2020 May 22

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Anti-Corruption Daily

May/22/2020 News: () Doctor's note magically disappears to help HHK official avoid jail () New law in action () Constitutional Court crisis () Armenian battalion () COVID stats. Hotel costs. () The GDP () President about population spread () Road repairs () Poultry industry () Climate change () ...
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.


Doctor's note magically disappears / Hospital corruption

ex-IRS boss HHK Gagik Khachatryan was charged with money-crimes (his UCOM shareholder son is hiding). Gagik was earlier taken to Astghik Hospital. Today he was supposed to be discharged. Justice Ministry accuses Hospital admins of playing shenanigans to keep him in hospital. Ministry said:

3 doctors signed a letter saying Gagik can be discharged. Hospital gave the letter to prison staff so they can pick him up.

Prison official left the letter in the hospital director's office before briefly leaving the room. Upon returning, he couldn't find the letter. Now the hospital admins claim the letter never existed.

However, the prison staff took a photo of the original letter. They'll use the copy to escort Gagik back to jail.

Astghik hospital is deliberately aiding Gagik to avoid jail. Now they submitted another report saying the patient cannot be discharged.

The fact that Gagik has been sitting in the hospital for >3 months makes it more suspicious.

Prosecutors were contacted to examine possible corruption in the hospital. End of Ministry report.

https://armtimes.com/hy/article/188583

Where is Gurgen?

ex-IRS chief's Gagik Khachatryan's UCOM-owner son Gurgen Khachatryan ran away 20 days ago before the court approved his arrest warrant. An NSS official claims they don't have info of him leaving Armenia.

There are speculations that he's hiding in the Russian military base in Gyumri.

Russian military base spokesman denied it, saying he doesn't know who Gurgen is, and that an Armenian citizen "wouldn't be able to stay in the base".

Gurgen's lawyer says he could return soon.

https://youtu.be/KKCDFBpLYF4

Possible solution for Constitutional Court crisis

Context: HHK is accused of hijacking the CC in 2018 through forgery, and writing a Constitution in a way that doesn't enforce one of its core principles by making some judges above others (lifetime judge vs 12-year judge). A referendum was scheduled to "fix" this.

Govt has asked Venice Commission for advice on possible solutions. One option is for Parliament to make an amendment and fire those judges who've been serving >12 years, so the Constitution will be "upheld".

This would mean retiring 3 out of 9 judges: Alvina Gyulumyan, Hrant Nazaryan, and Felix Tokhyan. (but not the chief troublemaker Hrayr Tovmasyan)

The 3 new judges would be nominated by Govt, president, and Supreme Court.

The CC judges would then elect a new 6-year-term CC president and replace Hrayr Tovmasyan as president. The judges would be allowed to re-elect Tovmasyan, if they wish.

Venice is also asked to review the possibility of canceling the upcoming referendum due to COVID.

https://armtimes.com/hy/article/188553

Criminal subculture ring busted / New law in action

Yesterday we learned that NSS raided and arrested thieve-in-law "Arsen Yerevanski".

He and his accomplice "Basar" are accused of creating a criminal gang. Another 8 participants were detained for "seeking services" from the high-ranking figure.

22 raids were conducted. Lots of cash, narcotics, material evidence. 7 are arrested.

(This is the first major criminal subculture bust after the govt recently passed a strict face-on-the-asphalt law.)

https://youtu.be/QI9LEVQ0lpY

https://armtimes.com/hy/article/188541

Czech Senate recognizes Genocide / Turkey responds

Czechian Senate joined the House and adopted a resolution to condemn the Armenian Genocide and war crimes during WW2.

Turkey responds: our relations got worse in 2017 when the House recognized it. With Senate's recognition, it shows nothing has changed.

https://factor.am/252248.html

https://factor.am/252157.html

"Ermeni Taburu"

Turkish intelligence is concerned about "Nubar Ozanyan" battalion consisted of ethnic Armenian-Syrians fighting for local Kurds in northern Syria.

Turkey, and some other experts, believe the battalion was formed to show that Kurds are multi-ethnic and represent all people, and that "the battalion is not supported by diasporan Armenians."

The group was allegedly formed last month and has since fought against Turks and pro-Turkish rebels who oppose Assad.

More: https://youtu.be/-GhTFdsUugc?t=8

COVID stats

+322 infected. +293 healed. +3 deaths. 2952 active. 5928 all-time.

Artsakh has 33.

https://armtimes.com/hy/article/188518

https://armtimes.com/hy/article/188522

New self-isolation rules

Hospitals will begin to isolate mild COVID patients in their homes to free-up room. To reduce spread, Emergency Taskforce issued an order requiring the household members of COVID patients to also self-isolate.

Those who travel to Armenia will sign an agreement and choose a location for a 14-day self-isolation.

Flight crew members or cargo operators must remain isolated until their departure.

https://armtimes.com/hy/article/188512

temperature check gives results

Kindergarten N49 was set to reopen. The employees had their temps taken first. One of them was high, so she was given a COVID test, which came positive. The facility won't open. The rest of the staff is self-isolated.

https://armtimes.com/hy/article/188538

Cost to keep COVID patients in hotels

So far the govt has been paying 36 hotels to house COVID patients/suspects. Another 9 hotels donated services.

Each room costs 5-22k/day. 621mln on rooms and 126mln on food.

https://armtimes.com/hy/article/188365

Q: Why does Georgia have fewer cases? Measures? Methodology?

Healthcare Minister Torosyan:

Their restrictions were stricter and better, but it had downsides such as big inflation. Our anti-epidemic system is structurally stronger, however.

Georgia has only delayed the problem. They're re-launching travel soon.

There could be a methodology difference, too. We don't know how many of COVID tests in Georgia were done with [inaccurate] 15-minute kits.

We don't know whether Georgia has been testing patients with common-flu symptoms at the same criteria as we have. I honestly don't care, but I've been asked to comment.

Another question is if the patient dies from something but also has COVID, is it counted as COVID death? It is, in Armenia.

Many Georgian drivers who entered Armenia tested positive with COVID, yet only 1-6 daily cases are counted in Georgia. The discrepancy can be investigated.

https://factor.am/252145.html

COVID anti-vaxxers

Healthcare Minister Torosyan:

It's usually the same group that spreads vaccination lies. They did it during Gardasil HVP vaccination campaign. Unfortunately, many people believe them.

We're criticized for not doing enough to dismiss conspiracy theories. We can't respond to every claim. We have experts who have better things to do. Some employees haven't gone home in 3 months.

Educating the public is better than punishing the liars. I ask the Public Council to help us fight the lies. [fires a shot at ArmAt engineering lab director for saying COVID is a conspiracy just to sell more vaccines.]

https://youtu.be/6zc17C3cOlg

The GDP...

2020Q1: 1.267 trln

2019Q1: 1.241 trln

https://www.1lurer.am/hy/2020/05/22/Այս-տարվա-առաջին-եռամսյակի-ՀՆԱ-ն՝-1-տրիլիոն-267-մլրդ-դրամ/245527

Sarkissian about population distribution & healthcare

President:

Half of the population shouldn't live in one city. It causes problems for healthcare. We should distribute centers across Armenia

Everywhere else in the world people spend 3 hours a day to drive to work, yet it's only 25 minutes between Yerevan-Byurakan, or 40 minutes Yerevan-Hrazdan/Tsakhkadzor. Armenian cities are very close, so why are Armenians so eager to live inside Yerevan?

IMO Yerevan population should reduce, and Gyumri/Vanadzor should double.

After COVID, we should think about improving healthcare & research. We have experts. They're repairing lung ventilators. Right now we're discussing with German Siemens and Bosch to create a joint ventilator production.

More: https://factor.am/252206.html

Road repairs in Tavush

Village Moses, which is a few hundred meters away from Azeri border with Tavush, is gettings its first asphalt in 50 years. Can you smell it from the video?

https://youtu.be/wdE5O-oqDvo

80% poultry import tariff

EAEU trade bloc sets import tariffs. In 2020, about 900 products were going to become more expensive to import, but Armenia re-negotiated the lower tariffs.

Poultry import tariffs went from 10% to 25% between 2015-2020. By 2022 it'll be a whopping 80% [presumably from non-EAEU countries].

The good news is, the Armenian poultry industry has been growing. Currently it serves 27% of demand, an 11% growth since last year.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1016105.html

Paris Climate Agreement...

...authorized a $1mln grant for Armenia to help fight global warming and increase transparency.

https://hetq.am/hy/article/117416

His name

is Neo. DO NOT PET AT SIGHT!

The runaway rare leopard Neo was once again captured by Khosrov Forest cameras.

https://armtimes.com/hy/article/188520

https://youtu.be/RoIolWbvFRg?t=217

Happy Birthday Charles Aznavour

96th anniversary. He wrote 1200 songs in 9 languages, and sold 180mln records. In 1988, CNN named him the best entertainer of the 20th Century, beating Elves Presley and Bob Dylan.

TIL: one of the military frontlines in the south-east is named after Aznavour.

State Jazz Orchestra of Armenia played "Je t'attends": https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=275504583637712

https://armtimes.com/hy/article/188525

https://www.cnn.com/2018/10/01/europe/charles-aznavour-intl/index.html

https://news.am/arm/news/580195.html

Նիֆ-նիֆ, նաֆ-նաֆ, նուֆ-նուֆ (got a vertigo yet?)

We know what adults were reading in April. What about children?

1) 3 piglets

2) Harry Potter and the Chamber of Commerce

3) Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

4) Շաղգամ by Աթաբեկ Խնկոյան

5) Գայլը և յոթ ուլիկները

6) Maugli

7) Կախարդական կոճակներ by Նունե Սարգսյան

8) Peter and the Moon by Alice Brière-Haquet 9) «Հեքիաթներ» ժողովածուն by Հովհաննես Թումանյան

10) Pipi Longstocking

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1015999.html


Link to original report and comments: https://old.reddit.com/r/armenia/comments/goq22j/may222020_news_doctors_note_magically_disappears/


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