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The News in Brief

Tuesday, August 20
The Orthodox Church celebrates the transfiguration of Jesus

On the day of transfiguration of Jesus Christ, His holiness and Beatitude, Catholicos-Patriarch of all Georgia delivered a special liturgy at Samtavro Mothers’ Monastery in Mtskheta.

The passage from the Gospel was read which describes how Jesus was transfigured upon Tabori Mountain. On the day of Jesus transfiguration grapes and other fruit are consecrated at churches. Those who keep fest can eat fish on the day.

Infrastructure minister arrived in disaster affected Ureki

Minister of Regional Development and Infrastructure Davit Narmania arrived in the seaside resort of Ureki after a disaster – heavy rains that flooded the houses of locals on Sunday. The minister assigned the local authorities to allocate rescue brigades and funds for solving the problems of locals. The local population talked with the minister and accused the local governments of negligence. Several villages in the Guria region were also seriously affected by the heavy rains this weekend. Several dozen families in the village of Chanchati have been isolated from the rest of the region. Kvemo and Zemo Aketi villages were also damaged by the flood - the water damaged roads and tore town rope bridges connecting the village to the highways. Locals also complain that they will have no harvest this year as the flood has also damaged their cultivated lands.
(Rustavi 2)

James Appathurai makes a statement concerning forthcoming elections

NATO Deputy Assistant Secretary General for Political Affairs in the Caucasus and Central Asia welcomes the decision of Georgia’s authorities to involve International observers in the October elections.

“I am glad that Georgia’s government decided to invite a wide spectrum of observers which will monitor the election process. This step made by the Government of Georgia, is a visible testimony that they aim at holding transparent, just and democratic elections; this is of paramount importance for integrating Georgia within NATO. I am sure that the NATO parliamentary assembly will also send a special delegation to Georgia,” Appathurai has posted on his Facebook page.

Georgian ex-Foreign Minister holds meeting with Diaspora representatives in U.S.

The former Foreign Minister of Georgia Salome Zourabichvili, who runs for presidency, held a meeting with her supporters from Georgia in New York. Zourabichvili said that she started her presidential election campaign by meeting the Georgian Diaspora in the USA.

But Zourabichvili still has problems with the registration for participation in the election, because she has a dual citizenship (Georgia and France). During the meeting in the U.S., Zourabichvili held a conversation with the representatives of the Diaspora on the situation in Georgia and on presidential candidates. She said that her decision to run for president was unexpected even for her close relatives. According to Zourabichvili, she got the desire to be a president when she became acquainted with the list of candidates for this post. "I believe that the election will be fair, and I will be given the opportunity to participate. I think that in reality four candidates will compete for the post of president - the representative of United National Movement party David Bakradze, the candidate from the Georgian Dream party Giorgi Margvelashvili, the ex-speaker Nino Burjanadze and myself," Zourabichvili said.

Zourabichvili will hold another meeting with representatives of the Georgian Diaspora in Toronto, Canada, where some 60,000 Georgians reside.

Burjanadze meets Rustavi population

Presidential candidate and the leader of Democratic Movement - United Georgia, Nino Burjanadze, held meetings with the population of Rustavi to discuss the problems the local population is facing nowadays. I was very pleased to hear the first question concerning the topic of Georgia’s territorial integrity. Some former residents of Tskhinvali and IDPs from Abkhazia attended the meeting,” Burjanadze said, stressing that the population of Rustavi truly is in a hardship and desperately needs material assistance.

“This was the city of workers and now not even a single enterprise operates there. In Rustavi the problem of unemployment is extremely acute; the residents try to earn their living in other countries as they are unable to find a job in their own,” she said adding that the population of Rustavi are disappointed as all promises regarding improving their conditions, are broken.

Mikheil Saakashvili: We missed our historic opportunity

“We missed the historic opportunity of creating one of the best education and technology centers throughout the world,” Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili has posted on his Facebook page. Saakashvili declared that the American Technology University was envisioned to be completed in the summer of 2013. First students were planned to be enrolled at the university this year. “This University would be the first consummate and complete higher education center in East Europe and in the post-Soviet space. Unfortunately, the government of Georgia halted the university building work and used the U.S. funding for executing another project.

“We missed the opportunity of creating one of the best education and technology centers in Georgia and I do not think that this is only my failure,” concluded the president.

Three women arrested for prostitution charges

Three women have been arrested with the charges of providing lodging for prostitution. They were the owners of cafes in Kareli, Khashuri and Kaspi towns, where they gave rooms for rent for prostitution. According to the investigation, over 20 women were interrogated, among them the citizens of Azerbaijan, Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan, who confirmed the function of the cafes and involvement of the arrested women in the prostitution business.
(Rustavi 2)

Music without borders – Tamar Gverdtsiteli’s festival in Batumi

Batumi hosts a music festival under the name of Georgian singer Tamar Gverdtsiteli. For opening night, on August 12, Tamar performed in the Summer Theatre of Batumi. The main part of the program was devoted to Georgian songs. The concert was attended by Gverdtsiteli’s Moldovan, Russian and American friends. The concert on the Summer Theatre stage lasted for two hours. The star performed familiar compositions. The singer opened the concert along with ensemble Batumi with the song Georgia. Tamar Gverdtsiteli spoke to reporters about her own emotions. A concert series were held on 10 - 15 August, organized by the Chamber of Culture Ministry. During these five days all performers Gverdtsiteli has sung with, arrived in Batumi. Sukhishvili National Ballet also danced at the concerts. The ensemble staged several dances especially for the festival, which premiered on the first evening. An Opera and Ballet Orchestra also participated in the concert, as well as the National Symphony Orchestra of Batumi. A grand closing ceremony was held on August 15 at the Batumi Piazza.
(Georgian News)