The messenger logo

The News in Brief

Wednesday, January 20
Windstorm inflicts damage on Poti

A windstorm has struck the city of Poti, unroofing a local school. Officials of the Education Ministry say that it will cover the necessary repair work at the school.

The storm has also uprooted old trees and torn down electricity wires leaving over 1,500 subscribers in total blackout. Technicians from Energo-Pro have been working to repair the damaged sectors of the electricity system since yesterday morning. They say the city will be reconnected to the system later today. (Rustavi 2)

Russian delegation arrives in Tskhinvali

A Russian delegation arrived in the occupied Tskhinvali region yesterday. Separatist leader Eduard Kokoity and so-called Vice Premier Vadim Brovtsev are accompanying the Russian officials.

The representatives of Russia's Deputy Prime Minister's Office, Security Council and other state bodies were believed to be visiting the region to monitor the expenditure of the funds allocated for the construction of the Akhalgori-Tskhinvali highway. Reportedly, these funds have been misappropriated. (Rustavi 2)

Occupiers reinforce control of Perevi village

The Russian occupying forces have reinforced their control of the illegal checkpoint in the village of Perevi, is the Sachkhere district, Imereti Region. The aggressors have begun to make detailed registration of those residing in the village and those entering it. They are stopping every vehicle and checking every passenger.

The occupiers have increased the number of soldiers at the checkpoint during the past few days. (Rustavi 2)

New project launched in prisons

Gifted prisoners with writing skills will soon have an opportunity to present their work to a broad audience.

The NGO The Centre of Democratic Initiative has devised a new project entitled ‘World Beyond the Bars’. Its head Nikoloz Chkhartishvili says that over the next month works of literature will be gathered from all the Georgian penitentiary establishments. A 10-member commission, composed of famous authors and public representatives, will discuss them and choose the best for a collection which will be published in three months.

The project does not restrict participants to particular genres. They can produce work in any literary form, prose or poetry. (Interpressnews)

78 % of respondents expect Saakashvili to serve out his term

Georgia’s economic downturn and defeat in the war with Russia in 2008 are not likely to affect President Mikheil Saakashvili’s chances of serving out his second term, a Greenberg Quinlan Rosner poll shows.

As many as 78 percent expect Saakashvili to complete his term, which expires in 2013, according to the survey conducted by Washington-based research firm. This nationwide poll of 1,200 people was conducted between Dec. 2-9, 2009, Jeremy Rosner, Principal Executive Vice President, said. It had a margin of error of 2.8 percentage points.

The Georgian opposition have repeatedly called on Saakashvili to resign, accusing him of causing the economic downturn after the war that has caused about $1 billion in damage to the economy. They also say he has clamped down on democracy and freedom of speech. (Interpressnews)

People’s Party to collect signatures

The People’s Party is to start collecting signatures from 20 January. The petition people will be asked to sign will call for a 50%+1 vote barrier for the Tbilisi Mayoral elections, fixed taxes for small entrepreneurs, a decrease in the pension age and an increase in pensions.

Signatures will be gathered, and attendant protests held, at the Navtlughi, Eliava, Varketili and Lilo markets and at the railway market where People’s Party leader Koba Davitashvili held a briefing yesterday. (The Messenger)