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The News in Brief

Monday, January 17
Georgian Patriarch declares 2011 Year of Reconciliation

Georgians, Ossetians and Abkhazians should reconcile, this is the only way to survive, the Georgian Patriarch said in his sermon in the Holy Trinity Cathedral on Sunday (January 16). Furthermore, Ilia II declared 2011 a year of reconciliation. Patriarch called on the parish assembled in the cathedral to support one another.

Ilia II wished everyone a happy New Year and in his sermon stressed two significant phenomena in a man`s life - birth and death. Ilia II assessed suicide as selling one's soul.
(Rustavi 2)

Georgia Maintains Trend of Growing Birth-Rate

The birth rate in Georgia continues to steadily increase while male births exceeded females amongst the new-born babies in 2010.

The Deputy Minister of Justice and Head of Civil registry Agency George Vashadze held a press conference concerning the birth-related statistics data yesterday. He presented the statistical analysis of 2006-2010 efforts of the Civil Registry Agency.

The Birth registration figure has undergone a stable increase: there were 46060 primary birth registrations in 2006, 48027 – in 2007, 57263 – in 2008, 61839 – in 2009, 62726 – in 2010.

52% of babies born in Georgia last year were male with the largest number of babies being born in October, totaling 5728.

Georgia’s Civil Registry Agency has also researched the most popular Georgian names according to birth registrations. The top ten male names are: George, Nikoloz, Luka, Saba, David, Alexander (Sandro), Andrea, Mate, Irakli (Erekle), Demetre. The top ten female names are: Mariam, Nino, Ann, Helen, Lizi, Barbare, Tamar, Salome, Nia, Tekla.

Patriarch voices new initiative

His Holiness and Beatitude Catholicos Patriarch of All Georgia, Archbishop of Mtskheta and Tbilisi, and Metropolitan of Abkhazeti and Bichvinta Ilia II voiced a new initiative at yesterday's prayer in the Sioni Cathedral. His Holiness said the fourth child in the family, which would be 'His God Child', would be granted a new title – the devoted patriot of Homeland and the defender of the Patriarchate’s throne.

His Holiness wished a Happy New Year to the people of Georgia, residents of Abkhazia and Samachablo regions in particular and Georgians who live abroad.
(Rustavi 2)

PACE to Hold Hearing on Georgian-Russian Dossier

The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) will hold a hearing on the Georgian-Russian Dossier, the Russian media reports.

Konstantin Kosachov, chairman of the international affairs committee of the Russian Duma and Russian MPs will take part in the hearing.

PACE Chairman Mevlut Cavusoglu, head of the International fact-finding mission on the conflict in Georgia, Heidi Tagliavini, Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights Thomas Hammerberg, and representatives of the EU and Council of Europe will take part in the hearing as well.

State Minister wraps up visit to Lithuania

The Georgian State Minister for European Integration, Vice Premier Giorgi Baramidze, wrapped up his visit to Lithuania yesterday. Within the official visit, the Vice PM held meetings with the Lithuanian Prime Minister, Defence Minister, Vice Speaker of the Lithuanian legislative government and the chairperson of the Foreign Relations Committee.

The goal of the visit was to enhance bilateral relations in the process of Georgia`s integration into Euro-Atlantic structures.

From 2011, Lithuania is the OSCE president country and an ally to Georgia in NATO.

As it was said at the official meetings, Lithuania will support Georgia to sign a free trade relation agreement with the European Union.
(Rustavi 2)

No threat of H1N1 pandemic in Georgia

Georgia faces no danger of an H1N1 pandemic – the representatives of the National Centre of Disease Control announced at the informational meeting yesterday.

According to last month's statistics, only 12 cases of H1N1 flu have been registered at Georgian hospitals, which gives no ground for concern.

At today’s briefing, the experts gave recommendations to the society about how to protect themselves from viral infection. They recommend citizens to see doctors with any symptoms of the virus, abstain from contact with other people and wash hands frequently.
(Rustavi 2)

Poachers Arrested by Help of Youtube

The investigative department of the Ministry of Environmental Protection has detained poachers.

As Minister of Environmental Protection Goga Khachidze said at yesterday’s briefing, the poachers were arrested for illegal hunting and carrying weapons. Iason Bidzishvili, Gocha Bichashvili, Tamar Bichashvili and Nestor Gavashvili are under arrest. They allegedly killed 4 Caucasian aurochs – those included in the red list of threatened species.

Goga Khachidze presented video footage shot by the poachers themselves. The video footage was broadcasted by Youtube and an investigation of the case was conducted, based on this material.

The poachers caused 260 000 GEL of damage to the environment. They could face up to 6 years in prison if found guilty.