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Bodies Of Armenian Pilots Recovered From Downed Helicopter

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Nagorno-Karabakh’s Armenian-backed armed forces said on Saturday that they recovered, in an overnight commando raid,

Artsakh Defense Army Claims it Controls Helicopter Crash Area

November 21, 2014 Armenia, Arts, Azerbaijan, Karabakh No Comments
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11:10, November 21, 2014

Despite the fact that Armenian forces have yet been unable to retrieve the remains of the three crew members of an Armenian helicopter shown down by Azerbaijan on November 12 along the Karabakh Line of Contact, the Artsakh Defense Army  (ADA) issued a statement today that the crash site and the entire border remains under its control.

Ever since the downing of the helicopter, which was participating in Armenian military exercises, Armenian and Artsakh military officials have claimed that they cannot approach the crash site due to constant firing by Azerbaijani forces.

In its statement, the ADA says it is taking all necessary steps to prevent Azerbaijani forces from approaching the downed helicopter.

Georgia O’Keeffe painting sets auction record for female artist

November 21, 2014 Culture, Diaspora, Georgia No Comments
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A floral painting by the late US artist Georgia O’Keeffe has sold for $44.4m (£28.8m) at auction, setting a record for an artwork by a female artist, the BBC reports.The piece smashes the previous record of $11.9m (£7.5m) for an untitled work by Joan Mitchell, set in May.Sotheby’s in New York said the $15m (£9.5m) estimate on O’Keeffe’s work was shattered after an intense bidding war between two rivals.The art auction record is $142.4m (£90.8m) for a Francis Bacon piece.The British artist’s triptych, Three Studies of Lucien Freud, was sold at auction last year.O’Keeffe, who died in 1986 at the age of 98, was celebrated for her large-format depictions of flowers which she painted as if they had been seen in close-up.Her Jimson Weed/White Flower No 1 smashed her previous best of $6.2m (£3.9m) set in 2001, and was one of three works which were placed in the sale.It was offered at auction by the O’Keeffe Museum in Santa Fe, New Mexico, which holds a large body of the artist’s works.The proceeds of the sale will be put towards the museum’s acquisitions funds.O’Keeffe worked for much of her earlier life in New York, where she captured the city’s overwhelming architecture, but later moved to New Mexico, where she painted its huge landscapes.Elizabeth Goldberg, Sotheby’s head of American painting, said the landmark sale “places Georgia O’Keeffe’s work in the top tier of 20th Century artists on the market internationally, where it has always belonged”.The auction house added that her floral images “stand among the most recognisable images in both art history and popular culture”. 

Armenian Official Awarded By Putin

November 21, 2014 Armenia, Arts, Asia, Top News No Comments
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President Vladimir Putin has awarded a Russian state medal to an Armenian official who has coordinated Armenia’s accession talks with a Russian-led trade bloc transformed into the Eurasian Economic Union (EEU).

A decree signed by Putin on Monday and publicized on Friday says that former Deputy Economy Minister Karine Minasian as well as four other foreign dignitaries will receive Russian Orders of Friendship for their “great contribution” to economic and other ties with Russia.

Minasian was tasked with handling negotiations with Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan after President Serzh Sarkisian unexpectedly decided to make Armenia part of their Customs Union in August 2013. She also coordinated the implementation of Yerevan’s “roadmap” to joining the bloc, which was agreed with its three member states in December.

Friendship declaration signed between Nagorno-Karabakh and French towns

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Nagorno-Karabakh’s (Artsakh) town of Askeran and the French city of Bouc-Bel-Air have concluded a friendship declaration expressing willingness to foster friendly ties.
The document was signed at the Bouc-Bel-Air City Hall on Wednesday as part of Nagorno-Karabakh Culture Minister Narine Aghabalyan’s visit to France.
The Declaration welcomes the consistent steps of the people and authorities of Nagorno-Karabakh towards the establishment and development of a free and democratic society and considers as unacceptable the isolation of the people of Artsakh. It is aimed at strengthening the friendly relations between the two cities and establishing cooperation in the educational, cultural, and sports spheres, says a press release by the Nagorno-Karabakh Foreign Ministry.
After the ceremony, Minister Aghabalian, Mayor of Bouc-Bel-Air Richard Mallié, Nagorno-Karabakh’s Permanent Representative to France Hovhannes Gevorgyan, and Vice-Consul of the Republic of Armenia in Marseilles Samvel Lalayan attended the concert of the group Voices of Artsakh. 

Caveat Emptor: 80 Armenian Companies Given Warnings for Using "Organic" and "Ecological" in Their Brand Names

November 20, 2014 Armenia, Culture No Comments
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11:10, November 20, 2014

Consumers in Armenia should be aware of food items marked as “organic” and “biologically pure”; for the most part such advertising may be misleading.

This is the conclusion of Armenia’s State Commission for the Protection of Economic Protection (SCPEC) which recently reprimanded 80 companies, out of 100 companies examined, for using the above terms in their brand names.

In a statement released today, the SCPEC notes that as of January 1, 2014, the terms “organic” , ecological” and “biological” ( and their shortened versions “eco” and “bio”) can only be used by agricultural producers and sellers of purely organic items. Otherwise, the use of such terms in the brand name is considered impermissible.

WB to grant US$ 75 million loan to Armenia

November 20, 2014 Armenia, Arts, Business, Diaspora No Comments
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The World Bank Board of Executive Directors approved on Nov. 12 a US$ 75 million loan for the Second Development Policy Operation (DPO) for Armenia to support a wide range of reforms in the business environment, finance, civil service, social protection, public infrastructure and environment.This is the second in a series of three DPOs that support the Government of Armenia in meeting its strategic objectives, including stronger job creation which is Armenia’s overarching development challenge.Armenia’s Minister of Finance Gagik Khachatryan and Ms Laura E. Bailey, World Bank Country Manager for Armenia, signed a relevant agreement in Yerevan, on Wednesday.“The Operation is designed to support economic growth and sustainability to help Armenia reduce poverty and promote shared prosperity,” says Laura E. Bailey, World Bank Country Manager for Armenia. “Creating jobs is critical here in Armenia. The program aims to achieve this through strengthening competitiveness and enhancing fiscal, social and environmental sustainability.”The Operation supports reform measures implemented by the Government under five main objectives:Strengthening the business environment through reduction of inspections burdening businesses, as well as implementation of the “single window approach” for customs clearance of goods, and creation of a new institutional structure for the oversight of the aviation sector to increase transparency and improve accountability in the civil aviation field.Improving access to credit with measures to create a modern framework for secured transactions, which will allow the use of moveable assets as collateral for better access to credit.Improving efficiency and transparency of the civil service through strengthening of the performance evaluation system and broadening the use of e-government systems.Expanding social protection through extending the coverage of the waiver of co-payments in medical institutions to the households covered by Family Benefits Program.Improving fiscal space and the management of public infrastructure and environmental resources through reporting estimates of the revenue impacts of major tax expenditures, implementation of an Action Plan on Drinking Water Sector Reforms, including the decision to create a new, nationwide lease contract, and adoption of the Law on Environmental Impact Assessment along with operationalizing the “one-stop-shop (OSS)” for mining rights in line with environmental and social (E&S) guidelines.“This development policy operation supports a package of reforms which will help the Armenian economy make the shift from an unsustainable reliance on inflows and the non-tradable sectors towards the tradable sectors and a higher rate of job creation,” says Ulrich Bartsch, World Bank Task Team Leader of the Project. “We are helping the Armenian government meet the challenges of reinvigorating the economy through enhancing competitiveness and sustainability.”The Second DPO in the total amount of US$ 75 million is an IBRD flexible loan with variable spread and with a 14.5-year grace period and repayment of over 25 years. 

Armenian FM in contacts over helicopter crew’s fate

Armenian News

21:38 • 19/11
Any state supplying arms to Azerbaijan is well aware they are aimed at Armenians – expert

20:58 • 19/11
Armenian FM in contacts over helicopter crew’s fate

20:47 • 19/11
Deadline for implementation of 12 point not over – Artsvik Minasyan

19:37 • 19/11
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19:23 • 19/11
WB to grant US$ 75 million loan to Armenia

19:05 • 19/11
ICRC negotiates with all sides over MI-24 helicopter crew

18:43 • 19/11
PACE condemns Azerbaijan’s use of prisoner transfer treaty in ‘Safarov case’

18:30 • 19/11
Armenian Constitutional Court’s ruling on EEU agreement political – Khachatur Kokobelyan

18:04 • 19/11
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Mediators Urge Access To Armenian Helicopter Wreckage

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International mediators on Wednesday urged Azerbaijan to give the Armenian side access to the wreckage of an Armenian military helicopter shot down near Nagorno-Karabakh for recovering the bodies of its three crew members.

The U.S., Russian and French diplomats co-chairing the OSCE Minsk Group said they “remain deeply concerned that there has been no humanitarian access to the crash site” of the Mi-24 helicopter that was downed by Azerbaijani forces on November 12.

“We call on the sides to cease firing in the vicinity of the crash site and facilitate the demining of the area surrounding the site,” they said in a joint statement. “In the spirit of the Astrakhan statement of October 2010 between the Presidents of Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Russia, the Co-Chairs urge Azerbaijan to permit the recovery of the bodies of the victims, and Armenia to cooperate fully with all efforts to resolve this humanitarian situation.”

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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.