German Chancellor Angela Merkel will miss a vote on whether to label the killings of around 1.5 million Armenians by Ottoman Turks during the First World War as genocide. The German parliament is set to weigh in on the resolution on Thursday.
“At the moment, this vote is due in the morning or at lunchtime and as things stand the chancellor will not take part in the vote in the German Bundestag because she has public appointments,” spokeswoman Christiane Wirtz said on Wednesday, as cited by Reuters.
H/t reader squodgy:
“Jeeezuss Kryste….have you ever seen so much shite as this self glorifying promotional nonsense?”
Certainly the most important news out there today!
– Kim Kardashian in Armenia: Reality TV star and family’s trip to Yerevan raises eyebrows – and global awareness of genocide (Independent, April 14, 2014):
Standing in the decaying ruins of a roofless, sheet-metal house in the small Armenian town of Gyumri, Kim Kardashian West and her family must have felt a very long way from the comforts of home. Yet for her forebears, this was home: Gyumri, close to the once-contested border with Turkey, was the town from which the first Kardashians fled to the US in the early 20th Century.
Over the last week, Kardashian West has been using her hefty promotional clout to draw attention to Armenia, the ancestral nation of her father, the late Robert Kardashian. During her Middle East tour, she was joined by her sister Khloe, husband Kanye West and baby daughter North for the eight-day visit, which was filmed for the next series of reality show Keeping Up with the Kardashians and recorded on social media by the sisters, who between them have almost 50 million Instagram followers. They also visited the Crusader-era church in Jerusalem marking the traditional spot of Jesus’s crucifixion, burial and resurrection. The Church of the Holy Sepulchre was empty for the visit.
Last week, Kardashian West posted an image of her and her sister in vertiginous heels, ascending the steep steps to the Mother Armenia statue in Yerevan, the Armenian capital. “This statue reminds visitors of the strong female figures in Armenian history,” Kardashian West wrote. “I love how powerful women are and respected so much in our culture!”
– China Proposing to Establish Free Trade Zone With Eurasian Economic Union (Sputnik, Feb 9, 2015):
China proposed to the Eurasian Economic Union to think about creation of a free trade zone in the future, according to Russian Ambassador to China Andrei Denisov.
“Chinese partners were very careful in regard to this integration in the beginning. They simply needed to make sure that it works. Now they show interest in increasing cooperation not only with the separate countries – Kazakhstan, Belarus, Russia, Armenia and Kyrgyzstan in the future, but with the union as such. And as far as I know they even proposed to us, the members of the union, to think about creation of a free trade zone in the future,” Denisov said.
– Russia negotiates union with ex-Soviet states (The Nation Dec 20, 2012):
MOSCOW – Russia sought Wednesday to expand its influence over former territories during integration talks that Washington has cast as a bid to “re-Sovietise” the region.
President Vladimir Putin met separately with the leaders of Belarus and Armenia before engaging the head of resource-rich Kazakhstan about ways to more closely bind the neighbours’ economies.
He also attended a collective security meeting that resolved to create a Moscow-led air defence unit that would focus its activities on the regions surrounding war-torn Afghanistan.
Western attempts “to force other nations to accept their own standards can lead to the most serious circumstances,” Putin said in a trademark swipe at the United States.
This is especially underscored by the “dramatic situation in North Africa and the Middle East,” Putin said.
– Armenian city besieged by wolves (Voice of Russia, Feb 16, 2012):
Residents of the city of Sisian, in the south of Armenia, try not to go out at night for fear of wolves, according to local media reports.
Due to heavy snowfall wolves can not find food in the mountains and at night enter the town in search of food.
The wolves have started to prey on stray dogs as a source of food.
So far there have not been any reported cases of attacks on humans.
– Armenia culls wolves after cold snap attacks (AFP, Feb 16, 2012):
YEREVAN — The authorities in Armenia on Thursday offered cash rewards to hunters who kill wolves after increasing reports of attacks on rural villages exacerbated by recent cold weather and heavy snow.
“Because of the heavy snowfall, wolves began to appear more frequently in populated areas and it became necessary to deal with them,” Armenian Environmental Protection Minister Aram Harutiunian told a news conference.
The authorities will pay around $260 (200 euros) to hunters who kill a wolf — a significant amount in impoverished regions of the ex-Soviet republic.
– Wolves close in on Yakutia settlements (Voice of Russia, Feb 10, 2012):
Some 240 wolves are closing in on several settlements in Yakutia’s Aldan region, and the residents are under an apprehension for their lives. Poisons were extensively used in the past to fight wolves, but now this is a banned practice.
To use helicopters against wolves would prove quite costly. An ad-hoc centre has been set up in Yakutia, with experts considering the best way to solve the problem. Every year wolves kill many reindeer at deer farms in Yakutia.
– Turkey freezes all political relations with France over genocide row (Guardian, Dec. 22, 2011):
Recep Tayyip Erdogan recalls ambassador after Paris’s decision to prosecute people who deny killing of Armenians was genocide
Turkey has frozen relations with France, recalling its ambassador and suspending all economic, political and military meetings in response to French MPs’ approval of a law that would make it a crime to deny that the mass killing of Armenians in 1915 by Ottoman Turks was genocide.
The furious Turkish reaction to Paris’s parliamentary vote marked an unprecedented low between the Nato partners.
– Turkey accuses France of genocide in Armenia row (Telegraph, Dec. 23, 2011):
The war of words between France and Turkey has escalated, when the Turkish premier accused Paris of committing genocide in Algeria and of stirring hatred of Muslims.
Furious that the French lower chamber had voted on Thursday to outlaw denial of the 1915 Armenian genocide in Ottoman Turkey, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan hit back directly at France’s President Nicolas Sarkozy.
Earlier, Turkey’s ambassador to France had left Paris and Ankara had announced diplomatic sanctions – banning political visits between the countries – and frozen military ties between the nominal Nato allies.
“France massacred an estimated 15 per cent of the Algerian population starting from 1945. This is genocide,” Mr Erdogan said, accusing Mr Sarkozy of “fanning hatred of Muslims and Turks for electoral gains.”
Entire country loses internet for five hours after woman, 75, slices through cable while scavenging for copper
An elderly Georgian woman was scavenging for copper to sell as scrap when she accidentally sliced through an underground cable and cut off internet services to all of neighbouring Armenia, it emerged on Wednesday.
The woman, 75, had been digging for the metal not far from the capital Tbilisi when her spade damaged the fibre-optic cable on 28 March.
As Georgia provides 90% of Armenia’s internet, the woman’s unwitting sabotage had catastrophic consequences. Web users in the nation of 3.2 million people were left twiddling their thumbs for up to five hours as the country’s main internet providers – ArmenTel, FiberNet Communication and GNC-Alfa – were prevented from supplying their normal service. Television pictures showed reporters at a news agency in the capital Yerevan staring glumly at blank screens.
Large parts of Georgia and some areas of Azerbaijan were also affected.
“It was a 75-year-old woman who was digging for copper in the ground so that she could sell it for scrap,” said a spokesman for Georgia’s interior ministry said yesterday.
MOSCOW, February 4 (RIA Novosti) – The collective rapid-reaction force to be created by a post-Soviet regional security bloc will be just as good as comparable NATO forces, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said on Wednesday.
The Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) agreed on Wednesday at a summit in Moscow to set up the new force, to be based in Russia.
Medvedev said the force, to be comprised of a “sufficient” number of units, would be “well trained and well equipped.”
“Russia is ready to contribute a division and a brigade,” he said. “This gives you an idea of the scale.”
The Russian president also said the CSTO was open for cooperation with the United States in the fight against terrorism in Central Asia.
The Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) is a security grouping comprising the former Soviet republics of Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan.
MOSCOW, August 28 (RIA Novosti) – The Belarusian ambassador to Moscow said Thursday that Belarus would in the next day or two recognize the independence of Abkhazia and South Ossetia.
“We are allies and this says it all,” Vasily Dolgolev said of Minsk’s relations with Moscow. He added that the relevant announcement would be made by President Alexander Lukashenko on Thursday or Friday.
Russia recognized the two separatist Georgian republics’ sovereignty Tuesday, but despite President Dmitry Medvedev’s call for other countries to follow suit, none has.
Armenia declares emergency ruleA state of emergency has been declared in Armenia’s capital on the 11the consecutive day of protests against an allegedly rigged presidential election.
The measure, signed by President Robert Kocharian, bans public gatherings and imposes restrictions on media reports.
It came after police fired in the air to disperse demonstrators. Some reports suggest a number of casualties.
Police in riot gear were out in large numbers