2019 November 12
Anti-Corruption & News Summary - Nov/12/2019 :: Gay adoptions & illiterate MPs & Other bills -- Parliament on fire :: Court trials :: Road repair fraud busts increase :: IRS tags :: Foreign Affairs :: Yerevan city -- traffic -- transport -- revenues :: other stuff inside...
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.
Marcos Pizzelli has finished his soccer career in the Armenian national team. He has played 68 times since 2008 and scored 11 goals..
Pope Francisco prayed for the Armenian catholic priest Hovsep Bedoyan who was killed during an ISIS ambush yesterday.
Pope: I am close to Armenian Catholics of Qamishli, in Syria, as they gather for the funeral of their parish priest, Father Hovsep Bedoyan, who was killed yesterday together with his father. I pray for them, their families, and for all Christians in Syria.
Armenian MFA condemned the attack.
Firefighter Samvel Develyan is posthumously awarded with a medal of bravery for helping to extinguish a wildfire on a plain field which ended up quickly encircling him due to strong winds, resulting in a tragic accident.
His fellow survivor firefighter also received a medal.
HHK parliamentary legal affairs chief Arsen Babayan was earlier arrested under the suspicion or aiding HHK to forge docs in 2018 to hijack the Constitutional Court.
Today the prosecutors said they've concluded his investigation, so if the suspect is freed, he cannot influence the process. A QP MP and Helsinki Committee NGO chief posted 0.5mln bail each and a personal assurance to release the suspect pre-trial.
QP MP says he has consulted with the party beforehand. He knows the suspect from the early years and doesn't think he'll run away when freed.
Another Kocharyan trial.
His lawyers attempted go convince the judge again that she should release him under bail. They then accused her of double standards for allegedly releasing others under bail, but not Kocharyan.
The prosecutors brought counter arguments, saying that just because a bail is an alternative option for some arrests, that doesn't mean it can be applied to all cases, and that the court has earlier already found that Kocharyan is still a risk if released.
Defense asked the judge to recuse herself. Prosecutors accused defense of deliberately dragging the case. Judge Anna Danibekyan didn't recuse herself.
Defense then asked the prosecutor to recuse himself for allegedly violating protocols while dealing with Hrach Musheghyan, the chief investigator who got Kocharyan arrested. They're complaining about how investigators handled passport and asset freezing incidents.
In other news, Manvel Tushonka is trying to get out again. Today's trial was delayed again after an alleged medical incident in the court. He is trying to show the court that he is in bad shape and cannot stay in jail.
Education reform protests update:
Earlier some philology students joined ARF party to protest against education reforms that will give universities the freedom to decide whether to require philology classes for all students or to make it optional.
Today a confrontation happened between a French Philology professor and protesters. Professor complained that the protesters were disrupting the rest of the students, that the protests were politically motivated, and that some professors were allegedly coordinating students to go protest by misleading them. "Most philology students do not support these protests", said the professor who noted that language's utilization is as important as knowledge, "some professors utilize street language".
BHK MP Gevorg Petrosyan proposed a bill to prevent the board of shareholders from firing the CEO unless one of 11 specific conditions are met.
The main idea behind the bill is to prevent a newly elected public official from easily firing directors of existing govt-funded organizations.
Govt opposed the bill, citing legal issues. AYE 36, NYE 61. Not passed.
Spice of the Day Award
BHK would like to remind you that we're an old nation with great traditions.
Is there a better way to do that than by proposing new bills to make sure gays cannot adopt kids and cannot marry? After all, as the author BHK MP Gevorg Petrosyan says, "արժեքները պետք է պահենք։ Մենք նահապետական ժողովուրդ ենք, ավանդապաշտ ազգ ենք։ Մենք չենք ասում՝ էդ մարդկանց սպանենք, մենք ասում ենք՝ նման մարդկանց կողմից երեխա որդեգրելու արգելք սահմանենք։"
Thank you Gevorg for at least not wanting to kill them. 👏
His concern is that a child cannot be raised with two people of the same gender.
(1 in 10 kids live in a single parent home per 2011 UN report. This has been proven to be worse than having two parents with two incomes.)
The discussion got heated on the floor. BHK MP tried to pressure people into voting by saying "if you vote against this bill, would you like something like that (gay adoption) happen to you?"
QP speaker Mirzoyan found this disrespectful and replied that the MP might as well put a swear on the bill. "Մի հատ էլ քֆուր դնեիք քվեարկության վրա"
The bills were rejected.
QP MP Alen Simonyan criticized BHK MP Gevorg Petrosyan for turning the Parliament floor into a discussion about gay/anti-gay again.
You're turning this into bolola. It's a common thing after the revolution, to try to create waves by using the topic of traditionalism and nationalism.
Today, those with no culture or actual traditional values are accusing govt members, who studied in Armenia and abroad before coming back to help the country, of being "satanists". This is all done for political gains. QP is the most pro-Armenian party. Don't try to be more Catholic than Pope by crying "they're destroying our language, our traditions". History will judge. People are watching.
Then, apparently something happened and the controversial BHK MP left the room. Some say BHK chief Gagik Tsarukyan removed him from the room to have a discussion. Another BHK MP later claimed it was unrelated to the gay fiasco, and that the MP had a meeting somewhere else (got to be at the gay parade on Proschyan at 9am sharp). The MP was criticized for leaving and never returning during the discussions.
QP MP Vagharshak Hakobyan:
BHK MP Gevorg Petrosyan has broken away from your party. These days he only talks about gays and wants to portray himself as THE person who fights against them. It's disrespectful to MP's mandate. I urge BHK to restrain their MP. Today, Petrosyan essentially helped the LGBT because up until now nobody knew that LGBT could also adopt children. He did a free advertisement for them.
BHK MP Naira Zohrabyan: Don't tell us what to do. You haven't earned the right to teach us lessons.
QP MP Alen Simonyan: We're only discussing the topic brought up by MP Petrosyan.
BHK MP Naira Zorabyan:
20% of school students fail the Armenian language university admission test. It's a result of bad work in schools.
Some of you in Parliament often make mistakes while speaking, too. Let's test the public officials to see how many can pass it. 20-30% will probably fail.
QP MP Kristine Poghosyan:
Be careful, people might remind you of your past. BHK has allied itself with every government in past, and is part of the problem why the quality of the education has been bad in schools.
LHK MP Mane Tandilyan proposed a bill to require all mayors to provide financial disclosures regardless of their settlement population size. At the moment the transparency law doesn't apply to settlements with fewer than 15k people, says Tandilyan.
Infrastructure Ministry has proposed a bill to create a new committee tasked with aiding the development of aviation by reforming the regulations and laws. Committee be headed by Civil Aviation chief Tatevik Revazyan. It first needs to be approved by Parliament and Govt.
Investigative Committee about busting a corruption in Syunik:
The director of a car smog check firm forged docs between 2015 and July-2018 to steal 204mln from state. Felony case is launched.
Prosecutors about catching govt-hired road repair companies with fraud:
In Jan-Sep 2019 there were 12 (vs 6 in 2018) felony cases against firms. 14 people (vs 1 in 2018) are charged. 5 are on the run.
Since last year we identified 41.7bln in damages. 0.2bln recovered so far, with another 2bln assets frozen.
Some firms have chosen to fix the road problems.
The most common type of fraud is hiring a sub-contractor then over-paying them.
IRS has finalized the plan to make product labels safer for kids in 2020. The stamps that are placed on items sold on shelves will have less harmful ingredients, more eco-friendly, better glue to prevent children from ripping and swallowing them, etc.
Pashinyan went to France, met president Macaron, UN chief, Frankofonie, UNESCO reps. Spoke about lots of stuff. Nothing new. https://youtu.be/4IxkYjDGEeA?t=31
World leaders were invited to France to mark the 100th anniversary of WW1 armistice.
First lady Anna Hakobyan also went there. It is unclear what type of transportation method she used to get there (boat?).
Pashinyan in France: we want to plant 10mln trees in 2020.
Mr. Beast: Hey guys. Today we're going to give away $10 million dollars to whoever can plant 20 million trees by next year.
WHO DID IT BETTER? A YouTuber vs a country leader. You decide...
Yerevan revenues will rise at an unprecedented level in 2020. The big jump is captured in a graph.
Yerevan mayor Hayk Marutyan has a goal: prioritize the city center for pedestrians, cyclists and buses.
In the near future, the city plans to increase parking costs in Center, have some free parking, prohibit parking in some areas. The practice isn't new, but it'll expand.
This will be part of a $150mln major traffic/transport reform in Yerevan. It is being discussed with the deputy PM Avinyan's office.
Municipality says the goal is to offer a better bus system first, then deliberately make car parking harder so the drivers can look at the public transport and see it as a reliable alternative to driving.
Thank you EAEU for banning all car imports. Very cool.
Link to original report and comments: https://www.reddit.com/r/armenia/comments/dvfhcp/anticorruption_news_summary_nov122019_gay/
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