Legendary Armenian Weightlifter Yuri Vardanyan Passes Away in U.S

Five-time champion of Europe, seven-time champion of the world, Olympic Games winner, renowned Armenia weightlifter Yuri Vardayan has passed away aged 62 in the U.S.

Yuri Vardanyan beat 5 records at a time at three occasions in his career, including the Olympics when he lifted the record 405kg.

In 2013, Vardanyan served as Minister of Sport and Youth Affairs, later taking the position of Armenian Ambassador to Georgia. He was awarded a number of medals, including Order of the Red Banner of Labor ad Order of St. Mesrop Mashdots.

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Armenian-American Relations Can Be Raised to Higher Level

Armenian Acting Prime Minister, Nikol Pashinyan met with United States National Security Advisor John Bolton on October 25, 2018.
During the meeting, Pashinyan said that there is a real room for raising the Armenian-American relations to another level. “We are ready to support this,” he said. They also discussed several regional issues, including the Karabakh issue, weapon deals with Russia and the U.S.

John Bolton also met with several officials, including Armenian Acting Foreign Minister Zohrab Mnatsakanyan and National Security Council Secretary Armen Gregoryan.

Bolton was positively impressed by the new government of Armenia and indicated that the ties would be stronger.

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Russia Accuses U.S of Trying to Drive Wedge in Relations With Armenia

Russia has chided the United States, alleging Washington is trying to drive a wedge between Moscow and Yerevan. Russia’s Foreign Ministry said on October 29 that it took issue with U.S national security adviser John Bolton’s comments during a visit to Yerevan the previous week that the Kremlin says were a thinly veiled call for Armenia to break with its traditional ally.

Bolton “demanded openly that Armenia renounce historical patterns [sic] in its international relations and hardly bothered to conceal the fact that this implied Armenia’s traditional friendship with Russia,” the ministry said.

“Naturally, he did not forget to advertise U.S weapons that Armenia should buy instead of Russian weapons,” it added.

Armenia has long had close ties with Russia, but questions about relations between the two have risen since Nikol Pashinyan led a bloodless revolution to oust Prime Ministers Serzh Sarkissian, seen as close to Moscow.

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His Holiness Karekin II Paid a Visit to Pope Francis

Last week, His Holiness Karekin II, the Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos of All Armenians, embarked on a Pontifical Visit to the Armenians of Italy, stopping in the cities of Milan and Rome, and meeting with Pope Francis of the Roman Catholic Church. In Milan, he presided over the 60th anniversary celebration of the Armenian Church of the Forty Martyrs, where the Catholicos commended the community for its religious zeal and loyalty to the Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin. He exhorted them to “stay strong in your national consciousness, and to “keep the lantern of St. Gregory the Illuminator,” before praying for peace and the well being of the people.

At the Church of St. Blaise in Rome, His Holiness was greeted in a hrashapar service attended by the Eternal City’s Armenian inhabitants, members of the diplomatic guild and dignitaries from the Roman Catholic and Orthodox churches. He held a brotherly meeting with Pope Francis on October 24th, at the Vatican, wherein the two noted the hardships of the Armenian people, while exalting the patience and persistence that allowed them to recreate national and ecclesiastical life.

Welcoming Catholicos Karekin II to Rome was Archbishop Khajag Barsamian, former Primate of the Eastern Diocese, and currently the Legate of the Armenian Church in Western Europe and Pontifical Envoy of the Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin to the Vatican.

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Trump Lawyer Rudy Giuliani Visits Armenia Genocide Monument in Yerevan

Donald Trump’s lawyer Rudy Giuliani, the former Mayor of New York City, visited Tsitsernakaberd Armenian Genocide Memorial and Museum Institute on October 22 in the Armenian capital.

Giuliani laid flowers at the memorial and planted a symbolic tree in the park in honor of the Armenian Genocide victims. Giuliani is in Armenia for the Eurasia Week International Business Forum. During the visit to the genocide memorial he also toured the museum and signed the guestbook. “The Armenia Genocide should not be forgotten because to do so is to make possible similar acts of terror in our era and in the future. The recognition of this Genocide will help prevent such inhumanities in the future. God bless the souls of all who died and may the rest in peace with God,” he wrote in the guestbook.

Speaking to reporters about the possible US recognition of the Armenian Genocide, he said that the genocide is a historical fact, but “I am not here in my capacity as a private lawyer to President Trump, I am here as a private citizen. It’s up to the administration to make their own conclusion about that,” Giuliani said.

Speaking about the expansion of the Armenian-American relations, Giuliani said “It’s up to the two governments. I’m here as a private citizen, just to learn some facts in my first time in Armenia, I know the Armenian community in America very well,” he said.

Giuliani has arrived to Armenian at the invitation of Ara Abrahamyan, the UNESCO goodwill ambassador and president of the Union of Armenians of Russia.

Davit Tonovan introduced Giuliani to the current security environment around Armenia, the Armenian Defense Ministry said.

The parties exchanged opinions on matters of regional and global security, and emphasized the role of Armenian community in the domestic affairs in the U.S, especially New York, and the Armenian-American relations.

Rudy Giuliani works as a lawyer for U.S President Donald Trump since April 2018.

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World Renowned Photographer Ara Guler Passes Away at 90

Ara Guler, world renowned Armenian photographer, died on Wednesday October 17 in the city of Istanbul he so lovingly chronicled. He was 90. He had graduated from Getronagan Armenian High School and then attended colleges.

Mr. Guler’s pictures reflected the shadows and sparkle of Istanbul, a city he once described in an interview as a sort of “Madwoman of Chaillot” who had grown old but never neglectful of how she looked: Touch her, he said, “and a jewel will appear.”

His Istanbul, before it was erased by fast-paced modernization, was a place of boats gliding down the Bosphorus, minarets poking up in the distance behind a horse drawn cart, an elderly head-scarved woman smoking a cigarette, children flinging their arms out in joy.

Mr. Guler described his photographs, often taken with a Leica, as “a little bit romantic.”"I don’t take pictures in normal light,” he said, “only just before or after sunset, or early in the morning.”

Mr. Guler viewed himself as a citizen of the world. His assignments had him circling it as he documented the well-known faces of the 20th century, including Pablo Picasso, Salvador Dali, Alfred Hitchcock, Bob Hope, and Winston Churchill, as well as more obscure subjects like the head hunters of Borneo. Other settings for his work included China, New Guinea, Kazakhstan, and Kenya.

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Istanbul Street Named After Hrant Dink

The members of the Istanbul City Council decided during a recent session to consider the complaints and suggestions changing the names of several streets in Istanbul. Among the name changes is Hrant Dink Sokagi.

The Samanyolu Street in Istanbul’s Sisli District has been named after Armenian journalist Hrant Dink.

Dink, the editor-in-chief of the Istanbul based Turkish Armenian weekly Agos, was shot dead at the age of 52 in broad daylight by an ultra nationalist, outside his office in central Istanbul on January 19, 2007.

CHP (Republican People’s Party) Members of the Bakirkoy Municipal Council, including Nurhan Cetinkaya, presented a motion which was accepted and forwarded to the mapping and development commissions.

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Justin Trudeau Sees Great Potential of Investments from Canadian Businesses

A great potential of investments exists in Armenia that are of interest for Canadian companies and Canadian-Armenians, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said at a joint press conference with Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan on Saturday October 13th, in Yerevan.

“Developed economic and business relations exist between Armenia and Canada. We discussed several sectors where we can deepen these relations,” he said. Trudeau said that Pashinyan knows that a solid economy required the people’s trust. “He [Nikol Pashinyan] understands that having the people’s trust is a significant and central core for building solid economy. Nikol spoke about the fact that citizens must be given the chance for free expression of will,” he said.

The Armenian PM, in turn, said that it is important to note what changes have taken place in Armenia. “From the very first moment of our conversation Justin expressed readiness to support boosting Canadian investments. Yesterday Canadian businessmen were also participating at our state dinner, who intend to expand volumes of their investments. I asked for the ongoing processes in Armenia to be more accurately conveyed to the business environment of Canada,” Pashinyan said. “We want to create an environment where economic activities aren’t connected with the whim of this or that official. The main change that took place in Armenia is the following – that the prime minister is representing and will always represent the people. Generally all Armenians [globally] were actively represented in these political changes. We received active support from also the Armenians of Canada. There is no Armenian community which hasn’t supported the velvet revolution,” the PM said.

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Maryland Avenue in Glendale, California Renamed Artsakh Avenue

GLENDALE – the city of Glendale officially celebrated the naming of Maryland Avenue, Artsakh Avenue, on Tuesday October 2nd, 2018. All five Glendale City Council members were present, in addition to state Senator Anthony Portantino and Robert Avetisyan, the U.S Representative for Artsakh.

In June, the City Council voted 4-0 to rename a two block section of Maryland Avenue, between Wilson Avenue and Harvard Street, across the Glendale Central Library, to Artsakh Avenue.

During the decision making process, Councilman Ara Najarian said it was overdue to have a street referencing the city’s large Armenian-American community. Approval of the name change followed.

Glendale residents, Unified Young Armenians, a group of activists who proposed the name change in February, and many officials were present at the ceremony.

To adhere to business owners’ concerns that the name change will adversely affect them, the city set aside $1000 for each of the 131 businesses on the two block portion of the street to help cover costs of reprinting materials with new addresses.

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Yerevan Inaugurated the New Mayor Hayk Marutyan

Hayk Marutyan, whose political bloc My Step won an overwhelming majority of votes (81.06%) in the September 23 mayoral elections, promised to serve honestly during his tenure, respecting the Constitution and the laws of the Republic of Armenia, and the decisions of the Council of Elders.

The popular actor, 42, also vowed to work conscientiously “to the benefit of the capital and its residents.”

The oath taking ceremony was attended by President Armen Sarkissian, Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyanm high ranking government officials, as well as honorary citizens of Yerevan, artists, and public and political figures.

Pursuant to the councils

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