2020 August 3

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Daily news and anti-corruption report


by ar_david_hh


Tavush Battles / How did it start and end?

Context: July 12.... July 13…. July 14.... July 15.... July 16…. July 17…. July 18…. July 19…. July 20…. July 21... July 22…. July 23…. July 24.... July 25... July 27... July 28... July 29... July 30... July 31... August 2...

In case you missed the weekend news

https://www.reddit.com/r/armenia/comments/i2lyqg/aug22020_news_1_posttavush_azeri_dissident_no/?

New Anti-corruption Court and Institutional Reforms

Besides the newly formed Anti-Corruption Committee and Anti-corruption prosecutors, who audit officials, there will be a new Court specialized in corruption trials.

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20 judges will hear corruption cases, while 5 others will hear asset forfeiture cases.

Then the second Anti-corruption Court will be created to act as Appeals court, with 10 judges.

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The bill is placed for public discussion. The candidates will be vetted first.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1023840.html

Government penalizes butter monopolies for predatory practices

The Competition committee audited the butter market and issued a $37,000 penalty to ex-oligarch-owned CITY and Alex Holding companies for abusing their dominant market share.

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Between Jul/2018 - Apr/2020, the CITY hindered competitors' business and imports, and deliberately sabotaged several importers' products on CITY's product shelves, says the report.

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Alex Holding was found to have abused smaller players during a similar period.

The companies have 3 months to create equal trade conditions.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1023842.html

Anti-corruption investigations rise 64% in Shirak province

You thought 2019 was better than 2018 in terms of corruption fight... until Shirak entered the server with a 64% rise in felony corruption investigations on 1H YoY.

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The suspects include 23 mayors, 28 school directors, 4 city officials, etc.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1023862.html

Level 1 Crook

NSS has charged Gandzak school director with embezzling $238K by registering dozens of fake employees and cooking books, between 2006-2018.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1023875.html

Transparency in judicial / Foreign judges?

Supreme Court judge Hayk Hovhannnisyan criticized his colleagues for always voting to make judges' meetings (in Hamalir) secret, behind closed doors. "We need more transparency just as other branches of govt decided to make their sessions open."

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"Open sessions would allow the public to see what the judicial candidates stand for, to learn their personality."

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"The courts are overloaded with cases. I have a crazy idea about inviting foreign judges from the Netherlands, Germany, etc. to temporarily work in Armenia. They'll change the atmosphere and quality."

https://factor.am/273724.html

"No Turkish jets near the border"

The Defense Ministry denied rumors that two Turkish F-16 fighter jets flew at a 56km striking distance to Yerevan during exercises in Nakhijevan.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1023826.html

Azeri tanks during Tavush Battles

On July 15th, Armenians released a video

of a smoking object and claimed it was a destroyed Azeri tank.

Then Armenians released a footage showing Azeris towing away a tank.

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Despite the evidence, Azerbaijan didn't officially acknowledge the lossess and claimed their tanks weren't in frontlines.

After Azerbaijan released the names of 7 dead soldiers (from initial clashes), it was revealed that Mustafazade Elcin was a soldier serving in a tank battalion.

https://razm.info/144732

Calls within EU to sanction Azeri officials

European Parliament's second-largest S&D party called for the EU to sanction Azeri officials responsible for arresting opposition activists. They criticized Aliyev for using the COVID and Tavush battles as a pretense for repressions.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1023828.html

Armenia remembers the massacres of Yezidis in Iraq

Parliament Speaker Mirzoyan: Armenia stands with Yezidis and remembers the Sinjar events that took place 6 years ago. As a nation that went through Genocide, we cannot be indifferent to similar crimes being committed against others.

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Pashinyan: You have a safe and protected future in Armenia.

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Yezidi-Armenians and Yezidi MP Bakoyan paid tributes in a Yezidi temple.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1023838.html , https://factor.am/273818.html , https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1023908.html

Seasonal construction workers

COVID prevented many Armenians from traveling to Russia for seasonal construction work and remittances.

The govt decided to expand construction within Armenia. Some 100 projects are aimed at helping the stranded workers. Some projects have begun.

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The govt asked every province to register job seekers who still need help. An online platform was created.

Some 5,000 workers have applied in 5 provinces so far (other provinces haven't reported yet).

https://armtimes.com/hy/article/193991

Government's 21st COVID aid package...

.... has so far paid $5.4M to 12,857 small businesses to help subsidize employee salaries to avoid layoffs.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1023844.html

22nd COVID aid package being drafted

Labor Ministry has drafted another bill that will give $520 to businesses if they re-hire workers who were laid off between March 13 - December 1.

For now, 500 businesses can qualify. The number could increase later.

https://hetq.am/hy/article/120108

Show-business members ask BHK Tsarukyan for help

A group of show-business figures met the embattled BHK leader Tsarukyan to discuss their financial troubles caused by COVID.

They accused the government of "not doing anything and pretending that they don't exist."

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Tsarukyan promised to help. "You represent a field where every earned dime was through honesty and hard work" (tell us more about it). He instructed BHK to study international experience and form a plan.

https://factor.am/273706.html

Reuniting with diaspora

The Diaspora Committee organized "Step Home" online courses for 12-18-year-old diasporan kids to help them learn Armenian language, history, have dialogue, virtual meetings, games, etc.

250 kids from 30 countries will participate.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1023859.html

Lebanese-Armenian families repatriate

18 families and 11 individuals, citing hardship in Lebanon, COVID, and "Armenia becoming a more developed state", have decided to move to Armenia last Thursday. They were interviewed at Zvartnots airport.

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They took advantage of the new law that exempts diasporan repatriates from paying border taxes on personal items.

They'll stay in quarantine for 2 weeks.

The primary goals are to find schools for kids, open a business, find a job.

Video: https://www.facebook.com/DiasporaHighCommissionerOfficeArmenia/videos/341332930224319/

Edgar Manucharyan ends his soccer career

Veteran national team player Manucharyan exits the pitch after 18 years. He'll continue to work in the soccer industry.

He is triple-champion, scored 21 goals in 22 games at some point, and has played in Ajax.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1023833.html

Abandoned mine pollutes the Debed river

Environmentalists raised the alarm after pollutants began pouring into Debed river from a nearby abandoned Aladervi mine.

They accused the municipalities and inspectors of not using enough resources to prevent it.

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"Recently Alaverdi received $622K in federal subsidies to help the nature, but they spent it on social-economic causes instead."

Yellow water: https://youtu.be/_rCbh8IWGkI

https://factor.am/273633.html , https://factor.am/273703.html

Construction firm destroys 4 old trees in Mashtots Garden

Yerevan musicality was accused of authorizing the cutting of 4 large trees.

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City's Green Department explains: the tree roots were damaged last year by the construction company. The trees also had serious vascular diseases, dripping արտաքիրթ, and mechanical wounds visible with the naked eye.

To compensate, the construction firm will plant 9 pine trees. Evergreen bushes are already planted around the Garden.

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Yerevan spokesman noted that the construction company had a 50-year business permit, "but that didn't mean they could build at the expense of trees".

https://factor.am/273656.html

White Shorja beach-restaurant is shut down

Last week a QP MP got in trouble for visiting a party on lake Sevan shores, without a mask.

It was revealed that White Shorja wasn't even allowed to operate because that area was originally reserved for environmental works.

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Today the newly appointed Nature Minister Romanos ordered to shut down and dismantle the illegal tents.

He met the director of Sevan National Part to discuss the topic of illegal structures on the shores (they need to be cleared before the lake levels can rise).

https://factor.am/273866.html

Artsakh launches large-scale economic projects

A $100M project will build a water canal out of Artsakh's bordering Sarsang Reservoir to irrigate 30,000 ha lands in north and south of Sarsang, including in Martakert, Askeran, Martuni, Berdashen.

The canal will allow another Khachen Reservoir to be full year-round.

The project will finish by 1Q22.

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Flashback 2019: Artsakh offered Azerbaijan to share the Sarsang water with Azeri bordering villagers who're deprived of water, in exchange for Azerbaijan's ending of air travel ban over Artsakh. The gesture was welcomed by Russia. Ilham Aliyev refused the offer.

https://factor.am/273834.html

Agricultural goodies from Artsakh

Photos: https://www.civilnet.am/news/2020/08/03/Արցախ․-զրույց-հողի-հետ-ֆոտոշարք/391838

The Promise

The Promise is a 2016 movie about Genocide starred by the Star Wars guy, the Batman, Charlotte Le Bon, and others. It was co-funded by late Kirk Kerkorian. It'll be available on Netflix on August 8th.

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The producer Eric Israelyan says the revenues were donated to various healthcare, humanitarian and education programs, and for raising awareness about the Genocide in Congress.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1023870.html

Road repairs

Makaravanq road is being repaired: https://youtu.be/fipaXddxLFs?t=19

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A 3km section of M-3 highway is being renovated near Nor Kesaria, for the first time since CCCP. https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1023848.html

Yerevan sewer repairs

80% of Yerevan's 960km sewer pipes are decayed.

250 single family homes in Arabkir District will have their years-long sewer issues resolved with a new 0.8km pipeline renovation.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1023850.html

Do you have a minute to talk?

Here are some commonly used foreign words and their Armenian alternatives:

գամակ – ցանցաճոճ ($100 you'll forget it tomorrow)

էպոխա - դարաշրջան

իդեոլոգիա – գաղափարախոսություն

ինֆեկցիա – վարակ

More: https://hetq.am/hy/article/120113

Armenian video editing app

"Renderforcest - Video Maker" is an Armenian app that lets you create videos. The developers are known with similar web design tools.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1023831.html

https://apps.apple.com/us/app/id1488068233

Surprise, motherf*****er

Prison guards shut down a drone flying above a prison yard. It tried to drop a Kinder Surprise filled with marijuana.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1023847.html

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You've read 1543 words.


Link to original report and comments:

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. Helpful overview of Armenia's media ownership and leanings.


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