2019 December 18
Anti-Corruption & News TLDRs - Dec/18/2019 :: Big drop in emigartion; Fewer leave for work _ Serj's assets frozen _ High tech & Startups _ Foreign Affairs _ Former regime news _ Child trafficking & High profile busts _ Officials busted w/corruption _ Education & Science reforms _ Soccer _ 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.
Dutch Senate joins the House in ratifying the EU-AM comprehensive cooperation agreement.
French Senate has adopted a resolution that will allow France to approve the EU-AM comprehensive cooperation agreement.
An Armenian gang operating in 7 EU countries organized match-fixing in international tennis competitions.
135 tennis players are suspected of being part of it, including a player who is in top-30 in the world ranking.
The gang placed bets on the opponents then had the players purposely lose their matches.
An Argentinian player blew the whistle when he was approached.
Azeri army violated the ceasefire at the north-eastern Tavush border with Armenia by firing towards a settlement and a highway, twice. No casualties. A suppressive fire was returned.
The Koti mayor says such incidents happen in their settlement occasionally. A wedding ceremony was happening at the time of the shootout. They didn't stop the party
A student in Azerbaijan is sentenced to 400 hours of labor for refusing to accept govt's claim that Mubariz Ibrahimov was a hero.
Mubariz Ibrahimov was an Azer soldier who died in Martakert, Artsakh during a failed infiltration attempt in 2010. His fellow servicemen left his body at the scene before fleeing.
At the time, the Azeri govt exaggerated his "heroism" to claim he killed 50 Armenians (try 500,000,000). Armenians had 4, and Azeris 2 deaths.
The student says her sentencing is illegal and plans to take it to ECHR.
41% of all foreign students are at Yerevan State Medical University.
Golden Palace hotel in Tsakhkadzor was built by an offshore proxy firm run by Serj regime's officials, with the help of laundered funds. It was "donated" to the public after the revolution.
The State Property Management agency was unable to find an auction buyer for the 7.5bln worth hotel. The price was too high.
They'll hold another auction with a 5% discount. If no one buys, they could hand over the hotel's utilization to the state.
President Serj Sargsyan's assets have been frozen. Earlier he was charged with organizing with a group of people to embezzle 0.5bln in agricultural aid in 2013.
The NSS earlier busted a child trafficking ring who mislead the parents and convinced them to give their kids for adoption to people from abroad.
Today they arrested a high profile gynecologist Razmik Abrahamyan, the director of Hanrapetakan Maternity Hospital. A felony case is launched.
This director is going through another felony corruption case as well. He is suspected of bribing a former deputy Healthcare Minister.
The authorities then arrested the deputy-director of the same Hanrapetakan maternity hospital Arshak Jerjeryan and the director of Yerevan Children's Home Liana Karapetyan.
4th person was arrested shortly thereafter.
🎡 The wheel of Bust 🎡
Who is it going to be today? A mayor? A director? Or a deputy minister?
dadadadada tatatatata nananananan babababa
-> a mayor <- (wow, mega win, spin again)
The mayor of Baghramyan is charged with corruption. The IRS says he knew that a large agricultural firm was going to buy lands near the settlement, so he organized a rigged land auction to sell lands to his relative for cheap, who then resold the lands to the firm for higher prices. 62mln in damages.
A felony case is launched.
The mayor of Otevan is facing corruption charges for allegedly embezzling 1.5mln since 2017 by registering a family member as a fake employee.
A felony case is launched.
Kocharyan trial judge will not recuse herself. The defense said her brother liked a Facebook post critical of Kocharyan. Prosecutors argued it's unrelated to the judge.
The defense then argued that the recent court order that refused to free Kocharyan with bail should be overturned.
The verdict is on December 20th.
Armenian soccer fans have a FAF fun club which convinced the entire Soccer Federation administration to quit a month ago.
FAF says one of their protocols is to remain neutral during the Soccer Federation election period, but they claim the former regime, at the whelm of HHK MP oligarch Ruben Hayrapetyan (Nemets Rubo, under criminal invstg.) is meddling with the affairs to try to appoint his guy Tovmas Grigoryan. Some FAF fans were allegedly threatened by Nemets' people.
FAF has long fought against Nemets and sees a threat of him returning to power through shady means.
FAF says that because of this, they'll begin to lobby to make sure another candidate, Armen Melikbekyan (already a frontrunner) wins the Soccer Federation chief's position in the upcoming elections, despite having some objections with his soccer plans.
The Public Council institute was created by Serj administration and has a task to discuss hot topics that concern the society. Its chief is appointed by the head of govt.
Chief Vazgen Manukyan was accused of being useless, and occasionally using the institute to serve Roboserj interests. He resigned amid criticism and created the "Vernatun" political club consisted of various members of the former regime.
Now the Public Council is seeing staff changes. Several NGO representatives were appointed as members. Kocharyan critic and political analyst Styopa Safaryan will be appointed as its chief.
According to PM's daughter Mariam Pashinyan, Roboserj media outlets hired Photoshop designers and purchased sponsored ads on social media to spread fake news about her and a "brand new car purchased by public funds".
The car she often uses is a state-issued car given to PM's family back in 2018. She says the paparazzi often sneak and take her photos while she exits the car so they use it in their campaign.
WELCOME TO PUBLIC LIFE!
International IRI pollster representative Stepehn Nix:
Despite the fact that revolution euphoria is over, Pashinyan still has a big 76% support. Many world leaders would give everything to have that.
Most importantly, 70% of Armenians are optimistic about the future. It is the highest in the post-Soviet area.
The public also recognizes that it'll take time to fix the issues. They're willing to give the govt time to work.
Pashinyan administration is good at connecting with the public to spread their message, wheres the public is not receptive to the former administration's messages.
Education Ministry plans to make reforms to make some classes optional. Rectors of 3 universities gave a press conference during which they said:
We participated in meetings with the Ministry from the beginning and made amendments to the bill. Today's version (protested by ARF admins) is good. The noise around Armenian Language and History classes is unnecessary.
Reforms will allow universities to be more autonomous and to adapt their curriculums to the job market.
Under the existing law, lease money generated from uni's property goes to the state. After the reforms, the money will stay at uni.
Under existing law, uni returns other unused money to govt at the end of the year. After the reforms uni will keep the remainder.
The հեռակա ուսուցման system will be replaced with մասնակի բեռնվածությամբ to give some students more flexibility and reduce the load.
Each semester, the student will be able to adjust their own level of load, with some minimum and maximum curriculum requirements.
The student could give exams then choose, based on his grades, which university they want to join. (ուսանողն իր քննության արդյունքներով կարող է դիմել այն ԲՈՒՀ-ը, որը կցանկանա)
Govt is reviewing the upcoming Education reforms.
Pashinyan isn't happy that preschools currently work for up to 5 hours. Says it needs to be extended so parents can go to work and not have to worry about picking kids up early. Says preschools need to start teaching more school material.
Science funding to rise by 17% in 2020. Science institutes will have their work "measured" with a newly created scale.
Education Ministry cut 11 padavat vehicles.
Yerevan will have its first planetarium. It'll open on January 1st at midnight.
It's like a movie theater but you lay on the ground like a homeless man and stare at the artificial skies like an idiot. There will be 40-minute movies.
It's built by Armenian-Russian businessmen.
Earlier this year Pashinyan said Armenia is willing to buy gas from Turkmenistan through Iran territory.
A few months ago the govt sent an envoy to Iran to hold talks around this. Not many updates so far.
Armenia can triple the gas capacity it receives from Iran with the southern pipeline. If the Turkmen gas reaches Armenia, it could in future resell it to Georgia through the Armenian territory.
Georgia owes Armenia $7.7mln lol
The minimum wage will increase not only in Armenia but in the Artsakh Republic as well. The govt earlier decided to raise it from 55k to 68k.
Technology Ministry has launched the program Neruzh (Potential). For 4 days, international startups will visit Armenia and connect with techies, meet investors, win a prize.
Earlier the govt negotiated big price cuts in roaming prices between Armenia and Artsakh telecoms. Ucom lowered the calling prices between 15-44%.
Technology Minister says another price drop will happen in mid-2020 when the Artsakh's monopoly telecom company's contract ends.
Technology Minister Arshakyan:
This year, 230 tech startups applied to take advantage of a govt program that removes taxes and helps tech startups. The diasporans created 45 of these startups.
1,200 jobs created. Up to 5th are diasporan Armenians.
In 2020, a National Venture Funds will be registered, and it'll invest $5mln to begin the construction of the Engineering City within Yerevan. (it's an area with multiple buildings for businesses, labs, etc)
In 2020 Ministry plans to provide professional business tutoring to 3000 techies in Yerevan and provinces.
45 entrepreneurs will be sent to Draper University in Silicon Valley at the govt expense.
38% of the high tech industry workers are women. It is one of the highest marks in the world.
15,000 total high tech jobs which produced $250mln in 2018. That's 33% more than in 2017. The growth has increased.
Low-cost airline WizzAir will enter the Armenian market in March 2020. Most tickets for the first flights have already been sold out.
Yerevan-Vilnius is $60. One handbag allowed.
For $103 you can bring the second handbag, one luggage, the ability to choose a seat, and a few other bonuses.
For $124 you can have everything above, plus larger bags, have better seats, make changes to ticket 3 hours before the flight.
Food is not included.
Vienna flights start from $30 and have similar paid addons.
In 2017, 15% of Armenians went to work abroad. In 2019 that number was 10%.
Net emigration from Armenia for the first 1-9 months of...
Stats for the 4Q2019 will be ready later.
No musaler, it's not the Indians. 607 more Indians left than arrived.
Link to original report and comments: https://www.reddit.com/r/armenia/comments/echvjz/anticorruption_news_tldrs_dec182019_big_drop_in/
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