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Businessman Involved in Cyprus "Off-Shore" Scandal to be Extradited Within Days

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11:49, June 16, 2014

Armenia’s Prosecutor General’s Office has told Hetq that the extradition of businessman Ashot Sukiasyan from Tbilisi to Yerevan will take place in a matter of days.

Sukiasyan,who went into hiding after Hetq broke the Cyprus offshore story, was detained by Georgian authorities at Tbilisi international airport on January 31 of this year after getting off a plane from Turkey.

Armenian police issued a search warrant for Sukiasyan last June and charged him with large-scale embezzlement and money laundering.

Source: HetqOriginial Article

Opposition Demands ‘Taken Seriously’ By Ruling Party

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Armenia – The headquarters of the ruling Republican Party of Armenia, Yerevan, 10Apr2014.

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Wikileaks exposes dark sides of Ukraine’s Poroshenko, Tymoshenko

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Two diplomatic cables made public by WikiLeaks Public Library on US Diplomacy reveal that Ukraine’s president-elect Petr Poroshenko served as an informant for United States’ State Department, the Voice of Russia reports.A confidential message from the US Embassy in Kiev dating back to April 29, 2006 mentions the now widely-known confectionary tycoon twice.Back then Poroshenko reportedly handed to the US Embassy in Kiev inside information on the plotting a coalition government in 2006, Wikileaks say.The message was intended for Ambassador John Herbst to update him on how things stood in April 2006, Poroshenko describing himself as an insider from the party Nasha Ukrayina (Our Ukraine), a bloc associated with former President Viktor Yushchenko, passionately welcomed by the western leaders.The diplomat, however, questioned the authenticity of Poroshenko’s message suspecting it to be part of backdoor games aimed at arresting once Yushchenko’s allies – Yuliya Tymoshenko and Aleksandr Turchynov until recently – acting Ukraine’s President.Who is Poroshenko – the figure to use his might and power to wind down the deadly standoff in the country’s southeast or a mere businessman who skillfully pulls his strings – is still debated.Other Wikileaks documents that came recently to light show that Ukraine’s former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko might have cooperated with mafia boss Seymon Mogilievich when she headed United Energy Systems.In a message to Washington dated April 14, 2006, US embassy to Kiev said that Tymoshenko could have been associated with Ukraine’s crime kingpin. The embassy referred to Internet news site Ukrainska Pravda (UP) which reported about the illegal destruction of the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) files on Mogilievich upon order by then senior Tymoshenko, who could have been thus deleting sensitive data on her shady business with Mogilievich, as well as her illegal surveillance of now president-elect Poroshenko.Yulia Tymoshenko leapt to international fame in 2004 as she joined the so-called Orange Revolution: Ukraine’s citizens took to streets back then in Kiev backing Western-favorite Viktor Yushchenko in his appeal against the results of a presidential election. She served two terms as prime minister under President Yushchenko and narrowly lost to Viktor Yanukovych in the 2010 presidential race. After he came to power Tymoshenko got a seven-year prison sentence for allegedly negotiating a Ukraine-Russia deal on conditions unfavourable for Ukraine. She was released from jail by a parliament decree on February 22, just before the Maidan standoff reached its deadly climax.It was reported earlier by Wikileaks that US diplomats called the newly-elected president of Ukraine a “disgraceful oligarch,” with his name mentioned no less than 100 times in the secret files. He is generally pictured as an unpopular politician and in the first place businessman who managed to gain strings in whatever government. Sheila Guoltni, US deputy Ambassador to Ukraine, told the US Department of State on May 26, 2006 that the image of Poroshenko was discredited by “credible accusations of corruption” – the issue that at some point led him to a row with ex Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko. 
 

Armenian Government Approves Tax Cuts For Small Business

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Armenia – The government approves its new program, Yerevan,19 May 2014

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Argentina: Vice-President Questioned For Corruption

June 12, 2014 Armenia, Business No Comments
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13:26, June 12, 2014

Vice President of Argentina Amado Boudou was questioned in court on Monday over allegations that he used his position as Minister of Economy in 2010 to facilitate the sale of the bankrupt company ‘Ciccone Calcográfica’, which printed the nation’s banknotes, reports Al Jazeera.

The Guardian writes that Federal Judge Ariel Lijo ruled last week that there was enough evidence to order Boudou to court for questioning. Boudou is accused of illegally stopping bankruptcy proceedings against the company in return for a 70 percent ownership, which Boudou flatly denies.

Boudou claims that he is a victim of a negative media campaign, writes Al Jazeera.

Hraparak: Business trips: Armenian Parliament vice-speaker luckiest

June 11, 2014 Armenia, Business No Comments
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The number of business trips has been reduced to a minimum because of lack of funds.But Vice-Speaker of Armenia’s Parliament Hermine Naghdalyan is the luckiest. Parliament Speaker Galust Sahakyan, who has a phobia about flying, has let her have his seat on the plane.The Armenian Parliament’s ‘First Lay’ recently was on a visit to Russia, accompanied by a respectable delegation. She is expected to fly to Great Britain soon as well. 

Source: TertOriginial Article

Armenian Opposition Issues Demands To Sarkisian

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Armenia – The parliamentary leaders of the four main opposition parties release a joint declaration listing 12 demands to the government, Yerevan, 10Jun2014.

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Cypriot Consulting Company v Armenia’s Control Chamber: ‘Your inaccuracies are potentially damaging to our company’s reputation’

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11:19, June 10, 2014

The Cyprus registered company Four Assist Development Consulting Ltd (4Assist) has taken the Control Chamber of Armenia to task for publishing a number of inaccuracies regarding 4Assist that appeared in its “2013 Annual Report”, demanding that corrections be made.

In a May 21, 2014 letter penned by 4Assist Authorised Representative Maria Tasioula to Control Chamber Chairman Ishkhan Zakaryan, she writes that the report contained “certain inaccuracies regarding the project “Implementation of International Public Sector Accounting Standards Strategy 2” that we [4Assist] implemented from June 2012 to June 2013 on behalf of the Ministry of Finance of the Republic of Armenia.”

Global private wealth hits $152tn

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The amount of private wealth held by households globally surged more than 14% to $152 trillion (90tn) last year, boosted mainly by rising stock markets, the BBC reports.
Asia-Pacific, excluding Japan, led the surge with a 31% jump to $37tn.
The number of millionaire households also rose sharply, according to a report by Boston Consulting Group.
The report takes into account cash, deposits, shares and other assets held by households. But businesses, real estate and luxury goods are excluded.
“In nearly all countries, the growth of private wealth was driven by the strong rebound in equity markets that began in the second half of 2012,”the firm said in its report.
“This performance was spurred by relative economic stability in Europe and the US and signs of recovery in some European countries, such as Ireland, Spain and Portugal.”
The amount of wealth held in equities globally grew by 28% during the year, Boston Consulting Group (BCG) said.
Economies in Asia have been key drivers of global growth in the recent years. And households in the region have benefitted from this growth.
Within the region, China has been the biggest driver – with private wealth in the country surging more than 49% in 2013.
High saving rates in countries such as China and India has also been a key contributing factor to this surge.
The wealth held in the region is expected to rise further, to nearly $61tn by the end of 2018.
“At this pace, the region is expected to overtake Western Europe as the second-wealthiest region in 2014, and North America as the wealthiest in 2018,” BCG said.
The pace of wealth creation in China was also evident in the growth in the number of millionaire households – in US dollar terms – in the country, rising to 2.4 million in 2013, from 1.5 million a year ago.
Overall, the total number of millionaire households in the world rose to 16.3 million in 2013, from 13.7 million in 2012.
According to the report, private wealth in:
• North America rose by 15.6% to $50.3tn
• Western Europe, which includes UK, Germany and France, rose by 5.2% to $37.9tn
• Eastern Europe, which includes Russia, Poland and Czech Republic, jumped by 17.2% to $2.7tn
• Latin America rose by 11.1% to $3.9tn
• Middle East region increased by 11.6% to reach $5.2tn

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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

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.