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The News in Brief

Wednesday, October 31
Consulate contacts Georgian nationals in New York

Hurricane Sandy has already claimed victims. One man was killed by a falling tree on his house and the deaths of about ten others have been also reported. Meanwhile, the Georgian consulate has contacted Georgian nationals living in the disaster zone. No reports have been made about injuries to Georgian citizens. According to official data, over two-thousand Georgians live in New York. The consulate states that all of them have been warned about the danger of the hurricane two days before. The hurricane whipped up a record storm surge of 13.7 feet (4.15 meters). (Rustavi 2)

Development of Georgia's democracy Richard Norland

Georgian democracy is being developed and the recent events only confirm this, US Ambassador to Georgia, Richard Norland told reporters at the 10th annual educational exhibition, which was organized by the US Embassy at the Parliament’s National Library. He explained that the U.S. and Georgia have a strong relationship not only economically and politically, but also in the cultural area."Georgia and the United States have a strong relationship, but this does not apply only to the economic and political issues, and it also includes cultural aspects. The cultural sphere contributes to people's cultural relationships. The educational area is a part of it, which gives people the opportunity to learn and at the same time to acquaint one’s self with the culture," said the U.S. diplomat. (IPN)

Belarus may review its position regarding Abkhazia and South Ossetia

Belarus may review its position regarding recognition of Abkhazia and South Ossetia. However, the decision will be in compliance with the country’s national interest. According to Russian media, the head of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Belarus, Vladimir Makei, made the above-mentioned statement. "We discussed the Belarus-Georgia and Belarus-Ossetia relationships. I cannot say that something has changed, but we will analyze the situation and we will make a decision taking into view our national interests," Vladimir Makei said. (IPN)

Irakli Alasania hosts Norwegian delegation

Norwegian State Secretary is paying an official visit to Georgia. Yesterday, the Norwegian delegation headed by Eirik Owre Thorshaug visited the Defence Ministry.

The Norwegian side held meetings with Defence Minister Irakli Alasania and other high-level officials of MoD. At the end of the meeting representatives of the two countries signed the 2013 Bilateral Defence Cooperation Plan. The sides talked about the regional security environment, Georgia`s NATO integration and reforms ongoing in the field of defence. The new leadership of the MoD introduced the new initiatives to the Norwegian delegation which had been developed in the defence area. Irakli Alasania underlined the Defence Ministry's new priorities, according to which military servicemen will be given more attention and their rights, social conditions and their safety will be maximally protected. The Defence Minister also plans to establish a Public Defender`s Institute to ensure protecting the rights of military servicemen. A full de-politicization of the Defence Ministry will be carried out and civil control over the armed forces will be intensified. With regard to the Georgian army, it will become faster, more mobile and flexible, capable of deterring and resisting the enemy; defence capabilities will be enhanced; NATO interoperability and the integration process will continue; The Georgian contingent will remain in Afghanistan to fulfill the mission within the ISAF operation.

Georgia has been cooperating with the Norwegian side since 2010. The Norwegian Ministry of Defence provides assistance to Georgia in terms of human resources management, National Guard reserve and mobilization, as well as military education. The Norwegian delegation's visit in Georgia will end on October 31. (IPN)

President views construction of a social house in Adjara

Mikheil Saakashvili and the head of the Adjara government, Levan Varshalomidze, viewed the construction of a social house for the vulnerable in the Tamari settlement of Batumi. The project was initiated by Levan Varshalomidze and it is intended for the homeless families of various categories.

The nine-story house will have 112 apartments. Its construction began in June of 2012 and it is due to be opened on December 20th. The representatives of the developer company say the block of apartments will be ready for exploitation by that time. The president also talked with the workers employed at the construction site. (Rustavi 2)

Archil Khabadze elected the head of Adjara government

Archil Khabadze has been elected the chairperson of the government of the Adjara Autonomous Republic of Georgia unanimously. Khabadze will assume the office officially tomorrow. The first thing he is going to do is to meet with the previous head of the government, Levan Varshalomidze, to provide power transition without obstructions in the work of the government.

In addition, the candidacy of the minister of economics and finance of Adjara has also been nominated. This is Gia Tavartkiladze, who is the director of VTB Bank`s Batumi branch. (Rustavi 2)

Railway Trade Unions address Bidzina Ivanishvili

Railway Trade Unions address Georgia`s Prime Minister and ask for an audience with Bidzina Ivanishvili. The main issue they want to talk about with the head of the government is the new director general of the Georgian Railways. The representatives of the unions say they have not selected the candidacy that they would support or recommend. However, they would be glad to see at this position a person who will work for the development of the Georgian Railways.

"We have only one demand - that Bidzina Ivanishvili find a qualified and honest person, who will take care of Georgia Railways and its staff and who will be a worthy person not seeking to earn millions," Gia Kruashvili told Rustavi2.

Other members of the unions have also addressed Georgia's new government, asking it to revise the cases of their dismissal from Georgian Railways and return them to their jobs. (Rustavi 2)