2020 September 3

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Daily news and anti-corruption report

Sep/3/2020 news: \\ PM's office busts corruption. Gov't building repairs. Fake news \\ govt to inject $104m to kickstart businesses \\ police reforms, cars, academy \\ Serj's trial \\ anti-corruption stats \\ Yerevan's irrigation \\ geopolitics \\ consumer prices \\ HIV \\ athlete salary \\ ...
by ar_david_hh


PM's office reports corruption during govt building renovation / Former regime's fake news

In 2019, Pashinyan's chief of staff Edward Aghajanyan contacted the SOC and asked to examine a possible corruption during a repair job at several government-owned buildings, including the PM's residence.

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Aghajanyan: // in 2019 we learned about possible wasteful expenditures and contacted the SOC. The alleged corruption happened under the government-run construction company's now-former manager. He's under administrative leave. //

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Media outlets belonging to the former regime began spreading misinformation about the story, with an attempt to link it to PM Pashinyan's circles and his wife's ArmTimes media outlet, according to fact-checker FIP.

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FIP fact-checker: // 8 buildings were renovated in 2019 by the govt-owned Company. Within the past several years, this Company had several directors, including people linked to the ruling QP party and ArmTimes media outlet.

The former regime's outlets are misleading their readers by giving the names of these previous directors, to tie Pashinyan's circles to this corruption story.

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Who was the director at the time of the alleged corruption? Areg Savagulyan won the bid to become a director in Dec-2018 and served until Jan-2020, which includes the 2019 period in question. PastInfo media outlet purposely omitted this detail.

The suspect Areg Savagulyan became a high-ranking ARF party official in 2006. //

--

https://factor.am/280884.html

https://fip.am/12474

Tag: #KondiArandznatneriTntesutyun , Կոնդի առանձնատների տնտեսություն

Govt to help private sector with $104m investments

Taxpayers will help kickstart private businesses.

Each project will be 25% funded by govt, 25% by the business, 50% by a loan agency.

The govt will amend the rules to invest as low as $0.5m instead of the current $1m minimum limit, and up to $4m instead of the current $2m upper limit, in each project.

https://factor.am/280871.html

Police reforms / 150 new vehicles for new police force

Each vehicle, already equipped with the necessary technology, will cost $27k. The govt approved funds to buy 150. The first batch will arrive next month. The new police force will be ready next year.

The Justice Ministry began recruiting tutors who'll train the new cops. 770 students will graduate from the hands-on police academy, for now.

https://factor.am/280765.html

https://factor.am/280777.html

Serj Sargsyan's trial over fuel theft / yo boy is 404

Ex-president Serj Sargsyan, an ex-minister, and the owner of the Flesh fuel station, are the defendants as part of the $1m agricultural aid embezzlement trial.

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Today was their trial. Serj was "sick" and couldn't come.

"They always find some disease before the trial," complained the prosecutor. He argued that Serj's doctor note doesn't list an illness that would prevent him from appearing in court, and asked to sanction Serj.

The judge chose not to sanction Serj. The trial is delayed until October 22nd.

https://factor.am/280824.html

https://factor.am/280859.html

Big rise in anti-corruption charges related to state property embezzlement / High-ranking officials

In the first half of 2020 alone, the prosecutors pressed 33% more charges against officials for embezzling property, than in the entire 2019 combined.

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2 ex-Yerevan mayors, 15 acting mayors across Armenia, 1 ex-Defense Minister, ex-IRS chief, ex-IRS deputy chief, ex-governor, Cadastre official, ex-Soccer federation chief, NSS regional chief, govt-run organization directors, etc. plus 18 ordinary citizens.

https://factor.am/280704.html

"The Armenian Revolution. An Unfinished Cable."

... is the title of a new book by EU's former ambassador to Armenia Piotr Switalski.

https://pism.pl/file/25e8d248-5285-4ce0-a438-2bdd57d38e4b

Armenia creates its version of change.org

Deputy PM Avinyan: a 2020 UN report says Armenia is on 68th place out of 193 when it comes to electronic governance. We want to further involve citizens with decision-making, so we created e-petition.am. This is the Armenian version of change.org. The govt will monitor the petitions.

https://factor.am/280718.html

Armenia & Azerbaijan... name a more iconic duo/ Turkey & Greece, maybe?

Die Welt outlet writes that during the escalation in the Mediterranean, Turkey's Erdogan asked his general to sink a Greek ship without killing the sailors, but his general allegedly refused. His similar idea to shoot a Greek fighter jet was also rejected.

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Greece urged Turkey to stop the provocations: "Our European colleagues have already created a package of sanctions. Turkey should choose between de-escalation and sanctions."

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Ilham Aliyev complained about the trilateral military cooperation between Armenia, Greece, and Cyprus. He sent a complaint to the new Greek ambassador.

https://factor.am/280832.html

https://factor.am/280794.html

https://www.azatutyun.am/a/30819003.html

The conflict between LHK and its ex-MP escalates

LHK MP Babajanyan quit earlier and became INDependent MP. LHK asked the electoral committee to give LHK a new seat. The Committee refused, saying the MP didn't quit Parliament so they can't just expand the number of seats in the Parliament by giving LHK an extra seat while Babajanyan keeps his seat. LHK took the case to court; the trial will happen soon.

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Meanwhile, LHK and Babajanyan exchanged jabs. Recently, the media outlet 1in.am run by Babajanyan's family wrote a piece accusing LHK of meeting Serj Sargsyan in the latter's house.

LHK denied the "defamatory and fake" report and took the outlet to court and demanded a retraction.

https://factor.am/280756.html

Criminal subculture shooting in Yerevan

4 people were transported to a Yerevan hospital with gunshot wounds this afternoon. The incident happened in a playground on Halabyan Street.

2 of them were identified as nephews of a thieve-in-law (vor v zakone) known as Kanevskoy.

https://factor.am/280914.html

https://factor.am/280874.html

reservists to train

The military has summoned some 800 tier-1 civilians in reserve forces to appear for a 10-day training in December.

http://www.panarmenian.net/arm/news/284753/

food and fuel prices YoY

Gasoline -23%, diesel -30% comapred to 2019. (up 9% vs last month)

Non-food product prices +0.6%

Food prices +1.6%

http://arka.am/en/news/business/gasoline_and_diesel_fuel_prices_in_armenia_up_8_7_and_1_1_respectively/

http://arka.am/en/news/business/food_prices_in_armenia_up_1_6_year_on_year_in_2020_august_/

HIV in Armenia

Director of Infections Center:

There are overall 4039 HIV cases: 2801 men, 1238 women. 7 of the patients are under the age of four; some were infected in 2019; we're researching how the child got it from mother.

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249 new HIV infections this year. We predict the year to end with 450, similar to last year.

The new cases dropped during the initial period of COVID pandemic because no one was getting tested. The tests have resumed.

We're conducting 4 research projects with the held of Russia.

https://factor.am/280816.html

update: alcohol poisoning in Armavir

The lab exam revealed a high concentration of methyl spirits in homemade alcohol. It killed 11 people a few days ago.

http://www.panarmenian.net/arm/news/284750/

COVID stats

+1,892 tested. +196 infected. +3 deaths. 211,281 tested. 4,258 active.

https://factor.am/280706.html

COVID vs travel

A group of residents gathered in front of the govt building and demanded the right to travel to Russia to meet family and find work.

"The govt should negotiate with Russia."

"A woman at my age cannot find a job in Armenia."

"I have a family in Russia so I can't stay here and find work."

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MFA Mnatsakanyan went to meet the protesters: "If you have a family in Russia, the law already allows you to travel there. I can't force Russia to change its law for the rest."

Russia will soon resume flights with 3 more countries, but not Armenia yet.

https://factor.am/280714.html

https://factor.am/280896.html

https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/194931

COVID vs entertainment industry

A media wrote about several show-biz representatives planning to leave Armenia due to COVID-related income drop. They gave Rafael Yeranosyan's name, too. (the guy form Deputati Show)

Rafael denied the emigration rumors and donated $5,000 to COVID hospital.

https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/194907

update: Yerevan's new thermal power plans ready by Autumn 2021

Last year the Italian Renko and German Siemens invested $270m to build a high-efficiency (highest in Armenia with 54%) thermal plant in Yerevan with 250MW capacity. Half of the work is done. Ready by 4Q21.

Photo: https://factor.am/280701.html

յախք, արա

Yerevan removed more tasteless billboards from cultural-historical building facades. Modification of such buildings requires permission.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1026640.html

Yerevan street could be renamed after a Yezidi figure

It has been proposed, and discussed with Sinjar Yezidi union, to rename Lepsius's 2nd street after a Yezidi political figure/fighter Usub Bek Temuryan, who was an MP during the 1st Republic and fought during the May victories.

https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/194842

Yerevan is renovating the irrigation network

Only 90km of the capital's 400km irrigation pipes are functional. The city began using trucks for watering as a temporary measure.

By the end of 2020, they'll renovate 17km pipes. 7km is done. 7 water pump stations were renovated.

12 hectare land near the Tsitsernakaberd Genocide memorial will have new irrigation.

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The city is digging wells to ensure uninterrupted water flow. "A week-long irrigation pause by the current water delivery company could render all the work useless."

One such water well will irrigate the green zone, currently in miserable shape, near St. Sargis Church in Nor Norq.

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"Lands were recently taken from businesses to be converted to parks near Tatul Krpeyan park. 10 hectares of trees will be planted, stretching to Zoo," said mayor Hayk Marutyan.

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The city will install lawns on some naked hills and terrains where large vegetation is impossible.

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https://factor.am/280933.html

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1026647.html

Monthly salaries for Olympics athletes

The govt will pay $480/mo to athletes who're training for the 2021 Olympics. The athletes and their coaches who have already won a World/Europe medal will begin to receive monthly salaries again, after several months of pause.

https://factor.am/280734.html

"Our history is our passport"

...said Pashinyan during his vacation hiking trip, this time to Աղջկա բերդ (girl's castle) in Tavush.

https://youtu.be/7Ox25UNEpWY

Chess news

Armenia vs Artsakh tournament was held among 20 players, dedicated to Artsakh's independence day. Artsakh won with 23:17.

https://factor.am/280698.html

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The Chess Federation will organize a new "Yerevan Cup" competition dedicated to Armenia's independence with a $3,700 reward budget. You can register now.

https://yerevanchessfed.com/hy/news/page-76

https://factor.am/280809.html

madlads pull vehicles with teeth

Yuri Sakunts set a new record by standing upside-down on his hands and pulling a 4-ton Hammer car with his teeth. He received gifts from Artsakh president.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1026592.html

In case you missed Wednesday news

https://www.reddit.com/r/armenia/comments/ilcor1/sep22020_news_armenia_resolves_railway_dispute/

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You've read 1631 words.


Link to original report and comments: https://www.reddit.com/r/armenia/comments/im0tm5/sep32020_news_pms_office_busts_corruption_govt/

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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