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The News in Brief

Thursday, September 6
U.S. new ambassador arrives to Georgia

Richard Norland, formerly the U.S. ambassador to Uzbekistan and the Deputy Chief of Mission at the U.S. Embassy in Kabul, arrived in Tbilisi yesterday morning. Mr. Norland has replaced John Bass as Georgia's new US ambassador. The new ambassador is expected at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Georgia. Richard Norland was officially appointed the new ambassador of the United States to Georgia in July. Norland served in the U.S. diplomatic mission for past 32 years. (Rustavi 2)

Congressman Dan Burton visits Georgia

American Congressman Dan Burton visited Georgia. Yesterday the guest visited the central section of the capital. He visited Europe Square and the monument of America`s ex-president Ronald Reagan. The American lawmaker talked with journalists and spoke about the meaning of free elections."No one can tell the Georgian people how to vote, that's up to them. One thing I think is extremely important is that the Georgian people [have to] make the decision. There should be no outside influences from any country in the world. The Georgian people have a right to pick their own president, their legislative branch– and as long as it takes place, I think Georgia is going to be great," Dan Burton said. (Rustavi 2)

School text-books for sale as of today

Parents can buy school text books for their children via the Georgian Post starting yesterday, while from September 10th, the books will be available at about four hundred schools of Georgia. The maximum price of the books is 10 GEL. The list of the schools where the book-stores will be arranged will be published on the official website of the Education Ministry The purchase of school text-books is also possible via the ministry hotline. (Rustavi 2)

Presidential Program "Smiley" Georgia continues

A presidential program, which aims at providing dental assistance to the citizens of Georgia over the age of 50, will continue. The first medical center that services were provided to patients was the village of Supsa, located in the Lanchkhuti municipality in the Guria region.

One-thousand people have been provided dental care and surgical services already; others were given orthopedic treatment. Dental service was provided to patients by invited dentists in two special busses. Two-thousand people have been provided prosthesis treatment since the program was launched. The mobile dental offices will move to the village Natanebi in a few days and over 2, 000 people within the required age group will enjoy free treatment. The president arrived in the village of Supsa yesterday to observe how the program worked. (Rustavi 2)

President visits Tbilisi International Airport

TAV Georgia will invest $65 million in a development project at Tbilisi International Airport. The project, scheduled over the next 22 months, aims at the complete rehabilitation of the airport runway. After completion, the new runway will be able to receive all types of aircraft. About 700 people will be employed during the construction work. President Saakashvili attended the presentation of the project at the Tbilisi airport. (Rustavi 2)

Education Minister visits disaster-affected families in Kakheti

The Minister of Education of Georgia visited disaster-affected families in Telavi, Gurjaani and Kvareli towns of the Kakheti region. Khatia Dekanoidze arrived in the village of Velistsikhe and visited the Omarashvili family. The family has two students and they were left without harvest after the hail and the windstorm that hit the region last month. The minister introduced the president's initiative about covering the tuition fees of the students from the disaster affected families. (Rustavi 2)

Gunman killed in Laphankuri was Zakaev`s body guard

One of the eleven gunmen killed during the special anti-crime operation of the Interior Ministry in Kakheti`s village of Laphankuri, was the body-guard of Akhmed Zakaev, Russian newspaper the Kommersant has reported. Zakaev is the former Deputy Prime Minister and the current Prime Minister of the Chechen Republic of Ichkeria (ChRI), which is unrecognized by other countries. According to the edition, Dukvakha Dushuev was among those 11 gunmen who were killed by Georgia's special units after they took hostages in a Georgian village bordering the Dagestan sector of the Georgia-Russia border. The Kommersant reports that the 44 year-old Dushuev was the most influential person in this gang. Since 2003, he participated in the process of Zakaev`s extradition, which was discussed by the London judiciary under the motion of Russia's prosecutor general. (Rustavi 2)