2020 August 9

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Daily news and anti-corruption report

Aug/9/2020 news: / Secret license - Karabakh Telecom / World's most efficient thermal plant / Arrests / Ex-police chief in trouble. Threats / Neighborhood news / Beirut aid. Eye-witness report. Repatriates & Arabs / Earthquake-proof schools / Education reforms - Arts & Crafts / Armenian churches / +
by ar_david_hh


HahHhHhHahaha you really thought you could get away from me because it's Sunday?

World's most efficient thermal power plant in Yerevan

In 2019 the Italian Renko company began constructing a new thermal electricity plant in Yerevan. $2.8M tax waiver is given to proceed.

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Renko says: // This is our largest investment in Armenia. We partnered with Siemens. $130M out of $270M investments are done already.

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The new plant will have 254MW capacity and it'll be the most efficient in the word at 54%. That means the produced electricity will be cheaper. It's also eco-friendly.

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500 people are currently working, with 95% being locals. 100 permanent jobs.

COVID will delay the completion date but we hope to finish it in 2021. \\

https://youtu.be/bqzhYwk7XSI

ex-mayor doesn't have to be arrested pre-trial

The judge ruled that a pre-trial arrest isn't necessary for Yerevan's ex-mayor Robert Nazaryan, who is accused of rewriting laws to illegally help Mishik's Dzoraget hydro power plant which subsequently overcharged $14.7M for electricity.

The court approved the arrest of another suspect Mushegh Koshetsyan.

https://factor.am/275188.html , https://www.reddit.com/r/armenia/comments/i4z9oq/aug62020_news_drugs_over_mail_ok_armenia_will/? , https://www.azatutyun.am/a/30772927.html

ex-police chief Gasparyan clashes with journalists / Lawyer makes threats

Pashinyan administration created a database of illegal structures built on Lake Sevan shores during former regimes. They're subject for removal so the lake levels can rise.

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Azatutyun went near the shores to document the illegal buildings when the embattled former police chief Vladimir Gasparyan allegedly used his car to threaten to run over the journalists and to shoot them. "He didn't want his house to be filmed and wanted to erase the tapes."

Azatutyun president Daisy Sinderlar condemned the "attack". They called the police.

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Roboserj lawyer Tigran Atanesyan received insider information that the police are preparing to arrest Vladimir Gasparyan.

Atanesyan said: // the so-called Velvet Government decided to arrest Vladimir for a stupid reason. It's expected that gays don't like normal people. We're getting info as it unfolds.

Gasparyan's efforts to create independent Armenia are invaluable. He is one of the founders of the 3rd republic. Try and go further. It'll be your end and the revival of our state. \\

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https://youtu.be/oLVN88IkIYk , https://www.azatutyun.am/a/30774111.html , https://www.azatutyun.am/a/30773276.html , https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1024484.html

Neighborhood / Turkish-Azeri military training...

... began after Tavush battles. They're conducting it near the Armenian border.

Azeri media reports that one Azeri soldier was accidentally killed by Turkish fire during the exercises. The govt reported the death as "suicide".

The Azeri media reports about disagreements between AZ and TR armies and a lack of proper coordination.

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In other news, a report says Azeri govt began secretly delivering Israeli rockets to Turkey for the purpose of disassembly and engineering intel gathering. Some Azeri officials are concerned that Israel might not be happy with this.

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And it more other news, Aliyev regime will begin to privatize the State Oil Company SOCAR and other "socialist structures".

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SOCAR: https://eurasianet.org/azerbaijani-president-slams-state-oil-company-announces-privatization

https://freeazerbaijan.info/2020/08/08/боевая-потеря-в-ходе-военных-учений/

https://factor.am/275137.html

https://www.lragir.am/2020/08/08/570256/

COVID stats

+225 infected. +125 healed. +6 deaths. 6,871 active. 176,014 tested.

Businesses in Yerevan generally follow the safety rules better than those in provinces, found the inspectors.

https://factor.am/275191.html , https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1024470.html

update: Beirut Aid

Armenian humanitarian aid has reached Lebanon. Two more jets will fly next week. https://factor.am/275173.html

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A routine anti-govt riot took place in Lebanon. Several govt buildings were occupied. There were deaths and injuries among protesters. The Nature Minister resigned. https://factor.am/275199.html

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Ejmiatsin cathedral and Catholicos Garegin B held a prayer for Beirut. https://factor.am/275209.html Beirut explosion story

Vanay Dzayn reporter Nzhdeh: I heard the first blast and opened the window to find out what's happening. My parents, having lived in Lebanon and being used to war, immediately told me to stay away from windows.

That's when the second blast happened. A massive earthquake. We thought the building was crumbling and started to escape. Everyone was disoriented and bloodied on the streets. There were rumors of a military strike.

Full: https://youtu.be/XGmx2D3lLbw

Armenians in Beirut

Armenian embassy registered 40 ethnic Armenians who want to move to Armenia. Some of them want to sell their houses first. Others are ready to move right now but don't have money; they'll be offered a free flight with a humanitarian plane.

The Diaspora Committee chief Sinanyan will meet them to discuss scenarios.

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Sinanyan: we've been working with Parliament to streamline the passport obtaining process. It should take 2-4 weeks instead of 6 months. Women shouldn't face difficulties if they changed their last name after marriage. Arabs in Beirut

Reporter to Sinanyan: yesterday you said Armenia should also welcome Lebanese Arabs to Armenia. Some people didn't agree, saying we should help Armenians instead, even though Arabs welcomed Armenians in Lebanon a century ago.

Sinanyan: the idea to also invite Christian Arabs to Armenia was voiced by ARF party official based in Lebanon, and I agree with it. Most of the critics were politically motivated.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1024475.html , https://youtu.be/1LmFNsqjnH8

Arno

A large ship in Vladivostok, Russia is named after legendary composer Arno Babajanyan.

https://factor.am/275246.html

Earthquake-proof schools across Armenia

52 modular schools will be built across Armenia by 2022. The $4M construction project begins in September.

Modular design allows them to make the buildings earthquake-proof for a low price. It suits better for small settlements.

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Ejmiatsin's #5 school is being rebuilt with seismic protections and labs.

Deghdzut's school is being renovated for the first time since 1968.

https://youtu.be/mh49TdSXqIk

Karabakh Telecom monopoly in Artsakh / Secret agreement

Karabakh Telecom (KT) is the only operator in Artsakh, so they charge astronomical numbers. KT and Artsakh govt had signed a 30-year-long secret agreement in 2001. The details and pricing methodology were classified.

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Last year the Armenian govt managed to agree to reduce the roaming fees by up to 75%, but critics say its service is still too expensive.

Armenia-based BeeLine charges $4 for 5GB LTE, 200 minutes, 200 SMS.

KT charges 8x for the same service.

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Informed Citizen NGO after examining: don't blame KT. They are a business so they want to make money. The problem is with the govt. Everything was/is classified. To make it worse, the law says that if the telecom regulations and the business license have conflicts, the business license wins. So, this secret license is above the law.

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Artsakh's regulator: the law allows businesses to ask the regulator to keep the agreement details secret if it contains trade secrets. The fees are justified.

Informed Citizen NGO responds: that's absurd... And Artsakh Constitution says the only thing above Artsakh law is the international law.

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Artsakh journalists have made unsuccessful attempts to get the agreement details. Artsakh govt says the agreement expires in 2031 and there is no requirement to renew it. "There won't be barriers for competitors after 2031."

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https://www.civilnet.am/news/2020/08/08/Ղարաբաղ-Տելեկոմ․-ինչու-են-գաղտնի-պահվում-պայմանագիրը-և-լիցենզիան/392301

https://www.reddit.com/r/armenia/comments/co85gq/anticorruption_news_from_armenia_aug92019/

Russian documentary about Armenian churches

By Stas Namin (aka Anastas Mikoyan).

https://youtu.be/dTn-hoRR2to

Education reforms / Arts & Crafts

Changes will be made to Art & Crafts classes. A Ministry-formed Group tasked with drawing the blueprint.

Music, Fine Arts: 1-12 classes

Dance, Theater: 7-12 classes

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Artists are happy about putting more emphasis on these subjects, but they want the Ministry's Group, which writes the rules, to have more members from the actual arts industry to ensure their voices are heard.

The Ministry Group responded saying right now they're only writing the blueprints, and when the time arrives to write the curriculum, they'll invite arts industry experts for discussions.

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Anahit Bakhshyan says the Pedagogical University lacks the tools to produce qualified experts who can teach arts to students. She wants the govt to require the University to go through re-training.

Ministry Group says the way the classes will work doesn't require the teacher to be a world-class expert. The teacher's main role is organizational, with much of art exploration being done by students themselves.

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"Karin" traditional dance group leader agreed with the Ministry to create a Masters's Degree course for folklore music and dance.

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Not all classes will be mandatory in schools. Schools will be required to dedicate a certain % of the time to Arts & Crafts. Students and schools will have the flexibility to tweak the specifics to avoid overloading and repetition.

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Pedagogical University is unhappy that they aren't the ones writing the rules this time around. Ministry Group leader says the University has fallen behind and needs to keep up.

More: https://factor.am/275075.html

Armenian tech startup gets $3M funding

Superannotate is an annotation app that uses AI to mess around with imagery. It can be used by self-driving cars, doctors to find diseases, etc.

The team decided to establish the company in Armenia in August 2018 "because of the revolution".

Video: https://www.facebook.com/tigran.avinyan/videos/317219499470946/

http://www.panarmenian.net/arm/news/283832/

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You've read 1436 words.


Link to original report and comments: https://www.reddit.com/r/armenia/comments/i6p7mg/aug92020_news_secret_license_karabakh_telecom/

Disclaimer: All the accused are innocent until proven guilty by the court of law, even if they may sound as being guilty. Currency in Armenian Drams ֏ unless specified otherwise. Helpful overview of Armenia's media ownership and leanings.


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