The messenger logo

The News in Brief

Tuesday, October 14
Protesters block road in Poti towards economic zone

Road to the economic zone in Poti has been blocked. As per an InterPressNews reporter, refugees living in the former learning center building and socially vulnerable people are holding a protest event and they have blocked the road.

The protesters have been demanding to be provided with electricity saying nobody takes care of them.

They state that they will go on a hunger-strike if their demands are not fulfilled.

Omar al-Shishani threatens Russia

Bloomberg has published Michael Winfrey’s article entitled “Islamic State Grooms Chechen Fighters Against Putin”.

According to the article, “when the Islamic State commander known as “Omar the Chechen” called to tell his father they’d routed the Iraqi army and taken the city of Mosul, he added a stark message: Russia would be next.

“He said ‘don’t worry dad, I’ll come home and show the Russians,’” Temur Batirashvili said from his home in Georgia’s Pankisi Gorge, on the border with the Russian region of Chechnya. “I have many thousands following me now and I’ll get more. We’ll have our revenge against Russia.”

U.S. 6th Fleet Flagship to Make Port Visit in Batumi

USS Mount Whitney, flagship for the Europe-headquartered U.S. 6th Fleet, will visit Georgia’s Black Sea port of Batumi on October 14-18.

“Mount Whitney’s visit reaffirms the United States commitment to strengthening ties with NATO allies and partners like Georgia, while working toward mutual goals of promoting peace and stability in the Black Sea region,” the U.S. embassy in Tbilisi said on October 13.

It will be the third port visit to Georgia by the USS Mount Whitney, the U.S. 6th Fleet’s amphibious command and control ship. It delivered humanitarian aid to the port of Poti in early September 2008, less than a month after Georgia-Russia war; at the time Russian military forces were still maintaining two outposts in the outskirts of Poti. The last time when Mount Whitney made port visit to Georgia was in November, 2013. Mount Whitney was previously in the Black Sea in February, 2014.

“While in Georgia, Mount Whitney will conduct routine combined training with the Georgian Coast Guard, provide ship tours, hold a public concert for the local community, and host a reception for local officials. Mount Whitney’s port visit will build on previous U.S. Navy visits to Georgia that enhance the professional and personal relationships between the United States and its allies and regional partners,” the U.S. embassy said.

Teachers’ salaries to increase from January 1

Teachers’ salaries will increase from January 1. As Georgia’s Minister of Education Tamar Sanikidze told reporters, this is related to a new process. According to her the new process will take effect once amendments are made in the law and the salary will increase step by step from January 1, 2015.

“In November we will know about the additional resources allocated for teachers’ salaries. Once the bill is discussed and amendments are made to the law, we will be able to begin action according to this new process and implement changes in terms of salaries,’’- Tamar Sanikidze said.

Georgia’s president pardons 88 prisoners

Wednesday was probably the happiest day in the lives of 88 prisoners in Georgia, as they were allowed to walk free following a presidential pardon. Another 27 got their sentences reduced by half or one third.

The decree by President Giorgi Margvelashvili pardons 115 inmates. It was the third decree this year. In April, the president pardoned 95 prisoners, and 280 in July. Next pardoning decree will be most likely issued in December.

The head of the president’s pardon commission, Zviad Koridze, told media that there were seven juveniles and one woman among those pardoned today. In total, the commission looked through 699 applications.

Two inmates who were convicted of premeditated murder got their sentences shortened by half. This, according to Koridze, was a hard and painful decision. “The commission gave its recommendations to the president, and he was the one who made these decisions,” he explained to the media.

It is common for the president to pardon prisoners in connection with important public holidays.

The president’s pardon commission is one of two such bodies in Georgia, the other one filing under the Ministry of Corrections.

Georgian government plans to carry out cabinet reshuffle

The Government of Georgia is going to carry out a Cabinet reshuffle.

According to a Frontnews source, Foreign Minister Maia Panjikidze and Minister of Educations and Science, Tamar Sanikidze will be dismissed.

The reshuffle will be carried out until December, 2014.