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The News in Brief

Friday, November 11
Biden calls Georgia`s President, hails WTO entry deal

Wednesday, US Vice President Joe Biden, hailed the agreement between Georgia and Russia on accession for Russia to the World Trade Organization, in a phone call to Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili, the White House announced.

Biden "spoke by telephone with President Mikheil Saakashvili of Georgia this afternoon to congratulate him on the agreement signed in Geneva today establishing a trade monitoring arrangement between Georgia and Russia," the statement said.

The US Vice President commended Saakashvili "for his leadership in the talks and called the agreement a historic step that has the potential to increase economic ties between the peoples of both countries and to help reduce tensions in the region." (Rustavi 2)

NATO Secretary General meets students at TSU

NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen visited Tbilisi State University and delivered a speech to students, reviewing the history of Georgia and hailing recent reforms on the path to NATO integration. He reiterated that the door of the alliance remains open for Georgia.

"Your country has come a long way, and in a very short time it has made considerable progress in a wide range of areas--freedom of expression in democratic development and in fighting corruption. Freedom, democracy and the rule of law are precious, and consolidating all the institutional and democratic reforms will take time," Rasmussen said. He recalled the ideas of the famous Georgian public figure of the past century, Ilia Chavchavadze, on how to build a strong, independent and vibrant nation, saying these are as relevant today as they were then.

"During the last 20 years you have worked hard to build a sovereign nation based on freedom, democracy, the rule of law and respect for human rights. Georgia has applied for membership of NATO and NATO has reiterated that its door remains open," Rasmussen concluded. Following his speech, TSU students were invited to ask questions. (Rustavi 2)

An earthquake of magnitude 3 hit Georgia`s southern region of Samstkhe-Javakheti

At 6:53 on November 10 a magnitude-3 earthquake hit Georgia, the morning after a quake was reported near Van, Turkey. The epicenter hit the Ninotsminda district, east of the village of Foka, causing no damages; however most of the population did not feel the quake. (Rustavi 2)

Eight people intoxicated by carbon monoxide

Eight members of one family have been transferred to hospital after being poisoned by carbon monoxide. The incident occurred at No 4 Tibaani Street in Tbilisi on the evening of November 9. Experts checked the apartment and concluded the poison leaked from a faulty gas water heater. Doctors say the condition of the intoxicated persons is stable after treatment. (Rustavi 2)

Education Minister meets Board officers

The Minister of Education and Science of Georgia, Dimitri Shashkin, met with the School Boards to introduce projects in the education sector. The Minister also focused on the ten-point plan of the government in which the education strategy is described in detail. Shashkin spoke about the concept of the safe schools in Georgia, the need to create a healthy environment in schools and the improvements in teaching. (Rustavi 2)

InterpressNews reveals information on Bidzina Ivanishvil’s charity actions

InterPressNews stated that actors and theatre directors as well as other employees of the Nodar Dumbadze State Children’s Theatre; the Mikheil Tumanishvili Film Actors’ Theatre; the Shota Rustaveli State Academic Theater; the Marjanishvili Academic Theatre receive important monthly donations from Bidzina Ivanishvili’s charity fund. (Interpressnews)