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The News in Brief

Monday, November 11
Gharibashvili becomes a new PM

Upcoming Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili will replace Bidzina Ivanishvili as the head of the Georgian Dream - Democratic Georgia party.

Gharibashvili will replace Ivanishvili on the post after his resignation on November 24. Garibashvili will also take the post of Prime Minister. At the political council on November 9, Garibashvili received almost unanimous support from the party members.

Georgian and French defense ministers discuss cooperation

Georgian Defense Minister Irakli Alasania Friday met with his French colleague Jean-Yves Le Drian at the French Defense Ministry. Alasania said they discussed bilateral cooperation, Georgia’s NATO integration and future military-technical relations between the two states.

“We also spoke about issues in military education. I am very satisfied that such a high level of mutual understanding exists between Georgian and the French military,” he added.

One of the main topics was Georgia’s participation in ISAF, as well as the NATO summit in 2014.

During the visit, Alasania also met with the Director of Continental Europe Department, Eric Fournier, to discuss deepening relations in defense.
(Democracy & Freedom Watch)

Georgian President meets with MEPs in Brussels

Outgoing Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili met with Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) and representatives of various parties in Brussels and thanked them for their active and fruitful cooperation, and special support for Georgia in European integration. Saakashvili delivered the governmental awards to MEPs.

The MEPs paid special attention to the progress reached by the Georgian leadership. They expressed hope that Georgia will not deviate from the chosen European course, but continue the progress achieved by the previous government.

According to the MEPs, lack of selective justice in the country is of great importance.

Alleged accomplice in Georgian torture ring extradited from Austria

An alleged accomplice of a wanted former Georgian official charged with torture and illegal incarceration has been extradited from Austria.

Georgia's Interior Ministry said November 8 that Davit Chaginava had been arrested in Austria as the result of joint efforts by Interpol officers in Tbilisi, Ankara, and Vienna.

He is now in a detention center in the town of Rustavi.

Investigators say Chaginava was a member of an illegal criminal group that was allegedly used by the former police chief in the western province of Samegrelo-Zemo Svaneti, Megis Kardava, to abduct, beat, torture, and rape people to force them to confess or give false testimony in court.

Kardava's current whereabouts are unknown.

Tbilisi issued an arrest warrant for him earlier this year.
(Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty)

A captain’s spouse addresses president-elect

Irma Tarielashvili, the wife of Levan Tebidze, the captain of the sunken ship Stella, addressed the President-elect Giorgi Margvelashvili, asking to take the case under his personal control.

Tarielashvili said in her address that her husband took all measures in his competence, issued the first order about life-vests for each crew members, then put them each in a boat and he gave the SOS order.

“Despite this, he did not jump off the ship, which was almost sunk and the water rose to his knees and he ordered to call additional rescue service when the last crew member told my husband: Mr. Levan, the ship is going down and save yourself,” Tarielashvili said, stressing that her husband continued to call rescuers with a radio transmitter and addressed the crew members, that he would jump after them in the boat. Then the ship sank, but the crew did not see her husband jumping.

“But there is a hope that his body was washed up on an island. I am begging you to defend the Georgian citizen Levan Tebidze’s rights, as you would fight for the life of your child. Our state is obliged to defend rights of each citizen, including me and my husband. Please, take this case under your personal control and find my husband,” Tarielashvili addressed the president-elect.

Protest against Khudonhes construction continues

People protested against the construction of Khudonhes and other large hydroelectric power stations in Georgia. The protesters demanded official decision from the government on banning Khudonhes and all the construction that will destroy villages, cemeteries, praying houses, temples and historic-cultural heritage sites, including the rivers, roads, and woods.

The Energy efficiency fund started gathering signatures for the petition. The chairperson of the fund, Vakhtang Zarkua, said that they demand the fundamental change of energy policy from Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili, prime ministerial candidate Irakli Gharibashvili, Parliamentary Chairman Davit Usupashvili and the president-elect Giorgi Margvelashvili to fundamentally change the energy policy.

The leftist alliance, Georgia’s anti-occupation national education movement, Free Georgia, chairperson of the united front of de-occupation and liberation, Irakli Tsereteli, representatives of group of Greenpeace supporters, Lasha Chkhartishvili, also NGO Let’s be Friends joined the protest at the former parliamentary building at Rustaveli Avenue.

Governors’ authorities to be enlarged

The authority of the regional governors will be enlarged by granting administrative control to them. Minister of Regional Development and Infrastructure, Davit Narmania, made a statement regarding the draft bill, which will be presented to the parliament for consideration.

“The draft bill envisages granting more specific authority to the governors, which means that they will be able to coordinate ongoing and implemented reforms in regions, to support the central government’s interests in the process of reforming the self-government structures and to have an opportunity of observing the processes in regional administrations according to the authority delegated to them,” Narmania said.

The new governors will be appointed after the president’s inauguration according to the constitutional amendments and they will be no longer appointed by the president, but by the government from now on.
(Rustavi 2)

Windstorm damaged roofs of houses in Batumi

Strong winds affected the city of Batumi on Thursday night. A windstorm attacked the city leaving a 12-story block of houses on the crossing of Chavchavadze and Khimshiashvili streets without a roof. Luckily, the disaster ended without casualties. Two vehicles have also been damaged by the wind. The rescue brigades arrived at the site in a few minutes and cleaned up the affected area.
(Rustavi 2)

Tbilisi Fall Set: Modeselektor in Mtatsminda

Summer Set will present Tbilisi Fall Set event at Mtatsminda's Under Wheel Club in Tbilisi on November 16 with the band Modeselektor featured in the festival.

The techno and electro house band from Berlin was formed in 1996 and have released seven albums and dozens of tracks.

Tickets for the event will be available on the event day at the Under Wheel Club.
(Georgian News)