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The News in Brief

Thursday, September 17
Russian delegation plans to attend OSCE Parliamentary Assembly session in Tbilisi

The Russian delegation plans to attend an OSCE Parliamentary Assembly session planned to be held in Tbilisi in 2016, the Russian Parliamentary Speaker Sergey Narishnik has declared.

“I would like to confirm that the Russian delegation plans to actively take part in the parliamentary assembly’s session in Vienna and then in Tbilisi,” he said while holding a meeting with the OSCE chief.

Narishnik referred to Ukraine’s issue while holding the meeting. According to him, the parliamentary assembly can contribute greatly to solving Ukraine’s social-political crisis.

The 25th OSCE parliamentary session will be held in Tbilisi in summer, 2016. (IPN)

New ethics school subject postponed after criticism by conservatives

Georgia’s education ministry has postponed the start of a new school subject as conservatives criticize it for eroding traditional values.

Some were expecting the subject called ‘Society and Me’ to be taught in schools from the beginning of the 2015 fall semester.

‘Society and me’ will be taught in third and fourth grade and not be compulsory, the ministry said August 17. It will aim at raising awareness among pupils about family, school and community, including issues like security, a healthy lifestyle, violence, tolerance, development of social skills and environmental protection.

Some groups didn’t like the idea of the subject. An iconic person among radical religious people or those praising traditions, Levan Vasadze, who formally has status as ‘knight’ and is president of the Demographic Development Fund, expressed displeasure about ‘Society and me’, claiming that the subject will cause ‘irreversible deformation of the psyche of the younger generation.’

“Instead of protecting the strength of the family and moral values, they teach children from an early age diversity, gender equality and tolerance toward all forms of difference, publicity of family conflicts and uses methods of role playing,” he said a few days ago, adding that the goal to teach this subject in schools is to confront cultural, ethnic and religious features under the mask of diversity and tolerance.

The Ministry of Education two days ago said the subject will not be taught in schools because it is still being processed. Textbooks still need to be printed and the program of the subject needs to be finalized, which will take time. So far it is unknown when the subject will begin being taught in schools, but some people thought the reason for the postponement was resistance from particular groups in society; a notion the ministry rejected.

A spokesperson for the ministry said they have been working for two years on bringing this new subject into schools and holding consultations with public schools, high schools, education experts, non-governmental organizations and the Georgian Orthodox Church. (DF watch)

New tea production factory opens in west Georgia

Georgia is stepping up its efforts to develop the country’s agricultural sector by opening up a new tea sorting and packing factory.

A new factory to sort and package tea has officially opened in the western Ozurgeti region. The factory occupied a total area of 1,300 sqm.

It was initiated by local tea production company Georgian Geoplant Company and financed by the Government initiated Produce in Georgia scheme with $2 million USD.

The new facility was officially opened by Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili and Georgian Geoplant Company director Mikheil Chkuaseli.

Chkuaseli said the Produce in Georgia project, which offered funds and support to new businesses in the local production market, deserved high praise.

2015 will be a decisive year for tea production as the Government took this field as a priority [development] area,” he said.

Chkuaseli added the new enterprise would place tea in bags and various packages that would lead to increased export capacities.

He also gave several details of Geoplant’s future plans.

In the future we intend to grow the capacity of domestic products, and with that I mean to increase current production to about 20 new varieties of tea.

Since launching Geoplant, we have produced 65 different tea products, 45 of them are in active production,” he added.

The company produced the popular Gurieli tea and exported its products to Ukraine, Russia, Baltic States and several European countries. (

Five people injured in train crash in Poti

A passenger train and a locomotive have collided with each other in Poti railway station on September 15.

Nobody has been killed, though 5 people were injured, 4 out of which were hospitalized. Their lives are not in danger, doctors say.

Ambulances and police are mobilized at the station.

The Poti-Tbilisi passenger train will take passengers to the capital late at night, an InterpressNews correspondent reports.

An investigation has already been launched into the case. (IPN)