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The News in Brief

Monday, October 5
Gori city assembly votes against re-erecting Stalin's statue

The city assembly in Joseph Stalin’s hometown of Gori voted on Friday against the motion of re-erecting a six metre-high statue of the dictator.

The statue was unveiled in 1952 on the central square in Gori. After the end of the Soviet Union it remained there as a tourist attraction until it was surprisingly taken down in 2010. Since then, it has been stored outdoors in the vicinity of the town.

The proposal, which was put forth on September 18 by an organization called Gorelebi which consists of mostly elderly people who admire the communist leader, would have placed it in a garden in front of the Stalin museum near the town square, an undertaking which would cost 2 million Lari, or 840,000 USD.

Only one of the assembly members voted for the proposal, in a debate which became heated. Some assembly members were against re-erecting the statue, while some wanted it in the centre of the town where it used to be, and others argued that it should be in the museum.

Gori is one of the municipalities wherein the governing Georgian Dream coalition has lost its majority. It now holds only six out of the 15 seats.

After the change of government in 2012, various groups around Georgia have erected local busts or statues of Stalin. Most of them have since been dismantled. A new amendment to a law called Freedom Charter prohibits communist or totalitarian symbols or propaganda.
(DF Watch)

Rugby World Cup: Georgia scores historic try against New Zealand

Georgia’s national rugby team have scored a try in their first ever game against the current world champions, the New Zealand All Blacks, in an October 2 game within the Rugby World Cup (RWC) 2015 at the Millennium stadium in England.

The game ended in a 43-10 victory for the New Zealand side but the Lelos’ performance against the All Blacks reignited the "Seven Nations” debate.

The historic try from the Georgian side was scored in the fifth minute by Beka Tsiklauri. However, this was not the only big moment for Georgia.

Georgia’s best player Mamuka Gorgodze, also referred to as Grogodzilla, who did not even play for the whole game and left it in the 50th minute, became Man of the Match.

Moreover, all of the top five tacklers who were named after the game belonged to the Georgian team.

The All Blacks won convincingly, yet they made many mistakes last night. Rugby professionals said this was because Georgia put "so much pressure on them”.

Following the game, the RWC website wrote: "At first glance, New Zealand's 43-10 victory over Georgia in Cardiff on Friday night seems like a runaway win. But in the 74th minute it was a slightly different story, with Georgia trailing the world champions 29-10 - a comfortable but hardly devastating lead for the reigning world champions against a Tier 2 nation.”

At the post-match media conference, the question of whether the Six Nations tournament should be expanded to include Georgia was once again posed to Lelos coach Milton Haig.

"It’s certainly something that I’ve been speaking publicly about every opportunity I get," Haig said.

"Something like that is absolutely crucial for our development, because in the long run if we are consistently a competitive national side, that’s the kind of competition we need to be in.”

Haig cited Argentina’s progression following its inclusion in the Rugby Championship, where they now play against New Zealand, Australia and South Africa.

"You can see how far their team has come along. We’d love that opportunity,” Haig said.

"We understand it's a very difficult decision for the six partners to make, but I think it would grow the game globally and it would open up a big market in Eastern Europe."

New Zealand captain Richie McCaw was also asked after the Georgia game whether he thought Tier 2 nations should have the opportunity to play more games against tier one teams.

"We’ve seen through this tournament, compared to other tournaments that I’ve played in, that the so-called ‘easy’ games aren’t easy any more,” he said.

"The whole standard of rugby you’ve seen in this tournament is lifted. You see teams that are capable of putting pressure on the so-called top teams, and I think everyone is excited to see that.”

The game ensured New Zealand to become the first team to qualify for the finals.

Prosecution will make all the details of Kitsmarishvili’s case public

The Prosecutor’s Office sees no need to set up a Parliamentary Investigation Commission. As the Deputy Chief Prosecutor Irakli Shotadze has explained, Kitsmarishvili's death inquiry results will be made public soon.

"We did not want to make the information obtained on the criminal case public until finalizing all the investigative acts that the victim’s family have required. I think this investigation activity will be finalized very soon and we will inform the public of the results of the investigation - they will have full access to the criminal file, " stated Shotadze.

Erosi Kitsmarishvili"s family members, who are familiar with the details of the case, say that the investigation is in a deadlock. According to Zura Kitsmarishvili,( Erosi’s brother) in recent months, the investigative office has not provided any new information.

The founder of Rustavi 2, the largest broadcasting company in Georgia and the former ambassador to Russia, Kitsmarishvili was found dead on July 15th, 2014. His body was found with a gunshot wound to the head in the garage of his apartment block in Tbilisi. Police officers also found the weapon used next to the body.