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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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    Dalga Khatinoglu is an expert on Iran's energy sector, head of Trend Agency's Iran news service. Follow him on @dalgakhatinoglu

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    9
  • Amanoв's visit to US not confirmed, Iranian source says
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    By Fatih Karimov - Trend:

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    6
  • Worldв's biggest gas field to experience low pressure in early 2020s
    01.08.2015 14:58
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    Tehran, Iran, August 1

    By Mehdi Sepahvand -- Trend:

    If the extraction of gas from the South Pars field continues as it is, the gas will experience decline in pressure by 2023, IRNA news agency reported August 1.

    From that time on, the extraction of gas from South Pars will be possible only by using compressors, the report said.

    However, using compressors can be effective for only 10 years, and therefore it is expected that by 2033, Iran will completely discard the field, unless technological advancements bring new extraction methods.

    The South Pars is the world's biggest gas reservoir. It holds 50 percent of Iran's and eight percent of the world's gas reserves.

    The field is shared by Iran and Qatar. Iran's part of the field holds 13.3 trillion cubic meters of gas in place and 19 billion barrels of oil condensates, of which 9 billion barrels is extractable.

    After the new findings about the life of South Pars, Iran said it has cancelled the plan to install a fourth platform at Phase 12 of the field.

    Phase 12 has been dubbed Iran's biggest development phase of the South Pars.

    Hadi Mir-Bagheri, an official with the Iranian Petropars oil and gas company, said the fourth platform has been put off agenda since the field cannot produce gas for long.

    He added that the maximum output of the phase is estimated to stand at 2.5 billion cubic feet a day.

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

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    6
  • Iran studies possible ways to export gas to Europe
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    Baku, Azerbaijan, Aug. 1

    By Fatih Karimov - Trend:

    Iran is studying possible ways to export gas to Europe, including Nabucco (Nabucco west) and Trans-Anatolian pipeline projects (TANAP), a senior Iranian oil official said.

    The director of international affairs at National Iranian Gas Company Azizollah Ramezani told Mehr News Agency on August 1 that Iran is studying economical and operational conditions for choosing the most economic and the most secure way to export gas to Europe.

    "Based on results of the studies, the best choice will be selected", he said, adding that gas exports to Europe is one of the long-term policies of the Iranian gas industry.

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    Nabucco West project was the rival of the Trans-Adriatic pipeline (TAP) project in competing for the transportation of Azerbaijani gas to European markets, but failed.

    Azerbaijani gas (as well as the potential other gas from Iran, Turkmenistan, etc) would be delivered to Europe through the Southern Gas Corridor by 2020.

    The Southern Gas Corridor consists of South Caucasus Pipeline (Azerbaijan, Georgia), Trans Anatolian Pipeline or TANAP (Turkey) and Trans Adriatic Pipeline or TAP (Greece, Albania, Italy).

    The concept of the Nabucco West project envisaged the construction of 1,300-kilometer pipeline (412 kilometers running through Bulgaria, 469 kilometers - Romania, 384 kilometers - Hungary, 47 kilometers - Austria) from Turkish-Bulgarian border to Austria's Baumgarten.

    Earlier, Ramazani said on July 30 that stretching a gas pipeline from Iran to Europe needs 10 billion euro worth investment.

    He said that so far nothing new has happened regarding gas export to Europe and stressed that as the situation seems ripe, strong will is needed and the sides should pursue talks seriously.

    He pointed out that according to studies conducted by the European Parliament, Iran could export 25 to 30 billion cubic meters of gas to Europe annually.

    Iran has the long-term potential to become one of the world's top gas producers, thanks to its 34 trillion cubic meters of natural gas reserves, or around 18 percent of the world's total, Fitch Ratings said in a report on July 10.

    Iran's current raw gas output stands at 660 million cubic meters per day (mcm/d), but it is planned to increase the figure to 1,100 mcm/d by 2019.

    8
  • ''Gabala'' makes a statement on the scandal in the match against "Apollo"in Cyprus
    01.08.2015 14:47
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    http://apaholding.az/upload/images/photos/apa_logo.png
    Baku-APA. The football club ''Gabala'' made a statement in connection with the scandal that occurred in the match against "Apollo", Cyprus in the third qualifying round of the Europa League.

    The statement reads, APA reports quoting the official website of the club: "The events in the match of the third qualifying round of the Europa League, "Apollo" - "Gabala" are a matter of deep regret. We bring to the attention of the football community that before the match, we informed the management of "Apollo" and UEFA representatives about the importance of taking measures to prevent undesirable incidents. We also informed both parties about the scandals that took place in Cyprus in the matches of the club level and the level of national teams. The captain of our team Javid Huseynov, playing for the national team of Azerbaijan U19, underwent physical pressure from the Cypriot fans during a match against Armenia in Cyprus in 2006. Alas, in this game similar events have occurred. Fans of "Apollo" tried to burn the flag of Azerbaijan, we have immediately protested to Cypriot leadership of the club, as well as to the UEFA representative, demanding to intervene. Only after that they prevented burning the flag. But despite all our warnings, adverse events continued. Fans of "Apollo" insulted the attributes of our country. Always guiding the principles of respect to the opponent, referees, fans, "Gabala" strongly opposes such incidents in sports arenas. In this regard, we urge fans not to give in to provocations and only support our team during the return match on 6 August, 2015."
    5
  • EBRD arranges $300M syndicated loan for Kazakh Railways
    01.08.2015 14:27
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    Baku, Azerbaijan, Aug. 1

    By Elena Kosolapova - Trend:

    Joint Stock Company National Company "Kazakhstan Temir Zholy" (KTZ) has signed a loan agreement with the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) on providing a syndicated financing package of $300 million in support of a comprehensive modernization and restructuring program of the Kazakh railway operator, the message of the company said July 31.

    KTZ is a national railway company which manages railway infrastructure and operates freight and a large share of passenger train services.

    The EBRD will extend $150 million of this amount for its own account and syndicate the remaining $150 million to commercial banks. The syndicate comprises the following banks: Citibank, NA, London branch; Mizuho Bank, Ltd; Socieacute;teacute; Geacute;neacute;rale; Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation; and the Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ, Ltd.

    The signing ceremony took place in the EBRD headquarters in London, in the presence of representatives of the EBRD, KTZ and the Embassy of the Republic of Kazakhstan in the UK.

    The proceeds of the loan will be used to refinance KTZ's eurobonds.

    The total amount of funding proposed by these banks was significantly higher than the required amount for the transaction, which shows high confidence of creditors in the company.

    To date, the EBRD has invested over $7 billion in various sectors of the country's economy. The Bank is the largest investor in the non-oil and gas sectors of the Kazakhstani economy.

    ---

    Follow the author on Twitter: @E_Kosolapova

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    9
  • Turkmenistan completing '˜East-Westв' pipelineв's construction
    01.08.2015 14:11
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    Ashgabat, Turkmenistan, Aug. 1

    By Huseyn Hasanov - Trend:

    The lsquo;East-West' gas pipeline, under construction in Turkmenistan, will link major gas reserves, creating conditions for Turkmen fuel exports to world markets, said the lsquo;Neutral Turkmenistan' newspaper Aug. 1.

    The article's author recalling that the lsquo;East-West' is over 800 kilometers long and has a capacity of 30 billion cubic meters a year, said the pipeline is being built by the divisions of the Turkmen state concerns, Turkmengaz and Turkmennebitgazgurlushyk.

    The pipeline starts at the lsquo;Shatlyk' gas compressor station in the Mary province, and then, running westerly through the Mary and Ahal provinces, it will be connected to the lsquo;Belek' gas compressor station in the Balkan province, said the article.

    "A few months are left for the completion of the construction of the gas pipeline's linear part," said the lsquo;Neutral Turkmenistan'.

    Turkmengaz's Oil and Gas Institute has developed a feasibility study of the construction, and has held engineering, exploration and design works.

    The compressor stations lsquo;Shatlyk' and lsquo;Yzgant', the first two of six other compressor stations, are being designed by the local institute's specialists and developers from Ukraine's VNIPITRANSGAZ.

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    7
  • Australia trying to enter into Iranв's meat market
    01.08.2015 14:04
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2008/06/10/Meat_061107.jpg
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2008/06/10/Meat_061107.jpg
    Australian Food and Agriculture Minister Ken Baston and Iran's Ambassador to Canberra Abdolhossein Vahaji called for strengthening of bilateral cooperation in trade of meat and Australia's sheep export to Iran.

    Statistics of the Agricultural Jihad Ministry shows that last year Iran's dependence on importation of red meat was 10% which has dropped to about 6% with the improvement of the situation of domestic production, Irna reported August 1.

    The Australian website lsquo;Farm Weekly' in a report Saturday referred to the visit of the two officials and noted that trade between Iran and Australia in the export of sheep will strengthen.

    Previously, Iran was one of the major importers of sheep from Australia and imported about three million sheep from that country per year but the trade stopped about four decades ago.

    Referring to Iran's population of 80 million, the report said there is the annual capacity of exporting one million sheep to Iran at present.

    The Australian minister said if the lost market of Iran can be revived it can be considered as an important market for Australia.

    He announced his willingness to visit Iran.

    Currently, Australia is breeding about 14 million sheep and the country is trying to increase the number on the basis of demands it receives.

    In 1992, Australia possessed about 32 million sheep and breeding poultry and sheep is considered as one of the greatest industries of the country.

    According to statistics of Iran's Customs Administration in the past eight months a total of 60 thousand tons of red meat was imported into the country with a worth of $308 million.

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    Follow us on Twitter @
    7
  • Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry: Democracy, human rights and tolerance are last issues Armenia could talk about
    01.08.2015 14:00
    http://apaholding.az/upload/images/photos/apa_logo.png
    http://apaholding.az/upload/images/photos/apa_logo.png
    ''In the wake of an unsuccessful domestic and foreign policy pursued by Armeniaв's junta regime as well as the aggression against Azerbaijan, Armenia is now on the verge of a total bankruptcy''

    Baku - APA. "Although the statements Shavarsh Kocharyan do not deserve a special commentary, we would recommend this person, who is suffering from institutional weakness of memory, goes out and witness the protests raging throughout the country, including capital Yerevan," said Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hikmet Hajiyev in response to Armenia's Deputy FM Shavarsh Kocharyan's statements regarding Azerbaijan, APA reported.

    Hikmet Hajiyev said democracy, human rights, and tolerance are the last issues Armenia could talk about, let alone making statements about other countries.

    "In the wake of an unsuccessful domestic and foreign policy pursued by Armenia's junta regime as well as the aggression against Azerbaijan, Armenia is now on the verge of a total bankruptcy. Armenia, a country whose 50 percent population lives in extreme poverty, foreign debt is several times bigger than its gross domestic product and which is undergoing a demographic crisis, had better look for a real tragedy in the actions of its military dictatorship regime that serves the Armenian fascist ideology "Nzhdekheism" rather than searching for the "mythic genocide", which is so far from historical reality, in other countries' parliaments," said Hikmet Hajiyev.
    8
  • India pushes for OVL access to Farzad-B field to expedite Iran crude payments
    01.08.2015 13:57
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2014/08/16/no_image_found.jpg
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2014/08/16/no_image_found.jpg
    An Indian delegation that visited Tehran last week, following the latter's landmark nuclear deal with six other global players, has discussed ways to expedite crude oil payments of $6.5 billion to the Islamic nation, The Financial Express reports.

    The delegation also held talks with the Iranian authorities on the issue of ONGC Videsh (OVL) getting access to develop the prolific Farzad-B field. The delegation comprised Rajiv Mehrishi, secretary in the department of economic affairs, and Ashutosh Jindal, joint-secretary in the petroleum ministry, and officials from ONGC Videsh.

    Getting access to the Farzad-B assets is vital for OVL to achieve the milestone of producing 20 million tonnes of oil and equivalent (mtoe) by 2018. The Farzad-B field, estimated to have 21.68 trillion cubic feet (tcf) of gas reserves, was discovered by OVL in 2012, but no formal contract to exploit the resources has been signed till date. The US sanctions on Iran prevented both sides from making any headway in commercial exploitation of the reserves, with each blaming the other for the delay.

    Sources said the talks with Iran were "amicable". They added that after the talks with the Hassan Rouhani-led government, Mehrishi is understood discussed with the Reserve Bank of India a feasible route for crude oil payments to Iran. The pending payments for crude oil could happen in tranches. Earlier, state-owned UCO Bank had tied up with Iranian lenders mdash; Parsian, Pasargad, Saman and EN Banks mdash; for the settlements of dues.

    "Nothing concrete has happened as of now. We should be able to come up with some clarity in the next 10 days," an official who visited Iran told FE.

    Indian refiners MRPL, Essar Oil and IOC have been buying crude oil from the Islamic nation. However, the payments could not be routed due to sanctions levied by the US and other Western powers. India, the world's fourth largest oil consumer and also the second biggest buyer of Iranian oil after China, stood with the Islamic nation while it was hit by sanctions.

    Though India drastically cut down its imports from Tehran, in 2014-15, India bought nearly 10-11 million tonne (MT) of crude oil from Iran. In 2009-10, crude oil imports from Iran were to the tune of 21.20 MT, which declined to 18.50 MT in 2010-11; 18.11 MT in 2011-12 and further to 13.14 MT in 2012-13.

    New Delhi settled some bills for crude oil purchases with Tehran in lieu of other exports from India such as Basmati rice. India's Basmati rice exports to Iran constitute around 25% of the total value as well as volume of annual aromatic rice shipment.

    Meanwhile, making strong efforts to secure contracts to monetise the prolific Farzad-B gas field, ONGC Videsh managing director N K Verma is understood to have held dialogues with the National Iranian Oil Company.

    "The first round of talks are positive. It will take some time to make any formal announcements, as issues are under progress," another official privy to the developments told FE.

    India is also willing to offer Iran an integrated package for developing the Farzad-B field, which includes swapping gas from the field with other Iranian gas at Chabahar port and also laying a pipeline for the transportation of the surplus gas to India.

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

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    5
  • SP not expecting devaluation in Azerbaijan until 2019
    01.08.2015 13:13
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2012/08/18/infliation.jpg
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2012/08/18/infliation.jpg
    Baku, Azerbaijan, Aug. 1

    By Ilaha Mammadli - Trend:

    No further devaluation is projected in Azerbaijan during the 2015-2018 forecast horizon, said the international ratings agency, Standard amp; Poor's.

    "After several years of the exchange rate remaining stable, the Central Bank of the Republic of Azerbaijan (CBA) devalued the Azerbaijani manat (AZN) against the US dollar by 33 percent (manat per dollar rate) in February 2015," said the Samp;P. "The decision followed a sustained decline in CBA's foreign-exchange reserves in the preceding months to about $15 billion at the start of February 2015 from $17 billion in November 2014."

    Samp;P also said it expects CBA's foreign-exchange reserves to remain stable through the rest of the year.

    "They continued to decline during February to April but stabilized in

    May," said the ratings agency.

    Samp;P believes that the Azerbaijani manat remains largely pegged to the US dollar, even though CBA announced a move to a regime targeting a euro-dollar currency basket.

    The ratings agency's analysts said the rapid dollarization after the February devaluation will further weaken the already-weak monetary flexibility.

    "As of end-May foreign currency deposits exceeded 70 percent of total

    deposits, a significant increase from 50 percent in January," said the Samp;P.

    The agency also said the CBA's recent lowering the refinancing rate to 3.0 percent from 3.5 percent will not have a significant effect on stimulation of the non-oil growth, support for small and medium size enterprises and

    mortgage lending.

    "At the same time, we also project imports to contract following the devaluation and expect net exports to contribute positively to GDP growth,

    forecast at 2.2 percent in 2015, down from 2.8 percent in 2014," said Samp;P.

    "From 2016, a gradual recovery in consumption and stronger investments will support stronger economic performance, which nevertheless will remain much weaker than during the pre-2008 boom years when it consistently exceeded 20 percent annually," the agency said further.

    Samp;P also added that it forecasts credit growth to reduce to 12 percent this year from 24 percent in 2014.

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    12
  • Azerbaijani oil prices for July 27-31
    01.08.2015 13:07
    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, Aug.1

    By Anvar Mammadov - Trend:

    The average price for AZERI LT, exported from Azerbaijan via the Ceyhan, Batumi and Supsa ports to Italian Augusta port, was $55.08 per barrel on July 27-31, or $2.86 less than the previous week.

    The maximum price for AZERI LT was $55.52 per barrel and the minimum price was $54.02 per barrel during the reporting period.

    The average price for Urals (Ex-Novo) exported from Azerbaijan via the Novorossiysk port stood at $50.73 per barrel or $2.79 per barrel less than the previous week.

    The maximum price for Urals totaled $51.25 per barrel and the minimum - $49.72 per barrel.

    Urals' density is 32 degrees API with 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 $53.84 per barrel or $2.07 per barrel less than the previous week.

    The maximum price for Brent was $54.43 per barrel and the minimum - $52.53 during the reporting period.

    ---

    Follow the author on Twitter: @Anvar_Mammadov

    Follow us on Twitter @
    10
  • SP keeps investment rating of Azerbaijan
    01.08.2015 13:03
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2015/07/31/standart_poors_310715.jpg
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2015/07/31/standart_poors_310715.jpg
    Baku, Azerbaijan, Aug. 1

    By Azad Hasanli - Trend:

    On July 31, 2015, Standard amp; Poor's Ratings Services has kept its lsquo;BBB-/A-3' long- and short-term foreign and local currency sovereign credit ratings on the Republic of Azerbaijan, said the message of the agency published on its website.

    The outlook remains negative, the message said.

    "We could revise the outlook to stable if pressures on Azerbaijan's fiscal accounts abate, for instance as a result of a timely and credible response from the government, while Azerbaijan's external position remains strong," said the agency.

    Samp;P expects Azerbaijan's current account surpluses to persist over the next four years. That said, the surplus will moderate to 2.2 percent of GDP in 2015 from over 13 percent of GDP last year reflecting the oil price decline.

    In the next few years, the analytics of the agency expect current account surpluses to grow again but to remain below pre-2015 levels. This is largely explained by the agency's oil price forecasts (which are projected to be at $55/bbl in 2015, $65/bbl in 2016, and $75/bbl thereafter).

    "The current account should be supported from 2019, when Azerbaijan starts exporting higher volumes of natural gas to Europe from the Shah Deniz II gas field," the agency said.

    "Our ratings on Azerbaijan remain supported by the sovereign's strong external and fiscal positions, primarily reflecting the sizable foreign-invested sovereign oil fund SOFAZ, which has assets in excess of $35 billion (about 60 percent of estimated 2015 GDP)," said the message.

    The agency expects SOFAZ assets to decline to $33 billion in 2015 from $37 billion in 2014. This partly reflects the pronounced depreciation of the euro against the dollar (SOFAZ's assets are primarily invested in foreign fixed-income securities with about 30 percent of total denominated in euro) and a roughly $2 billion allocation for the financing of the aforementioned consolidated deficit, according to the agency.

    SOFAZ's assets will gradually return to growth from 2016 onward as oil prices start to recover.

    Azerbaijan's GDP is expected to reach $53 billion till the end of 2015 with an increase of 2.2 percent, $65 billion in 2016 (an increase of 2.5 percent), $73 billion in 2017 (an increase of 2.7 percent), $80 billion in 2018 (3.2 percent increase), according to the report of Samp;P.

    5
  • Hot weather to continue in Azerbaijan till August 5
    01.08.2015 12:50
    http:// www.news.az/photos/page-photo/142342.jpg
    http:// www.news.az/photos/page-photo/142342.jpg
    Hot weather will continue in Azerbaijan till August 5, temperature will reach 43 C in some places.

    "Water level is expected to reduce in Kura, Araz and Ganikh rivers, as well as in some mountain rivers due to dry, hot weather in Azerbaijan," Senior hydrologist of the National Hydrometeorology Department of the Ministry of Ecology and Natural Resources Asif Verdiyev told APA.

    He said that water level sharply reduced in mountain rivers: "The process of drying up is not recorded in the rivers that are under observation. The process of drying up is mostly observed in large river-beds."

    The senior hydrologist said that hot weather will continue in Azerbaijan till August 5.

    Verdiyev noted that temperature in the Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic and some lowland regions will be 35hellip;40 C in the daytime, 43 C in some places.

    The temperature in Baku and Absheron peninsula will be 35hellip;39 C in the daytime, 40 C in some places.
    10
  • 3 Azerbaijani resorts may add to European Association of Historic Thermal Spas
    01.08.2015 12:34
    http:// www.news.az/photos/page-photo/142341.jpg
    http:// www.news.az/photos/page-photo/142341.jpg
    European Thermal Towns Association (EHTTA) sent its experts to Azerbaijan to assess the countryв's potential.

    The Ministry of Culture amp; Tourism of Azerbaijan informs that on July 22-29 Michel Thomas Pinet and Ahmet Hikmet Shakhin studied the possibility of country's participation in EHTTA's project "Thermal Routes".

    "We estimated thermal sanatoriums Istisu in Masalli, YengicЙ™ in Gabala and QalaaltД± in Shabran, which generally conform to the European standards, although they have their own specifics. The Culture amp; Tourism Ministry wants to expand sanatoriums' capabilities due to their joining the Association, and for that purpose we'll prepare and present a certificate and submit it to the EHTTA Technical Committee. Only after that the registration of membership will begin," Pinet said following the visit.

    In turn, Shakhin underlined the great potential of thermal tourism in Azerbaijan.

    "The only challenge today is to attract qualified doctors to Azerbaijani sanatoriums," Shakhin said.
    16
  • SOCAR-Georgia denies robbery news
    01.08.2015 12:04
    http:// www.news.az/photos/page-photo/142340.jpg
    http:// www.news.az/photos/page-photo/142340.jpg
    The shop of the SOCAR gas filling station at Moscow Avenue in Tbilisi, Georgia has not been robbed.

    The press service of SOCAR-Georgia states that the robbed object was a small shop near the petrol station and it does not belongs to the company, according to Report.

    Some Georgian media disseminated reports that an unknown person entered a SOCAR filling station shop with cold arms and stole GEL 800-900 (USD 350-400) in cash.
    16
  • Russian airborne troops to build up combat potential to counter new threats
    01.08.2015 11:36
    http:// www.news.az/photos/page-photo/142339.jpg
    http:// www.news.az/photos/page-photo/142339.jpg
    New threats and challenges of Russiaв's security require a buildup of combat potential of the countryв's airborne troops, Russian Minister of Defense Sergey Shoigu said on Friday.

    "The country's leaders and the defense ministry are sparing no effort to further build up combat potential of the airborne troops. It is a necessary measure stemming from the international military and political situation, new threats and challenges to our state," Shoigu said at a gala party on the occasion of the 85th anniversary of Russia's airborne troops, ITAR TASS reports.

    The minister thanked Russia's paratroopers for their courage and heroism. Their merits to the fatherlands will never be forgotten, he stressed.

    "It is a great honor for us to have such attention from the country's leadership and the army command we have always enjoyed," Vladimir Shamanov, the commander of Russia's airborne troops, said. "Over a short span of time, the airborne troops have made a real spurt to take a worthy place in our armed forces."

    The Airborne Troops Day is traditionally marked in Russia on August 2. On that day in 1930, a team of 12 paratroopers were for the first time parachuted during military exercises near the city of Voronezh in southern Russia. Now, the strength of Russia's airborne troops stands at about 45,000 men.
    10
  • Iran, Armenia prioritizing documented evidence in treating Araz River
    01.08.2015 11:30
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2012/11/20/Araz_river_201112_11.jpg
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2012/11/20/Araz_river_201112_11.jpg
    Tehran, Iran, July 31

    By Mehdi Sepahvand -- Trend:

    An official with the Iranian Environment Department has said the country is taking measures to rely evermore on documented evidence in approaching river treatment and protection, especially in the case of the Araz River.

    Araz is a river in and along the countries of Turkey, Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Iran. It drains to the south side of the Lesser Caucasus Mountains and then joins the Kura River, which drains to the north side of those mountains.

    Recently there were worrying reports that the river's pollution has caused health issues in nearby areas and that Iran has started a special monitoring operation of the river.

    Iranian MP Kamaladdin Pirmoazen said in early July that waste material from Armenia's Metsamor nuclear power plant and aluminum plant pollutes the river and pose threats to the wildlife and people living in the surrounding areas.

    Iran and Armenia have boosted mutual cooperation on monitoring the river, witnessed by the launch of a joint committee for decision-making regarding the river, Shina Ansari, director of Pervasive Monitoring at Iran's Department of Environment told Trend July 29.

    She added the joint committee has prioritized gathering documented evidence on the sources of pollution affecting the river.

    Last year Iran bought three highly advanced and very expensive devices for testing the heavy metal and pesticide content of the river's water in three provinces of East Azerbaijan, West Azerbaijan, and Ardabil which are situated along the river, Ansari stated.

    However, she reminded, the Department of Environment monitors the river in terms of more traditional pollutions, and issues like radioactive pollution are defined by the law as the task of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran.

    Ansari made these remarks in reaction to reports that nuclear waste from Armenia dumped into Araz River has caused serious health problems for people living in lands along the river.

    Mohammad Javad Soroush, director of the Iranian Environment Department's Water and Soil Office said early July that there have been reports claiming nuclear and aluminum waste from the neighboring country Armenia is spilled into the river and has caused a hike in cancer rates in people living around the river.

    Edited by CN

    Follow us on Twitter @
    7
  • 5 die as "Opel" hit truck in Azerbaijan
    01.08.2015 11:03
    http:// www.news.az/photos/page-photo/142338.jpg
    http:// www.news.az/photos/page-photo/142338.jpg
    5 died as a result of the traffic accident on Baku-Guba highway.

    The Ministry of Emergency Situations stated that 112 hotline received information that "Opel" hit "Mercedes" truck parked on the side of the road on the 45th km of Baku-Guba highway.

    As a result of the crash, 5 passengers of "Opel" died of various injures on the spot.

    Rescuers of the Ministry of Emergency Situations arrived at the scene, removed 5 bodies from the car and handed over appropriately.
    13
  • Armenia violates ceasefire using mortars and large-caliber machine guns
    01.08.2015 10:50
    http:// www.news.az/photos/page-photo/142337.jpg
    http:// www.news.az/photos/page-photo/142337.jpg
    Armenian armed forces violated ceasefire with Azerbaijan 120 times in various directions along the frontline from 60mm- and 82mm-caliber mortars and machine guns within a day, said Azerbaijani Defense Ministry, APA reports.

    Armenian armed units fired on the positions of Azerbaijani Armed Forces in Gizilhajili and Ferehli villages of Gazakh district from the positions in Berkaber village of Armenia's Ijevan district, Shavarshavan village of Noyemberyan district, positions in Kokhanebi village of Tovuz district from the positions in Chinari village of Berd district, positions in nameless uplands of Gedebey district from the positions in nameless uplands of Krasnoselsk district.

    The Azerbaijani positions were also fired from the positions near Talish, Tapgaragoyunlu, Gulustan villages of Goranboy, Goyarkh and Chayli villages of Terter, Yusifjanli, Shikhlar, Shuraabad, Javahirli, Sarijali, Novruzlu, Garagashli and Bash Gervend villages of Aghdam, Kuropatkino village of Khojavand, Horadiz, Garakhanbeyli, Ashagi Seyidahmedli and Ashagi Abdulrahmanli villages of Fuzuli, Mehdili village of Jabrayil district and nameless uplands of Goygol, Goranboy, Khojavand, Fuzuli and Jabrayil districts.

    The enemy was silenced by retaliatory fire.
    15
  • Threefold drop in medicine prices expected in Azerbaijan
    01.08.2015 10:26
    http://www.today.az/pictures/pic142581.jpg
    http://www.today.az/pictures/pic142581.jpg
    /By AzerNews/

    By Nigar Orujova

    The Azerbaijani government has decided to strengthen state control over the pharmaceutical market in the country in an effort to regulate this important social segment of economy.

    The Tariff Council has reduced prices for over 250 names of medicines on July 30, which will ultimately cut overall prices in the market.

    During the first phase, prices were confirmed on more than 250 of the most popular and essential brands for 25 medicines. The new prices for these medicines will come into force from September 15. A list of these medicines is available on theВ Councilв's website.

    State regulation will reduce the price of medicines more than two or three times, Shahin Mustafayev, Economy and Industry Minister and Chairman of the Tariff Council, said in an interview in the official press.

    "First and foremost, in accordance with the instructions of President Ilham Aliyev, the Tariff Council considerably reduced the cost of medicines. Thus, the costs of 20 percent of medicines has fallen by more than three times, more than 40 percent of medicines are now cheaper by more than twice,'' he noted.

    The prices of 90 percent of medicines so far have lowered, while the rest remain unchanged, the Minister said.

    Mustafayev noted that price controls will ensure transparency and every citizen will then know the exact price of medicines.

    ''In general, the regulation of prices for the bulk of medicines will be completed by the end of this year,'' said Mustafayev.

    "Regulation of prices for medicine will allow citizens to purchase it in all pharmacies and at the same and optimized prices. Thus, the issue of artificial price increases are removed. In addition, the cost of medicines would be also available not only on packaging, but also at the relevant websites and in the media, which will allow increasing public control over prices,'' the minister explained.

    ''At the same time, these reforms would reduce costs for citizens who need medications, strengthen state regulation of the medical products market, and create additional opportunities to address tax evasion.''

    ''On the other hand, it will reduce expenditures of the state budget, and will contribute to the insurance system by reducing the cost of insurance companies. Finally, importers will be forced to import medicines at more affordable prices, and competition among pharmacies will proceed from price into quality, which ultimately lead to improved quality of services,'' Mustafayev stressed.

    He also noted that the control of medicine prices would be provided by the relevant government agencies for monitoring and inspections.

    Legal measures will be taken against companies that do not indicate prices on the medicines or if the drugs are sold at higher prices than was approved.

    In addition, the Minister said the controls would extend not only for prices but also for quality.

    He noted that the decision of the Cabinet of Ministers and the Tariff Council does not limit the import of medicines into the country.

    ''Under existing law, any drug, regardless of the country of manufacture, after registration by the Health Ministry can be imported into the country. The new solutions, in turn, regulate the selling prices of medicines,'' he said.

    He added that currently the country has registered more than 4,500 brands of more than 20,000 types of medicine. The number of medicines with regulated prices will increase in the future.

    Medicines prices are compared with their minimum prices in at least 10 countries, which means that the process of regulating costs takes time. For this reason, the government has chosen to start with regulating essential pharmaceuticals first.

    At the same time, the Minister noted that after each drug is approved, the information will be posted in the media, on the website of the Economy and Industry Ministry (www.economy.gov.az), the Tariff Council (www.tariff.gov.az) as well as on a special website of the Health Ministry (www.pharma.az).
    9
  • Erdogan: Daesh actions bear no relation to Turkey
    01.08.2015 10:16
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2015/04/24/erdogan_240415.jpg
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2015/04/24/erdogan_240415.jpg
    Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Friday that Daesh's actions bear no relation to Turkey's "religion, morality, conscience or culture" Anadolu Agency reported

    Erdogan, addressing Indonesian students at a Jakarta conference on Turkish foreign policy, said that both Turkey's and the international community's security is under threat today due to the situation in Syria.

    He added that the regime of Bashar al-Assad had tried "dirty methods" - including chemical weapons, ballistic missiles and terrorist organizations - in a struggle against its own people.

    "The terrorist organization Daesh is a product of such a perception, such a project. This organization's actions bear no relation to our religion, morality, conscience or culture," Erdogan said.

    Erdogan added that accusations that Turkey was a "transitional" country for foreign fighters to join Daesh in Syria were "disturbing" and "baseless claims".

    "We, from the beginning, want nothing but peace, prosperity and tranquility for the whole Middle East," he said, adding: "The allegations against Turkey about foreign fighters acting in Syria are totally baseless."

    Turkey shares an 900 kilometer (560 mile) border with Syria. Turkish officials have repeatedly said Turkey is cooperating with other countries to stop the flow of foreign fighters into volatile neighboring states.

    Erdogan called for closer cooperation against xenophobia, discrimination and Islamophobia.

    "Recently, discriminatory actions in Europe against Muslims make us sad," he said. "Turkey, which has five million citizens living in Europe, is the country most affected by such negativity."

    With the conflicts in Syria, Iraq, Palestine, Egypt, Libya and Yemen, the Mediterranean Sea had become "the most problematic area in the world, instead of being a sea of peace," Erdogan told the students.

    Turning to Turkey's bid to join the EU, Erdogan said Turkey had reached the democratic standards of the union. "That is why we can stand strong against all the threatening and chaotic environments that are circling our country," he said.

    He ended by vowing to fight terrorism "even if Turkey stands alone battling it".

    Follow us on Twitter @
    8
  • Reconstruction at Kazakhstanв's intв'l airport
    01.08.2015 10:16
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2014/08/16/no_image_found.jpg
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2014/08/16/no_image_found.jpg
    Baku, Azerbaijan, Aug. 1

    By Elena Kosolapova - Trend:

    Construction started at the airport of Kazakhstan's Petropavlovsk as part of a reconstruction project, said the Civil Aviation Committee of the Kazakh Investment and Development Ministry.

    In this regard, at present all the flights to and from this airport are suspended until the end of the construction season.

    The full reconstruction of the airport is scheduled to be completed in 2016.

    After the reconstruction, the airport's runway will be capable of receiving the A-320-200, A-310-300, Boeing 767-200/300, Boeing 757-200/300 aircraft without any restrictions.

    ---

    Follow the author on Twitter: @E_Kosolapova

    7
  • Iranian delegations to visit Indonesia
    01.08.2015 09:36
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2014/01/28/handshake_280114.jpg
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2014/01/28/handshake_280114.jpg
    Baku, Azerbaijan, July 21

    By Dalga Khatinoglu- Trend:

    Three Iranian delegations in progressive science and technology, banking, and oil will visit Indonesia to boost bilateral cooperation in the post sanctions era.

    Expectations are for the sanctions imposed on Iran to be lifted by the end of current year, and European delegations, headed by top officials, have been visiting Iran intensively.

    A German delegation visited Iran last week, while delegations from France, Italy, Austria, UK and Poland are to visit this country to discuss economic ties in coming weeks.

    IRNA quoted Fortuna Anwar, the senior adviser to Indonesian Vice President Jusuf Kalla Dewi on July 31, saying that the first Iranian delegation will visit this country to negotiate in the oil sector. The agency also quoted Iran's ambassador to Jakarta Valiollah Mohammadi as saying that a delegation from the Central Bank of Iran also will visit Indonesia soon.

    Iran's president kicked off his trip to Indonesia on April 21 to attend a ceremony marking the 60th anniversary of the Asia Africa Conference. Just a year ago, Iran announced that it was preparing to build five refineries in Indonesia, aimed to diversify Iran's oil export.

    The head of Iran's Oil, Gas and Petrochemical Products Exporters Union said last April that Iran would build a heavy oil refinery with a daily production capacity of 150,000 barrels of crude oil in addition to five smaller refineries with daily production capacities of 30,000 to 50,000 barrels of gas condensates in Indonesia. The total refining capacity of 300,000 barrels per day would be fed by Iranian crude oil and gas condensate.

    Almost all of Iran's crude oil export goes to Asian markets: including China, India, Japan and South Korea.

    Iran's oil export has decreased from 2.5 million barrels per day (mb/d) in 2011 to about 1.1 mb/d currently due to western sanctions. However, in the light of rising hopes of resolving Iran's nuclear dispute through negotiations, Iran is preparing to boost its oil production and export.

    Iranian oil firm Nakhle Barani Pardis and Indonesia's PT Kreasindo signed a $3 billion agreement last February for the construction of six refineries. Nakhle Barani Pardis has reportedly accepted to finance 30 percent of the refinery to be built at Banten or another location in West Java. Iran's Press TV reported then that the projects were set to start in 2015 and would take an estimated three years to complete.

    However, during Rouhani's visit to Indonesia to take part in the 5-day conference, the country's Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh didn't accompany him. Despite this huge project, which creates opportunity for Iran to increase its oil export as well as benefits from a country that relies on one third of its needed liquid fuels from imports.

    A strong economy, population growth, and continued state subsidy for fuels have worked together to push domestic oil demand beyond supply in Indonesia.

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

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    14
  • President congratulates Swiss counterpart
    01.08.2015 09:23
    http:// www.news.az/photos/page-photo/142330.jpg
    http:// www.news.az/photos/page-photo/142330.jpg
    President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev has congratulated the president of Switzerland Simonetta Sommaruga on the national holiday of her country.

    According to Oxu.Az, the letter reads:

    "Dear Mrs.President, Azerbaijani people join me as I extend our sincerest congratulations to you and, in your face, your people on the national holiday-the Day of Confederation. I am confident that we will further spare no effort for development of the Azerbaijani-Swiss relations, strengthening of friendly ties, expanding cooperation in all spheres. On this remarkable day I wish you a sound health and happiness and lasting prosperity and welfare to the friendly people of Switzerland".
    7
  • Russian Foreign Ministry calls US sanctions 'a provocation'
    01.08.2015 09:23
    http:// www.news.az/photos/page-photo/142331.jpg
    http:// www.news.az/photos/page-photo/142331.jpg
    The US authorities have chosen confrontation.

    The Russian Foreign Ministry has commented on new sanctions imposed on Russian by the United States.

    Oxu.Az reports citing Gazeta.ru that, according to the Ministry, Washington's actions prove that the US authorities have chosen confrontation.

    "By imposing new sanctions against Russian citizens and companies, the United States demonstrated that they had chosen confrontation", the message states.

    The Foreign Ministry recommended to 'think over such provocative actions which do not only undermine the Russian-American relations but also hinder interaction and resolution of other global problems". It is noted that Russian will not keep such actions unanswered.
    4
  • Three militants killed in eastern Turkey
    01.08.2015 09:13
    http:// www.news.az/photos/page-photo/142328.jpg
    http:// www.news.az/photos/page-photo/142328.jpg
    Three militants were killed Friday in clashes with security forces in Agri province, eastern Turkey, sources said.

    Security sources told Anadolu Agency that members of the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) terrorist group and affiliated Kurdistan Communities Union (KCK) were killed in clashes with Turkish security forces, after Agri police staged an anti-terror operation in Fevzi Cakmak neighborhood, sources said.

    Turkey has launched its anti-terror crackdown following the July 20 Suruc bombing that killed 32 activists and the attacks on security forces in the following days.

    Ankara has detained more than 1,300 suspected supporters of groups such as Daesh and PKK -- recognized as terrorist groups by Turkey, the EU and the U.S. -- as well as launching airstrikes in Daesh in Syria and the PKK in Turkey and northern Iraq.
    9
  • Prime Minister alters rules of considering cases on anti-monopoly law offenses
    01.08.2015 09:13
    http:// www.news.az/photos/page-photo/142329.jpg
    http:// www.news.az/photos/page-photo/142329.jpg
    Prime Minister of Azerbaijan Artur Rasizade has introduced alterations to the Rules of considering cases on violation of anti-monopoly law.

    According to Oxu.Az, the information was provided by sources in the Cabinet of Ministers.

    In line with the alterations, from now on in case of failure of the people who violated the anti-monopoly law to pay a fine or financial sanction either fully or partially, the anti-monopoly structure shall pass a decision on submission for the execution of the demand about mandatory payment of the fine or financial sanction or their unpaid part and send it to the executive officials for implementation of the decision in a mandatory way.

    The anti-monopoly structures earlier could file a claim to the court against these persons in case of their failure to pay or partial payment of the fine.
    8
  • Death toll reaches 3 in New York City Legionnaires' disease outbreak
    01.08.2015 08:02
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2012/07/07/USA_America_Ambulance_080712.jpg
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2012/07/07/USA_America_Ambulance_080712.jpg
    Another person has died from Legionnaires' disease in New York City as the death toll from the outbreak has reached three, the York City Department of Health told Sputnik.

    The total amount of infected people has reached 57, the Department of Health confirmed.

    On July 10, 2015, the first cases of people that have contracted the Legionnaires' disease were reported. The disease is transmitted through fine mist.

    The outbreak is localized in the South Bronx area of the city, where officials are flushing water towers with fresh water in order to reduce potential exposure.

    On Thursday, the New York City Health Department announced it is interviewing patients and reviewing records to determine whether cases share a common exposure.

    The city officials underscored that New York's water supply remains intact and most residents are not at risk of contracting the disease.

    New York Health Commissioner Mary Bassett said on Thursday that the disease is very treatable with common antibiotics.

    The Department of Health and Mental Hygiene recommends New Yorkers who experience symptoms as such as fever, cough, chills and muscle aches should to seek medical help immediately.

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    20
  • Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry: U.S. pretending to be "global custodian" of human rights evokes irony
    01.08.2015 06:56
    http://apaholding.az/upload/images/photos/apa_logo.png
    http://apaholding.az/upload/images/photos/apa_logo.png
    ''''Deep concern'' of the U.S. Department of State, aimed at interference in the internal affairs of Azerbaijan is another vivid example of double standards''

    Baku - APA. Spokesman for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Hikmet Hajiyev has commented on the statement of the U.S. Department of State regarding Azerbaijan, APA reports.

    Hajiyev said that the "deep concern" of the U.S. Department of State, that is turning a blind eye to a number of cases causing concern in the region, as well as flagrant violations of human rights like brutal beating and arrest of peaceful protesters, politicizing any particular criminal case, is another vivid example of double standards and aimed at interference in the internal affairs of Azerbaijan.

    "The rule of law has been fully provided in democratic Azerbaijan and no one is persecuted for his political activities and opinions. Such biased statements on any criminal case without the judgment of the court are nothing more than unwarranted interference in its course.

    Ironically, the "deep concern" of the U.S. State Department has never covered the mass violation of rights of more than one million Azerbaijani refugees and internally displaced persons deprived of fundamental rights as a result of the Armenian aggression.

    The U.S. pretending to be a "global custodian" of human rights in the background of the police brutality and systematic racial discrimination that engulfed the whole country, long-term extrajudicial detention and tortures in Guantanamo prison, eavesdropping operations carried out across the country and even against its close allies at the global level by ignoring its obligations arising from the universal declaration on human rights, as well as its commitments undertaken within the framework of international organizations, including OSCE, and in violation of other countries' sovereignty, the extrajudicial killings through drones and such a number of other problems only evokes irony", said Hikmet Hajiyev.

    Bureau of Public Affairs of the U.S. Department of State expressed its deep concern over restrictions on the activities of civil societies in Azerbaijan, arrests of journalists and activists and urged the Azerbaijani authorities to respect the universal rights of citizens.
    19
  • SBS comments on reports of Russian border guardsв' illegal crossing into Azerbaijani territory
    01.08.2015 06:56
    http://apaholding.az/upload/images/photos/apa_logo.png
    http://apaholding.az/upload/images/photos/apa_logo.png
    Baku. Agha Jafarli '" APA. Azerbaijanв's State Border Service (SBS) has commented on reports of some Russian border guardsв' illegal crossing into Azerbaijani territory and opening fire.

    Reports of Russian border guards' crossing into Azerbaijani territory and opening fire at Caucasian mountain goats are untrue, the SBS press service denied in a statement to APA, adding that no incident at all has taken place at the Azerbaijan-Russia border.
    15
  • State Dept. approves $5B military sale to Saudi Arabia
    01.08.2015 04:07
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2015/02/10/trend_gosdep_usa_.jpg
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2015/02/10/trend_gosdep_usa_.jpg
    The U.S. State Department. has approved a $5.4 billion sale of military equipment and related items to Saudi Arabia, according to the Pentagon, Anadolu reported.

    The Defense Security Cooperation Agency said in a written statement that Congress has been notified of the possible sale of Patriot missiles, associated equipment and logistical support, that awaits approval.

    "The proposed sale will contribute to the foreign policy and national security of the United States by helping to improve the security of a partner which has been, and continues to be, an important force for political stability and economic progress in the Middle East," the statement said.

    It added that the sale would "modernize and replenish" the kingdom's current Patriot missile stockpile and "support current and future defense missions and promote stability within the region".

    The timing of the sale was "notable", according to some media reports, due to Defense Secretary Ash Carter's visit to Saudi Arabia last week.

    Carter's Mideast trip was considered as a way to try to sell the recently signed Iran nuclear agreement and calm concerns of the region's states, including Saudi Arabia.

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    47
  • Small plane crash in south England kills 4 on board: media
    01.08.2015 00:47
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2015/03/30/small_plane_30032015.jpg
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2015/03/30/small_plane_30032015.jpg
    A small plane Friday crashed into a car auction site in Blackbushe Airport in south England's Hampshire, killing all the four people on board, Xinhua reported.

    A pilot and three passengers died after the crash, Britain's Sky News reported quoting anonymous source.

    "Blackbushe Airport confirms that a Phenom 300 Jet with four persons on board crashed near the end of the runway around 3:09 p.m. while attempting to make a landing," a spokesman for Blackbushe Airport said in a statement.

    "The scene was attended by Blackbushe Fire and Rescue within minutes, followed by Hampshire fire, police and ambulance units. Emergency services are currently controlling the scene," the statement added.

    Hampshire Police said road closures were in place and ambulance and fire crews were also in attendance.

    "We're dealing with an air emergency incident at Blackbushe Airport. Please avoid the area if you can," Hampshire Police tweeted.

    The Hazardous Area Response Team of South East Coast Ambulance Service tweeted earlier that initial reports suggested there might be four casualties, but the number has not been officially confirmed by British authorities.

    Aerial footage and photos posted on social media show that the plane crashed into and damaged multiple cars on the ground before bursting into flames.

    The Farnborough-based Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) confirmed it has sent a team to investigate the aircraft accident.

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    44
  • Turkey shifts from Europe to Asia
    31.07.2015 23:02
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2009/07/16/Turkey_flag_160709.jpg
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2009/07/16/Turkey_flag_160709.jpg
    Baku, Azerbaijan, July 31

    By Rufiz Hafizoglu - Trend:

    Turkey no longer dreams today of joining the European Union, a dream that they cherished for many years.

    The Turkish government in recent years has repeatedly stated that the EU carries out the policy of double standards against Ankara. These statements are becoming justified.

    This attitude has led to the fact that Ankara had to reconsider its priorities with respect to the EU. The fact that along with the continuation of negotiations on EU accession, Turkey has not stopped the search for alternative structures is a good example of that.

    Against the background of negotiations on accession to the EU, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said during a visit to China that Turkey intends to become a full member of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO).

    This statement indicates that Turkey is no longer interested in the EU as before. Earlier, one of the most powerful figures of Turkey's political elite, Deputy Prime Minister Bulent Arinc earlier said that Turkey's accession to EU has lost its attractiveness for the country's citizens.

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

    What does EU lose by refusing to accept Turkey's membership?

    First, Turkey is one of the most powerful militaries in the region. Moreover, this country has a rapidly growing economy. That's to say, as distinct from several EU members, Turkey is not a country with poor economic conditions.

    Moreover, Turkey aims to become the region's energy hub and we can say that it has partially achieved this goal over the past 13 years.

    Moreover, Turkey is a secular Muslim country which allows it to play an important role in the interfaith dialogue.

    Turkish Minister for EU Affairs Volkan Bozkir previously urged EU to start a new phase of talks that began in May 2015.

    Earlier, Commissioner for European Neighborhood Policy amp; Enlargement Negotiations Johannes Hahn said that the European Commission is considering the issue of modernization of EU-Turkey Customs Union.

    Indeed, the modernization of this union is more important than starting the economic dialogue between the two sides.

    Turkey signed a Customs Union agreement with the EU in 1995 and therefore, it is obliged to reduce customs duties for EU countries. In addition, the EU and the US intend to sign Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) agreement which will first of all damage Turkey's interests.

    Once this agreement signed, the US products will be delivered to Turkish markets free of duty which means billions of dollars of loss for Ankara.

    The negotiations on TTIP started in July 2013 and nine rounds have been held to date. It is expected that the US and EU will resolve the issue of signing the TTIP agreement.

    That's to say, Ankara well understands that alongside with benefits, the accession to EU is also fraught with serious risks for its economy.

    ---

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

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    26
  • Post sanctions Iran must redefine its economy
    31.07.2015 21:02
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2013/02/15/Iran_crude_oil_150213.jpg
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2013/02/15/Iran_crude_oil_150213.jpg
    Baku, Azerbaijan, July 31

    By Dalga Khatinoglu - Trend:

    An Iranian former top oil official believes that Iran should redefine its economy in the post sanctions era.

    Expectations are that sanctions imposed on Iran will be lifted by the end of the year, and European delegations, headed by top officials, have been visiting Iran intensively. A German delegation visited Iran last week, while delegations from France, Italy, Austria, UK and Poland are to visit this country to discuss economic ties in coming weeks.

    Iran hopes to attract about $600 billion in investment for its energy-related projects mid-term.

    This is while, according to OPEC's estimation, OPEC would need to invest an average of close to $40 billion annually in the remaining years of this decade. This figure was $120 billion in 2014 or three times more than the annual investment amount. However, according to Wood Mackenzie's estimations, the plunge in oil price since last summer caused the suspension of 46 big oil and gas projects. The cost of suspended projects in 2015 is estimated to reach about $200 billion.

    "In fact most OECD members are now contemplating their relationship with post sanction Iran. To the best of my knowledge the EU is already more creative and is trying to redesign its economic relationship with a post sanction Iran,' Fereydoun Barkeshli, the former general manager of National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) in OPEC and International Affairs told Trend July 31.

    "I believe that the West is doing its job with re-engaging in Iran well but my worry is that on the domestic side in Iran we are not preparing ourselves for a post sanction relationship with the world. The way I see it now a pond is going to connect with an ocean. This is not easy. The world does not restart where we left it. We have to redefine our economy too. As for oil and gas, we created a review committee and a group of experts are taking time to redraft the contracts and a kind of strategic approach has been adopted. This needs to be done for the entire economy".

    Iran had also defined a long-term (20-25 years) new model contract that it calls its integrated petroleum contract (IPC) to replace the old, less popular buyback agreements to attract foreign companies. However, it's not clear whether IPC could compete with production sharing agreements (PSA) that is popular with companies, but is banned in Iran.

    Barkeshli who is a member of Iranian team in drafting the IPC, believes that "In 2012 Iran stood at 137 among 183 countries that were evaluated for investment risk by the International Bank for Resettlement. In 2013 the same ranking was maintained because of UN sanction that did not allow any inflow of capital into Iran. However in 2014 the bank decided to do a ranking despite continuous sanction where Iran's standing was raised to 121, a 16 point improvement from two years before. We have not seen any new rankings from international banks or institutions for 2015 yet. However most observers expect a positive jump".

    Barkeshli says, "I do not personally see a very big jump though, because Iran's economy needs to be rewardingly accessible. Iran is now already a big producer of many industrial products. Iran is the fifth largest automobile producer in the world. As such Iran does not want to import finished goods that are already produced but technology, know-how, management and capital plus access to world markets to export with the help of western companies. This is something that will not come in easily and can not get a big share of EU's $250 Billion foreign investment".

    The European Union has put about $250 billion direct investment abroad in 2014, while the total amount of global foreign direct investment was about $1,600 billion.

    On the other hand, Iran has tens of billion dollars of blocked assets abroad.

    Barkeshli, who is currently a private energy consultant and president of the Vienna Energy Research Group says, "I am afraid Iran will have a good chance of converting her assets abroad into capital goods. Most host countries prefer to barter the money with consumer goods".

    "Iran's total GDP stands at around $400 Billions. This puts Iran at 31st largest economy in the world. Iran has to urgently enter $1000 Billions nations club in order to be among the top twentieth. If this objective materializes, Iran can expect to attract some 20-25 percent of the EU's foreign investments on a regular basis. However, we have to note that Iran is now the last remaining greatly populated country with a large and diversified economy".

    The former top oil official added that Iran has easy access to several neighboring countries to export goods and services and integrate into a large economic block. "For this Iran will need some 6-7 percent of continuous GDP growth rate. then Iran could join as the seventh member of the BRICS, perhaps: IBRCS", he said.

    Edited by CN

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    51
  • US resumes duty-free import of Azerbaijani goods
    31.07.2015 20:49
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2013/07/26/cargo_airport_260713.jpg
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2013/07/26/cargo_airport_260713.jpg
    Baku, Azerbaijan, July 31

    Trend:

    Azerbaijani exporters will be able to import goods in the territory of the United States on preferential terms or without paying customs duty until 2018, said the message of Azerbaijan Export and Investment Promotion Foundation (AZPROMO), published July 31 on its website.

    The changes are provided in the act adopted by the US Congress to extend the program "Generalized System of Preferences" (GSP).

    This act extends the right to use the GSP program until December 31, 2017, said the message. The act came into force on July 29, 2015 and these benefits will be also applied to goods imported into the United States since the period of the loss of power of the previous act [July 31, 2013]. Accordingly, the exporters will be able to get back the customs duties paid for goods delivered to the US in the period from July 31, 2013 to July 29, 2015, said the message.

    GSP program promotes economic development by eliminating duties on up to 5,000 types of products when imported from developing countries. Products that are eligible for duty-free treatment under GSP include most manufactured items, many types of chemicals, minerals and building stone, jewelry, many types of carpets and certain agricultural and fishery products.

    Edited by CN

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    18
  • Demand for Russian ruble grows in Kazakhstan
    31.07.2015 20:33
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2014/11/07/rubl_071114.jpg
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2014/11/07/rubl_071114.jpg
    Baku, Azerbaijan, July 31

    By Elena Kosolapova - Trend:

    Demand for Russian rubles has grown in Kazakhstan again in June, Ranking.kz analytical service said.

    After the 50-percent drop in demand for rubles in May compared to April, the sales of rubles increased by 42 percent in June, or by 17.1 billion tenge (187.45 tenge = $1), said the analytical service.

    In total, 57.9 billion tenge worth of Russian currency was sold by exchange offices in Kazakhstan in June, or by 27.8 billion tenge (92.2 percent) more compared to June 2014.

    The growth in demand for the ruble was observed in all regions of Kazakhstan.

    The following provinces of Kazakhstan saw the highest growth rate in a month: Aktobe (almost twofold increase - 3.5 billion tenge), Astana (61.7 percent - 8 billion tenge) and Atyrau (58.7 percent - 2.5 billion tenge).

    The exchange offices of Almaty (10.1 billion tenge) and Astana (8 billion tenge) ranked first and second, respectively for the sale volume of Russian rubles.

    Regions bordering Russia are traditionally leading among the provinces: East Kazakhstan province - 6.6 billion tenge, West Kazakhstan - 5.3 billion tenge and Pavlodar - 4.8 billion tenge.

    Edited by CN

    ---

    Follow the author on Twitter: @E_Kosolapova

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    11
  • How to choose a watermelon?
    31.07.2015 20:03
    http://www.today.az/pictures/pic142580.jpg
    http://www.today.az/pictures/pic142580.jpg
    /By AzerNews/

    By Laman Sadigova

    Who doesnв't love sweet, juicy, cold watermelon on hot summer days?

    But choosing the perfect watermelon isnв't as easy as it seems to be. Watermelon is somehow like a present: youв're pretty sure that you will like whatв's inside, but you are never really sure until you open it. If you find a bad one, you may spend the next couple of days in front of the bucket.

    Since you cannot stealthily peel back the wrapping of a watermelon in the grocery store to sneak a peek at whatв's inside, youв'll have to employ some different techniques to determine its ripeness.

    Here are some tips that will help you when choosing a watermelon:

    1. Bright and contrasting stripes

    First of all, the degree of a melon is an indicator of its maturity. A good watermelon stripe should have as much of brown color contrast as possible.

    Moreover, the darker the color of the creamy spot, the longer it was on the vine sweetening up. If it is white it means that this indicates an unripe melon.

    2. Shiny surface

    A watermelonв's surface has to be shiny and firm enough so that not even a nail can pierce it. When ripe, the fruit dries at the tail, that is, stops the ingress of moisture and the crust hardens. If the nail easily penetrates into the crust by rubbing it and it smells of freshly cut grass, it means that the fruit is immature.

    3. Large, but not huge

    A large size is not a guarantee of its good taste or maturity. It is better to choose fruit of medium size, respecting the rule of "golden mean." When you pick up the melon, it should feel like it weighs more than it should for its size.

    4. It sounds hollow when tapped

    A hollow sound means that there is a lot of water inside the watermelon. While youв've got the watermelon in your arms, make sure itв's uniformly shaped. Irregular bumps indicate that it may have gotten inconsistent amounts of sun or water.

    5. Turn it

    Turn your watermelon over and check out the bottom, which should have a creamy yellow spot. This is where the watermelon sat on the ground while it soaked up the sun at the farm. If this spot is white or greenish, your watermelon may have been picked too soon and might not be as ripe as it should be.

    Azerbaijanis do love watermelons! Here, in Azerbaijan, a summer day without a watermelon is not complete.

    There is even a local tradition of eating watermelon with local white cheese, with or without bread. The mouthwatering combination is in the dreams of Azerbaijanis year round and everyone rushes to buy watermelon as soon as summer arrives.
    16
  • Turkey wants to become ASEAN member
    31.07.2015 19:23
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2013/06/30/asean_logo_300613.jpg
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2013/06/30/asean_logo_300613.jpg
    Baku, Azerbaijan, July 31

    By Rufiz Hafizoglu - Trend:

    Turkey wants to become a member of ASEAN, the president of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdogan said during a visit to Indonesia, the Turkish TV channel TRT Haber said July 31.

    Erdogan stressed the importance of this organization for Turkey.

    ASEAN is a political, economic and cultural regional intergovernmental organization of countries located in the South-East Asia. It was established August 9, 1967 in Bangkok.

    On July 30, the Turkish president said during his visit to China that Ankara intends to become a full member of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO).

    He said that after India and Pakistan decided to join the SCO, this structure has acquired special importance for Turkey.

    Edited by CN

    ---

    Follow the author on Twitter: @rhafizoglu

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    15
  • New cargo railway routes from China to Europe to open
    31.07.2015 19:07
    http://www.today.az/pictures/pic142579.jpg
    http://www.today.az/pictures/pic142579.jpg
    /By AzerNews/

    By Vusala Abbasova

    New cargo railway routes from Xiamen (Fujian Province) in eastern China will open in August of this year that could expand economic cooperation between the members of "Economic Belt of Silk Road" and "Maritime Silk Road of the 21st century" projects.

    The new cargo railway will significantly reduce transportation time between Xiamen and the countries of Europe and Central Asia.

    A cargo train on the Xiamen-Chengdu (Sichuan Province), Southwest China-Europe route will take no longer than 15 days to complete its journey and only five days on the Xiamen-Central Asia route. The routes will be open once a week.

    China is continuing to invest significantly into transport and energy infrastructures in Central Asia, proof of which can be the Atyrau-Alashankou oil pipeline and Turkmenistan-China gas pipeline, demonstrating an active trade policy toward Central Asia.

    China emerged as a major economic player in Central Asia, driving billions into promoting Chinese-Central Asian trade. According to International Monetary Fund estimates, these investments reached $50 billion last year.

    The trade volume between Europe and China is expected to reach $1 trillion by 2020, as the necessary transport infrastructure is being created in Kazakhstan, which is an active part of the new Silk Road of China.

    At least 10 million tons of transit cargo and some $40 billion in foreign direct investment will go to Kazakhstan from the aforementioned transport infrastructure.

    The development of the transport and logistics potential between the member-countries of the Silk Road Project allows for the creation of thousands of high-skilled jobs.

    Recently, Beijing expressed its willingness to create six economic corridors to link Asia with Europe, including China-Mongolia-Russia; the New Euro-Asian land bridge; China-Central Asia-West Asia; China-Indochinese Peninsula; China-Pakistan; and China-Burma-Bangladesh-India, which are all part of the Silk Road Project, initiated by President Xi Jinping in 2013.

    Funding from the China-backed Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) and the Silk Road Foundation will contribute to the realization of this project.

    The notion of the Silk Road was reformulated and rephrased by China in 2013 under 'one belt, one roadв' initiative i.e. the economic belt along the Silk Road and the Maritime Silk Road.

    Earlier, the AIIB said that the total investments for 'one belt, one roadв' plan amounted to over $890 billion for 900 projects in 60 countries.
    11
  • New power plants under construction in Turkmenistan
    31.07.2015 18:50
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2014/01/29/thermal_power_plant_290114.jpg
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2014/01/29/thermal_power_plant_290114.jpg
    Ashgabat, Turkmenistan, July 31

    By Huseyn Hasanov- Trend:

    It is planned to construct 14 gas-turbine thermal power plants with the total installed capacity of 3,854 megawatts in accordance with the concept for development of the power industry in the country through 2020, lsquo;Neutral Turkmenistan' newspaper reported.

    Gas-turbine power plants with the capacity of around 149 megawatts each have been commissioned in Ahal, Mary and Lebap provinces, according to the newspaper.

    A gas-turbine plant with the capacity of 252.2 megawatts has been built in Ak Bugday district, while the construction of a power plant with the capacity of 504.4 megawatts is at the final stage in Derweze district of Ahal province.

    Moreover, the construction of a gas-turbine power plant with the capacity of 252.2 megawatts has started in Lebap province. Another thermal power plant with the capacity of nearly 400 megawatts will be constructed there in the coming years.

    This program envisages increasing the production level of electricity in Turkmenistan to 26.38 billion kilowatt hours by 2020.

    Currently, 11 power plants operate in the country, according to the newspaper.

    Three small gas-turbine power plants with the capacity of 149 megawatt each, as well as another one with the capacity of 252 megawatt were commissioned in Turkmenistan in 2014 alone.

    Edited by CN

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    10
  • GM Uzbekistan starts production of Chevrolet Labo
    31.07.2015 18:23
    http://www.today.az/pictures/pic142578.jpg
    http://www.today.az/pictures/pic142578.jpg
    /By AzerNews/

    By Aynur Karimova

    GM Uzbekistan, an Uzbek-American joint venture, has started serial production of the Chevrolet Labo cars, the company reported on July 29.

    Chevrolet Labo is a mini-truck with a load capacity of 550 kilograms. It was created as a modification of already produced Damas minibus. The car is equipped with a three-cylinder engine of 0.8 liter with a capacity of 38 hp and five-speed manual transmission.

    This mini-truck with an open board body is designed for transportation in urban and rural areas for short distances.

    Production of the car is deployed at Khorezm Auto plant. The design capacity of the conveyor line is 5,000 cars per year. The cost of the project is $5.9 million.

    GM Uzbekistan JV, formerly known as UzDaewooAuto, was established in 1996 on a parity basis by Uzbekistan and South Korean Daewoo Motors.

    In 2005, Uzbekistan acquired Daewooв's shares in UzDaewooAuto. Then in 2007, Uzavtoprom and the U.S.-based General Motors signed an agreement to establish GM Uzbekistan with an authorized capital of $266.7 million.

    General Motors owns a 25 percent plus one stake in GM Uzbekistan with the possibility of increasing total shares to 40 percent. At the moment, 75 percent of the shares belong to the Uzavtoprom.

    Currently, GM Uzbekistan produces nine brands of cars, in particular sedans of Nexia, Cobalt, Lacetti and Malibu, two subcompact - Matiz and Spark, offroader - Captiva, minivan - Orlando, minibus - Damas and mini-truck Labo.

    GM Uzbekistan produced 119,412 cars in the first half of 2015. Last year the JV produced 245,600 cars, some 55,200 of which were exported to foreign markets.
    19
  • Iran has signed a historic nuclear deal '" now itв's Israelв's turn Javad Zarif
    31.07.2015 18:09
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2014/12/17/mohammad-javad-zarif.jpg
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2014/12/17/mohammad-javad-zarif.jpg
    "If the Vienna deal is to mean anything, the whole of the Middle East must rid itself of weapons of mass destruction" - proposed Iran's Foreign minister Mohammad Javad Zarif in his article for Guardian July 31. Commenting the latest developments regarding the nuclear deal Foreign Minister wrote the following:

    "We - Iran and its interlocutors in the group of nations known as the P5 1 - have finally achieved the shared objective of turning the Iranian nuclear programme from an unnecessary crisis into a platform for cooperation on nuclear non-proliferation and beyond. The nuclear deal reached in Vienna this month is not a ceiling but a solid foundation on which we must build. The joint comprehensive plan of action, as the accord is officially known, cements Iran's status as a zone free of nuclear weapons. Now it is high time that we expand that zone to encompass the entire Middle East.

    Iran's push for a ban on weapons of mass destruction in its regional neighbourhood has been consistent. The fact that it precedes Saddam Hussein's systematic use of WMDs against Iran (never reciprocated in kind) is evidence of the depth of my country's commitment to this noble cause. And while Iran has received the support of some of its Arab friends in this endeavour, Israel - home to the Middle East's only nuclear weapons programme - has been the holdout. In the light of the historic nuclear deal, we must address this challenge head on.

    One of the many ironies of history is that non-nuclear-weapon states, like Iran, have actually done far more for the cause of non-proliferation in practice than nuclear-weapon states have done on paper. Iran and other nuclear have-nots have genuinely "walked the walk" in seeking to consolidate the non-proliferation regime. Meanwhile, states actually possessing these destructive weapons have hardly even "talked the talk", while completely brushing off their disarmament obligations under the non-proliferation treaty (NPT) and customary international law.

    That is to say nothing of countries outside the NPT, or Israel, with an undeclared nuclear arsenal and a declared disdain towards non-proliferation, notwithstanding its absurd and alarmist campaign against the Iranian nuclear deal.

    Today, in light of the Vienna deal, it is high time that the nuclear "haves" remedied the gap by adopting serious disarmament measures and reinforcing the non-proliferation regime.

    It is time for the "haves" to finally come to terms with a crucial reality; we live in a globalised security environment. The cold war era asymmetry between states that possess nuclear weapons and those that don't is no longer remotely tolerable.

    For too long, it has been assumed that the insane concept of mutually assured destruction would sustain stability and non-proliferation. Nothing could be further from the truth. The prevalence of this deterrence doctrine in international relations has been the primary driving force behind the temptation by some countries to acquire nuclear weapons, and by others to engage in expanding and beefing up the strength of their nuclear arsenals. All this in blatant violation of the disarmament objectives set by the international community.

    It is imperative that we change this dangerous and erroneous security paradigm and move toward a better, safer and fairer arrangement. I sincerely believe that the nuclear agreement between my country - a non-nuclear-weapon state - and the P5 1 (which control almost all nuclear warheads on Earth) is symbolically significant enough to kickstart this paradigm shift and mark the beginning of a new era for the non-proliferation regime.

    One step in the right direction would be to start negotiations for a weapons elimination treaty, backed by a robust monitoring and compliance-verification mechanism.

    This could, in an initial phase, occasion the de-alerting of nuclear arsenals (removing warheads from delivery vehicles to reduce the risk of use) and subsequently engender the progressive disarmament by all countries possessing such WMDs. It is certainly a feasible goal to start this global project with a robust, universal and really genuine push to establish a WMD-free zone in the Middle East, if the relevant powers finally come to deem it not just a noble cause but a strategic imperative.

    Such a new treaty would revive and complement the NPT for nuclear "haves". It would codify disarmament obligations for nuclear-armed regimes that are not party to the NPT - but that are nonetheless bound - politically, by the international non-proliferation regime and, legally, by preemptory norms of customary international law to disarm.

    Iran, in its national capacity and as current chairman of the Non-Aligned Movement, is prepared to work with the international community to achieve these goals, knowing full well that, along the way, it will probably run into many hurdles raised by the sceptics of peace and diplomacy. But we must endeavour to convince and persist, as we did in Vienna."

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    26
  • Foreign Ministry: Sterligovв's hiding proves criminal atmosphere in occupied territories
    31.07.2015 18:03
    http://www.today.az/pictures/pic142577.jpg
    http://www.today.az/pictures/pic142577.jpg
    /By AzerNews/

    By Sara Rajabova

    Russian businessman German Sterligov and his Armenian patron lawyers are legally illiterate, Azerbaijani foreign ministryв's official representative Hikmet Hajiyev said.

    He made the remarks commenting on recent statements by Russian businessman regarding the fact that he has been put on the international wanted list by Azerbaijan.

    A decision was made by the Nasimi District Court to arrest Sterligov being that there is sufficient evidence to charge him, according to the message from Azerbaijani Prosecutor Generalв's Office released on July 28.

    ''German Sterligov and his Armenian patron lawyers have once again demonstrated their legal illiteracy. Given the elements of a crime in the actions committed by this person on the sovereign territory of the Republic of Azerbaijan, a criminal case was initiated under articles No 281.2 (public calls against the state) and 318.2 (illegally crossing state border of the Republic of Azerbaijan) of the Criminal Code of Azerbaijan, and Sterligov was put on the international wanted list with the election of a preventive measure in the form of arrest,'' Hajiyev told Trend.

    Sterligov and his family members illegally reside in Azerbaijani lands occupied by Armenia, putting him on Azerbaijanв's list of undesirable persons.

    The Russian businessman held a press conference in July 13 in Shusha and posted information on his social media page to support the "independence" of the separatist regime, thereby calling for the violation of Azerbaijanв's internationally-recognized territorial integrity as well as the illegal exploitation of natural resources in the occupied territories, money laundering etc.

    He also highlighted the fact that there is an occupation regime on the territories of Azerbaijan by Armenia.

    ''The occupation of these territories by Armenia is clearly reflected in the documents adopted by international organizations, in particular in the relevant UN Security Council resolutions and decision of the European Court of Human Rights in 'Chiragov and others v. Armenia,в''' he said.

    The UN Security Council has adopted four resolutions on Armenia's withdrawal from the Azerbaijani territory, but they have not been enforced to this day.

    Moreover, the ECHR reaffirmed Armeniaв's responsibility in the occupation of Azerbaijani territories. The court ruled in favor of the applicants, recognizing Armeniaв's continuing violations of their rights under the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms.

    Hajiyev said Azerbaijan has repeatedly stated that conditions for the cultivation, production, transit and trade of narcotic drugs, training of terrorists, arms smuggling, kidnapping and other crimes were committed on the occupied territories of the country.

    ''It is possible that a large consignment of heroin detained a few days ago in Romania, was brought to this country through the occupied territories and Armenia. At present, this issue is under investigation,'' Hajiyev said.

    Azerbaijani officials have repeatedly said Azerbaijan's occupied Nagorno-Karabakh region has turned into a regional center of drug production and trafficking.

    ''The fact that Sterligov, accused in the specific criminal offenses, is hiding, proves once again that there is a criminal atmosphere on these areas,'' Hajiyev further added.

    Unauthorized visits to Nagorno-Karabakh and other occupied regions of Azerbaijan are considered illegal and individuals who pay such visits are included in the Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry's "black list."

    Azerbaijan has repeatedly warned foreign officials and diplomats against unauthorized visits to territories under Armenian occupation, stating that such visits violate international law.

    Armenia occupied over 20 percent of Azerbaijan's internationally recognized territory, including Nagorno-Karabakh and seven adjacent regions, after laying territorial claims against its South Caucasus neighbor that caused a brutal war in the early 1990s. Long-standing efforts by U.S., Russian, and French mediators have been largely fruitless so far.
    9
  • Iran rejects talking with Taliban
    31.07.2015 17:46
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2009/04/01/Iran_Afghanistan_010409.jpg
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2009/04/01/Iran_Afghanistan_010409.jpg
    Tehran, Iran, July 31

    By Mehdi Sepahvand -- Trend:

    Iran's ambassador to Afghanistan rejected rumors around Tehran-Taliban's talks, saying that Taliban doesn't have place in Iran's security strategies.

    Mohammad Reza Bahrami said that Iran never supports extremism, because it is uncontrollable.

    "Iran doesn't believe that the enemy of enemy is friend," IRNA quoted Bahrami as saying July 31.

    Bahrami's statement came after Esmail Kowsari, a member of the Iranian parliament's National Security and Foreign Policy Commission, confirmed on June 7 that a delegation from the Afghan Taliban group has visited Iran in May.

    The delegation, which visited Tehran, belongs to a branch of Taliban who believe on settling issues through "negotiation," the senior Iranian MP said.

    Earlier, Marzieh Afkham, the foreign ministry's spokeswoman said that the ministry has not been informed about the visit of the delegation.

    "We have no information on the issue," Afkham said, adding the sources that have disseminated the information should be found.

    Kowsari further said he can't disclose the details of Iran's negotiations with the Taliban delegation headed by Tayyab Agha, who is in charge of the Taliban's political bureau in Qatar, Iran's YJC news agency reported.

    "They expressed readiness for negotiations and traveled to Tehran for talks," said Kowsari.

    They were not from the "hardliner" Taliban, said the Iranian MP underlining that Iran will never accept extremist Taliban members.

    "Iran welcomes those who want to resolve the issues via dialogue and negotiate with them to solve the regional problems," Kowsari added.

    Iran's semi-official Tasnim news agency reported that the Taliban's delegation traveled to Iran in mid-May to hold talks with the Islamic Republic security officials.

    The Taliban's delegation and the Iranian security officials discussed regional issues, in particular the recent developments in the Islamic world, as well as the situation of Afghan migrants, according to the report.

    Similar Taliban delegations visited Iran twice in the past to hold talks with Iran's security officials and to participate in an international conference.

    The Taliban emerged in early 1990s in northern Pakistan following the withdrawal of former Soviet Union troops from Afghanistan. They were in power in Afghanistan from mid-1990s until 2001.

    The hard-liner group has in recent years carried out numerous high-profile attacks on Kabul, Afghanistan.

    Taliban announced earlier that it established a political bureau in Qatar to stay in touch with the other countries.

    Edited by CN

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    10
  • Russia says Turkeyв's Botas can get gas discount
    31.07.2015 17:44
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2012/12/08/gas_line_081212.jpg
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2012/12/08/gas_line_081212.jpg
    Russia's Gazprom and Turkey's Botas have an agreement on providing the Turkish side with a 10.25-percent discount for Russian gas, the Energy Minister of Russia Alexander Novak told reporters July 31, according to the RIA Novosti.

    "According to the information I have, discount agreements have been reached by Gazprom and Botas," he said answering a question whether there are differences between the companies on the size of the Russian gas discounts.

    "As of today, it [the discount] stands at 10.25 percent in line with the agreements discussed earlier," said Novak.

    He added that the document for granting the discount hasn't yet been signed.

    Russia and Turkey were to sign an intergovernmental agreement until mid-2015 for the construction of the lsquo;Turkish Stream' gas pipeline, but this hasn't still happened.

    Edited by SI

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    9
  • Azerbaijan, Iran to implement joint projects in alternative energy sector
    31.07.2015 17:43
    http://www.today.az/pictures/pic142576.jpg
    http://www.today.az/pictures/pic142576.jpg
    /By AzerNews/

    By Aynur Karimova

    Azerbaijan and Iran have established a working group to implement joint projects in the alternative energy sector.

    Jamil Melikov, the deputy head of Azerbaijanв's State Agency for Alternative and Renewable Energy Sources, toldВ TrendВ on July 30 that the working group was established as part of a memorandum signed with the energy ministry of Iran.

    ''The working group will engage in organizational matters,'' Melikov said. ''It will offer various projects and discuss bringing investors, specialists from both sides, give recommendations so that through our joint efforts we can implement projects in Azerbaijan and Iran.''

    He went on to add that the abovementioned memorandum also provides for a mutual exchange of information on current and future projects in each of the two countries. ''Currently we are discussing organizational matters: the time and venue for the first meeting, and also the working groupв's activity plan."

    Melikov also noted that during an Azerbaijani delegationв's visit to Iran on August 3-4, the two sides expect to discuss acceleration of the working groupв's activities and settle bureaucratic nuances.

    The deputy head of the agency said that cooperation with Iran covers a wide range of activities.

    "We are very interested in the exchange of technical data, in particular in the hydropower and geothermal energy sectors. The projects, in which we plan to take part, are associated with the global energy system, the so-called transmission lines and substations, the voltage level used for transmission. We will also offer small projects to the Iranian side. This is the "one house - one power station" project." We have already had some experience and will try to implement it in Iran," Melikov concluded.

    The development of alternative energy is of significant importance for Azerbaijan and therefore the government seeks to introduce modern technology and involve foreign investors in its renewables sector.

    Azerbaijan enjoys great prospects in this field. Thanks to natural conditions, the total potential of alternative and renewable energy resources in Azerbaijan exceeds 12,000 megawatts.

    The State Statistics Committee of Azerbaijan has said that the country produced 5.2 million kilowatt/hours of electricity from alternative resources from January to June 2015.

    In 2014, investments in the development of Azerbaijan's alternative energy sector reached 63.6 million manats ($60.6 million).

    Recently, the Turkish Turcas Enerji Holding and Azalternativenerji under Azerbaijan's State Agency on Alternative and Renewable Energy Sources signed a memorandum of understanding for cooperation in the renewables sector.

    According to the document, the sides will jointly invest in the construction of solar, wind, and geothermal power plants in Turkey and Azerbaijan, along with implementing other projects. The contract is valid for a period of three years from the date of signing.

    Azerbaijanв's State Agency for Alternative and Renewable Energy and the Georgian Energy Ministry will establish a joint working group in the field of alternative energy as well.

    It is expected that the increase of alternative energy capacity will reduce the use of hydrocarbons in the oil-producing country, making it possible to redirect them to overseas markets and increase Azerbaijanв's export potential and revenues.
    8
  • Turkish authorities to make last attempt to form govв't with opposition party
    31.07.2015 17:43
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2012/10/04/Parlament_Turkey_041012.jpg
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2012/10/04/Parlament_Turkey_041012.jpg
    Baku, Azerbaijan, July 31

    By Rufiz Hafizoglu - Trend:

    Turkey's Justice and Development Party will make the last attempt to form a coalition government with the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), Anadolu agency reported July 31 citing the country's Minister for EU Affairs Volkan Bozkir.

    If the Justice and Development Party (AKP) and Republican People's Party (CHP) fail to agree on forming a coalition government, AKP will turn to the Nationalist Movement Party for the last time, he said.

    Earlier, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that with each passing day, there remains less and less chance to form a coalition government in Turkey. Erdogan also said holding of snap parliamentary election in Turkey is not ruled out.

    Meanwhile, the country's Deputy Prime Minister Yalcin Akdogan said that of all the parties having a right to be represented in the country's parliament, the People's Republican Party (CHP) is closer to creation of a coalition government.

    Turkey's Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu was earlier reported to say that the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) refused to form a coalition government in Turkey.

    Previously, in June, the People's Republican Party (CHP) put forward terms for formation of a coalition government with the country's ruling Justice and Development Party.

    Under those terms, the CHP leader should head Turkey's government for two years. Moreover, under the terms, the Turkish parliament was to be led by one of the CHP members.

    The opposition was also demanding to appoint the parliament members representing the CHP as the ministers of justice, interior and education.

    Turkey held parliamentary election June 7, which involved 20 political parties.

    Over 53 million people cast their votes in the election.

    During the parliamentary election, Turkey's ruling Justice and Development Party garnered 40.9 percent of the vote, while the People's Republican Party (CHP) gained 25 percent. Aside from that the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) got 16.3 percent, and the Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) garnered 13.1 percent of the vote.

    A coalition government should be formed in Turkey within 45 days after the announcement of the election results.

    Edited by SI

    ---

    Follow the author on Twitter: @rhafizoglu

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    9
  • Investing in Iran gas sector as attractive as oil
    31.07.2015 17:30
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2013/09/26/dalga_khatinoglu1.jpg
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2013/09/26/dalga_khatinoglu1.jpg
    By Dalga Khatinoglu- Trend:

    When we talk about the importance of Iran in global energy security, its oil export is featured most often, but the volume and value of Iranian gas is even more than oil.

    Iran ranks forth in term of its 158 billion barrels of oil reserves, but first in term of 34 trillion cubic meters of gas reserves, which equals 240 billion barrels of oil equivalent.

    Iran produces 180 billion cubic meters of gas per annum (bcm/a), while it's oil output capacity is about one billion barrels.

    Domestically, Iran consumes 175 bcm/a of refined gas, which shares 67 percent of the country's total primary energy usage, while the figure for the consumed 600 million barrels of crude oil is about 25 percent.

    Iran planned to double gas output to 1.2 bcm per day (bcm/d) by 2018. Though this plan is so ambitious to be realized in the mentioned time, it doesn't undermine the perspective of country's upstream gas sector.

    Currently, Iran still faces a gas shortage despite a 100-mcm/d increase in production level in 2014. Iran planed to up its gas output as much as last year in 2015. Ignoring Iran's annual gas consumption growth, the country needs more 20 bcm/a of gas delivery to power plants to stop liquid fuel consumption in this sector. Iran also needs to double gas re-injection to 60 bcm.

    The Islamic Republic also planned to attract $70 billion investment in the next 10 years to increase petrochemical products output by 2.3 times to 100 million tons per annum.

    However, regarding Iran's abundant gas reserves which shares 18 percent of global conventional gas reserves and giant undeveloped or semi-developed gas fields like South Pars, Kish, North Pars, Farzad B, etc, the perspective of this sector is very bright.

    Importance of Iranian gas for Europeans

    European Union has put about $250 billion direct investment abroad in 2014, while the total amount of global foreign direct investment was about $1.6 billion.

    While European delegations from Germany visited Iran and delegations from France, Italy, Austria, UK and Poland are to visit this country to discuss economic ties, Iran hopes to attract tens of billion dollars in oil and gas sector.

    Iran has also defined a long-term (20-25 years) new model contract that it calls its integrated petroleum contract (IPC) to replace the old, less popular buyback agreements to attract foreign companies. However, it's not clear whether IPC could compete with production sharing agreements (PSA) that is popular with companies, but is banned in Iran.

    Besides Iran's own interests, the EU also needs Iranian gas to diversify its gas import routes.

    Iran can deliver more 2 bcm/a of gas to Turkey through the current infrastructures by adding a gas compressor station joined to the Trans Anatolian Pipeline (TANAP), but this amount is very low. For significant amount of gas, Iran needs to realize the 1,850 km 9th cross-country pipeline project with capacity of transiting 30 bcm/a of South Pars's gas to Turkey borders joined to TANAP or a new pipeline project.

    However, Iran needs $6 billion investment to realize 9th cross-country pipeline. Currently Iran only exports 9.7 bcm/a of gas to Turkey. The other choice is building LNG plants.

    A glance at Iran's LNG projects

    In the fourth 5-Year National Develop Plan (2005-2009), Iran had aimed to produce 70 million tons of liquefied natural gas (LNG) from the South Pars, North Pars, Ferdosi and Golshan gas fields by launching six LNG production facilities.

    After canceling Iran's LNG project contracts with French Total, Spanish Repsol, Dutch-British Shell and Malaysian Petronas, Iran practically lost almost all opportunities in the LNG industry until in 2008 when the country signed a contract worth $25 billion to develop its gas fields and produce LNG with the Chinese SINOPEC group, Chinese CEPA, Polish state-owned gas company (PGNiG) and Malaysian Petrofield LNG Co.

    The value of Iran's contracts with PGNiG and Petrofield were respectively about $2 billion and $14-16 billion.

    Iran also had a contract with Linde AG to build a giant LNG plant, but Linde refused to supply needed equipments due to sanctions. All of projects were canceled until 2012, even those which Iran signed with Chinese companies.

    Resuming LNG projects

    Iran announced in May that it resumed talks with Linde AG to restart developing the Iran LNG project. The capital investment needed for the Iran LNG plant was estimated at $5 billion and the facility would start its early production if half that sum were provided.

    This plant's capacity is projected to be 10.5 million metric tons per year of LNG production, earning the country more than $7 billion annually.

    Iran also can export a restricted amount of gas to the EU by floating LNG ships.

    FLNG ships take natural gas in offshore and the gas is chilled to -162deg;C, shrinking in volume 600 times, and then is transported to market.

    Edited by CN

    Dalga Khatinoglu is an expert on Iran's energy sector, head of Trend Agency's Iran news service

    Follow him on @dalgakhatinoglu

    18
  • Earthquake rocks central Iran
    31.07.2015 17:13
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2014/02/10/earthquake_100214_2.jpg
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2014/02/10/earthquake_100214_2.jpg
    Tehran, Iran, July 31

    By Mehdi Sepahvand -- Trend:

    An earthquake 5.5 degrees on the Richter scale has hit the central Iranian province of Kerman.

    The seismic movement took place at 14:56 local time at the depth of 8 kilometers in Sirach district, ISNA news agency reported July 31.

    Salehi, director of the provincial Crisis Management Staff, said while there is yet no report of any casualties, search and rescue teams are dispatched to inspect the area.

    He predicted that due to the magnitude and low depth of the quake, there must be some damage caused by the earthquake.

    Kamal Javanmard, a member of the city council of Kerman (capital of Kerman Province) said life in the city is normal.

    The earthquake hit 13 villages but teams dispatched to the area say there is no damage to three of the villages visited so far, Kamal Javanmard, a local rescue and relief official said.

    Edited by CN

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    20
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