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The News in Brief

Wednesday, June 13
Georgia’s investment capability discussed in Seoul

Georgia’s business and investment climate was discussed at an investment forum held in Seoul, South Korea organized by the government of Georgia and the Financial Times. Seoul is the third-largest Asian financial center after Hong Kong and Shanghai.

Minister of Finance Dimitri Gvindadze spoke about the country’s macro-economic situation and its investment potential, and presented several new investment projects. (Rustavi 2)

Komagi claims government interrogation of clients

International charity fund Komagi is accusing the Georgian government of exerting pressure on individuals who have asked the fund for assistance.

“On 9 June, these people were forcibly taken to police stations and were interrogated. In some cases interrogation lasted for ten hours. These people and their family members were in a [confusing] and stressful situation,” a statement released by Komagi read.

According to the statement, one of the persons was taken to police station right from a hospital.

Kamagi has called on the Public Defender, NGOs, human rights groups, international organizations, embassies, and the media to take measures to protect Georgian citizens. “Our goals are open and public. We are not serving any political party’s interests. We are acting within the law. Consequently, all allegations from the government are just provocation against the noble mission of the fund,” the organization maintains. (IPN)

Presidential spokesperson outlines this week’s announcements

The Presidential press speaker spoke about this week’s important government events, including a new model for university entrance exams and the attempt to provide 24-hour water services to all cities, towns, and villages of Georgia.

The new entrance exams work on an 8+1 model – students will have to pass only one test on general skills, as opposed to the exam adopted in 2005, which asked students to write on four skills topics. Presidential spokesperson Manana Manjgaladze hailed the new model, saying it would not only reduce entrance fees, which students had to pay for four or, in some cases, five examinations, but would also reduce duplication and lower the workload.

Manjgaladze also spoke about the student discount card created by the Ministries of Education and Justice. University students will enjoy privileges and discounts at various commercial and public institutions, as well as on public transportation. (Rustavi 2)

Bekauri: Dismantling of Global TV antennas will be serious loss to Ninth Channel

Dismantling of Global TV antennas will be a serious loss for the Ninth Channel, Kakha Bekauri, Director General of the television network, told InterpressNews.

“If Global TV antennas are dismantled, it will be a serious loss for us, as Global TV is the only company that is [broadcasting] the Ninth Channel,” Bekauri said.

However, the network is also broadcasted via satellite receivers. “About 20% of the population in [rural] regions have satellite receivers,” he noted. (IPN)

448 State Protection officers take oath

Four-hundred and forty-eight conscripts took the oath of officers at the Special State Protection Service of Georgia yesterday. Before the ceremony, the officers marched and sang the national anthem of Georgia together with the Ritual Orchestra of the Ministry of Defense.

Speaker of Parliament Davit Bakradze attended the ceremony and congratulated the conscripts on the beginning of their service to their homeland.

Bakradze and the Chief of the Service, Teimuraz Janashia, also hosted a dinner for the newly-minted officers.

The soldiers will begin their duties today. They will be protecting individuals of public importance. (Rustavi 2)

CNN’s Eye on Georgia continues in Batumi

CNN continues its series on Georgia with its second Eye On Georgia program.

In Batumi, on-air journalist Paula Newton gave a brief geographic and historic overview of the country, as well as interviewed President Mikheil Saakashvili. The President discussed Georgia’s progress since the collapse of the Soviet Union and highlighted the splendors of Batumi.

Newton gave viewers a tour of the sights of the seaside city and focused on the interests of Russia in Georgia. She noted the liberal legislation of the country, legalizing gambling and simplifying visa regimes, which made Batumi one of the most popular places for tourists.

Journalist Diana Magnay spoke with some of these tourists. (Rustavi 2)