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The News in Brief

Wednesday, September 18
Defense Minister Visits Georgian Troops in Afghanistan

Defense Minister Irakli Alasania visited Georgian troops stationed in the southern Afghan province of Helmand.

He was at Camp Leatherneck, the U.S. Marine Corps base in the Washir district, and then at the combat outpost Eredvi in Musa Qala in the north of Helmand province.

The 33rd and 42nd battalions from the third and fourth brigades of the Georgian Armed Forces are currently deployed in Helmand province. Georgia also has up to 50 soldiers deployed in Camp Phoenix in Kabul. Georgia has lost 29 soldiers in Afghanistan thus far.

“From here our soldiers are contributing to the foundation of our statehood’s stability,” Alasania said, while visiting the Eredvi combat outpost, where Georgian troops from the 42nd battalion are deployed.

This is Alasania’s fourth visit to Afghanistan since becoming the defense minister in late October, 2012. (Civil.Ge)

Parliament to discuss new legislative initiative of MIA

Georgian parliament will discuss a new legislative initiative of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Georgia.

The Interior Ministry has already drafted the law project that will be initiated at the Georgian Parliament. Amendments will be made to Article 331 of the Criminal Code, which envisages legal accountability in cases of “false report on terrorism” and thus the mentioned law will be substantially stiffened. Amendments will also be made to the Code of Administrative Offences according to which parents of underaged authors of false notification will have to pay solid fines. According to the acting legislation initiators of false notification, who are less than 16 years, have no legal responsibility.

According to the chairman of the Parliamentary Committee for Legal Affairs, Vakhtang Kmaladze, he will support this law. “Such facts inflict major financial damage to private companies and to the state budget,” Kmaladze said. (Front News)

Quake strikes Georgia

The Armenian National Seismic Protection Service released information on Tuesday at 8:56am.

According to the information, a magnitude-5 earthquake occurred, at 8:09am local time, in Georgia, 102 kilometers west of capital city Tbilisi, and in Russia, 159 kilometers southwest of Makhachkala city.

The tremor measured magnitude 6-7 at the epicenter area,

The hypocenter of the seismic activity was 10 kilometers beneath the surface.

In Armenia, the underground shaking was felt in Noyemberyan and Ijevan cities, with magnitude 3.

According to information received, the quake did not result in any casualties, injuries, or devastation. (News.Am)

Nino Burjanadze meets with foreign ambassadors

Leader of the Democratic Movement - United Georgia, Nino Burjanadze held meetings with foreign ambassadors in Georgia.

She met with the EU ambassador Philip Dimitrov to report the details of the pre-election situation in the country and the most problematic issues she is facing as the candidate for the president.

Nino Burjanadze says she is the only candidate that has not been given time for free TV advertisements. She also says there are facts of using administrative resources by the ruling team. (Rustavi 2)

Georgian presidential candidate from UNM holds meetings in U.S.

Georgian presidential candidate from the United National Movement David Bakradze started his one week visit to the U.S on September 17. Bakradze told the media at the airport that the U.S. is Georgia's friend and this visit is very important. "The U.S is the guarantor of Georgia's territorial integrity, its strategic partner and the meetings held in Washington will be significant," he said.

Bakradze plans to hold the meetings with the State Department, the Senate and the U.S. Congress. Presidential candidate of the Labour Party, Shalva Natelashvili, and the People's candidate Nestan Kirtadze, also visited the U.S and met with representatives of the U.S. authorities. (Trend)

Three men, arrested in Batumi shooting incident

On Monday, a court in Batumi ordered pre-trial detention for two Georgian citizens and a Russian citizen from Chechnya arrested on September 13 after a shooting incident in Batumi in which three people were wounded.

One of those injured in the incident was Russian citizen Yusuf Lakayev, who, according to the Interior Ministry, opened fire after the police approached him and his two Georgian companions to check his identification document. A policeman and a passer-by were also injured.

The Interior Ministry has confirmed that Lakayev, who is currently being treated in a Batumi area hospital, is likely the same person who is in the list of individuals, which, the Russian security agencies claim are suspected of having links with “extremism” or “terrorism”. (Civil.Ge)

Armenia’s environment minister travels to Georgia

An Armenian delegation led by Nature Protection Minister Aram Harutyunyan, on Tuesday headed to Georgia.

In Tbilisi, the delegation will attend the annual meeting of the Environmental Action Team (EAT) Task Force, informs the Nature Protection Ministry press service.

The event will bring together state officials from Eastern European, Caucasus and Central Asia (EECCA) countries and the countries that are members in the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), and representatives from partner organizations. (News.Am)