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Ways to Help Underachieving Boys Succeed in School
11.02.2013 09:04
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.


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.


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

The writer is a retired public-school teacher.
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    Tashkent, Uzbekistan, May 30

    By Demir Azizov - Trend:

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    Main opposition Republican Peopleв's Party (CHP) Kemal KД±lД±Г§daroДџlu said the presidential post was currently empty as President Recep Tayyip ErdoДџan used the word ''we'' to refer to the deputy candidates of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) in a rally he held on May 28.

    "I have already said that the presidential post was vacant. I thank ErdoДџan for proving this," said KД±lД±çdaroДџlu on May 29 en route to a rally in the Aegean province of Kütahya, referring to President ErdoДџan's appropriation of the AKP deputy candidates running for parliament in the June 7 elections, Hurriyet reports.

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    Opposition parties have filed complaints to the Supreme Election Board (YSK), criticizing ErdoДџan of holding rallies right before the elections in favor of the AKP. The YSK has rejected all of the complaints to date.
  • Turkey's banking watchdog seizes Bank Asya
    30.05.2015 10:12
    Turkey's Banking Regulation and Supervision Agency (BDDK), the country's banking watchdog, has ruled for the takeover of Bank Asya by the Savings Deposit Insurance Fund (TMSF) Anadolu Agency reported

    The complete takeover announced late Friday follows the bank's partial transfer to TMSF in February.

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    The BDDK said in its statement that Bank Asya's transfer to TMSF came "as a result of investigations within scope of banking law."

    It said "troubles in [Bank Asya's] financial structure, administration and operations pose risks for the depositors, as well as the security and stability of the financial system."

    The TMSF said in a separate statement Friday Bank Asya's banking license had not been canceled at this stage. "Savers -- local or foreigner -- who have engagements with the Turkish banking system do not need to worry about the situation," the fund said.

    In March, the BDDK announced that the TMSF had taken control of a stake in the bank owned by publishing company Surat Basim and construction company Forum Insaat, after the sale of their parent company to a Dutch firm in January was considered as contrary to banking law.

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  • Turkish politician expelled from Belgium party over 1915 events
    30.05.2015 10:11
    A Turkish member of the Belgian parliament was expelled from her political party on Friday for not recognizing the 1915 events concerning Armenians Anadolu Agency reported

    Mahinur Ozdemir, who is the first woman with a headscarf to become member of the Belgian parliament, told Anadolu Agency that she refused to recognize the 1915 events as "genocide" and was later expelled by a committee from her party, the Humanist Democratic Centre (CHD).

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    Ozdemir told Anadolu Agency that CHD President Lutgen wanted her to sign a communique recognizing the 1915 events and told her she would be expelled from the party if she refused.

    She said her response to Lutgen was: "I stand by my opinions on this issue. I will not give up. I stand upright [for the right to] freedom of expression."

    "Unfortunately the Humanist Democratic Centre [Party] took a decision which is incompatible with humanism and democracy, and proved it does not harbor Europe's fundamental value of freedom of expression," Ozdemir said.

    Turkish nationals in Belgium say they experience rising intolerance against a different view of what happened in 1915.

    In a rally event called "Listen to me also", around 3,000 Turkish nationals gathered in Brussels last week and protested the notion that parliamentarians from various countries -- rather than historians -- have voted to determine what is or what is not a genocide, in this case concerning the Armenian deaths in 1915.

    Turkey and Armenia disagree on what happened during the events between 1915 and 1923. Armenia says that 1.5 million people were deliberately killed, while Turkey says the death toll is exaggerated and deaths were a result of relocations and civil strife.

    Armenia has demanded an apology and compensation, while Turkey has officially refuted Armenian allegations over the incidents saying that, although Armenians died during the relocations, many Turks also lost their lives in attacks carried out by Armenian gangs in Anatolia.

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  • Iran gives $730M to restore Lake Urmia
    30.05.2015 10:10
    Tehran, Iran, May 29

    By Mehdi Sepahvand - Trend:

    The Iranian government has allocated 21 trillion rials (close to $730 million) for the current Iranian fiscal year (which started May 20) to operations of restoring Lake Urmia.

    Issa Kalantari, secretary of Lake Urmia Restoration Staff, said that the allocated sum comes within this year's national budget.

    The official said that if not taken seriously, water shortage will destroy Iran in 15 years.

    He mentioned that so far 130 billion of the total 200 billion cubic meters sweet and salt water in Iran has been used up.

    Lake Urmia problem is an example of irregular use of underground water resource, First Vice President Eshaq Jahangiri said May 20.

    Lake Urmia, located in northwest of Iran, measures about 6,000 square kilometers. The lake has already lost 90 percent of its water. The water level in Lake Urmia started decreasing in 1995.

    Kalantari had said earlier over 1.6 quadrillion rials ($57.14 billion based on official rate of 28,000 rials per each USD) is needed for reviving the lake.

    If the needed funds are allocated, the lake could be restored by 2023, Kalantari said.

    However some Iranian experts believe that the measures which maybe efficient in reviving the lake such as prohibiting unauthorized use of surface and groundwater, limiting groundwater use by local farmers and transferring water from other catchments including Araz River are impractical and will lead to serious social tensions.

    Edited by CN

    Follow the author on Twitter: @mehdisepahvand

    Stay up to date with latest Iran news on our specialized Facebook page

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  • Armenia violates ceasefire with Azerbaijan 60 times per day
    30.05.2015 10:09
    Baku, Azerbaijan, May 30


    Over the past 24 hours, the Armenian military 60 times violated ceasefire on various parts of the contact line between Azerbaijani and Armenian troops, said Azerbaijan's Defense Ministry May 30.

    Armenians stationed near the Gulustan, Tapgaragoyunlu villages of Goranboy district, Yarimja, Goyarkh villages of Terter district, Shuraabad, Shikhlar, Yusifjanli, Kangarli, Garagashli, Bash Garvand villages of Aghdam district, Horadiz, Garakhanbeyli, Ashagi Seyidahmadli villages of Fizuli district and Mehdili village of Jabrail district, opened fire on Azerbaijani military.

    The armed forces of Armenia also opened fire on the Azerbaijani positions from the nameless heights in the Goranboy, Khojavand, Fizuli and Jabrail districts.

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

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  • Uzbekistan, S. Korea to build gas chemical facility
    30.05.2015 10:08
    Tashkent, Uzbekistan, May 29

    By Demir Azizov - Trend:

    Uzbekistan and South Korea's GS Engineering amp; Construction inked a memorandum of understanding on a project for construction of a gas chemical complex worth $4.5 billion, a representative of Uzbekistan's government circles told Trend.

    The memorandum was signed during the state visit of Uzbekistan's President Islam Karimov to South Korea on May 27-29.

    The source said the project envisages the creation of capacities for the production of olefins from methanol.

    The gas chemical complex is planned to be built by the GS Engineering amp; Construction and Uzbekistan's National Holding Company Uzbekneftegaz.

    The GS Engineering amp; Construction is one of the general contractors for the construction of the Ustyurt Gas Chemical Complex at Uzbekistan's Surgil field.

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  • Ilham Aliyev congratulates President of Nepal
    30.05.2015 10:07
    President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev has congratulated President of Nepal Ram Baran Jadavu on the Republic Day.

    According to oxu.Az, the congratulatory letter of the head of state reads:

    "On my behalf and on behalf of the people of Azerbaijan I cordially congratulate you and your people on the national holiday-the Republic Day of Nepal. On this remarkable day I extend you my best wishes and wish peace and welfare to the friendly people of Nepal.
  • Gold sales to Switzerland cut Turkeyв's trade gap
    30.05.2015 10:06
    Gold sales to Switzerland have once again helped Turkey narrow its trade gap, this time dramatically to $4.96 billion in April from $7.3 billion for the same month the previous year, according to figures released by the Turkish Statistical Institute (TГ'Д°K) on May 29.

    The 31.9 percent decline followed an increase of 17.2 percent in March, Hurriyet Daily reports.

    The institute valued April exports at $13.4 billion, a 0.2 percent increase year-on-year, while imports were down to $18.4 billion with an 11.1 percent decline.

    The country's exports to the EU, Turkey's main trading partner, declined by 10.4 percent in April to $5.3 billion.

    Switzerland was the main export destination for Turkey in April as the European country bought $1.25 billion worth of goods from the country, some $1.24 billion of which was in gold.

    Some 80 percent of the $1.43 billion gold exports from Turkey was directed to Switzerland. The United Arab Emirates followed by buying almost all of the remaining amount.

    Gold sales jumped 27-fold in April from the same month in 2014, according to a Bloomberg calculation.

    Turkey's foreign trade deficit narrowed in January to $4.31 billion, a 37.5 percent decrease from the same month of the previous year, due to the decrease in oil prices and the rise in gold exports, mainly to Switzerland.

    The top country for Turkey's imports was China at $1.9 billion. "The figure is above estimates. But it was close and we are on the verge of elections which markets tend to avoid sharp moves. That's why market reaction is limited," said Adnan Çekcen, a financial analyst at Destek Securities in Istanbul, while commenting on the trade balance figures.

    "After March, in which we saw a 14.4 percent decrease, there was a 0.2 percent increase in exports. This is important because at least it showed that decline in exports halted. Besides, imports showed a decline at 11.2 percent while it was down near 6 percent in March," Çekcen said. "Many authorities expected a slide in value of Turkish Lira would support our exports but we see it did not come out as expected. This indicates that weak foreign demand, as it was repeatedly pointed by the Turkey's Central Bank, adversely affected exports."

    Çekcen noted that Turkey's exports performance was prone to be affected by geopolitical tensions, especially in its neighbors and trade partners much more than the competitive level of the lira against other currencies.
  • Azerbaijan and Czech Republic to prepare memo of mutual understanding
    30.05.2015 09:31
    Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Czech Republic in Azerbaijan Vitseslav Pivonka visited the Ministry of Energy.

    According to Oxu.Az, at a meeting with Minister of Energy Natig Aliyev, the sides discussed issues of cooperation in energy, transportation, gas and electricity production.

    During the meeting it was suggested to prepare a Memorandum of Understanding on energy cooperation between the Ministry of Energy of Azerbaijan and the Ministry of Industry and Trade of the Czech Republic.

    The memo is expected to sign during the visit of the President of the Czech Republic to Azerbaijan in September 2015.
  • Azerbaijan joins Green Card
    30.05.2015 09:27
    ISB has released information.

    The Green Card system will start functioning in Azerbaijan from January 1, 2016.

    Oxu.Az reports citing the Compulsory Insurance Bureau of Azerbaijan that the decision was passed on 28 May at the next session of the General Assembly of the Green Card Bureau Board in Polish Sopota.

    Green Card is an international agreement (policy) on insurance for third party liability, as well as an agreement on mutual recognition of the Agreement of Insurance Police on insurance of responsibity of the transport owners by the agreement member-states.

    Its main goal is to settle the claims of those who suffered in traffic accidents that occurred with the participation of foreign drivers in line with the national legislation of the country where the traffic accident occurred.

    Thus, in line with the agreement on green card, the insurance policy for third party liability issued in any agreement member-state is valid in the territory of any other country that is a participant of this agreement.

    This system acts in 47 countries, mainly European ones and in 48 countries together with Azerbaijan.
  • Russian Energy Ministry considers necessary to cut crude oil supplies to Belarus
    30.05.2015 09:26
    As TASS reported earlier Belarus is not fully meeting its commitments on oil products supplies to the Russian market due to unfavorable pricing environment

    The Energy Ministry considers necessary to cut Russia's crude oil supplies to Belarus due to non-performance of oil products supplies to Russia by the country, Energy Minister Alexander Novak said Friday.

    "The Government will make decision. We assume supplies should be adjusted with account of what is not fulfilled [by Belarus - TASS],it is spelt out in our agreement," he said.

    As TASS reported earlier Belarus is not fully meeting its commitments on oil products supplies to the Russian market due to unfavorable pricing environment. According to the Energy Ministry, "the Russian side has the right to cut volumes of oil stock supplied to the Republic of Belarus via pipelines in the planned quarter in case of a shortfall in delivery of motor gasoline in the volume exceeding 10% from the agreed delivery schedule" pursuant to the agreements. Russia's enforcement of the law will be considered in June 2015 when setting the schedule of oil delivery via cross-country pipelines outside Russia for the third quarter of 2015, the Ministry said.
  • Hollande: France to remain committed to its obligation as MG co-chair country
    30.05.2015 09:01
    French President François Hollande has sent a letter of congratulations to Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev on the occasion of May 28 '" Republic Day, APA reports.

    The letter reads as follows:

    Dear Mr President, I sincerely congratulate you on the occasion of your country's national holiday - Republic Day and wish peace, prosperity and tranquility for the people of Azerbaijan. I extend my gratitude once again for the hospitality shown during my visit to Baku on April 25.

    I'm more than happy with the growing bilateral cooperation that relies on mutual confidence and friendship. I wish our mutual partnership further develops and diversifies. The Azerbaijani-French University, whose basic principles we agreed on during my latest visit to your country, is extremely important in terms of offering benefit for the two countries' youth.

    I assure you that as an OSCE Minsk Group co-chair country, France will remain committed to its obligation on a peaceful resolution to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, which has been continuing since long ago and is a major obstacle on development in the Caucasus region.

    As I noted at the Riga Summit of the Eastern Partnership, I am of the opinion that EU-Azerbaijan relations should continue and strengthen on the basis of mutual respect. In these terms, I wish negotiations aimed at modernizing a strategic partnership are soon achieved.
  • Crowds gather for anti-Islam demonstration outside Phoenix mosque
    30.05.2015 08:08
    (Please, note: Paragraph 2 contains language that may offend readers)

    About 75 protesters, some armed, gathered on Friday in Arizona outside a mosque for an anti-Islam demonstration featuring cartoons of the Prophet Mohammad, weeks after a similar event in Texas came under attack from two gunmen, Reuters reported.

    The event outside the Islamic Community Center of Phoenix, targeted in part because the two Texas gunmen had worshipped there, was organized by an Iraq war veteran who posted photos of himself online wearing a T-shirt with the slogan "F*ck Islam" (edited) on it and waving the U.S. flag.

    "This is in response to the recent attack in Texas," organizer Jon Ritzheimer wrote on his Facebook page, suggesting demonstrators should come with weapons in case the First Amendment "comes under much anticipated attack."

    Outside the mosque, amid a high police presence, demonstrators shouted condemnations of Islam, calling it a "religion of murderers," while about 130 counter-protesters assembled, some chanting, "Love your neighbor."

    More than 900 people responded on the event's Facebook page that they would take part in the demonstration, and by 6 p.m. local time (0100 GMT on Saturday) police were expanding their presence in anticipation of growing crowds. Officers with riot helmets and gas masks formed a cordon for several blocks.

    Caricatures of the Prophet Mohammad, which many Muslims view as blasphemous, have been a flashpoint for violence in Europe and the United States in recent months where those displaying or creating such images have been targeted by militants.

    Meanwhile, anti-Muslim groups have been active in the United States, buying ads and staging demonstrations characterizing Islam as violent, often citing the murderous brutality of Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria.

    The Phoenix mosque targeted on Friday has condemned such violence, and held a series of sermons at Friday prayers last year by an imam who criticized militant Islamist groups like Islamic State, al Qaeda and Nigeria's Boko Haram.

    The president of the center urged worshippers not to engage with the demonstrators.

    "We should remind ourselves that we do not match wrongness with wrongness, but with grace and mercy and goodness," Usama Shami told worshippers during Friday afternoon prayers.

    Phoenix police planned to have a presence throughout the neighborhood where the mosque is situated, said spokesman Sergeant Trent Crump.

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  • Major part of construction of large tunnel completed in Turkey
    30.05.2015 07:41
    Baku, Azerbaijan, May 30

    By Rufiz Hafizoglu - Trend:

    As many as 75 percent of the construction of one of the largest tunnels in Turkey that will run under the Bosporus has been completed, Turkish Vatan newspaper reported.

    Eurasia tunnel that is under construction in Turkey, will be commissioned by 2016. The tunnel's construction is carried out at a depth of 95 meters.

    Eurasia tunnel will link the Kazlicesme and Goztepe districts of Istanbul and reduce the travel time between them from 100 minutes to 15 minutes.

    The project cost will exceed $2 billion.

    Turkey's General Directorate of Highways said that 187 tunnels have been constructed in the country and the length of 113 of them exceeds 500 meters.

    The length of 28 tunnels reaches one kilometer, 14 tunnels - over two kilometers and three tunnels - three kilometers.

    The length of the largest tunnel in Turkey exceeds three kilometers. The length of the rest of the tunnels is up to 500 meters.

    Edited by SI


    Follow the author on Twitter: @rhafizoglu

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  • Sarkozy renames UMP party 'The RГ©publicains' in bid for fresh start
    30.05.2015 03:28
    Former French president Nicolas Sarkozy on Friday announced that the name change was official after 83 percent of members voted in favour of it in an electronic poll, France 24 reported.

    Sarkozy and other top UMP leaders have been marred by legal and financial scandals and are hoping for a new start as they gear up for the 2017 presidential race.

    "'The Reacute;publicains' is not just a new name for a party. It's a rallying call to all who are distressed to see the Republic decline day after day and who want to stop this decline," Sarkozy said in a message on the party's new website

    Sarkozy, 59, returned to frontline politics last year and is expected to make a new bid for France's top job in two years' time.

    He left the Elyseacute;e Palace in 2013 as one of France's least popular presidents, and was immediately hounded by allegations related to campaign funding irregularities.

    While his much-heralded comeback has been slowed by the accusations swirling around him and other party figures, Sarkozy's party gave the ruling Socialists a drubbing in local elections last month.

    It was nevertheless unclear if the new name would help Sarkozy and the UMP turn a new leaf.

    Just 46 percent of UMP members took part in the online vote to rename the party, and many non-affiliated voters in France have expressed indignation at the move.

    A party congress will take place in Paris on Saturday, with Sarkozy set to give the closing speech.

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  • Six people killed, eight wounded in rocket attack in Libya's Benghazi: official
    30.05.2015 02:09
    Six people were killed and eight wounded when a rocket hit a residential district in the eastern Libyan city of Benghazi on Friday, officials said, Reuters reported.

    An army commander blamed Islamist fighters for the rocket strike. Fighting for control of the country's second-largest city has been going on for a year, part of a conflict between former rebels groups who helped topple Muammar Gaddafi in 2011 but now back two rival governments.

    "The army has made much progress and they suffered big losses," said Fadhal al-Hassi, an army commander, referring to the Majlis al-Shura, an umbrella group of mostly Islamist factions. "We had been worried they would take revenge for that and indeed now they fired rockets."

    Army forces backing the official government - based in the east since losing Tripoli to a rival faction - have expelled the Islamists from several districts but don't control the entire city.

    To the east of Benghazi, Islamic State militants attacked a security checkpoint near Derna, an Islamist hotspot, a security official said. Two soldiers were killed and five wounded, he said.

    Islamic State has exploited the security vacuum as the two governments fight each other, with neither side dominating the other. The militants have killed dozens of foreign Christians and attacked oil fields and a luxury hotel in Tripoli.

    In Sirte, a central city seized by Islamic State, the militants expanded their presence by taking over an air base to the south of the city after forces loyal to the Tripoli government pulled out.

    "Forces of the 166th brigade ... relocated so that so-called Daesh fighters captured Qurdabiya air base," said Mohamed El-Shami, a military spokesman in Tripoli. He used a derogatory term for Islamic State.

    He said the brigade had previously requested reinforcements from a Tripoli-based rival parliament which had not arrived.

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  • Afkham condemns terrorist attack in Saudi Arabia
    30.05.2015 01:56
    Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Marzieh Afkham strongly condemned the recent terrorist attack on the prayer worshippers in the city of Dammam, Saudi Arabia, IRNA reported.

    'We stress the need for taking all measures to prevent such incidents and to seriously confront all those who have targeted the regional security and stability and intend to stir the religious differences,' Afkham said on Friday night.

    A suicide bomber blew himself up in the parking lot of a Shiite mosque in Saudi Arabia's Eastern city of Dammam, killing four people.

    The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) Takfiri terrorist group claimed responsibility for the deadly attack, the second in the country's Shiite-populated East in just one week.

    Stay up to date with latest Iran news on our specialized Facebook page

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  • Islamic State suicide bomber in women's garb kills three in Saudi Arabia
    30.05.2015 00:54
    An Islamist militant suicide bomber disguised as a woman blew himself up outside a Shi'ite mosque in eastern Saudi Arabia on Friday, killing himself and three other people, the second attack of its kind in the world's top oil exporter in one week, Reuters reported.

    The bombing, which was claimed by Islamic State, could further escalate sectarian strife in the kingdom, where anti-Shi'ite sentiment has been stoked by a military campaign against Iranian-allied Houthi militias in neighboring Yemen since March.

    The Interior Ministry said a suicide bomber disguised in women's clothes blew himself up outside the al-Anoud mosque's entrance in the city of Dammam during noon prayers.

    Witnesses said a suicide bomber, who wore an Abaya used by women in Saudi Arabia, blew himself up in the mosque's parking lot when guards searching worshippers became suspicious of him.

    The ministry said four people, including the bomber, were killed in the blast, which also set several cars ablaze.

    Residents circulated pictures of the body of a man believed to be the suicide bomber as well as pictures of black clouds of smoke billowing over a parking lot outside the mosque.

    Video posted on social media showed the congregation inside the mosque reacting with shock and alarm to the noise of the explosion outside the building.

    An Islamic State statement named the suicide bomber as Abu Jandal al-Jizrawi and said he had managed to reach his target despite heightened security.

    Islamic State claimed responsibility for a suicide bombing last week at a Shi'ite mosque in al-Qadeeh village, near al-Qatif city, that killed 21 and wounded nearly 100 in the bloodiest militant attack in the kingdom in years.

    Saudi Arabia, which is leading an Arab coalition in a campaign against the Houthis who have seized power from Yemeni President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi, had sought to calm sectarian tensions.

    Saudi Arabia's King Salman has denounced the al-Qadeeh bombing and promised to punish anyone linked to it. King Salman also sent Crown Prince Mohammed bin Nayef to convey condolences to the families.

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  • Cuba removed from US terror list
    29.05.2015 23:23
    Cuba was removed from a U.S. terrorism list on Friday - a key demand from Havana as the Cold War rivals work to re-establish diplomatic relations, Anadolu agency reported.

    "The rescission of Cuba's designation as a state sponsor of terrorism reflects our assessment that Cuba meets the statutory criteria for rescission," State Department spokesman Jeff Rathke said in a statement.

    He added that while Washington continues to have "concerns and disagreements with a wide range of Cuba's policies and actions", they do not contribute to the terror designation.

    President Barack Obama ordered the State Department to review Cuba's designation last December, and Secretary of State John Kerry recommended that Havana be removed from the list in April, setting in motion a 45-day congressional review period that expired Friday.

    The communist island nation was placed on the list in 1982 because of what Washington said were efforts "to promote armed revolution by organizations that used terrorism".

    Cuban President Raul Castro said earlier this month that his country's removal from the terror list would be followed by an exchange of ambassadors.

    It's unclear when that might happen, but White House spokesman Eric Schultz on Thursday told reporters, "we're much closer to reestablishing relations and reopening embassies".

    Castro and Obama held an historic meeting at the Summit of the Americas in Panama in mid-April in the first such meeting between American and Cuban leaders in decades.

    The U.S. and Cuba have held four rounds of talks aimed at re-establishing relations, the most recent of which concluded last Friday.

    Diplomatic relations between the U.S. and Cuba were severed more than 50 years ago in 1961 after communist guerillas toppled the former Cuban President Fulgencio Batista.

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  • Gazprom awaits govв't change in Turkey
    29.05.2015 21:42
    Baku, Azerbaijan, May 29

    By Rufiz Hafizoglu - Trend:

    The project of Russian gas supplies via the Turkish Stream, which Gazprom seeks to impose on Europe, is daily facing new obstacles, including ones in Turkey.

    One of the obstacles is the fact that despite the announcement about the start of implementation of this project by the Russian side, Turkey does not have any commitments on the construction of the Turkish Stream.

    The Ambassador of Turkey in Russia, Umit Yardim confirmed that Ankara has no obligations to Moscow on the construction of the Turkish Stream. He said that Russia and Turkey have not signed any agreement regarding this project.

    Besides there are many other obstacles in the way of implementation of the Turkish Stream.

    Even in case of construction of this pipeline to Turkey, the Turkish Stream has no prospects beyond this country. The reason is that there are no buyers of gas planned to be supplied via this pipeline.

    Moreover, there are many problems that Gazprom is not going to resolve quickly.

    It turns out that Gazprom has not even appealed to Turkish authorities for permission to build the Turkish Stream.

    Gazprom still needs to obtain permission from the Energy Market Regulatory Authority of Turkey. Neither sale of oil and gas on the territory of Turkey nor transportation of hydrocarbons through its territory is possible without its license.

    And, the ministry has not received any requests from Gazprom regarding the assessment of the impact of the Turkish Stream gas pipeline construction on the environment, the Turkish Ministry of Environment and Urban Planning told Trend.

    It is impossible to implement any project in Turkey without this assessment.

    So a simple question arises: Is it possible that such a serious corporation as Gazprom is unaware that the permission of at least two official instances of Turkey is necessary for construction of the Turkish Stream or for implementation of any energy project in this country? Of course not. Then why hasn't Gazprom taken these steps to date?

    There is a simple answer: Russia has taken a wait-and-see position, since Turkey will hold parliamentary election on June 7 and it is too early to talk about its results.

    Even if the ruling Justice and Development Party wins, a new government will be formed in the country.

    The new cabinet of ministers will no longer have the key figures from the current government, as well as the country's energy and natural resources minister, Taner Yildiz, whom Russia had to face on the issue of realization of a number of energy projects. According to the charter of the Turkish ruling party, one person can not be represented in the Cabinet more than three times.

    If the majority in Turkey's new government is composed of representatives of other political forces, Russia will have to hold negotiations again.

    Some 20 political parties are to take part in the current parliamentary election in Turkey.

    And this is why Gazprom lingers...

    Edited by CN


    Rufiz Hafizoglu is the head of Trend Agency's Arabic news service, follow him on Twitter: @rhafizoglu

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  • Serbia signs up for Baku 2015 European Games coverage
    29.05.2015 21:41
    Baku, Azerbaijan, May 29


    Baku 2015 has signed a broadcast deal ensuring that viewers in Serbia will be able to tune into the inaugural European Games from 12-28 June, according to Baku 2015 First European Games Communications Team press release.

    The Games will be shown on the public free-to-air broadcaster Radio Television Serbia (RTS), which holds the rights to the Olympic Games as well as UEFA Champions League football. The network has a reach of three million households across the country.

    Mr Simon Clegg, Chief Operating Officer of Baku 2015, said: "Baku 2015 set out to secure the widest possible coverage of the inaugural European Games to help establish a viable brand, and share the excitement with as many viewers as possible, in Europe and beyond.

    "This latest agreement shows the great enthusiasm for the Games, and I am delighted that fans in Serbia will be able to follow their athletes. Serbia has a strong sporting tradition, and we expect great things from their competitors next month in Baku."

    Mr Vladan Ckrkic, RTS Programme Director, added: "We have always supported the promotion of sports, and are very glad to be part of such an event, especially the inaugural edition."

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

    There will be a total of 20 sports at Baku 2015: 16 Olympic sports and four non-Olympic sports. Almost 6,000 athletes from across Europe will be representing their nations over 17 days of competition.

    Twelve of the sports will offer qualification opportunities for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games. Those sports include Archery, Athletics, Boxing, Cycling, Judo, Shooting, Swimming, Table Tennis, Taekwondo, Triathlon, Volleyball and Wrestling.

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

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  • Good progress made over removal of anti-Iran sanctions in Iran N-talks: Iranian official
    29.05.2015 21:29
    A senior Iranian nuclear negotiator says good progress has been made on the issue of the removal of the anti-Iran sanctions during nuclear talks between the Islamic Republic and the P5 1, Press TV reported.

    Hamid Ba'eedinejad, who is also the director general for political and international affairs at Iran's Foreign Ministry, made the remark in an exclusive interview with Press TV in the Austrian capital, Vienna, on Friday.

    He did not provide specifics.

    Ba'eedinejad, who has been in Vienna for talks with the P5 1, is now heading to the Swiss city of Geneva to join Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and other members of the Iranian nuclear negotiating team for the continuation of the talks there.

    During the Press TV interview, he also said that the idea of foreign access to the country's military sites has never been on the agenda of negotiations between the Islamic Republic and six world powers over Iran's civilian atomic activities, Press TV reports.

    "In fact, inspection of military installations has never been on agenda in our negotiations. As we have made it very clear, we never accepted that there could be inspections from the military sites in our country," he said.

    "But, there are very clear rules and regulations which are defined within the Additional Protocol, whichhellip; define in concrete termshellip; what are the regulations and conditions that such an access could be requested by the [International Atomic Energy] Agency and what are the rights of the state parties in response to these concerns," he added.

    The senior Iranian official said that Tehran and its negotiating partners are not contemplating an extension of Iran's nuclear talks beyond the June 30 deadline.

    Earlier on Friday, Seyyed Abbas Araqchi, who is Iran's deputy foreign minister for legal and international affairs, made similar remarks about the issue of visits to Iranian military facilities and interviews with Iranian nuclear scientists.

    "We have fully informed the opposite [negotiating] side that this (the issue of inspections and interviews) will never be on the agenda" of the negotiations, he said.

    On May 20, Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei said Iran will not allow any inspections by foreign countries of its military sites. He also stressed that foreigners will not be permitted to interview Iranian scientists in the nuclear domain and "other sensitive majors."

    Araqchi said the Leader's remarks are "a decisive and serious guideline" for the Iranian negotiating team.

    Iran and P5 1 have been negotiating to reach a comprehensive deal over the Islamic Republic's peaceful nuclear program. In recent rounds of the talks, the two sides have been working on the text of the possible deal.

    Stay up to date with latest Iran news on our specialized Facebook page

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  • 10 Public Figures Who Arenв't Running for President
    29.05.2015 20:36
    With the entrance ofВ Rick SantorumВ on Wednesday andВ George PatakiВ on Thursday morning, the Republican field has grown toeight candidatesВ '" and thatв's not including those, like Jeb Bush, who are all but sure to enter the race but just havenв't formally announced yet. As the field grows, it is perhaps easier to keep track of those who arenв't running than those who are. To that end, the following is a partial list of prominent public figures who have not yet declared their candidacy:

    Tyrion Lannister

    Since he was born in Westeros and not in the United States, Tyrion Lannister is likely ineligible for the presidency. However, ineligibility hasnв't stopped other leaders from attaining high office in the Seven Kingdoms, so donв't count him out just yet.

    Grumpy Cat

    The adorable frowny-faced kitty remains in the public eye '" this fall,В she will appearВ in a comic book. But she has announced no plans to seek the nomination for president.

    SchrГ¶dingerв's cat

    SchrГ¶dingerв's cat is both running and not running for president, kind of like Jeb Bush.

    Ronald Reagan

    Ronald Reagan is, technically, dead. But since a number ofRepublican hopefuls cited himВ when asked to name their favorite living president, maybe he still has a shot.

    Taylor Swift

    The posse of heavily-armed celebrity supporters she amassed for her ''Bad Blood'' video would make her a formidable opponent, but at 25, the pop star has ten years before she can legally serve as president.

    Iron Man

    Iron Man has not entered the race, though given the success of Stark Industries he might be a worthy adversary for, say, Donald Trump.

    Dwayne ''The Rock'' Johnson

    The RockВ has saidВ he may run for president some day, and he has alreadyВ played oneВ on TV. However, he has announced no plans to run in 2016.

    Princess Charlotte

    At 26 days old, the new addition to the British royal family has had ample time to launch a campaign to retake her countryв's former colony. Issues of age and nationality would surely be mere technicalities to her, yet for some reason she has taken no action in this area.

    An almond

    As the California drought continues, water-guzzling almonds have beenВ sharply criticized. But at least so far, no almond has stepped up to defend the speciesв' interests by running for our nationв's highest office.

    Indominus rex

    The genetically engineered dinosaur and star of ''Jurassic World''В is18 feet tall and 50 feet long, with a roarВ as loud as a 747 takeoff. It is not, however, running for president at this time.

    /By The New York Times/
  • Azerbaijan '" one of important regional partners for UK, says Lord Mayor of City of London
    29.05.2015 20:26
    Baku, Azerbaijan, May 29


    Azerbaijan is an important regional partner of the UK, the Lord Mayor of the City of London, Alderman Alan Yarrow said on the eve of his visit to Baku.

    "There are many ways in which we can help each other to expand trade, drive growth and improve bilateral relations," he said.

    "I hope that my visit, and that of the business delegation, opens doors between the Azerbaijani and British business communities, leading to benefits long after the visit has concluded," Alderman Alan Yarrow added.

    He said that there are many opportunities for British companies to work in Azerbaijan, providing advice and expertise in crucial infrastructure, privatization and refurbishment programs.

    The Lord Mayor of City of London, Alderman Alan Yarrow is visiting Azerbaijan this week, the UK embassy said May 29.

    He will bring with him a delegation of British business leaders keen to engage in the region and develop stronger economic ties.

    Alderman Alan Yarrow is expected to take part in the London Stock Exchange financial markets Forum to be held in Baku jointly with Deloitte company.

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  • Aghsu welcomes flame of Baku 2015
    29.05.2015 20:15
    Baku, Azerbaijan, May 29


    The flame of the Baku 2015 First European Games was welcomed to Aghsu by hundreds of local residents.

    At the symbolic gate of the European Games in the region, the flame was accepted by youth activist Elnur Farzalizade.

    Ten torchbearers then started their route and carried the flame into Heydar Aliyev park to the sound of wild applause.

    Director of Agshu District Children and Youth Sports School Jamil Atakishiyev lit the flame of the European Games. The flame was then transferred to a commemorative lamp that will remain lit in Heydar Aliyev Center until the end of the Games.

    The event featured a concert, and demonstration of a footage highlighting a ceremony to light the flame of the Baku 2015 First European Games in Ateshgah temple.

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  • Headquarters in connection with European Games to be created
    29.05.2015 20:13
    Baku, Azerbaijan, May 29

    By Huseyn Veliyev - Trend:

    The Ministry of Communications and High Technologies of Azerbaijan will create headquarters in connection with the first European Games 2015 in Baku, Minister of Communications and High Technologies of Azerbaijan Ali Abbasov said May 29 during the meeting of the Operating Committee of the first European Games.

    He said that the headquarters under the ministry will be working around the clock as of June 2 and until the end of the European Games, carrying out control over the quality of telecommunication services provided.

    The minister believes that there are key points that may entail certain problems requiring prompt solution.

    Abbasov mentioned the defense against possible invasion in air space of the country, ensuring a high level of information security, the protection of the radio frequencies, the quality of mobile connection, data services as examples.

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

    There will be a total of 20 sports at Baku 2015: 16 Olympic sports and four non-Olympic sports. More than 6,000 athletes from across Europe will be representing their nations over 17 days of competition.

    Baku was awarded the games by the European Olympic Committees (EOC) in December 2012.


    Follow the author on Twitter: @h_veliyev

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  • All travelers flying by AZALв's flights can enjoy comfortable connections to Europe
    29.05.2015 20:06
    Baku, Azerbaijan, May 29

    By Maksim Tsurkov - Trend:

    Azerbaijan Airlines CJSC has signed special tariff agreement with Air Berlin, the message of AZAL said.

    "We are pleased to announce that according to recently signed special tariff agreement with Air Berlin all travelers flying by AZAL's flights to/from Berlin can enjoy comfortable connections and attractive fares to number of German destinations (Dusseldorf, Nuremberg, Baden-Baden, Stuttgart, Munich etc.) as well as to many points in Western and Eastern Europe (Madrid, Budapest, Zurich, Staatsburg Copenhagen, Warsaw, Krakow, Gothenburg etc.)," the message said.


    Follow the author on Twitter: @MaksimTsurkov

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  • Reasons for OPEC remaining sanguine about oil prices fall
    29.05.2015 19:55
    Baku, Azerbaijan, May 29

    By Aygun Badalova - Trend:

    OPEC unlikely to cut its output target by a meaningful amount at its next meeting on June 5, Tom Pugh, economists at British economic research and consulting company Capital Economics believes.

    The recent rebound in oil prices has taken some of the strain off OPEC members, but prices remain about 40 percent below their level this time last year and some countries are still calling for production cuts, Pugh said in a report obtained by Trend. What's more, there has been much speculation about the potential for closer cooperation between the cartel and Russia."

    "However, most comments from key OPEC ministers seem sanguine and it is not clear that even if they did cut their production target, actual output would fall," he added.

    Economist believes that there are a number of reasons to expect that OPEC, as a whole, will continue to be relatively sanguine about the fall in oil prices.

    "For a start, they may not think that lower prices will be sustained over the long term. Oil prices have already rebounded by about 50 percent," he said.

    At the same time Pugh believes that the richer members of the cartel may even see a period of lower oil prices as potentially working in their favour over the longer term, given the boost it should provide to the global economy and hence to demand.

    "In addition, lower oil prices has already started to undermine non-OPEC supply especially in the US, given the higher costs associated with shale production in particular," he said.

    "Finally, OPEC, lead by Saudi Arabia, has actually been increasing its output over the last few months. Admittedly, much of this extra production is fuelling the additional demand for power in the summer in Gulf countries, but exports are still near record highs," Pugh said in a report.

    Even if the cartel did decide it was in its interests to cut output, cohesion within the group is much weaker than it has been previously, he believes. Moreover, compliance with the OPEC target is likely to remain poor.

    "The upshot is that OPEC's output target appears to act as a floor on production rather than a ceiling," Pugh said.

    OPEC member states will hold the next meeting in Vienna, June 5 to discuss the current situation in the oil market and adopt decisions on the cartel's oil production quota.

    Currently, OPEC's oil production quota stands at 30 million barrels per day.

    OPEC's oil supply has increased by 160,000 barrels per day in April and stood at 31.21 million barrels per day, which is the highest figure since September 2012, according to the International Energy Agency.

    Currently, the oil prices in the market vary within $63 per barrel for North Sea Brent crude and $58 per barrel for the US WTI crude.

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  • Mugam concert fascinates Beijing
    29.05.2015 19:50
    /By AzerNews/

    By Amina Nazarli

    A grandiose musical evening devoted to Azerbaijan Republic Day - May 28 was held in Beijing, China.

    The concert program which saw the performance of several famous Azerbaijani honored artists mesmerized residents of Beijing.As usual, Azerbaijanв's unique musical and poetic phenomenon - Mugam, pleased the audience with its colorfulness.

    They came to listen to Mugam in the performance of one of the most famous khanende (singer): Vusala Radjabova and Mugam trio: Elchin Hashimov (Tar folk instrument), Elnur Ahmadov (kamancha folk instrument) and Siyavush Kerimov (nagara).

    Azerbaijani Mugham was created on the basis of historical and cultural traditions stretching centuries. It is one of Azerbaijan's most valuable cultural and spiritual tribute - Azerbaijan's greatest musical and poetic achievement.

    Azerbaijan is proud of its national music. The country has been able to preserve this art during the hard times of the Soviet Union, when national art forms were out of favor. People gave their lives to save this art form. It was even sent into space as a worthy sample of musical creativity of the world civilization.

    The audience warmly welcomed the performers, who presented beautiful samples of national music to the public.

    A concert performed by Azerbaijani Peopleв's Artist, Mansum Ibrahimov is scheduled for May 31.

    Millions of Azerbaijanis living in Azerbaijan and across the world celebrate May 28, the establishment of the first independent and secular democratic state in the Islamic world - Azerbaijan Democratic Republic.

    Mammad Amin Rasulzade, the brightest and most prominent political figure during those times and ideological leader of the revolutionary nationalist movement in Azerbaijan, declared Azerbaijan's independence on May 28, 1918. It went down in the chronicles of Azerbaijan nation as a great and historic event and marked a glorious page in Azerbaijan's history. In its short period of existence - only 23 months, the ADR returned national consciousness to the Azerbaijani people.
  • Minister not satisfied with activity of mobile operators
    29.05.2015 19:37
    The activity of mobile operators is on a medium level.

    According to Oxu.Az, the statement came from BEGO representative Roman Kilisek who spoke at the session in anticipation of the First European Games in the Ministry of Communications and High Technologies.

    He said there is a need to improve this sphere.

    After that the Minister of Communications and High Technologies Ali Abbasov warned the mobile operators and demanded to eliminate shortages within a short term. The minister said otherwise this may influence the extension of the terms of licenses to mobile operators.
  • Karabakh conflict hinders development of Caucasus region, Hollande says
    29.05.2015 19:35
    Baku, Azerbaijan, May 29


    President of France Francois Hollande has sent a congratulatory letter to Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev on the occasion of the Republic Day.

    "I cordially congratulate you with the national holiday - the Republic Day. I wish the Azerbaijani people peace, prosperity and well-being. I once again express gratitude for the hospitality during my visit to Baku on 25 April," French president said in his congratulatory letter.

    Hollande said he is pleased with the further development of the bilateral cooperation based on the trust and friendship in recent years.

    "I wish more development and diversification of our mutual partnership. Azerbaijan-French University, the main principles of which were agreed by us during my last visit to your country, is very important in terms of benefiting the youth of both countries", said the letter.

    Furthermore he added that as a co-chairing country of OSCE Minsk Group, France will continue being committed to its obligations on the peaceful settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict through negotiations.

    Hollande added that this conflict has been continuing for a long time and hinders the development of the Caucasus region.

    "As I said during the Riga summit of the Eastern Partnership, I support the continuation and strengthening of relations between the European Union and Azerbaijan on the basis of the mutual respect for each partner," said Hollande.

    "From this point of view, I wish the negotiations aimed at modernization of the strategic partnership to start soon," he added.

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  • Summer is here - prepare for June's heat
    29.05.2015 19:34
    /By AzerNews/

    By Laman Sadigova

    Time flies - summer is already breathing hard on our neck now that June is fast approaching.

    And it's good news for those who have already bought new sunglasses and are fully ready to start the beach season: June is going to be hot and sunny but, fortunately, close to the climate norm. In other words, it will be warm enough to walk along the sun-drenched streets and enjoy the beauty of the nature.

    According to predictions and forecasts, average monthly precipitation will also be close to normal, in some places may be slightly above.

    June, in its turn, will please Baku and the Absheron peninsula with average temperatures fluctuating in between 23 and 25 degrees Celsius - which is again close to climate norms. The air temperature at night will be 15-20 degrees, 23-28 in the afternoon, and 30-35 for some of the hottest days (you might want to head to the beach on those).

    It is expected that the average monthly rainfall in Baku and Absheron peninsula will also be close to the climate norm that is 9-12 mm.

    The weather is expected to be stable with no sharp changes.
  • Religious communities to receive financial aid
    29.05.2015 19:33
    10 religious communities have already received the funds allocated

    The State Committee for Work with Religious Organizations has begun allocating financial aid to religious communities, the Committee told APA.

    For this purpose, the State Committee on Friday held a meeting with the chairmen of the 10 religious communities which had received financial aid.

    In accordance with the order signed by President Ilham Aliyev on 27 November 2014, an amount of AZN 2.5 million has been allocated to the State Committee for Work with Religious Organizations from the presidential reserve fund envisaged in the 2014 state budget to provide financial aid to religious communities in order to further heighten spiritual enlightenment and promotion of national-moral values in the country.

    State Committee Chairman Mubariz Gurbanli spoke about the importance of the order signed by President Ilham Aliyev, noting that the allocated funds will be spent on further strengthening spiritual enlightenment and promotion of national-moral values in the country. Gurbanli also said that an assessment commission on the allocation of the financial aid to religious communities has been created, and after discussing projects proposed by communities, the commission makes a decision on allocating funds to communities based on those projects.

    He also added that chairmen of religious communities should also take into account the opinion of their community members on how to use the funds to be given to their community.

    Gurbanli emphasized in his speech the importance of religious enlightenment, saying it's necessary to teach people national-moral and religious values as they actually are.

    He said that the implementation of projects by communities, religious awareness and accurate promotion of national and moral values, and especially the interpretation of religion to young people will have a positive impact on the fight against radicalism.

    Stressing the need to promote the ideology of Azerbaijanism, the committee chairman said Heydar Aliyev turned Azerbaijanism into a state ideology.

    "At present, Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev successfully continues this policy. The Azerbaijani government takes care of religion. Thus, new mosques are being built, historical and religious monuments restored in the country," he said.

    Moreover, Gurbanli stressed the importance of mutual cooperation between heads of religious communities and akhunds and imams, as well as representatives of the Caucasian Muslims Office.

    Head of the religious community of Mushfigabad mosque in Garadag district Ilshad Suleymanov addressed the meeting, expressing gratitude to President Ilham Aliyev on behalf of clerics for his attention and care, as well as the funds allocated to religious communities.

    Head of religious community of Khanum Zahra mosque in Yasamal district Ramiz Teymurov emphasized that the funds allocated to the communities will have a positive impact on the proper promotion of religious awareness among young people. He also added that clerics welcome the president's relevant order and regard it as a historic event.
  • Baku-2015 attraction: Laza, land of mountain waterfalls
    29.05.2015 19:17
    Baku, Azerbaijan, May 29

    By Elchin Huseynov - Trend:

    Gusar district is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Azerbaijan, and not only because of the local Shahdag ski complex.

    Gusar is extremely interesting for its nature and traditions of the people living here.

    For example, the village of Laza is located in the north-eastern spurs of the Main Caucasus Ridge at the foot of the Shah Yaylag high plateau. The surroundings of the village are very picturesque, numerous waterfalls cascade down the cliffs.

    The village is populated by ethnic Lezgins, whose history is linked to the Caucasian Albania, one of the oldest states on the territory of Azerbaijan.

    The village is another interesting attraction for tourists coming into the country for the European Games.

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

    There will be a total of 20 sports at Baku 2015: 16 Olympic sports and four non-Olympic sports. More than 6,000 athletes from across Europe will be representing their nations over 17 days of competition.

    Baku was awarded the games by the European Olympic Committees (EOC) in December 2012.

    Photos by Rufiz Hafizoglu

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  • OIC adopts resolution on Khojaly genocide
    29.05.2015 19:15
    Baku, Azerbaijan, May 29


    The Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) again recognized the Khojaly tragedy as genocide, said the message from the International Secretariat of Islamic Conference Youth Forum for Dialogue and Cooperation May 29.

    During the 42nd session of the OIC Council of Foreign Ministers in Kuwait May 27-28, a delegation led by the head of the Youth Forum for Dialogue and Cooperation Elshad Isgandarov put forward a special resolution.

    In the resolution "On the Islamic Conference Youth Forum for Dialogue and Cooperation" adopted unanimously by the OIC Council of Foreign Ministers, Khojaly tragedy is called as genocide and the OIC member states are urged to make the necessary contribution for recognition of this crime against humanity at the international and national level.

    At the same time, the resolution said that the massacre committed by Armenian armed forces in Azerbaijan's Khojaly city in February 1992 is a crime against humanity and urged OIC member states and its structures to more actively participate in the "Justice for Khojaly" campaign and bring those responsible for this tragedy to justice.

    Moreover, foreign ministers of OIC member states approved a memorandum on cooperation signed between the Islamic Conference Youth Forum for Dialogue and Cooperation and OIC Parliamentary Union in January 2015. They emphasized the necessity of rendering full support to the cooperation of the two organizations within the "Justice for Khojaly" campaign.

    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.

    On February 25-26, 1992, the Armenian armed forces, together with the 366th infantry regiment of Soviet troops stationed in Khankendi committed an act of genocide against the population of the Azerbaijani town of Khojaly.

    As a result of the massacre, some 613 people were killed, including 63 children, 106 women and 70 old people. Eight families were totally exterminated, 130 children lost one parent and 25 children lost both. A total of 487 civilians became disabled as a result of the onslaught. Some 1,275 innocent residents were taken hostage, while the fate of 150 people remains unknown.

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

    Edited by SI

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  • House of Azerbaijani athletes to open in Baku
    29.05.2015 19:12
    /By AzerNews/

    By Nigar Orujova

    Baku continues its preparation ahead of the magnificent sporting event - the inaugural European Games. The city will soon transform into a big sporting venue to make this event unforgettable.

    During the Games the building of the National Olympic Committee will turn into a "House of Azerbaijani athletes", said Chingiz Huseynzade, the vice president of the NOC.

    He added that during the European Games, the building of the NOC will daily organize meetings from 1.00 p.m. to 2.00 p.m. with those Azerbaijani sportsmen who will secure a place on the podium, in a daily celebration of Azerbaijan prowess.

    The meeting will bring together relatives and friends of the athletes, as well as representatives of Azerbaijan and foreign press.

    "The main purpose of these meetings is to present our medal winners not only to Azerbaijan, but also Europe. As part of these meetings, an event will be organized in honor of the International Olympic Day on June 23, which is expected to involve the management of the European Olympic Committee," said Huseynzade.

    Azerbaijan has pinned great hopes on its 320 athletes, who will represent the country during the Games.

    Azad Rahimov, youth and sports minister, earlier voiced belief that Azerbaijani athletes will show good results and win medals at the first European Games in Baku.

    Rahimov noted that all conditions have been created for athletes to achieve good results. ''The state has mobilized a great deal of resources to ensure that they cared for and trained properly.''

    Sport is developing in Azerbaijan and the country is successfully participating in international competitions, including the Olympic Games.

    This yearв's exciting and innovative new multi-sport event in Baku will include 20 sports, 16 of which are Olympic, during the 17 days of competition in June 12-28. 6,000 athletes will prove themselves in Azerbaijanв's capital.

    House of fans

    Moreover, Baku will also enjoy ''the House of Fans'' that will be opened by the Russian Olympic Committee with the assistance of the "Rossotrudnichestvo".

    The unique interactive exposition which is dedicated to sports competitions will be held in Baku this June. Athletes from Russia and Azerbaijan will allow anyone to learn about athletes participating in the Games and discover the thrilling ambiance of high competition.

    President of the ROC Alexander Zhukov said the first European Games is one of the major sporting events of the year, adding Russia will be represented by its strongest athletes.

    The Russian team for Baku 2015 will feature 367 athletes, 317 of whom will contest for medals in Olympic sports.

    The Baku House of fans will be located in the central part of the city, in the building of the Russian Information and Cultural Center at Khojali Avenue, 20.

    The house will be open for fans on June 12-28 everyday from 10.00 a.m. to 9.00 p.m. Entrance to the exhibition is free.
  • MP: Whatever Schulz says, Azerbaijan will hold European Games at high level
    29.05.2015 19:11
    There are some local and foreign forces that envy the development of Azerbaijan. Now we are witnessing anti-Azerbaijani statements and decisions from the European Parliament and its some members.

    Deputy executive secretary of the New Azerbaijan Party, MP Siyavush Novruzov made the remarks on Friday during the parliamentary debate on the draft law on the execution of Azerbaijan's state budget for 2014, APA reports.

    President of the European Parliament Martin Schulz told Speaker of the Azerbaijani Parliament Ogtay Asadov not to take the statements from some MEPs seriously.

    "Now Martin Schulz tore the mask and showed the true face. He invited some people from Azerbaijan to the event titled "Sport and human rights" to be held on June 10. What does it mean? At the Riga summit, Martin Schulz introduced Armenia as a country where democracy flourishes, despite the fact that people were shot and human rights were violated during the elections in this country. If you consider yourself a human rights defender then why don't you discuss the Khojaly genocide at the European Parliament? There is hypocrisy and betrayal. So if the president of the European Parliament demonstrates such an attitude toward the European Games, it means he betrays his own party and opposes to principle of social justice. We should express firm position against these people. Those who are taught by Schulz intend to hold a rally tomorrow, calling for a boycott of the first European Games in Azerbaijan," the MP added.

    Novruzov said the Azerbaijani people unite around the country's president.

    "We have no elder or little brother, we approach to each state equally. Whatever Schulz says, we will hold the European Games at a high level," he noted.
  • National rower seeks to join Rio-de-Janeiro Summer Olympic Games
    29.05.2015 19:11
    /By AzerNews/

    By Amina Nazarli

    Azerbaijanв's rowing team prepares for a serious challenge this May 29 to 31, as it will represent the country at the European Championships in Poznan - Poland.

    One of the athletes partaking in the championship is Aleksandr Aleksandrov, 25, the National Rowing Federation reported. He will represent the country in the single men boat race (M1X) 2,000 meters competition among 20 other sportsmen, including Czech World Champion Ondrej Synek, Lithuanian European Champion Mindaugas Griskonis and Norwegian Olympic champion Olaf Tufte.

    Aleksandr started the year competing in the Presidential Cup test rowing competition in academic, kayaking and canoeing categories which was held in the countryв's Mingachevir region this April. There the young sportsman saw his first victory.

    Talking about his goal, Aleksandr spoke of his ambition to succeed at the World Championships to be held this year in France on August 30-September 6. ''We want to successfully participate in the competition and win a license for the 2016 Rio-de-Janeiro Summer Olympic Games to be held in Brazil'' he said.

    Answering a question on whether or not his fans could see him among the winners, Aleksandr explained that the competition is very tough. ''Itв's hard to say for sure that we will be among the winners at the World Championships. Usually some six-seven boats reach the finish within seconds of each other. But I will not be afraid and I will do all everything to be among the winners,'' the rower said.

    Aleksandr will not compete at the European Games, which will be held in Baku on June 12-28, 2015, as academic rowing is not included in the Games program.

    He expressed his regret on this occasion. ''It would have been better to include this discipline in the Baku 2015 program, especially since we hold this tournament at home. As I see it, the preparation for the Games is very serious. I think everything will be fine. I mean both the organization and level of the tournament.''

    Three more national rowers will race in Poznan. Javid Afandiyev will compete in the single men boat race (LM1X) 2,000 meters together with 17 rivals.

    Duo silver medalist of Nanjing 2014 Youth Olympic Games, Boris Yotov and Igor Luchich will represent the country in the double men boat race (M2X) 2,000 meters competition. Representatives of 21 countries will compete in the same race.
  • Iran says bombing terror attempt nipped in bud
    29.05.2015 19:09
    Tehran, Iran, May 29

    By Mehdi Sepahvand - Trend:

    Iranian Intelligence Minister Mahmoud Alavi said that a bombing attempt in the country has been discovered and prevented.

    A terrorist group in Sistan-Baluchestan Province was found to have on agenda a number of bombing operations in Mashhad in the northeastern Razavi Khorasan province, but all their equipment were discovered and confiscated, he said.

    The Zahedan-based terrorist group had already taken hostage an international fencing athlete, but they were identified and attacked, freeing the athlete, Alavi said, IRNA news agency reported May 29.

    The enemies of the Islamic Republic are using all in their power to challenge the country's security, he noted.

    The entire sedition attempts of enemies have been foiled, Alavi said.

    "Our intelligence coverage has overwhelmed them, wherever they went, they were within the sight of the security forces of the Islamic Republic."

    The intelligence minister stated that there is no blind spot in Iran's intelligence coverage and there is not a single day when an attempt by enemies is not discovered and diffused.

    Last year on the Quds Day, suicide attempts in Shiraz and Zahedan were discovered and foiled, Alavi said.

    In the past year there have been a number of terrorist attempts in Iran, especially in Sistan-Baluchestan and Khuzestan provinces.

    A terrorist group shot dead two soldiers and a teacher in southeastern Iran. Later, Iran said it had disbanded the group.

    Also, Jaish ul-Adl group took several Iranian soldiers hostage last year. Later on it freed all except one, who had been killed under custody.

    Iran has said that the terrorist groups belong to the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).

    Edited by CN

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  • Azerbaijan, Iran want to jointly organize tours
    29.05.2015 19:08
    Baku, Azerbaijan, May 29

    By Ilhama Isabalayeva - Trend:

    Azerbaijan and Iran plan to jointly submit the similar elements of the cultural heritage of the two countries to UNESCO and jointly organize the tours, the Ministry of Culture and Tourism of Azerbaijan said May 29.

    Minister of Culture and Tourism of Azerbaijan Abulfas Garayev has met with Vice-President and Chairman of Iran's Cultural Heritage, Handicrafts and Tourism Organization (ICHHTO) Masoud Soltanifar in Croatia.

    Garayev is in Croatia in order to participate in the meeting of the Executive Council of the UN World Tourism Organization (UNWTO).

    Azerbaijan and Iran were discussing collaboration in the field of tourism at the meeting.

    Iranian Vice President has been invited to Baku for an early signing of a memorandum of understanding in this area.

    Edited by CN

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  • Russiaв's state defense procurement order grows to $31 bln in 2014
    29.05.2015 19:07
    Russiaв's state defense procurement order in 2014 grew by 1.25 times year-on-year reaching 1.6 trillion rubles ($31 billion), Russian Deputy Defense Minister Yuri Borisov has told Rossiya 24 TV channel.

    When the Russian state armament program up to 2020 was launched, it was implemented at 84 or 85%, and 157 out of 3,100 measures under the program were not fulfilled on time due to some reasons, he said, ITAR TASS reports.

    "At the moment, the majority of these measures have been implemented, and over 97% of all the commitments in 2014 have been already confirmed. All the other measures will be completed in the third or fourth quarter [of the year]," he said.
  • Azerbaijani Parliament ends spring session
    29.05.2015 18:55
    The Azerbaijani Parliament has ended its spring session.

    10 meetings were held and 134 laws and decisions adopted as part of the spring session, Parliament Speaker Ogtay Asadov said.

    "During the spring session up to 70 delegations of 165 MPs visited different countries and the parliament received more than 50 delegations of 350 people from different countries and international organizations," he added.

    According to the speaker, the spring session was successful.

    The spring session was declared closed after the national anthem was performed.

    Finally, Asadov wished the Azerbaijani athletes success in the upcoming European Games.
  • Georgian actors to perform famous opera in Baku
    29.05.2015 18:49
    /By AzerNews/

    By Amina Nazarli

    The stage of the Azerbaijan State Academic Opera and Ballet Theater in Baku will host the world famous ''Pagliacci'' opera by Ruggero Leoncavallo on June 6.

    The Theater has invited some leading performers of Georgiaв's Tbilisi State Opera and Ballet, named after Paliashvili, in order to update the performing staff.

    Such representatives of the Georgian opera and ballet as Teymuraz Gugushvili, the Georgian People's Artist, laureate of international competitions and David Kincurashvili, the artistic director, chief conductor will perform on Baku's stage.

    Gugushvili staged in the USA, England, Scotland, Ireland, Spain, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Belgium, Denmark, Holland, Israel, and Turkey. He performed at opera houses in Moscow (Bolshoi Theatre), St. Petersburg (Mariinsky Theater), Kazan, Yekaterinburg, Kiev, and Baku.

    Young and talented vocalist, Azerbaijan's honored artist will perform Nedda from the opera. The opera will also include Honored Artist Jahangir Gurbanov (Silvio), Anton Fershdat (Tonio) and Atesh Garayev (Arlecchino).

    The play will open at 19:00. The address of the venue is Khagani street, 7 and tickets will be sold at 16 and 20 manats.

    Around 1890, when Pietro Mascagni's Cavalleria rusticana premiered, Leoncavallo was a little-known composer. After seeing Mascagni's success, he decided to write an opera in response: one act composed in the verismo style. Leoncavallo claimed that he based the story of Pagliacci on an incident from his childhood: a murder in 1865, the victim of which was one of Leoncavallo family' servant, Gaetano Scavello.

    The murderer was Gaetano D'Alessandro, with his brother Luigi an accomplice to the crime. The incident resulted from a series of perceived romantic entanglements involving Scavello, Luigi D'Alessandro, and a village girl with whom both men were infatuated. Leoncavallo's father, a judge, was the presiding magistrate over the criminal investigation.

    Leoncavallo originally titled his story Il pagliaccio (The Clown). The baritone Victor Maurel, who was cast as the first Tonio, requested that Leoncavallo change the title from the singular Il pagliaccio to the plural Pagliacci, to broaden the dramatic interest from Canio alone to include Tonio (his own role).
  • Turkmenistan starts harvesting campaign
    29.05.2015 18:48
    Ashgabat, Turkmenistan, May 29

    By Huseyn Hasanov- Trend:

    Turkmenistan is actively preparing to harvesting campaign, said the message of the government of Turkmenistan.

    This issue was discussed at the last meeting of the Cabinet of Ministers of the country, said the message.

    Turkmen President Gurbanguly Berdimuhammadov said that the main challenge facing farmers is to collect their harvest of wheat quickly and without losses, according to the message.

    Harvesting in Ahal, Balkan, Lebap and Mary provinces will begin June 3 and in Dashoguz province June 14, according to the schedule.

    Some 1,700 combine harvesters, who will work in two shifts, have been prepared throughout the country. The delivery of wheat to 155 grain handling centers, as well as barns and grain elevators is provided by 6,800 units of vehicles.

    Turkmenistan plans to provide a wheat crop of 1.6 million metric tons in 2015. Turkmenistan first started to export surplus of harvested wheat since 2011.

    Edited by CN

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