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Reconnaissance Scouts on Karabakh Frontline Tight-Lipped About Themselves, Their Actions

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00:20, August 12, 2014

Hetq’s editor-in-chief Edik Baghdasaryan continues his series of reporting from the frontline. He recently met with soldiers, officers, and intelligence scouts serving in Karabakh, who described the current situation. Baghdasaryan notes that the men on the frontline were reluctant to speak with him, though they did manage to share a few stories.

The “negotiations” with Minister of Defense of the Republic of Nagorno-Karabakh (NKR) Movses Hakobyan yielded results. I received permission to speak with a group of scouts. As a result of preventative action after exacerbation of the situation along the Karabakh-Azerbaijan Line of Contact, 7 of the opponent’s men were killed and 5 were injured. I met with intelligence scouts at different sections of the border, at the military unit and on the frontline.

Stop the Violence in Syria and Iraq – Armenians, Assyrians Protest at United Nations

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10:01, August 12, 2014

NEW YORK, NY- Armenian National Committee of America Eastern Region (ANCA ER) activists joined with leaders of the Assyrian, Chaldean and Syriac communities to rally international support for ending targeted attacks against their brethren in Iraq and Syria during a peaceful protest held in front of the United Nations in New York City.

The ANCA Eastern Region’s Armen Sahakyan voiced solidarity with the Assyrian community, noting that today’s violence harkens back to Turkey’s genocide and exile of over 3 million Armenian, Pontian Greek and Assyrian Christians from 1915-1923.

Sahakyan went on to urge greater international effort to end the violence against these beleaguered communities, initiated by radical extremists and, in the case of Syria’s Aleppo and Kessab communities, supported by the Turkish Government.

Australia: Members Of Parliament Admit To Corruption

August 12, 2014 Armenia No Comments
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17:13, August 12, 2014

Two members of parliament have resigned after admitting to the Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) that they accepted prohibited political donations from the same prominent Newcastle developer.

Newcastle MP Tim Owen and Charlestown MP Andrew Cornwell accepted USD $10,000 each from Newcastle Lord Mayor Jeff McCloy. They were suspended from parliament during the inquiry, but Premier Mike Baird told them to resign after their admissions, reportsThe Daily Telegraph.

The ICAC overheard a conversation between Cornwell and his wife about the money from McCloy. Cornwell then admitted to the commission that he received USD $10,000 in a brown bag from McCloy in the lead-up to the 2011 election, even though developer donations were banned. He also admitted to receiving another payment in the same amount from a different developer via a sham sale of a Rex Newell painting, which he used to pay his payroll tax bill, reportsThe Guardian.

Norway: Kasparov Loses Chess Presidency Bid

August 12, 2014 Armenia, Europe No Comments
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19:05, August 12, 2014

Former chess world champion Garry Kasparov has lost his bid to become president of the World Chess Federation after a contentious election that involved President Vladimir Putin and allegations of bribes and corruption.

Members of the federation, also known as FIDE, voted 110-61 in favor of incumbent president Kirsan Ilyumzhinovat FIDE’s general assemblyin Norway. Ilyumzhinov, a native of Kalmykia, a Russian republic notable as the only Buddhist region in Europe, has been president of FIDE since 1995 and was also Kalmykia’s president from 1993 to 2010.

In a statement issued through a spokesman, IlyumzhinovtoldThe New York Times, “We have big differences with my opponent: I believe that chess should be clear of politics, while he thinks that they are a political tool.”

How To Kiss Up To Your Boss, Yanukovych-Style

August 12, 2014 Armenia, Business, Culture No Comments
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19:11, August 12, 2014

By Serhiy Andrushko, Natalia Sedletska, and Tetiana Peklun

The list lay on a table used by the custodian at the lavish Mezhyhirya residence of absconded Ukrainian leader Viktor Yanukovych.

It was carefully drawn up and quite precise, showing not only the names of the deputies and government officials who had given gifts to the runaway ex-president, but what they had given, for what occasion, and where was the best place to store them.

Birthdays and other celebrations. Dozens of glittering or ostentatious items, and dozens of names.

On the list is the Head of the Regulations Committee of the Parliament, Volodymyr Makeienko. He is down for a silver caviar plate. But, when journalists contacted him for comment about the gift, he questioned whether they even had the right guy.

Azerbaijani president forced to participate in Sochi meeting – expert

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Political analyst Sergey Shakaryants believes that at the Sochi meeting Russia managed to force Azerbaijan to state its willingness for a peaceful settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.
With respect to Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan’s assessments, he pointed out changes in the Armenian side’s tactics.
“But [Azerbaijani President Ilham] Aliyev is silent on the Sochi meeting.”
According to Shakaryants, Azerbaijan’s president tried to avoid the Sochi meeting.
“The meeting was to have taken place on August 7 or 8. Later the head of the Azerbaijani presidential staff commented that Aliyev would go to Sochi, but no trilateral meeting would take place. He [Azerbaijan’s president] was forced to participate in that meeting.”

Source: TertOriginial Article

Latvia to lose $73 Mln on Russian import ban

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The ban imposed by Russia on food imports from the European Union will cost Latvia 55 million euros ($73.5 million) in losses, Latvian Prime Minster Laimdota Straujuma said Tuesday.
“The expected losses are estimated approximately at 55 million euros. Over a half of this sum will go on dairy industry, it will suffer the most,” Straujuma said, noting that the figures are not final.
Earlier last week, Andrei Pildegovich, secretary of state of the Latvian Foreign Ministry, said that Latvia would develop a compensation mechanism for companies who are hit by the import embargo imposed by Russia in response to Western sanctions.
Last Thursday, Russia unveiled a list of banned food and agriculture products from countries that imposed US-backed sanctions against Russia. The one-year ban will target beef, pork, fish, poultry, fruits, vegetables, nuts, as well as cheese and other dairy from the United States, the European Union, Canada, Australia and Norway.

Sarkisian Echoes Armenian Anger At Erdogan


President Serzh Sarkisian has launched a scathing attack on Recep Tayyip Erdogan in response to what critics of Turkey’s outgoing prime minister and president-elect regard as a racist slur against Armenians.

Erdogan caused an outcry last week after accusing the Turkish opposition of carrying out a smear campaign against him. “They have said a lot of things about me,” he told the NTV news channel. “One of them came and said I am a Georgian. Then another came up and, I beg your pardon, called me uglier things, saying I am Armenian.”

The Armenian Foreign Ministry swiftly condemned Erdogan’s remark as “racist” and “appalling.” Sarkisian echoed that condemnation in a televised interview aired on Monday.

Armenian Industrial Output Flat In 2014

August 12, 2014 Armenia, Business, Top News No Comments

In a further sign of slower-than-expected economic growth, industrial production in Armenia did not increase in the first half of this year, according to government statistics.

Detailed figures released by the National Statistical Service (NSS) show that industrial output was flat at almost 580 billion drams ($1.4 billion) in that period. Downturns in mining and power generation appear to have been instrumental in the zero growth.

In particular, the NSS registered a 9 percent drop in the first-half production of metal ores and ore concentrates worth a total of 92.5 billion drams. This was apparently due to a more than 10 percent fall in international prices for copper, a key Armenian export, in January-June 2014. The copper prices rallied in July and this month but are still well below the January level.

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Featured Books

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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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


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.