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The News in Brief

Friday, May 25
Orthodox Christians Mark Ascension of Our Lord Jesus Christ

The Ascension is one of the great feasts on the Christian liturgical calendar. It commemorates the bodily ascension of Jesus into heaven. Ascension Day is always Thursday (the fortieth day from Easter); in some churches (especially in the United States) it is commemorated on the subsequent Sunday (the Sunday before Pentecost). The three-days before Ascension Thursday are sometimes referred to as the Rogation days (and the previous Sunday, the Fifth Sunday after Easter, as Rogation Sunday). The first account of the Ascension found in the Christian bible is in the Gospel of Mark (16:14-19). The description is brief. Jesus and the remaining eleven Disciples are seated at a table, presumably in a room in or near Jerusalem. Jesus commands his followers to spread the Gospel, telling them that those who believe will be known by their invulnerability to poison, their ability to heal the sick, and the like. After delivering these final words, Jesus is received into heaven to sit at the right hand of God. No description of the Ascension itself is given; Mark simply states that it happened. (Interpressnews)

Tbilisi preparing for Independence Day

Georgia’s Independence Day will be commemorated with a military parade in Kutaisi this year. Georgian-made military vehicles will march with various units of the Georgian Armed Forces on May 26.

Tbilisi is also preparing to celebrate the date. On Rustaveli Avenue and Freedom Square, 270 Georgian companies will exhibit their products within the project Made in Georgia, and thus it will establish a new tradition.

Cars and public transport will move on alternative routes on Javakhishvili Street towards Galaktioni Bridge until the celebrations are over.

The annual Festival of Flowers will be held at a new place- April 9 Square, where hundreds of companies and florists will display their products.

The concert at Marjanishvili Square which will feature a performance by the Georgian National Ballet will serve as the grand finale of the parade. (The Messenger)

Jioyeva Becomes Deputy PM in Breakaway S.Ossetia

Leonid Tibilov, the leader of in the breakaway region of S. Ossetia appointed former opposition presidential candidate Alla Jioyeva as deputy prime minister on May 23, the local news agency RES reported.

Jioyeva’s possible government post has long been speculated on in Tskhinvali, and her appointment did not come as a surprise. She will be in charge of the social sphere in the region.

Tibilov, who was head of the breakaway region’s KGB security service in 1990s, became the South Ossetian leader as a result of two rounds of repeat elections in March and April. Repeat elections were held after the results of the polls in November, in which opposition candidate Alla Jioyeva won, were annulled.

Jioyeva has become the deputy to the new Prime Minister of the breakaway region, Rostislav Khugaev.

Khugaev, 60, who was nominated by Tibilov in late April and approved by the breakaway region’s legislative body this month, is a native of South Ossetia; he has lived in the southern Russian city of Samara for many years, where he ran a construction and real-estate firm called Amond.

The appointment of Khugaev, known in South Ossetia for his charitable activities, was also supported by Jioyeva, who has recently formed her own political party. (

US Helsinki Commission discusses the South Caucasian elections

The US Helsinki Commission discussed the South Caucasian elections. According to Liberty Radio, ‘Democratization in the Caucasus: Elections in Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia,’ was the topic of discussion. Independent expert Thomas De Vaal, representatives of Freedom House and the International Republican Institute took part in the discussion.

It was noted at the beginning of the session, that the last election cycle began in the South Caucasus with Armenia’s May 6 parliamentary elections, which will be followed by parliamentary elections in Georgia this year and presidential elections in all three South Caucasian countries next year, Liberty Radio says.

According to Thomas De Vaal, there is a great difference between the situations within these three regions’ capitals.

‘For example, Tbilisi can be compared to the capitals of the free and democratic countries of Central Europe, while the situation in the regions is different, as many opposition activists are often persecuted there’, Liberty Radio says. (Interpressnews)