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The News in Brief

Thursday, December 23
Dick Marty Met With Sukhumi and Tskhinvali Parliament Speakers In Moscow

A chairman of the monitoring committee for the Parliamentary Assembly Council of Europe (PACE) Dick Marty has met with parliamentary speakers from the Sukhumi and Tskhinvali puppet regimes in Moscow.

As news agency “Res” reported, the meeting took place in Moscow two days ago.

The meeting with Stanislav Kochiyev and Nugzar Ashuba was held in the State Duma due to the Russian side's initiative.

The meeting was attended by Kosachov, the chairman of the international affairs committee in the Duma and representatives of the Russian Foreign Ministry.

According to Kosachov the main theme of the meeting was rendering assistance to the so-called South Ossetian refugees.

An issue of signing an agreement on non-use of force was also raised at the meeting. Representatives of the de facto regimes accused Georgia of refusing to sign the agreement. Kochiyev stated his readiness to work with international organizations, including PACE, and offered to hold talks in Paris.

Along with the visit to Moscow the chairman of the PACE Monitoring Committee also visited Tbilisi on December 21. Mr. Marty held meetings with Security Council Secretary of Georgia Giga Bokeria, State Minister for Reintegration Eka Tkeshelashvili and the Georgian delegation to PACE. (Prime-News)

NGOs Initiate Setting up of New Civic Holidays

NGOs for European Georgia’ have initiated setting up new general civic holidays in Georgia .

The initiators say civic holidays have great symbolic importance for a state, similar to a flag, anthem, or state emblem. The NGOs say the ethnic and religious diversity should be reflected in the calendar.

"December 25, 31, May 8 and the first day of Jewish Hanukkah should be declared as holidays like Bairam," the NGOs’ statement says.

By the initiation of Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili, Nowruz-Bairam was declared as a national holiday in Georgia. On the 21st of March he addressed the Marneuli population: "The whole Georgia is celebrating Nowruz-Bairam with you today, because you are our flesh and blood, you constitute significant part of Georgia. We will fight together for the better future and will celebrate together. From today on Nowruz-Bairam is a Georgian National Holiday." (Interpressnews)

Georgian Sport Journalist Commits Suicide in Tatarstan

Georgian sport journalist committed a suicide in the Republic of Tatarstan, Interfax reports.

The body of Davit Chanturia, 46, was found hanging in his flat on Saturday. The journalist left a letter, though its content is not yet known.

The body of the Georgian journalist will be brought to Georgia after a farewell ceremony. Davit Chanturia was a president of the football federation in the city of Naberezhni Chelni, Tatarstan. (Interpressnews)

Financial machinations revealed in Tbilisi slot clubs

Over 360,000,000 GEL was spent in Tbilisi slot-clubs during the past two years, 110,000,000 of which the gamblers have lost.

These 110,000,000 GEL amounts to significant profit for the slot-club proprietors, however, they only declared 15% of it to the Ministry of Finance's Revenue Office, which inspected 340 slot-clubs during the past month and revealed the machinations.

All these organizations will receive fine bills next week and will face sanctions unless they pay the fines. (Rustavi 2)

Police arrest woman suspected of swindle

Gldani-Nadzaladevi district police have arrested Bela Kupatadze in suspicion of swindling. According to the investigation, police officers from the same department interrogated a witness of a crime, who accompanied the suspect when the crime was committed. The eyewitness was released after interrogation. Bela Kupatadze tried to use this fact contacted the family of the suspect, promising to help them in the release and extorted 6,500 GEL.

Kupatadze has been arrested and charged with swindling. The investigation is in progress under article 180 of the Criminal Code. The detainee has already pleaded guilty. She may face up to an 8 year-sentence. (Rustavi 2)