Ruling Party Wants ‘Specific’ Examples Of ‘Forced’ Business Acquisition

The ruling Republican Party of Armenia (HHK) has urged an opposition leader to cite at least one specific example of a business being seized or partly acquired through force after an allegation made by him in a recent interview.

Talking to Zham.am on Thursday, Prosperous Armenia Party head Gagik Tsarukian, in particular, called for putting an end to “the tradition of individuals using their positions to seize a share of another individual’s business”. Tsarukian, who himself is a wealthy businessman, did not name names.

HHK parliamentary faction head Vahram Baghdasarian on Friday categorically denied any such practice in Armenia, calling on those who know concrete cases to report them.

Russian Official Points Out Differences Between Crimea, Karabakh

A senior member of the Russian Federal Assembly believes Nagorno-Karabakh will be entitled to join the Eurasian Economic Union (EEU) only if its status is finally determined. Meanwhile, according to him, Crimea will be part of the emerging trade bloc as “primordially Russian land”.

“If the status of Nagorno-Karabakh is determined as Armenian territory, then there will be no problems. But today the issue is suspended,” said Nikolay Ryzhkov, a member of the Council of the Federation of the Russian Federal Assembly. 

Ryzhkov was one of the top government leaders in the late Soviet period. In 2008, the Armenian Government awarded Ryzhkov its highest state decoration, the National Hero of Armenia, in recognition of his significant personal contribution to the reconstruction in Armenia after the 1988 Spitak earthquake.

Armenian Airline Blames Russian Agency For Flight Suspension

Armenia’s only air carrier has suspended commercial flights in all directions for about two months, blaming a Russian navigation service for the situation.

Air Armenia, which began operating commercial passenger flights in 2013 after the bankruptcy and liquidation of Armavia, signaled its inability to continue its regular services due to financial difficulties.  

In a press release late on Wednesday the company claimed the situation resulted from a ‘panic’ among investors and customers after a statement made by Rosaeronavigatsia, a Russian federal air navigation service, about the Armenian airline’s outstanding debts.

In its statement on September 11 Rosaeronavigatsia warned that it would ban Air Armenia from operating flights to Russian cities unless the Armenian company repaid its debts by September 21.

Government To Redraft Amendments To Maternity Benefits Law

Armenian Prime Minister Hovik Abrahamian has instructed his government to redraft controversial amendments to a law that originally envisaged substantial cuts in maternity leave benefits paid by the state.

Latest Armenian News:

Thinking Big: Adelina Has Never Attended School but Dreams of Becoming a Police Officer

October 31, 2014 Armenia No Comments
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10:40, October 30, 2014

17 year-old Adelina Khachikyan has never attended school but the teenage dreams big – she’s always wanted to become a police officer.

Adelina, who grew up in the Armenian border village of Koti (Tavoush), was taught to read and write by her elder sister.

Anahit, the teen’s mother, told Hetq that the family was going through a rough period when Adelina became of school age – money was tight and her husband was seriously ill.

It seems that Adelina’s parents never got around to sending the girl to school and figured it was too late to do so when she got older.

“Hey, I don’t know, Adelina had grown up and stayed home,” Anahit says with some hesitation.

Getting Armenia on the Dental Tourism Map? Three Young Visionaries Argue It’s Possible

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00:03, October 31, 2014

Dental tourism in Armenia?

The idea doesn’t sound too far-fetched in the minds of three young men from Armenia. In fact, they argue that Armenia can make its mark in this field if the venture is approached with some proper planning and financing.

Two of the budding entrepreneurs, 22 year-old Gor Hovakimyan and Artur Gasparyan, got the chance to study overseas with a Luys Foundation scholarship.

Gor studied at the London University College, receiving a Masters in Economics and Business. He’s since returned to Armenia.

It was Artur who came up with the idea while studying at Zurich University. He’s now in Canada.

UK Minister of State for Europe to Pay Official Visit to Armenia

October 31, 2014 Armenia, Europe No Comments
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15:01, October 31, 2014

David Lidington, the United Kingdom’s Minister of State for Europe, will pay an official visit to Armenia on November 3 for a meeting with RA Minister of Foreign Affairs Edward Nalbandian. A joint press conference will follow.

Lidington will pay his respects at the Tzitzernakaberd Genocide Memorial early that morning.

Source: HetqOriginial Article

James Cameron says ‘Avatar 2′ will be much cheaper than first movie

October 31, 2014 Diaspora, Film, Video No Comments
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The “Avatar” sequels aren’t going to be as insanely expensive as the first movie, which cost over $240 million, according to director James Cameron.
The three sequels – set to be released in the December’s of 2016, 2017 and 2018 – are being shot simultaneously, saving costs thanks to the “economies of scale,” Cameron said at a Wall Street Journal Conference on Wednesday, Design & Trends reports, citing the Hollywood Reporter.
“We’ll literally capture the actors all at the same time, we’ll do all the live photography all at the same time, it’s sort of like we’re shooting a miniseries,” Cameron explained. “So, theoretically, that’s a good way to damp the costs down hopefully well below what the first film cost.”
It’s easy to shoot everything at once when everything is computer generated, Cameron said, adding that their CGI system is even more advanced now than it was for the first film.
“The thing that’s still astonishing to me is how well our prototype system did work,” he said. “But it was not user-friendly at all and it was a lot of unnecessary hard work, and we just always kept consoling ourselves while we were making the film that we’ll fix it for the sequel.”
“Interestingly, the term ‘filming’ is so obsolete in almost every regard because we do some image capture where there’s actual photography, but it’s done entirely on digital cameras,” Cameron continued. “And that only represents a small part, maybe 20 to 25 percent, of the total film. The rest is completely synthetically generated.”
When asked about the new head-mounted gaming system Oculus Rift, which is being heralded as the next “big thing” in the virtual reality world, Cameron was surprisingly dismissive, saying, “There seems to be a lot of excitement around something that, to me, is a yawn, frankly… What will the level of interactivity with the user be other than just ‘I can stand and look around. If you want to move through a virtual reality it’s called a video game, it’s been around forever.” 

IMF country rep praises collaboration with Armenian Government

October 31, 2014 Armenia, Business No Comments
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The International Monetary Fund’s resident representative in Armenia hails the Government’s efforts towards combating shadow economy and ensuring equality for businesses.
At a news conference on Friday, Teresa Daban Sanchez said she finds that activities in that direction require a specific strategy to facilitate future work.
She said that the IMF collaborates with the Government to encourage special tax policies for businessmen with high income.
Considering cooperation with small- and medium-sized enterprises (SME) very important, Sanchez further stressed the importance of adopting special measures to relieve the tax burden of small businesses.
She said she has the Armenian Government’s resoluteness to reduce shadow economy since her very first day in the country, adding that the organization continues the collaboration to translate plans into action. 

Key holy site re-opens in Jerusalem

October 31, 2014 Diaspora No Comments
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Israeli police have reopened a key Jerusalem holy site after its closure amid tensions following the shooting of a prominent right-wing Jewish activist, BBC News reports.The Temple Mount/al-Haram al-Sharif was reopened ahead of Muslim Friday prayers, but with restrictions on worshippers as a security measure.Meanwhile the Palestinian suspected of wounding Rabbi Yehuda Glick has been buried in East Jerusalem.There has been an escalation of tension in the city in recent weeks.On Thursday, a spokesman for Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas described Israel’s temporary closure of the holy site as a “declaration of war”.The compound – known to Jews as the Temple Mount and to Muslims as al-Haram al-Sharif – is the holiest site in Judaism, and contains the al-Aqsa Mosque – the third holiest site in Islam.The site was reopened to Muslim worshippers on Friday morning, with entry to men restricted to those over 50 amid fears of unrest after Friday prayers.
Read more on the BBC website.  

Ruling Party Wants ‘Specific’ Examples Of ‘Forced’ Business Acquisition

October 31, 2014 Armenia, Business, Top News No Comments
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The ruling Republican Party of Armenia (HHK) has urged an opposition leader to cite at least one specific example of a business being seized or partly acquired through force after an allegation made by him in a recent interview.

Talking to Zham.am on Thursday, Prosperous Armenia Party head Gagik Tsarukian, in particular, called for putting an end to “the tradition of individuals using their positions to seize a share of another individual’s business”. Tsarukian, who himself is a wealthy businessman, did not name names.

HHK parliamentary faction head Vahram Baghdasarian on Friday categorically denied any such practice in Armenia, calling on those who know concrete cases to report them.

Hraparak: Enormously high maternity pay for ex-minister’s spouse

October 31, 2014 Armenia No Comments
Armenian News

The wife of a former minister of finance is said to have received an equivalent of $50,000 upon returning to work after pregnancy leave.The paper describes the enormous amount given to Piruz Sargsyan, a former financial arbitrator and the spouse of David Sargsyan (who headed the Ministry of Finance under former Prime Minister Tigran Sargsyan), as extreme luxury tantamount to theft at the expense of the ordinary Armenian taxpayers.Citing the Controls Chamber, the paper notes that its report published in September considered  an overspending the maternity pays given to employees of several major private companies (GeoProMining, Natalie Farm, Yerevan Brandy Company etc). The amount, according to the paper, totaled an equivalent of about $460,000.“The giants could have paid extravagantly big sums as a salary, but a financial arbitrator is an official of the Republic of Armenia which, as we know, is not a rich state to afford giving a social benefit of 20 million Drams to its financial arbitrator,” comments the paper. 

Tennis: Murray qualifies for World Tour Finals after beating Dimitrov

October 31, 2014 Diaspora, Sports No Comments
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Andy Murray booked his place at the ATP World Tour Finals with an emphatic win over Wimbledon conqueror Grigor Dimitrov at the Paris Masters, BBC Sports reported.
The Briton, who lost in straight sets at Wimbledon, beat the Bulgarian 6-3 6-3 to reach the quarter-finals.
The 27-year-old Scot, seeking to win his fourth title in six weeks, needed to reach the last eight to qualify for the season-ending finals in London.
He will face world number one Novak Djokovic in the last eight on Friday.
Djokovic needed a second-set tie-break for a 6-3 7-6 (7-2) win over Gael Monfils, which took 92 minutes. 
Read more here>>>

Source: TertOriginial Article

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Featured Books

Book Reviews

John Balian’s “Novel Approach” Brings the Armenian Saga to the Masses – An interview with John Balian by Lucine Kasbarian

Gray Wolves and White Doves cover art

Armenians often wish for a tale about the Armenian Genocide and its aftermath that would make a blockbuster film and draw attention to their cause. John Balian’s new book, Gray Wolves and White Doves (CreateSpace/Amazon.com), may be that tale.

 Largely autobiographical, this atmospheric novel is presented through the eyes of an innocent young boy trying to make sense of the world as he grows up amid repressive conditions in Western Armenia/Eastern Turkey during the 1960s and 70s.

 This fast-paced, multi-layered narrative takes readers from Hanna Ibelin’s (a.k.a. Jonah Ibelinian’s) close-knit family life in the perilous Asia Minor region of Palu to terror and tragedy while en route to Syria’s Kamishli, to a bleak existence on the mean streets of Istanbul.

New Children’s Picture Book From Armenian Folklore

Teaneck, N.J. and Belmont, Mass. –  An Armenian folktale retold by Armenian-American writer Lucine Kasbarian and illustrated by Moscow-based artist Maria Zaikina debuts with Marshall Cavendish Children’s Publishers in April 2011.

The Greedy Sparrow: An Armenian Tale is from the ancient Armenian oral tradition and culture, which was nearly obliterated during the Turkish genocide of the Armenians, Assyrians and Greeks in 1915. The author learned the tale from her father, editor and columnist C.K. Garabed, who would recite it to her at bedtime. He had learned it from his own grandmother, a celebrated storyteller from the Old Country.  The tale was first put to paper by Armenian poet Hovhannes Toumanian at the turn of the 20th century.

“We Need To Lift The Armenian Taboo”

Turkish writer and publicist Ahmet Insel labels the initiative of the Turkish Nationalist Movement Party to pray namaz on the ruins of Ani as provocation.

In an interview with “A1+,” the publicist said the initiative was supported only by a small percentage of Turks.

“They offered namaz in Ani in protest against Christian rites carried out in Trabzon and Akhtamar. The leader of the Nationalist Movement Party, Devlet Bahceli said if Christians are allowed to pray inside museums, similarly he can pray namaz in Armenian churches,” said Ahmet Insel.

The Turkish writer arrived in Armenia to participate in a book festival. Presentation of Armenian version of Dialogue sur le tabou arménien (Dialogue about the Armenian Tabou) co-authored by Ahmet Insel and Michel Marian was held during the festival.

US Media Discusses The Armenian Genocide

BURBANK, CALIFORNIA –  KFI 640, a popular news/talk radio station hosted by Bill Handel on September 23 aired a live interview with Michael Bobelian, the writer of a new book titled  Children of Armenia: A Forgotten Genocide and the Century-long Struggle for Justice

The book chronicles the aftermath of the Armenian Genocide of 1915, and recounts a people’s struggle for justice in the face of a century of silence and denial.

During the interview, which was aired during the prime morning time slot, Bill Handel addressed both the efforts within the United States to ensure that the US government appropriately acknowledges the Armenian Genocide and Turkey’s ongoing denial.

Handel, a well known and nationally syndicated radio talk show host, has discussed the Armenian Genocide during past shows.

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Commentary

Yerevan Calling: A Weekly Roundup of Random Musings from Armenia

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13:05, October 3, 2014

Here it is dear readers, the debut of a weekly column I hope to maintain on a regular basis.

It’s sort of a catch-all of news snippets, irreverent commentary, and personal observations on what’s happened during the week here in Yerevan, and throughout Armenia.. Hopefully, you’ll find it interesting, if not slightly diverting.

Your comments and suggestions are welcomed.

Regards – Hrant

Oct. 2 – Protests Throughout Armenia: A Game of Numbers & Solidarity

Three separate protest rallies took place in Armenia today.

As Hetq reported earlier, business owners in the town of Sevan kept their stores and factories shut to protest changes to the so-called volume (sales) tax. Local residents flocked to the bread factory to wait on line for a loaf or two.

China: President Takes Action Against High Ranking Corrupt Officials

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21:31, July 30, 2014

Zhou Yongkang, one of China’s most powerful former leaders, is under investigation in the highest-level corruption inquiry since the Communist Party came into power in 1949.

Under current president Xi Jinping’s anti-corruption campaign, the party’s Central Commission for Discipline Inspection is investigating Zhou for “serious disciplinary violations,” as the officialXinhua news agency reports. Media has not yet, however, specified the allegations against him.

The probe is an attempt to show the length to which Xi and the party will go in order to combat abuse of power reportsThe Wall Street Journal. 

A commentary published in the officialPeoples Daily makes the point that regardless of  an official’s rank or supporters, punishment will result for violating laws or the party’s discipline. 

Armenian Gangs: Caught between an Archetype and a Cliché

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19:15, July 12, 2014

By Marineh Khachadour

“The whole thing started with a scene straight out of a mobster movie. It was around 6 p.m. when more than a dozen men from two organized crime groups opened fire on each other in a North Hollywood parking lot. Witnesses say nearly everyone was armed, and the shootout quickly went mobile. The men took off in cars, exchanging fire as they weaved through the Whitsett Avenue traffic.”

Stories such as this are not unique to Armenians in the American press, but this investigative report recently published in the LA Weekly is about Armenian Power, the Los Angeles based Armenian gang that operates in the heavily Armenian populated communities of Glendale, Burbank, and North Hollywood.

Want to Write for Hetq?

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10:24, March 14, 2014

I’m looking for freelancers who can broaden the scope of Hetq’s English edition

Arts & Culture, Commentary, Politics, Civil Society, Interviews…

Anything interesting happening in your local community you’d like to share?

Write to me with your ideas and story suggestions.

Hrant at hg.hetq@gmail.com

Source: HetqOriginial Article

For Better or For Worse: Nature Protection Ministry Proposes Amendments to Water Use Laws

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16:44, February 14, 2014

With the goal of providing a systematic solution to issues of effective use of water resources in Ararat valley, the Ministry of Nature Protection of the Republic of Armenia (RA) is proposing amendments and additions to the RA Water Code, and the RA laws on the Republic of Armenia’s National Water Program, on Licensing, and on State Tax.

The proposed legislative package has been sent to the relevant state agencies for their input.

Head of the Ministry of Nature Protection’s Water Resources Management Agency Volodya Narimanyan told Hetq, said that with this amendment package his ministry is attempting to clarify the ideas and the ambiguous commentary, as well as introduce new requirements. For example, one of the main points of the proposed amendments is if water use permit conditions are not met, the water use permit might be annulled.