DIPLOMAT CRITICIZED: The Assembly of Armenians of Europe and its member organizations strongly criticized the statement made by British Ambassador to Armenia Thorda Abott-Watt, in relation with the events of 1915.
According to British Ambassador the evidence was not sufficiently unequivocal that what took place could be categorized as genocide under the 1948 United Nations Convention on Genocide. The Assembly expects the British Ambassador to apologize publicly for her statement, and says that if she doesn't she should be declared persona non grata in the Republic of Armenia .
UNEASY RELATIONS: Armenian Prime Minister Andranik Margaryan said during a meeting with the OSCE Chairman in Office that Armenia opposes Turkey assuming OSCE presidency in 2007.
Margaryan said that Armenia will change its position only after Turkey establishes diplomatic relations with Armenia and opens its land border.
CELLULAR ISSUES: The biggest Armenian Internet provider, Arminco, has announced its plans to compete in a tender for providing mobile phone services which is to be announced later this year, Armenpress agency reported.
The government announced earlier this month that it will strip Armentel telecommunication company monopolist of its exclusive right to mobile phone services on June 30. This means that Armentel may continue providing cellular phone services, but will have to compete with rival companies.
DIPLOMAT LEAVES: John Ordway, the outgoing U.S. Ambassador to Armenia has been nominated by President George W. Bush to head the U.S. mission in Kazakhstan later this year, RFL/RE reported.
The White House did not name Ordway's likely successor in Yerevan . Officials in the U.S. embassy said his replacement is expected to be announced within a week.
ENERGY CONCERNS: The Armenian government is working on finding alternative energy sources in case a decision is made to shut down the Armenian Nuclear Power Plant, Yerkir daily reported.
The European Union is ready to allot 100 million Euros, though officials say that at least 1 billion Euros are needed for that purpose. Authorities consider Iran-Armenia gas pipeline as one such alternative energy source.
HOUSEWARMING: The ceremony of inauguration of newly constructed residential building took place in Spitak last weekend, Armenpress reported. The building of the Spitak "Yerankiuni" (Triangle) district is the sixth of 12 buildings planned for construction by Hayastan All Armenian Fund.
Since the beginning of its operations in the earthquake zone Hayastan Fund has either built or renovated 95 residential buildings and houses in the earthquake zone for more than 1,000 families.
CRIME ISSUES: According to an annual report, 29 women faced criminal prosecution in Nagorno-Karabakh last year, down from 44 in 2002, Azat Artsakh weekly reported.
However according to the official data, despite the reduction of the crime rate in the republic in the last 2 years, as a ratio to the number of population in Karabakh the crime rate remains high in comparison to Armenia and other CIS countries.
PREVENTING AIDS: The syllabus of Armenia 's comprehensive schools will soon include a new subject, ANTI-AIDS to raise school-children's awareness of AIDS prevention methods. Arminfo agency reported.
The initiative was advanced by the international fund GLOBAL which allocated a total of $3.2 million for the program. In cooperation with the Ministry of Education and Science school biology teachers are trained to teach the new subject.
MEDICINE FOR TUBERCULOSIS: "Armenicum" medical preparation will be applied when treating Tuberculosis, Health Minister of Armenia Norayr Davtyan told Arminfo news agency.
The minister said that recently "Armenicum," which is a medicine against AIDS, was tested when treating TB patients. In the course of a three-moth testing, the efficiency of the medicine will be determined for treatment of the given disease. In case of a positive result, the spectrum of "Armenicum"'s usage will be expanded.
ANTI-SMOKE BILL FAILED: The bill on combating smoking failed in the Armenian Parliament because of personal economic interests of majority of MPs in tobacco business, Arminfo agency reported.
Despite the majority of deputies voted for the bill in the course of its first reading, few voted for its adoption. The main importers of cigarettes to Armenia were not present in the session hall, while the head of the largest producer of cigarettes in Armenia "Grand Tobacco" did not vote.