The messenger logo

The News in Brief

Tuesday, December 17
Studies disrupted at #158 public school due to fire

Staff and students have been evacuated from the public school No 158 in Tbilisi`s district of Vashlijvari on Monday morning due to the fire that broke out in the computer class. The fire spread on the ground floor and the water damaged the administration office, destroying the documents archived there. The ground floor has been completely burnt down and the first floor was damaged of water. The rescue and the fire brigades localized the fire in time. Luckily, nobody was injured in the fire. The experts doubt the fire broke out from the faulty electricity wires.
(Rustavi 2)

Monthly compensation for fallen soldiers’ families

The 500 GEL compensation will be granted monthly to the families of the Defense Ministry’s fallen soldiers of Georgia from 2014, according to the amendments in the law of State Compensation and Academy Scholarship.

The compensation will be donated to the families of the ISAF mission military participants who served in Iraq and Afghanistan. It will also go to the families of the soldiers who died in May of 1998 and in August of 2008.

In 1998, almost 20 soldiers died in the Gali Region (breakaway Abkhazia) during the Six-Day War of Abkhazia. Two partisan groups the ‘Forest Brothers’ and the ‘White Legion’ launched an armed rebellion against the Abkhazian de-facto government in Gali. After this conflict, more than 10,000 ethnic Georgians were forced by the Abkhazians to abandon their homes.

During the special operation in August of 2008, sixteen soldiers died in the Tskhinvali region due to Russian and Ossetian troops clashing against Georgian battalions. One of the fallen warriors Zaza Damenia, who saved the life of three soldiers, was given the rank of National Hero by the former Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili on 16 of August, 2013.

29 Georgian soldiers who participated in ISAF missions died in Afghanistan and five in Iraq since 2004.

According to this law, the compensation is for fallen soldiers’ parents, wives, underage children and family members with disabilities.

Georgia to estimate environment on occupied territories during Geneva talks

The Georgian Deputy Foreign Minister Davit Zalkaliani will lead the 26th round of Geneva discussions that will be held on December 17-18.

According to Zalkaliani, the Georgian side will estimate the political and social environment across the occupation line and on Georgian occupied territories. During the Geneva talks, the situation in the Gali municipality (Abkhazia) and passports’ issued in Abkhazia, breakaway territory of Georgia will be discussed. According to the Head of Abkhazian government, Vakhtang Kolbaia, more than 2400 passports are issued illegally in Abkhazian territory.

The Deputy Minister of Justice Gocha Lortkipanidze and Abkhazian government’s representatives will also participate in the discussions.

"Our priority is human rights. That is why we have to adequately evaluate the environment in Georgian occupied territories and across the occupation line,” said Lortkipanidze.

Talks were launched after the August 2008 war, and were known as the Geneva International Discussions. They are co-chaired by representatives from the EU, UN, and OSCE, which involved negotiators from Georgia, Russia and the United States, as well as from Sokhumi and Tskhinvali.

Armenian-Georgian MPs Meet

A group of senior Georgian and Armenian lawmakers discussed inter-parliamentary cooperation during a two-day OSCE-organized meeting in Alaverdi, Lori province of Armenia on December 14-15.

Over dozen of Georgian MPs, led by parliamentary chairman Davit Usupashvili participated in the meeting.

Meanwhile in Tbilisi, mayor of the capital city, Gigi Ugulava, hosted mayor of Yerevan, Taron Margaryan, on Sunday. The two toured old part of Tbilisi and also visited glasswork factory launched with joint Georgian-Armenian investment.

Georgian beat boxer becomes a finalist of Russian Talent show

The first semifinal of Russia’s Got Talent on December 14 revealed three finalists of the show. The judges split the contestants according to musical genres. The judges chose the twenty-five-year old Georgian beat boxer Vakhtang Kalandadze from the two contestants, making him the first finalist.

The winning piece of the show will open the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics.
(Georgian News)

Rare breed white lions born at the Tbilisi Zoo

Cleopatra the white lion at the Tbilisi Zoo gave birth to four white lion cubs.

They are separated from their mother for some time due to cold winter weather. Also, Tbilisi Zoo administration says that the newcomer mom does not take care of baby lions.

"Our white baby lions are placed in a special warm room and under the constant supervision of our staff. We are very glad for them and proud of the birth of white lions in Georgia. We hope they all will grow healthy,” the zoo administration stated.

The white lion is a very rare animal and is mostly common in Kruger National Park and protected areas of Timbavati Game Reserve in South Africa. White lions are not albinos. Their white color is caused by a recessive trait derived from a less-severe mutation in the same gene that causes albinism, distinct from the gene responsible for white tigers. The breed, however, is almost extinct and is rarely observed any more. White lions live in only up to 70 zoos all around the world. That is why their reproduction in Georgia is a very important contribution for their survival.

Many animals have started reproducing at Tbilisi Zoo recently. Cameron the white tiger gave birth to three beautiful baby tigers in November. The white tiger cubs also live separately from their mom at this time due to cold weather.