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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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    The signing ceremony took place during the official visit of Slovenian President Borut Pahor to Turkmenistan from July 22 to July 23, the government message said.

    During the visit, Pahor held negotiations with his Turkmen counterpart Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov.

    The sphere of communications and telecommunications is one of the most promising and dynamically developing sectors of Turkmenistan's economy. The country's Ministry of Communications has partner relations with such companies as Sony, JVC, Siemens-Nokia, Shell amp; Wilcox, Tandberg, Rhode amp; Schwarz, NEC, Eurasia Trans Ltd, Prima Telecom and others.

    TurkmenTelecom reviews the proposals from the Cisco, Alcatel, Juniper and other companies on using high-quality television and broadband Internet access in the country.

    Turkmenistan also plans to put its first satellite into the orbit with the assistance of France's Thales Alenia Space company.

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  • Azerbaijani president signs order to speed up socio-economic development of Khizi District
    23.07.2014 20:56
    Baku, Azerbaijan, July 23


    President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev signed an order on extra measures to speed up the socio-economic development of Khizi District.

    Under the presidential order, two million AZN were allocated from the President`s 2014 Reserve Fund to the Khizi District Executive Authorities.

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  • Bombs in north Nigeria's Kaduna kill at least 82
    23.07.2014 20:44
    Two bomb blasts in the north Nigerian city of Kaduna killed at least 82 people on Wednesday, officials said, in attacks that bore the hallmarks of violent Islamist group Boko Haram, Reuters reported.

    A suicide bomber targeting a moderate Muslim cleric killed at least 32 of the cleric's congregation on a busy commercial road. Shortly after, a second bomb blast killed 50 people in the crowded Kawo market on Wednesday, a local Red Cross worker on the scene, who declined to be named, told Reuters.

    Thousands were gathered for prayers with Sheikh Dahiru Bauchi in Murtala Muhammed square, and when his convoy pulled up, the bomber lunged at him before being stopped by his private security, witnesses and police said.

    "The attack was targeted at the sheikh. No arrest has been made yet," said police commissioner Shehu Umar.

    The bomb did not injure Bauchi, several witnesses told Reuters. Mustafa Sani, a volunteer for Bauchi's mosque evacuating bodies, said there were 32 confirmed dead so far.

    "Somebody with a bomb vest ... was blocked. He detonated the bomb along with the person that tried to block him," Umar said, adding that police had only been able to confirm 25 dead, with 14 wounded. Police sometimes give lower casualty tolls than workers on the scene.

    A Reuters reporter saw blood and body parts scattered on the Alkali Road in the city center. The military used pick-up trucks to cordon off the area. Sirens wailed as fire engines raced to the scene.

    An angry crowd started throwing stones at police, who responded by dispersing them with tear gas. Some followers had come from Senegal, Chad and Niger to see the popular sheikh.

    There was no immediate claim of responsibility for either blast, but Islamist militant group Boko Haram has been staging attacks, especially with explosives, outside its northeastern heartlands in the past three months.

    Since launching an insurgency in 2009, the militants have often attacked clerics, like Bauchi, who take issue with their Salafist ideology. If Boko Haram is responsible for Wednesday's attack, it underscores the risks moderate clerics take speaking out against it.

    The insurgents, who are fighting to carve out an Islamic state in Nigeria, have repeatedly targeted civilians this year, mostly in remote northeastern Borno state. They killed more than 2,000 civilians during the first half of this year, Human Rights Watch (HRW) estimated a week ago.

    The Islamists sacked the northeast town of Damboa and surrounding villages over the weekend, killing at least 50 people.

    The rebellion has been in the international spotlight since Boko Haram fighters kidnapped more than 200 girls from a school in the northeastern village of Chibok on April 14th. President Goodluck Jonathan met parents of the abducted girls, and some other girls who had escaped, for the first time on Tuesday.

    Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau last week claimed responsibility for two explosions on June 25 at a fuel depot in Lagos, Nigeria's commercial hub, that killed at least two people. A military offensive since May last year that was meant to dismantle their hold on the northeast has caused the militants to react in two ways: brutal attacks on civilians in the region have surged dramatically, and efforts to strike out in areas far from the rebels' strongholds have resumed. A blast in the central city of Jos, 170 km (105 miles) east of Kaduna, killed 118 people in May.

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  • Israel airstrike kills 5 in northern Gaza
    23.07.2014 20:44
    An Israeli airstrike on the northern Gaza Strip killed five people Wednesday, medics said, as a 16-day conflict between Israel and Hamas raged on, AFP reported.

    The strike took Wednesday's toll to more than 30 Palestinians killed and the overall toll to more than 660, according to figures from emergency services spokesman Ashraf al-Qudra.

    Following the discovery of corpses of three abducted Jewish teenagers on July 12 in the West Bank of the Jordan River, the Israeli government accused the Islamic Resistance Movement, Hamas.

    Israeli officials, including Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, said that new military operations would be launched in the Gaza Strip in revenge on Hamas for the killing of the teenagers.

    Earlier on July 2, the 17-year-old Muhammed Abu Khudair was kidnapped and killed in Jerusalem, which led to rocket strikes on Israeli cities from the Gaza Strip.

    Then on July 8, Israel announced the beginning of a military operation dubbed "Protective Edge" in the Gaza Strip.

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  • Georgian parliament speaker meets with newly elected Israeli president
    23.07.2014 20:38
    Tbilisi, Georgia, July 23

    By Nana Kirtzkhalia - Trend:

    The chairman of Georgian parliament David Usupashvili has met with the newly elected Israeli President Reuven Rivlin.

    The Israeli president congratulated the guest with signing the association agreement with EU and wished success in the process of integration into Europe, Georgian parliament told Trend.

    The two sides discussed the situation in Israel and the current status of the Georgian-Russian relations.

    "I am glad to have an opportunity to meet with the speaker of Georgian parliament. David Usupashvili visited Israel in such a hard time, which shows the great friendship between Israel and Georgia. Our people, parliaments and governments have close friendly ties and I hope that this will continue in the future as well," Rivlin said.

    The Georgian parliament speaker is also expected to meet with the chairman of the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee Ze'ev Elkin and opposition leader Isaac Herzog.

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  • Turkmenistan, Slovenia agree to cooperate in energy security sphere
    23.07.2014 20:33
    Ashgabat, Turkmenistan, July 23

    By Huseyn Hasanov- Trend:

    "Turkmenistan and Slovenia are ready to cooperate in ensuring the global energy security," Turkmen President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov said after the negotiations with his Slovenian counterpart Borut Pahor.

    "Currently, it is very important to ensure the global energy security. Turkmenistan and Slovenia hold similar positions on this issue," a message from the Turkmen government said.

    Berdimuhamedov underscored that his country regards Slovenia as a prospective partner.

    "The head of state reaffirmed the readiness to start the talks on the possible cooperation in this field in bilateral format, as well as under the long-term agreements between Turkmenistan and Europe on the energy sphere," the governmental message said.

    Borut Pahor, for his part, expressed confidence that this meeting will contribute to further strengthening of the traditionally friendly interstate relations.

    Slovenia was one of the supporters of the resolution of the UN General Assembly on 'Reliable and stable transit of energy and its role in sustainable development and international cooperation' initiated by Turkmenistan.

    Turkmenistan ranks fourth in the world for natural gas reserves and is looking for new markets in Europe and South Asia. The project envisaging the laying of around 300 kilometers long gas pipeline under the Caspian to the shores of Azerbaijan is regarded as the optimal option for delivering Turkmen resources to European markets. Further, the Turkmen fuel can be delivered to Turkey which borders with European countries.

    The negotiations between the EU, Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan on the Trans-Caspian gas pipeline began in September 2011.

    Edited by CN

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  • Baku 2015 welcomes first Games Academy graduates
    23.07.2014 20:12
    The Baku 2015 European Games Academy welcomed the first participants of its innovative Graduate Excellence Programme to Baku this week.

    Forty five graduates have joined in the first intake of the programme, with 38 coming from Azerbaijan and seven from countries across Europe including Croatia, Greece, Lithuania, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia and Turkey. Around 150 more graduates will join the programme between August and October.

    The Games Academy was established by Baku 2015 European Games Operation Committee (BEGOC) and the Azerbaijan Youth Foundation, and aims to develop the skills and Games knowledge of Azerbaijani team members, as well as supporting the development of university graduates through the Graduate Excellence Programme.

    The graduate programme begins with three weeks of intensive training, after which participants will move into roles within BEGOC and have real responsibility for planning and delivering aspects of the inaugural European Games, for up to one year.

    Mr Gavin McAlpine, Director of Operational Capability and Readiness at Baku 2015, who has responsibility for the Games Academy, said: "I am delighted to welcome the first participants of the Baku 2015 Graduate Excellence Programme to BEGOC to begin their training.

    "The programme has attracted large numbers of young people with high potential and I am confident that they will bring energy and innovative thinking to the organization as we develop our plans for the first ever European Games."

    The programme is supported by a number of partners including Exclusive Official Partner, BP. It also draws on support from leading academic institutions including the International Academy of Sports Science and Technology (AISTS) based in Lausanne, Switzerland, ADA University in Baku, and the International Olympic Academy (IOA) based in Athens, Greece, as well as American consultancy firm Broadstone.

    Graduate Excellence Programme participant Ms Narmin Mansurova, from Azerbaijan, said: "The programme offers graduates from Azerbaijan a unique opportunity to gain experience of working in an international environment.

    "I am sure that the skills and knowledge which I, and the other Azerbaijani graduates develop, will assist our nation's capability to host future major international events."

    Mr Akif Yazici, from Turkey, said: "I am proud to have been accepted on the Baku 2015 Graduate Excellence Programme and to begin my training this week.

    "This is a fantastic opportunity within the world of sport for graduates from across Europe, and I already feel that I am going to be involved with a very special and unique event."

    Mr Besim Aliti, from Croatia, said: "This is my first time working abroad, and being involved with such a multi-cultural organization is very interesting to me.

    "Working alongside my fellow graduates and the experienced team at Baku 2015, I am looking forward to helping deliver what will be a memorable and historic European Games."

    A limited number of places on the Graduate Excellence Programme are still available for talented and motivated individuals who graduated between 2011 and 2014, with the application process open until Friday 1 August. Applications can be made here:

    Baku 2015 will be the first ever European Games, an exciting and innovative new multi-sport event for the continent that will take place from June 12 until June 28 2015.

    There will be a total of 19 sports at Baku 2015: 16 Olympic sports and three non-Olympic sports. More than 6,000 athletes are expected to represent their nations over the 17 days of competition.

    Nine of the sports will offer qualification opportunities for the Rio de Janeiro Summer Olympics in 2016. Those sports include archery, athletics, beach volleyball, cycling, shooting, swimming, table tennis, taekwondo and triathlon.

    Baku was awarded the Games by the European Olympic Committees (EOC) in December 2012. The Baku European Games Operation Committee (BEGOC) will organize and run the Games in co-operation with the EOC.
  • Georgian PM nominates an economist for post of culture minister
    23.07.2014 20:10
    Tbilisi, Georgia, July 23

    By Nana Kirtzkhalia - Trend:

    Georgian Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili has nominated the candidacy of Michael Giorgadze for the post of the minister of culture and monument protection, press service of Georgian government told Trend on July 23.

    "New approaches are needed towards the development of Georgian culture and Giorgadze, who is an economist by profession, is a suitable candidate with this regard," the prime minister stressed.

    Giorgadze attended management courses in Brussels; he is the CEO of the Eastern Promotion show company which organizes competitions, festivals and concerts in Georgia.

    The list of the new composition of the government will be submitted to Georgian President Giorgi Margvelashvili on July 23.

    Edited by CN

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  • Humanitarian action held in Pakistan with support of Heydar Aliyev Foundation
    23.07.2014 19:58
    Baku, Azerbaijan, July 23


    Heydar Aliyev Foundation of the Republic of Azerbaijan in collaboration with AIMS Development Organization (NGO) arranged facility of clean drinking water followed by Iftar dinner for the displaced families of North Waziristan at Dera Ismail Khan.

    Faisal Karim Kundi, former Deputy Speaker, National Assembly of Pakistan and Chief Patron of AIMS Development Organization thanked First Lady of Azerbaijan Mrs. Mehriban Aliyeva, President of Heydar Aliyev Foundation, Goodwill Ambassador of UNESCO and ISESCO for the support of these families in the holy month of Ramadan.

    The function was followed by Iftar dinner.

    Similar activity was also organized by the Heydar Aliyev Foundation in collaboration with Azerbaijan-Pakistan Youth Parliament wherein orphan girls of Pakistan Bait-ul-Maal Sweet Home, Islamabad were given Iftar dinner.

    The event was attended by managing director of Bait-ul-Maal Barrister Waheed Sheikh, President of Azerbaijan-Pakistan Youth Parliament and officials of Azerbaijan embassy in Pakistan.

    Edited by CN

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  • Azerbaijanв's defense minister meets with EU special representative for South Caucasus
    23.07.2014 19:53
    Baku, Azerbaijan, July 23


    Azerbaijan's Defense Minister, Colonel General Zakir Hasanov received a delegation led by EU Special Representative for the South Caucasus, Herbert Salber on July 23.

    The two sides discussed the military and political situation in the region, the Armenian-Azerbaijani Nagorno-Karabakh conflict and other issues of mutual interest, the Azerbaijani Defense Ministry told Trend.

    Edited by CN

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  • Sisi defends Egypt peace efforts for Gaza
    23.07.2014 19:53
    President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi Wednesday defended Egypt's role in trying to broker a Gaza truce between Israel and Hamas, which accuses him of proposing a cease-fire favorable to Israel, AFP reported.

    Unlike his Islamist predecessor Mohammad Morsi whom he toppled and detained last year, ex-army chief Sisi has sought to isolate the militant Palestinian movement in the neighboring Gaza Strip.

    The Cairo government worked to contain the crisis even before it escalated into a full-blown conflict on July 8 that has killed more than 650 Palestinians and at least 31 Israelis, Sisi said.

    "Egypt has sacrificed, for the Palestinian cause and the Palestinians, 100,000 martyrs," he said in a televised address, referring to casualties in Egypt's wars with Israel between 1948 and 1973, before Cairo signed a 1979 peace treaty.

    "So it is difficult for anyone to engage in one-upmanship, not just regarding (our role) with the Palestinian brothers but also the Arab region," he said in a speech to mark the 1952 military overthrow of the monarchy in Egypt.

    Since Morsi's overthrow in July 2013, Egypt has been at odds with Turkey and Qatar, both of which back his Muslim Brotherhood and have been critical of Sisi's stand on the Gaza conflict.

    Turkey's Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has called Sisi a "tyrant" who could not be trusted to mediate a truce, while Hamas demands a role for Ankara and Doha, which hosts its political leadership, in any truce negotiations.

    Morsi mediated a truce to end an eight-day conflict with Israel in 2012 that Hamas was able to represent as a "victory."

    Sisi said his truce proposal would give Hamas its key demand of an end to the eight-year blockade of Gaza once calm is restored.

    Hamas, however, insists on a comprehensive agreement before it agrees to a cease-fire.

    It also demands Egypt open its Rafah border crossing with Gaza, the only passage to the coastal enclave not controlled by Israel.

    Hamas argues that Egypt's proposal, which is backed by the United States, United Nations and Arab League, would allow Israel to dictate if and when to ease its blockade on Gaza.

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  • Georgia returns low-quality bitumen to Iran
    23.07.2014 19:34
    Tbilisi, Georgia, July 23

    By Nana Kirtzkhalia - Trend:

    Georgian Finance Ministry has returned oil bitumen to Iran, due to noncompliance with the standards of quality.

    Some 116,070 kilograms of oil bitumen worth of about $65,812 was imported to Georgia from Iran through the Vale customs checkpoint on July 9.

    The samples of the imported bitumen were sent for examination to the Levan Samkharauli National Forensic Bureau, Georgian Finance Ministry told Trend on July 23.

    It was revealed that the bitumen imported to Georgia from Iran didn't comply with the standards indicated in the quality certificate provided by the importer.

    Under the Georgian law, the bitumen was returned to the importer on July 22.

    Edited by CN

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  • Brazil appoints Dunga as new coach
    23.07.2014 19:14
    There is a new man tasked with fulfilling Brazil's World Cup destiny.

    But for a nation still smarting from the pain of that humbling 7-1 semifinal defeat to Germany, the announcement that Dunga is back in charge might raise a few eyebrows.

    The 50-year-old is a legend in the country after making 91 appearances for "A Selecao" and leading the side to World Cup glory as captain in 1994.

    And yet during his previous four-year spell as coach of the national team, he could only take Brazil to the quarterfinals of the 2010 tournament, as they lost to Netherlands.
  • No 2 favourite of Baku Cup 2014 defeated in race of doubles
    23.07.2014 19:10
    In the competition of doubles in "Baku Cup 2014" the duo of Janette Husarova (SVK)/Klaudia Jans-Ignachik (POL) stopped their struggle.

    In the match of 1/8 finals the duo of Janette Husarova (SVK)/Klaudia Jans-Д°gnachik (POL) faced the duo of Franceska Schiavone (ITA)/Stefanie Voegele (SUI).

    Husarova and Jans-Ignachik who started the match in a more confident manner, built their superiority over the rivals in the first set and won by 6-3.

    Nevertheless, in the second set everything went vice-versa. Schiavone and Voegele increased their pressure and won the set 6-4 thus making the score of the match 1-1.

    In the last set where the winner was identified Schiavone and Voegele did not leave any chance for their opponents and won the set 10-2. With this victory they made the score 2-1 becoming the winners of the match.

    We note that Schiavone and Voegele have not yet lost in singles.
  • Shahar Peer moves on to next round in Baku Cup 2014
    23.07.2014 19:10
    The winner of the Baku Cup 2014 tournament`s match between Vesna Dolontc of Serbia and Shahar Peer of Israel was identified in two hours.

    In the match taking place in a very tense and heated struggle both tennis players continued their fight till the end for each point.

    Peer dominantly started the first set and won 3 subsequent points 3-0. Yet, Dolontc did not accept the defeat and change the score in her favour 6-3.

    Peer dominantly started also the second set. The Israeli player prevailing with her points, won the set 6-2 and made the score 1-1.

    In the last set, both players equally struggled. Nevertheless, Vesna Dolontc, who seemed more tired, started making mistakes in even very simple episodes and Peer started dominating.

    Shahar Peer who won the third set also by 6-3 passed to the frac14; final. Her next rival will be the winner of the match between Sorana Cirstea (ROU) - Stefanie Voegele (SUI).
  • Saudi slams Israel's '˜war crimesв' in Gaza
    23.07.2014 18:50
    Saudi Arabia has criticized on Tuesday Israel's "shameful war crimes" in the Gaza Strip, saying the international community should not be "fooled" by Israel's claims of self-defense against Palestinian rocket attacks.

    "Don't be fooled when Israel says that it is defending itself against rocket attacks being launched by Palestinians against it," Saudi Arabia's ambassador to the United Nations Abdullah al-Muallami told a U.N. Security Council meeting.

    "The reality is that Israel has a defense system against these rockets and has efficiently repelled most of the rockets directed at it," Muallami said.

    "What Israel is doing is not a self-defense, but rather a massive offense and shameful war crimes," he added.

    Israel launched its offensive on July 8 to halt missile salvoes by Hamas Islamists, which was angered by a crackdown on its supporters in the nearby occupied West Bank and suffering economic hardship because of an Israeli-Egyptian blockade.

    After failing to halt the militant barrage through days of aerial bombardment, Israel sent ground troops into Gaza last Thursday, looking to knock out Hamas's missile stores and destroy a vast, underground network of tunnels, according to Reuters.

    Some 630 Palestinians, many of them children and civilians have died in the conflagration, including a seven-year-old hit by a shell in southern Gaza early Wednesday, a medic said.

    Some 29 Israeli soldiers have been killed, including a tank officer who was shot by a Palestinian sniper overnight. Two civilians have been slain by rocket fire. The military says one of its soldiers is also missing and believes he might be dead. Hamas says it has seized him, but has not released his picture.

    Clouds of black smoke hung over the densely populated Mediterranean enclave, with the regular thud of artillery and tank shells filling the air.

    "We are meeting resistance around the tunnels ... they are constantly trying to attack us around and in the tunnels. That is the trend," said Israeli military spokesman Lieutenant-Colonel Peter Lerner.

    He said 30 militant gunman had been killed overnight, bringing the total to 210 since the offensive started.

    Hamas's armed wing, the Izz el-Deen Al-Qassam, said its fighters had detonated an anti-personnel bomb as an Israeli army patrol passed, killing several troops. There was no immediate confirmation from Israel.

    There was also violence in the occupied West Bank, where a Palestinian was shot dead by Israeli troops near Bethlehem. The army said soldiers fired a rubber bullet at him during clashes with Palestinians hurling rocks and Molotov cocktails.

    In a move that could effectively turn President Mahmoud Abbas into the main Palestinian point person for a Gaza truce, his umbrella Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) on Wednesday formally supported core conditions set by the Hamas-led fighters. Reuters reported.

    Egyptian sources, speaking on Tuesday as top U.S. diplomat Kerry visited Cairo to advance truce efforts, said a unified Palestinian position could help achieve a deal. Unlike Hamas, the PLO has pursued peacemaking for two decades.

    Israel faced mounting international alarm at the civilian death toll, as well as increased economic pressure from lost tourism revenues after the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) took the rare step on Tuesday of banning flights to Tel Aviv's Ben-Gurion International Airport for at least 24 hours.

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  • Plane crashes in Taiwan, killing 51 people
    23.07.2014 18:44
    Taiwan's Central News Agency says a plane has crashed in a failed emergency landing, killing 51 people, AP reported.

    The news agency cited the head of the fire department in the Taiwanese county of Penghu as saying that seven people were also injured in the crash.

    The report cites the Civil Aviation Administration as saying the flight crashed Wednesday with 54 passengers and four flight crew and was operated by a Taiwanese airline, TransAsia Airways.

    The report says the plane likely crashed when an attempt to make an emergency landing in the city of Magong.

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  • Deutsche Bank says opening up Saudi bourse '˜major positiveв'
    23.07.2014 18:44
    A plan to open up the Saudi market to foreign investment is "a major positive" for the Middle East and North Africa, Deutsche Bank said on Wednesday.

    The Saudi cabinet approved on Tuesday a plan to allow foreign financial institutions to buy and sell shares at the Saudi bourse. Valued at $530 billion, it is the largest in the region, Al Arabiya reported.

    MENA has a total "market capitalization of $1.2 trillion, where Saudi Arabia alone accounts for 45%, and where regional liquidity is around $4 billion, of which Saudi Arabia represents 65%," said Aleksandar Stojanovski, research analyst at Deutsche Bank.

    "With over 160 listed securities, the kingdom's stock market offers a diversified sector base," he added.

    "After an opening of the Saudi market, and assuming foreign ownership reaches a similar level to the regional equity markets, we could see up to around $35 billion of incremental foreign inflow versus the approximately $4 billion that foreigners have accumulated since 2009, when indirect ownership first became available," said Stojanovski.

    Saudi Arabia is the most liquid market in the region, with a six-month average daily trading volume of $2.5 billion, the bank said.

    "With the direct trading restriction by foreign investors removed, we believe that the prospect of Saudi Arabia joining MSCI Emerging Markets becomes a reality, albeit unlikely before 2017," Stojanovski said.

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  • 2 jets shot down over Ukraine
    23.07.2014 18:19
    Ukraine's defence ministry says two of its military fighter jets have been shot down in the east of the country - just hours after black box flight recorders from the downed Malaysia Airlines plane arrived for analysis by UK crash investigators. The Sukhoi-25 fighters were shot down over an area called Savur Mogila.

    Defence Ministry spokesman Oleksiy Dmitrashkovsky said the planes might have been carrying two crew members each.

    The Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) said the black boxes from flight MH17 had been delivered by Dutch safety authorities to the AAIB's headquarters at Farnborough in Hampshire.

    The AAIB team will now go through the information from the cockpit voice recorder which will give them two hours of pilots' conversations as well as studying the contents of the flight data recorder (FDR).

    It is thought that the AAIB will be able to send details of their findings to the Dutch within 24 hours - giving the experts in the Netherlands further information of the last moments of the doomed Boeing 777 as it fell to earth in eastern Ukraine.

    As the UK investigators poured over the black boxes, bodies from the crash site were arriving in Netherlands where the country's king and queen were taking part in a national day of mourning. King Willem-Alexander and Queen Maxima are in Eindhoven with relatives of the 298 people - including 10 Britons - killed in the disaster.
  • President receives EU Special Representative for South Caucasus
    23.07.2014 18:19
    President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev has received a delegation led by EU Special Representative for the South Caucasus Herbert Salber.

    Congratulating Herbert Salber on his appointment as the EU Special Representative for the South Caucasus, the President expressed his confidence that his visit will create a good opportunity to get close acquaintance with the situation in the region, APA reports.

    Touching upon the Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict over Nagorno Karabakh, the Head of State noted that Azerbaijan supports a peaceful settlement of the conflict, but Armenia which holds non-constructive position ignores international law, as well as statements by co-chairing countries.

    Underlining that the internationally recognized territory of Azerbaijan is still under occupation, the President Ilham Aliyev said that if the problem is not resolved fairly, the regional situation can become more complicated.

    Salber said he visited the region several times, adding that he familiarized himself with the current situation. He stressed that the EU intends to contribute to the settlement of conflict in the region through extending cooperation with Azerbaijan.
  • Jeremy Mathieu signs for Barcelona
    23.07.2014 18:14
    Barcelona says it has signed France defender Jeremy Mathieu on a four-year contract with an option to extend it for another season.

    The club says in a statement on Wednesday that it reached an agreement with Valencia, where Mathieu has played since 2009. Barcelona says it has paid 20 million euros ($27 million) for the 30-year-old Mathieu, with a buyout clause fixed at 50 million euros.

    The 1.90-meter (6-foot-3) Mathieu has seven goals in 176 matches with Valencia, and is prized for his cool assurance while defending high balls in the penalty area.

    The defender will be presented to fans at the Camp Nou on Thursday.
  • SOCAR launches new filling station in Ukraine
    23.07.2014 18:04
    The State Oil Company of the Republic of Azerbaijan (SOCAR) has launched a new filling station in the Cherkassy region, Ukraine. The new complex is located at the entrance to the city of Uman, opposite National Dendrologic Park "Sofievka". It has become the sixth SOCAR petrol station in Cherkassy region, providing additional jobs for 22 people.

    The petrol station format provides for high-quality fuels and various services for a comfortable stay. In particular, the new petrol complex sells petroleum products meeting eco standard Euro-5 from leader refineries of Poland, Lithuania and Belarus. Two fuel-dispensing units with gasoline A-92, A-95, branded gasoline A-95 TM NANO and diesel fuel TM NANO were installed for their issuance.

    Also, there is a store and Butacafe, where customers are always offered a variety of drinks, branded doner-kebabs, salads from seasonal vegetables, fresh pastries, and traditional Azerbaijani baklava.

    Besides, the filling station complex offers free services: water refilling for washer tank, tire inflation, wi-fi, guest parking for cars, WC, including WC for disabled people, changing tables for guests with children. Vacuum cleaner service is offered separately.
  • Chrysler recalls Jeep SUVs
    23.07.2014 17:59
    Chrysler is recalling up to 792,300 older Jeep SUVs worldwide because the ignition switches could cause engine stalling.

    Tuesday's recall covers 2005-2007 Grand Cherokees and 2006-2007 Commanders.

    Chrysler says it's not sure exactly how many will be recalled. The company says an outside force such as a driver's knee can knock switches out of the "run" position, shutting off the engine. This disables power-assisted steering and braking and the front air bags might not inflate.

    Engineers are working on a fix. Chrysler says it knows of no injuries and only one accident. The company says only a few complaints have been filed. Owners should keep clearance between their knees and keys until repairs are made.

    The recall comes as U.S. safety regulators investigate ignition switch problems across the auto industry.
  • Iran supports actions of restoring peace between Azerbaijan and Armenia
    23.07.2014 17:54
    Baku, Azerbaijan, July 23

    By Temkin Jafarov - Trend:

    Iran always supports the actions of restoring peace between Azerbaijan and Armenia, spokesperson for the foreign ministry of Iran Marzieh Afham told media on July 23.

    "I believe that the agreement between the two countries to meet in Paris, as well as discussion of the actions aimed at the development of bilateral relations and the problem solving are these countries' affairs," she said.

    Afham was answering the question about the French president's inviting the counterparts of Azerbaijan and Armenia to meet in Paris, Iranian TV channel IRINN reported on July 23.

    "If officials of Azerbaijan and Armenia have accepted this invitation, this action is aimed at solving a problem and improving the relations between neighboring countries," Afham added.

    "Iran always supports the preservation of warm relations between the neighboring countries," she added. "This policy is also conducted towards northern neighbors. We want efficient efforts and the normalization of the relations between Azerbaijan and Armenia. Iran is in talks with the two countries in this area."

    Regarding a meeting of the Iran-Azerbaijan Economic Commission in Baku, she said that at the moment, a working group is working in this direction. The information about the documents to be signed at the meeting will be announced a few days before the meeting.

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  • Israeli President slams Qatar over Gaza
    23.07.2014 17:54
    Israeli President Shimon Peres on Wednesday accused Qatar of helping what he called "terrorism" in the Gaza Strip, which has been reeling under Israeli attacks since July 7.

    Speaking at a joint press conference with United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in Jerusalem, Peres said Qatar doesn't have the "right to send money of the oil to build tunnels and support the killing of the people."

    "If they want to help to build Gaza then do. If they want to make Gaza the center of the death then stop it," Peres said. The Israeli President claimed that terrorists are "holding the people as hostage" not only in Gaza but all over the world.

    "Today terrorism is the greatest danger to the integrity of all Arab countries in the Middle East," he said. "They (terrorists) are committed to death and destruction. They have no vision but seek and destroy." Since July 7, Israel has pounded the Gaza Strip with fierce aerial bombardments with the ostensible aim of halting rocket fire.

    At least 650 Palestinians have been killed '" mostly civilians '" and more than 4000 others injured in Israel's ongoing offensive, now in its third week.

    Gaza-based resistance factions, meanwhile, have continued to fire rockets at Israeli cities in response to relentless Israeli bombardments.

    According to official Israeli figures, 31 Israelis, including 29 soldiers, have been killed since the hostilities began. Peres accused Palestinian group Hamas of wasting aid for building "tunnels and rockets."

    "Instead of investing in education and healthcare, they (Hamas) wasted billions of dollars to build tunnels and rockets," he said. The Israeli President also criticized airlines for suspending flights to Tel Aviv due to the Palestinian rocket fire.

    "I regret for airlines has suspended flights. The real answer is not stop the flights but stop the rockets which are endangering the flights," Peres said. "I think whole nations are interested in freedom of lines which is as important as freedom of speech. If airlines will submit (to terrorism) then they invite greater danger."

    U.N. chief Ban Ki-moon, for his part, said the international community has no time to lose for bringing peace.
  • Xavi persuaded to stay at Barca
    23.07.2014 17:48
    Xavi Hernández seems to have made a very late U-turn on his future. The Barça midfielder will report for first-team training this Thursday having decided to remain at his boyhood club until January at the very least, if not until the close of the 2014-15 campaign.

    This conclusion, which has already received coverage in various corners of the Catalan press, was reached following the latest negotiations held between the club, in concrete terms coach Luis Enrique and president Josep Maria Bartomeu, and the player.

    34-year-old playmaker Xavi, who still has two years remaining on his contract, had made noises to friends and family about his intention to leave the club, which eventually made it through to the press. The physical exertion required at the Spanish giants coupled with some enticing offers from New York City and a Qatari club had influenced his thought process.

    The same sources now reveal, however, that the player has turned down the aforementioned offers as he does not consider it to be an opportune moment to leave the club where he has won it all. The earliest possible departure date has now been moved back until January, when the Spain international will re-evaluate his position. A further factor is that the MLS season does not begin until next spring.

    Xavi's weekly wage on the remaining two years of his contract is the highest it has ever been during his career. A further hitch in the negotiations was the fact that the incoming offers did not match the player's current salary, which led to protracted talks about a potential big-money payoff from Barça to offset this financial shortfall.

  • Japanese tennis player stomps over anyone she faces
    23.07.2014 17:46
    The first match of the "Baku Cup 2014" 1/8 finals has taken place.

    Japanese tennis player Misa Eguchi played against Polish player Urszula Radwanska at the game that took place in the centre court of the Baku Tennis Academy (BTA).

    Eguchi had proven how mighty she was when she won two matches in the qualifying rounds and moved onto to the 1/16 finals, where she defeated Slovakian player Magdalena Rybarikova.

    The Japanese tennis player, who is ranked number 183 in the world, played a magnificent match against her rival, ranked 117, in the 1/8 finals.

    Eguchi, who used tough and smart shots to put her rival in a difficult situation, won the first set by 6:2 and the second by 6:1. Thus, Eguchi, who won her fourth victory in the tournament, managed to move on to the 1/4 finals. Her next rival will be the winner of the Katarzyna Piter (POL) - Bojana Jovanovski (SRB) match.
  • Syria says hopes new peace mediator will be fair
    23.07.2014 17:39
    Syria urged a newly appointed international mediator to be "objective and honest" as he seeks an end to the country's civil war, Syrian state television reported on Wednesday.

    It was Damascus's first reaction to the appointment of Staffan de Mistura by United Nations chief Ban Ki-moon two weeks ago, shortly after President Bashar al-Assad was re-elected in a June 3 poll, Reuters reported.

    A U.N. official for 30 years, he replaces Lakhdar Brahimi, who stepped down in May, frustrated by global deadlock over how to resolve the more than three-year conflict.

    "We hope that he will take an objective and honest approach based on international law ... particularly the respect of the national sovereignty and non-interference in the internal affairs," the channel said in a newsflash.

    Citing a letter sent to the United Nations by the foreign ministry, it said Syria had also called on Mistura to have "respect for the choices of the Syrian people".

    Mistura, a dual citizen of Italy and Sweden and a former U.N. special envoy to Afghanistan and Iraq, faces a conflict which has killed at least 160,000, displaced millions and enflamed sectarian tensions across the Middle East.

    Brahimi had long threatened to quit the post, as his predecessor - former U.N. leader Kofi Annan - did in 2012.

    The Syrian crisis, which began with pro-democracy protests in 2011, has descended into a fragmented battle between government forces and a myriad of armed groups, ranging from hardline Islamist militants to more moderate rebel fighters.

    Islamic State, a radical offshoot of al Qaeda which wants to erase national borders, has been gaining ground. It seized swathes of Syria and Iraq last month and has been reinforcing its position in Syria's oil-producing Deir al-Zor province.

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  • Iraq postpones vote for president, delaying power-sharing deal
    23.07.2014 17:39
    Iraq's parliament, which had been due to elect the country's president on Wednesday, postponed the vote by a day, delaying the formation of a power-sharing government urgently needed to confront a Sunni Muslim uprising, Reuters reported.

    The advance by Sunni Islamist militants who seized swathes of northern Iraq last month has put Iraq's survival in jeopardy. Its politicians have been deadlocked over forming a new government since an election in April.

    Washington has made clear that setting up a more inclusive government in Baghdad is a requirement for its military support against the insurgency. Under Iraq's governing system, in place since the post-Saddam Hussein constitution was adopted in 2005, the prime minister is a member of the Shi'ite majority, the speaker a Sunni and the largely ceremonial president a Kurd.

    Parliament Speaker Salim al-Jubouri told the chamber that the Kurds had asked for a one-day delay on the vote so they could agree on a candidate.

    The Sunni insurgency is led by Islamic State, which shortened its name from the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) after last month's advance and declared its leader "caliph" - ruler of all Muslims.

    It now controls a swathe of territory from Aleppo in Syria close to the Mediterranean to the outskirts of Baghdad.

    Washington hopes a more inclusive government in Baghdad could save Iraq by persuading moderate Sunnis to turn against the insurgency, as many did during the "surge" offensive in 2006-2007 when U.S. troops paid them to switch sides.

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  • Azerbaijani Paralympians to face serious tasks
    23.07.2014 17:34
    Paralympians will 'vie for the right to participate in the coming 15th Summer Paralympic Games 2016'.

    The International Press Center of Baku has today hosted a news conference of the National Paralympic Committee of Azerbaijan on results of the first half of this year and on assignment of strategic tasks to be fulfilled by the end of the year.

    "We set serious tasks and the major ones are planned for the second half of 2014 and the next year. Compared to the current and future years, last year could be called a lsquo;warm-up' for Paralympians since different tournaments, training campuses were held".

    The statement came from vice president of the National Paralympic Committee of Azerbaijan Shaig Hamidov.

    He said that a more active process of trainings, contests and so on started this year. This is because our Paralympians will vie for the right to take part in the upcoming 15th Summer Paralympic Games due to be held in Rio-de-Janeiro in 2016.
  • Tech-savvy Indonesians monitor vote count in disputed poll
    23.07.2014 17:31
    Both candidates, Jakarta governor Joko Widodo and ex-general Prabowo Subianto, declared victory in the July 9 poll, the tightest in Indonesia since the end of authoritarian rule, based on unofficial tallies from different polling agencies.

    But most analysts expect Widodo to be declared president when official results are announced on Tuesday next week.

    As allegations mount of attempted manipulation during the complex, lengthy process of counting votes by hand across the sprawling archipelago, social media-mad Indonesians are carrying out their own checks.

    This has been made possible by the election commission's decision to make all vote tally forms publicly available for the first time. Forms showing vote counts from each polling station are photographed and uploaded on the commission's official website.

    One innovation being used to monitor the count is a crowd-sourcing app called Kawal Suara (Guard the Vote), which has attracted more than 5,000 people since it went online Saturday.
  • Azerbaijan, ICRC to make statement on fate of Azerbaijani allegedly killed in Kalbajar
    23.07.2014 17:29
    Baku, Azerbaijan, July 23

    By Ilkin Izzet - Trend:

    Azerbaijan and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) will make a joint statement on July 23 on the fate of the Azerbaijani, who according to the Armenian media, was killed by the Armenian servicemen in Azerbaijan's occupied Kalbajar region.

    The remarks were made by Azerbaijan's Deputy Prime Minister, Chairman of the State Committee for Refugees and IDPs Ali Hasanov at the commemoration ceremony in connection with the 21st anniversary of occupation of Azerbaijan's Aghdam region.

    Hasanov pointed out that the Azerbaijani side frequently holds meetings with the ICRC representatives to have discussions on Azerbaijanis taken hostage in the Kalbajar region.

    He went on to add that the captured Azerbaijanis are subject to pressure and torture by Armenians, stressing that the Geneva Convention stipulates the rules for treatment of civilians taken hostage by the conflicting parties.

    "So much time has passed! Why doesn't the Armenian side allow the ICRC representatives to meet with the captured Azerbaijanis? Because they do whatever they want; they torture the hostages to make them speak and inject them with various unknown substances," he noted.

    Meanwhile, the deputy prime minister urged media, as well as the friends and relatives of the hostages to show patience, as this issue is in the focus of attention of Azerbaijani president from the very beginning and the government is engaged in addressing this problem under the president's instructions.

    Hasanov underscored that upon receiving a serious warning, the ICRC made appropriate conclusions and started acting, adding that the statement to be made today can be seen as a result of these actions.

    Earlier, Armenian media reported that the Armenian forces, during an operation in the occupied Kalbajar District's Shaplar village, killed an Azerbaijani - Hasan Hasanov, and detained two other Azerbaijanis - Shahbaz Guliyev and Dilgam Asgarov. They also reported about the launching of criminal cases against the detained Azerbaijanis.

    Armenian media also reported that one Armenian officer was killed and his wife was wounded during the capture of Azerbaijanis.

    On July 15, the Azerbaijani State Commission on Prisoners of War, Hostages and Missing People said the fate of Azerbaijani citizens taken hostages in the Kalbajar District, is its priority.

    Ilaha Huseynova told Trend on July 16 that the families of Azerbaijanis, taken hostage by Armenians in Kalbajar, have officially appealed to the ICRC.

    She added that currently the ICRC continues talks with the parties on this matter.

    Azerbaijan's Defense Ministry dismissed the Armenian media reports on affiliation of the mentioned persons to the country's armed forces.

    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 the U.N. Security Council's four resolutions on the liberation of the Nagorno-Karabakh and the surrounding regions

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  • Trend of sanctions against Russian companies obviously not weakening - PM
    23.07.2014 17:29
    Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev believes it is necessary to work more effectively under political factors and intensifying trend for protectionism from foreign partners.

    "We see a strengthening in protectionism that is affecting our producers, on our goods and on our companies, and this trend most likely won't weaken," Medvedev said Wednesday during a meeting with the heads of trade missions, Hurriyet Daily reports.

    "It is necessary to adapt to the new environment," noted Medvedev.

    The Prime Minister added that the Russian government needs to follow cases of discrimination of Russian companies and protect their interests.

    "Any case of discrimination needs to be followed closely and, if possible, predict various actions and staunchly protect our legal interests, explain the reason for our reciprocal measures and the reason they were imposed. We cannot allow others to support their economy on our account or at our loss," Medvedev said.

    Earlier this year, the United Stated and the European Union imposed targeted sanctions against a number of Russian officials and companies as a response to Crimea's reunification with Russia.

    After the Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash in eastern Ukraine, Washington has been pushing the EU to implement further sanctions against Moscow.

    The European Commission is expected to introduce a new package of sanctions targeting Russia's financial and defense sectors on July 24.

    Russian Foreign Ministry has repeatedly called the language of sanctions counterproductive and said these measures would have a boomerang effect on European economies.
  • Boeing black boxes delivered to UK
    23.07.2014 17:24
    Flight recorders from the Boeing 777 that crashed in the Donetsk Region have been delivered to Britain under control of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), Ukrainian Ministry for Regional Development's press office reported on Wednesday.

    The black boxes arrived at Farnborough military airport in central England for examination by the international group of specialists in Farnborough laboratory dealing with air accidents with NATO aircraft in Europe.

    It was so far impossible to estimate when the examination would end and the results be presented, Farnborough representative told ITAR-TASS, adding special attention would be paid to the second recorder that contains audio information about the flight.

    The black boxes were passed to the Ukrainian side but it had no control over them and did not touch them, which had been recorded, the press office said.

    The militia of the self-proclaimed Donetsk Peopleв's Republic earlier gave the two recorders to Malaysian experts who then passed the black boxes to experts from the Netherlands.

    Boeing-777 of Malaysia Airlines heading for Kuala Lumpur from Amsterdam crashed in eastern Ukraine on July 17. All 298 aboard died. Overwhelming majority of the passengers were Dutch citizens (193). The tragedy killed 10 British citizens.
  • Bojana Jovanovski prevented surprise
    23.07.2014 17:20
    One more frac14; finalist of the "Baku Cup 2014" has been identified.

    Katarzina Piter, the representative of Poland, faced Serbian player Bojana Jovanovski, a number 5 seed of the tournament.

    Piter, who is number 120 seed in the world, began the first set with superiority over Jovanovski, who is ranked number 40 in the world, with a score of 2-0.

    The Serbian tennis player took the matter into her own hands and changed the score to in her favour by winning consecutive points. Jovanovski, who made her rival accept her superiority with each minute that passed, won the first set with a score of 6-3.

    Bojana Jovanovski, who strengthened her superiority in the second set as well, completely broke her rival`s resistance and ended the set with a 6-1 win and the match with a 2-0 victory.

    With this victory Jovanovski moved on to the 1/4 finals and became a rival to the Japanese player Misa Eguchi.

    The Serbian player had been the winner of "Baku Cup 2012".
  • Some 33 percent of Iranian females marry while underage
    23.07.2014 17:15
    Baku, Azerbaijan, July 23

    By Umid Niayesh - Trend:

    In its new report published on July 22, the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) has warned about prevalence of the child marriage around the world.

    Worldwide, more than 700 million women alive today got married as children, the report said, underlining that more than 1 in 3 - or some 250 million - of them were married before the age of 15.

    Almost half of all child brides worldwide live in South Asia; 1 in 3 are in India, the report remarked. Middle East and North Africa share 5 percent of women who were married before age 18.

    The latest statistics released by Iran's National Organization for Civil Registration indicates that over one third of women who married in the nine-month period from March to Dec. 2013 were under 19.

    Number of girls under the age of 19 who were married in the mentioned period stood at 208,859, with 30,956 of these girls were married under age 15.

    The organization put the total number of marriages in Iran at 579,871 during the period.

    The official statistics also show that 829,968 marriages were registered in Iran during the 12-month period from March 2012 to March 2013; of that amount 305,770 were child brides (36.8 percent).

    However some experts believe that the official figures do not tell the whole story, while in some regions underage marriages are not registered.

    Early in Dec. 2013, Iran's official IRNA news agency quoted Iranian demography expert, Shahla Kazemipour as saying in some regions underage marriages are not registered due to brides' under legal age and it is only after a pregnancy that steps are taken to register the marriage.

    It should be noted that Iran's domestic laws permit marriage under 18 however the Islamic Republic is a signatory to the Convention on the Rights of the Child, which forbids that.

    According to the article 1041 of the country's Civil Code, "marriage of girls before the age of 13 and boys before the age of 15 is contingent upon the permission of the guardian and upon the condition of the child's best interests as determined by a competent court."

    Some Iranian human rights activists recently wrote a letter to the UN high commissioner for human rights Navi Pillay calling on her to investigate the issue of marriages of young and underage girls in Iran.

    UNICEF in its recent report warns about the future of the girls who marry underage.

    "They are not only denied their childhood, they are often socially isolated - cut off from family and friends and other sources of support - with limited opportunities for education and employment," the report said.
  • Special envoy of foreign ministry dismissed in Uzbekistan
    23.07.2014 17:15
    Tashkent, Uzbekistan, July 23

    By Demir Azizov- Trend:

    Special envoy of the foreign ministry Ilhomjon Nematov was dismissed in connection with the retirement upon Uzbek president Islam Karimov's decree, the Uzbek foreign ministry said on July 23.

    Nematov was appointed special envoy in August last year in accordance with the presidential decree.

    Earlier, Nematov worked as Uzbek Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary Ambassador to the U.S.

    Nematov headed the diplomatic mission of Uzbekistan in Russia in 2010-2013.

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  • Kiev to introduce sanctions against Russian officials
    23.07.2014 17:08
    The Ukrainian government intends to introduce sanctions against Russian officials and companies for their support of the self-proclaimed Donetsk Peopleв's Republic and Luhansk Peopleв's Republic, Ukraineв's parliament-appointed Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk said at a parliament session of the Verkhovna Rada.

    ''The government set up a committee on sanctions against Russia. We will sanction every individual that has a Russian passport and supports terrorists and separatists,'' Yatsenyuk. ''We are talking about a list of personal sanctions against individuals, officials, as well as sectoral sanctions against certain companies and organizations,'' he added.

    Yatsenyuk tasked the committee to present a list of recommended individual and sectoral sanctions against individuals and legal entities of the Russian Federation over the next 10 days.
  • Mathieu joins Barcelona at last
    23.07.2014 17:05
    It's official. Barcelona and Valencia have struck a deal for Jeremy Mathieu. The Frenchman will sign a four-year deal - plus an optional fifth - with the Catalan giants. Barça have agreed a €20m transfer fee for the defender, whose new contract will include a €50m buy-out clause.

    Mathieu had been at Madrid Barajas Airport about to set off for Lima on Valencia's pre-season tour of Peru when he heard news that the two clubs had reached an agreement for him.

    According to sources close to Barcelona, the Catalans will pay €10m in cash and the other €10 in instalments, although this has not been confirmed by Valencia.

  • New well drilled in Caspian Sea
    23.07.2014 17:05
    Drilling works have been launched on well No 2632 from platform 418a of the Neft Dashlary field.

    According to Oxu.Az reporting with reference to SOCAR, the projected depth of the well, drilled by the Complex Drilling Works Trust on the order of the Neft Dashlary oil and gas producing department is 1100 meters.

    By geologists' estimates, the daily output of the well is to make 10 tonnes of oil.
  • Some 103 people detained in Turkey as a result of operation against Gulenв's supporters
    23.07.2014 17:04
    Baku, Azerbaijan, July 23

    By Rufiz Hafizoglu - Trend:

    In Turkey, Tthe number of detained as a result of the operation carried out against Fethullah Gulen [Islamic public figure currently residing in the U.S.], has hit 103 people, Anadolu agency reported on July 23.

    The personnel purges against the supporters of Fethullah Gulen were resumed in Turkey's defense and law enforcement agencies on July 22.

    The former Istanbul Police Department Intelligence Bureau chief Ali Fuat YД±lmazer and former head of Istanbul police, Ertan Ercikti are among the detained.

    Gulen, the founder of the Hizmet public movement, as well as, the Turkish Journalists and Writers Foundation, are accused of being involved in a huge wiretapping scandal by the Turkish government.

    Following the case, Prime Minister Erdogan accused Gulen and representatives of his movement of standing behind the wiretapping of the phone conversations.

    Erdogan also stressed that the Gulen movement, which he earlier called a "parallel structure", proved with its anti-state activities that it is not a religious movement but a politicized and illegal structure.

    Turkish PM called on Gulen not to intervene in Turkey's internal affairs and accused the U.S. of supporting him.

    A criminal case has been initiated in Turkey against Fethullah Gulen for his coup attempt and espionage against Turkey.

    Earlier, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Gulen will be extradited from the U.S., adding that Turkey has launched the legal procedure for extradition of Gulen.

    Edited by CN

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  • Italian Embassy changes process to obtain visas
    23.07.2014 17:00
    Baku, Azerbaijan, July 23

    By Sabina Ahmadova - Trend:

    The Visa Section of Italian Embassy in Azerbaijan will no longer collect passports as of July 28, the embassy reported.

    From now on the new Italian Visa Center run by the company Visametric Azerbaijan will be in charge of collecting passports for the issuing of visa. This company will be providing information on the procedure and the required documents to obtain visa.

    For more information call 012 5054350, as well as online

    Passports will be accepted by the Visa Center at the following address: Mikhail Lermontov street n.113/117, Sabail District in Baku (very closed to the Italian Embassy).

    As for official and diplomatic passports, they will be received and issued - as before - in the visa section of the Embassy of Italy.

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