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The News in Brief

Thursday, September 29
Shimon Peres, former Israeli president, dies aged 93

The former Israeli PM and President, Shimon Peres, has died at the age of 93,the world news agencies inform.

He suffered a stroke two weeks ago and his condition improved before a sudden deterioration on Tuesday.

His son Chemi led tributes to "one of the founding fathers of the state of Israel" who "worked tirelessly" for it.

Mr Peres, who was one of the last of a generation of Israeli politicians present at the new nation's birth in 1948, served twice as the country's prime minister and once as president.

He won the Nobel Peace prize in 1994 for his role negotiating peace accords with the Palestinians a year earlier.

He once said the Palestinians were Israel's "closest neighbors" and might become its "closest friends". (IPN)

Central Bank Sells USD 40 Million

National Bank of Georgia (NBG) sold USD 40 million at a foreign currency auction on September 27 to support the national currency, the lari (GEL).

It was the NBG’s second intervention in less than a week and the third one in a month. One the previous two occasions, USD 20 million was sold each time.

After the September 27 intervention, the NBG’s official exchange rate was set at GEL 2.327 per U.S. dollar, slightly stronger than GEL 2.334 a day earlier; the rate is 2.3% stronger compared to year earlier and 2.8% stronger than in the beginning of this year. Exchange kiosks in Tbilisi were selling dollar for about GEL 2.35 as of Tuesday evening.

Since the start of this year, the central bank sold a total of USD 140 million and bought USD 278.35 million in twenty interventions.

Gross international reserves stood at USD 2.888 billion as of end-August, up from USD 2.856 billion a month earlier and up from USD 2.463 billion a year earlier.

Most of the NBG’s interventions on the purchasing side this year came in a period between mid-March and early June, when the GEL was gaining against U.S. dollar.

The GEL started its depreciation in November 2014, weakening from about 1.75 per U.S. dollar to its all-time low of 2.4985 by late January, 2016. (

Neo-Nazis marched in Tbilisi center, 11 detained

Eleven people were detained on Tuesday night for hooliganism at a rally of young Georgian radical groups in downtown Tbilisi.

The police interfered only after the march of Georgian Power - an overtly neo-Nazi bunch of teenagers – became violent, attacking Turkish cafes and restaurants and passers-by in Muslim apparel.

The march was apparently dedicated to the fall of Sokhumi on September 27, 1993, a tragic event of Abkhazia War, which entailed the massacres of thousands and the exodus of tens of thousands of ethnic Georgians from Abkhazia.

Some other radical nationalistic and neo-Nazi groups, including Dinamo Tbilisi Ultras – made up of radicalized football fans - attended the manifestation as well.

They gathered at the Rustaveli Metro Station and walked down to Aghmashenebeli Avenue, a place of many oriental cafes.

The demonstrators, some of whom were masked, lightly damaged several Turkish cafes yelling ‘Glory to Nation, death to enemy.’

Only after attacks became sour, and radicals tore veils off at least one Muslim woman, the police started detentions.

There also were squabbles with owners of the Turkish restaurants.

Interior Ministry published a short statement reading that Georgian Power held unauthorized demonstration.

‘Participants of the demonstration were particularly aggressive. They insulted citizens and damaged trading objects and cafes, also damaged restaurant banners and signboards,’ the statement reads. (DF watch)

Georgia’s new 100 Lari banknotes to be released in November

Georgia’s new 100 Lari banknotes will soon be released.

From November 1, modernised 100 GEL (Georgian Lari) banknotes in bright new colours and sizes will come into circulation around the country, announced the National Bank of Georgia (NBG).

Meanwhile updated 20 and 50 GEL notes were released in February and all new banknotes currently circulate alongside the old notes.

Extra high-tech security features were added to the new banknotes, making them better protected from fraudulent copying. The bills were also of better quality and met top international standards.

NBG said the new money depicted the same iconic faces but had a vastly different and more vibrant look with additional elements.

“The upgraded Lari banknotes are protected with modern and high technological and security features that … are easily intelligible to users. Furthermore, the banknotes have special improved features for visually impaired people,” said the NBG.

During the 20-year history of the Georgian Lari, updating the 20, 50 and 100 GEL banknotes was the first major upgrade of the banknote’s design. (