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Azerbaijan to render financial assistance to Afghanistan
17.01.2013 13:06
Azerbaijan International Development Agency (AIDA) of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has provided $150 000 financial aid to Afghanistan within the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the UN Baku office told.

The funds allocated by the Azerbaijani government will be used for application of e-governance methods as a pilot. It is directly related with Azerbaijan`s successful e-governance experience.

"The future of Afghanistan has a special importance for both global security and stability; Azerbaijan actively supports the fraternal-Afghan people in solution of the country's problems," said UN Baku office.

President Ilham Aliyev`s speech made in May in the NATO Summit in Chicago also underlines this.
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  • Ombudsman of Moldova starts struggle for Kalbajar hostages
    26.01.2015 17:57
    "How can the inaction of the Russian authorities be regarded?"Moldovan parliamentary advocate Aurelia Grigoriu is ready to raise the issue of human rights protection of Azerbaijanis Dilgam Asgarov and Shahbaz Guliyev convicted by the illegal separatist regime of Nagorno Karabakh among European human...
  • Baku, OSCE MG to discuss Nagorno-Karabakh conflict
    26.01.2015 17:55
    /By AzerNews/By Sara RajabovaAzerbaijani foreign policy head and co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group are scheduled to discuss the settlement process of the Armenian-Azerbaijani Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.Elmar Mammadyarov and Minsk Group co-chairs agreed to hold a meeting in Krakow, Poland on January 2...
  • IMF ready to continue Greece backup '" Managing Director
    26.01.2015 23:01
    The International Monetary Fund (IMF) is ready to continue supporting Greece, TASS reported referring to the Managing Director of the IMF Christine Lagarde's statement.

    This comes after a radical left opposition party won the parliamentary election in Greece on January 25 and securing 149 seats in parliament out of 300.

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  • How will G20 presidency change Turkey?
    26.01.2015 22:01
    Baku, Azerbaijan, Jan. 26

    By Jamila Jafarova - Trend:

    Turkey has become a chairing country of the G20 forum for the first time in the forum's history. The country plans to hold the first meeting of the G20 energy ministers. What does Turkey expect from the G20 presidency?

    First of all - the inflow of foreign investments. The volume of foreign investments in the Turkish economy reached almost $ 13 billion in 2014.

    Ankara has recently conducted many reforms to attract foreign investments into the country. Moreover, in his recent statement, Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu promised that Ankara will simplify the process of making foreign investments in the economy.

    The trade development with other countries can solve many economic problems of Turkey. It can eliminate the imbalance in the overproduction in some countries and its deficit in other countries.

    Moreover, a "multi-dimensional" trading system is expected to be worked out during Turkey's G20 presidency. Davutoglu has repeatedly talked about this before.

    An important component of this system will become the principle, according to which economic cooperation of some countries will not hinder the development of the other ones.

    A good example is the forthcoming agreement on transatlantic trade and investment partnership between the EU and the US, which, if signed, may cause damage Turkey's economy.

    During its presidency in the G20 in 2015, Turkey also intends to take on the role of the country, coordinating cooperation among the developing countries of the world. But how Ankara will manage to be a coordinating country, while for that it at least needs to have a developed economy?

    That is why the prime minister of Turkey stated the need to increase the total GDP of the country by 2.1 percent, which will bring the world economy $2 trillion.

    Meanwhile, the forecasts of the World Bank (WB) say about the possibility of reducing the GDP of the G20 countries by 3 percent in 2015-2016.

    The role of a coordinating country can bring Turkey additional benefit in the form of improvement of relations with the EU. After all, the EU postpones Turkey's accession to this organization for a number of reasons, claiming that the country is not ready yet.

    However, despite the unstable situation in the Middle East and a number of countries neighboring with Turkey, Ankara managed to maintain political stability, which has led to the development of the country's economy. And yet - no obvious progress in the country's relations with the EU that are worth talking about.

    Despite the Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that accession to the EU is not interesting for Ankara, Turkey, becoming a coordinator country, will develop economic relations with the European Union.

    Turkey's chairmanship of the G20 will also cover the energy sector.

    Although currently Turkey can't get rid of energy dependence on other countries, it intends to continue its lsquo;energy bridge' policy between the states rich with hydrocarbons and those which need these resources.

    One of the main reasons is that Turkey has become a participant of a number of energy projects which can ensure EU's energy security.

    It is not ruled out that during Turkey's chairmanship in G20, the country's agenda will include the alternative energy projects such as lsquo;Turkish Stream', the implementation of which is currently under question.

    Considering Turkey's policy in recent times, it is expected to make every effort to become one of the influential countries of G20, which will increase its role on the international arena.

    Edited by SI


    Jamila Jafarova is Trend Agency's staff journalist

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  • OSCE Minsk Group - three countries not enough?
    26.01.2015 21:31
    Baku, Azerbaijan, Jan. 26

    By Meftun Salmanov - Trend:

    The issue of increasing the number of the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairing countries is on the agenda again. Besides the US, Russia and France, it is also planned to include Germany and Turkey.

    Deputy Chairman of the Committee on Political Affairs and Security in the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly Azay Guliyev said that he will make this proposal at the next session. Presently, there is a more important reason for the issue to gain relevance.

    The position shown by German Chancellor Angela Merkel was unexpected during Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev's working visit to Germany, though this can be viewed as a logical continuation of the events in Germany.

    For the first time Merkel voiced a factor of Russia's support to Armenia in the violation of the ceasefire on the contact line between Armenian and Azerbaijani troops.

    One of the main reasons forcing the Chancellor to recognize this truth is the policy of Russia towards Ukraine.

    The co-chair countries support Azerbaijan's territorial integrity, but the efficiency rate of their activity on the conflict settlement is zero.

    There are inherent reasons for an unfair approach of the trilateral format:

    - Moscow is the closest strategic ally of Armenia and has a military base in that country.

    - In the US there's Armenian diaspora, as well as strong positions of pro-Armenian congressmen.

    - And France, which uses penalty for non-recognition of the fictitious Armenian genocide, is one of the closest patrons Armenians.

    These facts and the need to maintain balance stipulates that the Minsk Group needs "donor's blood."

    The lack of a Muslim country in this "trio" needs to be addressed with help of Turkey.

    Ankara has authority in the region, but most importantly, its position is fair. It is also necessary not to forget that the normalization of the Armenian-Turkish relations depends on the resolution of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.

    If Yerevan really wants to normalize relations with Ankara, it must agree to Turkey's mediation.

    As for Berlin, the EU in the Minsk group is represented by France, but at the same time, the interests of Germany, which is the most powerful state of the structure, are being forgotten.

    Germany can demonstrate a much more fair position in relation to the OSCE Minsk group co-chair countries, because unlike the other states, the Armenian diaspora is much weaker in terms of influence on this country. Mediation of Germany, which is a Christian state, should suit Armenia as well.

    The events happening in Ukraine makes Europe, led by Germany, change its policy on the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. Nagorno-Karabakh conflict can be spread in Europe as a precedent, and its first signs can already be seen in the east of Ukraine.

    So far, the only conflict taking place in Europe between the independent Muslim and Christian state is the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. Its settlement can initiate the era of stability not only in the region but also throughout Europe.

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  • Falling oil prices delay realization of cost-based projects in Azerbaijan
    26.01.2015 20:56
    Baku, Azerbaijan, Jan. 26

    By Emil Ismayilov - Trend:

    Lower oil prices and the processes taking place in the world delay the realization of the cost-based transport projects in Azerbaijan, the Transport Minister of Azerbaijan Ziya Mammadov told reporters Jan. 26.

    The minister said that among such projects there is a project for the development of high-speed railway traffic.

    He noted that the mentioned project is "unripe" and demands to be developed, but there is a desire to realize it.

    "There is a desire, but a large amount of funds is needed for its realization," the minister said. "But, as you know, the fall in world oil prices and the processes going on in the world, of course, delay a little the implementation of such projects."

    Follow the author on Twitter @Emilsmail

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  • European integration discussed by Georgia, Lithuania
    26.01.2015 20:31
    Tbilisi, Georgia, Jan. 26

    By Nana Kirtzkhalia - Trend:

    The European and Euro-Atlantic integration of Georgia was discussed at a meeting of the Georgian Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili with his Lithuanian counterpart Algirdas Butkevicius.

    The Georgian PM's press service told Trend that the parties discussed a wide range of issues of political and economic relations between the two countries, as well as cooperation in the fields of defense, security, education, agriculture and culture and perspectives for its deepening.

    Garibashvili thanked the Lithuanian PM for visiting Georgia and the special support provided in the process of European and Euro-Atlantic integration.

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  • Up to 160,000 people suffer stroke in Iran annually
    26.01.2015 20:27
    Baku, Azerbaijan, Jan. 26

    By Temkin Jafarov - Trend:

    Around 150,000-160,000 people suffer a stroke in Iran every year. Around 20,000 of them die from a stroke, the chairman of Iran's Neurology Association Hussein Pakdaman was quoted Jan. 26 by the Iranian news agency Д°RNA as saying.

    He said that around 15 percent of patients suffering stroke die in Iran and 70 percent suffer permanent disabilities.

    He said that around 20 percent of those suffering stroke can not take care of themselves, and 30 percent can not move without assistance.

    "The factors causing a stroke in Iran are high or low blood pressure, diabetes, obesity, smoking, drug use, as well as environmental and genetic factors," he said.

    According to the recent statistics, 93,000 people die from heart attacks in Iran every year and people die from myocardial infarction very often in the country.

    The number of young people suffering from cardiovascular diseases increased in the country, the Iranian media reported.

    Twenty years ago the average age of sufferers of cardiovascular diseases were those 50-60 years of age. At present, young people aged up to 30 are suffering from these diseases. In this case, 43 percent of men and 38 percent of women in Iran are overweight, which increases the risk.


    follow the author on Twitter: @JafarovTemkin

    Edited by CN

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  • Lithuanian companies ready to do business in Georgia
    26.01.2015 20:26
    Tbilisi, Georgia, Jan. 26

    By Nana Kirtzkhalia - Trend:

    Lithuanian companies are ready for doing business in Georgia, Lithuanian Prime Minister Algirdas ButkeviДЌius said at a joint press-conference with his Georgian counterpart Irakli Garibashvili.

    He said that the two countries are expected to sign an agreement on economic cooperation on January 27 and this document contributes to the further development of bilateral relations.

    "We will sign an economic agreement Jan. 27," he said. "I am confident that this document will make a great contribution to the development of our bilateral relations. An intergovernmental commission will be a very important mechanism to address the issues of economic cooperation. I brought a very big delegation of Lithuanian businessmen. Our companies are ready to do business in Georgia with Georgian colleagues."

    He said that at a meeting with Garibashvili, he reiterated the support for Georgia's Euro-Atlantic aspirations and its territorial integrity.

    "We are united by common values with Georgia, bilateral and global issues and relations between our people," ButkeviДЌius said.

    Edited by CN

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  • Georgia, Lithuania mull cooperation
    26.01.2015 20:24
    Tbilisi, Georgia, Jan. 26

    By Nana Kirtzkhalia - Trend:

    Georgia's President Giorgi Margvelashvili met Jan. 26 with the Prime Minister of Lithuania Algirdas Butkevicius.

    The administration of the Georgian state head told Trend that the parties discussed bilateral relations and prospects for deepening cooperation between the two countries.

    Regional security and the situation in separatist regions was one of the main topics at the meeting.

    The parties also paid attention to the developments in Ukraine.

    The meeting, in particular, focused on the so-called agreement of alliance between Russia and Abkhazia, and the conclusion of a similar agreement with Tskhinvali.

    The parties also discussed cooperation between Georgia and the EU and NATO, and the efforts being made by Georgia on the path of integration to these organizations.

    The sides paid great attention to economic cooperation between the two countries and in this context they noted the importance of the visit of Lithuanian businessmen to Georgia, who arrived together with the Lithuanian PM.

    According to them, the visit of the representatives of business circles of Lithuania will deepen the business ties between the two countries.

    The parties also discussed the issues of energy security and cooperation in the field of transport and other areas.

    Edited by CN

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  • NATO Deputy Secretary General to visit Georgia
    26.01.2015 20:24
    Tbilisi, Georgia, Jan. 26

    By Nana Kirtzkhalia - Trend:

    NATO Deputy Secretary General Alexander Vershbow will visit Georgia on January 29-30.

    The main purpose of the visit is to monitor the implementation of the NATO-Georgia package," Speaker of the Georgian Foreign Ministry David Kereselidze said at a press-briefing Jan. 26.

    He said that Vershbow will hold the meetings with the Georgian president, prime minister, speaker of parliament and members of the government.

    During the visit, Vershbow will inspect the construction site of a joint training center, envisaged by the NATO-Georgia package. Vershbow will also deliver a public lecture at the event organized by the Atlantic Council of Georgia.

    Edited by CN

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  • Azerbaijan, Gabon to expand customs cooperation
    26.01.2015 20:22
    Baku, Azerbaijan, Jan. 26

    By Azad Hasanli - Trend:

    Gabon is interested in cooperation with Azerbaijan in various spheres of the economy, including customs, Gabon's Minister Delegate for Economy, Investment Promotion and Planning Marie Julie Biloghe said at a meeting with Chairman of the State Customs Committee of Azerbaijan Aydin Aliyev in Baku Jan. 26.

    She said cooperation between the two countries in this area began with Gabonese Customs Administration Director Michel Ondinga Nguengue's visit to Azerbaijan in 2013.

    Biloghe informed Aliyev about recent achievements in economic and tourist potential of Gabon.

    Aliyev spoke of his appreciation of Nguengue's visit to Azerbaijan in 2013, during which many issues were discussed.

    While informing members of the Gabonese delegation about the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, Aliyev said that 20 percent of Azerbaijani lands are under Armenian occupation for more than twenty years.

    During the meeting, he also spoke about the activity of the State Customs Committee of Azerbaijan, which has the status of the ministry.

    He said that the State Customs Committee of Azerbaijan has its extra-budgetary fund. In particular, its funds are used to improve the welfare of the representatives of the State Committee.

    Aliyev also informed the guests about the system used in Azerbaijan for checkpoints. He said that this system will be presented in Brussels in February.


    follow the author on Twitter: @AzadHasanli

    edited by CN

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  • Oil prices fall on market relief over Saudi policy
    26.01.2015 20:20
    Oil prices turned positive on Monday, erasing early losses after the Secretary-General of the OPEC producer group said he expected the market to bottom out around current levels.

    March Brent crude LCOc1 was trading at $49.13 per barrel by 1317 GMT, up 34 cents, bouncing from an early low of $47.57.

    "Now the prices are around $45-$55 and I think maybe they reached the bottom and will see some rebound very soon," Abdullah al-Badri, Secretary-General of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries said in an interview.

    West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude for March delivery CLc1 was at $45.94 a barrel, up 35 cents. Front-month WTI had touched an intraday low of $44.35, just above the $44.20 hit on Jan. 13, which was its lowest level since April 2009.

    After a smooth transition in Saudi Arabia following the death early on Friday of King Abdullah, both Brent and U.S. crude price fell early on Monday.

    The new King, Salman, was quick to retain veteran Saudi oil minister Ali al-Naimi on Friday, in a message aimed at calming a jittery market.

    Saudi Arabia, the world's top oil exporter, led OPEC in a decision to keep oil production steady at 30 million barrels per day last November. This has fuelled a global supply glut that has more than halved prices since June.
  • Baku expands fleet of buses and taxis as part of first European Games
    26.01.2015 20:19
    Baku, Azerbaijan, Jan. 26

    By Emil Ismayilov - Trend:

    The Azerbaijani Transport Ministry continues working actively in preparation for the first European Games to be held in Baku in 2015, Azerbaijani Transport Minister Ziya Mammadov told reporters Jan. 26.

    He said that the transport routes of movement of athletes, visitors and tourists have been determined.

    "The fleet of buses and taxis are being expanded in Baku," he said.

    In particular, around 300 new "London" taxis have been already delivered. Around 200 more are expected to be delivered in late February-early March 2015.

    "In general, we are well prepared for the upcoming first European Games," he said.

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

    More than 6,000 athletes from across Europe will be representing their nations over 17 days of competition.

    Baku was awarded the Games by the European Olympic Committees (EOC) in December 2012. The Baku European Games Operations Committee (BEGOC) will organize and run the Games in cooperation with the EOC.


    follow the author on Twitter: @Emilsmail

    Edited by CN

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  • Azerbaijan, Austria discuss economic cooperation prospects
    26.01.2015 20:18
    Baku, Azerbaijan, Jan. 26

    By Seba Aghayeva - Trend:

    Azerbaijan and Austria discussed the cooperation prospects in economic, trade and energy fields.

    The cooperation development between the two countries in these areas was discussed during Azerbaijani Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov's working visit to Austria, where he met with members of the Austria-Azerbaijan Chamber of Commerce, representatives of the parliament and the business circles of the country, the Azerbaijani foreign ministry said Jan. 26.

    The sides stressed the importance of establishing direct relations between the business circles of the two countries, organizing the mutual visits and business forums.

    The trade turnover between Azerbaijan and Austria in 2014 amounted to $434.3 million.


    follow the author on Twitter: @Asebaa

    Edited by CN

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  • Sugar mill workers protest in Iran
    26.01.2015 20:17
    Baku, Azerbaijan, Jan. 26

    By Temkin Jafarov - Trend:

    The sugar mill staff held a protest in the town of Kohistan, South Khorasan province, Iran. Around 280 workers were demanding eight months back pay, ILNA agency reported.

    The mill has been closed since October 2014 because of the lack of raw materials resulting from drought and non-provision of liquidity, the statement says.

    The mill staff had not received eight months pay for the current year (the year in Iran begins on March 21) until the mill closure. At present, the staff demands the back pay.

    A sugar mill in Kohistan has operated for 53 years.


    follow the author on Twitter: @JafarovTemkin

    Edited by CN

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  • Earthquake jolts western Iran
    26.01.2015 20:14
    Baku, Azerbaijan, Jan. 26

    By Temkin Jafarov - Trend:

    The earthquake measuring 4.1 occurred in Naqada city, West Azerbaijan province, Iran, the Tasnimnews website said Jan. 26.

    The earthquake was registered at 15:42 (UTC/GMT 4 hours) on Jan. 26.

    No casualties or damage were reported.

    The earthquake measuring 5.0 occurred in the city of Bandar Abbas, Iran's Hormozgan Province last night.


    follow the author on Twitter: @JafarovTemkin

    Edited by CN

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  • Kazakhstan concerns over escalation of conflict in Ukraine
    26.01.2015 20:14
    Astana, Kazakhstan, Jan. 26

    By Daniyar Mukhtarov - Trend:

    Astana expresses its great concern over the escalation of the conflict in Ukraine, especially, the shooting that caused the deaths of civilians, the Kazakh foreign ministry said Jan. 26.

    "We firmly believe that there is no alternative to the peace negotiations to resolve the crisis in south-eastern Ukraine," the statement says. "We urge all sides to resolve the conflict by peaceful means, based on the fulfillment of the obligations by all sides, as well as by the Minsk agreements."

    Kazakhstan is ready to provide a platform for holding the negotiations to resolve the Ukrainian crisis in any format convenient for the sides and at any reasonable time, the statement said.

    Edited by CN

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  • The ''What? Where? When?'' student games were held with the support of Bakcell
    26.01.2015 20:10
    Bakcell '" the First Mobile Operator and Leading Mobile Internet provider of Azerbaijan has supported the ''What? Where? When?'' student games, organized by Ministry of Youth and Sport and Khazar Intellectual Youth Club and , within the frames of the ''ЖЏlfЙ™CIN'' project.

    The main purpose of the ''ЖЏlfЙ™CIN'' project is to support the development of the intellectual gaming movement in our country, promote efficient leisure time activities of the youth, reveal their intellectual potential and help them gain even more achievements in education.

    Participation in the ''ЖЏlfЙ™CIN'' project is open for all the interested persons. Various tournaments on such games as ''What? Where? When?'', ''Brain Ring'', ''Khamsa'' and ''Your own game'' will be organized within the frames of this project.

    The team BSU from Baku State University became the winner of student games, held in the city of Baku on January 25th. ASEU team from Azerbaijan State University of Economics and team ''BuenDIA'' from State Academy of Management under the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan have finished second and third respectively. The winners were awarded the cup and medals, along with various presents from Bakcell.

    The elimination rounds of ''What? Where? When?'' student games were held in the city of Baku, along with some other regions of the country. 66 teams from 16 regions have obtained a chance to demonstrate their intellectual abilities in the final. The final took place with participation of around 500 students from countryв's strongest teams.

    60 questions for the question marathon were edited by Oktay Maharramov. Questions aimed at revealing the erudition and knowledge level of the students have demonstrated deep knowledge of young persons about Azerbaijan and the whole world in general. The intellectual games became a real challenge for the students, since theyв've coincided with the end of the winter (midterm) exams.

    The winner teams have received various presents from Bakcell. All the members of the 1st place holder BSU team have acquired an opportunity to participate in the ''Smart Start'' internship

    program of Bakcell. Thus, upon applying for participation in the ''Smart Start'' internship, the winners will automatically be invited to the interview.

    The ''Smart Start'' program provides the students with an opportunity to spend a 2-month internship period and scholarship at Bakcell.


    About Bakcell

    Bakcell, The First Mobile Operator and the Leading Mobile Internet Provider of Azerbaijan, offers a variety of products for modern mobile communications customers. Bakcell provides class leading 3G mobile internet experience in the country under the SГјr@ brand name.

    As one of the largest national non-oil investors, Bakcell today continues making large investments in the economy of Azerbaijan through its investments in state-of-the-art telecommunication technology and its people who service our customers.

    Bakcellв's network covers more than 99% of the population and 93% of the land area of the country (excluding occupied territories). Bakcell is a leader in innovation and it focuses on bringing the best of the mobile internet to Azerbaijanis through new partnerships and its SГјr@ services. For more information about Bakcell products and services, please visit or call 555.For press releases please (or for press releases in English).

    If you are not a Bakcell subscriber, but wish to find out about Bakcell and its services, please call 055 000 05 55
  • Samsung Electronics to be main chip supplier for next iPhone
    26.01.2015 20:08
    South Korea's Samsung Electronics Co Ltd will be the main supplier of processors powering Apple Inc's next iPhone, Maeil Business Newspaper reported on Monday, citing unidentified sources in the semiconductor industry.

    Samsung will be responsible for around 75 percent of the chip production for the next iPhone, the South Korean newspaper said.

    The newspaper did not say how much the contract is worth and what other company will be supplying Apple. Samsung will make the chips from its factory in Austin, Texas, according to the report.

    A Samsung spokeswoman said the company does not comment on market speculation. Apple could not be immediately reached for comment.
  • Ukraine introduces high alert regime '" PM
    26.01.2015 20:02
    Baku, Azerbaijan, Jan. 26


    The Ukrainian government has decided to introduce a high alert warning throughout the country, Tass reported Jan. 26, Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk said at a session of the Cabinet of Ministers.

    "We have also decided to introduce a state of emergency in Lugansk and Donetsk regions," he said.

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  • Todayв's New York-Baku flight not cancelled
    26.01.2015 19:45
    Baku, Azerbaijan, Jan. 26

    By Emil Ismayilov - Trend:

    No information about the cancellation of the New York-Baku flight was received. The plane was to leave the US at 20:30 Baku time, the Heydar Aliyev International Airport told Trend Jan. 26.

    The airport was commenting on cancellation of 3,500 flights in the US on Monday and Tuesday due to the country's strong blizzard approaching the eastern coast.

    The plane left Baku at 06:00 Baku time and was to arrive in New York at 09:30 local time (18:30 - Baku time). The aircraft must fly back at 11:30 local time on Monday (20:30 - Baku time). It will land in the capital at 08:00 local time on Tuesday, the airport said.

    "No cancellation has been reported," the airport said.

    The Baku-New York direct passenger flights are made by Azerbaijan Airlines CJSC. Azerbaijan Airlines has started to make the Baku-New York-Baku regular direct flights since September 24, 2014. The flights are made on Mondays, Wednesdays and Saturdays.

    Edited by CN

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  • TANAP of particular significance for Europeв's energy security
    26.01.2015 19:38
    Baku, Azerbaijan, Jan. 26

    By Rufiz Hafizoglu - Trend:

    TANAP project is of particular significance for providing Europe's energy security, the Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto said at a meeting with his Turkish counterpart Mevlut Cavusoglu, the Anadolu agency reported Jan. 26.

    Szijjarto said Hungary is confident that the project will be one of the most important energy projects.

    The TANAP project envisages the transportation of gas of Azerbaijan's Shah Deniz field from the Georgian-Turkish border to the western borders of Turkey.

    TANAP's initial capacity is expected to reach 16 billion cubic meters of gas per year.

    Around six billion cubic meters will be delivered to Turkey and the rest of the volume to Europe.

    Turkey will obtain gas in 2018. The gas will be supplied to Europe in early 2020 after the Trans Adriatic Pipeline (TAP) is constructed.

    The project's cost is estimated at $10-$11 billion.

    Contracts for the supply of pipes for the construction of TANAP were signed in Turkey's Ankara on Oct.14 with six Turkish and one Chinese company.

    Turkey's Mannesmann-Noksel-Erciyas and Umran-Emek consortiums, and the company Toscelik Profil ve Sac Endustrisi, as well as the Chinese contractor Baosteel Europe won the tender for the supply of pipes for the TANAP project.

    All the companies that will participate in the construction and supply of the TANAP project in Turkey are exempt from the VAT.

    Edited by CN

    Follow the author on Twitter @rhafizoglu

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  • Singer Demis Roussos dies aged 68
    26.01.2015 19:33
    Greek singer Demis Roussos, who became popular in the 1960s and 1970s, has died in an Athens hospital at the age of 68.

    The Egyptian-born singer had been in the private hospital with an undisclosed illness for some time.

    Roussos sold around 60 million records worldwide and saw success when he joined the progressive rock band Aphrodite's Child in 1967.

    He had solo hits with Forever And Ever, Mr Reason and Goodbye My Love, Goodbye.

    Artemios "Demis" Ventouris Roussos was born and raised in Alexandria, Egypt before his parents moved to Greece during the Suez Crisis.

    He began his music career aged 17 with a band called The Idols where he met his future Aphrodite's Child bandmates.

    Roussos is the subject of an argument between two characters in Mike Leigh's TV play Abigail's Party.

    He made one of his earliest appearances on English-language TV on the Basil Brush Show.

    The star struggled with his weight for a long time and co-wrote a book about obesity.

    He recorded and toured until 2009, when his last album came out.

    One of his last public appearances was in the Athens in 2013, when he received a French Legion of Honour medal for his life's work.

    But it was his glowering face on 1970s and 1980s album covers that provided the most enduring image of the singer: a theatrical figure with unusual outfits, a flowing dark beard and long hair thinning on top.
  • Baku 2015 European Games hosts next auditions for opening and closing ceremonies
    26.01.2015 19:27
    Baku 2015 European Games hosted next auditions for performers who will take part in the opening and closing ceremonies.

    Baku-2015 celebrity ambassadors, winners of the Eurovision-2011 Eldar Gasimov and Nigar Jamal watched the event, AzerTag reports.

    More than 50 volunteers attended the auditions, which saw them fulfill tasks of professional teams.

    Tom Bisignano, the associate producer of the "FiveCurrents", which is preparing the opening and closing ceremonies of the Baku-2015, said the European Games would be best event of 2015 and invited the country`s young generation to be a part of the games.

    According to Tom Bisignano the involvement of volunteers to the Games is underway: "I am sure that volunteers of the Baku-2015 will earn rich experience." Tom Bisignano noted nearly 6000 volunteers would attend the Games.

    Participant of the Baku-2015 Khumar Guluzade said: "I have passed my audition good. Everybody in audition was frank and cheerful. I feel that I became a part of this great family, and I am waiting for trainings with impatience."

    Baku-2015 celebrity ambassadors Eldar Gasimov and Nigar Jamal said the volunteers will be a part of the history, and the Games will be positively attracted in the future careers.
  • Large-scale reshuffle expected in Turkeyв's state structures
    26.01.2015 19:11
    Baku, Azerbaijan, Jan.26

    By Rufiz Hafizoglu - Trend:

    A large-scale reshuffle is expected in Turkey's state structures as part of fighting Fethullah Gulen's movement, Turkish Sabah newspaper reported on Jan.26.

    It is expected that almost all heads of Turkey's state structures will be dismissed.

    Fethullah Gulen [Islamic public figure currently residing in the US] is the founder of the Hizmet public movement, as well as, the Turkish Journalists and Writers Foundation. He has been accused of being involved in a huge wiretapping scandal by the Turkish government.

    The wiretapping scandal occurred in Turkey when Turkish media reported on Feb. 25, 2014 that in 2011 telephone conversations of about 7,000 people associated with the representatives of both the ruling and opposition parties, including family members of the prime minister were wiretapped, as part of the anti-terrorist operation carried out by the Istanbul prosecutor's office against lsquo;Salam' terrorist organization.

    During the anti-terrorist operations, telephone conversations of the head Turkish intelligence, Hakan Fidan were wiretapped as well. Turkish then Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan accused Gulen of standing behind the wiretapping of the phone conversations.

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

    He called on Fethullah Gulen not to intervene in Turkey's internal affairs and accused the US of supporting him. A criminal case has been initiated in Turkey against Gulen for his coup attempt and espionage against the country.

    Erdogan also previously said that Gulen will be extradited from the US. However, the US authorities said that his extradition is inadmissible.

    Earlier, Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said that Ankara will make every effort to achieve Gulen's extradition.

    Turkish police periodically holds operations on detaining Gulen's supporters. Some 19 people were detained in the country as a result of the raids on Jan.20.

    Edited by CN


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  • Naked violinist sues police over arrest
    26.01.2015 19:04
    A Hillsboro, Oregon, man arrested after playing a violin while naked outside the federal courthouse in Portland last year is suing police.

    The Oregonian reports that 25-year-old Matthew T. Mglej claims authorities used excessive force and violated his First Amendment rights. He named the Multnomah County Sheriff's Office and Portland Police Bureau as defendants in a lawsuit filed last week, and he's seeking $1.1 million in damages.

    Police showed up after receiving complaints about the demonstration, during which the man played violin, meditated and quoted former Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. They said they arrested him for indecent exposure and carried him to a patrol car when he refused to walk.

    Mglej claims jail deputies cut his wrists by jerking on his handcuffs and called him names when he cried from the pain and for his service dog.

    He has a hearing on the indecent exposure charge next month.
  • EU should open new phase of negotiations with Turkey
    26.01.2015 19:01
    Baku, Azerbaijan, Jan. 26

    By Rufiz Hafizoglu - Trend:

    The European Union should open a new phase of negotiations with Turkey, Volkan Bozkir, Turkish Minister for EU Affairs said.

    The minister said that Turkey has fulfilled almost all requirements of EU for accession to this structure, Hurriyet newspaper reported on Jan.26.

    He added that EU should open a new phase of negotiations with Turkey on energy issues.

    Earlier, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that his country has no interest in the issue of accession to EU. He said currently, Ankara is testing the EU to find out whether this organization is really a democratic system, or a Christian club.

    The official negotiations on Turkey's accession to the EU were resumed in 2005.

    Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Bulent Arinc earlier said that if previously 75 percent of Turkey's population supported the country's accession to the EU, currently, this figure has dropped to 20 percent.

    Turkey has fulfilled 65 percent of its commitments to the EU for accession to this organization.

    Earlier, the country's Minister for EU Affairs Volkan Bozkir said the negotiations between Turkey and EU can't continue in the format required by the organization. He said at the time that democracy in Turkey is at a higher level than in some European countries.

    Edited by CN


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  • Professor Nargiz Pashayeva named honorary professor of Moscow State University
    26.01.2015 18:59
    Corresponding member of the Azerbaijan National Academy of Sciences, PhD Nargiz Pashayeva has been awarded a diploma of the honorary professor of the Lomonosov Moscow State University.

    She received the title for her outstanding contributions to the establishment and development of Baku branch of the Lomonosov Moscow State University, as well as the building of fruitful cooperation with this university, AzerTag reports.

    Professor Nargiz Pashayeva has today been presented with the diploma at a solemn meeting on the occasion of the 260th anniversary of the Lomonosov Moscow State University in the Russian capital.
  • Iran hopes for visa-free regime with Georgia to be restored
    26.01.2015 18:50
    Tbilisi, Georgia, Jan.26

    By Nana Kirtzkhalia - Trend:

    Georgian parliament speaker David Usupashvili has met with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, who expressed hope that the visa-free regime will be restored with Georgia as part of the new visa policy between the two countries.

    Georgia suspended the visa-free regime with Iran on July 1, 2013.

    Georgia's parliamentary majority also believes that new priorities of the country's visa-free regime should be defined.

    Moreover, the potential energy projects were also discussed during the meeting with Iranian president. The Iranian side expressed its intention to increase the volume of trade turnover with Georgia.

    Edited by SI

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  • White House '˜locked downв' after drone flies into grounds
    26.01.2015 18:50
    Emergency vehicles swarmed into the White House after a small drone-like device flew into the grounds in the early hours of Monday morning, local time.

    The White House is now 'locked downв' after the craft was found by Secret Service agents.

    A cordon has been erected while agents investigate the drone.

    White House spokesman Josh Earnest said, 'There is a device that has been recovered by the Secret Service at the White House.

    "Early indication is that it does not pose any sort of ongoing threat to anybody right now."
  • Egyptian court orders retrial in mass death penalty case
    26.01.2015 18:31
    Baku-APA. An Egyptian appellate court has ordered a retrial for 152 Muslim Brotherhood supporters, among them 37 members of the outlawed party sentenced to death over an attack on a police station in August 2013, APA reports quoting Press TV.

    Judicial authorities said the decision was taken on Saturday after the Court of Cassation, the exclusive body atop the judicial hierarchy in Egypt, dismissed the 152 defendants' appeal, and a retrial was ordered.

    They were among 529 supporters of ousted president, Mohamed Morsi, whom a lower court in Egypt's southern province of Minya sentenced to death last March in a mass trial. The trial and its outcome prompted international outcry.

    The death penalties were later commuted to life in prison in the case of 492 defendants, while 37 were ordered sent to the gallows.

    On January 19, a court in Egypt's northeastern city of Mansoura, located about 120 kilometers (74 miles) northeast of the capital, Cairo, handed down prison terms to 75 Muslim Brotherhood proponents over several charges as part of the ongoing crackdown on Morsi's supporters.

    The people were found guilty of charges ranging from attempted murder to vandalism during anti-government protests in the wake of Morsi's ouster in July 2013.

    Morsi was ousted in a military coup led by Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, the country's current president and then army commander. Since then, the government has launched a brutal crackdown on Morsi's supporters.

    The Muslim Brotherhood has been also blacklisted as a terrorist organization by the new Egyptian government.

    Rights groups say the army's crackdown on supporters of Morsi has left at least 1,400 people dead and 22,000 arrested, while some 200 people have been sentenced to death in mass trials.
  • Volkswagen to recall 80,000 Audis
    26.01.2015 18:08
    German carmaker Volkswagen AG will recall 80,000 cars from its luxury division Audi due to issues with the fuel injection system, Audi said over the weekend, adding that around 35,000 of the affected vehicles are from China.

    The cars were made between April 2011 and April 2012, and ''in rare cases customers may notice a smell of fuel in affected vehicles,'' Audi said in an e-mailed statement.

    China is Audiв's biggest market. But on Tuesday, official data showed the worldв's second-largest economy grew at its slowest pace in 24 years in 2014, even as luxury sales have been hit by a crackdown on official corruption and lavish spending.

    Xinhua news agency, citing the countryв's quality watchdog, said China FAW-Volkswagen Automotive Co will begin the recall on March 20, affecting Audi A4, A5, A6, A7 and Q7 models.
  • "Breakthrough" in US-India civil nuclear deal
    26.01.2015 18:03
    U.S. President Barack Obama on Sunday said India and the U.S. had reached a "breakthrough" on two issues concerning a civil nuclear agreement.

    "We have achieved a breakthrough and are moving towards full implementation of the civil nuclear energy deal," Obama said during a joint press conference with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Mod. "Civil nuclear cooperation is a step to elevate our relationship."

    Prime Minister Modi said both countries were moving towards a "commercial" operationalization of the Indo-U.S. nuclear deal signed in 2008.

    "The civil nuclear agreement was the centerpiece of our transformed relationship, which demonstrated new trust. It also created new economic opportunities and expanded our option for clean energy," Modi said.

    "I am pleased that six years after we signed our bilateral agreement, we are moving towards commercial cooperation, consistent with our law, our international legal obligations, and technical and commercial viability," Modi said without providing any details.

    Earlier, part of the Indian media had already reported that both the U.S. and India had broken a six-year-old impasse.

    Citing unnamed sources, reports said that India has given up its insistence on a nuclear liability clause in case of a nuclear accident while the U.S. agreed to do away with tracking nuclear material in India.

    But in Sundayв's joint press conference, the two leaders provided little details about the civil nuclear breakthrough, raising the possibility that there were still some issues yet to be ironed out.

    Negotiators from the U.S. and India held three meetings in the past 45 days to resolve the pending issues in order to facilitate the establishment of U.S.-made nuclear power plants in the country.

    Modi praised Obama for his ''renewed energy'' in the bilateral engagement.

    "The promise and potential of this relationship had never been in doubt. This is natural global partnership," Modi said. "We will also resume dialogue on the bilateral investment treaty."

    President Obama surprised the audience as he greeted reporters in Hindi.

    Obama said deepening ties with India would remain one of the priorities of his administration.

    "We are launching a new joint program to improve air quality in Indian cities," he said, adding that the U.S. supported Indiaв's ambitious role for solar energy.

    When Modi was asked about the climate change deal between the U.S. and China, he said such a deal did not put pressure on a sovereign country like India.

    "The U.S.-China climate deal does not put pressure on India, but climate change itself does. Itв's a huge challenge," Modi said.

    "We support a reformed U.N. Security Council that sees India as a permanent member," Obama added.

    The U.S. and India also agreed to extend a 10-year defense agreement, establish a new military education partnership, and embark on four "pathfinder" projects, including research on aircraft carrier and jet engine technology.

    U.S. Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel called the agreements "ground-breaking," noting that they "promise to open a new chapter in our defense relationship."

    "Taken together, the president's announcements signal a new depth and sophistication in our defense and security cooperation," Hagel said in a statement.

    Obama devoted considerable time answering questions concerning Russia, Ukraine and Yemen saying the U.S. had no interest in seeing a weakened Russia but it would not allow "bullying" of smaller countries.

    Modi said India and the U.S. had decided to set up hotlines between the president and the PM and their respective national security advisors.

    Modi said he has forged a friendship with Obama and they talk with "openness" and even cracking jokes.

    Obama reached New Delhi on Sunday morning and was welcomed by Modi himself, in a ''rare instance'' of departure from the protocol.

    The U.S. president drove to Raj Ghat, the memorial for Mahatma Gandhi, to pay his tribute to the father of the nation whom he described as "rare gift to the world."

    On Monday, Obama will be the chief guest at the Republic Day parade, the first U.S. president to participate in the annual parade, which celebrates the day independent India's constitution came into force in 1950.
  • National film shines at Varesh Intв'l Film Festival
    26.01.2015 18:03
    /By AzerNews/

    By Amina Nazarli

    A short film titled ''Hope'' by Azerbaijani film director Emil Guliyev was awarded with one of the main prizes at the eighth Varesh International Film Festival.

    The film won the ''Best Film Director'' prize at the event held in Mazandaran, Iran on January 19-22.

    From 1,278 films sent to the festival, 168 were included in the festival's competition program. Some 58 of them were works of Iranian filmmakers and 110 of foreigners.

    The festival included such documentary films of Azerbaijanв's "Azanfilm" studio as "Melting Island", "Interihange", "Lahic" as well as the animated film "Old Watch". The short feature film "Lighthouse" was also screened during the festival.

    ''Azerbaijan was represented by five films of different genres. After the difficult and intense competition the great victory in one of the most prestigious nomination "For the Best Director" won the film Hope,'' said Bahram Bagirzada, the producer of the film. ''We hope that the proud name of our country will be in the very first lines of the world's most prestigious film festivals.''

    ''ART BAKU PICTURES has already started to conquer film world. Next month our friendly and creative team headed by Emil will begin shooting the feature film titled ''Mental'','' he said.

    The festival aimed to promote cultural heritage of several Caspian nations and ethnic groups. It also helped identification of young and talented filmmakers as well as development of creative links between them.

    The hero of the event also spoke about his impressions. ''We are not just shooting film because we like this process. We just want to contribute to the glorification of Azerbaijan. I am so delighted, that our efforts brought such significant results. This is not our first prize. Diplomas, statuettes and money prizes are amazing, but, we should move forward, thatв's why we need support of those who are interested in promoting Azerbaijani cinema,'' Emil said.

    Earlier in November 2014, the film became the Grand Prix winner of the fifth Independent Short Film Festival in Tula, Russia.

    The film was shot by ART BAKU PICTURES with the support of Ultra production and Ziya Mammadov, the CEO of VIDEO.AZ company.

    The filmв's screenwriter is Khayal Mammadov and Emil Guliyev, operator - Elman Aliyev, music - Ramiz Fataliyev, sponsor - Elizaveta Abbasova.The film included non-professional actors - refuges from Azerbaijanв's Lachin region, which are living in Ismailli region. The slogan of the film is "Land for the forgotten people".
  • Fruit trees on verge of extinction
    26.01.2015 18:02
    /By AzerNews/

    By Amina Nazarli

    Since ancient times, favorable natural and geographical climate of Azerbaijan has created the conditions for growing different types of plants in the country.However, today about 43 types of trees and shrubs, as well as fruit trees are in a critical situation, said Elman Iskenderov, Head of the Dendrology Instituteв's Laboratory of Azerbaijan National Academy of Sciences.

    He said that about 467 kinds of trees and shrubs are growing up in the country. Some 189 of them are in dire need of protection.

    The scientist also said that the plants are divided into nine kinds including completely extinct, extinct in nature, those in critical situation and others. There is no enough information about other types of trees.

    Iskenderov claimed that two categories including completely extinct and extinct in nature have not been reported yet in Azerbaijan. However, about 200 trees and shrubs are categorized in other categories.

    Such pear trees as ''Sallag'', ''Eldar'', ''Radde'', ''Medvedev'', as well as Naila almonds, Pontian hawthorn and Caucasus hawthorn are categorized as in critical situation.

    The scientist noted that there are many reasons behind reduction of rare plants, however, the main one is anthropogenic factor.

    Rare plants are growing across the country, Iskenderov said. Most plants are growing in the Talish Mountains, but, pear trees are mostly growing in Nakhchivan.

    About 50 kinds of trees and shrubs are included in the ''Red Book'' of Azerbaijan, which was published in 2013. However, new research shows that there are more plants, which should be added to the book. Thatв's why it is necessary to include all 189 plants to the Red Book, which will be released further, the scientist said.

    Unlike the flora of other Caucasian republics, Azerbaijani flora is strong. Azerbaijanв's plant species make up 66% of the total number of plant species in the Caucasus.
  • Selena Gomez appears to confirm romance with Zedd
    26.01.2015 18:01
    Selena Gomez has appeared to confirm her romance with DJ Zedd. Following speculation that the two are an item, Selena posted a photo on Instagram showing the music producer with his arms around her.

    "Hint #2 Д±wantyoutoknow," Selena captioned the photo, which shows the duo with friend in a lift in Atlanta.

    Texas-born Selena, who famously dated Justin Bieber on-and-off for four years, fuelled speculation that she was dating Zedd after posting an Instagram picture saying that she was "missing" the 25-year-old.

    The pair, who are working on Selena's new album together, appear to have struck up a close bond in recent weeks, making red carpet appearances together sharing photos of each other on social media.

    Zedd, born Anton Zaslavski, posted a screenshot from a video call which showed Selena lying in bed laughing with her hand to her face. "Oh hi derrling'¦" he wrote.

    The pair first sparked dating rumours at the Golden Globes awards when they were pictured leaving a party hand-in-hand. They had earlier posed for photographs together alongside Selena's friend Cara Delevingne at the InStyle and Warner Bros. party.
  • Ziya Mammadov: Azerbaijan has built 300 bridges over the past 10 years
    26.01.2015 18:01
    "The volume of passenger traffic has increased by 3.7%."

    $ 2,5 bn was invested in transport sector in Azerbaijan in 2014.

    Oxu.Az reports with reference to APA that the statement came from Transport Minister Ziya Mammadov speaking at the event held in Baku on "Introduction of new technologies and innovations in the construction and reconstruction of road infrastructure" theme.

    The Minister said that the volume of investments in the transport sector constitute 21% of all investments made in the economy.

    Mammadov said that in 2014, investment in roads of the country amounted to $ 1.9 bn.

    "Over the past 10 years, the volume of traffic in the transport sector increased by 5.7%, the volume of passenger traffic by 3.7%, transit by 3.4%," the Minister said.

    The head of the structure added that over the past 10 years 11 000 km of roads were laid and 300 bridges were built in the country. 70 of these bridges are located in Baku.
  • Egypt uprising anniversary death toll rises to 23
    26.01.2015 18:01
    The death toll from violence that erupted on the fourth anniversary of Egypt's Jan. 25 uprising on Sunday has risen to 23, according to the Health Ministry.

    Sources within ousted President Mohamed Morsi's main support bloc, however, put the total number of fatalities at 25.

    "Twenty-three people were killed and 97 injured '" 19 of whom were police personnel '" across Egypt on Sunday," Heath Ministry spokesman Hossam Abdel-Ghaffar said in a statement.

    Sources within the pro-Morsi bloc, for their part, said that 25 people were killed across Egypt on Sunday while 87 others were injured.

    A security source who declined to be named had told AA earlier that 429 people had been arrested during clashes that erupted across Egypt on Sunday.

    Four years ago Sunday, tens of thousands of Egyptians took to the streets, eventually converging on Tahrir Square in downtown Cairo to protest widespread police brutality.

    With many protesters killed and wounded by security forces, the demonstrations eventually became a full-fledged popular uprising to demand the resignation of autocratic President Hosni Mubarak.

    Mubarak finally stepped down on Feb. 11 under mounting popular pressure, relinquishing power to the military establishment.

    A transitional phase ended with the election of Mohamed Morsi '" Egypt's first democratically elected leader '" in mid-2012.

    Morsi was removed by the military in July of 2013, however, following mass demonstrations against his one-year rule.

    His supporters describe his removal as a military coup while others insist it was a "popular military-backed uprising."

    Thousands of Morsi's supporters have since been killed or thrown behind bars amid an ongoing crackdown on dissent by the authorities.
  • Azerbaijani army foils Armenian sabotage groupsв' attack
    26.01.2015 18:00
    /By AzerNews/

    By Sara Rajabova

    Defying all calls to abide by the ceasefire agreement with Azerbaijan, Armenia still continues to aggravate tension on the contact line of Armenian-Azerbaijani troops with constant provocations on frontline.

    Suffering numerous losses in the occupied Nagorno-Karabakh region in recent days, the Armenian armed forces once again resorted to more aggressive provocations due to their failures on the frontline.

    Armenian sabotage and reconnaissance groups attempted to attack the positions of the Azerbaijani army along the frontline and on the contact line between Armenian and Azerbaijani troops, Azerbaijani Defense Ministry reported on January 26, noting that the Armenian sabotage groups' sudden attacks have been successfully foiled.

    The units of the Azerbaijani armed forces have showed personal bravery and courage in an unequal battle with the enemy, whose number exceeded the Azerbaijani soldiers. While preventing the enemy attack, three servicemen of the Azerbaijani army were martyred and some others wounded.

    The martyred servicemen were posthumously awarded with Medal ''For Distinction in Military Service'' third degree according to the decree of Colonel-General Zakir Hasanov, Azerbaijanв's Defense Minister.

    The leadership of the Defense Ministry expressed their deepest condolences to the relatives of martyrs.

    The Ministry underlined that: ''We do not hide the truth from our own nation.'' It noted that the Armenian mediaв's reports about the numerous losses of the Azerbaijani army on the frontline are baseless.

    The Armenian armed forces violated the ceasefire 124 times during the day using large-caliber machine guns, mortars and rocket-propelled grenades in different parts of the frontline, the Ministry also reported.

    The ceasefire was violated in Kohnegishlag village in Aghstafa region, Gizilhajili, Kemerli and Gaymagli villages in Gazakh region, Alibeyli, Agdam, Agbulaq, Kokhanebi and Munjuglu villages in Tovuz region, nameless hills in Gadabay region, as well as Tap Garagoyunlu village in Goranboy region, Goyarkh, Chileburt, Yarimja, Chayli villages in Terter region, Yusifjanli, Shikhlar, Javahirli, Marzili, Shuraabad, Garagashli, Novruzlu, Sarijali, Kengerli villages in Agdam region, Kuropatkino village in Khojavand region, Horadiz, Garakhanbeyli, Ashagi Veyselli, Ashagi Seyidahmedli villages in Fuzuli region, Mehdili village in Jabrayil region. The enemy was silenced with a retaliatory fire.

    The Ministry went on saying that during January, 17 Armenian servicemen were killed and about 20 others wounded.

    Since early January, the Armenian armed forces have resorted to sabotage and provocation on the contact line at least for four times. The Armenians repeat the same scenario of provocations as it was last January, when several Azerbaijani servicemen were killed during the enemy sabotage groupsв' sudden attacks.

    The recent skirmishes on the contact line of Armenian-Azerbaijani troops and Yerevanв's continuing of its policy of aggression undermine the peace process over the resolution of the long-lasting Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.

    The experts are not hopeful for the resolution of conflict in 2015, as Armenia openly shows it doesnв't want peace and is satisfied with the status quo.

    Armenia captured Nagorno-Karabakh and seven surrounding regions from Azerbaijan in a war that followed the Soviet breakup in 1991. The bloody war, which flared up due to Armenia's territorial claims against its South Caucasus neighbor, left without home over a million of civilians of Nagorno-Karabakh and the regions adjoining it, as well as the regions bordering with Armenia and Nagorno-Karabakh.

    They are temporarily settled in more than 1,600 settlements across 62 cities and regions of Azerbaijan. The Azerbaijanis who were displaced from their homes as result of the brutal war were forced to live in refugee camps, tents and wagons in very difficult conditions.

    Moreover, thousands of Azerbaijanis have been expelled from Armenia and become refugees due to Armenia's ethnic cleansing policy after the emergence of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict with Azerbaijan. As a result of the military aggression of Armenia, over 20,000 Azerbaijanis were killed, 4,866 are reported missing and almost 100,000 were injured, and 50,000 were disabled.
  • AtaBank OJSC provided results of 2013
    26.01.2015 18:00
    Financial and economical results of Atabank in 2014 were successful. So in dynamics of assets for last year growth by 54.8% or by 205.4 mlnmanats was observed. If in the beginning of the year the assets were 374.9 mlnmanats, to the end of the year they increased to 580.3 mlnmanats.

    There was observed growth also in a credit portfolio which is major making part of assets. Growth was 91.4% or by 221 mlnmanats. So if in the beginning of the year credit portfolio was 241.7 mlnmanats, then in the end of the year this value increased to 462.7 mlnmanats. In 2014 there was observed important growth in overall deposit portfolio of the Bank. Thus growing by 60.3% or by 192.3 mlnmanats this indicator became 511 mln. manats. We have to notice that in the beginning of the year this value was 318.7 mlnmanats. The term deposit portfolio of the bank raised from 244.1 mlnmanats by 80.8% or 197.3 mlnmanats to 441.4 mlnmanats.

    By the end of the year return on assets (ROA) and return on the capital (ROE) made respectively 2.18 and 23.48%. In the end of the 2014 number of ATMs and POS terminals of the Bank were accordingly 78 and 18 567. Net profit of the bank by the results of the year made 7.6 mlnmanats. 2014 was memorable for AtaBank with its financial results and new products and services. Presentation of AtaNet online banking service was one of the main parts of success. The unique feature of the AtaNet is being the first internet banking product integrated with ASAN signature. AtaNet is a modern banking system which allows to perform all transactions provided for in conventional banking. In that year AtaBank offered all e-services to its customers free of charge. In 2014 AtaBank reviewed its tariffs policy and offered more profitable terms. AtaBank achieved great success in this area and attracted large customer base. Campaign supporting state politics of stimulating non-cash payments, ''Pay non-cash, get cash'' will continue this year also as in previous year. For the convenience of the customers the Bank increased its service network and opened few branches and sub-branches in regions. Also as a support of international cycling tournament organized by the Cycling Federation of Azerbaijan Tour dв'Azerbaijan, AtaBank OJSCв's mobile ATM AtaMatik accompanied the participants during the event.AtaBank made possible using of AtaMatik in different regions of the country, in objects of tourism and places of a congestion of people. Within the program of corporate social responsibility in 2014, the Bank organized festive actions during holidays of New Year, Novruz, Ramazan and Kurban for more than 350 schoolchildren. Earned success imposes to the Bank and its employees much more responsibility in 2015. Always following "A step ahead" principle AtaBank plans further improvement of the quality of its working system and the introduction of new products and services to meet the expectations of its customers more completely. Growth of financial indicators and continuing of institutional development are the integral parts of Bankв's development strategy for this year. Some of the main goals in 2015 are new services applying, improvement of professional skills of the employees, increasing the financial literacy of customers, upgrading international ratings of the Bank. The audit report of AtaBank for 2014 is provided by ''PriceWaterhouseCoopers''.
  • Transport Minister speaks about high-speed train and tram lines
    26.01.2015 18:00
    "Exchange of opinions is underway".

    The relevant structures of the Ministry of Transport of Azerbaijan are holding an exchange of views in connection with the launch of high-speed train between Baku and Sumgait.

    As the Oxu.Az citing that the statement came from Minister of Transport Ziya Mammadov.

    According to him, the launch of high-speed trains and trams now seems impossible.

    "We have such a desire. But such projects require large funds. At present, the world oil prices have fallen, which in turn delays the implementation of such projects", the minister added.
  • National archery athletes take two medals in Dubai
    26.01.2015 18:00
    /By AzerNews/

    By Amina Nazali

    The Fazza International Para-Archery Competition for the disabled kicked off in Dubai on January 23.

    The world-class para-archery athletes from nine countries began the qualification round of the inaugural competition.

    A total of 23 athletes from the UAE, Iraq, Iran, Azerbaijan, India, Romania, France, Malaysia and the Czech Republic took place in the competition.

    On the first day of the competition the Azerbaijani sportsmen gained two medals.

    In individual competitions Aynur Rustamova took the third place. The same result Aynur showed in the couple competition with Jahan Musayev.
  • Philippines clashes kill dozens
    26.01.2015 17:59
    Forty-three people were killed in intense fighting between police commandos and Muslim insurgents in the southern Philippines Sunday, placing strains on a peace process designed to end decades of conflict in the restive region, SIA reports with reference to the CNN.

    The majority of the losses were on the government side, with 37 members of the elite Special Action Force unit of the Philippine National Police killed, police said in a statement.

    Six militants were killed and 11 wounded in the clashes, which raged for 12 hours in Mamasapano town, Maguindanao, police said.

    Members of both the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), with whom the government has signed a peace agreement, and the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF), with whom it has not, were involved in the firefight, officials and rebel groups said.

    Grisly footage purporting to be of the aftermath of the battle was circulated online, showing uniformed bodies strewn in a rice field.
  • SOFAZ to invest $500 mln in yuan assets in 2015
    26.01.2015 17:59
    /By AzerNews/

    By Aynur Karimova

    Azerbaijanв's state oil fund SOFAZ will invest $500 million in yuan assets in 2015. Meanwhile, it will continue to pursue real estate across Asian markets to diversify its portfolio.

    ''At the end of last year, we approved a quota to invest in the renminbi. We are completing all the necessary paperworks and this year will start investing the whole amount'' of $500 million,'' the fundв's Executive Director Shahmar Movsumov said in his recent interview, referring to the Chinese Yuan.

    China as the second largest economy in the world remains an attractive market for the growing number of foreign investors. Prospects of the Chinese Yuan as an additional investment currency attract considerable interest of various categories of investors, including sovereign wealth funds.

    ''Weв'll continue to look at South Korea'' for properties, Movsumov said. ''Weв're looking at Japan, Hong Kong, Singapore and China. All the main hubs in Europe are in our agenda. Weв're looking for very prime assets, which are intended to actually replace our very low-yield bonds that we have in our portfolio.''

    Touching upon the ruble crisis, Movsumov noted while SOFAZ broadens its investments, it will hold on to its ruble holdings even after the Russian currencyв's worst crisis since 1998.

    SOFAZ owns a 2.95 percent stake in VTB Bank, the second largest bank of Russia. The cost of this acquisition amounted to $500 million.

    ''We will keep our ruble investment,'' Movsumov said. ''VTB is a very long-term strategic investment. We believe in VTB Bank. Itв's one of the strongest banks in Russia.''

    Azerbaijan has responded to the plunge in oil prices by defending its currency even as economic growth slowed. Movsumov said crude prices will probably stabilize and recover in the second half of the year.

    ''Obviously, nobody expects them to come up as rapidly as it happened in 2009 and 2010, but they will come up from the levels we see right now,'' he said. ''Lower oil prices will mean SOFAZв's assets may shrink by about $3 billion.''

    Movsumov went on adding that the reserves accumulated in SOFAZ will help the country to ride out the difficulties.

    ''Weв'll be able to protect our currency,'' he said. ''Although weв'll reduce spending, weв'll do so in a very controlled manner without damaging the real economy.''

    SOFAZ, an entity that accumulates and manages Azerbaijan's oil and gas revenues, was established in 1999 with assets worth $271 million.

    The main purposes of the fund are accumulation of funds and placement of assets abroad to minimize negative impacts on economy, prevention of the 'Dutch disease', ensuring savings for future generations, and maintaining the current social and economic standards in the country.

    SOFAZ assets are placed partly in securities, money market instruments (deposits, bank accounts).

    According to SOFAZ's investment strategy, up to five percent of the investment portfolio may be invested in stock, up to five percent in real estate and up to five percent in gold.

    The investment strategy of the fund is aimed at selection of high quality office and retail properties in the central cities of the world countries with developed and transparent real estate markets.

    Earlier SOFAZ purchased Gallery Actor, a mixed-use office and retail complex located on Pushkin Square in Moscow for $133 million, an office complex in London's West End for £177.35 million and a property in Paris for €135 million, and Pine Avenue Tower A worth $447 million in Seoul.
  • WHO accepts criticism of its Ebola reaction
    26.01.2015 17:59
    The World Health Organizationв's chief admitted yesterday that the UN agency had been caught napping on Ebola, saying it should serve as a lesson to avoid similar mistakes in future.

    Opening a rare emergency session to review the fight against the epidemic, WHO head Margaret Chan said despite turning the corner there was no room for complacency, warning that progress could very easily be undone.

    Chan acknowledged blistering criticism that the WHOв's response to the epidemic had been slow and shoddy.

    ''This was West Africaв's first experience with the virus and it delivered some horrific shocks and surprises. The world, including WHO, was too slow to see what was unfolding before us,'' she told delegates.

    ''Ebola is a tragedy that has taught the world, including WHO, many lessons also about how to prevent similar events in the future,'' she said.

    ''The volatile microbial world will always deliver surprises,'' she said. ''Never again should the world be caught by surprise, unprepared.''

    Chan told reporters that ''the priority in 2015 is to help countries get the Ebola rate down to zero.''

    The worst outbreak of the virus in history has seen nearly 9,000 deaths in a year '" almost all in the three West African countries of Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone '" and sparked a major health scare worldwide.
  • Paulina Vega wins Miss Universe title
    26.01.2015 17:58
    Colombia's Paulina Vega was crowned Miss Universe Sunday, beating out contenders from the United States, Ukraine, Jamaica and The Netherlands at the world's top beauty pageant in Florida.

    The 22-year-old model and business student triumphed over 87 other women from around the world, and is only the second beauty queen from Colombia to take home the prize.

    The last time Colombia won the crown was in 1956 when Luz Marina Zuluaga took home the title.

    Vega, wearing a long silver sequined gown, was beaming and tearful as she accepted her sash and crown from reigning Miss Universe, Venezuelan Gabriela Isler.

    She edged out first runner-up, Nia Sanchez from the United States, hugging her as her win was announced.

    Vega spoke proudly of her country, and said in the question round Colombia "has been a role model for the rest of the world."

    "We are persevering people, despite all the obstacles, we keep fighting for what we want to achieve. After years of difficulty, we are leading in several areas on the world stage."

    Vega won highest possible score of 9.9 in every presentation at the Miss Universe Colombia contest, according to the pageant's website.

    The five-foot-nine (180 centimeter) model from Barranquilla is the granddaughter of legendary tenor Gaston Vega and 1953 Miss Atlantico, Elvira Castillo.

    She beat out Ukraine's Diana Harkusha, Yasmin Verheijen from the Netherlands and Miss Jamaica Kaci Fennell, who were also top five finalists.
  • Italian press: Heydar Aliyev International Airport is a new door to the Caucasus
    26.01.2015 17:58
    Several Italian news portals have published articles about Heydar Aliyev International Airportв's new passenger terminal, SIA reports quoting the AzerTac.

    The articles described the Heydar Aliyev International Airport as ''a new door to the Caucasus''.

    ''With a total area 65,000 square meters, the new terminal is capable of carrying 6 million passengers per year,'' say the articles.

    ''There are several stations to provide high-quality services to each passenger. And this is one of the most important factors in demonstrating the hospitality of Azerbaijanis.''

    The articles say: ''The interior and exterior of the complex, unusual elements used in design are reminiscent of take the facility beyond the traditional concept of the airport.''

    ''The main purpose is to create the necessary conditions for passengers to feel as comfortable as home," the articles say.
  • Kazakh border guards prevent drug smuggling attempts over weekend
    26.01.2015 17:58
    Astana, Kazakhstan, Jan. 26

    By Daniar Mukhtarov - Trend:

    Over the weekend, Kazakhstan's border guards prevented a number of attempts of drug trafficking across the country's border, the Border Service of the National Security Committee of Kazakhstan said Jan. 26.

    In particular, the border guards of the Auyl checkpoint detained a citizen of Kazakhstan in the east of the country for attempting to smuggle psychotropic substance to Russia.

    The person was detained during a border control of a bus, which was running the Ust-Kamenogorsk-Novosibirsk route.

    Aside from that, the border guards at the Shemonaikha checkpoint of the Soltustik regional department arrested a 27-year-old citizen of Kazakhstan for attempting to smuggle about 90 grams of marijuana during a border control in a passenger train running on the Ridder-Astana route.

    Law enforcement agencies of Kazakhstan were notified with regard to all the cases of detention. An investigation is underway.

    Edited by SI

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  • Mom charged over sale of her baby boy
    26.01.2015 17:57
    A mother has been charged with human trafficking after allegedly conspiring with a doctor to sell her baby boy for US$7,000, the latest case highlighting Chinaв's lucrative child market.

    Her mother-in-law told police in central Chinaв's Henan Province she suspected the child had been sold, Xinhua news agency reported.

    Her daughter-in-law, surnamed Huang, had told the family the baby died soon after birth, Xinhua said, citing local prosecutors.

    The woman had a son from a previous marriage and often ''quarrelled'' with her current husband, Xinhua said. She ''was worried that the new baby would affect the life of her first child,'' it reported.

    A couple paid 42,000 yuan (US$6,740) for the child, 7,000 yuan of which went to the obstetrician who helped find the buyers, according to Xinhua. The doctor is also being prosecuted.

    The boy is now in the care of his grandmother and further investigations are underway, Xinhua said.

    China has long struggled to rein in the market in babies, fuelled by a preference for male children and the one child policy, which limits the number of children couples can have.

    Earlier this month, police arrested more than 100 suspects in a crackdown in which 37 babies were rescued.

    In March 2013, police rescued 92 children and two women and detained 301 people suspected of being involving in trafficking.
  • Warm ocean melting East Antarctica's largest glacier
    26.01.2015 17:57
    The largest glacier in East Antarctica, containing ice equivalent to a six-metre (20-foot) rise in global sea levels, is melting due to warm ocean water, Australian scientists said on Monday.

    The 120-kilometre (74.4 mile) long Totten Glacier, which is more than 30 kilometres wide, had been thought to be in an area untouched by warmer currents.

    But a just-returned voyage to the frozen region found the waters around the glacier were warmer than expected and likely melting the ice from below.

    "We knew that the glacier was thinning from the satellite data, and we didn't know why," the voyage's chief scientist Steve Rintoul told AFP.

    He said that up until recently the East Antarctica ice sheet had been thought surrounded by cold waters and therefore very stable and unlikely to change much.

    But the voyage found that waters around the glacier were some 1.5 degrees Celsius warmer than other areas visited on the same trip during the southern hemisphere summer.

    "We made it to the front of the glacier and we measured temperatures that were warm enough to drive significant melt," Rintoul said.

    "And so the fact that warm water can reach this glacier is a sign that East Antarctica is potentially more vulnerable to changes in the ocean driven by climate change than we used to think."

    Previous expeditions had been unable to get close to the glacier due to heavy ice, but Rintoul said the weather had held for the Aurora Australis icebreaker and a team of scientists and technicians from the Australian Antarctic Division and other bodies.

    Rintoul said the glacier was not about to melt entirely overnight and cause a six-metre rise in sea levels, but the research was important as scientists try to predict how changes in ocean temperatures will impact on ice sheets.

    "This study is a step towards better understanding of exactly which parts of the ice sheets are vulnerable to ocean warming and that is the sort of information that we can then use to improve our predictions of future sea level rises," he said.

    "East Antarctica is not as protected from change as we use to think," he said.

    The melt rate of glaciers in the fastest-melting part of Antarctica has tripled over the past decade, analysis of the past 21 years showed, according to research published last month.
  • Ombudsman of Moldova starts struggle for Kalbajar hostages
    26.01.2015 17:57
    "How can the inaction of the Russian authorities be regarded?"

    Moldovan parliamentary advocate Aurelia Grigoriu is ready to raise the issue of human rights protection of Azerbaijanis Dilgam Asgarov and Shahbaz Guliyev convicted by the illegal separatist regime of Nagorno Karabakh among European human rights activists.

    Oxu.Az reports with reference to Trend that, according to A.Grigoriu, the so-called Armenian "trial" over Azerbaijanis Dilgam Asgarov and Shahbaz Guliyev taken hostages is illegitimate.

    According to her, the world does not respond to this due to the lack of information on this fact.

    "I am ready to raise this issue among the European human rights activists, but I need fresh data," Grigoriu said.

    The lawyer touched upon existing double standards in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. She noted that political priorities play not the last role in assessing the facts of human rights violations.

    "How else can we assess the inaction of Russian authorities regarding the verdict of the illegal 'trial' of a Russian citizen, who is one of the captives?" Grigoriu said.

    During the operation conducted on July 11 by the Armenian riot police in the village Shaplar of occupied Kalbajar district, citizen of Azerbaijan Hasan Hasanov was killed and Shahbaz Jalal oglu Guliyev and Dilgam Gardashkhan oglu Asgarov were taken hostage and a criminal proceeding was launched into their case.

    Previously, the so-called "court" sentenced D.Asgarov to life imprisonment, and Sh.Guliyev to 22 years in prison.
  • New passenger cars purchased for Baku-Tbilisi-Kars
    26.01.2015 17:56
    /By AzerNews/

    By Amina Nazarli

    Azerbaijani Railways will receive new passenger cars for Baku-Tbilisi-Kars rail line, the company reported.

    In June 2014, Azerbaijani Railways signed a contract with ''Stadler'' company to purchase 30 new passenger rail cars. The new cars will be fitted to the automatic transition of pair wheels for movement on the European railway track.

    The new railway, which will connect Azerbaijan, Georgia and Turkey together is planned to be opened by late 2015. Thatв's why the passenger cars should be delivered by this time, the source said.

    ''We don't know yet when the cars will be ready. However, we will need time for their testing and development,'' the source say.

    The company reported that all work is underway regarding to the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars rail line. New rail links will be released as scheduled.

    Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway is being constructed based on the Georgia-Azerbaijan-Turkish interstate agreement. The project is funded by the Azerbaijani State Oil Foundation in accordance with the countryв's head decree on ''Realization of the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars project'' since February 21, 2007.

    As part of the project, a new 105 km branch of the railway line is being constructed currently.

    Moreover, the Akhalkalaki-Marabda -Tbilisi railway section is reconstructed which increases its capacity up to 15 million tons of cargo per a year.

    A post transferring trains from a track in Georgia to Europe is being constructed in Akhalkalaki.

    The project is expected to be finished in 2015. And the launch of the first test train is planned by the end of the year.

    The capacity of the corridor will be 17 million tons per year. At the initial stage, the figure will be one million passengers and 6.5 million tons of cargo.

    The Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway line is effective from an economic point of view. It is stable, and fully complies with environmental standards. It means the beginning of a new stage in the transport development.

    This railway line will expand the multi-modal transportation opportunities and ensure the growth of passenger and freight transportation.

    Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, Afghanistan, Pakistan and India have shown their interest in the project.

    Earlier, Ziya Mammadov, Transport Minister said that after the third year of operation, the projected volume of cargo under the railway line will be three million tons, while after the fifth year - five million tons and after its tenth year the amount of cargo will constitute more than 10 million tons.
  • Armenia's illicit cash outflow under spotlight
    26.01.2015 17:56
    /By AzerNews/

    By Mushvig Mehdiyev

    A recent report published by an influential financial organization revealed the amount of money taken out of the world's developing countries.

    Armenia left its previous ranking due to a year-on-year increase in amount of illicit money outflows.

    The Global Financial Integrity, a non-profit, Washington, DC-based research and advisory organization, which produces high-caliber analyses of illicit financial flows, disclosed that about 1.25 billion was taken out of Armenia in 2012. It is $63 million more than the figure in 2011.

    The Illicit Financial Flows from Developing Countries: 2003-2012 Report claims that Armenia faced nearly $7.5 billion illegal cash takeout over the period from 2003 to 2012, as a result of government corruption, tax evasion and other illicit financial dealings.

    The figure almost doubles Armeniaв's foreign debt, as illicit outflows from the post-Soviet country surpassed the $1 billion mark with a sustainable growth since 2007, according to the report.

    Armenia has been ranked 69th (71st in the previous report) among 145 countries in terms of annual average amount of the clandestine money outflow calculated at $750 million over the period between 2003 and 2012, while the country has been put to 60th place based on the amount of illegal money leakage amounted to $1.23 billion only during 2012.

    What happened to that money or where were they harbored is not known yet, according to the Global Financial Integrity.

    The report concludes that developing and emerging economies have lost $6.6 trillion in illicit financial flows from 2003 through 2012, staggering average rate of 9.4 percent per year, which is roughly twice as fast as global GDP.

    China is the world's top country over the 10-year period with $1.25 trillion in illicit outflows, followed by Russia, Mexico, India, and Malaysia, said the report.

    The recent and controversial offshore deal in Armenia was one of the notorious examples of illegal money takeout. Former Prime Minister Tigran Sarkisyan and Archbishop Navasard Kchoyan were reportedly blamed for taking out some $10.7 million from the country through an offshore company in Cyprus. Even the former premier's resignation was linked to his reported involvement in the money laundering operation.

    Predominant oligarchy in Armenia, which is represented mainly by the state officials, may well affect the growth in amount of illegal money takeout. For instance, according to declarations by the parliamentarians, there are 19 millionaire legislators in the Armenian parliament. Since the constitution bans the public servants from engaging in any business activity, tycoons of the poor country (32.3 percent poverty rate in 2014) turn to illegal ways of saving their fortune from the rule of law.

    The Global Competitiveness Report 2014 unveiled the oligarchy-controlled monopoly in Armenia, ranking the former Soviet nation 105th among 144 countries in terms of the effectiveness of antitrust policy.
  • We are very close to nuclear agreement: Rouhani
    26.01.2015 17:55
    Iranian president Hassan Rouhani says the country is "very close" to clinching a deal with global powers on its nuclear program.

    At a Sunday meeting with visiting Croatian Foreign Minister Vesna Pusic, Rouhani said that Iran has been involved in satisfactory negotiations with P5 1, Press TV reports.

    "For the talks to yield results more quickly, political will is needed in the other side of negotiations with Iran," Rouhani said.

    Iran and the P5 1 countries -- the US, France, the UK, China, Russia, and Germany - are trying to sign an agreement on Iran's nuclear program by March 1 and finalize the technical details of the deal by July 1.

    The two sides have already missed two deadlines to clinch such a deal after they signed an interim agreement in Geneva in November 2013.

    Rouhani further reiterated that Iran is firmly standing on its nuclear rights while it also wants to ensure the international community about the peaceful nature of its nuclear activities.

    The Iranian president said that current disputes between Iran and some western countries could be settled easily through logic and negotiation.

    "The atmosphere currently dominating the world is not one of swordplay and the Islamic Republic of Iran wants to interact with others through logic and negotiation," he said.

    The Croatian foreign minister, for her part, expressed hope that the current negotiations between Iran and the world powers could result in a lasting agreement.

    Pusic said that the necessity of reaching an agreement with Iran is doubled when one considers the increasing instability in the Middle East as a "stable Iran" would be the key to solving regional issues.

    The top diplomat, who also serves as Croatia's vice prime minister, also called for expansion of ties between Tehran and Zagreb, saying that Croatia looks for a new chapter in relations between the two countries.
  • Baku, OSCE MG to discuss Nagorno-Karabakh conflict
    26.01.2015 17:55
    /By AzerNews/

    By Sara Rajabova

    Azerbaijani foreign policy head and co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group are scheduled to discuss the settlement process of the Armenian-Azerbaijani Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.

    Elmar Mammadyarov and Minsk Group co-chairs agreed to hold a meeting in Krakow, Poland on January 27.

    Earlier, Mammadyarov has met with Pierre Andrieu, French co-chair of OSCE Minsk Group, Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry said on January 23.

    The sides exchanged views on the process of settlement of Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, the action plan of OSCE Minsk Group and regional security issues.

    Prior to meeting of Azerbaijani foreign minister and the co-chairs, James Warlick, OSCE Minsk Group co-chair from U.S. said the Minsk Group promises to continue at a high level the work with the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict parties over peaceful settlement of the problem.

    Warlick toldВ TrendВ that there is no military option to resolve the conflict, noting that the path to a peaceful resolution of the conflict can and must be found at the negotiating table.

    He also added that the co-chairs work on the meeting between Azerbaijani and Armenian presidents this year.

    Warlick expressed hope that the presidents will keep promises to continue the dialogue given during a meeting in Paris on October 27.

    Speaking about the increase of tension on the contact line of Armenian-Azerbaijani troops, Warlick said those incidents are destabilizing the situation and leading exclusively to more violence.

    Earlier, he urged the sides to stop the violence along the contact line of Armenian-Azerbaijani troops.

    ''My appeal to the presidents: stop the violence along the line of contact and commit to negotiations,'' Warlick tweeted on January 23.

    Meanwhile, Hikmet Hajiyev, the acting spokesperson of Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry has responded to Warlickв's call.

    ''We also appeal to the co-chairing countries of OSCE Minsk Group urging to force Armenian leadership to stop the sabotage actions and withdraw this countryв's troops from Azerbaijanв's occupied territories,'' Hajiyev tweeted.

    Despite calls by the international community to abide by the ceasefire agreement with Azerbaijan, Armenia continues its provocations on the frontline with even more aggression.

    Peace talks over the long-lasting Nagorno-Karabakh conflict that emerged over Armeniaв's territorial claims against Azerbaijan are underway on the basis of a peace outline proposed by the Minsk Group co-chairs and dubbed the Madrid Principles. However, as Armenia continues to follow non-constructive position, the negotiations have been largely fruitless so far despite the efforts of the co-chair countries over 20 years.

    Armenia captured Nagorno-Karabakh and seven surrounding districts from Azerbaijan in a war that followed the Soviet breakup in 1991. More than 20,000 Azerbaijanis were killed and nearly 1 million were displaced as a result of the war.

    Large-scale hostilities ended with a Russia-brokered ceasefire in 1994 but Armenia continued the occupation in defiance of four UN Security Council resolutions calling for immediate and unconditional withdrawal.
  • Georgian PM stresses importance of joint projects with Azerbaijan and Turkey
    26.01.2015 17:55
    Georgian Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili has underlined the importance of the joint projects being implemented with Turkey and Azerbaijan as he addressed a session of the World Economic Forum in Davos.

    The Prime Minister stressed the region needs fast, cost-effective and reliable routes for delivering goods from China to Europe, AzerTag reports. From this point of view, the Premier said the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway project is one of such routes. He said the project aims to establish a direct route between Georgia and Turkey, thus connecting Europe with Asian countries "Once operational, it will reduce the period for shipment from China to European markets by more than half and shorten the distance by almost 7500 km," he added.

    Mr. Garibashvili also stressed the importance of the second phase of the Shah Deniz project.

    He invited the participants of the discussions to the Silk Road Forum, which would be held under his initiative in Tbilisi.
  • PACE President: Turkey, Armenia should resolve problem through negotiations
    26.01.2015 17:54
    Anne Brasseur responded to Armenian journalistв's question on the so-called genocide, APA reports.

    Unfortunately, there are a lot of ongoing conflicts in the world and Europe, the parities should resolve these problems by means of negotiations.

    President of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) Anne Brasseur said Monday at a press conference in a response to Armenian journalist's question on the 100th anniversary of the so-called "Armenian" genocide.

    "We hope both parties will no spare efforts to find a solution to the problem and will reach a mutual understanding through negotiations," A. Brasseur added.
  • Azerbaijan increases production of military goods
    26.01.2015 17:53
    Azerbaijan's military production in 2014 grew 26.3% over 2013.

    The statement came from Minister Yavar Jamalov at the board meeting on the results of 2014 in the Ministry of Defense Industry.

    Oxu.Az reports that Yavar Jamalov said the growth is observed in the production under the state order.

    "Thus, the production envisaged under the special program grew 21.7% over 2013, and the range of defense products increased by 1.4 times. By the end of 2014, the volume of produced and commissioned defense products increased by 30%", said the Minister.

    He added that in 2014 public goods sector saw a 13.5% growth compared to 2013 year, and the range of products amounted to more than 450 items.
  • Iranian Foreign Minister to leave for Armenia
    26.01.2015 17:53
    A joint press conference was held.

    Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif will arrive in Armenia on two-day visit on January 26 at the invitation of his Armenian counterpart Edward Nalbandian.

    Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan will receive Zarif, Oxu.Az reports with reference to the Armenian media.

    The meeting of Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif with the Speaker of the National Assembly of Armenia Galust Sahakyan and Prime Minister Hovik Abrahamyan is also scheduled.

    The talks of the foreign ministers of the two countries, as well as joint press conference will take place on January 27.
  • PACE challenges Russiaв's delegation powers
    26.01.2015 17:53
    Russia's status and the powers of its delegation have been challenged again by 30 member states of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE).

    British delegation leader Robert Walter called for the sanction at the opening of the assembly's winter session on Monday, gaining the required voting support of at least five countries and two political groups, ITAR TASS reports.

    Russia was stripped of its voting rights until January at the assembly's April session and excluded from all PACE management bodies in retaliation for Crimea's reunification with Russia.

    This provoked the delegation to leave the session in protest, refusing further participation in the group's work. Since then, the delegation has not attended the assembly's summer and autumn sessions in Strasbourg.
  • Some foreign companies to participate in nuclear plant construction in Kazakhstan
    26.01.2015 17:52
    Astana, Kazakhstan, Jan. 26

    By Daniyar Mukhtarov - Trend:

    Several foreign companies, including Russian and Japanese companies will be involved in the planned construction of two nuclear power plants in Kazakhstan, Kazakh Energy Minister Vladimir Shkolnik told reporters Jan. 26.

    "One of the power plants will likely to be Russian-made on the Semipalatinsk shooting range," he said. "As for the Balkhash area, all projects being implemented in the world are discussed. The best of them is chosen. The decision has not been made yet. But we saw that one of the most promising plants is that one made by "Toshiba Westinghouse". Kazakhstan is a shareholder in this company. This is also a promising and safe development."

    "One of the nuclear power plants will be built with the Rosatomprom's participation, the second one with the participation of the company that wins the tender," he said. "Several foreign companies made bids for participation in the tender."

    Earlier, head of Kazatomprom JSC National Company, Nurlan Kapparov told Trend that the company is holding negotiations with over four large international companies on the project for construction of a nuclear power plant on its territory.

    "The negotiations touch upon the security issues, economics of the project and its cost, as well as financing scheme," he said.

    Kapparov said French AREVA, Japanese Mitsubishi and Toshiba, Russian Rosatom, as well as South Korean companies are among those with which the negotiations are being held.

    The negotiations on the construction of a nuclear plant have been held in Kazakhstan for over 10 years.

    "I have a feeling that everything will now go really fast," Kapparov said. Now we are at the zero stage on the nuclear power plant and it is necessary to form a team."

    He confirmed the information spread by several media outlets according to which the issue of construction of two nuclear power plants in Kazakhstan's Kurchatov and Balkhash cities is being discussed.

    "We will implement the project with Rosatom in Kurchatov and there is an open competition in Balkhash," said Kapparov.

    He said that Kazakhstan does not exclude the use of the POS (probability of survival)-300 reactor in Kurchatov, which was offered by the Russian side.

    "POS-300 - it will be one of the technologies...," the head of Kazatomprom said. "We do not rule out POS-300 for now, although it may be POS-600 or even POS-1000... Everything will be resolved through negotiations and calculations, the main thing is that we do it together with Rosatom and it is important."

    Earlier, Kazakh Energy Ministry told Trend that the country plans to build a nuclear power plant in at least 12 years.

    First of all, feasibility studies of the project should be developed and it will take about 2 years, according to the ministry. Then the construction work will require at least 10 years.

    Kazakh President Nursultan ordered construction of the nuclear power plant.

    Kazakhstan has great uranium reserves - the main fuel for the plant. The country remains the world's biggest uranium producer since 2009 and has produced 22,500 metric tons of uranium in 2013. Currently the country exports all the produced uranium.

    Edited by CN

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