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Sambo: 11 medals for Team Armenia at European youth championships

April 15, 2014 Armenia, Europe No Comments
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Team Armenia has won a total of 11 medals at the European Sambo championships among youths and juniors that was recently held in Caceres, Spain.

The Sambo Federation of Armenia reports that Armenian fighters got two gold, four silver and five bronze medals. In team standings Armenia finished third in the competition of youths and juniors, winning two cups.

Sambo (a Russian acronym for unarmed self-defense) is a hand-to-hand fighting system developed in the Soviet armed forces. It later grew into a sport that is currently mostly popular in former Soviet and Eastern bloc countries.

Source: Armenia NowOriginial Article

Fresh pro-Russian attacks in Ukraine

April 14, 2014 Armenia, Diaspora No Comments
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Pro-Russian activists have attacked another official building in east Ukraine, ignoring a deadline to leave or face eviction by Ukrainian forces, BBC News reported.
A crowd stormed a police station in the town of Horlivka, near Donetsk, taking control of the building.
Ukraine’s interim president hit out at “aggression” from Russia, but signalled support for a national referendum.
Olexander Turchynov said Kiev was “not against” a vote on the future of the country, a key demand from protesters.
Mr Turchynov also said Ukraine was preparing an “anti-terrorist operation” against gunmen occupying government buildings in Sloviansk and a number of other towns and cities.
Correspondents says people in eastern Ukraine are anxiously waiting to see if Mr Turchynov carries through on his threat to use the army against the pro-Russian groups. In a televised address to parliament, interim PM Turchynov suggested Kiev would be open to moving from a republic into a federation and giving broader rights to Ukraine’s Russian speakers.The pro-Russian groups who have seized government buildings in eastern regions are demanding local referendums on either increased local rights or an option to join the Russian Federation.See more here. 

Soccer: Mkhitaryan sees boosted Borussia confidence after win in Munich

April 14, 2014 Armenia No Comments
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Borussia Dortmund’s Armenian forward Henrikh Mkhitaryan has predicted a surge in team confidence after an impressive win in Munich over Bundesliga champions Bayern on Saturday.

The 25-year-old, who scored the first goal and was part of the combination that led to the second in the match that went 3-0 to Borussia, told the German newspaper Der Western that they had already put their Champions League exit behind them and were now given an edge in securing second spot.

“We are very, very happy because it was a very difficult match and we have defended second place against Schalke,” said Mkhitaryan, whose team had lost to Real Madrid in a Champions League quarterfinal in midweek action.

Prez Sargsyan says Armenians must remain neutral on Syria

April 14, 2014 Armenia No Comments
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Armenia must not take sides in the Syrian crisis, President Serzh Sargsyan said late last week, reacting to some appeals heard recently for dispatching armed men to protect Armenian civilians in Syria.

Speaking at the meeting of a ruling Republican Party of Armenia central Yerevan chapter on Friday, President Sargsyan, in particular, said: “That would be the stupidest thing, the biggest step to put our country in danger.”

“Occasionally even some deserved individuals get carried away by this adventure. Our war is not over yet, and all those who want to fight can go and stand next to our 18-year-old soldiers [at the border],” he added. “We must be neutral on the Syrian crisis. We cannot be a party [to the conflict].”

President Sargsyan introduces new PM to government members

April 14, 2014 Armenia No Comments
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Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan on Monday introduced the newly appointed prime minister, Hovik Abrahamyan, to acting members of the government, reports the president’s official website.

“Yesterday, the media in detail presented to our public all the processes and also the problems that the prime minister and the new government should solve. After the appointment of the prime minister, the government continues to carry out its work, and I ask the members of the government to perform their duties conscientiously and diligently. In the next 20 days together with the prime minister we will form a new government. At that time we will talk in detail about the tasks of the government,” said President Sargsyan, wishing every success to the new premier.

Metal Prince Ltd. Explores Re-Launch of Copper Mine Once Operated by the French

April 14, 2014 Armenia No Comments
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10:15, April 14, 2014

Metal Prince Ltd. has begun to explore the re-launch of a mine in Shamlugh that once was operated by the French and then by the Soviet government until the 1930s.

Shamlugh Mayor Lendroush Bezhanyan says the mine in question was shut down for safety reasons, but that it still holds copper.

When Hetq visited the mine on April 8, new timber reinforcements had been installed replacing the rotted beams that now lay strewn in the vicinity.

We were told by a man claiming to be in charge of the work that miners were working inside the shaft but that ore had yet to be removed. He didn’t wish to give his name.

Civil Society in Armenia Issue Call for Collective Political Agenda

April 14, 2014 Armenia, Business No Comments
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17:44, April 14, 2014

*This statement is open for any initiative and entity to join it 

Much of the discourse surrounding the resignation of Prime Minister Tigran Sargsyan and the appointment of the new Prime Minister has been based on narrow-minded and primitive speculations about the name of the individual who will take the post. In the meantime, the authorities continue to make declarations that are against the will of the people, and that are instead focused on protecting their own personal interest, while the media and a large segment of society finds itself in a state of passive objection. All the while, the most important issue at hand has been conspicuously absent from the dominant discourse: What will the new government’s political reforms agenda be based on, and in what way will it benefit Armenian society? Indeed, what demands will the public place before the new government, regardless of who the individual taking the post of prime minister will be? Considering the fact that the discourse surrounding the new prime minister is meant to divert attention away from this more important issue, we demand that all political forces involved with forming the new government publicly present their policy concepts, and base them on the following demands that have been formulated by civil society: 

Facebook to launch money transfer service

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Facebook is preparing a push into financial services, with tools for members to store and send money online, The Telegraph reported.
The social network has applied to Irish authorities for a licence that would allow it to provide remittance and electronic money services to its members across Europe, according to The Financial Times. Dublin hosts Facebook’s headquarters for Europe, the Middle East and Africa.Facebook has reportedly held also discussions with three London-based international money transfer providers, TransferWise, Moni Technologies and Azimo, to help it build the services.Allowing members to send remittances via their Facebook accounts could strengthen the social network in emerging markets. Migrants send hundreds of billions of dollars home to developing countries every year where large sections of the population do not have bank accounts.Facebook would be taking on wire transfer services such as Western Union, existing electronic money providers such as PayPal and a new breed of mobile phone-based payment services, of which Vodafone’s M-Pesa is a leading example. See more here.

Nagorno-Karabakh PM congratulates Hovik Abrahamyan

April 14, 2014 Armenia, Arts, Karabakh No Comments
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The prime minister of Nagorno-Karabakh has congratulated his new Armenian counterpart on taking office.
In an official address to Hovik Abrahamyan, Ara Harutyunyan has expressed hope that his rich experience and reputation of a politician will contribute to the further development and strengthening of cooperation between the two Armenian republics.
“Dear Mr Abrahamyan,
“I cordially congratulate you on being appointed the Republic of Armenia prime minister. The high level of trust by Armenia’s president and the governing Republican Party demonstrate that you can make great the experience and good reputation of a politician offer the best solutions to the vital problems facing Armenia.
“I am sure that your activities as a prime minister will be effective and fruitful and have one of their key pointers directed to the prosperity-building of Artsakh. Since the beginning of our independence, the Armenian authorities have been maintaining close practical and friendly relations with the second Armenian republic, offering their best assistance to its development and strengthening. I am hopeful that you will deepen that tradition to make your dialogue and cooperation with the cabinet and the other branches of Artsakh’s government more expanded and multi-faceted.
“I wish you the best success in the new position,” reads the address. 

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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

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.

Armenian Foreign Policies 2013: Customs Union, U-turn on EU accord, Karabakh, Turkey, regional developments

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2013 became a milestone year for Armenia not only in its foreign, but also domestic politics. After nearly four years of negotiations with the European Union over the signing of an association agreement on September 3 Armenia unexpectedly announced its intention to join the Customs Union of Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan.

This decision has had its influence not only on Armenia proper, but also on the processes elsewhere in Eastern Europe. Inspired by Armenia’s decision, Russia stepped up its pressure on Ukraine, which suspended the process of signing of the Association Agreement with the EU one week before the Vilnius summit of Eastern Partnership. As a result, on November 29 such agreements were initialed only by Moldova and Georgia.

Heritage reshuffle: Postanjyan becomes new leader of parliamentary faction

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Zaruhi Postanjyan has been elected new head of the opposition Heritage faction in parliament. The change comes after Ruben Hakobyan announced his decision to resign as faction leader earlier today.

Talking to media in parliament Hakobyan said Heritage Party leader Raffi Hovannisian had been notified about his move well in advance. He left questions about reasons for his step without commentary, only saying that he had decided to step down as faction leader before the recent scandal around Postanjyan in the wake of her controversial question to President Serzh Sargsyan about his gambling habit at the PACE plenary session in Strasbourg on October 2.