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The News in Brief

Monday, May 11
Patriarch calls on parishioners to be calm

Catholicos-Patriarch of Georgia Ilia the Second called on the congregation to be calm during his Sunday sermon at Holy Trinity Cathedral.

The Patriarch remembered the words of the Chair of the Swiss Parliament who told him that there is no opposition in Switzerland because everything is done by consensus. “No one should imagine that he loves his homeland more than everyone else and can take better care of it than everyone else,” the Patriarch said, calling on the whole nation to pray. “Georgians are affectionate and I hope love will save us,” he said.
(The Messenger)

UNDP supports the state-funded Legal Assistance System

Training for public attorneys and the establishment of a legal aid service centre in Samtskhe-Javakheti will be the first priorities of a new project launched by the UN Development Programme (UNDP) and the Georgian Ministry of Corrections and Legal Assistance. UNDP Resident Representative Robert Watkins and Minister Dimitri Shashkin signed an agreement to this effect at the Ministry’s premises on May 8.

At a cost of US $950,000, this two-year initiative will help the Ministry’s Legal Assistance Service to open bureaux throughout Georgia, including some in the ethnic minority regions, to train lawyers, and to inform the public about the services provided by the Legal Assistance Bureaux. Speaking at the signing ceremony, Minister Shashkin said: “Reaching out to vulnerable groups is one of the priorities of the Georgian Government. Justice for all is the key principle of our work. The Legal Assistance Service aims to provide services for all citizens who need them, and especially the socially and economically vulnerable.”

“Georgia has made notable progress in establishing a state-funded legal aid system. UNDP welcomes this as yet another step towards the implementation of justice system reform and stands ready to help address the remaining challenges,” Robert Watkins, UNDP Resident Representative to Georgia, said.
(The Messenger)

Ilia II reconciles young men

The Catholicos-Patriarch of All Georgia, His Holiness and Beatitude Ilia II, has reconciled conflicting young men. The Catholicos took opposition activists Giorgi Oniani, Revaz Revazishvili and Milor Vachnadze and Nika Avaliani, the GPB journalist they attacked, onto the ambo, sprinkled them with holy water, called on them to be reconciled and presented them with icons.

After the act of reconciliation Nika Avaliani declared that he no longer bears a grudge and apologized to them. The journalist noted that he welcomed the goodwill shown by Ilia II and expressed his deep gratitude to him. “Personal enmity should cease; this event is a good example for the conflicting sides,” Nika Avaliani remarked.

Airzena to fly to Beijing

Airzena has begun scheduling regular Tbilisi-Alma Ata-Beijing flights, the first time these have been offered in Georgia. Interpressnews was informed by the company that the flights will take place twice a week, on Wednesday and Sunday. A ticket to Beijing will cost from EUR 437. A one-way ticket to Alma Ata will cost EUR 288.

The aviation company is also scheduling additional flights to Ukraine. Flights to Kharkov will be made twice a week from 17 April. The initial price of a ticket will be Euro 120.

Airzena will perform all these flights with its new generation Boeing 737-700 aircraft.

No threat of H1N1 virus in Georgia

There is no danger of the H1N1 virus spreading to Georgia, the Georgian Agriculture Minister has said. Bakur Kvezereli has explained the different ways people can be infected by the disease, and said that the virus is not dangerous for human life.

The Minister called on the population to refrain from travelling to countries, where cases of the virus have been officially confirmed. The virus has killed its first patient in Canada, making it the third country after Mexico and the United States to report a death from H1N1, which has made more than 3,400 people in 28 countries ill.
(Rustavi 2)