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The News in Brief

Tuesday, June 12
CNN back in Georgia for Eye On

One year since filming a piece on Georgia, CNN is back in Tbilisi to begin the next stage of its series on the country for its Eye On program, which focuses on countries that are shaping the worldwide landscape.

In the first program, anchor Paula Newton gave a live broadcast from Batumi, explaining that the city has become a tourist and investment centre. She noted that construction continues even on Sundays.

The journalist said that Georgia has gained economic and energy independence from Russia, although it still wants to attract Russian tourists and investments.

Newton promised the audience that the week-long program would destroy their image of Batumi as a Soviet city.
(Rustavi 2)

First delegation of election monitors arrive today

Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Nino Kalandadze has announced that the first delegation of foreign election monitors will visit Georgia between June 11-16.

An assessment mission of the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights will meet with government and civil society representatives.

“For the week, they will be able to receive information without hindrance about how well the pre-election process is [unfolding] and study the campaign climate in general. This is important to us, as we consider it to be of great importance how transparent and democratic the October elections will be. It’s also important that this mission receives answers to all questions without hindrances and prepares a recommendation that will be important for us too,” Kalnadadze said.

Kalandadze has little optimism for Geneva's 20th round

Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Nino Kalandadze has given a guarded assessment of the 20th round of the Geneva negotiations.

Kalandadze says that Georgia has less reason to be satisfied this time, though she salutes the fact that the talks continue and provide an opportunity to discuss all issues in detail. The main sticking point has been Georgia's insistence that Russia sign a non-use of force agreement, which Russia as refused to do, saying it is not party to the conflict.

The Deputy Minister noted that special concern was expressed about Russia’s planned large-scale military exercises, Kavkaz 2012.

“Our main goal at this stage is for Russia to officially confirm that their bases located in the occupied territories will not be involved in the training,” Kalandadze said.

She stated that a positive result has not been achieved on restoration of the Gali Incident Prevention and Response Mechanism meetings. She said that if the meetings do not take place, Russia and the breakaway territories will be fully responsible.

Parliament to discuss It Concerns You proposals

Georgia’s Parliament will discuss the legislative proposals made by media activist organization, It Concerns You.

A meeting between representatives of the group and Chair of the Parliamentary Legal Affairs Committee Pavle Kublashvili will be held, attended also by the Chair of the Georgian Young Lawyers Association, Tamar Chugoshvili, member of Choice for Freedom Irakli Melashvili, director of Transparency International Georgia Eka Gigauri, head of the International Foundation for Fair Elections and Democracy Nino Lomjaria, Executive Director of the Georgian Charter of Journalistic Ethics Tamar Kordzaia, and journalist Lasha Tughushi.

On 7 May, It Concerns You introduced a package of amendments to the election code intended to improve the media environment. Their first meeting with the Legal Affairs Committee was May 24.

54-year-old woman found dead in Tbilisi apartment

A 54-year-old woman has been found dead in her Tbilisi apartment. As reported, Nona Mikadze had multiple knife wounds to her throat.

Police have already detained 45-year-old Khvicha Kirkitadze, who has plead guilty.

The accused is a marshrutka driver working the Tbilisi-Zugdidi route. He met Mikadze during a trip from Tbilisi to Zugdidi; she later invited him to her apartment. Police found a vodka bottle at the crime scene.

An investigation has been launched, under the clause of premeditated murder.

If found guilty, Kirkitadze may face 15-years in prison.
(Rustavi 2)