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The News in Brief

Tuesday, July 15
Heavy rain and landslide isolate several villages from Lentekhi municipality

Heavy rain and a landslide have isolated several villages from the Lentekhi municipality. Bad weather has especially affected the villages of Levshero and Pangani.

Houses and agricultural lands were flooded; livestock was swept away.

Special equipment will be brought to Lentekhi to launch relief efforts.

According to Lentekhi governor Amiran Tchumbutidze, some villages are in a terrible situation.

The amount of damage will be calculated by a special commission.

Russian companies interested in Georgian railway

Russian companies are interested in the Georgian railway, Georgian Prime Minister's Special Representative for Relations with Russia Zurab Abashidze told journalists on Monday.

“I did not discuss the issue of opening the Abkhazian railway line at the meeting with Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Grigory Karasin held in Prague on July 9. We discussed the issue related to Georgian railways. Russian companies have a proposal to use our railway to import their products. This proposal is about oil products, and we mean the railway line which runs through Azerbaijan. It's an attractive offer for our railway,” Zurab Abashidze said.

New Zealand Foreign Minister visits Georgia

New Zealand’s Minister of Foreign Affairs is on an official visit to Georgia.

It is the first time a New Zealand Foreign Minister has visited the Caucasus nation.

Minister Murray McCully will meet his Georgian colleague Maia Panjikidze and sign a cooperation declaration between the two Foreign Ministries. After the meeting, the Foreign Ministers will hold a joint press conference.

During his visit, McCully will also meet Georgian President Giorgi Margvelashvili, Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili and Parliament Speaker David Usupashvili.

Bicycle marathon in Tbilisi promotes healthy living

A bicycle marathon Sunday brought together youth from many countries in Tbilisi.

“Live with sport” was the slogan of the marathon, which started from the Sports Ministry at 11:00 in the morning and ended at Freedom Square in downtown Tbilisi.

Lika Baghashvili, 24, just learned how to ride a bike last fall. She says she cannot ride it well yet, but wanted to participate in the marathon. This is the first time she has taken her bike for a ride a long way from home.

She supports the goal of the marathon; to take a stand against drugs and promote a healthy lifestyle.

“This is the first time I have participated in such a marathon and I am happy about it, but also a little disappointed, because the other participants were riding too fast, I was left behind with one other girl and we were taken by car to the finish because the police didn’t allow us to ride there alone,” she told us.

Irakli, one of the organizers, told us that the event was jointly organized by the youth association Droni, the Sports Ministry, the National Federation of Bicycle Sport and the Children and Youth Development Foundation.

He said one of the goals is to promote bicycle sports.

“Everyone enjoys company,” Seem from Estonia told us. He came to Georgia on a volunteer exchange program and will stay in Georgia a few more weeks until his project ends.

“It was really nice the first time, the police really stopped the traffic. Only the wind backed us and we didn’t hit the speed, but I like to bicycle and this is the main reason why I am here, I think,” Seem told us.
(DF watch)

Russia denies violating Georgian air space

Russian news agency RIA Novosty has quoted an official from the Foreign Ministry of Russia, who denies the reports on violating Georgian airspace by Russian helicopters. The news agency held the identity of the official secret, but quoted that the helicopters, which were seen by Georgian law enforcement, flying over Georgian controlled area yesterday, were not from the Russians. He also said there were no Russian helicopters near the border at all.

MI8 helicopters violated Georgian airspace yesterday morning - they were seen flying over the villages of Mejvriskhevi and Sakorintlo.
(Rustavi 2)

Prosecutor's Office summons former employees of State Security Service

The Chief Prosecutor's Office of Georgia has summoned former employees of the State Security Service.

Georgia’s former President Mikheil Saakashvili's chief bodyguard Temur Janashia, Valeri Kiladze, chief bodyguard of former Georgian First Lady Sandra Roelofs, and her guard Gavaz Kolveian as well as head of the security service of Rustavi 2, Ramaz Lapachishvili, will have to appear at the Chief Prosecutor's Office.