Scores of people were hurt in Yerevan, the capital, on Friday when gas-filled balloons exploded in a huge ball of flames at a campaign rally for Armenia’s Republican Party ahead of parliamentary elections on Sunday. More than 60 people, including children, were hospitalized after the explosion... Nikolai Grigoryan, the deputy director of Armenia’s rescue service, told the Novosti Armenia news agency that the balloons had been filled with helium and were ignited by a bystander’s cigarette. However, helium is an inert gas that does not burn.
In other Armenian news: Armenian Genocide Remembrance Day was last week and President Obama once again went back on his promise to finally call the genocide "genocide"—presumably because he doesn't want to upset his delicate relationship with the Turks, who are the only people left on the planet who like to pretend that this never happened.
On April 24, an Armenian-American friend sent me this photo and email:
On this date in 1915, the leaders of the Turkish government rounded up and imprisoned—later killing most of them—250 of the most prominent Armenian intellectuals in Constantinople and started force-marching whole Armenian populations from the interior, mostly through the Syrian desert, without supplies. Around 1,500,000 of them died from this.
Attached is a photo of the house that I believe my family lived in, in Eastern Turkey, and a picture of my great-uncle Malcolm who was sitting on this porch, smoking a cigar and having tea after his work day, when he was shot and killed by Turkish Army irregulars. Our family had lived in this town for roughly 2500 years.