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Armenian grandmaster wins champion’s title in Kolkata Open

December 14, 2013 Armenia, Diaspora, Sports No Comments
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Armenian chess grandmaster Samvel Ter-Sahakyan has won the first prize in the Kolkata Open chess tournament.
He scored 7.5 points out of ten, topping the other rivals, including 23 grandmasters, Armchess.am reported.Four other sportsmen with an equal result lagged behind the Armenian grandmaster with the tie-break results. 

Source: TertOriginial Article

Swedish Saab to resume automobile production

November 30, 2013 Armenia, Diaspora, Sports No Comments
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National Electric Vehicle Sweden, which bought the Swedish carmaker Saab last year, will restart production of the Saab 9-3 sedan on Monday at the Trollhattan factory, the NY Times reported, citing a company spokesperson.
The 9-3 sedan will be powered by a turbocharged gasoline engine and built in “small and humble numbers” for China and Sweden, the spokesman said. The move comes almost two years after Saab filed for bankruptcy at the end of 2011. Saab was previously owned by General Motors, which sold it to the Dutch sports car maker Spyker in 2010. National Electric Vehicle, which is controlled by Chinese investors, bought most of Saab’s assets. An electric 9-3 sedan is expected to be introduced in China next year. 

Petite woman with painted nails who started jumping out of air balloons at 18 and is now the world’s fastest flying woman

November 28, 2013 Armenia, Sports No Comments
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Her blonde hair, petite frame and painted nails could be deceiving, but soaring at 112 miles per hour Ellen Brennan certainly lives up to her title as the fastest flying woman in the world.
After starting wingsuit flying just seven years ago, the 26-year-old American, has quickly established a name for herself in the flying world, reports the Daily Mail. 
Growing up in New York, she quickly moved to the mountain town of Sallanches, France, to be closer to the hills that she now practices from every day. 
Gliding above the ground at over 3,500 metres, she effortlessly sails through the sky, giving the birds a run for their money. 
She said: “I started skydiving with my dad when I was 18, and then when I got bored of that I started BASE jumping from hot air balloons, bridges and small cliffs. 
“However I quickly realised that I had the most fun when I was wingsuit jumping from big mountains. 
“It was never a huge goal of mine, but as I became bored with the other sports I fell into the world of wingsuiting. I have been flying for seven years now and I can’t imagine ever becoming tired in this sport.” 
Ellen was originally given the title as the fastest flying women at the World BASE Race in Romsdalen, Norway, after she had won both the Kjerag U-Turn race and the WBR race in Romsdalen.
After then winning the next race in Lauterbrunnen, Switzerland and by being the only girl invited to the WWL, she was able to live up to her name, and keep the title.She said: ‘I was elated when, standing up on the podium at the World Base Race, they announced: Ellen Brennan, the fastest flying woman in the world.
“I thought- ‘wow, it’s true, with all this hard work I’ve been putting into wingsuit racing I’ve made it to the top,” It’s a bit surreal. Growing up I’ve never been particularly great at anything- I tried volleyball, baseball, soccer, but never really excelled.“Then I found air sports and it changed my life, not only is it ridiculously fun, but I’m good at it.”Ellen is now a full time jumper and jumps every day weather permitting.
With her highest take off over le Pleureur, Valais, Switzerland, measuring at an astonishing 3.715 metres, she is able to reach the max speed of 112 miles per hour. 
She has flown over beauty spots all over the world, including mountainous regions in Norway, Switzerland, China and France.
Miss Brennan, who hopes to be the first to jump from peaks in Nepal as her next challenge, said: ‘The reaction I get is usually shock, followed by ‘really? you fly wingsuits?
‘I think my appearance throws a lot of people off- a petite blonde, with her hair and nails done doesn’t look like your ‘typical wingsuit flyer. But as my parents taught me- do what makes you happy – and I have never been happier.’ 

Yerevan, Moscow mayors sign cooperation plan

November 27, 2013 Armenia, Diaspora, Sports No Comments
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The mayors of the Armenian and Russian capital cities have a signed a cooperation plan for 2014-2016 to continue the joint work in different directions, reports the Yerevan municipality’s press service.
Taron Margaryan, who is in Moscow on a two-day official visit, has concluded the document at a meeting with his counterpart, Sergey Sobyanin. The plan envisages a broader bilateral cooperation in the trade-economic, architectural, urban development, healthcare, social security, cultural, educational, sports and other sectors, as well as an exchange of experience through practical projects.The sides have mutually stressed the importance of expanding and developing the cooperation between Yerevan and Moscow.At the end of the meeting, Mayor Margaryan thanked Mr Sobyanin for the high-level organization of Yerevan Day events in Russia’s capital. He invited his counterpart to Yerevan for an official visit. 

Weekend Update: First U.S. energy sector investment in Armenia, national currency turns 20, call to boycott Eurovision

November 25, 2013 Armenia, Europe, Sports, Technology No Comments
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At the meeting at the U.S Department of State, Armenia and the United States welcomed the new $180 million investment in Armenia’s hydropower sector by the U.S. Company Contour Global, the largest U.S. private investment in Armenia’s history and the first U.S. investment in Armenia’s energy sector. The Armenian delegation headed by Armenian Minister of Finance David Sargsyan was in the United States for the 22nd U.S.–Armenia Joint Economic Task Force (USATF).

Serzh Sargsyan hosts Uruguay’s tourism and sport minister

November 16, 2013 Armenia, Diaspora, Sports No Comments
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The Armenian president received on Saturday Uruguay’s minister of tourism and sport, Liliam Keshishian.
Greeting the guest, Serzh Sargsyan said that it is a big pride for a foreign country to see an Armenian holding a senior cabinet office. The president considered it a good proof that the Armenians can be actively integrated into foreign countries’ societies, without losing their national identity.
According to a press release by the presidential office, the sides have discussed possibilities of strengthening relations in different sectors, including sports and tourismm and developing bilateral cooperation. The president expressed hope that the minister’s longtime experience and her awareness of Armenia’s tourism potentials will contribute to the development of mutual cooperation in the sector.
 

EU Citizenship: On Sale Now!

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18:30, November 16, 2013

In the market for citizenship in the European Union (EU)? It’s now up for sale at a mere US$877,000.

According to Eurasia Review, the Maltese parliamentpassed a bill this weekwhich offers citizenship to “ultra-high net worth individuals and families worldwide” who can pay the aforementioned sum. Spouses and children of successful candidates will be charged US$33,700 for citizenship.

Malta’s new Individual Investor Program (IIP) hopes to bring in over US$400 million a year to the country, attracting investors and high spenders to the small group of islands located between North Africa and Europe,reports the EUObserver.com. Henley & Partners, a citizenship and residence planning firm, says that a diligent vetting process will ensure “only highly respectable clients will be admitted” as new citizens of Malta—and therefore, by extension, of the EU.

Armenia’s Olympic committee honors merited Russian-Armenian sportsman

November 13, 2013 Armenia, Diaspora, Sports No Comments
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Nikita Simonyan, a legendary Russian-Armenian football player and coach and a deputy president of Russia’s Football Union, has been honored with a medal by the National Olympic Committee of Armenia (NACO).
The award ceremony was held at the Russian Olympic Committee’s Moscow headquarters.
Thanking the NOCA for the award, the Russian-Armenian sportsman said: “It is with a deep feeling of respect and gratitude that I accept such an award as a medal by the National Olympic Committee of Armenia. I wish the Committee to always enrich its ranks with new champions.”

Source: TertOriginial Article

Armenian lawmakers reinstall Zakaryan as Control Chamber head

November 12, 2013 Armenia, Sports No Comments
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The National Assembly today voted to let Ishkhan Zakaryan continue as head of the Control Chamber for a second six-year term.

The candidacy of Zakaryan had been endorsed by President Serzh Sargsyan after his powers expired earlier this month.

A total of 101 lawmakers in the 131-seat chamber took part in the vote, with 88 of them voting in favor of and 13 against Zakaryan’s candidacy in a closed, secret ballot procedure.

Zakaryan, 52, headed the National Olympic Committee (in 2000-2004) and managed the sports committee affiliated with the government before being elected member of parliament on the list of the then pro-establishment Prosperous Armenia Party in May 2007. He served as vice-speaker of parliament for nearly six month before being elected chairman of the Control Chamber.

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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.

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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.

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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.