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The News in Brief

Monday, April 30
Patriarch: Motherhood is a great responsibility

"Motherhood is a great responsibility," the Catholicos-Patriarch of All Georgia Ilia II affirmed in his Sunday sermon at Trinity Cathedral.

"Today we are commemorating the mothers who were along with Christ even when he was crucified. They were not afraid of anything. They were with God with their flesh and blood. I want to talk about the role of a women and mother in a family. Unfortunately, there are cases when husbands and wives separate, as mothers don’t have required properties. Motherhood is a great responsibility," the Patriarch said.

He also said that in the past children were taught to do charity and assist the poor, but now priorities have changed and parents are teaching their children how to acquire fame and power.

At the end of his sermon, Ilia II awarded four clergymen and blessed several Georgian surnames.

University students to receive government funding

All first-year university students who complete the first year of study successfully will be exempted from fees for the next year, as the government will fund their study, President Mikheil Saakashvili said at the opening of the international educational Olympiad in Tbilisi Saturday.

Representatives of 31 countries are taking part in the Olympiad for young scientists and inventors. They are expected to make presentations of projects in math, physics, chemistry, biology, IT, and engineering.

Saakashvili discussed reforms carried out in Georgia at a meeting with participants of the Olympiad. When speaking about ongoing reforms, Saakashvili said Russia wants to share Georgia's experience but they are unable to do so because of the remaining power of the Soviet political elite.

Representatives of the diplomatic corps in Georgia attended the opening ceremony. The President received portraits of himself and the First Lady incrusted with precious stones from a foreign guest.
(Rustavi 2)

Saakashvili opens race track in Rustavi

President Mikheil Saakashvili has opened a rehabilitated race track in Rustavi.

The President arrived in Rustavi along with his wife and son. He drove a car on the track to test it himself.

"It [gives] very strong adrenaline," the President said and advised everyone to visit the track.

Saakashvili congratulated all who participated in the rehabilitation of the track, and thanked Shota Abkhazava, head of the Automobile Sport Association of Georgia, for his work. Abkhazava invested $20 million USD in the reconstruction.

The President also spoke about the importance of the track for Rustavi, as the city was dying only ten years ago. This is one little but important step towards the revival of Rustavi, he said.

Saakashvili reiterated that this track was not built for government members. This is a private investment that should bring money, as well as optimism and energy, for the revival of Georgia, he remarked.

The opening of the race track was also attended by Minister of Regional Development and Infrastructure Ramaz Nikolaishvili, Shida Kartli Governor Davit Kirkitadze, and Minister of Sport and Youth Affairs Lado Vardzelashvili.

Delegation from Lithuanian Seijm in Georgia

A delegation from the Lithuanian Seijm visited Georgia this weekend. Delegation members took part in a Georgia-Lithuania forum on local self-governance and will hold meetings at Parliament.

Speaker of Parliament Davit Bakradze and Head of the Parliamentary Committee for Local Self-governance and Mountainous Regions Vakhtang Balavadze received the delegation members. After their meeting, a memorandum of cooperation was signed between Balavadze’s committee and Lithuania’s Committee for State Administration and Local Self-governance. The delegation members also met with the Lithuanian Ambassador.

On Tuesday, the delegation will meet representatives of the National Association of Local Self-governance and the Minister of Regional Development and Infrastructure Ramaz Nikolashvili, as well as Shida Kartli Governor Giorgi Tatishvili.

Oil spill in Batumi river

An oil leak has been discovered in the Bartskhana River in Georgia's Black Sea city of Batumi Saturday. The oil came from a local oil terminal, but the cause of the leak is not yet known.

First response for oil spill liquidation has already been carried out, and experts are working to clean the water and the river bed.
(Rustavi 2)

Woman dies of AIDS

A 36-year-old woman has died of AIDS in Tbilisi. According to the Centre for Disease Control, the woman's condition was complicated by other chronic diseases, which caused a fatal form of peritonitis.

According to the Centre, 142 cases of AIDS infection were registered in Georgia this year, 34 of which have ended fatally.
(Rustavi 2)