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Armenia could serve as platform for dialogue between EU, Eurasian Economic Union – expert

September 19, 2014 Armenia, Asia, Europe No Comments
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Chairman of the Noravank Foundation Gagik Harutyunyan believes that Armenia could be a platform for a dialogue between the European Union (EU) and the Eurasian Economic Union though it requires certain preconditions.
“The interest in Armenia shown by the West and by the Customs Union member-states always has an economic component.
However, the main reason is Armenia’s geopolitical location as a most important regional country, with many states interested in cooperation,” Mr Harutyunyan told Tert.am.
With respect to Armenia’s complementary policy, he said that last year, after Armenia decided in favor of the Customs Union, Europe, at first indignant, toned down its statements, which was natural.
Europe is implementing a realistic policy.
“Due to its policy of sanctions, Europe has rather strained relations with Russia and does not want to freeze relations with Armenia,” the expert said.

Kuwait ‘Ready’ To Finance Syrian District In Armenia

September 18, 2014 Armenia, Diaspora, Europe, Top News No Comments
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The government Kuwait on Thursday reportedly expressed readiness to finance the construction of a special residential district for ethnic Armenians from Syria who have taken refuge in Armenia.

The Armenian government’s press office quoted Faysal Fahd al-Shayi, the head of a Kuwaiti parliamentary delegation visiting Yerevan, as telling Prime Minister Hovik Abrahamian that “Kuwait is ready to provide assistance to work on the New Aleppo neighborhood.” A statement released by the office said nothing about the possible scale of that assistance and gave no other details.

In late 2012, the Kuwaiti government allocated $100,000 worth of humanitarian aid to Syrian Armenian refugees. It took the form of grocery coupons distributed to some 1,000 such families.

ECB bank-funding program sees low take-up

September 18, 2014 Business, Diaspora, Europe No Comments
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A European Central Bank measure designed to stimulate the flagging eurozone economy has seen a low initial take-up by banks, the BBC reports. The cheap loans for European banks have been designed to encourage lending to business.But out of total loans of 400bn euros (£315bn) available on Thursday, only 82.6bn was taken up by 255 banks.However, banks may be waiting for separate ECB measures due in October, analysts said.Cheap loans to banks were part of a package announced in June designed to support lending and the economy.The loans – called “targeted longer-term refinancing operations” (TLTROs) – see the banks pay 0.15% annual interest for up to four years.Money market traders had been expecting banks to take up between 100bn and 200bn euros of TLTROs this week, with further interest in December, when banks get a second chance to apply for the cash.Banks may be wary of taking up the loans before imminent ECB-led health-checks of the banking sector, said Karel Lannoo, chief executive of Brussels think tank the Centre for European Policy Studies.”The European financial sector continues to be weak,” said Mr Lannoo. “”There may be a stigma because the markets are waiting for the AQR (asset quality review) in a few weeks.”However, banks may be waiting for details of a separate ECB programme to buy asset-backed securities, which are due out in October.”We would warn about drawing too strong conclusions from the September round,” said ABN Amro analyst Nick Kounis. 

Haykakan Zhamanak: ECHR judge’s €13,000 salary not of interest to Armenian candidates?

September 18, 2014 Armenia, Europe No Comments
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No candidates from Armenia have applied to the Ministry of Justice to participate in the recently announced contest for a judge representing the country at the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR).
Alvina Gulumyan, the incumbent judge who receives a monthly salary of €13,000, will soon return as a member of the Constitutional Court (with a salary of 850,000 Armenians Drams or approx. €1,600), says the paper, adding that the seeming indifference is only deceptive.
The paper claims that candidates will be registered in the coming couple of days, expressing hope that the selected candidate will be really the one who deserves the assigned salary. 

Source: TertOriginial Article

Poland Sees Closer EU-Armenia Ties

September 17, 2014 Armenia, Europe, Top News No Comments
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Armenia will be able to deepen its ties with the European Union even after its planned accession to a Russian-dominated alliance of former Soviet republics, a senior Polish official said during a visit to Yerevan on Wednesday.

“Iin any case we are quite sure that we — Armenia and Europe — will be closer next year,” Poland’s Deputy Foreign Minister Tomasz Orlowski told RFE/RL’s Armenian service (Azatutyun.am) in an interview.

Orlowski said in that regard that Brussels and Yerevan will likely identify “common goals” at the next EU summit on the Eastern Partnership program that will take place in Latvia’s capital Riga in 2015.

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“YanukovychLeaks” Receives Special Prize At European Media Conference

September 16, 2014 Armenia, Europe No Comments
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12:58, September 16, 2014

YanukovychLeaks has been honored at the annual meeting of theM100 Sanssouci Colloquium.

The members of YanukovychLeaks received a special prize at the international conference, which gathers 100 leading European media figures at Sanssouci Park in Potsdam, Germany, in recognition of the project’s achievement in “exposing the system of corruption” of Ukraine’s former President Viktor Yanukovych.

YanukovychLeaksis a collaborative project which works to organize and analyze documents recovered from Yanukovych’s Mezhihirya estate on Feb. 22, just hours after he fled the country. Nearly 200 folders of documents were recovered by volunteer divers after they had been thrown into a lake in an attempt to destroy them. Working together, reporters recovered and dried the documents and began the process of sorting and analyzing them.

SOCAR Oil Deal Benefits Hidden Investors Linked To … SOCAR?

September 15, 2014 Armenia, Azerbaijan, Europe No Comments
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16:56, September 15, 2014

By Nushabe Fatullayeva and Khalid Kazimov

Etibar Kovsarov was one of 200 Azerbaijani oil workers who lost their jobs in early 2014.  After 30 years of working in oil fields developed by the State Oil Company of Azerbaijan (SOCAR), he was let go without warning when his contract expired.

One more surprise awaited Kovsarov.

When he applied to SOCAR for any possible compensation, company officials told him that the Gum-Deniz oil field where he’d worked for so many years was now being managed by a private company based in the United Arab Emirates, and that it did not have to pay pensions.

Turkish PM wants Eurasia tunnel ‘marvel’ finished ahead of deadline

September 14, 2014 Armenia, Asia, Diaspora, Europe, Turkey No Comments
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Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu has convinced the contractors of a roadway tunnel connecting Istanbul’s two sides to speed up construction and complete the project earlier than planned, amid growing concerns over safety weaknesses in the sector, the Hurriyet Daily News report.Istanbul’s Eurasia Tunnel and roadway pass began construction January 2014 and was planned to be completed in August 2017. However, the construction will reportedly be completed by December 2016, following negotiations with the contractor company’s representatives.“Completing the project in the shortest period of time, but in the safest way, will give us great happiness in terms of the reduction of time costs, as well as from a humanitarian perspective…” Davutoğlu said while visiting the project site on Sept. 13.The repercussions of the elevator collapse that cost the lives of 10 workers at a central Istanbul construction site last weekend have shifted focus to the general safety problems in the sector.Labor Minister Faruk Çelik, who has come under fire for government negligence regarding labor safety, acknowledged chronic problems in the sector and admitted companies sacrifice safety measures to reduce costs.“There is pressure regarding costs. If you enslave people to make work cheaper, this understanding leaves safety as the second priority,” Çelik has said.Meanwhile, Davutoğlu’s visit to the project, which he refers to as an “extraordinary engineering marvel,” came as the length of the constructed tunnel reached 920 meters.The prime minister was proud to be personally visiting the project – the Eurasia Tunnel – which he said is of historical importance, not only for Istanbul and Turkey, but also for the world.“An underwater pass at such a depth, pressure and intensity – to be completed in about four years – is an extraordinary engineering marvel that will not only provide comfort to our fellow citizens of Istanbul, but to all travelers from Asia to Europe and from Europe to Asia and humanity,” he said.“This project will make important contributions to Istanbul’s natural and environmental security. I am sure it will take its place as a golden signature in the name of the state of the Republic of Turkey,” he added.Davutoğlu said the 14.5-kilometer pass will be crossed by vehicles in less than 15 minutes thanks to the tunnel.The depth of the tunnel reaches 106 meters underwater at some points, while the total length of the tunnel is 5.4 km and the length of the transit pass is 9.2 kilometers.The Eurasia Tunnel is Turkey’s second underwater project in Istanbul after the Marmaray railway.
 

Armenian wrestler Artur Alexanyan reaches semifinals at Greco-Roman style World Championship

September 14, 2014 Armenia, Diaspora, Europe No Comments
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Armenian Greco-Roman style wrestler, European Champion Artur Alexanyan has won Alexander Hrabovsky (Belarus) 1:0 in the quarterfinal, at the Greco-Roman style World Championship in Tashkent, Uzbekistan.
In the semifinals the Armenian is to have a bout with Ghasem Rezaei.

Source: TertOriginial 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

Ukraine: Cops Go After Casinos, Suggest Yanukovych Connection

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21:45, December 15, 2014

Ukraine’s ministry of internal affairs has launched a campaign against illegal casinos amid fears that a large network of underground gambling dens could be providing an income source for the son of the country’s disgraced former president Viktor Yanukovych.

The new crackdown on unlawful casinos – an ongoing scourge for law enforcement agencies in Ukraine since regulation was made stiffer with a 2009 law – was launched on Dec. 8 after an announcement on Minister of Internal Affairs Arsen Avakov’s official Facebook page.

Avakov, who keeps a lively and occasionally angry Facebook commentary on current affairs, pledged to put a complete stop to the establishments within ten days; first in the capital of Kyiv, then the rest of the nation.

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