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Ways to Help Underachieving Boys Succeed in School
11.02.2013 09:04
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Re "The Boys at the Back," by Christina Hoff Sommers ("The Great Divide" series, Sunday Review, Feb. 3):

The way to deal with boys' underachievement in school is not through "boy friendly" policies like more recess, single-sex classrooms and male teachers but through strong academic climates and clear, consistent information about occupations and the educational pathways that lead to them.

After years of research for our forthcoming book, "The Rise of Women: The Growing Gender Gap in Education and What It Means for American Schools," Thomas A. DiPrete and I found that in schools where academic effort is expected and valued, boys compete for high grades and more often achieve them. Such schools reduce gender gaps and promote healthy, multifaceted gender identities for both boys and girls.

Boys also perform better when teachers and parents help them understand how their future success is linked to their efforts in middle and high school.

Rather than remaking schools in ways that reinforce gender stereotypes, we need schools that set high expectations for student achievement and treat students as individuals.

CLAUDIA BUCHMANN

Columbus, Ohio, Feb. 6, 2013

The writer is a professor of sociology and director of graduate studies at Ohio State University.

To the Editor:

Even in the late 1950s, educators sensed that girls had advantages over boys. They're verbal, orderly, quiet, submissive and cooperative.

Boys? Polar opposites: outgoing, active, loud and unable to sit still. More boys in detention, in special education and suspended. And of course, all the teachers were women!

As a fifth-grade teacher, I found that one solution was a brisk, vigorous outdoor activity session right before lunch. If someone got restless or acted out, all I said was "save that for outside."

The results were amazing. Three boys who had suffered stomach cramps and needed medical attention refused to go to school. Their mothers fought with them every day. But in my class they raced to school. Couldn't wait to get there.

Girls benefited, too. Two who had no friends suddenly bonded with each other, then with classmates. For the first time, girls invited them to birthdays and sleepovers. One had been receiving psychiatric help and medication. Her mother later told me that she no longer needed either.

There are certainly solutions to "boys at the back." Letting boys be boys is one of them.

WALT LIDMAN

Hazlet, N.J., Feb. 6, 2013

The writer is a retired public-school teacher.
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    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2008/06/10/Kredit_Money_050907.jpg
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    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2013/10/08/100_dollar_081013_01.jpg
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    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2008/12/08/Georgia_Tbilisi_MID_081208.jpg
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    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2012/10/26/uzbekistan_parliament.jpg
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2012/10/26/uzbekistan_parliament.jpg
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    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2012/07/30/Great_Britain_300712.jpg
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    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2013/01/12/Ali_Larijani_120113_6.jpg
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    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2014/06/19/iran_flag_190614.jpg
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    The European Union suspended the sanctions related to Iran's petrochemical products export based on the agreement on a Joint Plan of Action, achieved on November 24, 2014 and took force on January 20. however, Iran hasn't resumed any petrochemical products export to EU till now.

    Iranian-born economist Mehrdad Emadi of the U.K.-based Betamatrix International Consultancy told Trend Dec.10 that the main problem is bank transactions, while European banks are very cautious about Iran-related money transactions.

    He said that Iranian banks hasn't been excluded from EU's blacklist, while EU courts have stroke down European sanctions over some Iranian banks.

    In latest case, The General Court of the European Union (1st Chamber) decided in September that the inclusion of the Central Bank of Iran on the EU's sanctions relating to Iran in March 2012 was unlawful and therefore its entry in the annex to Regulation 267/2012 should be annulled.

    Before that, some of Iran's banks, including Melli bank won the appeals against EU sanctions in European courts.

    A spokesman to European Commission told Trend Dec.20 : "As required by the EU Treaties and the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights, the rights of the listed persons and entities, including their due process rights, must be respected. Judgments delivered by EU Courts should be seen in this legal context."

    One of terms in the agreement on a Joint Plan of Action including measures to be undertaken by the European Union is that " The EU will increase tenfold all the EU authorization thresholds with a view to allowing more financial transfers to and from Iran to be processed without authorization requirements and therefore facilitating non-sanctioned transactions.

    However, Emadi says that for normalization the financial transaction operations with Iran the allowance of European members' Treasuries is needed, else, European banks never go to the risk of any cooperation with Ian.

    "There are two challenges in front of Iran's petrochemical exports to EU despite the fact that the sanctions have been removed on the issue. Firstly, main part of the buyers has not found yet banking paths to pay Iran for petrochemicals. However sanctions over the petrochemical exports have been lifted but yet the private banks indicate fewer tendencies to involve in financial transaction with Iran," Emadi said.

    He added that the second challenge is that when Iran lost the EU markets, the Islamic republic's competitors replaced Tehran in the market and signed mid-short and long-term contracts with European consumers.

    Iran's Jam Petrochemical Company announced Dec.14 that a consignment of linear low density polyethylene (LLDPE), measuring 2,000 tons with a total value of over USD 2 million, will be shipped to Belgium next week.

    Emadi says that if Iran wants to regain its former markets will have no choice rather than offering more attractive conditions for its petrochemical exports. However the country has so far failed to offer that.

    So far the Islamic Republic's efforts to enter the EU markets are not successful despite the lifting sanctions.

    He added that even despite the EU courts annulled sanctions against certain Iranian banks, practically the sanctions remain in the place.

    "For instance, once in 2013 the UK Supreme Court overturned a ban stopping Bank Mellat from operating in Britain the UK treasury did not rejected the rule but delayed to implement the rule on lifting sanctions, or in Germany, despite the court verdict, the Iranian-related bank assets also remain frozen. The German treasury has so far refused to order the private German banks on the issue. On the other words, the private banks prefer to not take steps despite the court rule before the officially order from the treasury," he said.

    Emadi believes that Europe prefers to wait for results of nuclear talks with Iran.

    Iran and the P5 1 group (the US, UK, France, Russia, China plus Germany) agreed to extend nuclear talks until July 1, 2015 after failing to meet the 24 Nov. deadline to reach a comprehensive nuclear agreement.

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    18
  • Egypt replaces intelligence chief with his deputy
    21.12.2014 07:30
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2013/08/16/egypt_flag_160813.jpg
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2013/08/16/egypt_flag_160813.jpg
    Egypt has abruptly sacked the nation's powerful intelligence chief for "health reasons," replacing him with his deputy, security authorities said, Press TV reported.

    The country's security officials announced Saturday that General Mohammed Farid al-Tohamy, described as a longtime mentor of president and former military chief Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi, was replaced by his deputy Khaled Fawzy, a longtime intelligence officer that also headed the African nation's national security agency.

    The sacked intelligence chief was widely viewed as a hardliner in the military-led government's brutal crackdown on Muslim opposition groups as well as secular dissidents.

    Al-Tohamy was picked to take the helms of the intelligence agency immediately after al-Sisi, who headed the military at the time, led the army-led coup against the nation's first freely-elected President Mohammed Morsi in July 2013 following military-backed protest rallies against his government.

    According to local reports, al-Tohamy had returned on December 12 from official visits to the Persian Gulf states of Saudi Arabia and Bahrain, both of which are widely considered as highly repressive regimes actively engaged in suppressing popular dissent in the two states.

    Since Morsi's ouster in July 2013, authorities have led a bloody crackdown on his followers, other Muslim groups and the secular opposition.

    Despite the contention that Al-Tohamy was removed for health reasons, one official source said a key factor in the decision was a desire to inject "new blood" to deal with a growingly complex security situation in the country.

    Thousands of Egyptians have been arrested and hundreds of others killed in violent clashes with police and military forces.

    Consequently, many of the country's security forces and troops have come under growing attacks by militant groups, including a bloody attack on Cairo's main security headquarters and two attacks on Egyptian troops in Sinai that killed dozens of soldiers.

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    31
  • Palestinian ISIL member killed in Iraq
    21.12.2014 06:40
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2014/11/03/isil_iraq_031114.jpg
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2014/11/03/isil_iraq_031114.jpg
    A Palestinian man from the Gaza Strip was killed in Iraq as he fought within the so-called Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) militant movement, Palestinian media said Saturday, Anadolu agency reported.

    Gaza Strip resident Mumtaz al-Wahidi, 27, was killed on Saturday as he fought within ISIL in the northern Iraqi province of Nineveh, some Palestinian news sites said.

    Quoting some family sources, the sites added that al-Wahidi left the Gaza Strip several months ago before he called his family and told it that he was fighting within ISIL.

    A number of Gaza residents were killed in the past months in battles between ISIL and Al-Nusra Front, one of several militant movements fighting against the regime in Syria.

    There is not an accurate estimate of the number of Palestinians fighting in Syria.

    ISIL is a militant organization that combines thousands of fighters from different countries, who say they are bent on establishing an Islamic caliphate, a system of political-religious rule that is centered around a caliph or a ruler.

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    16
  • Egypt receives delayed Apache helicopter shipment from US
    21.12.2014 04:35
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2014/12/21/apache_usa_211214.jpg
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2014/12/21/apache_usa_211214.jpg
    Egypt's armed forces received a shipment of 10 Apache helicopters from the US on Saturday, part of the US's annual military aid to Egypt that had been delayed amid American concerns over Egypt's political transition, Ahram Online reported.

    A military source told Al-Ahram's Arabic website the helicopters are being readied for operation in cooperation with US representatives.

    Following the ouster of former president Mohamed Morsi in 2013, the US announced it would freeze a part of its annual military aid, citing doubts over democratic reforms in the country.

    Each year the US allocates around $1.5 billion in aid to Egypt, including $1.3 billion in military assistance.

    Washington said in April that it planned to resume some of the annual aid for counterterrorism efforts in the Sinai Peninsula.

    Secretary of State John Kerry confirmed to his Egyptian counterpart in August that the contracted attack helicopters would be delivered to Egypt.

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    28
  • Tunisians vote in historic presidential run-off
    21.12.2014 04:23
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2011/12/25/tunis_flag.jpg
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2011/12/25/tunis_flag.jpg
    Tunisians vote on Sunday in a presidential run-off election that completes the country's last steps to full democracy nearly fours years after the uprising that toppled autocrat Zine El-Abidine Ben Ali, Reuters reported.

    With a new progressive constitution and a full parliament elected in October, Tunisia is hailed as an example of democratic change for a region still struggling with the aftermath of the 2011 Arab Spring revolts.

    The nation has mostly avoided the post-revolt divisions troubling Libya and Egypt, but Sunday's election has emerged as a race between a former Ben Ali official and the incumbent who claims to defend the legacy of the 2011 revolution.

    Frontrunner Beji Caid Essebsi, a former parliament speaker under Ben Ali, won 39 percent of votes in the first round in November with current president Moncef Marzouki taking 33 percent of the ballots.

    Essebsi, 88, dismisses critics who say he would mark a return of the old regime stalwarts. He says he is the technocrat Tunisia needs after three messy years of the Islamist-led coalition government that followed the revolt.

    Marzouki, a former activist during the Ben Ali era, has painted an Essebsi presidency as a setback for the "Jasmine Revolution" that forced the former leader to flee the country into exile. But many critics tie Marzouki's own presidency to the Islamist party's government and its mistakes.

    "We are going to get back to life now with Essebsi, and forget the disaster of the last three years of Marzouki and the Islamists," said Fathia Ben Saleh, at an Essebsi rally in Tunis.

    "We don't have any worries about democracy with Essebsi." Compromise has been key in Tunisian politics. Essebsi's Nidaa Tounes party managed to reach a deal with Islamist Ennahda to overcome a crisis triggered by the murder of two secular leaders last year.

    Ennahda eventually stepped down at the start of this year to make way for a technocrat transitional cabinet until elections. But the Islamists remain a powerful force after winning the second largest number of seats in the new parliament.

    The presidency post holds only limited powers over national defense and foreign policy. In Tunisia, the parliament, led by Essebsi's Nidaa Tounes party who won the most seats, will be key to selecting a new prime minister to lead the government. Ennahda and the leftwing Popular Front movement - both well-organized and supported -- would be powerful opponents. Tunisia's new government must still tackle the threat of Islamist militants, and also potentially politically sensitive economic reforms in a country where many are still more concerned over jobs and the high cost of living.

    "I won't vote for Essebsi or Marzouki. The first was never a democrat and we know his past," said Imed Jouini, a unemployed man at a Tunis cafe watching campaigning. "The second doesn't know how to do anything except bury police who were killed by terrorists."

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    11
  • Italian FM optimistic about trend of Iran-West nuclear talks
    21.12.2014 04:15
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2013/01/12/Iran_nuclear_program_120113_6.jpg
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2013/01/12/Iran_nuclear_program_120113_6.jpg
    Italian Foreign Minister Paolo Gentiloni on Saturday expressed optimism about better outcome of Iran-Group 5 1 nuclear talks in 2015, IRNA reported.

    He hoped for promising outcome from the nuclear talks to be achieved in June 2015.

    Referring to Iran's major role in the fight against Daesh terror group, Gentiloni noted that the Islamic Republic of Iran can contribute to international campaign against terrorism and mobilize the Shia Musim communities.

    Meanwhile, the Italian foreign minister said in his late November meeting with Head of Department of Environment Masoumeh Ebtekar that Iran as a key player in solving regional crisis.

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    15
  • Ebola death toll rises to 7,373
    21.12.2014 02:15
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2014/10/15/ebola_151014.jpg
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2014/10/15/ebola_151014.jpg
    The death toll from the Ebola outbreak has increased to 7,373 out of 19,031 cases in the three affected West African countries, according to the World Health Organization's latest update, Anadolu agency reported.

    Sierra Leone has the highest number of cases of the three intense-transmission countries, with 8,759 cases reported to date, the UN health agency said.

    In the past ten days around 1,000 new deaths have been reported, according to the WHO figures.

    So far, 3,346 people have been killed in Liberia out of 7,819 reported cases, followed by Sierra Leone with 2,477 deaths and Guinea with 1,550 deaths, said the health agency.

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    27
  • Iran says US opted for Cuba ties to end isolation from Latin America
    20.12.2014 23:54
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2013/12/10/marzieh_afkham_101213.jpg
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2013/12/10/marzieh_afkham_101213.jpg
    Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Marzieh Afkham said on Saturday that the US could not afford to live in isolation from Latin American countries and opted for resumption of Cuba ties, IRNA reported.

    In reaction to breakthrough in US-Cuba ties after decades of icy relations, the Iranian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman said that the move could be regarded as a step forward to de-escalation in Latin America.

    She said that a realistic continuation and culmination of this trend would leave useful impacts on the overall relations between Latin American countries and on the international developments as well.

    Imposition of policies of isolation and sanction by hegemonistic powers on independent governments and nations are useless and futile, Afkham said.

    She hailed the resistance of the Cuban leaders and people to the US sanctions over the past 50 years and said the US government was forced to admit the defeat of its wrong policies on Cuba and the entire Latin America.

    US President Barack Obama announced the lifting of US sanctions on Cuba, while Havana has tolerated more than 54 years of toughest sanctions suffering from hundreds of billions of dollars of economic loss.

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    36
  • '200,000 Kobani citizens in Turkey,' says emergency agency
    20.12.2014 22:55
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2013/09/11/syrian_refugees_110913.jpg
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2013/09/11/syrian_refugees_110913.jpg
    The clashes in the Syrian town of Kobani led nearly 200,000 people to take shelter in Turkey, according to official data released on Saturday, Anadolu agency reported.

    Prime Ministry Disaster and Emergency Management Presidency of Turkey, or AFAD, says that 192,417 people have arrived in Turkey since September 19 when the clashes broke out. The accounts also show that 3,072 cars have entered into the country.

    In and around Turkish town Suruc near Kobani, 1,573 officials from different institutions have been on duty to help the refugees by taking care of their food and sheltering as well as health and security.

    The aid agency said that an average of 70 thousand meals are delivered to refugees a day.

    Since August 2012, 819 cars loaded with aid material were sent to Kobani through Mursitpinar border crossing in Sanliurfa. The cost of the aid material was calculated as over 27 million Turkish lira ($11,670 million), AFAD says.

    27,850 people injured in Kobani were treated in Suruc State Hospital, which says that it vaccinated 60 thousand children and offered healthcare services to 105 pregnant women.

    The AFAD stated that a sufficient number of electric heaters are stored in the city for the refugees. The institution also stated that five thousand tent covers were sent to Sanliurfa, and 500 rain-damaged tents were replaced.

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    61
  • Police disperse teachersв' protest in Ankara, detain 100
    20.12.2014 21:50
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2014/03/14/turkey_mass_protests_2014_6_1.jpg
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2014/03/14/turkey_mass_protests_2014_6_1.jpg
    More than 100 people were detained Dec. 20 following a police crackdown on a demonstration in central Ankara organized by a teachers' union, Hürriyet Daily News reported.

    The demonstrators gathered in the morning in the Turkish capitol's TandoДџan Square upon a call from teachers' union EДџitim-Д°Еџ to demand "Respect to Secular Education and Labor." Police used water cannons and tear gas to disperse the protestors when a group reportedly insisted on marching towards KД±zД±lay.

    More than 100 protesters, most of whom were members and executives of the union, were detained.

    Mehmet BalД±k, head of the union's Antalya branch who was being kept in custody at the police headquarters for interrogation, said that the police crackdown came without a warning.

    "We arrived in two buses from Antalya in the TandoДџan .Square around 10:30 a.m." said BalД±k. "The police attacked with TOMAs [ant-riot vehicles with pressurized water cannons] and tear gas without any warning. They soaked down the group, which also included children and the elderly."

    BalД±k said they were only guilty of "defending the homeland's unity and protesting the thieves."

    "We stood up for the rights of our teachers and civil servants, but we were the victims of a police attack without any warning," he added.

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    22
  • Turkeyв's car market increases up to 18.7 mln
    20.12.2014 21:05
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2014/03/08/turkey_cars_080314.jpg
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2014/03/08/turkey_cars_080314.jpg
    Baku, Azerbaijan, Dec.20

    By Rufiz Hafizoglu - Trend:

    The number of cars hit 18,693,972 in Turkey in the first ten months of 2014, the Turkish Statistics Institute said.

    The market increased by 754,525 vehicles in January-October 2014.

    Cars accounted for 52.2 percent of the total number of vehicles in Turkey, trucks - 16.3 percent, motorcycles - 14.8 percent, tractors - 8.6 percent, buses - 6.4 percent, other vehicles - 1.7 percent, according to the Statistics Institute.

    Around 41.4 percent of vehicles in the country run on liquefied petroleum gas, 29.3 percent - gasoline and 29.6 percent - diesel fuel.




    Main car brands on Turkish market throughout 10 months of 2014



    Manufacturer



    Market share (%)



    "Volkswagen"



    13,8



    "Renault"



    15,3



    "Ford"



    5,6



    "Opel"



    6,5



    "Hyundai"



    7,2



    "Toyota"



    6,5



    "Fiat"



    6,3



    "Dacia"



    4,3



    BMW



    6



    Mercedes-Benz



    4,4



    Other manufacturers



    24,1



    Turkey ranks sixth in Europe for motor vehicle production.

    The cars of Ford, FIAT, Renault, Toyota, Honda, Opel, Hyundai, Mercedes-Benz and MAN brands are assembled in Turkey.

    Turkey also manufactures domestic brand buses, such as BMC, Temsa and Otokar.

    ---

    follow the author on Twitter: @rhafizoglu

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    34
  • Islamic State has executed 100 foreigners trying to quit: report
    20.12.2014 19:54
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2014/12/16/iraq-isil_161214.jpg
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2014/12/16/iraq-isil_161214.jpg
    The Islamic State extremist group has executed 100 of its own foreign fighters who tried to flee their headquarters in the Syrian city of Raqqa, the Financial Times newspaper said on Saturday, Daily Times reported.

    An activist opposed to both Islamic State and the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, who is well-known to the British business broadsheet, said he had verified 100 executions of foreign Islamic State fighters trying to leave the jihadist group's de facto capital.

    Islamic State fighters in Raqqa said the group has created a military police to clamp down on foreign fighters who do not report for duty. Dozens of homes have been raided and many jihadists have been arrested, the FT reported. Some jihadists have become disillusioned with the realities of fighting in Syria, reports have said.

    According to the British press in October, five Britons, three French, two Germans and two Belgians wanted to return home after complaining that they ended up fighting against other rebel groups rather than Assad's regime. They were being held prisoner by Islamic State.

    In total, between 30 and 50 Britons want to return but fear they face jail, according to researchers at the International Centre for the Study of Radicalisation at King's College London, which had been contacted by one of the militants speaking on their behalf.

    Since a US-led coalition began a campaign of air strikes against IS in August, the extremist group has lost ground to local forces and seen the number of its fighters killed rise significantly. There have been a string of apparent setbacks for IS in recent weeks.

    Iraqi Kurds claimed Thursday to have broken a siege on a mountain where Yazidi civilians and fighters have long been trapped. The Kurdish advances came during a two-day blitz in the Sinjar region involving 8,000 peshmerga fighters and some of the heaviest air strikes since a US-led coalition started an air campaign four months ago.

    Meanwhile Thursday, the Pentagon said several IS leaders had been killed in US air strikes. In 40 days across October and November, some 2,000 air raids killed more than 500 people, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a Britain-based monitoring group, which relies on a network of sources on the ground.

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    26
  • Georgian PM expresses willingness to meet with Putin
    20.12.2014 19:24
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2014/01/24/irakli_garibashvili_240114.jpg
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2014/01/24/irakli_garibashvili_240114.jpg
    Tbilisi, Georgia, Dec.20

    By Nana Kirtzkhalia - Trend:

    Following the Georgian President, Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili expressed his willingness to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

    "The government of Georgia has the willingness, but it requires a good organization", he said in an interview with reporters on Dec.20.

    The prime minister said that Zurab Abashidze, the special representative of the Prime Minister, also expressed a readiness for the meeting.

    "But when it takes place, in what format, I do not know. This requires a good organization, it should not be a meeting for the meeting. We reaffirm willingness to meet with him", Garibashvili said.

    The Russian president has expressed willingness to accept Georgian leaders in Moscow during the press conference on Dec.18.

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    15
  • Iranв's missile industry ranks 4th in the world '" minister
    20.12.2014 17:50
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2014/05/23/hossein_dehqan.jpg
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2014/05/23/hossein_dehqan.jpg
    Baku, Azerbaijan, Dec.20

    By Temkin Jafarov - Trend:

    Iran holds a special place among the countries with missile industry, Iranian Defense Minister Hussein Dehghan said.

    He added that the country is left behind by the US, Russia and China is this sphere, tasnimnews website reported on Dec.20.

    Dehghan said Iran has achieved great success in the missile industry in recent years, adding that the country will not allow anyone to doubt its missiles.

    The minister said Iran seeks to increase the hitting accuracy of the missiles and the time of avoiding the radar.

    Dehghan said that ensuring Iran's national security and the security of sacred worship places in Iraq is a lsquo;red line' for Tehran.

    "If the lsquo;Islamic State' or any other armed group touches the sacred places of worship, Iran will not sit back," the defense minister added.

    He said the US and Israel will not dare attack Iran.

    "If these countries could do anything, they would undoubtedly do it. Nevertheless, taking this seriously we are preparing," he added.

    ---

    Follow the author on Twitter: @JafarovTemkin

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    27
  • Western countries spread Ebola virus - IRGC
    20.12.2014 16:59
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2011/12/30/hossein_salami.jpg
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2011/12/30/hossein_salami.jpg
    Baku, Azerbaijan, Dec.20

    By Temkin Jafarov - Trend:

    By misusing scientific achievements, western countries are spreading various diseases, including the Ebola virus, swine and avian influenza throughout the world, Deputy Commander of Iran's Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) Hussein Salami said.

    He said western countries produce biological weapons and spread various diseases which cause damage to the world community, Iran's Fars news agency reported on Dec.20.

    However, Salami didn't back up his remarks with any evidence.

    International media outlets reported that to date, the European Union (EU) has allocated $1 billion for fighting against the Ebola virus. The US Congress has also allocated $750 million for this purpose. At the same time, the US President Barack Obama requested the Congress to allocate additional $6 billion.

    The Ebola death toll has reached 6,915 people, while the number of infected equals 18,603.

    ---

    Follow the author on Twitter: @JafarovTemkin

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    22
  • Happy Holidays from Messenger
    20.12.2014 15:51
    http://img.sia.az/news/2014/siaphoto_450438.jpg
    http://img.sia.az/news/2014/siaphoto_450438.jpg
    The holidays are an important time for people to be connected with their friends and family and Messenger is an easy way to coordinate activities and keep in touch.

    To celebrate the season, we are rolling out the following fun holiday features:

    A festive frame for your New Yearв's Eve selfies

    Snow globechat heads

    Holiday inspired sticker packs

    A lightweight new Creative Labs app by the Messenger team called Stickered for Messenger that enables you to add stickers to a photo and send them to friends on Messenger

    All of these fun features will be available over the holidays. People can start downloading Stickered for Messenger from the Play Store later today and it will be coming soon to the App Store.
    17
  • Australian woman arrested over deaths of 8 children
    20.12.2014 15:30
    http://img.sia.az/news/2014/siaphoto_450437.jpg
    http://img.sia.az/news/2014/siaphoto_450437.jpg
    An Australian woman was arrested for murder in the killings of eight children, seven of whom are believed to be her own, police said Saturday.

    The children were found dead inside the womanв's home. The 37-year-old woman, who is recovering in a hospital from stab wounds, was under guard and speaking with police, Queensland Police Detective Inspector Bruno Asnicar said. She has not yet been charged.

    Police havenв't said how the children died. But Asnicar said theyв're examining several knives in the home that may have been the weapon used to kill them.

    The children ranged in age from 18 months to 14 years, Asnicar said. The woman is thought to be the mother of seven of the children. The eighth is believed to be her niece.

    Queensland police were called to the home in the Cairns suburb of Manoora on Friday morning after receiving a report of a woman with serious injuries. When they got to the house, they found the bodies of the children.

    The woman, whose name has not been released, was also found in the home with the children, suffering from stab wounds to the chest. Asnicar said she is in stable condition, lucid and talking to police. ''Weв're not looking for anybody else -- weв're comfortable that the community at large is safe,'' Asnicar said.

    A coroner was conducting autopsies to determine the causes of death, and police were continuing to comb through the house for evidence. ''Theyв're looking to establish 100 percent what happened in that house when these offenses were committed,'' Asnicar said. He dismissed rumors that the house had been the subject of calls from the Department of Social Services.

    ''Itв's not a problem house as has been speculated,'' he said. ''This is an ordinary neighborhood -- a lot of good people, a lot of kids in the area. This is something that has caught everybody by surprise. Itв's just an absolutely tragic thing.''

    Lisa Thaiday, who said she was the injured womanв's cousin, said earlier that one of the womanв's other sons, a 20-year-old, came home and found his brothers and sisters dead inside the house.

    ''Iв'm going to see him now, he needs comforting,'' Thaiday said. ''Weв're a big family ... I just canв't believe it. We just found out (about) those poor babies.''

    The tragedy comes as Australia is still reeling from the shock of a deadly siege in a Sydney cafe. On Monday, a gunman burst into the cafe in the heart of the city and took 18 hostages. Two hostages were dead along with the gunman after police stormed in 16 hours later in a bid to end the siege. Police had earlier said there were 17 hostages in the cafe, but revised the number after a new count.

    ''The news out of Cairns is heartbreaking,'' Prime Minister Tony Abbott said in a statement. ''All parents would feel a gut-wrenching sadness at what has happened. This is an unspeakable crime. These are trying days for our country."
    17
  • Iran insists on implementing missile system deal with Russia
    20.12.2014 15:19
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2013/10/07/raket_s300_081013_2.jpg
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2013/10/07/raket_s300_081013_2.jpg
    Baku, Azerbaijan, Dec. 20

    By Umid Niayesh - Trend:

    Iran still insists on getting the S-300 missile system from Russia, the country's Defense Minister Hossein Dehghan said.

    He said that Russian side has illegally canceled the contract under the pressure from Israel and the US, Iran's Mehr news agency reported Dec. 20.

    Russians used the international sanctions as an excuse to repeal the agreement meanwhile the contract was signed before the sanctions, he said.

    In December 2006 the UN Security Council imposed a partial embargo on the export of technology related to nuclear weapon delivery systems to Iran, which includes certain technologies which can be used in conventional military applications. This was followed in June 2010 by a UN embargo on the export of most major conventional weapons to Iran.

    Dehghan said that Iran did not accept the Russian offer for substituting S-300, adding that Iran has fulfilled its commitments within the agreement and wants Russia to do the same.

    A contract inked in 2007 requires Russia to provide Iran with at least five S-300 missile defense systems.

    However, Moscow refrained from meeting its obligations under the pretext that they were covered by the fourth round of the UN Security Council resolutions against Iran.

    In September 2010, then Russian President Dmitry Medvedev signed a decree banning the delivery of the S-300 systems to the Islamic Republic.

    Russia's refusal to deliver the systems under the contract prompted Iran to file a complaint with the International Court of Arbitration in Geneva against the Russian arms company Rosoboronexport.

    Earlier Iranian media outlets reported that Tehran has rejected Russia's proposal to supply the Islamic Republic with S-300VM "Antey-2500" anti-ballistic missile system, instead of the promised S-300 system.

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    11
  • Stonehenge discovery could rewrite British pre-history
    20.12.2014 14:59
    http://img.sia.az/news/2014/siaphoto_450436.jpg
    http://img.sia.az/news/2014/siaphoto_450436.jpg
    Archaeologists have discovered the earliest settlement at Stonehenge - but the Mesolithic camp could be destroyed if government plans for a new tunnel go ahead.

    Charcoal dug up from the 'Blick Meadв' encampment, a mile and a half from Stonehenge, dates from around 4,000BC. It is thought the site was originally occupied by hunter gatherers returning to Britain after the Ice Age, when the country was still connected to the continent.

    Experts say the discovery could re-write history in prehistoric Britain.

    There is also evidence of feasting - burnt flints and remains of giant bulls '" aurochs '" as well as flint tools.

    The dig has also unearthed evidence of possible structures, but the site could be destroyed if plans for a 1.8 mile tunnel go ahead.

    Earlier this month David Cameron, the prime minister, visited Stonehenge, in Amesbury, Wiltshire and announced plans to duel the A303 and build a new tunnel to take traffic away from the world heritage site.

    But archaeologists want more time to assess the importance of the site and record new findings.

    "The PM is interested in re-election in 140 days - we are interested in discovering how our ancestors lived six thousand years ago,'' said archaeologist David Jacques, who made the discovery on a dig for the University of Buckingham.
    11
  • Azerbaijani oil prices for Dec.16-20
    20.12.2014 14:44
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2014/12/04/oil_price_041214.jpg
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2014/12/04/oil_price_041214.jpg
    Baku, Azerbaijan, Dec.20

    By Emil Ismayilov - Trend:

    The average price for AZERI LT, exported from Azerbaijan via the Ceyhan, Batumi and Supsa ports to Italian Augusta port, was $61.66 per barrel on Dec.16-20 or by $4.03 less than the previous week.

    The maximum price for AZERI LT was $62.39 per barrel and the minimum price was $60.96 per barrel during the reporting period.

    The average price on Urals (Ex-Novo) exported from Azerbaijan via the Novorossiysk port stood at $56.61 per barrel or by $5.23 per barrel less than the previous week.

    The maximum price for Urals totaled $57.66 per barrel and the minimum - $55.63 per barrel on Dec.16-20.

    Urals' density is 32 degrees API with a sulfur content up to 1.3 percent. The oil grade's specifications vary when sold depending on its high/low-quality content.

    The average price for Brent Dated was $59.89 per barrel on Dec.16-20, or by $4.15 per barrel less than the previous week.

    The maximum price on Brent was $61 per barrel and the minimum - $58.9 during the reporting period.

    ---

    Follow the author on Twitter: @Emilsmail

    Follow us on Twitter @
    12
  • Facebook trials system that stops you drunk-posting
    20.12.2014 13:59
    http://img.sia.az/news/2014/siaphoto_450427.jpg
    http://img.sia.az/news/2014/siaphoto_450427.jpg
    You will soon be able to use Facebook safely, even while absolutely slaughtered '" without the chilling risk that you might think itв's funny to post a picture of yourself after 105 glasses of wine.

    Facebook is testing a feature which looks through photos for evidence you are slobbering drunk, then offers a warning.

    If youв're posting some bleary-eyed horror of a selfie, the app asks, 'Are you sure?в'

    It will then suggest that you share it with a limited bunch of people '" ie not your boss, and not your Mum.

    The feature is the brainchild of one of Facebookв's 'machine learningв' teams, headed by New York University researcher Yann LeCun.

    LeCun explains that the AI software would use algorithms to distinguish between your 'two selvesв' in pictures '" your drunk self and your sober self.

    The software 'learnsв' to recognise the visual signs of 'drunk selfв' '" and then offers a warning, and suggests you share it with a limited number of people.

    When 'drunk selfв' crops up, the algorithm would offer a private, automated warning before posting to the network, which LeCun described in an interview with Wired as saying, 'Uh, is being posted publicly. Are you sure you want your boss and your mother to see this?в'

    LeCun said that the algorithms would look for embarassing posts uploaded by other people '" and could offer users a warning that content they might not want to be seen was being posted.
    31
  • Azerbaijani servicemen to take part in intв'l event
    20.12.2014 13:39
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2012/10/16/Defense_Ministry_Mudafie_Nazirliyi_161012.jpg
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2012/10/16/Defense_Ministry_Mudafie_Nazirliyi_161012.jpg
    Baku, Azerbaijan, Dec.20

    By Ilhama Isabalayeva - Trend:

    Representatives of the Azerbaijani armed forces will participate in an international event, the defense ministry of Azerbaijan said Dec.20.

    On Dec.22-28, Turkey's capital Ankara will host an event dedicated to the acquaintance with the activity of Turkish Armed Forces Training Center Command and Sports School, according to the ministry.

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    29
  • Tony Blair quizzed about nature of his relationship with Wendi Deng
    20.12.2014 12:45
    http://img.sia.az/news/2014/siaphoto_450413.jpg
    http://img.sia.az/news/2014/siaphoto_450413.jpg
    Tony Blair has said he will never discuss the nature of his relationship with Wendi Deng, the ex-wife of Rupert Murdoch. The former Prime Minister is said to have reacted angrily when asked about the issue during a recent interview with The Economist, banging his coffee cup "so loudly into its saucer that it spills and everyone in the room jumps".

    He denied any "impropriety" with Wendi, adding it was "not something I will ever talk about. I haven't and I won't." Tony Blair was quizzed about the nature of his relationship with Wendi Deng

    Mr Blair made headlines around the world last year following allegations he had had an affair with Wendi Deng, after which Rupert filed for divorce in June 2013 after 14 years of marriage.

    WhileMr Blairhas refused to discuss the claims, Mr Murdoch has been more forthcoming. In April, the Australian media mogul spoke for the first time about his divorce, and claimed that Mr Blair had spent weekends with Wendi at his familyв's ranch in California.

    He said he had been in Australia at the time, and immediately flew back to the ranch. "When I got back, I naturally asked the staff, and it opened up," he told Fortune magazine. "That's the story. And then, you know, a week later I filed (for divorce). As soon as I could find a lawyer."

    Mr Murdoch also said he had been "shocked" when he was made aware of Wendi's diary entries. In these she described having "warm feelings" comparable to a "crush" on Mr Blair, who allegedly stayed at the ranch with her in October 2012, and April 2013, while her husband was abroad.

    It is thought that Mr Murdoch has ended his friendship with the former British leader, who is a godfather to one of the former couple's daughters. Mr Blair has always denied having an affair with Wendi, and there has been no evidence to suggest he did.
    21
  • Google aiming to go straight into car with next Android
    20.12.2014 12:39
    http://img.sia.az/news/2014/siaphoto_450408.jpg
    http://img.sia.az/news/2014/siaphoto_450408.jpg
    Google Inc is laying the groundwork for a version of Android that would be built directly into cars, sources said, allowing drivers to enjoy all the benefits of the Internet without even plugging in their smartphones.

    The move is a major step up from Google's current Android Auto software, which comes with the latest version of its smartphone operating system and requires a phone to be plugged into a compatible car with a built-in screen to access streaming music, maps and other apps.

    Google, however, has never provided details or a timeframe for its long-term plan to put Android Auto directly into cars. The company now plans to do so when it rolls out the next version of its operating system, dubbed Android M, expected in a year or so, two people with knowledge of the matter said.

    The sources declined to be identified because they were not authorised to discuss the plans publicly. "It provides a much stronger foothold for Google to really be part of the vehicle rather than being an add-on," said Thilo Koslowski, vice president and Automotive Practice Leader of industry research firm Gartner, who noted that he was unaware of Google's latest plans in this area.

    If successful, Android would become the standard system powering a car's entertainment and navigation features, solidifying Google's position in a new market where it is competing with arch-rival Apple Inc.
    15
  • Five-year-old girl burned to death in home fire accident in Azerbaijan
    20.12.2014 12:29
    http:// www.news.az/photos/page-photo/135916.jpg
    http:// www.news.az/photos/page-photo/135916.jpg
    A horrific fire accident has occurred in Ismayilli District.

    The Fire Protection Service of the Ministry of Emergency Situations (MES) told APA's local bureau that the accident happened today at around 11:00 in the Kurdmashi village, Ismayilli.

    Fire protection units of Ismayilli and Goychay sent 3 vehicles and manpower to the site to extinguish the fire which hit the house of village resident Usubov Mirza Salim. Firefighter are still struggling to put out the fire.

    According to information, the four-room house along with things inside has burned down. The accident also killed 5-year-old Usubova Nuray Mirza qizi who was inside when the fire began.

    The cause of the fire is still unclear. Investigation is underway.
    12
  • Weekly review of Azerbaijani currency market
    20.12.2014 12:14
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2012/05/09/Manat.jpg
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2012/05/09/Manat.jpg
    Baku, Azerbaijan, Dec. 20

    By Maksim Tsurkov - Trend:

    The official rate of AZN to the U.S. dollar set by the Azerbaijani Central Bank (CBA) consolidated by 0.0001 points (0.01 percent). The average rate was established at 0.78446 AZN to 1 U.S. dollar.




    Official rate of AZN to 1 U.S. dollar:



    Dec. 8



    0,7845



    Dec.15



    0,7845



    Dec.9



    0,7845



    Dec.16



    0,7845



    Dec.10



    0,7845



    Dec.17



    0,7845



    Dec.11



    0,7845



    Dec.18



    0,7844



    Dec.12



    0,7845



    Dec.19



    0,7844



    Average weekly



    0,7845



    Average weekly



    0,78446



    As a result of last week's exchange, the stock exchange price of the Azerbaijani AZN to the U.S. dollar, established based on results from the Baku Inter-bank Currency Exchange (BICEX), remained unchanged. The average rate was set at 0.7829 AZN to 1 U.S. dollar.

    Deals concluded last week at BEST comprised: Dec. 15 - $8.293 million, Dec. 16 - $10.37 million. No deals were concluded on Dec.17, 18 and 19.




    Exchange rate of AZN to 1 U.S. dollar:



    Dec. 8



    0,7829



    Dec.15



    0,7829



    Dec.9



    0,7829



    Dec.16



    0,7829



    Dec.10



    0,7829



    Dec.17



    0,7829



    Dec.11



    0,7829



    Dec.18



    0,7829



    Dec.12



    0,7829



    Dec.19



    0,7829



    Average weekly



    0,7829



    Average weekly



    0,7829



    No deal was concluded with USD/AZN T 1 and T 2 due to lack of appeals made by dealers. Appeals on EUR/AZN and RUB/AZN were not made by banks in BEST.

    --

    Follow the author on Twitter: @MaksimTsurkov

    Follow us on Twitter @
    12
  • Iran's ex-OPEC governor urges oil producers to take action against falling prices
    20.12.2014 12:04
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2014/12/04/oil_price_041214_2.jpg
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2014/12/04/oil_price_041214_2.jpg
    Tehran, Iran, Dec. 19

    By Milad Fashtami - Trend:

    Iran's ex-OPEC governor Mohammad-Ali Khatibi believes that all major oil-producing countries need to gather and take a serious action to prevent oil prices from falling further.

    Khatibi told Trend Agency on Dec. 19 that all producers are bearing losses under current circumstances.

    "Some states may use their previous savings to compensate the decrease in their oil revenues, but in the long-term they can't afford such losses," he said.

    Oil price has faced a sharp fall in the past few months reaching below $60, from $110 in mid-2014. According to Bloomberg, Futures fell as much as 2.4 percent after sliding below $54 a barrel on Dec. 16 for the first time since May 2009.

    "If each country supports the common interest of all oil-producing countries as a whole, then the market will once again become stable," Khatibi said.

    "Influential countries such as Iran, Saudi Arabia, and Russia should lead the cause," he said, adding that non-OPEC producers should also contribute.

    Iranian officials have repeatedly said that OPEC's decision for not cutting oil prices was rather political.

    "Some OPEC members say the organization refused to cut output because major non-OPEC states rejected the organization's request for reducing their production. But some others believe that the issue was rather political. Both the views seem to be plausible," Khatibi said, adding the only thing that really matters is finding a way to come of this crisis.

    "Financial interests can soften political stances," he noted.

    The Iranian diplomat predicted that the oil price's rise in the future is inevitable.

    "The oil price will continue to fall only until the market's supply is more than demand, and that will not last forever," Khatibi said.

    "Either the producers reach an agreement and cut their output, or the prices will fall further until production for certain producers will lose its economic justification, so we can be sure that in the future the supply and demand will be balanced and the prices will bounce back," he explained.

    Iran is expected to face severe budget deficit in the current Iranian calendar year (to end March 20, 2015).

    The country decided to sell its crude oil to Asia in November at the biggest discount in almost six years. The decision was made after Saudi Arabia cut prices for all grades and to all regions for November. Qatar and Iraq decreased their prices as well.

    Iran's current year budget envisages the price of $100 per barrel of oil.

    Based on Iran's budget law, the country is supposed to export 1.4 million barrels of oil (including gas condensate) per day.

    Reports suggest that if the current tendency continues, the total budget deficit may soar above $2.5 billion.

    The Iranian President Hassan Rouhani also predicted that Iran's total oil revenues will be 30 percent less than expected.

    Falling global oil prices forced Iran's government to decrease the oil price figure in next year's budget to $72 per barrel.

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    28
  • Armenian armed forces violate ceasefire with Azerbaijan 56 times in a day
    20.12.2014 11:59
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2012/06/07/Karabax_01_albom_070612.jpg
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2012/06/07/Karabax_01_albom_070612.jpg
    Baku, Azerbaijan, Dec. 20

    By Ilhama Isabalayeva - Trend:

    Over the past 24 hours, the Armenian armed forces 56 times violated the ceasefire on various parts of the contact line of Azerbaijani and Armenian troops, the Defense Ministry of Azerbaijan said Dec. 20.

    On that day, Armenian armed forces located in the villages of Chinari, Mosesgeh and Aygepar of Armenia's Berd district, opened fire at the positions of Azerbaijani armed forces in the villages of Kokhanabi, Agbulag, Aghdam and Alibayli in the Tovuz district.

    Armenian armed forces opened fire at the Azerbaijani positions located near the villages of Tapgaragoyunlu of the Goranboy district, Chilyaburt, Gizil Oba of the Terter district, Yusifjanli, Javakhirli, Marzili, Kengerli, Novruzlu of the Aghdam district, Kuropatkino of the Khojavand district, Horadiz, Garakhanbayli, Ashagi Abdurrahmanli, Ashagi Seyidahmadli of the Fizuli district and Mehdili of the Jabrayil district.

    The Azerbaijani armed forces were fired at from the nameless heights in the districts of the Goranboy district.

    The opposing side was silenced with return fire.

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

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

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

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

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    10
  • Nasa plans to explore Venus using solar-powered airships and '˜floating citiesв'
    20.12.2014 11:50
    http://img.sia.az/news/2014/siaphoto_450392.jpg
    http://img.sia.az/news/2014/siaphoto_450392.jpg
    You mightwonderwhy Nasa isinterested in exploringVenus, but it actuallyhasa lot of similarities with our homeworld.

    Not only is it ournearest neighbour, but it has the same size, mass, density, gravity and composition as Earth.

    There is one slight problem, however: it is the hottest planet in the solar system with surface temperatures reaching 465C.

    Oh, yes, and we almost forgot: there are clouds of sulphuric acid there, too.

    Enter theHAVOC (High Altitude Venus Operational Concept) airship '" a method of transportwhich would allow astronauts to explore the planet without having to risk contact witha surface hot enough to melt lead.

    These solar-powered flying machines would allow scientists to spend up to a year studying the planet.

    NasaLangley Research Center have even theorised they could build floating 'citiesв'.
    17
  • SCO observation mission arrives in Uzbekistan
    20.12.2014 11:00
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2012/05/04/Logo_Shos_040512_Albom.jpg
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2012/05/04/Logo_Shos_040512_Albom.jpg
    Tashkent, Uzbekistan, Dec.20

    By Demir Azizov- Trend:

    Uzbekistan parliamentary election observation mission from the Shanghai Cooperation Organization has started to work, according to the Central Election Commission (CEC) of Uzbekistan.

    The mission includes members of the CEC, the Federation Council and the State Duma of the Russian Federation, members of the CEC of Kazakhstan, as well as representatives of the ministries of foreign affairs of Kazakhstan, China and Tajikistan. The mission is headed by the SCO Deputy Secretary General Makhmadsharif Khakdodov.

    The members of the observation mission were given mandates of the established pattern that entitles them to participate in all events on the preparation and conduct of election, as well as stay in the polls on election day and during the counting of votes.

    It should be noted that the SCO monitors election in member states of the Organization since 2006. In the period from 2010 to 2014, the mission of the SCO held observation of the presidential and parliamentary election in four countries, including Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia and Tajikistan.

    In 2009, the SCO Observation Mission of 11 people observed the election to the Legislative Chamber of Oliy Majlis (lower house of the Uzbek parliament) of Uzbekistan.

    Currently, the OSCE ODIHR mission, the mission of the CIS and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) began the observation of the preparation process and conduct of election, the CEC said.

    The CEC went on to add that they soon will be joined by observers from The Association of World Election Bodies. In addition, the CEC registered about 300 observers from nearly 40 countries of the world, issued mandates to more than 70,000 observers and authorized representatives of political parties participating in the election, according to the CEC.

    It was reported that election to the Legislative Chamber of Oliy Majlis will be held Dec.21.

    Earlier, four political parties of Uzbekistan were allowed to take part in the election. These are the Liberal Democratic Party, People's Democratic Party, the Democratic Party Milly Tiklanish (National Revival), and the Social Democratic Party Adolat (Justice).

    Each of them nominated 135 MP candidates in accordance with the number of electoral districts. Another 15 seats are granted to Ecological Movement of Uzbekistan.

    The MPs from the Ecological Movement will be elected at a conference on Dec. 21.

    Uzbekistan's bicameral parliament was created in 2005. Its legislative chamber permanently employs 150 MPs from four political parties and the Uzbek Ecological Movement. They were elected in Dec. 2009 for a five-year period.

    The parliament's upper house, known as the Senate, employs 100 MPs elected in equal numbers, i.e. six MPs from the Karakalpakstan Republic, regions and the city of Tashkent.

    Aside from that, the Uzbek president appoints 16 members of the Senate from among the most distinguished citizens.

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    45
  • Turkmenistan plans to build cement plant
    20.12.2014 10:44
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2014/02/12/akkord_cement_120214_2.jpg
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2014/02/12/akkord_cement_120214_2.jpg
    Ashgabat, Turkmenistan, Dec. 19

    By Huseyn Hasanov - trend:

    Turkmenistan plans to build a new cement plant in the Koytendag region of the Lebap province, the country's industry ministry said.

    The new plant is projected to have a capacity of one million metric tons per year.

    Koytendag region is known for the rich reserves of raw materials, including those for cement production.

    Aside from that, a railway infrastructure has already been established there, which will allow increasing the export opportunities in the region.

    Turkmenistan adopted the lsquo;Program for Development of Construction and Industrial Sectors in 2012-2016', which is designed for diversification and modernization of the building materials infrastructure, including through an increase in its capacity.

    Turkmenistan fully supplies the country's construction projects with cement of its own production.

    Edited by CN

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    14
  • Driver who caused deadly crash after stopping to help ducklings is jailed
    20.12.2014 10:35
    http://img.sia.az/news/2014/siaphoto_450370.jpg
    http://img.sia.az/news/2014/siaphoto_450370.jpg
    A driver who caused a deadly crash after stopping to help ducklings on a road has received a three-month prison sentence after initial fears she could be jailed for life.

    Andre Roy, 50, was killed along with his 16-year-old daughter Jessie when the motorbike they were travelling on inMontreal, Canada, crashed into Emma Czornobajв's stationary car in 2010.

    As well as her prison term, which she will serve on the weekends, Czornobaj, 25, was also handed a 10-year driving ban and will also have to complete 240 hoursв' community service.

    Royв's widow and Jessieв's mother, Pauline Volikakis, said she was content with the punishment and wanted to put the incident behind her.

    'Iв'm just happy that we can now move on, maybe turn the page and continue with a positive attitude, instead of a negative (one),в' she said.

    Czornobaj had been criticised for her lack of emotion during the trial but her lawyer said she reacted that way because she was 'shy and inexperiencedв',CTV News reported.

    She was found guilty of dangerous driving, causing death and criminal negligence causing death for both the victims.
    12
  • Routes of new buses in Baku made public
    20.12.2014 10:34
    http:// www.news.az/photos/page-photo/135910.jpg
    http:// www.news.az/photos/page-photo/135910.jpg
    Now passengers will not have to hang off the bus doors.

    The routes of the new buses brought to the country have been made public.

    According to Oxu.Az, the information was provided to AzerTag by the spokesman Fizuli Sadigov of "Xaliq FaiqoДџlu" LLC which is engaged in passenger transportation in the capital.

    According to him, 50 buses "Д°suzu", which are assembled at the factory in Turkey, have recently been imported to the country.

    These buses meet the Euro 5 standard, they have a spacious interior, comfortable seats and they are equipped with modern appliances. An air conditioning system is installed in the buses, they are equipped with cameras and video recorders.

    The buses are equipped with special ramps for the free movement of people with disabilities, as well as older people. There are 24 seats in the buses, and the total capacity is for 69 passengers.

    Another innovation is that the buses are equipped with automatic transmission and they can not move, while the doors are opened.

    "So now the passengers will not be able to hang from the door of the bus. This is very important from a safety point. In addition, the side windows of buses mute the brightness of sunlight by 80%," F.Sadigov said.

    To the question of what routes the new buses will operate along, the representative of "Xaliq FaiqoДџlu" LLC said that in the near future, buses will be commissioned on the route line number 65 and then в„- 61,79,18 and 85.

    But the former buses running on these routes, will operate outside the capital, and they will move on the extra-urban lines.

    According to him, it is planned to bring 150 buses in the beginning of the year:

    "We are trying to ensure that by the beginning of the first European Games the services on transportation of residents and visitors to the city have become more comfortable."
    11
  • Armenia violates ceasefire again
    20.12.2014 10:30
    http:// www.news.az/photos/page-photo/135911.jpg
    http:// www.news.az/photos/page-photo/135911.jpg
    The ceasefire was violated 56 times within a day on different sections of the front.

    Oxu.Az reports with reference to the Defense Ministry that Armenian armed forces fired at Azerbaijani positions in Kokhanabi, Agbulag, Agdam and Alibeyli villages of Tovuz from their posts in Chinari, Mosesgeh and Aygepar villages of the Berd region of Armenia.

    In addition, the Azerbaijani positions were subjected to fire from posts near Tapqaraqoyunlu village of Goranboy, Chilaburt, Gyzyl Oba villages of Terter, Yusifjanly, Javakhirli, Merzili, Kengerli, Novruzlu villages of Aghdam, Kuropatkino village of Khojavand, Horadiz, Garakhanbayli, Ashaghy Seyidahmadli, Ashaghy Abdurrakhmanly villages of Fizuli, Mehdili village of Jabrayil, as well as from positions on nameless heights of Goranboy.

    The enemy was silenced by retaliation fire.
    34
  • Istanbul court arrests four in parallel state probe
    20.12.2014 10:12
    http://img.sia.az/news/2014/siaphoto_450360.jpg
    http://img.sia.az/news/2014/siaphoto_450360.jpg
    Istanbul Penal Court has ruled for the arrest of four people including Hidayet Karaca, chairman of the Samanyolu Media Group.

    The court released eight others, including Ekrem Dumanli, editor-in-chief of Zaman newspaper.

    Karaca was charged with ''managing a terror organization.'' Three others '" Tufan Erguder, Ertan Ercikti and Mustafa Kilicaslan '" were charged with ''membership of the organization.''

    They were sent to Silivri prison in Istanbul.

    The court released Dumanli on the proviso that he does not travel outsideTurkey.

    After being released, Dumanli criticized the charges brought against him.

    "We suffered because of two articles and one news,'' Dumanli told thousands of flag-waving supporters waiting outside the Caglayan courthouse '" a reference to the evidence brought against him.

    ''There was surely no concrete evidence,'' he stated, adding: ''If I have any guilt, I donв't want to see my newborn baby.''

    Dumanli became father of a baby girl named Saadet (Happiness), moments before his statement.

    ''There is no way back from democracy, freedom of speech and justice here in this country,'' he added.

    In a press conference outside the courthouse, Fikret Duran, an attorney for Hidayet Karaca also rejected the decision, claiming that there hadbeen no independent trial process.

    ''This incident is a black mark for Turkish justice and press history,'' he said.

    Before the decision, dozens of people gathered outside the courthouse holding Turkish flags and carrying Zaman newspapers and banners reading: ''Free press cannot be silenced.''

    A police operation was launched on Sunday against senior media figures and police officers in 13 provinces acrossTurkeyfor allegedly being affiliated with what the government describes as the "parallel state," a purported group of bureaucrats embedded in the country's institutions, including the judiciary and the police.

    More than 20 suspects were taken into custody in the operation. All the detainees were alleged to be linked with U.S.-based Islamic preacher Fethullah Gulen and his so-called Gulen movement.

    They were charged with forgery, fabricating evidence and forming an alleged crime syndicate to overtake the sovereignty of the state. Gulen has rejected the accusations.

    In December 2013, an anti-graft probe targeted a number of high-profile figures, including the sons of three former government ministers, and leading Turkish businessmen.

    The government has denounced the probe as a "dirty plot" constructed by the "parallel state."

    Since then, hundreds of police officers have been detained on charges of eavesdropping on Turkey's top officials, disclosing highly sensitive information, forming and belonging to an organization to commit crime, violating privacy, illegally seizing personal information and the forgery of official documents.
    18
  • Instagram now worth $35 billion
    20.12.2014 10:00
    http://img.sia.az/news/2014/siaphoto_450353.jpg
    http://img.sia.az/news/2014/siaphoto_450353.jpg
    Instagram could be worth $35 billion, according to a new report from Citigroup on Friday.

    The new figure that the bank called ''conservative'' is almost double Citigroupв's previous valuation of $19 billion.

    Facebook bought the image-sharing service for $1 billion in 2012, which now seems like quite a bargain.

    In Citiв's note to investors released Friday, the experts claimed Instagramв's shining new valuation was "due to faster audience growth as well as continued monetization gains by social media properties."

    Instagram, which had no revenue when it first went online four years ago, recently added advertising and now features a spattering of sponsored posts from brands in usersв' feeds. Since visuals have long been essential for marketing, however, Instagram is a natural match for advertisers.

    ''While Instagram is still early in monetizing its audience and data assets and its financial contribution to FB is minimal today,'' the Citi team wrote, ''we believe that it is quickly gaining monetization traction and would contribute more than $2bn in high margin revenue at current user and engagement levels if fully monetized.''

    Instagram announced Dec. 10 that more than 300 million users were now on the social network.

    ''Over the past four years, what began as two friends with a dream has grown into a global community that shares more than 70 million photos and videos each day,'' wrote Instagram CEO Kevin Systrom in a blog post.

    The 300 million figure makes Instagram bigger than Twitter, which counted 284 million monthly active users earlier this fall.

    With Citiв's numbers, Instagram is also now worth far more than Twitter, which was recently valued at around $24 billion a year after its initial public offering.

    Citi estimates that Instagram is worth about 16 percent of Facebookв's towering valuation of $221 billion.
    17
  • Iranian administration plans to reduce bank interest rates
    20.12.2014 09:39
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2013/09/25/bank_250913.jpg
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2013/09/25/bank_250913.jpg
    Baku, Azerbaijan, Dec.19

    By Fatih Karimov - Trend:

    The Iranian administration plans to reduce bank interest rates, the country's Finance and Economic Affairs Minister Ali Tayyebnia said.

    He said the issue is being discussed by the cabinet of ministers, Iran's IRNA news agency reported on Dec. 19.

    Considering that the inflation rate has decreased from 40 percent to 17 percent, it s expected naturally that bank interest rates to be decreased, as well, he added.

    Previously, the Money and Credit Council decided to lower interest rates to 22 percent for one-year deposits, he noted.

    Iran's Central Bank head Valiollah Seif has said that the country should focus on lowering the inflation rate to keep the bank interest rates low to resolve bank's problems.

    "It's wrong to keep interest rates high due to high inflation rate. The situation in Iran was abnormal, but we are getting better and with low inflation the bank interest rate should decrease more," he said.

    The amount of bad loans in Iran is about $27 billion, while Central Bank of Iran supervisory chief Hamid Tehranfar said on Sep.23 that the national banks owned and operated 500-600 companies, valued at about $70 billion by the end of the last fiscal year, which is 48-49 percent of their total base capital.

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    19
  • Turkeyв's media watchdog fines TV show for dance '˜against public moralityв'
    20.12.2014 09:39
    http:// www.news.az/photos/page-photo/135908.jpg
    http:// www.news.az/photos/page-photo/135908.jpg
    Turkeyв's media watchdog has fined a TV show 410,000 Turkish Liras for "immorality," after it showed husbands dancing with other women while their wives looked on.

    The Radio and Television Supreme Council (RTÜK) fined the popular Kanal D show "Ben Bilmem EЕџim Bilir" (I Don't Know, My Partner Knows) after a game in one of the episodes was found to be "against public morality" and "ruining the family structure," daily Cumhuriyet reported.

    The offending episode was broadcast on Nov. 16 and featured male contestants dancing, sometimes closely, with a group of foreign women, as the men's wives or girlfriends watched. The female contestants were seen exclaiming, "Really? Is this a joke? I will kill him," in the studio as they looked on.

    The RTÜK ruling said the scene that was played out on screen "encouraged men to cheat on their wives and provided an environment that would harm family tranquility." It added that the show "degraded women to the level of a sexual object."

    RTÜK also raised eyebrows last month after it fined private station ATV for broadcasting a drama that featured a scene involving a kiss that it described as "lip-o-suction."
    12
  • President awards group of experts in field of sport
    20.12.2014 09:30
    http:// www.news.az/photos/page-photo/135905.jpg
    http:// www.news.az/photos/page-photo/135905.jpg
    An executive order was signed.

    Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev signed a decree on awarding honorary titles to a number of experts in the field of sports on Thursday.

    Oxu.Az reports with reference to Trend that according to the order, Aliomarov Magomed Aliomarovich, Jafarov Vagif Mammadali oglu, Hasanov Suleiman Musa oglu, Ismayilov Chingiz Mamed oglu awarded the honorary title "Honored Worker of Physical Culture and Sports "; Atakishiyev Akif Ali oglu and Shahbazov Shamseddin Ibrahim oglu - the honorary title "Honored Teacher" for their merits in the development of physical culture and sports in Azerbaijan.

    By another presidential decree Hasanov Rafig oglu Binnat and Useynov Mamed Bagir oglu are granted personal pension of the President of Azerbaijan for their merits in the development of sport in Azerbaijan.

    The Cabinet of Ministers was empowered to solve issues arising from this order.
    14
  • Obama imposes new sanctions on Russia, bans economic ties with Crimea
    20.12.2014 09:24
    http:// www.news.az/photos/page-photo/135904.jpg
    http:// www.news.az/photos/page-photo/135904.jpg
    U.S. President Barack Obama has signed an executive order on new sanctions against Russia.

    The White House released a special statement on Friday, saying that the document introduces a ban on trade ties with Crimea, ITAR TASS reports.

    The executive order "prohibits the export of goods, technology, or services to Crimea and prohibits the import of goods, technology, or services from Crimea, as well as new investments in Crimea," according to the White House statement.

    The executive order also authorises the Secretary of the Treasury to impose sanctions on "individuals and entities operating in Crimea."

    According to the American administration, the executive order should give a corresponding message to the U.S. businesses and confirm that the United States does not recognise Crimea's reunification with Russia.

    Obama said, "I again call on Russia to end its occupation and attempted annexation of Crimea, cease its support to separatists in eastern Ukraine, and fulfil its commitments under the Minsk agreements."

    The U.S. president said his administration would continue close co-ordination with its allies and partners in Europe and worldwide for working out concerted policy in response to the developments in Ukraine and in support of the country's sovereignty and territorial integrity. "We will continue to review and calibrate our sanctions, in close coordination with our international partners, to respond to Russia's actions," Obama's statement reads.
    12
  • Ilham Aliyev allocates AZN 4m for road construction
    20.12.2014 09:05
    http:// www.news.az/photos/page-photo/135902.jpg
    http:// www.news.az/photos/page-photo/135902.jpg
    The Ministry of Finances has instructed to ensure financing.

    President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev signed a decree on measures on construction of Gusarchay-Pirguluoba-Yeni Hayat in Khachmaz region.

    Oxu.Az reports with reference to Trend that AZN 4m will be allocated to the Khachmaz district executive power from the Reserve Fund of the President envisaged in the state budget for 2014 for construction of Gusarchay-Pirguluoba-Yeni Khayat highway in Khahchmaz connecting six settlements with a population of 8000 people.

    The Ministry of Finance is empowered to ensure funding in the duly manner.
    14
  • New well commissioned on Guneshli field
    20.12.2014 09:05
    http:// www.news.az/photos/page-photo/135903.jpg
    http:// www.news.az/photos/page-photo/135903.jpg
    SOCAR has spread a statement.

    Well No 216 has been commissioned at the 5th deepwater jackets factory of the Guneshli field after major repair.

    According to Oxu.Az, the due information was spread by the State Oil Company (SOCAR).

    The daily output of the well is 85,000 tons and 11,000 cubic meters of gas.

    The operation works on the well are held by the Oil and Gas Producing Department '28 May'.
    11
  • Retail trade turnover increases in Kazakhstan
    20.12.2014 08:39
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2012/09/07/kazakhstan_flag.jpg
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2012/09/07/kazakhstan_flag.jpg
    Astana, Kazakhstan, Dec.18

    By Daniyar Mukhtarov - Trend:

    The retail trade turnover in Kazakhstan has increased by 42 billion KZT and stood at 578 KZT (181.7 KZT = $1) in November 2014, the country's Ranking.kz analytical service said.

    "On the eve of the New Year, an average urban citizen has spent 60,000 KZT, or 4,000 KZT more than in October," Ranking.kz said.

    The analytical service said that retail sales have increased in 14 regions of Kazakhstan in November. The highest growth rates were recorded in the provinces of Zhambyl (an increase by 29 percent - 21 billion KZT), Atyrau (18 percent - 17 billion KZT) and East Kazakhstan (17 percent - 58 billion KZT), according to Ranking.kz.

    "Megalopolises accounted for one third (194 billion KZT) of all retail sales. The average check per urban citizen has increased by 7.8 percent in a month and 20 percent in a year," the analytical service said.

    The most expensive average checks were recorded in the city of Almaty (91,400 KZT), Almaty province (75,500 KZT) and North Kazakhstan province (71,200 KZT), said Ranking.kz.

    Edited by CN

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    13
  • US approves $3 billion sale of tanks, armored vehicles to Iraq
    20.12.2014 07:31
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2014/02/03/iraqi_tanks_030214.jpg
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2014/02/03/iraqi_tanks_030214.jpg
    The US State Department has approved possible sales of tanks and armored vehicles worth approximately $3 billion to Iraq, where Islamic State extremists have been active, the US Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) has revealed.

    "The State Department has made a determination approving a possible Foreign Military Sale to Iraq for M1A1 Abrams tanks and associated equipment, parts and logistical support for an estimated cost of $2.4 billion," the DSCA said in a press release Friday.

    Another press release, issued by the agency on the same day, said that the US State Department has also approved "Foreign Military Sale to Iraq for M1151A1 Up-Armored High Mobility Multi-Purpose Wheeled Vehicles [Humvees] and associated equipment, parts and logistical support for an estimated cost of $579 million".

    Sunni volunteers from Mosul take part in military training as they prepare to fight against militants of the Islamic State on the outskirts of Dohuk province December 8, 2014.

    According to the DSCA, the two sales will "contribute to the foreign policy and national security of the United States" and also directly support the Iraqi government and serve the interests of the people of Iraq.

    According to the US State Department, around five US government and one hundred contractor representative till travel to Iraq "for a period of up to five years for delivery, system checkout, program support, and training", as a part of the process to fulfill the contract for the Abrams tanks and other munitions. The deal for the Humvees will not require American personnel.

    The DSCA assured that the US provision of weapons will not alter the basic military balance in the region, but will better enable the Iraqi military to mobilize and defend itself.

    The United States partnered with the Iraqi government and over thirty other nations in September to oppose the Islamic State, a radical Sunni group also known as the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) or the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), that currently controls significant portions of the Iraqi and Syrian territories.

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    18
  • Israel conducts airstrike on Hamas in Gaza
    20.12.2014 07:29
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2012/06/01/Israel_airplane_VVS_albom_010612.jpg
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2012/06/01/Israel_airplane_VVS_albom_010612.jpg
    The Israeli military forces have conducted the first airstrikes on targets in Gaza Strip after the August ceasefire agreement, the BBC Israel reports.

    Residents of the Khan Yunis area in Gaza reported hearing two explosions, the Associated Press news agency said.

    The attack was carried out on a Hamas infrastructure site in response to a rocket, fired from Gaza several hours earlier, a statement from the Israeli defense reads.

    No casualties were reported as a result of the attack.

    On July 7, Israel launched Operation Protective Edge against Hamas's military infrastructure in Gaza. Over 50 days of hostilities, 2,100 Palestinians and 73 Israelis lost their lives.

    Israel and Palestine agreed on an open-ended ceasefire, brokered by the Egyptian government, on August 26.

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    12
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