2020 November 20

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Daily news and anti-corruption report

MEGATHREAD & NEWS WRAP-UP --- Nov/20/2020: \\ Artsakh's official recognition \\ politics & protests \\ refugees return; infrastructure repairs; daily life \\ COVID \\ Russian peacekeepers & humanitarian aid \\ soldiers receive medals \\ monuments \\ education reform \\ arts & travel \\ top-5 books
by ar_david_hh


Your 8-minute Friday report in 2078 words.

recognize Artsakh

The Italian city of Pizza has officially recognized Artsakh's independence.

grazie signore pepperoni: https://news.am/arm/news/614523.html

The city council of Marseille has urged the French government to officially recognize the Artsakh Republic.

merci monsieur d'artagnan: https://news.am/arm/news/614525.html

Artsakh MFA Mayilyan: the fact that the Azeri govt categorically refuses to discuss the topic of Artsakh's Status, removes any barrier for the international community to recognize Artsakh people's right to self-determination.

If in the past the countries refrained from recognizing Artsakh in order not to harm the peaceful negotiations, then today, after the military aggression and occupation of Artsakh lands, such precautions are no longer warranted.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1035497.html

Azerbaijani mini-Majlis MPs are upset over the French Senate bill, which is yet to be discussed, which could lead to the official recognition of the Artsakh Republic. Mini-Majlis Speaker suggested for Azeri MFA to summon the French ambassador for an explanation, and to severe diplomatic ties with France in the event of recognition.

https://factor.am/312370.html

COVID stats

+4459 tested. +1667 infected. +10 deaths. +2366 healed. 30504 active. Serj Sargsyan's wife Rita was among those who passed away.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1035436.html , https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1035487.html

November 20 / politics-molitics

11:15: LHK party has summoned a Parliamentary session on November 26th to discuss the topic of lifting the Martial Law.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1035437.html

12:18: the government cabinet shakeup continues. Minister of Defense Tonoyan has resigned (or fired). Pashinyan's security adviser and former Defense Minister Vagharshak Harutyunyan will replace him. Departing Tonoyan said, "I'm leaving, but my mission isn't over."

Labor Minister Zaruhi Batoyan is replaced by Mesrop Arakelyan. Departing Batoyan thanked her colleagues for team-work during COVID and the war.

Deputy Nature Minister Irina Ghaplanyan is out.

Special Assignments Ambassador Karen Mirzoyan is out.

Andranik Piloyan is the new Emergency Minister. Felix Tsolakyan had resigned earlier.

MoD spokeswoman Stepan Shushanyan has also resigned. "Born in Hadrut, my attitude to this war was also very personal. I accepted the outcome of the war not only as a representative of the Ministry of Defense but also as a personal matter. Today we need officials who won't make emotional decisions, which is something I cannot do right now," said the departing spokeswoman.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1035443.html , https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1035444.html , https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1035445.html , https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1035465.html , https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1035466.html , https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1035470.html , https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1035471.html , https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1035483.html

14:53: 90s war Veteran and Kocharyan's friend Vitaly Balasanyan said he feels sorrow for losing the lands that he fought for since 1988. "Armenian soldier, you did not lose, you won," he said, and criticized public officials for leading to this situation.

Full: https://news.am/arm/news/614569.html

15:17: former regime's activists resumed the flashmobs by closing several streets in Yerevan and Gyumri. They demand Pashinyan's resignation. The police warned against violating the ongoing Martial Law and moved them to sidewalks.

80 participants were detained, including members of Adekvad gang, VETO activists, and several opposition public figures who organized the demonstrations. Some were released hours later.

HR Ombudsman asked the authorities not to use full-face masked police during the daytime in public so it'll be possible to identify the officers by face. People noticed that the cops wore unusual uniforms with Chinese symbols on them.

The police forces said they had to temporarily bring secondary uniforms from the storage because the main outfits are unavailable due to them having just returned from the war.

https://news.am/arm/news/614595.html , https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1035474.html , https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1035494.html , https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1035507.html , https://news.am/arm/news/614582.html , https://news.am/arm/news/614592.html , https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1035479.html , https://news.am/arm/news/614672.html , https://news.am/arm/news/614680.html , https://news.am/arm/news/614700.html , https://factor.am/312515.html

18:28: the Constitutional Court has temporarily suspended the Martial Law rules that placed a gag on media outlets to require them to circulate only official information during an emergency, among other things. For now, the police cannot penalize the media.

This was an emergency measure. The Court will hold a full session to make a final decision on December 4th.

The lawsuit was brought by Human Rights Ombudsman. However, it does not seek to remove the emergency gag altogether. Instead, it wants the gag law to be defined more clearly so media outlets won't get penalized due to "grey areas".

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1035498.html

soldiers / peacekeepers / casualties

The army identified 28 more soldiers who died fighting, bringing the total to 1639. Another 800 are yet to be identified. The process of exchanging bodies continues.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1035456.html

First lady's My Step charity foundation has donated $1m to www.1000plus.am which helps wounded soldiers and their families. The foundation will shift its focus from various development plans to exclusively helping the recovering soldiers from now on.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1035441.html

17 soldiers received medals for acts of bravery. Another 20 were awarded posthumously.

4 officers received medals for organizing cooperation which led to the destruction of 300 enemy troops.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1035448.html , https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1035459.html , https://factor.am/312282.html

Russia has finished the deployment of peacekeepers. 250 flights, 1960 troops, 522 pieces of equipment, 23 observation points, 28km-long Lachin-Stepanakert road is cleared of mines, 4436 refugees accompanied home.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1035517.html

Earlier we learned that Russia plans to increase the number of troops deployed near the Nakhijevan border, including the area where Azeris shot the Russian helicopter. Russia will station 188 additional troops here.

https://factor.am/312564.html

Foreign response & diplomacy

120 prominent French public figures, artists, and intellectuals have expressed solidarity with Armenia and called for support. Among them are famous artists Jean Reno, Alain Delon, Pierre Richard (yo Pierre), Claudia Cardinale, Alain Ducasse (chef), and many others.

Le Figaro: 120 Personnalites du monde des arts appellent a soutenir l'armenie et l'artsakh

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1035455.html

French president Emmanuel Macron: France is ready to invest its experience in providing support to the protection of Nagorno Karabakh's cultural and religious heritage.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1035424.html

European Parliament MP Lars Patrick Berg has urged UNESCO to help protect Armenian cultural-religious monuments in areas under Azeri control, citing evidence that Azeri soldiers had already destroyed and defaced several monuments. The MP points out that in 2016 Azerbaijan signed an international convention against such vandalism.

Vladimir Putin joined the calls to urge UNESCO to help the monument.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1035476.html

UNESCO says they're willing to protect Armenian monuments. They'll send a team of experts soon.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1035500.html , https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1035512.html

HR Ombudsman Tatoyan spoke with US ambassador Tracey and presented Azerbaijan's war crimes against the Artsakh population.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1035447.html

President Sarkissian discussed the Artsakh conflict with the French, EU, and US ambassadors.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1035462.html , https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1035469.html , https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1035473.html

Putin about those who're against the signed document: the rejection of the document means the resumption of war. And if that happens, the spilled blood will be on the hands of those who repeal the deal.

https://news.am/arm/news/614679.html

regional kerfuffle

Turkish regime arrested 101 members of a pro-Kurdish pro-democracy NGO. Many of them are lawyers in predominantly Kurdish cities.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1035468.html

Another one. After France and Germany, now the Dutch Parliament wants to ban the Turkish extremist-terrorist organization "Grey Wolves", which has a record of harassing and assassinating minorities. The Dutch ruling and opposition parties demand its ban across the entire EU, and sanctions against its organizers.

The draft bill, which was approved, will be discussed by the Dutch govt and placed for another vote soon. The local Turkish DENK party leader Mustafa called it an "election campaign trick" and denied the existence of Grey Wolves the organization.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1035509.html

daily life slowly resumes as Artsakh refugees return their homes

4,000 Artsakh refugees have returned home so far, accompanied by Russian peacekeepers, who monitor borders in 23 checkpoints.

The infrastructure repairs continue. Public transportation has resumed in capital Stepanakert at some capacity; it's now connected to other settlements. Barbershops and stores are reopening.

Capital's bakery is working at full capacity now. No disruption in flour and other items delivery. The food reaches other settlements, too.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1035428.html , https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1035430.html

Artsakh Parliament MP says there are many refugees from Hadrut area who went to the capital Stepanakert with the hope to find housing. The capital still has issues with gas delivery, while the electricity and internet are on and off.

https://news.am/arm/news/614578.html

Artsakh President Arayik: dear compatriots, while the governments of Artsakh and Armenia continue to work towards solving housing issues, I ask the businesses and donors in Armenia to continue to house Artsakh refugees for now. I thank everyone who has helped the refugees. We will compensate for their living expenses and food.

Full: https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1035477.html

Russian Emergency Ministry is considering the installation of rapid-deployment modular houses to shelter the returning refugees. They estimate the return of 30,000 people while only 5,000 will have a place to live today.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1035514.html

Russia has sent 35 trucks with humanitarian aid to Artsakh. Russian experts and the Artsakh govt continue to assess infrastructure damage. They examined 43 settlements and 2600 structures.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1035505.html

education reforms // school directors & long-term plans

The Education Ministry drafted another bill and presented it for public discussion. Currently, candidates for school director are required to present a plan of action on how to develop the school, but this process is flawed and often results in candidates copy-pasting another school's plans which may not be suited for their school.

The new law will regulate this process. The candidate will have to meet students and parent councils to receive approval for the proposed plan. Upon election as a director, their job assessment will be done by checking the progress towards the plan. The director can receive a vote of no-confidence if fails.

The Ministry expects better long-term results for schools and improved efficiency in governance.

The directors will need to present a 5-year plan of development, analysis of the current situation, revealing weak and strong points, resource assessment, setting goals, plan of action, risk assessment, budget management, etc.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1035438.html

travel & sports

Ukrainian International Airlines and SkyUp Airlines will soon resume flights to Armenia amid security stabilization in the region.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1035427.html , https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1035503.html

Armenian Soccer Federation continues to entertain refugee children from Artsakh. The female team visited various sports centers, which house 160 families, and organized soccer tournaments. Kids received gifts from Tallinn's "Ararat" club.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1035480.html

movies & arts

How about some movies to distract you from stress? "Apricot Tree" festival will present foreign and Armenian movies, some of them short and theatrical, between November 23-30 at www.atieff.org . There will be an open-air amphitheater in Ujan village.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1035433.html

Golden Apricot film festival will feature a movie about Charles Aznavour on November 23rd, in Cinema Start theater. The movie is titled "Aznavour by Charles" (Aznavour as seen through Aznavour's eyes), directed by Marc di Domenico. It's in French, with Armenian and English subtitles.

Charles receives his first-ever camera as a gift from Edith Piaf in 1948. He really loves it. Full story on November 23rd…

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1035460.html

https://www.smh.com.au/culture/movies/the-armenian-who-symbolised-france-behind-the-scenes-of-charles-aznavour-20200217-p541jr.html

System of a Down's latest songs about Artsakh are the top two positions on Billboard Hard Rock Chart. The two songs were consumed 2.7 and 1.8 million times within a week.

https://style.news.am/arm/news/74842/system-of-a-down-i-nor-ergery-oronq-nvirvats-en-arcakhin-glkhavorel-en-billboard-i-hard-roq-hit-shqerty.html

Top-5 bestseller translated books of October

5) The human comedy, by William Saroyan. A WW2 story in an imaginary California city.

4) Papa you're crazy, by William Saroyan.

3) Manon Lescaut, by Abbe Prevost. It's an 18th-century French love story.

2) Three Apples Fell From the Sky, by Nadine Abgaryan. It's about the struggles faced by a mountain village.

1) The Bastard of Istanbul, by Elif Shafak. The Turkish author talks about issues and complexities in Turkish society, including the topic of the Armenian Genocide. The author was persecuted and had a felony cause launched him for writing it. He won the lawsuit.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1035146.html

we are expecting a giant asteroid

… on November 29th. NASA says it's about 500-800 meters and has $17 billion worth of natural resources. Which country will take one for the team? Only time will tell. It will be only 10x further away than the Moon. Its orbit will be very close to the Earth's orbit.

https://www.spacereference.org/asteroid/153201-2000-wo107

https://news.am/arm/news/614497.html

one dollar a day, put the asteroid away

You can help Artsakh & Armenia with donations:

www.1000plus.am (soldiers' medical help)

www.HimnaDram.org (for Artsakh & Armenia)

www.ArmeniaFund.org (U.S. tax-deductible)


Link to original report and comments: https://www.reddit.com/r/armenia/comments/jxx235/megathread_news_wrapup_nov202020_artsakhs/

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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