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The News in Brief

Monday, November 16
Abkhazia switches to Russian telephone codes

Georgia’s breakaway region of Abkhazia has received Russian telephone codes for fixed and mobile phones, although the old Georgian codes will work in parallel with the new ones until January 1, 2010.

Representatives of the Abkhaz puppet regime report that they have received the new Russian codes in consequence of the memorandum signed between the Ministry of Communications of the Russian Federation and the puppet ‘Government of Abkhazia’ on September 28, 2009 in Moscow. Abkhazia will switch to the codes of Russian zone 7. Fixed-line providers will receive the code 840, mobile ones 940.

Tbilisi objected to this action several months ago. The international Telecommunication Union does not recognise the new Russian codes for Abkhazia either.
(Rustavi 2)

Six new H1N1 virus cases confirmed in Tbilisi

Classes will be suspended in public school 162 in Tbilisi for two days. Disinfection works are being carried out due to an H1N1 virus case being revealed at that school, although representatives of the National Centre of Disease Prevention say that there is no need for this. The school administration decided to suspend classes on its own initiative.

Six new H1N1 cases have been confirmed in Tbilisi. Two of the patients were infected in Georgia while others caught the virus abroad. The health conditions of all the patients are satisfactory.

65 cases of the virus have been confirmed in the country so far. Representatives of the National Centre for Disease Prevention presume that the virus will hit its peak in Georgia in December and January, although they assert there are no grounds for panic.
(Rustavi 2)

Rotation of Russian troops carried out in Akhalgori district

A military rotation has been carried out in the Russian-occupied territory of Akhalgori in the Tskhinvali Region. About 150 new Russian soldiers have been deployed in the district, most at the military base in the village of Kanchaveti.

Mobile groups are operating all over Akhalgori district. The number of troops in the district has not changed in consequence of the rotation.

It is also reported that work on the electric power transmission line laid out from Tskhinvali by representatives of the puppet regime has been suspended.
(Rustavi 2)

Late President’s widow goes on hunger strike

The widow of Georgia’s late President, Manana Archvadze-Gamsakhurdia, has gone on hunger strike demanding the release of her younger son, Tsotne Gamskhurdia. The allies of Manana Archvadze-Gamsakhurdia joined her at the office of the Public Defender on Saturday.

The protestors say that Tsotne Gamsakhurdia was arrested without grounds and the charges against him are fabricated. Manana Archvadze-Gamsakhurdia says that the fact that the police have not interrogated the man allegedly injured by Gamsakhurdia confirms that her son did not injure anyone.

Manana Archvadze-Gamsakhurdia is urging the Public Defender to treat her son as a political prisoner. Zviad Gamsakhurdia’s youngest son Tsotne Gamsakhurdia was arrested on October 27 for wounding his neighbour Davit Bajelidze.
(Rustavi 2)

Family of dead conscript demands investigation

The family of 19-year-old conscript Davit Takadze, who died at the Khelvachauri military base where he was serving his obligatory term of military service, has demanded that an investigation be held into his death. The body of the dead conscript was given to his family in the Gori region village of Kirbali last morning.

The family does not know the exact reason for his death, however they rule out suicide. They were informed of the death of their son by telephone. They were told that the conscript had jumped from a 15 metre height.

The family says that Takadze gave them a call an hour before his death and asked them to transfer a deposit to the account held by someone with a telephone number which was not his. The family thinks this incident should be considered by the investigation.
(Rustavi 2)

Labour Party accuses municipal government of violations

The Labour Party of Georgia has monitored the expenditure of the Tbilisi Mayor’s reserve fund and reported a number of alleged violations. Paata Jibladze of the party therefore accuses the ruling party of embezzling the reserve funds.

“The fund is for use in force majeure situations. The expenditure record of the first nine months of 2009 confirms that elite corruption is blooming in Georgia. Enormous funds are being given to members of the ruling party and the so-called ‘singers’ of this Government as presents, while for businesses, which really need to be sponsored, the municipal Government has allocated ridiculous sums,” Jibladze said.
(Rustavi 2)

US Ambassador visits Kakheti Region

On November 13 the US Ambassador to Georgia visited the Kakheti Region. John Bass saw a professional college in the town of Katchreti. He also talked to representatives of the local government about ongoing projects in the region funded by the US Government.

John Bass also viewed a new drinking water supply system in the town of Kvareli and held meetings with students and professors in Telavi.
(Rustavi 2)