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The News in Brief

Wednesday, September 19
Georgian actress comments on her role in the Innocence of Muslims

Georgian actress, Ana Giorgobiani known by her pseudo nameĖ Anna Gurji, is the star in one of the most scandalous films in the world right now. The film, Innocence of Muslims, was supposed to be about tribal battles prompted by the arrival of a comet on Earth. Unfortunately, "Desert Warrior" was given a heavy dose of dubbing and post-production editing. The film is now known by the new, more infamous name mentioned above.

The anti-Islam movie, which now centers on a negative portrayal of Muhammad, has led to riots around much of the Arab world. After a series of bizarre twists involving false identities, the man behind the project has been identified as Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, a man with a criminal past that includes felonious convictions of federal fraud and methamphetamine charges. Nakoula was taken in for questioning early Saturday morning, but was not under arrest.

In a letter posted on author Neil Gaiman's website, Gurji makes it explicitly known that she was not privy to Nakoula's plans. "There was no mention by anyone of Mohammed and no mention of religion the entire time I was on the set," she writes. "I am one-hundred percent certain nobody in the cast and nobody in the U.S. on the artistic side of the crew, knew what was really planned for this `Desert Warrior.`"

"When people [ask me what my reaction is] after seeing that," she only has one word to offer: "shock."

"Two hours after I found out everything that had happened, I gave Inside Edition an interview, for the duration of which I could not stop crying," she continued. "I feel shattered ... Itís painful to see how our faces were used to create something so atrocious without us knowing anything about it at all."

While Gurji fears for her safety, she has not gone into hiding. "I donít know what else to do but speak the truth," she said. "I will not go into hiding (since I have nothing to hide), because if we donít speak the truth, there is no world worth living for." Alan Roberts, a soft-core porn director, has been identified as the project`s director. It appears as though he was also duped into thinking he was working on "Desert Warrior."

Rustavi2 tried to interview the actress. She said she was very depressed by the scandal that followed the screening of the film, refusing to talk more about it. (Rustavi 2)

Tornike Gordadze meets with NATO Deputy Secretary

State Minister for European and Euro-Atlantic Integration Tornike Gordadze and Deputy Minister Elene Khoshtaria, met with NATO Deputy Secretary General Alexander Vershbow in Brussels. The NATO Secretary General's Special Representative for the Caucasus and Central Asia, James Appathurai, also attended the meeting, the press service of the Ministry European and Euro-Atlantic Integration told InterpressNews.

The sides discussed Georgiaís NATO membership prospects and the current political situation.

NATO representatives gave a positive assessment to the ongoing reforms in Georgia and emphasized the positive dynamics in Georgia-NATO relations. Security issues were also discussed at the meeting. (IPN)

Mikheil Saakashvili visits Kulevi

President Mikheil Saakashvili has laid the foundation for construction of the carbamate factory in Kulevi. The factory is being built by the Azeri company Socar Georgia Investment. 1,500 people will be employed for the construction, while 700 people will be employed in the factory.

After opening of the construction, Saakashvili talked about future development plans and the political-economic importance of Poti and Lazika.

"The Poti Free zone idea is developing. All this means a one billion dollar investment in Poti for the next 4 years. 1, 500 locals will be employed. It means there will not be unemployment in Poti, Supsa and nearby villages any more. Poti will become a real industrial center," Saakashvili said. According to him, Lazika city, construction of which will start in a few days, will become very important too. The president said that creation of the Black Sea industrial zone is not a project of just one government. Its development should be continued by the future government too, he said. (IPN)

Ilia Kikabidze: Talks on distribution of Maestro satellite antennas have failed

Talks on the distribution of Maestro satellite antennas have failed, Ilia Kikabidze, Director General of Maestro TV, told InterpressNews. According to him, the proposal for talks was illusive. "They think I was going to bribe voters. Thatís why they decided to let the Georgian Post distribute antennas. I donít agree with it. I was not going to bribe voters," Kikabdize said.

According to him, it is a political decision and the government is trying to hamper distribution of Maestro satellite antennas. He said the antennas are still seized. "They were not going to lift the seizure at all. They created a deadlock and they just are lying to foreign organizations that they are ready to ensure free speech. According to Kikabidze, negotiations with the inter-agency commission entered such a deadlock that there is no way out any more. Consequently, talks collapsed, he added.

Ilia Kikabidze is going to update foreign organizations of the above-mentioned. (IPN)

Prime Minister visits Racha-Lechkhumi Region

Prime Minister Vano Merabishvili continues visiting various regions of Georgia to learn the problems that trouble local residents most of all. Yesterday, Vano Merabishvili arrived in the Racha-Lechkhumi Region and viewed how the wine factories work. The Prime Minister was the first to light the gas cook in the family of Khvaradzes yesterday. The village Chrebalo in the Ambrolauri Municipality has never been connected to the natural gas network; the gasification work began a few months ago and most of the families have already been connected to the system. The Prime Minister announced a novelty of the payment for gasification works to localsĖ he said they will be able to cover the arrears with the 1, 000 GEL vouchers, which will be given to every family in Georgia from January 1, 2013. Prime Minister met with locals within the visit to Racha-Lechkhumi and Kvemo Svaneti Regions. Merabishvili viewed the vineyards damaged by the hail and instructed local wine factories to purchase the grapes of the low sort for 1.50 GEL per kilogram. He also said the government would allocate food compensations to the disaster affected farmers. (Rustavi 2)

Ivanishvili`s ally speaks about disagreement in coalition

Members of the Georgian Dream Coalition no longer hide that there is a disagreement in Ivanishvili`s team - Demur Giorkhelidze complains about disrespect to some of the coalition members from Bidzina Ivanishvili.

One of the leading economic experts of the team posted his address to Ivanishvili on his Facebook page. He was annoyed with the fact that Ivanishvili did not invite the experts of the team to the presentation of the program, on which they worked for a long period of time.

"To Mr. Ivanishvili: What behavior! When a political organization presents its program and does not invite the members of the team who worked on this program non-stop with enthusiasm for months," Giorkhelidze wrote on his Facebook page. (Rustavi 2)