- Independent Journalism From Today's Armenia
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January 30, 2004 

Blankets are the family's primary source of warmth.

Truant by Despair: Poverty blocks the path of education for needy children

Edgar, 17, and his 20-year old sister Lala have fourth-grade educations. Attending school is an unattainable luxury for them. As is having a heated apartment. Warmth is a dream.

This family, taking shelter in a shabby room of a ruined hostel on Atarbekyan street in Etchmiadsin is a victim of interest money. (In the 1990s, many people borrowed money to start businesses that went broke. They covered their debts by selling their apartments and went to live on the streets.)

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Property Dispute: Residents say North Avenue officials are selling them short

Hundreds of Yerevan citizens rallied Thursday (January 29) to protest what they call unfair treatment by authorities administering the city's North Avenue project. The urban renewal project which will connect Republic Square and the Opera House by a promenade of upscale businesses, restaurants and apartments, has forced many residents to move. And while the government is offering compensation for their property, residents complain that the amount offered is often not enough to purchase new homes of comparable size.

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Talking Up a Storm: Why saying hello to Armentel was not such a good buy

Court hearings resumed today in the static-laced legal conversation between the poorly-served telephone clients of Armenia, the Government of the Republic and the owners of the string-in-tin-can outfit that passes for phone service here.

Unless our Internet connection - also brought to us by the string and can deal - is too slow to get this story to you, here's a look back at how this day was reached . .

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Melodic Jewels: Sisters of song earn high praise (if not professional fees)

"They are gold and diamond from beginning to end, a supreme work, their song is ike honey, their every breath and movement is a divine conduct."

So says Petros Alahaydoyan, an American-Armenian arts specialist in admiration for singers and sisters Anush and Inga Arshakyans. The art critic is not the only one who has been smitten by the sisters' talent. Their performances are typically met with thunderous applause from fans who show their appreciation through gifts and praise.

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A Season of Struggle: Yerevan Zoo shivers through winter with mounting debts and vulnerable occupants

Last year started with tragedy for the Yerevan Zoo, but ended with more animals than before and with plans of animal matrimony.

Four predators at the zoo died last January after eating meat poisoned by anthrax, prompting a municipal investigation and criticism of zoo personnel.

"The past year of the goat, I can say was both a good and a bad year for us," says zoo director Sahak Abovyan (who has a fondness for wearing ties with brightly-colored animal images on them). "But at the end of the year we managed to fill the places of the dead animals by bringing several instead of one."

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War of Words in Strasburg: Armenian delegation split over "other"

In plenary sessions of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) January 27, a resolution phrase that troubled Armenian representatives was changed in hope of avoiding misunderstanding.

As reported in ArmeniaNow January 16, the Armenian delegation to PACE had concerns about a sub-paragraph in the 28-paragraph report that said: "There was no progress in negotiations on the settlement of Nagorno-Karabakh conflict and other conquered territories."

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Cold-weather Competition: Winter "Baze" kicks off in Tsakhkadzor

On the success of a summer time event last year, and at the suggestion of the president of Armenia, about 350 young adults will gather in Tsakhkadzor next week for "Baze Winter", a series of sporting and cultural competition.

"In fact Winter Baze wasn't planned. It was brought into life at the moment when at the closing ceremony of Baze 2003 the president of the republic suggested an idea: 'Why don't you organize winter baze?'," says head of the press service of All Armenian Youth Fund Astghik Avetisyan.

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Tstesutyun Australia: No more Armenian connection in Open

Diaspora and Armenia will be without a representative for the finals of the Australian Open, the first of this year's ATP Grand Slams.

Marat Safin (unseeded of Russia) put out defending champion Andre Agassi (USA, seeded No. 4) in today's semifinal in Melbourne (6[6]-7[8], 6[6]-7[8], 7-5, 6-1, 3-6). The match lasted four hours.

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According to Agnes
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The Week in seven days


The Arts in seven days


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In Honor

Wednesday was Army Day, marking the 12th anniversary of Republic of Armenia's forces. President Robert Kocharyan and government dignitaries visited a Yerevan military cemetary to pay respects.


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