Friday, 22 August 2008

Armenian New
18:38 15/08/2008

Armenian sportsman heavy athlete Tigran V. Martirosyan presenting 85kg
rate has been awarded another bronze medal. This is the fifth bronze
medal Armenian sportsmen bring to Armenia from the Olympic Games.

Chinese heavy athlete received golden medal and Ukrainian Andrey
Ribakov received silver medal.

Remind that Gevorg Davtyan, Tigran G Martirosyan, Roman Amoyan, Yuri
Patrikeev are the sportsmen to be awarded bronze medals.
Swedish wrestler stripped of bronze medal

BEIJING (AP)'A Swedish wrestler was disqualified and stripped of his
bronze medal Saturday for dropping the prize in protest after a
disputed loss at the Beijing Olympics.

Ara Abrahamian was punished by the International Olympic Committee for
violating the spirit of fair play during the medal ceremony, becoming
the fourth athlete kicked out of the games and bringing the number of
medals removed to three.

Abrahamian became incensed when a disputed penalty call decided his
semifinal match against Italian Andrea Minguzzi, who went on to win
the gold medal in the Greco-Roman 84-kilogram division Thursday.

During the medal ceremony, the Armenian-born Abrahamian - who also
lost a 2004 Olympic semifinal match on a disputed call - took the
bronze from around his neck and, angrily, dropped it on the mat as he
walked away. He did not take part in the rest of the medal ceremony.

The IOC executive board ruled Abrahamian's actions amounted to a
political demonstration and a mark of disrespect to his fellow

`It was felt that his behavior on the medal podium and during the
medal ceremony was not appropriate,' IOC spokeswoman Giselle Davies
said. `His behavior was not in the Olympic spirit of respect for his
fellow athletes. Whatever grievances you may have, this was not the
way to go about it.'

The IOC said no athlete will receive Abrahamian's medal because his
disqualification was not connected to the competition itself, meaning
there will be only one bronze medalist, Nazmi Avluca of
Turkey. Normally, there are two at each weight class.

The 28-year-old Abrahamian had to be restrained from going after
matside officials following his loss to Minguzzi. He stormed away from
the area where interviews are conducted and slammed a door to the
dressing rooms so hard it shook an entire wall. He weighed whether to
skip the bronze medal match, only to have friends talk him into

The IOC said Abrahamian violated two rules of the Olympic charter, one
which bans any sort of demonstrations and another which demands
respect for all Olympic athletes.

`The awards ceremony is a highly symbolic ritual, acknowledged as such
by all athletes and other participants,' the IOC said. `Any disruption
by any athlete, in particular a medalist, is in itself an insult to
the other athletes and to the Olympic Movement. It is also contrary to
the spirit of fair play.'

Abrahamian never expressed regret or offered an apology, the IOC
said. The international wrestling federation was asked to consider any
further sanctions against the two-time world champion.

His medal was the third stripped at the Beijing Games so far.

On Friday, North Korean shooter Kim Jong Su had his silver and bronze
medals taken away after failing a doping test. Also expelled for
doping violations have been Spanish cyclist Maria Isabel Moreno and
Vietnamese gymnast Thi Ngan Thuong Do.

Abrahamian's case is not the first of its kind.

A weightlifter at the 1992 Barcelona Olympics was stripped of his
bronze medal after rejecting it during the medal ceremony. Ibragim
Samadov, competing in the light heavyweight category for the Unified
Team of the former Soviet Union, was upset with his performance and
refused to have the medal placed around his neck and only accepted it
in his hand. He then put it down and walked off.

Samadov later apologized, but the IOC decision upheld its decision to
disqualify him. He later was banned for life by the sport's governing

Arthur Ayvazyan Recieves Gold Olympic medal
12:56 15/08/2008

Armenian sportsman Arthur Ayvazyan, representing Ukraine, won gold
Olympic medal in shooting. He was the well-aimed at shooting from 50
metres distance.

Ayvazyan had 702.1 points in the final and became Olympic
Champion. Metew Ammons, American sportsman, (701.7 points) was in
the second place and a sportsman from Australia Warren Potten (700.5
points) won bronze medal.

Today's Zaman
16 August 2008, Saturday

In a fresh overture to Ankara, Armenia decided on Thursday to
unilaterally suspend its visa regime with Turkey to facilitate the
arrival of Turkish fans for the upcoming first-ever match between
the two countries' national football teams, the Armenian media have

The Armenian government stated that Turkish citizens traveling to
Armenia from Sept. 1-6 will not be required to obtain entry visas,
the online news portal said in a report posted on
Thursday. "The decision was taken to enable citizens of the Turkish
Republic to attend the Sept. 6 game between the football teams of
Armenia and Turkey to be played in Yerevan," the article quoted a
government statement as saying.

Approached by Today's Zaman yesterday, diplomatic sources in
Ankara said they haven't yet received an official notification
concerning the visa decision; yet, the same sources also said such
an initiative by Yerevan should be considered normal procedure. "For
sporting events, the parties involved often provide such temporary
implementations. If this decision by Yerevan was actually made,
this is not an extraordinary action that hasn't been seen before,"
the diplomatic sources, speaking under condition of anonymity, told
Today's Zaman.

Armenian President Serzh Sarksyan invited President Abdullah Gul to a
World Cup qualifying match between the national soccer teams of the
two countries in Yerevan on Sept. 6, calling for dialogue to help
normalize ties and saying this would be mutually beneficial.

Both diplomats at the Foreign Ministry and officials close to the
Cankaya presidential palace are tight-lipped on whether Gul will
accept Sarksyan's invitation, which has led the international media to
define the current state of affairs as "soccer diplomacy." Analysts
say Ankara will probably announce its decision on the matter at
the latest possible moment while continuing its silence as long as
possible. Sources close to Gul's office say, however, that "Cankaya
palace's assessment of the invitation is positive." Ankara Today's

Reuters South Africa, South Africa
Georgian bridge attack echoes beyond borders
Sat 16 Aug 2008, 19:53 GMT
By Margarita Antidze

KASPI, Georgia (Reuters) - The attack on Georgia's East-West railway
lifeline was over in minutes, a small group of men in battle fatigues
laying explosives on a key bridge before fleeing into the hills to
detonate them.

Residents of the town of Kaspi, in their accounts of the action, said
the fighters were Russians, a charge the Russian General Staff
dismissed as Georgian propaganda.

Whoever was responsible for the action against such an important
economic target after nine days of conflict, its consequences will be
felt beyond Georgian borders in the volatile Caucasus region.

Georgia's European Integration Minister, Georgy Baramidze, said the
bombing of the bridge was "an economic disaster".

"This is huge damage, not just for Georgia, but for Armenia and
Azerbaijan and Central Asian countries, which are shipping goods and
oil by Georgian railway."

"The Russians, these barbarians, want to destroy our country
economically," he told reporters in emotional language characteristic
of the conflict around the Russian-backed separatist regions of South
Ossetia and Abkhazia.

The railways in Georgia are a potent symbol of Russia's imperial
expansion and the consolidation of its power there in the 19th
century. They enabled Russia to strengthen its hold on the region
which it maintained until the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991.

Irregular pro-Russian militia groups based in South Ossetia have been
active on Georgian territory throughout the conflict. Foreign and
Georgian civilians have accused them of hijacking cars and
looting. Russia has said it will bring them to heel.


A 50-metre span across the river at Kaspi had collapsed completely,
pitching slabs of rubble into the water and around its banks. Severed
lengths of rail pointing up at the sky, power cables hung from their

"There was a jeep and two Ural trucks," one resident told Georgian
television, referring to the Russian-made heavy vehicles. "They took a
huge sack and put it on the bridge, then walked up the hill and there
was an explosion."

He said the blast damaged the roof of his house and smashed windows
far around.

Within hours Georgian trucks arrived by road and a maintenance train
by rail. Workers immediately began repairs.

The incident occurred hours before Russian President Dmitry Medvedev
signed a French-mediated ceasefire agreement already accepted by

The railway line runs from Tbilisi, through the now Russian-occupied
town of Gori, before splitting in three and running to the Black Sea
ports of Poti and Batumi and southwest down to just short of the
Turkish border.

On Friday, a Russian military convoy advanced to the Kaspi region from
Gori near breakaway South Ossetia, the deepest incursion into Georgia
proper in the confrontation.

Russia drove Georgian forces from South Ossetia last week, in a
massive counter-offensive after Tbilisi tried to retake the region
from pro-Moscow separatists.

Hürriyet, Turkey
Saturday, August 16, 2008 16:24
Turkey-sponsored Caucasian union to start as an economic partnership

Turkey has mapped out the details of the proposed Caucasian union and
plans to launch the association on the basis of the economic

Turkey had proposed the formation of a Caucasian union after the
clashes erupted between Georgia and Russia. Turkey, as a neighboring
country of the region, has close interest in the Caucasus in its
efforts to ensure energy supply safety.

Ankara had stepped in to resolve the conflict with Prime Minister
Tayyip Erdogan and Foreign Minister Ali Babacan had visited both
Moscow and Tbilisi.

Turkey's proposal to establish a Caucasian union was widely
accepted. The union, called by Turkey as "Caucasus Stability and
Partnership Platform", is envisaged to bring Turkey, Armenia, Georgia,
Azerbaijan and Russia under the same roof.

Sources from Turkish foreign ministry told local media the union is
planned to have common security and executive bodies, and would be
similar to the neighboring countries of Iraq but in a more complex
structure. The works on the unions would start next week.


Although the idea was widely accepted, there is a tough task ahead of
Turkey as almost every country, who would take part in this
establishment, has bilateral conflicts.

Turkey hopes this union would contribute to the strengthening of the
relations between Ankara and Yerevan as well as the resolution of the
Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.

TURKEY-ARMENIA: Turkey is among the first countries that recognized
Armenia when it declared its independency. However there is no
diplomatic relations between two countries, as Armenia presses the
international community to admit the so-called "genocide" claims
instead of accepting Turkey's call to investigate the allegations, and
its invasion of 20 percent of Azerbaijani territory despite
U.N. Security Council resolutions on the issue.

AZERBAIJAN-ARMENIA: Nagorno Karabakh is a region of Azerbaijan which
has been under the occupation of Armenia since the war broke out
between the two states in 1988-1994. In 1988 when the disputed
region's Armenian-dominated governing council voted to secede from
Azerbijan, it set of a series of bloody clashes both between and
within the two neighboring countries. Some 10 percent of the Azeri
population was displaced.

GEORGIA-RUSSIA: Russia was deeply involved at many levels in the
conflicts in Georgia's breakaway regions South Ossetia and Abkhazia,
and in 1993 Ajarian leaders also declared Russia the protector of
their national interests. Clashes erupted between two countries last
week after Georgian forces held a military operation in the South


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