2019 December 13
Anti-Corruption & News TLDRs - Dec/13/2019 :: Big Metro bust _ Big Education & Labor reforms _ Big HHK oligarch raid _ Big Police abuse prevention bill _ Officials busted _ Sports in Army _ Genocide & Foreign affairs _ Tourism _ +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.
Former HHK MP and soccer federation (HFF) chief Ruben "Nemets Rubo" Hayrapetyan was a subject of a felony investigation after the police received tips.
Today the law enforcement raided his house and facilities associated with his activities.
Nemets Rubo is the owner of the Armenian Development Bank and the Zeytun Furniture Factory.
In 2012-2018, being the HFF chief, he received state funding and begun renovating several soccer stadiums and sports schools.
The work was done partially despite taking all the money, thus embezzling the rest.
Millions of dollars in contracts were signed between the govt and Rubo's businesses under suspicious circumstances.
Police raided his famous Harsnaqar Restaurant and Zeytun Furniture Factory.
Nemets didn't want to talk to the press, only sarcastically said the police found military jets and tanks in his house, before walking into his giant mansion which would very well fit a jet and a tank.
Nemets later gave an interview during which he said he is proud of being Serj's friend, and that despite some bad things happening during Serj's administration, Serj is a good guy and time will prove he has a good popularity. He is denying wrongdoing.
SOC's auditors uncovered billions in damages to the state done by Yerevan metro officials.
Metro admins spent lots of money to repair outdated wagons, while they could have purchased brand new ones.
Between 2011-2018 metro spent 8.5bln (300mln/per unit) to renovate expired wagons.
For 600mln they could have purchased a brand new wagon that is more electricity efficient, more reliable, made in Europe.
In 2016 and onward, the metro signed a repair deal with a certain Russian firm. The firm didn't do its job properly but got paid. Metro closed the eye on the improper work. The firm did a 1.2bln worth job with a 677mln excess profit.
The firm is also suspected of not paying 128mln in taxes. In 2017-2018 metro used the firm again but without signing the legally required contracts.
In another instance, the metro illegally hired newly created 2 Georgia-based and 3 Russia-based firms to do repairs. 511mln was paid for products that are worth only 274mln. 1.7bln was spent on illegal contacts.
In another instance, some metro employees simultaneously worked for a firm owned by their metro supervisor. This supervisor got an illegal contract without an auction. He got paid 43mln to do something that costed 4mln.
In another similar instance, a metro official's firm got paid 10mln for a job worth 1mln.
This firm also sold metro poor-quality air distributing engines, causing 3mln in damages.
31mln was wasted while purchasing a lighting system. Another 7.7mln wasted because the lighting firm didn't honor a product warranty for broken lights.
The case is sent to prosecutors for a felony investigation.
Gyumri's A. Hakobyan Tennis School director has been charged with felony embezzlement of 20mln by the means of hiring non-existent employees between 2008-2019.
NSS busted another cop with taking bribes to provide an illegal gun permit.
Parliament passed a bill to give the police 3 years to install cameras in police stations and interrogation rooms to prevent possible abuse/torture by police officers. The resolution was encouraged by human rights experts.
Parliament passed a bill to re-open a sports unit in the military, which was closed in 2017. The army will have its own sports clubs.
It's done so that professional athletes who draft can continue their activities without getting out of shape.
The army will hold talks with sports federations to create a rule-set to decide what type of athletes will qualify.
Under rare circumstances, some athletes will continue to legally avoid draft altogether. The new bill is meant to help athletes who can't avoid the draft.
Yesterday the U.S. Senate joined the House in recognizing the Armenian Genocide with a 100-0 bipartisan vote.
Serj Tankian: This is a historic move by the US Senate. I want to thank Congress on behalf of my grandparents.
Turkey called it a result of anti-Turkish sentiments by some people in the Congress and a "show".
Turkish historian Taner Akçam welcomed the resolution, calling it a historic event not just for Armenians but for Turkish people, too.
Kim Kardashian earlier asked her 157 million followers to call the Senate to ask them to recognize. Kim is the only Armenian with a direct connection with president Trump.
ALL EYES ON DRUMPF! WILL THE MOST ORANGE OOMPA-LOOMPA TO HAVE EVER WALK ON EARTH FINALLY DO IT? STAY TUNED.
During a Russian-Armenian Lazarian forum, a Russian Parliament official Konstantin Zatulin indirectly criticized Azerbaijan for wanting favors in the form of cheap loans, in exchange for expanding the Russian language in Azeri schools.
Zatulin also criticized certain people in Russia for suggesting that Armenian drivers cannot have as many rights as other EAEU-state drivers because the Russian language isn't taught at a certain level in Armenia.
Context: Recently Armenian drivers complained about a lack of rights normally given to EAEU-state member drivers because Russia requires its foreign commercial drivers to have some language requirements in their home countries. Armenian and Russian politicians launched talks and the Russian side has been willing to legislatively "fix" it on their end.
Yerevan-Anapa direct flights have begun. Armenia Airways will have 2 flights per week.
Japan will help provide aid to 7,700 doctors and medical patients across 21 provincial regions as part of a "Maple Leaf Grant".
You can kiss, greet, share food, and socialize with people with HIV. Do not reuse their needles and shaving razors, no breastfeeding, no organ transplants, avoid sex without protection, avoid them while you're sick because they can contract a disease more easily.
The UN adopted an Armenian resolution to declare July 20 the World Chess Day.
On July 20, 1924, the international chess federation was established.
The law allows the govt to relocate residents from their homes in rare instances, as long as they get proper compensation to buy an equal house elsewhere. Many residents of the former Northern Avenue area complained that they weren't compensated fairly by the previous administrations.
Kond district residents also complained that they are offered too little. The new administration promised to be fairer.
Today PM's office announced that they looked into years of complaints by Kond residents, and found them to be justified. They plan to re-calculate the compensation soon.
The govt approved a bill, which is yet to be approved by the Parliament, to tighten the work requirements for social aid recipients.
One unified institute will handle the assessment of a family's needs and their aid qualifications.
An electronic system will be implemented. Social Workers who travel around to assess a family's current wealth will have their travel costs compensated by the govt.
Labor Ministry contacted 20,000 employers and made a database of 4,000 vacant jobs. Since 2019, the Ministry helped 11,000 people to find work, 203 of whom are disabled, and 7800 were women.
Able-bodied unemployed residents will be offered a job based on whatever they're physically/mentally able to do. If they refuse twice, they'll lose the free monthly aid.
Speaking of labor, what job do Armenians want to do according to Breavis research?
Who wants to obtain a new profession? 49% of people in Armenia, 53% of women in Armenia, 55% of men in Yerevan.
In Yerevan, men want to become programmers and doctors. Across Armenia, men want to become lawyers and economists.
In Yerevan, women want to be doctors, programmers, beauty shop workers. Across Armenia, women want to be doctors, pedagogues, linguists.
Sometimes lonely elder home-owners allow young couples to move in and take space in the house. The idea is that young couples can have an affordable place in exchange for taking care of the lonely old landlord (say it fast, lonely old landlord).
Labor Ministry plans to regulate this practice to avoid the elderly from getting "scammed", and to make sure young couples have more stable housing expectations.
Ministry wants to help both sides to sign a contract before such a deal, and for them to contact the Ministry in the event disagreements shall arise.
Labor Ministry (aka Labor & Social Affairs Ministry) submitted a bill to make structural reforms in the Ministry.
Two departments tasked with women's, children's and disabled people's issues will be merged unto one "equal opportunities department". Few other departments will merge.
A new "social impact assessment" department will form.
The Ministry says the efficiency will boost.
"We're not going to have a 3rd gender department", maybe jokingly or maybe seriously said the Ministry.
Labor Ministry supports Healthcare Ministry's Universal Healthcare initiative. (Finance Ministry earlier opposed it because of the tax)
Labor Minister believes it'll solve many problems immediately. "We may need to involve lots of resources for it, but it'll save us more down the line. It'll help reduce poverty as well."
Labor Ministry and Education Ministry will sign an agreement to allow elderly and disabled people to get free tickets to museums, theaters, etc., beginning February-2020. The Education Ministry does something similar for school kids at the moment.
Throughout the year, the elderly and disabled could visit 48 performances, 2 museum visits per month, after showing their passports or disability cards. In the past, a similar attempt was made unsuccessfully. Ministry says they've fixed the issues.
Minimum pensions rose 40% in January-2019 for 86,000 people.
Another 10% rise will happen in 2020.
Education Ministry opened 18 preschools in 2019. 20 are scheduled for 2020.
(if they made it 19 this year, it would be 19 for 2019 and 20 for 2020, get it? these people really have no sense of decency)
Education Ministry has a pilot program in Tavush province to increase the critical thinking skills and to merge some subjects together in schools.
It'll launch for 5-10 graders next September. Teachers will be re-trained to learn how to encourage critical and analytical thinking.
Financial Literacy will be integrated into math, tech. Armenology subjects will also see changes.
Changes will also address parents' and children's complaints that some homework is too hard, even for the parents, and sometimes kids are overloaded.
It is possible that physics, chemistry and biology classes could merge.
This is recommended by international experts and it's done in many schools around the world. Ministry says right now isn't enough link between physics and chemistry classes, even though many times kids learn about the same thing in both classes, without realizing.
The overall number of classes will be reduced, but school time will remain the same.
Education Ministry: Today we claim to want a high-tech country but our current informatika education doesn't contribute to that. Right now, the curriculum is too technical in nature. The reforms should result in algorithmic thinking, better knowledge of equipment, ethics, general knowledge of various programs.
Beginning 2020 the Education Ministry will be the institute to handle hot meal distribution to school kids. Right now some of it is done by the UN.
All provincial elementary school kids will get a hot meal. School kitchen will be renovated, equipment purchased, cooks retrained.
Research shows that kids who get a proper hot meal once a day are doing better at school than those who don't.
In the future, they plan to install mini-greenhouses attached to schools, which will grow food for school kitchen use. New labs will let the school kids do experiments during biology classes. This is still being discussed. (That's some Harry Potter sh=t).
Pashinyan believes Armenia will end the year with a 7% GDP growth. He met the International Monetary Fund representatives to discuss a few things unimportant to you.
Yerevan municipality and the Tourism Committee placed large ads in Tbilisi, Georgia's central district. Ads invite people to visit Armenia for the New Year's celebration.
Gyumri is getting ready for the holidays. Photos of new street lights:
Link to original report and comments: https://www.reddit.com/r/armenia/comments/eaa7uq/anticorruption_news_tldrs_dec132019_big_metro/
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