FIGHTING AIDS: Armenia 's Health Minister and the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) Resident Representative signed a document February 13 to launch the Support to the National Program on HIV/AIDS Prevention program, Armenpress reported.
A major concern about the spread of HIV/AIDS in Armenia is the considerable migration and extensive travel of the population to other CIS countries, where the number of people living with HIV/AIDS is close to one million.
DEFENSE DENIAL: THE Russian Embassy in Armenia has denied a report in the Moscow newspaper Nezavisimaya Gazeta, which claimed that Armenia 's Defense Minister Serzh Sargsyan sought Russian military assistance in any worsening of the political situation in Armenia during his recent visit to Moscow , Arminfo agency reported. Sargsyan called the article absurd.
GENOCIDE SURVIVOR DIES: Armen Keshishian, the last British Armenian survivor of the Armenian Genocide died in London aged 98, Yerkir daily reported February 16 citing the Guardian.
Keshishian was 10 years old when he escaped the Genocide perpetrated by the Ottoman Empire . He was one of the three senior members of the Armenian community in Britain who handed the Armenian tricolor to the first Ambassador of Armenia to Great Britain , Armen Sarkissyan, in 1991.
ARMY OFFICER KILLED: A lieutenant in the Azerbaijani army, Ramil Safarov, has been arrested in Hungary after an Armenian army officer Gurgen Margaryan was killed. Both men were attending a NATO Partnership for Peace Program at the National Military Academy in Hungary , when Safarov allegedly killed Margaryan with an axe while the Amenian slept on February 17.
The Armenian Defense Ministry, in a statement, said the brutal act resulted from Azerbaijan 's military propaganda that sowed seeds of hatred against the Armenian people. It added: "We hope the international community would react accordingly.
GEORGIAN CALLING: The Armenian embassy in Georgia is in discussions about the first state visit to Armenia of Georgia's new president, Mikhail Saakashvili, Azg daily reported.
According to a preliminary agreement, Sahakashvili was supposed to visit Armenia earlier, but postponed his visit until March 6 upon his return from Azerbaijan .
KARABAKH SETTLEMENT: Armenian president Robert Kocharyan said his administration does not intend to resume talks over the Nagorno Karabakh conflict regulation from scratch, as his Azeri counterpart believes, Armenpress agency reported February 18.
"We have worked for several years to prepare an environment for the conflict resolution and we do not want it to be wasted," Kocharyan said. "Next May will mark the tenth anniversary of the cease-fire regime and in many respects the situation is balanced today and any attempt to change it is fraught with heavy consequences for all sides.
STUDENTS VS ARMY: A group of Armenian students studying for Candidate of Science junior scientific degree (aspirants) protested against a controversial draft law on army recruitment, Azg daily reported February 19. The law suggests the compulsory drafting of students after they have completed their Bachelor's degree
HOME FROM HOLLAND?: Armenia's Department for Refugees and Migration said it did not have information about the number of Armenians in Holland who might be affected by a new law passed by the Dutch lower chamber of Parliament providing for the deportation of 26,000 illegal immigrants, Armenpress agency reported February 19.
LESSONS IN REFORM: Education and Science Minister Sergo Yeritsyan said 4,600 teachers were dismissed and ten of 1,480 schools closed as a result of the reorganization of Armenia 's education system.
He said the buildings of the closed schools will be used exclusively for educational needs. The dismissed teachers will receive total compensation of $2 million, Arminfo agency reported.