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Independent Armenia’s First Wine Producer Receives Bronze Medal in 2014 Decanter World Wine Awards

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19:05, May 19, 2014

Maran, a winery founded in 1991 but which dates back to the 1800s, produced the first wine in the Republic of Armenia after the country gained independence and recently received a bronze medal in the 2014 Decanter World Wine Awards for its Bagratuni dry red wine. Hetq paid a visit to Maran’s premises and had a chance to speak with the founder and director Avag Harutyunyan. 

The many trees on the winery’s premises seem to evoke an attraction to the few buildings there. The winery’s young employee tells us the buildings were constructed in the 1950s by German POWs and there was a huge wine factory there at one time. After Armenia gained independence, businessman Khachatur Sukiasyan’s family bought the premises, which in 1998, was leased to Maran.

Abrahamian Vows Rule Of Law


Armenia – Prime Minister Hovik Abrahamian is about to present his newly formed government’s policy program to the National Assembly, Yerevan, 20May2014.

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Ter-Petrosian, Tsarukian Meet On New Government


Armenia – Levon Ter-Petrosian (L), Gagik Tsarukian (C) and Raffi Hovannisian meet in Yerevan, 10Apr2014.

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Event: Syrian-Armenians to Present Businesses They Launched in Armenia

May 20, 2014 Armenia, Business No Comments
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12:27, May 20, 2014
The Armenian Red Cross Society is organizing anexhibition fairfrom 5–7 pm today at Yerevan’s Charles Aznavour Square (outside Moscow Cinema) where Syrian-Armenians who received equipment as part of an Armenian Red Cross Society program and launched their own small business will showcase their wares.

“Visitors will have the chance to purchase sweets and handicrafts and meet experts from various sectors. This initiative will provide visitors with necessary information regarding the skills of Syrian-Armenians, making them visible, and will become an impetus to expand their activities,” say organizers.

Source: HetqOriginial Article

Google buys Divide Startup

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Google (GOOG) is buying Divide, a startup that helps businesses manage their employees’ various mobile devices, Foxbusiness.com reported.
The terms of the deal were not announced Monday and a Google spokesman said the company would have no comment beyond a statement released by Divide.
Divide, which will join Google’s mobile Android division, said: “We’re thrilled to announce Divide is joining Google. The company was founded with a simple mission: Give people the best mobile experience at work. As part of the Android team, we’re excited to continue developing solutions that our users love.”
Divide, which was founded by a group of former Morgan Stanley (MS) information-technology staffers, will help Google’s Android business reach deeper into the mobile market within the workplace.
Read more here>>>

New Armenian Government More Cautious On Growth


Armenia – Farmers deliver grapes to a brandy distillery in Ararat province, 9Sep2013.

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Armenian cabinet approves new program

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The executive approved its new plan of actions at a special meeting chaired by Prime Minister Hovik Abrahamyan on Monday, reports the Government’s press office.
Minister of Territorial Administration and Vice PM Armen Gevorgyan delivered a speech at the meeting to address the key points of the document. “The new program was elaborated based on the Government’s 2013 plan of actions, the Republic of Armenia National Security Strategy, the key provisions laid out in the pre-election platforms of the Armenian President and the Republican Party of Armenia, as well as the other parliamentary parties,” he told the cabinet members.
Under the new program, the Government declares that its priorities focus on the Armenian citizen, his/her security guarantees and well-being.
Gevorgyan said that the document reflects also the different ideas and approaches (especially those concerning the business) expressed at meetings between the prime minister and representatives of non-governmental organizations and associations.
“With the implementation of this program, the Armenian Government commits itself to ensuring progressive paces of economic growth, an increase in minimal salaries by up to 65,000 Drams (approx. $160) and a 10 percent poverty reduction,” the vice premier added.

How Newly Appointed Prime Minister Hovik Abrahamyan Seizes Power

May 18, 2014 Armenia, Business No Comments
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19:58, May 16, 2014

It’s been only a month since Prime Minister Hovik Abrahamyan has been in office, but he’s begun to correct the effects and results of his predecessor’s actions so consistently that many are left with the impression that he’s adopted a completely opposite political course.

Actually, everything is quite clear. The former parliamentary speaker is trying to establish himself first on former PM Tigran Sargsyan’s account and taking into consideration the tactical errors he allowed. Sargsyan, with his unpopular decisions and steps, which instead of improving the explosive public and social situation further deepened the crisis, acquired such a negative image that he himself embodied the depth and scale of the public’s absolute distrust and repulsion of the entire ruling authorities. On this backdrop, the new prime minister’s achievements are offered as rescue operations aimed at coming out of the “Tigran Sargsyan swamp”. Meanwhile, a significant portion of these is not only reactionary in nature, but also more dangerous than what Tigran Sargsyan was doing.

Apple, Google agree to drop smartphone patent suits

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Apple Inc. and Google Inc. (GOOG) have declared a cease-fire in their intellectual-property wars, Bloomberg Businessweekly reported.The two Silicon Valley technology giants said they are dropping lawsuits against one another and will work together to reform patent law. The suits to be dismissed involve patent disputes regarding Google’s Motorola Mobility handset unit. The deal doesn’t include Apple’s patent battles with Samsung Electronics Co. (005930), which uses Google’s Android software for mobile devices.“This could signal a new strategy on Apple’s part to focus its litigation efforts even more squarely on Samsung, which is by far the largest Android phone manufacturer,” said Brian Love, a Santa Clara University School of Law professor.The agreement signals a de-escalation in hostilities between two companies that have filed about 20 lawsuits against each other in the US and Europe and compete fiercely on many technology fronts. Apple’s iOS software and Google’s Android power the majority of the world’s smartphones and tablets and both are seeking to keep their pre-eminent positions in those growing markets. They are also dueling each other in areas including mobile maps and online music, among other products.
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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.