2020 January 21
Jan/21/2020 :: Daily news collection from Armenia :: Stay informed about the Anti-Corruption busts, Politics, Economy, Diaspora, Daily Life, and 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.
LHK and Yerevan municipality Luys alliance earlier accused Yerevan mayor Marutyan of taking money from businessmen to buy garbage trucks. Mayor asked Marutyan for evidence, the latter hasn't provided.
Marutyan was also accused of taking garbage trucks, and in exchange, legalizing illegal structures belonging to donors. Marutyan had earlier provided docs proving that was false.
Prosecutors investigated and concluded:
There was no pay-for-play. Some of the construction permits mentioned by the opposition were given well before the donations. Some donors didn't receive permits. In some cases, the donors' permits were "worsened" for various reasons. No favors were given to Lfik Samo. The practice of receiving trucks as a gift was legal.
Prosecutors advised Municipality to reform the practice to implement more transparency and to change the practice of who directly handles donations and who gives permits, so there won't be a risk in the future.
EU gave a $5.3mln grant to Yerevan, Warsaw, and Tirana cities to work on tackling the dangerous waste issue.
There is no Hayko without Mko.
Comedian Mkrtich Arzumanyan (Mko) is playing as a Russian Mr. Bean in Russian TV series aired on Super TV. The show is called Gosha, named after the main character. Premiers on January 25th.
Yerevan municipality earlier created a new department tasked with handling "green" issues. They'll hire 500 workers soon.
Resume info https://armtimes.com/hy/article/178549
A group of provincial butchers are complaining about the law that prohibits unlicensed and unmonitored butchering of cattle meat for commercial purposes. The butchers will need to do the work in a licensed manner in a cleaner area and with medical paperwork.
One desperate butcher said he plans to destroy the nearby road and shut it down unless the law is suspended. The butchers want to be able to continue to slaughter the animals in their backyards.
Some say the nearby licensed facility is too far. The govt made sure 30km transportation is free, but some butchers say they live further away and have to pay AMD 3,000 for transport.
Some butchers are categorically against the change even if more butcheries are available at favorable conditions.
Some complain that when the cattle are transported, they hit the car walls which turns the meat black, which then reduces the price of the meat.
Some farmers, however, are in favor of the change saying they themselves want higher safety standards. They claim other farmers aren't telling the truth about the cattle losing weight during transportation.
Ararat Governor will raise the topic of having more butcheries in upcoming govt meetings. Another governor proposed having mobile butcheries that will travel around, collect animals, and butcher. A proposal is made for govt to subsidize the creation of more local butcheries, which will then be privatized.
Farmers want the law delayed. (It was already delayed once before?). The food safety administration supports the stricter licensing law, citing public health concerns.
Currently, there are 22 licensed butcheries. 20 more are being built. 26 are being prepared to be built.
The licensed slaughterhouses don't hack the cattle's head with an ax, they keep better sanitary conditions compared to backyards, and they have a medical lab that tests the animal's blood under a microscope.
The Parliament passes a QP bill to allow younger experts to take the job of advisers in some departments. The age limit was lowered from 30 to 25, and the experience from 5 to 3 years.
The Parliament approved a govt bill to authorize agencies, that report to PM's office, to submit bill proposals for public discussion without the need to go through PM's office.
The Parliament approved the bill to allow the Police to wiretap heavy crime suspects after getting a warrant, without the help of NSS (which is how they wiretap now, and critics say NSS should not have a monopoly on this ability).
The government, however, does not approve the bill and wants it amended to add more checks to make sure the police don't abuse the system.
The Parliament approved a BHK bill to increase the punishment for driving someone to suicide in the army through individual or group bullying. Punishable by 3-12 years in prison.
Things got heated between BHK and IND MP Babajanyan in Parliament after the IND MP gave a speech about the proposed bill to fight against criminal subculture. BHK MP made a scene to protest the bill, saying it can punish innocent people, and that the Parliament should fight against 3-word
people (gays) instead. The IND MP complained about the foul language.
Bolola ensued . QP MPs intervened to stop. 4 BHK MPs got suspended
until the end of the day. BHK left the room. They accused the IND MP of provocation. The IND MP expects and an apology from BHK.
Deputy Speaker Lena Nazaryan accused BHK MPs of behaving like criminal subculture members in the Parliament and criticized them for saying "մենք ռազբորկա չենք անում. ճնշելու տեղը ստեղ չի, դուրսը կա".
BHK is against the bill because "it punishes people and not their actions". Some of its MPs have a record of glorifying thieve-in-laws.
The bill would give the prosecutors the right to charge thieve-in-laws upon admission of them being thieve-in-laws because this highest criminal hierarchical title is given by criminals only to fellow criminals who commit crimes and run criminal rings. It also punishes the solicitation of participation in criminal gangs. The bill would also punish being a member of a criminal ring. A similar law exists in Georgia.
Parliament is discussing a govt bill to make changes to banking information secrecy.
Justice Ministry says: the Scandinavian-style law, encouraged by international institutes, will help fight corruption. Right now the law enforcement is only allowed to get banking info of a person who is officially charged or is a suspect of a crime. This means the suspect's family can keep the stolen money and the authorities won't have the power to investigate.
To prevent abuse, the authorities are only allowed to request such info for certain types of suspected crimes. A court warrant will be needed.
LHK MP Mane Tandilyan sharply criticized the bill and said it will harm Armenia and it's citizens. "If this ends up harming foreign investments, who will be responsible? You should stop this system-destroying bill."
QP MP Suren Grigoryan responded: for the opposition, it's more important to throw dirt at govt at the expense of well being of country and public. You haven't read the bill and didn't participate in the bill's earlier discussions. Just as in the case of other info, the banking info is only released after a court order, for limited types of cases. The prosecutor can't just request anyone's info.
A mini-bolola ensued. LHK accused the QP MP of being disrespectful.
Tag #BankingInfo #BankingSecrecy
The Parliament passed a govt (Justice Ministry) bill to give suspects more abilities to challenge a court verdict that sends them to jail temporarily (pre-trial).
Parliament's Education & Culture Committee has launched a petition to ask MPs to contact German Parliament to send a note of protest about the situation around Armenian opera singer Ruzan Mantashyan's performance cancellation. It allegedly happened because the Azeri singer Youssif Ayvazov was against it on her ethnic grounds.
Russia-based Russian-Armenian conductor sided with the Azeri singer, saying he is a victim of defamation, and that the Armenian singer is a victim of misinformation.
A EU-based diaspora group has been involved.
This is how you cook a proper bolola.
2 Azeri singers, performing at a Georgian restaurant, say an Azeri embassy official Vugar Mustafaev assaulted them for playing Armenian music.
The Russian-language song "Աղջիկ, կանգ առ" was written by Arsen Shakhunts. The official didn't like that and chanted "it's Armenian music!"
The Azeri musicians contacted the Azeri embassy and asked them to sack the official.
The song (rabiz alert) https://youtu.be/sGkiFWqQ8vg?t=16
Ethnic Talysh Azeris are disproportionately sent to border regions as disposable meat. CHANGE MY MIND. Talysh activist Mir Naib Cabbarov from Lenkoran, Azerbaijan is complaining that some "combat crews are exclusively Talysh."
In recent years, 300,000 Talysh had left Azerbaijan due to Aliyev's policies. Their historical heritage is being wiped out.
Most of the border region soldiers are ethnic minorities who usually don't receive proper training before being sent there. Many minorities hope they'll have their own "Karabakh" in the future.
Kocharyan's media propagandist Armen Tavadyan, the owner of the 5th Channel and some news sites, will remain in jail after the court refused to release him. He was arrested for allegedly being a member of the Kocharyan group whose members went around and offered a bribe to March 1st victims to have them retract their claims. It was caught on a hidden cam.
Last week the court accepted the prosecutor's petition and released Manvel Tushonka Grigoryan from jail due to bad health. Today the court refused to allow Manvel to travel to France for medical reasons. Prosecutors argued he can get sufficient care in Armenia.
General prosecutor's office says:
State property management agency workers caused 489mln harm to state with false property assessment in 2016.
Without signing a contract they asked a firm to assess some property value. The firm said it's worth 516mln. The govt agency gave it away for 361mln. A later assessment revealed the property was valued at 850mln.
A felony case is launched.
President Sarkissian participated in the opening ceremony of the Davos forum, where 3,000 smart people gathered to listen to 700 smart people about money and other topics.
He spoke about future businesses, climate, met Microsoft reps.
Ellen DeGeneres shared an Armenian video and got 6mln views.
In the video, an Armenian driver notices a sliding car at the last moment and jumps on its hood to avoid being smashed.<!
UPDATE: Instagram link is reported being broken. Here is the video https://www.reddit.com/r/nextfuckinglevel/comments/eplhgx/jumping_out_of_the_way_of_sliding_car/
System of a Down's musician Shavo Odadjian created a new group called North Kingsley. It's named after the L.A. street North Kingsley Drive that he settled on after moving from Armenia to the US. That's where he grew up. "It means a lot to me," said Odadjian who released a strange picture with his hand on his dick.
Henrikh Mkhitaryan turns 31 today. Yesterday we learned that his injury could heal sooner than expected and he could return next week. Let's wish Heno strong health and lots of goals.
He started the career as a Pyunik player. In 2009 he went to Donetsk Metalurg. In 2010 he moved to Donetsk Shakhtyor. In 2013 to Dortmund Borussia, then to Manchester United in 2016, and Arsenal in 2018, then for a trial period to Milan in 2019.
In the Armenian national team, he scored 29 goals in 86 matches since 2007.
Roma congratulated him with a video: https://armtimes.com/hy/article/178536
Also Happy 99th Anniversary to late composer Arno Babajanyan.
Yerevani Sirun Axchik https://youtu.be/8R-NpvO0WyI?t=16
Link to original report and comments: https://www.reddit.com/r/armenia/comments/es06ds/jan212020_daily_news_collection_from_armenia_stay/
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