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Azerbaijan takes over ADB Board of Governors chairmanship for 2015
06.05.2014 00:26
Azerbaijan has assumed the chairmanship of the Board of Governors of the Asian Development Bank (ADB) for the next year.

The country took over ADB chairmanship from Kazakhstan as the Board of Governors convened in Astana for its 47th annual meeting.

Entitled "Rethinking Asia's Challenges at the Crossroads of the Silk Road", the annual meeting saw much discussion on connectivity, innovation, and the need to keep up with the demands of a changing Asia and Pacific.

Participants came from ADB's 67 member countries and beyond, from government ministries and central banks, from business and finance, media, civil society, academia, and youth, cutting across professional, national, regional, and generational boundaries.

ADB President Takehiko Nakao and Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev officially opened ADB's 47th Annual Meeting in Astana.

At the opening session, President Nakao spoke of the need for ADB to sharpen its focus to better serve the needs of a developing Asia in rapid transition. He also looked forward to the end of extreme poverty in the region by 2020.

Mr. Nakao reiterated that the biggest challenge in the region remains poverty reduction. With 700 million people below the poverty line, Asia is still home to more than 60% of the world's poor. Using this measure of $1.25 a day, the region is likely to see an end to poverty in the region within the next decade.

"But more than 1.6 billion people living on less than $2 a day remain highly vulnerable to job loss, health problems, prolonged recession, inflation, crop failure, and environmental dangers."

"The challenge for ADB is to help developing member countries eradicate remaining poverty, and support greater inclusiveness to address inequalities," he said. "And there are other challenges: a huge infrastructure gap, environmental degradation and climate change. There is also the question of how to tap the full potential of regional cooperation and integration."

Addressing the event, chairman of ADB annual meeting of the Board of Governors, Kazakh Minister of Economy and Budget Planning Yerbolat Dassayev noted that the next meeting would beheld in Baku as the chairmanship of the Board of Governors passed to Azerbaijan for the next year.

Azerbaijani Minister of Finance, member of the Board of Governors Samir Sharifov said Azerbaijan would try its best to use the Baku meeting to prove that it is "a trusted partner" of the Asian Development Bank.

The meeting featured the Day of Azerbaijan, which was attended by delegations of the Board of Governors member states, ADB leadership, and prominent public and political figures of Kazakhstan and other countries.

It featured demonstration of a promotional video about Azerbaijan.

Addressing the event, Minister Sharifov noted that the Azerbaijani President had already ordered the creation of the organizing committee for the 48th meeting of ADB Board of Governors to be held in Baku in May, 2015.

He highlighted the country's socio-economic development under President Ilham Aliyev.

ADB President Nakao hailed Azerbaijan's economic growth. He expressed confidence the Baku meeting would be a success.

He said that for the first time the annual meeting of ADB Board of Governors would take place in the Caucasus, adding they had been looking forward to seeing Azerbaijan's rapid development.

The website of the 2015 Baku meeting was presented at the event.

On the sidelines of the annual meeting of ADB Board of Governors, Minister Sharifov also held several meetings including with ADB President Takehiko Nakao, Secretary General Maria-Anne Birken, Vice-President of the WB Lora Tak, Director General of the Japan International Cooperation Agency Kiyoshi Kadero, and Director of the Japan Bank for International Cooperation Hirosh Vatanabe to discuss issues of expanding bilateral cooperation.
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    A passenger travelling from Nigeria to Istanbul has been rushed to hospital after falling ill on the journey, SIA reports with quoting AA.

    The Italian woman, thought to be infected with malaria, had a fever and threw up on board a Turkish Airlines flight from Nigeria's northern city Kano. She had been given anti-malarialdrugs by Nigerian doctors prior to the plane's departure.

    Nigeria is one of the countries struggling with an outbreak of the Ebola virus, which in recent months has killed more than a thousand people in West Africa.Turkey has increased its measuresagainst any possible outbreak of Ebola sincelast month and urgently responded tosuspected Ebola cases.

    The virus first appeared in 1976 in simultaneous cases and causes a fever that is often fatal.
  • Calorific value of Azerbaijani oil exceeds 102%
    22.08.2014 17:48
    Calorific value of Azerbaijani oil makes up approximately 102.9% of oil equivalent.

    Azerbaijan's energy balance 2013 demonstrates that last year oil production in the country totaled 43.457 million tons or 44.717 million tons of oil equivalent (TOE).

    According to the balance, 37.772 million TOE was exported and 6.992 million TOE used for domestic consumption. 6.751 million TOE was processed at oil refineries, while 48,100 TOE was written off as oil losses.
  • 60,000 people join class-action privacy lawsuit against Facebook
    22.08.2014 17:39
    Facebook is in hot water in Europe now that 60,000 people have joined Austrian privacy advocate Maximilian Schremsв' class action lawsuit against the social network. According to the advocateв's site, theVienna Regional Court in Austria has reviewed the case and commanded Facebook Ireland to respond to the charges within four weeks. Facebookв's international efforts are based in Ireland and serve 80 percent of its users worldwide.

    Shortly after Schrems announced the lawsuit and called upon Europeans and anyone outside the U.S. and Canada to join him, the lawsuit reached its maximum number of claimants with 25,000 people joining the suit. An additional 35,000 pledged their support for the privacy lawsuit, should it be expanded to include more claimants, bringing the total number of people suing Facebook for violating privacy laws above 60,000.

    Most of the claimants are from Germany and other Germany-speaking countries like Austria, who have taken issue with Facebookв's privacy policies. People from theNetherlands, Finland, and the U.K. have also come out against Facebook in large numbers.

    If the people defeat Facebook in this lawsuit, each of the 25,000 claimants will get 500 Euros from Facebook, which amounts to 12.5 million Euros or nearly $17 million. Although thatв's just pocket change to Facebook, losing the privacy suit would severely damage its reputation around the world and especially in Europe. If they can prove that Facebookв's policies violate EU privacy laws, the social network will likely come under fire elsewhere, too.
  • Azerbaijan urges U.S., France to principle stand in Nagorno-Karabakh conflictв's settlement
    22.08.2014 17:34
    Baku, Azerbaijan, Aug. 22

    By Seba Aghayeva - Trend:

    Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry, in a statement made Aug. 22, urged OSCE Minsk Group Co-chairs - the U.S. and France to a principle stand in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict's settlement, and to be unbiased in expressing condolences and concerns.

    Story still developing

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  • Death toll tops 191,000 in Syria, UN reports
    22.08.2014 17:29
    The death toll from three years of Syria's civil war has risen to more than 191,000 people, the United Nations reported Friday.

    The figure, covering the period from March 2011 to April 2014, is the first issued by the U.N.'s human rights office since July 2013, when it documented more than 100,000 killed.

    The high death toll is a reflection of the brutality of Syria's conflict, which has transformed into a complex, multi-layered war where various factions fight against each other.

    It also reflects the recent surge in deadly attacks by the al-Qaida-breakaway Islamic State group targeting rival militant groups, mainstream Western-backed Syrian rebels and Kurdish militiamen in northern Syria as it seeks to eliminate opponents and consolidate its hold on territory and resources.

    Navi Pillay, the U.N.'s top human rights official who oversees the Geneva-based office, said the new figures are so much higher because they include additional killings from earlier periods, as well as deaths since the last report. The exact figure of confirmed deaths is 191,369, Pillay said.

    "As the report explains, tragically it is probably an underestimate of the real total number of people killed during the first three years of this murderous conflict," she said.
  • Baku hosts event dedicated to Heydar Aliyev Foundationв's care for refugees, IDPs
    22.08.2014 17:24
    Baku, Azerbaijan Aug. 22

    By Elchin Mehdiyev - Trend:

    Azerbaijani State Committee on Deals of Refugees and Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) hosted Aug. 22 an event on the topic 'Heydar Aliyev Foundation's care for refugees and IDPs.'

    The event was attended by Azerbaijani Deputy Prime Minister, Chairman of the State Committee on Deals of Refugees and IDPs, Ali Hasanov and Chairman of the 'Azerbaijani Community of Nagorno-Karabakh Region' Public Association, Head of the Shusha District Executive Power Bayram Safarov.

    The event participants also included the representatives of presidential administration, cabinet of ministers, MPs, heads of the occupied districts' executive powers, mugham performers and others.

    First, the event participants examined the photo stands dedicated to the works carried out by the Heydar Aliyev Foundation with regard to the refugees and internally displaced persons.

    Opening the event, Ali Hasanov spoke about the history of the Heydar Aliyev Foundation, as well as the activities of the foundation's president, UNESCO and ISESCO Goodwill Ambassador, MP Mehriban Aliyeva.

    The Heydar Aliyev Foundation is holding large-scale international events under the guidance of Mehriban Aliyeva.

    Hasanov underscored that for this activity Mehriban Aliyeva has been awarded the highest orders, medals and awards of many states and reputable international organizations.

    He said the activities carried out under the guidance of Mehriban Aliyeva, have played an important role in introducing Azerbaijani culture, art, music, cuisine and traditions to the world.

    Speaking of Mehriban Aliyeva's attention and care towards mugham, Hasanov said that the Mugham Center was opened in Baku at the initiative of the Heydar Aliyev Foundation. Mugham festivals have made a great contribution to the development of this art.

    "The Heydar Aliyev Foundation has always cared and paid attention to the refugees and displaced persons, playing an important role in informing the world community about the realities of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict," he said.

    "The Heydar Aliyev Foundation does not forget about the children of refugees and internally displaced persons during the annual New Year celebrations and at the beginning of the new academic year," he said. "Severely ill children from IDP families are treated abroad through the Heydar Aliyev Foundation."

    Referring to the "Justice for Khojaly" campaign, Hasanov pointed out that much more was done in informing the world community about the Khojaly tragedy for the last 5-6 years as part of this campaign than during the previous 20 years. As a result, the world community has sufficient information about the Khojaly genocide.

    Other speakers also appreciated the Heydar Aliyev Foundation's activity, its care and attention to the refugees and internally displaced persons. They expressed gratitude to the president of this Foundation Mehriban Aliyeva.

    A film about the activity of the Heydar Aliyev Foundation was shown.

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  • Galatasaray don't need Podolski
    22.08.2014 17:17
    Galatasaray will not be making a bid for Arsenal striker Lukas Podolski, the Turkish giants' president has confirmed.

    Reports this week had suggested the Gunners were willing to sell the Germany international, who has failed to establish himself as a first-team regular since arriving at the Emirates Stadium in the summer of 2012.

    But while Galatasaray chief Unal Aysal admited he held talks with his manager Cesare Prandelli about Podolski, he revealed the Italian had urged him not to make a move for the 29-year-old.

    "I asked Cesare Prandelli if we should target Lukas Podolski," Aysal said. "Prandelli told us that Podolski would be a luxury transfer and that he isn't required."As a result we didn't pursue the matter further."

    Aysal suggested that Galatasaray would be significantly more interested in signing Joel Campbell, but he insisted any move is unlikely because of Arsenal's unwillingness to countenance offers for the youngster.

    "Joel Campbell is an excellent, young, promising player," he added. "However, Arsenal have not transfer listed him and won't let him leave so there is nothing we can do.

    "We will be making transfers before the end of the transfer window and strengthening the squad. We have areas we need to strengthen going into the new season."

  • Hamas kills 18 suspected informants for Israel
    22.08.2014 17:17
    Hamas executed 18 suspected informants for Israel in Gaza on Friday, the Hamas-run Al Aqsa TV reported.

    This comes one day after an Israeli strike in the Gaza city of Rafah killed three senior leaders of the Qassam Brigades, the Hamas military wing. Meanwhile Palestinian militants fired more rockets into Israel on Friday, and the Israeli Defense Forces kept up airstrikes on Gaza.

    Ashraf el-Qedra, spokesman for the Ministry of Health in Gaza, said 2,087 Palestinians have been killed since the conflict began in early July. That figure did not include the reported executions. The United Nations estimates that around 70% of the dead in the conflict were civilians.

    The fighting has killed 67 people on the Israeli side, almost all of them soldiers.

    El-Qedra said Friday that 72 Palestinians have been killed since the two sides resumed hostilities on Tuesday after the collapse of a ceasefire and talks aimed at finding a lasting end to the fighting.

    The truce fell apart after Israel reported that militants had started firing rockets again.

    Since the fighting flared up again this week, 360 rockets have been fired from Gaza toward Israel, according to the Israel Defense Forces. They have caused some injuries but no deaths. Israel's Iron Dome missile defense system has intercepted 56 of the rockets, the IDF said.

    The Israeli military has attacked around 200 targets in Gaza during the same period, the IDF said.
  • Azerbaijani agriculture to be put on fast track for innovations
    22.08.2014 17:11
    The Scientific Innovations Center (EIM) under the Azerbaijanв's National Academy of Sciences (AMEA) starts working with the Agrarian Science Center under the Ministry of Agriculture.

    According to the Innovations Center, Azer Namazov, EIM CEO, held negotiations with Asad Musayev, Manager of the Agrarian Center, and his Deputy Eldar Kosayev. The negotiations were focused at organization of the exploration and innovation system in agricultural sector, mutual explorations on the most important economic problems and development of small farms. The parties also discussed establishment of the information monitoring system, projects in area of grain crop production and processing etc.
  • Kurdish forces launch operation to retake Iraqi town
    22.08.2014 16:58
    Kurdish forces have begun an operation to force out militants with the Islamic State group from a strategic town in northern Iraq.

    Officials said Kurdish peshmerga fighters early Friday retook several areas of Jalawla, 115 kilometers northeast of Baghdad.

    The flashpoint town, which is just south of the Kurdish semi-autonomous region, was captured by Islamic State extremists on August 11.

    On Thursday, U.S. Defense Department chief Chuck Hagel said the threat posed by Islamic State extremists to global security is "beyond anything we have seen."

    Hagel, speaking in Washington, described the militants as "more than a traditional terrorist group." He said it is better armed, trained and bankrolled than any previous militancy.

    Hagel spoke alongside Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman General Martin Dempsey, who described the Islamic State organization as having "an apocalyptic, end of days vision."

    The general said the group can be defeated, but only if it is engaged in Syria as well as Iraq. He predicted the militancy will only be eradicated once it is rejected by the 20 million disenfranchised people living in the vast regions between Damascus and Baghdad.
  • Georgia, Armenia discuss cooperation issues
    22.08.2014 16:48
    Tbilisi, Georgia, Aug. 22

    By Nana Kirtzkhalia - Trend:

    During his official visit to Armenia Georgian Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili met with Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan Aug. 22.

    A meeting was held at the Presidential Palace, according to the Georgian government. The talks mainly focused on the cooperation issues between the two countries. After the meeting, the Armenian president invited the Georgian delegation to an official dinner.

    The Georgian delegation includes Foreign Minister Maia Panjikidze, Minister of Economy and Economic Development Giorgi Kvirikashvili, Energy Minister Kakha Kaladze, MP Ruslan Poghosyan, Deputy Head of the Georgian governmental administration Nino Kobakhidze, chairman of the security and crisis management council Mindia Janelidze.

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  • HBO defends scenes of sex, violence and rape
    22.08.2014 16:43
    A top HBO executive has defended the often extreme scenes of sex, violence and rape in Game of Thrones, arguing that his job is not to police "how many breasts there are on a show".

    The global hit show is known for airing graphic scenes for which has been criticised but Michael Lombardo, president of programming at HBO, said the writers have always toed the line of remaining authentic to the source books.

    "I personally don't see myself as a libertine," said Lombardo, speaking at the Guardian Edinburgh International Television Festival. "I don't think [graphic scenes] have ever been without any purpose. Dan [Weiss] and Dave [Benioff] are two very sober, thoughtful men. They have books as a map. Which involve wars, violence, sex. We have certainly not given them an edict or a note that they need to tone down the sexual content in the show."

    The level of violence and graphic scenes in the show has raised debate within the vast community of fans. A recently aired rape scene was widely discussed in the media, sparking a storm of criticism and debate about sexual violence.

    The scene involved the character of Jaime Lannister raping his twin sister, Cersei, which critics said was a gratuitous departure from George RR Martin's books, where they have consensual sex.
  • Teenagers who get fewer than 6 hours sleep are 20 % more likely to be obese by 21 RESEARCH
    22.08.2014 16:37
    In the new study, researchers at the Columbia University and the University of North Carolina analysed health information from more than 10,000 Americans aged 16 and again at 21.

    Information on height and weight and sleep was collected during home visits in 1995 and 2001 Nearly one-fifth of the 16-year-olds reported getting less than six hours of sleep. And this group was 20 per cent more likely to be obese by age 21, compared to their peers who got more than eight hours of sleep.

    While lack of physical activity and time spent watching television contributed to obesity, they did not account for the relationship between sleeplessness and obesity. The risk of being obese by the age of 21 is significantly higher in those who got six rather than eight hours sleep a night

    Daytime sleepiness and fatigue are known to affect what and how people eat, by altering appetite and stimulating cravings.

    Energy levels may also play a role. For the sleep-deprived, ordering calorie-dense fast food is easier than preparing a nutritious meal.

    'Lack of sleep in your teenage years can stack the deck against you for obesity later in life,' said Shakira Suglia, assistant professor of epidemiology at Columbia University.

    'Once youв're an obese adult, it is much harder to lose weight and keep it off. And the longer you are obese, the greater your risk for health problems like heart disease, diabetes, and cancer.'

    'The message for parents is to make sure their teenagers get more than eight hours a night,' adds Dr Suglia.

    'A good nightв's sleep does more than help them stay alert in school. It helps them grow into healthy adults.'

    Information on what the teenagers ate was not recorded in the surveys, although it could play a role. The researchers now plan to examine whether fizzy drink consumption disrupts sleep - and in turn has an effect on obesity.

    The study is published in the Journal of Pediatrics.
  • Global economy scared by skyrocketing global aging
    22.08.2014 16:27
    The world is graying at a break-neck pace and that's bad news for the global economy.

    By 2020, 13 countries will be "super-aged" -- with more than 20% of the population over 65 -- according to a report by Moody's Investor Service.

    That number will rise to 34 nations by 2030. Only three qualify now: Germany, Italy and Japan.

    "Demographic transition ... is now upon us," warn Elena Duggar and Madhavi Bokil, the authors of the Moody's report.

    "The unprecedented pace of aging will have a significant negative effect on economic growth over the next two decades across all regions."

    They cite Conference Board estimates that rapid aging will knock nearly one percentage point off global growth rates over the next decade.

    Related: 31% of Americans have no retirement savings

    According to Moody's, Greece and Finland will turn "super-aged" next year. Eight countries, including France and Sweden, will have joined them by 2020.

    Canada, Spain and the U.K. will be "super-aged" by 2025, and the U.S. will follow by 2030.

    The problem isn't confined to Europe and North America. Singapore and Korea will be in that category by 2030, while China will also face "severe aging pressures."

    Global aging boom to hit economy?

    Aging populations create problems because there could be fewer working people to drive economic growth and support the retired population.

    The report's authors say that this demographic trend will lead to a decline in household savings, which in turn will reduce global investment.

    But policymakers can minimize the impact by encouraging immigration to expand the workforce, and by investing in technology to help workers become more productive.

    Other measures could include policies to keep people in work by raising the retirement age or enticing stay-at-home mothers to return to their jobs.

  • Ukrainian Foreign Minister receives Honorary Consul of Azerbaijan to Kharkiv
    22.08.2014 16:26
    Ukraine's Foreign Minister Pavel Klimkin has received Honorary Consul of Azerbaijan to Kharkiv Afghan Salmanov.

    APA reports quoting the press service of Ukraine's Embassy in Azerbaijan that the Minister solemnly presented a consular exequatur to Salmanov, congratulated him on taking the office and wished him success in his future endeavors.

    Charge d'Affaires of Azerbaijani Embassy in Ukraine Nazim Aliyev attended the ceremony and expressed his gratitude to the Minister for the positive solution of the issue despite the ongoing situation in Ukraine. He said that it would give an impetus to further development of the strategic partnership between Azerbaijan and Ukraine and regional cooperation.
  • VTB says Azerbaijani banking market is one of the fastest growing
    22.08.2014 16:16
    Baku, Azerbaijan, Aug.22

    By Zulyiffa Kurbanova - Trend:

    Azerbaijani banking market is one of the most stable and dynamically developing ones, the head of the Department of subsidiaries, Senior Vice President of VTB Bank Mikhail Yakunin told Trend Aug. 22.

    He said that Azerbaijan had the best macroeconomic indicators of all the post-Soviet countries.

    "It is remarkable that the economy develops not only due to the oil sector, but also due to industry and other spheres. The share of the oil sector in the economy in recent years reduced. And it is one of the major positive points," he said.

    He added that the general economic situation, the growth of the banking sector of about 10 percent, relatively stable exchange rates create favorable conditions for the conduction of banking business in Azerbaijan.

    One of the results of the successful dynamic development of Bank VTB subsidiary in Azerbaijan, VTB Bank (Azerbaijan) is that the Bank was created "from scratch", in partnership with Ata Holding JSC, which understands the current market situation of the country and implements her expert evaluation.

    "It's the combination of examination of the Azerbaijani and Russian banking markets that led to a successful outcome. Bank implemented the tasks of the previous three-year strategy and achieved a positive financial result," said Yakunin, and he added that last year, the return of the Azerbaijani subsidiary bank capital amounted to about 18 percent, which is a very good indicator.

    Yakunin said that currently the bank has no plans to increase its stake in the subsidiary structure in Azerbaijan.

    "We are completely satisfied with the current proportion with our partners. We believe that it is the guarantee of the efficiency which we have achieved," he said.

    Regarding to the further development of activities in Azerbaijan, Yakunin said that a three-year strategy for the Group as a whole has been adopted in the current year, including each of its subsidiary banks.

    "The next three years we will focus on improving the efficiency, namely, on the expansion of the product line, on the providing of new services. Moreover, special emphasis will be put on expenditures. This means that the bank should give more return of capital, should be more effective," Yakunin noted, stressing that within the framework of this strategy VTB Bank (Azerbaijan) intends to enter the top 10 banks of the country during the next three years.

    He said that VTB Bank does not exclude its presence in other areas of business in Azerbaijan, but at the moment this issue is not considered.

    "We do not exclude such a possibility. Indeed, the market is a very interesting and dynamic one, but at the moment we do not consider the issues of expanding or buying the other banks," he said.

    Bank VTB (Azerbaijan) is a subsidiary of VTB Bank. Shareholders of Bank VTB (Azerbaijan) JSC are: VTB Bank JSC and AtaHolding JSC.

    Bank VTB (Azerbaijan) provides services to clients of corporate business, small business and private clients. Today the bank comprises of six branches and a customer service office at the main office.

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  • Unemployment level decreases in Georgia
    22.08.2014 16:16
    Tbilisi, Georgia, Aug. 22

    By Nana Kirtzkhalia - Trend:

    The unemployment level decreased in Georgia compared to previous years, head of the Employment Department of the Social Services Agency of the Georgian Ministry of Health Tea Sturua told media referring to the Georgian National Statistics Service.

    "Around 56.6 percent of the population of Georgia were provided with jobs in 2012, while 56.8 percent in 2013," she said.

    "The number of unemployed decreased to 15 percent in Georgia in 2012, while 14.6 percent in 2013 compared to previous years," she said.

    There is no data on unemployment in Georgia as of 2014.

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  • Kazakhstan commissions two national railways
    22.08.2014 16:15
    Astana, Kazakhstan, Aug.22

    By Daniyar Mukhtarov - Trend:

    Kazakhstan held a ceremony to commission two new railways, Zhezkazgan-Beineu and Arkalyk-Shubarkol on Aug. 22. The president of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev attended the ceremony.

    Some 500 billion tenge were spent on the construction of these railways, Nazarbayev said at the ceremony [182 tenge = $ 1].

    "Today we participate in a very important event of the year. We launch the two railway lines in one day and that happens for the first time in our history. The work of railways will determine the life of a number of regions throughout the republic for many years and decades to come. Launch of new lines, stations is possible in our country, for the economic development of Kazakhstan. The government spent $ 500 billion tenge on these railroads," he said.

    Ceremony of commissioning the railways took place by means of direct connection with the starting points of construction: "Beyneu" station in the Mangistau region, the "Shalkar" station in the Aktobe region, "Saksaulskaya" station in Kyzylorda province and the city of Zhezkazgan.

    Within the frameworks of the railways construction 1,200 kilometers of railway lines, 46 bridges and overpasses and other industrial infrastructure were built, 570 culverts points installed, more than 4,200 kilometers of power supply lines conducted, the president of "NC" JSC Kazakhstan Temir Joly "(KTZ) Askar Mamin said.

    The rail transportations within the frameworks of the new lines will be implemented through 23 stations and 33 sidetrack, including the gateways "Arkalyk", "Shubarkol", "Zheskazgan", "Saksaulskaya", "Shalkar", "Beyneu", the head of the JSC said.

    "Input of the newly commissioned railways activates routes of traffic on more than a thousand kilometers in the direction of "North-South" and "East-West" transport corridors, he said.

    He added that the commissioning of new railway lines will significantly increase the transit potential of the Transkazakh transport corridors in all directions.

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  • UN Security Council discusses Nagorno-Karabakh conflict
    22.08.2014 16:14
    Baku, Azerbaijan, Aug.22

    By Sabina Akhmedova - Trend:

    The UN Security Council held an open debate on the theme "Conflict Prevention", a statement posted on its website said.

    The report notes that the Permanent Representative of Azerbaijan in the UN Yashar Aliyev spoke in the public debate.

    In his speech Aliyev said that Armenia's unconstructiveness in the negotiations, its interest in

    maintaining the status quo, its evasion of the Madrid peace plan, its refusal to comply with the relevant resolutions of the United Nations Security Council, its policy of ruthless ethnic cleansing and its latest provocative actions aimed at undermining the peace process - all these provide the strongest grounds to impose substantial sanctions against Armenia by the international community.

    The continued presence of Armenia's armed forces on the occupied territories of Azerbaijan remains the biggest threat to the peace process.

    Therefore, first and foremost, the armed forces of Armenia must withdraw from the occupied territories of Azerbaijan.

    The earlier Armenia realizes this; the sooner peace, stability, and predictability can be restored in the region.

    The conflict between the two South Caucasus countries began in 1988 when Armenia made territorial claims against Azerbaijan.

    As a result of the ensuing war, in 1992 Armenian armed forces occupied 20 percent of Azerbaijan, including the Nagorno-Karabakh region and seven surrounding districts.

    The two countries signed a ceasefire agreement in 1994. The co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group, Russia, France and the U.S. are currently holding peace negotiations.

    Armenia has not yet implemented four U.N. Security Council resolutions on the liberation of the Nagorno-Karabakh and the surrounding regions.

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  • CBA bans consumer credits advertising
    22.08.2014 16:08
    Baku, Azerbaijan, Aug.22

    By Emin Aliyev, Zulfiyya Kurbanova - Trend:

    Commercial banks operating in Azerbaijan were instructed by the Central Bank of Azerbaijan (CBA) to terminate advertising of consumer credit products, a senior source in the Azerbaijani banking market told Trend Aug. 22.

    The call with the corresponding requirement was made to the Bank last week, and now the bank is going to focus on advertising in crediting of small and medium-sized businesses.

    He said that an indication of the CBA does not cause significant problems, since the bank already has a sufficient customer base. "But the new players in the market will have a very hard time," said the source.

    The representative of another Azerbaijani Bank reported that he is aware of such a ban, but he declined to give details, citing the lack of information.

    In its turn, the press service of one of the largest retail banks in Azerbaijan categorically denied such directive from the CBA.

    Such decision of a regulator is a response to the comments made by the President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev during the last meeting of the Cabinet of Ministers dedicated to the socio-economic development of the country. In his closing speech, the President said that the commercial banks in the country need to actively credit the real sector and to support economic development, and not to content with consumer loans.

    There are 44 banks in Azerbaijan.

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  • Criminal case launched on abusive act committed on graves of Ilham and Fariza
    22.08.2014 15:59
    The Baku City Prosecutorв's Office has launched a criminal case on an abusive act committed on the graves of Ilham and Fariza in the Alley of Martyrs on the night of August 21-22.

    The press service of the General Prosecutor's Office told APA that the Baku City Main Police Office has been told to conduct an investigation into the criminal case.

    Urgent investigative operations are underway to find and arrest the committer(s) of the act.

    An unknown person or group of persons have committed an abusive act on the graves of Ilham and Fariza.
  • Apple ordered to pull secret app from store
    22.08.2014 15:54
    A court in Brazil has ordered Apple to pay a fine of almost $9,000 (ВЈ5,400) per day if it does not remove a controversial app from its store.

    Secret was designed to anonymously share gossip between friends, but it has also been abused by people posting libellous and bullying claims.

    Now Judge Paulo Cesar de Carvalho of the Fifth Civil Court of Victoria has given Apple 10 days to comply with an order to remove the app from its digital store in the country.

    If it fails to act, the company will be fined 20,000 Reals every day, according to Brazil news outlet Estadao.

    Apple has also been asked to remove the app from individual devices.

    Both requests are feasible '" it is relatively simple to remove an app from the store, and it is technically possible to block software installed on iPhones and iPads, although it is usually used as a last resort. The same court has also ordered Microsoft to pull Cryptic '" which is the equivalent Windows Phone app.

    Brazil's constitution outlaws anonymous attacks where the subject of the claims cannot defend themselves.
  • Ilham Aliyev receives new head of United States Transportation Command
    22.08.2014 15:43
    The parties stressed the importance of the implementation of major projects in this direction.

    Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev received the newly appointed head of the United States Transportation Command, Gen. Paul Joseph Selva.

    Oxu.Az reports with reference to AzerTag that the successful development of bilateral relations between Azerbaijan and the United States in various fields, including in the field of transport infrastructure, ground and freight traffic were emphasized at the meeting.

    It was noted that owing to its favorable geographical location and economic success Azerbaijan has become one of the most important countries in the field of transportation.

    During the conversation, Azerbaijan's participation in the peacekeeping mission in Afghanistan, our country's contribution in ensuring transport were appreciated. The two sides exchanged views on the prospects of cooperation.
  • New app calls you to leave virtual world
    22.08.2014 15:38
    What would you do if you only had one day to live? Probably not spend time downloading and fiddling with a mobile app, we're guessing.

    But a new app, Sobrr, wants you to embrace life in just that way. It lets you create a social network geared toward meeting new people around you, sharing photos and videos of what you're up to and supporting other users who are also living it up. Or whatever.

    Using GPS, Sobrr identifies other users close to you and shows them your posts. They may then "cheer" or comment on those posts and, if both parties agree, they can become "24-hour friends." There's an option for users who hit it off to make each other permanent parts of their network.

    The kicker is that, anything you do using the app is totally erased after 24 hours. Texts you send to other users disappear after a few seconds and photos or videos you share can go away nearly as quickly.

    The app's co-founder, Bruce Yang, says that in an era when your third-grade teacher can find you on Facebook and anyone you've ever met at work wants to network on LinkedIn, people are craving an app like Sobrr. It lets them share without worrying their actions will go down on their permanent record.

    "It promotes sharing only the most refreshing contents and leading a casual relationship with no strings attached," said Yang, an alum of Fitbit, LinkedIn and Microsoft.

    So, you can call Sobrr the anti-Facebook. But if you want to call it Tinder meets Snapchat meets Foursquare, you wouldn't be that far-off either.

    The app's name reflects the moment the idea first dawned on Yang -- the morning after a Las Vegas bachelor party. He says he noticed all of his fellow partyers rushing onto their social media accounts to make sure they hadn't shared any incriminating info about the previous night.

    No, Yang says, his app isn't just another tool for the hookup culture or a way to send naughty photos without having to answer for them later. But if somebody wants to use it that way? He's not here to stop them.

    "From the party animals that I've surveyed, more than half admitted that they want to meet new people in the party, and crave for a one-night stand," he said.

    Sobrr lets users post content "that they might otherwise feel too embarrassed to post on other platforms," he said. Yang also said it's important for users "to have their own space and little secrets."

    But he maintains that "naughty stuff" is only a small part of what users have been sharing in the month since the app's release.

    "We understand that 'hooking up' is the need of many users on the platform, but we really value more of the casual interaction and conversation on the platform -- the foreplay of hooking up," he said. "People are more attracted by each other based on their life moments or a common interest."

    It's possible the Silicon Valley startup is onto something. In the past year or so, ephemeral messaging apps such as Snapchat, Confide and Wickr have flourished.

    So far, the app's user base remains relatively small, boasting 10,000 users in the weeks it's been available exclusively for Apple's mobile devices. Whether more folks will flock to it to live a more carefree social media life, or merely hide the evidence from their wild nights out, remains to be seen.

  • Arsenal to offer PSG ВЈ32million Edinson Cavani transfer
    22.08.2014 15:38
    Arsenal are set to offer Paris Saint Germain ВЈ32million plus Olivier Giroud for their striker Edinson Cavani, according to reports in France.

    Cavani has been rumoured to be a transfer target for Gunners boss Arsene Wenger and he has been boosted by suggestions that the Uruguayan wants to quit PSG this summer.

    And now French news website reports that Arsenal are poised to finally make a player-plus-cash offer for him.

    They claim the bid will be ВЈ32milion cash plus Giroud going the other way, with the total package worth about ВЈ50million.

    Itв's not clear wether PSG would accept such an offer after Zlatan Ibrahimovic picked up an injury last weekend, but Giroud would be a cheaper backup option to the Swede '" helping the Ligue 1 team to lower their wage bill.

    Arsenal have been linked with a host of top strikers this summer from Loic Remy to Mario Balotelli.
  • Beyonce and Jay-Zв's to Cuba was legal
    22.08.2014 15:33
    Beyonce and Jay-Z's fifth wedding anniversary trip to Cuba last year has been ruled legal by the US Treasury Department.

    The superstar couple spent four days in the Caribbean island's capital Havana in April 2013 where they dined in expensive restaurants and Jay-Z enjoyed Cuban cigars.

    Their visit attracted huge crowds of fans, which prompted criticism from Republican politicians who questioned whether the couple broke a travel embargo.

    Washington's 51-year ruling makes it illegal for US citizens to visit Cuba for mere tourism, although tens of thousands of Americans travel to the island each year on academic, religious, journalistic or cultural exchange licences.

    But the Treasury's inspector general has determined that the couple's trip was educational because they visited an art school and local theatre group.

    Americans who fail to comply with the laws could face "civil penalties and criminal prosecution", according to the US Treasury. Fines of $250,000 (ВЈ151,000) and up to 10 years in prison are possible.

    Beyonce and Jay-Z married privately in 2008 and had a baby girl, named Blue Ivy Carter, in January 2012.

    The pair have just finished their joint On The Run tour in the US.
  • All measures taken to save Russian kidnapped in Syria - Foreign Ministry
    22.08.2014 15:27
    The Russian Foreign Ministry has taken all measures to save the life of Russian tourist , kidnapped in Syria last year.

    The statement came from sources in the Russian Foreign Ministry.

    "Given the delicacy of the issue, and since any careless publication or information leak can cause an irreparable damage, we believe it is expedient to just say that Russia's Foreign Ministry has taken all the necessary measures to save the life and health of Zhuravlev and to liberate him," the statement reads.

    "The work has been in progress with the Syrian authorities, as well as with the representatives of the opposition, including National Coalition for Syrian Revolutionary and Opposition Forces. The requests have been sent to the representatives in the United States, France, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and other international and regional parties capable to influence Syrian armed groups," the ministry said.

    Zhuravlev, a 32-year-old former computer programmer, went missing in Syria in October 2013. Later, militants from the Liva al-Tauhid extremist group announced on the Internet that they had captured a Russian spy.

    Zhuravlev entered Syria from Turkey and was hitchhiking his way to the Sahara Desert as part of a project called "Alone with the Desert," when he was detained in Aleppo by Syrian rebels on suspicion of spying for the Syrian government and for Russia, according to a friend.
  • Ceasefire braeach kept by Armenian forces
    22.08.2014 15:14
    Over the past 24 hours Armenians opened fire at the Azerbaijani armed forces from the positions located near the villages of Shikhlar of the Aghdam region and Tapgaragoyunlu of the Goranboy region, Azerbaijan's Defense Ministry said Aug. 22.

    The opposing side was silenced with return fire.

    The conflict between the two South Caucasus countries began in 1988 when Armenia made territorial claims against Azerbaijan.

    As a result of the ensuing war, in 1992 Armenian armed forces occupied 20 percent of Azerbaijan, including the Nagorno-Karabakh region and seven surrounding districts.

    The two countries signed a ceasefire agreement in 1994. The co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group, Russia, France and the U.S. are currently holding peace negotiations.

    Armenia has not yet implemented four U.N. Security Council resolutions on the liberation of the Nagorno-Karabakh and the surrounding regions.

  • Azerbaijan to invest $20bn in Turkey's economy
    22.08.2014 15:13
    Over the next 8 years the amount of $20bn will be invested in Turkey, which will be the largest investment of Azerbaijan abroad.

    Oxu.Az reports citing Qafqazinfo that the statement came from Azerbaijani ambassador to Turkey Faik Bagirov speaking at a meeting organized by the Council of Foreign Economic Relations and the Turkish-Azerbaijan Business Council.

    Stressing that the trade volume between Turkey and Azerbaijan is AZN 3 300 000 000, the ambassador noted that the trade turnover will be increased to 15 000 000 000.

    Bagirov also noted that a large part of these investments will be made in the Izmir region.
  • Embassy opening in Tbilisi discussed in Argentina
    22.08.2014 15:08
    Tbilisi, Georgia, Aug. 22

    By Nana Kirtzkhalia - Trend:

    The working meetings of the members of the Georgian parliamentary delegation, headed by Speaker David Usupashvili are underway within the Latin America tour.

    After leaving Paraguay, the delegation visited Argentina, where it held the first meeting with the Foreign Minister Hector Timerman.

    The parties discussed the important issues for Georgia, bilateral relations and current processes in the region. Georgian parliamentarians also raised the issue of strengthening the diplomatic relations and the opening of the Georgian Embassy in Argentina. This was appreciated by the opposite side.

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  • Head of Uzbek agroindustrial holding appointed
    22.08.2014 15:03
    Tashkent, Uzbekistan, Aug. 22

    By Demir Azizov- Trend:

    Farhad Yoldashev was appointed chairman of UzAgroPromMashHolding upon a decree of the Uzbek Cabinet of Ministers, the company told Trend Aug. 22.

    Earlier, Yoldashev worked as the deputy chairman of board of the Uzavtoprom joint-stock company (JSC), the company said.

    UzAgroPromMashHolding was established in May 2014 in accordance with the decree of Uzbek President Islam Karimov for conducting the unified scientific-technical and investment policy to create new and to modernize existing facilities producing machinery for agriculture.

    UzAgroPromMashHolding's initial authorized fund is formed through the state shares transferred to the company. A stake of at least 51 percent is state-owned in this holding.

    The holding includes: "Tashkent Tractor Plant" OJSC, "Chirchikselmash" OJSC (Chirchik, Tashkent region), "Aggregate Plant" OJSC (Tashkent) and "Onyx" OJSC (Tashkent).

    Uzselhozmash Holding, consisting of 13 companies and associate members of agricultural machinery of the republic, including three joint ventures: UzCaseTraktor , UzCaseMash and UzCaseService was liquidated upon the Uzbek president's decree in late 2007.

    The enterprises within the holding have been reorganized. In particular, the Tashkent Tractor Plant was enlarged, and most enterprises were liquidated due to economic inefficiency.

    The capacity of the agricultural machinery market in Uzbekistan is estimated at 10,000 units per year, including about 5,000 tractors and about 500 harvesters, according to local experts. The potential power of the Tashkent Tractor Plant, the largest producer in the country, remains at the level of 12,000 tractors per year. In real, it does not produce more than 2,500 tractors.

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  • British diplomats to discuss regional issues in Baku
    22.08.2014 15:03
    Baku, Azerbaijan, Aug. 22

    By Sabina Ahmadova - Trend:

    British diplomats arrived in Baku to discuss regional issues, according to a statement posted on Twitter page of the British Embassy in Azerbaijan.

    British Ambassadors to Georgia and Armenia Alexandra Hall Hall and Katherine Jane Leach, British Consul General in Istanbul Leigh Turner and a representative of the Foreign Ministry of the country arrived in Baku.

    The diplomats met in Baku to discuss regional issues, the report said.

    Such a meeting of British diplomats is held annually. It was held in Georgia in 2013.

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  • Official reviews obstacles for Iran tech-based firms in Turkmenistan market
    22.08.2014 14:58
    Iran's Vice President for Scientific and Technological Affairs Sorena Sattari reviewed problems on the way of Iranian knowledge-based firms in Turkmenistan markets with President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedow.

    During the meeting with the Turkmen Presidnet, he outlined Iran's scientific and technological achievements, Iran's IRNA news agency reported Aug. 22.

    Sattari also voiced Iran's interest in further expanding fruitful and constrictive ties with Ashgabat.

    Berdimuhamedow, for his part, said that given the capacities of the two neighboring and friendly countries, they can act as economic complementary to each other.

    They also reviewed problems facing the Iranian knowledge-based companies to enter Turkmen markets.

    During his visit, Sattari also hold separate talks with the country's foreign minister and vice president for scientific and sports affairs as well as vice president for commercial and economic affairs.

    Current developments and prospects of Tehran-Ashgabat relations were at the focus of discussions.

    Referring to Iran's achievements in the fields of science and technology, Sattari also voiced Iran's readiness to export technological products to Turkmenistan.

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  • "General Electric" prepares energy project for Turkmenistan
    22.08.2014 14:53
    Ashgabat, Turkmenistan, Aug.20

    By Huseyn Hasanov- Trend:

    "General Electric" U.S. company prepared a project for the construction of a combined-type power plant based on combined-cycle gas turbine in Mary velayat (region) of Turkmenistan, a statement of the Ministry of Energy and Industry of Turkmenistan says.

    The statement notes that the proposals were presented by the president of "General Electric Power amp; Water" for Europe, Middle East and Africa Ricardo Cordoba at a meeting with Turkmenistan President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov.

    "General Electric" is a longtime partner of Turkmenistan.

    "General Electric" will make every effort for further expansion of cooperation with Turkmenistan, said Cordoba during a meeting.

    The project aims to expand the export capacities of the national electric power industry of Turkmenistan, according to the statement.

    The mentioned power plant is based on a combined-cycle gas turbine of the total 1586 MW worth of capacity and belongs to the engineering and technical developments of the new generation.

    Combined-cycle power plant is a complex of modern technological facilities. Among them are the four gas turbines of 263 MW each, two steam boilers designed for the production of 360 tonnes of steam per hour each, steam turbine and other equipment.

    Combined-cycle power plants are also of great interest in environmental terms, as the volumes of emissions of combustion products, in particular carbon dioxide, are reduced by two or three times.

    The Mary province already has an operating plant that was commissioned in 1973, based on the Shatlyk gas field. The installed capacity of the power plant is 1,685 MW.

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  • At least 33 dead in bus crash in Egypt's Sinai
    22.08.2014 14:39
    At least 33 people died and dozens were injured when two buses collided before dawn on Friday in Egypt's Sinai Peninsula, the state news agency and security sources reported.

    The Middle East News Agency (MENA) quoted local health ministry official Mohamed Lashin as saying that Russian, Yemeni and Saudi Arabian citizens were among the more than 40 people injured but did not give further details.

    Lashin said that the injured were being transferred to two hospitals in the area. He said bodies were still being lifted from the wreckage so the death toll could rise.

    The buses were traveling in the southern part of the Sinai, one of them from the Red Sea resort city of Sharm el-Sheikh and the other from a Nile Delta province, security sources said.

    Egypt's roads and railways have a poor safety record and Egyptians have long complained that successive governments have failed to enforce even basic safeguards, leading to frequent, deadly crashes.
  • Outgoing President GГјl the first to congratulate next PM DavutoДџlu
    22.08.2014 14:28
    Outgoing President Abdullah GГјl became the first of a series of officials to congratulate Ahmet DavutoДџlu after the foreign minister was nominated as a successor as prime minister to President-elect Recep Tayyip ErdoДџan.

    After a meeting at the headquarters of his ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), ErdoДџan announced that the party was designating DavutoДџlu, 55, to replace him as the party's new leader and prime minister, Hurriyet Daily reports.

    Gül called DavutoДџlu by telephone, while the latter was still on his way home from the party headquarters. Congratulating DavutoДџlu, Gül also wished him success, the state-run Anadolu Agency reported.

    Gül was once considered a possible candidate for prime minister in a job swap with ErdoДџan, but he has publicly split with ErdoДџan. After the door for the premiership was shut on Gül in what many saw as a ruthless humiliation by his enemies in the AKP, the extent of his bitterness was highlighted at a farewell reception on Aug. 19 by his wife, Hayrünnisa Gül, who complained that her husband had been the victim of "many falsehoods and a great deal of disrespect."

    During the same reception, Gül became the highest-level official to openly name DavutoДџlu as Turkey's next prime minister, two days before the AKP's announcement.

    "As far as it seems, our foreign minister Ahmet Bey will take over [the Prime Ministry]. You know that it's me who brought him into politics and into state life. It was me who appointed him as an ambassador," Gül told the Ankara bureau chiefs of Turkish newspapers late Aug. 19, on the sidelines of his last farewell reception.

    He was referring to the fact that DavutoДџlu was first appointed as Gül's chief foreign policy adviser during the latter's short period as prime minister in early 2003. He continued to serve as an adviser to both ErdoДџan and Gül until 2009, when he was appointed foreign minister. DavutoДџlu was elected to Parliament for the first time in the 2011 elections.
  • Acrobat jump 55m off a crane into a massive aircushion
    22.08.2014 14:13
    You have a crane and a gigantic air cushion so of course youв're going jump from one onto the other'¦right?

    For acrobat Greg Roe, he used the 55m drop to perform flip after flip after snap twist.

    To give perspective to the true craziness of this stunt, Roe hit the cushion at aspeed of 150km/h from a height equivalent to a 25 storey building.

    It might just make Tom Daleyв's 10m dives seem a little on the pedestrian side.

    The aircushion works in a similar way to the foam pitsused by gymnasts to soften landings but has an ability to absorb much more force.

    Who wants to do a bungee jump if this is available?
  • OSCE consults Turkmenistan in criminal justice
    22.08.2014 14:13
    Ashgabat, Turkmenistan, Aug. 22

    By Huseyn Hasanov- Trend:

    Members of the Mejlis (Parliament) and representatives of judiciary and law enforcement agencies of Turkmenistan discussed decriminalization of parts of the criminal justice system at an OSCE-organized seminar that concluded in Ashgabat, OSCE office in Ashgabat said Aug. 22.

    The OSCE Centre in Ashgabat organized the event to raise the participant's awareness about different scenarios for decriminalization reform, taking into account existing international standards and best international experiences in this field.

    "The OSCE Centre in Ashgabat welcomes the adoption of a new Code of Turkmenistan on Administrative Wrongdoings and the decriminalization of a number of offences," said Ambassador Ivo Petrov, Head of the OSCE Centre in Ashgabat.

    "Since 2007, the Centre has been implementing activities in the area of administering criminal justice, and as Turkmenistan has recently declared its initiatives on humanization and decriminalization of the administration of criminal justice, we believe this seminar will make a substantial contribution to the efforts of the country's government," according to the statement.

    The seminar covered topics such as international norms in the area of humanizing criminal law, protecting victims of crime and a comparative legal analysis of the process of criminal law humanization in some countries of Western Europe, the CIS as well as the United States.

    A new Code of Administrative Offences has entered into force in Turkmenistan since January 2014. Several criminal offenses are considered as administrative offences.

    The matter rests in the offences, related to the beatings, reckless infliction of injuries of medium severity, libel, slander, and a number of others. After innovations were made, legal entities began acting as entities of administrative legal relations on a par with physical persons.

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