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The News in Brief

Wednesday, February 12
Deputy Minister of Culture dismissed

The First Deputy Minister of Culture and Monument Protection, Marine Mizandari, has been dismissed by the order of the Prime Minister, dated February 10.

Minister of Culture Guram Odisharia addressed PM Garibashvili in a bid to dismiss the First Deputy of the Culture Ministry Marine Mizandari on February 5.

Mizandari confirmed with the news agencies that the Minister of Culture wanted her dismissal.

The official reason of Mizandari’s dismissal was her alleged insubordination and a failure to comply with instructions. However, Mizandari believed controversy was caused by disagreements on several issues, including the Sakdrisi Gold Mine case and the Human Resources policy within the Ministry. (Agenda.Ge)

Alasania Expects 'New Instrument' for Georgia's Closer NATO Integration

Georgia is likely to receive a “new instrument” for closer NATO integration at the Alliance’s summit in Wales in early September, but it has yet to be decided whether it will be a Membership Action Plan (MAP) or something else, Defense Minister Irakli Alasania said on February 10.

“There is a high probability that at the next summit we will have new instruments for closer integration with NATO. Whether it will be called a MAP or it will be a new instrument… it has yet to be decided,” Alasania said in an interview with Rustavi 2.

In a February 5, 2014 letter to U.S. Secretary of State, John Kerry, forty members of the U.S. House of Representatives urged to support NATO membership for Montenegro and Macedonia at this year's NATO summit, as well as to encourage the continued progress in implementing the MAP for Bosnia-Herzegovina, and to advocate granting the MAP for Georgia.

“I am sure that this letter will be translated into concrete actions of the U.S. Department of State both in NATO headquarters and in the European capitals,” Alasania said. (Civil.Ge)

Georgian delegation to take part in OSCE PA session

A Georgian parliament delegation will take part at the 13th session of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly (PA) Winter Meeting, to be held in Vienna on February 12-15, 2014.

The delegation will be headed by Chairman of the Parliamentary Committee on European Integration, Victor Dolidze.

The press service of the Georgian parliament said the parliamentarians will participate in discussions of such issues as democracy, human rights, security, economy, science, and modern technology.

The Georgian delegation will also meet with OSCE Secretary General Lamberto Zannier, the OSCE Conflict Prevention Centre Director Adam Kobieracki, as well as with representatives of other countries.

The Georgian permanent delegation to OSCE PA includes parliament's Deputy Chairman Zurab Abashidze and MPs George Tsereteli (OSCE PA vice president) and Levan Bezhashvili. (Trend)

Ministry of Economy publicized plan for switchover to digital broadcasting

The Ministry of Economy and Sustainable Development of Georgia has publicized the action plan and recommendations for a switchover to digital broadcasting. The document has been developed with support of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and by considering recommendations from the Georgian National Communications Commission (GNCC) and non-governmental organizations. The government approved the strategy for the switchover to digital broadcasting on 7 February 2014.

Broadcasters are currently operating on an analogue signal. Due to a limited resource of frequencies, country members of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) agreed on the switchover to digital broadcasting in 2006. 17 June 2015 has been set as the deadline for the switchover. The majority of those countries have already switched to digital broadcasting.

Meanwhile, Georgia has only 1.5 years left for the implementation of the activities set forth in the strategy.

According to the plan publicized by the Ministry, the change will be conducted in several directions. (Media.Ge)

Georgian wrestlers amaze at global tournament

Georgian wrestlers have won six gold and four bronze medals at the Golden Grand Prix de Paris Seine Ouest in France.

The Georgians participated in Greco-Roman and freestyle wrestling.

Zviad Metreveli (97 kg) and Giorgi Meshvildishvili (125 kg) won gold in their respective weight classes in the freestyle category. In the same style, Jacob Khutsishvili (75 kg) placed third and was awarded the bronze medal.

In the Greco-Roman category, Georgian athletes won four gold and three bronze medals.

The champions were Revaz Lashkhi (66 kg), Zurab Datunashvili (75 kg), Giorgi Tsirekidze (80 kg) and Jacob Kajaia (130kg).

Georgian wrestlers Lasha Gogitadze (59 kg), Manuchar Tskhadaia (75 kg) and Vasil Imerlishvili (85 kg) gained bronze medals.

The international tournament took place on February 8 and 9. (Agenda.Ge)

Georgian ‘Tbiliso’ in Kiev street

When demonstrations in Ukraine first turned violent, it appeared that one of the best ways to communicate a message of peaceful protest was to place a piano in front of police lines and play a little music, said the BBC.

A Georgian man performed the famous Georgian song “Tbiliso” by Revaz Laghidze in Georgian and Russian languages.

Through the last few months, the piano - painted in the colours of the Ukrainian flag and the European Union - has become something of a sensation on YouTube. (Georgian News)