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Court Slaps Man with 4 Year Conditional Sentence for Supplying Artsakh Army with Indian Buffalo Meat

September 24, 2014 Armenia, Arts No Comments
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14:52, September 24, 2014

Of the five individuals charged with supplying the Artskah Defense Army with buffalo meat instead of beef in 2012, only one was convicted in a September 18 verdict by the Syunik Provincial Court.

Albert Ohandjanyan, managing director of “A. Ohandjanyan LLC” was sentenced to four years conditional imprisonment on the charge of “Swindling, i.e. theft in significant amount or appropriation of somebody’s property rights by cheating or abuse of confidence”.

The other four individuals convicted included a lieutenant colonel in charge of the Artsakh Defense Army’s main supply depot, a major who served as his assistant, a non-commissioned officer at the depot, and a lieutenant colonel in charge of the army’s department of provisions.

Iran’s statement on gas supply to Europe could just be taken into account – expert

September 24, 2014 Armenia, Europe No Comments
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Political scientist Alexander Markarov considers Iranian President Hassan Rouhani’s statement that Iran could be a reliable supplier of energy resources to Europe a statement to be taken into account.
The Iranian president’ statement should be differentiated from reality.
“It is clear international sanctions are in effect against Iran, and none of them has so far been lifted. It is clear Iran is seeking to sell its gas and oil. However, there emerges a question of pipelines and the corridor for gas supply,” he said.
The Iranian leader’s statement shows Iran’s willingness to enter the European market.
On the other hand, Mr Markarov pointed out a number of problems.
“The first problem is if Europe is willing to accept the proposal. The second problem is how the gas market Iran is seeking to enter is going to develop. When the two problems are resolved along with that of the sanctions, we can speak of putting statements into practice.”

FMs Discuss Another Armenian-Azeri Summit

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The foreign ministers of Armenia and Azerbaijan met in New York late on Tuesday in preparation for fresh face-to-face talks between their presidents that are due to be hosted by France next month.

The press offices of Edward Nalbandian and Elmar Mammadyarov gave no concrete dates for the upcoming Armenian-Azerbaijani summit, saying only that it will take place in Paris. Nor did they give other details of the foreign ministers’ meeting held in the presence of the U.S., Russian and French diplomats co-chairing the OSCE Minsk Group.

The co-chairs issued no joint statements after the New York talks. James Warlick, the U.S. co-chair, tweeted only that Nalbandian and Mammadyarov met “to prepare for a Presidential summit in October.”

EU Seeking ‘More Clarity’ From Armenia

September 24, 2014 Armenia, Asia, Europe, Top News No Comments
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Armenia has to specify the implications of its upcoming accession to a Russian-led alliance of ex-Soviet states before it can negotiate new major agreements with the European Union, a senior official in Brussels said on Wednesday.

A spokesman for the EU’s Enlargement Commissioner Stefan Fuele said the Armenian government has yet to detail its “new obligations stemming from membership in the Customs Union” of Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan. The EU needs to see to what extent those obligations can “influence or limit our cooperation in certain areas where there might be issues of legal compatibility,” he said.

U.S. Condemns Armenian Church Bombing In Syria

September 24, 2014 Armenia No Comments
Armenian News

The United States on Wednesday confirmed and strongly condemned the destruction by Islamic State (ISIL) militants of an Armenian church in Syria that was built in memory of victims of the 1915 Armenian genocide in Ottoman Turkey.

“The U.S. Embassy in Yerevan joins the government and people of Armenia in strongly condemning the destruction of the Armenian Church in Deir ez-Zor, Syria,” read an embassy statement. “This senseless act of destruction demonstrates yet again the utter disregard the terrorist organization ISIL has for the rich religious and cultural heritage of the Middle East.”

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Minister of Foreign Affairs of Armenia Met with the Foreign Minister of Azerbaijan and the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairs

September 24, 2014 Armenia, Azerbaijan, Karabakh No Comments
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10:21, September 24, 2014

On September 23 Foreign Minister of Armenia Edward Nalbandian, who is in New York, within the delegation, headed by the President of Armenia, who participates at the 69th session of the UN General Assembly, had a meeting with the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairs – Ambassadors Igor Popov, James Warlick, Pierre Andrieu and Ambassador Andrzej Kasprzyk, Personal Representative of the OSCE Chairperson-in-Office. Then the meeting continued with the participation of the Azerbaijan’s Foreign Minister Elmar Mamedyarov.

Ministers and the Co-Chairs continued the discussions on the issues related to the process of the peaceful resolution of the Nagorno-Karabakh issue.

The OSCE Co-Chairs reaffirmed their determination to exercise joint efforts aimed at the exclusively peaceful resolution of the Nagorno-Karabakh issue.

Economist forecasts 2.5% economic growth in Armenia

September 24, 2014 Armenia, Diaspora No Comments
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The International Monetary Fund (IMF) forecasts 0.2% economic growth in Russia this year and the following few years, which will inevitably affect economic growth in Armenia, economist Bagrat Asatryan told reporters on Wednesday.The situation is not better in Armenia and can even worsen, but Armenian officials are ignoring the fact.According to Armenia’s Statistical Service, 4.1% economic growth was registered in the country in Jan-Aug 2014 as compared with Jan-Aug 2013, with 0.95 growth in gross industrial output, 4.9% growth in gross agricultural produce, 0.4% growth in construction, and 5.7% growth in trade. However, what backs the figures?It is individual money transfers that facilitate economic growth in Armenia, but they are serious down this year.“I think we are not going to have any economic growth this year, and 2% is the same as nothing for Armenia. At best, we are going to close the year with 2.5% economic growth, which is not enough to improve social conditions,” Mr Asatryan said. 

The US Urges to Degrade and Destroy ISIL

September 24, 2014 Armenia, Middle East No Comments
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09:52, September 24, 2014

U.S. Embassy Yerevan joins the government and people of Armenia in strongly condemning the destruction of the Armenian Church in Deir Ez-zor, Syria.

This senseless act of destruction demonstrates yet again the utter disregard the terrorist organization ISIL has for the rich religious and cultural heritage of the Middle East.

As Secretary Kerry has stated, ISIL has systematically committed abuses of human rights and international law and presents a global terrorist threat. Faced with this threat, the United States urges the international community to strengthen our united effort to degrade and destroy ISIL.

Source: HetqOriginial Article

Zhoghovurd: Eurasian integration prospects still dim

September 24, 2014 Armenia, Asia, Diaspora No Comments
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Though the treaty on Armenia’s entry to the Eurasian Economic Union (EEU) is to be signed in just 16 days, there are many questions which still remain hazy.
Citing its sources, the paper says that the negotiations which Armenia conducted to prevent a surge in the prices of 900 products, have not yet been crowned with success.
In other words, Armenia’s accession to the EEU is expected to cause an extra inflation, according to the paper.
Anahit Khechoyan, spokesperson for the Ministry of Economy whom the paper later contacted for comments, said reportedly that they have finished the negotiations on their part.
“The minister has already said that our negotiations are over as far as the economic component is concerned. No further bid has been submitted to us. The process is now in the political domain, as the Foreign Ministry is preparing an agreement, so we have nothing to do at the moment,” she told the paper, without giving further comments on possible surges. 

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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.