- Independent Journalism From Today's Armenia
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 September 26, 2003 



A Week in Seven Days: Matters that made the media since last Friday .

SCHOOL REFORM WILL GO ON: The first phase of the government-designed plan of schools optimization is accomplished with 37 merged schools and 5,000 teachers laid off, ARMINFO reported September 19. The second phase of the plan will hit another 9,000 teachers.

The officials from the Ministry of Education said a $2.5 million assistance project is being discussed now with the World Bank that would give the sacked teachers one time aid in the amount of their six-month salary. (Teachers' salary is $20)

NEW CRIMINAL CASE IS LAUNCHED: Armenian State Prosecutor's office have announced the opening of a criminal case against Levon Abrahamyan, a former officer of the National Security service, ARMENPRESS reported September 19.

Abrahamyan was arrested last week on charges of planning an assassination attempt on Armenian defense minister Serzh Sargsyan with explosive materials. If Abrahamyan is found guilty he may face the life imprisonment.

UNSETTLED DEBT: IMF (International Monetary Fund) has temporarily halted its activity in Georgia, which resulted in Georgia's inability to pay back its foreign debt, including the debt to Armenia.

AZG daily reported September 20 that Georgia's overall foreign debt equals to $1.7 billion, $19.6 million out of which it owes to Armenia. The IMF halted its activity in Georgia following the failure of Georgian government to meet the organization's requirements

HIGH RANKING SLANDERER IS FREE: Ex-chief of the Department of Execution of Criminal Punishments of Armenian Interior Ministry Musheg Saghatelyan was released last week.

As ARMINFO reported September 20 Saghatelyan had been sentenced to 7 years in prison for spreading allegations on President Kocharyan and Defense Minister Serzh Sargsyan's complicity in the organization of the terrorist act in the Armenian Parliament October 27 1999. The administration of the Vartashen jail petitioned the court to release Sagatelyan for good behavior.

ANNIVERSARY PRESENT: On September 21 Armenia marked the 12th anniversary since its gained independence. Republic Square of Yerevan was opened on that day after the four-month restoration works sponsored by the Lincy foundation.

President Kocharyan said during the ceremony that the Republican Square will become one of the most beautiful squares in the world, after all works including lighting of the square buildings are completed.

VATICAN CALLING: The Vatican's foreign minister Archbishop Jean-Louis Tauran paid avisit to Armenia September 21-22, ARMENPRESS reported.
President Robert Kocharyan and the Archbishop discussed further development of contacts between the Vatican and Armenia. They also spoke about the necessity of opening a Vatican representation in Armenia. Archbishop Jean-Louis Tauran arrived in Armenia from Georgia where he was supposed to sign a pact with ex-Soviet republic, defining inter-state relations, but it was postponed at the last minute, bowing to street protests and calls by the dominant Orthodox Church fearful of losing influence over its flock.

YEREVAN CITY IS 2785: Celebrations devoted to the 2785th birthday of Yerevan will be held in the city October 10-12, PanARMENIAN.Net reported September 22. Particularly, a parade, concerts and photo exhibition are to be organized in the capital these days. Besides, as reported by the press service of the city administration, all Yerevan medical institutions will announce the "open doors" days for free service.

ART WITHOUT BORDERS: Two photographers, one from Armenia and another from Azerbaijan will open their joint exhibition next month in Strasbourg, ARMENPRESS reported September 23.

Arshak Avazlian born in French Marseille, and Sirnaib Hasanoghli from Azerbaijan will show their photographs thanks to French Apolonia organization. "The selected topic is about Armenian-Azerbaijani confrontation and the Karabagh war," Avazlian said.

GRANT FROM GERMANY: Armenian Ministry of Economy and Finance and the German KFW Bank's division for Eastern Europe and Southern Caucasus, inked in Yerevan September 23 an agreement whereby the German Bank will make available a 4.345 million Euro grant for building a Credits Guarantee Fund. The program is supposed to be accomplished in a 10-year period.

The biggest portion of the money, 3.834 million Euro, will be used for implementation of the program called Southern Caucasus-Armenia Regional Credit Guarantee Fund and the rest for implementation of relevant measures.

KARABAGH ISSUES: The President of Nagorno-Karabagh Arkadi Ghukasyan stated in Yerevan that Karabagh is ready to conduct negotiations with Azerbaijan either with Armenia's participation or without it. As PanARMENIAN.Net reported September 24, the President noted that bilateral negotiations on Karabagh settlement held by Armenian and Azeri presidents cannot be frequent, meanwhile "settlement of the Karabagh issue demands conducting intensive negotiations".

"I do not think that Azerbaijan is ready to resume the war at the moment and win it," the President added.

COMMUNAL TARIFFS TO BE RAISED: Beginning with January 1, 2004 electric power, gas and water tariffs will increase in Armenia, PanARMENIAN.Net informed September 25.

Officials from the government said the issue is still under discussion with the Commission for Coordination of Natural Monopolies. The latest rise in electricity prices in Armenia was in 1998.

WELCOME TO the US: The US State Department has stated changing the rules of participation in the annual "Green Card" lottery for getting an immigration visa, ARMINFO reported September 25. The officials from the US embassy in Armenia told that the applications for participation in the lottery will from now on be accepted only online, via a special website. The State Department has resorted to such a measure to make the lottery more effective and protect against forgery. The program annually raffles off 55,000 visas and 6 million people register for getting them


According to Agnes
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Click on the photo above to enlarge.


The Naghdalyan Case: Murder trial moves on with details of meetings and plots

Full story


Minding the Media: New law draws protests from journalists

Full story


Help for the Hurting: Health care specialists learning new methods of treating childhood depression

Full story



The Week in seven days


The Arts in seven days


  Photos of the week
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Click on the photo above to enlarge.
Click here to enlarge.
Click on the photo above to enlarge.

Celebrating independence from construction

On Independence Day (September 21), Yerevan residents got a first look at the newly rebuilt Republic Square. Pavement packers led the parade.



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