17 January, 2020 18:07 Former Head of Armenia’s National Security Found Dead Georgi Kutoyan, former Head of Armenia’s National Security Service (NSS) was found dead with a gunshot wound in Yerevan on Friday 17.

Naira Harutyunyan, Head of the Department of Public Relations of the Investigative Committee of Armenia announced that the body was found in an apartment in Yerevan’s Zeytun district.
17 January, 2020 10:55 Yerevan May Uncover Old Town Under Republic Square The first formal mention regarding the excavation of the old town underneath Yerevan’s Republic Square came in the form of a Facebook post by Arayik Harutyunyan, Armenia’s Minister of Education, Science, Culture and Sport on January 8.
Sure enough, there is an old town made of black and red tuff stone right under the Republic Square. It passing through Abovyan and Amiryan streets, reaching the old Kond neighborhood. In this area, archeologists found buildings that replicated the architecture of the ancient Armenian Urartu era.
16 January, 2020 03:49 Armenian Government Closes Rural Maternity Hospitals Around the Country The Armenian government has closed nine maternity hospitals in rural regions of the country. The directive has come from Minister of Health Arsen Torosyan who recommended the closure of all clinics that registered fewer than 150 births last year. Facilities located in particularly remote areas, such as in the town of Meghri in the southernmost region of Armenia, will be exempt from the policy.

Torosyan has pointed out the poor quality of services at many rural maternity hospitals, saying, “It is better to transport the patient 20-30 kilometers, but to provide reliable assistance, than to risk the life of the mother and child.”
15 January, 2020 17:53 Armenia to Amend Constitution Once Again, But Keep Parliamentary System According to the minister, the current model of a parliamentary stable-majority system should change. This system gives extra seats in the National Assembly to the highest-performing party or bloc after an election in order to ensure an absolute majority.

“Of course, stability is very important, but it can be achieved through coalitions. When no political force has garnered enough votes in the election to form a majority government, it should be able to negotiate a coalition.”

According to the minister, this system needs to be revised and would help further democratize Armenia.
15 January, 2020 05:42 As Armenia’s Tourism Sector Continues to Grow, Industry Expects Changes The coming year is set to be a banner year for Armenia’s tourism industry. By the summer, three European low-cost carriers will be operating, with routes connecting Yerevan and Gyumri, Armenia’s two largest cities, with destinations across Europe.

This month, Irish carrier Ryanair launched Yerevan-Milan and Yerevan-Rome direct flights, with additional routes to be opened from Yerevan to Berlin, Gyumri to Memmingen, Yerevan to Thessaloniki, and Gyumri to Athens in the coming months. Starting in April, Ryanair’s Hungarian competitor, Wizz Air, will begin operating routes from Yerevan to Vienna and Vilnius, and by May, passengers will be able to fly AirBaltic to Riga direct from Yerevan. In total, the flights are expected to generate up to 200,000 passengers per year.
14 January, 2020 19:30 Yerevan’s Old City Excavation Could Rekindle the Diversity of Armenia’s Capital At the start of 2020, Arayik Harutyunyan, Armenia’s Minister of Culture, Sciences and Sport , stated that the old city located under Yerevan’s Republic Square could be excavated and restored. The prospect of implementing that project is now being discussed with specialists.

CivilNet’s Ani Paitjan talks with Lusine Kharatyan, an ethnographer at the Institute of Archeology and Ethnography in Armenia’s National Academy of Sciences, about the various practical and societal challenges that come with such projects.
13 January, 2020 23:34 Armenia’s Car Imports Triple, Bringing Revenue and Traffic Jams Armenia’s car imports tripled in 2019 with 189,000 cars receiving new customs clearance in the country. In 2018, the number was roughly 64,000, according to Davit Ananyan, Chairman of the State Revenue Committee, who spoke at a press conference on January 13.

The sharp increase in car imports in recent years was in part due to the temporary preferential regulations set by the Eurasian Economic Union (EEU). This was part of the terms of accession when Armenia joined the EEU in 2015.
11 January, 2020 05:21 Scientist Areg Danagoulian Named 2019 Arms Control Person of the Year Areg Danagoulian, a nuclear scientist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, has been named 2019 Arms Control Person of the Year.

The Arms Control Association nominates individuals and institutions for the award based on their efforts to “advance effective arms control, nonproliferation, and disarmament solutions” or to “raise awareness of the threats posed by mass casualty weapons.”

This year’s nominees included French President Emmanuel Macron as well as US Senators Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) and Todd Young (R-Ind.).
11 January, 2020 04:48 Edinburgh’s Mysterious “Akhtamar” Restaurant and the Elusive “Peter the Armenian” Word of some mysterious yet comical Armenian shenanigans half-way across the world in Scotland has reached Yerevan.

Scottish news site Edinburgh Live has published an intriguing story about two quirky businesses hidden in the nooks and crannies of the historic district of the Scottish capital.

It writes of a shop with a Cyrillic sign that says “Gallery Nagorno-Karabakh,” and a restaurant in a small former police station again with a Cyrillic sign with the name “Akhtamar.”
11 January, 2020 00:31 Mothers of Illegally Adopted Children Protest in Armenia’s Capital A group of mothers affected by the mass illegal adoption case began a protest in front of Armenia’s Prosecutor General’s office on January 10.

On November 14, Armenia’s National Security Service revealed that over 30 newborns had been illegally adopted by Italian families. Investigators found that the new mothers, mostly unmarried women, were either being told that their babies had died or that they were sick, thus encouraging them to give up their newborns for adoption.
10 January, 2020 10:55 Armenia Sees Improvement in Global Passport Rank  The lowest performing countries are Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan, and the highest performing countries this year are Singapore and Japan, pushing Germany and Finland from the top spots.

9 January, 2020 21:01 Sergei Parajanov: Remembering a Great Artist Sergei Parajanov was born 96 years ago on January 9, 1924, in Tbilisi (then-Tiflis), Georgia.

The Armenian film director and artist is well known for his "The Color of Pomegranates", which tells the story of the Armenian poet, Sayat-Nova.

Parajanov was imprisoned by Soviet authorities for his avant-garde and subversive work.
9 January, 2020 14:29 Stuck in Georgia with an Expired Armenian Passport 67-year-old Aram Darakjian has been living illegally in Georgia and cannot return to Armenia, this is due to his passport expiring whilst in Georgia and there being no legal way to restore his Armenian Citizenship. Aram has been stranded in Georgia for more than four years.