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The News in Brief

Friday, November 13
Bill to end the draft approved by judiciary committee

A draft bill about ending compulsory military service has survived a debate in the judiciary committee of the Georgian Parliament.

The bill was approved by the committee on Tuesday.

Member of Parliament Zurab Japaridze, who co-authored the bill, said he believes the system needs to be changed, in which young men are forced to go to the military against their will.

“In fact, this system doesn’t have anything to do with the defensive ability of the country,” he said on Tuesday, adding that 6,436 young men were recruited this year, but only 25 percent of them do any meaningful military service. The rest work in ministries or other places, mostly as security service employees.

Japaridze is one of several members of parliament who used to be member of the former ruling party the National Movement but formed a new political union called Girchi (Cone).

He clarified that the vast majority of youth use different ways to escape military service or serve as a guard instead of being in the army.

If approved, the bill will come into force on January 1, 2016, from which time young men will no longer be drafted into military service.

The judiciary committee suggested introducing fully-professional military service in stages.

A few days ago, Defense Minister Tina Khidasheli, who is also in favor of switching to an all-professional army, said that the system needs to be changed. Even if compulsory service is kept the system needs to be changed to fit the interests of the state, she said. (

Georgia will link Chinese and US cities through new flights

China is establishing closer transport links with Georgia and offering passengers the chance to travel to several places in the United States (US).

From today one of China's top three carriers, China Southern Airlines, is launching new routes from Tbilisi's Shota Rustaveli International Airport to several Chinese and American/Canadian cities.

In particular, the airline added a new service linking Chinese cities Urumqi and Guangzhou with the American cities of New York, Toronto (Canada) and Los Angeles through Georgia’s capital city Tbilisi.

The new routes were:

Tbilisi- Urumqi;

Tbilisi-Urumqi-Guangzhou-New York;

Tbilisi-Urumqi-Guangzhou-Toronto (Canada); and

Tbilisi-Urumqi-Guangzhou-Los Angeles.

China Southern Airlines started its first direct flights between China and Georgia on June 9, 2011.

The flights from the Shota Rustaveli International Airport to Urumqi, capital of the country's far western region of Xinjiang. The flights are carried out three times a week: on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturday by Boeing 737 and Boeing 757 aircrafts. (

Rustavi 2 says Constitutional Court has not satisfied motion presented by Parliament

The Constitutional Court has not satisfied the motion presented by the Parliament of Georgia in relation to the Rustavi 2 complaints. As the Rustavi 2 TV Company is reporting, the Judge declared the decision some time ago.

As reported, the judges’ board was to make a decision over satisfying the motion of the parliament requesting an override of two judges out of four.

Parliament presented another motion today requesting the plenum of the Constitutional Court to discuss the case, but as reported the Rustavi 2 lawyers are against it.

It has not been known yet what the judges will decide in relation to the new motion presented by Parliament. (

Singer Sopo Nizharadze summoned to the State Security Service

Singer Sopo Nizharadze has been summoned to the State Security Service for questioning for the second time today over the case of an audio recording released by Ukrainian media revealing an alleged conversation with ex-President Mikheil Saakashvili.

Nizharadze has been asked to arrive at the investigation institution for the identification of her voice. However, the singer says that she is not going to answer the summons to the so-called “Moduli” building for interrogation.

An investigation into the released audio recordings is being held under Article #315 of Criminal Code of Georgia. (

Shota Rustaveli’s monument standing among world’s greatest writers in Italy

In the Villa Borghese, one may come across a monument of a prominent 12th-century Georgian poet, Shota Rustaveli, among the world’s greatest writers. The iconic author is famous for The Knight in the Panther's Skin, the Georgian national epic poem, that has been translated into many languages and that is considered the masterpiece of the Georgian literature.

Villa Borghese is a landscape garden in the naturalistic English manner in Rome, containing a number of buildings, museums and attractions. It is the third largest public park in Rome after the ones of the Villa Doria Pamphili and Villa Ada. It houses a collection of sculptures with some important works by Antonio Canova, an Italian neoclassical sculptor and Gian Lorenzo Bernini, 17th-century Italian artist. The fact that the bust of Georgia’s outstanding poet is located in largest public park in Rome, once again serves as a proof that iconic Georgian medieval writer occupies an honourable place in the world of the classic literature. (