News in Brief

EU Monitors to Relocate



TBILISI, Georgia -- European Union observers in Georgia said Monday that they would move their offices closer to a volatile area around the breakaway region of South Ossetia.

The EU mission said in a statement that it will relocate its offices in the Georgian capital Tbilisi and the Black Sea port of Poti. It said the move would help the monitors respond quickly to any challenges in the tense area.

More than 200 EU monitors have been deployed to Georgia to monitor compliance with a French-brokered truce that ended Russia's war with Georgia in August.

Georgian officials and separatists have blamed each other for sporadic skirmishes near South Ossetia and another breakaway region of Abkhazia.

Russia has recognized both provinces as independent nations. (AP)




Parrot Fever Hospitalizes 13



Thirteen people have been hospitalized in the Orenburg region after being infected with ornithosis, also known as parrot fever, by contraband exotic birds, Interfax reported.

Border guards confiscated the illegal shipment of birds, including parrots and canaries, as they were being shipped into Kazakhstan on Nov. 20, Federal Consumer Protection Service head Gennady Onishchenko said Sunday.

Of the 13 people infected with ornithosis, three were customs officers and three were border guards, Onishchenko was quoted as saying.

The disease, which is generally transmitted by parrots but can also be contracted from other, more common species, mimics typhoid fever but quickly develops into pneumonia. The disease is generally easily treated with tetracycline. (MT)