2019 August 26
Anti-Corruption & News - Aug/26/2019 :: SIS vs SIS ::: Germany, US, Russia, Syria ::: FIDE :: IRS issues fines ::: Gyumri ::: Yerevan city ::: Amulsar mining ::: Justice Ministry on new anti-corruption institute, audits, gays ::: Defense Ministry auction ::: Economy ::: other news inside...
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.
TODAY IS AZERBAIJANI VICE-PRESIDENT MƏHRIBAN ƏLIYEVA'S
55th BIRTHDAY! LET US ALL WISH HER A VERY HAPPY BIRTHDAY AND AS MUCH SUCCESS AS SHE HAD WHEN OIL WAS $110!
Armenian humanitarian envoy in Syria has cleared 49,000 m2 area of mines since June. 2420 residents were given medical care.
The Trump administration has decided not to cut foreign aid by $4bln. This means the 2019 aid to Armenia and other nations will resume. Later this year, US Congress will discuss the 2020 aid.
Education & Culture Minister met the US ambassador. They discussed US's ongoing help in educational reforms. US ambassador expressed willingness to help with the development of culture sector.
Museum attendance rose by 31% in 1H19 vs 1H18. Last year the govt created a program to subsidize museum tickets for seniors and students.
German govt has notified EU that it has finished an internal process that could allow Germany to ratify EU-AM comprehensive cooperation deal in future.
Russian airliner Pobeda has asked the Moscow for a permission to double the number of flights to Gyumri airport. Earlier they solved the fuel problems with Gyumri airport administration.
IRS has fined several fuel companies, including Flash Gas and Gazprom's subsidiary "Butan Inc." , for improper documentation. Fines range from 1mln to 15mln.
Gyumri celebrated the City Day on Sunday. PM Pashinyan announced that this year's September 21st Independence Day will be celebrated in Gyumri. Every year the celebrations will be held in a different province. Pashinyan administration had earlier adopted a policy of increasing the role of regions outside of Yerevan. This year they plan to move a major customs clearance center from Yerevan to Gyumri. https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/167924
This kid was selling water https://youtu.be/hPu-DaARn-o
This guy was singing https://youtu.be/p8Slqh2XLWc
These guys were dancing https://www.facebook.com/nikol.pashinyan/videos/877203825996602/
In the evening they watched a performance then a few politicians gave a speech. https://youtu.be/YLn28R3p-uo?t=81
Then fireworks https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B58JdJ7Qi4U
A mall's warehouse in Malatia district caught fire. People were evacuating with ladders.
Residents of North-Eastern bordering village of Archs temporarily shut down a road and demanded for the settlement to have a running water. The governor made a deal with Veolia Water firm to temporarily manually deliver water to settlement while a permanent 100mln water plan is on the works.
aaaaaaaaaaaaannnnd here we have the first a()()hole, ladies and gentlemen. A driver got a ticket for parking the car on the new street bike lane in Yerevan.
Yerevan municipality is reminding residents not to dump construction waste into garbage bins dedicated for residential households. The bins' cover needs to be shut off after dumping the trash to prevent flies and smell from spearing.
Throwing medical products in these general bins is illegal. One medical center has received a warning after employees mistakenly threw used syringes in there.
Municipality is also asking residents to begin to sort out recyclable materials at home. Soon the city will begin installing (few) recycle bins next to garbage ones.
Davtashen residents seems to be satisfied with the recent improvements in garbage collection, after the city brought its own trucks to help Sanitek meet the demand.
Legendary wrestler and the coach of Armenian wrestling team Levon Julfalakyan is stepping down. He's been couching our champions since 1999. 👏👏👏
Environmental activists want the investigators to find out whether corruption was involved in 2013 when Lydian miner donated $250,000 to "Luys" foundation and Jermuk city. At the time if was common for mines to donate large sums to this foundation, a combined $1.3mln as of 2016.
Luys foundation, founded by prez Serj Sargsyan and former PM Tigran Sargsyan, was tasked with sending students abroad to receive higher education, while Jermuk received the money for a foundation tasked with developing the city. At the time of these events, current prez Armen Sarkissian was a member of board of trustees at Lydian firm, so the environmentalists also want to know whether Sarkissian played as a middle man to convince Serj to authorize Lydian's work.
Investigator says they have no evidence of laws being violated during the donations to Luys, and asked any such info to be submitted for examination. Luys foundation sent smart but poor kids abroad for education. As for Jermuk, Lydian paid property taxes to the city and had the right to donate extra as a good will, commented the investigator.
President Sarkissian recently said the environment and national interests need to be taken into account when asked to comment about Amulsar mining.
Jermuk police has arrested and charged two men with hooliganism after a fight broke out between a group of environmental activists and local residents near Jermuk. Two people were injured. The fight broke out when a local resident asked the environmental activists not to shout loudly. Activists say the man cursed at them. The group proceeded to beat the man.
One of the things environmental activists have said is that ELARD (Lebanon) and TRC (US) environmental assessment firms did not actually dig and exam the ground themselves, but relied on miner Lydian's information, thus making the recent assessment biased and invalid.
Investigative Committee says this isn't quite true, and that the exams done by the environmental protection groups were also taken into account and were used to counter Lydian's info. Studies from 3rd party environmental experts were also used. Among the things that was used was the existing comprehensive land structure study of Amulsar hill (SHAMG). After taking all the information into account, it was found that the nearby waters and air will be safe.
Pashinyan earlier asked Nature Ministry if a new comprehensive ground study (SHMAG) is needed before he can make a final decision on the mine. Activists say a new SHMAG is needed because "certain things were changed since the last SHMAG was conducted".
96% of forest fires this year were caused by humans (accidental or deliberate), says Nature Minister Eric Grigoryan.
The fact of the day brought to you by Pashinyan: none of the 10 governors are smokers. Yerevan & Gyumri mayors don't smoke either.
Yerevan State Medical University has received the Best Foreign University For Indian Students award during a conference in New Delhi.
The Justice Minister would like to remind you that the talks about Istanbul Convention establishing gay families in Armenia, is fake news. He says the language that covers domestic violence is purposely vague to cover all possible domestic violence scenarios, including for gay buddies, but it doesn't force Armenia to change its marriage laws. Georgia went through a similar process in past, yet the marriage is still the same after the ratification.
Context: few months ago members of the former government (who signed the Istanbul Convention) and self-proclaimed traditionalists raised an alarm about the government allegedly legalizing gay marriage by ratifying the Istanbul Convention, which has a purpose of preventing domestic violence. The definition of gender being a choice was established in Armenia back in 2013.
Justice Minister said the new Anti-Corruption Institute, that is still on the works, will audit financial declarations of officials' parents, children, siblings, personal drivers, and secretaries. If it's found that the official's pals suspiciously obtained a property, the asset forfeiture law will be applied to seize the property. The suspect could provide evidence of property/funds being obtained legally to end the forfeiture. This will be done in conjunction with multiple bodies, it'll be an institutional process, said Minister.
Officials will be required to give an authorization for this institute to check their foreign bank accounts to make sure they don't hide stolen funds.
Some of SIS and NSS duties will be transferred to the Anti-Corruption Institute. NSS will preserve its main function of intelligence and counter-intelligence. This transition of power will take many years to make sure Institute is ready to handle these duties.
New buildings and new judges will be hired, thus taking some of the load off of the shoulders of the overloaded justice system.
AirFest air show in Artsakh Republic https://youtu.be/rZFDXoSwjr0
BBC's Russian branch has picked up the racism story about how the chess administration of Azerbaijan demanded Turkish chess organizers to drop an Armenian player or else face a boycott by Azeri players.
World chess authority FIDE released a statement in response to the incident. They are still investigating it. Without naming names, they said any act of racism in this sport will be condemned and if found to be true, a punishment will be applied.
Russian media is writing: Armenian investigators are investigating certain Defense Ministry officials after a recent arms purchase & delivery auction between Armenia and a Russian private firm was suspiciously canceled.
In May, the Defense Ministry announced they'll pay a company a few million dollars to deliver some arms. Russian ORSIS firm won the delivery auction. For unknown reasons, the deal was canceled by Ministry officials. ORSIS filed a complaint.
The company says they are now in a "black list" because the Defense Ministry filed a petition with the government to blacklist the firm from future purchases, due to "violations".
ORSIS rep says someone from Ministry told them there was an issue with their paperwork, which the company denies. They say this is harming the ongoing process of a joint AM-RU bullet producing factory that is scheduled to be built in Armenia.
Defense Ministry says the investigation is ongoing and its classified.
ORSIS is tied to a Kremlin official named Dmitry Rogozin, who recently found himself at the epicenter of public criticism in Armenia for announcing the continuation of Russian arms sales to Azerbaijan in the wake of April-2016 battles.
The SIS will press felony charges against 2 of its own former investigators for allegedly stealing 7.1mln worth jewelry during a case they were examining in 2015.
Economic activity in Jan-Jul rose by 6.8%. In July it rose by 8.1%.
Industry 16%, services 15%, construction 4%, export 19%, import 10%.
A 60 year old man swims across lake Sevan on his 4th attempt. Guards accompany him to provide water and food. People from Yerevan came to watch. The man dedicated the journey to soldier who fought in April battles.
Link to original report: https://www.reddit.com/r/armenia/comments/cvszu5/anticorruption_news_aug262019_sis_vs_sis_germany/
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