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Armenian Airline Blames Russian Agency For Flight Suspension

October 30, 2014 Armenia, Asia, Business, Top News No Comments
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Armenia’s only air carrier has suspended commercial flights in all directions for about two months, blaming a Russian navigation service for the situation.

Air Armenia, which began operating commercial passenger flights in 2013 after the bankruptcy and liquidation of Armavia, signaled its inability to continue its regular services due to financial difficulties.  

In a press release late on Wednesday the company claimed the situation resulted from a ‘panic’ among investors and customers after a statement made by Rosaeronavigatsia, a Russian federal air navigation service, about the Armenian airline’s outstanding debts.

In its statement on September 11 Rosaeronavigatsia warned that it would ban Air Armenia from operating flights to Russian cities unless the Armenian company repaid its debts by September 21.

Paris meeting source of both hopes and pessimism – Karen Bekaryan

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Chairman of the European Integration NGO Karen Bekaryan pointed out positive and negative aspects of the latest Armenian-Azerbaijani-French presidential meeting in Paris, France, at a meeting with reporters on Thursday.The negative aspects of the meeting is that Nagorno-Karabakh was not represented at the meeting. “I have always been supportive of this thesis: the negotiations will not produce any results without Nagorno-Karabakh representatives, and Paris will not attach any importance to that,” Mr Bekaryan said.On the other hand, the negative aspect of the Paris meeting for Azerbaijan concerned its attempts to justify the acts of present sabotage.“President Hollande’s aim is to launch a framework agreement as soon as possible. I consider it a negative aspect as well because it is unclear,” he said.The positive is that poor talks are always better that fire.“It inspires hope that there will not be any further escalation. I said on one occasion that monopolizing the peace process by one of the mediators poses a threat. But in this case we can witness the opposite: the three mediators have, one after another, organized Armenian-Azerbaijani presidential meetings,” Mr Bekaryan said.In any case, the French leader’s initiative was aimed at creating confidence-building mechanisms because the two societies need to be prepared for peace.The Paris meeting inspires hopes for further contacts. On the other hand, there is some pessimism because the process is not showing any progress.“A rather low level of confidence should be noted as well,” Mr Bekaryan said. 

Armenia Reports Further Fall In Remittances From Russia

October 30, 2014 Armenia, Asia, Europe, Top News No Comments
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Private remittances from Russia to Armenia continued to fall in September, according to the latest statistical data posted by the Central Bank.  

The total transfers made by individuals last month stood at $153.3 million, which is 8.6 percent less than the figure reported for September 2013 ($167.7 million).

Economists explain the decline in the private remittances from Russia by the continuing economic stagnation observed in the country that currently also experiences the negative effects of Western sanctions imposed over the crisis in Ukraine.

Whereas according to the forecast made by the International Monetary Fund last October Russia’s economy would expand by 3 percent in 2014, a similar forecast made earlier this month refers to a mere 0.2 percent economic growth to be achieved by the end of the year.

Big Brother to launch in China

October 29, 2014 Armenia, Arts, Asia, Diaspora, Video No Comments
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China is to get its own version of Big Brother for the first time, with the housemates’ exploits to be broadcast on popular video site Youku Tudou.The reality show, in which contestants are monitored 24 hours a day, has been seen in dozens of countries since launching 15 years ago, reports BBC Entertainment & Arts.Big Brother’s creators Endemol have signed a deal with Youku Tudou, the biggest online video site in China.The site has 500 million active users, according to a statement.Big Brother China will launch in early 2015 and will last for 10 weeks.Endemol Asia chief executive Arjen van Mierlo said: “We’re thrilled to announce this landmark deal with Youku Tudou Inc, bringing a format that has changed the face of television to China for the first time.”In a market that annually generates hundreds of billions of video views, partnering with the number one digital video platform will allow us to bring Big Brother to a young audience and deliver the most immersive, interactive and unique experience to fans across the nation.”The deal comes three years after the Chinese government orderedsatellite TV channels to cut the number of reality TV, dating and talk shows because of their “vulgar tendencies”. 

Armenia’s accession to EEU to improve state revenues, GDP – official

October 29, 2014 Armenia, Asia, Diaspora No Comments
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All analyses show Armenia’s accession to the Eurasian Economic Union (EEU) will improve the increase in Armenia’s state revenue and GDP, Deputy Minister of Finance Pavel Safaryan told reporters on Tuesday.
“We know well that higher customs duties will improve state revenues,” he said.
As regards the predicted reduction of investments and transfers from Russia, Mr Safaryan said:
“We have no forecasts at hand, but we know transfers from Russia had influence on our macroeconomic indicators this July, the impact of sanctions against Russia and that of investments on the GDP,” he said.
Despite measures against shadow economy, the budget has shown just 33% increase.
“It is natural because the following three factors influence the budget: red tape, laws and economic growth. They should be viewed as a single whole, and if we consider this year’s budget, we can see rather low economic growth. We planned 5.2% growth, but we have had 2.6% in recent months. it will naturally affect budget revenues.”

Armenia’s accession to EEU not end to cooperation with EU – Traian Hristea

October 28, 2014 Armenia, Asia, Diaspora, Europe No Comments
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Head of EU Delegation to Armenia, Ambassador Traian Hristea had a meeting with reporters on Tuesday.He presented his opinion on Armenia’s cooperation with the European Union (EU) in the context of Armenia’s accession to the Eurasian Economic Union (EEU).Mr Hristea believes that despite its accession to the EEU Armenia does not stop cooperating with the EU.Armenia’s opposition political forces are supportive of Armenia’s accession to the EEU. The EU is not concerned over it respects Armenia’s political choice. Mr Hristea welcomes the agreement over the issue between the opposition forces as beneficial for Armenia. As regards Armenia-EU relations, the EU will continue cooperating with Armenia and remain committed to the principles the sides agreed on.As to Armenian National Congress (ANC) party leader Levon Ter-Petrosyan’s statement that Armenia could lose its sovereignty if it signed an Association Agreement with the EU, Mr Hristea said that Armenia has no task of joining the EU now.The Armenian and EU delegations are to hold a meeting and, as Mr Hristea has repeatedly noted, are working at a new legal framework.As to what stage the negotiations have reached, Mr Hristea said that it is not negotiations that are in question. The EU would like to study the areas of bilateral relations that are in harmony with Armenia’s commitments. And now that Armenia has signed a treaty with the EEU, the EU, in cooperation with its Armenian partners, would like to specify the areas where it could deepen its ties with Armenia. The sides must continue implementing the agreements reached in Vilnius. And in addition to democracy and human rights protection the sides could agree on specific areas and use it as a framework for further cooperation.Armenia’s authorities often note that Armenia is implementing a ‘both…and’ policy and is ready to act as a link between the EEU and EU economies.Mr Hristea said that the EU is pragmatic, and proper management is needed. The EU does not want to put its partners’ plans at risk. It is important to complete the process now and specify the areas of cooperation. The EU hopes that Armenia’s economic achievements as a result of negotiations over the Association Agreement will be continued. The EU is willing to consolidate the achievements. 

Over US$1 Billion in Money Transfers to Armenia from Russia

October 28, 2014 Armenia, Asia No Comments
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13:23, October 28, 2014

The bulk of the money transfers from the Eurasian Economic Union (EEU) to Armenia so far this year come from Russia.

The following figures have been supplied by Armenia’s Central Bank.

Established on May 29, 2014, the EEU is comprised of Belarus, Kazakhstan and Russia. A treaty to enlarge the EEU to Armenia was signed on October 9, 2014. The Union will officially go into effect on January 1, 2015.

Source: HetqOriginial Article

Armenia, Azerbaijan Urged To Step Up Efforts On Karabakh Settlement

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French President Francois Hollande called on his visiting Armenian and Azerbaijani counterparts to show “political will” to overcome the differences and prepare their peoples for peace as he hosted their talks in Paris on Monday.

President Serzh Sarkisian, of Armenia, and President Ilham Aliyev, of Azerbaijan, met for a third time in less than three months over the disputed region of Nagorno-Karabakh. After face-to-face talks they were joined by the co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group — U.S. Ambassador James Warlick, Igor Popov of Russia, and France’s Pierre Andrieu.

Hollande initiated the talks during his tour of the South Caucasus in May, three months before a major outbreak of violence in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict zone.

Artsakh Foreign Minister Tours Armenian Communities in Canada

October 28, 2014 Armenia, Arts, Azerbaijan No Comments
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12:37, October 27, 2014

NKR Foreign Minister Karen Mirzoyan yesterday met with Armenian community representatives in Toronto on his first leg of a working visit to Canada.

Mirzoyan was also the principal speaker at the Hayastan All Armenia Fund annual gala and presented his government’s plans to develop the country.

He also spoke about the current stage of the Artsakh-Azerbaijan conflict settlement process.

The NKR foreign minister is scheduled to hold a series of meetings with the Armenian communities of Ottowa and Montreal.

Source: HetqOriginial Article

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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.