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The News in Brief

Tuesday, August 2
STOP PRESS: On August 1, 2011 the Tbilisi TV Tower was leased for four years, for the sum of GEL 110,000.

Government doesn't comment on Tbilisi TV Tower Management Changes

On Sunday, 31 July, representatives of the Ministry of Economy and Sustainable Development refused to talk before the Parliament about the management transfer of the former Georgian TV-Radio Centre (Saqteleradio). The Minister of Economy and Sustainable Development of Georgia, Vera Kobalia, was asked to attend the meeting of the faction “Unity for Justice”, also attended by the representatives of Coalition for Media Advocacy. The Chairman of the faction, Giorgi Tsagareishvili declared at the conference on Friday that in case the Minister could not attend the hearing, any responsible person from the Executive branch who had detailed information about the management transfer could replace her to answer questions.

It was reported by the Ministry of Economy and Sustainable Development that the Minister is abroad on a business trip thus the meeting of the faction was not attended by any of their representatives. Giorgi Tsagareishvili declared before the meeting that according to his information Vera Kobalia is in Batumi and not abroad. He said it is incomprehensible how all the Deputies and Heads of the departments could be abroad at the same time. One of the issues raised for the meeting, according to Tsagareishvili, is how several days before the auction the name of the Georgian TV Radio Centre (Saqteleradio) was renamed “Alpha-Com”. Tsagareishvili noted that it is not just the issue of Tbilisi TV Tower that is going to be leased out, but it involves 12 TV towers throughout Georgia. Tsagareishvili also stressed the fact that the Centre had liabilities: Gel 7 Million as a debtor and Gel 3 million as a creditor. “These facts raise many questions. It is a great pity that representatives of the Executive branch refuse to answer questions”, he added.

Railway services restored on both tracks

As of Sunday, railway services were restored in both directions on the Tbilisi-West Georgia line, according to Interpress News and information from the press service of Georgian Railway. The electricity lines are being checked at present. Georgian Railway once again apologized to its passengers for the inconveniences caused when nine wagons out of twelve, carrying oil and other products derailed on July 30 in Mtskheta on the 18th kilometer. The crash caused a large amount of oil to be spilled. Brigades of fire fighters, rescue crews and the police worked at the scene of the accident. The train was composed of wagons from Georgia, Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan. According to preliminary reports the crash was caused by a defective wagon but the exact reasons of the crash will be known later.

Tbilisi marks the anniversary of the entry into force of the Convention on Cluster Munitions

On 1 August, the Convention on Cluster Munitions is marked worldwide. Events were held in Tbilisi organized by the Georgian committee of the International Campaign to Ban Landmines. There were sport events at Turtle Lake with the participation of landmine victims and other persons with disabilities, and films were shown. Guests took part in mini-football competitions, sand volleyball, table tennis and basketball activities and won prizes.

The Convention on Cluster Munitions, or CCM, prohibits all use, stockpiling, production and transfer of Cluster Munitions. Separate articles in the Convention concern assistance to victims, clearance of contaminated areas and destruction of stockpiles. The Convention has been signed by 109 states. More than 589,000 cluster munitions and more than 64 million explosive remnants have been destroyed.

Expertise to establish the causes of infant's death

Experts will investigate the case of a newborn's death. The family of the dead baby accuses doctors of the Sachkhere maternity house of incompetence and negligence. The accident occurred in the Sachkhere district, Imereti Region, on Sunday. Nineteen-year-old Natia Mujiri gave birth to her child and requested a C-section to be performed, as the baby was quite big. However, the local doctor decided to use natural ways to induce labor instead. The baby was transported to Tbilisi soon after birth though doctors were not able to save its life. The family plans to file a complaint against the hospital.
(Rustavi 2)

Batumi preparing for MTV Music Festival

Batumi is preparing for the MTV music festival, with the pop star Enrique Iglesias expected to arrive in Georgia today. The concert will be free for over ten thousand spectators on Batumi's Europe Square in the most attractive seaside city of Georgia. Those who don't find a place on the square will be able to watch it live on a large screen in the Batumi Boulevard and in front of the Batumi Theatre. At the decision of MTV officials, Georgian singers – the band El Drain, Sopho Nizharadze, Stephane and 3G will also take part in the show. The MTV Music Festival will be broadcast live in 151 countries around the globe on Tuesday, August 2nd.
(Rustavi 2)