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The 100 Years, 100 Facts Project Launches April 24

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11:08, April 17, 2014

On the threshold of the centennial of the Armenian Genocide, The 100 Years, 100 Facts Project will commemorate the genocide by publishing facts about Armenians twice a week, starting April 24, 2014 and culminating on April 24, 2015. These facts will be published on 100years100facts.com – linked through its social media accounts on Facebook,Twitter,Instagram, andGoogle+.

“The idea of using social media and the internet as a means to commemorate the Armenian Genocide and connect a population scattered around the world was inspirational to me,” said Lena Adishian, project lead, based in Los Angeles. “While curating one hundred facts about Armenia and Armenians is no easy task, we hope that audiences find the content educational and engaging.”

Facebook to launch money transfer service

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Facebook is preparing a push into financial services, with tools for members to store and send money online, The Telegraph reported.
The social network has applied to Irish authorities for a licence that would allow it to provide remittance and electronic money services to its members across Europe, according to The Financial Times. Dublin hosts Facebook’s headquarters for Europe, the Middle East and Africa.Facebook has reportedly held also discussions with three London-based international money transfer providers, TransferWise, Moni Technologies and Azimo, to help it build the services.Allowing members to send remittances via their Facebook accounts could strengthen the social network in emerging markets. Migrants send hundreds of billions of dollars home to developing countries every year where large sections of the population do not have bank accounts.Facebook would be taking on wire transfer services such as Western Union, existing electronic money providers such as PayPal and a new breed of mobile phone-based payment services, of which Vodafone’s M-Pesa is a leading example. See more here.

Risk of African Swine Flu Increases in Armenia, Says New Report

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13:35, April 14, 2014

According to a new brief that appeared in today’s Global Meat news.com, the endemic risk of African swine fever (ASF) has increased from a moderate to a high rating in Georgia, Armenia and Russia since 2010.

These findings were issued in a recent report by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) following a request by the European Commission to provide an update on the risk of endemicity of ASF in countries surrounding the EU.

Source: HetqOriginial Article

Armenia must get rid of incumbent authorities – oppositionist

March 29, 2014 Africa, Armenia No Comments
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Chairman of the opposition Armenian National Movement (ANM) party Ararat Zurabyan made a speech at a rally held by Heritage party leader Raffi Hovannisian.According to him, Armenia needs a complete change of power rather than a partial change, as some opposition forces say. It is the opposition than can change power in Armenia – from President Serzh Sargsyan to Armenia’s government and parliament.“We must not struggle for the premier’s resignation alone. We must struggle to get rid of the ruling regime,” he said.“The authorities want Armenia to turn into a North Korea, and we must do our best to get rid of them. For these people Armenia is an African country for their personal enrichment. If so, let them go to such African countries or we’ll have to drive them out,” Zurabyan said.Heritage party leader Raffi Hovannisian stressed the need to get rid of the incumbent authorities by April. 

‘Rogue’ vote: Armenia backs ally Russia over UN resolution on Ukraine

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The United Nations General Assembly on Thursday reaffirmed Ukraine’s territorial integrity and recognized as illegal the referendum in Crimea that led to the peninsula’s annexation by Russia.

Armenia voted against the anti-Russian resolution among 11 other nations most of which are classed by the West as ‘rogue regimes’. Among them are Belarus, Bolivia, Cuba, North Korea, Russia, Syria, Sudan, Zimbabwe, Venezuela and Nicaragua.

A hundred nations voted in favor of the resolution, while 58 countries, including Brazil, South Africa, China, India, Afghanistan, Kazakhstan, Algeria, Vietnam, Egypt, Uzbekistan and others, abstained from the vote. Several traditional allies of Russia decided to opt out of the vote at all. Among them are Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Kyrgyzstan, Israel, Serbia and others.

US: Cartels In Mexico Partner With California Street Gangs

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11:21, March 26, 2014

Drug cartels in Mexico are working with California street gangs to sell drugs and settle scores, according to a new report that highlights an increasing trend of cooperation among violent criminal groups.

The report issued by California’s Attorney General, entitled Gangs Beyond Borders (pdf), lists several examples of cooperation, including a 2011 case in which La Familia Michoacana, a brutal cartel that has since splintered, contracted a US-based prison gang called the Mexican Mafia to distribute and sell methamphetamines in Southern California under an agreement dubbed “The Project.”

SEE ALSO: Mexico News and Profiles

According to the report, alliances between cartels and street gangs are mutually beneficial: the cartels coordinate the movement and sale of drugs in the United States without ever stepping foot on US soil, and the street gangs bypass mid-level wholesale dealers and gain a higher percentage of the profits.

Guinea Ebola outbreak: Bat-eating banned to curb virus

March 26, 2014 Africa, Diaspora No Comments
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Guinea has banned the sale and consumption of bats to prevent the spread of the deadly Ebola virus, the BBC reports, quoting the country’s health minister as saying.Bats, a local delicacy, appeared to be the “main agents” for the Ebola outbreak in the south, Rene Lamah said.Sixty-two people have now been killed by the virus in Guinea, with suspected cases reported in neighbouring Liberia and Sierra Leone.Ebola is spread by close contact. There is no known cure or vaccine.It kills between 25% and 90% of victims, depending on the strain of the virus, according to the World Health Organization.Symptoms include internal and external bleeding, diarrhoea and vomiting.It is the first time Ebola has struck Guinea, with recent outbreaks thousands of miles away, in Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo.Mr Lamah announced the ban on the sale and consumption of bats during a tour of Forest Region, the epicentre of the epidemic, reports the BBC’s Alhassan Sillah from the capital, Conakry.People who eat the animals often boil them into a sort of spicy pepper soup, our correspondent says. The soup is sold in village stores where people gather to drink alcohol.Other ways of preparing the bats to eat include drying them over a fire.Certain species of bat found in West and Central Africa are thought to be the natural reservoir of Ebola, although they do not show any symptoms.Health officials reported one more death on Tuesday, bringing the number of people killed by Ebola to 62, our correspondent adds.The medical charity Medecins Sans Frontieres said it had set up two quarantine sites in southern Guinea to try to contain the outbreak, the Associated Press news agency reports.Sierra Leone’s health ministry said it was investigating two suspected cases of Ebola, the AFP news agency reports.”We still do not have any confirmed cases of Ebola in the country,” its chief medical officer Brima Kargbo is quoted as saying.”What we do have are suspected cases, which our health teams are investigating and taking blood samples from people who had come in contact with those suspected to have the virus,” he added.Mr Kargbo said one suspected case involved a 14-year-old boy buried in a Sierra Leonean village after he apparently died across the border in Guinea two weeks ago, AFP reports.The other patient was still alive in the northern border district of Kambia, he added.”This is the first time such a national health threat has come to our borders. In any case, we are prepared and on the alert in readiness in case the disease is diagnosed in Sierra Leone,” Mr Kargbo was quoted as saying by AFP.Five people are reported to have died in Liberia after crossing from southern Guinea for treatment, Liberia’s Health Minister Walter Gwenigale told journalists on Monday.However, it is not clear whether they had Ebola.Outbreaks of Ebola occur primarily in remote villages in Central and West Africa, near tropical rainforests, the World Health Organization says. 

Libyan military plane crashes in Tunisia; 11 killed

February 21, 2014 Africa, Armenia No Comments
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A Libyan military plane carrying medical patients crashed early on Friday near Tunisia’s capital, killing all 11 crew and passengers on board after an engine failure, Reuters reported, citing Tunisian authorities.The Antonov aircraft went down after the pilot tried to land in farmland near Grombalia town south of Tunis, the TAP state news agency reported.Six crew members as well as the patients and their companions died, a spokesman for Tunisia’s defense ministry said. Libyans often travel to Tunisia for medical treatment.It was the second crash involving a military plane in North Africa in two weeks. An Algerian military transport plane crashed into a mountain in bad weather on February 11, killing 77 people, in the country’s worst air disaster in a decade. 

Interpol Now Investigating Trafficking of Endangered Animals via Armenia

February 20, 2014 Africa, Armenia, Video No Comments
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22:20, February 19, 2014

In its continuing investigation into Armenia’s involvement in the illegal trafficking of endangered animal species, Hetq has learnt that two more bonobos (Pan paniscus) were imported into Armenia in 2012 in addition to the two already written about by Hetq.

The bonobo (Pan Paniscus), formerly called the pygmy chimpanzee, is native to the Congo Basin in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). The species was listed as endangered on the IUCN Red List in 1996, and is threatened by habitat destruction and human population growth.

In response to a Hetq inquiry, Artur Afrikyan, First Deputy to the President of Armenia’s State Revenue Committee (SRC), provided us with a list of sanctioned animals imported to and exported from Armenia from 2010 – 2013 carrying CITES permits.

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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

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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

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.

Armenian Foreign Policies 2013: Customs Union, U-turn on EU accord, Karabakh, Turkey, regional developments

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2013 became a milestone year for Armenia not only in its foreign, but also domestic politics. After nearly four years of negotiations with the European Union over the signing of an association agreement on September 3 Armenia unexpectedly announced its intention to join the Customs Union of Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan.

This decision has had its influence not only on Armenia proper, but also on the processes elsewhere in Eastern Europe. Inspired by Armenia’s decision, Russia stepped up its pressure on Ukraine, which suspended the process of signing of the Association Agreement with the EU one week before the Vilnius summit of Eastern Partnership. As a result, on November 29 such agreements were initialed only by Moldova and Georgia.

Heritage reshuffle: Postanjyan becomes new leader of parliamentary faction

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Zaruhi Postanjyan has been elected new head of the opposition Heritage faction in parliament. The change comes after Ruben Hakobyan announced his decision to resign as faction leader earlier today.

Talking to media in parliament Hakobyan said Heritage Party leader Raffi Hovannisian had been notified about his move well in advance. He left questions about reasons for his step without commentary, only saying that he had decided to step down as faction leader before the recent scandal around Postanjyan in the wake of her controversial question to President Serzh Sargsyan about his gambling habit at the PACE plenary session in Strasbourg on October 2.