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Russian PM’s Trip To Armenia Cancelled

September 2, 2014 Armenia, Arts, Asia, Top News No Comments
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Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev has cancelled a planned visit to Yerevan that was expected to focus on Armenia’s membership in the Eurasian Economic Union (EEU), Prime Minister Hovik Abrahamian said on Monday.

Abrahamian announced Medvedev’s trip, scheduled for September 8-9, on August 19, more than a month after the two men met in the Russian city of Sochi.

Abrahamian clarified on Monday that the Russian premier was supposed to arrive in the Armenian capital along with his counterparts from the two other EEU member states: Belarus and Kazakhstan. They had “tentatively” agreed to discuss there concrete terms of Armenia’s membership in the Russia-led bloc, he said.

Artsakh Border Community School in Need: New Ping-Pong Tables Aren’t the Answer

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12:09, September 1, 2014

Today, across Armenia and Artsakh, pupils are returning to school after the summer vacation.

The same holds true for the community of Aknaberd in Artsakh’s northern Martakert District.

But unlike the schools in the capital Stepanakert, students in Aknaberd will be returning to a school in need of serious and immediate repair.

Before the Karabakh War, Aknaberd (formerly Oumoudlu) was an Azeri village. The school building now being used by the 111 Armenian pupils was built in 1974.

Many of Aknaberd’s current residents hail from communities in Shahoumyan now under Azerbaijani military control.

School principal Narineh Osipyan supervises a staff of 26 teachers and 10 technical workers.

It is worth dying for art – Turkish director’s Genocide movie premiered at Venice festival

September 1, 2014 Armenia, Diaspora, Film No Comments
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A Turkish-German director’s movie telling viewers about the Armenian Genocide has been screened at the 71st Venice International Film Festival.
The Cut, which was premiered at this year’s cultural movie event, vies for the Golden Lion prize, according to Hurriyet.
The director, Fatih Akin, had earlier faced threats by Turkish nationalists. “It is worth dying for the sake of art,” he said in that connection.
Armenian members of the creative group, including scriptwriter Martik Marin, actor Simon Abgaryan (better known to the Armenian audience as Rober Keshishyan), also attended the premier in Venice. 

Episodes from the movie

Akin with Tahar Rahim, the leading actor 

Martik Martin

Source: TertOriginial Article

Independence is key chapter of our history, says Karabakh official

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Independence marks a key turning point in the history of Artsakh (Nagorno-Karabakh), as September 2 opened a new chapter in our history, an official has said, commenting on the agenda of the events set to mark the 23rd anniversary of the country’s independence.
“We should consider this an integral part of the Armeniam statehood instead of separating Artsakh and the Armenian history. This is an important part of our common history,” David Babayan, a spokesperson for Nagorno-Karabakh’s president, told Tert.am.
The Declaration on Nagorno-Karabakh’s independence was adopted on September 2, 1991 in a joint session attended by parliamentarians and members of the regional council of Shahumyan. In a referendum on December 10, the population of the then autonomous region voted overwhelmingly for independence (99%).
Asked to comment on the developments over the past period, Babayan said they managed to proclaim the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic, investing long and painstaking efforts in state-building activities.
“Having been an autonomous region for 70 years [in the Soviet period], we are now embarking on a period that implies a higher degree [of freedom]. And we have created a new state which has, of course, brought new challenges, new problems, and opportunities. Those 70 years were years of struggle, as our nation accumulated a very powerful potential and developed a kind of immune system to all sorts of difficulties,” Babayan added.
He said the Armenians’ joint efforts helped overcome the challenges to the entire nation in the face of Azerbaijan’s blatant threats to destroy Artsakh and Armenia. “Azerbaijan’s calculations fell flat, and we, the two Armenian states, are integrated and full of hope for the future today,” he added.
Commenting on the California Senate’s decision to recognize Artsakh, Babayan described it as their latest achievement that became a kind of gift for all Armenians in the run-up to the independence anniversary. He said the move was a really significant landmark, noting that California is a big and powerful state with a powerful economy.
“It is due to joint efforts – by Armenia, the Diaspora and Artsakh. It is also the valuation of the past path, as no one is likely to recognize a fascist and extremist state. Hence what California – I mean the civilized world – has said is that Artsakh is a democratic and civilized state. That is why we earned California’s recognition,” he noted.
Babayan said they are now preparing for the holiday, adding that a special commission has been set up to deal with organizational issues. “Though this is not а jubilee – as the anniversary is the twenty-third – there will be the traditional events. The president will host honoring ceremonies; we will conduct visits to different places and lay flowers on the monument of freedom-fighters [veterans of the Artsakh liberation war]. There will also be a festive concert and a display of fireworks,” he added.

Your move proves de-facto independence of Karabakh – Armenian parliament official to Lithuanian MPs

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A deputy speaker of Armenia’s National Assembly has praised the members of the Lithuania-Artsakh (Nagorno-Karabakh) Parliamentary Friendship Group for the initiative to collaborate with legislators of the second Armenian republic.
Greeting the delegation led by Dalia Kuodite, the group’s chairperson, Eduard Sharmazanov said the move really testifies to Nagorno-Karabakh’s de-facto independence. Ruling out any alternative to the country’s recognition, the Armenian parliament official said he expects the parliamentary collaboration to raise the understanding of the real situation over Karabakh.
Sharmazanov noted that Lithuania was the first to recognize Armenia’s independence and the only Baltic state to acknowledge the Armenian Genocide.
Considering the initiative to create the group quite a natural process, Kuodite, for her part, stressed the importance of exercising the people’s right to self-determination.
The sides further considered measures of settling the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict based on the right to self-determination, and principles of territorial integrity and non-use of force.

Adult film industry shuts down in LA after porn star tests positive for HIV

August 30, 2014 Armenia, Film No Comments
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The adult film industry in Los Angeles was shut down on Thursday after another porn performer’s HIV test came back positive, the Daily Mail reports.
The moratorium will last until “all performers who the positive performer worked with or had sexual contact with test negative” according to guidelines set by the adult film industry trade group.
This is reported to be the third such moratorium imposed in the last year.
“We take the health of our performers very seriously and felt that it was better to err on the side of caution while we determine whether anyone else may have been exposed,” Diane Duke of the Freedom of Speech Coalition wrote in a release.
The last moratorium ended last September, at which point performers became required to test for HIV and other STIs every 14 days instead of every 28.
Prior to that, a performer who goes by the name Cameron Bay made national headlines when she tested positive for HIV followed by her adult film actor boyfriend.
The moratorium ended after one week. 

International Young Painters’ Symposium Once Again Held in Armenia’s Shirak Province

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11:38, August 29, 2014

An international art symposium dedicated to famous Armenian artist Minas Avetisyan has been taking place for 3 years in Armenia’s northern province of Shirak.

An initiative of the NGO Art for Peace and with the support of the Armenian Ministry of Sport and Youth Affairs, the International Symposium of Young Painters was held this year under the rubric “With Minas’s Colors” fromAugust 25–30. Though in previous years, the number of participants fluctuated from 40–50, this year 60 participants from all of Armenia’s provinces, as well as from Artsakh, Javakhq, Russia, Belarus, and Georgia, gathered in Shirak Province.

Samsung’s new necklace Strangest Tech Product of 2014

August 28, 2014 Business, Diaspora, Music No Comments
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After unveiling its Samsung Gear S smartwatch late last night, presented earphones that join together to form a necklace that vibrates when someone calls a user.
The Samsung Gear Circle can be paired with a smartphone to receive calls and listen to music, similar to existing high-end earphones and headsets. But one thing that is new about the headset is its magnetic locking system, which turns the earphones into a vibrating necklace when they’re not in use, Business Insider reports.
Pairing the Gear Circle to a smarpthone via Bluetooth will allow you to give voice commands and take calls using the headphones, which fit around your neck as a necklace when not in use.
See more on the Business Insider website. 

Baku Slams California Legislature Over Pro-Armenian Karabakh Bill

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Azerbaijan denounced the California State Legislature on Thursday for urging the U.S. government to recognize Nagorno-Karabakh as an independent republic.

The California Senate adopted a corresponding resolution on Wednesday, three months after its passage by the lower house of the U.S. state home to hundreds of thousands of ethnic Armenians.

The resolution says that Karabakh was “illegally severed from Armenia by the Soviet Union in 1921” and incorporated into Soviet Azerbaijan despite having “historically been Armenian territory.” “Since proclaiming independence [in 1991,] the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic has registered significant progress in democracy building,” it says.

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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.