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Georgian government to change law on occupied territories
07.02.2013 17:06
Georgia, Tbilisi, Feb. 7 /Trend, N. Kirtskhalia/

The Georgian government is going to change its law on occupied territories, State Minister for Reintegration Paata Zakareishvili told journalists after a governmental meeting on Thursday.

He said according to the current law, foreign nationals who enter Georgia through Abkhazia and South Ossetia are immediately detained.

"Criminal cases are initiated against them and they serve sentences in Georgian prisons. We consider this is unfair, as many citizens of Azerbaijan and Armenia returning home through Georgia were imprisoned," Zakareishvili said.

He stressed that the new law requires punishment for the first time violators of the law, which does not allow visits to Abkhazia and South Ossetia in a manner not agreed upon with the government.

"If the violation is repeated, criminal case will be initiated," he said.

Today, the Georgian Government approved this proposal.

Large scale military actions were launched in South Ossetia in Georgia on August 8, 2008. Later, Russian troops occupied Tskhinvali and expelled the Georgian military. Russia recognized the independence of South Ossetia and Abkhazia late in August. Tbilisi ended diplomatic relations with Moscow in response and has declared the two unrecognized republics of Abkhazia and South Ossetia occupied territories.

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    Azerbaijani armed forces' servicemen will take part in international events, the Defense Ministry of Azerbaijan said Sept. 1.

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  • Airport World magazine: Azerbaijan's main hub has SITA technology installed
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    Airport World magazine of Airports Council International has published an article highlighting state-of-the-art systems installed at Heydar Aliyev International Airport in Baku.

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    "We need modern, integrated solutions to help us process passengers more quickly, improve our operational efficiency and help facilitate growth. The new SITA systems incorporate the industry's most advanced technology and align with all IATA recommendations, as well as the latest industry trends. We also appreciate the convenience of dealing with a single supplier, SITA, for all our IT and communications needs," the magazine quotes Mr. Asgarov as saying.

    The magazine says: "SITA is providing consultancy services in IT infrastructure and passenger processing, along with a full range of industry-leading solutions, including the AirportConnect Open passenger processing platform with more than 70 common-use workstations and 12 common-use self-service kiosks for check-in."

    "With the new platform, Azerbaijan Airlines, and all other airlines using the gateway, will be able to access their respective IT applications in real-time on shared equipment.

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    "The IT firm's AirportResource Manager helps coordinate real-time management of airport equipment, making sure resources are available when needed.

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    "The new terminal at Heydar Aliyev International Airport can process around 2,000 passengers per hour, and was opened by Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev on April 23, 2014," says the magazine.
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    By Tobias Bunde , Dominik P. Jankowski and Martin Michelot

    Some months ago, NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen referred to Russia's annexation of Crimea as a "wake-up call" for the West. Since then, Europeans and Americans have slowly but steadily tightened the economic screws on Russia.

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    Speaking in Warsaw earlier this year, President Barack Obama presented his European Reassurance Initiative, a $1 billion program aimed at supporting the defense of NATO allies close to the Russian border. While his announcement fell short of what many in Poland and the Baltic states had hoped for, Obama promised that these allies would have US "boots on the ground" - rotating units that would conduct regular exercises.

    In other words, there is nothing particularly "European" about the initiative. It is not merely "led" by the US, but is essentially a US-only initiative without any Europeans, except for the host countries, participating. Although an American contribution remains indispensable for credible deterrence against Russian aggression, the absence of clear European commitments to put boots on the ground highlights the long-standing question of burden-sharing between the US and Europe. If Europeans cannot step up to this kind of challenge on their home turf, how can Americans expect them to become reliable partners for challenges elsewhere?

    The upcoming NATO summit offers an opportunity to demonstrate Europe's commitment to collective defense, to a stronger European defense posture, and to the transatlantic alliance. Instead of adding a few sparse cosmetic capabilities, NATO's European members should at least match the US effort and provide an additional €1 billion ($1.3 billion) for reassurance measures. For perspective, this amount more or less equals what Germany alone has spent annually on its contribution to the International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan in recent years.

    The countries of the so-called Weimar Triangle - France, Germany, and Poland - are well suited to lead such an effort. The three big countries in the middle of Europe should thus staff a regional headquarters, which would serve as the basis for defense planning and exercises and support the rotating US troops.

    Poland has long called for more allied troops on its territory and would be ready to provide the headquarters for such a European contribution. This would most likely mean upgrading the headquarters of the Multinational Corps Northeast in Szczecin, which could also host a French contingent, in addition to the Danish, German, and Polish forces that currently form the kernel of the Corps. Although this would not fulfill all Polish wishes, it would constitute an important step toward more equitable burden-sharing among NATO countries.

    Though Germany, long accused of being a "bear hugger," has recently become much tougher on Russia, German politicians continue to oppose new bases or permanent structures in Poland or the Baltic states for fear of adding fuel to the fire. Without its two important neighbors at its side, Germany is unlikely to take part in a mission involving the permanent deployment of rotating units.

    German participation, however, would send a strong signal not only to the Kremlin, but also to its allies. This visible defense commitment would also allow Germany, sometimes suspected of seeking neutrality, to pursue new diplomatic engagements with Russia.

    France, finally, has been a target of harsh criticism, owing to its determination to deliver two Mistral warships built for the Russian government. By making a significant contribution to European reassurance by participating in the enhanced NATO presence in Szczecin, it would demonstrate that it remains committed to the defense of its allies in the Russian neighborhood. It would also cement its perceived European leadership on defense issues and help to forge a larger coalition to provide additional support to the Weimar Triangle. Indeed, such a European force could be an important step toward a Europe de la dГ©fense, an idea that France has been committed to for a long time.

    Most important, such a European initiative, which should be open to other countries as well, would clearly underline that Europe is ready to contribute its fair share to collective defense - a signal that the US would greet enthusiastically. Given a world in turmoil, with several serious crises in Europe's neighborhood, this would be one of the few positive developments of 2014.

    Copyright: Project Syndicate

  • SOCAR, bp expand cooperation to improve local personnel
    01.09.2014 17:46
    The State Oil Company of Azerbaijan Republic and bp have signed two documents on improvement of the knowledge and skills of local engineering-design personnel and on expansion of cooperation in human resources field.

    The signed documents will promote cooperation in creation of training and development opportunities for local professionals specializing in oil-gas industry.
  • Geckos, fruit flies land safely in Russia after space flight
    01.09.2014 17:45
    A biological capsule with geckos, fruit flies and silkworm eggs has returned to Earth, landing on Monday in the Orenburg Region, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin announced on Twitter.

    "Foton-M [the biological capsule] and its joyful crew are back on Earth," Rogozin said in a tweet, RIA Novosti reports.

    "In a short time the little space travelers will be removed from the capsule and then the scientists will be able to see how they dealt with the burden of the space flight," a representative from Russia's Roscosmos space agency said.

    The biological mission of Foton-M included eight experiments that involved monitoring the reproductive activity of geckos in space. The space flight was also aimed at studying the influence of weightlessness on plants and insects and on growing semiconductor crystals.

    The biosatellite experienced problems earlier in July, when communication with Foton-M was lost for more than a week but successfully restored. The design and onboard control systems of Foton-M enable its self-sufficient operation.

    The satellite was launched on July 19 from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.
  • Strict diets lead to alcoholism, scientists say
    01.09.2014 17:41
    American scientists believe that strict diet can cause development of alcoholism. Professionals within ten years studied the effect of diet on the lifestyle of volunteers.

    For this period, scientists have observed 1340 volunteers, and the results were pretty predictable.

    Diet gave the desired result only in a small percentage of cases.

    For the most part, food restrictions lead to health problems.

    Some volunteers acquire a dependence on alcohol. Diet, limited in 900 calories a day, increases the craving for alcohol by 30 percent, which would eventually develop into a real alcoholism.

    People, who never resorted to severe restrictions in food, had the craving for alcohol is much lower. Perhaps it's the palsy, which gives alcoholic beverages.

    Diet is stressful for the whole body, and alcohol is a way out of a stressful situation. At least, the majority of people sitting on a strict diet confirm it.
  • Azerbaijani soldiers to participate in combat readiness, cyber defense courses abroad
    01.09.2014 17:39
    Azerbaijani armed forces' servicemen will take part in international events, the Defense Ministry of Azerbaijan said Sept. 1.

    The ministry said Azerbaijani soldiers will take part in a course on evaluation of combat readiness of ground forces, which will be held between Sept. 1 and Sept. 5 in German municipality of Oberammergau.

    Another training course will be held in Turkish capital of Ankara before Sept. 12.

    The course topic will cover cyber defense, and will also be attended by soldiers of Azerbaijani armed forces.

  • Tbilisi hosts international forum
    01.09.2014 17:34
    `Georgia was punished for its free choice", the President of Georgia announced at the international forum of leaders.

    The forum entitled `Building a Modern State in 21st Century - Georgia`was opened by President Margvelashvili, Rustavi2 reports.

    Prime Minister Irakli Gharibashvili, Parliament Speaker Davit Usupashvili have also addressed the audience today and spoke about the reforms that have been already carried out in the country and about the plans, which the government of Georgia has for the future of the country.

    The Prime Minister spoke about the modern challenges and presented his vision of the democratic development of Georgia. He emphasized that for the first time in the history of Georgia, the nation has the government elected by free elections the greatest part of which consists of human rights defenders and former diplomats.
  • Azerbaijan to partake at Moscow International Book Fair
    01.09.2014 17:31
    Supported by the Ministry of Culture and Tourism, Azerbaijan will be represented at the 27th International Book Fair to take place in Moscow on September 4-7.

    Participation at the Fair will promote propaganda of Azerbaijan's national culture, the country's developing publishing-printing opportunities, the large-scale construction works carried out and latest successes of the republic.

    Special stand will feature books on the country's statehood history, rich culture and literature, CD materials related to the forthcoming Baku-2015 European Games, as well as different booklets and other printing material on tourism potential.

    The authoritative fair which was opened in 1987, every year brings together world known publishing houses to display their bestsellers and latest arrivals. The highlight of the fair turns out to be the daily meet-and-greets with acclaimed world writers.
  • Europe's religious atmosphere starts to crack
    01.09.2014 17:00
    Religious strife and intolerance has begun to rise and exert pressure on religious minorities across Europe.

    A very tense situation emerging in this field threatens stability and democracy in Europe, the Deputy Secretary General of the Council of Europe (CoE) Gabriella Battani-Dragoni said at the opening meeting of the Council of Europe on the religious dimension of "Intercultural dialogue - the relationship between culture and religion" in Baku Sept.1.

    She said that international awareness regarding the role of religion in society in recent years has increased.

    The international community is increasingly considering the role of religion in democratic governance of cultural diversity, the Deputy Secretary General of the Council of Europe said.

    She said that in this regard, the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe produced a document entitled "White Paper on Intercultural Dialogue" in 2008. The document emphasizes the need to start a dialogue between religious communities and secular organizations in the countries participating in the Council of Europe.

    Religious communities play an important role in this dialogue Battani-Dragoni noted.

    "The state should also create conditions for dialogue," she said. "There should be a dialogue between the religious communities."

    Battani-Dragoni stressed, "Government should play an important role in inter-religious dialogue, encourage religious communities and non-religious organizations to engage in dialogue."

    Azerbaijan during its presidency of the Council of Europe gives a great support to the "No hate speech" project, and in this regard a major international youth event will be organized, the Deputy Secretary General of the Council of Europe noted.

  • AmCham to hold conference on ''Business environment created for communications sector and high technologies of Azerbaijan''
    01.09.2014 16:51
    With the view of contributing to the work of the Government of Azerbaijan in the field of high technologies, as well as the expansion of mutual business relations between private sector and government representatives, Azerbaijani-American Chamber of Commerce (AmCham) will hold another conference on ICT "Business environment created for communications sector and high technologies of Azerbaijan" at JW Marriott Hotel on September 3.

    At the conference, representatives from the Ministry of Communications and High Technologies, Ministry of Taxes, Central Bank, as well as private sector will discuss the prospects for further development of high technologies sphere. The participants will make presentations on the successful experience of other countries in this field and work carried out in Azerbaijan. The conference will be held in an interactive format of the Davos forum, which will enable event participants to learn about the latest ICT trends and hold discussions with key partners.

    The conference will be held in 4 sessions on the themes: "The role of communications, high technologies and e-government in the country's development", "Human resources potential of Azerbaijan in high technologies", "Promotion of high technology products in Azerbaijan", "Opportunities and dilemmas between groups of high technology and finance in Azerbaijan".
  • Baku to host International Peace Youth Forum
    01.09.2014 16:42
    Integration of Azerbaijani Youth to Europe Organization (AGAT), with the support of the Azerbaijani Youth Foundation will be organizing the "International Peace Youth Forum" in Baku through September 18-22, 2014.

    The forum will consist of panels, discussions and a short trip. The main topics of the forum will be: the obstacles peace faces in the region, peace-building in the Southern Caucasus as well as Azerbaijan`s state policy on refugees and IDPs as a result of the occupation of the Nagorno-Karabakh.

    The forum will bring together European citizens between the ages of 18-35, representing 12 countries.

    The main objective of the project is to inform European youth about the role of Azerbaijan in peace building in the region, to contribute to Azerbaijani-European youth cooperation and to inform European youth about Azerbaijani realities, especially about the Armenia-Azerbaijan, Nagorno-Karabakh problem.

    During this project, participants will have the opportunity to meet personally with refugees and IDPs who are living in Baku, Agdam and Fuzuli, to be informed about the of relevant peace-keeping efforts of Azerbaijan, and finally to participate in the creation of a short movie aimed at telling the true story of the lives of refugees and IDPs. A notable participant will be the Peace One Day
  • Here is what coffee actually does to your brain
    01.09.2014 16:39
    Coffee wakes you up in the morning and keeps you alert throughout the day, but how does its magic ingredient actually work? Mitchell Moffit and Gregory Brown demystify the inner workings of caffeine in their latest ASAP Science video.

    The first thing to know is that part of your natural tiredness comes from a molecule called adenosine, which is produced by your body while it chugs along through the day. "While you sleep, the concentration of adenosine declines, gradually promoting wakefulness," the video explains. Meanwhile, the more adenosine that builds up, the sleepier you feel.

    Your morning coffee is able to hijack that process because caffeine looks a lot like adenosine to your brain cells.

    Because of its similar shape, caffeine can bind to the adenosine receptors in your brain. Once the caffeine is locked into adenosine's rightful spot though, there is no way for the adenosine to stick around '" which prevents it from building up and making you sleepy.

    Without the molecule that usually induces exhaustion, "our natural stimulants run wild," Joseph Stromberg writes in Smithsonian. The result? You feel wide awake '" at least for a while.

    But all good things must come to an end, and your brain quickly wises up to your tricks.

    When the adenosine is continually blocked from binding to its receptors, your body eventually creates more receptors '" which means you need even more caffeine to plug them up. This can make kicking your coffee habit increasingly difficult, and make you need more and more caffeine to stay alert.

    "When you try to quit drinking coffee or miss your daily intake," Moffit and Brown explain, "you might experience some withdrawal symptoms and feel more tired than you would have before you ever drank coffee."

    But caffeine does more than just block adenosine. It can also pump up your levels of adrenaline and boost your mood '" "the exact same thing cocaine does, just to a lesser degree," the video says.

  • Iran auto productions witnesses 73% growth
    01.09.2014 16:39
    Iranв's automobile production has witnessed a sharp growth of over 73 percent in the first five months of the current Persian calendar year (started March 21).

    During the period, Iranian automakers SAIPA, Iran Khodro, Pars Khodro and Modiran Khodro manufactured over 404,000 cars, marking a 73.4-percent growth compared with the same period last year, Press TV reports.

    Iran is the second manufacturer of automobiles and automotive parts in the Middle East after Turkey and car industry is the second most active in the country after oil and gas.

    Following the West's sanctions against Iran over its nuclear energy program, the Iranian auto industry suffered a partial decline and major international automakers operating in Iran were forced to leave the country.

    However, after the partial suspension of sanctions in the wake of Iran's interim nuclear deal with the five permanent members of the UN Security Council - the United States, France, Britain, Russia and China - plus Germany in Geneva in November 2013, the industry witnessed a gradual growth and giant foreign auto manufacturers, including Peugeot and Renault, expressed keenness to return to the Iranian market.
  • Azerbaijanis among top five
    01.09.2014 16:38
    Azerbaijani businessmen play an important role in the economic development of Istanbul.

    The number of Azerbaijanis who buy real estate in Turkey is growing.

    Oxu.Az reports with reference to ANS PRESS that Azerbaijan was among the top five countries who buy real estate in Turkey.

    According to Turkish media, for this reason, the Turkish real estate agencies have started to operate in Azerbaijan.

    So, the exhibitions in connection with real estate, which will be attended by 35 Turkish agencies will, be held in Azerbaijan on September 14-16.

    Turkish experts believe that Azerbaijani businessmen play an important role in the economic development of Istanbul as Azeris mostly prefer to buy property in Istanbul.
  • Solo exhibition of Azerbaijani artist to be opened in Dubai
    01.09.2014 16:33
    A solo exhibition entitled "Fluid Forms" by Azerbaijani artist Faig Ahmed will be opened at the Cuadro Gallery in Dubai from September 16 to November 30.

    At his upcoming solo exhibition, the Azerbaijani artist will unveil new bodies of work created during his residency with Cuadro Gallery earlier this year.

    Faig Ahmed, as a visual artist, explores composition of a traditional Azerbaijan`s carpet by disjointing its structure and placing its canonic elements into open space. Ahmed`s works include hand-woven rugs encompassed in sculptural arms that extend out of thread into neon geometric forms. The artist`s signature optical illusions stretch beyond the carpet frame - a conventional rug dissembles midway, bleeding onto the floor in a meticulously woven pool of melting threads.

    Faig Ahmed graduated from the Sculpture faculty at the Azerbaijan State Academy of Fine Art in Baku in 2004. Since 2003, he has been working with various media, including painting, video and installation.

    Faig Ahmed is a nominee for the Victoria and Albert Museums 3rd 'Jameel Prize'. The winner of the Jameel Prize will be announced at the end of 2014.

    Founded in 2008, Cuadro Fine Art Gallery, located in the Dubai International Financial Center (DIFC), has quickly become one of the UAE`s premier contemporary and modern art venues.

    Cuadro Fine Art Gallery maintains four keys areas of focus: exhibitions, education, residency and consultation.
  • Baku continues to be city of winds
    01.09.2014 16:30
    On September 2, the weather will be changeable cloudy and mainly rainless in Baku and Absheron peninsula.

    Senior hydrologist of the National Hydrometeorology Department of the Ministry of Ecology and Natural Resources Asif Verdiyev told APA that the north wind will strengthen at night and in the evening. The temperature will be 20'¦25 C at night, 29'¦34 C in the daytime.

    The weather will be mainly rainless in the regions tomorrow. Lightning and intermittent rain are expected in some regions. The west wind will blow and occasionally strengthen. The temperature will be 19'¦24 C at night, 32'¦37 C in the daytime, in mountains 12'¦17 C at night, 22'¦27 C in the daytime.

    According to medical-meteorological forecast, in Absheron peninsula temperature will be close to normal in coming three days and it is favorable for weather-sensitive people.

  • AIDA, Institute of Human Rights hold joint research program on Azerbaijan and Caspian Sea Basin
    01.09.2014 16:08
    Azerbaijan International Development Agency (AIDA) of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Institute of Human Rights (IHR) of the Azerbaijan National Academy of Sciences have implemented a joint research program on Azerbaijan and the Caspian Sea Basin in the third quarter of 2014. The researchers from the leading international scientific institutions and think-tanks interested in the region participate in this program.

    During July-August the specialist of International and European Union Law Institute of Mykolas Romeris University of Lithuania made a research at the Human Right Institute on the topic of "Restoration of violated rights of Azerbaijani refugees and displaced persons" and made presentation on the results of conducted research. The research outcomes are planned to be published in Azerbaijan and Lithuania.

    Participant was awarded with the certificate on successful completion of the program.

    This research program jointly implemented by AIDA and IHR is expected to continue in the future.
  • Russian oil major to spend $3Bln on geological surveys in Okhotsk, Chukotka
    01.09.2014 16:06
    Russian oil major is to spend $3Bln on geological surveys in Okhotsk and Chukotka.

    The statement came from company's CEO Igor Sechin said Monday.

    "Between 2014 and 2018 we will increase expenses on the geological survey of the shelves of the Sea of Okhotsk toward Magadan, and the Chukchi Sea. These expenses will cost more than 112 billion rubles," Sechin said during a meeting headed by Russian President Vladimir Putin on the development of the country's Far East.

    According to Sechin, the company is currently extracting 34 million tons of oil annually in the fields, and the development of prospective fields will allow an increase in extraction of more than 30 million tons.

    Rosneft is one of the Russian companies targeted by sanctions imposed by Western countries. The European Union sanctions prohibit exporting to Russia technologies and equipment for deep water and Arctic oil exploration and production, as well as shale oil projects. Sanctions implemented by the United States ban future contracts on supplying Russia with technologies and equipment for hydrocarbon development.

    Rosneft is the world's largest publicly traded oil company. The main shareholder of Rosneft is Rosneftegaz, a state-owned company, while British oil giant BP owns almost 20 percent.
  • Abenomics, European-Style
    01.09.2014 15:58
    By Nouriel Roubini

    Chairman of Roubini Global Economics and a professor at NYU's Stern School of Business.

    Two years ago, Shinzo Abe's election as Japan's prime minister led to the advent of "Abenomics," a three-part plan to rescue the economy from a treadmill of stagnation and deflation. Abenomics' three components - or "arrows" - comprise massive monetary stimulus in the form of quantitative and qualitative easing (QQE), including more credit for the private sector; a short-term fiscal stimulus, followed by consolidation to reduce deficits and make public debt sustainable; and structural reforms to strengthen the supply side and potential growth.

    It now appears - based on European Central Bank President Mario Draghi's recent Jackson Hole speech - that the ECB has a similar plan in store for the eurozone. The first element of "Draghinomics" is an acceleration of the structural reforms needed to boost the eurozone's potential output growth. Progress on such vital reforms has been disappointing, with more effort made in some countries (Spain and Ireland, for example) and less in others (Italy and France, to cite just two).

    But Draghi now recognizes that the eurozone's slow, uneven, and anemic recovery reflects not only structural problems, but also cyclical factors that depend more on aggregate demand than on aggregate supply constraints. Thus, measures to increase demand are also necessary.

    Here, then, is Draghinomics' second arrow: to reduce the drag on growth from fiscal consolidation while maintaining lower deficits and greater debt sustainability. There is some flexibility in how fast the fiscal target can be achieved, especially now that a lot of front-loaded austerity has occurred and markets are less nervous about the sustainability of public debt. Moreover, while the eurozone periphery may need more consolidation, parts of the core - say, Germany - could pursue a temporary fiscal expansion (lower taxes and more public investment) to stimulate domestic demand and growth. And a eurozone-wide infrastructure-investment program could boost demand while reducing supply-side bottlenecks.

    The third element of Draghinomics - similar to the QQE of Abenomics - will be quantitative and credit easing in the form of purchases of public bonds and measures to boost private-sector credit growth. Credit easing will start soon with targeted long-term refinancing operations (which provide subsidized liquidity to eurozone banks in exchange for faster growth in lending to the private sector). When regulatory constraints are overcome, the ECB will also begin purchasing private assets (essentially securitized bundles of banks' new loans).

    Now Draghi has signaled that, with the eurozone one or two shocks away from deflation, the inflation outlook may soon justify quantitative easing (QE) like that conducted by the US Federal Reserve, the Bank of Japan, and the Bank of England: outright large-scale purchases of eurozone members' sovereign bonds. Indeed, it is likely that QE will begin by early 2015.

    Quantitative and credit easing could affect the outlook for eurozone inflation and growth through several transmission channels. Shorter- and longer-term bond yields in core and periphery countries - and spreads in the periphery - may decline further, lowering the cost of capital for the public and private sectors. The value of the euro may fall, boosting competitiveness and net exports. Eurozone stock markets could rise, leading to positive wealth effects. Indeed, as the likelihood of QE has increased over this year, asset prices have already moved upward, as predicted.

    These changes in asset prices - together with measures that increase private-sector credit growth - can boost aggregate demand and increase inflation expectations. One should also not discount the effect on "animal spirits" - consumer, business, and investor confidence - that a credible commitment by the ECB to deal with slow growth and low inflation may trigger.

    Some more hawkish ECB officials worry that QE will lead to moral hazard by weakening governments' commitment to austerity and structural reforms. But in a situation of near-deflation and near-recession, the ECB should do whatever is necessary, regardless of these risks.

    Moreover, QE may actually reduce moral hazard. If QE and looser short-term fiscal policies boost demand, growth, and employment, governments may be more likely to implement politically painful structural reforms and long-term fiscal consolidation. Indeed, the social and political backlash against austerity and reform is stronger when there is no income or job growth.

    Draghi correctly points out that QE would be ineffective unless governments implement faster supply side structural reforms and the right balance of short-term fiscal flexibility and medium-term austerity. In Japan, though QQE and short-term fiscal stimulus boosted growth and inflation in the short run, slow progress on the third arrow of structural reforms, along with the effects of the current fiscal consolidation, are now taking a toll on growth.

    As in Japan, all three arrows of Draghinomics must be launched to ensure that the eurozone gradually returns to competitiveness, growth, job creation, and medium-term debt sustainability in the private and public sectors. By the end of this year, it is to be hoped, the ECB will start to do its part by implementing quantitative and credit easing.

    Copyright: Project Syndicate, 2014.

  • Real Madrid close to sign Mexican striker
    01.09.2014 15:43
    Chicharito HernГЎndez is the nВє9 that Real have been looking for as a finishing touch to the team before the summer market comes to a close tomorrow. 'Los Blancos' are at present deep in negotiations with Manchester United to get the deal done in time.

    Real have been combing the market for a striker able to replace Benzema. This has been Ancelotti's wish ever since the sale of Morata to Juventus, and the suits at the BernabГ©u want to keep the manager happy.

    Real have all their faith in JesГ©, despite still not having fully recovered from his injury. For this reason, the club is only looking for a loan-deal with a player who is well aware that his role will not be that of the starting striker, but more that of a super-sub. Real, waiting for JesГ© to get back on form, will not accept anyone with pretentions to be the star of the show.

    Chicharito is one of the names on the table. The Mexican is surplus to requirements for Van Gaal, scores well and should be happy to take more of a back seat at Real.

  • Security measures tightened in Azerbaijani Embassy in Pakistan
    01.09.2014 15:34
    Azerbaijani Embassy in Pakistan has strengthened security measures in connection with the confrontation between the opposition and the authorities, the embassy told Trend Sept.1.

    Last night Pakistani police used tear gas and rubber bullets against demonstrators who attempted to break through to the Prime Minister's residence and the parliament building. Some four demonstrators became victims of clashes with the guards. More than 500 people including women and children have been hospitalized. Clashes of protesters with police continue.

    "The Government of Pakistan stepped up security in the area where the embassy of Azerbaijan is located," the embassy said. "Currently, the Azerbaijani embassy in Pakistan operates under high security, clashes between police and the opposition continue, protesters have already occupied the building of Pakistan Television," the embassy noted.

  • Key corruption probe targeting President ErdoДџanв's son dismissed
    01.09.2014 15:33
    ErdoДџan has repeatedly accused a 'parallel state' of plotting against the government.

    The Istanbul Chief Prosecutor's Office has ruled that there are no legal grounds for the prosecution of 96 suspects, including President Recep Tayyip ErdoДџan's son Bilal ErdoДџan, who were accused by prosecutors of bribery and corruption in the Dec. 25 investigation, Hurriyet Daily reports.

    "By naming the Prime Minister of the Republic of Turkey as the leader of an [illegal] organization and labeling him lsquo;then-prime minister' in the summary of proceedings, those who prepared the investigation showed that they attempted to remove the government by force or prevent it from doing its duties completely or partly, under the disguise of a legal probe," prosecutors Д°smail Uçar, Д°rfan Fidan and Fuzuli AydoДџan said in the non-prosecution verdict on Sept. 1.

    ErdoДџan has long accused followers of U.S.-based Muslim cleric Fethullah Gülen of establishing a "parallel state" by using its sway in Turkey's police and the judiciary, arguing that it fabricated the vast corruption scandal.

    Earlier on Sept. 1, arrest warrants were issued for 33 police officers, including 14 high-ranking officers, in the third wave of arrests reportedly targeting the Gülen-affiliated officials. A number of the detained police officers were involved in the corruption probes launched in December 2013 that targeted governmental figures.

    Back in June, Justice Minister Bekir BozdaДџ took the initiative to launch an investigation into a prosecutor and three judges who had issued court orders for the arrest and asset freezing of suspects in the Dec. 17 and Dec. 25 investigations.
  • Indian start-up launches GPS shoes that show you the way
    01.09.2014 15:32
    A haptic shoe that receives signals from a GPS-enabled smartphone allows the blind and visually impaired to walk independently, giving directions and alerting to obstacles.

    Invented by Anirudh Sharma, this haptic technology system has been developed by Ducere Technologies and is being tested at the LV Prasad Eye Institute (LVPEI), a World Health Organization Collaborating Centre for Prevention of Blindness located in Hyderabad, India.

    "The technology is named Le Chal, which means lsquo;take me along' in Hindi," Anthony Vipin Das, FRCS, principal investigator of the Le Chal-LVPEI study, said.

    Mobility, orientation and obstacle recognition are key to personal independence for the visually challenged. White canes, sensor canes and guide dogs are the most widely used assistive techniques, but they have limitations.

    "Guide dog techniques are ruled out in developing countries because they are not allowed in public places. Similarly, electronic sensor canes may be difficult to use in heavy traffic places. Canes in general are safe but pose limitations in terms of orientation in new places," Vipin Das said.

    Some new systems involve providing audio feedback. But audio signals can be distracting because visually impaired individuals depend heavily on their sense of hearing.

    The idea of conveying directional information in a non-obtrusive and non-distracting manner, using haptic technology, seemed very helpful. Shoes were selected as an ideal medium because they are the most natural extension of the human body, and shoes always point in the direction a person intends to walk," Vipin Das said.

    Vipin Das explained that Le Chal consists of actuators and vibrators located in the front, sides and back of the shoe. With the help of a proprietary app loaded to a GPS-enabled smartphone, the user can connect with the shoe via Bluetooth and interact with the app to set a destination.

    "The app has been designed using various accessibility options to enable completely eye-free interface use. Once the destination has been set, the smartphone calculates a route and through a series of vibrations guides the user from one point to another. The front of the shoe vibrates to indicate to go forward, the left side to turn left and so on," he said.

    The shoe also includes sensors to detect obstacles such as sidewalks, staircases and manholes. The user is alerted and guided via a series of vibrations to navigate around the obstacle or to find an alternate route.
  • CoE Deputy Secretary General about religious situation in Azerbaijan
    01.09.2014 15:31
    I have not seen any antagonistic relations among religious communities in Azerbaijan.

    "I do not claim that everything is perfect in Azerbaijan or any other country of the world. But I have not seen any antagonistic relations among religious communities in Azerbaijan," Deputy Secretary General of the Council of Europe Gabriella Battaini Dragoni said at a press conference dedicated to the meeting the meeting on "Intercultural dialogue: interaction between culture and religion" within the framework of the 2014 Council of Europe exchange on the religious dimension of intercultural dialogue organized in Baku, APA reports. He noted that Azerbaijan is located between the South and the North and the East and the West, so religious diversity is an integral part of society.

    "Unluckily, in other parts of Europe, intolerance, Islamophobia, and xenophobia are gradually becoming commonplace. Such cases emerged following the economic crisis. We're not thinking over short-term goals, but a long-term way with the goals we've already set. Now all eyes are on spiritual leaders. They must convey right messages and preach tolerance. We are going to carry out this gradually," the Deputy Secretary General said.
  • Oil price rises in world markets
    01.09.2014 15:26
    The price of oil has continued to rise in the world markets.

    On the New York Stock Exchange NYMEX cost of the US Light crude oil raised $1.41 to trade at $ 95.96.

    Price of the British Brent oil at the London ICE (InterContinental Exchange Futures) has increased $0.73 to stand at $103.19.

    The Department of Marketing and Economic Operations of the State Oil Company of Azerbaijan informed that, a barrel of Azeri Light crude oil increased 0.09 to stand at $103.32.
  • China gives Microsoft 20 days to provide explanation in anti-trust probe
    01.09.2014 15:24
    A Chinese anti-trust regulator said on Monday it has given Microsoft Corp (MSFT.O) 20 days to reply to queries on the compatability of its Windows operating system and Office software suite amid a probe into the world's largest software company.

    The State Administration for Industry and Commerce (SAIC) questioned Microsoft Vice President David Chen and gave the company a deadline to make an explanation, the agency said in a short statement on its website.

    SAIC also repeated that it suspected the company has not fully disclosed issues relating to the compatability of the software and the operating system.

    "[A] special investigation team conducted an anti-monopoly investigation inquiry with Microsoft Vice President Chen Shi (David Chen), and required that Microsoft make a written explanation within 20 days," the SAIC said in a statement on its website.

    In a statement, Microsoft said it was "serious about complying with China's laws and committed to addressing SAIC's questions and concerns".

    Microsoft is one of at least 30 foreign companies that have come under scrutiny by China's anti-monopoly regulators, as the government seeks to enforce its six-year old antitrust law. Critics say the law is being used to unfairly target overseas businesses, a charge the regulators deny.

    Last month, a delegation from chipmaker Qualcomm Inc (QCOM.O), led by company President Derek Aberle, met officials at the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) as part of that regulator's investigation of the San Diego-based firm.

    NDRC said earlier this year that the U.S. chipmaker is suspected of overcharging and abusing its market position in wireless communication standards.

    Microsoft's Satya Nadella is expected to make his first visit to China as chief executive later this month.

  • Azerbaijani sexual minorities in Istanbul
    01.09.2014 15:24
    "You can not isolate us from yourselves, this is not possible, we are everywhere!".

    An action in connection with the "International Day of Peace on September 1" was held in Istanbul (Turkey).

    Oxu.Az reports citing that members of the LGBT "Nefes" participated in the action.

    According to the chairman of the organization Javid Nabiyev, they have sent a message of Isa Shakhmarly all over Azerbaijan holding a banner reading "God loves everyone for who they are!".

    "We are very sorry that we could use our rights not in Azerbaijan, but in Turkey. We want to be accepted in the world. We do not want to be beaten, abused, deprived of work, forced to flee homes. We want our rights to be insured just like for others. Do not forget that we are not only gays, lesbians, bisexuals, transsexuals, transvestites, as you call us. We are your brothers, sisters, friends, colleagues, teachers, lawyers, police, government officials, in a word, we are one of you. You can not isolate us from yourselves, this is not possible, we are everywhere! ".

    At the end J.Nabiev noted that in Azerbaijan they are not free to use their rights, to defend and claim theirselves.
  • Deputy: There are 30,000 Armenians in Azerbaijan
    01.09.2014 15:20
    Occupation of our lands by Armenians is not a religious issue.

    There are nearly 30,000 Armenians in Azerbaijan.

    Oxu.Az reports with reference to ANS Press that the statement came from head of the State Committee of Azerbaijan for Work with Religious Formations Mubariz Gurbanly said.

    He noted that Armenians occupied Azerbaijani lands not for religious reasons:

    "Historically, there have not been any religious conflictc. Occupation of our lands by Armenians is not a religious issue. It is an open aggression. There are 30,000 Armenians in Azerbaijan. They have their churches. We did not demolish the churches of the occupant country and they pray there freely".
  • Traffic in Baku to be restricted due to Turkish presidentв's visit
    01.09.2014 15:13
    Traffic will be restricted in main streets and avenues of Baku due to official visit of the Turkish President to the city.

    Baku City State Traffic Police Office told APA that due to the Turkish president's visit to Azerbaijan, traffic in the directions of Yusif Safarov street, Azadliq avenue, Zarifa Aliyeva, Rasul Rza streets, Neftchilar avenue, Niyazi, Teymur, Elchin, Mehdi Huseyn streets, Parliament avenue, the Alley of Honor, Inshaatchilar and Huseyn Javid avenues, Bakikhanov street, Tbilisi avenue, Vagif and Koroghlu Rahimov streets will be limited alternately and redirected.

    Baku City State Traffic Police Office called on drivers not to use the abovementioned directions more.
  • The greater depression
    01.09.2014 15:06
    By J. Bradford DeLong

    former deputy assistant secretary of the US Treasury, is Professor of Economics at the University of California at Berkeley and a research associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research.

    First it was the 2007 financial crisis. Then it became the 2008 financial crisis. Next it was the downturn of 2008-2009. Finally, in mid-2009, it was dubbed the "Great Recession." And, with the business cycle's shift onto an upward trajectory in late 2009, the world breathed a collective a sigh of relief. We would not, it was believed, have to move on to the next label, which would inevitably contain the dreaded D-word.

    But the sense of relief was premature. Contrary to the claims of politicians and their senior aides that the "summer of recovery" had arrived, the United States did not experience a V-shaped pattern of economic revival, as it did after the recessions of the late 1970s and early 1980s. And the US economy remained far below its previous growth trend.

    Indeed, from 2005 to 2007, America's real (inflation-adjusted) GDP grew at just over 3% annually. During the 2009 trough, the figure was 11% lower - and it has since dropped by an additional 5%.

    The situation is even worse in Europe. Instead of a weak recovery, the eurozone experienced a second-wave contraction beginning in 2010. At the trough, the eurozone's real GDP amounted to 8% less than the 1995-2007 trend; today, it is 15% lower.

    Cumulative output losses relative to the 1995-2007 trends now stand at 78% of annual GDP for the US, and at 60% for the eurozone. That is an extraordinarily large amount of foregone prosperity - and a far worse outcome than was expected. In 2007, nobody foresaw the decline in growth rates and potential output that statistical and policymaking agencies are now baking into their estimates.

    By 2011, it was clear - at least to me - that the Great Recession was no longer an accurate moniker. It was time to begin calling this episode "the Lesser Depression."

    But the story does not end there. Today, the North Atlantic economy faces two additional downward shocks.

    The first, as Lorcan Roche Kelly of Agenda Research noted, was discussed by European Central Bank President Mario Draghi while extemporizing during a recent speech. Draghi began by acknowledging that, in Europe, inflation has declined from around 2.5% in mid-2012 to 0.4% today. He then argued that we can no longer assume that the drivers of this trend - such as a drop in food and energy prices, high unemployment, and the crisis in Ukraine - are temporary in nature.

    In fact, inflation has been declining for so long that it is now threatening price stability - and inflation expectations continue to fall. The five-year swap rate - an indicator of medium-term inflation expectations - has fallen by 15 basis points since mid-2012, to less than 2%. Moreover, as Draghi noted, real short- and medium-term rates have increased; long-term rates have not, owing to a decline in long-term nominal rates that extends far beyond the eurozone.

    Draghi's subsequent declaration that the ECB Governing Council will use "all the available unconventional instruments" to safeguard price stability and anchor inflation expectations over the medium-to-long term is telling. The pretense that the eurozone is on a path toward recovery has collapsed; the only realistic way to read the financial markets is to anticipate a triple-dip recession.

    Meanwhile, in the US, the Federal Reserve under Janet Yellen is no longer wondering whether it is appropriate to stop purchasing long-term assets and raise interest rates until there is a significant upturn in employment. Instead, despite the absence of a significant increase in employment or a substantial increase in inflation, the Fed already is cutting its asset purchases and considering when, not whether, to raise interest rates.

    A year and a half ago, those who expected a return by 2017 to the path of potential output - whatever that would be - estimated that the Great Recession would ultimately cost the North Atlantic economy about 80% of one year's GDP, or $13 trillion, in lost production. If such a five-year recovery began now - a highly optimistic scenario - it would mean losses of about $20 trillion. If, as seems more likely, the economy performs over the next five years as it has for the last two, then takes another five years to recover, a massive $35 trillion worth of wealth would be lost.

    When do we admit that it is time to call what is happening by its true name?

    Copyright: Project Syndicate

  • Scientific Innovations Center to be engaged in polymers
    01.09.2014 15:06
    The Center for Scientific Innovations (EIM), acting in the National Academy of Sciences of Azerbaijan (AMEA), is most likely to be engaged in polymers.

    EIM informs that Akif Azizov, the director of the Institute of Polymer Materials (part of the Academy), conducted talks on cooperation with the leaders of the Center, Fineko/ reports.

    "The subject of cooperation may be the development and implementation of research and technological commercial projects," the Centre reported.

    At the talks the Centre was represented by EIM general director Azer Namazov.
  • Spain claims fourth Euro Beach Soccer Cup
    01.09.2014 15:02
    Spain has conquered the title after defeating Switzerland 8-6 at the final held in Baku, Azerbaijan.

    The team led by Joaquiacute;n Alonso opened the scoreboard in the first minutes, and completed the match with great solvency. Spain has conquered a title that already won in 2009.

    Spain wanted to start soon with the action in the Euro Beach Soccer Cup final, and its top gunner, Llorenc Gomez, put the team ahead on the scoreboard in the 2nd minute. Dejan Stankovic wanted to answer for his team, equalling the score, awaking the Spanish cravings. Five goals more before the first break drastically changed the party, and put the team led by Alonso in a favorable position to take the title.

    Llorenç scored his fifth goal of the afternoon. It was the 5-8. When there were only five minutes to go for the end of the match, Spain started to see the things more calmly, although Switzerland continued fighting till the end. Stankovic was able to add a one more goal to the Swiss account, but the distance was too big, and there was too little time remaining. With the final whistle, Spain won its fourth Euro Beach Soccer Cup. In addition, Captain Juanma Martin was named the most valuable player of the competition.

    Russia finished third after beating Greece 7-4.
  • Baku 2015 European Games announces int'l agreement with Turkish channel
    01.09.2014 14:55
    Baku 2015 European Games is today delighted to announce its first international broadcast agreement, with leading Turkish sports channel NTV Spor.

    The agreement will see NTV Spor broadcast the inaugural European Games across the whole of Turkey, enabling sports fans to enjoy live coverage of all 17 days of competition next summer, the official website for Baku 2015 European Games reads.

    NTV Spor will provide seven hours of Games coverage per day across television, internet and mobile platforms, with the majority being broadcast live. Live coverage of the Opening and Closing ceremonies will also be shown, in addition to making highlight packages available.

    Mr Simon Clegg, Chief Operating Officer of Baku 2015, said: "I am very pleased to announce our first international broadcast agreement, which will offer millions of Turkish fans the opportunity to enjoy live coverage of the inaugural European Games.

    "Working alongside International Sports Broadcasting, our host broadcaster, NTV Spor will ensure comprehensive broadcasting across a range of media platforms that will be of huge benefit to viewers."

    NTV Spor, broadcaster of many major sports events in Turkey, are dedicated to providing high quality coverage of every sport at the European Games.

    Mr Fuat AkdaДџ, Sports Group President at DoДџus Media Group, said: "We are looking forward to working with International Sports Broadcasting and Baku 2015 to provide sports fans across Turkey with a dedicated broadcast service for the European Games.

    "This deal reflects not only the continued interest in multi-sport events in Turkey, but also shows that they remain a strong product for international broadcasters."

    Ms NeЕџe GündoДџan, Secretary General of the Turkish Olympic Committee, added: "This agreement will unite supporters across Turkey and enable the whole nation to support our athletes selected to compete at the first European Games.

    "We have always had a strong and friendly relationship with our close neighbour Azerbaijan, and this deal will reinforce this historic relationship."

    NTV Spor is owned by DoДџus Media Group, a part of one of the biggest media conglomerates of Turkey.

    International Sports Broadcasting (ISB) will provide more than 800 hours of live, state-of-the-art production for the duration of the Games.
  • Nar Mobile pleases its subscribers with roaming reward program
    01.09.2014 14:51
    Nar Mobile presents a very beneficial exclusive service for its subscribers traveling abroad - the Roaming Reward Program. According to this Program, all travelers who are the Nar Mobile subscribers will be able to accumulate flying miles points per each minute of their roaming service used. Subscribers actively using such Roaming Service of mobile operator can get many privileges at the expense of their points, e.g. free air tickets or hotel accommodation among air carriers and hotels which are partnering with Nar Mobile.

    The Nar Mobile subscribers wishing to obtain additional points per each minute of their roaming service can join to the Roaming Award Program for free. Thanks to the miles and points and regardless how much the phone calls, SMS or mobile internet are used, those Mobile subscriber who travels often and uses roaming service a lot, will get air tickets for free from such air companies as AZAL, Turkish Airlines, Air France, Qatar Airways and Ukraine International Airlines. They will also get a chance to stay free of charge in hotels related to the Hilton and Marriott.

    Azerbaijan's fastest growing mobile operator Nar Mobile serves its subscribers since 2007. Since its creation, Nar Mobile remained always committed to its policy of affordable prices providing an exceptional value for its customers via a variety of attractive tariff offerings. Beyond the convenient voice tariffs, it has also offers a great variety of choice and best value for its internet packages and a single price for each roaming zone.

  • President addresses participants of conference held in Baku
    01.09.2014 14:47
    Conduction of the event in Baku, where people of different religions and faiths have coexisted in a mutual understanding for centuries, is symbolic.

    President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev addressed the participants of the "Intercultural dialogue: interaction between culture and religion" within the framework of the 2014 Council of Europe exchange on the religious dimension of intercultural dialogue.

    The message was read out by Kamal Abdulla, State Adviser on Multinational, Multicultural and Religious Affairs, APA reports.

    Noting that Azerbaijan is known as a place of tolerance, the head of State said conduction of the event in Baku, where people of different religions and faiths have been coexisted in a mutual understanding for centuries, is symbolic.

    "Taking into account the issues that we discuss, play a crucial role for modern Europe, it should be noted that historically various religions in this content had a significant impact on the peoples' spiritual enrichment. This traditional enrichment, affecting all layers of society, has actually become one of the most important conditions for its integrity. At the same time, the formation of a high tolerance environment in education, culture and other fields related to the education of the younger generation is one of the main objectives of the current period."

    President Ilham Aliyev stressed in his message that Azerbaijan is taking concrete steps in this direction and said the newly established Baku International Center of Multiculturalism aims at using different models of cultural diversity in the world and promotion of good practice.

    "I hope that the Center will gain success in-depth study of the cultural diversity that is spiritual heritage of humanity and create favorable conditions for the realization of our good intentions based on the global historical, cultural, religious and moral values through it activities. Ongoing political, economic and cultural processes in the rapidly globalizing world demand all states to give an adequate answer to immediate challenges. It is possible only through the development of inter-state cooperation, establishment of new creative thinking and innovative environment, as well as respect for one's religious beliefs, elimination of any manifestation of racism and intolerance. I believe that this meeting will contribute to the process of creating a desirable environment in the European space and final decisions will serve the development of the European family."
  • Azerbaijani Olympic heroes return home
    01.09.2014 14:38
    The Azerbaijan national team have returned home from the 2nd Summer Youth Olympic Games in Nanjing, China.

    The athletes, who brought home 12 medals, were welcomed by members of sports federations, journalists, fans and their families in the Heydar Aliyev International Airport.

    Deputy Minister of Youth and Sports Ismayil Ismayilov hailed the athletes` performance at the Olympics.

    The Nanjing Olympic Games brought together 3888 athletes in 29 sports from 204 countries.

    Azerbaijan's team comprised of 21 athletes competed in 9 events, namely athletics, shooting, judo, wrestling, taekwondo, swimming, boxing, archery and rowing.

    Azerbaijan won 5 gold, 6 silver and one bronze medals, and ranked 10th in the overall medal table.

    The national team finished 6th among the European countries, 3rd among the CIS countries, and first among the Islamic and Caucasian countries.

    Taekwondo fighter Said Guliyev, Greco-Roman wrestler Islambek Dadov, boxer Rufat Huseynov, freestyle wrestlers Teymur Mammadov and Igbal Hajizade claimed gold medals.

    Female judo fighter Leyla Aliyeva, judo fighter Natig Gurbanli, female taekwondo fighter Ceren Ozbek, rower Boris Yotov, Greco-Roman wrestler Jabbar Najafov, female wrestler Leyla Gurbanova grabbed silver medals, while triple jumper Nazim Babayev won bronze for Azerbaijan.

    Azerbaijan ranked 11th with 5 golds and 3 silvers at the 1st Summer Youth Olympic Games in Singapore.
  • Worldв's woolliest sheep
    01.09.2014 14:38
    A Tasmanian farmer-couple recently discovered what might just be the worldв's woolliest sheep. Theyв've named the super-fluffy creature 'Shaunв', after popular cartoon character Shaun the Sheep from the British comedy series Wallace and Gromit.

    As it turns out, Shaun has never had his coat cut, and it is at least half-a-meter thick now. In fact he appears to have been on the run ever since he escaped the shearers at his former farm on Tasmaniaв's east coast, at least 25 miles away. It is estimated that Shaun has been wandering across the island for the past six years!

    Peter Hazel said that he and his wife Netty found Shaun wandering in scrubland on their property last Sunday. He was actually quite easy to catch, what with 20 kilograms of extra fleece weighing him down. His wool was just all over the place, even falling over his eyes and obstructing his vision.

    ''He couldnв't see very well because of the wool over his face, so I snuck up behind him and grabbed him,'' said Peter. ''Then Netty and I went and got the ute and put him in the back and brought him into the yard.''

    ''It is the heaviest sheep Iв've ever lifted,'' said Netty. ''I just couldnв't believe it, I just could not believe a sheep could have so much wool.'' They immediately knew they had to name him Shaun, after Shaun the Sheep.

    The couple told reporters that it was a miracle the six-year-old Merino ram survived in the wild for such a long time. Because of all that wool, he could have easily suffered a heat stroke or myiasis from fly larvae. ''Because usually they get cast and canв't get up, or they get fly-struck or the hot weather gets to them,'' explained Peter. ''I thought it would be almost impossible for a sheep to go that long and have such good wool on him. Itв's surprisingly good-quality wool.''

    Shaun is finally being clipped this week, and locals are excited to see if he can break the world record for fleece yield. ''Thereв's three or four good jumpers in there,'' Netty joked. She plans to enter the fleece into a few country shows.

    The current record for most amount of fleece belongs to a New Zealand sheep called 'Shrekв' '" he produced a whopping 27 kilograms of wool in 2004. He had become so popular that he was actually put on a nationwide tour that included a meeting with the Prime Minister.

  • Azerbaijani designer represents Azerbaijan in China
    01.09.2014 14:17
    By AzerNews

    Famous Azerbaijani designer Gulnara Khalilova is going to represent Azerbaijan in "Silk Road".

    The third Eurasian International Festival will be held at the exhibition center of International clothing town Dehui in Urumqi in September 2-7.

    The stylish event is co-organized by People's Government of Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region (XUAR), People's Republic of China (PRC), and China's Textile Industry Association; and itsexecutives are the Commission of Economy and Informatization XUAR Women's Federation and the People's Government of Urumqi, and its assistants are the respective authorities of the PRC and the (XUAR) and the Clothes Association (haberdashery) (XUAR).

    Khalilova has already gone to China with her creative team, where she will demonstrate her peculiar handmade knitted dresses and national and evening dresses.

    The Eurasian International Festival aims to promote cooperation between Asia and European regions.

    The festival guests will also enjoy a series of events such as a conference devoted to Chinese clothing and textiles, Asian and European fashion week, presentation of new fashion industry cooperation exchanges, national brands, and a ceremony for awarding the best works of the festival participants.

    Works of Khalilova's national collection can be found in Egypt, the library of Alexandria, the Cultural Center of Istanbul, and the cultural centers of various cities in the U.S.

    The designer took part in preparing the classic Azerbaijani operetta "Arshin mal alan" by famous composer Uzeyir Hajibeyov staged at the 100th anniversary of the State Theatre of Musical Comedy, where she created costumes.

    Her works are also very popular in collections of famous Turkish public figures, representatives of culture and art Ajda Pekkan, Emrah Erdogan, Beyazit Ozturk, Soner Sarikabadayi, and others.
  • Falcao to Man city!?
    01.09.2014 14:05
    Manchester City are working on a sensational late move for Radamel Falcao after agreeing a deal which could see Alvaro Negredo move to Valencia, Goal understands.

    The Primera Division side are understood to have had an offer to take Negredo on a season-long loan with a view to a permanent €28 million transfer accepted on Sunday.

    And Manuel Pellegrini's team are now keen to put in place a similar deal to sign Falcao from Monaco.

    City's rivals, Manchester United, are also rumoured to be in the running for the Colombia international but the Premier League champions are hopeful of securing a deal.

    Arsenal have also been linked to Falcao but Gunners boss Arsene Wenger has denied interest in the 28-year-old despite remaining active in the transfer market as the deadline approaches. Sevilla forward Carlos Bacca is his top target up front.

    Negredo, meanwhile, is set for a swift return to Spain, having failed to displace Sergio Aguero and Edin Dzeko as the club's first-choice strikers.

    Stevan Jovetic has also made a strong start to the season, while Negredo, who scored 23 goals in all competitions, is yet to feature in the new campaign due to injury.

  • Council of Europe exchange on religious dimension of intercultural dialogue kicks off in Baku
    01.09.2014 13:55
    2014 Council of Europe exchange on the religious dimension of intercultural dialogue has today started in Azerbaijan`s capital Baku.

    Azerbaijan`s State Adviser on Multinational, Multicultural and Religious Affairs Kamal Abdulla has read out a message of greeting of President Ilham Aliyev to participants.

    Chairman of the State Committee for Work with Religious Organizations Mubariz Gurbanli said the meeting would contribute to the expansion of cooperation among all religions and cultures in the world. He noted that after restoring its independence Azerbaijan saw the development and strengthening of the relations among different religions and ethnic groups in the country thanks to national leader Heydar Aliyev`s statehood concept.

    Chairman of the Caucasian Muslims Office Sheikhulislam Allahshukur Pashazade highlighted the government policy regarding religious issues.

    The two-day event will hear reports on three sub-themes: "Tolerance of religion and non-religious convictions in culturally diverse societies: a social capital", "Contribution of religions and non-religious convictions to combating all forms of discrimination, intolerance and violence", and "The contribution of cultural heritage of a religious nature to intercultural dialogue and to the respect of the universal values defended by the Council of Europe".
  • Russia "eradicates" McDonald's
    01.09.2014 13:45
    В Russia's consumer watchdog agency is forcing the American fast-food chain to temporarily close eight more outlets across the country over accusations of sanitary violations, bringing the total closure count to 12. All are owned by the company.

    Earlier in the month, the regulator made McDonald's (MCD) close four restaurants, including its flagship outlet in Moscow that first opened to the public in 1990.

    It's widely suspected that the closures are politically motivated. Many American and European companies are under pressure in Russia as Cold War-style tensions make it increasingly difficult for Western brands to operate.

    McDonald's said it would be appealing the court decision to keep the first four restaurants closed, and was reviewing all the regulator's concerns as it tries to re-open its outlets.

    "Our main priority is to serve our customers with top-quality menu items," said a McDonald's spokesperson. "We have extremely high standards in Russia, just like all our restaurants around the world."

    The Russian regulator -- Rospotrebnadzor -- will continue to conduct checks at McDonald's restaurants across the country over the next few months, said the spokesperson.

    This comes a week after the same Russian agency said it found sanitary issues while conducting tests on Jack Daniel's Tennessee Honey whiskey. Batches of the whiskey were reportedly withdrawn from some stores.

    Brown-Forman (BFA) -- the maker of Jack Daniel's -- "vehemently" denied that there was anything harmful in its products and said it had not been contacted by Russian officials about any issues.

    "At Jack Daniel's we take consumer satisfaction seriously. If Rospotrebnadzor has the same view, they will work with us to resolve this issue quickly for the benefit of Russian consumers," said Brown-Forman in a statement.

  • Armenia's joining of EEU leading to hot debates
    01.09.2014 13:42
    By AzerNews

    Armenia's long-awaited dream to enter the Russia led-EEU promises to lead to hot debates after the date of its membership was announced.

    Armenia's entry to the EEU will be decided in Minsk on October 10.

    The official date of Armenia's membership at the organization was publicized by Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev on August 27; he had previously put UN principles as key condition for Armenia's entrance to the union.

    Nazarbayev said Armenia may officially enter the organization in October.

    During the session of the EEU Supreme Council on May 29, Kazakh president asked Armenian president Serj Sargsyan "to follow all UN principles, which fix official borders of Armenia."

    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 one 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 its immediate and unconditional withdrawal.

    Peace talks mediated by Russia, France, and the U.S. have produced no results so far.

    While Armenia regards its desire for joining the EEU as a tool to maintain its economic stability, the state power has been strongly criticized for accepting the membership in line with UN principles.

    Armenia is obviously unable to overcome economic, social, and political problems due to lack of finances and government's will, and needs Russia's help.

    The EEU member-states still believe that Armenia's joining the organization is essentially difficult if its internal problems, along with the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, are taken into account.

    Astana is trying to convince Armenia that a theoretical membership could bring benefit to the Caucasian state, but is also using this prospect as a tool to urge Yerevan to leave Azerbaijan's occupied territory.

    "The Armenian president should rest assured that Armenia will enter the EEU within the framework of the UN recognized borders of Armenia," Nazarbayev said.

    Later on President Sargsyan made a statement saying Armenia will enter the EEU with its UN recognized borders, hereby irritating all his opponents.

    Furthermore, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said, "Armenia will join the EEU as Armenia; the Nagorno-Karabakh has absolutely nothing to do with this issue."

    He made the remarks after the meeting in Sochi on August 9, where Russian president Vladimir Putin, Armenian president Serj Sargsyan, and Azerbaijani president Ilham Aliyev discussed the situation in Nagorno-Karabakh.

    The statement was followed by the harsh positions of local hardliners who regarded this move as a loss of the Armenian leader. They understand that the game is reaching its logical end and any attempt to change the political map is doomed to failure.
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