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The News in Brief

Thursday, May 31
Jurmala, Anaklia sign fraternity agreement

Georgia's resort city of Anaklia has signed a fraternity agreement with the Latvian resort city of Jurmala, during Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili's two-day visit to that country.

Saakashvili visited Jurmala Boulevard together with Mayor of the city, Gatis Truskni, and viewed the city's coastal infrastructure. The two men discussed prospects of implementing joint projects in Anaklia. Truskni said Latvian investors were willing to make investments construct hotels in the new resort city. (Rustavi 2)

Davit Aprasidze to be appointed as Police Academy director

Davit Aprasidze will be appointed as the new Director of the Police Academy.

Shota Utiashvili, head of the Information-Analytical Department of the Ministry of Internal Affairs (MIA), said that the decision was made yesterday.

Former Director Khatia Dekanoidze has been appointed head of the National Centre of Examinations, replacing Maia Miminoshvili.

Aprasidze is currently head of the MIA archives. (IPN)

US Senator Durbin visits Tbilisi

US Senator Richard Durbin (D-Illinois) is currently in Tbilisi to discuss regional security issues and US-Georgia relations.

The US Embassy reports that Senator Durbin will meet President Mikheil Saakashvili as well as with opposition leaders and civic organizations.

In addition to being the second-highest ranking member of the United States Senate, Senator Durbin sits on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. He is also a member of the Subcommittee on European Affairs which has jurisdiction over matters concerning the continent of Europe, including the Caucasus. Its responsibilities include the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), the European Union and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe. (IPN)

Former Ukraine CEC head joins Committee for Open Democracy

Jaroslav Davydovych, former head of the Central Election Commission (CEC) of Ukraine, has joined the Committee for Open Democracy (COD) as Special Advisor to the COD international observation mission in Georgia.

Davydovych is an expert on fair elections and electoral reform issues. He begins a visit to Georgia today.

In 2004, Davydovych served as Deputy Chair of Ukraine's Central Election Commission, where he refused to sign the official protocol for the second round of that country's presidential election, citing electoral fraud. He was subsequently appointed Chair of the CEC.

In Georgia, Davydovych will assist in training COD's election observers and evaluate the fairness of the 2012 parliamentary elections. He has performed a similar role for other election observer missions in the past.

The (COD) is a US-based NGO with a mandate to monitor international elections. COD team members arrived in Georgia in April to being election monitoring. (IPN)

Giorgobiani fined for Komagi donation

Bidzina Giorgobiani was not surprised to discover that the Chamber of Control had fined him, although they have yet to officially inform him.

As Giorgobiani told InterPressNews, it would be better to fine him one hundred times the amount, as the “Georgian budget is suffering”.

“They actually stole the money we wanted to give to the prisoners, their families and those dismissed from [their jobs]. I don’t know how they intend to receive the amount of money. I’m a citizen of Georgia; a German charity fund carried out the donation. I’m the executive director of the fund. This is not my personal money,” Giorgobiani said.

He stated that justice will be "restored" by either the courts, EU representatives in Georgia, or international organizations.

Giorgobiani lives in Germany, and has not been a resident of Georgia since March 2005.

The Financial Monitoring Service of the Chamber of Control fined Giorgobiani ˆ900,000 ten times the amount of his alleged donation to the Komagi Foundation.

As a statement from the Chamber reads, the case of the administrative offense was discussed at on May 28, but neither the offender nor his representative attended the session. (IPN)

Registration for Summer Job program begins

The registration for those who wish to participate in the Summer Job program run by the Ministry of Education begins today.

The program is open to students, who will work in their chosen field for a month and be paid 500 GEL. There are currently 1,500 vacancies.

Applications are available on from June 4. (Rustavi 2)

Rescue operation resumes in Mestia

A rescue operation resumed in Mestia yesterday morning in hopes of finding three people who were swept away by fast-moving river waters on Tuesday.

Rescuers, divers, and locals are working together to find the remains of the three, including a 13-year-old boy.

The driver of a Niva vehicle with damaged breaks failed to control the wheel, and the car went off the road and into the outfall of two rivers - the Nenskra and the Engury.

Rescue works were suspended on Tuesday due to bad weather. (Rustavi 2)