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The News in Brief

Wednesday, May 30
Appathurai in Georgia for NATO Week

James Appathurai, the NATO Secretary Generalís Representative for South Caucasus and Central Asia, will visit Georgia from June 11-16, Tengiz Gogotishvili, head of NATO's Information Centre, has announced.

Appathurai will be in Georgia for NATO Week, where he will open a conference at the Courtyard Marriott hotel in Tbilisi. The Week itself will be held across the country.

Several ambassadors from NATO member states will also be in attendance, and will deliver lectures on topics related to the Alliance.

"This is a good opportunity, as after the very important Chicago summit we have a lot to say," Gogotishvili said. (IPN)

Saakashvilis to visit Latvia

President Mikheil Saakashvili and first lady Sandra Roelofs are paying an official two-day visit to the Republic of Latvia.

An official reception ceremony will be held at the Riga palace, after which a face-to-face meeting will be held between the leaders of Georgia and Latvia.

After the meeting, Saakashvili and his Latvian counterpart will make joint statements.

During his visit, the President will hold meetings with the Latvian Prime Minister, the Speaker of Parliament, and other officials.

In addition, Saakashvili will take part in a Georgia-Latvia business forum and will visit the Latvian University, where he will deliver a speech.

Saakashvili will attend various official and cultural events, including an exhibition depicting Georgiaís participation in the ISAF program. (IPN)

Kakhi Kaladze offers to testify in Italian football case

Former footballer Kakhi Kaladze is ready to give testimony on the alleged practice of match fixing in Italy's football clubs, he announced on facebook.

"Information was spread via social network that Italian police interrogated several footballers with regard to corrupt football games. Police may interrogate me too, according to the reports spread in the press. I am ready to arrive in Italy at any time and give testimony as a witness," Kaladze said.

Juventus trainer Antonio Conte is under investigation regarding a match-fixing scandal that has already seen 11 current and former players arrested. Nineteen people were detained in total. One of those detained by police is the captain of Lazio, Stefano Mauri. Authorities confirmed they are also holding former Genoa midfielder Omar Milanetto. (IPN)

Saakashvili opens five-star hotel in Batumi

President Mikheil Saakashvili opened a new five-star hotel, the President Plaza, in Batumi yesterday. The President toured the hotel with his wife Sandra Roelofs and spoke to staff.

He discussed the tourism potential of Batumi with journalists, as well as projects already underway in the seaside city. Saakashvili said more local residents are finding jobs thanks to tourism projects and the process is graduall reducing the problem of unemployment.

The 35-room hotel, which includes a presidential apartment, opened to guests on Tuesday. The President Plaza was constructed with 14 million GEL of private investment, and has a staff of 60 persons. (Rustavi 2)

Kakhishvili family seeks donations to return murdered son to Georgia

The body of Mamuka Kakhishvili, who was killed by Russian police officers last year, will be moved from Russia to Georgia and buried in his home town. His family is currently seeking donations to pay for the transfer of the coffin. The Kakhishvilis plan to move from Samara, Russia, back to Georgia.

Kakhishvili, 19, was brutally beaten by Russian police officers in Samara last November, later dying of his injuries. (Rustavi 2)

Head of Mediation Service appointed

The Minister of Labour, Health and Social Affairs, Zurab Tchiaberashvili, announced the new head of the Mediation Service Tuesday. Sofio Lebanidze will also work as the Healthcare Ombudsman.

The Minister also introduced the 14-person Mediation Service staff, who were selected via open competition. A special commission selected the candidates out of 1,200.

Lebanidze spoke about the priorities and the functions of her office.

"Our main goal is to provide full services, determined within the government insurance programs. It is also important for us to regulate relations between the insurance companies and the medical institutions in order to protect the insured from any problems in the process of getting services determined by the insurance policies," she said. (Rustavi 2)

23-year-old man killed in Tbilisi

A 23 year-old man was killed in the Nadzaladevi district of Tbilisi late Monday night. Reportedly, Lasha Maisuradze was walking towards his house when several strangers approached him; yet unidentified persons then stabbed the man in the chest. Maisuradze died before reaching a hospital.

Police have filed a criminal case for the incident - reportedly, suspect Giorgi Eliauri, 36, has already been detained. (Rustavi 2)