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211 prisoners were set free and 29 prisoners had their sentences reduced, the Georgian Prisons Minister Khatuna Kalmakheidze claimed today, reports Georgia Online. The prisoners were pardoned on the occasion of the Feast of the Assumption (Mariamoba). Among the pardoned are Sergo Beselia and Rati Milorava, the brother and the son of the “Solidarity with Illegal Prisoners” leader, Eka Beselia.

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Russia's naval forces have introduced a new rocket ship to the Caspian Fleet. APA  reports that the name of the ship is "Grad Sviyazsk". Built in Tatarstan, it has a length of 74.1 meters, width of 11 meters, height of 6.57 meters and speed of 25 miles.

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 An international conference took place in the Philippino capital Manila, supported by the Asian Ombudsman's Organization and the Asian Development Bank. The topic of the conference was “Strengthening of the institution of ombudsman in Asia”. Elmira Suleymanova, the Azerbaijani ombudsman, suggested several new methods of supporting human rights. The concepts, activities and practice of Asian human rights institutions were discussed.

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The president of Georgia, Mikhail Saakashvili, has been invited to attend a special reception for members of the General Assembly of the United Nations, according to a?presidential press-release, reports Business Georgia.The president will also make a speech at New York University. Negotiations with the leaders of European, African and Latin American countries will take place. The president will fly to America on the 20th of September.

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The counter-terrorist operation that?started on Friday in the capital of Kabardino-Balkaria is now over, reports RIA Novosti.According to the press secretary of the local Federal Security Service, 5 terrorists were eliminated. None of the law enforcement service personnel involved in the operation were hurt. Two of the killed terrorists were wanted for terrorist acts.

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Azerbaijani opposition parties have formed another bloc. The parties 'National Front of United Azerbaijan', 'Great Creation' and 'Adalat' have come to an agreement to form a bloc named 'Reorganisation', reports Trend. It is not the first political bloc in Azerbaijan. The parties 'Umid' and the United Democratic Party form the bloc 'Karabakh'. The Liberal Party, the Green Party and the Party of Citizens and Development have also announced an alliance.Parliamentary elections are due to take place on the 7th of November 2010.

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An ‘Azerbaijan – Europe’ Bike Ride will take place in Azerbaijan in the framework of ‘Ecology Year’, 1news.az reports.

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Unidentified gunmen opened fire on an employee of Dagestan's Novolaksky District Electoral Commission at his home and made their escape, RIA Novosti reports. The victim is now receiving treatment in a local hospital. The case is being investigated,

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An explosion occurred last night in the Mindeli mine in the town of Tkibuli. Three miners were killed, seven received severe injuries, Georgia Online reports. The Interior Minister of Georgia granted help to the victims of the accident and their families. The cause of the explosion is still unknown, but according to preliminary data it was caused by combustion of methane.

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Three militants were killed in a gunfight last night near the Dagestani settlement of Gubden during a search operation, RIA Novosti reports, quoting a source in the local police office. No injuries among police officers were reported. The identities of the killed militants are still to be determined.

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An earthquake measuring 5.9 on the Richter scale hit the city of Damghan in Iran's northern Semnan province at 11:53 p.m. (1923 GMT) on Friday night, Trend reports. Three people were killed, 2 of them small children, 40 others received injuries.

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Charles Aznavour, a living legend of French chanson, was awarded the honorary symbol ‘For contributing to strengthening cultural relations between Russia and France’, Armenian Public Television reports. The ceremony took place at ‘Russian Night’ in Cannes. The festival in Cannes is under the patronage of the wife of the Russian president, Svetlana Medvedeva, and is dedicated to Russia-France Year.

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The press-service of the Georgian president has made clarifications due to mistakes in an interview with Mikhail Saakashvili to the ‘Echo of Moscow’ radio station on August 26th, the text of which can be found on the station's site. According to the press-service, there were discrepancies in the interview, Georgia Online reports. In particular, the published text of the interview was as follows:

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Azerbaijan has provided an additional million dollars to Pakistan to cover the damage from the floods and help the victims, ITAR-TASS reports, citing the Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry.Azerbaijan sent a plane with humanitarian aid, food, clothes and other essential goods, the press-service of Azerbaijani Defense Ministry reports. Another plane will head to Pakistan on August 29th.

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According to official statistics, Kazakh investors spent $14 million in Georgia in the first quarter of this year. Kazakh investors are mainly working with hotels, recreation and communication complexes in Georgia. The second major investor in Georgia is the Virgin Islands, with China in third place, Business Georgia reports.

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Abkhaz President Sergey Bagapsh has made the governor of Krasnodar Territory, Alexander Tkachov, an honorary citizen of Abkhazia, the press-service of the Krasnodar administration reports.The title was awarded for personal achievements in strengthening ties, developing good-neighbourly relations and for his active cooperation in the post-war economic development. Bagapsh noted the help Krasnodar Territory has been providing to Abkhazia.

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