Armenia, Belarus willing to deepen ties

Igor Nazaruk, the newly-appointed Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of Belarus, today handed over his credentials to President Serzh Sargsyan, President’s Press Office reported.

The RA President congratulated the Ambassador on the occasion of taking up his functions and wished every success in fulfilling his diplomatic duties.

Serzh Sargsyan underlined that the bilateral relations between Armenia and Belarus were developing in all dimensions, including the high level political dialogue and partnership on the level of executive and legislative authorities. The President expressed hope that the newly-appointed ambassador would make efforts to fully realize the existing potential of the cooperation between the two countries in the economic sphere, considering that the membership in the EAEU opens up new perspectives for mutually beneficial partnership.

According to the interlocutors, the participation of Armenia in the Eurasian integration processes would enrich the agenda of Armenian-Belarusian cooperation, elevating them to a qualitatively new level of development.

The RA President and the Belarusian ambassador agreed that active political dialogue, boost of the economic and trade relations, partnership in the humanitarian and other fields were in line with the long-term interests of the two countries and the spirit of the friendly relations between Armenian and Belarusian people.

At the meeting Ambassador Igor Nazaruk assured that during his tenure he would make the utmost efforts towards the strengthening and development of Armenian-Belarusian partnership based on the historical friendly relations.

Homeless Gyumri families provided with apartments

In recent months, the Hayastan All-Armenian Fund has provided apartments to many homeless families in Gyumri.

Through a program launched in 2014, the fund has purchased 17 apartments, and already 12 families have moved into their new homes. The apartments are completely renovated and furnished, and feature all modern amenities, including appliances.

The apartments were acquired with proceeds from a special Telethon that was held jointly by the fund and the ARTN Shant television station on September 7, 2014. Contributions toward the purchase of the apartments were made by benefactors Antranik Baghdassarian, Vahe Karapetian, Haro Jordan, Haig Keledjian, and Samvel Balasanyan, as well as ARTN Shant Television. Through the initiative of Gilbert Moumdjian, chairman of the fund’s German affiliate, the German-Armenian community also made contributions, which were used to provide homes to the families of Anna Sargsyan and Ruzanna Yeghogyan, both single mothers.

All of the program’s beneficiaries once lived in ramshackle huts, metal containers, or rooms in rundown, structurally unsound dormitories, often without access to gas, water, or electricity service, and grappling with terribly unsanitary conditions. Today many of these families have become owners of clean, fully equipped apartments, where they can raise their children with dignity and in comfortable surroundings.

“I’ve always done all I could so that my children wouldn’t go hungry, but couldn’t even dream of having a home one day,” Ruzanna Yeghogyan said tearfully.

On June 28, 2015, a second special Telethon was held by the Hayastan All-Armenian Fund and ARTN Shant Television, with proceeds to be used for the purchase of additional apartments in the coming months. “Providing homeless Gyumri families with apartments will be an ongoing program,” said Ara Vardanyan, executive director of the Hayastan All-Armenian Fund.

Garo Paylan to file complaint against Grey Wolves leader for anti-Armenian hate speech

A number of examples of hate speech have turned into hate crimes in Turkey in recent weeks and no prosecutor has so far taken the initiative regarding these statements and crimes, Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) Istanbul deputy Garo Paylan has stated, the reports.

“Each hate speech crime going unpunished pushes people targeted by hate speech to the ‘dove’s skittishness’ and lays the ground for hate crimes,” Paylan said  at a press conference at parliament.

“Dove’s skittishness” is a phrase used by slain Armenian journalist Hrant Dink in his final article in his bilingual Agos newspaper, expressing his feeling of being terrorized just days before he was killed on Jan. 19, 2007.

“The recent discourses aiming to create hatred and enmity against the Armenian community in Kars and Ankara and LGBTI individuals in Ankara constitute a clear and imminent threat against the right to life,” Paylan said, also referring to recent attacks against Korean tourists in Istanbul, mistaken by Turkish ultranationalists for Chinese people.

“It is obvious that ‘poisoned’ phrases and discourses have prepared the ground for murders in Turkey’s recent history,” Paylan said, listing a number of incidents including the killing of Father Andrea Santoro in February 2006 as he prayed in his church in the Black Sea city of Trabzon, as well as the killings at the Zirve Publishing House in Malatya in April 2007, when three missionaries were tied up and tortured before having their throats slit.

Paylan also referred to four particular recent incidents, including when the head of the local branch of the far-right “Idealist Hearths” (Ülkü Ocakları), which has close links with the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), that his group would “hunt for Armenians” in Kars after world-renowned pianist at the nearby ruins of Ani, on the border with Armenia.

“What should we do now? Should we start a hunt for Armenians in the streets of Kars?” Adıgüzel asked reporters on June 24, three days after the Hamasyan concert.

Paylan said he would file a complaint about Adıgüzel later, while calling on prosecutors to take action against other hate speech.

Meanwhile, on July 2, Adana Mayor Hüseyin Sözlü of the MHP targeted Armenian members of parliament elected in the June 7 election by referring to late Turkish-Armenian brothel owner Matild Manukyan.

“Manukyan’s nephew living in Adana must be happy. The children of their three aunts have also entered parliament from the AKP [Justice and Development Party], the CHP [Republican People’s Party] and the HDP.

No matter how proud they are now, it will never be enough,” Sözlü wrote on his Twitter account.

Along with the HDP’s Paylan, two other Turkish citizens of Armenian origin entered parliament as MPs in the June 7 general election: AKP deputy Markar Esayan and CHP deputy Selina Doğan.

Greece misses IMF payment deadline

Greece has missed the deadline for a €1.5bn (£1.1bn) payment to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), hours after eurozone ministers refused to extend its bailout, the BBC reports.

But the ministers say they will discuss a last-minute request from Greece for a new two-year bailout on Wednesday.

Greece is the first advanced country to fail to repay a loan to the IMF and is now formally in arrears.

There are fears that this could put Greece at risk of leaving the euro.

The IMF confirmed that Greece had failed to make the payment, shortly after 22:00 GMT on Tuesday.

“We have informed our Executive Board that Greece is now in arrears and can only receive IMF financing once the arrears are cleared,” said IMF spokesman Gerry Rice.

Former Russian PM Yevgeny Primakov dies at 85

Yevgeny Primakov, a former Russian prime minister, foreign minister and spymaster, has died, the Kremlin said on Friday, Reuters reports.

Primakov, whose political career began in the Soviet era, was 85.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters that President Vladimir Putin had been informed of Primakov’s death and was deeply saddened, but gave no other details.

Born in the Ukrainian capital of Kiev in 1929, Primakov was brought up in Tbilisi, the capital of Georgia.

After graduating as an Arabic scholar from the Moscow Institute for Oriental Studies in 1953, he went on to be a correspondent for state radio and television, including postings in the Middle East in the 1960s.

He entered the Soviet parliament in 1988 and chaired the chamber from 1989-90. He then played a prominent role in failed efforts to avert the 1991 Gulf War when Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev sent him to negotiate in Baghdad with Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein.

After the collapse of the Soviet Union, Primakov was made head of the Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR) and was appointed foreign minister in January 1996. Primakov was seen abroad as a hawk but won respect from peers such as U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright during negotiations on NATO enlargement.

President Boris Yeltsin appointed Primakov prime minister in September 1998, seeing him as a compromise figure to help ease political tensions after a market crash and effective default.

Primakov was credited with restoring a degree of stability after years of chaos but liberals accused him of freezing economic reforms. He was sacked in May 1999.

Out of government, Primakov aligned himself with a left-leaning political bloc and indicated he would run in the 2000 presidential election, but dropped out when Kremlin powerbrokers united around the bid of Vladimir Putin.

In a 2003 reprise of his mission to Iraq before the first Gulf War, Primakov met Saddam Hussein at Putin’s request for last-ditch peace talks. Three days later, the U.S.-led offensive got under way.

In later life, Primakov headed a business lobby group and was respected as one of Russia’s leading elder statesmen.

President Sargsyan offers condolences over demise of Catholicos Patriarch Nerses Bedros XIX

President Serzh Sargsyan today sent a letter of condolence on the demise of Catholicos Patriarch Nerses Bedros XIX of Cilicia.

“It was with deep sorrow that I learned of the passing away of Catholicos Patriarch Nerses Bedros XIX of Cilicia.

Being an energetic and prestigious clergyman, for many years he played a major role in the preservation of national identity, the reinvigoration of spiritual and cultural life, as well as in developing and deepening close ties between the motherland and the diaspora.

As a member of the State Commission on Coordination of the Events for the Commemoration of the 100th Anniversary of the Armenian Genocide, the catholicos patriarch brought his valuable and effective input into the commission’s activities.

I express my deepest sympathy for the demise of the eminent spiritual leader and the merited Armenian,” reads the RA president’s condolence letter.

Newly discovered galaxy named after Cristiano Ronaldo

In a new report accepted for publication in The Astrophysical Journal, astronomers with the announce the discovery of a previously undocumented galaxy, reports. 

The galaxy, argued to be the absolute brightest thus far discovered in the young cosmos, was named CR7. If this moniker sounds familiar, this is because it is also the nickname of Cristiano Ronaldo.

The Portuguese footballer now shares his name with one of the first galaxies to have come into being in the aftermath of the Big Bang. Yet another reason to be jealous of him.

“The nickname was inspired by the great Portuguese footballer, Cristiano Ronaldo, who is known as CR7,” the European Southern Observatory astronomers who found the galaxy write in their report.

Thus, CR7 stands for COSMOS Redshift 7, with COSMOS being the name of a patch of sky in the constellation Sextans and redshift being a measure of a galaxy’s distance to our planet and its age.

“The higher the redshift, the more distant the galaxy and the further back in the history of the Universe it is seen,” scientists explain. With a redshift of 7, CR7 is one of the oldest galaxies.

Mount Kinabalu naked photo accused jailed

Four tourists who posed naked on a mountain in Malaysia have been given jail terms and fined, the BBC reports.

Briton Eleanor Hawkins, Canadians Lindsey and Danielle Peterson, and Dutchman Dylan Snel admitted causing a public disturbance.

The group was blamed for a magnitude 5.9 earthquake after stripping on Mount Kinabalu, which is considered sacred.

They were jailed for three days, but their sentences were back-dated to reflect time already served.

A judge at Kota Kinabalu Magistrates’ Court said the four had shown remorse and ordered the jail terms to run from 9 June, meaning the group is free to leave.

He also fined each defendant 5,000 Malaysian ringgit ($1,331).

National minorities of Armenia urge world leaders to recognize the Armenian Genocide

 

 

 

The national minorities residing in Armenia have decided to unite efforts to call the attention of the world to the events that happened 100 years ago. They have prepared a message to the leaders of the UN member states.

Representatives of the 11 national minorities of Armenia are preparing to address an official letter to the heads of the UN member states. Strongly condemning the genocide of Armenians, Greeks and Assyrians in the Ottoman Empire in 1915, the minorities demand from the progressive world to “establish justice and restore the rights of the national minorities residing in Turkey.”

“As descendants of the peoples that have seen consequences of the genocide, and are aware of the bitter results of denialism, we call on the Ambassadors of the UN member states to condemn the crime of genocide committed in the Ottoman Empire 100 years ago and anticipate an adequate assessment of this heaviest crime against humanity,” the letter reads.

Representative of the Armenian Assyrian community Razmik Khostoyev said “the material demands from Turkey are between the lines.” He believes claiming lands from Turkey is still untimely.

Siaband Bakoyan, representative of the Yezidi community said “the failure to condemn results in new crimes.  “In this particular case I mean the mass killing of Yezidis in the Middle East starting from August 2, 2014,” he said.

Adelina Livshic from the Jewish community confesses that “many in Israel accept there was genocide, but one should remember about geopolitics.”