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Candlelight March in Stepanakert to Mark 40th Day of Yezidi Slaughter in Iraq

September 13, 2014 Armenia, Arts No Comments
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10:27, September 12, 2014

Some 80 young people held a candlelight march through the streets of Stepanakert, the capital of Artsakh to mark the forty day anniversary of the mass killings of the Yezidi community in Iraq at the hands of the Islamic State (IS). (The 40th day after death is a traditional memorial service in the Armenian Apostolic Church) Carrying placards reading “No to Genocide”, the marchers made their way to the St. Hakob Church in Stepanakert.

Ani Hovhannisyan, one of the march organizers from Berdzor, said that participants were uniting with others holding similar marches in Yerevan and France to mark the 40 day anniversary of the genocidal acts committed against Yerzidis and other minorities in Iraq. “By marching, we condemn all perpetrated genocides and call for such crimes not to be repeated,” Hovhannisyan told Hetq. The march was organized by six local civic organizations.

Golfers stunned as a baby bear performs pole dance with the flag before vanishing with their ball

September 12, 2014 Armenia No Comments
Armenian News

This is the amazing moment where a baby bear runs from the woods onto the green of a golf course and begins performing circus tricks, the Daily Mail reports.
Two other baby bears remain on the edge of the green as their more adventurous sibling makes his way to the flag.
The bear quickly reaches out to the flag and rears up onto his hind legs.
After about one minute, he starts pulling down the flag and begins dancing around in a circle. Then he changes to a forward and back motion.
The bear was spotted by Andi Dzilums as he played with friends at the Fairmont Hot Springs’ golf course in British Columbia, Canada.Mr Dzilums said: ‘It was a once-in-a-lifetime thing to see this amazing baby bear playing like all kids do!’
At one stage the bear pulls the pole down towards the ground and attempts to chew on the red flag.
He then releases the flag which springs up at some considerable speed.
Having lost interest in the flag, the bear then spots one of the player’s golf balls which was lying a tricky 12-foot putt from the hole.
The bear bounds over to the bright yellow ball and takes it into its mouth before retreating to the edge of the green.
The video, which was posted on YouTube, has been viewed almost 625,000 times.

Basque Parliament’s motion supporting Nagorno-Karabakh’s self-determination evidence of new tendencies – opinions

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The adoption of the motion supporting the self-determination of Nagorno-Karabakh by the Basque Parliament in a sense means that Basque Country recognizes the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic (NKR), Nagorno-Karabakh Presidential Spokesman David Babayan told Tert.am.
“We have repeatedly stated our intention to expand the geography of recognition by establishing bilateral relations. We have common features with the Basques – both psychological and political. And some of them say their forefathers emigrated from the Armenian highland. In any case, this motion adopted by the Basque Parliament is a significant achievement in two aspects: the Artsakh Armenians get recognition and it is a foreign policy success,” he said.
Mr Babayan stressed that different nations have their interests and it is necessary to make their interests converge and developments progress in the interests of Armenians.
Asked about the significance of the motion adopted by the Basque Parliament, Mr Babayan said:
“Of course, it is highly significant, but it is not like ‘general tendency, as we are following it.’ This is the result of our unity – Armenia, Artsakh and the Armenian Diaspora – as well as of Artsakh being a normal state. Otherwise, no one would recognize a terrorist state. This is evidence we are following the right course. We will continue our work for other parliaments to recognize [Nagorno-Karabakh] as well. We think this is a promising platform where we have to work.”
Talking to Tert.am member of the Standing Committee on Foreign Relations Tevan Poghosyan called for realizing the growing appreciation of the principle of nations’ self-determination throughout the world.
“Since people realize their self-determination is more important than any borders, especially artificially drawn borders. And we can see now that all the nations struggling for self-determination are trying to understand one another better and speak of this right,” he said.
“Let us remember the ongoing processes in Europe. A few months ago a referendum was held in Venice, Italy. The Basque Country is aiming at this – they will try to hold a referendum. This process is under way in Catalonia as well, in Scotland. In Kosovo it took place. In the past decade, a number of states were recognized: Timor, Eritrea, the problem of South Sudan. Montenegro’s ‘divorce’ was very easy,” Mr Poghosyan said.
In this context he said that the international community should gradually be made to listen to the idea of the recognition of Nagorno-Karabakh’s right to self-determination.
“Armenia’s foreign policy and Ministry of Foreign Affairs are capable of doing this work because both California and the Basque Country have recognized [Nagorno-Karabakh’s self-determination] in the past month. I hope this work will be continued and the recognition process as well,” Mr Poghosyan said.
He is optimistic and hopes that Nagorno-Karabakh will sooner or later be internationally recognized.
With respect to Armenian political scientists’ statements on the world’s double standards as the mediators keep on stating the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict cannot be settled in this “unique” way, Mr Poghosyan said that such statements were made after the events in both Timor and Eritrea.
“One thing is to say something, but life has shown that the realization of the right to self-determination, when people are masters of their own fate, is gaining strength throughout the world. And since 1988, Azerbaijan’s ‘argument’ that Armenians once exercised their right by creating the Republic of Armenia has not been supported by the international community, considering the realization of the fact that the territories were artificially made part of Azerbaijan and have nothing to do with its territorial integrity.”

Births in Armenia Up 3.4% So Far This Year

September 12, 2014 Armenia No Comments
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10:49, September 12, 2014

27,338 births have been recorded in Armenia during the first eight months of 2014.

The Ministry of Health reports that this is an increase of 920 births (3.4%) in the country in comparison to all of 2013.

14,657 (53.6%) births were registered in Yerevan, the capital.

Most of the births outside Yerevan have been registered in the provinces of Shirak, Lori, Tavoush and Kotayk. 

Source: HetqOriginial Article

Armenian Makes it to the Final at Tashkent World Wrestling Championship

September 12, 2014 Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia No Comments
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14:06, September 12, 2014

The star of the Armenian team at the 2014 World Wrestling Championship taking place in Tashkent has to be Arsen Julfalakyan in the 75kg Greco-Roman classification.

While other team members have been thrown to the mat early on in defeat, Julfalakyan has made it through to the finals.

And no wonder, Julfalakyan won the silver medal  in the event in 2010 and won third place in 2011 and 2013.

Julfalakyan crushed Elvin Mursaliyev (Azerbaijan) in the 1/16 Final by a score of 9-0.

The Armenian then went on to beat Florian Marchl (Austria) in the 1/8 Final and Juan Escobar (Mexico) in the Quarter Final.

Prosecutor General Orders Investigation of Assault on Reporter by Parliament Security Chief

September 12, 2014 Armenia, Video No Comments
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17:26, September 12, 2014

Armenia’s Prosecutor General reports that it has launched an investigation of an incident that occurred on September 9 in which the security chief of the National Assembly accosted a reporter who was covering a street art group placing a banner on the perimeter fence of the parliament.

Prosecutor General Karen Hayrapetyan has instructed that videos of the incident be forwarded to the Special Investigative Service for review.

Source: HetqOriginial Article

Wrestler Arsen Julfalakyan Crowned World Champ

September 12, 2014 Armenia No Comments
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18:09, September 12, 2014

Arsen Julfalakyan has been crowned world champion in the 75kg Greco-Roman category after beating Neven Zugaj earlier this evening at the 2014 World Wrestling Championship in Tashkent.

Julfalakyan beat Zugaj (Croatia) by a score of 4-0.

The Armenian wrestler won a silver medal at the 2012 Olympics and came in second in his weight category at the 2010 world wrestling championship. 

Source: HetqOriginial Article

Russian Arms Exporter Offers More Deals To Azerbaijan

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Russia will complete the ongoing delivery of about 100 T-90 tanks to Azerbaijan early next year and is ready to modernize older tanks used by the Azerbaijani army, according to a senior Russian defense industry official.

The Itar-Tass news agency on Friday quoted Esen Topoev, a top aide to the chief executive of Rosoboronexport, as saying that the Russian state arms exporter could also sell anti-ship missiles to Baku and open facilities in Azerbaijan for repairs and maintenance of Russian-made military hardware.

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Russia — A T-90 tank drives through the Red Square during a Victory Day parade rehearsal in Moscow, 06May2010

Azerbaijan began receiving the sophisticated T-90 tanks last year in accordance with Russian-Azerbaijani defense contracts signed in 2010-2012. In Topoev’s words, these shipments will be complete “in the beginning of 2015.”

Armenian Defense Chief Promises ‘Longer-Range Weapons’

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The Armenian military will soon acquire more long-range and precise missiles than it currently has in its arsenal, Defense Minister Seyran Ohanian said on Friday.

“Every year Armenia’s armed forces receive modern weapons and military hardware,” he told students and professors of a state-run university in Yerevan. “These are not just tanks, artillery and anti-aircraft systems. In recent years we also have reached agreements to implement that rearmament process faster and with longer-range and precise systems.”

“These are not just words. In recent years, for instance, we acquired S-300 [air-defense] systems and the like. We will have longer-range systems very soon,” Ohanian added in a speech.

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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.