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Former Armenian Deputy PM Appointed Head of IDeA Foundation

October 30, 2014 Armenia, Arts, Business, Diaspora No Comments
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12:28, October 30, 2014

Armen Gevorgyan is appointed the new Head of IDeA Foundation (Initiatives for Development of Armenia) set up by philanthropist and businessman Ruben Vardanyan and his wife Veronika Zonabend. 

“IDeA Foundation implements large-scale charity initiatives for Armenia, Artsakh and Armenian Diaspora which are aimed at creating conditions for worthy future of the Armenian people. We have many projects which are in various stages of implementation and we also have many new ideas and programs. I am convinced that Armen Gevorgyan has all the necessary traits to consistently put our projects into practice”, said Ruben Vardanyan.

In Armenia, the Hippocratic Oath is Too Often Just a Piece of Paper

October 30, 2014 Armenia No Comments
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12:35, October 30, 2014

A passage from the Hippocratic Oath reads:

“With regard to healing the sick, I will devise and order for them the best diet, according to my judgment and means; and I will take care that they suffer no hurt or damage.”

But such wise advice doesn’t seem to have entered the picture when the Indian diabetes drug “DiaZone MR” was approved for use in Armenia.

While Armenia’s Ministry of Health takes up to six months to approve most drugs, this Indian import only took one month to get the ministry’s seal of approval.

And the approval process was rife with violations. The information insert included numerous medical mistakes.

Italy: President Testifies In High-Profile Mafia Trial

October 30, 2014 Armenia No Comments
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23:02, October 30, 2014

President Giorgio Napolitano testified he did not know anything about secret talks between the state and the Mafia at a trial Oct. 28 in which the state is accused of cutting deals with the Mafia two decades ago, reports Deutsche Welle.

Prosecutors are probing Mafia violence in Italy during the 1990s, a period marked by car bombings and assassinations. They accuse ministers, police chiefs and the Mafia of collaborating in order to calm rampant violence in the 1990s, reports BBC News.

Prosecutors were particularly interested in whether Napolitano was aware of an alleged “nonaggression pact” reached between senior politicians, police chiefs and Mafia bosses in the 1990s.

Armenian Airline Blames Russian Agency For Flight Suspension

October 30, 2014 Armenia, Asia, Business, Top News No Comments
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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.

Minister Sees No Negative Impact Of EEU Membership On Armenian Education

October 30, 2014 Armenia No Comments
Armenian News

Armenia’s accession to the Russian-led Eurasian Economic Union (EEU) will have no negative impact on the development trends in the country’s educational sector, according to a government official.

Talking to RFE/RL’s Armenian Service (Azatutyun.am) on Thursday, Minister of Education and Science Armen Ashotian stressed that Armenia itself decides the contents of its national education and the EEU membership treaty that the country signed on October 10 does not imply a separate educational program.

The minister added, however, that mutual recognition of university diplomas is within the framework of EEU issues. He emphasized that this matter is regarded within the context of the common economic space and labor market.

Government To Redraft Amendments To Maternity Benefits Law

October 30, 2014 Armenia, Top News No Comments
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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.

Armenian Genocide Museum/Institute Announces 2015 Lemkin Scholarship for Foreign Students

October 30, 2014 Armenia No Comments
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13:33, October 30, 2014

The Armenian Genocide Museum/Institute announces 2015 LEMKIN SCHOLARSHIP program for foreign students and PhD candidates. Raphael Lemkin scholarship is intended to enable foreign students, who specialize in genocide studies, especially in the Armenian Genocide, to visit Armenia for a month to conduct research in local scientific institutions and libraries.

The Armenian Genocide Museum-Institute will provide researchers possibility to carry out their research in AGMI, including necessary research materials and consultation. 

The deadline for application is on December 15, 2014. The winner will be selected by the Scientific Council of the AGMI on December 25, 2014. See more here.

Source: HetqOriginial Article

Armenia’s Biggest Drug Bust Trial Postponed Yet Again; Georgian Attorney Needs More Time

October 30, 2014 Armenia, Georgia No Comments
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14:31, October 30, 2014

Yesterday’s scheduled preliminary trial session in the largest drug bust ever in Armenia was postponed because the Georgian  attorney defending the driver of the truck in which the 850 kilos of heroin was found needs more time to familiarize himself with the case.

The heroin was seized on January 17, 2014 at the Meghri customs house when a truck, driven by Georgian citizen Avtandil Martiashvili, entering Armenia from Iran was inspected.

Martiashvili was arrested on the spot. Turkish citizen, Osman Oğurlu, was arrested several days later in Yerevan as an accomplice. Oğurlu heads Hovo Logistica, the company that had leased the truck in question.

Armenian PM – Changes to Maternity Leave Law Must Not Harm Working Moms

October 30, 2014 Armenia No Comments
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15:18, October 30, 2014

Commenting on proposed changes to the “Law on Maternity Leave” that would cut allowances to working mothers, Prime Minister Hovik Abrahamyan confessed that many were vociferously opposed to the measures.

“After numerous discussions, it became evident that there indeed was discontent,” Abrahamyan said at a government cabinet session today in Yerevan.

“I believe we must work on the bill so that no working expecting mother suffers as a result,” Abrahamyan added.

The proposed changes have led to a number of public protests in Yerevan.

In an apparent move to stem such concerns Abrahamyan addressed the Minister of Social Affairs by saying, “The public must be informed that the government will not take any steps that will harm expecting mothers. This must be the underlying principle of the bill.”

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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.