2021 April 30

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Contents

Daily news wrap-up

Apr/30/2021: (1) $436M corruption busts (2) State that blocked wartime UN resolution (3) Experts examine Armenian manuscripts about horses & language (4) Trees & fish for Artsakh (5) French supermarket (6) HRO report (7) New low-coster (8) Anti-swearing bill (9) Pashinyan's jet breaks (10) Boxing fe
by ar_david_hh


Your 12-minute Friday report in 2933 words.

Armenology projects by Austrian expert Jasmine Dum-Tragut / horses / Artsakh dialects / west-east cultural exchange

Education Ministry report: in 2019 we increased funding for the promotion of the Armenian language and Armenology abroad. Projects were launched in new countries and schools, including one with the University of Salzburg.

The director of Salzburg's Center for the Study of the Christian East department Dr. Jasmine Dum-Tragut initiated two important research projects related to the Armenian cultural heritage.

One is a 6-month-long project about the Armenian language in Artsakh. It'll study the history of the Armenian language in Artsakh, its changes in a multilingual society, its history of becoming the official language, Artsakh dialects, etc. It's being financed by Salzburg.

The second project will last 4 years and is titled "Horse's body as a meeting place: Cultural exchanges and transfer of knowledge between the Christian West and the Muslim East in late medieval Armenian horsebooks [ձիագրքեր]". It will have a €1m budget. They will cooperate with Matenadaran, Yerevan State University, Frankfurt University, Vienna Veterinary University, etc.

This second program is based on a lost medieval Armenian manuscript about healing horses, the existence of which is known only from the memoir of another manuscript. There is also another Armenian medical manuscript of the 6th century, which was revealed in 2008 and will be used during the studies.

This is an uncharted territory that can help shed light on the exchange of information between the Christian West and the Muslim East. How Armenians received information about healing horses and their future contribution to the field will be analyzed in detail for the first time.

Relevant Armenian manuscripts translated into Arabic and Georgian will be examined for the first time. These manuscripts were written in Cilicia in 1298 before being taken to Sebastia (1504), Tbilisi (1791), Isfahan (19th century), and finally Yerevan (2008). [how about NFT on blockchain???]

This project will unite an unprecedented group of scientists. Jasmine Dum-Tragut has formed her team consisted of linguists, historians, manuscript experts, and veterinarians.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1050885.html

Carrefour supermarket chain to expand in Armenia citing "favorable investment climate"

The French supermarket giant operates in Armenia under the franchise of Majid Al Futtaim. Today the Economy Minister Qerobyan met the local branch manager Vache Arsen to discuss new investments announced by Carrefour last week.

According to their 4-year plan, they will open 10 "convenient" sized supermarkets in Yerevan. They will also expand in provinces.

Carrefour rep. said the new investments are a result of "recent measures taken to improve the investment climate in the country. And if the project succeeds, larger investments will be implemented in the near future."

80% of products sold on Carrefour are locally produced to help the local businesses. Carrefour says they present Made in Armenia products in a more accessible way for further promotion. All Turkish produces were replaced with Armenian and European.

Qerobyan and Arsen discussed the possibility of selling Armenian products in foreign countries as well. Arsen said it'll be possible when Carrefour expands in Armenia.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1050902.html

Artsakh MFA's message on the 30th anniversary of ethnic cleansings

Azerbaijan's Operation Ring began 30 years ago today to commit ethnic cleansings of Armenians in Artsakh villages. It marks the beginning of a widespread military campaign. "Tanks, artillery, and jets were used against civilians. Hundreds of Armenian villages were emptied in the north and south. Dozens of thousands had to flee, while hundreds were murdered and captured. The fate of many are still unknown to this date," said the Foreign Ministry.

Full: https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1050857.html

Human Rights Ombudsman Tatoyan...

... is preparing a report to highlight how Aliyev's "Saddam Park" in Baku is a state-sponsored hate campaign against ethnic Armenians. "We have studied the impact of this 'Park' in the Azerbaijani society."

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1050893.html

... stated that Azerbaijan is legally required to return the POWs, even if it wasn't part of the November 9 trilateral statement. "At first they attempted to present the captives as terrorists. Then they changed the policy saying they don't have terrorists. This conflict has not ended."

Full: https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1050898.html

... criticized Azerbaijan for "attempting to cover up its violations with false messages of peace. They are trying to tell the world that everything is fine now, the conflict is over, there are no problems with borders."

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1050904.html

... has examined 300 videotapes showing human rights violations and war crimes by Azerbaijan. They were sent to international institutes.

https://factor.am/365313.html

which country blocked the pro-Armenian UN Security Council resolution during the war?

UN Security Council was expected to urge for a ceasefire on October 19 but it did not happen. There was speculation that it was UK or Russia that sabotaged it.

Public Councilman Safaryan says the media largely missed the news that revealed the states that voted against the resolution, and that "there is no need to speculate."

He says the countries are the temporary members Nigeria, Indonesia, Tunisia, Vietnam, South Africa, Dominican Republic, St. Vincent, Grenada. He says these countries have a record of receiving bribes from Azerbaijan. Azerbaijan even publicly thanked them for sabotaging the pro-Armenian resolution, mentioned Safaryan.

Azerbaijan attempted to pass a pro-Azeri resolution with the help of these states but it was blocked by permanent members (the big guys).

https://www.facebook.com/styopa.safaryan.9/posts/1623891697816323 https://fip.am/15364

US State Department authorizes military aid to Azerbaijan again

The US Congress adopted a resolution in 1992 to prohibit weapon sales to Azerbaijan and to only authorize humanitarian aid, due to the hostilities against Armenia.

In 2002 the Congress amended the article to allow the US President to suspend the article and provide military aid if necessary. It's been suspended every year.

US State Secretary Blinken spoke with Aliyev on Wednesday and informed him that this year won't be an exception and the military aid to Azerbaijan will be authorized by Biden. Aliyev thanked him.

FLashback: last year Biden urged President Trump to suspend the military aid.

https://factor.am/365498.html https://panarmenian.net/m/arm/news/292512

President Armen Sarkissian sent Thank You letters to very many people today

To Nancy Pelosi: President Biden joined the US Congress and recognized the Armenian Genocide. We are sincerely grateful to all those who have done this through devotion, zeal, and moral or any other support.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1050897.html

To international Dashnak Bureau: The consistent work that the ARF is doing in the Diaspora, especially in the United States, in the direction of national preservation and the realization of national goals, deserves the greatest respect and appreciation. I am confident that you will continue to be guided by the national interest.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1050905.html

To Perch Sedrakyan, Pres. of Armenian Benevolent Union: Faithful to the traditions of your AGBU founders, who in the very first days of the Armenian Genocide devoted all their energy and resources to helping the survivors, the AGBU has always stood for national goals in Armenia and Artsakh and around the world, including the United States.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1050905.html

To the Armenian Assembly of America: We are grateful to all those who have contributed to the restoration of justice through their dedication and efforts. The Armenian Assembly of America has done a wonderful job in internationally recognizing the Armenian Genocide. When we combine our efforts and turn our vision into real action, the result is always visible

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1050905.html

To Kim Kardashyan: the influence of you and your family is enormous not only in the United States but all over the world. It was wonderful to see how through your actions and steps you were able to play a significant role in the international recognition of the Armenian Genocide. Thank you for your tireless efforts, sincere dedication, and commitment.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1050924.html

To Cher and many others:

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1050924.html

Artsakh will plant 30 hectares of new forests

... announced Nature Minister Romanos during his trip to Artsakh. ArmForest (HayAntar) began the preparations. It's part of the 10 million tree campaign. 100K will be donated to Artsakh to plant 30 ha forests, mostly in the northern Martakert region.

There will also be a 500 m2 greenhouse area with փակ արմատական համակարգ [hydroponic cropping system?]

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1050871.html

40,000 baby Sevan trout fish is dumped in Artsakh's Sarsang Reservoir

... to restore Artsakh's fish population, which in turn, could help improve the trout population in the Lake Sevan later. Ministry expects a large population within 1.5 years.

This is the first-ever dumping of Sevan trout population in Sarsang, said the Minister. They were dumped specifically in areas with favorable temperatures and microplankton populations.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1050871.html

free speech & defamation / swearing & fake news

General Prosecutor met a Parliamentary committee and complained about swearing, saying it often results in physical crime. His agency recently drafted a bill to ban public use of swearing on social media. According to him, it should not be viewed as free speech. "Swearing is not criticism."

He said the bill is not about banning swearing in general, but rather about swearing at a public official over an event that is directly related to them doing their public duties. "This is done to defend the state, not individuals."

The Government and Justice Ministry do not support this bill, according to the disappointed general prosecutor, but the discussions continue.

https://factor.am/365324.html https://youtu.be/eByTITS39_A

Ex-BHK MP Gevorg Petrosyan drafted a bill to set a mandatory deadline for courts to hear defamation-related cases. Courts are overburdened and often take forever for trials to take place.

The government supports the idea. Its representative suggested amendments: 1 month for Cassations Court to accept or deny a case.

A preliminary Parliamentary committee gave the bill a green light to proceed.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1050886.html

The same MP also presented another bill to issue ~֏850k fines to public officials if they publish untruthful information relating to topics that concern the general public. The Parliamentary committee objected, saying it won't solve the problem the MP is trying to solve. The Committee rejected the bill.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1050899.html

update: bill to regulate foreign workers with a new electronic platform

The recently government proposed a bill to create a digital database to regulate how foreign workers apply for a job and stay in Armenia. Today a relevant Parliamentary committee authorized it to proceed to the floor.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1050933.html https://www.reddit.com/r/armenia/comments/md6eh5/mar252021_1_police_salaries_to_double_2_everify/

technical malfunction discovered in Pashinyan's jet during Russia trip

They are working on it. They might use another jet to return. Pashinyan and the envoy are in Kazan to participate in the EAEU trade bloc session.

https://factor.am/365603.html

general prosecutor: last year we uncovered $436M in corruption damages

1,356 individuals were charged with such felonies last year.

2019: $234M uncovered, $23.8M recovered

2020: $436M uncovered, $27.2M recovered

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1050916.html https://factor.am/365315.html https://youtu.be/Esp-lPv0MIU

anti-corruption: NSS busts a corruption scheme in govt-funded organization

NSS report says: the director of a handicraft school in Yerevan registered several of his family and friends as fake employees between 2019-2021 and embezzled ֏9.2m in salaries.

He also leased part of the school to his friends to establish a furniture factory. He embezzled ֏1.4m in lease funds. The director is charged with multiple felony counts.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1050896.html

anti-corruption: State Oversight Service confirms financial violations in public TV

Reporter: last year this time around you launched audits in H1 TV. There were reports about financial violations. Any details?

SOS chief Ulikhanyan: the audits were conducted and uncovered issues showing financial violations. The TV fixed the problems. Our future audits showed that they fixed the issues. We sent the information to prosecutors. We are not a punishment agency.

https://factor.am/365300.html

Armenian boxing federation recovers from 2-year-long KO / former official gives up power

For two years, Armenia had two boxing federations due to disagreements: the Armenian Boxing Federation (ABF) and Armenian National Federation (ANF). The boxers were training separately in each camp.

Education & Sports Ministry held a meeting yesterday to elect Hovhannes Hovsepyan as the president of ABF. It was attended by the international boxing federation representative Yuri Zaitsev.

The guy who got elected as ABF president is the president of the other [breakaway] ANF federation. He presented a plan of action to develop the sport in Armenia and received 67 out of 92 votes.

The now-former president of ABF is the former HHK MP Arthur Gevorgyan who was accused of financial crimes and hiding property in the US after the revolution. Hetq outlet investigators wrote an article about him. He was arrested by US authorities on unrelated charges later. Armenian prosecutors made an unsuccessful attempt to extradite him. He was placed on the wanted list in Armenia.

After the ANF essentially "took over" the main ABF federation with yesterday's vote, the now-former-president ex-HHK MP congratulated his successor Hovhannes Hovsepyan, despite being against holding the election.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1050887.html https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1050859.html https://armtimes.com/hy/article/196543 https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/185248 https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1050859.html

mini-documentary about Armenia's largest solar farm located on the shores of Lake Sevan

https://youtu.be/Iju0UrN0Rzg

fire in Yerevan Children's Railway

The tunnel was covered in thick smoke. Several firefighter units were dispatched. It turns out the 6,000V electrical wires caught on fire due to high temperature. Two firefighters were hospitalized for smoke inhalation.

video: https://youtu.be/_83Z5VShzvQ?t=180

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1050861.html https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1050883.html https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1050912.html

flooding in Yerevan's Nubarashen intersection

Cars are driving in the water. The water ripped away license plates from five dozen unsuspecting drivers. A guy came and collected them. The local residents gathered on the sidewalks to guide the drivers where to drive for minimal impact.

Veolia Water agency is trying to fix the damaged Garni-Yerevan water pipe.

https://youtu.be/20JXUl08TYA

https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/212707

Photo: Yerevan's Hakhtanak bridge has a new lighting system

https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/212757

low-coster Bees airlines launch Kiev-Yerevan-Kiev flights

$142 for a round trip in the near future.

Its director Alexander Jijora was part of the first trip to Yerevan, where he gave a press conference. "Opening the route to Yerevan is a significant event for us. We love this country very much. We want as many Ukrainians as possible to get acquainted with Armenia."

The way the flights are done allows Ukrainians to spend a few days in Armenia. They use the Sikorsky airport in Kiev.

More: https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1050918.html

COVID stats

4596 tested. 536 infected. 964 healed. 21 deaths. 12803 (significantly down)

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1050867.html

overall COVID situation

12803 active. 2294 hospitalized. 962 serious. 233 critical. 76 on lung vent.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1050921.html

A 77yo COVID patient jumped out the hospital window in Yerevan. He was admitted two weeks ago and did complain or resist treatment, said the doctors. The police are investigating.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1050908.html

free Chinese vaccine arrives in Armenia

Sinovac CoronaVac, 100k units for 50k people. "It is assumed that the use of vaccines will have a positive impact on the process of overcoming the epidemic in Armenia. Friends are known in difficult times, fighting together against the epidemic," wrote the Chinese embassy.

The 50-78% efficiency of this vaccine was criticized by experts but the Healthcare Ministry appears to be currently operating on the "beggars ain't choosers" mode.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1050907.html

3.5K Armenians have been vaccinated so far

41K Georgians, 938K Iranians, 1.4M Azeris, 22M Turks.

https://factor.am/365378.html

example "vaccine passport"

Arsen Torosyan shared his digital vaccination certificate through an app. Yesterday Pashinyan said a certificate could be needed for Armenian travelers if the destination state requires one in the future.

https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/212681

Sputnik-V gets in trouble in Brazil

Brazilian scientists concluded that a batch of Sputnik-V they imported from Russia has quality issues that could cause serious side effects among patients with weak immune system.

The vaccine batch contains a live strain of another virus due to violation of safety rules by the manufacturer, say scientists. The efficiency of this batch against COVID is in doubt. It does not, however, claim that Sputnik-V is generally inefficient if manufactured properly.

Russian side denied the claims about botched manufacturing and a dangerous virus strain.

Full details: https://www.cbsnews.com/news/sputnik-v-vaccine-covid-brazil-russian-vaccine-ban-efficacy-recombination/

prominent diasporans form "the FUTURE ARMENIAN" project

The goal is to create a common mutual understanding regarding the sustainable development of Armenia. Initiators include Nubar Afeyan (US), Ruben Vardanyan (RU), Richard Azarnia (FR), Arthur Alaverdyan (AM).

380 other prominent diasporans have joined: Nikola Aznavour (AM), Eduardo Ernekian (AR), Karo Armen (US), Levon Aronian (AM), James Tufenkian (US), and many others.

The 15 goals are: define a vision for the future, guaranteed statehood through security reforms, ensure historical responsibility (genocide awareness and aid), free Artsakh, Armenia-Diaspora unity, strong diaspora, strong alliances, competitive economy, population growth, prioritize education, invest in science, efficient governance, fair wealth distribution to reduce poverty, cultural heritage preservation, facts-based decisions.

https://factor.am/365222.html

average nominal salary increases in March

+3% from last year, at $380.

Public sector +4% ($326). Private sector +2.6% ($407).

https://factor.am/365598.html

Yerevan Komitas Conservatory students win awards in international competition

... Jose Carreras Grand Prix 2021, held in Moscow. Three Armenian musicians received awards.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1050864.html

Levon Aronian vs Magnus Carlsen

Semi-finals of New in Chess Classic tournament. The score is 2:2.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1050854.html

top-10 bestseller documentary books of March

5) Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow, by Yuval Harari (hunger, disease, and the war went from unavoidable to controllable events over the past century)

4) Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind, by Yuval Harari (number of human species went from 6 to 1. What happened to the others, and what awaits us?)

3) The Cafe on the Edge of the World, by John Strelecky (self-improvement, personal stories)

2) The leader who had no title, by Robin Sharma (personal motivation, leadership genre)

1) The monk who sold his Ferrari, by Robin Sharma (self-improvement genre)

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1050557.html

today in history

1777: Carl Gauss is born, the king of mathematics

1789: Washington becomes the first US president

1803: France sells Louisiana to the US for 265 Bitcoins

1945: Adolf Hitler ragequits the server after realizing he is left to fight with a single pistol

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1050844.html

end of report

The accused are innocent unless proven guilty in the court of law, even if they "appear" guilty.

News archive: http://www.armeniapedia.org/wiki/Daily_Anti-Corruption_Reports

Donations: soldiers' families, humanitarian aid, US tax-deductible donation.


Link to original report and comments: https://www.reddit.com/r/armenia/comments/n22e5o/apr302021_1_436m_corruption_busts_2_state_that/

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