2020 June 11

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Anti-Corruption Daily

Jun/11/2020 News: (1) Mining reforms (2) Kocharyan aide's $1mln (3) EP's rapporteurs (4) Edu. official's case (5) Nuclear loan. Russia comments (6) Firdusi (7) Fake news (8) COVID news (9) Criminal subculture (10) Amulsar mining (11) Yerevan's trees & buildings (12) Gas price (13) Cattle (14) To...
by ar_david_hh


Where was the prince of Warsaw?

Yesterday we learned that Yerevan Zoo and police found and returned a pink parrot that escaped last year. Where was it?

Turns out it was being trafficked. It ended up at an animal store in Nor Norq district, which purchased the bird for $700 from an unknown entity.

One of the zoo employees noticed it by an accident and called the police. The latter launched a felony investigation and confiscated the parrot.

There is a theory that a rogue zoo employees stole the bird last year. It was an expensive gift from Warsaw.

https://armtimes.com/hy/article/189938

EP rapporteurs are not happy...

... with the 3rd road that Armenia plans to build to connect Artsakh.

The memo written by 3 European Parliament rapporteurs says the road is against the spirit of negotiations and peace because Armenia didn't ask Azerbaijan's permission first. It talks about "occupied territories".

--

Artsakh president's adviser Davit Babayan said "the document was written in Azerbaijan and given to rapporteurs through lobbying".

"The rapporteurs are few in numbers and are known to have ties to Azeri lobby. Apparently, nothing else is happening in the Caucasus so they had to fixate on a 3rd road with Artsakh.

They made no reports after Azerbaijan paid Hungary to buy Ramil Safarov, or when Ilham Aliyev makes territorial claims against the Republic of Armenia. In any case, this report has no legal strength but we should respond to it nonetheless."

https://factor.am/258717.html

https://factor.am/258947.html

Google helps Azerbaijan to recapture Shushi

Norq hospital uses ArMed system that pulls data from Google Maps. The medics printed a paper before sending a patient to Shushi, Artsakh.

Since Google Maps internationally recognizes Shushi as part of Azerbaijan, that is how the Armenian doctor's document was printed: "Shushi, Azerbaijan."

Nationalist groups became outraged on the internet and called it treason.

https://armtimes.com/hy/article/190005

SIS finds no abuse of power

Last month we learned how Education Ministry official Gogyan, tasked with catching plagiarism by officials, quit his job after claiming Economics University's acting-director plagiarized her papers but wasn't fired because the deputy-Minister protects her.

Education Minister asked SIS to investigate the accusations against the deputy-Minister. SIS concluded there was no abuse of power.

As for anti-plagiarism Gogyan, his resignation papers have not been signed by Pashinyan. He returned to work "until further notice".

https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/189924

Russia shrugs shoulders

IRS says they haven't received any info from their Russian colleagues about the cigarette smuggling incident that was reported in the news.

Russian Ambassador said he doesn't know anything other than what's publicly reported on media. "Russian embassy has not been contacted about it." (Mishik from Kitchen earlier claimed Russian ambassador was furious and was holding talks with Armenian MFA)

https://armtimes.com/hy/article/189981

https://factor.am/258862.html

COVID response

Healthcare Minister: the reason every country had a different response is because COVID-19 is new and we're still learning. It turns out we didn't need the much talked about lung ventilators as much as we needed regular oxygen generators which are present next to every bed.

Or the masks, which the medical community erroneously discouraged initially, which is now required to be worn. Decisions can change quickly.

There were areas we could have done better and sooner, I apologize for our shortcomings.

https://armtimes.com/hy/article/189946

COVID stats today

+2233 tested (vs. 1731). +566 infected. +240 healed. +23 deaths (5 of whom from other causes)

8876 active. 5446 healed. 245 deaths.

500 serious or critical.

https://armtimes.com/hy/article/189959

https://armtimes.com/hy/article/189961

COVID in Artsakh / Funeral creates hotspot

+4 infected. 79 isolated. 0 deaths.

4 regions in Hadrut province are under lockdown. Govt is looking for people who came into contact with a Stepanakert man who went to a funeral and got infected.

The State of Emergency is extended by a month

https://armtimes.com/hy/article/189960

https://armtimes.com/hy/article/189978

https://armtimes.com/hy/article/189982

Georgia will send a team of doctors

"We have to help one another. No country can defeat COVID on its own," said PM Gakharia. Other supplies could be sent later.

https://armtimes.com/hy/article/189965

Donations from Russia

Russian ambassador:

Russia donated 1.5k tests and 20k accessories. The trailer truck sent by the Russian military has done 7k tests.

7 cars and several computers were donated for sanitary work.

Import/export taxes were removed for medical products.

South-Caucasus Railways donated funds to the Healthcare Ministry.

More: https://factor.am/258849.html

Your daily fake news digest

1st lady Anna Hakobyan went to Canada in 2019 and purchased a $3mln mansion, said one Facebook user after posting a picture of a random house belonging to a man named Joseph Ucusoglu from U.S., reports FIP.

The Facebook user Armen Petrosyan is from fugitive prince Mikael Minasyan's circles. His name was in the recent IRS report talking about Minasyan's alleged money laundering and company shares.

https://fip.am/11793

--

On June 8th the idiots at WHO claimed COVID patients without symptoms are unlikely to transmit it to others. On June 9th they retracted the claim.

2 days after the retraction, while citing the original now-retracted WHO report, Hraparak outlet wrote a hit-piece against Pashinyan claiming he was lying about infecting his family because he didn't have symptoms.

https://fip.am/11785

COVID at home

1200 young and asymptotic patients are quarantined at home. Clinics monitor them remotely. 92 had to be hospitalized after developing symptoms.

https://armtimes.com/hy/article/189951

COVID enforcement

Earlier we learned that ex-oligarch Lfik Samo's cousin, who is the ex-Malatia district chief, was arrested for not wanting to leave a café that was being shut down over COVID violation. He's been charged with assaulting an officer and hooliganism.

https://armtimes.com/hy/article/190000

--

Lori school director is given a warning for organizing a ceremony to give diplomas to students. All students were invited at once.

https://armtimes.com/hy/article/189854

--

Pashinyan: 95% of infected either didn't wash their hands frequently, didn't wear a mask, or didn't keep a distance from others. We can defeat the virus. Today's actions will be visible in a week.

https://armtimes.com/hy/article/189964

--

3 kindergartens, Kaizer mall, private lab Prom-Test, Lfik's pharmacy Natali were shut down for violating safety.

https://armtimes.com/hy/article/189980 ; https://factor.am/258800.html ; https://factor.am/258818.html ; https://factor.am/258769.html

COVID = fewer sales in May

YoY for May, the number of printed sales receipts reduced by 5mln (-13%), while the trade turnover reduced by ֏29bln (-18%).

https://armtimes.com/hy/article/189914

Azeri army's top medic sacked

President Aliyev has fired the head of Azeri army's medical chief Natig Aliyev.

It's unclear whether it's related to recent Azeri media reports about dozens of unreported COVID deaths in the army. The report claimed >30 soldiers died and were buried in aluminum coffins, and that the govt confiscates cell phones from infected soldiers who're taken to a special hospital.

https://razm.info/142976

Mining reforms / Shorter licenses / Exploration will be required

Infrastructure Minister Papikyan: We want miners to examine the land first before they dig. Most examinations we have today date back to 1950s. The proposed law will require metal miners to have a land exam done in the past 5 years and non-metal miners within 10 years.

Mining licenses will no longer be for 50 years. It's 25 for metals and 15 for others.

It'll also prevent "selective mining" if the miner deems one area to be more profitable.

The govt approved the bill. Parliament is yet to discuss it.

https://armtimes.com/hy/article/189977

speaking of miners…

Serj's son-in-law Mikael Minasyan also owns/co-owns Yerevan's "Opera House" and "Double Tree Hilton" hotels, wrote QP MP Hrachyan.

https://armtimes.com/hy/article/189983

Lydian-Armenia to resume Amulsar activities

Lydian says they'll resume the construction work in the mine.

Recently they won a defamation lawsuit against an environmental activist Nazeli Vardanyan who was appointed as a Nature Protection Ministry official in late-2018.

https://hetq.am/hy/article/118206

https://factor.am/258805.html

Kocharyan aide's $1mln bribery case / more charges

President Robik's chief of staff Armen Gevorgyan is accused of many things (pressuring Constitutional Court judges in 2008 as seen in Wikileaks, toppling Const. Order, etc.).

He's also charged with $1mln bribery involving mining businesswoman Silva Hambardzumyan who testified that she had to pay a bribe to Kocharyan regime to be allowed to work.

Today prosecutors pressed charges against Gevorgyan's father as part of the $1mln case. They say Gevorgyan laundered the bribe in pieces through various firms, one of which was an offshore firm run by his father.

https://armtimes.com/hy/article/189996

http://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/160262

Residents complain over tree cutting

Someone is doing construction near Garegin Nzdeh Square.

Nearby residents say: years ago Yerevan ex-mayor Taron Margaryan (or his ally) obtained a land. Now they want to build something in complete disregard for windows of nearby apartment complex residents. Numerous decades-old huge trees were cut (on video). I've heard the land now belongs to some NSS official.

2015: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bU7ZBtWfn4g

2020: https://youtu.be/MTOS9YkPW8A

https://hetq.am/hy/article/118204

thieves strike again

4th incident in 10 days. Someone keeps stealing baby-trees in Yerevan Center. This time it was silver fir. Գրող ու սև ցավ ավազակին․

https://armtimes.com/hy/article/189976

Firdusi district being destroyed for renovation

Plans were made in 2014 to destroy Yerevan's old Firdusi district and build a new one. Govt paid many residents to relocate. The works began.

Pashinyan administration vowed to continue the project as long as people are fairly compensated.

Education Ministry invited experts to decide if the district's buildings were of cultural-historical value and must be protected, and experts concluded they weren't.

--

Some of the recently destroyed buildings were from the 19th century. Critics say they should have been preserved.

Another Education Ministry official also criticized the destruction, saying they didn't give authorization to Yerevan city.

Yerevan city says the govt gave them the authorization in 2010. "Those buildings were not on the list of cultural-historic buildings."

Education Ministry official said the previous govt's authorization should not have been used because it was illegal.

https://youtu.be/cNrmtFA6NT0

https://factor.am/258908.html

Armenian church and Christians in Turkey

The U.S. State Department made a report about Turkey's treatment of religious minorities.

It mentions how Erdogan's regime meddled with the elections of the Armenian Patriarchy of Constantinople, and that it raised the ire of some religious circles, who question the legitimacy of the elections.

It also mentioned a Turkish TV show during which a 13yo Armenian boy changed his religion without the parents' permission.

https://www.azatutyun.am/a/30665362.html

update: Armenia rejects Russian loan for nuclear plant

Armenia took a $300mln loan from Russia in 2014 to renovate the NPP. Some work was done. In 2018 the govt began negotiation the loan's extension with Russia because it was impossible to spend the remaining money in time.

Eventually, the govt decided it's best for Armenia to produce treasury bonds and dedicate ~$129mln of its own money for the pending renovations.

Pashinyan: the terms of the remaining [Russian] loan weren't favorable for the construction. Now we'll have the freedom to choose where we obtain the construction materials from. The free market and competition will give us lower prices.

--

Russian ambassador: the loan negotiations are still active. Armenia decided to use its funds for now, so the repairs won't stop. It's a normal procedural decision. Nothing bad.

https://armtimes.com/hy/article/189966

https://factor.am/258859.html

Gas price

Russian Ambassador while commenting Gazprom-Armenia's price hike petition: Gazprom is not trying to make a buck at the expense of Armenian consumers. They need a price hike for economic reasons and investments. Some circles try to politicize it.

--

Armenian MFA: there are plans for a unified energy system within the EAEU bloc by 2025. We're negotiating to accelerate it. Unified gas price could be part of it.

https://factor.am/258885.html

https://factor.am/258882.html

criminal subculture figures busted

Recently the govt passed a law declaring the creation and participation in thieve-in-law gangs illegal.

Since the law's implementation, 1 thieve-in-law was charged with leading the ring, 1 for participating, 3 for seeking services from thieves during disputes, 5 for aiding the ring.

Armenian law-enforcement examined post-soviet Republics' experience, more thoroughly Georgia's experience, and ECHR's rulings related to Georgian arrests. They met Georgian colleagues to discuss.

https://armtimes.com/hy/article/189992

after 30 years of no repairs...

...Lori's Darpas village (pop. 2000) is getting its main street repaired. The works began in 2019.

https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/189953

микра-ципированя 😲 / Govt plans to install tags

The govt plans to ear-tag every large cattle in Armenia. Data about the animals' health, mandatory medical treatments, age, productiveness, movement, quantity, etc. will be added to a unified database.

It starts in September. 800k animals this year, followed by an annual 245k. This should increase meat safety.

https://armtimes.com/hy/article/189987

Funnel-cloud in Armenia

A rare funnel cloud was formed near Gavar city. It visually looks like a tornado. It's consisted of water droplets and clouds. To become a tornado, it has to touch the ground.

https://youtu.be/5iilZxfFvCo

https://youtu.be/epWLoqkzzyA

http://www.panarmenian.net/arm/news/281920/


Link to original report and comments: https://www.reddit.com/r/armenia/comments/h16itw/jun112020_news_1_mining_reforms_2_kocharyan_aides/

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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