their homelands and is also taking measures to help the seamen get their salaries. (Interpressnews)

Summer Justice School opens in Georgia's Black Sea town of Batumi

A Summer Justice School has opened in Georgia's Black Sea town of Batumi in Adjara. For a week students of the faculty of Law will be able to attend classes and take practical exercises in International Public Law.

Deputy Georgian Justice Minister and foreign experts will deliver lectures. Among other significant issues, student will be able to discuss the law on internally displaced people.

Mock trials will also be held at the summer school. Student will have to submit cover letters and English language certificates in order to participate in the contest for the summer classes. (Rustavi 2)