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The News in Brief

Thursday, March 22
Saakashvili congratulates Georgia's Azeris on holiday

President Mikheil Saakashvili congratulated Georgia's ethnic Azeri citizens on the Novruz Bayram holiday.

The President's congratulatory message read, "My dear fellows, my Azeris, Novruz Bayrami is as close and precious for me as all other important holidays in Georgia. This day, I am celebrating with you and I am hopeful for the future of our country. Novruz Bayram is a family holiday and I, as your family member, share this joy. I am proud that we are creating a united state of Georgia, in which members of every culture, religion, and ethnic group will feel him and herself as sons and daughters of the country. Together we are building this country, and each of us is ready to sacrifice for it. It is no accident that this holiday is described in the greatest Georgian book, The Knight in the Pantherís Skin. This day is precious not only for Georgiaís citizens, but also for world culture and civilization. March 21 was proclaimed by the UNESCO General Assembly as an International Day and cultural achievement. I sincerely congratulate you on this national holiday, and wish each of you success, peace and prosperity."

Novruz Bayram is a traditionally Persian holiday that celebrates the New Year and the coming of spring. (Interpressnews)

Pololikashvili re-appointed Ambassador to Spain

Zurab Pololikashvili has been appointed as Georgia's Ambassador to Spain for the second time.

Pololikashvil was nominated at the bureau session of Parliament Tuesday.

Prior to this appointment, he had served as Minister of Economy and Sustainable Development. (Interpressnews)

Repeat examination finds Kakhishvili was beaten

A second examination has confirmed that Georgian national Mamuka Kakhishvili, 19, was beaten to death in Samara, Russia.

The incident occurred on November 10, 2011, when police brutally beat the boy, who died of his injuries.

However, law enforcement officials claim it was an accident. They say that officers were celebrating in a bar when they saw the boy, who they mistook for an individual wanted by militia members. They tried to arrest him but he ran away, and was detained after a chase. It was only after they put him in their car did they realize the boy was dead.

A secondary investigation has confirmed that Kakhishvili was beaten to death. There are accusations that the police tried to hide the real cause of death, and that they have been intimidating the boy's family. (Rustavi 2)

Gilauri introduces new Health Minister to staff

Zurab Chiaberashvili, Georgia's newest Minister of Health, Labour, and Social Affairs officially assumed the office Wednesday.

Prime Minister Nika Gilauri introduced the new minister to ministry staff, alongside former minister Andria Urushadze. Gilauri thanked Urushadze for his work, saying 70% of the desired reforms had been carried out, but the government still had to work hard ahead to accomplish all reforms successfully.

Chiaberashvili spoke about the priorities of the health care system and staff policy. He said the key goal of his work as Minister would be to make health care available for all citizens of Georgia.

He added that no radical staff changes are expected in the Ministry. (Rustavi 2)

Few vacancies remain in student employment program

Two days after registration began for the Ministry of Education and Science's Student Summer Employment Program, almost all vacancies have been filled.

The program's website,, reported nearly three million visitors in the first 24 hours.

The Ministry announced that there are only 35 out of 25,000 vacancies remaining in their database.

Selected applicants will receive a confirmation letter, and then will meet their prospective employers from May 5-15 to sign contracts. (Rustavi 2)

NGOs joins government anti-narcotics policy

A number of non-governmental organizations will cooperate with the programs implemented within the government's anti-narcotics policy.

The NGOs will work on issues related to public awareness, crime reduction, and prevention of drug-addiction.

The Ministry of Justice announced a grant competition for local NGOs to handle these tasks. First Deputy Prosecutor Davit Sakvarelidze met with representatives of those interested NGOs, to introduce details of the competition and the goals of the anti-narcotics program. (Rustavi 2)