2020 May 1

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Anti-Corruption Daily

May/1/2020: Friday News --- Manvel needs the tushonka \\ Pashinyan in legal trouble \\ Plot twist in fake cigarette story \\ ADHD kids \\ Mayors charged with embezzlement \\ Kocharyan in hospital \\ Hydro in Artsakh \\ Party animals \\ Economy is re-opening \\ COVID situation & aid \\ George Soros
by ar_david_hh

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.


Today is May 1st. Armenia is celebrating Worker's Day, while your landlord celebrates Rent Day.

Manvel's unsuccessful attempt to keep the April 2016 merch

https://www.reddit.com/r/armenia/comments/g0q1q9/apri132020_news_from_armenia_utility_bill_subsidy/? On April 13th] the judge ruled that disgraced General Manvel "Tushonka" Grigoryan must give away part of the food and 10 cars under his possession. These items were allegedly meant as an aid for April 2016 soldiers but were stolen by him.

Tushonka argued that he should keep the items for now, because they're material evidence he plans to use to prove his innocence.

The judge cited a law that gives the court ability to take away items if they're deemed perishable (food), or items that can be practically put to good use (10 military cars), even if the trial is still ongoing.

Tushonka disagreed with the judge and filed an appeal to block the merchandise transfer.

The appeals judge denied the appeal. The merch will be transferred to the military.

https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/186960

update: fake cigarette smuggling story gets spicier

Former regime's outlets earlier accused the QP MP Hrachya Hakobyan (Nikol's brother-in-law) and IRS of smuggling illegal cigarettes to Russia. A fact-checker disputed the story.

Today FIP revealed more details and found that the cigarettes weren't sent by the QP MP, but rather by associates of HHK officials tied to ex-PM Karen Karapetyan, the infamous Norfolk Consulting firm, and HHK's Water Committee chief.

https://fip.am/11327

Kocharyan will need more surgeries

Last week he was taken to a hospital for examination. The hospital director said "He is an old man with problems in some of his organs, which should be treated one by one. Pre-surgery test results will arrive soon."

Kocharyan underwent another surgery on Oct/2019.

https://armtimes.com/hy/article/186934

Several mayors are charged with embezzling lands and leasing it to telecoms

Prosecutors say:

The mayor of Dzorashen, Shirak illegally gave a 1-hectare land to his wife for only $9/year, for 25 years, in 2006.

A few days later, with the mayor's knowledge, his wife sub-contracted the land for $1,000/year to a telecom company.

Similarly, another piece of land was leased to his wife for cheap. This was sub-contracted to a different telecom company.

19mln in damages to the state. A felony case is launched.

--

The mayor of Astghadzor, Gegharquniq did a similar scheme and sub-contracted lands to a telecom. He confessed and recovered the stolen funds.

https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/186970

video of...

... Yerevan Cemetary official taking a $1,500 bribe from a resident to provide a VIP graveyard land for a funeral. NSS catches on spot.

https://youtu.be/EbyEzCm7Jis?t=38

82 new COVID cases yesterday...

...down from a triple-digit growth earlier which raised some concerns. 2148 infected. 1136 active cases. 33 deaths.

The daily new detections rose sharply after medics tripled the daily tests. (the Pacific Ocean is wet)

https://armtimes.com/hy/article/186925

Critically ill patient beats COVID

The 32yo man had an oxygen level of only 65%. Third-degree oxygen deficiency. Double pneumonia. He was the most critically ill patient.

After spending a month in the hospital, today "he walked out with his backpack and a big smile."

https://armtimes.com/hy/article/186919

5-minute-documentary...

...about doctors and patients in a COVID-hospital.

"When you work long shifts you get tired. It becomes easier to make a mistake," said a COVID-positive doctor.

"I haven't gone home in 20 days," said a healthy doctor.

https://youtu.be/_RiG90iiwkI

this is what the Old Yerevan building complex will look like

A multi-story construction complex.

https://youtu.be/jHBsXI5zcnQ?t=5

Pashinyan in hot water / Privacy violation accusations

Yesterday Pashinyan called several residents, who had their utilities turned off for having debt, to talk about it. He offered some non-useful advice and bribed a citizen with a promise to pay their 50k debt (sources say).

NGO boss Ionessyan says the PM broke the privacy law by getting the private list of residents and their phone numbers. He sent a complaint to the privacy protection agency. "PM also didn't inform people that they were on Livestream. Even if the data was received for good intentions, it was a violation."

--

Azatutyun outlet interviewed random people. Many didn't seem to prioritize privacy.

"What private info? Knock it off, dear. The tech is so developed that even I can find your number and call you. I'd be happy if PM called me lol.....

He didn't use it maliciously......

PM should have informed people about being on Livestream tho......

When was the last time you had a Prime Minister who cared enough to call people and discuss their well being?" replied some residents.

https://www.azatutyun.am/a/30587762.html

removing movement restrictions soon / barbers & cafes

Beginning May 4th the citizens can move freely without the "Papers, Please".

Public transport will remain banned, and the strict restrictions in shopping stores will continue because "those are the risky areas".

The processing industry, barbers, and beauty shops will reopen.

Restaurants, cafes, zoo, botanical garden, can operate under the open air.

Professional sports clubs can return to stadiums for training.

All these businesses will be required to follow specific safety protocols (e.g. no overcrowding). It'll be enforced by cops.

https://armtimes.com/hy/article/186942

https://armtimes.com/hy/article/186949

Yerevan parks are packed

Yerevan's Erebuni district park and Cascade parks were full of people thanks to good weather. While many expressed concerns and said they'd continue to be careful, some were outright in denial that COVID event exists.

https://youtu.be/iVd8Hp2IK-s

Russia and Georgia decided to allow...

... land transportation connecting Armenia to Russia to evacuate 84 Russian citizens stuck in Armenia. They were unable to travel after the pandemic prompted several countries to close their borders.

https://armtimes.com/hy/article/186918

Yerevan My Love...

...foundation, with the help of Pepsi and Premier Food, is helping 700 Artsakh war veteran and bordering village families, and 200 Syrian-Armenian families, by providing food and help during COVID.

Yerevan My Love and Pepsi are run by President Armen Sarkissian.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1014057.html

The church...

...is gathering donations from its international branches to help COVID patients in Armenia. 27mln donated to the Healthcare Ministry.

https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/186948

George $oro$ is back in the news again

Pashinyan's former adviser Kharatyan is suing former Prime Minister Hrant Bagratyan for alleged defamation.

Former PM Bagratyon earlier ranted on Facebook: George Soros's emissaries, including Kharatyan, traveled from Armenia to Artsakh and used a group of activists to organize a protest, to call for new elections, and to demand president Bako Sahakyan's resignation...

https://armtimes.com/hy/article/186722

Energy sources in Artsakh / Hydro protests

Artsakh President-elect Arayik Harutyunyan blasted the critics who oppose hydro-electric plants in Artsakh, calling them "enemies of Artsakh".

"We import our energy from abroad. It makes us vulnerable to geopolitical events. Artsakh needs its energy sources and hydros are an important part."

--

Context: activists are currently protesting construction of hydros in Artsakh. There was a hunger strike by political figure Alexander Kananyan, who said "40% of one river flows through pipes. One river feeds 11 hydros. Nature is being destroyed by a group of oligarchs."

Arayik https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/186973

Protestor https://www.azatutyun.am/a/30404649.html

optimizations in Education Ministry...

...led to a government decision to merge several cultural protection agencies into one, tweak their duties, to avoid redundancy.

https://armtimes.com/hy/article/186875

no grades for elementary students

Yesterday we learned that the Education Ministry wants to get rid of grades in 1-4 classes and implement another grading system. "We don't want to tie kids to digits from an early age. We want to tie them to knowledge."

--

Today Education Ministry said:

Kids don't care about grades. It doesn't motivate them. Only adults care about grades because they want to use them as a punishment tool.

Some parents try to bribe to improve grades. Some grades don't reflect real knowledge, etc.

While concluding this year's final results, we'll begin to round the grades in schools. For example, 6.1 will become 7.

https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/186957

these kids greatly benefited from online classes

"Children with ADHD were having problems with sitting in classes, but when we gave them PCs and organized online learning, they started to perform better," says one teacher.

"Since the parents are home under lockdown, it greatly helps the elementary kids when a parent sits next to them during classes."

"We had instances of teachers paying for a low-income student's internet and PC so they wouldn't be left behind."

"A common problem is with teachers being unable to use Zoom or other telecommunication tools. This should have been addressed long ago. Teachers use Facebook, but can't navigate through education technology."

More: https://factor.am/245909.html

a gang of 94 madlads open fire 20,000 times, killing 2

Emergency Ministry says that this afternoon, 94 anti-hail units fired 20,000 rounds of cloud dispersers in Armavir Province, preventing 2 dangerous hail-clouds from forming.

https://armtimes.com/hy/article/186956

What's happening in the neighborhood?

A few days ago we learned that 4 large Azeri banks faced liquidity. They went under Central Bank's control.

Atabank and Amrahbank went bankrupt.

Atabank is owned by Ata Holding, which is owned and run by Aliyev's children Heydar, Leila, and Arzu.

100 Atabank workers staged a protest demanding the bank to continue its operations. "It was working fine. Now 700 of us will become unemployed during hard times. They should pay our pending salaries."

--

Azeri oil is still $26.

OPEC+ member-states decided to cut 20% of oil output in May/June. "This time for real, becuase it's a matter of survival."

Azerbaijan agreed to cut 164,000 barrels/day.

https://factor.am/246033.html

https://factor.am/246019.html

http://azeridaily.com/economy/55672

party animals

Animals had a party in Yerevan Zoo. As it turns out, every year, Zoo marks May 1st as the opening of the Zoo season and always organizes various events. This year it's closed because of տխմար coronavirus.

Lots of time. What to do? Zookeepers decided to organize entertainment for the animals.

Bears were entertained by a rope with apples attached to it. Hippo got a giant vegan cake. Elephant Bunka got a mysterious ball with food inside.

This year's first birth was on March 15th. A Scotch pony gave birth. They named the kid "Avetis". (bruh?)

https://armtimes.com/hy/article/186959

PICS: https://factor.am/245990.html

Roma offers a new deal to buy Henrikh Mkhitaryan

Roma wants to give Arsenal $10mln plus young Turkish player Chengiz Ünder, in exchange for keeping Heno, who is being leased by Roma at the moment.

The old deal fell apart after Roma offered $12mln while Arsenal demanded 2x.

https://armtimes.com/hy/article/186951

important news yesterday

In case you missed Thursday news: https://www.reddit.com/r/armenia/comments/gb4oo8/apr302020_thursday_news_offshore_firm_makes_your/?


Link to original report and comments: https://old.reddit.com/r/armenia/comments/gbns7c/may12020_friday_news_manvel_needs_the_tushonka/


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