2020 July 30

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Daily news and anti-corruption report

Jul/30/2020 news summary: (1) Net Neutrality in Armenia (2) Tavush battles - Aliyev's crisis - international response - civilians (3) Anti-corruption: oligarch, soccer match fixing, officials (4) COVID (5) Ancient cities (6) New police salaries++ (7) Miners protest (8) Solar projects (9) Tourism++
by ar_david_hh


Tavush Battles / How did it start and end?

Context: July 12.... July 13…. July 14.... July 15.... July 16…. July 17…. July 18…. July 19…. July 20…. July 21... July 22…. July 23…. July 24.... July 25... July 27... July 28... July 29...

Shots fired at night

Army: it was relatively calm. Azeris made unsuccessful use of Igla and OSA-AK weapons a few times.

https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/193824

Civil unrest abroad

Haypress reports that 30 Azeris attacked an Armenian hookah bar in Cologne, Germany causing damage to the exterior. The owner says the attackers came and asked if he's Armenian before the attack.

https://haypress.de/staatsschutz-ermittelt-nach-angriff-auf-koelner-shisha-bar/

Armenian products return to shelves

Last week Moscow's [Azeri-owned?] "Tvoy Dom" market removed Armenian food from the shelves and replaced them with Azeri ones. Today they decided to bring back the Armenian food.

No progress by Food City, the largest market that earlier kicked the Armenians out.

https://factor.am/273152.html

The U.S.- Greek institute...

...condemned Azerbaijan's threats against Armenian nuclear power plant.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1023578.html

Russia is closely monitoring...

... the Turkish-Azeri drill near the Armenian border, said Russia.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1023582.html

Ilham Aliyev isn't getting much love these days

Washington Post's editorial board: Azerbaijan’s president aims to finish off the political opposition.

Amid the pandemic, low oil prices and tensions with archrival Armenia, Mr. Aliyev has suddenly discovered a “fifth column” of enemies.

They arrested as many as 120 opposition members, journalists, deputy leaders of the opposition parties.

Full: https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/global-opinions/azerbaijans-president-aims-to-finish-off-the-political-opposition/2020/07/29/db4ca91c-d0f0-11ea-8c55-61e7fa5e82ab_story.html

Nemets Rubo hiding in Russia

In May, the ex-HHK MP and Soccer Federation chief Nemets Rubo (Ruben Hayrapetyan) was charged with kidnapping and torturing his employee for alleged theft, in his Harsnaqar restaurant. He's also charged with large-scale embezzlement.

Nemets fled to Russia, and an arrest warrant in-absentia was issues

--

The Russian authorities suspended the arrest warrant on Russian soil. Rubo's lawyer believes it's because he never kept his residential address in Russia secret.

Armenian prosecutors sent a letter to the Russian colleagues for details about the warrant's suspension.

--

Today Rubo was charged with more counts of abuse of power.

https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/193858 , https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/193881

ex-NSS chief Vanetsyan

NSS is investigating something, so they called ex-NSS chief Vanetsyan to give details.

The NSS denied rumors by Joghovurd outlet which circulated rumors that Vanetsyan would be charged today as part of a felony investigation.

--

In other news, Sasna Tsrer's Jirayr Sefilian is also called for questioning tomorrow, as part of likely another case.

https://factor.am/273085.html , https://news.am/arm/news/594278.html

update: Match-fixing in the soccer league

Earlier we learned how Soccer Federation busted several teams in the Lower League with alleged match-fixing, after cooperating with INTERPOL, NSS, and sports betting agencies.

--

6 Russian soccer players and co-owners of Armenian clubs were permanently banned from the league. They're also facing penalties. They deny wrongdoing and decided to sue the Soccer Federation, claiming defamation.

--

Overall, 58 people and 5 clubs were disqualified, including some from the Higher League. The results of 11 matches were annulled.

https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/193875

COVID stats

+1,374 tested (161,754). +259 infected (8,877 active). +542 healed. +5 deaths including a doctor (728).

--

Pashinyan: for the first time since June, we have fewer than 9K active cases. The daily infections are fewer than 400 for 6 days straight.

Every one of us has the responsibility to help break COVID's spine. Wear masks, keep a distance, respect the safe queue lines.

--

30 conscripts were tested positive since July 1st before being able to join the army.

https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/193831 , https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/193834 , https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1023601.html

other COVID news

After paying an unannounced visit, Human Rights Ombudsman complained that the penitentiary system doesn't have a proper COVID prevention strategy and training for staff.

--

Prominent QP MP Gayane A. was in a hospital with medium condition. Today she was moved back home after improvement. She thanked the doctors at Norq.

--

50,000 masks were donated to soldiers with the help of Artyom Minosyan and Tovmasyan Foundation.

https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/193835 , https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/193838 , https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/193897

New appointments and terminations

Pashinyan terminated Kotayk governor Romanos Petrosyan's duties. He's been promoted as Nature Minister. The previous Minister Eric departed 2 months ago. https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/193837

--

10 people were fired from the Diaspora Committee, including the leaders of CIS, European, Australian, South American, church-relations branches.

4 officials' jobs were rotated.

Diaspora Committee says these changes were expected and publicly discussed on July 7th.

https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/193826 , https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/193859 , https://news.am/arm/news/594379.html , https://news.am/arm/news/589811.html

Salaries for the new police forces

Earlier the govt decided to launch a new police force, with new training, attire, attitude, tech, etc. Some ~1400 people applied for ~700 jobs.

--

Here are the monthly salaries for New vs Existing cops in Yerevan:

<2 year experience: $665 vs $395

<5 year experience: $770 vs $610 (or $390 in rural areas)

<10 year experience: $835

They can earn up to $110 in bonuses each month.

https://hetq.am/hy/article/120010

A typical evening in Yerevan

https://youtu.be/Gn_i4SEJC1Y

Lydian miners hold a protest

Context: Environmental activists have blockaded the Amulsar hills so Lydian gold miner can't do mining, since 2018. The govt told the miner to fix several problems, but they can't, because the roads are blockaded.

--

Today Lydian workers held a protest in front of govt building, saying 2,000 miners are out of work and the COVID hasn't made it easier for them to find jobs.

"We respect the PM and aren't against him, but how long can we wait? We invested 500mln to create jobs, but they don't want to listen to us," said the miners, "everywhere we go they tell us to wait a few more months. If they want to close the mine, let the PM come out and say so directly, and present the legal reasons."

https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/193844

Mining transparency in Armenia

USAID is analyzing whether their 2017-present aid to Armenia was useful.

It noted that Armenia recently made a big improvement in the mining management and transparency field, backed up by EITI's high score.

USAID's ongoing aid will help journalists and civil society to better understand and examine mining processes.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1023507.html

Protests in front of Central Bank

Protesters want lower interest rates and more debt vacations. The protesters brought a symbolic luxury limousine and colored smoke canisters.

https://youtu.be/smJqHpOXhxU

Subsidies for lonely elder & ex-orphans

250 elderly live in special govt-funded housings. 74 live alone. The govt will subsidize the latter's gas, water, electricity bills.

https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/193839

--

Update: an ex-orphan tried to kill himself 5 times after complaining about not receiving an apartment as other orphans did. He didn't qualify for legal reasons. Today the govt made an exception for 24 unqualified ex-orphans to give them apartments.

https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/193846

Tax waivers to create jobs

The govt gave SharoSolar a tax waiver to build a solar farm in Aragatsotn. $3.5M investment, 46 temporary and permanent jobs, $310/mo salary.

--

A tax waiver for ex-HHK MP Lfik Samo's textile factory to invest $623K, which will create 30 new jobs with a $240/mo salary.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1023539.html

TUMO's mobile center in Berd

The government gave free land to education center TUMO to open a new "TUMO in a box" mobile center in Tavush's Berd city near the border.

--

TUMO says the new facility costs less, has lost of equipment, can provide classes to 320 kids annually.

https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/193841 , https://youtu.be/PrMrn5Ruweo , https://hetq.am/hy/article/120015

Safer kindergartens

Gegharquniq's 4 kindergartens buildings are being rebuilt with seismic defenses and accommodations.

https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=321303705677993

Soccer spoiler: Mkhitaryan's goal pass wins a ticket for Roma

Roma 3:2 Torino.

The victory allows Roma to secure 5th place in the national league, which gives them a ticket to the upcoming Europa League competition.

This was Heno's 6th goal pass, in addition to 9 goals.

Roma's last opponent in this national tournament is Juventus on August 1st.

Notable parts: https://youtu.be/OWRWom9y0mU

https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/193832

Solar energy instead of gas?

Govt members and an Organization discussed the work done around solar energy in Armenia.

3666 solar stations were installed in 2019. Simultaneously, work is being done to reduce electricity usage. They're discussing the idea of providing solar energy to settlements without a gas network.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1023593.html

Gndevanq will have a new tourist alley and zipline

A 1.7km trail will be paved between Gndevanq village and Gndavank Monastery. The surrounding area will be renovated, and a zipline and a hotel will be built for tourists.

https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/193899

Turning ancient cities into tourism sights

Education Ministry plans to create two historical reserves: Capital Artsashat and Capital Dvin.

They will be on a 19ha land in [[Ararat province], near the remnants of the ancient cities.

Artashat was founded by king Artashes ~180 BC, while Dvin in the 4th century AD.

https://hetq.am/hy/article/119937

Net Neutrality proposed in Armenia / What do ISPs know about you?

The law allows ISPs to learn and save the pages you visit, timestamps, etc. There are suggestions to make 2 amendments to protect the data from falling into wrong hands.

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A QP MP wants to give the Public Services Regulator the legal rights to require ISPs to purge any collected data that isn't necessary for providing the services or processing payments. "Don't store data you don't need."

--

Another amendment would establish "Net Neutrality" by prohibiting the ISP from prioritizing one type of transmission over another, unless it's technically necessary.

"If Net Neutrality is approved, it'll be a huge step forward and will prevent the rich from squeezing out the poor on the internet," believes expert Samvel Martirosyan.

--

The Parliament will discuss the proposals in September.

https://youtu.be/xEOP8gAaYZ0

--

You've read 1510 words.


Link to original report and comments: https://www.reddit.com/r/armenia/comments/i0rmwg/jul302020_news_summary_1_net_neutrality_in/

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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