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Kazakhstan can increase uranium production to 30,000 tons by 2015
23.06.2012 09:56
Azerbaijan, Baku, June 20 / Trend E. Kosolapova/

Kazakhstan can increase uranium production to 30,000 tons in 2-3 years, Novosti-Kazakhstan quoted deputy head of the Kazakh National Atomic Company Kazatomprom Nurlan Ryspanov as saying.

"Our resources and existing capacities allow achieving production of 30,000 tons of uranium or more per year," Ryspanov said on Wednesday while speaking at the 5th annual Central Asia Mining and Metallurgical Congress in Almaty.

Kazakhstan produced 19,450 tons of uranium or 35 percent of world production in 2011. Kazatomprom is also the world''s leading uranium producer.

Ryspanov said that the increase in uranium production can be achieved by expanding the current capacity or intensifying the leaching process depending on the market conditions.

Kazatomprom has a stable demand for its production even after the accident at Japanese nuclear power plant Fukushima.

"Nuclear power-engineering has no real alternatives, so there is no risk of significant reduction in the world demand for natural uranium," he said.

Ryspanov added that Kazakhstan''s uranium production will hit 20,000 tons in 2012.

Kazatomprom is Kazakh national operator for import and export of uranium, rare metals, nuclear fuel for power plants, special equipment and dual-purpose materials. A total of 100 percent of the company''s stock is held by Kazakh Sovereign Wealth Fund Samruk-Kazyna.

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    "Today's conference, as one of the events organized within the Azerbaijan's chairmanship in the Council of Europe's Committee of Ministers, reaffirms the priority attached by our State to the European Convention on Human Rights and operation of the European Court of Human Rights. Conferences, seminars and presentations held under Azerbaijan chairmanship play significant role in dissemination of the European values and in making Member-States more familiar with Azerbaijan."

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    Baku, October 24, AzerTAc

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    Busan, October 24, AzerTAc

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    Naval vessels and planes have been searching the Stockholm archipelago for the last week, amid suspicions a Russian submarine was in trouble there.

    Russia's defence ministry denied any of its ships were involved.

    The vessel, whatever it was, is now believed to have left Sweden's territorial waters.

    The Swedish operation was reported to have been the country's biggest military mobilisation since the Cold War.

    In a statement, the military said (in Swedish): "This means the bulk of ships and amphibious forces have returned to port." It added that some smaller units would remain in the area.

    Rear Admiral Anders Grenstad told reporters: "We assess that the [vessel] that violated our waters has now left."

    "It's the assessment of the defence forces that probably foreign underwater activity has taken place in Stockholm's inner archipelago," he said, calling any such activity within Swedish territory "unacceptable".

    The military believed at least one vessel was involved, he said, adding that it was probably not a large submarine, but "a small vessel".

    Hundreds of people were said to be involved in the search, that the military said was based on "several credible operations".

    Swedish officials had not said which country they thought was behind the "underwater activities", but there were widespread suspicions that the Russian navy was involved.

    Russian officials have repeatedly denied any involvement, with a defence ministry statement saying: "There have been no extraordinary, let alone emergency situations, involving Russian military vessels."
  • Queen sends first tweet
    24.10.2014 18:41
    Queen Elizabeth II has sent her first tweet '" and she's signed it "Elizabeth R."

    The 88-year-old monarch tried her hand at Twitter as she opened a new gallery in central London's Science Museum Friday.

    The queen removed a glove to type on a touchscreen tablet, writing "I hope people will enjoy visiting" the exhibition. She sent it through the official British monarchy account on the social media website, as some 600 guests looked on.

    Most members of the royal family do not tweet personally '" they are represented by official accounts managed by spokespeople.

    The gallery, called "Information Age," explores the technological breakthroughs that have changed communication.

    The queen was the first monarch to send an email
  • Shakira to release baby toys with Fisher-Price
    24.10.2014 18:23
    Shakira is partnering with Fisher-Price to launch a line of baby toys as well as a Web series for moms.

    The Mattel, Inc.-owned company announced Friday that the First Steps collection of toys and baby gear would be available in November. Shakira co-developed six products, including a bouncer that plays music, alphabet blocks and a musical soccer ball, an ode to her soccer-playing boyfriend Gerard Pique, who plays for FC Barcelona.

    All of the proceeds will benefit her Barefoot Foundation, which provides education and nutrition to children in impoverished areas of her native Colombia. Pre-order on Amazon for the products begins Monday.

    Geoff Walker, executive vice president of the Fisher-Price Global Brands Team, said in an interview Thursday that Shakira contacted the company about collaborating. The Grammy-winning singer, who is pregnant and is the mother of 21-month-old Milan, is the first celebrity Fisher-Price has partnered with.

    "She brings in both authenticity and emotion, and I think that's why this is such an exciting moment," Walker said.

    With her foundation, one of Shakira's main initiatives has been early childhood development, which attracted Fisher-Price to the global star, Walker said.

    "I saw how important developmental milestones are and how toys can help babies reach them - including with my own son," Shakira said in a statement. "I wanted to design a line of toys that stimulated development in the crucial early stages of life, the stages in which learning can be achieved through supervised play, fostering the development of psychological, social and motor skills."

    The 12-part Web series debuts Monday and targets millennials. Some of the episodes, three to five minutes long, will feature her son.

    Shakira is one of the most popular celebrities on social media. She is the first person to reach 100 million likes on Facebook.

    Walker said as a result of the collaboration, Fisher-Price would be open to more celebrity partnerships.

    "It's about finding an authentic mom that is relevant to the millennial crowd," he said.
  • SOCAR and "Rosneft" may build a refinery near Novorossiysk
    24.10.2014 18:19
    "Negotiations are underway."

    Azerbaijani SOCAR is in talks about participation in the construction of a refinery in the Kuban area of '‹'‹Novorossiysk.

    Oxu.Az reports that the statemeте came from the Energy Minister Natig Aliyev speaking to TASS.

    "Yes, we are interested. Negotiations are underway," he said answering the question.

    "Sechin (head of "Rosneft "- ed.) negotiated with the state oil company, but I don't have the information about the results," - he added.
  • France reclaims title as worldв's largest wine maker
    24.10.2014 18:03
    Baku, October 24 (AzerTAc). France has reclaimed its crown as world's biggest wine producer after a poor 2014 harvest saw Italy's wine production plunge 15 percent.

    French vignerons will produce around 46.2 million hectolitres of wine, about 6.16 billion bottles, this year, up 10 percent from a year earlier. Italy, whose winemakers have out-produced France's for the last two years, will produce 44.4 million hectolitres of wine in 2014, according to figures released Thursday by the Paris-based International Organization of Vine and Wine (OIV).

    Total world wine production is set to fall 6 percent this year to 271 million hectolitres. Spain, which leapfrogged France into second place in 2013, will see its wine production fall 19 percent this year to 37 million hectolitres, the organization said.

    In the United States, the world's fourth-largest wine maker, output fell four percent to 22.5 million hectolitres compared to last year after an earthquake in August and poor weather in September in California, OIV said.

    Large producers Bulgaria and Romania saw their output plunge by 30 percent and 20 percent year-on-year respectively, having suffered particularly adverse weather conditions.

    The OIV said total global wine production fell 6 percent to 271 million hectolitres in 2014 compared to 2013.
  • Bus drives off Nepal mountain road, 9 killed
    24.10.2014 18:02
    Police in Nepal say a bus crowded with people heading home for a Hindu festival has veered off a mountain highway, killing nine people and injuring dozens of others.

    Police are trying to identify the bodies and believe one might be a foreigner. They say 25 of those injured in the accident Friday have been hospitalized.

    The bus was carrying nearly 100 people who were heading home to celebrate the Diwali festival with their families.

    It drove about 100 meters (330 feet) off the road down a steep slope. Police were investigating the cause of the accident, which occurred about 50 kilometers (30 miles) west of the capital, Katmandu.

    Poor maintenance of roads and vehicles contributes to many accidents in mountainous Nepal.
  • Prince George and Harper Beckham- the most favourite celebrity children PHOTO
    24.10.2014 17:52
    Prince George and Harper Beckham have been crowned the nation's favourite children to have in a "fantasy family".

    When British families were asked to create the ultimate celebrity clan, the royal baby and David and Victoria Beckham's youngest were selected, with George winning 32 per cent of votes and Harper gaining 18 per cent.

    Football legend David and actor Colin Firth came neck to neck for the role of "dad" with 20 per cent, while Holly Willoughby, who gave birth to her third child last month, was the nation's choice for "mum" with 24 per cent of votes.

    Davina McCall, who is also a proud mum of three, followed behind with 16 per cent.

    As for "granny," Judi Dench pipped Mary Berry to the post scoring 32 per cent of votes against the star baker's 17 per cent.

    The online survey, completed by 2,050 adults, was organised by YouGov to coincide with the release of family comedy This Is Where I Leave You out in cinemas on 24 October.

    This is not the first time that baby George, who turned one last July, has topped national polls.

    Prince William and the Duchess of Cambridge's firstborn was hailed as the most influential tot of his time by George, who had been making headlines for his heart-warming appearances, was on his first overseas tour to Australia and New Zealand at the time of the survey.

    Shortly after his birthday, the royal baby was also styled as the celebrity toddler with the best hair in a survey carried out by, beating Blue Ivy Carter and North West to the top spot.
  • Georgia concerned over Russia-Abkhazia treaty
    24.10.2014 17:44

    By Mushvig Mehdiyev

    Georgia is concerned over a draft alliance treaty between Russia and the separatist Abkhazia, Georgian Foreign Minister's Senior Deputy Davit Zalkaliani reiterated during a meeting with the OSCE's Special Representative and Co-Chair of the Geneva talks, Angelo Gnaedinger.

    "Russia's such actions will be regarded as the next step to annex Georgia's territory," Zalkaliani noted.

    The parties talked about the importance of continuing a constructive dialogue on the agenda issues and outcomes of the Geneva talks' last round, which took place on October 8.

    The issues on the agenda were mainly related to the non-use of force, establishment of international security arrangements in the occupied districts, as well as the return of refugees to their homes.The meeting attendees noted that the results of the Russia-Abkhazia draft agreement will hamper progress on specific issues envisaged in the Geneva talks. They also stressed the possible threats to the security of Georgia and the whole region after the signing of agreement.

    The draft of "Treaty between the Russian Federation and Abkhazia on the alliance and integration" was prepared and sent to the so-called parliament of Abkhazia by Russia on October 13.

    The draft says the "introduction of a coordinated foreign policy, formation of a common space of security and defense, creation of a united social and economic space, preservation of the common cultural and humanitarian space are the main areas of cooperation, integration and partnership."

    Geneva International Discussions was first held in 2008 based on agreements reached after the war in Georgia, in August 2008.

    On the night of August 8, 2008, Georgia launches military actions were launched in the territory of Georgia's South Ossetia. The Russian forces later seized the city and repelled the Georgian military. Russia recognized the independence of South Ossetia and Abkhazia in late August. Tbilisi has strictly condemned Russia's actions and broke off diplomatic relations with Moscow to recognize Abkazia and South Ossetia as occupied territories.
  • Azerbaijani Embassy in Ottawa offers condolences to Canadian people
    24.10.2014 17:43
    The Azerbaijani Embassy in Ottawa offers condolences to Canadian people.

    The Embassy of Azerbaijan offers their sincere condolences to the Canadian Armed Forces, the Canadian Government and the Canadian people for their loss of two Canadian soldiers, the Embassy posted on its official Facebook page, APA reports.

    "Our thoughts and prayers go out to the families of those soldiers, and to all those who were wounded and affected by this tragedy", said the message of condolences.

    On October 22, a gunman shot and wounded a soldier at the National War Memorial in Ottawa and then entered the country's parliament buildings chased by police. Two soldiers were killed. Parliament was locked down and Prime Minister Stephen Harper had left the building safely as police converged on the area.

    The gunman was killed by police.
  • Nearly 20 millionaires in Armenia's National Assembly
    24.10.2014 17:25

    By Mushvig Mehdiyev

    The latest income and property declarations submitted by members of the legislative body in Armenia have revealed that nearly 20 members of the National Assembly are millionaires, local 168 Zham newspaper reported.

    Nine of the fortune hunter MPs are reportedly members of the ruling Republican Party's parliamentary faction. Another nine wealthy legislators represent the opposition Prosperous Armenia party. Only one member of parliament, Arayik Grigoryan, appears to be non-partisan.

    Armenia's constitution unambiguously prohibits the MPs and civil servants to be engaged in business activities. But the state officials in the post-Soviet country have violated the law with their overt and covert fortunes.

    The declarations disclosed that Armenian MPs owned about $172,7 million altogether as of late 2013. However, the current figure claims that the legislators' total income increased by $62.4 million or 40 percent to reach $235 million since last year.

    Local media noted that the Prosperous Armenia is the richest parliamentary faction with around $163.6 million total income of its lawmakers. The party's Leader, Gagik Tsarukyan, one of the wealthiest oligarchs in Armenia, is the National Assembly's top richest lawmaker with an income of about $134.2 million.

    Online map Wikimapia posted the location of a huge mansion which reportedly belongs to Tsarukyan, a rich civil servant with the pseudonym of "Dodi Gogo". The enormous asset on the Sevan-Yerevan highway hosts exotic plants and animals, even lions in its yard. Multi Group, a company of over 40 small and large businesses is also owned by Tsarukyan.

    Armenia's another MP Samvel Aleksanyan is also ranked among the richest legislators in the poor country of the Caucasus. Hetq, a partner of the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project, reported Aleksanyan's ownership of Yerevan City supermarkets chain in the capital city. Moreover, the Aleks Grig company, which controls 99 percent of the sugar imports to Armenia belongs to the fortune hunter MP.

    The latest reports in Armenian media revealed that not only the members of parliament but also its leadership possess huge fortunes. Parliament's Deputy Speaker, Armine Nagdalyan is reportedly the richest woman civil servant in the former Soviet state. Local newspaper Zoghovurd has earlier stated that a $1.1 million agreement on the construction of a road in Armenia was signed between the Transport Ministry and Sisian BUAT company. The paper claimed that the mentioned company belongs to the deputy speaker. While the business activity is banned for civil servants in Armenia, Nagdalyan has "bravely" confessed that she is the sole owner the company.

    Besides that, an Armenian diaspora organization "Stop Corruption in Armenia" in the U.S. has claimed that Nagdalyan and her husband could make off about $1 billion from the state budget to purchase a great number of mansions in different countries.

    The weakening economic abilities of Armenia plays a dual role to shatter the resident's life and at the same time to prosper the oligarch statesmen's wealth. As the above reports show, the monopolistic tendency in Armenia's economy waters the mills of civil servants, in particular.

    The Global Competitiveness Report 2014 has shed light to the widespread monopoly in Armenia that is mostly controlled by the oligarch state officials. The report ranked Armenia 105th out of 144 countries for the effectiveness of antitrust policy.
  • At least 15 ISIL militants killed in Iraq
    24.10.2014 17:24
    At least 15militants from the Islamic State ofIraq and the Levant were killed Fridayin the western Iraqi province of AlAnbar, district authorities said.

    Inclashes between the militants and the Iraqi security forces, 15 others were wounded,Mahmood Shakir, regional parliament speaker of the Al Amiriyah district inFallujahtold Anadolu Agency.

    The army destroyed an ISILarmored vehicle and a tank.

    Shakir said the Iraqi security forces had succeeded in repulsing an ISIL attack, and that theyinflicted huge losses on their enemy with the help ofpeshmerga forces.

    The Iraqi army and Kurdish peshmerga forces are fighting the ISIL militants in Iraq since midJune, when the extremist group took control of Mosul, the second largest city in the country.

    The U.S. is leading an international coalition, including France, Germany, and Saudi Arabia, that carries outairstrikes on ISIL targets in Iraq and Syria where militantscontrol large swathes of territory.

    According to the UN, an estimated 1.8 million citizens have been driven from their homes this year inIraq because of the conflict.
  • Merkel: Lifting sanctions against Russia unnecessary
    24.10.2014 17:13
    German Chancellor Angela Merkel said Friday that lifting sanctions against Russia was unnecessary.

    "We do not find it necessary to speak about lifting sanctions against Russia," Merkel said on the sidelines of the European Summit in Brussels, as quoted by Deutsche Welle, RIA Novosti reports.

    The German chancellor explained her position by citing the fact that the Minsk agreements have not been fully implemented. In particular, ceasefire is not observed in eastern Ukraine.

    On September 19, representatives from Russia, Ukraine, the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Luhansk people's republics and the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) formulated a memorandum of nine provisions to regulate the implementation of a ceasefire agreement between Kiev and independence supporters in eastern Ukraine reached during the previous talks of the so-called Contact Group in Minsk on September 5. Since then, both the Kiev forces and independence fighters have been accusing each other of violating the truce.
  • Azerbaijani banks to increase minimum capital by year-end
    24.10.2014 16:58

    By Aynur Jafarova

    By the end of 2014, the Azerbaijani banks, which control about 99 percent of total assets of the country will meet the requirements of the Central Bank of Azerbaijan (CBA) to increase their minimum total capital to 50 million manats, CBA Director General Rashad Orujov said on October 24.

    "Currently, the adequacy of capital of the sector is 18 percent, which exceeds the CBA standard by 6 percentage points, and 2.25 times the requirements of the Basel Committee. This shows that the financial stability of the banking sector is expanding the lending capacity of the banks. The credit adequacy, in turn, would increase the transmission capacity of banks and provides an additional opportunity to issue more loans," he toldВ TrendВ Agency.

    Orujov also said the capitalization of the banking sector have increased by 80 percent in Azerbaijan over the last two years.

    "Since the announcement of the new requirements for the minimum volume of total capital - [End of July 2012], the total capital of the banking system has increased by 1.7 billion manats. Almost a growth at the level of 80 percent - from 2.1 billion manats to 3.8 billion manats - has been achieved in the past two years. Prior to this, the banks spent six years to increase their capital by 1.7 billion manats," he added.

    At present, the capital of nine banks exceeds 100 million manats, while the assets of nine private banks amount to $1 billion. In 2000, the assets of all banking system were in the amount of $1 billion.

    "This creates an environment for serious competition and the possibilities to get access to foreign capital markets," Orujov stressed.

    Touching upon the remaining banks, which can not be capitalized until the end of the year, the CBA official said they have no deposits of the population, because they do not have permission to attract deposits.

    "These banks bear any threat neither for the population, nor the creditors, which is very important. We have reduced the risks of these banks and there is no threat to the population," he noted.

    The CBA considers various options for these banks: they can join each other, while some of them are still looking for additional opportunities to capitalization.

    The most important issue in this regard is that the CBA has achieved its strategic goal and in terms of capitalization the banking system of the country has almost doubled. CBA is not considering further increase of capital requirements of banks.

    There are 44 banks in Azerbaijan: 43 commercial banks and one state-owned bank. There are 22 banks with foreign capital. The share of foreign capital ranges from 50 to 100 percent in seven of them, while up to 50 percent in 13 banks. There are also two local branches of foreign banks.

    The capitalization of Azerbaijan's banking sector amounted to 3.749.4 billion manats as of September 1, 2014.
  • Albania penalized with technical defeat
    24.10.2014 16:58
    The Albanian national football squad was penalized with a technical defeat in the 2016 Euro Cup qualifier against Serbia in Belgrade on October 14, when the match was stopped due to the erupted scuffle involving players from both teams and their fans, the Football Association of Serbia (FSS) reported on Friday.

    The Serbian team was ordered to play its two next home qualifiers for the 2016 Euro Cup in France in anempty stadium and was also deprived of three points in its qualification group.

    Both football associations of Serbia and Albania were also ordered by the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) to pay €100,000($126,500) each in fines.

    The Group I match on October 14 at the Partizan Stadium in Belgrade was stopped shortly before the half-time break as the match plunged into chaos when a drone flying a pro-Albania banner hovered over the stadiumв's pitch.

    Chaos escalated after Serbia defender Stefan Mitrovic tore down the banner from the drone and players from both teams entered in a brawl, while various objects were cast at them from the spectatorsв' stands and subsequently numerous fans broke through security cordons invading the pitch and joining the melee.

    Next day after the match UEFA said in its statement,''Disciplinary proceedings have been opened against the Football Association of Serbia (FSS) for the setting off/throwing of fireworks and missiles, crowd disturbance, field invasion by supporters, insufficient organization and use of a laser pointer.''

    ''Proceedings have also been opened against the Football Association of Albania (FShF) for refusing to play and the display of an illicit banner,'' the statement added.
  • Iran ready to co-op with regional states in fighting terrorism
    24.10.2014 16:58
    Iran is ready to cooperate with Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Egypt and other countries of the region in fighting against terrorism, Fars news agency quoted Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian as saying on Oct.24.

    The deputy minister said the leading countries of the region should realize the current situation in the region and play a constructive and effective role in resolving the problems in this difficult period.

    Abdollahian added that Iran supports Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Yemen in their fight against the terrorist actions targeting Shiites, Sunnis and Christians.

  • CIS to create interstate system of space monitoring of emergencies
    24.10.2014 16:39

    By Nigar Orujova

    The CIS states will create an interstate system of space monitoring of emergencies and inter-regional satellite communication system in the interests of the Commonwealth countries-participants, the Russian Space Agency reported to TASS news agency.

    The decision was taken on the results of the meeting of representatives of the executive authorities of the CIS countries on cooperation issues in the field of space activities.

    "The protocol of the meeting included decisions on all issues on the agenda of the event: the creation of the new legal framework of the multilateral cooperation, the need to integrate terrestrial infrastructures, which use GLONASS signal, the issue of accession of the CIS countries to the International Charter on Space and Major Disasters," the Agency said.

    The participants also agreed to develop a draft agreement on the establishment of an international intergovernmental research organization "Joint Institute for Space Research," as well as to create a unified system of satellite monitoring of agricultural lands of the CIS countries.

    "Responsible executors were appointed for each item of the protocol," the Agency said. "Federal Space Agency will be the coordinator for the implementation of decisions taken at the meeting during the year."

    The next meeting of the representatives of the executive authorities of CIS member states on cooperation issues in the space sector will be held in Minsk in 2015.

    Azerbaijan became a member of the space club by launching its own satellite into orbit in February 2013. Azerspace-1 telecommunication satellite covers Eastern Europe, the Caucasus, Central Asia and North Africa. The second satellite is scheduled to be launched in 2017.

    The country is also considering using Azerspace-1 satellite for the transmission of telemetry data from seismic stations over the territory of the country.
  • Baku to amaze racers, spectaculars of F1
    24.10.2014 16:34

    By Nigar Orujova

    Baku, the city with a love for high speed, will host one of the most captivating and still very adventurous routes of the Formula One European Grand Prix in 2016.

    Formula 1, the world's most prestigious motor racing competition, is also the world's most popular annual sporting series. The F1 Grand Prix will once again prove the world that Azerbaijan is a perfect venue for the planet's highest profile sports and entertainment events.

    The capital city has recently hosted V1 Challenge Azerbaijan race, and will soon be home for the Baku World Challenge. The rising interest of the local population to these already traditional competitions is significant. However, the new Baku European Grand Prix street circuit will attract attention not only of Baku residents, but also of all Europe.

    The length of the route in Baku will be 6 km with 8 turns to right and 12 to left. The speed on the track will reach 340 km/h.

    Baku wants to hold a track that would showcase the best scenes of the city. The circuit the F1 teams will race on in 2016 is created by German Tilke Engineering Company.

    Tilke Engineering has recently presented the layout for city's route, and it is simply amazing. It will show the world the modern and old Baku, interconnected by breathtaking whirls.

    Non-permanent F1 street circuit will spread around the old town of Baku and along the seaside promenade will lead to the Government House. The square opposite will host the paddock with its temporary structures for the pit building, team buildings, media and medical center.

    The route will consist of an extremely narrow uphill section at the old town wall that will reward pinpoint accuracy and courage, and an acceleration section of almost 2.2kms along the promenade, which will see the cars running flat out at very high top speeds. All these are expected to create an incredible spectacle for the race fans on track and the viewers at home.

    The street circuits present a number of challenges, in terms of circuit design, but the company has been able to incorporate some unique features that will provide the teams and fans with fascinating racing. However, the engineers of the Formula 1 teams will surely scratch their head over trying to find a compromise in the settings of the car for such a bifacial track.

    Tilke Engineering said: "We are absolutely thrilled about the project; it is a very challenging street circuit in terms of engineering and design."

    F1 entered into 9-years contract with Baku, the latest addition to the Formula One calendar.

    Tilke's layout in Baku will help the Grand Prix in Baku quickly establish itself as one of the most exciting and thrilling venues on the F1 calendar and one that the fans and teams alike are excited about, as Hermann Tilke is famous for his street routes in Malaysia, Bahrain, China, Turkey, Singapore, Spain and others.
  • Kyrgyzstan to open embassy in Azerbaijan
    24.10.2014 16:34
    President of Kyrgyzstan Almazbek Atambayev has signed an order to open embassy in Azerbaijan, APA reports quoting Kyrgyz media.

    According to the order, the main purpose of the embassy is to contribute to the development of political, economic, trade, cultural and humanitarian relations between Kyrgyzstan and Azerbaijan.

    The Kyrgyz Government is to solve organizing and financial issues.
  • Zuckerberg speaks Mandarin
    24.10.2014 16:23
    China may ban Facebook, but not its co-founder Mark Zuckerberg. The young billionaire delighted an audience of students at a prestigious Beijing university this week with a 30-minute chat in his recently learned Mandarin Chinese.

    He made no explicit mention of China's ban on the social media giant, but an indirect reference to it drew laughter during the question-and-answer session Wednesday at Tsinghua University. Zuckerberg, whose company has long sought to enter China, noted Facebook already helps some Chinese companies in foreign markets, citing computer maker Lenovo's ads on Facebook in India.

    "Speaking of China, I have a more difficult question for Mark, which I hope will not get me fired. What are Facebook's plans in China?'' asked the forum facilitator and Facebook employee Wei Xiaoliang, to the laughter and applause from the audience.

    "We are already in China,'' Zuckerberg said in Chinese, to more laughter. "We help Chinese companies gain customers abroad,'' he said. "We want to help the rest of the world connect to China.''
  • EU attaches importance to Nagorno-Karabakh conflict resolution
    24.10.2014 16:13

    By Sara Rajabova

    The European Union attaches a particular importance to finding a solution to the Armenian-Azerbaijani Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.

    EU Special Representative for the South Caucasus Herbert Salber made the remark a meeting with Chairman of "Azerbaijani Community of Nagorno-Karabakh" Public Union Bayram Safarov in Baku on October 23, AzerTag news agency reported.

    "Settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict is very important for the European Union," Salber said, noting that the EU backs an immediate and peaceful settlement of the dispute.

    Safarov, for his part, expressed regret that "international organizations have taken a double standard approach towards Azerbaijan's problem."

    "Unfortunately, the organizations which must show a resolute position on the settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict have remained silent and taken a double standard approach towards it," he noted.

    Safarov said the conflict must be settled only in compliance with international legal norms and within Azerbaijan`s territorial integrity.

    "So we expect the European Union and other international organizations to show their determination in his regard. Azerbaijan supports peace and we want peace in Azerbaijan, in the South Caucasus and the whole world," Safarov said.

    He also stressed the need for close involvement of the European Union in the settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.

    "Building an EU-supported dialogue between the communities, ensuring active participation of the parties in programs and projects of the organization is important in terms of solving the conflict," Safarov added.

    European Parliament in 2013 adopted a resolution which confirmed that Armenian troops have occupied Azerbaijani territories and called for resolving the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict on the basis of UN Security Council resolutions and the L'Aquila statement of the mediating countries' leaders in 2009.

    According to changes to the resolution, the European parliament recalled its position that the occupation of the territory of an Eastern Partnership member by another member state violates the fundamental principles and objectives of the EU program.

    For over two decades, Azerbaijan and Armenia have been locked in conflict which emerged over Armenia's territorial claims against its South Caucasus neighbor. Since a war in the early 1990s, Armenian armed forces have occupied 20 percent of Azerbaijan's territory, including Nagorno-Karabakh and seven surrounding regions. A fragile ceasefire has been in place since 1994, but long-standing efforts by U.S., Russian and French mediators have been largely fruitless so far. Armenia has not yet implemented the U.N. Security Council's four resolutions on its pullout from the neighboring country's territories.
  • Metro to be built in Khirdalan
    24.10.2014 16:08
    The laying of new railway lines is envisaged.

    With the development of the underground network, first of all a line to Khirdalan will be laid

    Oxu.Az reports citing that the statement from the head of the department of international relations and to the Committee on Urban Planning and Architecture Jahangir Gojayev.

    According to him, the Regional Development Plan of Greater Baku provides for rehabilitation of railways, construction of new railway lines. The plan also provides for the expansion of the Baku Metro.

    "In 2015-2030 period new subway lines, railways and high-speed roads will be constructed. The construction of a multi-lane ring road around Baku, the transfer of seaport from Baku to Alat, the project Baku White City, as well as the construction of the Olympic Village in the territory Beyuk Shor have already been started," J.Gojayev said.
  • Prison terms of Leyla Yunus and Intigam Aliyev extended
    24.10.2014 16:07
    Nasimi District Court has today considered appeals submitted by an investigative agency on extension of the prison terms of Leyla Yunus, director of the Institute for Peace and Democracy, and lawyer Intigam Aliyev.

    The court passed judgments to extend Leyla Yunus's prison term to 4 months and Intigam Aliyev - to 3 months, lawyer Javad Javadov told APA.

    Later on, the court rejected the lawyers' petitions to commute the defendants' imprisonment to home arrest.

    Javadov said during the hearing, Intigam Aliyev's health deteriorated and he was taken to the detention facility by car.

    Leyla Yunus faced charges under articles No 274, 178.3.2, 192.2.2, 213.2.2 320.1, 320.w and Intigam Aliyev - articles No 213.1, 308.2 and 192.2.
  • Azerbaijanв's northern region marks juicy Apple Feast
    24.10.2014 15:55

    By Amina Nazarli

    The third annual Apple Festival was held at a culture and recreation park named after Heydar Aliyev in Azerbaijan's northern region of Guba on October 22.

    The heads of regions' executive bodies, intellectuals, MPs, Guba businessmen living abroad, as well as more than 100 foreign visitors had been invited to the event.

    A parade of Azerbaijani three-colored flag, held during the event thrilled up the visitors.

    Different products reflecting national traditions in Azerbaijan were displayed and various sweets, cocktails and drinks made of apples were presented to the event participants.

    Stands featuring folklore, cuisine and the lifestyle of minorities living in the region particularly attracted the attention of foreign nationals.

    Guba Tourism Information Center's members also took part in the event, where several prizes were presented to the guests of the feast.

    The feast concluded with a concert of popular artists.

    No accident that Guba people annually celebrate this juicy and flavor festival. Guba is the edge of apple aroma. The region is often called as "apple orchard" because of the great varieties of apples that grow only there.

    The people of Guba claim that there are more than 40 different varieties of apples there, which have turned into the symbol of the city.

    Guba , being one of the major cities in Azerbaijan, is one of the favorite places of tourists , who come here to admire the magnificent mountains, forests and canyon of this picturesque region. Indeed, the sceneries of Guba are hard to describe with words. It seems the nature has collected there the brightest colors: juicy greens of the alpine meadows, white snow caps, rapid transparent-blue mountain rivers.
  • Russia still has troops in Ukraine: NATO
    24.10.2014 15:55
    Russia still has some troops in eastern Ukraine and retains a very capable force on the border despite a partial withdrawal, NATO's top military commander said on Friday.

    "We've seen a pretty good withdrawal of the Russian forces from inside Ukraine but, make no mistake, there remain Russian forces inside eastern Ukraine," U.S. Air Force General Philip Breedlove told reporters at NATO's military headquarters near Mons in Belgium.

    Some Russian troops stationed near the Ukraine border had left and some others appeared to be preparing to leave "but the force that remains and shows no indications of leaving is still a very, very capable force and remains a coercive capability to the nation of Ukraine," he said.
  • Expert-level nuclear talks useful: Iran official
    24.10.2014 15:42
    Head of Iranв's delegation at expert-level nuclear talks in Vienna says representatives of the Islamic Republic and the P5 1 group conducted two days of useful, explicit negotiations.

    Hamid Ba'eedinejad, who also serves as the Iranian Foreign Ministry's director general for political and international affairs, said the two sides held intensive talks in the Austrian capital to find final solutions to some topics of discussion, Press TV reports.

    The P5 1 expert-level delegation was headed by Stephen Clement, an aide to the European Union's foreign policy chief, Catherine Ashton.

    The Iranian diplomat noted that the expert-level delegations will report on their talks to senior nuclear negotiators of Iran and the six countries - the United States, France, Britain, Russia, China and Germany.

    On Wednesday, two rounds of expert-level negotiations were held on the level of uranium enrichment by Iran, the mechanism for removing sanctions imposed on the Islamic Republic, the length of a final deal over Iran's nuclear energy program and various ideas put forth during political negotiations.

    The talks on Thursday were held to delve into the two side's differences with the aim of achieving a common understanding between Tehran and the P5 1 group to lay the groundwork for a comprehensive deal.

    Sources close to the Iranian negotiating team say the main stumbling block in the way of resolving the Western dispute over Iran's nuclear energy program remains to be the removal of all the bans slapped on the Islamic Republic and not the number of centrifuges or the level of uranium enrichment.

    Tehran wants the sanctions entirely lifted while Washington, under pressure from the pro-Israeli lobby, insists that at least the UN-imposed sanctions should remain in place.
  • Azerbaijan receives first call from Hajj pilgrims on Ebola virus
    24.10.2014 15:35
    Azerbaijanв's Health Ministry has received the first call from people returning from Hajj, the annual pilgrimage of Muslims to the city of Mecca, on the Ebola virus.

    Yesterday one of the Hajj pilgrims appealed to the Republican Anti-Plague Station to pass medical examination due to the Ebola virus. Deputy Director of the Republican Anti-Plague Station of the Azerbaijani Health Ministry Shair Gurbanov told APA that the Sumgayit resident first called the hot line and then kept in touch directly with him.

    "The pilgrim said to me that he heard about the Ebola virus and wants to be examined. He was said that he must go to the local polyclinic and will be supervised within 21 days. He was also told that not every person with high temperature is considered to be infected with the virus. Since it is winter, people may catch cold and have fever. In these cases, he must consult a doctor.

    Gurbanov noted that the pilgrim had no health problems, he only wanted to be examined after returning from Hajj.

    "Other pilgrims can go to policlinics to be examined. Ebola's incubation period is 21 days. Symptoms may appear within 21 days after exposure to Ebola," he said.

    Spokesman for the Heath Ministry, Anar Gadirli told APA that the pilgrims may be infected with various diseases, as they changed their climate and foods.

    Gadirli also added that it is normal: "There are diseases endemic in Saudi Arabia, so infections there are inevitable. After returning, not all of them consulted local doctors. They can consult individually, feeling any discomfort."
  • North Korea closes its borders because of Ebola
    24.10.2014 15:30
    North Korea has closed its borders to protect itself from the Ebola outbreak, a travel agent specialising in tours of the secretive nation has said.

    All foreign tourists will be banned from visiting the reclusive state from tomorrow in an attempt to stop the deadly virus from reaching the country.

    Koryo Tours posted an announcement on its Twitter and Facebook pages, saying it had been told that no foreign tourists would be allowed to cross North Korea's heavily-guarded borders

    Tourists will be banned from entering North Korea from tomorrow as the country seeks to protect itself from the Ebola virus, a travel agent specialising in trips to the country said (file picture)

    Despite the secretive nature of North Korea, around 2,600 people visit the country each year.

    However, this figure is likely to drop because of the border closure, which could last for months.

    The measures do not appear to be a blanket ban on travel to North Korea, Beijing-based Koryo Tours said, with business trips likely to still go ahead.

    Nick Bonner, the company's co-founder, said: 'The situation seems to still be in flux, and while the early news from our partners in Pyongyang was that all tourists would be barred from entering, we are still hopeful of taking in three groups we have scheduled to travel for the rest of 2014.'

    Officials in Pyongyang did not comment, however the state's news agency KCNA said today that no cases of Ebola has been detected in the country.

    Visitors and luggage have been subject to stricter monitoring at airports, seaports and border railway crossings to China in recent days.

    Efforts have also been made to increase public awareness of the killer virus and its symptoms. North Korean television news on Wednesday eveningshowed a video of Ebola patients and explained the dangers of the disease.

    The move by Kim Jong-un's government makes North Korea the first country to close off its borders because of the Ebola outbreak.

    The country similarly closed its borders after the SARS scare in eastern Asia in 2003.

    The World Health Organisation says that least 4,877 people have died from Ebola this year, with nearly 10,000 cases recorded, but the true toll could be three times higher
  • Azerbaijan-Lithuania trade turnover doubled
    24.10.2014 15:19

    By Nigar Orujova

    The trade turnover between Azerbaijan and Lithuania increased by 1.9 times, Taxes Minister, Fazil Mammadov said at the fourth meeting of the Azerbaijani-Lithuanian intergovernmental commission on economic cooperation in Shamkir on October 22.

    Mammadov, co-chair of the intergovernmental commission on the Azerbaijani side, praised the successful development of relations between the two countries, stressing the importance of the commission's activities to expand economic cooperation between Azerbaijan and Lithuania.

    "The trade turnover between the two countries amounted to $25.1 million in January and June 2014, which is 1.9 times more compared to the same period of the previous year," he added.

    The minister said Azerbaijan and Lithuania further expanded bilateral ties through numerous meetings, visits and events involving the public and government agencies, as well as representatives of business circles after the previous session.

    "Cooperation is especially intensively developing in the field of culture, tourism, youth and sports. Lithuanian experts actively involved in the twinning project to strengthen the capacity of Azerbaijan tourism, funded by the EU, carried out an extensive exchange of experience concerning the establishment and management of tourist areas," Mammadov noticed.

    He also highlighted the fact that the agreement on simplification of visa regime between Azerbaijan and the EU was signed at the summit of "Eastern Partnership" in Vilnius, Lithuania, during the presidency of Lithuania in the EU.

    Lithuanian Foreign Affairs Minister Linas Linkevicius, Co-chairman of the Lithuanian side, expressed satisfaction with the development of relations between the two countries and welcomed the role of the intergovernmental commission in it.

    He noted the great potential of bilateral relations, the deepening of economic cooperation and cooperation in other areas.

    The meeting discussed the prospects of bilateral relations, the development of the related legal framework, cooperation in energy, agriculture, environment, science and education, culture and tourism, ICT and other areas, as well as cooperation between the regions of Lithuania and Azerbaijan.

    The meeting was followed with signing of an intergovernmental protocol.

    At the meeting, eighth Azerbaijani-Lithuanian business forum was also held attended by about 70 businessmen from both sides.

    During the event, Fazil Mammadov talked about the investment climate in Azerbaijan and its macroeconomic stability and economic development.

    He also encouraged Lithuanian businessmen to cooperate with Azerbaijani counterparts.

    In his turn, Linas Linkevicius noted that such forums have turned into a tradition over the past years.

    "Despite the fact that there is a long distance between Azerbaijan and Lithuania from the geographic point of view, this does not prevent closer cooperation and signing of new partnership agreements is an indication of the parties' interest in mutual investment," he said.

    He also praised the work of the intergovernmental commission in support of business priorities in the relations between the two countries at the government level.

    The forum was also marked with presentation of the participants, as well as Azerbaijan Export and Investment Promotion Fund.

    The event ended with bilateral meetings.

    Earlier, at the meeting with Azerbaijan's Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov, Linkevicius described Azerbaijan as his country's main trade partner in the South Caucasus.

    The Lithuanian side also highlighted the cooperation with the European Union as part of the Eastern Partnership initiative. He said official Vilnius is ready to contribute to the development of Azerbaijan's relations with the EU.
  • Romania intends to receive Azeri gas through Bulgaria
    24.10.2014 14:58
    This route can be a part of the "Southern Gas Corridor".

    Romanian Transgaz interested in receiving gas from Azerbaijan via Bulgaria for its further sales in Europe.

    Oxu.Az reports citing that according to Bulgarian media the statement came from the Member of the Management Board of the company Bogdan Iliescu.

    Iliescu said that after the construction of gas jumpers Bulgaria-Greece and Bulgaria, Romania, they can transport the natural gas from the Trans Adriatic Pipeline (TAP), through which the Azerbaijani gas is transported.

    "The gas can reach Romania through Bulgaria, and then - through the Romanian gas jumper - to Hungary and to reach the European market in Austria," he said.

    The Romanian company believes that this route can become part of the "Southern Gas Corridor", in which Europe will receive natural gas from the Caspian region.

    TAP project is designed to transport natural gas from the Shah Deniz field in the "Stage 2" through Greece and Albania to Western Europe. Capacity of the pipeline is 10 bn cubic meters per year, expandable to 20 bn cubic meters, depending on the demand. Azerbaijani gas supplies to TAP expected since 2019.
  • Man crawls for 3 days after car smash
    24.10.2014 14:50
    A British woman has died under anesthesia during a cosmetic procedure by an uncertified surgeon at a clinic in Thailand's capital, authorities said Friday.

    The 24-year-old patient stopped breathing after receiving an anesthetic during the operation Thursday night, said Boonruang Triruangworawat, director-general of the Health Service Support Department.

    Authorities said the woman, whose name was withheld, had undergone cosmetic surgery at the same clinic earlier this month but was unsatisfied with the results, and was having a corrective operation when she died.

    Sompob Sansiri, the doctor who performed the operations, was not certified for cosmetic surgery, Boonruang said.

    "There was an attempt to resuscitate her but ultimately she did not survive," he said. "We are looking into why it happened."

    Police arrested Sompob and pressed charges of causing death by reckless endangerment, said Maj. Gen. Ittipol Piriyapinyo, deputy chief of Bangkok police. Sompob is likely to face additional charges relating to illegal medical surgery from the Health Service Support Department.

    Boonruang said the clinic will be shut for 60 days.

    Thailand is known for affordable cosmetic procedures, but there have been several deaths from botched surgeries at unapproved clinics.
  • Azerbaijan actively fighting human trafficking
    24.10.2014 14:49

    By Mushvig Mehdiyev

    More than $150 billion is earned from human trafficking in our days. The problematic field, which is predicted to be the third most profitable business, is inflicting damages to many families worldwide, Renate Held, International Organization for Migration's Regional Director on Eastern and South-Eastern Europe and Central Asia, said in Baku on October 22.

    Addressing the opening ceremony of the information campaign "The two little girls" organized jointly by Azerbaijan, Great Britain and IOM, she noted that the IOM is combating the human trafficking by implementing over 100 projects,В TrendВ reports.

    She said IOM has also helped more than 65,000 families, women and children victims of the human trafficking so far. The organization is also working on public awareness and organizing the protection of the victims.

    About 23 criminal cases have been filed for 104 human trafficking reports in Azerbaijan in the first nine months of 2014, including 97 cases with direct link to the trade in humans, Imran Najafov, Deputy Head of Department for Combating the Human Trafficking, said addressing the event.

    Najafov noted that 16 women and 5 men have been held liable for the criminal actions connected to the human trafficking and forced labor. Meanwhile, about 50 victims were recognized and 8 groups engaged in human trafficking were neutralized.

    Moreover, 7 out of the 23 wanted people engaged in human trafficking were arrested and delivered to judicial bodies.

    Najafov said about 33 of the victims were transmitted to Turkey, 8 to Russia and 6 to the United Arab Emirates.

    "As a result of our close ties with the law enforcement bodies of other countries, around 580 cases of human trafficking and forced labor have been registered. Meanwhile, 385 people were held liable and 157 criminal groups and organized gangs were neutralized in Azerbaijan over the past ten years," Najafov stressed.

    He went on saying that about 274 seminars dedicated to the human trafficking have been held in the cities and regions of Azerbaijan. Meanwhile, the Council on State Support for NGOs has financed 33 projects and allocated nearly $294,000 to the activities in this field.

    "Challenges of human trafficking are currently actual all over the world and Azerbaijan, as a leading country in the region, is actively fighting against it. We joined the relevant international conventions and adopted the first National Action Plan in 2004. The third consecutive action plan covering the years of 2014-2018 is currently being implemented in the country," Najafov said.

    IOM representative in Azerbaijan, Serkhan Aktopark, in turn, said the human trafficking is an actual problem in the whole world and the fight against it should be continuous.

    British Ambassador to Azerbaijan, Irfan Siddig said the movie "The two little girls" was screened in many European countries. He expressed his hope that the presented campaign will have positive effects on Azerbaijan.

    The mentioned campaign against human trafficking started in 2009 and will last until 2015. Several leading British charity organizations including Comic Relief and Tudor Trust support the campaign.

    The film "The two little girls" will be screened in local X?z?r TV. IOM will organize several events jointly with the Red Crescent Society of Azerbaijan to talk on the movie's main themes.

    Human trafficking is among the most dangerous challenges facing the modern world. Illegal trade in humans brings astronomical profits to make the business more attractive.

    Havoscope, the Global Black Market Information source posted the price list of the people trafficked in different countries. For instance, traffickers sell the children in Iraq for $300 and $5,500. Woman from Moldova are sold for $2,650. If one wants a girl from Brazil, he has to pay about $5,000 or $10,000. Babies from the North Caucasus and Russia cost at $17,500. The most expensive victims of human trafficking are in Rome which are sold for $270,000.
  • Details of upcoming presidential meeting come out
    24.10.2014 14:49
    The meeting of the presidents of Azerbaijan, Armenia and France will be held on October 27 in the Г‰lysГ©e Palace, APA reports citing Agence France-Presse (AFB).

    The goal of the meeting is to provide the dialogue of the two sides on the issue of the Nagorno Karabakh conflict regulation after the tension registered two months ago.

    Besides the trilateral meeting, French President Francois Hollande will hold separate meetings with President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev and President of Armenia Serzh Sargsyan.

    Within the frameworks of the visit, the meeting of the Presidents with OSCE Minsk Group American, Russian and French co-chairs will be held as well.

    Dinner is expected to give in honor of the presidents of the three countries.
  • British woman dies during Thai cosmetic surgery
    24.10.2014 14:40
    A British woman has died under anesthesia during a cosmetic procedure by an uncertified surgeon at a clinic in Thailand's capital, authorities said Friday.

    The 24-year-old patient stopped breathing after receiving an anesthetic during the operation Thursday night, said Boonruang Triruangworawat, director-general of the Health Service Support Department.

    Authorities said the woman, whose name was withheld, had undergone cosmetic surgery at the same clinic earlier this month but was unsatisfied with the results, and was having a corrective operation when she died.

    Sompob Sansiri, the doctor who performed the operations, was not certified for cosmetic surgery, Boonruang said.

    "There was an attempt to resuscitate her but ultimately she did not survive," he said. "We are looking into why it happened."

    Police arrested Sompob and pressed charges of causing death by reckless endangerment, said Maj. Gen. Ittipol Piriyapinyo, deputy chief of Bangkok police. Sompob is likely to face additional charges relating to illegal medical surgery from the Health Service Support Department.

    Boonruang said the clinic will be shut for 60 days.

    Thailand is known for affordable cosmetic procedures, but there have been several deaths from botched surgeries at unapproved clinics.
  • Cigarette prices may further drain wallets
    24.10.2014 14:35

    By Amina Nazarli

    Anti-smoking advocates and health experts hailed the recent government proposals that aim to decrease the number of smokers in Azerbaijan.

    Musa Guliyev, a member of the Parliamentary Committee has offered to fine people who smoke at home near children and in the doorways of houses.

    Guliyev underlined the necessity of adopting a law restricting smoking in public places along with the law "On tobacco and tobacco products", which was adopted in Azerbaijan in 2001.

    Tobacco is one of the main sources of a number of chronic diseases, including cancers, lung and cardiovascular diseases. A number of countries have already adopted legislations to restrict tobacco advertising, and regulating who can buy and use tobacco products, and even where people can smoke.

    Most of the smoking population in Azerbaijan are men. About 50 percent of men in the country smoke daily, 40 percent of them smoke at least one or two packs of 20 cigarettes per day.

    Experts assure that the growing price of tobacco products has also turned into an effective measure against smoking in the world.

    World Health Organization framework convention on tobacco control, the participants almost unanimously voted to increase the share of excise duty on the cost of a pack of cigarettes to 70 percent (excluding VAT).

    Rufat Guliyev, a Chairman of the European Tobacco Baku (ETB) Company (Azerbaijani producer of tobacco production) said Azerbaijan may also join this campaign in the future.

    "Active integration into Europe and the world economy, as a whole, will certainly affect the prices of cigarettes. In any case, this is the government which should take the final decision about. However, in my opinion, Azerbaijan will soon face the need to raise the price of cigarettes. Talking about the exact timing is not possible yet," the chairman noted.

    The share of excise duty on the price of a cigarette pack of 12.5 percent, while in Russia it reaches 40 percent and in Great Britain, up to 70 percent.

    Guliyev stressed that growth of cigarette prices within the countries-importers will not spark a particular concern in Azerbaijan.

    "In Azerbaijan local production covers up to 20-25 percent of its own consumption of tobacco products, whereas the potential capacity of European Tobacco allows to cover the consumption at 80-85 percent.

    The chairman supposes that the issue is rooted in the cigarette's brand. Last year Azerbaijan imported cigarettes of an amount of 146 million dollars from Russia."As the welfare of population is growing, people prefer expensive cigarette brands. I think that it should not affect import prices, as the increase in the share of excise duty usually affects the prices in the domestic market," Guliyev said.

    The expert points to the increasing price of raw material as the main reason behind the rise in cigarette price.

    "In Europe, tobacco planting is forbidden and tobacco production moves to Latin American and African countries. As the raw materials are getting expensive, delivering costs are also increasing. So, the producers have to raise the price of their products," he cited.

    Increase of tobacco production depends on several factors such as agreements with multinational cigarette manufacturing companies, market demands and prices of raw materials.
  • Turkish expert: IS wants to attack Azerbaijan too
    24.10.2014 14:29
    Extremists have expressed the intention to reach our country.

    Extremists of "Islamic state" expressed intention to reach Azerbaijan too, but at the moment the threat is not serious.

    Oxu.Az reports with reference to "Interfax" that it was stated by the Turkish political analyst Ekrem Guzeldere.

    "Theoretically, Azerbaijan is among the countries where the militants of IS, according to their own statements, are going to get. However, because of the republic's large geographical remoteness from the coverage of the group, as well as the location in this space of few countries with large armies allow us be skeptical about this threat," the expert said.

    "At the moment I would not have worried about it," he added.
  • Romania intends to buy Azerbaijani gas
    24.10.2014 14:29
    Romanian Transgaz Company intends to buy Azerbaijani gas, to be sold to Europe, through Bulgaria.

    The statement came from Chairman of the Board of Directors of Transgaz Bogdan Iliescu in his interview to Bulgarian media.

    Iliescu noted that after construction of Bulgaria-Greece and Bulgaria-Romania interconnectors in the future, it will be possible to transport Azerbaijani gas via these lines too: "Gas transported through Bulgaria can be delivered to Romania. Thereafter, this gas will be transported to Hungary, then to Europe through Austria via one more interconnector".

    He thinks that this route may a part of the Southern Gas Corridor.
  • Solar eclipse expected tonight
    24.10.2014 14:12
    The second solar eclipse of 2014 is expected tonight.

    Deputy Director of Shamakhy Astrophysical Observatory named after Nasraddin Tusi of Azerbaijan National Academy of Sciences (ANAS) Khidir Mikayilov told APA that the solar eclipse will start at 00:40 Baku time and end at 04:52 on October 24.

    The eclipse will last for 4 hours 12 minutes. The eclipse will reach maximum at 02:46. The solar eclipse will be observed in North America and Russia's regions nearby Alaska. As it occurs at night, the solar eclipse will invisible in Azerbaijan.

    Mikayilov said that this will be the second solar eclipse of 2014.

    He informed that two solar eclipses and two lunar eclipses were expected in this year. One solar eclipse and two lunar eclipses have already occurred. The first lunar eclipse occurred on April 15, the second on October 8 and the first solar eclipse was recorded on April 29.
  • Qarabag FC makes history in Kiev
    24.10.2014 13:39

    By Mushvig Mehdiyev

    Azerbaijan's Qarabag FC defeated Ukraine's Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk 1-0 in the third group stage game of UEFA Europa League in Kiev.

    Qarabag FC's striker Muarem Muarem accomplished a blistering counter attack with a goal in the 21st minute of the game. Driving into the box from the left flank, Muarem curled the ball into the far corner to score the winning goal.

    The game was a milestone for Gurban Gurbanov`s side as they made a history to win a game in a UEFA Europa League group stage game as the first Azerbaijani football club.

    Qarabag Fc's Manager Gurbanov said the game was one of the hardest one his side played ever. "We deserved the victory. Unfortunately, the stadium was not full of our fans. If they were, the game would be more interesting," he noted.

    He added that he is now thinking of the game with Dnipro in Baku. "Dnipro will ,of course, get ready for next game. That's why we should concentrate on the return game," Gurbanov said.

    Qarabag FC is now the runner-up with four points in Group F behind the Italian FC Internazionale which is the group leader with seven points after a goalless draw with French Saint-Etienne. The French club is third with three points, while Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk is the group's outsider with one point.

    Qarabag FC will lock horns with its Ukrainian rival in the fourth group stage game in Baku on November 6.
  • Poznan opens bas-relief to Azerbaijani official
    24.10.2014 13:29

    By Amina Nazarli

    A bas-relief to former Polish Prime Minister Ignacy Jan Paderewski and Speaker of the Azerbaijan Democratic Republic Parliament (ADR) Alimardan bey Topchubashov has been inaugurated at the Academy of Music in Poznan, Poland.

    Addressing the opening ceremony, Rector of the Academy Halina Lorkowska highlighted the life and activities of Ignacy Jan Paderewski and Alimardan bey Topchubashov.

    Azerbaijani Ambassador, Hasan Hasanov for his turn, hailed Azerbaijani-Polish relations.

    The diplomat said the opening of the bas-relief demonstrates that "the Azerbaijani people never forget their friends."

    Ambassador Hasanov and rector Lorkowska cut the ribbon symbolizing the opening of the bas-relief.

    Alimardan bey Topchubashev was born in Tbilisi on May 4, 1863. In early year of his young hood, he entered politics. After taking the post of Minister of Foreign Affairs, he was elected as the Speaker of the Azerbaijani Democratic Republic Parliament and headed the Azerbaijani delegation in the Paris Peace Conference.

    Topchubashev held meetings with Clemenceau, Wilson, Francesco Nitti and other outstanding politicians of his time.

    He actively participated in many international conferences. Topchubashev always highlighted that the only way out of plight for Azerbaijani people is to gain independence.

    His desire was realized in 1991 when Azerbaijan restored its independence.
  • Cloud' lifts Microsoft earnings above expectations
    24.10.2014 13:29
    Microsoft on Thursday reported quarterly profits ahead of most expectations, as revenues got a boost from its Xbox consoles and Internet "cloud" services for enterprises.

    Net profit in the quarter dipped to US$4.5 billion (S$5.74 billion) from US$5.2 billion in the same period a year ago, but topped most analyst forecasts.

    Revenue rose above US$23 billion, its best ever for the fiscal first quarter.

    The better-than-expected results pushed shares of the US technology titan up 2.75 per cent to US$46.30 in after-hours trade.

    "We are innovating faster, engaging more deeply across the industry, and putting our customers at the centre of everything we do, all of which positions Microsoft for future growth," Microsoft chief executive Satya Nadella said in a release.

    Microsoft said revenue hit a record high for its first fiscal quarter, aided by the popularity of its Xbox video game consoles and Surface tablet computers, along with businesses turning to software offered as services in the Internet "cloud." "Customers are embracing our latest technologies from Surface Pro 3 and Office 365 to ("cloud"-based) Azure and SQL Server" for corporate customers, Microsoft chief operating officer Kevin Turner said.

    Revenue in Microsoft's Devices and Consumer unit grew 47 per cent to US$10.96 billion, with the company bringing in nearly US$1 billion from sales of its Surface Pro 3 tablet computer.

    Xbox sales more than doubled to 2.4 million in the quarter, which saw the newest version of the console release in 28 new markets.

    Revenue was up 10 per cent when it came to commercial offerings, with "cloud" services such as Office 365 and Azure growing 128 per cent, according to Microsoft.
  • Serena Williams receives Tarpishchevв's apology
    24.10.2014 13:19
    U.S. tennis player Serena Williams has confirmed the receipt of written apology from Shamil Tarpishchev, the president of the Russian Tennis Federation, for his TV joke, the USA Today reported on Thursday.

    Tarpishchev was a guest at the Vecherny Urgant (Late Urgant) show on Russiaв's Channel One last week. He remembered that Serena Williams was Maria Sharapovaв's tennis rival at the 2012 Olympic Games. Recalling that match, he incidentally referred to Serena Williams as to ''one of the Williams brothers''(Serena Williams has a sister called Venus who is also a tennis player). Serena Williams described the joke as ''sexist'' and ''racist''. Tarpishchev later apologized for his words.

    The Womenв's Tennis Association (WTA) disqualified Tarpishchev for a year for his joke last Saturday. He was also fined for 25,000 U.S. dollars.

    Serena confirmed that Tarpishchev had apologized to her and her sister in writing. She, however, did not say whether she had accepted the Russian tennis functionaryв's apology.

    World number one Serena Williams is 18-times Grand Slam winner. Her sister Venus has won seven Grand Slam titles.

    Serena is currently defending her championв's title at the 2014 WTA Finals that kicked off on
  • Conference on human rights held in Baku
    24.10.2014 13:03
    SIA reports that as part of Azerbaijanв's chairmanship in the CE Committee of Ministers the international Conference titled ''The role of national judges in the application of the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms within the country'' is being held in Baku.

    The chairman of the Supreme Court of Azerbaijan Ramiz Rzayev, chairman of the European Court of Human Rights Dean Spielmann, head of the Azerbaijani Presidential Administration's Department for Work with Law-Enforcement Agencies Fuad Alasgarov attended an opening ceremony.

    The conference will end on October 24-25. The session on "Enforcement of judgments", "Dialogue between judges as part of the convention system" and other topics will be held.
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