Home » Middle East » Latest Armenian News:

Defense Attorneys in Armenia’s Largest ‘Drug Bust’ Trial Demand Not-Guilty Verdict

December 24, 2014 Armenia, Georgia, Turkey No Comments
Image 57919.jpg

01:20, December 24, 2014

Avtandil Martiashvili, one the two men charged with involvement in Armenia’s largest drug bust made a motion at yesterday’s trial for the state prosecutor to recuse himself.

Martiashvili, a Georgian citizen who was driving a truck when 850 kilos of heroin were seized on January 17, 2014 at the Meghri customs house, argued that Prosecutor A. Panosyan had preconceived beliefs about the case and that he should resign.

The defendant, one of whose attorneys never showed up at the Goris branch of the Syunik Court of Jurisdiction, also demanded that the court appointed interpreter be dismissed as well due to a lack of quality work. Martiashvili claimed that the translations from Armenian to Georgian are so poor that he can’t understand what the prosecutor is saying.

Azerbaijan Has Highest Journo Jailings Per Capita

December 23, 2014 Africa, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Turkey No Comments
Image 57910.jpg

17:04, December 23, 2014

With nine journalists currently behind bars, Azerbaijan is ranked 9th on the list of 10 world’s worst journalist jailers the Committee to Protect Journalists published for 2014. But when you consider the per capita rate, it is second only behind the hyper repressive Eritrean regime in Africa,according to an analysis by journalist Till Buckner.

Graph from Till Bruckner’s 2014 study

Using numbers from the Center to Protect Journalists, China tops the list with 44 imprisoned journalists but considering the size of the country’s population of 1.3 billion, this means one jailed journalist to 30.8 million residents. Including the size of the country in population reshuffles CPJ’s list and propels the Alijev regime to the top ahead of such other bastions of anti-democracy as Iran, Syria, Burma and Vietnam.  Of the countries, Azerbaijan leads all of them in hypocrisy – it’s the only one that presents itself as a democracy.  It’s time to drop that charade now.

Armenia’s National Football Squad Closes Year in 79th Place

Image 57841.jpg

13:34, December 18, 2014

According to the latest FIFA rankings of national football teams released today Armenia came in 79th, a drop of two spots, with an overall score of 436.

In December 2013 Armenia was ranked 35th in the world. By January of the following year it had slipped to 38th place but jumped to 30th, its best ranking ever, just one month later. It’s been downhill ever since.

World champion Germany remains in first place followed Argentina, Colombia, Belgium, Netherlands, Brazil, Portugal, France, Spain and Uruguay.

As for Armenia’s competition in the qualifying round in Group I for Euro-2016, Denmark was today ranked 30th in the world, Portugal (tied with France for 7th place), Serbia – 38th, and Albania – 58th.

Defendant in Armenia’s Biggest Drug Bust Testifies He Was Offered $100K

December 12, 2014 Armenia, Business, Georgia, Turkey No Comments
Image 57761.jpg

12:33, December 12, 2014

At yesterday’s trial of Armenia’ biggest drug bust to date, one of the two men charged in attempting to smuggle 850 kilos of heroin into Armenia from Iran by truck on January 17, 2014, testified that he was offered US$ 1000,000 for the job but that he refused.

This is what Osman Oğurlu, a Turkish citizen who is accused of organizing the transport of the aforementioned quantity of drugs to Turkey via Armenia in cahoots with two brothers, also Turkish citizens, told the Syunik Regional Court in Goris yesterday.

Closed Border Hurting Eastern Turkey More than Armenia, Says New Hrant Dink Foundation Study

December 9, 2014 Armenia, Business, Georgia, Turkey No Comments
Image 57708.jpg

10:50, December 9, 2014

According to a recent study entitled ‘‘Research on the Socio-Economic Impact of the Turkey-Armenia Border’’ commissioned by the Hrant Dink Foundation it would appear that the closed border between the two neighboring countries is hurting citizens on the Turkish side more than the Armenian.

On page 73 of the study we read:

The TRA2 region (Kars, Iğdır, Ağrı, Ardahan),a majority of which is located right on the border with Armenia, cannot benefit from the opportunities offered by free trade agreements – unlike the other regions of Turkey – due to the sealed border. The region also cannot benefit from the indirect trade between Armenia and Turkey as the border is closed and these goods get shipped from regions close to Georgia or Iran borders. Besides, since the existing trade with Armenia is not legal and comes at a high transit cost, due to the sealed land border, the volume of the existing trade remains very limited.

Armenia Ranks 94 Out of 175 in Transparency International Corruption Index

Image 57637.jpg

22:03, December 3, 2014

Armenia ranked 94th out of the 175 countries included in the 2014 in the Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) recently released by Transparency International.

Armenia’s score of 37 was a tad better than its 36 score for 2013 and 3 points better than 2012.

As for Armenia’s neighbors, Georgia had a ranking of 52, Turkey – 64, Azerbaijan – 126, and Iran – 136. 

Denmark came in first with a score of 92. North Korea and Somalia tied for 174th place with a ranking of 8.

The Berlin-based NGO’s index ranks countries on a scale from 0 (high corruption) to 100 (low corruption).

Turkey And Bosnia Slip In Fight Against Corruption, Says New Transparency International Index

Image 57634.jpg

20:34, December 3, 2014

Transparency International has released its Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) for 2014, identifying Turkey as the country whose reputation for graft has grown the most in the past year.

Turkey’s reputation suffered in 2014 amid fallout from a corruption scandal that first broke late last December. Under former Prime Minister and current President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the country took a number of stern steps to clamp down on the case, including arresting dozens of police who were investigating officials, temporarily blocking Twitter, and, most recently, banning media coverage of the scandal. Turkey’s score dropped by five points since last year, from 50 to 45. Other countries whose scores dropped include Angola, China, Malawi and Rwanda, all of which dropped by four points.

Corruption In Armenia ‘Unchanged In 2014’

Thumbnail

The extent of government corruption in Armenia has practically not changed and remained quite high over the past year, according to an annual global survey released by Transparency International on Wednesday. 

Armenia ranked, along with four African states, 94th of 174 countries and territories evaluated in the Berlin-based watchdog’s latest Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI). It occupied the same position in last year’s CPI which covered 177 nations.

The nations surveyed were again rated on a 100 point scale measuring the degree of good governance as perceived by businesspeople and experts. Armenia received a CPI score of 37, slightly up from 36 in 2013 and 34 in 2012.

Turkish police clash with Kobane protesters near Syria border

December 3, 2014 Armenia, Turkey No Comments
Image g_image.php

Turkish police have clashed with protesters demonstrating in support of the Kurdish town of Kobane near Syria’s border with Turkey, Hurriyet Daily News reported.
The Democratic Regions Party (DBP), which shares similar grassroots with the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), organized the demonstration in the Silopi district of the southeastern province of Shirnak on Dec. 2. The group peacefully marched to protest the ongoing attacks of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) in Kobane.
The clashes started after the march, after some protesters threw Molotov cocktails and the police used tear gas, Doğan News Agency reported. An armored police vehicle was set alight in the clashes, but police were able to extinguish the fire with water cannon. 

RSS International News By CNN

  • Cartoonists convicted for insulting Turkey's President
    A court in Turkey this week sentenced two cartoonists to 11 months and 20 days in prison for insulting Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Soon after, the court changed the jail sentence to a fine of 7,000 Turkish lira or about $2,700 each. […]
  • Homeless invited to tour the Vatican
    The Vatican City is accustomed to welcoming millions of visitors to its grounds each year, but Thursday a very special tour group got a look inside. […]
  • Co-pilot's note from doctor included day of crash
    Investigators take objects from his apartment that may reveal why he crashed Germanwings Flight 9525, killing 150 people. FULL STORY […]
  • Saudi-led coalition pounds Yemen
    A coalition of Middle Eastern forces pounded positions in Yemen from the air overnight in the second day of a campaign to bring a rebel group to its knees. […]
  • Court to rule on Knox murder conviction
    Italy's highest court will rule Friday whether to uphold Amanda Knox's murder conviction in the 2007 death of her British roommate. […]
  • How to guard against the threat from pilots
    Since the September 11 hijackings 14 years ago, improvements to aviation security have had a strong focus on keeping intruders out of the cockpit. […]
  • Your 6 key plane crash questions answered
    When we asked our viewers to tweet their questions about the crash of Germanwings Flight 9525, we received hundreds of responses. We put them to our experts and here are answers to six of the most interesting ones. […]
  • The week in 41 photos
    […]
  • Prosecutor: Co-pilot 'activated the descent' while alone
    A 28-year-old German national who was co-piloting Germanwings Flight 9525 apparently deliberately crashed the plane this week, killing 144 passengers and six crew members including himself, officials said Thursday. […]
  • U.S.-led coalition bombs ISIS in Tikrit
    U.S.-led warplanes continued to hammer ISIS positions around the pivotal Iraqi battleground city of Tikrit, stepping in at the Iraqi Prime Minister's request to get at what a spokesman called "difficult targets." […]

CNN International Explores the Secrets of Armenia’s Stone Henge

AdvertisementAdvertisementAdvertisementAdvertisement

Recent Comments

RSS Middle East News By BBC

RSS Sports News By The Huffington Post

  • NCAA Schools Can Absolutely Afford To Pay College Athletes, Economists Say
    A growing chorus of critics are calling for the National Collegiate Athletic Association to pay student-athletes. Just this month, a coalition of professors banded together in support of labor rights for men’s football and basketball players. And just this week, former NCAA basketball stars Ed O’Bannon and Shane Battier said student-athletes should be compen […]
  • March Madness Referee Trips Over Player, Totally Eats It During Kentucky-West Virginia Game
    With all eyes on No. 1 Kentucky and all minds pondering whether the Wildcats will continue through the NCAA Tournament undefeated, a lot of people were probably watching when one poor referee fell flat on his face during Thursday's Sweet 16 game against No. 5 West Virginia. There, there. Here it is, once again, in slo-mo. Oof. The referee tripped over a […]
  • V. Stiviano, Donald Sterling's Ex-Friend, Denies Romantic Relationship
    By Steve Gorman LOS ANGELES, March 26 (Reuters) - The woman whose recording of former Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling making racist remarks that cost him his NBA franchise testified in court on Thursday that she loved him but insisted again that they never had a romantic relationship. V. Stiviano, 32, described herself instead as a onetime confida […]
  • White Man In St. Louis Area Punches Former Cardinal Curt Ford, Tells Him To 'Go Back To Ferguson'
    A white man allegedly punched former St. Louis Cardinal Curt Ford in the St. Louis area recently and then told him to “go back to Ferguson, you [unknown racial slur here, but you can probably guess],” according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Ford, who played 276 games for the Cardinals between 1985 and 1988, told the Post-Dispatch that he was considering mo […]
  • Congress Focuses In On NFL's Non-Profit Tax-Exempt Status In Letter
    A long-time sticking point for Washington, House Oversight and Government Reform Chairman Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) sent a letter late Wednesday to NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell saying that the committee is reviewing the tax-exempt status enjoyed by the NFL and 10 other sports leagues and associations. Some of the other leagues that also received a letter inc […]
  • Dean Smith Prearranged To Surprise His Former Players With $200 Dinners After He Died
    Legendary North Carolina coach Dean Smith died last month at the age of 83, but he's still taking every single letterman who played for him out to dinner. In a touching posthumous act of gratitude, Smith's trust, following the late coach's instructions, has mailed out $200 checks to each of the nearly 200 varsity lettermen he coached. The coac […]
  • Why I Root for the Underdogs (and You Should Too)
    Once again we find ourselves in the greatest month of sports: March Madness. Year after year I find myself watching on-court battles between well-known teams, and teams that I've never heard of. After spending several Marchs in front of a television, I have finally come to a conclusion about sports: I love the underdog. If there is even the slightest ch […]
  • Here's The 2015 March Madness Schedule For Thursday And Friday's Sweet 16 Games
    Welcome back, dear readers. We sincerely hope you've enjoyed a few days off from back-to-back-to-back March Madness games. However, starting Thursday evening, the Sweet 16 tips off. As always, here is a helpful schedule of times and listings for all the match ups (all times Eastern): Thursday, March 26 7:15 p.m., CBS No. 3 Notre Dame vs. No. 7 Wichita S […]
  • North Korea Leader Kim Jong Un Wants To Boost Country's Sports Presence 'Guerrilla-Style'
    Human rights travesties aside, North Korea's Kim Jong Un is not happy with his country's athletic prowess, reportedly saying it's "trailing behind the world." "At times of peace, only athletes can fly the DPRK national flag in the sky of other countries," Kim said in a letter to a national meeting of sportspeople and offici […]
  • The One Shining Moment of March
    I love this time of year. My colleagues strut around the office pretending to know who is going to win the NCAA Tournament. They spend countless hours on the web studying bracketolgy, only to lose to someone who knows nothing about basketball, but likes the names of some schools more than others. You guys know who you are. Yes, we are in the midst of March M […]

Poll

Sorry, there are no polls available at the moment.

-

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.

Our Sponsors

Commentary

Capitalism Run Amok Is Just Plain Capitalism

Image 58171.jpg

16:37, January 17, 2015

By Markar Melkonian

The source of Armenia’s misery and humiliation, we often hear, is not capitalism per se, but rather “gangster capitalism,” “a broken system,” “capitalism run amok.”

The goal for the future, then, is to “fix the system,” to reform capitalism, to make it more like regular, pure, genuine Free Enterprise, the kind of capitalism that works. But what if Armenia’s actually existing capitalism already is genuine capitalism?

An economist once observed that the only existential meaning of “enterprise” in the term free enterprise is “whatever capitalists happen to be doing at the time”–and “free” is the accompanying demand that they be allowed to do it.

Ukraine: Cops Go After Casinos, Suggest Yanukovych Connection

Image 57806.jpg

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

Image 56686.jpg

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

Image 55858.jpg

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

Image 55647.jpg

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.