CNN to air “Anthony Bourdain Parts Unknown” episode on Armenia May 20

PanARMENIAN – CNN will air the episode of its original series “Anthony Bourdain Parts Unknown” shot in Armenia on May 20, the TV news channel said on Monday, April 9.

Bourdain takes a wide-angle look at the culture and history of this country, with musician of Armenian descent Serj Tankian (System of a Down), and historian/Armenian resident Richard Giragosian as his guides.

Breaking bread with Tankian at a restaurant in downtown Yerevan, during dinners with locals, the host explores the native and Diaspora Armenian populations’ survival and achievements against the odds.

Described by The New Yorker as a “swaggering chef,” Bourdain has built an empire around food, which started with his New York Times best-selling book “Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly” (2000). Today, he is well-known as a TV personality and has starred in shows on Food Network and his Travel Channel show, “Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations,” which has Bourdain traveling to unexpected locations and indulging in those regions’ local culinary traditions.

When in Armenia, Bourdain posted a picture to his social media account of his cameraman, Jerry Risius, boarding a Russian helicopter, likely to make a journey to Artsakh (Nagorno Karabakh), where he has been featured in pictures across social media.

Following that, he joined a plethora of other celebrities, diplomats and ordinary citizens that have been banned from Azerbaijan for visiting Karabakh.

Trump declines to use the word ‘genocide’ in describing Armenian deaths

President Trump prides himself on speaking bluntly on the international stage and, at times, breaking with diplomatic norms. But he continued a tradition on Monday that has infuriated many Armenian Americans — refusing to use the word “genocide” in describing the killings of more than 1 million Armenians at the hands of Ottoman Turks.

Trump issued a statement on Monday, the 102nd anniversary of the massacre, commemorating “one of the worst mass atrocities of the 20th century.”

“Beginning in 1915, one and a half million Armenians were deported, massacred, or marched to their deaths in the final years of the Ottoman Empire,” he said. “I join the Armenian community in America and around the world in mourning the loss of innocent lives and the suffering endured by so many.” 

The language was similar to that of President Obama and other Trump predecessors who were concerned with upsetting Turkey, which disputes that a genocide took place, and potentially impacting U.S. foreign policy priorities in the Middle East.

The Turkish government has spent millions lobbying Congress on the issue, succeeding in persuading Obama to reverse a campaign promise to label the killings a genocide. Trump has forged a close relationship with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, becoming the first Western leader to congratulate him by telephone after a referendum last week granted him sweeping new powers. Trump drew heavy criticism from human rights and pro-democracy groups for the move.

Activists in the United States continued to voice frustration over the omission of the word “genocide” in marking the history. It is a particularly sensitive issue in California, which is home to the country’s largest population of people of Armenian descent, with more than 200,000 living in Los Angeles County.

Aram Hamparian, executive director of the Armenian National Committee of America, said in a statement that “President Trump is effectively outsourcing U.S. genocide-prevention policy to Recep Erdogan, an arrogant and authoritarian dictator who clearly enjoys the public spectacle of arm-twisting American presidents into silence on Turkey’s mass murder of millions of Armenians, Greeks, Assyrians, and other Christians.”

Trump’s spokesman, Sean Spicer, was asked twice about the omission during Monday’s briefing with reporters. “It is perfectly in keeping with the language that’s been used over and over again,” Spicer said.

LA Times http://www.latimes.com/politics/washington/la-na-essential-washington-updates-president-donald-trump-declines-to-use-1493060218-htmlstory.html

Armenia ranked 129th in UN World Happiness Report

Armenia ranks 129th out of 156 countries in the World Happiness Report 2018 by the United Nations (UN).

Its neighbors Georgia and Azerbaijan are ranked 128th and 87th, respectively, in this report.

 

Variables such as healthy life expectancy, social support, and corruption are considered when assessing the level of people’s happiness in a given country.

According to this report, Finland is the happiest country in the world.

Armenian Goods and Services

Armenia is a nation, and former Soviet republic, in the mountainous Caucasus region between Asia and Europe. Among the earliest Christian civilizations, it’s defined by religious sites including the Greco-Roman Temple of Garni and 4th-century Etchmiadzin Cathedral, headquarters of the Armenian Church. Khor Virap Monastery is a pilgrimage site near Mount Ararat, a dormant volcano just across the border in Turkey.