Watchdog Condemns Azeri Treason Charges Against Journalist

The New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) has condemned authorities in Baku for charging a prominent Azerbaijani journalist with high treason over allegations that he spied for Armenia. 

The Azerbaijani Prosecutor-General’s Office said on Monday that Rauf Mirkadyrov “was recruited by the Armenian secret services in 2008 and supplied Yerevan with information on Azerbaijan’s state secrets.”

In a statement, the CPJ’s Europe and Central Asia program coordinator, Nina Ognianova, called on Azerbaijani authorities “to drop these trumped-up charges and stop abusing the law to silence independent reporting on the country.” She said Azerbaijan is “quickly becoming one of the leading jailers of journalists in the Eurasia region.”

Envoy Sees ‘Strong’ Obama Statement On Armenian Genocide Anniversary

U.S. — President Barack Obama speaks to the media in the Brady Press Briefing Room at the White House in Washington, April 17, 2014

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Abrahamian Meets Opposition MPs On Pension Reform

Armenia – Prime Minister Hovik Abrahamian (L) meets with members of a pressure group demonstrating in Yerevan against a controversial pension reform, 18Apr2014.

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Kocharian Attacks Sarkisian, Constitutional Reform

Armenia – President Serzh Sarkisian (R) and his predecessor Robert Kocharian at an official ceremony near Yerevan, 03Dec2008.

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Latest Armenian News:

Russian outrage at Ukraine killing

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Russia’s foreign ministry has expressed outrage at a fatal shooting incident in eastern Ukraine which it blamed on Ukrainian nationalists, the BBC reports.
Russian state media reported that five people were killed in a gun attack on a checkpoint manned by pro-Russian activists near the town of Sloviansk.
Ukrainian officials said one died in a clash between “two groups of citizens”.
The incident comes as pro-Russian groups continue to occupy government buildings defying a deal to leave.
Ertogrul Apakan, who heads the special mission of the Organization for Co-operation and Security in Europe in Kiev, said his deputy would be in Donetsk to try to get them to comply with an agreement reached on Thursday to ease the crisis.
Russia, Ukraine, the EU and US agreed during talks in Geneva on Thursday that illegal military groups in Ukraine must be dissolved, and that those occupying government premises must be disarmed and leave.
But the separatists’ spokesman in the city of Donetsk said that the Kiev government was “illegal”, and vowed they would not go until it stepped down.
TV pictures showed what was described as the aftermath of an attack on a pro-Russian checkpoint at about 01:00 local time (22:00 on Saturday GMT), including the body of a man under a cover.
The BBC is unable to verify the footage. However, a Reuters journalist at the scene reported seeing two bodies in a truck.
Daylight Reuters TV footage of the scene shows several burnt-out vehicles.
The Russian foreign ministry said the Ukrainian far-right group Right Sector was behind the attack. A business card with the name of its leader Dmytro Yarosh appeared in the unverified Russian TV pictures.
“Russia is indignant about this provocation by gunmen, which testifies to the lack of will on the part of the Kiev authorities to rein in and disarm nationalists and extremists,” it said in a statement.
Right Sector said in a statement on its Facebook page that it had nothing to do with the events in Sloviansk, which bore the hallmarks of a provocation by Russia’s Federal Security Service.
Ukraine’s interior ministry said that details were still being established, but that one person was killed and three others were taken to hospital with gunshot wounds.
This is the first fatal incident in the region since Thursday’s agreement, prompting Sloviansk rebel leader and self-proclaimed mayor Vyacheslav Ponomarev to call on Russian President Vladimir Putin to send peacekeepers.
But the BBC’s James Reynolds in Donetsk says that the Geneva deal is already in trouble and events in Sloviansk will do little to change that.
Meanwhile in an interview to be aired in full later on Sunday on NBC’s Meet the Press, Ukraine’s interim Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk accuses Russian President Vladimir Putin of trying to “restore the Soviet Union”.
If Mr Putin succeeded, Mr Yatsenyuk says, it would be “the biggest disaster of this century”.
Ukraine has been in crisis since President Viktor Yanukovych was toppled in February.
Russia then annexed the Crimean peninsula – part of Ukraine but with a Russian-speaking majority – in a move that provoked international outrage.
The annexation followed a referendum in Crimea that backed a move to join the Russian Federation.
Pro-Russian activists then occupied buildings in several eastern Ukrainian cities, many calling on Moscow to support them.
Ukraine has said that operations against the pro-Russian militants have been suspended over Easter.
Ukraine’s interim authorities have appealed for national unity and promised to meet some of the demands of pro-Russian protesters.
These include the decentralization of power and guarantees for the status of the Russian language.
But the US has warned the next few days will be pivotal and has threatened more sanctions against Russia if it fails to abide by the agreement.
US Vice-President Joe Biden is set to visit Kiev on Tuesday.

Watchman’s body found

April 20, 2014 Armenia No Comments
Armenian News

At 10:39am, Armenia’s Ministry of Emergency Situations received a report that the night watchman did not open the door at the Shirak branch of the National Archives of Armenia or answer calls.A rescue team arrived at the scene. The rescuers unlocked the door and found the body of S.M. (64). 

Source: TertOriginial Article

Drilling begins for continent-connecting road tunnel in Istanbul

April 20, 2014 Armenia, Asia, Diaspora, Europe No Comments
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Ground has been broken for the Eurasia tunnel, another mega government project that will connect the European and Asian sides of Istanbul, with a ceremony attended by Prime Minister Recep Erdoğan over the weekend, the Hurriyet Daily News reports. The prime minister inaugurated the boring of the Eurasia Tunnel Project at Istanbul’s Haydarpaşa Loading Port on April 19, saying the scheme would shorten the existing 100-minute cross-strait journey time to 15 minutes.The tunnel boring machine, known as TBM, began carving out the route for the tunnel that will be a sibling to the existing Marmaray, and will connect the Asian and European sides of the Istanbul Strait via a road tunnel going under the Marmara Sea.“There are four such tunnels in New York that enable a sub-sea passage for light vehicles; one in Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia and another similar highway tunnel in France. We are now bringing in the most modern and developed road tunnel to Istanbul,” the prime minister said.Erdoğan said that once the Eurasia Tunnel was completed, Istanbul would have four road crossings between the two continents, including The Bosphorus Bridge, the Fatih Sultan Mehmet Bridge and the Marmaray.“Hopefully, the suffering known as ‘bridge traffic’ will become a thing of the past,” he said.Erdoğan said the tunnel boring machine will advance 10 meters a day on average from the Asian side to the European one.The Eurasia Tunnel, the foundations of which were cast on Feb. 26, 2011, will operate between Kazlıçeşme and Göztepe route where vehicle traffic is the most intense in Istanbul, and will cover a total of 14.6 kilometers.The tunnel has been designed for use only by light vehicles such as cars and minibuses.Heavier vehicles, motorcycles, bicycles and pedestrians will not be permitted to use the tunnel.While 5.4 kilometers of the project will comprise a two-story tunnel to be constructed underneath the seabed, expansion and improvement works are to be carried out over 9.2 kilometers of roads on the European and Asian sides.Access roads between Sarayburnu and Kazlıçeşme and Harem and Göztepe will also be enlarged, while vehicle underpasses and pedestrian overpasses will also be constructed.Not only will the travel time for Istanbul’s highly congested traffic decline, but it will also become safer and more comfortable, officials claiming, adding that it will also contribute to the reduction of environmental and noise pollution.

Quentin Tarantino stages reading of leaked film script

April 20, 2014 Armenia, Diaspora, Film No Comments
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Samuel L Jackson, Bruce Dern and Michael Madsen have joined Quentin Tarantino in Los Angeles for a reading of his leaked script, Hateful Eight, the BBC reports. Once due to be the follow-up to Django Unchained, Tarantino cancelled the film in January after the script spread around Hollywood and film websites.At the time, he said he was “very, very depressed” by the leak.But he was in better spirits for the one-off live reading and hinted his movie may yet see the light of day.”I’m working on a second draft and I will do a third draft but we’re reading from the first draft,” he told the audience at Los Angeles’ Theatre at the Ace Hotel.The 51-year-old also suggested the script would be changed substantially in future drafts.”The chapter five here will not be the chapter five later so this will be the only time it is seen, ever,” he said.Set in post-civil war Wyoming, the Western drama takes place after a blizzard diverts a stagecoach from its route, stranding a mismatched group of outlaws in a saloon.Among their number are a competing pair of bounty hunters, a renegade Confederate soldier and a female prisoner.Several of Tarantino’s old cast-members took part in the reading, with Tim Roth (Resevoir Dogs, Pulp Fiction), Kurt Russell (Death Proof) and Amber Tamblyn (Django Unchained) all on stage.”We’ve been rehearsing this for the last 3 days and we’re not bad,” said Tarantino.Jackson and Russell played the dueling bounty hunters, while Madsen played cowboy John Gage and Tarantino narrated.”Guys, you are starting to drift away from the dialogue on the page,” he told the ensemble at one point. “No more co-writing!”About 1,200 people attended the show, with tickets priced between $150 – $200 (£90 – £120).Among the audience were film mogul Harvey Weinstein, who has distributed several of Tarantino’s movies, and X-Men writer David Hayder.Mobile phones were banned, and there was no live stream of the event.Meanwhile, Tarantino is suing gossip website Gawker for contributory copyright infringement after it posted a link to the leaked screenplay.The trial is due to start on 27 January, 2015. 

US ready to target Russian president’s hidden $40bn stash

April 20, 2014 Diaspora No Comments
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The United States has been preparing to take the lead in enforcing a tougher sanctions regime on the Kremlin, and, according to officials, was ready to target the personal fortune of Vladimir Putin, The Times reports.The US has made plain that it was preparing to raise substantially the costs of Russian interference in the region, and the warning that more sanctions were being prepared against the highest echelons of the Kremlin, was one of Mr Kerry’s main bargaining chips in the talks in Geneva last night.“We are actively preparing new sanctions,” Jay Carney, the White House spokesman, said. 

Source: TertOriginial Article

Old master Hopkins unifies light-heavyweight titles at 49

April 20, 2014 Armenia, Diaspora No Comments
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American Bernard Hopkins became the oldest man to unify world boxing titles when he scored a split decision victory over Beibut Shumenov on Saturday to add the Kazak’s WBA light-heavyweight title to his IBF crown, Reuters reports.The 49-year-old American was awarded the fight 116-111 by two judges but Gustavo Padilla controversially had it 114-113 for the 30-year-old Shumenov, who was floored by a big right hand in the 11th round.Hopkins improved his record to 55-6-2 with 32 knockouts after dominating his much younger opponent, who suffered his second career defeat and slipped to 14-2-0.After a cagey opening in Washington, Hopkins took control of the contest and tellingly dictated the pace after landing a number of telling right hands through some sluggish defense by Shumenov, who fought in the 2004 Olympics.The taller Kazak stepped up his attack in the eighth, taking a couple of rounds after landing some strong lefts before being beaten to the punch by Hopkins in the 11th and dropping to one knee.Hopkins also extended his record as the oldest winner of a world title and his confident display suggested he had no plans to end a professional career which began in defeat in 1988. 

Bako Sahakyan hosts Armenian philantropist

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President of the Nagorno-Karabakh (NKR) Republic Bako Sahakyan received on Saturday Michael Haroutyunyan, an Armenian philanthropist and public figure.
According to a press release by the NKR Presidential Office, issues related to the implementation of different projects in the country were discussed at the meeting.
The president praised the philanthropist’s contribution to the development of Artsakh, highlighting its significance from economic, political and moral viewpoints. 

Source: TertOriginial Article

Nasa’s moon explorer Ladee crashes on far side of the moon

April 20, 2014 Armenia, Diaspora No Comments
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Nasa’s robotic moon explorer, Ladee, is no more.
Flight controllers confirmed Friday that the orbiting spacecraft crashed into the back side of the moon as planned, just three days after surviving a full lunar eclipse, something it was never designed to do, The Guardian reported.
Researchers believe Ladee likely vaporized when it hit because of its extreme orbiting speed of 3,600 mph, possibly smacking into a mountain or side of a crater. No debris would have been left behind.
“It’s bound to make a dent,” project scientist Rick Elphic predicted Thursday.
By Thursday evening, the spacecraft had been skimming the lunar surface at an incredibly low altitude of 300ft. Its orbit had been lowered on purpose last week to ensure a crash by Monday following an extraordinarily successful science mission.
Ladee, short for Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer, was launched in September from Virginia. From the outset, Nasa planned to crash the spacecraft into the back side of the moon, far from the Apollo artifacts left behind during the moonwalking days of 1969 to 1972. See more here.

Invention of ‘pizza cake’ signals new dawn for mankind

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A North American pizza chain has asked its customers to vote for their favorite from a catalogue of wacky pizza innovations, the Metro reported.The long list of entries includes a pizza-shaped shirt pocket, a pneumatic pizza cutter and of course the aforementioned seven-layered phenomenon of bread, tomato and melted cheese.But as much as we’d all love to see this fantastical pizza of wonder take shape, there do seem to be a few practical issues.See more here. 

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/, 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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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


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


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


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.