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The News in Brief

Friday, February 24
Search for Ankvabís attackers continues in Gali

The search for President of Abkhazia Aleksandr Ankvabís attempted assassins continues in the Gali region, according to a representative of the Abkhaz government in Samegrelo and Zemo Svaneti.

Government official Tornike Kilanava told InterPressNews that security service representatives have entered almost all villages in Gali. He also noted that movement on the Enguri Bridge in either direction has been halted.

Ankvabís motorcade was attacked on the Gudauta-Sokhumi road yesterday at 8:30am. After a suspected landmine explosion, the attackers opened fire with grenades and other heavy weaponry, prompting the security service to return fire. Two of the President's bodyguards were seriously injured, and one was killed.

Operation ďCaptureĒ is currently taking place in Abkhazia to find the assassins. This is the sixth such attack on Ankvab since 2005. (Interpressnews)

CDM calls for amending law on pension programs

The Christian Democratic Movement has called on the government to amend budget-funded pension and social support packages.

Party representative Magda Anikashvili said that all pensioners in Georgia should be given "equal conditions".

"We believe that if the 140 GEL pension package is issued to male citizens of Georgia from the age of 67, in case of the female citizens, it should be issued at the age of 62. Otherwise, the social program will be considered sexually discriminatory. As you know, women [retire] at the age of 60 and men at the age of 65; therefore, male pensioners have to wait only two years to get the 140 GEL pension package, while women have to wait for seven years. We think [the current] approach to the problem is simply unintelligible," Anikashvili said.

She also affirmed that the rights of those families who have lost their bread-winners, families of people killed in the fight for Georgia's territorial integrity, descendants of the repressed, and citizens in several other vulnerable categories, should be also protected.

The Christian Democrats also demand funds for programs to help disabled children in the regions. (Rustavi 2)

Two die of AIDS in Tbilisi

The National Agency of Disease Control has reported two new fatal cases of AIDS. Two middle-aged men infected with the disease died in Tbilisi on Wednesday night. Doctors say the cause of death was delayed treatment.

According to the agency, nine people have died and 64 were infected with HIV/AIDS in 2012 alone. (Rustavi 2)

Georgian delegation to take part in OSCE Parliamentary Assembly session

A Georgian parliamentary delegation will take part in the winter session of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE). The session opened Wednesday, and will conclude Friday at OSCE headquarters in Vienna, Austria.

Georgian representatives will discuss the situation in Abkhazia and South Ossetia, particularly the condition of Georgia's cultural artifacts, the denial of a right to education, and the non-fulfillment of obligations by Russia.

The session will discuss human rights, media freedom, and reforms in the penitentiary systems of OSCE member states.

A report of the OSCE election monitoring mission about the December 4 parliamentary elections in Russia will be also presented during the sitting. (GHN)

Jokhadze will represent Georgia at Eurovision 2012

Anri Jokhadze will represent Georgia at the 2012 Eurovision Song Contest, with the song "I'm a Joker".

Nine talented performers took part in the Georgian National Competition, which wrapped up with a concert on Wednesday.

Forty-three countries will take part in the 57th Eurovision Song Contest to be held on the 22nd, 24th and 26th of May in Azerbaijan's capital, Baku. Georgia has been selected to take part in the Second Semi-Final of the contest, on May 24th. (GHN)