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The News in Brief

Wednesday, June 12
Ceiling damaged in Parliament

A ceiling has been ruined in the Georgian Parliament as a result of a damaged fire line. Nobody was injured. However, as the rooms of the Chairman of the Committee of Environmental Protection, Legal Issues and Specialized Economy are located in the damaged area they will have to enter their rooms through alternative doors. (IPN)

Ivanishvili has an art collection worth $1 billion - Business Insider

The Australian magazine Business Insider has published a list of the 10 richest billionaires in the world. The Georgian Prime Minister is in fourth place. According to the magazine, Ivanishvili is the owner of an art collection worth $1 billion. “Ivanishvili, the wealthiest person in Georgia and the country's current Prime Minister, earned his wealth from metals and banking,” the Business Insider says.

In 2006, he purchased 'Dora Maar with Cat' by Pablo Picasso for $95 million, at the time the highest price ever paid for art at an auction, according to BBC News, the magazine says. (IPN)

Batumi mayor announces his resignation

The mayor of Batumi, Jemal Ananidze has resigned. He made a statement to the City Assembly of Batumi on Tuesday. According to the press service of the municipality, the mayor's statement will be considered at the next meeting of the Assembly's Bureau.

Ananidze was elected mayor of Batumi on October 4th , 2012. Since 2010, he has worked as the deputy mayor and before then as chief financial officer of Batumi City Hall. (Trend)

Azerbaijani President receives Georgian Minister for IDPs

The President of Azerbaijan, Ilham Aliyev has received a Georgian delegation led by the Minister for Internally Displaced Persons from the Occupied Territories, Accommodation and Refugees, Davit Darakhvelidze. The Head of State offered condolences to the Georgian leadership and people over the tragic death of Georgian soldiers in Afghanistan.

The Georgian minister said the Georgian prime pinister highly appreciated the good will and the sincere wishes of President Ilham Aliyev towards Georgia and its people.

Davit Darakhvelidze said the Georgian premier also praised Azerbaijan`s accomplishments in the last few years, as well as President Ilham Aliyev`s efforts to improve the welfare of the Azerbaijani people, and in particular to raise the living standard of refugees and IDPs. He said Georgia wished to benefit from Azerbaijan`s experience in tackling the issues raised by refugees and IDPs.

President Ilham Aliyev said Azerbaijan considers resolving these issues a priority. The Head of State said Azerbaijan has had good experience in this field, adding the country did a lot to improve the living conditions of refugees and IDPs, as well as to promote their integration into society. The Azerbaijani leader pointed out that international organizations praised the government`s endeavors in this regard. (Trend)

Opening of bypass railway postponed in Tbilisi

The opening of the bypass railway has been postponed in Tbilisi. It was planned that the bypass would open in mid-June, but the engineering and observational company has questioned how realistic a time frame this is, Kommersant radio has said.

"Georgian Railway" reported that it has a number of questions for the contracting company. At present, the parties are negotiating.

The company has not commented on other details of the project.

The initial cost of the project was 280 million euro. Some 100 million was funded by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), 100 million by the European Investment Bank and 20 million by the Georgian Railway. (Trend)

Georgia’s Labour Party urges referendum on withdrawal of Georgian troops from Afghanistan

Georgia's Labour Party has made an application to the Central Election Commission to conduct a referendum on the withdrawal of Georgian troops from Afghanistan.

One of the party leaders, Giorgi Gugava said the Central Election Commission in the next elections must hold a referendum to determine the opinion of the people regarding the participation of the Georgian military in the Afghan mission.

Ten Georgian servicemen were killed, while 36 were injured as a result of two attacks in Afghanistan last month.

According to the Labour Party, Georgian servicemen in Afghanistan should not remain after such attacks. (Trend)

Missing soldier found after three-day search

Corporal Levan Shakaia, who had been missing from the Senaki military base since June 8th, was found by the police late last night. His family and colleagues, together with the police had been searching for him after he had missed the evening check at the base three days previously. Last night, the police stated that they saw him walking in the direction of his home.

There has been no decision taken yet regarding the sanctions, the disobedient corporal will face, be they criminal or administrative. He was missing for over 48 hours. (Rustavi 2)

The Culture Minister comments National Musical Center inspection

The Minister for Culture, Guram Odisharia has denied reports about his intention to dismiss the Director of the National Musical Center, Nikoloz Memanishvili. The Minister played down reports about the inspection which was conducted at the musical center and clarified that the special commission is only probing into the work of the center because of complaints by several dozens employees, who were simultaneously dismissed by Memanishvili.

Guram Odisharia says the goal of the inspection is not the dismissal of anybody, but to discover any rule violation in the work carried out by the center and to solve any problems which may become apparent in its work.

“The aim of the process is not the dismissal of Memanishvili and I haven't heard of anyone who might replace him. We only have the complaints of 33 people, who were dismissed from the center. I believe that their dismissal was a mistake and Nika should have known that the dismissal of 33 employees at the same time would cause problems. We will do our best not to obstruct the work of the center,” Odisharia announced. (Rustavi 2)