February 21
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Armenian News - presents a daily digest of top news as of 23.01.2020:

·       Shots were fired at Erebuni Plaza hotel in downtown Yerevan on Thursday.

There are no people injuredThe man who fired shots at Erebuni Plaza hotel has surrendered his weapon to police and been rendered ineffectiveHe was taken to a police station accompanied by Acting Chief of Police Arman Sargsyan in his service car. The identity of the man has already been established.

By the way, Armenian second president Robert Kocharyan’s office is located at Erebuni Plaza.

According to the head of Kocharyan’s office, Victor Soghomonyan, the office staff were not injured and the office was not damaged. 

·       The Dutch FM Stef Blok is on an official visit to Armenia on January 22-23. 

He has already visited the Armenian Genocide Memorial and paid tribute to the memory of Holy Martyrs.

During the joint press conference with Blok, Armenian FM Zohrab Mnatsakanyan said that PM Nikol Pashinyan will visit the Netherlands this year.

Armenian FM also noted that “our intention and the intention of the EU to work together to deepen relations.”

Asked to comment on Amsterdam’s position on the visa regime's liberalization with Armenia, Stef Blok noted this is a European process, the EC should evaluate it, and the Dutch government will take this into account.

Armenian FM also touched upon the issue of organizing visits of prisoners' relatives in Baku and Stepanakert. He expressed hope for the possibility of finding formats for organizing such steps.

·       The Armenian government plans to cancel the demand on mandatory slaughter of animals for meat solely in slaughterhouses until July 1, Armenian PM Nikol Pashinayn said in the parliament on Wednesday.

The decision was made as livestock farmers and butchers have been holding protests in front of the government building for a couple of days and demanded that the government review its decision.

According to PM, the decision, however, would not apply for meat to be sold at supermarkets and food facilities.

·       Armenia is 77th among 180 countries in the Corruption Perceptions Index 2019 released by the Transparency International. Armenia has improved its score from 35 to 42 as compared to last year's report. As to Armenia's neighbors, Georgia is 44th, Azerbaijan is126th, Turkey is 91st and Iran is 146th.

·       A brutal murder was committed on January 22, in Armenia’s Tavush Province. Police and investigators had found that, Chinari resident, 30, had committed suicide by hanging herself with a rope from a baby crib in the bedroom of her home. However, police later found out that Chinari resident, 31, had strangled his wife to death with a string, in the bedroom of their house. The man was detained.

·       Plane crashed in Australia during fire fighting, leaving three people killed, Euronews reported.

The New South Wales fire service said that they had lost contact with the plane, which was set to deliver water to extinguish fires. The wreckage of the aircraft was discovered in an active fire zone. Rescuers have already been sent to the scene.

·       A total of 17 people have been killed from pneumonia caused by the new 2019-nCoV coronavirus, and the number of confirmed cases rose to 541. The Chinese city of Wuhan, where the outbreak of the coronavirus began, was quarantined

Four cases were detected in Thailand, 2 in Hong Kong, one each in Macau, Taiwan, South Korea, Japan and the US.