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The News in Brief

Tuesday, August 17
Orthodox Liturgy in Turkey after 88 years

For the first time in 88 years, a holy service was conducted in the Orthodox Church in Turkey. In the Sumela Monastery, the Patriarch of Constantinople, Bartholomew carried out the rites dedicated to the passing of the Virgin Mary. Hundreds of worshippers attended the service in the Fourth Century Monastery, which was surrounded by reinforced security guards. Helicopters also monitored the event from the air.

The security was reinforced following the detention of two Turkish nationals, who, a few days previous has posted their objection to the orthodox Christian ceremony on FaceBook, threatening to disrupt the event.

The liturgy was sanctioned by the Ministry of Culture of Turkey.
(Rustavi 2)

Obligatory military drafting begins

Obligatory military drafting begins in Georgia. By order of the president, the Ministry of Regional Development and Infrastructure will coordinate the process of drafting.

The central drafting commission held its first session today. The representatives of the ministries of interior, defence, healthcare and education attended the session. The commission is in charge of supervising the work of regional drafting commissions, which operate together with local governments.

The autumn drafting will last until December 30, 2010.
(Rustavi 2)

Patriarch visits Gldani prison

Georgia's Catholicos Patriarch, Ilia II visited the Gldani prison today and met with the prisoners. His Holiness is also expected to meet with the prisoners of 'Faith', who were arrested during a live TV show on the Kavkasia TV channel, in which issues surrounding religious conflict were discussed. Eight people were charged with hooliganism and sent to prison for 4 years and 6 months.

In His Sunday sermon, the Catholicos Patriarch gave the nation his blessing to dedicate Thursdays and Sundays to charitable activities for the vulnerable.
(Rustavi 2)

Labour Party sends letter to French president

Labour Party of Georgia has sent an open letter to the administration of the President of France asking him to reveal the identity of the person who advised the Georgian president Mikheil Saakashvili in the days of the August war with Russia in 2008.

Today's briefing by the member of the party Kakha Dzagania was held in response to the interview with Elen Karer Dankos, the permanent secretary of the French Academy, who said that American advisors were giving instructions to the Georgian leader during the war in the negotiations with the French president.

"We are officially stating that today Saakashvili had the same advisors. The interview shows that Saakashvili has turned the country into a polygon of US-Russia war, which we have been accusing him of since the days of war," Dzagania said.
(Rustavi 2)

New Gym Opens in Public School No.45

Deputy Minister of Education and Science, Nodar Surguladze and Director of Education and Science Infrastructure Development Agency, Irakli Todua visited the renovated gym in Tbilisi Public School ¹45.

Within the framework of the President’s National Mega-Program ‘Iakob Gogebashvili – Rehabilitation of Public Schools’, renovations and construction works are being carried out in 317 public schools throughout the whole country.

108 schools will be renovated in Tbilisi within the scope of the project. The renovation of the stadiums of 24 schools is already finished. Renovating 67 gyms is underway and 5 have already been finished. The gym of Public School ¹45 is one of them. The gym that is compliant with modern standards will serve 721 schoolchildren. The new gym has the capacity for lessons in three sports – gymnastics, basketball and volleyball.

Sports' facilities are being installed in schools where there was previously no infrastructure, while elsewhere the facilities are being modernised and refurbished. Soon, all Tbilisi public schools will have modern, sports facilities.

According to Nodar Surguladze, the refurbishment of gyms and open sports grounds is essential to the replacement of physical fitness lessons with sports classes in all public schools from the new academic year.

The new project, initiated by the President will be launched in the 2010-2011 academic year based on changes in the National Curriculum. The project that envisages the integration of physical education and sports as well as the development of healthy lifestyles will be implemented in all public schools of Georgia.

Storm destroys bungalow on Gonio beach

Overnight storms razed to the ground a bungalow on Gonio beach. Luckily, the bungalow's residents and their visitors managed to leave the building in time and no one was injured in the incident.

The windstorm destroyed the building, damaging the contents and audio systems. The management is now assessing the damage.
(Rustavi 2)

Chris De Burgh performs in Batumi

British singer Chris De Burgh performed a magnificent show for Georgian listeners and spectators along the Batumi Boulevard. The concert began at 9 p.m. and was attended by thousands of visitors to Adjara. The singer walked down from the stage and danced with the minister of economic development, who was attending the show.

President Mikheil Saakashvili was also present at the event together with the Moldova's acting president Mikhail Gimpu.

The singer confessed that his mouse of Lady in Red in Georgia was Georgian pop singer Sofia Nizharadze.

From the stage, Chris De Burgh thanked the Georgian president for the warm hospitality in Batumi.

The show was followed by impressive fireworks.
(Rustavi 2)