2020 June 29

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Anti-Corruption Daily

Jun/29/2020: (1) Yerevan closes apartment garbage holes & Repairs roofs (2) Child care subsidy (3) Disability reforms (4) Crisis in Azerbaijan (5) Drive-in cinema (6) Economic Freedom+ (7) COVID (8) Relationship survey (9) Strasbourg mayor (10) NSS arrests IRS and police officials (11) Construction+
by ar_david_hh


Sunday News

In case you missed the important events.

Yerevan will have a drive-in cinema

RiverSide drive-in cinema's Armenian co-founder wants to launch one next month. It'll serve 82 parked cars, whose passengers will watch movies from their cars.

The 14-meter screen is near Hrazdan gorge. $12 per vehicle.

http://www.panarmenian.net/arm/news/282446/

Disabled citizens' job got easier / Less beurocracy

The government has removed the requirement for disabled citizens to visit a facility for an annual checkup to confirm they're still disabled, as long as there is no record of major health changes.

Instead, they'll send a copy of their passport and find out if they need a checkup.

--

98% of disabled citizens' status doesn't change, according to annual data.

"It's not like my son's autism is going to magically disappear sometime this year before the checkup," said one mother who welcomed the time-saving change.

https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=3354308317927354

https://armtimes.com/hy/article/191322

Armenia improves its Economic Freedom score

Heritage Foundation moved Armenia +13 positions to 34th place. It's Partly Free.

http://www.panarmenian.net/arm/news/282440/

LHK bends your mind with a special trick

LHK leader Edmon Marukyan wants more seats for his party so he can save the world.

Earlier LHK MP Babajanyan quit and became independent. As a result, the overall number of LHK/BHK MPs is less than 1/3rd.

LHK Edmon insists that this is against the law, "which requires at least 1/3rd of MPs to be opposition".

(The law Edmon is citing is about requiring for Parliamentary elections to guarantee that 1/3rd of newly elected MPs are opposition. Not clear what this has to do with whatever happens after the elections.)

--

QP Sisak: Dear Edmon, my dear master of law... knock it off buddy.

Your interpretation is wrong. Otherwise, the entire LHK can quit on paper, then ask the Electoral Committee to give LHK 15 more seats.

The Parliament can swell from 131 to 261 seats if QP does this.

https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/191354 , https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/191357

COVID stats

+482 infected. +181 healed. +11 deaths.

11,254 active. 13,297 healed. 433 deaths.

--

BHK chief Tsarukyan's son Nver is infected.

https://armtimes.com/hy/article/191308 , https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/191356

paparazzis following MPs

QP Alen and 1st lady Hakobyan's brother were followed by some outlet all day with a hope to catch them "misbehave", says QP Alen.

"All they got is two photos. One is when I lowered my mask to drink coffee, the other when Hakobyan temporarily lowered his."

The Roboserj outlets circulated articles about "QP MPs themselves not wearing masks."

https://armtimes.com/hy/article/191307

    1. COVID safety enforcement

Pashiyan shared a photo of a crowded line near a store and complained about people not following the rules. https://armtimes.com/hy/article/191339

--

Interview with gazebo-gang grandpas in Yeghipatrush village. They either don't believe in COVID, or they think it won't reach their village because of how remote they are.

https://youtu.be/iBwtklPHNsE

--

Police noticed a man without a mask. They asked him for ID to give a ticket. The man ran away.

He then allegedly beat the cops while being arrested. He's charged with battery assault.

https://youtu.be/gRPCG_1-9fQ

Pashinyan's COVID briefing:

Observations continue to show widespread safety negligence. We all need to restart our efforts. Public and private facility administrators carry responsibility for enforcing safety rules.

--

We researched all possible solutions and found that if people ignore safety anyway, a lockdown will have little health benefits at the cost of long-term economic catastrophe.

Lockdown will be effective if every individual has discipline. We don't have it right now. If we did, we could defeat COVID without a lockdown. We'll do a lockdown as a last resort.

https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/191358

COVID in Azerbaijani army / Military parade

Earlier we saw reports from Azeri website claiming that dozens of soldiers have died from COVID and were buried in aluminum coffins.

The regime allegedly covers it up by taking away cell phones from infected soldiers who're taken to a special hospital in Ahmedbeyli. Shortly after this report, Aliyev fired the head of Azeri army's chief medic.

--

Now the Azeri opposition reports more COVID deaths in the army. A resident contacted the outlet and said that the neighbor's son, serving in N097 military unit, was supposed to return home soon but died from COVID.

"The soldier participated in the May 18 military parade and got infected there."

The body was handed over to parents in an aluminum coffin while constantly being monitored by military guards.

https://freeazerbaijan.info/2020/06/29/последствия-военных-учений-во-время-п/

https://factor.am/264564.html

https://www.reddit.com/r/armenia/comments/gw18d1/jun32020_news_1_masks_required_everywhere_2/

https://razm.info/142976

https://factor.am/264564.html

Survey about women & relationships

82% of Armenians said it's not OK for a woman to have sex before marriage.

91% said women shouldn't smoke.

69% said women shouldn't drink.

66% said women should live with their parents before marriage.

91% said the best marriage age for women is 18-25.

75% said women should not live with a man without marrying. (found the 25% sodomites)

https://caucasusbarometer.org/en/cb2019am/codebook/

http://www.panarmenian.net/arm/news/282445/

French-Armenian mayor of Strasbourg

On March 16th the 'Green' candidate Jeanne Barseghian (sometimes Janna Barseghyan in the Armenian press) won the 1st round of Strasbourg mayoral elections. The second round was held recently post-COVID.

She won with 42.5%.

She is the great-granddaughter of Berdjouhi Barseghian (Perchuhi Barseghyan), who was one of three female MPs in 1918 Armenian Parliament.

https://armtimes.com/hy/article/191297

NSS arrests IRS official and those who gave bribes

The report says: Gyumri IRS's chief inspector found several businesses that evaded taxes, but closed the eye on them after receiving $200 bribes from each.

Similarly, he allowed mining companies to get away after taking $200 bribes in 2020.

He got caught while taking a routine bribe. The arrested official is charged with 13 counts.

--

12 raids were conducted against bribe-givers. 2 arrested, 8 more charged, 6 are told not to leave Armenia.

https://youtu.be/Fue4jPyeYHk

https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/191372

SIS busts police official / Evidence tampering

The report says: Lori's police forensics chief went to a crime scene and collected bullet shells as evidence.

The suspect's family turned out to be his friends. They asked the policeman to get rid of the evidence, which he did.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1019977.html

Environmental crisis in Azerbaijan / Kura river is dying

Kura is the largest river in the Caucasus, and now it's being murdered by the Caspian Sea.

Caspian waters "went backward" 60 kilometers and poured into Kura. The water, up to Neftchala region, is now polluted with Caspian salt.

Farmers can't use it. Neftchala is facing a freshwater crisis. Pipes were built to bring water from elsewhere. Some residents drove 30 miles to get water.

Elder residents never remember anything at this scale.

--

In recent years Kura shrank by 25%, and Arax by 60%, on Azeri territory.

It's partly due to hydro-plant and global climate change. The govt has no plans to suspend the hydro.

Azerbaijan as a whole is facing a severe water shortage.

Pics: https://hetq.am/hy/article/118823

https://youtu.be/6-2oqbiZBDc?t=268

Yerevan is closing garbage pathways in apartment complexes

Soviet-style tall apartment complex buildings have a garbage-dropping pathway [chute] so the residents of higher floors won't have to come down. They drop the trash through the hole into a non-mobile garbage room, which is then scooped by garbage-crew occasionally.

This is a messy design with lots of much-deserved criticism.

--

Yerevan began sealing these garbage holes after consulting with residents. "Most people agreed... If 2/3rd of residents agree we have the right to seal it."

"There is no garbage juice laying around anymore, no smell, no rats, no flies," noted the residents.

"It's ridiculous that they used to build apartments with the garbage room built inside. No developed country does this."

--

As a substitute, the city installed more garbage bins outside the buildings.

163 buildings treated so far.

https://youtu.be/wdtaYviFgC8

https://factor.am/264488.html

Yerevan is renovating

... 100,000m2 building roofs this year.

The entire outer layers are replaced. Double-layer water-resistant material is used.

The work is monitored by a special agency, which also tests the quality of construction materials.

"We haven't had a repair in 28 years. The roof water used to reach the 7th floor," said a resident of a 14-story building.

https://youtu.be/92hDF2nS1pg

https://factor.am/264503.html

What else is being built in Armenia

Meghri-Qajaran road is being renovated for the first time since 1990s.

https://armtimes.com/hy/article/191301

--

This is Taronik. Its main road leading to Metsamor Museum was renovated earlier. Now the sidewalks are being repaired.

Pics: https://armtimes.com/hy/article/191320

--

So it begins. An 18km highway repair connecting Spitak-Gyumri-Turkey.

https://armtimes.com/hy/article/191323

--

3 districts of Shnogh, as well as its suburbs of Teghut and Qarkop, will have a gas pipeline by the end of 2020, as part of govt infrastructure subsidy.

"This will help the residents with winter heating because the settlement doesn't qualify for free wood giveaways in winter months," said a resident.

https://armtimes.com/hy/article/191315

COVID hit construction hard, but it'll recover

-27% YoY decline in construction volumes during the pandemic. It's the hardest-hit segment of the economy.

Urban Development chief: it'll take time to recover, but lots of construction projects are already being prepared: 20 schools and 2 health facilities. The construction sector will finish 2020 with growth.

(This is part of the plan to renovate 100 facilities to create jobs, including for those who couldn't travel to Russia.)

https://armtimes.com/hy/article/191206

Child care subsidy for mothers / Demographics reform

Nowadays, the birth rate in cities is higher than in rural areas. It used to be the opposite.

To boost demographics, the Parliament earlier passed a bill to increase the aid for the first born child by 6x, and 3x for the second child. Parents get $650 for each.

Additionally, the monthly child-care aid for <2yo kids will also increase. Here are more details:

--

Rural areas: unemployed mothers will begin to receive $55/mo, while employed mothers' existing aid will double to $110/mo.

Non-rural areas: employed mothers' aid will increase from $35/mo to $55/mo.

--

No foreign paperwork needed.

If the child was born in another country, the mother won't have to prove that the child isn't already receiving aid from that country.

--

Currently, to get the one-time $650 birth aid, the parent has 1 year to handle the bank paperwork or else it's lost.

Under the new law, she'll have 3 years. It'll have a retroactive effect. Any parent who lost child aid in the past 3 years will be "pardoned".

--

Parents, who travel abroad for seasonal work, won't be required to be present in Armenia to receive the child care subsidy. Only the child has to be in Armenia.

etc.

--

The govt will verify the recipient's residency to make sure ex-rural mothers don't "cheat" by moving to a city but receiving the double-aid meant for rural parents.

--

The reforms will cost the budget $3.2mln (1.5bln) in 2020, and gradually increase to $16.6mln by 2022.

--

Another aid program will begin to subsidize mortgage and down-payment fees in Provinces.

https://armtimes.com/hy/article/191329

--

You have read 1,800 words.


Link to original report and comments: https://old.reddit.com/r/armenia/comments/hi647g/jun292020_1_yerevan_closes_apartment_garbage/

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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