CHARGES DROPPED: ARMENIAN JOURNALIST NO LONGER
Source Protection: Case against Armenian website editor draws
Armenia's state prosecutors late last week dropped controversial
criminal charges against the editor of an Armenian news website
who has refused to comply with a court order to disclose sources of
The decision came after criticism of the Armenian authorities from
The case against Kristine Khanumian, of the pro-opposition iLur.am
online publication, was opened after the court on June 26, 2014 ordered
two media outlets, the Hraparak daily and the iLur.am news website,
to disclose their confidential sources that had provided them with
information about a senior police officer who allegedly abused his
official powers in a case involving a well-known Armenian athlete.
Under the case she faced up to two years in prison.
At least two international organizations voiced their concerns over
the case, saying that it endangered freedom of speech in Armenia.
A representative of Reporters Without Borders (RSF), a Paris-based
international media watchdog, said that the criminal case is setting a
"dangerous precedent for media freedom in Armenia."
Besides, in a letter addressed to Armenian's Foreign Minister Edward
Nalbandian, OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media Dunja Mijatovic
also expressed hope that law-enforcement bodies will close the case
ISTANBUL-BORN MIT PROFESSOR NAMED WORLD'S MOST
Hurriyet Daily News, Turkey
July 31 2015
Economist Daron Acemoglu, who is a Turkish economist of Armenian
descent living in the U.S., has topped the most influential economists
list of the Research Papers in Economics (RePEc) for his last 10 years'
Among leading 2,223 leading economists, Acemoglu, a professor at the
Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), topped the list for his
works in the last decade.
RePEc rankings are based on data about authors who have registered
with the RePEc Author Service, institutions listed on Economics
Departments, Institutes and Research Centers in the World (EDIRC)
list, bibliographic data collected by RePEc as well as citation
analysis and popularity data compiled, according to RePEC website.
Acemoglu is followed by Andre Shleifer from Harvard University, James
J. Heckman from University of Chicago and Robert Barro from Harvard
University. The former president of the U.S. Federal Reserve (Fed),
Ben Bernanke, ranked 25 on the list.
Acemoglu's name has previously been mentioned for the Nobel Prize.
Recently, he has been popular because of his book, "Why Nations Fail,"
co-authored with James Robinson.
His works cover a wide range of areas, from income and wage
inequality to human capital and training. He wrote a series of papers
attempting to disentangle the relationship between strong governmental
institutions and economic development. The research revealed laws
in rich countries that protect property and limit executive powers
contribute to their prosperity.
Acemoglu's work has been published in leading scholarly journals,
including the American Economic Review and the Journal of Political
Economy. He received his BA in economics from the University of
York, along with a Master of Science in mathematical economics and
econometrics and PhD in economics at the London School of Economics.
He has been the recipient of many awards and honors, including the
inaugural T.W. Schulz Prize, awarded to him for "exceptional work by
an economist in early or mid-career."
INFORMATION ON SHOOTING DOWN ARMENIAN DRONE
29 July, 2015
STEPANAKERT, JULY 29. The Ministry of Defense of Azerbaijan
has once again become a source of misinformation announcing that
their forces shot down an Armenian unmanned aerial vehicle.
Armenpress reports that the Republic of Nagorno Karabakh Ministry
of Defence has made an announcement to deny the news circulating in
"The information spread by the Ministry of Defense of Azerbaijan on
shooting down an Armenian unmanned aerial vehicle today, does not
correspond to reality", is said in the announcement.
The Azerbaijani media spread photos of a shot unmanned aerial vehicle
writing that it was neutralized near Agdam.
MARRIAGES IN ARMENIA DECLINE BY 10 PERCENT IN
YEREVAN, July 31. / ARKA /. During the first half of 2015 some 8,582
marriages were registered in Armenia, according to Karine Kuyumjyan,
head of Census and Demography Department at the National Statistical
Speaking at a news conference today she said the figure was down 10.3%
from the same time span of 2014, when 9,563 marriages were registered.
According to her, the number of granted divorces during the reporting
period decreased by 23% to 1900, down from 2,469 in the first-half
2014. She said the least number of divorces were reported by Tavush
and Gegharkunik regions.
In 2014 a total of 18,912 marriages were registered in the country,
which was 3% more than in the previous year (18,363). -0-
CONSUMER CONFIDENCE INDEX IN ARMENIA FALLS TO 41.2
YEREVAN, July 29. The consumer confidence index in Armenia slid
0.2 percentage points in the second quarter of this year, compared
with the previous quarter, to 41.2, the press office of the Central
Bank of Armenia reports.
The decline was due to the 0.8 percent decrease of the index of future
conditions to 49.6. Only two components of the future conditions
went down - the index showing households' large procurement outlooks
in the third quarter stood at 54.2 after slipping 1%, and the index
showing income change outlooks fell 1.5% to 42.2.
According to the central bank, the index reflecting households
employment outlooks rose 0.3% to 52.5.
The index of current conditions went 0.6 percentage points up to 32.9,
the index assessing the fact of large procurements in the second
quarter rose 1.1% to 52.4 and actual income changes in the second
quarter, compared with the first quarter, rose 1.2% to 32.1.
Households' assessment of economic things in general dropped 0.8%
The Consumer Confidence Index (CCI) is an indicator designed to measure
consumer confidence, which is defined as the degree of optimism on
the state of the economy that consumers are expressing through their
activities of savings and spending.
Since early 2005 the Central Bank of Armenia has been conducting
quarterly surveys of non-financial, financial institutions and
households to assess changes in current economic conditions compared
to the previous period, to assess the economic expectations of the
subjects under study and based on survey data to calculate and publish
composite economic indexes.
The surveys are conducted over the Internet, telephone, letter and
fax. Based on the survey results indices of business environment,
economic activity and consumer confidence are calculated on a 100-point
scale. The score above 50 shows a high activity and below 50 a low
activity, and 50 a steady-state condition.
AZERBAIJAN AMONG SIX 'WORST NEIGHBORS' IN WORLD
Azerbaijan is one of the six states in the world with the worst
relations with neighboring countries, according to the Global Peace
Index 2015 compiled by the Institute for economics and peace.
The other five countries topping the 'worst neighbors' list in the
Index are Syria, Lebanon, North Korea, Ukraine and Russia.
As for the accessibility of small arms and light weapons, Azerbaijan
got 4 scores out of 5 ('5' is the worst indicator in the scale). In
total, the country ranks 132 out of 162 with 4 points.
Armenia got 3 points. It is in the 91st position in the Index.
ARMENIAN PRIME MINISTER DECLARES "WAR ON
July 28, 2015
Today, in Yerevan, Armenian Prime Minister Hovik Abrahamyan presided
over the first ever meeting of a newly created anti-corruption council,
declaring war against the scourge that plagues Armenia.
Immediately after the council meeting, Abrahamyan met with Vartan
Sirmakes, chairman and co-owner of luxury watch brand Franck Muller.
According to a government communiquÃ©, the prime minister praised the
Swiss-Armenian businessman for his investments in Armenia designed
to spur economic development and job creation.
Another government press release one might say if not for the fact
that Hovik Abrahamyan's son Argam is a business partner of Sirmakes'.
Argam Abrahamyan (newly elected mayor of Artashat) owns 12% in the
Franck Muller Yerevan Watch Distribution company. Another 13% is
owned by local businessman and former politician Gagik Tsarukyan.
So this is how Prime Minister Abrahamyan intends to wage a war
It is evident from the report on 1000 biggest taxpayers released by
State Revenue Committee of Armenia that the more money monopolists
make, the less tax they pay, 'Haykakan Zhamanak' says.
For instance, Catherine Company that has a monopoly on banana import
paid taxes of 533 million drams in the first half of this year compared
with 849 million drams in the same period of 2014.
Aleks Grig Company having a monopoly on import of granulated sugar and
many other goods paid taxes of 8.6 billion drams in the first half of
this year compared with 9.6 billion drams in the same months of 2014.
"International prices of abovementioned goods fell sharply compared
with last year, while domestic prices went up allowing these companies
to increase their profits,' the paper writes reminding its readers
that Catherine Company is linked with the name of Mihran Poghsoyan,
chief of Judicial Acts Compulsory Enforcement Service, and Aleks Grig
is linked with MP Samvel Aleksanyan.
SPECIALISTS FROM ARMENIA AND DIASPORA - TO SEEK
29 July, 2015
YEREVAN, JULY 29. The Armenian Genocide was a major blow
to the Armenian language. The latter was detached from the Homeland,
spread around the world, became eradicated losing many dialects. With
these words the Minister of Diaspora of Armenia - Hranush Hakobyan
-opened the conference on "Issues of Convergence of Western Armenian
and Eastern Armenian" on July 29.
Armenpress reports that Hranush Hakobyan said at the opening of
"Among the irrevocable losses we suffered because of the Armenian
Genocide are our language losses, we have a lot to do to overcome
these losses. Dozens of Western dialects were lost, standard Western
Armenian became deprived of its historical homeland and opportunity
for development. Western Armenian needs great support because it
carries out the important function of Armenian identity preservation
in the Diaspora".
Member of the National Academy of Sciences of Armenia Yuri Suvaryan
"Today the convergence of Western Armenian and Eastern Armenian is
very relevant as there are certain regulation issues to the enrichment
of the language and word groups". - The relevance of these issues
becomes more exacerbated as the geography of language use and the
language users themselves gradually reduce."
Renowned linguists, literary scholars and other specialists of
the field from Armenia and the Diaspora will make reports at the 2
day conference. According to the Minister of Diaspora a package of
proposals is expected to be formed at the end of the conference. Later
the proposals will be voted on and the most optimal variant will
UK PREMIERE OF A MIDDLE EASTERN MASTERPIECE AT
"GarinÃ©" is considered the masterwork of Dikran Tchoukhajian, the
first opera composer of the Ottoman Empire
LONDON--Arcola Theatre will stage the UK premiere of GarinÃ© by Dikran
Tchoukhajian, in a new adaptation by acclaimed French director Gerald
Papasian. The work, which fuses European and Eastern traditions
in Tchoukhajian's pioneering style, was a major influence in the
development Armenian opera. Since its composition in Turkish as
Leblebici Horhor Aga (Master Hor Hor the Chickpea Vendor) in 1875,
it has been adapted three times for film, including by Nazim Hikmet.
Now Gerald Papasian directs a semi-staging of his own adaptation.
Following performances at the Theatre of Saint-Maur, Paris and the
Theatre de L'Odeon, Marseille, GarinÃ© will play at Arcola for two
nights only on 14 and 15 August.
Tchouhadjian was known in his lifetime as 'the Armenian Verdi' and
'the Oriental Offenbach'.
Gerald Papasian said, "I want the world to hear his music. His name
being almost forgotten and he remains unknown to the westerners. Yet
when it's heard, people love it and are surprised that no one had
heard him before. That's why I am thrilled at the opportunity Mehmet
Ergen and the Arcola Theatre is giving me to introduce this music
to London theatregoers. It is also the best way to show that art is
indeed universal and the introduction of an Armenian Composer made
possible to British theatregoers by a theatre director who is of
Turkish background makes eminent sense to me."
On its 140th anniversary of "Master Hor Hor the Chickpea Vendor",
Papasian is dedicating this production to three courageous artists
who dared to break taboos of their era: Arousyak Papazian (1841-1907),
an Ottoman Armenian actress considered the first professional female
actor in the Ottoman Empire and thereby the entire Middle East;
Å~^azik KÃ¶yluyan (1854-1895), the first Armenian professional opera
singer and the first to play GarinÃ© in 1875; and Afife Jale (1902 -
1941), the first Muslim theatre actress in Turkey.
The production plays as part of Arcola's ninth Grimeborn opera
festival. Since it launched in 2007, the Grimeborn festival has
introduced new audiences to opera and given emerging artists the
platform to showcase and develop their talent.
Remarking on the 2015 line-up, which includes a dozen productions,
Arcola Artistic Director Mehmet Ergen said: "For the ninth year
running, the Grimeborn festival will showcase work from some of our
most exciting opera artists, in an accessible way and at an affordable
price. Classics by Puccini, Verdi and Strauss will be reimagined;
little-known masterpieces like Tchouhadjian's GarinÃ© will receive
rare productions; new and contemporary works will demonstrate the
ongoing vibrancy of opera.