2019 December 19
Anti-Corruption & News TLDRs - Dec/19/2019 :: More Healthcare reforms _ Kocharyan ally caught bribing March 1st victim _ Kocharyan gets support from RU and AM pop-stars _ Media outlet break-in _ Parliament bill _ Yerevan bus _ How many school directors busted? _ Mayor busted _ Road repair cost
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.
Tomorrow the court will decide whether Kocharyan can be released on bail.
60 famous Armenian and Russian singers and entertainers signed a letter asking the court to free Kocharyan.
The list includes Arame, Erik, Tina Kandelaki, Hrach Keshishyan, Hayko, Margarita Simonyan (RT outlet chief), etc.
Parts from the memo:
We don't think Kocharyan will be a danger if he is freed before the trial. Many of us personally know him. We respect him as a political figure.
Kocharyan's son thanked the supporters.
EDIT: Fellow Redditor shares a spicy video https://www.reddit.com/r/armenia/comments/ecz57k/anticorruption_news_tldrs_dec192019_more/fbeo6go/
Police say they busted Kocharyan's supporter who was going around and offering bribes to March 1st victims in exchange for them dropping the complaints and not appearing in court.
The suspect offered the same amount of money the victim could get from the state as compensation for March 1st events.
The suspect is seen in an undercover video tutoring the victim how to officially backtrack their claims.
The suspect also offered the victim prestigious jobs once the government was changed.
A felony case is launched. Some offices were raided. There are multiple suspects.
Joghovurd media outlet says someone broke into their office and created a mess, but didn't take anything according to their initial observation. The outlet believes someone is intimidating them.
The outlet's employee was earlier questioned by SIS over secret documents that were leaked by an unknown SIS agent and published by the outlet, which contained classified information about Serj Sargsyan and the March 1st investigation.
SIS questioned the journalist in an attempt to try to find the rogue SIS agent who leaked the docs.
It is unknown whether this break-in incident is related to that story.
Outlet editor Qnar Manukyan:
Someone is trying to silence us. It could be the SIS, it could be anyone. There are many suspicions. Earlier this morning one of our colleagues entered the room and found a mess. Nothing was taken from the office (they still need to examine the computers). The security cameras were stolen. This is intimidation.
Outlet's founder says the outlet has been posting articles about many people (including former IRS boss Gagik Khachatryan), and that it could have angered many people, and that it's impossible to tell at the moment who is behind this break-in.
The outlet's founder is a QP MP Taguhi Tovmasyan. The MP plans to raise the topic among party members. Free speech institutes condemned the "attack on the outlet" and asked the law enforcement to "find the perpetrators". The police are investigating.
Yerevan municipality says three BusVoyage buses were imported from Germany and will join the Yerevan fleet in a few days.
Each bus has a capacity of 90 people. The fair will be the same 100 Drams.
The bus doesn't have stairs in order to make boarding easier, and the entrance is wider. There is a spot for a wheelchair.
They are imported by a private firm. The firm says there were political barriers preventing them from doing this in the past.
The buses are "used but in good shape". The firm bought them for $30k a pop (should have purchased Cybertruck).
Buses use gas instead of diesel, but they are not modified. It's cheaper than diesel. It'll have WiFi and the drivers will help the disabled passengers.
These are not the buses that the city plans to use as part of the upcoming big revamp.
The govt gave tax breaks to several firms to invest 29bln and create 230 new jobs.
NSS earlier busted several suspects in connection with the child trafficking that took place a few years ago. The chief gynecologist of Armenia, the chief of Hanrapetakan, was also arrested.
Today the court ruled that he cannot be arrested without proper court approval. He is currently in an emergency room with high blood pressure.
Prosecutors officially charged him with stealing kids form parents and bribery, then sent an official petition to the court to detain him for 2 months pre-trial.
🌶 Spice of the Day Award 🌶
There are currently 222 felony cases in 126 schools in which directors falsified employee records to hire non-existence people with the intention of embezzling salary funds.
Qasakh mayor is charged with forging docs to embezzle lands in 2003. A felony case is launched.
Parliament passed a QP bill to allow provincial settlement residents to hold an advisory-referendum which will help the local govt decide whether to merge or split several settlements.
Some small settlements are occasionally merged at the request of govt to improve administrative tasks. People have long complained for various reasons.
Healthcare Ministry has new reforms approved by the govt.
Ministry will change the subsidized care program that has been used in the past 15 years.
Right now hospitals negotiate with the Ministry at the beginning of the year on how much in subsidized care they can provide. Based on that, they can accept or reject patients depending on the availability of the subsidized funds.
In future, the patient will choose which hospital to visit, after which the govt will hand over the subsidy money to that hospital.
For now, this will apply to soldiers, emergency workers, their families, urgent surgeries, as well as children's medical care. It'll take 2-3 years to fully switch to the new subsidy system.
Ministry also wants to add 200,000 citizens to the list of people qualified to receive subsidized specialized lab tests.
Recently doctors have begun using linear accelerators for cancer treatment. Ministry plans to expand the subsidized treatment to include all types of malignant cancers.
Pashinyan instructed the Finance Ministry to draft a new law to increase the penalty on some businesses who refuse to print sales receipts, which allows the IRS to collect taxes.
Currently, food businesses pay a 600k fine while others pay 150k. In the future everyone could pay the same 600k.
In 2014 the govt spent 200mln to repair 1km road. In 2019 we spent 80mln for 1km.
More state roads were repaired in 2019 than in 2013-2017 combined.
We've cut 448 padavat cars (state-given cars used by officials and their families). The fleet has the lowest number of cars in the past 20 years.
60% of Georgian citizens are denied a U.S. tourist visa.
50% of Armenians.
25% of Azeris.
5% of Argentinians.
EU residents have a free pass.
The internal tourism grew 46% in 2019 vs 2018.
Link to original report and comments: https://www.reddit.com/r/armenia/comments/ecz57k/anticorruption_news_tldrs_dec192019_more/
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