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No Border Checkpoints With Karabakh, Insists Yerevan

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Armenia will not start levying any duties from goods imported from Nagorno-Karabakh after joining the Russian-led Eurasian Economic Union (EEU), senior officials in Yerevan and Stepanakert insisted on Monday.

Kazakhstan’s President Nursultan Nazarbayev raised the possibility of Armenia setting up customs checkpoints on its border with the self-proclaimed Nagorno-Karabakh Republic (NKR) earlier this year with his public statements on the Armenian membership bid. Nazarbayev demanded in May that the accession treaty with Armenia make a special reference to its internationally recognized borders that do not include Karabakh. He cited concerns voiced by Azerbaijan.

"Invest in Armenia and Make Money", Armenian PM Guarantees Washington DC Community Reps

October 13, 2014 Armenia No Comments
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11:39, October 13, 2014

While in Washington D.C. to attend the annual meetings of the World Bank and the IMF, Armenian Prime Minister Hovik Abrahamyan told a group of American-Armenian organizational representatives that Yerevan views greater cooperation with the community as a strategic objective, especially regarding investment in Armenia.  

Abrahamyan told the group that his government was extending a hand of cooperation to the community and was putting into place a number of measures designed to facilitate the possibility of profitable investment in Armenia.

The prime minister said his government guarantees such success but didn’t go into details.

Abrahamyan added that his government was doing its “utmost” to alleviate the problems now faced by Armenians in Syria and Iraq.

World Famous Soprano Montserrat Caballe Back in Artsakh for Concert

October 13, 2014 Armenia, Arts, Culture, Music No Comments
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15:45, October 13, 2014

World famous soprano Montserrat Caballe will give an exclusive concert at Stepanakert’s Renaissance square, tomorrow dedicated to the 20th anniversary of the cease-fire in Artsakh. 

Caballe arrived yesterday in Artsakh with family members, a Spanish tenor and an accompanist.

 She will hold master-classes for young opera singers from Artsakh at Stepanakert Sayat-Nova musical college. During the visit she is to meet President Bako Sahakyan and Artsakh’s spiritual leader Archbishop Pargev Martirosyan. 

The visit is organized jointly by the Ministry of Culture and Youth Affairs of NKR and “Starmus” company.

 

The general sponsor of the concert is “Converse Bank”and is co-sponsored by “Athenas Pallas”.

Kleptocracy: Veep Must Return $30 Million, Michael Jackson Memorabilia

October 13, 2014 Armenia No Comments
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21:09, October 13, 2014

The vice president of Equatorial Guinea has agreed to hand over more than US$ 30 million worth of property including Michael Jackson memorabilia to the US government.

Teodorin Nguema Obiang, who is the son of Equatorial Guinea’s president Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo, had the civil forfeiture case brought against him in 2011. Court documents reveal that his salary is less than US$ 100,000 but that he used his high position to loot more than US$ 300 million, reports the US Justice Department.

Not only was this the first case brought by the US’s Kleptocracy Asset Recovery Initiative against a living person, it was also the first brought against a person still in power, Ken Hurwitz, senior legal officer for anti-corruption at the Open Society Justice Initiative,told Voice of America.

Iraq: US Official Tracks Missing Money To Lebanon

October 13, 2014 Armenia No Comments
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22:11, October 13, 2014

In the chaotic days after the fall of Saddam Hussein, nearly US$ 20 billion was sent from the US to Iraq, to be used to help reconstruct the war-torn country. Some of it went missing.

When a US official who monitored the funds located more than a billion dollars of it secreted in Lebanon, his office was shut down before any of the money could be recovered. Today, a decade after it was first sent, he says he is afraid it never will be found.

The man is Stuart W. Bowen Jr., a lawyer and former assistant to President George W. Bush, who was served from 2004 to 2013 as the Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction. The story has now been made public in a book by James Risen, Pay Any Price: Greed, Power and Endless War, to be released on Oct. 14.

Seoul mayor backs same-sex marriages

October 13, 2014 Armenia, Asia No Comments
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Seoul Mayor Park Won-soon has become the first mainstream South Korean politician to endorse same-sex marriage, a stance likely to attract opposition from the country’s many social conservatives, the Wall Street Journal reports.In an interview with Bay-Area daily San Francisco Examiner published on Sunday, Mr. Park said he hoped South Korea would be the first Asian nation to legalize same-sex marriage.“I personally agree with the rights of homosexuals,” Mr. Park said, before adding that politicians aren’t likely to move without a social consensus. “Once [activists] persuade the people, the politicians will follow.”A Seoul city spokeswoman on Monday confirmed the mayor’s comments, made in late September during a visit to San Francisco.Mr Park is a popular pick among pundits as a likely candidate in the 2016 presidential election. His statement marks a rare endorsement of gay rights in South Korea. 

Armenian Ombudsman, French ambassador discuss judicial reforms

October 13, 2014 Armenia No Comments
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Human Rights Defender (Ombudsman) of Armenia Karen Andreasyan and French Ambassador to Armenia Henri Reynaud had a working dinner on Monday.The sides discussed cooperation in human rights protection, particularly judicial reforms in the country and other issues.Ambassador Reynaud commended the activities aimed at human rights protection by the Ombudsman’s office.Mr Andreasyan emphasized cooperation with the French Embassy. 

Source: TertOriginial Article

Armenian president receives participants in session of CIS Council of Heads of Migration Authorities

October 13, 2014 Armenia, Diaspora No Comments
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Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan on Monday received the delegation of the participants of the 16th session of the Council of Heads of Migration Authorities of CIS states headed by the Director of the RF Federal Migration Service Konstantin Romodanovsky, the president.am website reports.The president welcomed the fact of holding the session in Yerevan and wished the CIS Council of Heads of Migration Authorities success. Serzh Sargsyan attached great importance to cooperating in the migration sector and expressed the hope that the decisions to be made at this session will have a positive impact on regulating migration processes in the CIS territory. He underscored that states can be more effective in dealing with migration issues by combing their efforts.The interlocutors agreed that migration is a complex phenomenon conditioned by countless factors whose regulation and management is a science requiring certain professional knowledge. Konstantin Romodanovsky assured that for many years now, the council has been carrying out effective professional work in an atmosphere of openness and frank dialogue maintaining close ties with corresponding authorities of Armenia. He presented the activity of the council and the issues put on the agenda of the 16th regular session to the Armenian President and underscored that the activities of the council are targeted at systemizing collaboration in the sphere of migration policy, dealing with the existing issues and provide people with fair working and living conditions in the host country.Konstantin Romodanovsky noted with satisfaction that Armenia has joined all CIS documents on migration and has been actively and constructively involved in integration processes. 
 

Armenian president hosts Cafesjian Family Foundation chair

October 13, 2014 Armenia, Arts, Culture No Comments
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Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan hosted on Monday Ms Kathleen Cafesjian Baradaran, Chair of the Cafesjian Family Foundation (CFF).The sides discussed the CFF’s further projects and stressed that the Cafesjian Center for the Arts, which is showing the best works of art in Armenia and presents Armenian culture to the world, is one of the best places of interests for Yerevan residents and guests.Ms Kathleen Cafesjian Baradaran assured Armenia’s leader that the Center will remain committed to its mission and to the programs of founder Gerard L. Cafesjian, continue active work displaying unique exhibits and organizing education projects.President Serzh Sargsyan wished the CFF success in its patriotic activities. 

Source: TertOriginial Article

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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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Commentary

Yerevan Calling: A Weekly Roundup of Random Musings from Armenia

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13:05, October 3, 2014

Here it is dear readers, the debut of a weekly column I hope to maintain on a regular basis.

It’s sort of a catch-all of news snippets, irreverent commentary, and personal observations on what’s happened during the week here in Yerevan, and throughout Armenia.. Hopefully, you’ll find it interesting, if not slightly diverting.

Your comments and suggestions are welcomed.

Regards – Hrant

Oct. 2 – Protests Throughout Armenia: A Game of Numbers & Solidarity

Three separate protest rallies took place in Armenia today.

As Hetq reported earlier, business owners in the town of Sevan kept their stores and factories shut to protest changes to the so-called volume (sales) tax. Local residents flocked to the bread factory to wait on line for a loaf or two.

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.