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The News in Brief

Tuesday, December 6
One dead, eight injured as truck slams into minibus

One person died and eight were injured Saturday in an accident in the south of Georgia.

The accident happened on the Tbilisi-Akhaltsikhe highway near Atskuri at about 13:00.

A local newspaper., reported that a truck crashed with a minibus which was driving passengers from Khasuri to Akhaltsikhe.

One of the victims died on the way to the hospital.

One of the injured was brought to Tbilisi the same day with severe injuries. Another person was taken to a hospital in Tbilisi with head injuries. The three others who were injured are still in hospital, the rest went home.

The highway was blocked for about an hour due to the accident.

An investigation has been launched for violation of traffic safety rules resulting in death, a crime which may be punished with four to seven years in jail.

Winter weather hits Georgia

Winter is in full swing in Georgia.

Last night, a category 3-4 storm caused a major infrastructural damage to beaches at the Kobuleti resort and along the coastline in Georgia’s west.

About 50 families in nearby villages were left without electricity, but officials said the supply would be restored later today.

Meanwhile, due to strong wind, a number of roofs were ripped off several houses in the Natanebi village in western Guria region.

Restrictions were also put in place on the roads.

Georgia's Road Department reported the Gudauri-Kobi section of eastern Georgia’s Mtskheta-Stepantsminda-Larsi route – the only road connecting Georgia and Russia - was closed to all vehicles due to heavy snow and avalanche threats.

Heavy snowfall and ice put restrictions on the route linking Georgia and Turkey. Along the 80-97km section (near the state border) of the Khashuri-Akhaltsikhe-Vale route, truck and trailers, semi-trailers and vehicles that can carry more than 30 passengers only can travel with anti-skid chains.

Experts said the weather would improve throughout Georgia from December 6.

U.S. approves 2017 Defense Policy Bill, assessing Georgia as valuable partner

The House of Representatives overwhelmingly approved an annual defense policy bill on Friday, voting to provide more money for military and defense operations than requested by the Obama administration and to make a number of substantial changes to the structure of the Pentagon, including increasing the size of U.S. armed forces.

The measure could be taken up by the Senate next week. The House voted 375-34 to pass it. As a policy measure, the legislation establishes the scope and size of programs, but actual spending must be enacted later through specific congressional appropriations.

The bill passed by the House includes an increase in military spending to $619 billion in 2017, $9 billion more than Mr. Obama requested, foreign media outlets say.

“Georgia is a valuable friend of the U.S. having confirmed its devotedness to promoting the mutual interests of the two countries including deployment of Georgian troops in Afghanistan,” reads the document.

Clashes take place between police and depositors of financial company Georgia

An incident has occurred between the depositors of a financial company and police officers in front of the Georgian Dream party's office. One of the depositors has been reportedly detained.

The depositors of the financial company were demanding a meeting with the parliamentary majority. Some of them are now meeting with Levan Gogichaishvili, one of the members of the parliamentary majority.

According to the depositors, about 3000 people have suffered losses. They are demanding assistance from the government.

Police remain mobilized near the Georgian Dream head office.