Former Cranston RI Pastor Faces Embezzlement Charges

Turn to, RI
March 22 2004

Former Cranston Pastor Faces Embezzlement Charges

CRANSTON, R.I. — A Cranston man faces charges he embezzled money
from his church, News Channel 10 reported.

Megerdich Megerdichian served as pastor of the Holy Cross Armenian
Apostolic Church, in Troy, N.Y., for 16 years. The congregation
removed him in 1998.

Prosecutors said he allegedly stole money and kept it in a secret
bank account.

Megerdichian has pleaded guilty to evading taxes, authorities said.

BAKU: Aliyev wins “duel” with Armenian minister at EU conference

Azeri leader wins “duel” with Armenian minister at EU conference – TV

ANS TV, Baku
19 Mar 04

Presenter Qanira Atasova Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev has
addressed the international conference “Towards a Wider Europe: The
New Agenda” in Bratislava. The “Xabarci” programme has ANS’s special
correspondent Zaur Hasanov on the line. Hello, Zaur.

Hasanov on the phone Hello, Qanira.

Atasova Zaur, what were the key points in the president’s speech?

Hasanov President Ilham Aliyev mostly spoke about two issues. He first
touched on Azerbaijan’s economic achievements. He said that the
Azerbaijani economy has been successfully developing since 1996. On
average, our GDP grows by 10 per cent every year while inflation
accounts for two per cent. The share of the private sector in GDP has
been constantly growing and has reached 74 per cent now. Our budget is
socially-oriented and 70-80 per cent of budget funds are allocated for
social needs.

In his address, the president attached major importance to the
Nagornyy Karabakh issue. According to him, the unresolved status of
this problem poses a very serious threat to the whole of the Caucasus,
including to oil and gas projects being implemented by Azerbaijan and
Georgia. He said that there are 1m refugees in Azerbaijan, i.e. its
every eighth citizen is a refugee. Their life is full of suffering and
their patience has run out. Saying that their patience has run out,
Ilham Aliyev pointed out that the patience of the entire Azerbaijani
people has run out.

I would like to note that Ilham Aliyev appreciated the activity of the
OSCE and other mediators. But he also said that it was useless. Ilham
Aliyev spoke about the expectations that the EU would support a
settlement to this problem.

I want to say that Armenian Foreign Minister Vardan Oskanyan is
addressing the conference now. Speaking about the Nagornyy Karabakh
problem, he said that there was neither a winner nor a loser in this
conflict. Like Azerbaijan, Armenia regards itself as a defeated
party. According to him, if Azerbaijan says it has 1m refugees, we can
say that 400,000 Armenians lived on Azerbaijani territory before the
start of the war. If they are not refugees, who are they?

This was a very interesting picture. When Ilham Aliyev was speaking,
Oskanyan was shaking his head. When the latter was speaking, the
Azerbaijani president was laughing. Many people, in fact, regarded
Oskanyan’s arguments as ridiculous. For example, Oskanyan spoke about
the Nagornyy Karabakh Armenians’ right to self-determination because
they want to be near their friends, i.e. the Armenians. But the
Azerbaijani president said that it was impossible for one nation to
have two states. In this case, let the Armenians living in many
countries exercise their right to self-determination. He appealed to
the world community, saying that if the Armenians take this step in
many countries, what kind of trouble and crisis this step will
cause. So, this was a kind of duel, and I can say that we won this

Atasova Thank you, Zaur.

Photographer Children From Kashstakh Expose Their Works

A1 Plus | 16:54:25 | 18-03-2004 | Social |


Photo exhibition opened Thursday at Alexander Tamanyan Museum. Photographers
are children ranged from 9 to 15 who attend photographic studio in their
native village of Kashatakh.

The studio director Khachik Baghdasaryan said he is unhappy about the fact
that the children have no time for lessons because they are involved in
cattle-breeding business.

At the same time, he noted proudly the kids have their attitude toward the
photo art and own taste.

Franklin Institute to honor scientist snubbed for Nobel

Posted on Thu, Mar. 18, 2004
Franklin Institute to honor scientist snubbed for Nobel
By Faye Flam

Inquirer Staff Writer

Raymond Damadian, the scientist who was publicly miffed that he didn’t
win last year’s Nobel Prize, is a winner of one of the Franklin
Institute’s top awards, to be announced today.

Damadian, 67, a pioneer in medical imaging research, made waves in
October when he bought ads in three major newspapers to argue that he
should have won the 2003 Nobel Prize for physiology or medicine.

He is among the scientists and innovators to be honored with the
prestigious Franklin awards, bestowed over the last 180 years on
scientists, engineers and inventors including such luminaries as
Albert Einstein, Marie Curie, Thomas Edison, and Alexander Graham

In addition to five Franklin Medals, the institute gives out two
special honors called the Bower Awards, one for business and one for
science. The awards are tied to a different theme each year – for
2004, it’s brain research.

Damadian won the Bower Award for business leadership. It carries no
monetary prize. He said he was honored to be recognized by the
Franklin Institute and has put the Nobel disappointment behind him.

The Bower Award for science, which includes a cash prize of $250,000,
will go to Seymour Benzer of the California Institute of Technology,
who laid the foundation for today’s understanding of the way genes
influence behavior. Benzer’s work was chronicled in the Pulitzer
Prize-winning book Love, Time, Memory by Bucks County author Jonathan

Benzer discovered he could use fruit flies to study how the brain
works. Small and simple as they appear, fruit flies can record
memories and learn. They have elaborate courting behavior and keep
time with internal clocks. And fruit flies multiply fast, so multiple
generations can be tracked in just a few weeks. Benzer bred flies with
abnormalities in their behavior and then isolated the genetic mistakes

This year’s other winners include physicist Robert Meyer of Brandeis
University; chemist Harry Gray of Caltech; computer scientist Richard
Karp of the University of California, Berkeley; electrical engineer
Robert Newnham of Pennsylvania State University; and mechanical
engineer Roger Bacon of Amoco and Union Carbide.

All of the medalists will be honored at a ceremony at the Franklin
Institute on April 29.

Damadian was recognized for his contribution to the medical use of
magnetic resonance imaging, which has proved extremely valuable for
detecting tumors, damaged ligaments and cartilage, and other problems
with the body’s soft tissue. It also has opened up new frontiers in
brain research.

During the 1950s, scientists were using what was to become MRI as an
analytical tool for chemistry. The technique, then called nuclear
magnetic resonance, relied on the way the nuclei of different atoms
became excited when subjected to a magnetic field and pulses of radio
waves. The time these different nuclei took to “relax” back to their
normal states could be used to distinguish one type of atom from

In the late 1960s, Damadian thought it might be possible to use
nuclear magnetic resonance to distinguish cancerous tumors from
healthy tissue. He tested his idea and eventually secured a patent on
the technology.

Damadian, a native of Forest Hills, N.Y., started a company named
Fonar, which has installed 300 MRI machines around the world. He and
his company have prospered; in one recent patent dispute against
General Electric, he won $127.8 million.

But there was more to the MRI story. During the 1970s, two other
researchers, Paul Lauterbur and Peter Mansfield, independently
realized that if they varied the magnetic field in space, the
molecules in different parts of an internal organ – say, the brain –
would respond differently, depending on their positions. These
scientists further developed this concept as a way to build up a 3-D
picture of the brain or other soft tissue in the body, which is the
main use of MRI today.

In 2003, Lauterbur and Mansfield won the Nobel Prize in physiology or
medicine for developing MRI as a technique for 3-D images. Some who
work in the field have said publicly they agree with the Nobel
committee’s decision; others side with Damadian, who has suggested he
might have been overlooked because of his outspoken view that God
created human beings along with the rest of the universe 6,000 years
ago, a notion that offends many scientists.

Damadian spent hundreds of thousands of dollars to take out full-page
ads in the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and the Washington
Post under the headline: “The Shameful Wrong that Should be Righted.”
He argued that if he had never been born, there would be no MRI today.

Contact staff writer Faye Flam at 215-854-4977 or [email protected]

Armenian nationalists condemn British envoy’s genocide remarks

Armenian nationalists condemn British envoy’s genocide remarks

Noyan Tapan news agency
16 Mar 04


The faction of the Armenian Revolutionary Federation – Dashnaktsutyun
[ARFD] in the National Assembly has accused the British ambassador to
Armenia, Thorda Abbott-Watt, of violating the norms of diplomatic
etiquette. Speaking at a session of the National Assembly on 16 March,
the leader of the faction, Levon Lazarian, stated that according to
these norms, a diplomat has to respect the history and principles of
the people and the country in which he works. Mrs Abbott-Watt noted at
a press conference back in January that she did not think that the
recognition of the 1915 events as genocide “will be useful”.

“How can one explain the fact that she dares to make such remarks at a
time when one of the priorities of Armenia’s foreign policy is the
recognition of the Armenian genocide,” the MP noted.

Levon Lazarian recalled that in response to a query from the
editor-in-chief of the US newspaper California Courier, Harut
Sassounian, the ambassador answered that “the British government had
condemned the massacres, but the evidence was not sufficiently
unequivocal that what took place could be categorized as
genocide”. The head of the faction advised the ambassador to read a
letter from the British queen to Sultan Abdul Hamid to see for herself
that “the evidence was sufficiently unequivocal that what took place
could be categorized as genocide”.

“On what system of values does the ambassador of a country playing a
key role in European politics rely, considering the recognition of the
extermination of 1.5m people and the deportation of a whole nation
from its motherland to be not very useful? What moral principles does
the ambassador see in her remark about usefulness on the threshold of
the 21st century? And most importantly, how does she see her future
activities in the Republic of Armenia?” Levon Lazarian said.

He said that these questions will be also be addressed to the Armenian
Foreign Ministry, demanding that a special note be sent in connection
with the remarks and behaviour of Thorda Abbott-Watt.

YMCA in Artsakh

Azat Artsakh – Republic of Nagorno Karabakh (NKR)


By the invitation of the public organization “Youth Center” the
delegation of the Young Men’s Christian Association arrived in
Stepanakert on March 8. The delegation was headed by the vice
secretary chief of the European alliance of YMCA Mihal Shumanchek.
Among the delegates were the secretary on development of the YMCA
European alliance Vardan Hambardzoumian, the chairman of the Armenian
national union of YMCA Artur Ghazarian, secretary of programs Marat
Mouradian, director of the office Ghazaros Bardakchian. According to
the chairman of the organization “Youth Center” Lousine Grigorian, in
2002-2003 several members of the center visited Armenia, Georgia and
Russia and, took part in the training held by the Council of Europe
on democracy and conflicts where they came in touch with members of
the YMCA. In autumn several YMCA members visited Stepanakert and once
again met with the members of the Youth Center. On March 8 of the
current year the YMCA delegation arrived in Stepanakert to assist to
the young people of Artsakh in establishing the organization here.
The first YMCA in Armenia was established in 1908, in the city Adana
in West Armenia, the members of which fell victim to the genocide
organized by Turkey. In Armenia the movement was revived in 1992 due
to a group of young people in cooperation with the organization Care
International. In 1994 it was registered as a public organization.
According to Lusineh Grigorian, probably by the end of 2004 the
Artsakh organization of YMCA will start operating in Artsakh.