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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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  • Swiss SITA to provide IT infrastructure for Baku Airport
    30.08.2014 12:06
    Swiss SITA will provide the IT infrastructure for Heydar Aliev International Airport in Baku.According to the Company, it concluded an agreement with Azerbaijan Airlines CJSC (AZAL) on providing the IT infrastructure, passenger processing platform and airport operations systems for Heydar Aliev Inte...
  • Azerbaijani President: "Azerbaijan's position sounded even stronger in Sochi"
    30.08.2014 23:55
    "Thanks to the courage of the heroic Azerbaijani soldiers and officers the enemy was dealt a devastating blow and they still can not get over it"

    Baku-APA. "The Azerbaijani public is aware that at the beginning of this month, Armenia tried to stage a provocation on the frontline. But Azerbaijani army gave a fitting rebuff to the enemy. Were destroyed dozens of occupants, and their provocation did not take place", - the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev said at a meeting with residents of Beylagan region.

    The President noted that the causes of this provocation are clear: "Because, as you know, on the eve of Sochi meeting the Armenian leadership was trying to get to a more favorable position and force Azerbaijan to accept the fact that Baku does not satisfied. But it did not work, on the contrary, the position of Azerbaijan in Sochi sounded even stronger, thanks to the courage of the heroic Azerbaijani soldiers and officers and the enemy was dealt a devastating blow that they still can not get over it. "

    President Ilham Aliyev said that Armenia reign panic and fear at the highest level recognize that a mass exodus of the population of the country: "Rather, this process takes a long time. Just the latest developments on the frontline of its accelerated. Tens of thousands of Armenian citizens permanently leave their country, and recent events have given new impetus to this process. However, the Armenian government has resorted to various ways to explain it. Recently, it has even admitted that the main reason for this - strong diaspora, as well as the Karabakh conflict. That is, the Armenian government has already recognized that the main reason for the demographic crisis - it's fear. Armenian society is in fear. Of course, worse Azerbaijan and Azerbaijani army is strong, heroic Azerbaijani soldiers are for them a constant source of fear. To eliminate this fear, Armenia should just abide by international law and unconditionally withdraw from the occupied lands. This is required and 4 UN Security Council resolutions. I am confident that we will restore our territorial integrity. International law supports our position. Azerbaijan has authority on a global scale, with us are considered to be advised. Today, our international credibility is at a high level. "

    The Head of State noted that Azerbaijan surpasses Armenia economically: "From the point of view of military capabilities Azerbaijani army not only in comparison with the Armenian, but also on a global scale is one of the strongest armies. Our strength is growing every day. As you know, stand out and will be allocated a lot of money. Military expenditures are the main cost of our state budget, so it will be in the coming years. We will increase spending. The professionalism of our army, patriotic spirit is high, the Azerbaijani society rallied around a single idea. This is - the development of Azerbaijan, the process of building a modern state and the return of our occupied territories. In this case, of course, a special role belongs to the youth. "

    The President in his speech expressed satisfaction with the level of patriotism of youth, education in their national spirit.
  • First Human Trials of Ebola Vaccine Start Next Week
    30.08.2014 19:45
    The first human trials of a vaccine against the deadly Ebola virus will start next week in the U.S., officials announced Thursday, just as the World Health Organization predicted as many as 20,000 people could be infected in West Africa before the epidemic is brought under control.

    The National Institutes of Health will sponsor the first trial of the vaccine, one of several being developed against Ebola. It's fast-tracked the testing because of the outbreak of Ebola that is ravaging three West African countries.

    "We have the green light to begin," said Dr. Tony Fauci, head of the U.S. National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases.

    The vaccine is being developed by NIAID and drugmaker GlaxoSmithKline. "Testing will take place at the NIH Clinical Center in Bethesda, Maryland," NIH said in a statement.

    Ebola has killed more than 1,500 people out of more than 3,000 infected in Liberia, West Africa and Guinea in the ongoing outbreak, by far the worst outbreak of Ebola ever seen. And the WHO says those numbers almost certainly understate the true numbers of those infected and killed.

    WHO predicted on Thursday that as many as 20,000 could become infected.

    The trial will enroll 20 healthy adults who will get a shot in the arm to see first if the vaccine is safe, and second if it generate an immune response that should, in theorym protect against Ebola infection.

    It's the first in a series of vaccine trials that will roll out this fall. NIH with British medical foundations will separately test the vaccine in Britain, Gambia and Mali, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is discussing a trial in Nigeria.

    NIAID has been working on an Ebola vaccine for years. The idea was to develop it to defend people in case Ebola or a related virus, Marburg, was ever used in a biological attack. Previous outbreaks of the virus were always too small and too easily controlled to justify developing a vaccine quickly.

    NIAID was working with a small Swiss-Italian biotech company called Okairos to develop the vaccine. It's been shown to protect monkeys against Ebola. Glaxo bought the company last year.
  • Blind set to join Manchester United
    30.08.2014 16:56
    Manchester United are set to sign Dutch international Daley Blind after agreeing a fee with his current side Ajax, the Press Association reported on Saturday.

    The 24-year-old Blind was in Manchester United coach Louis van Gaal's World Cup squad in Brazil and can play at left-back and as a defensive midfielder.

    Personal terms are still to be agreed with him and he needs to pass a medical, but if the deal is sealed before the transfer window shuts on Monday night he will be United's fifth summer signing as Van Gaal seeks to restore the side's fortunes.

    They have already spent over ВЈ130 million ($215 million, 165 million euros) this summer, including a British-record transfer fee of ВЈ59.7 million ($98 million, 75 million euros) on Argentina midfielder Angel Di Maria from Real Madrid.
  • Georgian Speaker hails interparliamentary cooperation with Azerbaijan
    30.08.2014 16:19
    Georgian Parliament Speaker David Usupashvili has praised cooperation between legislative bodies of Georgia and Azerbaijan as he met chairman of the Caucasian Muslims Office Sheikhulislam Allahshukur Pashazade.

    "The parliaments of Georgia and Azerbaijan enjoy fruitful collaboration," he said. Mr. Usupashvili noted the necessity of developing the bilateral cooperation.

    He also said he was pleased to see the chairman of the Caucasian Muslims Office in Georgia, and congratulated him on his 65th anniversary.

    Mr. Pashazade hailed Azerbaijan-Georgia relations as brotherly. He lauded the Georgian parliament speaker`s support for Azerbaijan regarding the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.

    Heads of Azerbaijani and Georgian parliamentary committees noted the importance of jointly raising the issue of preservation of territorial integrity in international organizations.
  • First Ebola case in Senegal confirmed
    30.08.2014 15:30
    A man infected with Ebola travelled to Senegal, bringing to the country the first confirmed case of the disease that has hit four other West African nations and killed more than 1,500 people, the health ministry has said.

    The infected patient, a university student from Guinea, sought treatment at a hospital in Senegal's capital, Dakar, on Tuesday but gave no indication he might have Ebola, health minister Awa Marie Coll Seck told reporters.

    The next day, an epidemiological surveillance team in Guinea told Senegalese authorities that they had lost track of a person who had had contact with sick people. The team said that the person disappeared three weeks ago and may have come to Senegal.

    The student was tracked to the hospital in Dakar that same day and was immediately quarantined, Seck said. A test has confirmed that he has Ebola, and the World Health Organisation (WHO) has been alerted.

    It is not clear how or when the young man came to Senegal, which closed its border with Guinea last week. Seck said his condition is "satisfactory".

    The Ebola outbreak ravaging West Africa began last year in Guinea. Since then, the disease has spread to Liberia, Sierra Leone and Nigeria. More than 3,000 people have contracted the disease, which is spread by bodily fluids and for which there is no licensed treatment or vaccine. A separate Ebola outbreak was reported this week in Congo, where 13 people have died from the disease.

    The arrival of the dreaded disease in Senegal, which is a tourist destination and whose capital is a major transportation hub for the region, underscores that the outbreak remains out of control, despite efforts by the WHO, Doctors Without Borders and other organisations.

    WHO on Friday said the past week has seen the highest increase of cases, of more than 500, since the outbreak began.
  • Georgian President awards chairman of Caucasian Muslims Office with Order of Honor
    30.08.2014 15:26
    Georgian President Giorgi Margevlashvili has awarded chairman of the Caucasian Muslims Office Sheikhulislam Allahshukur Pashazade with the Order of Honor.

    Mr. Pashazade received the Order as he visited Georgia for the celebration of his 65th anniversary invited by Georgian Patriarch Ilia II.

    Mr. Giorgi Margevlashvili handed the Order to the chairman of the Caucasian Muslims Office. He said Mr. Pashazade and Patriarch Ilia II had made tremendous contributions to deepening friendship and cooperation between the Georgian and Azerbaijani people. "The existence of such religious leaders is what makes both Azerbaijan, Georgia and the entire region more powerful."

    The Georgian leader asked Mr. Pashazade to extend his greetings to Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev, saying "I consider him a close friend of mine".

    Allahshukur Pasahzade thanked the Georgian President for awarding him. He communicated the Azerbaijani President`s greetings to the Georgian leader.

    Patriarch Ilia II described the visit of the chairman of the Caucasian Muslims Office to Georgia as "a good sign of friendship between our countries and people".

    Mr. Pashazade is accompanied by a large delegation including MPs, heads of Azerbaijan`s Christian and Jewish communities, and public figures.
  • Ex-US Navy officer who spied for Soviets dies in prison
    30.08.2014 14:38
    A former US navy sailor who led a spy ring for the Soviet Union has died in a prison medical centre at the age of 77.

    Retired Navy Warrant Officer John Walker Jr was sentenced to life in prison in 1985 for passing codes and other sensitive data to the USSR.

    He had recruited his son, his brother and friend to continue spying after he retired. All were convicted.

    The breach was considered among the largest leaks of military secrets in US history at the time.

    Walker pleaded guilty in 1985, in a deal to gain a lighter sentence for his son, who was released in 2000 after serving 15 years in prison.

    The spy ring began when Walker walked into the Soviet embassy in Washington DC in 1967, and offered to hand over secret coded material on a regular basis.

    The Soviets used the information he and others passed to them over the course of 17 years to decode millions of secret US navy messages. Prosecutors said at the time of his arrest that Walker was more motivated by greed than ideology.

    His cause of death was not immediately released.
  • U.S. Embassy: California State Senate Resolution doesnв't reflect the U.S.в's foreign policy
    30.08.2014 14:29
    "California State Senate Resolution on Nagorno-Karabakh does not reflect U.S. Policy," the U.S. Embassy in Baku has said.

    "U.S. Foreign Policy is determined by the federal government," the Embassy said in a statement. "States are free to express their opinions, but those opinions do not represent national foreign policy. The resolution passed by the California State Senate regarding Nagorno-Karabakh is an expression of opinion by a state legislative body and does not change U.S. foreign policy on the matter."
  • Millions of historic images posted to Flickr
    30.08.2014 14:28
    An American academic is creating a searchable database of 12 million historic copyright-free images.

    Kalev Leetaru has already uploaded 2.6 million pictures to Flickr, which are searchable thanks to tags that have been automatically added.

    The photos and drawings are sourced from more than 600 million library book pages scanned in by the Internet Archive organisation.

    The images have been difficult to access until now.

    Mr Leetaru said digitisation projects had so far focused on words and ignored pictures.

    "For all these years all the libraries have been digitising their books, but they have been putting them up as PDFs or text searchable works," he told the BBC.

    They have been focusing on the books as a collection of words. This inverts that. Stretching half a millennia, it's amazing to see the total range of images and how the portrayals of things have changed over time.
  • FBI probes Islamic State recruiting in Minneapolis
    30.08.2014 14:21
    The FBI's Minneapolis bureau is looking into reports that a second American citizen from the area was killed fighting with the Islamic State as it works to find out whether the group is actively recruiting Muslims in the Twin Cities region.

    "That's something we are looking into," Kyle Loven, division counsel for the FBI in Minneapolis, said when asked about Abdirahmaan Muhumed, 29, who Fox News reported was killed in the same battle as another American from the Twin Cities area. Earlier this week, the State Department confirmed that Douglas McAuthur McCain died fighting with the Islamic State.

    "We're aware of media reporting and social-media activity that a second American citizen has been killed in Syria. We don't have any details to confirm," State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said Thursday about Muhumed.
  • Azerbaijani delegation partakes at 6th UNAOC Global Forum
    30.08.2014 14:15
    Azerbaijani delegation headed by Deputy Prime Minister Elchin Efendiyev is visiting the Republic of Indonesia to participate at the Sixth UN Alliance of Civilizations Global Forum (UNAOC Global Forum).

    As a part of visit, Elchin Efendiyev addressed the Forum speaking of Azerbaijan's contribution to the modern multicultural relations, the development of multiculturalism and international propagation of tolerant culture. Azerbaijani Deputy Prime Minister highlighted the Baku Process initiated by President Ilham Aliyev, the World Forums on Inter-cultural Dialogue, the importance of newly founded Multiculturalism Center in Baku. Efendiyev offered to hold the 7th UN Alliance of Civilizations Global Forum in Baku in 2016.

    As a part of visit, Elchin Efendiyev met with Jose Manuel Garcia-Margallo, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Spain to discuss current state of and prospects for the economic, political and humanitarian relations between Azerbaijan and Spain.

    Azerbaijan's Deputy Prime Minister has also met with the minister of commerce of New Zealand. The sides stressed necessity of developing bilateral relations.

    On August 30, Elchin Efendiyev met with Nassir Abdulaziz Al-Nasser, United Nations High Representative for the Alliance of Civilizations, exchanged views on the relations between Azerbaijan and UNAOC. Mr. Nassir Abdulaziz Al-Nasser expressed pleasure to cooperate with Azerbaijan, stated that UNAOC would closely participate in the organization of the 3rd World Forum on Inter-Cultural Dialogue due in Baku in 2015.

    Within the meeting, UNAOC and Azerbaijan Foreign Ministry signed an agreement. The document was signed by Nassir Abdulaziz Al-Nasser and Azerbaijan's ambassador to Indonesia Tamerlan Garayev.
  • Russia will try to lift sanctions imposed on Iran
    30.08.2014 14:11
    The foreign ministers of Iran and Russia stressed on the needs to boost the two countries' bilateral relations, especially trade ties.

    Nuclear talks were also another main topic of the officials' discussions in the Russian capital, Moscow, Iran's IRIB News Agency reported on August 29.

    Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said that Tehran's peaceful nuclear program didn't stop in the face of sanctions, and will never be halted.

    "Tehran's negotiations with the P5 1 countries are aimed at resolving any ambiguity about the Iranian nuclear program," he said.

    "The illegal sanctions against the country are fruitless, he said, adding that the number of Iran's centrifuges has increased from 200 to 2,000 during the past eight years.

    Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, for his part, said that Iran has the right to peacefully develop nuclear energy.

    "Russia will try to lift the international sanctions imposed on Iran," he added.

    Iran and P5 1 (the five permanent members of the UN Security Council comprising of China, France, Russia, Britain, the US Plus Germany) are likely to hold a new round of nuclear talks on the sidelines of the upcoming UN General Assembly Session in September.

    Iran and the P5 1 group of countries sealed an interim deal in Geneva on November 24 to pave the way for the full resolution of the West's decade-old dispute with Iran over the country's nuclear energy program, Press TV reported.

    The Geneva deal took effect on January 20 and expired on July 20. However the two sides agreed to extend their talks for four months till Nov. 24 to reach a permanent deal on Iran's disputed nuclear program.

    In exchange for Iran agreeing to limit certain aspects of its nuclear activities, the US and its allies agreed to lift some of the existing sanctions against Tehran.

  • Seven NATO allies to create new rapid reaction force - report
    30.08.2014 14:10
    Seven NATO allies plan to create a new rapid reaction force of at least 10,000 soldiers as part of plans to boost NATO defences in response to Russia's intervention in Ukraine, the Financial Times reported on Friday, Reuters reported.

    The aim is to create a division-sized joint expeditionary force for rapid deployment and regular exercises. The British-led force would include air and naval units as well as ground troops, the newspaper said.

    Countries involved include Denmark, Latvia, Estonia, Lithuania, Norway and the Netherlands. Canada has also expressed an interest in taking part, it said.

    British Prime Minister David Cameron is expected to announce the creation of the force next week, coinciding with the Sept. 4-5 NATO summit in Wales.

    Since Russia annexed Ukraine's Crimea region in March, NATO members have taken a number of short-term steps to reinforce the security of allies in eastern Europe that are worried by Russia's new assertiveness.

    At the Wales summit next week, U.S. President Barack Obama and other NATO leaders are expected to agree on a longer-term plan for boosting NATO's eastern defences.

    One element of the plan will be shaking up NATO's existing rapid reaction force so that some units of it are capable of responding to a crisis in a few days, NATO diplomats say.

  • Agriculture ministry about products exported to Russia
    30.08.2014 13:47
    After Westв's sanctions against Russia, the growth of food imports from Azerbaijan has caused the rise in prices in local markets.

    According to Oxu.Az citing Yeni Müsavat, the statement came from spokesman for the Ministry of Agriculture Murtuzali Hajiyev:

    "Azerbaijan provides itself with fruit and vegetables thoroughly. We monitored the markets, fairs, some wholesale points and recorded no significant increase in the prices of vegetables and fruits. Agricultural production is seasonal and the season of for example melons, watermelon, cantaloupe is now coming to an end. This year, people bought them for very low prices, but this week, we could observe the growth in prices on these fruits".

    The spokesperson welcomed the export of local products to the Russian market in terms of economic opportunities for farmers:

    "We import and export agricultural products No restrictions are possible in conditions of market economy. On the contrary, the process will lead to the enrichment of farmers, improve their capabilities".

    As for the forecasts of price increases for meat and dairy products, Murtuzali Hajiyev said that at present the prices are stable and the growth is not observed.

    According to him, representatives of the Ministry will conduct a monitoring on some markets of the capital city on 30 August.
  • Foreign ministry claims U.S. Department of Stateв's statements on Azerbaijan unfounded
    30.08.2014 13:37
    The Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry considers the U.S Department of State's statements on human rights situation in the country unfounded.

    The statements made by a representative of the U.S Department of State on August 27-28 are unfounded and unacceptable, spokesman for the Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry Elman Abdullayev said Aug. 29.

    Such statements, which have a political implication and are aimed at interfering in Azerbaijan's internal affairs to exert political pressure on the country, do not reflect reality, according to a statement.

    Instead of looking for problems in other countries, the U.S. must resolve many problems in the field of human rights in their own country, the statement says.

    "The events in Ferguson, Missouri, demonstrated once again that having turned human rights into an instrument of its foreign policy, the U.S is far from complying with the obligations on fundamental human rights and freedoms, including freedom of assembly, preventing separation by ethnic and racial factors, disproportionate use of force by law enforcement agencies and excessive violence," the document says.
  • Caucasus Moto Festival dedicated to birthday of Chingiz Mustafayev starts in Sheki
    30.08.2014 13:36
    The Caucasus Moto Festival (CAUCASUS MOTO FEST- 2014) dedicated to the birthday of Azerbaijani National Hero journalist Chingiz Mustafayev has started in Sheki.

    Attended by the Azerbaijani and world bikers the festival is organized by "Baku HOG Azerbaijan", "CAUCASUS MOTO FESTД° Harley Davidson", the Sheki Executive Authority and Chingiz Mustafayev Foundation.

    The festival includes a motorbike parade, an exhibition and fair, a test drive and concert. It will be attended by bikers from the U.S., UK, Turkey, Russia, Georgia, Croatia, Iran and other countries.
  • Armenia inflation to get more active '" newspaper
    30.08.2014 13:34
    Due to a weak economic growth in Armenia, the inflation is quite low this year in the country, Armenia's Hayots Ashkharh daily reported.

    According to official data, inflation [in Armenia] reached 0.4 percent last month and 0.8 percent in August, as compared to the same period last year.

    "Such a low 12-month inflation rate was not recorded in Armenia for a long time. This is certainly conducive socially, but it is not so beneficial to the economy; it restricts the economic processes.

    "Given this fact, the Central Bank [of Armenia] has recently begun to frequently reflect on the refinancing interest rate. The Central Bank [CB] plans to continue the relaxation of the monetary loan conditions.

    "As a result of this and other factors, some invigoration of inflation is expected [in Armenia]. The CB forecasts that the inflation rate will get closer to the target indicator solely at the end of the first quarter of next year.

    "The Central Bank links the bases for some future invigoration of inflation primarily to the domestic economic environment," Hayots Ashkharh wrote.
  • Armenian armed forces violate ceasefire in several directions
    30.08.2014 13:34
    Over the past 24 hours Armenians opened fire at the Azerbaijani armed forces from the positions near the villages of Novruzlu in the Aghdam region, Qizil Oba in the Terter region and the nameless heights of the Fizuli region, Azerbaijan's Defense Ministry said Aug. 30.

    The opposing side was silenced with return fire.

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

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

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

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

  • Slice of Princess Diana's wedding cake auctioned
    30.08.2014 13:34
    A 33-year-old slice of cake from Prince Charles and Princess Diana's 1981 wedding has sold at auction for $1,375.

    The cake, still in its original white and silver presentation box, was sold online Thursday by Nate D. Sanders Auctions of Los Angeles.

    With the box was a card stating, "With best wishes from Their Royal Highnesses, the Prince amp; Princess of Wales." Auction house spokesman Sam Heller says the buyer is a private collector. Although the cake came wrapped in its original wax paper, Heller says it wouldn't be a good idea to try to eat it.

    He adds, however, that there is a small but dedicated group of royal cake collectors.

    Some, Heller says, have purchased cakes dating to the days of Britain's Queen Victoria, who married in 1840.
  • Fourth mobile operator to operate in Azerbaijan
    30.08.2014 13:32
    By AzerNews

    Nakhtel, wireless CDMA operator of Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic, is preparing to get a license for GSM-frequencies use on 1800-2100 MHz.

    The news was announced by Farid Hajiyev, head of the press service of the Ministry of Communications and High Tech NAR.

    Nakhtel is expected to officially apply to the Ministry of Communications and High Technologies of Azerbaijan for a license for the deployment of mobile services throughout Azerbaijan in the near future.

    Claiming to be the fourth GSM operator in Azerbaijan, Nakhtel currently provides wireless communication services in CDMA standard by using the 800-900 MHz frequency band.

    "The company has prepared a draft network of 4G deployment, which will initially be available on the territory of the Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic. The next stage will be the fourth generation network coverage throughout the territory of Azerbaijan. Like other mobile operators in the country, Nakhtel will provide communication services in the GSM standard," he said.

    The commercial deployment of the network operator is planned to be held at the end of this year, but the date may be postponed till the beginning of 2015.

    Commenting on Nakhtel's plans for the construction of their own base stations, he said the first phase will involve the provision of telecommunications services and the Internet over the base stations of Bakcell, Azercell, and Azerfon mobile operators. This issue will be coordinated with the assistance of the Ministry of Communications and High Tech of Azerbaijan.

    The company plans to construct and expand its own base stations network, the spokesman said.
  • SOCAR commissions new oil well in Caspian Sea
    30.08.2014 13:32
    Azerbaijan's State Oil Company (SOCAR) has commissioned a new well at the "Oil Rocks" field in the Azerbaijani sector of the Caspian Sea, according to a message from the company.

    The company said the well, which was drilled from the platform #2585 at a depth range of 2,457-2,449 meters, has a daily debit of 30 tons.

    SOCAR is currently implementing a program to stabilize and boost oil production. To this end, SOCAR is drilling both onshore and offshore fields in Azerbaijan.

    In January-July 2014, SOCAR produced 4.91 million tons of oil from onshore and offshore fields in Azerbaijan, versus 4.85 million tons in the same period of 2013.

    In 2013, SOCAR produced over 8.31 million tons of oil compared to 8.24 million tons in 2012. A total of 43.48 million tons of oil was produced in Azerbaijan in 2013, compared to 43 million tons in 2012.

  • 14-year-old French girl investigated for allegedly planning jihad
    30.08.2014 13:30
    A 14-year-old French girl has been placed under investigation for allegedly planning to carry out jihad, the third in a group of teenage girls caught before they left home.

    The Paris prosecutor's office said the girl from Quimper, in Brittany, risks up to five years in a juvenile prison if the investigation leads to an indictment and conviction.

    The girl, not named, was in contact with two other teens, aged 15 and 17, all allegedly planning together to travel abroad to join a jihadi group '" even though they live in three different regions of France.

    The prosecutor's office said the girls corresponded via social networks, but wouldn't give details.

    French judicial officials are investigating 329 people who left France to carry out jihad, mainly in Syria, or wanted to.
  • Azerbaijani team joins international off-road racing in Turkey
    30.08.2014 13:30
    Azerbaijani drivers will on Aug. 30-31 participate in the 3rd international off-road racing in Ardesen, Rize Province, Turkey, the Azerbaijan Automobile Federation told Trend Aug. 29.

    During the racing the national team, with the support of the federation, will compete against rivals from various countries.

    Drivers from Turkey, Georgia, Iran and Armenia will also participate in the competition.

    In 2012, Azerbaijani crew won a silver medal in the 2nd international off-road racing in Ardesen.

  • Hurricane hits Russiaв's Republic of Bashkortostan
    30.08.2014 13:29
    Over 40 people have been injured as a hurricane raged in Russiaв's Republic of Bashkortostan late Friday - early Saturday, a representative of the investigative committee told RIA Novosti.

    "The number of injured is on the rise: there are 40 at the moment, 15 have been hospitalized. Among them there are children, their condition is being preacute;cised," the representative said.

    The hurricane described as a tornado by the locals hit three regions of Bashkortostan, tearing off the roofs of the buildings, felling trees and piers.

    According to local emergency ministry, over 200 houses have been damaged, 26 villages have been left without electricity. 15 temporary accommodation facilities were arranged for the hurricane victims. Some 800 rescuers are working in the region.
  • President Ilham Aliyev reviewed secondary school in Baku after major repair and reconstruction
    30.08.2014 13:23
    President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev has reviewed secondary school No. 46 in Nasimi District, Baku after major repair and reconstruction.

    Purposeful measures are being taken to speed up the socioeconomic development of Baku and its settlements. Under a plan of action featured in the Special State Program, material and technical infrastructure of secondary schools and various educational facilities is being strengthened, state-of-the-art infrastructure is being created in order to improve the quality of education. Secondary schools are revamped to highest standards and supplied with necessary equipment in the capital, its suburbs and indeed the rest of the country ahead of the new academic year. The landscaping work is carried out in the areas of the educational facilities.

    Baku Mayor Hajibala Abutalibov informed the head of state about the work done. It was noted that the school was built in 1969. The 4-storey facility has 65 classrooms. All classrooms and various departments of the 1560-seat school were repaired and supplied with necessary equipment and teaching aids ahead of the new academic year. Special rooms were created for holding lessons on taxes. Modern ventilation and lighting systems were installed in the school, and landscaping and redevelopment work carried out around the facility.

    President Ilham Aliyev reviewed the classrooms and departments.

  • OSCE monitoring on Armenian-Azerbaijani contact line passes without incidents
    30.08.2014 13:17
    In accordance with the mandate of special envoy of the OSCE Chairman-in-Office, the OSCE mission has held a monitoring on troops contact line in the southwest direction of Agdam village of Tovuz region.

    The monitoring ended without incidents, Defence Ministry`s press service said.

    The monitoring was held on the Azerbaijani side by Personal Representative of the OSCE Chairman-in-Office, Ambassador Andrzej Kasprzyk, personal assistants Hristo Hristov and field assistant Peter Svedberg.

    From the opposite area the monitoring was conducted by field assistants of the OSCE Chairman-in-Office Eugene Sharov and Jiri Aberle,
  • Expert: Highest salary recorded in extractive industry
    30.08.2014 13:17
    The highest salary is recorded in extractive industry.

    "A very contradictory situation formed during estimation of the income in Azerbaijan. For example, if we start from the private sector, wages (income) of the population are high. But, judging from the public sector, wages in Azerbaijan are low."

    Oxu.Az reports referring to "Echo" newspaper that the statement came from chairman of the Center for Economic and Social Development Vugar Bayramov.

    According to him, the highest salary in Azerbaijan is recorded in the extractive industry.

    "Wages in the sector vary. But, according to our observations, the average wage in the sector is up to AZN 5000. In this regard, those working in the extractive industry can be safely attributed to the richest in Azerbaijan. "

    The situation is controversial in the health sector, Bayramov says. In particular, if we speak about the data in the public sector, the salary is not so high, he said.

    "But if we start with the data in private clinics, then there are cases where qualified doctors in private clinics get up to AZN 100 000 monthly."

    The workers in the construction sector form the third category of incomes, Bayramov said.

    "In general, wages in the construction sector are high. But, it should be kept in mind that mid-level workers and ordinary workers in the construction sector get not too much. "

    And finally, the smallest monthly salary in Azerbaijan is in the sphere of education, Bayramov says.

    "But, as for other areas, there is no single opinion on the income of employees in education. Teachers are often engaged in tutoring, which significantly increases their income, " Bayramov said.
  • Georgian PM supports Ukraine's sovereignty
    30.08.2014 13:13
    Georgian Prime Minister reiterates support to Ukraine`s sovereignty and territorial integrity within the internationally recognized borders.

    Irakli Gharibashvili`s statement was published on the government`s website today.

    `We are extremely concerned about the reports on Russia`s direct military incursion into Ukraine`s Eastern regions. It is necessary that everybody respects Ukraine`s sovereignty and territorial integrity, also its right to impose order and provide the complete protection of the rights of each citizen and their dignified future on the whole territory of Ukraine.

    The international community should not accept the large-scale military confrontation and the change of borders forcefully in Europe. Everything should be done to provide peace and stability in Ukraine.

    Once again, Georgia firmly supports Ukraine`s sovereignty and territorial integrity within the internationally recognized borders.

    We believe that by considering these very principles, the current crisis should be overcome in Ukraine,` Prime Minister`s statement says.
  • President Ilham Aliyev congratulates Ahmet Davutoglu
    30.08.2014 13:10
    President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev made a telephone call to Prime Minister of the Republic of Turkey Ahmet Davutoglu.

    The head of state congratulated Ahmet Davutoglu on his appointment as Prime Minister of the Republic of Turkey, and wished him success in his activities.

    Ahmet Davutoglu expressed gratitude to the Azerbaijani President for his attention and congratulations.

    During the phone conversation, President Ilham Aliyev and PM Ahmet Davutoglu expressed confidence that friendly and fraternal relations between Azerbaijan and Turkey would continue to successfully develop on all fronts.

  • ALS Ice Bucket Challenge Donations topped $100 million
    30.08.2014 13:10
    Donations from the Ice Bucket Challenge broke the $100 million mark Friday as people around world continue to dump ice on their heads and donate to the ALS Association to help combat Lou Gehrigв's disease.

    ''The word gratitude doesnв't do enough to express what we are feeling right now,'' ALS President and CEO Barbara Newhouse said in a statement.

    The $100 million in donations came from more than 3 million donors who have contributed since the challenge went viral in late July. The ALS Association raised only $2.8 million in the same period last year.

    The Ice Bucket Challenge has been a social media phenomenon, grabbing the attention of millions of Americans including many celebrities and political figures. Some have speculated that it might forever change the way charities approach fundraising.
  • MP: OSCE MG co-chairs take pro-Armenian position
    30.08.2014 13:09
    'The OSCE MG is a dead structureв'.

    The OSCE Minsk Group co-chairs have not managed to do any serious activity. Therefore, there is no hope for their just position. They all seem to occupy a pro-Armenian position.

    Oxu.Az reports with reference to SalamNews that the statement came from MP Malahat Ibrahimgizi.

    She said that Russia, United States and France became the co-chairs thus leading to protraction in the conflict settlement.

    "These two countries have a good attitude to Armenia. There is a strong Armenian lobby in the United States and France. Therefore, the OSCE MG is a dead structure.

    If the Minsk Group turns a blind eye on the occupant policy of Armenia, it will remain in memory as a retrogressive organization. If it does not want this, it needs to act to prevent Armenia's aggression.
  • Poland does not let Russian defense ministerв's jet into its airspace
    30.08.2014 12:28
    Poland has denied entry to its airspace for a Russian jet, which was carrying Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu as he was returning home after a trip to Slovakia, the press secretary of the Polish Armed Forces operational command said.

    He claimed reason for the denial was that the Russian authorities had requested the passage for a civilian jet, not the military one.

    The press secretary indicated that transits of military jets should be coordinated 72 hours before their effectuation. Shoigu attended a ceremony to commemorate the 70th anniversary of an uprising against the Nazis in the Slovak city of Banska Bystrica.
  • Ilham Aliyev praises achievements of Azerbaijani sportsmen
    30.08.2014 12:20
    Preparations for the European Games 2015 have brought together the country's sporting community.

    Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev praised the achievements of the Azerbaijan team that took the tenth place in the medal standings at the Youth Olympic Games in 2014 in the Chinese city of Nanjing. A team of 21 young elite athletes have represented their country in nine sports, winning a total of five gold, six silver and one bronze medal.

    According to Oxu.Az, the President noted that preparations for the biggest sporting event in the history of Azerbaijan - the first European Games in Baku in 2015 has brought together the sports community of the country around a common strategy with a clear objective, which is to transform the global sports and the Olympic movement into an integral part of the lives of young Azerbaijanis. The great enthusiasm of Azerbaijani youth is constantly directed t to the sport and the further increasing level of participation.

    He also noted that the upcoming games help the country to invest in the construction of top-class sporting venues that will serve for many years, and that the remarkable success of the young team is a testament to the fact that the sports developing structures, which became operational in preparation for the first European Games 2015, already give visible results.

    Minister of Youth and Sport of Azerbaijan and CEO of the Baku Games 2015, Azad Rahimov noted the significant success of Azerbaijani sportsmen in Nanjing and said: "We are determined to ensure the full implementation of the potential of the first European Games by Azerbaijan next year: that is, we want to not just hold a two-week sporting event, but also get an incentive for long-term development of the sport in our country".

    Three of the awards at the Youth Olympic Games were won in the last, most difficult day of the competition: gold medals were awarded to wrestler Teymur Mammadov in the weight category up to 63 kg, Iqbal Hajizadeh, a wrestler in the weight category up to 100 kg, and boxer Rufat Huseynov in the category 46-49 kg.

    Chingiz Huseynzadeh, vice president of the National Olympic Committee of Azerbaijan, said: "The upcoming European games inspire young athletes from Azerbaijan to higher achievement."

    "The opportunity to compete in front of their fans at the European Games in 2015 is a real stimulus for our young team. Their commitment to excellence and dedication to professional growth, of course, will provide an even greater number of medals in anticipation of the European Games.

    Medals, with which our young athletes have returned home, prove the appearance of new talents on the world stage. We are all very proud of their success and look forward to hearing about their even greater achievements in the near future - in the European Games 2015 in Baku and in the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio".
  • Expert: copyright protection in Internet is very difficult
    30.08.2014 12:18
    Copyright protection in Internet is very difficult.

    "Im very pleased with the fact that Azerbaijan launches copyright protection on the Internet. However, this is a very complicated process. The fact that the protection of copyrights, both online and in real life is sometimes very difficult. Methods of protection of copyright in the Internet controversial itself, not only in Azerbaijan, but also throughout the world. In this regard, it is important to conduct propaganda among the population. IIt is technologically possible to punish, impose certain restrictions, but besides all this, it is important to foster a culture of respect for the author."

    Oxu.Az reports referring to "Echo" newspaper that the statement came from the head of Azerbaijan Franchise Association Elshan Musayev.

    According to him, all over the world in schools people say that any statements of certain people need to be stroped and signed by the author. Always put a link, etc. In short, do not plagiarize. Therefore, in Azerbaijan there is a need to educate all Internet users about which of their actions in the global network is a violation of copyright.

    Azerbaijan launches copyright protection on the Internet.

    "Work on the launch of copyright protection on the Internet in Azerbaijan is in the final stage. It is an application of digital monitoring and licensing. Copyright protection on the Internet is a complex process. Work on this project is carried out intensively and will be completed in the near future," the Copyright Agency of Azerbaijan stated.

    Copyright protection in a virtual environment will deal with the current agency Center for intellectual property rights, and regulation will be provided by law, and governance arrangements in this area.
  • Swiss SITA to provide IT infrastructure for Baku Airport
    30.08.2014 12:06
    Swiss SITA will provide the IT infrastructure for Heydar Aliev International Airport in Baku.

    According to the Company, it concluded an agreement with Azerbaijan Airlines CJSC (AZAL) on providing the IT infrastructure, passenger processing platform and airport operations systems for Heydar Aliev International Airport's new Terminal 1, Fineko/ reports.

    "The new technology will transform operations, both for the airport and for Azerbaijan Airlines, enhancing the passenger experience with new self-service options and enabling the airport to handle double its current capacity", - the Company says.

    Jahangir Askerov, Azerbaijan Airlines President, said that AZAL appreciates the convenience of dealing with a single supplier, SITA, for all its IT and communications needs.

    Dave Bakker, SITA President, Europe reminded in his turn that SITA had worked with Azerbaijan Airlines for more than a decade.

    "This project is unique in the region because we have provided both consultative services and end-to-end solutions", - he said.

    SITA's Airport Connect Open passenger processing platform will include more than 70 common-use workstations and 12 common-use self-service kiosks for check-in. With the new platform, Azerbaijan Airlines, and all other airlines using the airport, will be able to access their respective IT applications in real-time on shared equipment. They will also be able to use any airport desk, gate or self-service kiosk for passenger check-in and boarding for maximum flexibility and convenience.

    SITA will support all new solutions for five years.
  • US imposes more sanctions on Iranian individuals, companies
    30.08.2014 11:05
    The United States has imposed new sanctions on more than 25 Iranian individuals and companies.

    The Treasury Department said on Friday that the sanctions' targets include shipping firms, oil companies, airlines and six Iranian banks, Hurriyet Daily reports.

    The Treasury Department also blatantly accused the Iranian businesses and individuals of lsquo;supporting terrorism' and trying to evade previous sanctions.

    Despite the additional measures, the White House National Security Council (NSC) on Friday reaffirmed Washington's commitment to working with the five permanent members of the UN Security Council - the United States, France, Britain, Russia and China - plus Germany in seeking a comprehensive deal with Tehran over its nuclear energy program.

    "Just as we announced these measures and continue to enforce pre-existing sanctions on Iran, the United States remains committed to working with our P5 1 partners toward a long-term, comprehensive solution that provides confidence that Iran's nuclear program is exclusively peaceful," said Caitlin Hayden, the NSC spokeswoman.

    The new sanctions come as Iran and the five permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany are in talks to reach a final agreement aimed at resolving the standoff over Tehran's civilian nuclear work.

    The two sides signed a historic interim deal in Geneva last November. The agreement entered into force on January 20 and expired six months later. In July, Tehran and the six states agreed to extend their discussions until November 24 in a bid to work out a final accord.

    Iran has previously slammed similar sanctions stating that the measures are contrary to the spirit of ongoing negotiations.

    Tehran calls anti-Iran sanctions illegal and wants them to be lifted as part of a final nuclear agreement.
  • MSN Messenger to end after 15 years
    30.08.2014 10:46
    Microsoft's Windows Live Messenger will be switched off in China in October, marking a final end to the 15-year-old service.

    Originally known as MSN Messenger, it was launched in 1999 but was switched off for most users in 2013, after Microsoft bought rival Skype.

    Users in China continued to use the old service but will now be transferred to Skype by 31 October.

    Windows Live still had as many as 330 million users as recently as 2009.

    But those numbers later declined, while users of Skype rose to nearly 300 million by 2012.

    The service came to China in 2005, but later faced stiff competition from domestic rivals such as QQ messenger, built by Chinese firm Tencent.

    A number of Chinese Windows Live users received emails from Microsoft on Thursday, Chinese newspapers reported, informing them of the planned closure.

    The emails told users they would get free Skype credit when they migrated over to the new service, the newspaper said. MSN Messenger began as a simple text chat service in 1999, a rival to AOL's AIM service and ICQ. It later added features such as photo delivery, video calls and games as the technology developed.

    But Microsoft's purchase of Skype for $8.5bn (ВЈ5.1bn) in 2012 spelled the beginning of the end for the service.
  • Armenians violate ceasefire in three directions
    30.08.2014 10:44
    The ceasefire was violated on the frontline again.

    The Azerbaijani Defense Ministry's press service told APA that Armenian armed units fired on the Azerbaijani positions from the posts near Novruzlu village of Aghdam region, Gizil Oba village of Terter region and nameless uplands of Fuzuli region on the night of August 29-30.

    The enemy was silenced by retaliation fire.
  • Two days after taking office, President ErdoДџan to host Victory Day reception
    30.08.2014 10:05
    Two days after taking office, President ErdoДџan is to host a Victory Day reception.

    Despite having made clear that he would take an executive role in the presidential palace rather than the largely ceremonial role so far cast for the head of the state, President Recep Tayyip ErdoДџan will still have to fulfill certain ceremonial duties. One such duty is attending a reception to mark the 92nd anniversary of the Turkish victory over Greek forces in the War of Independence, hosting a reception on Aug. 30, Hurriyet Daily reports.

    ErdoДџan has already begun to fulfil such duties, which will also require co-work with the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) and the General Staff, as he attended on Aug. 29 a graduation ceremony at the Gülhane Military Academy of Medicine (GATA) along with new Prime Minister Ahmet DavutoДџlu, only a day after taking his oath as the president on Aug. 28. The graduation ceremony marked the first public appearance of the two together in their new capacities.

    Victory Day, marked on Aug. 30, was won under the leadership of the founder of the Republic of Turkey, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk. The victory over the Greek military on Aug. 30, 1922 was the last large engagement between the two armies. The war began with the Greek invasion of Д°zmir in May 1919 after the end of World War I with tacit support from the Allies, especially Great Britain.

    In the past, the highest official level reception to mark Victory Day was hosted at the General Staff Headquarters instead of the presidential Çankaya Palace.

    In an amendment to the regulation governing national and official feasts, ceremonies and celebrations passed in May 2012, responsibility for hosting the Victory Day reception was transferred from the Chief of General Staff to the president.

    With the A-level protocol being implemented, politicians, members of high judiciary and the top brass of the TSK have been invited to the reception.

    Accordingly, an invitation was also sent to the head of the Union of Turkey's Bar Associations (TBB), Metin FeyzioДџlu, but he has not yet confirmed attendance to the reception, reports said on Aug. 29.

    ErdoДџan and FeyzioДџlu have been at odds since May, when the latter delivered a one-hour-long speech criticizing the government at a ceremony marking the Council of State's 146th anniversary. Turkish politics then witnessed a first when ErdoДџan interrupted FeyzioДџlu's speech, standing up and heckling the TBB head before walking out of the ceremony.

    Earlier this week, the Council of Presidents of the Supreme Court of Appeals, decided to include FeyzioДџlu as a speaker at the ceremony marking the commencement of the new legislative year for 2014-2015 on Sept. 1, in defiance of ErdoДџan.
  • Dance show on the roof
    30.08.2014 09:54
    A roofer showed Mary Poppinsв' Bert just how itв's done when he showed off his sharp moves to Latino beats while tiling a roof.

    Flexible construction worker Andrew Wilcox proved his work didnв't give himback pain '" but rather made him better able to strut his stuff.

    He explained that he came by the moves after working alongside Mexicans in Arizona for two years when he learnt to speak Spanish, how to cook 'meanre-fried beansв', and ate'super spicy dishesв'.

    So Bert youв'vebeen upstaged by this 21st century rooftop dancer and he didnв't even have chimneys and brooms to help him.

    Keep those hips swaying, Mr Wilcox.
  • Russian scientists develop method for earlier detection of cancer
    30.08.2014 08:57
    Russian scientists have developed a method for earlier detection of cancer.

    Scientists from a subsidiary of the SIGMA.Novosibirsk nanotechnology center, a project run by the state-owned RUSNANO Corporation, have developed a technology that detects cancer in very early stages and can be employed at outpatient clinics, said a Friday statement on the center's website, RIA Novosti reports.

    "The method of super-early cancer detection is based on DNA molecule analysis. A cancer tumor does not develop if the particular genes, the onco-suppressor genes, are active, as what they produce suppresses the creation of a tumor. Thus, if these genes are lsquo;turned off,' an oncogenic process can be diagnosed," the statement said.

    Siberian biotechnology company SibEnzyme has discovered an enzyme and created a method to find an onco-suppressor gene that has been turned off. This technology is currently being tested by Russian State Research Center of Virology and Biotechnology VECTOR.

    According to the statement the testing system will be available for use by 2017.

    The new technology diagnoses cancer based on a few DNA molecules, and gives a result in 4-6 hours, requiring only standard equipment for Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) analysis, which is available in almost all clinics. The analysis can be conducted by regular medical staff.

    The experts note that similar methods of cancer detection are being used abroad. However, as those methods require sophisticated equipment and highly qualified professionals, they are not widespread. The diagnosis method currently used is not able to detect cancer in very early stages. People diagnosed with stage I or II cancer have a 60-95 percent survival rate, as opposed to 10-25 percent in cases diagnosed later.
  • Azerbaijani President: "Azerbaijan's position sounded even stronger in Sochi"
    30.08.2014 08:40
    "Thanks to the courage of the heroic Azerbaijani soldiers and officers the enemy was dealt a devastating blow and they still can not get over".

    "The Azerbaijani public is aware that at the beginning of this month, Armenia tried to stage a provocation on the frontline. But Azerbaijani army gave a fitting rebuff to the enemy. Were destroyed dozens of occupants, and their provocation did not take place", the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan, Ilham Aliyev said at a meeting with residents of Beylagan region.

    The President noted that the causes of this provocation are clear: "Because, as you know, on the eve of Sochi meeting the Armenian leadership was trying to get to a more favorable position and force Azerbaijan to accept the fact that Baku does not satisfied. But it did not work, on the contrary, the position of Azerbaijan in Sochi sounded even stronger, thanks to the courage of the heroic Azerbaijani soldiers and officers and the enemy was dealt a devastating blow that they still can not get over"

    President Ilham Aliyev said that Armenia reign panic and fear at the highest level recognize that a mass exodus of the population of the country: "Rather, this process takes a long time. Just the latest developments on the frontline of its accelerated. Tens of thousands of Armenian citizens permanently leave their country, and recent events have given new impetus to this process. However, the Armenian government has resorted to various ways to explain it. Recently, it has even admitted that the main reason for this - strong diaspora, as well as the Karabakh conflict. That is, the Armenian government has already recognized that the main reason for the demographic crisis - it's fear. Armenian society is in fear. Of course, Azerbaijan and Azerbaijani army is strong, heroic Azerbaijani soldiers are a constant source of fear for them. To eliminate this fear, Armenia should just abide by international law and unconditionally withdraw from the occupied lands. This is required and 4 UN Security Council resolutions. I am confident that we will restore our territorial integrity. International law supports our position. Azerbaijan has authority on a global scale, with us are considered to be advised. Today, our international credibility is at a high level. "

    The Head of State noted that Azerbaijan surpasses Armenia economically: "From the point of view of military capabilities Azerbaijani army not only in comparison with the Armenian, but also on a global scale is one of the strongest armies. Our strength is growing every day. As you know, stand out and will be allocated a lot of money. Military expenditures are the main cost of our state budget, so it will be in the coming years. We will increase spending. The professionalism of our army, patriotic spirit is high, the Azerbaijani society rallied around a single idea. This is the development of Azerbaijan, the process of building a modern state and the return of our occupied territories. In this case, of course, a special role belongs to the youth. "

    The President in his speech expressed satisfaction with the level of patriotism of youth, education in their national spirit.
  • Head of Azerbaijani Presidential Administration chairs meeting to discuss the country`s information security
    29.08.2014 23:24
    Azerbaijan`s information security has today been discussed at a meeting chaired by chief of the Presidential Administration Ramiz Mehdiyev, which involved heads of the government information bodies and the country`s media leaders.

    Participants in the meeting included deputy head of the Presidential Administration, head of its Foreign Relations Department Novruz Mammadov, head of the Social and Political Affairs Department Ali Hasanov, head of the Legislation and Legal Expertise Department Shahin Aliyev, head of the Department on Work with Law-Enforcement Bodies Fuad Alasgarov, head of the Department of Political Analysis and Information Provision Saadat Yusifova, and heads of press services of government bodies and the country`s leading mass media agencies.

    Mr. Mehdiyev praised Azerbaijan`s development under President Ilham Aliyev, saying the country "enjoys rapidly growing international influence". He highlighted the country`s success in deepening democratic reforms, improving civil society building, ensuring the freedom of speech and information, and developing the mass media.

    "Azerbaijan`s rapid development, the country`s becoming a powerful and important international actor, its playing the leading role in the region, active involvement in global politics and place in international organizations have become a source of serious concern for certain foreign forces, particularly Armenia, the Armenian lobby and separate circles representing their interests," said Mr. Mehdiyev.

    "Misusing the existing tolerant and democratic atmosphere in Azerbaijan, the government`s humane policy for their own ends, these circles and some internal groups are trying to mislead the society, spoil the socio-political stability and blacken outstanding achievements that our country has made."

    Mr. Mehdiyev said that "the provocative activities of anti-Azerbaijani circles and internal groups controlled by them will never prejudice the will of the government and prevent its independent policy." "It will never prevent the society from moving forward on the path towards development and its strategic choice. Appropriate measures will be taken further on to tackle the activities contradicting Azerbaijan`s national interests and legislation," he warned.

    "Recent violence on the Armenian-Azerbaijani state border and the line of contact has revealed illegal and unprofessional activities of some mass media outlets, particularly Internet resources, and also clearly demonstrated inability of relevant public bodies responsible for information provision to properly perform their functions."

    Mr. Mehdiyev provided facts of false information about dislocation and movement of the Azerbaijani army, artificial exaggeration of the death toll, attempts to sow confusion within people living in frontline districts and the country`s society in general.

    "Necessary steps must be taken to ensure that any action against Azerbaijan`s independence, sovereignty, territorial integrity and constitution or any attempt to take such actions, including those threatening the information security and national interests of the society, face the full force of the law, and I warn that these steps will be taken further on," Mr. Mehdiyev said.

    The meeting featured speeches by department heads at the Presidential Administration Novruz Mammadov, Ali Hasanov and Shahin Aliyev, chair of the Press Council Aflatun Amashov, and heads of press services of government bodies and the country`s leading mass media agencies.
  • Azerbaijani embassy in Serbia: Armenian media has prepared a photomontage in order to deteriorate Azerbaijan-Serbia relations
    29.08.2014 22:57
    Baku '" APA. Reports of a group of the fans of Serbiaв's Partizan football club allegedly putting the flag of the illegal Republic of Nagorno-Karabakh in front of the pedestal of the Azerbaijani peopleв's national leader Heydar Aliyev in Tashmaydan square during the game between the Partizen and Neftchi football clubs in Serbiaв's capital Belgrade on 21 August 2014 have not been confirmed.

    In this regard, Serbian state authorities along with the embassy's representatives have reviewed that area which is monitored by surveillance cameras for 24 hours daily, and they also inspected some video recordings, the Azerbaijani embassy in Serbia told APA.

    Initial investigations discovered that photos spread on social networks and in Armenian media are all fake: "It became clear that these actions had not been committed by Serbian fans and are a product of extremism propagated by the Armenian state. This kind of attempts serves the propagation of separatism and extremism and shows third destructive forces trying to damage friendship and cooperation between the Azerbaijani and Serbian people that lean on historical roots and developing Azerbaijan-Serbia strategic partnership relations. Such attempts and methods like photomontage have failed once again as usual.
  • President Ilham Aliyev reviewed reconstruction work at the office building of the Khatai District Executive Authority in Baku
    29.08.2014 21:41
    President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev has reviewed the reconstruction work at the office building of the Khatai District Executive Authority in Baku.

    The application of new methods to the public administration system has widened in the country under orders and instructions of President Ilham Aliyev in the last few years. Important measures are being taken to improve working conditions of public servants. The construction of new office buildings for executive authorities of different districts in the capital, redevelopment of the existing facilities are among top priorities. The construction and repair work at the office building of the Khatai District Executive Authority ensures both the improvement of working conditions of staff and the quality of services offered to people. Redevelopment of this office building is also a strong signal of the government`s attention to the improvement of the public administration system. Built in a modern architectural style, the building gives the district a new appearance.

    Head of the Khatai District Executive Authority Razim Mammadov informed the head of state of the work done.

    It was said that constructed in 1979, the building had never been renovated. The total area of the building was expanded from 2,500 to 2,875 square metres. The building is now fitted with the necessary equipment and systems. There is a bust of national leader Heydar Aliyev at the entrance. There is also a photo stand reflecting national leader Heydar Aliyev`s and President Ilham Aliyev`s participation in different events in Khatai District.

    President Ilham Aliyev reviewed a reception room. It was said that under the head of state`s instructions to create E-government, necessary work was carried out to ensure that citizens can electronically make enquiries and submit their complaints to the executive authority`s E-governance and database system. The system also gives local residents access to the website of the executive authority through the Internet. A 220-seat conference hall is well suited for holding different events. Lighting, sound and other state-of-the-art systems were installed here. All rooms are fitted with necessary equipment and aids.

    The interior of the building features photos of ancient Baku. There is also a small conference hall and a 50-seat auditorium. Operative control center gives access to information about all buildings and facilities in the district.

    The head of state reviewed the office building and then a park outside it. Special attention was paid to creating wide green areas in the park, many decorative trees were planted here. The park has all necessary conditions for people`s rest.
  • Actor arrested with Jackie Chan's son released
    29.08.2014 21:07
    A Taiwanese actor arrested on drug charges along with the son of Hong Kong film star Jackie Chan was released Friday after two weeks in detention, amid a broad anti-drug crackdown in China's capital that has ensnared several celebrities.

    Kai Ko emerged from a Beijing detention center before dawn and into a scrum of reporters from mainland China, Hong Kong and Taiwan. Followed to his hotel by the press pack, a visibly agitated Ko challenged one reporter to a fight before retreating inside an elevator.

    Kai was considerably more composed at an afternoon news conference in which he appeared with his parents and agent and apologized for smoking marijuana.

    "I was wrong on this issue. I made a mistake. There is no excuse for it. I was wrong," Kai said.

    "I never realized that Kai Ko is more than just a name for myself. It also means a lot to those who support and love me. It was out of my expectations that anything concerning 'Kai Ko' could have such a big impact on others," he said, before bowing with his parents and agent in a sign of contrition.
  • 10 Ukrainian soldiers killed in east Ukraine in past 24 hours, Security Council says
    29.08.2014 20:59
    Ten Ukrainian servicemen have been killed and another 30 wounded in Kievв's military operation in the countryв's east in the past 24 hours, the National Security and Defense Council said in its Twitter account on Friday.

    Self-defense militias of the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Luhansk Peopleв's Republics are carrying out operations to push Ukrainian troops far back from large cities and deny them a possibility to shell densely populated residential areas with artillery and mortar fire.

    Luhansk fighters are actively advancing north of the city, the local news agency Novorossiya reported on Friday, citing the militiaв's combat reports.

    ''The situation in the north of Luhansk has improved and the militia has been able to seize the settlement of Privetnoye after a fourth attempt, making an advance from the village of Stukalova Balka,'' Novorossiya said.

    The militia headquarters ''have received information that our fighters are storming the enemy positions in Shishkovo,'' Novorossiya said. Luhansk fighters have also approached the town of Schastye, the news agency said.
  • Sambo joins Baku 2015 European Games
    29.08.2014 20:44
    Sambo has been added to the sports program of the inaugural European Games in Baku.

    The announcement was made by the Baku 2015 European Games Operations Committee.

    The announcement says: "Sambo is one of the most modern combat sports in the world, and draws on a number of different styles and techniques for inspiration.

    An explosive mix of judo, jujitsu and wrestling, it has also incorporated many different fighting styles from Europe and Asia and has become popular worldwide.

    The word lsquo;Sambo' is an acronym derived from the Russian phrase Samozashchita Bez Oruzhiya - which translates as lsquo;self-defense without weapon'.

    It was developed originally by the Soviet Army in the 1920s to train soldiers in hand-to-hand combat, and has been influenced by a variety of holds from several national single combat styles.

    Today, it continues to develop and grow in popularity throughout the world with federations on all five continents."

    Simon Clegg, chief operating officer of Baku 2015, said: "We are delighted to formally announce that Sambo will be included in the sports programme at Baku 2015 and increase the number of innovative new sports we will have on display at next year's inaugural Games. The opportunity to include such a highly popular sport here in Azerbaijan will further increase the excitement about the event and potentially leave the European Olympic Committees with the legacy of including popular local sports within future sport programs."

    Sambo's inclusion now means a total of 20 sports will feature at Baku 2015, with 16 Olympic sports and four non-Olympic sports on display.

    Meanwhile, Wrestling will also be boosted at Baku 2015 next summer by the inclusion of six more weight categories.

    An additional 80 quota places have been granted to the sport and will be filled by the International Federation of Associated Wrestling Styles (FILA).

    In total, more than 480 wrestlers will now compete at Baku 2015 over six days of action, with 24 gold medals to be won in the men's and women's categories at the Heydar Aliyev Arena.

    Nenad Lalovic, President of FILA, said: "It is wonderful to have increased allocation for our athletes to compete at the first European Games. e are very much looking forward to Europe's finest wrestlers battling it out for the honor of being recognized as the first ever continental champion."

    The inclusion of the two disciplines further demonstrates Baku 2015's dedication to creating a forward-thinking and innovative approach to hosting the first European Games.

    Mr Pierce O'Callaghan, Director of Sport at Baku 2015, added: "The fact that so many sports on our program are using Baku 2015 as a crucial event to advance the athletes' careers shows how the European sport family is fully behind the first European Games. Having expanded the sports program, we are looking forward to high-quality competition in a range of exciting and innovative sports next year and to welcoming the elite athletes of Europe to Baku."

    BEGOC can also today announce that Street Athletics, featuring High Jump and Pole Vault, will appear as a demonstration sport at next year's event.

    Dr CK Wu, President of AIBA, said: "AIBA's decision to allocate ranking points at continental Games recognizes that the best boxers in the world are now frequently competing at these events, raising the standard of competition to an extremely high level. I am very excited to see how the European Games contributes to the continued development of boxing in Europe in the future."
  • President Ilham Aliyev reviewed the Mil-Mughan hydrosystem in Fuzuli
    29.08.2014 20:25
    Presidentof theRepublicofAzerbaijanIlham Aliyevhas reviewedthe Mil-Mughan hydrosystemas part of his visit to Fuzuli.

    Chairman of the Melioration and Water ManagementOJSCAhmad Ahmadzade briefed President Ilham Aliyev on the Mil-Mughan hydrosystem. It was noted that the Mil-Mughan hydrosystem,built at the transboundary section oftheArazRivernear thecityofHoradizof FuzuliDistrictunder anagreement on cooperation in the technical and economic sphere signed in 1963 between the formerUSSRandIran, was put into operation in 1972. The construction of the hydro system was aimed at supplying200,000hectaresof land with irrigation water,including120,000hectaresinAzerbaijanalone with the joint utilization of the regulatedArazRiverflow by the Azerbaijani and Iranian sides. In accordance with the agreement, 921 million cubic meters of water were to be taken from the Mil-Mughan hydro system and 1 billion cubic meters were to be released to the river fortheprotection of environment.

    It was noted that the length of the water regulating section of the dam is136 metres.Sixdam outlets with the width of12 metersas well as 4 water intakes with the width of5metresand height of3.5 metresfor supplying water in both directions were designed on it. Earthen dams with the length of1850 meterswere built on the Azerbaijani sectionof the hydro system. Thefacilityhas the capacity of transmitting2,700 cubic metersof water per second during torrents. Water taken from the Mil-Mughan hydro systemwillbe released to the Upper-Mil, New Khangyzy and other canals through the Main Mil canal, thus supplying water to120,000hectaresof irrigation lands in Fuzuli, Beylagan, Agjabadiand Imishli districts. Melioration and Water ManagementOJSCcontinued the construction of the Upper Mil canal taking water from the Main Mil canal,and an11kmsection was put into operation in 2012. It allowed creatingpilot grain growing farms on anarea of4,800 hectaresof the Agjabadiand Beylagan districs. Another section of the canal with the length of5 kmwas built last year to develop grain-growing industry with the pump station fabricated on it in FuzuliDistrict. Itallowedsupplyingirrigation water to the land parcels with the total area of4,000 hectares. Continuing construction of the canal will help provide about20,000hectaresof land with water including7,637 hectaresin AgjabadiDistrict. Additionally, 1,725 hectaresof lands will be supplied with irrigation water this year through the second pump station built at theUpperMilCanal.

    President Ilham Aliyev was also informed about water supply of irrigation lands in Fuzuli and Beylagan districts.It was noted that there are31,305hectaresof irrigation lands in FuzuliDistrict. Melioration actions were put in place on 6,300 hectares ofland. Water supply of irrigation lands is carried out through1,378 kmof irrigation canals, 87 subartesian wells and 56 pump stations. The collector-drainage network is259 kmlong. Lands allocated for the IDP families in Gayidish and Orengala settlements of the region were provided with irrigation water. Last yearsaw the commissioning of 10 subartesian wells,including7 inaccordance with the respective executive order of thehead ofstate.The drilling of 12 subartesian wells will be completed this year. BeylaganDistricthas50,497 hectaresof irrigation lands currently. Melioration actions were put in place on36,548 hectares. Water supply of irrigation lands is carried out through1,268 kmof irrigation canals, 88 subartesian wells and 7 pump stations. The length of the collector-drainage network makes up1,277 km. Last year saw the drilling of 4 and this year 6 subartesian wells.
  • Baku to host ''V1 Challenge Azerbaijan'' car-racing contest
    29.08.2014 20:04
    Baku will host "V1 Challenge Azerbaijan" car-racing contest organized by the Azerbaijan Automobile Federation.

    The "V1 Challenge Azerbaijan" contest, which in 2011, 2012 and 2013 made over 110,000 spectators to feel the adrenaline, promotes a healthy lifestyle.

    On the eve of the "V1 Challenge Azerbaijan", Baku will host a show dedicated to the presentation of the competition.

    During the show, to be held soon at the Baku Crystal Hall, where viewers will experience professional drivers, demonstrating unbelievable manoeuvres.

    Professional drivers will demonstrate stunning manoeuvres and driving precision. Sixteen drivers from Azerbaijan and other countries will take part in the tournament.

    Prior to the show, a parade of cars competing in the tournament will be held in Baku.

    Preparatory trainings for the "V1 Challenge Azerbaijan" were launched August 25.

    Theoretical and practical trainings were organized for drivers and judges during the trainings held with the participation of the Azerbaijan Automobile Federation's President Anar Alakbarov.
  • Microsoft CEO to visit China over probe
    29.08.2014 19:34
    THE chief executive of Microsoft Corp will visit China next month to meet with government officials to settle an anti-monopoly probe by the State Administration for Industry and Commerce, one of the countryв's anti-trust regulators, industry insiders said.

    Satya Nadella will visit China in late September, Reuters reported yesterday, citing an unidentified source familiar with the matter.

    Microsoft China declined to comment yesterday.

    Microsoft, the worldв's largest software company, is suspected of violating Chinaв's anti-monopoly law relating to compatibility, bundling and document authentication for its Windows operating system and Office software. The bundling of Internet browser and media player tools is also being investigated, according to SAIC.

    Microsoft is one of several foreign firms, including chip designer Qualcomm Inc and German car maker Daimler AGв's luxury auto unit Mercedes-Benz, being investigated as China seeks to enforce a 2008 anti-monopoly law.

    Qualcommв's president Derek Aberle was in Beijing earlier this month to talk with government officials about the investigation.

    Nadella is also set to attend the launch ceremony of the Xbox 360 in China, the first foreign game console to be sold on Chinaв's mainland in the past 14 years. Set to debut on the mainland in September, the device will sell for 3,699 yuan (US$602) through local partner BesTV.
  • President Ilham Aliyev attended the opening of the Fuzuli district museum of history and local lore
    29.08.2014 19:01
    President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev has attended the opening of the Fuzuli district museum of history and local lore.

    The head of state cut the ribbon symbolizing the opening of the museum. President Ilham Aliyev was told that the museum, the construction of which was initiated by the Heydar Aliyev Foundation, included the sections highlighting primitive period, the Bronze Age, the Middle Ages, and modern periods. Built in a unique architectural style, the museum is fitted with all necessary communications and equipment.

    It was said that the museum was founded in 1981. More than 7,000 exhibits of the museum were taken to the independence museum in Baku during the Karabakh war in 1993. Given the historic importance of numerous exhibits of the Fuzuli district museum of history and local lore, the Ministry of Culture and Tourism opened its branch in the village of Bala Bahmanli in 2006. The branch now houses more than 1,000 exhibits highlighting the ancient history of the Azerbaijani people and different periods of statehood. The museum also features a model of Azykh Cave, household and labor instruments which were used in the primitive epoch. All these exhibits were discovered during archaeological excavations in Fuzuli District. Major part of the exhibits displayed in the bronze and stone age sections were found in ancient burial places. The Middle Ages section features samples of weapons used by our ancestors, and household items. The museum widely highlights ethnographic features of Fuzuli District. This includes exhibits describing the lifestyle of Fuzuli people throughout history. Small models of a forge, a pottery and a carpet-weaving shop, houses reflect the lifestyle and occupation of people in ancient times. The museum also contains information about outstanding residents of Fuzuli, including those who demonstrated valour and heroism during the Karabakh war. There is a special section called "A spark of victory", which highlights the life and military achievements of national heroes from Fuzuli, provides information about 22 villages of the district as well as the city of Horadiz which had been liberated from occupation thanks to historic services of national leader Heydar Aliyev. It also provides an insight into repair and reconstruction work in these territories.

    President Ilham Aliyev viewed 16 musical instruments made by Musa Yagubov from Fuzuli District.
  • Nizami Ganjavi International Center to cooperate with WIP
    29.08.2014 19:00
    Representatives of the Nizami Ganjavi International Center have met with the management of the Women in Parliaments Global Forum (WIP).

    The sides discussed the issues of cooperation, participation in the organization and work of

    Baku, August 29 (AzerTAc). Representatives of the Nizami Ganjavi International Center have met with the management of the Women in Parliaments Global Forum (WIP).

    The sides discussed the issues of cooperation, participation in the organization and work of the 3rd Global Shared Societies Forum due in Baku in 2015. They agreed that a large delegation of WIP will attend the upcoming forum.

    The Women in Parliaments Global Forum (WIP) is an influential world women organization founded by Silvana Koch-Mehrin, a member of the German Bundestag. The forum unites over 6,000 woman politicians, including Hillary Clinton, UN Secretary General advisers, the sister of the King of Bahrain.

    The 3rd Global Shared Societies Forum will be convened on the eve of 40th anniversary of the Helsinki Act on Security and Co-operation in Europe. The event is expected to involve about 450 representatives from international organizations.
  • US choreographer Valerie Green presents project in Baku
    29.08.2014 18:44
    US choreographer and teacher in the New York City dance community Valerie Green has presented his project "Modern dance techniques" in the International Mugam Center in Baku. The event was organized by the "YARAT" Contemporary Art Space.

    Valerie Green became interested in dance as a child growing up in Cleveland, Ohio. In 1998 she formed Valerie Green/Dance Entropy, creating a permanent company home in 2005, called Green Space.

    Green has been an active dancer, choreographer and teacher in the NYC dance community for over 18 years.

    Valerie has worked extensively on the International circuit. Among the festivals where she taught and performed are: Chandigarh Institute of Performing Arts, India, Italy's Meeting Anti-Razista, Trulo Arts Center, Ostuni, Le Regard du Cygne, Paris, The Avignon Fringe Festival, France, TEST! Theater Festival in Zagreb, Croatia, and Toronto, Canada's Fringe Festival of Independent Dance Artists. Her company, Dance Entropy, toured her evening- length show, Homeland-Inner Side throughout Serbia in 2001, which led to numerous teaching residencies with various cultural institutions in Belgrade. She has also performed at The National Theatre in Mostar, Bosnia, The National Theatre of Belgrade, Serbia, the World Dance Congress in Argos, Greece, Body Navigation Festival in St. Petersburg, Russia, and the Raw Matters Festival in Vienna, Austria.
  • Azerbaijan, Lithuania discuss prospects of ICT cooperation
    29.08.2014 18:24
    Azerbaijani ambassador to Lithuania Hasan Mammadzade has met Lithuanian Minister of Transport and Communication Rimantas SinkeviДЌius.

    The meeting focused on bilateral relations between Azerbaijan and Lithuania, cooperation in the fields of transport and ICT, Azerbaijan`s participation at "Viking" project, AzerTag reports.

    Ambassador Mammadzade congratulated SinkeviДЌius on his appointment as minister of transport and communication after the Lithuanian presidential elections. He stressed praised development of the Azerbaijan-Lithuania ties in political, economic, cultural and humanitarian spheres. The Azerbaijani diplomat also spoke about the government`s attention to the development of high technologies in the country, as well as achievements in this field.

    The Lithuanian minister said that he would attend international exhibition on ""Baku-Tbilisi-Kars Railway - New Opportunities in Silk Road" to be held in Baku, on October 15-16, 2014.
  • Gennady Korotkevich win two international competitions in programming during summer 2014
    29.08.2014 18:21
    Belarusian prodigy Gennady Korotkevich won two international competitions in programming this summer.

    Firstly he became the strongest programmer at "Yandex. Algorithm" second time in a row. This championship took place in Berlin on August, 1. Belarusian student from Saint Petersburg State University of Information Technologies, Mechanics and Optics solved correctly 4 of 6 proposed problems in 100 minutes.

    3890 participants from more than 70 countries including 161 people from Belarus took part in the championship. Gennady Korotkevich acting under the nick "tourist" became the only Belarusian representative in the final among 25 finalists.

    The main intrigue of the competition was the struggle between Korotkevich and Petr Mitrichev, Google Moscow office employee. Last year Korotkevich solved three of the six proposed tasks and spent less time than others and won the championship. Petr Mitrichev was the only one who tried to solve the problem "C" and made a mistake. As a result, the Russian took fourth place.

    12 finalists made 4 tasks and in the dark hoping to get less penalty minutes. Korotkevich correctly solved four of six tasks and finished with only 66 penalty minutes. For the victory he received 300,000 Russian rubles ($ 8.5 thousand).

    The second place went to Japanese Hosaka Katsuhiro (University of Tokyo), who also solved four tasks but with 90 penalty minutes. The third place went to Wang Kinsch from Chinese Tsinghua University.

    Gennady Korotkevich also won the annual competition in programming Code Jam Google.

    Nearly 20 thousands programmers competed in four rounds online this year. 25 of them (the representatives of the United States, China, Japan, Ukraine, Poland, Russia, Korea, Czech Republic, Brazil, Bulgaria and Belarus) reached the final which took place in Google LAX on August, 15.

    The 18-year-old Belarusian coped with the tasks better than other finalists. The second place went to Eugene Kapun from Russia, Ijaw Gu from China became the third.

    Gennady Korotkevich received $ 15 thousand as the main prize of the competition.

    Gennady got the right to compete in the final of Code Jam only this year when he became 18. Last year he also claimed to enter the final but because of the too young age he could not participate in it.

    Gennady Korotkevich is known for his unique phenomenal abilities from school. At age of 11 he won a silver medal at International Olympiad in Informatics among schoolchildren and later he became a multiple champion. In 2014 he was also the best at Facebook Hacker Cup 2014.

    Despite the fact that Gennady is called a prodigy he does not think so. "Of course, my success is the result of training. But it is interesting for me and I am passionate about programming and problem solving," - says Korotkevich. "I began to program very early with the help of my parents. They teach programming in Gomel State University".
  • Qarabag to face Inter Milan, Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk and Saint-Etienne
    29.08.2014 18:21
    Azerbaijan`s football champion Qarabag Agdam have learned rivals for the UEFA Europa League group stage.

    The draw, held in Monaco, placed Qarabag in the Group F with Italian Inter Milan, Ukrainian Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk and French Saint-Etienne.

    The matches will be held on 18 September, 2 and 23 October, 6 and 27 November and 11 December.
  • Bayern completes transfer for Xabi Alonso
    29.08.2014 18:14
    Xabi Alonso said he is motivated to make a new start with Bayern Munich after the German champion completed its acquisition of the midfielder from Real Madrid on Friday.

    Alonso agreed to a two-year contract and will play under fellow Spaniard Pep Guardiola, the former coach of Madrid's fierce rival, Barcelona.

    Alonso said he felt his time had ended at Madrid after he helped it win its 10th European Cup last May, the long-awaited "Decima."

    "After winning the 'Decima' last season I felt that a new cycle would begin for the club, and for myself," said Alonso. "I had the need to begin a new chapter and start fresh. I needed new motivations after we won the 'Decima' to be able to play at my full potential."

    Bayern had said on Thursday it was close to inking the deal for Alonso. He will help fill the void left by the injury to Javi Martinez.

    Neither club released financial details of the transfer. Media reports place it in the 10-million euro ($13-million) range.

    The 32-year-old midfielder, known for his passing and tactical know-how, also helped Madrid win the Copa del Rey last season and in 2011 and the Spanish league in 2012.

    Alonso retired this summer from international competition after helping Spain win the 2010 World Cup and the European championship in 2008 and 2012.

    Madrid signed Toni Kroos from Bayern this summer, along with Colombia's James Rodriguez, increasing competition for playing time in its midfield.

    Alonso is the second important player to leave the European champions this week after Angel Di Maria signed with Manchester United.
  • President Ilham Aliyev attended the opening of rebuilt houses and apartment buildings destroyed during the occupation of Horadiz
    29.08.2014 18:10
    President of theRepublicofAzerbaijan Ilham Aliyevhasattended the openingof 227 reconstructed houses and 3apartmentbuildings destroyed duringtheoccupation of Horadiz.

    Much work has been done in recent years to rebuild thecityofHoradiz, which was seriously damaged as a result of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, and tocarry outintensive reconstruction and redevelopment. Reconstruction work iscarried outin thecity.The opening of 227 houses and 3 apartmentbuildings isevidence ofthis work.Suchmeasures also testify to thefact that the policy pursued by the Azerbaijani state under President Ilham Aliyev is centered on the human factor. This is a real result of the activity of thehead ofstate who said:"I will be a president of each Azerbaijani."

    These projects are, first of all, aimed at improving social welfare and housing conditions of citizens who live on the frontline. They demonstratetheeconomic power and potential ofAzerbaijan.

    Under anOrder of President Ilham Aliyev to restore 227 houses and 3apartmentbuildings burnt and destroyed during the Armenian occupation ofHoradiz, the FuzuliDistrict Executive Authority receivedfunding from the President`s Contingency Fund for 2013. The construction workwas carried out at thehighest level with modernconstruction standardstaken into account. All utilitieswere createdhere.

    President Ilham Aliyevreviewed one of the houses.

    Thehead ofstatechatted overateatablewith family members of the owner of one of the houses,Vali Shamilov.
  • Anti-cancer medicine a bittersweet win for Latvian science
    29.08.2014 18:09
    The Latvian Institute of Organic Synthesis (OSI) announced Monday that a historic anti-cancer drug containing a compound developed by eight of its scientists has received US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval for clinical medical use. Prime Minister Laimdota Straujuma was quick to tweet her congratulations.
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