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Google helps build ‘Faster’ cable under Pacific Ocean

August 12, 2014 Armenia No Comments
Armenian News

Google and five other large companies are teaming up to build a cable under the Pacific Ocean that will deliver incredibly fast internet speeds, the BBC reports.The cable, dubbed Faster, will connect the US with Japan and cost about $300m (£179m; 225m euros), the consortium said.The trans-Pacific fibre cable would deliver speeds of 60 terabytes per second – enough to send more than 2,000 uncompressed HD films a second.The cable will be operational by 2016.Google is working with a host of Asian telecoms giants – China Mobile, China Telecom, Global Transit, KDDI, and SingTel.”Faster is one of a few hundred submarine telecommunications cables connecting various parts of the world,” said Woohyong Choi, chairman of the consortium’s executive committee. “These cables collectively form an important infrastructure that helps run global internet and communications.”The Faster cable system has the largest design capacity ever built on the trans-Pacific route, which is one of the longest routes in the world.”The cable will connect Chikura and Shima in Japan to the major hubs on the west coast of the US – Los Angeles, San Francisco, Portland, and Seattle.Submarine cables are integral to the structure of how the world wide web works. In 2008, communications between Europe, the Middle East, and Asia were seriously disrupted after submarine cables were severed near the Alexandria cable station in Egypt. Sixty-five percent of net traffic to India was down at the time.And KDDI, Japan’s second-largest telecoms operator, had to do extensive work to repair undersea cables damaged in the massive 2011 earthquake and tsunami.Google already offers high-speed internet access directly in the US through its Fiber service, with speeds of 1Gbps in cities like Austin, Texas, and Kansas City, Kansas.But the speeds from the new Faster cable far surpass anything consumers can access in most of the US and Europe, though internet speeds are generally much faster in Asia – South Korea wants to see citizens equipped with 1Gbps connections by 2017, for example.The fastest widely-available speed of broadband in the UK is 152mbps. There are 1,000 megabits in one gigabit – and 1,000 gigabits in one terabit – of data transmitted.
 

Baku ‘Satisfied’ With Armenian-Azeri Summit

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A senior aide to Azerbaijan’s President Ilham Aliyev on Tuesday gave a positive assessment of the weekend Armenian-Azerbaijani summit in Sochi and praised Russian President Vladimir Putin for organizing it.

Ali Hasanov, who heads a key department in the Azerbaijani presidential administration, said Putin’s “peacekeeping initiative” was primarily aimed at “restoring the ceasefire regime” in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict zone following one of its most serious violations in the last two decades. He said Putin put the emphasis on the conflict’s peaceful resolution and confidence-building measures in separate and trilateral meetings with Aliyev and President Serzh Sarkisian.

Armenian president congratulates French counterpart

August 12, 2014 Armenia, Diaspora, Karabakh No Comments
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Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan has addressed a congratulatory message to President of France Franois Hollande on the occasion of his 60th birthday anniversary. In his message, Armenia’s leader wished his French counterpart happiness and success for prosperity of France and its people and building up of the country’s international reputation.
President Serzh Sargsyan thanked his French counterpart for his personal contribution to the strengthening of Armenian-French friendship and for his efforts at a settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.

Source: TertOriginial Article

Azerbaijan continues ceasefire violations

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Armenia’s Ministry of Defense reports that Azerbaijan violated the ceasefire last night and this morning along the Line of Contact.
August 10 to 12, the Azerbaijani side fired 100 shots, but the Armenian side did not retaliate. No casualties are reported.
The Armenian troops are in full control of the situation.

Source: TertOriginial Article

Russia to start developing replacement for MiG-31 in 2017

August 12, 2014 Armenia No Comments
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Russia will start developing a replacement for its MiG-31 “Foxhound” interceptors in 2017, RIA Novosti reports quoting Col. Gen. Viktor Bondarev, commander of the Russian Air Force, as saying.“From 2017 we will start working on a new long-range interceptor to replace MiG-31,” he said.According to the official, the new aircraft is to enter service in 2025.Bondarev said last year that the Russian Air Force is hoping to receive a new long-range fighter-interceptor by 2020 and retire its existing fleet of at least 122 MiG-31 interceptors by 2028.The MiG-31 is a long-range supersonic interceptor. The two-seater aircraft can intercept targets up to 124 miles (200 kilometers) away thanks to its advanced radar and long-range missiles. It can operate efficiently in all weather conditions and is equipped with state-of-the-art digital avionics.The MiG-31 entered service with the Soviet Air Force in 1981. Production of the aircraft ended in 1994 but MiG-31 jets remain in service in the Russian and Kazakh air forces.On August 8, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin offered to resume the production of the MiG-31 interceptors, saying they could be effective for another 15 years, as they had no rivals. 

Photo-like paintings of Hyung Jin Park

August 12, 2014 Armenia, Asia No Comments
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Korean artist Hyung Jin Park uses photographs as inspiration to create equally realistic paintings of young Asian women, odditycentral.com reports.He generally paints bust-length portraits of a monumental scale, up to seven feet high, depicting women at close range. The hair, lips, eyes and skin are painted with a high level of precision, making them unbelievably real. His photorealistic technique is so accurate that once he completes a piece, it’s almost impossible to tell if it’s a high-resolution photograph or a painting.But Park’s work can be identified if you are aware of his signature style. He often makes distortions of the women he’s painting, like enlarging the eyes or shrinking the chin, to give them an otherworldly look. He also gives the women a universalized, glazed appearance, softening features just like in Oriental ceramics. So his paintings do appear to be like photographs, but they’re also rather surreal. And although the artist chooses his subjects from among his students, the women in his paintings are really quite different from the real-life inspiration.Park, who was born in 1970, earned an M.F.A from Hansung University, in his hometown Seoul. He studied academic painting, photography, and Oriental art at school. His paintings were first exhibited in Seoul, and later in Beijing, before gaining recognition in the U.S. His first solo exhibition took place at New York’s Bernarducci Meisel Gallery through their First Look program – the show was so successful that he now enjoys full representation.Park’s work has its roots in his childhood, which he mostly spent fishing on the banks of the Han River in Seoul. He would keenly observe nature and the things around him during these fishing trips, and longed to portray all his observations in his art. Today, Park integrates many schools of art into his work – ancient, medieval, modern, contemporary and Eastern.For most of his career, Park has been captivated with the notion of ‘idealistic beauty’, which he explores through his luminous portraits of young female subjects – achieving an uncanny balance between lifelike and ideal. Through his paintings, he also explores the effects of light and shadow on the subject’s appearance. His work has been called a ‘naturalistic study in visual perception’.Because of his unique mode of expression, Park has been successful in creating paintings with an almost three-dimensional quality and a sense of movement. He uses vivid colors, making sure that the various forms he paints are distinctly defined. Park’s expertise ensures a sense of harmony in his paintings, a sense of oneness and unity among divergent forms. 

Nagorno-Karabakh president thanks Defense Army for efficient border protection

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President of the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic (NKR) Bako Sahakyan convoked a working consultation on Monday dedicated to a range of domestic and foreign policy issues.President Sahakyan expressed his gratitude to the defense ministry, the command staff and all the personnel of the NKR Defense Army and to the relevant units of other structures for keeping steadfast the state’s border, averting the enemy’s intrusion attempts, maintaining stability and peace in the region, noting that their work was among the best manifestations of self-devotion, high professionalism and patriotism, which inspires pride to all the Armenians.Special attention was paid to the situation along the borderline, increasing the army’s fighting efficiency, the process of the Artsakh Republic’s international recognition, the activities carried out in various sectors of the economy.Bako Sahakyan gave concrete instructions to the responsible representatives of the concerned structures on the discussed issues and their efficient implementation.Primate of the Artsakh Diocese of the Armenian Apostolic Church Archbishop Pargev Martrosyan, National Assembly chairman Ashot Ghoulyan, prime-minister Ara Haroutyunyan, other officials were present at the consultation. 

US: Adoption Agency Manager Bribes Ethiopian Officials

August 11, 2014 Armenia No Comments
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18:55, August 11, 2014

Alisa Bivens, a 42-year-old former foreign program director of International Adoption Guides Inc., (IAG) has pleaded guilty to bribing Ethiopian officials and submitting fraudulent documents to the US State Department.

The plea, submitted this past week in US District Court in South Carolina, was the outcome of an ongoing investigation by the Bureau of Diplomatic Security. According to the US Department of Justice, Bivens admitted that between 2006 and 2009 she and co-conspirators submitted false adoption contracts in order to support US visa applications for Ethiopian children.

China: Corruption Crackdown Turns To Emigrants In US

August 11, 2014 Armenia No Comments
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20:10, August 11, 2014

China’s Ministry of Public Security is targeting more than 150 Chinese “economic fugitives” living in the United States as part of its anti-corruption efforts.

“The US has become the top destination for Chinese fugitives fleeing the law,” Liao Jinrong, director general of the ministry’s newly created International Cooperation Bureau (ICB), told the state-run newspaper China Daily. Only two people have been brought back to China from the US to stand trial in the last decade.

The current probe focuses on those who have gotten citizenship or residency permits abroad but have not canceled their Chinese household registrations, or hukou, according toChina Daily. Chinese citizens must cancel their hukou, which allows them to receive benefits such as medical insurance and pensions, before they emigrate.

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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

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.

2013 in Civil Society: Protests and more protests

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The struggle of civil movements this year has been comprehensive and diverse with limited success in certain fields due to unified efforts and active involvement of the civil society.

Despite the rather passive start of the year in terms of civil movements, the second half of 2013 turned out to be tense with active developments.

Some analysts believe that especially after the February 18 presidential ballot, when current president Serzh Sargsyan won a decisive victory over his opponents and was re-elected for a second term, despite the widespread poverty and atmosphere of injustice in the country, people became even more aware of the fact that is it impossible to achieve changes via elections and started practicing their constitutional rights to civil protest and disobedience more frequently.