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Local Election Results: Shirak Province

October 20, 2014 Armenia No Comments
Armenian News

10:07, October 20, 2014

Results are coming in from local elections held yesterday throughout Armenia.

According to preliminary tallies, mayors of three rural communities in the country’s northwest province of Shirak were reelected.

In Lousakerd, incumbent Samvel Balabekyan beat his rival Mourad Voskanyan by 254 to 85 votes.

In Hovtashen, Seyran Piliposyan was returned to the job by garnering 133 votes to his rival Arsen Yeghoyan’s 55.

In Arevik, incumbent Garegin Stepanyan appears to have beaten a former mayor, Davit Toumikyan, by a vote to 481 to 358.

Source: HetqOriginial Article

Armenian forecasters predict temperature drop

October 20, 2014 Armenia, Diaspora No Comments
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The air temperature on the territory of Armenia is expected to drop by 40C – 50C on Monday, reports the Ministry of Emergency Situations.
Occasional rainfalls, accompanied by storms, are possible in the south-eastern regions on Monday. No precipitations are predicted for Tuesday through Thursday.
The south-western wind speed will be 5-10 mps. Stronger winds are possible in several regions.

Source: TertOriginial Article

Trio to specify agenda, priorities, programs before next rally – Raffi Hovannisian

October 20, 2014 Armenia, Diaspora No Comments
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The agenda, aims, priority steps and programs need to be specified before the three non-coalition forces’ next rally, Chairman of the Heritage party Raffi Hovannisian told Tert.am.
“I hope that the coming week will allow it to be done. It is necessary not only for the Armenian people demanding changes that will gather there, but also for me as a citizen,” he added.
As regards the possibility of the Heritage party leaving the trio, Mr Hovannisian said that none of the three non-coalition forces intends to terminate cooperation.
“The cooperation will continue and we will see how well it can offer an agenda and a comprehensive program to Armenian citizens, who are looking forward to a change of power, early parliamentary and presidential elections.”

China and Jordan agree to closer media cooperation

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Jordan’s Prime Minister Abdullah Ensour and He Ping, the editor-in chief of the People’s Republic of China’s Xinhua News Agency, met in Amman on Saturday in order to coordinate media and cultural cooperation between the two countries.
Ensour said on Saturday that his country is seeking to establish closer media and cultural ties with China, which would complement the countries’ political and economic relationship. The Prime Minister also stated that China-Jordan relations have made significant progress, including with respect to media cooperation, since Jordan’s King Abdullah II visited the People’s Republic in 2013.
Ensour expressed hopes that Xinhua News Agency, as one of the world’s leading media conglomerates, would put more effort into covering the achievements of Jordan and other Arab nations in diverse spheres and expand the scope of positive PR for Jordan, as well as contribute to better intercultural communication between China and the Arab kingdom.
In turn, Ping vowed to further increase Xinhua’s already-strong positive media reporting of the state of affairs in Jordan in order to cement the friendship between the two nations, Xinhua reports. Later that day, Ping also had a meeting with Jordan’s Minister for Media Affairs, Mohammad Momani, to discuss the details of Xinhua’s deeper involvement in the Middle-Eastern kingdom.
He Ping of Xinhua is currently touring the Middle East. The Chinese top media official has already visited Iran and Kuwait during the current trip.

Serena slams Russian chief for ‘sexist’ slur

October 20, 2014 Armenia No Comments
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World number one Serena Williams slammed Shamil Tarpishchev for using “extremely sexist, racist and bullying” comments after the Russian Tennis Federation (RTF) president described her and sister Venus as the “Williams brothers,” Reuters reports.
The WTA took swift action and fined Tarpishchev $25,000 and disqualified him from working in an organizational capacity for a year on Saturday after he made the comments on Russian State Television on Friday.
Tarpishchev, who is also an International Olympic Committee member, made an official apology later on Saturday after a WTA demand to do so but that was not enough for a clearly unhappy Williams.
“I thought they were very insensitive and extremely sexist as well as racist at the same time. I thought they were in a way bullying,” Williams told reporters in Singapore on Sunday.
“I’ve done the best that I can do, and that’s all I can say. So I just wasn’t very happy with his comments. I think a lot of people weren’t happy as well.
“But the WTA and the USTA (United States Tennis Association) did a wonderful job of making sure that — in this day of age, 2014 for someone with his power, it’s really unacceptable to make such bullying remarks.”
Appearing on a chat show, the program host said to Tarpishchev: “I was at the Olympics, where Maria Sharapova was in the final, playing with one, with one of the….” before the RTF head responded by saying “Williams brothers”.
WTA chief executive Stacy Allaster said the comments were “insulting, demeaning and have absolutely no place on our sport”.
American Serena Williams, 33, is the current world number one and has won 18 grand slam singles titles. She has also teamed up with her elder sister Venus to win 13 grand slams and three Olympic gold medals in doubles.
Venus, 34, is a former world number one, who has also won seven grand slam singles titles.
Serena is in Singapore to play in the season-ending WTA Finals tournament, which she has won the last two years. The tournament begins on Monday with Williams taking on Serbia’s Ana Ivanovic in the opening match.
Also in the field is world number two Maria Sharapova, with whom Serena has endured a frosty relationship. The French Open champion was also offended by the comments of her compatriot.
“I think they were very disrespectful and uncalled for, and I’m glad that many people have stood up, including the WTA,” Sharapova said.
“It was very inappropriate, especially in his position and all the responsibilities that he has not just in sport, but being part of the Olympic committee. It was just really irresponsible on his side.”

Donor conference to take place in Kiev in January 2015: Ukraine’s Government

October 20, 2014 Armenia, Europe No Comments
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A so-called donor and investors conference on Ukraine’s financial issues, organized by the European Union will take place in Kiev in the end of January 2015, a source from Ukraine’s government told RIA Novosti on Sunday.
“We have determined that the conference will take place in the end of January. According to preliminary agreement, it will be held in Kiev,” a source said.
As a result of the ongoing political crisis in the country, Ukraine is currently on the verge of a default. Kiev authorities are trying to rescue the country’s economy with international loans, including a $17 billion loan from the International Monetary Fund.
Kiev also has a significant gas debt that its gas company Naftogaz owes to Russian energy giant Gazprom, which is estimated to stand at over $5 billion.
The military operation initiated by Kiev authorities in mid-April to suppress independence supporters in eastern Ukraine claimed the lives of 3,700 people and left over 8,800 injured. Due to the conflict, Ukraine’s southeastern regions have witnessed a severe humanitarian catastrophe, with many citizens still struggling without clean water, electricity and other basic necessities.
Country’s eastern regions require huge investments for reconstruction and the restoration of infrastructure.

Harrods Wendy house that costs the same as real home in blackburn: £85,000 ‘room for princess’ comes with satin curtains

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The turrets are made from hand-beaten copper and the fleurs-de-lis finials on the roof have been expertly carved from the finest tulipwood, the Daily Mail reports.Clearly no expense has been spared to create this luxury home, designed for a little girl with big dreams – and indulgent parents.For, the ‘Room for a Princess’ is not your average property. It’s actually a children’s playhouse on sale at Harrods – and at £85,000, it costs the same as a real house elsewhere in the country.Currently available for £85,000 is a two-bedroom semi-detached house in Blackburn, a two-bedroom flat in Plymouth and a three-bedroom cottage in south Lanarkshire.The playhouse is designed as a dressing-up room and has been made by Northamptonshire-based firm The Master Wishmakers. It took a team of six craftsmen ten weeks.The playhouse’s main structure is tulipwood – a lightweight wood from North America – but the floor is decorated with marquetry, painstakingly put together using American walnut, maple and oak. Inside, there’s a heavy satin curtain with gold braiding.Harrods says the dressing room has attracted numerous expressions of interest from clients in the Middle East, as well as celebrities and royals, since going on sale a month ago, although it refused to say how many – if any – have actually been sold.Nino Rosella, of The Master Wishmakers, said: ‘We specialise in the outrageous and the fantastical.‘Nothing is too unusual for us to take a stab at making – as long as it’s scientifically possible, we’ll build it. And we guarantee never to make the same item more than once.‘We have built three-storey treehouses which are insulated, with heating, running water and one even had a cinema room.’The company’s most ambitious project to date is Challis Island, a pirate-themed Caribbean island with a lagoon nestling in a lake within 60 acres of English countryside. 
 
 
 
 
 

Canada to ship Ebola vaccine to WHO

October 19, 2014 Africa, Armenia, Diaspora, Europe No Comments
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Canada is to ship 800 vials of its Ebola vaccine to the World Health Organization, the BBC reports.The jab can completely protect animals from a fatal dose of the Ebola virus. However, its safety and effectiveness in humans is unknown.Trials began in the US this week and there will be further tests in Europe and Africa.The Public Health Agency of Canada said the vaccine could be an “important tool in curbing the outbreak”.The recent Ebola outbreak – the largest in history – has killed more than 4,500 people in West Africa.By December, up to 10,000 people a week could be being infected by the virus, the WHO says.There is no cure or proven vaccine, but a number of experimental approaches are being rushed through.The Canadian vaccine, developed by the public health agency of Canada’s National Microbiology Laboratory, combines fragments of Ebola virus with a non-fatal virus.It should be enough to trigger the immune system to produce antibodies to attack Ebola, protecting against future infection.Clinical trials have started at the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research in the US but results are not expected until December.Canada will begin shipping the 800 vials on Monday.They will be sent in three batches as a precautionary measure. The vaccine must be packed in dry ice and kept at -80C in order to remain viable.Further trials will take place in Germany, Switzerland and countries in Africa not hit by the Ebola outbreak.Dr Gregory Taylor, the chief public health officer of Canada, said: “This vaccine, the product of many years of scientific research and innovation, could be an important tool in curbing the outbreak.”We will continue to work closely with the WHO to address some of the ethical and logistical issues around using this experimental vaccine in the fight against Ebola.”Around a third of the total stocks of the vaccine will be kept in Canada for research or “compassionate use”, the Canadian government said.A separate vaccine is already being trialled in the US, UK and Mali.It is being made by GlaxoSmithKline, which has warned the vaccine will “come too late” for the current epidemic.Dr Ripley Ballou, the head of GSK’s Ebola vaccine research, said full safety and effectiveness data would not be ready until late 2015.”At the same time we have to be able to manufacture the vaccine at doses that would be consistent with general use, and that’s going to take well into 2016 to be able to do that,” he added.”I don’t think this can be seen as the primary answer to this particular outbreak.”
 

Local elections in 14 communities of eight Armenian regions

October 19, 2014 Armenia No Comments
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Local elections are taking place in 14 communities of Aragatsotn, Ararat, Armavir, Gegharkunik, Kotayk, Lori, Shirak and Vaiots Dzor.The incumbent heads of the communities are running for the elections except for the head of the Dzyunashogh community in Lori.The candidates nominated by the ruling Republican Party of Armenia (RPA) have no rivals in the Dzyunashogh and Sers communities, and the candidate of the Prosperous Armenia Party (PAP) has no rivals in Makenis. 

Source: TertOriginial Article

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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.