Georgian president's rejects calls for resignation

About 20,000 people urged Georgia's president to resign Friday in a second day of protests, but Mikhail Saakashvili rejected their demands and called for dialogue with his critics. The crowds were thinner than on Thursday, when three times as many protesters jammed the capital's main avenue. Opposition leaders vowed the protests would continue until the president stepped down. Their most bitter criticism is directed at the president's handling of the brief August war with Russia. The Georgian army was humiliated and the country lost territory as separatists and their Russian allies took full control over two breakaway Georgian regions. Saakashvili, whose five-year term runs until 2013, told foreign reporters before Friday's rally that he would not resign. "It's obvious the answer to this question is 'no,'" he said. "It has always been 'no,' because that's how it is under the constitution."