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The News in Brief

Monday, March 4
Georgian President and PM meet today

President Mikheil Saakashvili and Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili plan to meet on Monday. “The president has a number of important foreign trips, but he is always ready to constructively and actively contribute to the developments in Georgia… It is in the president’s interest to start the next week with constructive dialogue and agreement," the president’s spokesperson said earlier adding that a lot of issues have gathered that need to be solved by the President and PM so they can diffuse misunderstandings.
(Rustavi 2)

Bacho Akhalaia faces new charges

Former Minister of Interior and Defense Bacho Akhalaia is facing new charges– the abuse of prisoners and the misuse of authority. The chief prosecutor’s office reports that it has accomplished an investigation of the so-called prison riot case, which occurred on March 26-27, 2006 in N1, N5 prisons and the penitentiary hospital. According to the investigation, Akhalaia decided to scatter the rumors about abuse and violence against prisoners when he was the chief of the penitentiary department and elaborated a plan how to cause the riot in prison.

PR head of the Chief Prosecutor’s Office Khatuna Paichadze reported the details of the crime at the briefing chronologically.
(Rustavi 2)

Charity on behalf of Sopiko

On March 2, the Iavnana Charity Foundation held a TV marathon at Tbilisi Concert Hall to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the late Sopiko Chiaureli, the outstanding actress and one of the first Iavnana supporters. Friends of the late actress, Kakhi Kavsadze, Givi Berikashvili, Buba Kikabidze, and Nani Bregvadze and her Russian colleagues, recollected the events from the life and career of the late actress.

Singers Nato Metonidze and Liza Bagrationi performed music with the State Symphonic Orchestra conducted by Maestro Nikoloz Rachveli.

Four families with many children received keys to the new houses from the Iavnana Foundation. Moreover, 31 students– the children of fallen soldiers the August War in 2008, received financial support for covering their studies. Allowances were also gathered for other affected children. A lot of people and organizations donated hundreds of thousands of GEL for children on behalf of Sopiko, while the number of calls for donation during the two hour live coverage at Rustavi 2 exceeded 120 000.
(The Messenger)

Tariff on natural gas decreases by 5 tetris

Minister of Energy and Natural Resources Kakha Kaladze said after the cabinet session on Friday that the tariff on natural gas will decrease by 5 tetris.

Minister of Internal Affairs congratulates mother of 8 on Mother’s Day

Minister of Internal Affairs Irakli Gharibashvili congratulated mother of 8 children– Shorena Topuria on Mother’s Day. The ministry will pay the university fees for one of her children, kindergarten fees will also be covered for her small children, while the children above 18 will be able to undergo an internship at the ministry.

Representatives of the ministry also congratulated the employees with many children in the regions with presents and financial support.

“Rospotrebnadzor” to make a decision on Georgian companies in the coming days

Ria Novosti reports that the Head of Rospotrebnadzor, Genady Onishenko, said the decision on which Georgian companies will provide Russia with their products will become known in the coming days. Onishenko said that the Russian experts checked all the companies, except two– Shavnabada Monastery and Wineman, which he said are not going to offer their products on the Russian market.

“The other enterprises had normal conditions. Access to all segments of the technology was provided. Particular attention was given to the practice of objective quality control. All the companies followed the principle of traceability from raw material to the finished products, according to experts," he added.

Georgian artists to be featured at Sotheby’s Auction House in London

The March 4-12 Sotheby's Auction House in London will feature an exhibition and sale of nine Georgian artists among other participants. The Sotheby's website said the event would be presented by Curator of the Auction House, Suad Garayeva and will be titled At the Crossroads. The exhibition will present artists from Central Asia and the Caucasus for the first time. Jipson Khundadze, Avto Varazi, Aleksandre Bandzeladze, Irakli Parjiani, Koka Ramishvili, Levan Tchogoshvili, Merab Abramishvili, Tamar Kvesitadze and Kote Sulaberidze are the Georgian artists involved in the exhibition.

Majority says president’s protection is mandatory

The Georgian Dream coalition says the decision of the president to refuse state security service is populism. MPs from the majority state that the protection of the president is not a personal issue, as the president should not go without security himself and that his decision embarrasses many people, including the security guards.

President Saakashvili refused the guards and left Tbilisi airport in his own vehicle. Despite his refusal, security guards were waiting for the president’s arrival at the airport and then convoyed his vehicle to the president’s palace.
(Rustavi 2)