2020 September 9

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Daily news and anti-corruption report

Sep/9/2020 news: \\ birthrate up \\ paid paternity leave \\ BHK's abortion ban \\ "real" car inspection \\ Japanese tech to clean Sevan \\ a Georgian drama \\ many diasporan repatriates \\ economic stats \\ import tariffs \\ no psycho judges \\ high-profile anti-corruption busts \\ reviving Kond ...
by ar_david_hh


and so it ends...

Keeping Up with the Kardashians reality show is ending after 14 years on air. The last episode is in 1Q21.

😞 https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1027139.html

What connects Georgia with Southern Georgia? 🤔

Georgian king Hradamizd and Southern Georgian king Trdat... what do these lads have in common?

German composer Hendel, inspired by historic events featuring Hradamizd, wrote an opera piece. The events take place in 53 A.D. in Garni temple, so today they gathered in Garni to set up the performance scene.

the plot

The protagonist Hradamizd marries Zenobia, the daughter of king Mihrdat, but he later gets cucked by the Southern Georgian king Trdat who was also eyeing Zenobia.

վոփշմ․․․ էտենց բաներ. Full story inside: https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1027156.html

Լուկաշ դզյա

Belarus ruler Alexander Lukashenko drew comparisons with revolutions in Armenia and Ukraine, with what's happening in Belarus today.

He said the Belarussian economy works and people aren't hungry, unlike in Armenia and Ukraine, therefore there is no ground for a revolution in Belarus.

https://factor.am/282293.html

BHK wants to ban abortions

BHK MP Naira Zohrabyan, the leader of Parliament's human rights committee, drafted a bill to ban abortions.

It would prohibit abortion even if it's in the first 12 weeks, even if the mother is ill, even if the child would have severe biological defects. The only time abortion would be allowed is if the mother would die during birth.

The MP believes "unborn children also have rights." 434,000 abortions were done since 1991. (Correction: the "434,000 abortions were done since 1991" portion is a quote from the article author and not Zohrabyan.)

--

Healthcare Ministry sharply criticized the bill during a preliminary hearing, saying the ban would "take Armenia back to 1940s and lead to dangerous and uncertified abortions. Russia and Romania made similar mistakes in the past and had to repeal the ban."

https://www.pastinfo.am/hy/news/2020/09/09/Շրջանառության-մեջ-ենք-դնելու-օրենքի-նախագիծ-որով-արգելվելու-է-հղիության-ընդհատումը-չծնված-երեխան-եւս-ունի-կյանքի-իրավունք-Նաիրա-Զոհրաբյան/1053730

https://factor.am/282236.html

BHK wants MPs to take stricter Armenian-language tests

BHK proposed a bill to require MP candidates to receive a certificate that they write in Armenian very well, before being able to participate in elections.

The current law assumes the candidate is sufficient in Armenian if they graduated from an Armenian school/university.

https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/195407

QP MP quits over disputes with Ministry

Wrestler Arsen Julfalakyan became a QP MP in 2019 and has been pushing for some reforms, mostly related to sports.

He doesn't like the current progress by the Education (includes Sports) Ministry, "its slow and misguided pace", "questionable appointments", so he decided to quit.

His seat will be given to the ex-acting-mayor of Kapan.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1027193.html

https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/195413

the return of Gazaz Emil

Artist and architect Emil Gazaz (Emmanual Gazazyan) decided to move from the U.S. to Gyumri for permanent residence. He's been living in the States since the 80s.

He plans to open արվեստանոց and ձուլարան.

https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/195374

Economic stats under COVID

Remittances from Russia -28%, and +22% from the USA, so far this year.

Foreign tourists -50% in 1H20.

GDP -6.8% in 1H20.

Economic activity +9.7% in July YoY.

http://arka.am/en/news/tourism/the_number_of_foreign_tourists_visiting_armenia_halved_in_first_six_months_of_2020/

http://arka.am/en/news/economy/private_money_transfers_to_armenia_from_russia_in_7_months_drop_by_28_2_and_grow_by_22_1_from_usa/

http://arka.am/en/news/economy/armenia_s_economic_activity_in_2020_july_was_9_7_up_from_the_same_month_in_2019_nsc_says/

http://arka.am/en/news/economy/armenia_s_gdp_drops_by_6_8_in_first_half_of_2020/

animal rights activists free the bear form Maugli

Balu the bear is now a free man, thanks to WRC activists. Free as in "we put him in a bigger cage".

Video: https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/195373

COVID stats

+199 infected. +431 healed. +2 deaths. 2,945 active. 224,559 tested.

The infection rates were high because a whopping +3,518 tests were done in one day. The Healthcare Ministry is mass-testing teachers before the school season.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1027112.html

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1027138.html

Armenian COVID kits

47,000 Made in Armenia kits were distributed recently, with another 10,000 coming soon. They are ready for mass use. The daily production is 1.5k-3k.

https://factor.am/282161.html

Armenian grandmaster

... Zaven Andriasyan won a 4-hour competition during Bullet Shield Arena, in which he played against 138 opponents and gathered 396 points.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1027130.html

cloth import rules will change

Importing clothing as a business will be taxed differently. IRS will tax per item per value, instead of the entire package's weight. The businesses will need to declare the value of each item.

Several importers protested the decision, saying it'll raise their fees by 6x. The IRS sais it'll raise costs by less than 2x.

IRS says they offered to discuss it but the importers refused and will hold a protest today. The decision was made 2 years ago to give importers time.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1027155.html

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1027182.html

psychiatric testing for judicial candidates

The current 10-minute test will be replaced with a professional 6-hour psychiatric evaluation. You don't want a nutjob to decide your fate.

https://factor.am/282320.html

Criminal subculture arrests: thieve-in-law and 11 others charged

Vor v Zakone Arsen Yerevanski and 11 accomplices are charged with participating in a criminal subculture gang and settling financial disputes with illegal means, say authorities.

Arsen was coronated in 1999 by notorious thieve Ded Hasan.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1027105.html

Police brutality busted: cops charged

Two cops were patrolling near Cascade when they noticed an illegally parked vehicle belonging to Arinj villager. They towed the car.

The drunken villager and his friend went to get the car. They demanded the cops to prove that the parking was illegal. The cops showed no proof.

The villager then cussed their mamma (here we go... HERE WE GO)

The angry cops decided to detain him and allegedly beat him up several times.

Both cops are suspended and charged with a felony.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1027134.html

All-Armenia Fund donated

... $70,000 to hundreds of Syria-based Armenian teachers and COVID patients.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1027148.html

Lebanese-Armenians

... talk about the Beirut explosion. They thought a bomb fell next to their homes because of the strength of the blast.

1,000 of them moved to Armenia since August 4th. They'll get a passport in a few months and some kind of education subsidy, but they're paying for housing out of pocket. The govt is preparing an aid package to subsidy housing, taxes, etc.

Baber-shop owner sisters applied to move to Artsakh.

An interview: https://youtu.be/3353Ecm8wBo?t=34

NSS has busted an ex-mayor

The report says: in 2016 Upper Getashen had to replace 20km metal water pipes with polyethylene pipes. The ex-mayor colluded with the construction companies to embezzle 2.3km-worth pipes.

Gegharquniq officials didn't properly audit the work, which led to $117,000 in damages.

A felony case is launched against officials. https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1027149.html

NSS busted a school director

The report says: the director of Gavar's Hovhannes Tumanyan school registered 8 fake employees beginning 2006, and embezzled $79,000 in state funds.

He also falsified attendance records for several students who weren't in Armenia.

A felony case is launched. https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1027149.html

NSS busts ex-BHK MP and son after Hetq outlet's investigative piece

The report says: Hetq wrote about an ex-MP Hrant Davtyan (2018) and his son excluding lands/houses/cars they own in Vagharshapat, from the mandatory declaration forms in 2018.

A felony case is launched. https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1027147.html

embezzlement during privatization

The report says: govt planned to privatize the Logistic-Center govt-owned facility in 2013.

Property Management officials colluded with a specific business to sell it to them. They rigged the price-assessment process to claim the property was worth $416,000 while its real value was $679,000.

A felony case is launched against officials. https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1027152.html

renovations in capital

Yerevan will renovate 22 fountains and 8 pools beginning Friday.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1027185.html

Japanese technology to clean Lake Sevan from algae

Annual algae growth in Lake Sevan increased beginning 2018 due to decades of waste dumping, fish-killing, water drainage, and warming.

The algae rise to upper levels before retreating down. Various steps are being taken to kill the spread.

A new approach is the use of Japanese technology. The idea is to wait for algae to rise, collect the upper layers of water into large buckets, add a special chemical that absorbs the algae, then release the clean water back.

Armenia is negotiating to obtain the chemical and financing.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1027092.html

Tags: #LakeSevan #SevanBlossom

Are nature protection taxes being spent to help nature?

Some companies pay fees to compensate for the damage done to nature. What part of those fees does the govt spend on helping nature?

2017: $4.7m (or 5.4% of all collected fees)

2018: $24.1m

2019: $24.7m

That is part of the overall nature protection budget.

The Nature Ministry is currently preparing relevant bills.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1027091.html

Old Yerevan project / Kond district preservation

Deputy PM Avinyan formed a group tasked with examining construction projects in Old Yerevan located in 14a District. It's consisted of architects and city officials.

Avinyan: [old] Kond district's development will be discussed on government-level with the creation of this group. We'll examine the architecture, seismic issues, etc. We will preserve the spirit of our capital's old district, and boost local tourism.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1027123.html

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1027172.html

The absurd history of car safety inspections in Armenia / Past and future

QP MP Armen Khachatryan (and ex-cop) explains: Vienna Convention requires your car to undergo safety checks before driving on the roads.

Before 2007 the inspection was handled by the police, after 2007 by the government, and after 2011 it was handed over to a private sector which led to large investments and the creation of 40 inspection stations.

--

However, beginning in 2011, the government turned the inspection into an absurd process. Per PM Tigran Sargsyan's 2011 order, you were required to have the inspection sticker, but you didn't actually have to undergo inspection. You could pay a bank and get a sticker. (????)

Those 40 inspection stations went bankrupt.

--

Now we're proposing a bill to require safety inspections and remove the requirements for a physical sticker. It's the 21st century. There are computers. You don't need a sticker on your windshield.

https://factor.am/282153.html

Birth rate is up

Birth rate +0.8% in 1H2020, while death rate +8.5% (mostly cardiovascular).

http://arka.am/en/news/society/birth_and_death_rates_up_in_armenia_/

Paternity leave for male workers

Parliament gave preliminary approval to discuss a QP bill that protects new parents' employment rights.

The law would prohibit the worsening of job conditions/terms if the worker is taking care of a <1yo child.

Fathers could take a 5-day paid vacation within a month of birth.

LHK suggested amending the bill to shift most of the financial burden on the state: 2 days are paid by the employer, and 3 days by the government. The QP authors disagreed.

If approved, the law will go into effect coming January.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1027133.html

--

You've read 1658 words.


Link to original report and comments: https://www.reddit.com/r/armenia/comments/ipo22o/sep92020_news_birthrate_up_paid_paternity_leave/

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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