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The News in Brief

Monday, February 21
Patriarch of Georgia Preached about Necessity to Increase Faith

Catholicos Patriarch of Georgia, Ilia the Second, preached about the necessity of increasing faith at the Sunday service.

Ilia the Second said that society lives in the era of science and technology and a lot of people forget to live spiritually.

Ilia the Second delivered the service at St. Trinity temple together with monks from Aton and he thanked archimandrite Efrem of Aton Mountain monastery who, as the Patriarch says, gives attention to the Georgian monks.

Ilia the Second blessed Atoni Mountain monks and the Belarusian church and gave St. George icons to the bishop of Belarus church and head of Atoni temple. Ilia the Second blessed several surnames at the end of the service.

Snowfall expected to continue throughout Georgia for next three days

Snowfall is expected to continue throughout Georgia, including the capital Tbilisi, for the next three days. Weather forecasters expect the unstable weather to continue to the end of February.

Despite the heavy snow, roads and highways have remained unaffected. For the purpose of avoiding car accidents, highways are being permanently cleared of snow and covered with salt.

It is snowing on Rikoti Pass, dividing Georgia`s eastern and western regions. Movement through the pass is restricted only for trailers.
(Rustavi 2)

Georgian Foreign Minister holds official meetings in Qatar

Georgian delegation headed by foreign minister is on its official visit to Qatar. Grigol Vashadze held Sunday meetings with Qatar`s Energy and Industry minister, president of Businesspersons` Association, head of Hassad Food Company and executive director of Qatar Airlines.

The sides talked about economic cooperation, discussed issues concerning energy and business projects, also prospects of making Qatar`s investments in Georgia.

Grigol Vashadze also plans to meet with the Emir of the State of Qatar and Prime Minister of the country on Monday (February 21).
(Rustavi 2)

Property In Tbilisi Transferred To Refugees’ Ownership

The Ministry of Internally Displaced Persons from the Occupied Territories, Accommodation and Refugees of Georgia provided living space to the legal ownership of 140 families of refugees. Koba Subeliani told journalists about it on February 18.

According to him, the process of improving the living conditions of refugees is continuing.

"This process is continuing. In the coming period, in all places of compact resettlement of refugees, minimum living conditions will be arranged" - the minister said.

According to him, in the near future about 12 000 internally displaced families will receive dwelling spaces and will become legal owners of this property.

According to Subeliani at this stage, the Georgian government has handed living spaces to about 22 thousand families of refugees. Out of this amount, 278 properties were transferred to the refugees in Tbilisi and 343 in the regions.

Free Democrats: Board Officers Have Functions of Punishing Units at Public Schools

Board officers have units for punishing pupils at public schools of Georgia.

The party of “Free Democrats” stated about it at a briefing held on February 18. The representatives of the party spoke about the “gaps” in the system of board officers’ activity at the briefing.

Free Democrats opposition party objects to the introduction of the institute of board officers in Georgia’s public schools. As the party representatives say, the board officers have functions of punishing units at schools.

According to Free Democrats the institute of the board officers is unacceptable to them as Georgian legislation prohibits violent treatment of pupils.

Georgian Party Has Set Up Office in Batumi

The opposition "Georgian party" established its organization in the city of Batumi, where registration of those wanting to join the party, has already been launched.

Prime-News was told about it by the press service of the party.

A member of the party Shalva Gogitidze was elected the head of the Batumi office. He heads the initiative group, which should prepare a constituent conference, to be held at the end of March.

Regional offices of the "Georgian party” were set up in Zugdidi (Samegrelo, Western Georgia) Gori (Shida Kartli, eastern Georgia), Kutaisi (Imereti, Western Georgia), Rustavi (Kvemo Kartli, eastern Georgia), Telavi (Kakheti, eastern Georgia), Tsnori (Signagi district, Kakheti, eastern Georgia) and in Ozurgeti (Guria region, Western Georgia).

The “Georgian party” plans to open offices in all regions of Georgia.

Former member of Georgian parliament detained

Former member of Georgian parliament has been detained. As reported, Sandro Bregadze has been detained with charges of minor hooliganism and resisting a police officer. He was arrested in Vazha Pshavela Avenue in Tbilisi centre on February 17, 2011.

Representatives of the Interior Ministry confirm the fact of detention and they intend to make a statement later.

Four young men drown while hunting in Western Georgia

Four young men were killed in an accident in the village of Kulevi on Georgia`s Black Sea Coast. They and three other men had gone hunting to Kulevi from the town of Samtredia of Imereti Region in Western Georgia. All seven of them were on the boat when they entered Tsivi River.

According to preliminary reports, the boat turned over, after which four young men drowned. Rescuers were able to save only three of the men.

Representatives of the department of emergency services of Imereti Region also arrived at the site of the incident.

The injured men were transported to hospital in the city of Kutaisi, the second largest city in Georgia.