2019 December 12
Anti-Corruption & News TLDRs - Dec/12/2019 :: Pashinyan clashes with staff :: Laws _ Property forfeiture _ Wiretap _ Bankruptcy _ Army :: Civil Aviation :: Guy disappears :: US Senate & Dutch House :: Farmer aid :: Kids reunited w/parents :: Airport taxi vs Tourist :: Mime :: Women's issues :: more
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.
Yerevan municipality plans to spend over 1bln to renovate playgrounds in apartment complex backyards, creating new ones, add more equipment. The Active Citizens portal has received new playground ideas which will be implemented next year. Some parking garages will be moved underground and get replaced by gardens.
RIP another budka in the Agriculture Institute park. The latest victim of the Genocide of illegal budkas.
Speaking of genocide...
US Senate has recognized the Armenian Genocide with a unanimous vote. House recognized it earlier. 49 US states have recognized it, including the capital D.C.
It is not clear whether the White House will follow suit due to the ongoing negotiations with Turkey.
The PM and Parliament Speaker thanked the Senate.
Speaking of porn news...
PornHub says Armenians went from watching "lesbian" porn in 2018 to "milf" porn in 2019. 2020 is expected to see a rise in "hot congressional staffer getting..."
North and South Americans mostly preferred lesbians.
Africans preferred ebony.
East Europe preferred hentai (Chernobyl consequences).
Most Asians preferred Japanese.
Indians prefer Indians. (just ask PewDiePie)
Most Western Europe and the Middle East are anal.
Armenia, Azerbaijan, Germany, Bosnia, and Tajikistan are the countries that preferred milfs.
The thieve-in-law Hayko Astrakhanski was arrested a few months ago for obtaining and possessing illegal firearms. The case went to court.
Citing medical reasons, the suspect asked the judge for permission to leave Armenia during the trial.
The judge agreed.
The suspect fled to the EU (according to the lawyer) and never came back.
Earlier a small Armenian airline firm Taron Avia exited the market. Civil Aviation (CA) said the firm was given time to fix safety issues but they refused.
Now we have more details.
EU examines airlines and CA safety standards in each country before allowing them to fly to Europe.
Taron Avia failed the test, while CA received a warning to fix safety issues on their own end.
Taron Avia airlines apparently refused to fix their issues and quit the market (moved to The Gambia), while CA is working on improving the agency's safety, which has been acknowledged by the EU.
Netherlands House unanimously approved the EU-AM comprehensive cooperation agreement.
Parliament is discussing a QP bill to allow the police to monitor phone conversations of people suspected of heavy crimes, after receiving a court permit. If there is evidence of an imminent terror threat they can wiretap, then submit the legal paperwork.
80% of crimes in Armenia are handled by the police. The bill author believes this change is necessary to improve the work efficiency of the police and will reduce the unnecessary load on NSS.
For the past 12 years, the police have been contacting the NSS to wiretap for them, which wastes time during "hot pursuits". The bill will increase regular crime busts, according to the Informed Citizens NGO chief who supports the bill.
NGO chief while speaking about NSS currently having the monopoly to wiretap: Who is going to monitor NSS agent's phone conversation if he is the suspect? The NSS?
Govt added 1,000 provincial low-income citizens to a farming aid program. 600 of them have received cattle for farming purposes to generate income.
They also receive free cash every month, equaling 50% of the minimum wage (up to 1mln), to take care of cattle costs. The program will last for 2 years.
A taxi driver working for an "official" taxi service doing business at Zvartnots airport charged a tourist 34,000 ($70) to travel from the airport to the Marriott hotel. Tourist's friend posted the receipt on social media and asked the relevant agencies to look into it.
The taxi service is called "Airport Service LTD". It belongs to a family of a former HHK Yerevan municipality councilman.
One of the phone numbers mentioned on the taxi card doesn't exist, while the other one is answered by someone who says they just recently purchased the number and aren't affiliated with the taxi.
Zvartnots airport police identified and questioned the taxi driver. Zvartnots says their only official partner is "Yandex Taxi", and that anyone else claiming to be an official Zvartnots service needs to be investigated by the police.
Armenian boxer Ani Hovsepyan has secured at least a bronze medal after defeating the Azeri athlete Shahla Allahverdiyeva in an international competition held in Russia.
Mime Theater will have its own facility so they won't have to lease an area from others.
Former administration's Culture Minister earlier promised funds to renovate 21 Gevorg Kochar building and give it to Mimes, but he was replaced and the topic was forgotten.
In 2018, QP Culture Minster offered the Mimes another address because the aforementioned one was a cultural-historical building and wasn't supposed to be altered. This Minister was replaced, too.
In 2019, the Education Minister (now includes culture ministry) authorized the building to be used by Mimes. The latter agreed not to alter the building in a way that violates its historical significance.
The funding has begun. The theater will have its home for the first time since its foundation in 1983.
Parliament approved a govt bill to double the punishment terms for soldiers who break certain laws while serving.
The bill introduces a requirement for authorities to take more measures to mirandize the suspect soldier.
As promised in 2018, Pashinyan administration will not extend the law that allows military draft dodgers to pay 3.6mln to drop felony charges upon turning 27. The bill was set to expire this year and will not be extended.
Defense Ministry said the law was always meant to be a temporary act of encouragement for diasporans to return, but many people were using it to avoid service completely.
3,000 people can still apply before the year ends. Many already have.
Pashinyan: this is a great opportunity for them (3,000) to buy a ticket to come to Armenia this year, and maybe stay and celebrate the New Year in Armenia.
A QP MP earlier proposed an "alternative" bill that would reduce service from 24 months to 1 month in exchange for 10mln, which would then be used to hire professional soldiers. The proposal met opposition from the Defense Ministry.
Pashinyan: we should fight against violence just like we fight against corruption. More tolerance is necessary. The state has the right to intervene if women and children are beaten. Has the Venice Committee given an opinion about the Istanbul Convention?
Justice Minister: Yes, the committee's findings show that the negative fuss around the Convention is unjustified. It is written purposely to cover a broad range of possible domestic abuse scenarios and has nothing to do with allowing gay marriages or trannies adopting kids.
Pashinyan: in any case, there shouldn't be any violence in Armenia with or without any convention. Do you know if calls for violence are illegal? Can someone call for a group of people to be murdered?
Legal scholar: Mr. PM, that is a call for genocide and it's already a felony.
Then the crackheads turned the discussion into a joke after Defense Minister said something.
Pashinyan: Hovhannes Tumanyan has a famous poem about this, "What happened when a piece of sugar went missing from the sugar jar". Sugar was consumed without the permission of mother-in-law, which resulted in a death. The revolution will be incomplete if we don't address the problems mentioned in Hovhannes Tumanyan's poem.
Pashinyan later: Sorry, it was written by Nar Dos, not Tumanyan.
1st deputy PM Tigran Avinyan: Mr. PM, you appointed me as the head of a newly created committee tasked with discussing women's issues, but people have pointed out that I have a dick.
Pashinyan: whom else was I supposed to appoint? Let's create a group tasked with men's issues, headed by a woman. (room laughs at the unfunny joke because they don't want to get fired)
Avinyan: hopefully one day we'll have a female deputy Prime Minister who'll take on this job. During the meetings, we discussed specific methods of reducing violence against women. We think the stats can be improved. We're working on it.
Govt gave a tax waiver to ABC Textile to invest 10.6bln on towel production. 175 new jobs with 189k salary.
Govt has agreed to pay 851mln to diffuse the ticking bomb set by the former administrations and courts.
The European Court for Human Rights had earlier found that several plaintiffs' rights were violated. The govt will pay them by January.
The govt approved the bill to recover the illegally obtained property. It still needs a Parliamentary approval.
The law can be used only if one of the following is true:
1) there was a guilty verdict by a court and there is info about an embezzled property, and the suspect cannot prove it was obtained legally
2) there is an ongoing felony case and the suspect is charged, and cannot prove it was obtained legally
3) it's impossible to launch a felony case but there is evidence that the property was obtained illegally, and the suspect cannot prove it was obtained legally
4) there is evidence the property was obtained illegally, but the felony case had been closed, and the suspect cannot prove the property was obtained legally
5) there is credible info about a public official owning an illegal property, and the official cannot prove it was obtained legally
6) միջազգային հարցումներին պատասխանելու միջոցով (relating international investigations)
During the discussion of the property forfeiture bill, Pashinyan was confused as to why the Justice Ministry set a 10-year exam period limit, to ignore events happened prior to that.
Pashinyan: what's with the 10-year limit? People are going to think we made a deal with Kocharyan and Levon Ter-Petrosyan administrations.
Justice Minister: most experts agree that evidence is not properly preserved after 10 years. It's a legal term.
Pashinyan: OK fine, but if we extend the period will it harm?
Deputy PM Tigran Avinyan: hol'up, even if there is a 10-year limit, the bill still says you can go back in "certain cases". But there is no general inclusion of events older than 10 years because "too much info" would need to be examined by the agency.
Pashinyan: so what?
Avinyan: it's an issue with too much data needing to be processed.
Pashinyan: so what? If they stole a lot, then there will be a lot of info to process.
Avinyan: experts took into account the efficiency if there is a lot of info.
Pashinyan: I don't get it. Why not set the examination window beginning May-2018, then? Let's examine just our administration (laughs). There will be a political context applied by the public if we set a 10-year term limit. Explain.
Pashinyan: Alright. Change the bill to make the starting point to 1991. Maybe we can make exceptions to go back to 1891 (jokes). Who is against?... No one. The resolution passes.
Parliament approved a govt bill to reform the bankruptcy laws. It was recommended by international experts and is meant to improve the conditions for foreign investors, too.
One bust a day, keep the Serj away?
Since 2018, prosecutors have busted 543 corrupt officials and school directors, working at govt-funded institutes, with not going to work but receiving $3mln in wages.
Earlier the govt decided to shut down 3 facilities that were housing kids whose parents couldn't take care of them. The gov decided to give assistance directly to the families to allow the children to reunite with the parents. They'll be taken care of at home. Govt complained about the conditions in these facilities, about the kids not having economic and educational prospects.
130 kids went home this year. No incidents. Families have been given food, house appliances, items for the kids. Those families who had a housing issue were given rent subsidies, but a few refused to accept the offer. (Labor Ministry complains about dishonest media coverage which claimed they were sending kids to poor housing conditions without offering housing aid.)
Ministry launched a housing development program and is working with banks to convince them to help the families with housing.
Only 1 facility with 43 kids remains open. These are kids whose parents have been found to be reckless or not ready to do parenting. These 43 kids will be sent to non-federal local child care facilities next June.
Labor Ministry plans to significantly increase assistance and services to disabled children and those in need, beginning in 2020.
3,300 kids in Yerevan and provinces will receive various aid such as social worker services, mobility assistance.
Another agency will monitor the program's efficiency and results.
Link to original report and comments: https://www.reddit.com/r/armenia/comments/e9s1dv/anticorruption_news_tldrs_dec122019_pashinyan/
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