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The News in Brief

Thursday, April 18
33rd IPRM meeting takes place in Ergneti

On 16 April, the 33rd meeting under the Incident Prevention and Response Mechanism took place in Ergneti, and was co-facilitated by the OSCE Chairperson-in-Office Special Representative for conflicts, Ambassador Andrii Deshchytsia and the Head of the European Union Monitoring Mission, Ambassador Andrzej Tyszkiewicz.

The participants assessed the security situation on the ground as calm and quiet and welcomed a prompt release of detainees.

Constructive discussions were held on possible repair work of segments of the Tiriphoni irrigation channel and on the sharing of water. Actions by Tskhinvali towards the repair work on the Sameba potable water intake were also discussed.

It was agreed that the next meeting of the IPRM will take place on 30 May.

After the meeting, Ambassador Deshchytsia undertook a visit to Zardiantkari and Didi Kurvaleti to follow up on concerns regarding freedom of movement, which were extensively discussed in this and previous meetings of the IPRM. (OSCE)

MPs refuse to form investigation commission on Lapankuri

Parliament will not set up a special commission to investigate the scandalous special operation conducted by the previous government of Georgia in the village of Lapankuri in Pankisi Gorge last year. The MPs rejected the proposal of the public defender whose annual report was discussed at the parliament on Tuesday.

Vice Speaker from the majority, Manana Kobakhidze, says the current legislation of Georgia defines that no investigation commissions are formed while the investigation of any crime is conducted by law enforcement structures.

The 771-page report of the ombudsman describes human rights issues in Georgia in 2012. Ucha Nanuashvili announced in parliament yesterday, that the Lapankuri operation was the one triggering many questions in the society and therefore, the official result of the investigation seems very suspicious. (Rustavi 2)

One more member of National Movement leaves

UNM Tbilisi City Council member, Beso Bendeliani, left the faction. Bendeliani left the majority because of different views. Davit Chincharadze, a member of the Independent Democrats faction said it was a political decision.

Chincharadze noted his faction had consultations with Bendeliani and he became a member of the Independent Democrats. There are four members in the faction now. The Independent Democrats will hold a press conference on the above-mentioned topic today.

There are 25 deputies in the majority and 22 in the minority in the Tbilisi City Council. (IPN)

Isotope seized in Georgia too small for dirty bomb

Three men are under arrest in Georgia on charges of illegally possessing a radioactive isotope that can be used in a dirty bomb, but authorities say they didn't have enough to make one of the devices.

Police say the three Georgians were holding Americium-241. That is one of the substances widely seen as a possible component in explosive devices aimed at spreading radioactive particles that would kill or sicken people.

Grigol Basilia, the energy ministry's top official for security issues, on Thursday declined to say how much of the isotope was seized, but said it was "not enough to build a so-called dirty bomb." (Miami Herald)

Norway to help Georgia in training staff officers for National Guard

A delegation of the Home Guard of Norway is on a working visit to Georgia. Members of the delegation led by Major General Christine Lund visited the Georgian National Guard Department on Tuesday.

They met with the head of the department Levan Gamkrelidze and his deputy Telman Meskhidze. The Georgian side briefed the colleagues on the process of reforms of the reserve system.

The Georgian Defense Ministry told Trend that issues of joint activities were discussed. One of the main topics of discussions was also training of staff officers of the Georgian National Guard in Norway in the summer and autumn.

Within the visit, members of the delegation also met with the Deputy Minister of Defense Tamar Karosanidze and Deputy Chief of the Joint Staff, Brigadier General Vakhtang Kapanadze. (Trend)

Prison heads detained for torture of prisoners in Georgia

Former employees, including the heads of three prisons have been detained in Georgia on charges of torture. In particular, among the detained are former heads of the Ksani penal facility No.15, the Rustavi prison No. 6 and Kutaisi prison No.2, Georgia's Chief Prosecutor Archil Kbilashvili said on Tuesday.

He said the arrests were made in the last two or three days.

According to him, all detainees are accused of inhumane treatment, torture and the beating of prisoners. (Trend)

Discover Pepela, Manhattan's first Georgian restaurant

With its understated exterior, Pepela can easily be mistaken for another inaccessible New York City townhouse. The classy and spacious venue however, is actually the first Georgian restaurant in Manhattan.

Aside from the awesome staff and decor, Pepela, above all, offers authentic, homemade (close to it, anyway) Georgian cuisine, wines and cocktails.

To ensure that no patron is in complete culture shock, Pepela's menu also offers American food, though you're going to want to indulge in the dishes prepared with savory Georgian spices. French, Italian, and Australian wines, as well as standard cocktails are also served. (Hvino.Com)

Unstable weather continues in Georgia

Unstable and rainy weather will continue in Georgia through Friday. It is even snowing in some mountainous regions of Georgia, according to the Prognosis and Monitoring Center told InterpressNews. Temperatures will be 7-8 degrees in Tbilisi but gradually increase by Saturday. However, snowfall is also in the forecast in regions. (InterpressNews)