Yerevan named most expensive city in South Caucasus

Panorama, Armenia
Jan 17 2020

Yerevan, the capital of Armenia, appears to be the most expensive city in the South Caucasus, according to Cost of Living Index by City 2020 released by Numbeo, a global leader in comparing cost of living worldwide.

In total, the ranking list includes 440 cities. According to Numbeo, the most expensive city at the beginning of 2020 is Zurich, followed by Basel and Lausanne.

Switzerland’s Geneva and Bern have been named the world’s fourth and fifth most expensive countries.

Yerevan ranks 380th in the world with an overall cost of living index of 33.04, making it the most expensive city in the South Caucasus, since Baku, Azerbaijan’s capital, and Tbilisi, the capital of Georgia, come 390th and 404th on the list, respectively.

The top ten most expensive cities in the world also features Stavanger, Oslo, Trondheim (Norway), Reykjavik (Iceland) and Bergen, Norway.

Ranking 251st, Moscow is Russia's most expensive city.

While working out the list, Numbeo takes into account the cost of living, rent, groceries and other factors. 

EU follows closely developments over Armenia’s Constitutional Court: ambassador

Aysor, Armenia
Jan 17 2020

The European Union is following closely the developments over Armenia’s Constitutional Court, head of EU delegation to Armenia, ambassador Andrea Viktorin told the reporters today, referring to the situation over the CC and whether they see political elements in criminal persecution of CC Chairman Hrayr Tovmasyan.

“Like other international institutions, the EU too is closely following the developments, but we do not comment on the ongoing cases,” the ambassador said.

Analyst: Armenia needs to raise issue of Armenian refugees from Azerbaijan during negotiations, Armenia
Jan 17 2020

19:08, 17.01.2020

Armenia has to work on raising the issue of the involvement of Armenian refugees from Azerbaijan during the negotiations. This is what author of the “Ordinary Genocide” project Marina Grigoryan told reporters today.

She noted that Azerbaijan has been talking about the issue of the so-called ‘Azerbaijani refugees from Karabakh’ right from the start of the negotiations, yet the Armenian authorities aren’t trying to raise the real issues of Armenian refugees during the negotiations. “There are many documented testimonies of Baku-Armenians that show that they had assets in Azerbaijan and are ready to address international organizations, but Armenia needs to work in an organized and coordinated manner as a state,” the analyst stated, adding that the authorities and non-governmental organizations need to combine efforts in regard to the issue related to the Armenian pogroms in Azerbaijan.

MP: To declare war on the media is simply absurd

Arminfo, Armenia
Jan 17 2020

ArmInfo. "Recently, certain messages have been visible on which I conclude that certain problems may arise with regard to the media," MP from Prosperous Armenia  faction Naira Zohrabyan said in a conversation with reporters on  January 17.

According to the MP, there was pressure on the media under the  previous authorities. "As a former journalist, I can say that under  the previous regime there was a lot of pressure on the "Haykakan  Zhamanak " newspaper, which I worked for, and on its chief editor,  who is now the Prime Minister of Armenia. 

Almost every week, we, the newspaper's staff, found out that another  lawsuit has been submitted to us in court, that is, this particular  newspaper was subjected to the greatest pressure from the former  authorities.  However, what did they achieve? In fact, nothing, "the  MP emphasized.

According to Zohrabyan, no government can interfere with the work of  the media. "To declare war on the media is simply absurd. It would be  absurd if the government decides that it can declare war on a  publication that does not disseminate information that is pleasant to  them. Given that there was a war before against Nikol Pashinyan,  lawsuits were repeatedly submitted, but and achieved nothing, I hope  that the current government will not repeat the mistakes of the  previous authorities, "the MP concluded.

To recall, on the eve of the government meeting, Prime Minister Nikol  Pashinyan noted that many media in Armenia are controlled by the  families of former senior officials. The head of government called  for continued work to ensure transparency not only in government  circles or large companies, but also in public organizations and the  media. "The logos of at least two TV channels can be substituted with  the words "Corruption" or "Corruption Group" the head of government  said. He also stated the need to identify the real owners of the  media. 

Dozens of bullets and shells were found in the room where the body of the former head of the NSS was discovered

Arminfo, Armenia
Jan 17 2020

ArmInfo. In the room where the body of the former head of the NSS, Georgy Kutoyan, was found, dozens of bullets and cartridges were found. In addition, there are damage  on the walls. Artur Melikyan, deputy head of the RA Investigative  Committee, said this in an interview with reporters on January 17.

He also informed that at the scene of the incident award "Glock''  pistol was discovered received earlier by Kutoyan from the leadership  of Georgian Security Services. When asked if the found bullets and  shells apply for this gun, Melikyan noted that only a forensic  ballistic examination can determine that.

The forensic report will be received on January 18. Meanwhile,  Melikyan said that Kutoyan was gunshot wounded at his temple.

Law enforcement authorities conduct the necessary investigative  measures. In particular, video recordings are seized, the spouse and  father of the deceased are interrogated. It was the wife who  discovered the body upon returning home.

A criminal case was instituted under Article 110 of the RA Criminal  Code (Bringing to Suicide), however, Melikyan did not exclude the  possibility of proposing other versions. "It could be a murder or a  suicide- tuned one," he said, adding that the investigation would  answer this question.

It should be noted that on January 17 in Yerevan in one of the houses  at Paruyr Sevak Street  the body of the former head of the National  Security Service of the Republic of Armenia Gevorg Kutoyan was found  with traces of a gunshot wound.

To recall, Kutoyan held the post of head of the National Security  Service of the Republic of Armenia from 2016 to 2018. After Kutoyan  left the NSS, some documents disappeared, mainly related to the case  on March 1, 2008.

A journey through history on Armenian Street in Singapore

Panorama, Armenia
Jan 17 2020
Society 11:42 17/01/2020 World

An in-depth look at Singapore’s history reveals a history of civic and commercial involvement by Armenian merchants and entrepreneurs who helped to develop this Asian hub in earlier times. This history is memorialized in part by the existence of Armenian Street in the central district of Singapore, Gus Gomez says in an article published by Asbarez on Thursday.

Armenian Street in Singapore first opened as Armenian Church Street sometime after the construction of the Armenian Apostolic Church of St. Gregory the Illuminator. The street is essentially tucked between Coleman Street and Stamford Road near what is now one of the largest financial districts in the world.

Today, the street serves primarily as a pedestrian mall with store facades featuring galleries, restaurants, and other attractions adjacent to the Singapore Art Museum. Singapore Management University School of Law is located at the northeast end of the street, housed in a modern sleek structure just east of the Singapore River and Fort Canning, famous for Raffles House and Fort Canning lighthouse.

The Armenian population in Singapore is described as a small community with a significant presence in the early history of Singapore, numbering about 100 individuals at their peak in the 1920s, according to Wikipedia. They were among the earliest merchants to arrive when Singapore was established as a trading post by Sir Thomas Stamford Raffles.

The first Armenian settlers in Singapore were descendants of Armenian people who migrated from Persia to other places including India and the Malay Peninsula. In the early 1800s, Armenian trading firms like Sarkies and Moses became more prominent in Singapore’s economy. Armenian merchants began investing in land by the 1830s.

In the 1880s, the Sarkies brothers—Martin, Tigran, Aviet, and Arshak—founded the Raffles Hotel (named after Sir Thomas Stamford Raffles). The colonial-style hotel is one of the most famous hotels in the world. Today the hotel’s main entrance still opens to Beach Road—what used to be a quieter street along the seashore but is now a busy shopping area along with other luxury hotels in Singapore.

In total, about 830 Armenians lived in Singapore between 1820 and 2000, as noted in Wright’s book, “Respected Citizens: The History of Armenians in Singapore and Malaysia.” The Armenian community virtually disappeared by the 1970s. But the small Armenian diaspora’s contribution to business and cultural endeavors was significant.

Armenian Street is of further cultural significance in Singapore, which includes other thoroughfares representative of the ethnic, cultural, and spiritual diversity of this country. The Sultan Mosque, for example, is located at the end of Arab Street.

Gus Gomez is a former mayor and councilmember in Glendale and is now a Los Angeles Superior Court Judge. He recently visited Singapore and came upon Armenian Street while exploring the city.

KFOR Deputy Commander hails the high level of preparedness of Armenian peacekeepers in Kosovo

Panorama, Armenia
Jan 17 2020
Society 19:41 17/01/2020 Armenia

Deputy Commander of the NATO-led Kosovo Force (KFOR) Brigadier General Laurent Michaud visited the Armenian peacekeepers serving in Kosovo, the defense ministry press service reported.

According to the source an emergency drill was announced to check the level of preparedness of Armenian peacekeepers. General Michaud hailed the results of the inspection and thanked the Armenian servicemen, the source said.

To note, Armenian servicemen have been participating in the peacekeeping mission in Kosovo since 2004, carried out by NATO.

Sports: European Figure Skating Championships to be held in Graz

Panorama, Armenia
Jan 17 2020
Sport 18:29 17/01/2020 Armenia

The 2020 European Figure Skating Championships will be held in Graz, Austria, from 20–26 January 2020. As the National Olympic Committee reported, medals will be awarded in the disciplines of men's singles, ladies' singles, pairs, and ice dance.

Armenia will be represented at the Championships Anastasia Galustyan competing in the ladies' singles, Slavik Hayrapetyan in the men’s single as well as  Tina Karapetyan-Simon Senekal dancing pair.

Archaeologists discover ancient aqueduct near Khor Virap

Aravot, Armenia
Jan 17 2020


ԵՌԱԳՈՅՆ.  Archaeologists have discovered an ancient water supply system in Armenia with almost two thousand years of history, reports ArmInfo.

According to director of the Institute of Archeology and Ethnography of the National Academy of Sciences of Armenia Bavel Avedisian, not far from the ancient monastery of Khor Virap, the foundations of an aqueduct – a water conduit for supplying water from sources located above them – were found. In total, within the framework of the Armenian-German program, 20 foundations were found, located over a length of half a mile, Avedisian specified at a press conference on January 14. According to experts, they relate to 114 to 117 AD, and give insight to the water supply system of ancient Artashat.

Avedisian did not exclude the possibility that the aqueduct was used to supply water from the Garni River. According to him, the research will continue in the current year.

Apart from the aqueduct, archaeologists have yet to study another major find: geomagnetic studies have revealed the surviving foundations of large palace buildings in the vicinity of modern Artashat, near the 13th hill. All foundations are now located on privatized lands, which means that, in order to excavate, archaeologists must come to an agreement with the current owners. Avedisian expressed hope that this process will begin this year. The excavations will make it possible to present the ancient Artashat to the scientific community in a completely new way, he explained.

The town of Artashat has a long and rich history, as a settlement in ancient Artashat has existed since the Urartian period. From 190 to 189 BC, Armenia gained independence from the Seleucids. Following independence, its first king was Artashes I, who later founded Artashat (“joy of Artashes”).

Improving health in Armenia: how can the diaspora be more effective?

Aravot, Armenia
Jan 17 2020


ԵՌԱԳՈՅՆ. On February 1st, the Hackensack University Medical Center in New Jersey will host the “Improving Health in Armenia” conference, exploring how the diaspora can work to be more effective, Diaspora High Commissioner’s Office reports.

The event is sponsored by the American Armenian Healthcare Professionals Organization. Head of Office Sara Anjargolian will be present at the conference, participating in a panel discussion.

Sessions will discuss the priorities of the healthcare sector, the development of cooperation between Armenia and the Diaspora, the quality of healthcare in Armenia, challenges and opportunities surrounding medical education, and what steps should be taken moving forward.