Russia Sees No Karabakh Customs Posts

The chief of Russia’s Federal Customs Service appeared to have confirmed on Friday that Armenia will not start collecting duties from goods imported from Nagorno-Karabakh after joining the Russian-led Eurasian Economic Union (EEU).

Kazakhstan’s President Nursultan Nazarbayev raised the possibility of Armenia setting up customs posts on its border with the self-proclaimed Nagorno-Karabakh Republic (NKR) earlier this year. Citing Azerbaijani concerns, Nazarbayev demanded in May that the accession treaty with Armenia mention its internationally recognized borders that do not include Karabakh.

The treaty, which was signed by Nazarbayev and his Russian, Belarusian and Armenian counterparts at an EEU summit on October 10, contains no such special references. Armenian officials have said that Yerevan does not plan to set up customs checkpoints with Karabakh.

Tsarukian Signals Caution In Anti-Government Campaign

Gagik Tsarukian avoided demanding President Serzh Sarkisian’s resignation or snap elections on Friday as his Prosperous Armenia Party (BHK) and two other major opposition groups again rallied tens of thousands of supporters in Yerevan.

Tsarukian made clear that their ongoing anti-government campaign will not turn into nonstop street protests for the time being. “I’m declaring today that there will be no sit-ins until our trio reaches an agreement,” he told a large crowd that gathered in the city’s Liberty Square. “If there is a need for that there will be a sit-in. We will discuss that issue at the next rally.”

The tycoon stressed that “haste won’t lead to success.” He argued that Sarkisian has already made a concession to the opposition by deciding to “delay” controversial plans to amend the Armenian constitution.

Crimea-Armenia Flights ‘Not Permitted’ By Yerevan

The Armenian government said on Friday that it has not allowed a Russian regional airline to launch controversial flights from Crimea to Armenia that could prompt criticism from Ukraine and even the European Union.

Nevertheless, the Grozny Air carrier based in the Russian autonomous republic of Chechnya seemed to be pressing ahead with the launch of a regular service between Yerevan and Simferopol, the Crimean capital. One of its senior executives, Timur Shimayev, told RFE/RL’s Armenian service (Azatutyun.am) that the inaugural flight is scheduled for November 17.

Tickets for the flight can already be purchased from Grozny Air’s website and travel agencies in Yerevan. The company has assigned a number to the flight which would be carried out by a Russian-made Yakovlev-42 aircraft.

EU ‘Still Committed’ To Closer Ties With Armenia

Armenia can forge closer links with the European Union even after joining a Russian-led alliance of former Soviet republics, German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier said during a visit to Yerevan on Thursday.

Steinmeier also insisted that the conflict in Ukraine will not cause the EU and Germany in particular to lose interest in other ex-Soviet states involved in the EU’s Eastern Partnership program.

“Despite the crisis in Ukraine, which we have discussed at length, Europe is saving no effort as we believe that it is because of this kind of crises that the other Eastern Partnership countries should not be forgotten,” he said after talks with his Armenian counterpart Edward Nalbandian.

Latest Armenian News:

European Boxing Championship: Two Armenians named winners

October 22, 2014 Armenia, Diaspora, Europe, Sports No Comments
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Two of the four Armenian sportsmen participating in the 2014 European Boxing Championship in Zagreb (Croatia) celebrated a victory in the Tuesday duels.
Ararat Gyulbangyan (64kg) gained advantage over Serbia’s Florian Sabo; heavyweight Gnel Muradyan beat Poland’s Milos Wodeski.
The two other Armenian representatives, Spartak Tamaryan (56 kg) and Tigran Melkonyan (69 kg) lost the battle to rivals. 

Source: TertOriginial Article

CIS military experts arrive in Armenia

October 22, 2014 Armenia, Diaspora No Comments
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Military experts from the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) on Wednesdayarrived  in Armenia on a two-day visit to participate in the outgoing sessions of standardization and metrological services. 
According to a press release by the Ministry of Defense, the meetings will bring together defense officials from Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Russia. As part of the agenda of the events, the participants are also scheduled to visit the Yerevan-based National Institute of Metrology. 

Source: TertOriginial Article

Corruption and monopolies remain greatest evil in Armenia’s economy – MP

October 22, 2014 Armenia, Diaspora, Karabakh No Comments
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Secretary of the Armenian National Congress (ANC) parliamentary group Aram Manukyan proposed a draft by three political forces in Armenia’s Parliament.
The three non-coalition forces proposed their draft, but the parliamentary majority rejected it.
“Corruption and monopolies remain the greatest evil in Armenia’s economy and governance system. Armenian and international organization confirm this,” Mr Manukyan said.
“As a result, as many as 213,000 people emigrated from Armenia during the last four years. This policy of ‘initiatives’ damaged Armenia’s international reputation and international organizations make decisions that weaken Nagorno-Karabakh’s positions,” he said.

Source: TertOriginial Article

Ebola crisis: WHO says serum will be available within weeks

October 22, 2014 Diaspora No Comments
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Serum made from the blood of recovered Ebola patients could be available within weeks in Liberia, one of the countries worst hit by the virus, BBC News reports, citing the World Health Organization.Speaking in Geneva, Dr Marie Paule Kieny said work was also advancing quickly to get drugs and a vaccine ready for January 2015.
The Ebola outbreak has already killed more than 4,500 people.
Most of the deaths have been in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone.
Dr Kieny, WHO assistant director general for health system and innovation, said: “There are partnerships which are starting to be put in place to have capacity in the three countries to safely extract plasma and make preparation that can be used for the treatment of infective patients.
“The partnership which is moving the quickest will be in Liberia where we hope that in the coming weeks there will be facilities set up to collect the blood, treat the blood and be able to process it for use.”
It is still unclear how much will become available and whether it could meet demand.
Read more on the BBC website.

Kissing Couple Still Adorns Yerevan Wall: Passersby Appear Unfazed

October 21, 2014 Armenia No Comments
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17:44, October 21, 2014

A striking image of a young couple embraced in a kiss still adorns the wall of a street in the Charbakh neighborhood of Yerevan. 

Plastered by a street art group calling itself Hakaharvatz (Counter Strike), the image of the kissing couple has yet to be torn down, as is the case with other Counter Strike installations. 

Counter Strike prowls the streets of Yerevan at night. Come morning, most of its art has already been removed.

Source: HetqOriginial Article

Czech lawmaker condemns destruction of Deir ez-Zor Armenian church

October 21, 2014 Armenia No Comments
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The Czech co-president of the Armenia-Czech Republic Parliamentary Friendship Group has strongly condemned the ISIL militants’ violent attacks that led to the destruction of an Armenian church in Syria’s Deir ez-Zor city in September.
In a letter to Artak Zakaryan, the head of the Armenian National Assembly’s Standing Committee on Foreign Relations, Robin Bohnisch says he is shocked by the intolerance towards the monument-complex eternalizing the Armenian Genocide victims.
Extending his deep sympathy with the Armenian people, the Czech lawmaker has expressed hope that the international community will manage to avert the group’s attempts to expand its dominance in the region. 

Source: TertOriginial Article

‘Holy Grail’ of timepieces: Gold pocket watch so complex it features stars above Manhattan is set to sell for over £10m

October 21, 2014 Armenia, Diaspora, Technology No Comments
Armenian News

A watch said to be the ‘Holy Grail’ of timepieces and one of the most complicated ever made is set to go under the hammer for £10million next month.The Henry Graves Supercomplication timepiece, made by famed watchmaker Patek Philippe, is the most complex ever produced without the use of computer technology.The gold pocket watch was first commissioned in 1925 by banker Henry Graves Junior, who is considered the greatest watch collector of the 20th century, and was eventually delivered to him in 1933.The watch was also calibrated so that Mr Graves could tell the time based on the exact position of the sun at his New York home.The watch features 24 horological complications – or features. They include a perpetual calendar, moon phases, a power reserve and an exact replica of the night sky as seen from Central Park in Manhattan, showing the exact position and magnitude of stars across the Milky Way.Tim Bourne, Sotheby’s Worldwide Head of Watches, and Daryn Schnipper, Chairman of Sotheby’s Watch Division, said of the watch: ‘The list of superlatives which can be attached to this icon of the 20th century is truly extraordinary.’Indisputably the ‘Holy Grail’ of watches, The Henry Graves Supercomplication combines the Renaissance ideal of the unity of beauty and craftsmanship with the apogee of science.’The Graves watch retained the title of the world’s most complicated watch for 56 years and even then was only surpassed by technicians working with the aid of computer-assisted machines.In 1999 Sotheby’s sold the Graves watch for £6.8 million, breaking the record for the most expensive timepiece ever sold at auction.Next month, to coincide with Patek Philippe’s 175th anniversary, the watch is again being auctioned in Geneva by Sotheby’s, who expect it to sell for over £10 million.A number of other Patek Philippe and Rolex watches will also be sold.Henry Graves was the son of Henry Graves Senior, a founder and partner in the Maxwell & Graves baking firm, and made millions of dollars in banking and the rail roads.As well as being an avid art collector, Mr Graves had a passion for fine watches, and was a patron of Patek Philippe.It was a competition with car manufacturer James Ward Packard, that saw him commission the Supercomplication pocket watch.In 1927 Mr Packard commissioned what he thought was going to be the most complicated watch ever made only be trumped by Mr Graves who spent almost five times as much having his own custom watch created.After Mr Graves death in 1953, the watch was held in the Museum of Time near Chicago from 1968 until December 1999 when it was sold by Sotheby’s to anonymous bidder in New York.Until Sotheby’s again announced it had the famed timepiece for sale, it had been on display at the Patek Philippe Museum in Geneva. 
 
 
 

Armenian Parliament vice-speaker on bourgeois-democratic revolution

October 21, 2014 Armenia, Diaspora No Comments
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In an interview with Tert.am, Vice-Speaker of Armenia’s Parliament and Spokesman for the ruling Republican Party of Armenia (RPA) Eduard Sharmazanov commented on the opposition’s accusations that the issue of ‘crisis of power’ put on the agenda is not being discussed as an urgent issue.He noted that the Parliament speaker has the authority to sort out the priorities.“The Parliament is not a market for anyone to say anything they want. We have the Rules of Procedure. Otherwise, we would not have the president of the Parliament, the vice-speakers, or the Rules of Procedure, with everyone supposed to respect them. They can do and say anything they want in their homes. But in Parliament we must say everything within the Constitution and the Rules of Procedure.”With respect to attempts to compare the three non-coalition forces’ rallies to a bourgeois-democratic revolution, Mr Sharmazanov said that such a revolution requires preconditions and an idea by the forces wishing to carry out such a revolution.“And Levon Ter-Petrosyan [leader of the Armenian National Congress party] does not look like a democrat. Rather, he looks like a revenge-seeker, and many members of the party you have mentioned are more economic figures rather than political ones. This is their problem. As to a bourgeois-democratic revolution, by making his previous statement Ter-Petrosyan proved he was a political pensioner.”There has never been a leader of a bourgeois-democratic revolution.“What revolution are you speaking of and, what is more, a bourgeois-democratic one? Moreover, it is not a bourgeois-democratic revolution. Rather, it is classical revanchism. It is interpenetration of revanchism and oligopoly rather than constitutional reforms that poses a threat in Armenia.” 

Armenian Ruling Party Slams Opposition ‘Traitors’

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The parliamentary leader of President Serzh Sarkisian’s Republican Party (HHK) sparked a bitter verbal exchange with outspoken opposition lawmakers on Tuesday after accusing them of accepting money from the West and Azerbaijan to betray Armenia.

“We witnessed yesterday a classical example of high treason,” charged Vahram Baghdasarian. “The Armenian parliament’s rostrum was used for spreading Azerbaijan’s and Turkey’s disinformation. False information was made public here ahead of a meeting between the president of our country and the president of an unfriendly country (Azerbaijan).”

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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

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

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.