2021 September 21

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Daily news wrap-up

News - Sep/21/2021: Armenia celebrates 30th Birthday; concert; medals; colorful drone show __ New park in Botanical Garden __ ECHR rules against Kocharyan admin. in March 1st case brought by Pashinyan __ Freedom of Internet Index __ Famous singer in critical state __ Aliyev's "promise" to Azeris
by ar_david_hh


Your 7-minute Tuesday report in 1949 words.

Armenia is celebrating the 30th anniversary of Independence

A referendum was held 30 years ago. The results reported a 95% turnout with 99.5% voting to be independent of the USSR.

Tuesday began with ranking officials visiting the Yerablur pantheon to honor soldiers who fought in the three Artsakh wars.

The President then issued medals and awards in Yerevan while a event was held in Gyumri, followed by a military march in Yerevan and other cities.

There was a live concert with classical performers. The National Gallery building and fountains were lit in Armenian flag colors. No fireworks.

Pashinyan gave a speech, praised the soldiers and those who sacrificed their lives, and announced plans to establish a new Park of Life in Yerevan's Botanical Garden. Already-grown trees will be moved to the new park soon.

The day ended with a big concert featuring a chorus, opera singers, musical ensembles, and hundreds of colorful drones that depicted a massive flying eagle, David on his horse, Hayk shooting an arrow, and other national symbols.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1063571.html https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1063631.html https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1063660.html https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=2884600168459170 https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1063661.html https://youtu.be/p8AbvaBVxzM https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/221370 https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/221378

foreign and local public figures congratulated Armenia

Nothing newsworthy in this section. Safe to scroll.

President Sarkissian: we must get out of the difficult situation with our heads held high and our back straight, and move forward. We faced similar problems 30 years ago today, and we overcame them. [1]

Joe Biden: Our two nations are bonded by history, family, and friendship, including 1.5 million Armenian-Americans whose contributions enrich and strengthen our bilateral ties. The US will continue to advocate for the release of all Armenian detainees. We are committed to our continued cooperation in the fight against COVID-19. Full.

U.S. ambassador Tracy: I see the strength and endurance of the Armenian people, the determination to build a better future. This ancient nation is building a new chapter in its history. Armenia is moving towards democratic reforms and creating economic opportunities for its citizens, while it seeks to address key security issues. We opened the embassy in 1992 but the US-Armenia cooperation began much earlier. Woodrow Wilson's administration was aiding the survivors of genocide in 1919. Full

U.S. Secretary of State Blinken: we appreciate Armenia's commitment to common values of human rights, the rule of law, and democratic institutes. We value the important contributions that Armenian-Americans have made that enrich communities across the US. We remain committed to helping to negotiate a long-term settlement of the Karabakh conflict. Full.

Emmanuel Macron: France and Armenia are connected by unique, deeply rooted relations. France wants to play the role of peace in the region, and it is with this spirit that it stands by Armenia to help overcome the challenges. France will be committed to preserving the cultural and religious heritage in Karabakh. Full.

Xi Jinping: on behalf of the people of China, I am conveying my sincere congratulations and best wishes. China and Armenia support each other in issues of key interests, such as the One Belt One Road Initiative and the fight against COVID. Full.

Iran's Raisi: congratulations. Iran-Armenia ties have been mutually beneficial and improved both qualitatively and quantitatively. The new conditions in the region and international arena make it even more important to implement past agreements and discover new areas of cooperation. [i.e. when the hell are you going to finish building the damn North-South and the power line?] Full.

Vladimir Putin: The relations with Armenia are based on good traditions of friendship, cultural and spiritual closeness. The further development of these relations in an allied spirit is undoubtedly in line with the fundamental interests of our brotherly nations. We are closely cooperating in various sectors and are engaged in a constructive partnership in the EAEU, CSTO, and CIS. The consistent implementation of the Nov 9 and Jan 11 agreements will ensure the peaceful and prosperous development of your country and the region. Full. Full 2.

Swedish ambassador's message in Armenian: Շնորհավորում եմ Հայաստանի Հանրապետության Անկախության 30-ամյակը: Իմ լավագույն մաղթանքները բոլոր հայերին: Video. (ապրես ապեր, քեզել)

Spanish soccer tournament La Liga's official page: Շնորհավո՛ր Անկախության օրդ, Հայաստան. Full.

Pope Francis: my happy and warm congratulations, as well as my wishes of welfare and peace to the Armenian people. I pray to Almighty God to bless the efforts of all those people who responsibly and fully work for people’s security and prosperity. May the divine blessing be with the people of Armenia. Full.

Italian president: Yerevan and Rome are united by a sincere friendship, rooted in the tradition of millennial and productive mutual relations. The ancient civilizational heritage and the existing natural sympathy between our nations continue developing bilateral relations, which are at an excellent level. [all thanks to Armenians switching from merci to grazie] Full.

United Kingdom: Congratulations to Armenia as it celebrates 30 years of independence! The UK will continue to support Armenia's democratic and economic development. Full. //

Messages also arrived from the Armenian Church, Belarus, Oman, Qatar, Vietnam, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, Bulgaria, Romania, Moldova, etc.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1063591.html https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1063577.html https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1063583.html https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1063596.html https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1063594.html

PHOTO: the largest Armenian flag was installed in Yeraskh village (Nakhijevan border)

The 6x12 meter flag will rise 35 meters above the ground, in honor of Armenia's 30th independence anniversary.

https://factor.am/419424.html https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/221242

PHOTO: Tbilisi TV tower lights up in the colors of the Armenian flag

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1063581.html

the Armenian flag was raised on the Maastricht, Netherlands town hall building

https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/221374

Aliyev promised "good life" to Azeris after capturing the lands, but things aren't that rosy

In recent days, the main topic of discussion and grievances in Azerbaijan has been the latest price hikes, which began earlier this year.

At first, the fuel went up, then water fees doubled. In July, the gas and electricity went up.

The gas is almost twice as expensive now for households that use small quantities. It went from $0.06 to $0.12, or $0.15 if you use more. (Armenians pay approximately $0.30 after importing it).

Last week the premium fuel went up 11-19%, the second hike in two months. The government claims this hike is due to the premium fuel being imported thus their inability to control prices, but the critics argue it's because of a monopoly.

Azeri MP Vahid Ahmedov: Every time SOCAR gives the same explanation for the price hike. The rise in fuel prices will affect all sectors, including food. It will negatively affect people's living standards. The situation is very serious. The product you buy now for 5 manats from the store will be more expensive next week. Amid rising prices, people's financial situation is deteriorating. //

He wasn't wrong. The bread prices went from 45 to 60 kopek shortly afterward. Similar hikes in sugar, milk, pasta. One resident complained about prices hikes happening every week.

Independent economists have calculated double-digit inflation.

Ranking Azeri MP Tahir Rzayev responded to residents' complaints by saying the price hikes are normal if you want to integrate with the world economy and join various conventions. "We must keep pace with the world by setting prices according to world standards."

https://factor.am/418974.html https://www.azatutyun.am/a/30383219.html

COVID stats

4537 tested. 494 infected. 390 healed. 18 deaths. 11114 active.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1063602.html

famous singer and showman Hayko is in a serious condition after contracting COVID

Parliament president Alen Simonyan visited the singer in hospital but did not reveal details about his condition. The media reported that Hayko is not doing well; he is in ICU.

https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/221353

Sharjah Masters chess

After the 5th round, Hayk Martirosyan and Aram Hakobyan are only a point behind the leader. Four more rounds to go.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1063657.html

your favorite ex-HHK MP Arakel "Shmays" Movsisyan is declared bankrupt

The court froze his assets after a suit brought by Ameriabank bank (bang bang), which argues that Movsisyan owes $66,000.

https://factor.am/419445.html

Artsakh president Arayik met Armenian-Russian businessman Samvel Karapetyan

... to discuss the $50M investment proposal made by the businessman yesterday.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1063652.html

European Court for Human Rights has... / sided with a media outlet led by Pashinyan before he got involved in politics / sided with another March 1st victim / found Russia guilty in Alexander Litvinenko case

It's the latest blow to the Kocharyan administration's handling of March 1st, 2008 events.

The ECHR court read the verdict in the case of Dareskizb LLC vs Armenia. The plaintiff is Haykakan Zhamanak newspaper, at the time actively led by Pashinyan. The newspaper was prohibited from printing on March 2.

The ECHR has ruled that it violated the newspaper's free speech and right to a fair trial. The government will have to pay €9,000 to the newspaper now. [Nikol will have to pay himself €9,000, the art of the deal]

Another similar ruling was made regarding Asparez media club president Levon Barseghyan. He tried to attend a rally in Gyumri on March 2 (2008) but was arrested and allegedly assaulted at the police station. The court gave him a $100 fine.

ECHR has ruled that his right to free assembly was violated. the victim also argued that the police actions were unjustified because there was no state of emergency in Gyumri at the time. Armenia has to pay him a €1,500 fine.

ECHR also ruled that Russia must pay €122,000 to the widow of Alexander Litvinenko, who was poisoned and killed by Russian agents in 2006. The court has essentially agreed that the poisoners were acting on behalf of Russia, and they got away with it because Russia did not conduct an appropriate criminal investigation.

https://hudoc.echr.coe.int/eng-press#{%22itemid%22:[%22003-7125265-9653230%22]} https://factor.am/419404.html https://factor.am/419296.html https://www.bbc.com/russian/news-58637827

Global Innovation Index 2021

The UN presented the global innovation ranking of 132 economies, relying on 81 different indicators.

Turkey 41

Russia 45

Iran 60

Georgia 63

Armenia 69 (formerly 61) ("Performance in line with the level of development")

Azerbaijan 80

https://www.wipo.int/global_innovation_index/en/2021/ http://arka.am/en/news/technology/armenia_drops_8_positions_in_global_innovation_index_2021/

Internet Freedom Index 2021

Freedom House has published the latest report on countries with free and restricted internet. Armenia scored similarly with Argentina and Serbia, and had the second freest internet in Eurasia after Georgia.

Quotes from the report: "in a welcome development, a small number of governments rolled back problematic pandemic-related states of emergency that had unduly restricted free expression, while others ended overly broad data-sharing programs.

"Armenia’s government ceased its collection of metadata, including location and phone-record data, from telecommunications companies for ostensible contact-tracing purposes; the hardware devices that stored the information were then physically destroyed."

Local police in Azerbaijan visited a user's home in January 2021 and lured him outside by claiming to represent a municipal employment center. He was then beaten, detained, and forced to apologize for Facebook posts in which he criticized local government officials. //

Armenia - free

Georgia - free

Azerbaijan - not free

Iran - not free

Russia - not free

Ukraine - partially free

https://factor.am/419517.html https://freedomhouse.org/report/freedom-net/2021/global-drive-control-big-tech https://freedomhouse.org/sites/default/files/2021-09/FOTN_2021_Complete_Booklet_09162021_FINAL_UPDATED.pdf

fiber-optic internet for villagers

Armenia's last analog station was disconnected in Vayots Dzor's Gndevaz community and replaced with a 25G-PON fiber-optic technology, announced TEAM ISP, which also provides the TEAM TV services. It's the new ISP that recently "broke away" from UCOM.

Hundreds of households in Gndevaz now have access to the COSMO gigabit network. By the end of this year, they plan to revamp the internet for Jermuk, Kajaran, and Hrazdan.

TEAM ISP: We understand that a good connection gives us the opportunity to gain education, earn money and solve various problems. And since there were communities that were not yet digitalized, we decided to invest and provide the residents with the latest high-quality connectivity. Gndevaz is essentially the first community with a totally revamped 25G-PON network. //

https://www.panarmenian.net/arm/news/295602/

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

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Link to original report and comments: https://www.reddit.com/r/armenia/comments/psovy1/news_sep212021_armenia_celebrates_30th_birthday/

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