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The News in Brief

Wednesday, August 6
‘Georgian Express 2008’ military exercise slated for September

Georgian and British officers are in discussions to refine the training procedures of “Georgian Express 2008,” a joint military training project which is slated to begin in September and will involve the militaries of Georgia, Northern Ireland, Great Britain, and members of the London Regiment.

According to a statement issued by the organizers, preparation procedures are being weighed intensely and the training will be carried out to the highest standards.

The training will focus on patrolling, movement in populated areas and security operations. Similar “Georgian Express” field exercises were carried out in 2004 and 2007. (Prime News)

Anti-mine NGO visits former Russian bases

The International Trust Fund for Demining and Mine Victims Assistance visited Sagarejo and Mtskheta yesterday to survey former Russian military bases in Georgia, sites which are currently inactive but contain mines that endanger locals.

ITF representatives, among them ITF director Goran Gacnik, were received in Georgia three days ago by top military brass and leave today. (Prime News)

Health Ministry and Red Cross sign agreement on public health services

The Health Ministry and the Red Cross signed a memorandum yesterday which involves implementing humanitarian activities like health services for the poor, according to the Georgian ministry.

The project proposes preventive health care measures and immunizations for about 125 000 citizens under the age of 27. (Prime News)

Health Ministry and US CDC sign agreement

Aleksandre Kvitashvili, Minister of Health, signed a memorandum yesterday with a representative of the United States Center for Disease Control and Prevention.

The memorandum spells out support for South Caucasian epidemiology study and laboratory works, aiming to develop epidemic controls in Georgia. (Prime News)

New filters to be installed in Kaspi cement factory

New filters are being installed in the Heidelberg Kaspi Cement Factory, which Environment Minister Irakli Ghvaladze visited yesterday to view the old filtration system.

Environment Ministry data show that the new filters are 99.9 percent effective. Installing them will cost EUR 12 million, and is expected to take until the end of the year.

The old filters have caused environmental problems for several years. (Prime News)

South Caucasian countries to get technical assistance from EU

The EU’s Trans-Boundary River Management project for the Kura River basin has begun. Beneficiary countries Armenia, Georgia and Azerbaijan, which have endorsed the project, will receive EU technical assistance.

The project's objectives include assisting South Caucasian countries with implementing integrated water resources management; identifying pollution hotspots and assisting the establishment of the transboundary monitoring system.

The European Commission awarded the services contract to the EPTISA & GrontmijCarlBro consortium. The consortium will coordinate with the environment projects implemented by USAID, UNDP, OSCE, NATO, EBRD, and WB. The project will be implemented in the region by a team of experienced international and national consultants over a 30-month period and will be managed from the project's office established in Tbilisi. There will also be a separate EUR1.5 million supply contract devoted to water quality monitoring equipment. (Black Sea Press)

Cabinet meeting to be held today

A cabinet meeting will be held at the State Chancellery today to discuss 22 issues of geological concern as well as energy systems throughout the region.

The minister of energy will be present to elaborate on cooperation between the Azerbaijani and Georgian energy systems.

The environmental minister will report on the auction of mining licenses. (Prime News)

Georgian wines receive accolades at Japanese wine competition

Badagoni Wine Company was awarded at Japan’s Wine Challenge, a yearly competition of white and dry wines.

According to the Ministry of Economic Development, the company’s Tsinandali won a bronze medal and Trioni & Adagoni and Kakhetis Tsarchinebuli took home special certificates.

The 11th annual “Japan Wine Challenge 2008’’ was held in Tokyo and featured over 1700 wines from 27 countries. (Prime News)

Police arrest criminal gang

The Interior Ministry’s officers in Shida Kartli province detained an alleged organized group of criminals, one of whom is alleged leader Givi Khizanishvili. The other two are Nugzar Ghvedashvili and Mikheil Sepiashvili, both 28 years old.

According to the Interior Ministry, the detainees ordered a taxi driver to drive to the town of Gori, where they physically assaulted and robbed him in Khashuri, a nearby territory. The driver was tied up and abandoned in one of the region’s forested areas while the attackers stole his vehicle. (Prime News)