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Armenia imports over 1 ton of guanabana this year

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Armenia has imported over one ton of guanabana since January.
Speaking to Tert.am, a press secretary for the Agriculture Ministry’s State Food Security Service, Armine Sukiasyan, said a considerable part of the exotic fruit – one ton – came from Columbia; another six kilograms were imported from China.
Ashot Agaghabyan, a businessman MP affiliated with the ruling Republican faction in parliament, had earlier told the local daily Zhoghovurd that he had signed an exceptional agreement in Ecuador to facilitate the import of a guanabana additive that helps treat and prevent cancer and AIDS. The paper said that the fruit was first imported to Armenia by Artak Sargsyan, the owner of the supermarket chain SAS.
The market price of guanabana is within the range of 80-100 Drams/kg ($0.19-$0.24)
Guanabana is grown in Africa, South America and in tropical countries. 

Violent Student Leader Promoted By Government

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A pro-government youth activist who led fellow students attacking and verbally abusing journalists last December has been appointed as deputy head of one of Armenia’s leading state-run universities.

Sevak Khachatrian has until now headed the student council of the Armenian State Economics University (ASEU). He earned notoriety during violence that marred the granting of a controversial ASEU doctoral degree to Yerevan Mayor Taron Markarian.

Markarian supposedly defended his dissertation on municipal business administration at a ceremony that was held behind the closed doors despite a legal requirement that such procedures must be open to the public and the media in particular. Journalists, among them an RFE/RL correspondent, were confronted by several dozen aggressive youths led by Khachatrian as they tried unsuccessfully to cover the event. The young men mocked, threatened and swore at the press corps during the scuffle.

Sarkisian ‘Unfazed’ By Opposition Threats

August 25, 2014 Armenia, Business, Top News No Comments
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President Serzh Sarkisian has insisted that he is not worried about opposition threats to launch this fall a new campaign of street protests aimed at toppling him.

Speaking with a group of young journalists on Saturday, Sarkisian said that Armenia’s established opposition forces as well as the opposition-leaning Prosperous Armenia Party (BHK) can come to power only through regular elections.

“Let them hold rallies, if they want,” he said. “But that must happen within the bounds of the law. I don’t think that they are in favor of illegal actions. They too want to make our country a better place. It’s just that their ideas are different from ours.”

Minister Still Upbeat On Food Exports To Russia

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Agriculture Minister Sergo Karapetian on Friday stood by his claims that exports of Armenian agricultural products to Russia should double this year because of the Russian ban on food imports from the West.

“I insist that we will double our export volumes this year,” Karapetian told a news conference. “We have a real opportunity to achieve that. Many are skeptical on this score, but I want to assure you that this will happen.”

“We have had a very good harvest this year, except for apricots [destroyed by a spring frost.] All other crops are abundant,” he said.

Armenian exports to Russia totaled $334.5 million last year, according to government data. Fruits, vegetables, meat, dairy products, prepared foodstuffs as well as alcoholic and soft drinks accounted for most of this figure.

New Armenian Plant To Supply Energy To Georgia

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A new and large thermal power plant to be built in Armenia by a little-known company will supply electricity to neighboring Georgia, Energy and Natural Resources Minister Yervand Zakharian said on Friday.

Zakharian made the announcement after finalizing a corresponding agreement with representatives of the company, Anaklia IEP Holding, on the second and final day of Georgian Prime Minister Irakli Gharibashvili’s visit to Yerevan.

The “basic provisions” of the deal were signed one week after being formally approved by the Armenian government. The latter said that IEP Anaklia will invest about $600 million in building the natural gas-fired plant at an unspecified location in Armenia. The facility will be equipped with turbines manufactured by the U.S. giant General Electric and have a design capacity of 540 megawatts, the government said.

Armenia, Georgia To Build New Border Bridge

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Armenia and Georgia will build a new bridge at their main crossing to facilitate bilateral commerce and travel, the prime ministers of the two states announced after talks in Yerevan on Thursday.

Georgian Prime Minister Irakli Gharibashvili met his Armenian counterpart Hovik Abrahamian on the first day of his official visit to Armenia. “We agreed to further deepen close cooperation between Georgia and Armenia and my visit will serve this purpose,” he told reporters afterwards.

“I also want to point out that we agreed that Armenia and Georgia will jointly build a bridge,” added Gharibashvili. “We heard today about an interesting proposal to name it Friendship Bridge and we gladly accepted that proposal.”

Key Yerevan Arena Renationalized

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Armenia’s largest sports and concert arena was formally renationalized on Thursday in payment for its Russian-based owner’s debts to the Armenian government exceeding 10.4 billion drams ($25 million).

The government also announced that the sprawling property located in Yerevan will now be managed by the Armenian Defense Ministry.

The Sport and Cultural Complex, commonly known as Hamalir (Complex), was built in 1983 and became one of the modest modern Soviet facilities of its kind. It was subsequently named after Karen Demirchian, a late Soviet Armenian leader who initiated its expensive construction.

The complex comprising two large halls was sold in 2005 to the Moscow-based construction firm BAMO belonging to an Armenian-born Russian businessman, Murad Muradian. The company paid $5.5 million and pledged to spend over $40 million on its renovation.

India: Legislator Wants To Legalize Bribery

August 21, 2014 Armenia, Business No Comments
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17:54, August 21, 2014

“If you can’t rein in corruption, you should legalize it,” said Indian regional lawmaker Rajiv Ranjan as he announced plans to introduce a bill to do just that.

The Hindustan Timesreports that Ranjan, a senior member of the Bihar legislative assembly from the ruling Janata Dal United (JDU) party, said he will “move a private members bill for a law to lend legal sanctity to the all-pervading practice of taking bribe(s), during the next session of the Bihar legislature.”

The proposal embarrassed and annoyed the JDU government. Sharvan Kumar, the party’s chief whip and Bihar parliamentary affairs minister, said that, “Severe disciplinary action will be taken against the Islampur (member) who has crossed the limit of our tolerance by his call on corruption.”

Abrahamian Wants More Time To End Tax Evasion

August 19, 2014 Armenia, Business, Top News No Comments
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Prime Minister Hovik Abrahamian appears to have extended his de facto ultimatum that was issued in May to Armenian businesspeople that have long been suspected of large-scale tax evasion.

At a meeting held one month after his appointment as prime minister in April, Abrahamian gave more than 100 wealthy entrepreneurs until July 1 to stop underreporting their earnings to face a tough crackdown by tax authorities. The latter have clearly failed to significantly increase the government’s tax revenue since then, however.

Visiting a pro-government youth camp in central Armenia on Monday, Abrahamian indicated that he needs more time to substantially improve tax collection.

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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.