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Bets on for who will be next pope
14.02.2013 09:55
As soon as Pope Benedict XVI announced he was resigning at the end of February, British bookmakers were giving betting odds on his possible successor.

There are 118 eligible members of the College of Cardinals who can attend the Papal Conclave in March to choose the next Bishop of Rome from among their numbers.

And while some predictions have been accurate вЂ" Joseph Ratzinger was widely tipped by bookmakers in 2005 вЂ" no-one anticipated his predecessor Karol Wojtyla’s surprise election in 1978.

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  • Armenian Armed Forces continue to violate ceasefire
    21.04.2014 10:16
    Baku, Azerbaijan, April 21By Ilkin Izzet - Trend:Armenian Armed Forces located in the village of Aygepar of Armenia's Berd region, fired at the positions of Azerbaijani Armed Forces located in the village of Alibeyli of Tovuz region last night, the Azerbaijani Defense Ministry said on April 21.T...
  • Six Azerbaijani Greco-Roman wrestlers claim golds at AWFв's Cup
    21.04.2014 13:39
    Six Azerbaijani Greco-Roman wrestlers have snatched gold medals on the second day of the Azerbaijan Wrestling Federation's Cup international tournament.The golds came from Ibrahim Nurullayev weighing in at 50kg, Sakit Guliyev at 55kg, Karim Jafarov at 60kg, Elman Mukhtarov at 66kg, Islam Abbasov...
  • Dilara visits beloved neighbor-country: Georgia
    21.04.2014 12:21
    Next stop on Dilara Kazimova promotional tour is Georgia. On Tuesday, April 22th Azerbaijani entry to the Eurovision will visit her western neighbors.Dilara's agenda includes appearances on TV and interviews with local media. Her day in Tbilisi will start with hit morning show at major TV Channe...
  • Azerbaijani Economy and Industry Minister meets Argentine ambassador
    21.04.2014 15:48
    Azerbaijani Economy and Industry Minister Shahin Mustafayev has met Argentine ambassador Carlos Dante Riva to discuss prospects for cooperation between the two countries.Mustafayev hailed relations between the two countries.The Minister stressed there was huge potential for expanding bilateral ties ...
  • Ehud Barak elected member of International Centre of Nizami Ganjavi
    21.04.2014 15:31
    Israeli military and political figure Ehud Barak has been elected a member of the International Centre of Nizami Ganjavi .The statement came from the press service of the State Committee for Work with diaspora of AzerbaijanOn April 27-30, Ehud Barak will visit Baku to participate in the Second Globa...
  • Azerbaijani delegation to visit US
    21.04.2014 14:59
    Baku, Azerbaijan, April 21By Sabina Ahmadova - Trend:Azerbaijani delegation will pay a visit to the U.S. within the framework of the "International Sports Programming Initiative: Azerbaijan Disability Sports" project implemented by the Institute for Training and Development (ITD) in the U.S. and Spo...
  • Turkey wants discount from Russia for supplied gas
    21.04.2014 14:44
    Baku, Azerbaijan, April 21By Rufiz Hafizoglu - Trend:Turkey will try to obtain a discount from Russia for the gas supplied by this country, and this issue will be discussed with the management of Russia's Gazprom in coming days, Turkish Minister of Energy and Natural Resources, Taner Yildiz said...
  • Doctor Kanai brings hope and vision to displaced population in Azerbaijan
    21.04.2014 12:26
    The renowned Japanese scientist and winner of the 2006 Nansen Refugee award, Dr. Akio Kanai has started his next humanitarian mission to Azerbaijan. Dr. Kanai is head of the Japanese private company, Fuji Optical and has been a generous private donor of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refug...
  • Caspian statesв' FMs to meet in Moscow
    21.04.2014 12:14
    A conference of ministers of foreign affairs of Caspian littoral states will be held in Moscow, Russia, on Tuesday.The Moscow gathering will feature Russian, Azerbaijani, Iranian, Kazakh, and Turkmen foreign ministers.The conference will see discussions on the preparations for the fourth Caspian sum...
  • Azerbaijani oil prices for April 14-18
    21.04.2014 12:11
    Baku, Azerbaijan, April 21By Emil Ismayilov - Trend:The average price on AZERI LT, exported from Azerbaijan via the Ceyhan, Batumi and Supsa ports to Italian Augusta port, was $112 per barrel on April 14-18 or $2.57 more compared to the previous week.The maximum price for AZERI LT was $112.81 per ba...
  • Terminator is back
    21.04.2014 17:05
    The 29-year-old missed Wednesday's Copa del Rey final victory over Barcelona with a knee injury but is on course to make a swift recovery

    Real Madrid have been boosted by the return of Cristiano Ronaldo to training ahead of their Champions League semi-final against Bayern Munich.

    The 29-year-old missed Wednesday's Copa del Rey final win over Barcelona with a knee injury and looked set to be absent for the first-leg of his side's last four European tie on Wednesday.

    However, he could now be available for the clash with Pep Guardiola's side after coming through the first part of Sunday's training session.

    Madrid boss Carlo Ancelotti will also be encouraged by the participation of Marcelo, who emerged unscathed from the practice having been sidelined with a hamstring problem.

    Copa del Rey hero Gareth Bale was also present following his match-winning heroics in midweek, while defender Sergio Ramos worked alone inside the club's training facility.

    The news that Ronaldo will be back for the crunch clash will not only come as a relief to Madrid, with Bayern CEO Karl-Heinz Rummenigge admitting that he was eager to see the Portuguese face his side.

    "When Real Madrid play Bayern Munich, then the whole world will be watching. I always want the best players to be on the pitch," he told TZ.

    Real Madrid and Bayern face one another at 20:45CET on Wednesday.

  • Syria to hold presidential election on June 3
    21.04.2014 17:04
    Syria will hold presidential elections that are expected to return President Bashar Assad to office on June 3, the country's parliamentary speaker said on Monday.

    Syria's first presidential election - after constitutional amendments did away with the old referendum system - will be held amid a devastating civil war that has killed more than 150,000 people, with rebels holding large swathes of territory, Naharnet reported.

    "Elections for the president of the Syrian Arab Republic for Syrians resident in the country will be held on June 3 from 7:00 am to 7:00 pm," Mohammad al-Lahham said during a special session of parliament.

    Voting for Syrians living outside the country will take place on May 28, he added, saying candidates for the presidency could register to run from Tuesday until May 1.

    Assad, whose term ends on July 17, is widely expected to run and win another seven-year term in office despite the conflict.

    New election rules require candidates to have lived in Syria for the last decade, effectively preventing key opposition figures in exile from standing for office.

    More than 150,000 people have been killed in the fighting in Syria since March 2011, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

    The conflict, which began with peaceful protests against Assad's government, has also displaced nearly half of Syria's population inside and outside the country.

    The government has not laid out how it plans to hold elections under the circumstances.

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  • Armenian, Russian FMs discuss settlement process of Nagorno-Karabakh conflict
    21.04.2014 17:03
    Armenian Foreign Minister Edward Nalbandian visited Moscow on April 19 and held a working meeting with his Russian counterpart, Sergey Lavrov, website reported.

    Foreign ministers of the two countries discussed the process of implementation of the agreements reached by the Armenian and Russian presidents and touched upon the large spectrum of issues on the agenda of relations.

    Nalbandian and Lavrov exchanged views on international issues.

    During the meeting, the parties discussed the process of peaceful settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. They stressed the importance of settling the conflict only by peaceful means and with the efforts of the OSCE Minsk Group.

    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 U.S. are currently holding peace negotiations.

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

    Translated by L.Z.

    Edited by C.N.

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  • Azerbaijani insurance company A-Qroup increases capital by over a third
    21.04.2014 16:58
    Baku, Azerbaijan, April 21


    Azerbaijani insurance company 'A-Qroup SД±gorta Shirketi', specializing in the voluntary health insurance, increases the nominal value of its share by 35.3 percent, as a result of which the company's authorized capital will stand at 7,308 million manats.

    Azerbaijani State Committee for Securities registered 7,750 ordinary undocumented nominal shares of the A-Qroup at par value of 943 manats, according to a statement from the committee.

    The shares will be placed by means of conversion into the same number of shares at par value of 696.8 manats.

    A-Qroup was established in 1995 and renders services on 14 types of voluntary insurance.

    A-Qroup is the only insurance company selected by the International Finance Corporation (IFC) as part of the second stage of a pilot program on improving the corporate governance.

    The official exchange rate on April 21 is 0.7843 AZN / USD.

    Translated by E.A.

    Edited by S.I.

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  • Lake Urmia can take 12 years to restore, Iran gov't still looking for solution
    21.04.2014 16:53
    Baku, Azerbaijan, Apr.21

    By Fatih Karimov - Trend:

    A new package of proposals to save Lake Urmia, in north-west Iran, will be submitted to the Iranian administration by early June.

    Issa Kalantari, the secretary of the working group tasked with Lake Urmia's revival, said that 19 solutions had been proposed earlier to save the lake, but they proved to be impractical, Iran's ISNA news agency reported on April 21.

    So, a new package of proposals, which is science-based and practical, will be submitted to the administration, he added.

    However, some 12 years will take to restore the lake, he noted.

    Lake Urmia in north-west Iran is experiencing its worst drought in many years, where over 70 percent of its water has dried up. The level has been declining since 1995.

    Officials have said if the current restoration efforts are not effective, the lake will be turned into a swamp within four years. Previous reports said Lake Urmia needs 3.1 billion cubic meters of water per year to survive.

    Lake Urmia is the third largest salt water lake on earth with a surface area of approximately 5,200 square kilometers.

    Iran has allocated 220 billion rials (about $8.9 million) to the revival of Lake Urmia in the next Iranian calendar year, which starts on March 21, the Mehr News Agency quoted head of Iran's Environmental Protection Organization, Masoumeh Ebtekar as saying on February 6.

    She added that a final approach to save the lake will be declared by the end of spring. The organization will then start its action plans regarding the revival of the lake.

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  • 2nd Int'l Tourism Film Festival to happen in Baku
    21.04.2014 16:49
    Baku will host the 2nd International Tourism Film Festival (BITFF) in June.

    BITFF '" is a non-profit cultural event aimed promoting films on various aspects of tourism, defining the most successful films that promote domestic and international tourism. The festival aims to help these films find a broader international audience. The festival also aims to draw attention to the tourism potential of Azerbaijan as one of the international centers with rich historical and cultural heritage.

    The festival features several categories, including Country, Region, City, Culture amp; Tradition, Extreme Tourism, Ecotourism, TV Reports, Commercials, National Award.

    In addition to competitive and non-competitive program BITFF includes workshops and discussions among filmmakers, experts in tourism and the media. The official languages of the festival are Azerbaijani and English.

    The first Baku International Tourism Film Festival was held in November 2013.

    BITFF is supported by the Ministry of Culture and Tourism of Azerbaijan Republic.

  • Corn biofuels worse than gasoline on global warming in short term
    21.04.2014 16:45
    Biofuels made from the leftovers of harvested corn plants are worse than gasoline for global warming in the short term, a new study shows, challenging the Obama administration's conclusions that they are a much cleaner oil alternative and will help combat climate change.

    A $500,000 study - paid for by the federal government and released Sunday in the peer-reviewed journal Nature Climate Change - concludes that biofuels made with corn residue release 7% more greenhouse gases in the early years compared with conventional gasoline.

    While biofuels are better in the long run, the study says they won't meet a standard set in a 2007 energy law to qualify as renewable fuel.

    The conclusions deal a blow to proponents of cellulosic biofuels, which have received more than a billion dollars in federal support but have struggled to meet volume targets mandated by law. About half of the initial market in cellulosics is expected to be derived from corn residue.

    The biofuel industry and administration officials immediately criticized the research as flawed. They said it was too simplistic in its analysis of carbon loss from soil, which can vary over a single field, and vastly overestimated how much residue farmers actually would remove once the market gets underway.

    "The core analysis depicts an extreme scenario that no responsible farmer or business would ever employ because it would ruin both the land and the long-term supply of feedstock. It makes no agronomic or business sense," said Jan Koninckx, global business director for biorefineries at DuPont.

    Later this year the company is scheduled to finish a $200m-plus facility in Nevada, Iowa, that will produce 30 million gallons of cellulosic ethanol using corn residue from nearby farms. An assessment paid for by DuPont said that the ethanol it will produce there could be more than 100% better than gasoline in terms of greenhouse gas emissions.

    The research published in Nature Climate Change is among the first to attempt to quantify, over 12 corn belt states, how much carbon is lost to the atmosphere when the stalks, leaves and cobs that make up residue are removed and used to make biofuel, instead of left to naturally replenish the soil with carbon. The study found that regardless of how much corn residue is taken off the field, the process contributes to global warming.
  • Turkish National Defense Minister to visit to Nakhchivan
    21.04.2014 16:41
    The date of Turkish Minister of National Defense Ismet YД±lmazв's visit to Azerbaijan has been made public.

    Military sources told APA that the Turkish minister will be on a visit to Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic on May 14-15.

    The visit will take place at the invitation of Azerbaijani Defense Minister, Colonel General Zakir Hasanov.

    Ismet YД±lmaz plans to meet with the command of Nakhchivan Army Special Forces and the Autonomous Republic leadership during the visit.

    A delegation led by Ismet YД±lmaz will tour the military units located in Nakhchivan.

  • iOS 8 to have long-awaited function
    21.04.2014 16:30
    Apple is working on a song identification feature as a new addition to iOS 8, reports Bloomberg. The company has plans to partner with music discovery service Shazam to offer users a way to discover a song that is playing on the radio or from another source, such as a TV, using a small music clip.

    The company is planning to unveil a song-discovery feature in an update of its iOS mobile software that will let users identify a song and its artist using an iPhone or iPad, said two people with knowledge of the product, who asked not to be identified because the feature isn't public. Apple is partnering with Shazam Entertainment Ltd., whose technology can quickly spot what's playing by collecting sound from a phone's microphone and matching it against a song database.

    Along with Shazam, several other apps, including SoundHound, offer music and media identification capabilities. The apps use the iPhone's microphone to listen to short sound clips, matching songs against a database and providing additional information like lyrics and purchase links.

    Shazam is also capable of recognizing television shows and other media, so it is possible Apple's iOS identification feature could offer similar capabilities. According to Bloomberg, the feature will be directly integrated into iOS and will not need to be downloaded as a standalone app. It will function with Siri, allowing users to ask what song is playing.

    The song-identification feature will be integrated into the mobile software in the same way that Twitter's service is currently incorporated, meaning consumers donв't need to separately download it. Among the ways it can be used will be through Apple's voice-activated search feature, Siri. An iPhone user will be able to say something like "what song is playing," to find out the tuneв's details, one person said.

    Earlier this month, it was reported that Apple has plans to revamp its iTunes music store in order to boost flagging digital music sales. The company is said to be considering iTunes for Android and an on-demand streaming music service similar to Spotify. A song identification feature could be released as part of the same iTunes overhaul, and it's also possible that high resolution song downloads are in the works.

    Apple traditionally previews its operating system updates during its annual Worldwide Developers Conference and iOS 8 is expected to make its initial debut on June 2, during the 2014 conference.

  • Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Tajikistan railway has strategic importance
    21.04.2014 16:29
    Ashgabat, Turkmenistan, April 21

    By Huseyn Hasanov- Trend:

    The strategic importance of Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Tajikistan (TAT) railway project was emphasized during the meeting of the Turkmen-Tajik intergovernmental commission on economic cooperation in Ashgabat, a message from the government of Turkmenistan said on April 21.

    "The meeting participants also paid special attention to cooperation in the transport and communications sphere, particularly, the implementation of the important infrastructure project for construction of the TAT railway, essentially a new transport corridor, which is of strategic importance for the whole region," the government message said.

    Minister of Energy and Water Resources of Tajikistan, Usmonali Usmonzoda visited Ashgabat to participate in the commission's work. The parties agreed to hold the next, sixth meeting of the commission in Dushanbe, capital of Tajikistan, in the first half of 2015.

    The TAT railway project, the implementation of which began in early June, 2013, is of great importance for the strategic, political and economic interests of all parties to the project. China, Iran and Kyrgyzstan are expected to join this project in the future.

    Previously, the Turkmen side said that the TAT railway, with the length of 400 kilometers must come into operation in 2015. Moreover, Turkmen railway men will lay the Afghan section of the railway. This route will open a new corridor between Central Asia and world markets through the sea ports on the coast of the Indian Ocean. Its length is two times less than through Russia to the Baltic Sea coast.

    Translated by L.Z.

    Edited by C.N.

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  • Starbucks coffee shop chain to be opened in Baku by late 2014
    21.04.2014 16:20
    Baku, Azerbaijan, April 21

    By Emin Aliyev - Trend:

    Starbucks coffee shop chain will be opened in Azerbaijani capital of Baku by late 2014, an informed source in the retail market told Trend on April 21.

    "I can say the talks on bringing this brand to Azerbaijan have been completed successfully. I am sure that Starbucks coffeehouses will be opened in the city this year," he said.

    However he did not say anything about their location and other details, saying it is a trade secret.

    The world-famous coffee house chain Starbucks has over 16,000 shops worldwide. The first Starbucks coffee shop was opened in 1971 in Seattle, Washington in the U.S.

    Translated by E.A.

    Edited by C.N.

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  • Suicide bomber kills 10 in Iraq
    21.04.2014 16:20
    A suicide bomber detonated a vehicle rigged with explosives at a police checkpoint in central Iraq on Monday, killing 10 people, an officer and a medical source said.

    The blast, which hit the Suweirah area, south of Baghdad, also wounded 35 people, Naharnet reported.

    The attack came a day after violence in Iraq, including a suicide bombing at a university in Baghdad, killed at least 16 people.

    The violence comes less than 10 days before the April 30 parliamentary election and will be a major test for security forces.

    It will be the first parliamentary election since American troops quit Iraq at the end of 2011.

    While they were able to keep violence to a minimum during provincial polls last year, security forces have failed to halt a surge of unrest this year.

    The heightened violence has been driven principally by widespread anger among the Sunni Arab minority, who say they are mistreated by the Shiite-led government and security forces.

    It has also been fuelled by the bloody civil war in neighbouring Syria, which has bolstered militant groups.

    Violence has killed at least 490 people in Iraq this month and upwards of 2,700 this year, according to AFP figures based on security and medical sources.

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  • Mingachavir to have Olympic village for 600 persons
    21.04.2014 16:19
    Mingachavir has hosted a traditional international regatta for the "President's Cup 2014" in rowing and rowing and canoeing.

    The competition along with the hosts was attended by athletes from Turkey and Georgia. Leadership of the Azerbaijani Rowing Federation and Minister of Youth and Sports Azad Rahimov closely watched the race, reporting referring to the Federation.

    "The regatta is traditional since 2008. In previous years, it involved rowers from the Ukraine and Russia. This time, Turkey has brought 12 athletes and Georgia - 37.

    Next year there will be competitions of the First European Games in rowing and canoeing. Therefore, the centre's infrastructure will change much. A construction of the Olympic Village, which will host 600 people (athletes and coaches), has already begun," vice-president of the Federation, CEO of Olympic Centre "Kur" Natig Abbasov said.

  • Modernization underway for made in Azerbaijan sniper rifles
    21.04.2014 16:09
    Sniper rifles produced by the engineers of Azerbaijanв's Ministry of Defense Industry have already been tested, the Azerbaijani delegation participated in DSA-2014 exhibition in Malaysia told APA.

    Advisor of the Defense Industry Ministry Azad Mammadov said that firing tests of 12.7 mm-caliber ''Mubariz'' sniper rifle named in the honor of national hero Mubariz Ibrahimov have already been completed. Works are underway to modernize 14.5-caliber ''Istiglal-T'' rifle. During the modernization, the weight of ''Istiglal-T'' has been reduced up to 5 kg. The tests of 7.62x51mm-caliber ''Yalguzag'' sniper rifle have reached the final stage.В  В 

    ''Taking into the results of the tests, the weapons have been modernized. It is planned to equip ''Mubariz'' rifle with a modern telescope sight,'' Mammadov said.

    The delegation told that several countries have already appealed for the sale of ''Istiglal'' sniper rifle.

    ''Istiglal'' is an anti-material sniper rifle and used against the Armenian Army on the frontline. The rifle successfully passed all exams.В В 
  • Parks, shopping centres of Baku to have free Wi-Fi during European Games
    21.04.2014 16:08
    During the First European Games in Baku in 2015, the parks, stadiums and shopping centres will have free Wi-Fi, Deputy Minister of Communications and High Technologies Iltimas Mammadov has said at a board meeting of the ministry.

    According to him, it is planned to construct a new optical and copper telecommunications infrastructure, reports.

    "The length of the optical link will be 230 km, and copper - about 70 km. The lines will be laid directly in the direction of places where competitions will take place. The data transfer speed is 1-10 Gb/s," said the deputy minister.

    According to him, the construction work in this regard will be completed by February 2015, and as a result of this work ISDN services will be applied, and internet access infrastructure will be expanded.

    "In addition, we plan to take measures for quality broadcasting. To ensure the quality of the video stream, international channel of communication and a separate fibre-optic network will be launched. Resources of satellite "Azerspace-1" will be used as well," Mammadov said.

    The deputy minister added that the country's mobile operators have been instructed to provide reliable and continuous operation of the mobile communication (2G, 3G, 4G and roaming services).

    "Work on the creation of the mobile communication infrastructure at the Olympic Stadium in Baku is entrusted to company Azercell Telecom. It should also ensure that other operators - Bakcell and Azerfon are also connected to the infrastructure. Phone numbers of Azerfon will be used to connect guests to the mobile communication. This company was also charged with ensuring the quality of mobile communications," he said.

    "During the games 'cloud technology' will be widely used," said the deputy minister, adding that a special postage stamp on the occasion of the European games will be released.

    Mammadov noted that foreign experts and support groups will be involved in cyber-security, protecting the network infrastructure, as well as sites of government agencies and other institutions.

  • Mortar shells hit near Syrian parliament, kill 5
    21.04.2014 16:05
    Syria's state-run media say a pair of mortar shells hit near the parliament building in central Damascus, killing five people, Naharnet reported.

    SANA news agency says the mortars struck some 320 feet (100 meters) from the parliament in the Salihiya area of the Syrian capital on Monday morning,

    No one immediately claimed responsibility for the attack but Syrian rebels often fire mortar shells into government-controlled areas of Damascus. They say they are punishing pro-government forces for besieging areas controlled by the opposition, denying residents food, clean water and medical aid, and for dropping crude bombs on residential areas.

    Mortar shells cannot be precisely targeted and often kill civilians.

    Syria's conflict is now in its fourth year. It has killed over 150,000 people and forced one-third of the country's population from their homes.

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  • Gaza rocket salvo hits southern Israel
    21.04.2014 16:05
    Five rockets fired from the Palestinian-run Gaza Strip landed in southern Israel during the Jewish Passover holiday on Monday morning, wounding no one, the Israeli army said.

    Military officials said they had not responded to the salvo. But residents of Beit Hanoun in northern Gaza said an Israeli helicopter opened fire there, though it was not clear what it was targeting, Reuters reported.

    Two of the projectiles exploded in the southern Israeli border community of Sderot in a road and an open area, Israeli police said.

    The Hamas Palestinian militant group which controls Gaza has largely maintained a truce with Israel since late 2012, but it has sometimes struggled to rein in smaller armed factions.

    There was no immediate claim of responsibility from those militant groups, who are opposed to troubled peace talks between their Palestinian rivals in the occupied West Bank and Israel.

    Israel withdrew from Gaza in 2005 after 38 years of occupation. Palestinians seek a state in the West Bank and Gaza, with East Jerusalem as its capital.

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  • Azerbaijani Economy and Industry Minister meets Argentine ambassador
    21.04.2014 15:48
    Azerbaijani Economy and Industry Minister Shahin Mustafayev has met Argentine ambassador Carlos Dante Riva to discuss prospects for cooperation between the two countries.

    Mustafayev hailed relations between the two countries.

    The Minister stressed there was huge potential for expanding bilateral ties in the fields of agriculture and pharmaceutics.

    Dante Riva expressed Argentina`s interest in furthering cooperation with Azerbaijan, saying he would spare no efforts to contribute to this.
  • Road accident in Turkey, dead reported (UPDATE)
    21.04.2014 15:46
    Details added (first version posted at 13:48)

    Baku, Azerbaijan, April 21

    By Rufiz Hafizoglu - Trend:

    A road accident occurred in the Turkish capital of Ankara. Deaths and injuries have been reported, Turkish Anadolu news agency said on Monday, April 21.

    Two people were killed and 20 were injured as a result of the collision of two passenger buses, according to preliminary reports.

    The accident victims were taken to the nearest hospitals.

    All passengers are Turkish citizens.

    Translated by E.A.

    Edited by C.N.

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  • French, Romanian parliamentary delegations due in Tehran
    21.04.2014 15:36
    Baku, Azerbaijan, April 21

    By Umid Niayesh - Trend:

    Parliamentary delegations from France and Romania will visit Iran this week.

    A delegation of French parliament members, headed by Chairman of the Finance Committee of the French Senate Philippe Marini will arrive in Iran on April 22, the adviser of Iran's parliament speaker on International Affairs Hossein Sheikholeslam said, the country's Mehr news agency reported on April 21.

    In their 6 day visit, the members are scheduled to meet Iranian parliamentary, economic and political officials, he added. The visit comes at the invitation of head of Iranian parliament's Planning and Budget Commission, Gholamreza Mesbahi Moghaddam.

    Earlier in February, a 116-strong French delegation made up of representatives from major multinational companies such as Total, Lafarge and Peugeot, traveled to Iran to discuss investment in the country.

    Sheikholeslam went on to add that a Romanian parliamentary delegation is also scheduled to visit Iran on May 3 at the invitation of Chairman of the Iran-Romania Parliamentary Friendship Group, Mohammad Mehdi Zahedi.

    Earlier in January, Romanian Ambassador to Tehran, Christian Teodorescu said in a meeting with Zahedi that his country attaches great and special importance to its relations with the Islamic Republic.

    Edited by C.N.

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  • Ehud Barak elected member of International Centre of Nizami Ganjavi
    21.04.2014 15:31
    Israeli military and political figure Ehud Barak has been elected a member of the International Centre of Nizami Ganjavi .

    The statement came from the press service of the State Committee for Work with diaspora of Azerbaijan

    On April 27-30, Ehud Barak will visit Baku to participate in the Second Global Forum of joint associations, organized by the International Centre of Nizami Ganjavi and the Club of Madrid with the support of the State Committee for Work with diaspora of Azerbaijan

    During the visit, Ehud Barak will attend the First General Assembly of the International Centre of Nizami Ganjavi .

    Ehud Barak also took part in the First South Caucasus forum held in Baku in May 2013.

    Ehud Barak led the Israeli government in 1999-2001, in different years, he served as the Minister of Defense, Internal and Foreign Affairs, etc.

  • 'Womenв's participation in governance in Azerbaijan not on proper level'
    21.04.2014 15:26
    "Women's participation in governance and decision-making in Azerbaijan is not on proper level''.

    According to, the statement came from Chairman of the State Committee of the Republic of Azerbaijan for Family, Women and Children Hijran Huseynova, speaking at a round table session in the parliament .

    She noted that today there are still barriers preventing women in the field to participate actively in the processes of governance and decision-making.

    According to her, the women's public activity is influenced by such factors as the state of war, lack of experience in the field of administration, as well as moral and psychological aspects .

    However, she stressed that in recent years Azerbaijan pays special attention to issues related to the active participation of women in public life of the country, noted that this area is the focus of public policy.

    As an example, H.Huseynova drew attention to the fact that while in 90 years the percentage of women deputies in Azerbaijan was 4.3 % , today this figure increased to 16%.

    "Another indicator: by results of the recent municipal elections, the number of women members of local governments has increased five -fold to 4,194 people", she said, remarking that today most of the posts of deputy heads of executive power in the regions of the country are also occupied by women.

  • Twitter freezes two Turkish accounts
    21.04.2014 15:25
    Twitter has withheld two Turkish accounts accused of violating personal rights and privacy, APA reports quoting Anadolu Agency.

    The Bascalan and Haramzadeler333 Twitter accounts were suspended on Saturday, five days after a team of senior officials from Twitter's management visited Turkey.

    During the visit, the company's head of Global Public Policy, Colin Crowell, and his delegation met representatives from Turkey's information technologies authority to discuss problems between the two parties and the possibility of the company opening an office in Turkey.

    Turkey's Minister of Transport, Maritime and Communication Lufti Elvan said after the meeting that it had concluded in a good atmosphere.

    He also said Twitter would take concrete steps regarding the decisions of Turkish courts on some Twitter accounts.

    A Turkish court ordered Twitter to be blocked for the violation of personal rights and privacy on March 21.

    Access to the site was restored on April 3 after the Constitutional Court ruled that the move was a violation of the freedom of expression.

  • Road accident in Turkey, dead reported
    21.04.2014 15:08
    Baku, Azerbaijan, April 21

    By Rufiz Hafizoglu - Trend:

    A road accident occurred in the Turkish capital of Ankara, deaths and injuries were reported, Turkish Anadolu news agency said on April 21.

    Two people were killed, according to preliminary reports, the number of wounded is not specified.

    No other details of the accident have been reported.

    Translated by E.A.

    Edited by C.N.

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  • Gul expresses sorrow over death of Colombia's 'Gabo'
    21.04.2014 15:03
    Turkish President Abdullah Gul has expressed his condolences over the death of Nobel Prize-winning Colombian writer Gabriel Garcia Marquez to Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos, APA reports quoting Anadolu Agency.

    Gul said he was sad at the death that one of the greatest writers of contemporary literature who represented Colombian society, according to a statement released by the Turkish presidential palace on Saturday.

    Gul conveyed his sympathy to the writer's family, adding that Turkish readers had loved Marquez and embraced his work.

    Widely recognized as one of the forefathers of magic realism, Marquez - affectionately known as Gabo - was Colombia's most internationally recognized writer.

    He passed away in Mexico City on Thursday at the age of 87.

  • Russia hails ties with future NATO chief
    21.04.2014 15:02
    Russian President Vladimir Putin has hailed Moscowв's ties with the future head of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), but at the same time holding the West responsible for improving the current strained relations between the two sides, APA reports quoting Press TV.

    In an interview with Rossiya 1 television, due to be released later on Saturday, Putin indicated that the appointment of former Norwegian prime minister Jens Stoltenberg as NATO's next secretary general, who takes over in October 2014, could help ties.

    "We have very good relations, including personal relations. This is a very serious, responsible person," he said, adding, "But let's see how he will develop relations in his new capacity."

    Relations between the two sides have been at their worst since Crimea's integration into Russia back in March.

    However, the Russian president stressed that nothing can hinder normal cooperation between Moscow and the Western military alliance.

    Earlier this month, NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen warned that Russia's alleged involvement in the current turmoil in Ukraine would result in "far-reaching consequences" in Moscow's relations with the West.

    The warnings came one day after the alliance announced it was suspending all military and civilian cooperation with Russia.

    Tensions between Western powers and Moscow heightened after the Crimean territory declared independence from Ukraine and formally applied to become part of Russia following a referendum on March 16, in which almost 97 percent of the participants voted for rejoining Russia, with a turnout of over 83 percent.

    On March 21, Putin signed into law documents that officially made the Black Sea peninsula part of the Russian Federation despite condemnation from the West and the new Ukrainian government.

    The move sparked angry reactions from the United States and the European Union, both imposing sanctions against a number of Russian officials and authorities in Crimea.

  • Azerbaijani delegation to visit US
    21.04.2014 14:59
    Baku, Azerbaijan, April 21

    By Sabina Ahmadova - Trend:

    Azerbaijani delegation will pay a visit to the U.S. within the framework of the "International Sports Programming Initiative: Azerbaijan Disability Sports" project implemented by the Institute for Training and Development (ITD) in the U.S. and Sport for Development (S4D) in Azerbaijan.

    The project will bring thirteen Azerbaijani professionals and one escort to the U.S. for three weeks on a fully-funded trip, from September 27 to October 17, 2014, according to Facebook page of the US Embassy Baku. The theme of the project is sports for children with disabilities.

    The report noted that Azerbaijani participants will be actively involved in learning, sports, and social activities with American counterparts and youth with disabilities. Lectures by college faculty will provide participants with U.S. historical and social background related to disability and disability sport and recreation. Discussions with disability and sports professionals will stimulate thought about public and private obligations to address this field, and about the respective value of specialized and inclusive programs. And visits to disability organizations and schools will provide direct contact with youth with disabilities and the programs that serve them.

    A U.S. counterpart delegation will travel around Azerbaijan for two weeks, engaging in activities comparable to the stateside program. The Americans will also support Azerbaijani alumni/ae in implementing their action plan projects.

    There are two categories of Azerbaijani professionals who may apply to participate in this project:Public school physical education teachers, and disability workers from private and public organizations.

    Physical education teachers who apply need have no prior experience with disabled children, and disability workers need have no prior experience with sports. Azerbaijani translators will be present, so no knowledge of English is necessary. And those with disabilities are welcome to apply. Their needs will be accommodated in the U.S.

    This project is funded by the U.S. Department of State.

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  • 15 hours interrupt 70-year loyalty
    21.04.2014 14:56
    An Ohio couple who met as teenagers and were married for 70 years, almost never sleeping apart, died from natural causes within a span of 15 hours, according to their daughter.

    Helen Felumlee, 92, died on April 12 at their home in Nashport, Ohio, about 55 miles east of Columbus, and her husband Kenneth Felumlee, 91, passed away the next day, according to their joint obituary.

    "We knew when one went, the other was going to go," daughter Linda Cody told the Zanesville Times Recorder. "We wanted them to go together, and they did."

    The couple met as teenagers and married in 1944, raising eight children together, according to the obituary.

    Helen was a homemaker and Kenneth was a railroad worker and later a mail carrier, and both were active in the Methodist church, where they taught Sunday school.

    They spent their retirement traveling to all 50 states by bus and even after 70 years of marriage, they still ate breakfast every morning holding hands, Cody said.

    The couple never slept apart until about three years ago, when Kenneth had part of his leg amputated due to circulation issues, she said. Helen became his main caretaker and also started spending some nights on the couch.

    "She was staying strong for Dad and he was staying strong for her," Cody told the Zanesville Times Recorder. "That's what kept them going."

    Kenneth Felumlee passed away with his family by his bedside after saying "Mom's dead," Cody said.

    The couple also had 23 grandchildren and 43 great grandchildren, according to the obituary.

  • Scholars appeal to Iranian president about burial of American researcher
    21.04.2014 14:55
    Baku, Azerbaijan, April 21

    By Umid Niayesh - Trend:

    Some 230 Iranian university professors asked President Hassan Rouhani to prepare for U.S. scholar, Richard Frye's planned burial in the country's central city of Esfahan.

    The delay in the burial will lead to negative consequences for Iran's national interests and its cultural in the world, the scholars addressed Rouhani in a letter, Iranian ISNA news agency reported on April 20.

    Richard Frye, a Harvard professor who dedicated his career to studying Iran's ancient culture and language, died last month in Boston at 94 and his body is waiting to be transferred to Iran.

    In his will, Frye had asked to be interred at a mausoleum on the banks of the Zayandeh River in Esfahan.

    The burial of Frye remains in limbo amid a backlash from some Iranian hardliners, which accused the scholar of being a CIA spy.

    On April 16, Iranian media outlets quoted director of the Center for the Great Islamic Encyclopedia, a Tehran-based research institute on Iranian and Islamic culture, Kazem Mousavi Bojnourdi as saying he had yet to receive responses to letters sent to Iran's president, foreign minister and the local officials in Esfahan regarding Frye's request.

    Mousavi Bojnourdi, whom Frye had personally asked to execute his will, also said that he has asked Supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei's advisor, Ali Akbar Velayati to inform if the leader disagrees with burial of the body in Iran.

    Edited by C.N.

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  • Turkey wants discount from Russia for supplied gas
    21.04.2014 14:44
    Baku, Azerbaijan, April 21

    By Rufiz Hafizoglu - Trend:

    Turkey will try to obtain a discount from Russia for the gas supplied by this country, and this issue will be discussed with the management of Russia's Gazprom in coming days, Turkish Minister of Energy and Natural Resources, Taner Yildiz said, the country's TRT Haber TV channel reported on April 21.

    The information about that Gazprom refused to offer any discount to Ankara for the supplied gas, is untrue, according to the minister.

    "The contract signed between Ankara and Moscow gives every reason for Turkey to demand a discount on the supplied gas," Yildiz said.

    Turkish minister went on to add that the increase of gas supply to Turkey will also be discussed during the talks with Gazprom.

    The Turkish state pipeline company Botas imported 38.42 billion cubic meters of gas from various sources in 2013, compared to 43.09 billion cubic meters in 2012.

    Gas prices are not officially disclosed, but Turkey buys Russian gas at $425 per 1000 cubic meters, according to Turkish media. Turkey pays $335 for one thousand cubic meters of Azerbaijani gas which is supplied via the South Caucasus Pipeline (Baku-Tbilisi-Erzurum pipeline). The country pays $490 for 1000 cubic meters of Iranian gas.

    Turkey has contracts with Russia to supply 20 billion cubic meters of gas per year, with Iran it is 10 billion cubic meters of gas and with Azerbaijan - 6.6 billion cubic meters of gas.

    Turkey also has an agreement with Algeria and Nigeria for the supply of 4.4 billion and 1.2 billion cubic meters of liquefied natural gas respectively per year.

    Translated by L.Z.

    Edited by C.N.

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  • Turkish footballer injured by gunshot at Istanbul night club
    21.04.2014 14:38
    Besiktas player Gokhan Tore and five other people have been injured in an armed attack at a night club in Istanbul following yesterday's derby match with Fenerbahce hurriyetdailynews reported.

    Tore was reportedly shot in the back and was immediately taken to a nearby hospital. Besiktas released a statement, saying Tore had no relation with the assailant.

    Witnesses said the man began to fire his gun after his girlfriend said she was disturbed by how a man with 'red hair' was looking at her.

    Besiktas's Communication Committee member Can Д°pekci and Kayserispor footballer Taner Yalcin were among the injured, reports said.

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  • Saudi Arabia sentences five to death for 2003 attacks
    21.04.2014 14:29
    A Saudi Arabian court on Sunday sentenced five men to death for their involvement in a suicide attack on expatriate residential compounds in Riyadh in 2003, the state news agency reported.

    Another 37 people were sentenced to terms of three to 35 years for assisting the attacks in northeastern Riyadh, which were part of a three-year campaign by al Qaeda that killed hundreds and was aimed at destabilizing U.S. ally Saudi Arabia, Reuters reported.

    Riyadh crushed the campaign in 2006, detaining more than 11,000 people in its security prisons, it has said.

    The remnants of that al Qaeda group fled to Yemen where in 2009 they joined local militants to form Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, now seen as one of the most dangerous branches of the movement around the world.

    Saudi Arabia has put on trial hundreds of accused militants in recent months, jailing many of them and sentencing others to death on charges that they played a role in the 2003-06 campaign, or aided those going to fight in Iraq or Afghanistan.

    The conservative Islamic kingdom has grown increasingly concerned about radicalization this year because the war in Syria has spurred what they see as a surge in online militancy. They are worried about a new al Qaeda campaign of attacks.

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  • Retail can contribute to diversification objective of Azerbaijan`s economy
    21.04.2014 13:46
    Baku, Azerbaijan, April 21

    By Emin Aliyev - Trend:

    Retail business and its development can make a significant contribution to achieving the objectives of diversification of the Azerbaijani economy, the Deputy Minister of Economy and Industry of Azerbaijan Sahil Babayev said.

    "Azerbaijan has made significant progress in the economic development over the past 10 years and now the country is facing with the task of diversifying the economy which is reflected in the Azerbaijan 2020: outlook for future development conception," said the deputy minister.

    The UAE has extensive experience in the development of retail and franchising, and this experience can be beneficial to local entrepreneurs," Babayev said at a roundtable on the development of retail and franchising, organized as part of a Dubai Chamber (a structure engaged in the development of the business environment and the protection of the business interests of the United Arab Emirates) delegation visit to the country.

    More than 20 agreements on cooperation in various spheres of the economy have been signed with the Emirates.

    At present about 200 companies with investment from the United Arab Emirates operate in Azerbaijan. In recent years more than $465 million were invested by the UAE in this Caspian nation.

    "There is great potential for expansion of cooperation between our countries," the deputy minister said.

    Translated by S.I.

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  • Six Azerbaijani Greco-Roman wrestlers claim golds at AWFв's Cup
    21.04.2014 13:39
    Six Azerbaijani Greco-Roman wrestlers have snatched gold medals on the second day of the Azerbaijan Wrestling Federation's Cup international tournament.

    The golds came from Ibrahim Nurullayev weighing in at 50kg, Sakit Guliyev at 55kg, Karim Jafarov at 60kg, Elman Mukhtarov at 66kg, Islam Abbasov 84kg, and Orkhan Nuriyev at 96kg.

    Apart from Azerbaijan, the tournament brings together wrestlers from Belarus, Russia, Turkey, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Iran, Tajikistan, Switzerland, Hungary, Latvia, Georgia, and Kyrgyzstan.
  • China National Petroleum Corporation leaves Iranв's oil projects
    21.04.2014 13:38
    Baku, Azerbaijan, Apr.20

    By Fatih Karimov - Trend:

    China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC) has left Iran's oil projects as an ultimatum over its continuous delays has expired.

    Iran issued an ultimatum to CNPC on Feb.18 over its continuous delays in developing the South Azadegan oilfield.

    At the time, Iranian Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh said if this trend continues, CNPC will be expelled from the project.

    The presence of CNPC in Iran will depend on changing its behavior within the 90-day ultimatum which has been given, Zanganeh said.

    Tasnim news agency earlier reported that CNPC is on the verge of quitting Iran's South Azadegan oilfield development project.

    CNPC had been awarded with developing North Pars oilfield, Yadavaran joint oilfield, North and South Azadegan fields, and the phase 11 of the South Pars gas field. Due to its repeated delays, the company has been expelled from the South Pars and the North Pars projects, and they are on the verge of being expelled from the South Azadegan project.

    CNPC has been in charge of developing the field for seven years. However, only seven out of the projected 185 wells of the first phase of the oilfield have been drilled so far, the managing director of Iran's Petroleum Engineering and Development Company (PEDEC), Abdolreza Haji Hosseinnejad said in February.

    "The project is only seven percent complete," he noted.

    "CNPC was supposed to use 25 drilling rigs at the joint oilfield, but currently only five drilling rigs are active there," he added.

    The oilfield is projected to produce 320,000 barrels of oil per day.

    CNPC signed a memorandum of understanding with National Iranian Oil Co in 2009, promising to pay 90 percent of development costs for the South Azadegan oil field while taking ownership of a 70 percent stake. An Iranian official said the project needed investment of up to $2.5 billion, Reuters reported.

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  • Barca sees "Messi salvation" again
    21.04.2014 13:34
    It was far from vintage Barcelona, but it was enough to keep alive the Catalan club's dwindling hopes of retaining the Spanish league title.

    With white handkerchiefs waving in the Camp Nou to indicate the fans' frustration at what appeared to be another disappointing setback, Lionel Messi came to the rescue on Sunday to earn a 2-1 victory against Athletic Bilbao.

    Having been knocked out of the Champions League, then losing the Copa del Rey final to Real Madrid, Gerardo Martino's team had been staring down the barrel of an unthinkable fourth successive defeat.

    With Atletico Madrid having gone seven points clear at the top of the table with Friday's 2-0 win over Elche, it would've spelled disaster if Barca could not recover from Aritz Aduriz's opener for the fourth-placed Basques.

    The early signs weren't good.

    After Messi had a goal ruled out for offside, Aduriz hit the Barca woodwork with a spectacular overhead kick, then Alexis Sanchez smacked the Bilbao bar when it seemed easier to score.

    Aduriz ghosted through Barca's frail defense to slot in a low shot five minutes after the break, and teammate Markel Susaeta had an effort ruled out for offside soon after.

    To the home supporters' intense relief, Pedro provided the equalizer in the 72nd minute with his 15th league goal this season, diverting a low shot from Sanchez into the net from close range.

    Soon after that, Messi picked himself up after being fouled on the edge of the penalty area and fired a free-kick through the wall.

    It ended what, for the four-time world player of the year, was a goal drought -- four games without scoring -- as he netted for the 26th time in La Liga, leaving him third in the Pichichi standings behind Atletico's Diego Costa (27) and Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo (28).

    It proved to be the winner, though Barca needed Javier Mascherano -- who squandered a great scoring chance not long beforehand -- to make a brave block to stop a goal-bound Bilbao shot in time added on.

    The result left Barca four points behind Atletico with four games to play -- the last of which will be between the two teams at the Camp Nou.

    It lifted Barca into second place above Real, without a match this weekend ahead of Wednesday's Champions League semifinal first leg at home to Bayern Munich.

    Atletico, meanwhile, will be seeking to make it an all-Spanish final as the capital team hosts English club Chelsea in Tuesday's opening leg.

    Earlier Sunday, Sevilla consolidated fifth place with a 4-0 win at home to Granada, Rayo Vallecano moved up to mid-table safety with a 3-1 win that almost certainly condemned Real Betis to relegation, and Celta Vigo beat second-bottom Almeria 4-2.

    In Germany, third-placed Schalke suffered a shock 3-1 defeat at Stuttgart which moved the home side four points clear of Hamburg in the relegation playoff place.

    Fourth-placed Bayer Leverkusen moved to within four points of Schalke with a 4-1 win at second-bottom Nuremberg.

    In France, second-placed Monaco clinched a spot in next season's Champions League with a 1-0 win at home to Nice, thanks to an early goal from former Manchester United striker Dimitar Berbatov.

    It put Monaco seven points behind champions Paris Saint-Germain, who won the French League Cup on Saturday.

    Third-placed Lille lost more ground, being held 0-0 at Marseille.

    In Portugal, Benfica clinched a 33rd league title with two matches to play as Brazilian forward Lima scored both goals in a 2-0 win against Olhanense.

    Benfica had been runner-up to Porto for the past three seasons.

    Seven points back, Sporting Lisbon clinched Portugal's second Champions League place with a 1-0 win at Belenenses, with Porto in third another 11 points adrift with a game in hand.

    In the Netherlands, PEC Zwolle caused a big shock by winning the Dutch Cup for the first time, coming from behind to beat league-leading Ajax 5-1.

    Ryan Thomas and Guyon Fernandez scored twice to give the mid-table team a place in the Europa League qualifying rounds next season. It had lost its only other finals in 1928 and 1977.

  • Cambodian PM pays respect to national leader Heydar Aliyev and Azerbaijani heroes
    21.04.2014 13:25
    A delegation led by Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen has today visited the Alley of Honors to lay a wreath at the tomb of national leader, founder and architect of modern Azerbaijani state Heydar Aliyev.

    The delegation also put flowers at the grave of prominent ophthalmologist, academician Zarifa Aliyeva.

    They then visited the Alley of Martyrs to commemorate Azerbaijani heroes who gave their lives for the country`s independence and territorial integrity.

    The Cambodian delegation laid a wreath at the Eternal Flame monument.
  • Azerbaijani Muganbank starts selling shares
    21.04.2014 13:23
    Baku, Azerbaijan, April 21


    The placement of emission of JSC Muganbank's ordinary nominal undocumented shares worth five million manats will start at the Baku Stock Exchange (BSE) on April 23.

    "The bank asked for the inclusion of its shares into the unquoted BSE list," according to a message from the stock exchange.

    Some 25,000 shares at par value of 200 manats each were issued within the emission.

    Muganbank's shareholders will be able to use their preferential right to purchase shares until September 20, while the term for emission placement will expire on October 23, 2014.

    The placement underwriter is Texnika Capital Management Ltd.

    Muganbank has been functioning since 1992 and its service network in Azerbaijan includes 31 branches and five sub-branches. The bank also has a representative office in Moscow, Russia.

    Since its creation Muganbank's most important tasks were active participation in developing Azerbaijan's economy, rendering all types of banking services to a wide range of population, and a desire to become one of the leading financial institutions in the banking system.

    The official exchange rate on April 21 is 0.7843 AZN/USD.

    Translated by E.A.

    Edited by S.I.

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  • Baku payphones to have wi-fi function
    21.04.2014 13:09
    By AzerNews

    Payphones in Baku will be equipped with Wi-Fi and transport cards charging function, Communications and High Technologies Ministry's Baku Telephone Communications Production Association (BTCPA) said.

    BTCPA is ready to consider Transport Ministry's offers on this project and to solve technical and organizational issues after obtaining permission.

    "Moreover, additional features such as supporting Wi-Fi and receipt of payments can be added to the universal payphones," the agency said.

    BTCPA has begun to set up multimedia payphones in Baku in early 2012. To take advantage of the payphones both coins and phone cards can be used. Moreover, the necessary background information, codes of cities and regions, as well as information on tariffs and operator's services will be provided in the payphones.

    The number of multimedia payphones installed in the central streets of the capital is about 100 units.

    Multimedia payphone is an apparatus that connects the payphone to computer. In addition to conventional telephony services, the device allows to access the Internet, send email, view video ads and so on.

    They can also provide local, long distance and international calls. Access to the emergency response and phone services is provided free of charge.
  • Kazakhstan, Turkey agree on increasing number of mutual flights
    21.04.2014 13:00
    Astana, Kazakhstan, April 21

    By Daniyar Mukhtarov - Trend:

    The aviation agencies of Kazakhstan and Turkey have adopted a decision to increase the number of flights to eight on Antalya -Almaty, Antalya- Astana and Antalya-Karaganda routes, Kazakhstan's Ministry of Transport and Communications said on April 21.

    The flights will be regular; they will be carried out in accordance with the approved schedule and the tickets will be freely available, according to the ministry.

    "The corresponding decision was adopted by the Civil Aviation Committee of Kazakhstan on the results of the monitoring of the Kazakhstan-Turkey tourist traffic market. The monitoring was held by Kazakhstan's Ministry of Transport and Communications, jointly with tour operators, the National Chamber of Entrepreneurs, Kazakhstan Tourist Association and the Tourism Industry Committee," the ministry said.

    "We have repeatedly discussed with our Turkish colleagues the possibility of carrying out flights between the two countries. And taking into account the popularity of these flights among our citizens, there was made a decision to open 16 additional flights per week for the entire summer season of 2014," the chairman of the Civil Aviation Committee of Kazakhstan's Transport and Communications Ministry, Beken Seidakhmetov said.

    Translated by L.Z.

    Edited by C.N.

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  • Pope Francis wants no war, hunger on Easter
    21.04.2014 12:49
    Pope Francis, in his Easter address before a huge crowd, on Sunday denounced the "immense wastefulness" in the world while many go hungry and called for an end to conflicts in Syria, Ukraine and Africa.

    "We ask you, Lord Jesus, to put an end to all war and every conflict, whether great or small, ancient or recent," he said in his "Urbi et Orbi" (to the city and the world) message.

    Francis, marking the second Easter season of his pontificate, celebrated a Mass to an overflowing crowd of at least 150,000 in St. Peter's Square and beyond.

    The crowd stretched back along all of Via della Conciliazione, the boulevard between the Vatican and the Tiber River.

    Speaking under a sunny sky after a midnight rainstorm soaked the tens of thousands of flowers that bedecked the square, Francis weaved his message around the suffering of people across the globe.

    He prayed to God to "help us to overcome the scourge of hunger, aggravated by conflicts and by the immense wastefulness for which we are often responsible".

    Since his election as the first non-European pope in 1,300 years, Francis had made defense of the poor a hallmark of his papacy, often criticizing developed nations and the excesses of capitalism and consumerism.

    The 77-year-old pope, wearing white vestments for the service, prayed for the protection of those members of society who are particularly vulnerable to exploitation, abuse and abandonment - women, children, the elderly and immigrants.

    Easter is the most important day on the liturgical calendar because it commemorates the day Christians believe Jesus rose from the dead after his crucifixion and the Church sees it as a symbol of hope, peace and reconciliation among peoples and nations.


    The pope called on the international community to "boldly negotiate the peace long awaited and long overdue" in Syria, where more than 150,000 people have been killed in the civil war, a third of them civilians. Millions have fled the country.

    "We pray in a particular way for Syria, that all those suffering the effects of the conflict can receive needed humanitarian aid and that neither side will again use deadly force, especially against the defenseless civil population," he said.

    Francis asked God to "enlighten and inspire the initiatives that promote peace in Ukraine so that all those involved, with the support of the international community, will make every effort to prevent violence and, in a spirit of unity and dialogue, chart a path for the country's future".

    He also asked for an end to violence in Iraq, Venezuela, South Sudan and the Central Africa Republic.

    Francis appealed for more medical attention for the victims of the deadly Ebola epidemic in Guinea Conakry, Sierra Leone and Liberia, and care for those suffering from many other diseases spread through neglect and dire poverty.

    He called for a "halt to the brutal terrorist attacks" in f Nigeria, an apparent reference to Nigerian Islamist militant group Boko Haram, which earlier this month abducted some 130 girls from a school in the north of the country.

    The Easter Sunday services were the culmination of four hectic days of Holy Week activities for the pontiff.

    Next Sunday, he will canonize Pope John Paul II, who reigned from 1978 to 2005, and Pope John XXIII, who was pontiff from 1958 to 1963 and called the Second Vatican Council, a landmark meeting that modernized the Church.

    Hundreds of thousands of people are due to come to Rome for the canonizations, the first time two popes are be made saints simultaneously and the first canonizations of a pope since 1954.

  • Azerbaijan`s Rajabov draws with Russian Karyakin in first round of Shamkir Chess-2014
    21.04.2014 12:45
    Azerbaijani grandmaster Teymur Rajabov has been held to a draw by Russian Sergey Karjakin in the first round of the Shamkir Chess-2014 tournament in the Azerbaijani city of Shamkir.

    Organized by "Synergy Group", the tournament commemorates the late Azerbaijani grandmaster Vugar Hashimov.

    It consists of two groups.

    The Group A features Norwegian Magnus Carlsen, Italian Fabiano Caruana, Russian Sergei Karyakin, American Hikaru Nakamura, and Azerbaijanis Shahriyar Mammadyarov and Teymur Rajabov. Money prize of the A tournament is euro;100,000.

    In the Group B ten players play, including five from Azerbaijan (Eltaj Safarli, Nijat Abbasov, Gadir Huseynov, Rauf Mammadov, Vasif Durabeyli) and five foreign players Hao Wang (China), Pavel Eljanov (Ukraine), Etienne Bacrot (France), Radoslav Wojtaszek (Poland), and the new European champion Alexander Motylev (Russia). The prize fund for this tournament is euro;30,000.
  • Apple, Google stars "game war"
    21.04.2014 12:32
    Apple Inc and Google Inc are wooing game developers to ensure that top game titles arrive first on devices powered by their respective operating system, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing people familiar with the matter.

    Both the companies are trying to lure game developers by offering premium placement to these games on their app stores' home pages and features lists, the daily said. (

    Both Google and Apple were not immediately available for comment outside regular U.S. business hours.

    Apple had struck a deal with Electronic Arts Inc last August to promote the game "Plants Vs Zombies 2" prominently in its App Store, and had a similar arrangement with ZeptoLab to promote the sequel to its popular puzzle game "Cut the Rope", which released in December, the Journal reported.

  • Doctor Kanai brings hope and vision to displaced population in Azerbaijan
    21.04.2014 12:26
    The renowned Japanese scientist and winner of the 2006 Nansen Refugee award, Dr. Akio Kanai has started his next humanitarian mission to Azerbaijan. Dr. Kanai is head of the Japanese private company, Fuji Optical and has been a generous private donor of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees for more than 30 years.

    This will be the 10th such humanitarian mission of Fuji Optical to Azerbaijan. The mission provides free of charge eye screening and conduct eye glasses distribution to persons of concern to UNHCR, e.g. refugees, internally displaced persons and other vulnerable people. The Company started its humanitarian activity among Indo-Chinese refugees in Thailand in 1983. Since then, Fuji Optical has donated more than 141 thousand pairs of eyeglasses to refugees, IDPs and other vulnerable people in six countries of Asia, Europe and Africa, conducted vision aid missions to four out of those countries.

    Today, Doctor Kanai and his team of 6 optometrists depart for South-Western regions of Azerbaijan in order to conduct eye-screening for internally displaced persons in Imishli, Beylagan, Khojavend and Fuzuli regions. On Monday, 28 April, services will be organized in Baku for refugees, and others of concern to UNHCR. The assistance program is carried out in close cooperation with the UNHCR Representation in Azerbaijan and local authorities.

    About 1.8 million USD has been spent by Fuji Optical to accomplish its humanitarian activity in Azerbaijan during the last ten years. Around 39 thousand pairs of high quality optic eyeglasses and other items have been brought to the country as in-kind donation to the UNHCR operations in Azerbaijan. In total, more than 17 thousand refugees, IDPs and other vulnerable people have benefited from the free of charge vision screening services. This year, Fuji Optical has brought 4,000 pairs of eye-glasses and other vision and hearing aid items and targets to screen about 2,000 IDPs, refugees and other vulnerable people.

    UNHCR is a specialized UN agency which is mandated to lead and co-ordinate international interventions to protect refugees and find durable solutions for their problems worldwide. UNHCR has been operating in Azerbaijan since December 1992 to assist the large number of IDPs displaced due to conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh as well as thousands of refugees and other vulnerable people.
  • Dilara visits beloved neighbor-country: Georgia
    21.04.2014 12:21
    Next stop on Dilara Kazimova promotional tour is Georgia. On Tuesday, April 22th Azerbaijani entry to the Eurovision will visit her western neighbors.

    Dilara's agenda includes appearances on TV and interviews with local media. Her day in Tbilisi will start with hit morning show at major TV Channel GPB, then she is scheduled to meet with radio stations, newspapers and magazines.

    The highlight of the day will be a joint interview with fellow Eurovision 2014 contestant from Georgia - Mariko Ebralidze, who's taking the stage in Copenhagen along with music band The Shin.

    The last destination on Dilara's exciting travel across Europe is Malta on April 25th. And then Copenhagen finally!

    Dilara Kazimova performs with song Start a Fire under #8th in the first Semi Final of the Eurovision Song Contest on May 6th, 2014 in Copenhagen.
  • First Lady of Nashville! Michelle Obama to guest star on the hit ABC drama alongside Connie Britton next month
    21.04.2014 12:16
    She has already made an appearance as herself on the hit comedy Parks and Recreation, in the fictional setting of Pawnee.

    But now, Michelle Obama, 50, is heading to Nashville, as it has been confirmed that the First Lady will be making a guest appearance on the ABC drama, starring Connie Britton.

    In the upcoming episode, Connie's character Rayna James ropes in Michelle to host a charity concert at Fort Campbell, after it is reveals that character Luke Wheeler has been injured in Afghanistan.

    The episode will air May 7th and leads up to the finale of season two, which airs on May 14th.

    Nashville airs on Wednesdays at 10pm EST on channel ABC.

    Michelle has certainly been busy this year, kicking off 2014 with her star-studded 50th birthday bash.

    Performing at the event was non other than Beyonce, who jetted to Washington D.C. to sing a few of her biggest hits at the White House on 18th January.

    Other VIP guests included model Chrissy Teigen, Ramp;B star Mary J. Blige, fashion designer Michael Kors, celebrity chef Rachael Ray, singer Gladys Knight, entrepreneur Sheryl Sandberg and Oprah Winfrey's best pal Gayle King.

    The Avengers' star Samuel L. Jackson told reporters on his way into the party: 'I am looking forward to saying happy birthday to her, being able to celebrate this great milestone in her life.'

    I Can't Describe hitmaker Jennifer previously revealed she didn't get Michelle a birthday present.

    Asked how easy it was to pick out something special for Michelle, the 32-year-old star said: 'You don't. You just go and be there and show your support, that's all you can do.'
  • Caspian statesв' FMs to meet in Moscow
    21.04.2014 12:14
    A conference of ministers of foreign affairs of Caspian littoral states will be held in Moscow, Russia, on Tuesday.

    The Moscow gathering will feature Russian, Azerbaijani, Iranian, Kazakh, and Turkmen foreign ministers.

    The conference will see discussions on the preparations for the fourth Caspian summit to be held in the Russian Federation's Astrakhan region this fall.

    The FMs will discuss the programme and agenda of the summit.

    The conference also will see the FMs analyze the fulfillment of decisions made at the previous summit in Baku in 2010, including on the legal status of the Caspian Sea, security and response to common challenges and threats, environment, rational use of water biological resources, and prevention and elimination of emergency situations.
  • 9-year-old trods on 10,000-year-old mastodon tooth
    21.04.2014 12:13
    Mastodons -- elephant-like beasts that lumbered across North America more than 10,000 years ago -- are long extinct, but apparently it wasn't tooth decay that did them in.

    A 9-year-old Michigan boy stumbled across something -- literally -- that, it turns out, is a mastodon tooth.

    "I was walking down at the creek last summer. I felt something that I stepped on so I picked it up and everybody in the neighborhood thought it was pretty cool," Philip Stoll told CNN on Friday.

    Affectionately called "Huckleberry Phil" in his neighborhood near Lansing because of his penchant for exploring outside, Philip took the lump home and washed it off in the kitchen sink, and checked to see if it was magnetic, his mother, Heidi Stoll said. It wasn't.

    The peculiar object was about 8 inches in length, brown, and had six peaks.

    "I was holding it in my hands for a few minutes and then it gave me the creeps so I put it down on the desk," Heidi Stoll told CNN. "It looked like a tooth. It looked like there was something like gum tissue, a little bulgy thing around the top."

    After researching "large tooth object" on the Internet, mother and son reached out to James Harding, a herpetologist -- an expert on reptiles and amphibians -- at nearby Michigan State, who told them it was the tooth of one of the long-gone beasts that roamed the area millennia ago.

    "This is indeed a mastodon tooth," Professor Harding confirmed in an e-mail. "Apparently (it is) the upper surface, broken off at the roots."

    Philip told CNN that he always thought he might want to be a paleontologist -- a scientist who studies prehistoric life -- but now feels that more than ever. And with summer approaching, there's more exploring to be done.

    "It's going to be hard to get him run around with shoes on or come inside to do his schoolwork," Stoll said of her son.

  • Turkish industry to gain US$16 bn from nuke plants
    21.04.2014 12:13
    Turkey's domestic industry will gain US$16 billion from two nuclear power plant projects, the country's energy minister said on Sunday Anadolu Agency reported.

    "Domestic industry's investment in nuclear energy will focus on construction, machinery, equipment and electrical components, and our research shows that there are currently 460 Turkish companies capable of supplying goods for the nuclear projects," Taner Yildiz said in an exclusive interview with AA.

    Yildiz said that most of the this money would be generated in the construction industry.

    Up to 20,000 workers are expected to participate in the construction process of the two plants and 80 percent of the construction crew will be from Turkey.

    Yildiz said that once the two projects are finished, the operational amount of electricity produced by them will lower Turkey's yearly natural gas imports by US$7.2 billion dollars.

    The Russian energy company Rosatom signed an agreement in 2011 to build and operate a nuclear power plant in the Mersin province on Turkey's Mediterranean coast.

    Turkey also has plans to build a second nuclear plant in the port city of Sinop on the Black Sea coast with a Franco-Japanese consortium.

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  • Azerbaijani oil prices for April 14-18
    21.04.2014 12:11
    Baku, Azerbaijan, April 21

    By Emil Ismayilov - Trend:

    The average price on AZERI LT, exported from Azerbaijan via the Ceyhan, Batumi and Supsa ports to Italian Augusta port, was $112 per barrel on April 14-18 or $2.57 more compared to the previous week.

    The maximum price for AZERI LT was $112.81 per barrel. The minimum price was $110.84 per barrel.

    The average price on Urals (Ex-Novo) exported from Azerbaijan via the Novorossiysk port was $107.14 per barrel or $1.84 more compared to the previous week.

    The maximum price for Urals was $107.8 per barrel and the minimum - $106.13 per barrel.

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

    The average price on Brent Dated was $108.89 per barrel or $2.33 more compared to the previous week.

    The maximum price on Brent was $109.86 per barrel and the minimum - $107.7.

    Translated by S.I.

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  • Drone attacks target al-Qaeda suspects in Yemen
    21.04.2014 12:04
    Air strikes in southern Yemen killed about 40 suspected al-Qaeda members over Saturday and Sunday, local tribal sources said, while the defense ministry said the strikes were based on information that "terrorist elements were planning to target vital civilian and military installations," according to its official website.

    On Saturday an air strike killed 10 suspected al-Qaeda militants and three civilians in central Yemen, while another 40 were killed on Sunday in strikes targeted a remote mountainous region of the south, Al Arabiya reported.

    Local and tribal sources later told Reuters that another strike hit a car carrying suspected al-Qaeda militants in the southern Shabwa province, killing five of them, late on Sunday.

    Local tribal sources told Reuters that about 25 bodies had been transferred from the sites of Sunday's first attacks to nearby towns. They said at least three separate strikes had taken place after dawn prayers, all targeting al-Qaeda camps.

    The official source said the militants targeted were among the "leading and dangerous" elements of al-Qaeda and were of different nationalities.

    Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, based in Yemen, has been targeted by U.S. drone attacks in the past, leading to the death of several suspected AQAP figures, including, in 2011, Anwar al-Awlaki, a U.S.-born Islamist cleric accused of links to the attempted bombing of a Detroit-bound airliner in 2009 and U.S. cargo planes in 2010.

    U.S. congressman Michael McCaul of Texas, the chairman of the House of Representatives Committee on Homeland Security, said AQAP posed "probably the greatest external threat to the homeland itself.

    "And so I think the fact the administration now is going aggressively against these terrorists ... is a very positive sign," said McCaul, appearing on the Sunday morning ABC News program "This Week."

    Yemen has been unilaterally fighting AQAP but the group, which has attacked military targets, tourists and diplomats in the country, is proving difficult to defeat.

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  • Cambodian PM embarks on official Azerbaijan visit
    21.04.2014 11:58
    Prime Minister of Cambodia Hun Sen has today arrived in Azerbaijan for an official visit.

    A guard of honor was lined up for the Cambodian Premier as he touched down at the Heydar Aliyev International Airport.

    Hun Sen was welcomed by Azerbaijani Deputy Prime Minister Ali Ahmadov and other officials.
  • Sargsyan, accusing Turkey, resorts to the next trick in his own style '" analyst
    21.04.2014 11:48
    Turkey, as a major regional power, agreeing to normalize relations with Armenia, made a gesture of goodwill, political scientist Fikrat Sadikhov has said, commenting on Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan's statement that the process of normalization of relations with Turkey is at an impasse and frozen due to the fault of the Turkish side.

    "Along the way we saw that the other side [Turkey] of the negotiation tried to promote a precondition. But today we can say that for this reason the process has stalled and frozen," the Armenian president said at the 18 April meeting at the Defence Ministry.

    According to Sadikhov, despite this gesture of goodwill, Turkey could never and was not going to turn a blind eye to the criminal acts of Armenia in Karabakh, and the attempt of Sargsyan is nothing more than a political stunt.

    "Turkey initially severed diplomatic relations with Armenia and closed the borders with it after Kalbajar region of Azerbaijan was occupied. This is a well known fact, there is nothing new," he said, noting that expecting the opening of the border without removing the cause would be foolish.

    The political scientist said the Turkish side had repeatedly noted that it was ready for normalization, however, emphasizing at the same time that achieving peace in the Caucasus in isolation from the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict is impossible.

    According to Sadikhov, Armenia in different countries pursues a policy aimed at the recognition of the 1915 events as "genocide" by presenting their claims to parliaments of many foreign states.

    "It continues to ignore the real interests of Ankara. Moreover, today Armenia has serious territorial claims against Turkey," he said.

    The political analyst pointed out that the conclusion of an agreement between Turkey and Armenia should be based on a compromise.

    "Turkey was ready for this compromise. It is no accident that Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that Turkey can open files and invite scientists, including from abroad to study the events of 100 years ago. Armenians refused it," said the analyst.

    Sadikhov said that continuing the occupation of Azerbaijani territories, ignoring the interests of Turkey, imposing the so-called "Armenian genocide" on other counties and at the same time declaring to the world that Armenia is allegedly a peace-loving nation cannot lead to peace and good neighbourliness in the South Caucasus.

    The expert also noted that the policy of the current Armenian authorities is not able to bring the country out of the impasse in which it dwells for many years.

  • Avalanche occurs in eastern Turkey
    21.04.2014 11:39
    Baku, Azerbaijan, April 21

    By Rufiz Hafizoglu - Trend:

    An avalanche has blocked a mountain pass not far from the Turkish city of Van, near the Van- Bakhchisaray road, Turkish Anadolu agency reported on April 21.

    As a result of the avalanche, nearly 40 cars were stranded on the road.

    Special equipment has been brought in to cleanup the road.

    Translated by L.Z.

    Edited by C.N.

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  • Take little bearers of Azerbaijan memory with yourself
    21.04.2014 11:26
    By AzerNews

    It is true that buying souvenirs for yourself and friends is an essential part of any trip. Even though souvenirs are mostly turning into a dust collector, people cannot stop buying "little memories" on their journeys.

    Sure enough, you or your relatives can do without Eiffel Tower key chain, or "I love NY" hats and T-shirts. Which one of us would like to have another "Made in China" souvenir, not representing Asia at all?

    However, millions of people continue to spend not only tons of money, but also a bulk of their time on the last day of their trip on filling the empty places that accidentally appear in their luggage.

    Looking at the brighter side, the souvenir-buying hobby is not such a bad habit if you approach it individually and find some really memorable, useful things. And Azerbaijan is the very country you can find such memorable and especially original things in!

    There is no doubt that you can find many standard souvenirs in Azerbaijan as well. But if you want something special, put all those fridge magnets, cups and other boring monotonic statuettes aside and think about what all the fancy things you can buy in Azerbaijan to remember this country with love when you're back at home. For this purpose, you must not only visit the tourist traps in the capital city, but also travel around the country!

    Even if you have stayed in Azerbaijan for a week, you already know that one of the classiest souvenirs from this country is a carpet. There is a wide variety of them, so you do not have to buy a large one and can definitely afford a showy rug for your kitchen. Regardless of the size or the design, they are all picturesque and cozy.

    Fashionmongers can find exceptional silky scarves of vivid colors called kelagayi, one-of-a-kind tapestries bag, and handmade embroidery.

    A "must buy" for national dress lovers are furry hat -papaq, woolen socks- jorab, vests- kurk, fancy footwear -chariq, and carved daggers.

    Those who decide to spend money on a more valuable thing must pay attention to the Azerbaijani national jewelry of ineffable beauty. Famous shabaka, khatamkaliq and minachiliq diversities of jewelry art will definitely evoke warm feelings in every woman.

    You can also treat yourself to sophisticated oriental ornaments with scrupulous details in ceramics and woodcarvings, which will add a mysterious atmosphere to your house. Another symbolic thing to buy in Azerbaijan is backgammon, the favorite game of the Azerbaijanis.

    Food lovers will not leave the country empty-handed. How can you leave without mellow fruits like date plum, fig, and pomegranate?

    You must definitely treat your friends back home with the Caspian caviar, spicy narsarab, aromatic Azerbaijani tea, and famous wine. Otherwise, they will not forgive you for having visited this country of tasty food without them.

    Do not forget these fortunes of our country when planning your next or first visit to Azerbaijan, and take a part of this colorful culture with you in your box of memories.
  • KPMG Azerbaijan holds regular workshop for employees of financial institutions
    21.04.2014 11:14
    KPMG Azerbaijan held regular workshop for employees of financial institutions on the theme of "Leading Practice Risk Management".

    Christian Heichele, Head of Financial Risk Management, Partner of KPMG in Russia and the CIS had specially been invited for the workshop held in Baku.Christian described the structure of the best banking risk management systems, the establishment stages of an integrated assessment and aggregation system of all types of risks, performance management tools and so on. He also shared the examples from the extensive experience of KPMG, associated with the realization of projects on credit, market and operational risks management, liquidity risks and treasury activities.

    Workshop participants - risk management professionals of major banks and other financial institutions of Azerbaijan - actively participated in the discussion of the problems involved and shared their views on the development prospects of this professional direction in the country.

    The participants also noted that the availability of the platform created by KPMG in its office for discussion of industrial issues and exchange of experiences contributed the development of Azerbaijani business and enhancement of their professional competence.

    KPMG Azerbaijan regularly holds business meetings and training workshops on the most topical issues of interest to the business community.

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  • Critical point: 517 cities of Iran have shortage of drinking water
    21.04.2014 11:10
    Baku, Azerbaijan, April 21

    By Temkin Jafarov - Trend:

    There is a shortage of drinking water in some 517 cities of Iran, and this problem has reached a critical point, the Iranian IRNA news agency reported.

    The head of Iran Water and Sewage Company, Hamidrza Janbaz, said the deficit of water is caused by uneven population growth, increase in the number of residential areas, nonconformity of development plans to water resources and others.

    Since July 2013, water was delivered to some cities of Iran's Gilan, Hormozgan and Kerman provinces via schedule.

    Iran is located in the arid zone, and the country has repeatedly faced with drought for the past 40 years.

    Drought in 1992-2002 caused a considerable damage to agriculture. In some cities, including Tehran, quotas were established for sweet-water.

    Translated by S.I.

    Edited by S.I.

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  • Azerbaijan and the 'Bear' next door
    21.04.2014 11:09
    By Norma Zager

    Russian President Vladimir Putinв's aggressive posture toward his neighbors seems to have graduated into bona fide Russian foreign policy given the Russian invasion of the Republic of Georgia in 2009 and the recent invasion and subsequent annexation of Ukraineв's Crimean peninsula.

    This, now a definite trend, signals a new and difficult reality for sovereign nations once part of the Soviet Unionhellip;a new reality seemingly lost upon U.S. leadership.

    Among those nations most keenly affected by Russian neoimperialism is the Republic of Azerbaijan. Azerbaijan is fast becoming a major gas and oil supplier to Europehellip;a smart and strategic move by Azerbaijan's President Ilham Aliyev, but in stark opposition to a Russian foreign policy that depends on keeping Europe under its thumb with the threat of "energy supply complications and price fluctuations."

    This is compounded by the power gap created by a submissive American foreign policy, led by a feckless administration and a Congress seemingly unable to accomplish much of anything. Consequently, this has led to a burst of energy in those who are now in a position to usurp countries once safely ensconced in comfortable quartershellip;read that as former Soviet Republics.

    Despite Azerbaijan's solid position as a wealthy, independent and notably a majority-Muslim nation, it once existed under Russian rule before freeing itself from domination to chart its own coursehellip;as a secular, emerging democracy with a free market system and allied with the West.

    However, Russia, once kept at bay by strong and strategically minded U.S. administrations and congresses has been given free reign. Putin's muscle flexing has been met with the mildest of reproach, leading to further aggression against its neighbors.

    Although Moscow and Baku enjoy a tepid relationship, Russia's newfound power in the region is also strengthened by its close alliance with Iran, a nation anxious to assert its influence over the Azeris, fellow Shias, yet of a decidedly secular, progressive and modern stripe.

    Quite simply, a more powerful Russia will only extend to Iran's brazen nature over countries it wishes to control or destroy.

    The moderate nature of the Azeris Muslim religious practices may prove a thorn in Russia's side, but thus far the moderate Muslim nation has not succumbed to Iranian pressure.

    Putin's Russia has its own reasons to cast an eye on this young and thriving country. We cannot exclude Azerbaijan's rich oil and natural gas supplies when we consider Russia's use of energy to dominate and control the region.

    Putin's plans to rebuild Russia as the most powerful force in the world would be reinforced by coopting nations with rich oil and natural gas reserves.

    Working to exert power over the region and the world, Russia will have little deterrent in its grandiose deigns on its neighbors. Add to this Iran's determination to bring the Azeris under its extreme Islamic wing and pressures may increase to fall in line.

    Putin visited Azerbaijan in August for the first time in seven years to discuss issues of military and technical cooperation. According to Pravda, topics would touch on, "the state of affairs in the Caspian Sea with increased military activity, the Iranian issue, current events in the Middle East, and most importantly, the resolution of the Nagorno- Karabakh conflict."

    The only issue resolved was the signing of the oil agreement with Azerbaijan's state oil company. There can be little doubt Russia is not happy about the Azeris close ties to the western nations and energy companies or their acceptance of western culture.

    Although the talks appeared to be a positive sign of open dialogue between the two countries, it is hard to imagine Russia would hesitate to bring the Azeris into its sphere and increase its energy hold over its European neighbors.

    Putin's power now ensures his position as a force to be reckoned with in the region. The Azeris will have little help from their neighbors who have now succumbed to the Russian Bear's dominance. Add to this the extreme Muslim influence from surrounding countries and the Azeris seem to be in the middle of a very dangerous vortex.

    Russia has always effectively used bullying tactics to retain control over its satellite nations, but now they are acting on their threats with no resistance from the EU, NATO or the U.S.. This new impetus to continue their movement toward regional domination has been fostered by a lack of deterrents by the United States. It seems the die is cast and these nations must go it alone against Russia.

    The Azeris may find themselves in a difficult situation to defend in the eventuality they are confronted with aggressive behavior by Russia. Thus far, despite Putin's newfound power and Iran's badgering, the Azeris, led by President Ilham Aliyev, have managed to remain their own country. Now recent developments may prove a game changer for the Azeris.

    Will Putin's new attempts to rebuild the Russian Empire impede on Azerbaijan's independence? Only time will tell, but thus far Azerbaijan has been thriving under their current policies. One would hope the U.S. would support them and help them to weather storms ahead.

    Zager is an award-winning international journalist and on the faculty of California State University, Los Angeles.

    The Hill
  • Assets of American Insurance Company's subsidiary in Azerbaijan reduce by over 5%
    21.04.2014 10:58
    Baku, Azerbaijan, April 18

    By Emin Aliyev - Trend:

    The assets of American Insurance Company's subsidiary in Azerbaijan - Chartis Azerbaijan amounted to 8.65 million manat as of 2013, decreasing by 5.46 percent, the company's balance sheet said on April 17.

    Some 5.41 million manat were accumulated on deposit accounts and 0.81 million manat were invested in securities in 2013, according to the report.

    Chartis Azerbaijan's paid authorized capital hit 6.79 million manat as of 2013 and similar to 2012.

    The company completed 2013 with a net profit of 154,860 manat.

    The company's total capital as of late 2013 amounted to 6.48 million manat, decreasing by 2.4 percent compared to 2012.

    The company's total liabilities amounted to 2.16 million manat, decreasing by 13.94 percent, capital and liabilities as a whole hit 8.65 million manat.

    Chartis (AIG Insurance) is a large international organization in the field of property and personal insurance (insurance other than life insurance), serving more than 40 million customers in more than 160 countries and jurisdictions.

    The company with its 90-year history helps both corporate clients and private persons confidently manage any risks. It offers a wide range of products and services and has knowledge of the settlement of losses and high financial stability.

    The official exchange rate is 0.7843 AZN/USD on April 18.

    translated by NH

    edited by CN

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  • Earthquake hits north-east of Iran
    21.04.2014 10:57
    Baku, Azerbaijan, April 21

    By Temkin Jafarov - Trend:

    An earthquake measuring 4.1 on the Richter scale happened near the Maneh and Samalgan cities of Iran's North Khorasan province, at 07:05, local time, April 21, Iran's Mehr News agency reported on April 21.

    No casualties or damage have been reported.

    Translated by L.Z.

    Edited by: S.I.

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