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

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

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

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

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

CLAUDIA BUCHMANN

Columbus, Ohio, Feb. 6, 2013

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

To the Editor:

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

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

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

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

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

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

WALT LIDMAN

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

The writer is a retired public-school teacher.
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    http:// www.news.az/photos/page-photo/143137.jpg
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    http:// www.news.az/photos/page-photo/143131.jpg
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    01.09.2015 09:22
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    http:// www.news.az/photos/page-photo/143128.jpg
    ''Azerbaijanв's position is that sport and policy should not be made the same and the sport should not be used for political aims''

    "Over 100 Armenian or Armenian origin foreign sportsmen attended the sport events and the First European Games held in Azerbaijan during past five years", Spokesman for the Foreign Ministry of Azerbaijan Hikmet Hajiyev told APA while responding to claims on Armenian footballer Henrikh Mkhitaryan, who plays as a midfielder for German Bundesliga club Borussia Dortmund, which will compete with Azerbaijani club Gabala UEFA European League group stage. According to him, Azerbaijan hosted over 300 international sport events during past decade:

    "These events include the 3rd World Boxing Championship among youths, European Championship on free-style, Greco roman and women's wrestling, the 16th World Boxing Championship, World Masters International Judo tournament, Grand-Prix and Grand Slam tournaments as well as European Championships for Rhythmic Gymnastics, Gabala International Shooting Tournament. Over 100 Armenian or Armenian origin foreign sportsmen attended the sport events and the First European Games held in Azerbaijan during past five years. It's planned to hold several international sport events in our country in the years coming. That's very gratifying that our two football clubs will compete in the Europa League. Participating in such competitions, every country obeys UEFA rules and hosts matches on the basis of these rules. One of football type of sport is that it's in a team forms. In this type, the main issue is a team, but not individuals. Borussia Dortmund's visit to Azerbaijan can be a team's visit".

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    5
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    01.09.2015 09:21
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    http:// www.news.az/photos/page-photo/143129.jpg
    His contract with the Ministry of Culture and Tourism has been prolonged today.

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    5
  • State Department says 150 more Clinton emails have classified information
    01.09.2015 06:30
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    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2015/04/13/hillary_clinton_130415.jpg
    About 150 more of Hillary Clinton's work emails have recently been designated as containing classified information, the U.S. State Department said on Monday ahead of the public release of the latest batch of emails Clinton handed over last year, Reuters reported.

    The department does not know for sure if any information was classified at the time it was sent or received on the private email server Clinton used for work, department spokesman Mark Toner told reporters.

    "It's not an exact science," Toner said in a media briefing, where he described the 150 emails as being "upgraded." "When we've upgraded, we've always said that that certainly does not speak to whether it was classified at the time it was sent."

    The latest finding brings the total number of Clinton emails considered to contain classified information to more than 200 when prior batches are included.

    The U.S. government forbids transmitting classified information outside secure, government-controlled networks. Clinton, the front-runner to become the Democratic Party's nominee for next year's presidential election, has said her use of a private email account connected to a server in her New York home broke no regulations.

    She has said she sent no information via email that was classified at the time and received none marked that way.

    The Federal Bureau of Investigation now has Clinton's server and is investigating.

    Clinton gave the State Department about 55,000 pages of work emails from her four years as secretary of state in December.

    Earlier this year, she asked for them to be made public, and the State Department is now releasing them in monthly batches through January.

    The latest batch, due to published on the department's website late Monday evening, contains more than 7,000 pages, Toner said. The 150 emails with classified information will have sensitive passages redacted.

    In earlier releases, more than 60 emails from Clinton and her senior staff were redacted because they contained classified information, though none was originally marked as classified.

    More than half of those emails consisted of a special category of classified information, according to the State Department: information shared in confidence by foreign government officials to U.S. counterparts.

    The department's regulations say this information "must" be safeguarded as classified. Asked whether Clinton followed these regulations, Toner demurred on Monday.

    "I'm just not going to answer that question," Toner said, citing "other reviews" that were under way. "It's not our goal, it's not our function."

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    36
  • Russia says Iran's S-300 lawsuit impedes deliveries of missile defense systems
    01.09.2015 04:45
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2015/08/23/s300_missile_system_230815.jpg
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2015/08/23/s300_missile_system_230815.jpg
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    In 2007, Russia and Iran signed an $800-million deal for the delivery of five S-300 battalions.

    In 2011, Iran sued Russia's state arms exporter Rosoboronexport in the Geneva Arbitration Court after Moscow suspended the contract for delivery of five S-300 systems, citing the UN Security Council-imposed arms embargo against Tehran.

    'For this [a decision regarding deliveries of S-300], a key requirement is the withdrawal of a lawsuit. They have not withdrawn it yet, we are waiting. We cannot [simultaneously] take part in legal proceedings over one contract and implement deliveries on the other,' the unnamed source said.

    In April, Russian President Vladimir Putin lifted the ban on S-300 deliveries. The move came after Iran and six world powers, including Russia, reached a framework nuclear agreement to remove all economic sanctions against Tehran in exchange for its pledge to cut back on uranium enrichment and the number of centrifuges in the country.

    Last week, Russia and Iran signed a memorandum on the implementation of the agreement for the delivery of the missile defense systems.

    Earlier this month, an Iranian defense source told Sputnik that Tehran expected to receive the Russian S-300 missile defense systems 30-40 days after the signing of the new deal with Moscow. According to the source, Iran will withdraw its lawsuit against Russia immediately after the signing of a new agreement on S-300 deliveries.

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

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    22
  • Storms hit Tehran, Alborz provinces
    01.09.2015 02:45
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2015/02/09/dust_storm_iran_090215.jpg
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2015/02/09/dust_storm_iran_090215.jpg
    Powerful storms battered the western parts of Tehran province, including Shahriyar and Malard, Irna reported.

    The strong winds at a speed of 80 kilometers broke the trees and shattered windows of the houses as well as cut the electricity lines in Shahriyar and Malard.

    Storm also hit Alborz province near Tehran and it was combined with lightening.

    Storm also caused heavy traffic in the roads of Alborz province due to imposing sight restrictions.

    Meantime, manager of Tehran Emergency Service's public relations announced that Tehran storm did not leave anyone injured.

    Also, the strong winds caused two flights from Ahwaz city in Southern Iran to return to Ahwaz Airport due to the inclement weather conditions of Tehrn.

    The flights of Taban and Oil airlines had to return to Ahwaz International Airport.

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    23
  • 3 foreign journalists arrested on terror charges in Turkey
    01.09.2015 02:05
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2013/12/09/turkey-polis-olay-yeri.jpg
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2013/12/09/turkey-polis-olay-yeri.jpg
    A Turkish court has remanded to prison three foreign journalists, who had been under detention on terrorism charges, according to judicial sources Monday, Anadolu Agency reported.

    Mohammed Ismael Rasool, Philip Gingell Hanrahan and Philip John Pendlebury were put on remand by the Second Criminal Court in the southeastern province of Diyarbakir, the sources said.

    The reporters are charged with "knowingly and willfully helping the armed terrorist organization without being a part of its hierarchical structure", sources said, without naming the organization which they allegedly aided.

    The trio had been in detention since late Thursday.

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    12
  • 5 dead, 6 injured after explosion in Spain fireworks factory
    01.09.2015 01:25
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2015/09/01/spain_explosion_010915.jpg
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2015/09/01/spain_explosion_010915.jpg
    Five people have been confirmed dead and six taken to hospital following an explosion in a fireworks factory on the outskirts of the city of Zaragoza in central Spain on Monday, Xinhua reported.

    The explosion at the factory of the Pirotecnica Zaragozana (Zaragoza Firework Company), a company established in 1860 which employs 40 people in a 12-hectare site, happened at 2:15 p.m. local time (1215 GMT) and could be heard up to 20 km away, according to local media.

    Emergency services, including 10 fire engines, were soon on the scene of the accident, but their attempts to reach the exact area of the explosion were hampered by thick smoke and several smaller explosions which followed the main blast.

    In the confusion which followed the explosion, four people were reported as missing, but the Government Delegate for Zaragoza, Gustavo Alcalde later confirmed the five deaths.

    Two of those taken to hospital were in a condition which is described as "very serious," suffering from blast injuries and burns, while the condition of the other four is described as "serious."

    Meanwhile specialist explosive detection squads from Spain's Civil Guard are now at the site as investigations continue into the cause of the tragedy.

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    13
  • Is a powerful Iran the next US strategic failure?
    01.09.2015 00:02
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2015/04/27/usa_iran_flags_270415.jpg
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2015/04/27/usa_iran_flags_270415.jpg
    Baku, Azerbaijan, Aug. 31

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    But this is not the complete story, if unveiled, Western countries are paying for their strategic mistakes in the past. "You reap what you sow."

    The current disaster in the region is mainly a result of wrong policies in the past. Looking back to the 1980s-1990s, the US-led Western block was supporting armed Islamic groups in its proxy war with the Soviet Union in Afghanistan. From the ashes of the civil war in Afghanistan rose fundamentalist groups and gradually spread their influence to the entire region.

    Now in its fight against the latest generation of these groups, the Islamic State (IS), the US is seeking new regional allies, and the Islamic Republic is the most powerful nominee.

    It seems that all roads lead to Tehran. The Islamic Republic has recently resolved its more than decade long nuclear dispute with the West, signing the historic nuclear deal last month.

    Following the deal, Iranian moderators headed by President Hassan Rouhani have expressed readiness for opening new horizons to address shared challenges with the West, including the fight against terrorism and extremism.

    Rouhani has referred to the nuclear deal as a model for resolving most complicated disputes. Even some conservatives in the Islamic Republic are in favor of cooperating with the West in anti-terror measures. For instance, Ali Taheri, an Iranian lawmaker has referred to cooperation in fighting the IS group as the next step after the nuclear deal.

    But it should not be forgotten that by using Iran's power and influence in fighting the IS, even if is useful in the short term there is no guarantee that the result will be less harmful in the long run.

    It could actually pave the way for more Sunni-Shia confrontations and further radicalize some political Sunni groups.

    It can also have unforeseen consequences for the West, considering the fact that Iran's moderate foreign policy may not be able to tolerate more pressure from the conservatives inside the country.

    The lack of a powerful civil society in Iran is the Achilles Heel of the Islamic Republic pragmatists who are seeking cooperation with the global community as well as an important risk factor for western politicians seeing Iran as natural ally in fighting the IS.

    Some military and political officials in Iran do not hide the Islamic Republic's desire to spread its influence to the entire region- from Yemen to Lebanon.

    The stance of Iran's Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who has the last word in Iran, should not be neglected as well.

    He has never spoken positively about the nuclear talks, and on numerous occasions has announced that the Iran-US disputes are beyond the nuclear case.

    Just days after achieving the nuclear agreement, the Islamic Republic's supreme leader argued that no change will be made in Iran's regional policy.

    Iran is a powerful country in the region, which is not hiding its desire to destroy the US 's most close ally-Israel and has made clear that it will continue its policies despite the nuclear deal. At the same time it is a perfect choice for cooperation in anti-terror campaign.

    But while generating solutions for the ongoing crisis we should not forget the Afghanistan experience, and consider sustainable solutions- treatments, rather than using painkillers.

    Edited by CN

    Umid Niayesh is Trend Agency's staff journalist, follow him on Twitter: @UmidNiayesh

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

    Follow us on Twitter @
    20
  • US deploys two Predator drones to Latvian air base
    31.08.2015 23:12
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2014/08/27/hermes_450_bezpilotnik_drone_270814.jpg
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2014/08/27/hermes_450_bezpilotnik_drone_270814.jpg
    The deployment of the drones, which are capable of intelligence gathering and striking targets with Hellfire missiles, will continue through mid-September, Sputnik reported.

    European Command said the stationing would allow the forces to conduct air operations and test drones to reassure Latvia and NATO of the United States' commitment to regional security.

    The deployment is part of the European Reassurance Initiative, meant to support NATO members and partners against what US officials describe as a rising Russian threat in the region.

    Lielvarde Air Base is located southeast of Latvia's capital of Riga and supports operations for Latvian Air force.

    Follow us on Twitter @
    17
  • German SterlД±gov has been detained Д±n Moscow
    31.08.2015 22:02
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2015/07/22/sterligov_220715.jpg
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2015/07/22/sterligov_220715.jpg
    Baku, Azerbaijan, Aug. 31

    Trend:

    Businessman German Sterligov has been detained at Moscow's Domodedovo airport.

    "He arrived in Moscow from Yerevan at 5 a.m. on Monday and was detained after crossing the state border," Sterligov's lawyer said.

    He explained that Sterligov might have been detained because his name was on the inter-state wanted list.

    German Sterligov has been put on the international wanted list by Azerbaijani Prosecutor General's Office. Businessman charged under articles 281.2 and 318.2 of the Criminal Code of Azerbaijan.

    Russian businessman German Sterligov and his family members illegally visited Azerbaijani lands occupied by Armenia, Azerbaijani Prosecutor General's Office said earlier.

    Follow us on Twitter @
    17
  • Azerbaijan '" sole route for Iranian gas to Europe
    31.08.2015 21:03
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2015/02/14/gas-pipelines_140215.jpg
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2015/02/14/gas-pipelines_140215.jpg
    Baku, Azerbaijan, Aug. 31

    By Rufiz Hafizoglu - Trend:

    Even during the period of sanctions, Iran wasn't hiding its intention to sell gas to European markets.

    And now the expected lifting of sanctions and the resumption of relations with the West increases the chances for Iranian gas reaching those markets.

    Iran's geographical location makes it possible for the country to bring its gas to markets in Europe only via the routes going through Turkey or Azerbaijan.

    Each of those routes has its own advantages. Turkish route for bringing Iran's gas to Europe is still much shorter than the one running through Azerbaijan.

    But it is the Turkish route that currently facing a serious risk. The unstable political situation in Turkey's eastern provinces, which began during the parliamentary elections, is still a risk for making long-term investments in this region.

    By the way, the Iranian authorities are already aware of this problem. The Iranian side said last week that taking into account the unstable political situation in the eastern provinces of Turkey, Tehran is considering alternative routes for supplying the goods from the country to Europe, bypassing Turkey. One of these alternative routes for Iran is Azerbaijan.

    In short, Iran's gas can not be supplied to the European markets without Azerbaijan now.

    Even if Iran uses the Turkish route for supplying natural gas to Europe, it will be unable to bypass Azerbaijani TANAP project.

    Earlier, in an interview with Russian media, Director for International Relations of the National Iranian Gas Company (NIGC) Azizullah Ramazani said that Iran could use the Turkish Stream pipeline to be built by Russia after lifting the sanctions.

    Connection to the Turkish Stream is financially disadvantageous to Iran. In order to connect Iran to the Turkish Stream it will be necessary to create an infrastructure in at least 13 provinces of Turkey, through which TANAP will run.

    With this in mind, one can say that in case of supplying Iranian gas to European markets, Azerbaijani route is currently the only one and has no alternative.

    ---

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

    Follow us on Twitter @
    18
  • SOCAR commissions well at offshore field
    31.08.2015 20:25
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2014/04/09/oil_rig_090414.jpg
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2014/04/09/oil_rig_090414.jpg
    Baku, Azerbaijan, Aug. 31

    By Maksim Tsurkov - Trend:

    After conducting geological exploration, the State Oil Company of Azerbaijan (SOCAR) put a new well at the Gunashli field in the Azerbaijani sector of the Caspian Sea into an operating well stock, the company said August 31.

    SOCAR said the well No 412 was put into operation after geological and technical work was conducted from the jacket No 14 at a range of 2,887-2,880 meters.

    The well daily output hits 25 metric tons of oil, the company said.

    The operational work at the well is conducted by the lsquo;28 May Oil and Gas Production Department'.

    lsquo;Gunashli' field plays an important role in the oil and gas industry of Azerbaijan.

    SOCAR independently develops the field's shallow water part, while its deep-water part is being developed within the lsquo;Azeri-Chirag-Gunashli' block together with foreign partners.

    SOCAR produced over 8.32 million metric tons of oil in 2014 versus 8.31 million metric tons produced in 2013.

    More than 42.4 million metric tons of oil were produced in Azerbaijan in 2014 compared to 43.5 million metric tons produced in 2013.

    Edited by CN

    ---

    Follow the author on Twitter: @MaksimTsurkov

    Follow us on Twitter @
    13
  • SOCAR Turkey Enerjiв's consolidated turnover to reach $15B in 2018
    31.08.2015 20:09
    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. 31

    By Maksim Tsurkov - Trend:

    In 2018, the consolidated turnover of the SOCAR Turkey Enerji will reach $15 billion, the company's head, Kenan Yavuz told reporters.

    He said that at the same time, SOCAR Turkey Enerji would in 2018 become the second largest industrial company in Turkey with 5,000 employees and $3 billion worth export potential.

    Yavuz added that SOCAR Turkey Enerji aims to become the largest industrial company by 2023.

    "Until today, SOCAR's investments in Turkey's economy as part of the lsquo;Value-Site' project in the Petkim peninsula exceeded $10 billion," said Yavuz. "In a period from 2008 to 2018, SOCAR's investments in Turkey, including investments in the TANAP project, will exceed $20 billion."

    Thus, he added, SOCAR is the largest investor in Turkey's economy.

    "SOCAR's total investment portfolio in Turkey stands at $20 billion," Yavuz further said.

    He added that through the sale of a 13-percent stake in SOCAR Turkey Enerji to Goldman Sachs for $1.3 billion, the company repaid a debt of $900 million, which emerged during privatization of Petkim, when the company acquired a stake for $2.04 billion.

    "Under an agreement, Goldman Sachs will in 2021 sell at stock exchange its 13-percent stake in the company and 30-percent stake in Petkim, purchased for $300 million," said Yavuz. "The purchase of this share of SOCAR will depend on the price."

    He added that $2.2 billion were spent in general to purchase all shares in Petkim ($2.04 billion for a 51-percent share, and $168 million for a 10-percent share).

    Edited by CN

    Follow the author on Twitter: @MaksimTsurkov

    Follow us on Twitter @
    9
  • Economic crisis affects tourist flow from Russia to Azerbaijan
    31.08.2015 20:02
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2015/03/11/trend_icherisheher_albom_hd_200814_3.jpg
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2015/03/11/trend_icherisheher_albom_hd_200814_3.jpg
    Baku, Azerbaijan, Aug. 31

    By Elmir Murad - Trend:

    The number of tourists arriving from Russia to Azerbaijan has reduced this year, Aydin Ismiyev, head of the tourism department under the Azerbaijani Ministry of Culture and Tourism, told Trend August 31.

    He said that a decrease of the tourist flow from Russia to Azerbaijan is connected with the economic crisis in this country.

    Some 500,000 tourists, mainly Russians, arrived in Azerbaijan in 2014.

    "Every year, many tourists come to Azerbaijan from Iran, Turkey, Georgia and Russia," he said.

    "Unfortunately, this year the number of tourists from Russia has decreased," he said. "The crisis, observed in the world today, particularly in Russia, affected the social conditions of people. Therefore, the flow of Russian tourists to Azerbaijan is being reduced."

    He also said that the opening of new hotels in some districts of Azerbaijan has contributed to the development of the tourism sector of the country.

    "The new tourist facilities have opened in several districts of the country this year," he said. "I believe that this has contributed to the development of tourism in Azerbaijan. The information about the number of tourists who visited Azerbaijan this year and the districts which they visited as of the year will be disclosed in late September."

    Edited by CN

    Follow us on Twitter @
    6
  • SOCAR Turkey Enerji to acquire thermal power plant for Petkim
    31.08.2015 19:55
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2015/08/15/tes_150815.jpg
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2015/08/15/tes_150815.jpg
    Baku, Azerbaijan, Aug. 31

    By Maksim Tsurkov - Trend:

    SOCAR Turkey Enerji intends to acquire a coal-fired thermal power plant with a capacity of 300 megawatts, SOCAR Turkey Enerji head Kenan Yavuz told reporters.

    He said that coal is cheaper and it is economically reasonable to buy a coal-fired power plant.

    "Socar Power has a 10-year project in Petkim with a capacity of 1500 MW," he said. "All necessary permissions were obtained for purchasing a 300-megawatt coal-fired power plant from the state. The negotiations are underway with the banks to ensure the tender process and to finance the project. The first phase of the cogeneration plant construction (Petkojen) will be completed in 2016. Thus, up to 30 percent of consumed energy will be saved up."

    He said that Petkim peninsula's need for the electric and steam energy will increase by four times by 2023.

    "A wind power plant with a capacity of 51 MW will be built on the peninsula to diversify the generation of electricity," he said. The project costs 55 million euro. The construction is to be completed by the end of 2016."

    He added that not only Petkim's needs for electricity would be met, but the electricity would be also sold to the state as a result of the ongoing projects.

    Edited by CN

    ---

    follow the author on Twitter: @MaksimTsurkov

    Follow us on Twitter @
    8
  • Tenge depreciation to create hurdles for Kazakh banks - SP
    31.08.2015 19:45
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2011/12/23/Standard_Poor_231211.jpg
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2011/12/23/Standard_Poor_231211.jpg
    Baku, Azerbaijan, Aug. 31

    Trend:

    The recent sharp drop in Kazakhstan's currency will likely complicate matters for the country's banking sector, already hurting from the economic slowdown following the recent plunge in oil prices, according to a report entitled, "Kazakh Banks Will Feel The Weight Of Tenge Depreciation And Worsening Economic Conditions", published by Standard amp; Poor's Ratings Services Aug. 31.

    "The National Bank of Kazakhstan (NBK), alongside the central government, untethered the tenge from the dollar, on Aug. 20, 2015, enabling it to float freely. As a result, the tenge has fallen by about 25% so far," the statement said.

    "Standard amp; Poor's assumes that Kazakh banks' business prospects will feel constrained over the remaining part of 2015 due to the worsening macroeconomic environment, deteriorating borrowers' creditworthiness, and the sharp weakening of the tenge," Standard amp; Poor's said. "Standard amp; Poor's projects that Kazakh banks may face both volatile customer funding and limited opportunities to invest foreign-currency denominated funds into income generating assets of acceptable credit risk."

    In 2015, Kazakh banks' profitability will likely bow under the pressure of the tenge's drop and negative macroeconomic trends.

    Standard amp; Poor's expects credit risks in Kazakhstan's banking sector will increase in the next one to two years amid the worsening macroeconomic environment and weakened local currency.

    Tenge liquidity will likely remain tight in the banking sector in the second half of 2015, despite the government's efforts.

    Banks' pronounced currency mismatch between loans and deposits will likely complicate their lending growth and overall business prospects in the absence of readily available long-term market instruments to hedge foreign currency risks.

    Standard amp; Poor's anticipates that the dynamics of the banking sector loan portfolio will be almost flat in 2015 (adjusted for the BTA Bank deconsolidation from the sector).

    Standard amp; Poor's currently rates 19 commercial banks in Kazakhstan.

    In Standard amp; Poor's opinion, the country's banking industry is exposed to very high risks, according to our Banking Industry Country Risk Assessment of '8', which ranges from '1' for lowest risk to '10' for highest risk.

    Follow us on Twitter @
    6
  • Production start date announced at Star refinery
    31.08.2015 19:30
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2015/08/15/tes_150815.jpg
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2015/08/15/tes_150815.jpg
    Baku, Azerbaijan, Aug. 31

    By Maksim Tsurkov - Trend:

    SOCAR Turkey Enerji plans to start production at the Star refinery in March 2018, SOCAR Turkey Enerji head Kenan Yavuz told reporters.

    He said that the cost of the Star refinery construction is $5.6 billion.

    "Some $ 3.2 billion was invested by 23 international and local banks, and $2.4 billion by SOCAR (State Oil Company of Azerbaijan)," he said. "Moreover, Petkim is expected to acquire an 8 percent stake in Star refinery."

    He said the plant would be constructed by 2018.

    "Some 29 percent of the construction work has been completed," he said. "The amount of investments is $2 billion. Some $ 300 million of this amount was paid by the banks at the expense of the project financing. Some 10,000 people will work at the refinery at the investment stage until the end of 2017. It is planned to start production at the plant in March 2018. After commissioning, some 1,000 people will be provided with jobs on a permanent basis."

    The annual naphtha production volume, used by Petkim as the main raw material, will hit 1.66 million metric tons at the STAR refinery.

    Along with naphtha, the new oil refinery will produce diesel fuel with ultra-low sulfur to the amount of 5.95 million metric tons, aviation kerosene - 500,000 metric tons, reformate - 500,000 metric tons, petroleum coke - 630,000 metric tons, liquefied gas - 240,000 metric tons, mixed xylene - 415,000 metric tons, olefin LPG - 75,000 metric tons and 145,000 metric tons of sulfur. The refinery will not produce petrol and fuel oil.

    It is planned to refine Azeri Light, Kerkuk and URALS oil at the plant.

    Edited by CN

    ---

    follow the author on Twitter: @MaksimTsurkov

    Follow us on Twitter @
    8
  • Russian FMв's unexpected visit and synchronization of watches on Nagorno-Karabakh issue
    31.08.2015 18:57
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2013/09/22/sergey_lavrov_220913_01.jpg
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2013/09/22/sergey_lavrov_220913_01.jpg
    Baku, Azerbaijan, Aug. 31

    By Elmira Tariverdiyeva - Trend:

    This time, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov's forthcoming visit to Baku was unplanned and unexpected even for the minister's team. There was not any visit to Azerbaijan on the agenda as of August 27. But Lavrov decided to hold a meeting with his Azerbaijani counterpart Elmar Mammadyarov in Baku on August 28.

    Moscow's journalists would not arrive with the minister. The minister's press-service told Trend news agency following its request for an interview with the minister that the lsquo;specifics of the visit does not envisage any communication with the media'. All this is among the unusual details of the visit.

    As the Russian media immediately disseminated experts' comments that Lavrov's visit would focus on the Nagorno-Karabakh problem only and in particular, everything pointed to the fact that the discussion of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict would be the main topic of the meeting of foreign ministers.

    Several reasons for the meeting were the instability observed on the contact line of Azerbaijani and Armenian troops at the end of summer and the fact that it claimed the lives of several soldiers.

    This simmering conflict has the nature of breaking out on a regular basis, and makes the mediators' involvement in the process a necessity.

    But in recent years there has been no such involvement on the part of the notorious OSCE Minsk Group, which was meant to actively mediate between the conflict parties. All of the Minsk Group statements have become an absolute copy of the previous ones, and its co-chairs are reiterating their persistent concerns, constantly calling for one and the same thing.

    Meanwhile, Russia, as one of the mediators, is interested more than others that the confrontation between Azerbaijan and Armenia, which has been occupying Azerbaijan's lands for over 20 years, doesn't end in a full-fledged war.

    There have been too many serious conflicts recently in the zone of Moscow's "privileged interests", and today the Kremlin has neither the power nor the resources to solve Armenia's security problems.

    The persistent armed clashes, either aggravating or briefly fading, suggest the need to find at least an interim solution, which will move the threat away from the region's stability, even temporarily.

    In addition, today Armenia is in a very difficult financial situation as well, and this situation is likely to deteriorate to a completely catastrophic state in the near future. Armenia's poor economy, which has been connected with Russia's one for many years, survives only by a stunted cord of handouts and earnings of Armenian immigrants, is in need of new ways of life, and perhaps the Armenian authorities will finally agree to a compromise for the sake of partial lifting of the economic blockade.

    If this does not happen, then very soon Armenia, tormented by social protests, the unprecedented devaluation of the dram and a rise in price of export goods, coupled with an ever decreasing financial brook from Russia, will just die, hungry, driven into a corner between the profitable transport projects and ways of oil and gas supply running across the region.

    Edited by CN

    ---

    Elmira Tariverdiyeva is Trend Agency's staff writer

    Follow us on Twitter @
    10
  • Azerbaijan's Foreign Ministry condemns organization of concert in Khankendi attended by Lyubov Kazarnovskaya and others
    31.08.2015 18:53
    http://apaholding.az/upload/images/photos/apa_logo.png
    http://apaholding.az/upload/images/photos/apa_logo.png
    Baku. Malahat Najafova '" APA. Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry strongly condemns the organization of a concert program of provocative character, which is scheduled to be held Sept. 2 in Azerbaijanв's occupied territory '" the city of Khankendi, with participation of Russian operatic soprano Lubov Kazarnovskaya and other persons, Azerbaijani Foreign Ministryв's Spokesman Hikmat Hajiyev told APA.

    According to him, this concert serves the promotion of the so-called regime created as a result of the agression, occupation and ethnic cleansing policy of Armenia against Azerbaijan.

    "We'd like to mention Kazarnovskaya, who speaks about justice and peace, that in 1992, Armenia and the so-called regime committed genocide against Azerbaijanis in Khojaly which sits several kilometers away from Khankendi. Those that call themselves culture figures should at least be ashamed of the underage children and women who fell victim to this tragedy. As a result of Armenia's vandalism policy, rich material cultural monuments as well as world-famous Karabakh musical heritage have been looted and destroyed in those occupied territories," he said.

    Hajiyev noted that other foreign citizens who took part in the concert will soon be added to the list of undesired persons once the investigation is over.
    6
  • PACE to send observation mission to parliamentary elections in Azerbaijan
    31.08.2015 18:35
    http:// www.news.az/photos/page-photo/143126.jpg
    http:// www.news.az/photos/page-photo/143126.jpg
    Spanish parliamentarian Jordi Chukla will be leading the mission

    At its meeting on Monday, the PACE Bureau decided to send an observation mission to Azerbaijan for the upcoming parliamentary elections in the country, PACE press secretary Francesc Ferrer told APA, adding that the mission involves 13 PACE members.

    Spanish parliamentarian Jordi Chukla will be leading the mission.
    10
  • Five policemen injured in Sirnak attack
    31.08.2015 18:35
    http:// www.news.az/photos/page-photo/143127.jpg
    http:// www.news.az/photos/page-photo/143127.jpg
    At least five policemen were injured in a roadside bomb attack on a police vehicle in Turkeyв's southeastern province Sirnak on Monday, official security sources said.

    According to official sources, members of Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) detonated a bomb planted on the Idil-Cizre Highway when an armored police car passed by, Anadolu agency reports.

    The injured policemen were admitted to the Idil State hospital.

    Operations against the PKK - listed as a terrorist group by Turkey, the EU and U.S. - came after it renewed attacks on Turkish security forces following the July 20 Suruc bombing that killed dozens of people.
    6
  • New Mexico State Senator visits Azerbaijani Parliament
    31.08.2015 18:23
    http:// www.news.az/photos/page-photo/143125.jpg
    http:// www.news.az/photos/page-photo/143125.jpg
    Vice-Speaker of the Azerbaijani Parliament Bahar Muradova has today met with a delegation from US New Mexico State, who are on a visit to Baku.

    The vice-speaker said Azerbaijan-US relations are based on strategic alliance, the Parliament told APA.

    "Relations between our countries are deepening at not only the state level but also at the level of civil society and communities. Azerbaijan, the first democratic republic in the East, uses its achievements in this area in the interests of the whole region. The US is a good example for us in terms of democracy building," said Bahar Muradova, adding that more than 15 US states, including New Mexico, have adopted documents supporting the unbiased truth about the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict and the Khojaly tragedy.

    The guests were told that Speaker of the Azerbaijani Parliament Ogtay Asadov is currently on a visit to the United States, where is attending the 4th World Conference of Speakers of Parliament being held in New York City.

    The guest were also informed that Azerbaijan a tolerant country where people of varying ethnicity and religions live peacefully.

    Head of the delegation, Ms. Mary Kay Papen, expressed satisfaction with her visit to Azerbaijan.

    The sides during the meeting discussed the Nagorno-Karabakh problem and the areas under occupation. Bahar Muradova said Azerbaijan is on the eve of new parliamentary elections, noting that an active election campaign will be launched soon.
    8
  • Ilham Aliyev dismisses head of executive power
    31.08.2015 18:10
    http:// www.news.az/photos/page-photo/143124.jpg
    http:// www.news.az/photos/page-photo/143124.jpg
    President of Azerbaijan has signed a decree.

    President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev has signed a decree to appoint Kamal Alekberov as head of executive power of the Kengerli region of Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic.

    Oxu.Az reports citing the official website for the head of state that by another decree of the president Ramiz Jafarov was released from the position of the head of executive power of Kengerli.
    9
  • Azerbaijani CEC registers several partiesв' authorized reps
    31.08.2015 18:09
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2015/02/06/trend_msk_bina_main.jpg
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2015/02/06/trend_msk_bina_main.jpg
    Baku, Azerbaijan, Aug. 31

    By Elchin Mehdiyev - Trend:

    Azerbaijan's Central Election Commission (CEC) approved the text, the form, the number and the procedure for issuance of notices to inform voters on the venue and time of election to country's parliament, scheduled for Nov. 1.

    A meeting of the CEC, held Aug. 31, also registered the authorized representatives of a number of parties. The authorized representatives of the ruling New Azerbaijan Party, the Civic Solidarity Party, and the Azerbaijan Popular Front Party were registered during the meeting.

    The meeting also made changes to the instruction on rules for filing complaints and appeals to the CEC and constituency election commissions in connection with the violation of election rights, as well as to rules of considering them.

    Aside from that changes were made to the composition of some constituency election commissions.

    Edited by SI

    Follow us on Twitter @
    6
  • Iran would require lots of investment in energy sphere (exclusive)
    31.08.2015 17:55
    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, August 31

    By Aygun Badalova - Trend:

    Iran would require lots of investment in order to become a major player С‰n the world energy market, Vesa Ahoniemi, an independent energy analyst believes.

    "Iran would require a lot of new investment, including in the country's own pipeline network," Ahoniemi told Trend.

    Iran and the P5 1 have reached a nuclear deal after more than a decade of on-off negotiation, granting Tehran sanctions relief in exchange for curbs on its nuclear program. The agreement aims to limit Iran's nuclear work for more than a decade in exchange for the gradual suspension of sanctions that have slashed Iran's oil exports and crippled its economy.

    Sanctions on Iran are expected to be eliminated by the end of the current fiscal year.

    "Until the sanctions are lifted financing will be impossible and even thereafter I suspect oil will receive a lion's share of inward foreign investment," Ahoniemi said.

    Iranian oil production has fallen by over 1m bpd since the imposition of the latest round of sanctions at the start of 2012.

    Earlier Iranian authorities said that the country's oil supply could double from the current 1.2 million barrels per day to 2.3 million barrels if the sanctions are lifted.

    Iran repeatedly stated that OPEC member states should make room for Iran to allow it to increase the export and called for returning to the individual quotas for oil production for the cartel's members.Currently, OPEC's quota for oil production is 30 million barrels per day.

    According to the report British economic research and consulting company Capital Economics, a macro-economic research company estimates that Iran should be able to regain its pre-sanctions level of around 4m bpd relatively quickly.

    The report said that resuming oil output for Iran is possible in six to 12 months, but it will take a considerably longer period of time to reinvigorate Iran's ageing infrastructure.

    "Admittedly, Iran's terms for Western oil companies are reportedly significantly less generous than other countries," the report, obtained by Trend had said.

    "But it is reviewing them and companies are unlikely to pass up on the chance to develop one of the last remaining reserves of easily accessible oil, especially as Iran should be a relatively stable environment to invest in Iran".

    Follow us on Twitter @
    8
  • Turkish Petkim increases production capacity
    31.08.2015 17:55
    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. 31

    By Maksim Tsurkov - Trend:

    The Turkish Petkim petrochemical complex increased its production capacity from 3.2 million metric tons to 3.6 million metric tons of output per year, the head of SOCAR Turkey Enerji Kenan Yavuz told reporters.

    He also said that the Petlim container port in Turkey will begin accepting containers in January 2016.

    "Petlim container port will become the third largest port in Turkey and the largest one in the Aegean Sea," said Yavuz. "It will be able to accept the largest container ships carrying capacity up to 11,000 containers. Some $400 million was invested in the construction of the port, $300 million of which was invested by Petkim."

    Petkim Petrokimya Holding manufactures plastic packages, fabrics, PVC and detergents. It is the sole Turkish producer manufacturing such products. The company exports a quarter of its goods.

    SOCAR Turkey Enerji A.Ећ. and SOCAR International DMCC OGG acquired a 10.32 percent stake in Petkim, increasing SOCAR's stake in the complex to 61.32 percent. Some 38.67 percent of the shares are in free circulation in the Istanbul Stock Exchange.

    In July 2014, Turkey's Akbank allocated a loan of $212 million to Petlim LimancД±lД±k A. Ећ., where the Turkish petrochemical holding, Petkim, holds a 70 percent share. APM Terminals will have the right to manage the port for 28 years. SOCAR Turkey Enerji and Goldman Sachs signed an agreement to sell a 30 percent stake in the Petlim Limancilik A.S. company, 100-percent owned by the Petkim Turkish petrochemical holding. The cost of the transaction amounted to $250 million.

    In March 2013, Petkim and the Dutch company APM Terminals inked an agreement for the construction of a container port with a capacity of 1.5 million TEU. The new port's capacity will exceed that of the Alsancak port by about 50 percent.

    Edited by CN

    ---

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    6
  • Azerbaijan's first sterilization plant set to open
    31.08.2015 17:54
    http://www.today.az/pictures/pic143305.jpg
    http://www.today.az/pictures/pic143305.jpg
    /By AzerNews/

    By Nigar Orujova

    Azerbaijan expects to commission its first sterilization installation by the end of the first quarter of 2016, a source close to the project told Trend.

    The project is being developed by the Hungarian Institute of Isotopes, which won the tender announced earlier by the International Atomic Energy Agency.

    The sterilization plant will be located in the village of Gobu, 20 km from Baku, in an area owned by the Center for Nuclear Research. Currently, work is underway on the construction of infrastructure in the area where the sterilization installation will be located.

    Cobalt isotopes (cobalt-60), which are currently widely used in many industries, will be used for gamma radiation. It is designed for the sterilization of medical instruments and food and for stimulating the growth of crop and vegetable yields.

    Irradiation carried out in a sterilization plant is the most advanced method of killing germs, experts believe.

    Gamma radiation sterilization, one of the most penetrative types of energy, cause significant cell damage at even low dosage, thus killing germs, without damaging the material.

    There is an international list of products that can be subjected to radiation at harmless doses. The list includes wheat, dried fruit, spices, meat and meat products, wine, potatoes, and other agricultural goods.

    Sterilization by way of gamma radiation destroys microbes, which in turn will increase the shelf life of agricultural products including grains, meat, dried fruit, potatoes, as well as medicines, etc.

    Dosimetric and microbiological laboratories that will control quality are also expected to be installed at the plant. After sterilization, the presence or absence of microorganisms in the products will be checked in the laboratories.

    The Turkish company Tetra Technological Systems will supply equipment to study the properties of materials at high temperatures.
    6
  • Iran says Fordo nuclear facility symbolize it political independence
    31.08.2015 17:53
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2013/04/09/Iran_nuclear_technology_090413.jpg
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2013/04/09/Iran_nuclear_technology_090413.jpg
    Baku, Azerbaijan, Aug. 31

    By Khalid Kazimov -- Trend:

    The Fordo nuclear facility is the symbol of Iran 's political independence, head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran Ali Akbar Salehi said.

    Salehi added Fordo is the main source for creating nuclear fuel for reactors and asserted that Fordo has a great role in nuclear research, adding that it must turn into Iran 's symbol in world science.

    He said Iran is drafting a 15-year nuclear plan, IRNA news agency reported August 31.

    "Two new power plants will be launched in Bushehr (city in southern Iran) for which preliminary agreements have been signed with Russia which will be funding the projects as well," Salehi said.

    According to the AEOI chief, each of the power plants will produce one thousand megawatts as well as 250 to 350 thousand cubic meters of fresh water.

    Talks have also been held with China on building small, 100-megawatt power plants, he noted.

    Salehi added aerial inspection of the Iranian land is 60 percent through which is aimed at locating uranium resources.

    He added the Islamic Republic has a long-term plan to privatize the nuclear industry.

    Iran agreed to have its nuclear activities under close inspection by the IAEA through a deal signed on July 14.

    World powers accused Iran of planning to build a nuclear bomb, but Tehran rejected the accusation.

    Tehran says its nuclear program follows peaceful, civil aims and will pose no threat to any country.

    Edited by CN

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    6
  • Political parties start nominating candidates to parliamentary election in Azerbaijan
    31.08.2015 17:43
    http://www.topnews.az/images/logo.png
    http://www.topnews.az/images/logo.png
    /By AzerNews/

    By Aynur Karimova

    Azerbaijan's political parties have begun nominating candidates for the November 1 parliamentary election in accordance with a recent presidential decree concerning the date of the elections.

    President Ilham Aliyev signed a decree officially setting the date of the elections to November 1, and the Central Election Commission adopted the schedule at a meeting on August 29.

    The ruling New Azerbaijan Party has already determined 1,250 of its members for candidacy, while the Democratic Party of Azerbaijan disclosed a preliminary list of 15 candidates who will participate in the upcoming elections.

    Also, authorized representatives of the New Azerbaijan Party, Civil Solidarity Party and the United National Front Party of Azerbaijan were registered by the CEC on August 31.

    The presidentв's Aide for Public and Political Affairs and head of the Presidential Administrationв's Public and Political Affairs department, Ali Hasanov, considers the pre-election situation stable.

    "The civil initiatives of the society are active enough," he told local media, praising a dialogue existing among the socio-political institutions. "We will complete the election with such a condition. The Azerbaijani government's policy towards the political parties, non-governmental organizations, media outlets, as well as local and international organizations is constructive enough.''

    Azerbaijan, a politically stable country in the South Caucasus, has already created all of the necessary conditions for holding transparent elections.

    Meanwhile, CEC Chairman Mazahir Panahov did not rule out the possibility of unpleasant circumstances during the elections.

    ''Millions of people vote in the election and such a situation is a normal phenomenon,'' he said. ''However, the work of the members of the election commissions is to promptly and adequately respond to such an incident.''

    The Azerbaijani government reaffirms its loyalty to democratic principles and adheres to the conditions required by international institutions interested in observing elections. The government takes necessary measures to ensure the transparency of elections both for international institutions and to the public.

    The CEC is sending official invitations to international organizations to monitor the electoral processes.

    "While inviting international organizations, we tell them that we will create all necessary conditions for them,'' Panahov said. ''We are creating all conditions for the official representatives for their participation in all electoral processes. The media representatives are also involved in the processes related to the verification of documents and signatures. The representatives of international organizations must notify about errors and violations. This is the constructive cooperation."

    All election documents necessary for the registration of candidates should be submitted to the district election commissions from September 12 to October 2 until 18:00 (UTC/GMT 4 hours).

    The pre-election campaign will start on October 9 and will end on October 31 at 8:00 (UTC/GMT 4 hours).

    Registration for election monitoring should be submitted to the CEC on October 22. Local observers should submit their documents to the district election commission five days prior to voting.

    The pre-election campaign begins 23 days before voting. This year, it will begin on October 9 and end on October 30. The pre-election agitation leaflets will be placed at polling stations until October 2.

    The commission plans to install web cameras in more than 1,000 polling stations in the regions of Azerbaijan and Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic. Some 296 webcams will be installed in the electoral districts in Baku.

    Police will ensure safety during parliamentary elections and prevent all violations of the voting process in the framework of the law.

    Earlier the EU reported that it welcomes Azerbaijanв's actions taken to conduct transparent elections, and expressed readiness to render support for the election process in Azerbaijan at a higher level.
    7
  • Russian government: France pays Russia over €1 billion compensation for Mistral
    31.08.2015 17:36
    http:// www.news.az/photos/page-photo/143123.jpg
    http:// www.news.az/photos/page-photo/143123.jpg
    The overall compensation sum that France has paid Russia for cancelling the contract for the delivery of Mistral helicopter carriers has exceeded 1 billion euros, a source in the Russian government has said, TASS reports.

    "Taking into account that we have received 65 million euros for the afterbody of [Mistrals] the total sum of payment by France has reached more than 1 billion euros," the source told reporters.

    In total, Russia paid 893 million euros in advance, he said, adding that "so we paid for the whole first ship and a half of the second one."

    "After the talks, we managed to ensure that they pay for collateral losses and expenses, including business trips, training and the creation of infrastructure in the Far East for these vessels," the source said.

    The decision of the French Senate, which is due to consider the issue of ratification of the Mistral agreement on September 14, bears no risks for Russia, since the money has already been transferred within the framework of the agreements with the French government on the termination of the deal, the source said.

    "The French Senate is due to consider on September 14 the ratification of this agreement [on the termination of the Mistral agreement - TASS]. Since the money is already in Russia, the results of this consideration bear no risks for Russia," he said.
    8
  • Poll shows almost third of Russians see US as "unfriendly" state
    31.08.2015 17:15
    http:// www.news.az/photos/page-photo/143122.jpg
    http:// www.news.az/photos/page-photo/143122.jpg
    The survey said that in 1990, more than one third of Russians said the US authorities were "friendly-minded" towards their country. Today, 31% of Russian citizens believe that the US is "unfriendly."

    Since the perestroika years in Russia, the relation to Washington has changed drastically. "Russians have mostly negative feelings towards the United States of America," the poll says, according to TASS.

    The US is now perceived as an aggressor (4%), "enemy number one" (4%), provocateur (2%), a country seeking global domination (2%) and a state carrying out anti-Russian policy (2%).

    Some 15% of respondents say the US is a country with high rate of crime and decline in moral values (compared with 1% in 1990). The same number of Russians (compared with 1% in 1990) noted the absence of "human warmth" in interpersonal relations there.

    A quarter of century ago, 35% of Russians said the US was characterized as a country with high living standards (compared with 12% in 2015). Another 20% of Russians said the US is a country where success depends on personal efforts (compared with 7% in 2015).

    VTsIOM polled 1,600 Russians in 130 cities and towns of 46 regions on July 25-26. The statistical error margin does not exceed 3.5%.
    7
  • No specific plan for Iranв's parliament speaker to meet US senators
    31.08.2015 17:11
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2013/01/12/Ali_Larijani_120113_6.jpg
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2013/01/12/Ali_Larijani_120113_6.jpg
    Baku, Azerbaijan, Aug. 31

    By Fatih Karimov - Trend: There is no specific plan for the Iranian parliament speaker to meet two U.S. senators in New York.

    Parliament Speaker's Adviser for International Affairs Hossein Sheikholeslam said that as Larijani cannot meet representatives of all the countries participating in the Fourth World Conference of Parliament Speakers, so he has put the priority on 20 countries, Iran's Tasnim news agency reported on August 31.

    Islamic countries and neighboring countries are prioritized, he noted.

    U.S. officials have put in a request for a meeting, he said, adding that Iran's embassy in New York may not be able to arrange a meeting.

    The Fourth World Conference of Parliament Speakers opened in New York on August 31 and will continue till September 2.

    Edited by CN

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    7
  • Azerbaijan to experience rainy September
    31.08.2015 16:49
    http://www.today.az/pictures/pic143302.jpg
    http://www.today.az/pictures/pic143302.jpg
    /By AzerNews/

    By Amina Nazarli

    Many across Azerbaijan will welcome rainy September tomorrow.The National Hydrometeorology Department of the Ecology and Natural Resources Ministry announced that the temperature on Absheron peninsula will stand at 24-28 degrees C during the day and 19-22 C at night on September 1.

    In the countryв's capital of Baku, the temperature will be between 26 and 28 during the day and 20-22 at night. Forecasts ask not to forget to take umbrella leaving home tomorrow.

    The countryв's regions will also see rains and thunderstorms. However, closer to night precipitation is predicted to cease.

    In the regions, the temperature is expected to be 24-29 C during the day, while at night the weather will be cooler between 16 and 21 degrees C.

    In general, forecasts predict that the weather in September will be close to norm.The average monthly temperature will stand 21-23 degrees C. Nights will see the temperature of 15-20 C, and during days 23-28 C.

    In September the temperature in Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic will be within 20-23 degrees C with cold nights standing between 12 and 17 C.Khankandi, Shusha, Khojali, Lachin, and Zangilan of the Upper Karabakh, Dashkasan and Gadabay regions will see the average temperature of 14-18 C degrees.

    The average monthly temperature of 20-22 degrees C will stand in Ganja, Gazakh, Terter, Agdam, Fuzuli and Jabrail regions of Azerbaijan.

    The temperature in Balakan, Zagatala, Gakh, Sheki, Oguz, Gabala, Ismailli, Shamakhi, Shabran, Guba, Gusar and Khachmaz regions is predicted to be 18-21 degrees C. During days the temperature will be 19-24 C, while at nights it will be 10-15 C.

    The forecast for Central Aran - Mingachevir, Yevlakh, Geychay, Agdash, Kurdamir, Imishli, Beylagan, Sabirabad, Shirvan, Bilasuvar, Saatli, Neftchala and Salyan will be close to the normal. During the days, the temperature will be 24-29 degrees C, whereas at nights 16-21 degrees C.

    In the South regions; Masalli, Yardimli, Lerik and Astara, the monthly average temperature will be 20-23 degrees C. The estimated temperature during the day will stand between 23-28 degrees C, nights, naturally will be cooler, 16-21 degrees C.
    11
  • Ilham Aliyev receives credentials from ambassadors of Latvia and Israel
    31.08.2015 16:34
    http:// www.news.az/photos/page-photo/143121.jpg
    http:// www.news.az/photos/page-photo/143121.jpg
    A detailed exchange of views was held.

    On August 31, Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev received the newly appointed Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of Latvia Yuris Maklakovs.

    Oxu.Az reports citing the official website of the head of state that Ilham Aliyev spoke with the Ambassador.

    The head of state announced the successful development of bilateral relations between Azerbaijan and Latvia, and also noted the importance of mutual visits for strengthening of ties between the countries.

    Yuris Maklakovs in turn, said that his main goal will be the expansion of economic ties between our countries, and that he will make all efforts for the expansion of bilateral relations in general.

    Also, Ilham Aliyev received credentials of newly appointed Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the State of Israel Dan Stavin.

    The sides expressed satisfaction with the current level of bilateral relations and exchanged views on the prospects of cooperation in the economic, energy, high technology, agriculture and culture fields.
    9
  • Baku, Ankara, Ashgabat focus on transportation, energy projects
    31.08.2015 16:33
    http://www.today.az/pictures/pic143301.jpg
    http://www.today.az/pictures/pic143301.jpg
    /By AzerNews/

    By Sara Rajabova

    Azerbaijani, Turkish, and Turkmen officials convened in the Turkish city of Antalya on August 28 to further boost joint regional projects.

    Foreign Ministers Elmar Mammadyarov, Mevlut Cavusoglu, and Rashid Meredov discussed projects carried out by the three countries in various areas including energy, transport, tourism and sports, regional cooperation, bilateral relations, and other issues of mutual interest.

    One of the main issues of discussion between the three countries was the cooperation in the fields of transport and energy, which currently stands at the center of economic projects carried out in the region.

    Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan are eyeing a bid to diversify exports and supply their gas to an energy-starved Europe in search of new sources to ensure its energy security.

    Turkey, with its favorable geographical position, acts as a reliable transportation corridor between the energy-rich Caspian littoral states and Europe.

    Azerbaijan and Turkey are already taking part in the Southern Gas Corridor, a project designed for the delivery of natural gas from the Caspian region.

    Turkmenistan, fourth in the world for its proven reserves of natural gas, is seeking to deliver its energy resources to Europe as part of countryв's plans to diversify its energy exports. In this regard, Ashgabat is in search of new routes for its natural gas.

    One of these routes is the Trans-Caspian gas pipeline, which would be connected to the Southern Gas Corridor. The pipeline will allow Turkmenistan to freely transport its gas via Azerbaijan and Turkey to Europe.

    Discussing cooperation in the energy sector, which would also contribute to peace and stability at the regional and global levels, the Azerbaijani, Turkish, and Turkmen foreign ministers stressed the importance of Turkmen and Azerbaijani gas in that it will be transported through Turkey to Europe and international markets.

    Azerbaijan, which is located along the regional energy and transport corridors of global importance, will act as a supplier and transit corridor.

    ''This is what opens wide opportunities for mutually beneficial cooperation. Azerbaijan successfully implements regional projects whose foundation was laid by the commissioning of Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan oil pipeline. Azerbaijan, as the initiator of a number of vital projects in the region, connects the most important regions of Eurasia via implementation of the projects of the Southern Gas Corridor, the main lines of which are the TANAP and TAP, the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway project and new Baku International Trade Port,'' Mammadyarov said at a trilateral meeting of the Azerbaijani, Turkish and Turkmen foreign ministers, as reported by AzerTac state news agency.

    Hailing trilateral relations, Turkeyв's Cavushoglu, for his part, said rapid growth of the trilateral format contributes to regional development.

    Meredov, in turn, drew attention to the tasks set by Baku and Ashgabat declarations adopted by Azerbaijan, Turkey, and Turkmenistan in May 2014 and in January 2015, saying they accelerated the development of trilateral relations between the countries.

    The ministers further stated that in taking responsibility for ensuring peace and stability in the region, efforts toward deepening cooperation would continue.

    Condemning the terrorist attacks in Turkey in recent months, Mammadyarov highlighted Azerbaijan's assistance to Turkey in combating terrorism.

    He also touched on the Armenian-Azerbaijani Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, which emerged in 1988 after Armenia made unfounded territorial claims against Azerbaijan.

    Mammadyarov described the unresolved Nagorno-Karabakh conflict as the greatest threat to peace in the region and a serious barrier to the development of regional cooperation.

    Twenty percent of Azerbaijanв's internationally recognized territories have been under Armenian occupation for many years. More than one million Azerbaijanis have become refugees and internally displaced persons.

    The foreign ministers, with the aim of developing cooperation and utilizing transit potential, also spoke about the creation of an Afghanistan-Turkmenistan-Azerbaijan-Georgia-Turkey transport corridor. This project will also be open to countries that do not have direct access to the sea or access to major international markets.

    In addition, the ministers discussed preparations for the summit of the presidents of Azerbaijan, Turkey, and Turkmenistan, which will be held in October 2015 in Ashgabat.

    Following the meeting, the Antalya Declaration was signed, which stated that the next trilateral meeting of Azerbaijani, Turkish, and Turkmen foreign ministers will be held in Baku.

    The first meeting in trilateral format was held in Baku in 2014. The Baku Declaration was adopted following this meeting. The Azerbaijani, Turkish and Turkmen foreign ministers also convened in the Turkmen capital last January to further boost joint projects in transportation and communication.

    The cooperation of the countries covers a wide range of issues, including energy, tourism, humanitarian assistance, and politics.

    The three countries decided to establish the Turkey-Azerbaijan-Turkmenistan tripartite format in late 2013. Azerbaijan is also member of other two other tripartite formats: Azerbaijan-Turkey-Georgia and Azerbaijan-Turkey-Iran.
    6
  • MFA issues statement on upcoming so-called ''elections'' in Nagorno-Karabakh
    31.08.2015 16:10
    http:// www.news.az/photos/page-photo/143119.jpg
    http:// www.news.az/photos/page-photo/143119.jpg
    Foreign Ministry: The responsibility for the consequences of any action which Azerbaijan may be obliged to take within its internationally recognized borders will lie entirely with Armenia

    Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry issued a statement on the so-called "elections" to be held to the "self-governing bodies" of the puppet separatist regime in the occupied territories of the Republic of Azerbaijan on 13 September 2015, APA reports.

    According to the statement, the Foreign Ministry reiterates in this regard that the separatist regime established by Armenia in the occupied territories of Azerbaijan is ultimately nothing other than the product of aggression and racial discrimination; it is under Armenia's direction and control and survives by virtue of its military, political, financial and other support, as was confirmed recently by the European Court of Human Rights in its judgment of 16 June 2015 on the case of Chiragov and others v. Armenia.

    "It is well known that Armenia unleashed the war and used force against Azerbaijan, occupied almost one fifth of its territory, including the Nagorno-Karabakh region and seven adjacent districts, carried out ethnic cleansing of the seized areas by expelling about one million Azerbaijanis from their homes and committed other serious crimes during the conflict. The international community has consistently deplored, in the strongest terms, the use of military force against Azerbaijan and the resulting occupation of its territories, as reflected in United Nations Security Council resolutions 822 (1993), 853 (1993), 874 (1993) and 884 (1993), thus rejecting any actions violating the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Azerbaijan and refusing to recognize as legitimate the situation created through such actions.

    The holding of the so-called "elections" is a yet another clear manifestation that, by undertaking consistent measures to maintain the status-quo, consolidate the results of its occupation policy and annexationist aspirations, Armenia is not genuinely interested in seeking a political settlement of the armed conflict and, instead, pursues the path of provocations and escalation.

    Against the background of continuing military occupation and ethnic cleansing of the territories of Azerbaijan, this mock "election" exercise constitutes a clear violation of the Constitution of the Republic of Azerbaijan and the norms and principles of international law, and, therefore, shall have no legal effect whatsoever.

    Armenia's policy of attempted annexation of the occupied territories of Azerbaijan has no chance of succeeding. The only way to achieve a durable and lasting conflict settlement is to ensure the unconditional and complete withdrawal of the Armenian armed forces from the Nagorno-Karabakh region and other occupied territories of Azerbaijan, as the UN Security Council demands in its above-mentioned resolutions, and the exercise by the forcibly displaced Azerbaijani population of its inalienable right to return to their homes and properties in the Nagorno-Karabakh region of Azerbaijan and adjacent districts. This conflict can only be resolved on the basis of the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Republic of Azerbaijan within its internationally recognized borders. No peace settlement of the conflict can be reached which violates the Constitution of the Republic of Azerbaijan and is inconsistent with international law. No acquisition of territory by force shall ever be recognized by the international community as lawful. Never Azerbaijan shall reconcile with the seizure of its territories. The military occupation of the territory of Azerbaijan does not represent a solution and shall never produce a political outcome desired by Armenia.

    The Republic of Azerbaijan calls on all members of the international community, in line with their obligations under international law, not to recognize as lawful the situation resulting from the occupation of the territories of Azerbaijan, nor render aid or assistance in maintaining that situation and take effective measures to this end.

    Armenia must drop its futile attempts to mislead its own people and the wider international community, cease its policy of annexation and ethnic cleansing, engage constructively in the conflict settlement process and comply with its international obligations.

    The responsibility for the consequences of any action which the Republic of Azerbaijan may be obliged to take in connection with the continued illegal presence of the Armenian armed forces and unlawful activities in the occupied territories of Azerbaijan in order to protect its sovereignty and territorial integrity within its internationally recognized borders will lie entirely with the Republic of Armenia."
    10
  • Azerbaijan says ''fashion show'' in Shusha '" provocation by Russian entrepreneur Sterligov
    31.08.2015 16:03
    http://www.today.az/pictures/pic143299.jpg
    http://www.today.az/pictures/pic143299.jpg
    Organization of a ''fashion show'' in the Azerbaijani city of Shusha occupied by Armenia, by a spouse of Russian entrepreneur German Sterligov is another step, which serves to incite hatred on ethnic and religious grounds, the head of the press service of the Azerbaijani foreign ministry Hikmat Hajiyev told Trend Aug.31.

    In accordance with the Criminal Code of Azerbaijan, a criminal case was earlier initiated against Sterligov and a preventive measure in the form of arrest was chosen.

    Hajiyev went on to add that if someone tries to encourage the regime established by Armenia on the occupied Azerbaijani territories by such provocative steps, it is a wrong move. Despite the fact that religion should be out of politics, Armenia and the criminal regime created by it on the occupied territories of Azerbaijan, as well as Sterligov and his family, which are a tool in their hands, continue to politicize religion and advocate extremist statements full of religiously motivated hatred, he said.

    Alyona Sterligova, the wife of Russian entrepreneur German Sterligov, organized a ''fashion show'' in Shusha, the Armenian media reported earlier.

    The conflict between the two South Caucasus countries began in 1988 when Armenia made territorial claims against Azerbaijan. As a result of the ensuing war, in 1992 Armenian armed forces occupied 20 percent of Azerbaijan, including the Nagorno-Karabakh region and seven surrounding districts.

    The two countries signed a ceasefire agreement in 1994. The co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group, Russia, France and the US are currently holding peace negotiations. Armenia has not yet implemented the UN Security Council's four resolutions on the liberation of the Nagorno-Karabakh and the surrounding regions.

    /By
    7
  • Azerbaijan says so-called self-government bodiesв' election in Nagorno-Karabakh - open violation of intв'l law
    31.08.2015 16:02
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2015/02/06/trend_mid_azerbaijan_main.jpg
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2015/02/06/trend_mid_azerbaijan_main.jpg
    Baku, Azerbaijan, Aug. 31

    Trend:

    Holding the so-called self-government bodies' election by the separatist regime of Nagorno-Karabakh scheduled for September 13, 2015 is an open violation of international law and cannot have any legal force, said the statement of the Azerbaijani foreign ministry.

    Story still developing

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    6
  • 22 years pass since occupation of Azerbaijanв's Gubadli district by Armenians
    31.08.2015 15:59
    http://apaholding.az/upload/images/photos/apa_logo.png
    http://apaholding.az/upload/images/photos/apa_logo.png
    Baku '" APA. 22 years have passed since the occupation of Azerbaijanв's Gubadli district by Armenian armed forces, APA reports.

    Gubadli district was established in 1930. It covers an area of 802 square km. There are 94 residential districts, including a town and 93 villages. Gubadli region was occupied by Armenians on August 31, 1993. Gubadli was home to some 30,000 people prior to the occupation, when the economic backbone of Gubadli was grain-growing, cattle-breeding, tobacco-cultivation, sericulture and vine-growing. 2-grape processing plans, 1- butter and cheese factory, 1 - asphalt plant, 1 - incubator-poultry farm, 1 - fishery, 1 - stone quarry, marble quarry, a branch of Azerbaijan "Neftqazavtomat" experimental plant and others functioned in this region. Totally, there were 62 offices and facilities.

    There were 61 general education schools, including 33 secondary, 16 eight-year and 12 primary schools in Gubadli region.

    There were about 180 cultural and educational institutions. 84 libraries, 12 cultural houses, 44 clubs and 7 auto-clubs served the population. There were also 2 children's music schools in the region.

    As a result of the occupation, totally 6988 - dwelling houses, 1080 - agricultural properties, 32 - communications facilities, 86 - medical centers, 180 cultural centers, 6 - industrial enterprises, 650 km - highways, 9 - bridges, 2 - water reservoirs, 150 km - main water lines, 4830 km - electric lines, 165 km - main gas pipelines, 146 - administrative buildings, 18 - mills, 4 - hydraulic power stations, 20 power substations and transformers were destroyed, 13363 ha forest land is under occupation.

    Armenians looted Gubadli Museum of History and Ethnography where more than 5 000 unique exhibits were displayed. At present, a sanctuary in "Gavur deresi" dating back to the 4th century, "Galali" and "Goygala" monuments dating back to the 5th century, "Demirchiler" tomb built in the 14th century, Haji Badal bridge, Lalazar bridge, as well as other historical monuments in Ayin, Yusifbeyli, Seytas, Garaghajli, Khojamsakhli villages are under occupation.

    During the Armenian aggression, Gubadli had 238 martyrs and 146 disabled people within 5 years. The title of national hero has been conferred on a number of martyrs, including Aliyar Aliyev, Vasili Aliyev, Aslan Atakishiyev, Alakbar Mamamdov, Karam Mirzayev, Agil Mammadov, Beyler Aghayev, Kazimagha Karimov and Safa Akhundov.
    7
  • Azerbaijanв's IBA to decrease interest on loans
    31.08.2015 15:53
    http://www.today.az/pictures/pic143297.jpg
    http://www.today.az/pictures/pic143297.jpg
    /By AzerNews/

    By Gulgiz Dadashova

    The International Bank of Azerbaijan, the countryв's largest lender, seeks to strengthen its financial stability in the coming years through a decrease in the volumes of borrowed capital and lower interests on loans.

    IBA Board Chairman Elmar Mammadov discussed the decision in an interview with local media.

    He further noted that it is too early to speak about the privatization of the bank, because in the next few years, its main purpose will be institutional development.

    The preparation period for the privatization may take 3-5 years, according to the authorities, thus the bank is likely to remain state-owned for at least the medium term.

    "Currently, the population is worried about the safety of their deposits in the IBA, which is caused by rumors on the imminent privatization of the state stake in the bank,'' he said, stressing that there is no reason to worry at all.

    ''At this stage, itв's too early to talk about the privatization of the bank. The current measures cover pre-privatization rehabilitation of the bank. The main objectives of the new Board of the bank in the next four years are institutional development, strengthening of its financial stability, and greater control over the management of financial resources,'' he said.

    The IBA holds about a third of the assets and loans in the Azerbaijani banking system. Its financial situation has remained fragile for an extended period of time, despite receiving state support.

    Restructuring the largely state-owned IBA so as to reduce its dominance in the sector was set as a priority for achieving a stronger banking system.

    Azerbaijan's biggest bank will be privatized after undergoing a cleanup effort to get rid of distressed assets resulting from poor management, President Ilham Aliyev said in a decree on July 15.

    Mammadov asserts that the transfer of IBAв's distressed assets to Aqrarkredit will help to restore the bank's financial position.

    "The transfer of the Bankв's problem assets to the specialized body will help the IBA to restore its financial position and ensure its sustainability. This is because at the moment the bank needs healthy capital to raise additional funds. The withdrawal of problem assets of the Bank, with the support of the state and use of an effective mechanism for this will enable the IBA to attract real financial resources instead of distressed assets,'' he noted.

    The presidential order requires that the bank transfer its distressed assets to the state-owned non-banking credit organization Aqrarkredit CJSC.

    Aqrarkredit has had prior experience in managing the troubled assets of banks. In the early 2000s, Aqrarkredit oversaw the troubled loans and liabilities of Azerbaijanв's three largest banks '" Sberbank, Industrial-Investment Bank, and Agro-Industrial Bank '" during a consolidation process to form the United Universal Joint Stock Bank [now Kapital Bank].

    Mammadov further added that the IBA would analyze the activities of all its foreign subsidiaries and representative offices, and test the effectiveness of their work.

    Following this analysis, it will be possible to make a decision on the efficiency of all IBA structures and further steps will be taken accordingly, according to him.

    Currently, the IBA has two subsidiary banks in Russia and Georgia. IBA-Moscow began its activities in Russia in 2002. Today, it is already a financial institution with 14 offices and branches in Moscow, St. Petersburg, and Yekaterinburg. In November 2006, the IBA has established its second subsidiary bank outside Azerbaijan '" IBA-Georgia. The bank was also preparing to open a subsidiary bank in Qatarв's international financial zone.

    The IBA also has representative offices in London (operating since 2002), Frankfurt (2005), Luxembourg (2008), New York (2008) and Dubai (2008).

    Mammadov also noted that the IBA is planning to optimize branch network, explaining that specific steps will be taken for the effective placement of branch locations.

    "Creating the optimum service network is a very important factor for each bank. Our bank has a large branch network in Azerbaijan. The aim is to effectively place branches both from a geographical point of view and taking into account the real capacity of the client,'' he said.

    To date, there are a total of 36 IBA branches, 15 of which are located in Baku.

    The bank, 50.2 percent owned by the Azerbaijani Ministry of Finance, was founded in January 1992. The IBAв's reported a consolidated total asset base of 8.8 billion manat, aggregate capital of 1.008 billion manat, and a net profit of 64.5 million under audited IFRS as at year-end 2014.

    The bankв's loan portfolio rose by 16.6 percent, and in early 2015, it stood at 5.868 billion manat.

    Fitch Ratings has recently placed IBAв's Long-term foreign currency Issuer Default Rating (IDR) and Viability Rating (VR) on Rating Watch Positive (RWP).

    The bad assets transfer will result, at least initially, in a significant reduction in risk-weighted assets, which will boost IBA's capital ratios, Fitch announced in its August report.

    ''Additionally, in accordance with its recapitalization program the bank should receive a 200m manats equity injection by end-2015. Fitch estimates that as a result of these measures, and assuming only limited new lending in 2H15, IBA's Fitch Core Capital (FCC) ratio could increase to a reasonable 10%-12% (end-2014: 7.4%).''
    7
  • India plans $3 billion petrochemical plant in Iran
    31.08.2015 15:37
    http:// www.news.az/photos/page-photo/143118.jpg
    http:// www.news.az/photos/page-photo/143118.jpg
    State-owned oil and gas corporation Indian Oil Corp. is courting Tehran for the construction of a $3 billion petrochemical plant in Iran which owns the worldв's largest proven gas reserves, media reports say.

    The company plans to produce 1 million tons of petrochemicals a year provided that Iran supplies it "cheap natural gas as feedstock", Bloomberg reported on Monday, citing people with direct knowledge of the matter.

    India has stepped up outreach to Iran since the conclusion of nuclear talks. No other regional country with abundant hydrocarbon reserves is so much close to India than Iran in terms of distance.

    In its race with China for economic prominence, New Delhi is trying to make the most from a planned lifting of anti-Iran sanctions which curbed its business with Tehran mostly because of India's deference to the US.

    The Indian government plans a number of projects worth several billion dollars in Iran, including upstream gas production, port development and metal processing.

    Iran's Ambassador to India Gholamreza Ansari recently said the Islamic Republic would welcome India's participation in various "big ticket projects" in diverse sectors.

    Indian media had earlier said the country was looking for an Iranian partner to set up a urea manufacturing plant in Iran at a cost of $783 million.

    A consortium of three Indian companies sought to form a joint venture with Iranian partners to build the plant in Chabahar with a capacity of 1.3 million tonnes, they said.

    The facility will use Iranian natural gas as feedstock and the urea produced at the plant will be exported to India.

    Last week, India's ONGC Videsh said it has submitted Iran a revised plan for development of the giant Farzad-B gas field in the Persian Gulf.

    India has also signed a memorandum of understanding to develop Iran's strategically-located Chabahar port but a commercial accord has yet to be inked in order to start the project.

    New Delhi further plans to construct an aluminum smelter and a captive power plant in Iran in a project worth about $2.6 billion.
    10
  • Iran fully indigenizes Talash missile system
    31.08.2015 15:22
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2013/03/14/iran_raket_test.jpg
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2013/03/14/iran_raket_test.jpg
    Baku, Azerbaijan, Aug. 31

    By Khalid Kazimov - Trend:

    Iran has fully indigenized the missile system Talash by removing the Russian S-200 missiles from it and replacing them with homemade Sayyad-3 missiles.

    The system is now capable of destroying long-range, high-altitude targets Tasnim news agency reported August 31.

    The system was unveiled August 29 by Commander of the Khatam ul-Anbiya Air Defense Base Farzad Esmaili.

    Sayyad-3 is an updated version of Sayyad-2, a missile for air defense capable of destroying mid-range, long-altitude targets such as helicopters and drones. No detail has been given of the specifications of Sayyad-3.

    Esmaeili has unveiled more details about the new strategic radar systems, which will become operational by September 1.

    The homemade radar systems dubbed Bina and Nazir are installed in two mountainous and plain areas, Esmaeili said.

    The radars are capable of detecting small flying targets as well as cruise and semi-ballistic missiles, the commander said.

    Since 1992, Iran has manufactured its own tanks, armored personnel carriers, missiles, radars, boats, submarines and fighter planes.

    Edited by CN

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    9
  • Azerbaijan says ''fashion show'' in Shusha '" provocation by Russian entrepreneur Sterligov
    31.08.2015 14:56
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2015/05/08/shusha_080515.jpg
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2015/05/08/shusha_080515.jpg
    Baku, Azerbaijan, Aug. 31

    Trend:

    Organization of a "fashion show" in the Azerbaijani city of Shusha occupied by Armenia, by a spouse of Russian entrepreneur German Sterligov is another step, which serves to incite hatred on ethnic and religious grounds, the head of the press service of the Azerbaijani foreign ministry Hikmat Hajiyev told Trend Aug.31.

    In accordance with the Criminal Code of Azerbaijan, a criminal case was earlier initiated against Sterligov and a preventive measure in the form of arrest was chosen.

    Story still developing

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    11
  • Gabala hosts delicious Jam Festival
    31.08.2015 14:49
    http://www.today.az/pictures/pic143294.jpg
    http://www.today.az/pictures/pic143294.jpg
    /By AzerNews/

    By Amina Nazarli

    The appetizing 3rd annual Jam Festival came to an end in one of Azerbaijanв's most picturesque regions, Gabala, on August 29.Organized by the Gabala City Executive Power, Culture and Tourism Ministry, National Cuisine Center and National Culinary Association, the event brought together thousands of local and foreign visitors.

    The sweets festival welcomed many pastry chefs from the countryв's 35 cities and regions, as well as about 500 chefs from five foreign countries.

    Carmen D. Padilla, the President of the UNESCO International Organization of Folk Art said, the festival is a sample of richness of Azerbaijani cuisine, as well as wide range and high quality of sweets.

    ''I tasted tomato and aubergine jams for the first time at the festival. Gabala is a perfect place for holding this festival,'' she said.

    A jury of 12 professionals evaluated the jams according to cooking technique, taste, color and appearance.The festival included the variety of jams including cherry, blackberry, quince, walnut, apricot, flower, and plum.

    Jams from the Republic of Sakha Yakutia and Guba region of Azerbaijan were recognized as the tastiest.

    Yakutiaв's delicious jams made from north cloudberries, wild strawberries, cranberries, rosehip, fir cones, honeysuckle, forest blueberries, and black currants left all who tried it in awe.

    In recent years, Gabala Jam Festival has been gaining momentum, attracting ambassadors, artists, and more than 4,000 foreign and local tourists.

    Every year, the delicious festival draws in thousands of guests who are eager to taste delicious varieties of Azerbaijani jams, or ''murabba.''

    Murabba is the main dessert on the Azerbaijani table and is served at every tea party.

    It goes very well with both bread and tea at breakfast. It is also used as a filling for pies and added to cakes and pastries.

    In addition, murabba is used for treating colds. Various types of murabba like dogwood, blackberries, and currants '" rich with vitamin C '" usually serve as treatment for the flu in Azerbaijani households.
    7
  • Azerbaijani village opens in heart of Paris
    31.08.2015 14:43
    http://www.today.az/pictures/pic143291.jpg
    http://www.today.az/pictures/pic143291.jpg
    /By AzerNews/

    By Nigar Orujova

    The Heydar Aliyev Foundation has sponsored the opening of an ''Azerbaijani Village in the Heart of Paris,'' on Palais Royal Square on August 29.

    The Azerbaijani Village is displaying the countryв's history, culture, folk art, traditions, and national cuisine in France for the second time, the Foundation reports.

    Each part of the village sits conveniently of the Louvre, a museum that already gathers millions of visitors, and will create vast possibilities to present Azerbaijan at many levels and bring the two nations closer.

    An exhibition complete with information on carpet-making, pottery, and other types of art, along with national dresses and musical instruments will be arranged in the village.

    Moreover, visitors will have the chance to become acquainted with the process of creating these pieces of art in the ''Workshop'' section. Artisans form the country will make copper dishes, lattice, carpets, and other pieces of art that showcase Azerbaijanв's rich traditions.

    The village will also display a photo exhibition consisting of the works of famous Azerbaijanis living in France and Frenchmen living in Azerbaijan. Entitled ''Azerbaijanis and Frenchmen: the history of acquaintance,'' the exhibition praises the histories of the two countries and nations.

    Another village pavilion will display Azerbaijanв's national cuisine. At the same time, various sweets and drinks will be served at the stands of various local companies operating in Azerbaijan.

    Visitors to the event will be able to enjoy the taste of the delicious dishes of Azerbaijani cuisine prepared in the village.

    Publications by the Heydar Aliyev Foundation covering various areas of Azerbaijani culture will be distributed at the exhibition.

    The concert program is sure to cheer up visitors with an eclectic display of Azerbaijani music and dance.

    The Azerbaijani Village was first arranged by the Heydar Aliyev Foundation on Parisв's Saint Sulpice Square last September. The event was welcomed by visitors and created great opportunities for the deepening of relations with Azerbaijan.

    The village will be open for all interested in the Land of Fire until September 9.
    8
  • SOFAZ has no plans to increase gold reserves
    31.08.2015 14:43
    http://www.today.az/pictures/pic143292.jpg
    http://www.today.az/pictures/pic143292.jpg
    /By AzerNews/

    By Aynur Karimova

    Azerbaijan's state oil fund SOFAZ, an entity that accumulates and manages Azerbaijan's oil and gas revenues, has no plans to increase its gold reserves.

    A source at SOFAZ toldВ TrendВ on August 29 that as of today, the fundв's reserves portfolio includes 30,175 kilograms of gold, which is about 3.5 percent of its total assets.

    "At the moment, increasing gold reserves is not in the plans,'' the source said.

    SOFAZ was established in 1999 with assets worth $271 million.

    The main purposes of the fund are the management of earnings from the energy sector and the investment of this capital abroad to minimize negative impacts on economy, the prevention of the 'Dutch disease', ensuring savings for future generations.

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

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

    The first batch of gold consisting of 32,150 troy ounces was delivered to the country on January 11, 2013, while the second batch was brought on February 1, and the third batch on March 1.

    SOFAZ assets decreased by 3.56 percent from earlier in the year, from $37.104 billion to an estimated at $35.783 billion as of July 1.

    It is believed that SOFAZ's decision to not increase its gold reserves is due to the devaluation processes taking place in the world. The decision of the worldв's second-largest economy '" China '" to devalue its national currency, the yuan, by 4.6 percent has unsettled global financial markets, and has forced many countries to depreciate their national currencies as well.

    Gold is often used as an alternative store of value and tends to rise when currencies weaken.

    Bloomberg reported that following the biggest monthly drop in two years, gold has risen almost every day in August. Gold for immediate delivery climbed for a fifth day, the longest run since May, and increased as much as 1 percent to $1,120.02 an ounce.
    6
  • Armenian population rapidly declining, UN reports
    31.08.2015 14:42
    http://www.today.az/pictures/pic143293.jpg
    http://www.today.az/pictures/pic143293.jpg
    /By AzerNews/

    By Laman Sadigova

    The population of Armenia will drop to 1.7-1.8 million by 2100, the executive representative of the Armenian office of the UN Population Fund, Garik Hayrapetyan, reported.

    "Currently, de-jure the population of Armenia is about three million people, but de facto, it is 2.6-2.8 million. The forecast is based on the UN census, which was conducted in 2010," Hayrapetyan said last week.

    "The main reasons that will lead to the reduction of the population are migration, populationв's aging and others. Alarming is the ratio of the working population to pensioners that will reach 2.4 in 2100 ", he said. The ratio is 5.4 workers to every pensioner today.

    Demographer Ruben Yeganyan said that 30,000 people leave Armenia annually. "The population tries to improve the welfare and increase educational qualification so they leave the country and, in most cases, do not come back," he said.

    Armenians, mostly the young generation, leave the country in search of finding a better life abroad. Problems such as unemployment, poor social conditions, and a lack of hope for a better future are the major drivers for the increasing outflow of people from the Post Soviet country. As many as 103,994 Armenian citizens left the country in just the first half of this year.

    The conflict between Armenia and the neighboring Azerbaijan is also forcing young Armenians to flee from the country as it lacks the resources to equip soldiers and ensure discipline in the army.

    The violations of human rights, infringement on universal principles of democracy, the military situation, and the deplorable conditions in the army are forcing people to desperately leave their motherland, while the current regime is unwilling to change or put an end to its lawlessness.
    7
  • Azerbaijani oil prices for Aug. 24-28
    31.08.2015 14:35
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2015/04/17/oil_prices_170415.jpg
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2015/04/17/oil_prices_170415.jpg
    Baku, Azerbaijan, Aug. 31

    Trend:

    The average price for AZERI LT, exported from Azerbaijan via the Ceyhan, Batumi and Supsa ports to Italian Augusta port, was $46.05 per barrel on Aug. 24-28, or $2.44 less than the previous week.

    The maximum price for AZERI LT was $50.54 per barrel and the minimum price was $44 per barrel during the reporting period.

    The average price for Urals (Ex-Novo) exported from Azerbaijan via the Novorossiysk port stood at $42.52 per barrel or $2.05 per barrel less than the previous week.

    The maximum price for Urals totaled $46.95 per barrel and the minimum - $40.34 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 $43.79 per barrel or $2.42 per barrel less than the previous week.

    The maximum price for Brent was $48.27 per barrel and the minimum - $41.86 during the reporting period.

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    9
  • Afghan vice-president: ISIL has plans regarding Caucasus, Azerbaijan
    31.08.2015 14:32
    http:// www.news.az/photos/page-photo/143117.jpg
    http:// www.news.az/photos/page-photo/143117.jpg
    General Abdul Rashid Dostum: ''I would like Turkey to aid the Turks of Afghanistan''

    "ISIL has plans regarding the Caucasus and Azerbaijan," Afghan vice-president, general Abdul Rashid Dostum said in an interview to Anadolu agency, APA reported.

    He noted that the Taliban and ISIL are a threat to not only Afghanistan but also Central Asia and the whole world.

    "ISIL is a foe. They have plans regarding countries as far as Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Kyrgyzstan, Azerbaijan and the Caucasus. They seek to repeat in these countries what they have already done in Syria and Iraq," he said

    The general said that the Turks of Afghanistan have been struggling for their rights for years, adding that citizens called Turk face problems.

    "The word Turk sounds displeasing to some in Afghanistan. I suggest that the Uzbeks and Turkmens living in Afghanistan be called Turk as a whole. Despite extensive reconstruction work underway in the country, the Turkic-populated areas are still left out of substantial projects. We only want the Turkish president and prime minister to have schools and hospitals built in Afghanistan. The Turks in Afghanistan are far behind. There is no school in some villages. Our youth need education. The banner I'm carrying must be passed on from hand to hand after my death and must not get down," said general Abdul Rashid Dostum.

    Dostum also said that he is aware of recent terror attacks in Turkey.

    "I heard from the media that terrorist attacks are targeting Turkish soldiers. I extend condolences to the families of the martyrs and the Turkish president," he said.

    Note that, general Abdul Rashid Dostum's father is an Uzbek and mother is a Turkmen.
    6
  • China offers help to Iran to build big nuclear plant
    31.08.2015 14:25
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2008/06/10/Nuclear_Plant_201207.jpg
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2008/06/10/Nuclear_Plant_201207.jpg
    Baku, Azerbaijan, Aug. 31

    By Khalid Kazimov -- Trend:

    China is ready to help Iran build a big nuclear power plant and Chinese officials have even said they are ready to take care of the funding, spokesman of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) Behrouz Kamalvandi said.

    Commenting on a recent visit by the Chinese nuclear chief to Iran, Kamalvandi said views were exchanged during the talks on various nuclear issues, including the Arak heavy-water facilities - of which kind there are many in China, Mehr news agency reported August 31.

    He said arrangements were made for China to help Iran with rebuilding the Arak reactor as well.

    According to Iran 's recent nuclear deal with the group P5 1 (the US, UK, France, Russia, China, and Germany), which restricts Iran's nuclear program, the Arak facility has to be redesigned and rebuilt according to requirements by the six powers.

    The world powers claim their requirements follow efforts to make sure Iran does not pursue a nuclear weapon program.

    Kamalvandi further said that Iran and China have also discussed building smaller-size reactors.

    "The joint production of small reactors was put on the agenda," he noted.

    Iran plans to build at least 12 nuclear power plants in 15 years.

    The country has so far been using Russian help in building its first nuclear power plant, in Bushehr, and has more contracts with the northern superpower to build a couple more power plants.

    The AEOI has indicated that as Iran's relations with the world improve following the nuclear deal, cooperation with Western countries may also be considered.

    Edited by CN

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    7
  • Ilham Aliyev's Aide: War is inevitable
    31.08.2015 14:23
    http:// www.news.az/photos/page-photo/143115.jpg
    http:// www.news.az/photos/page-photo/143115.jpg
    "We are not going to do any concessions to anyone in regard to our national right."

    "Negotiations continue, mainly in the framework of the Minsk Group format.

    In accordance with the format, meetings are held between heads of States and foreign ministers of the two countries. The negotiations are also carried out by other representatives. There are still hopes in relation to this format, including from the Azerbaijani side.

    But, unfortunately, the toothless activity of Minsk Group, dual approach of the UN Security Council to this matter, indifferent attitude to the UN resolutions are pushing Azerbaijan and Armenia for war."

    According to Oxu.Az, the statement came from Azerbaijani President's Aide on public policy issues Ali Hasanov.

    According to Hasanov, if the talks continue in the same manner, if Armenia continues to adhere to non-constructive position, and the members of the UN Security Council and the UN as a whole do not put pressure on Armenia, the war will be inevitable.

    "Armenia, Azerbaijan, South Caucasus will again be overwhelmed by the wave of war, as Azerbaijan will never reconcile with the loss of its lands.

    Mr. President has repeatedly stated that the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict should find its solution within the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan.

    It is our national right, which is based on international law, and we do not intend to do any concessions to anyone in regard to our national rights", he said.
    6
  • IAEA, Iran to hold talks next week
    31.08.2015 14:16
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2013/01/12/iran_iaea_120113_3.jpg
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2013/01/12/iran_iaea_120113_3.jpg
    Baku, Azerbaijan, Aug. 31

    By Fatih Karimov - Trend: Iran will hold talks with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) next week.

    Spokesman for the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran Behrouz Kamalvandi said the two sides aim to reach consensus on agreeable criteria in order to implement the nuclear pact, IRNA news agency reported on August 31.

    Referring to the date of implementing Iran's obligations based on the nuclear agreement, he said that the procedure is forecast to take place 90 days after the UN resolution, which will likely fall between October 12-22.

    Of course, the procedure may be implemented a couple of days sooner, he noted.

    The IAEA has verified that Iran has fulfilled all its commitments regarding its nuclear program.

    The IAEA in its most recent updated report on Iran's nuclear program reiterated that Tehran has maintained its level of uranium enrichment, nuclear research and development and other activity in line with its declarations to the UN nuclear monitoring body.

    The report also covers activities by Iran before the country reached a comprehensive breakthrough agreement in nuclear talks with the Group P5 1 countries (the US, Britain, France, China and Russia plus Germany) in Vienna on July 14.

    Under the agreement, Iran has agreed to some restrictions in its nuclear program primarily in return for the removal of sanctions against it.

    Edited by CN

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    6
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