2020 July 10

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Anti-Corruption Daily

Jul/10/2020 news: (1) Armenian cult leader (2) Real estate $ (3) ISP merger approved (4) Anti-Corruption (5) COVID news (6) High tech (7) Foreign affairs (8) Green Yerevan (9) Poll: Preferred gender? (10) Nature strikes (11) Many infrastructure upgrades (12) Dalma Garden district (13) Sports & Books
by ar_david_hh


Armenian cult leader who ruled the world

Avag, also known as Armenian Kashpirovsky, was a guru who claimed he knew how to cure health problems.

In the 1940s the news broke out across the world about this mysterious man living in Iran.

U.S. winemaker Gevorg Arakelyan helped Avag to visit the U.S. to cure his son's epilepsy. The 20yo guru went there with a 6-month visa but decided to stay forever. His fight against the immigration services reached the Congress, which at some point heard a bill to allow Avag to stay longer.

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Hundreds have claimed to have been cured by Avag. At one point he was accepting 60 people with diverse backgrounds every day. His sessions became so popular that the LA had to dispatch more police units to guard the area.

Tom Kardashyan, a relative of Kim Kardashyan, expressed willingness to built a temple dedicated to Avag.

Nobody knows if the winemaker's kid's epilepsy was ever cured.

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Avag then took a vacation and moved to the mountains. Eventually, after a lenghy battle with ICE, he left the U.S. to Cuba, before returning and settling in New York.

Video of him arriving in Los Angeles: https://youtu.be/YCFOOn9II-c

http://www.panarmenian.net/arm/details/282854/

Flashback 1999

Prime Minister Vazgen Sargsyan, months before the assassination, gives a report about Armenia's massive debt and calls for Armenians to change their "Soviet-inherited mentality" about "stealing and bribing".

https://youtu.be/2fe98agLhvw?t=515

Land embezzlement busted in Goris

Prosecutors and SOC say: in 2007, the Economy Ministry leased a 7530m2 land in Goris for $620/mo for 1 year.

The tenant wasn't allowed to sub-lease it to someone else, but they gave part of it to a telecom company for $100/mo until 2027.

Officials at Economy and Finance Ministries have since pocketed $15,000. A felony case is launched.

https://armtimes.com/hy/article/192285

COVID stats

+2050 tested. +557 infected. +709 healed. 18 deaths.

131,216 tested. 11,471 active. 18,709 healed. 546 deaths.

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Artsakh: +4 infected. +3 healed. All-time 146 infected. 116 healed. 0 deaths.

https://armtimes.com/hy/article/192260 , https://armtimes.com/hy/article/192257

COVID safety enforcement

84,000 tickets have been issued since the beginning of the Emergency.

Today numerous businesses were shut down for 2 days for violating safety. Overcrowded buses and taxis were caught and fined.

https://armtimes.com/hy/article/192299 , https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1021252.html , https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1021299.html

COVID quarantine enforcement / High tech method

Thousands of people are required to self-quarantine themselves for weeks. Not everyone complies. Hundreds of people, and more recently a taxi driver, broke the rules and endangered the public.

To ensure they don't leave the area, the govt occasionally sends police officers to check on them.

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There is also an app called StayHome. The quarantined person takes a geo-tagged photo and sends it to the police, after being asked to do so at random times throughout the day.

"The data is handled by a computer and will be purged after the emergency ends."

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1021298.html

COVID aid

Germany will send a group of doctors to fight COVID in Armenia.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1021286.html

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The Netherlands will give Armenia $200,000 to purchase 3 COVID testing and hundreds of monitoring devices from Armenian companies.

https://armtimes.com/hy/article/192262

Tech expert Karen Vardanyan dies

The chief of Union of Leading Technology Enterprises and the popular ArMat school-lab program Karen Vardanyan has passed away from undisclosed causes.

High Tech Minister and other officials expressed condolences, noting that Vardanyan made a great contribution towards Armenian tech.

Civil Aviation chief Revazyan described Vardanyan as her inspirational mentor.

Pashinyan formed a commission tasked with handling his funeral and costs.

https://armtimes.com/hy/article/192256 , https://armtimes.com/hy/article/192276 , https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/192323

The use of high-tech in agriculture

Kotayk government and an agriculture company are using drones to fly over crops and scan their health with high precision. It'll be used to map the environment, too.

https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/192326

High Tech Minister met U.S. ambassador...

... to discuss topics related to US tech giants' (PayPal, Google, etc.) possible entry to the Armenian market, Armenia's latest program to send students to Silicone Valley, and other topics.

https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/192302

Foreign affairs

U.S. Rep TJ Cox called for the resumption of de-mining aid to Artsakh, during a speech about a bill that will decide America's 2021 foreign aid budget.

Meanwhile, several bipartisan U.S. Senators urged the govt to sanction NATO-member Turkey for purchasing S-400 missiles from Russia.

https://armtimes.com/hy/article/192252 , https://armtimes.com/hy/article/192249

Cyber-crime reports increase

Prosecutors investigated 118 cyber-crimes in the entire 2019, while 94 in 2020H1 alone.

Investigator says the rise is due to more people willing to come forward and report such crimes as a result of being better informed and having higher trust towards the police. "Don't try to solve cyber-crime yourself. Report it."

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1021246.html

Car chase at night

Yerevan became Tokyo last night. 3 cars were towed for organizing a car race. One of the drivers was drunk.

https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/192318

Preferred gender of your child?

A decade ago 54% of families said they want a boy, while 34% said it doesn't matter. Today it's reversed.

Armenia has "caught up" with Georgia.

https://www.civilnet.am/news/2020/07/10/For-the-First-Time-Majority-of-Armenians-Report-Their-Child’s-Gender-“Does-Not-Matter”/389572

Real estate prices / Yerevan rent and purchase

-22% property transactions in H1 YoY, says the govt's stats agency. As one would expect, the transactions grew pre-COVID but plummeted afterward.

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One private realtor said: the prices have also declined, sometimes by 20%.

The prices of newly built houses won't decline by much, but the secondary market will be -20% cheaper by 2021.

A $330/mo apartment in Arabkir can be rented for $250/mo nowadays.

Yerevan's avg rent for 1bd is $185/mo in not-so-distant districts. You can find one between $100-$850/mo. These will also get cheaper.

https://factor.am/267700.html

Fewer wildfires this year

թու-թու-թու, but the Emergency Ministry warns it's still dangerous. "Don't accidentally light it up."

2020H1 vs 2019H1: 1469 fires vs 2104, Yerevan fire incidents cut in half, the affected territory is 3x smaller.

https://armtimes.com/hy/article/192264

Lightning strike kills a shepherd

A shepherd, his son, and grandson were herding the animals. They formed a triangle to trap the herd when a lightning struck the elder. He didn't make it.

A decade earlier another man died in the same area from the same cause.

https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/192325

Caucasus Nature Fund...

...gave Armenia $0.5mln to protect several national parks and forests.

https://armtimes.com/hy/article/192287

Public regulator authorizes TEAM-Beeline ISP merger

UCOM tried to unsuccessfully purchase the financially troubled Beeline.

UCOM's founder got fired (for other reasons) and founded a new TEAM ISP.

TEAM has been authorized to purchase Beeline for an undisclosed sum.

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Some Beeline workers aren't happy, they fear mass layoffs so they gathered in front of the Regulator's office to protest.

TEAM said there won't be mass layoffs because they need Beeline's tech experts. "Beeline itself has been laying off their workers for years due to financial problems."

The Regulator ordered TEAM not to do mass layoffs (10% of workforce) for at least 6 months.

TEAM founder Yesayan says they'll merge their 400 workers with Beeline's staff "to have even more resources, there is always a shortage of tech experts."

https://armtimes.com/hy/article/192288 , https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/192312 , https://youtu.be/Kvhqdv9szTM

Dalma Gardens residential district construction begins

Over a decade ago, plans were drafted to build a new modern apartment complex district near Hamalir with business and hotel buildings, parks, pools. Some work was done.

In 2019 Mayor Marutyan gave a green light to build the buildings. The company got an environmental permit from the Nature Ministry, under the condition that if an archeological sight is discovered while digging, the process will be halted until experts decide what to do with the findings.

The works have begun.

Video of the proposed district: https://youtu.be/463X4UacOKs

https://hetq.am/hy/article/118922

Infrastructure upgrades across Armenia & Artsakh

Vanadzor drivers no longer have to fill the holes themselves. The city finally found a suitable contractor after 4 auctions.

https://armtimes.com/hy/article/192277

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Dzoragyugh's irrigation system is being renovated by Armenians who couldn't travel to Russia for seasonal work.

https://youtu.be/jFJwHWOb0Kw

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Meghri suburbs will get a gas network, as promised by govt earlier. The works began today and will finish next year. 500 businesses will get it immediately, with another 1500 later.

https://armtimes.com/hy/article/192286

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5 schools in Kotayk are being built or renovated with a seismic retrofit. They'll withstand a 6.9M (Richter) or 9-degree (Marcelli) earthquake.

https://armtimes.com/hy/article/192292

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Bagratahen-Yervandashat road is being repaired.

https://armtimes.com/hy/article/192279

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Artsakh will spend $52,000 (25mln) to buy materials to fix a drinking water problem in Shushi. 10 veterans' families will get housing.

https://armtimes.com/hy/article/192242

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Gegharquniq's Gegharquniq village will have 12 of its roads equipped with new street lighting and poles.

Geghovit village will have 6km-long new street lighting.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1021262.html , https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1021264.html

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Yerevan is renovating 11 kindergartens now, and 12 more soon. New bathrooms, water system, wiring, furniture.

https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/192315

Prospective wrestler will be drafted

For young lads to delay their military service, they must score high marks during sports competitions.

74KG wrestler Davit Gevorgyan got very close but couldn't cross the barrier. He'll go to the army, despite the coaches' best efforts to convince the Ministry to make an exception. He had one last chance in an international competition, but it was canceled due to COVID.

https://armtimes.com/hy/article/192281

Henrikh Mkhitaryan in Roma

He scored 8 goals in 22 matches in Roma, while 9 goals in 59 matches in Arsenal. You do the math.

His performance in the past two matches might have saved Roma coach's career; it was widely believed that the coach would be fired unless they got a victory after 3 consecutive losses.

Heno won't be able to save the coach in the next match, however, because he got the 5th Yellow Card and will skip the game.

Roma doesn't have a chance to finish 4th in the league. That means Champions League is out of reach, but they could qualify for the less prestigious Europa League.

https://armtimes.com/hy/article/192268

Greenification of Yerevan

In the past 3 months, the Capital's Green Department has planted 18k bushes, 300k flowers, 145 garden trees (Sakura, maple, catalpa, etc.), and 20k m2 lawns.

The city should be green year-round because one type of plant blossoms when another one stops.

https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/192313

It's that time of the week, folks / Top-5 books

What books, written by Armenians, have the Yerevan basement dwellers been reading in June?

5) Վերջին ուսուցիչը, by Վարդգես Պետրոսյան (plot: teacher walks into a class and sees something strange...)

4) Ծովից ծով դատաստանը, by Վահրամ Սահակյան (plot: thoughts, ideas, predictions by the author)

3) Ստախոսը, by Levon Nes (plot: a liar travels through Europe for new adventures)

2) Balzak the dog', by Levon Nes.

1) Կախվածություն, by Սյունե Սևադա.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1021070.html

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You've read 1722 words.


Link to original report and comments: https://www.reddit.com/r/armenia/comments/hovrej/jul102020_news_1_armenian_cult_leader_2_real/

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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