2019 January 8
All the accused are innocent until proven guilty by the court of law. Currency in Armenian Drams unless specified otherwise.
The court restores the arrest warrant for Vahagn Harutyunyan, the former March 1st investigator, who is accused of tampering with evidence to cover up an alleged crime by the military and officials. Two additional abuse of power charges were pressed against him recently.
The court will hear Kocharyan's case again tomorrow. His defense wants to offer bail money instead of arrest.
More people returned to Armenia than left on 2018. It was the best result since 2006. Only 3 years since the independence the migration has been net positive.
2017: minus 26,000
2018: plus 21,000
2019: plus 10,000 (official prediction)
Murder rates fell by 26% on 2018 vs 2017. Other forms of criminal acts rose by 13%.
While the fuel prices rise elsewhere, Armenia has seen a 10%-15% drop of Regular fuel price since December. There are reports that a new competitor has entered the field. No other details yet.
The new Parliament session begins on January 14th
Public Announcement: Several popular media networks have been purchased by HHK politicians. Four officials formed a media group called "Քառյակ մեդիա", which then acquired TERT.AM; ARMNEWS Channel; RADIO 107 FM (aka Lav Radio),
FLASHBACK 2001: Kocharyan administration was negotiating Artsakh settlement with Azerbaijan. Here is what his stance was (the man in the video is Vartan Oskanian, Kocharyan's Foreign Minister)
- They referred to 7 regions as "occupied" territories.
- They agreed to give 6 regions to Azerbaijan.
- They greed that Lachin (small corridor that connects Artsakh to Armenia) would not be part of Artsakh or Armenia, but rather an autonomous or independent region, same as Artsakh's status, whatever the negotiations would result in.
- They were still negotiating what Artsakh's status was going to be.
- They agreed to provide Azerbaijan a land corridor with Nakhijevan by introducing foreign troops into Armenia's southern region. Foreign observers would act as monitors to make sure Azeris could safely connect to Nakhijevan.
New EEU customs taxation rules have been implemented beginning January 1st:
If the person is entering Armenia through land transportation, and if the trip is not for a businesses purpose, and the person has brand new unused products that are over 25KG (or 500 Euro worth), these non-used products are subject to a 30% tax, but only for products that exceed the 25KG mark.
E.x., if an individual drives/walks through the border with 40KG worth brand new clothing, he will pay 30% of the value of 15KG (40KG minus the 25KG allowance).
The old allowance was 50KG and 1,000 Euro.
The change is meant to target the dishonest large businesses which avoid paying taxes by dumping the inventory before crossing the border, making a deal with local Georgian-Armenians, who would then take 50KG each and enter Armenia without paying any taxes. Upon arrival, they would all hand over their loads to the business in Armenia. The new rules are meant to discourage the practice.
Deputy PM Mirzoyan (soon Parliament speaker) and PM's office deny the rumors published by Hraparak paper according to which Mirzoyan allegedly asked the staff to purchase a new 100mln Mercedes Maybach work vehicle because he doesn't want to use his predecessor's vehicle. Hraparak did not provide any sources for the claim.
The military says the soldiers have already begun purchasing and using personal cell phones for private use. The phones are examined by the administration before being authorized. They cannot have video/audio/internet capabilities.
US Senate has confirmed the appointment of Lynne Tracy as the new ambassador to Armenia. Her previous titles included senior adviser to State Department around Russia relations, and various diplomatic missions in Turkmenistan and Khazakhstan. During the Senate confirmation hearing, she welcomed the peaceful revolution in Armenia and the advancements made in the past 6 months, and noted that more needs to be done to strengthen the results.
Four residents of Shatin are facing charges for illegally blocking two journalists' access to the municipality building. The journalists went there to cover a story about residents' demands for mayor's resignation. The journalists had the legal right to enter the mayor's building. The court has found the culprits guilty. They have been told not to leave the country.
A fight by drunk hooligans in Kazakhstan made into an international news.
A group consisted of 9 Kazakhs, and a group consisted of Armenians and Kazakhs, got into an argument in a restaurant in Kazakhstan. The group of Kazakhs, who were guests at the restaurant owned by the Armenians, did not like the fact that the restaurant was about to close, and initiated an argument with the staff when they were notified about the closure. The guests were escorted out.
The guests then called their friends who arrived at the scene with 3 cars. The assailants attempted to break into the restaurant. A fight broke out. Kazakh witnesses and other restaurant patrons confirm that the ethnicity on Armenians or Kazakhs did not play a role in the fight.
The authorities labeled the incident as a hate crime based on rumors, while in reality it was hooliganism, according to witnesses.
35 people participated in the fight, including two sons of the restaurant owner. One Kazakh died, and 2 others were taken to a hospital with a knife wound.
One Kazakh and two Armenians were arrested. The third Armenian is at large.
The day after the fight, two of the murder suspects had Azeri names according to the documentation (picture in article), but for unknown reasons the names were switched to two Armenian participants of the fight, as reported by the Kazakh media.
The incident resulted in the police arresting at least one Kazakh internet user for inciting ethnic violence against Armenians. On Sunday, protesters gathered to condemn the murder and demand the alleged perpetrators' apprehension. The Armenian embassy expressed willingness to help with the investigation.
Foreign ministers of Kazakhstan and Armenia have condemned the provocateurs who attempted to incite ethnic hatred after the incident.
The Armenian suspect at large has released a video agreeing to turn himself in. He admitted to participating in the fight, but denies killing anyone.
https://news.am/arm/news/489376.html ----- https://www.nur.kz/1771857-draka-vozle-restorana-v-karagande-vozbudili-delo-za-meznacionalnuu-rozn.html ------ https://www.nur.kz/1771429-ubijstvo-u-restorana-v-karagande-podozrevaemyj-obavlen-v-respublikanskij-rozysk.html ---- https://armenpress.am/arm/news/959956.html ------- http://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/151823 ------- https://hraparak.am/post/1496307361
1.3mln Armenian tourists visited Georgia last year. 25,000 visited for New Year's vacation.
Armenia Apostolic Church celebrated the birth of Jesus
Armenia's chess champion Hayk Martirosyan wins the international Swiss Weihnachtsopen tournament.
Grandmaster Karen Grigoryan wins the Spanish Ajedrez Lorca 2018 international chess competition.
Chess grandmaster Samvel Ter-Sahakyan wins the international Vergani Chess Cup in Italy
Forbes lists Armenia at the 13th place as the best budget tourist destination.
Serzh returns with a message (parody)
Link to original report: https://www.reddit.com/r/armenia/comments/adzoyq/anticorruption_jan182019/
|2019 Daily Armenia Reports|