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The News in Brief

Thursday, June 25
Georgian Water and Power Company to install a temporary purification device in Vere Gorge

Georgian Water and Power Company has released a special statement on the damage inflicted to a sewage pipeline in the June 13 flood.

According to the statement, the company made a decision to install a temporary, miniature purification device that will prevent sewage from entering the Vere River.

The decision follows reports from responsible agencies that predict reconstruction of the road and repair of the sewage system will take 30 days.

The original sewage collector will be fully restored once the cleanup efforts are completed.

Earlier today, Tbilisi Mayor Davit Narmania confirmed that a sewage pipeline was damaged by the flood and led to contamination of the Vere River. (IPN)

Penguin found alive as Tbilisi Zoo publishes complete list of animals

As a penguin was discovered alive Tuesday, Tbilisi Zoo for the first time published the complete list of animals they had before the flood on the night of June 13-14.

The penguin was found by soldiers as they were cleaning the lower section of the zoo, which was completely covered in mud and uprooted trees in the disaster.

After being checked by veterinarians, the bird was reunited with the nine others that have been rescued, out of a total of 17.

The discovery came the same day as the zoo for the first time published the full list of the animals that were living in the zoo before the flood. Last week, a man was killed by an escaped tiger amid confusion over exactly how many animals were unaccounted for.

Spokesperson for Tbilisi Zoo Mzia Sharashidze told DFWatch that the reason the complete list hasnít been published until now is that the administration building of the zoo was flooded, which prevented them from accessing the database. It took days reaching the building, then putting the office infrastructure in order, and restoring the computers, which were all wet.

The list shows that there were 14 lions, three of which died, six were killed, and five survived. There were seven tigers, six were killed, one is missing. Only two bears survived out of 13. Out of four hyenas, one died, two were killed and one is still missing.

A white tiger, which ran away on the night of the disaster, hid in an old warehouse for a few days, then attacked and killed a man working there. The tiger was then shot by marksmen, who were unable to tranquilize the animal. Three jaguars died. Also four wolves died, seven were killed and only two of them survived. All four foxes died.

A missing tiger and hyena are still being looked for. (DF watch)

Law on occupied territories to be amended

The law on occupied territories and the criminal code will be amended. The amendments have been initiated by Minister of Internally Displaced Persons Sozar Subari and they are being discussed at governmental sessions.

As Subari told reporters before the meeting, the amendments are in line with the EU Association Agreement.

"Within the association process there were certain remarks about the regulations for granting status to refugees and asylum seekers. Some changes simplify, while others tighten the current guidelines.

For example, according to the current regulations, when people come to Georgia and ask for refugee or humanitarian status, relevant procedures are launched regardless of which country they come from.

As per the new changes, procedures will be launched only if they come directly from a country where they were persecuted or were in danger, while if they pass countries like, for example, Bulgaria and Turkey on their way here, they will not be granted any status, and must return to whatever country they first entered,Ē- Subari said.

As for simplification, the Minister said that the terms of certain procedures will be reduced to two months, while the term for appeal will be increased from 10 to 15 days. (ipn)

Floods and landslides are expected in the coming days - National Environment Agency

National Environmental Agency has published the weather forecast according to which floods and landslides are expected in the next three days.

Brief thunderstorms are expected by the end of the day on June 24 and June 25-26. In some places, heavy rain and hail are possible. Heavy rain may cause floods and mudflow formation says the statement of the National Environmental Agency. (Rustavi2)