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The News in Brief

Thursday, November 8
Poti port completely paralyzed

The strike continues at the port of Poti. Port workers decided to resume striking after they received a written response from the port management. According to the strikers, none of their demands were met in the letter.

70% of the port employees have been on strike for a week. According to the strikers the port is completely paralyzed,

It is still unknown how much money the port has lost because of the strike this week.

The port management explained that this issue will be assessed after the strike is over.

In addition, it was reported yesterday that Joseph Crowley, the Director General of the Port of Poti resigned. (IPN)

There is a strong and firm belief in the United States that Georgia should have the opportunity to choose its own future - Richard Norland

There is a strong and firm belief in the United States that Georgia should have the opportunity to choose its own future, U.S. Ambassador to Georgia Richard Norland said at the U.S. election party at the Courtyard Marriott hotel.

"Georgia's aspiration to join NATO and its wish to have more economic growth and more jobs, the U.S. will support Georgia in the future too; the U.S. position in this regard will not change. There is a strong and firm belief in the United States that Georgia should have the opportunity to choose its own future and define a model which will be acceptable for the country. As for democratic governance, economic models and security, Georgia recently held elections, and I am glad that today Americans can share the exciting moment of the US presidential election along with Georgian friends," Richard Norland stated. (IPN)

Revenue Service audits GPB

Director General of the Georgian Public Broadcaster Gia Chanturia announced at a press conference on November 7th that the Georgian Revenue Service has begun auditing Georgian Public Broadcaster (GPB). Director General Gia Chanturia claims that no large scale audit of GPB has been conducted since the 1990's. GPB has been regularly audited before by the Chamber of Control with the last audit occurring in 2011. The next one was scheduled for 2013. Chanturia claimed he does not understand why GPB is being audited so rigorously now.

Chanturia also said that revenue officers instructed him not to announce the beginning of the audit inspection publicly. Representatives from the Revenue Office have also commented on Chanturia`s allegations. They say the audit was legal and overdue. (Rustavi 2)

Ivanishvili`s office comments on returned 80 million GEL fine

Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili does not intend to use the 80 million GEL returned to him. Ivanishvili was fined 80 million GEL for various campaign violations before the recent parliamentary elections. Ivanishvili disagreed with the 80 million GEL fine but agreed to pay it if the money was used to help those affected by the windstorms in Kakheti this past summer. The fine was revoked yesterday and the entire amount was returned to his bank account-none of it was spent on disaster relief. Ivanishvili`s PR department released a special statement on this matter:

`The court ruling regarding the 80 million GEL is still in force and we want to emphasize the fact that the compulsory act of the National Bureau of Enforcement about shares of the Cartu Group was absolutely illegal when it was implemented. All these acts make it clear that the process of imposing the fine, its enforcement and the return of the money back to Ivanishvili is incompatible with law and this case needs to be investigated. Therefore, we believe that use of these funds for any reason is unjustifiable until the case is clarified." the statement says. It was also reported today that charitable foundation Cartu has already began to assess the windstorm damage in Kakheti and is trying to provide timely distribution of relief disaster funds to those affected. (Rustavi 2)

Senior officials appointed at Ministry of Internal Affairs

The Minister of Internal Affairs of Georgia has appointed new chiefs for the various ministry departments and regional branches of the police. The list of the senior officials of the MIA has been published today. These individuals are:

Davit Bedia is the new Director of the Criminal Police Department. Bedia formerly worked as the Vake-Saburtalo police chief, head of the Tbilisi Police Main Department and in the Adjaran Police Department. He also held a high position in the Special Operative Department.
Irakli Chikvaidze - Head of the Counter-Terrorist Center.
Gia Kobachishvili - Director of the Special Operative Department.
Avtandil Tabunidze - Director of the Operative-Technical Department.
Zviad Katsashvili - Director of Emergencies.
Aleksandre Arakishvili - Head of the National Bureau of Interpol in Georgia.
Temur Kordzaia - Director of the Service Agency of the Ministry of the Interior.
Mikheil Chukvaidze - Chief of the Tbilisi Main Division; He formerly worked as the Deputy Chief of the Investigation Main Division of the Marine Department.

The heads of the regional police departments have also been appointed:
Aleksandre Chikadze - Kakheti Police Department
Samegrelo - Zemo Svaneti - Levan Shonia
Samtskhe Javakheti - Vakhtang Talakhadze.
Kvemo Kartli - Gela Bedoidze.
Shida Kartli - Giorgi Dvalishvili. (Rustavi 2)