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A Star-Studded Armenian Night in LA: Armenian Music Awards 2009

December 15, 2009 North America No Comments
Armenian News

The annual Armenian Music Awards in the United States this year stood out by the unprecedented number of participants and the presence of world-caliber stars, such as legendary French-Armenian crooner Charles Aznavour, System of a Down rock star soloist Serj Tankian and his father, Khatchadour Tankian, as well as the Armenian star of the Russian variety, Irina Alegrova.

All in all, more than 100 Armenian music stars from different countries were honored on December 13, during the “M Club Music Video Awards” and “Armenian Music Awards” collaborative show in Los Angeles at the prestigious Nokia Theater. Performers were competing in 23 categories. One of the show’s producers, Arthur Kokozian told ArmeniaNow that about 7,000 people attended the Awards ceremony, a near-sellout with tickets ranging from $50-200.

U.S. Ambassador In Armenia Honored For Rights Defense.

December 15, 2009 North America No Comments
Armenian News

U.S. Ambassador to Armenia Marie Yovanovitch has been granted a prestigious State Department award for pressing the Armenian authorities to tackle chronic vote rigging and respect the rights of opposition members arrested following last year’s presidential election.

The State Department said Secretary of State Hillary Clinton bestowed the annual “Diplomacy for Human Rights Award” on Yovanovitch in recognition of her “extraordinary commitment to defending human rights and advancing democratic principles” in Armenia.

The decision was part of the U.S. government’s efforts to mark International Human Rights Day on December 10. Yovanovitch, who took over the U.S. mission in Yerevan in September 2008, will receive the award early next year.

US Senator Barbara Boxer Joined Her Colleagues in Cosponsoring Armenian Genocide Resolution

December 12, 2009 North America, Top News No Comments
Armenian News

Senator Barbara Boxer, a senior member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and Chair of its Subcommittee on International Operations and Organizations, Human Rights, Democracy, and Global Women’s Issues, joined her colleagues yesterday in cosponsoring S. Res. 316, the Armenian Genocide resolution, reported the Armenian Assembly of America (Assembly).

“We welcome Senator Boxer’s continued commitment in combating genocide denial through U.S. reaffirmation of the Armenian Genocide,” stated Armenian Assembly Executive Director Bryan Ardouny. “In the face of continued denial of this great crime against humanity, it is incumbent upon us and all people of goodwill to do everything in our power to put an end to this vicious cycle,” added Ardouny.
 
Introduced by Senator Robert Menendez in October of this year, S. Res. 316 reaffirms the incontestable fact of the Armenian Genocide and has also garnered the support of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. In addition, while not an official cosponsor, former Presidential hopeful, Senator John McCain in a recent interview publicly affirmed the Armenian Genocide.

Turkish Amabassor to US Forced to Resign

Armenian News

Turkey’s Ambassador in Washington D.C. Nabi Sensoy resigned after the meeting of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and U.S. President Barack Obama, reports Turkish news source Milliyet Daily. Sensoy did not disclose why he resigned.

It was stated that the crisis which erupted when Sensoy did not fulfil an order was behind the shocking resignation.

When plans were being made for the Erdogan-Obama meeting, Turkish Foreign Ministry asked for a four-way meeting in which the leaders and foreign ministers would attend.

Request of the ministry was relayed to Sensoy to inform the White House. When the Turkish party went to the White House, they learned that the meeting would take place without participation of the foreign ministers.

Remarks by President Obama and Prime Minister Erdogan of Turkey after meeting

December 8, 2009 North America, Top News No Comments
Armenian News

Below is the official transcript from the White House of the remarks made by President Obama and Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan following their meeting on Dec. 7 in D.C.

PRESIDENT OBAMA:  I want to extend the warmest of welcomes to Prime Minister Erdogan.  I’m glad that I, personally, and the American people have a chance to reciprocate the wonderful hospitality that was extended to me when I visited Turkey in April.

As I said when I had the great honor of addressing the Turkish Parliament in Ankara, I am strongly committed to creating the best possible relationship between Turkey and the United States.

Erdogan Looking to Lock in Obama-Biden Administration Silence on Genocide

December 6, 2009 North America, Top News No Comments
Armenian News

With the White House meeting between President Obama and Turkey’s Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan just days away, the Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA) once again voiced its concerns over the Turkish government’s increasingly energetic efforts to cement in place the Obama Administration’s refusal to properly recognize the Armenian Genocide.

“Prime Minister Erdogan – having succeeded in using the Ankara-inspired Protocols to enlist the cooperation of yet another U.S. Administration into its campaign to block recognition of the Armenian Genocide – is now coming to Washington to cement his gains and further press his advantage,” said ANCA Executive Director Aram Hamparian.

Turkish Media: White House to ask four questions to Erdogan

Armenian News

Turkish mass media are still seriously interested in what the U.S. President Barack Obama and Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan will discuss when they meet in the White House on Dec. 7.

 Turkish famous analyst Qadri Gyursel covered those four basic requests that are supposed to be addressed to the Turkish PM, “Milliyet” writes. The reporter writes in his story about his meeting Turkish expert Ian Lessery in German Marshall Fun meeting in Canada.

Experts say four questions having top priority are:

1. Disposition towards Iran nuclear projects Processes round Iran are changing rapidly. It’s supposed that that UN Security Council might commit sanctions against Tehran, which can appear to be an obstacle for American-Turkish foreign policy. USA needs definite image whether Turkey will say “yes” or “no” regarding Iran’s sanctions.

Obama Vows ‘Vigorous Support’ For Turkish-Armenian Normalization

December 4, 2009 North America, Top News No Comments
Armenian News

U.S. President Barack Obama has pledged to continue to press for an unconditional normalization of Turkish-Armenian relations which he believes should be completed within a “reasonable timeframe.”

 Obama hailed the U.S.-backed dialogue between the two nations as “historic,” in a letter to Hirair Hovnanian, chairman of the Armenian Assembly of America, that was publicized by the influential advocacy group late on Thursday.

“I agree that normalization between Armenia and Turkey should move forward without preconditions and within a reasonable timeframe,” he said, echoing statements by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and other U.S. officials.

“We will continue to vigorously support the normalization effort in the months ahead,” added Obama.

Hayastan All Armenian Fund’s Telethon 2009 tonight

November 26, 2009 North America, Top News No Comments
Armenian News

Hayastan All Armenian Fund’s International Fundraising Telethon will air on Shant, Armenia and H1-Armenian Public Television on November 26, 8 pm -8am. Airing live from Los Angeles, Telethon 2009 will reach every continent, entering Armenian homes through satellite, cable and internet means. The telethon will be web-cast on http://www.armeniafund.org.

More than 20,000 residents of Armenia have already made their contributions to Hayastan All Armenian Fund. The post offices of HayPost have already received more than 13 000 cash donations. More than 500 organizations and individuals have made bank transfers. Some people prefer to make their donations in the Fund’s Executive Board office.

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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

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.

Commentary

Capitalism Run Amok Is Just Plain Capitalism

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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

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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.