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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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    Translated by L.Z.

    Edited by C.N.

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    20.04.2014 12:03
    Jeffrey Werbock, the US`s famous mugham specialist made a presentation on the Azerbaijan`s mugham at the George Washington University.

    Addressing the student body, the musician spoke about his 40-year Azerbaijani mugham research experience. He provided an insight into what distinguishes mugham from other genres. According to him, there are social and traditional characteristics of the genre.

    Speaking of the mugham traditions coming from the Karabakh region occupied by Armenia, Werbock said "Mugham is important for Azerbaijanis in terms of patriotism too." He told of Shusha, cradle of Azerbaijani music.

    He noted that his film on mugham would be ready soon. The premiere will be held in a number of the US cities.

    Jeffrey Werbock fell in love with the Azerbaijani music in as early as 1971 and devoted all his life to popularization of the Azerbaijani mugham abroad. He organized hundreds of concertos and lectures in the US`s and Israel`s museums, colleges, universities and public centers.
  • Azerbaijan`s Postal Office prepares for granting micro loans
    20.04.2014 12:02
    Baku, Azerbaijan, April 20

    By Huseyn Valiyev - Trend:

    The Azerbaijani postal operator, "Azerpoct" LLC is preparing for provision of micro-credit services.

    The postal operator intends to apply to the Central Bank of Azerbaijan for obtaining a license in this regard.

    As the Ministry of Communications and High Technologies of Azerbaijan told Trend earlier, Azerpoct LLC is ready to proceed with the issuance of microcredit through the mediation of banks and without a banking license as practiced today in a number of CIS countries.

    None of the banks in this area can compete with the postal operator because of its branching network, which in turn affect the economic activity in the regions of Azerbaijan.

    Today, nearly 1,000 post offices of the Azerbaijani postal operator are provided with the possibility of rendering all banking services (except for the issuance of loans and deposits) based on the license of the Central Bank of Azerbaijan.

    The postal operator implement banking serviced with the help of automated corporate information system.

    By entry into the banking market of Azerbaijan Azerpoct LLC will compete seriously with players on the country's banking market.Today, 43 banks operate in Azerbaijan, with over 700 branches. Furthermore, Azerpoct offices exceed 1,600 branches.

    Translated by S.I.

    Edited by C.N.

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  • 39 killed as passenger van hits trailer in South Pakistan
    20.04.2014 11:31
    At least 39 people were killed and several others injured when a passenger van hit into a trailer in Pakistan's south Sukkur district on Sunday, officials said, Xinhua reported.

    Fida Husain, Superintendent Police, said that the accident happened at National High Way in the early hours of Sunday morning.

    The fatal accident happened near Pano Akil town of the Sukkur, a district in the country's south Sindh province, when the van ran head-on into the trailer.

    The van, that was on its way to the southern port city of Karachi from eastern Dera Ghazi Khan district, got completely destroyed and compressed in the attack, trapping the injured people inside.

    Rescue workers broke windows and cut van to bring the injured out.

    The killed include five women, two kids and six members of a family, said the report.

    The injured people were shifted to a nearby hospital for medical treatment.

    Faisal Abdullah, Superintendent Motorway Police, said that the accident happened due to negligence of bus driver who hit into the trailer while trying to overtake it from wrong side.

    Chief Minister Sindh Qaim Ali Shah express sorrow over the accident and directed hospital administration to provide best possible medical treatment to the injured people.

    Pakistan is among the countries having worst record of fatal traffic accidents, mainly due to poor roads, lack of driving skills, badly maintained vehicles and violation of road safety rules.

    Traffic police officials say that 90 percent of the accidents in the country take place due to human error.

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  • Alimardan Topchibashev`s bust unveiled in Saint Petersburg
    20.04.2014 11:25
    The 40th plenary session of the CIS interparliamentary Assembly commenced in Saint-Petersburg. A bust and exhibition dedicated to the life and activity of outstanding politician, chairman of the parliament of the Azerbaijan Democratic Republic Alimardan Topchibashev, who was a member and head of the Muslim group in the State Duma of the Russian Empire of the first convocation (1906-1917), opened as part of the spring session.

    Deputy Secretary General of the Council of the Interparliamentary Assembly, representative of the Milli Majlis in the CIS Interparliamentary Assembly Aydin Jafarov thanked the government of Azerbaijan, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Azerbaijan and the consulate general of Azerbaijan in Saint Petersburg for the support in creation of the bust to Topchibashev and organizing the exhibition dedicated to his life and activity. On behalf of Speaker of the Council of Federation Valentina Matviyenko, Deputy Speaker of the Council of Federation of the Russian Federation Ilyas Umakhanov thanked President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev for the bust to Topchibashev presented to the Interparliamentary Assembly. Chairman of the MM committee, head of the parliamentary delegation of Azerbaijan Arif Rahimzadeh told of the life and fruitful activity of Topchibashev as chairman of the parliament of the Azerbaijan Democratic Republic and head of the Muslim group in the State Duma of the Russian Empire. He underlined the invaluable contribution of Topchibashev to formation of the Azerbaijani statehood.

    Chief of the Department of Public Affairs and Information of the Foreign Ministry of Azerbaijan Javanshir Mammadov dwelt upon the facts from the life and multifaceted activity of Topchibashev. The diplomat underlined the role of Topchibashev in the process of democratization of the ADR.

    The event was also attended by leadership and representatives of the Interparliamentary Assembly, parliamentary delegation of the Milli Majlis of Azerbaijan, deputy ambassador of Azerbaijan to Russia Gudsi Osmanov, consul general of Azerbaijan in Saint-Petersburg Elshad Gulamov as well as CIS parliamentarians and representatives of the Russian media.
  • Iranian police clash with criminal group members
    20.04.2014 11:08
    Baku, Azerbaijan, April 20

    By Temkin Jafarov

    Iranian police clashed with a group of persons attempting to disturb public order in the Iranian city of Nishapur last night, afkarnews website reported.

    A clash arose between two criminal groups. Public order forces and police were involved in dealing with the situation. As a result of the incident, several people were injured, several cars were burned and windows of nearby houses were shattered.

    The police detained 12 people. An investigation is underway into the incident.

    Translated by L.Z.

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  • UN envoy and Israel in Easter ritual access row
    20.04.2014 10:37
    The UN's Middle East peace envoy has criticised Israeli authorities for allegedly preventing him from reaching an Easter ritual in Jerusalem, BBC reported.

    Robert Serry said the delay was "unacceptable behaviour" and called on all parties to "respect the right of religious freedom".

    Israel said it was a "micro-incident" and questioned Mr Serry's judgement.

    Thousands of Christian pilgrims took part in the Holy Fire ceremony at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre.

    Mr Serry said that he was held up at a checkpoint along with other diplomats and dozens of Palestinians trying to make their way to the ceremony.

    He told Reuters news agency that he might have been trampled had he not eventually been allowed to pass.

    "It became really dangerous because there was a big crowd and I was pushed against a metal fence the police put up there, the crowd tried to push really hard," he said.

    "This wasn't something you associate with a peaceful procession for Easter." he said.

    An Israeli foreign ministry spokesman said Mr Serry had displayed "a serious problem of judgment" and that any attempts to limit access were carried out for safety reasons.

    Spokesman Yigal Palmor praised "the dedicated work of the Jerusalem police".

    A foreign ministry statement added: "Had any harm come to the pilgrims due to uncontrolled crowd movements, Mr Serry would have been prompt to cast responsibility on the same police which he now condemns for doing its job properly".

    The Holy Fire is considered a miracle occurring every year on Holy Saturday, the day before Easter Sunday.

    Worshippers say the flame appears from Jesus' tomb inside the church to show he has not forgotten his followers.

    The ancient church is believed to be built on the site of his crucifixion, burial and resurrection.

    In keeping with tradition, the church was unlocked by a Muslim family which has held the keys for centuries.

    Meanwhile in Rome, Pope Francis called on Catholics to spread the message of God "to the very ends of the Earth".

    He called on Catholics to recover "the fire which Jesus has kindled in the world and to bring that fire to all people".

    He was addressing followers at an Easter vigil Mass in St Peter's Basilica on Saturday.

    The Catholic Church's main Easter Mass will be celebrated on Easter Sunday, the holiest day in the Church's calendar.

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  • 12 new Mers cases in Abu Dhabi
    20.04.2014 10:21
    The Health Authority Abu Dhabi (HAAD) has reported 12 more cases of the Mers-Coronavirus infection, but the patients are in a stable condition, Gulf News reported.

    The health authority said that the patients are expected to overcome the infection in 10-14 coming days without need for special treatment.

    The infection in the 12 patients was confirmed through routine examinations conducted on those who have direct access to patients diagnosed with the virus.

    The new cases are confined to hospitals and do not impose a danger to the public, HAAD said.

    The Ministry of Health and HAAD reiterated that they are dealing with the current situation with the utmost level of transparency to increase the public's awareness about the situation.

    HAAD also confirmed that it has taken all necessary precautionary measures in coordination with the Ministry of Health and health authorities in the country, in accordance with recommendations of the World Health Organisation (WHO). Health authorities are working around the clock to monitor and control the general health status, it added.

    HAAD has reassured the public about advising all citizens and residents to comply with public health guidelines to reduce the spread of influenza and respiratory infections through washing hands with soap and water or other sanitisers especially after coughing, sneezing, using the toilet, and before and after cooking and preparing food.

    The use of tissue paper is also advised in covering the nose and mouth while sneezing and coughing and to refrain from sneezing or coughing on hands.

    Refrain from touching eyes, mouth, and nose as hands can carry the virus after touching contaminated surfaces.

    The authority also advised everyone to go to a doctor when needed and to follow up all information regarding this virus which is released by the Ministry of Health and other health authorities.

    On the other hand, the Ministry of Health indicated that the WHO confirmed that the virus is not a concern for public health at the moment and it does not require any action to ban travel to any country in the world and does not require early tests in check points nor imposing any restrictions on trade.

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  • Kidnapped Uzbek doctor freed in northern Yemen - local official
    20.04.2014 10:01
    An Uzbek doctor kidnapped in northern Yemen last week has been freed, a provincial official said on Saturday, Reuters reported.

    The official told Reuters tribal mediators had succeeded in convincing armed tribesmen to release the doctor, who had been abducted last Sunday from the hospital he worked at in Marib province, east of the capital Sanaa.

    "He was handed to the mediators who took him to Marib and then he was handed to local officials," the local official, who declined to be named, told Reuters.

    He refused to say whether a ransom had been paid.

    Kidnapping is common in U.S.-allied Yemen, where the government is struggling with an array of security problems: an insurgency by Islamists linked to al Qaeda, a southern separatist movement, fighting in the country's north, and sporadic conflicts with armed tribes.

    On Saturday an air strike killed 10 al Qaeda militants and three civilians in central Yemen.

    Hostage-taking is sometimes carried out by militants specifically targeting Westerners, but is also used as a tactic by tribesmen to resolve disputes with the government, and by opportunists hoping to sell hostages on to other groups.

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  • Geological exploration for copper conduct in southern Uzbekistan
    20.04.2014 09:17
    Tashkent, Uzbekistan, April 20

    By Demir Azizov- Trend:

    Uzbekistan's Almalyk Mining and Metallurgical Combine (AMMC, Almalyk city, Tashkent region) - a monopoly producer of copper in the republic - has started prospect and exploratory works at Kuldara area of copper-zinc mineralization in Kashkadarya region (south of Uzbekistan).

    The plant will conduct geological and prospect and exploratory works on this area in order to expand resource base of mining and processing complex, operating Khandiza field until mid-2016, the combine's representative told Trend.

    As reported earlier, mining and processing complex worth $ 147 million was commissioned in early 2011. The design capacity of the complex is 650000 tons of ore per year. Production capacity of the copper enrichment plant designed to produce 5000 tons of copper concentrate, 20,000 tonnes of lead concentrate and 60,000 tonnes of zinc concentrate annually.

    The combine also plans to start developing a new copper mine Dalnee in the Tashkent region By the end of the year which is considered as a reserve to replace commissioned capacities of "Kalmakyr" and "Sarah-Ceku" mines.

    It is planned to reach the level of 35 million tonnes of ore annually within the project scheduled for 2021.

    In the spring of 2013 the British-Australian company "Rio Tinto" started exploration of copper deposits in the prospective "Hava" area in Namangan in eastern Uzbekistan under a license issued by the State Committee of the Republic of Uzbekistan on Geology and Mineral Resources for period of five years. An operating company - "Gava Exploration" LLC (a wholly-owned "daughter" of Rio Tinto) was created for activity in Uzbekistan.. Predicted resources of the licensed area are not disclosed.

    At present, there are about 900 Uzbekistan ore occurance and copper deposits, but only three fields of them are commissioned, which concentrated in Almalyk Tashkent region.

    In particular, AMMC - only copper producer in the country - is developing deposits of copper-porphyry "Kalmakyr" and "Sarah-Ceku" with total reserves of about 17 million tonnes of copper, about 20 percent.of which has been extracted so far.

    Almalyk MMC is the only copper producer in Uzbekistan and one of the largest producers of nonferrous metals in the Central Asian region. The share of AMMC accounts for about 90 per cent of silver production and 20 per cent of gold in the country. The plant composition consists of two mining companies, two processing plants and two metallurgical plants with their own infrastructure.

    The plant has the rights to develop copper-molybdenum and lead-zinc ores in the vicinity of Almalyk (Tashkent region). The raw material source of AMMC is copper-porphyry ores of Kalmakyr and Sarah-Ceku (Tashkent region) and the deposit of lead-zinc-barite ore of Uch-kulaks (Djizzak).

    Production specialises in the production of refined copper (cathodes), metallic zinc and lead concentrate.

    Translated by S.I.

    Edited by C.N.

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  • Iran trades 1,912 MWh of electricity with neighboring countries
    20.04.2014 08:14
    Baku, Azerbaijan, April 18

    By Umid Niayesh - Trend:

    Iran has traded 1,912 megawatts hours (MWh) of electricity with neighboring countries on April 17.

    The country exported 1,382 MWh of electricity to Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, Armenia, and Turkey, the country's IRIB news agency reported on April 18.

    The country also imported 530 MWh of electricity from Armenia and Turkmenistan on the same day.

    Iran currently trades power with Turkey, Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan, Armenia, Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Iraq.

    The country seeks to become a major regional exporter of electricity and has attracted more than $1.1 billion in investments for the construction of three new power plants.

    Deputy Energy Minister Sattar Mahmoudi said in November 2013, that Iran annually exports 8 billion kilowatt hours of electricity to neighboring countries.

    "The mentioned figure is about 3 percent of the country's total output," the ILNA News Agency quoted Mahmoudi as saying.

    Iran's total electricity generation stood at 263 billion kilowatt hours during the last Iranian calendar year (ended on March 20), which indicates an increase by 3.6 percent compared the preceding year, according to the annual report of the country's energy ministry.

    The country's power generation capacity is currently over 70 gigawatts.

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  • Malaysian plane search in 44th day, sea bed scans could end in days
    20.04.2014 08:05
    The search for missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 entered its 44th day on Sunday as Australian search officials said a crucial series of sonar scans of the Indian Ocean floor could be completed within a week, Reuters reported.

    The air, surface and underwater search is now focused on footage taken by a U.S. Navy deep sea drone, which has narrowed its target range to a tight 10-km (6.2-mile) circle of sea floor.

    The Bluefin-21 autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV) has spent the past week scouring the remote and largely unmapped stretch of ocean floor some 2,000 km (1,200 miles) northwest of the Australian city of Perth for signs of the plane, which disappeared on March 8 with 239 people on board.

    The remote controlled submarine is now in its eighth deep sea mission with no sign of wreckage so far. The drone has searched about half its targeted area, the authorities said on Sunday.

    The Malaysian government has said the search is at a "very critical juncture" and asked for prayers for its success. Malaysian Acting Transport Minister Hishammuddin Hussein has also said the government may consider using more AUVs in the search.

    After almost two months without a sign of wreckage, the current underwater search is centered on an area where one of four acoustic signals believed to be from the plane's black box recorders was detected on April 8.

    Weeks of daily sorties have failed to turn up any trace of the plane, even after narrowing the search to an arc in the southern Indian Ocean, making this the most expensive such operation in aviation history.

    Hopes for further black box signals are fast diminishing, since the black box batteries are now two weeks past their 30-day expected life span, search officials have said.

    But while the Bluefin-21's target range has narrowed, the air and surface search continues unabated, with daily sorties a week after Australian search coordinator retired Air Chief Marshal Angus Houston said the air and surface component of the search would end within three days.

    On Sunday, up to 11 military aircraft and 12 ships will help with the search, covering a total of roughly 48,507 square km (18,729 sq miles) across two areas, the Perth-based Joint Agency Coordination Centre said in a statement.

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  • Iran slams U.S. justice verdict on Manhattan skyscraper
    20.04.2014 07:53
    Iran on Saturday criticized a U.S. government move to seize a Manhattan skyscraper owned largely by a foundation that promotes its language and Islamic culture, saying this violated the right to religious freedom in the United States, Reuters reported.

    According to a court document filed in New York on Thursday, the U.S. Department of Justice agreed to distribute proceeds from the sale of the Fifth Avenue high-rise to families affected by alleged Iranian-aided attacks, including the 1983 bombing of the U.S. Marine barracks in Beirut.

    The settlement marks the latest turn in a long-running battle over the 36-storey building owned chiefly by Alavi Foundation, a non-profit Persian and Islamic cultural center.

    Iran's foreign ministry spokeswoman Marzieh Afkham said the decision "lacks legal justification and negates America's commitment to protecting its citizens' religious freedom."

    "Confiscation of the properties of an independent charity organization raises doubt about the credibility of U.S. justice," she was quoted as saying by the official IRNA news agency.

    The latest row came as U.S. President Barack Obama signed a law on Friday barring an Iranian diplomat from serving as an envoy at the United Nations over his role in the 1979-81 hostage crisis at the U.S. embassy in Tehran. But they are unlikely to significantly affect the current nuclear talks between Tehran and world powers, including the United States.

    Iran's moderate new president, Hassan Rouhani, has strongly pursued a deal with the West in order to escape ruinous international sanctions imposed on his country.

    In a 2009 lawsuit, the Manhattan U.S. Attorney's office claimed the Alavi Foundation was controlled by Iran, citing the two minority owners as Assa Corp and Assa Co Ltd, both shell companies financed by Iran's national Bank Melli. And, last year, a federal court ruled that the skyscraper was subject to government forfeiture for "shielding and concealing Iranian assets" in violation of U.S. sanctions law.

    But the Iranian official flatly denied any links between her country and the Alavi Foundation: "These charges are nothing new. They are merely concocted to put pressure and chase political aims."

    Alavi Foundation and the smaller stake-holder Assa are both expected to appeal the U.S. verdict.

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  • Syrian activists allege new gas attack
    20.04.2014 04:37
    Activists in Syria have claimed that government forces used chlorine gas in an attack on a village near the city of Hama, Aljazeera reported.

    Amateur footage uploaded by activists on Friday showed dozens of villagers from Kafr Zeta struggling to breathe as a result of a toxic substance.

    Other footage online showed an unexploded canister suspected to contain chlorine gas. Al Jazeera cannot independently verify the images.

    Rebels and the government blamed each other for what is supposed to be third alleged gas attack in the country in the past week.

    Chlorine gas - used extensively in the First World War - attacks mucus membranes and can kill in high concentrations.

    Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's forces have been repeatedly accused of using chemical weapons during the war in Syria. The deadliest known attack occurred in the rebel-held area of eastern Ghouta last year, leading to the deaths of hundreds of people.

    UN inspectors found strong evidence of the use of sarin in the attack, but did not say who was behind it.

    The attack triggered widespread condemnation and the Syria government, under international pressure, agreed to give up its chemical weapons stockpile.

    Since chlorine also has industrial use, it was not included in the list of chemicals that Syria will have to give up under the agreement.

    On Saturday, the head of the international team overseeing the disarmament process, said Syria has shipped out or destroyed approximately 80 percent of its declared chemical weapons material.

    Sigrid Kaag, special coordinator of the joint mission of the UN and the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), said if the momentum was sustained, Syria should be able to meet its April 27 deadline to hand over all declared chemical agents.

    "The renewed pace in movements is positive and necessary to ensure progress towards a tight deadline," Kaag said.

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  • Freed French journalists leave Turkey for France
    20.04.2014 03:18
    Four French journalists who were brought to Turkey after 10-months of captivity in Syria have left for their home country, Anadolu Agency reported.

    The group was kidnapped in the war-ridden country in June but released and entered Turkey earlier on Saturday, where they were welcomed by Turkish army officials in the southern border province of Sanliurfa.

    Edouard Elias, 22, Didier Francois, 54, Pierre Torres, 29 and Nicolas Henin, 38, were first accommodated at a hotel in Gaziantep, another Turkish city bordering Syria and then moved on to Gaziantep Airport.

    They boarded a French Air Force plane that had come to bring them back to their country and left Turkey at 9.30 p.m. local time (1930GMT).

    French President Hollande said that the men would be taken to their homes after a medical check-up.

    Earlier, Turkey's Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu talked to the four by phone to "share their happiness" following their release.

    - 'Grueling conditions'

    French President Francois Hollande said in a statement that the men were in good health, "in spite of the very grueling conditions of their captivity".

    Didier Francois, a senior war correspondent working for Europe 1 radio, and Edouard Elias, a photographer, were kidnapped in early June on their way to the Syrian city of Aleppo.

    Nicolas Henin, who was working for Le Point magazine and Pierre Torres, reporting for French-German television channel Arte, were taken later that month.

    It is not clear who or what groups kidnapped the journalists.

    As the Syrian conflict enters its fourth year, the country has become the most deadly for journalists who are regularly kidnapped and murdered, human rights groups say.

    On March 3, France-based Reporters Without Borders released a report containing the names and countries of journalists who have disappeared or been abducted around the world.

    Currently, the list for Syria includes 22 journalists - 12 foreigners and 10 Syrians.

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  • Twitter freezes two Turkish accounts
    20.04.2014 02:31
    Twitter has withheld two Turkish accounts accused of violating personal rights and privacy, Anadolu Agency reported.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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  • Erdogan inaugurates boring of Eurasia Tunnel
    20.04.2014 01:29
    Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has inaugurated the boring of the Eurasia Tunnel Project in Istanbul, saying the scheme will shorten the existing 100-minute cross-strait journey time to 15 minutes, Anadolu Agency reported.

    Erdogan made his remarks as he attended the inauguration of the tunnel boring process in a ceremony at Istanbul's Haydarpasa Loading Port on Saturday, where the tunnel boring machine, known as TBM, began carving out the route.

    The Eurasia Tunnel will be a brother to the existing Marmaray Tube Passage, and will connect the Asian and European sides of the Istanbul Strait via a road tunnel going under the Marmara Sea.

    "There are four such tunnels in New York that enable a sub-sea passage for light vehicles; one in Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia and another similar highway tunnel in France. We are now bringing in the most modern and developed road tunnel to Istanbul," he said.

    Erdogan said that once the Eurasia Tunnel was completed, Istanbul would have four road crossings between the two continents including The Bosphorus Bridge, Fatih Sultan Mehmet Bridge and Marmaray Tube Passage.

    "Hopefully, the suffering known as 'bridge traffic' will become a thing of the past," he added.

    Erdogan said the tunnel boring machine will advance 10 meters a day on average from the Asian side to the European one.

    - 'Safer and more comfortable'

    The Eurasia Tunnel, whose foundations were cast on 26 February 2011, will serve the Kazlicesme-Goztepe route where vehicle traffic is the most intense in Istanbul, and will cover a total of 14.6 kilometers.

    The tunnel has been designed for use only by light vehicles such as cars and minibuses.

    Heavier vehicles, motorcycles, bicycles and pedestrians will not be able to transit the tunnel.

    While 5.4 kilometers of the project will comprise a two-story tunnel to be constructed underneath the seabed, expansion and improvement works are to be carried out over 9.2 kilometers of roads on the European and Asian sides.

    Access roads between Sarayburnu-Kazlicesme and Harem-Goztepe will also be enlarged and vehicle underpasses and pedestrian overpasses will be constructed.

    Not only will the travel time for Istanbul's highly intensive traffic decline, but it will also become more safe and comfortable, officials say, and it will also contribute to the reduction of environmental and noise pollution.

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  • Over 404 kg narcotics seized in Iran
    20.04.2014 00:29
    Some 404.691 kilograms of opium and hashish were confiscated from the smugglers across the province in the past 48 hours, the provincial police commander said on Saturday, IRNA reported.

    Brigadier-General Abdolreza Aqakhani said that Samirom Anti-Narcotics Squad got suspicious of a pick-up van and stopped it. Examining the vehicle, they discovered 110 kilograms of opium hidden in its floor. Two smugglers were arrested.

    Aqakhani announced discovery of other 145 kilograms of opium by the police forces in Naeen, adding that eight persons were also arrested and six vehicles were seized in the process.

    In another operation in Lanjan, he said, the troops confiscated some 10.307 Kilograms of opium from a trailer with its driver arrested.

    Some 48.34 kilograms of opium were confiscated and 18 retailers arrested in an operation at Falavarjan and 91.35 kilograms of hashish were also seized from a Benz sedan in Lanjan, Aqakhani said.

    Noting that the drugs were destined to Tehran and Isfahan, he said that on the aggregate, some 404.691 kilograms of opium and hashish as well as nine light and heavy vehicles seized and 30 people were apprehended.

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  • Several people killed in Turkey as bus overturns
    19.04.2014 23:43
    Baku, Azerbaijan, April 19


    A bus overturned, killing six people and injuring 35, in the vicinity of Turkish city Izmir, Sabah newspaper reported on April 19.

    It was found out that the bus driver was intoxicated.

    The Injured were taken to nearby hospitals.

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  • Turkey mulls leaving World Wide Web, minister says
    19.04.2014 22:48
    Lutfi Elvan, Minister of Transport, Maritime and Communication, has said Turkey may leave the World Wide Web (www) to establish its own "ttt" protocol amid the Turkish government's efforts to rein in global websites including Twitter and YouTube, Hurriyet Daily News reported.

    During an informal meeting with journalists in the Parliament on April 19, Elvan argued that not only Turkey, but also several European Union countries mull to establish "their own national Internet protocols."

    "Instead of www, a ttt system can be formed. Turkey and other countries can establish their own domains. Such a move would detach the Internet systems from each other. This is a controversial issue," Elvan said.

    The Internet is a global system of interconnected computer networks, while the web is one of the services that runs on the Internet. The hostname of a web server is often www, but the use of www is not required by any technical or policy standard and many web sites do not use it.

    Elvan also called for an "international convention" to cope with the "the lack of control over social media."

    The minister said: "The only source address of social media is U.S.-based companies. That's why, EU countries led by Germany and France have also problems with it. These countries are in talks with the U.S. Social media should have a joint international text of rules like the United Nations Charter. Otherwise, countries may form their own Internet domains to have more security."

    Elvan's statement needs clarification, experts say, as it has not been previously known that any country, even China with its powerful censorship tool "Great Firewall", has left or plans to leave the main backbone of the Internet, which may lead to the establishment of "national intranets."

    The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), the nonprofit organization that coordinates the Internet's global domain name system, did not reply to Hurriyet Daily News' query seeking comment on April 19.

    "We have reached a consensus to 'neutralize' malicious content that is the object of court decisions by pixelating," Elvan had said in a written statement on April 17.

    YouTube remains blocked in Turkey since March 27 despite a court order.

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  • Azerbaijani citizen fought in Syria arrested - EXCLUSIVE
    19.04.2014 22:31 qolda 220811.jpg qolda 220811.jpg
    Baku. Shahriyar Alizadeh '" APA. An Azerbaijani citizen, who fought in Syria, has been arrested.

    Resident of Gabala region, 25-year-old Hasanov Ahmad Elkhan was arrested as a result of the operation conducted by law-enforcement forces.

    It was found out that he illegally went to Syria and has been fighting under armed groups for 7 months.

    Hasanov was arrested at Heydar Aliyev International Airport when he returned to Baku.

    He faced charges under the Criminal Code's Article #279 (creation of an armed formations or groups, which are not provided by the legislation).
  • Michael Bolton gives his first concert in Baku
    19.04.2014 22:21
    Renowned American singer-songwriter Michael Bolton has today performed at the Heydar Aliyev Center, his first solo concert in Baku.

    Highly recognized for his rock ballads all over the world, the artist performed his best hits to the Azerbaijani audience.

    Born as Michael Bolotin to the family of immigrants from Russia, Michael Bolton, 60, grew up in the United States. Alongside being a successful performer, he is also recognized as one of the most prolific American composers. His songs were performed by Bob Dilan, Lady Gaga, Diane Warren, David Foster, Phil Ramon, Barbara Streisand, Kenny West, John Legend, Jay Z and the Kiss Group, just to mention a few.

    A Grammy Prize winner, Michael Bolton has 53 million discs sold throughout the world. With his name inscribed on the Hollywood Hall of Fame, Bolton is particularly recognized for a set of love ballads dominating his repertoire, such as How Am I Supposed to Live Without You, Love is a Wonderful Thing, Missing You Now, etc.
  • Healthy lifestyle, involving youth and future generations in sports important for Azerbaijan
    19.04.2014 22:20
    Baku, Azerbaijan, April 19

    By Emin Aliyev - Trend:

    A healthy lifestyle, attracting youth and future generations to sports is very important for Azerbaijan, according to Azerbaijani Youth and Sports Minister, Azad Rahimov.

    Rahimov made the remarks on Saturday, April 19 following the awarding ceremony of the 21st Rhythmic Gymnastics Azerbaijan Championship, held at the newly built National Gymnastics Arena in Baku.

    Rahimov then welcomed the participants of the tournament on behalf of the National Olympic Committee and the Youth and Sports Ministry.

    The minister said that thanks to very talented girls, who achieved great success, and also to the championship of Azerbaijan which was held for the first time in such a grand sports arena, truly wonderful moments were lived through.

    Rahimov stressed that the sports policy, which was founded by Azerbaijan's great leader Heydar Aliyev, successfully continues today by President of Azerbaijan, National Olympic Committee's President Ilham Aliyev.

    "The material and technical base of our country's sports sphere is developing with each day. Today Azerbaijan holds the grandest events. We are very proud to stress that in the coming years the most famous athletes of the world and Europe will perform at sports palaces, which are currently being constructed, repaired and opened in Baku. For us, a healthy lifestyle, youth and future generations' involvement in sports is extremely important," he said.

    Rahimov said this is one of the priorities of the state policy, which is supported by all the representatives of the youth, and all of the country's athletes.

    In conclusion, the minister wished the athletes, who achieved success in the Azerbaijan championship, high results in Europe and worldwide.

    Baku hosted the 21st Rhythmic Gymnastics Azerbaijan Championship on Saturday, April 19. Some 22 senior athletes and athletes aged between 13 and 15 took part in the competitions.

    The gymnasts competed for the medals in both all-around disciplines and separate apparatus.

    Marina Durunda became the two-time champion of Azerbaijan in rhythmic gymnastics among seniors in the absolute all-around exercises. Lala Yusifova took the second place, followed by Gulsum Shafizadeh.

    Zuleykha Ismayilova was the strongest among juniors in the absolute all-around. Silver and bronze medals were taken by Jala Piriyeva and Rugiya Sattarova respectively.

    Translated by E.A.

    Edited by S.I.

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  • New militant group claims responsibility for Friday blast in Cairo
    19.04.2014 21:47
    The Egyptian militant group Ajnad Misr claimed responsibility on Saturday for a blast that killed one police officer in Cairo, Reuters reported.

    The bomb exploded in Cairo's Lebanon Square on Friday night, killing the officer and wounding another.

    Ajnad Misr, or Soldiers of Egypt, said in a statement on an Islamist website that its militants had monitored a police checkpoint in the square before detonating the bomb.

    The group formally announced itself in January saying it would target "criminal elements" in the military-backed government.

    It has claimed at least six attacks since then, including explosions outside Cairo University which killed a police brigadier-general and one other person earlier this month.

    Islamist militants have stepped up attacks on members of the security forces, killing hundreds, since the army toppled Egypt's first freely elected President Mohamed Mursi in July.

    The insurgency threatens national security ahead of a presidential election in May, as well as the vital tourist industry.

    Al Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahri gave his blessing, in a recording released on an Islamist website on Friday night, to Jihadists in carrying out attacks against the army and security forces in Egypt. Al Qaeda is not believed to be linked to Ajnad Misr.

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  • Azerbaijanв's gymnastics joined world gymnastics elite over past 10 years
    19.04.2014 21:43
    Baku, Azerbaijan, April 19

    By Emin Aliyev - Trend:

    During his speech at the 21st Rhythmic Gymnastics Azerbaijan Championship, the Vice President of the Azerbaijan Gymnastics Federation Altay Hasanov greeted the audience of Azerbaijan's National Gymnastics Arena.

    "Ladies and Gentlemen! Dear distinguished gymnastics lovers! I greet you on behalf of the Azerbaijan Gymnastics Federation and say: Welcome to this beautiful, grand National Gymnastic Arena".

    "First of all, on behalf of the entire gymnastics community, I thank the head of state, the esteemed President Ilham Aliyev, for this modern and unique sports facility, which meets the world standards," Altay Hasanov said.

    He said the federation, athletes and coaches, and all those related to gymnastics, have been waiting for this day.

    "A gymnastics ground that meets the most modern international standards has been established in Azerbaijan," Hasanov stressed. "We have seen a lot of sports complexes in the world, but I assure you that our arena is unique."

    Hasanov said all conditions have been created at the new complex, and every little detail has been considered.

    "Therefore, athletes and coaches of Azerbaijan should just achieve good results," Hasanov added.

    He went on to add that Azerbaijan's gymnastics has made an incredible leap over the past ten years and entered the world elite of gymnastics.

    "Today Azerbaijani athletes are among the most decorated athletes and compete for medals along with them," he said.

    The gymnastics federation's vice president expressed confidence that Azerbaijani gymnasts will achieve even greater results in the future.

    "I wish that success in other types of gymnastics would also be achieved," he said, adding that the 21st championship held at the new arena was a holiday.

    Hasanov also congratulated all the participants, winners, coaches, choreographers, judges and other people related to gymnastics, and all those who contributed to this event.

    "I particularly express my gratitude to Azerbaijan Gymnastics Federation's President Mehriban Aliyeva for constant care," Hasanov stressed.

    He also thanked the fans: "Be aware that we always need your support. I wish all health and happiness."

    Baku hosted the 21st Rhythmic Gymnastics Azerbaijan Championship on Saturday, April 19. Some 22 senior athletes and athletes aged between 13 and 15 took part in the competitions.

    The gymnasts competed for the medals in both all-around disciplines and separate apparatus.

    Marina Durunda became the two-fold champion of Azerbaijan in rhythmic gymnastics among seniors in the absolute all-around exercises. Lala Yusifova took the second place, followed by Gulsum Shafizadeh.

    Zuleykha Ismayilova was the strongest among juniors in the absolute all-around. Silver and bronze medals were gained by Jala Piriyeva and Rugiya Sattarova respectively.

    Translated by E.A.

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  • Azerbaijani FM meets Chairman of U.S. House Foreign Affairs Committee
    19.04.2014 21:36
    Azerbaijan`s Minister of Foreign Affairs Elmar Mammadyarov has today met Chairman of the Committee on Foreign Affairs of the U.S. House of Representatives Ed Royce and a delegation of congressmen accompanying him.

    Mammadyarov noted the parliamentary diplomacy and cooperation between the two countries' legislative bodies were of great importance in terms of development of the Azerbaijan-U.S. relations.

    The Minister said the visits of US delegations to Azerbaijan on various levels serve to strength mutual understanding, stressing the importance of increasing the number of such visits.

    Speaking on the Armenia-Azerbaijan Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, Mammadyarov noted the settlement of the problem would contribute to all-round development of the region.

    He said except for Armenia, Azerbaijan enjoyed excellent ties with all neighboring countries.

    The FM said official Yerevan must stop its aggressive policy against Azerbaijan and withdraw its armed forces from the country's occupied territories.

    They also exchanged views over international and regional issues.
  • Azerbaijani Defence Minister meets U.S. congressmen
    19.04.2014 21:34
    Azerbaijani Defense Minister, Colonel General Zakir Hasanov has today met Chairman of the Committee on Foreign Affairs of the U.S. House of Representatives Ed Royce and a delegation of congressmen accompanying him.

    The Minister underlined the successful continuation of the Azerbaijan-US military cooperation under various programs.

    Hasanov noted the contribution of Azerbaijani peacekeeping forces to the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) operations in Afghanistan, and the country's role in global anti-terror war.

    The Defense Minister highlighted the military and political situation in the region, the continuation of occupation of Azerbaijan's territories by Armenia, and the current problems of refugees and internally displaced people.

    He also expressed regret that the efforts of the international organizations towards the settlement of the conflict had yielded no results.

    The congressmen hailed cooperation between the two countries in a variety of fields, including energy security, fight against terrorism, as well as Afghanistan-related issues.

    They also discussed regional and bilateral issues of mutual interest.

    U.S. Ambassador to Azerbaijan Richard Morningstar was also present at the meeting.
  • Members of Azerbaijani communities of Washington meet U.S. Co-Chair of OSCE Minsk group
    19.04.2014 20:27
    A delegation of members of Azerbaijani communities of Washington and adjacent regions has met U.S. Co-Chair of the OSCE Minsk Group James Warlick.

    The meeting organized by the U.S. Azerbaijanis Network featured discussions on the Armenia-Azerbaijan Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.

    They expressed hope that the dispute would soon be settled peacefully.

    They also discussed progress made in negotiations to settle the dispute after James Warlick's appointment, as well as results of the activity of the U.S. Co-Chair.

    James Warlick was appointed as U.S. Co-Chair of OSCE Minsk Group on August 5, 2013 by State Secretary John Kerry.
  • EU ready for talks on gas security
    19.04.2014 20:24
    The European Union (EU) and their member states are ready for talks with Russian Federation and Ukraine on security of gas supply and transit, European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso Thursday said in a letter to Russian President Vladimir Putin.

    "The European Union agrees on your proposal for consultations with the Russian Federation and Ukraine with regard to security of gas supply and transit," wrote Barroso in his reply to a letter by Putin dated April 10.

    As supplies to the European Union and supplies to Ukraine are closely related, Barroso said, "it is our common interest to quickly engage in talks which will include Ukraine."

    Barroso said the proposed consultations should help to avoid an extreme scenario and safeguard security of supply and transit, "While at the same time creating the necessary conditions for a structured cooperation including notably the modernization of Ukraine`s gas transit system."

    As Putin warned of the possibility to completely or partially cease gas deliveries in his letter, Barroso "strongly" urged Putin to "refrain" from such measures, saying the "contractual reliability" of the Russia as a supplier of gas "is at stake".

    "We reiterate that changes to contractual arrangements due to political circumstances run counter to the spirit of support and cooperation enshrined in your letter," wrote Barroso`s letter, which was published online.

    Barroso said that the EU`s Commissioner for Energy stands ready to contact his counterparts to organize a first meeting.
  • Abducted journalists in Syria freed, taken to Turkey
    19.04.2014 20:08
    Four French journalists held in Syria since they were abducted in June were released and brought to Turkey on Saturday, Anadolu Agency reported.

    An Anadolu Agency correspondent in the southern Turkish city of Sanliurfa saw Edouard Elias, 22, Didier Francois, 54, Pierre Torres, 29 and Nicolas Henin, 38, welcomed by Turkish soldiers.

    It is not clear whom or what groups kidnapped the journalists.

    French President Francois Hollande said in a statement that the men were in good health, "in spite of the very grueling conditions of their captivity."

    Didier Francois, a senior war correspondent working for Europe 1 radio, and Edouard Elias, a photographer, were kidnapped in early June on their way to the Syrian city of Aleppo. Nicolas Henin, who was working for Le Point magazine and Pierre Torres, reporting for French-German television channel Arte, were taken later that month.

    AA Correspondent for Thailand Arnaud Dubus, who worked with Francois at French news agency Agence Centrale de Presse, called Francois "a war reporter in the true sense."

    "I have known him for 25 years, and during this whole time he has covered conflicts, from the Iran-Iraq war to the wars in Afghanistan and Africa," Dubus said. "He is mentally solid and I think he was well equipped to cope with this situation."

    "He is a reporter who works on the ground, more comfortable on battlefields and with guerilla groups than in a press room behind a computer," added Dubus. "Maybe this experience will make him a bit more cautious, but I don't think fundamentally it will alter his way of working," Dubus said.

    French President Hollande said that the men will be taken home in the coming hours after a medical check-up.

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  • Turkey's deputy PM: Erdogan may announce presidential decision in mid-May
    19.04.2014 19:33
    Turkey's Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan may make his final decision on whether or not he will run for president in the upcoming elections in the middle of May, his deputy, Bulent Arinc, said on April 19, Hurriyet Dail news reported.

    "We hope that he will announce his decision in the middle of May after discussing the issue with President Abdullah Gul," Arinc told journalists in the northwestern city of Bursa.

    Turks will go to polls on August 10 to choose their new president. If no candidate receives the required 51 percent of the votes in the first round, a run-off will be held Aug. 24.

    "We believe that if Erdogan wants to run for president, Gul will feel honored and will support his candidacy," Arinc said.

    Gul's seven-year tenure will expire on Aug. 28.

    Deputy Prime Minister Emrullah Д°sler previously said a lawmaker from the northeastern Bayburt province may resign to open way for Gul to become a member of parliament and eventually prime minister. That would clear the path for Erdogan to run for president.

    The formula is similar to that used by Erdogan to take over the prime minister's office from Gul in 2003, when Erdogan could not be a lawmaker due to a political ban. After the ban was lifted, Erdogan won a seat in parliament from Siirt province thanks to a re-election in the province. Gul then resigned as prime minister and was succeeded by Erdogan.

    "We will elect our new president by people's votes at the end of August. We hope we all will also celebrate another AK Party victory in 2015's general elections," Arinc said.

    Turkey will for the first time in its history be able to choose its president by direct vote.

    In a constitutional referendum in 2007, more than two-thirds of Turkish voters cast their ballots in favor of electing the president by popular vote instead of by parliament, decreasing the presidential term from seven years to five, and allowing the president to run for a second term.

    With regards to Turkey's electoral system, Arinc said, "We will lower the current 10 percent election threshold by holding negotiations."

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  • Azerbaijani wrestlers qualify for semi-final at AWF Cup
    19.04.2014 19:06
    Azerbaijani wrestlers have reached the semi-finals at the Azerbaijan Wrestling Federation's Cup international tournament.

    In 50kg weight class, the tournament will see Azerbaijani semi-final thanks to Elgun Huseynzade-Sahil Nadirli duello. In the other semi final, Kenan Jafarov will try to beat Turkish Ugur Beytekin.

    In 58kg division, Israfil Yagubzade will fight against Iranian Mogaddam Eftehari, while his teammate Rustam Isayev will lock horns with Turkish Omer Murat Firat.

    Ulvi Ganizade and Arif Niftullayev will face Georgian Lado Shavadze and Turkish Alikasim Tashdemir respectively in 63kg weigh class, while Tunjay Vezirzade and Islambek Dadov will battle against Georgian Ramazi Kvetenadze and Turkish Murat Ozcan respectively in 69kg division.
  • All construction work in Turkish city suspended due to authorization issues
    19.04.2014 18:58
    Baku, Azerbaijan, April 19

    By Rufiz Hafizoglu - Trend:

    All construction work has been suspended in Bodrum city of Turkish Mugla province, Turkish Milliyet newspaper said on April 19.

    The work has been suspended due to verification of documents authorizing the construction. The verification of authorizing documents will last till May 15.

    The decision to suspend all construction work was made by the new head of the Bodrum municipality.

    Mehmet Kocadon, the candidate of Turkish Republican People's Party (CHP) was elected the new head of the Bodrum municipality in the last elections.

    Turkey hosted municipal elections on March 30, resulting in the victory of the ruling Justice and Development Party with 45.6 percent of the votes.

    Some 26 political parties took part in the municipal elections.

    Translated by E.A.

    Edited by S.I.

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  • Winners of 21st Rhythmic Gymnastics Azerbaijan Championship announced
    19.04.2014 18:33
    Baku, Azerbaijan, April 19

    By Emin Aliyev - Trend:

    Baku hosted the 21st Rhythmic Gymnastics Azerbaijan Championship on Saturday, April 19.

    The championship was held at Azerbaijan's new National Gymnastics Arena.

    Some 22 senior athletes as well as other athletes (born in 1999-2001) took part in the competitions.

    Great interest for the championship was aroused by the fact that the championship is a test tournament on the eve of the Rhythmic Gymnastics European Championships to be held in Baku on June 13-15.

    The gymnasts competed for the medals in all-around disciplines as well as in separate apparatus.

    Along with gymnasts of the Republican Complex Sports School and "Baku Flames" club, the representatives of Baku Gymnastics School "Spartak", Shaghan Olympic Sports Complex and "Ojag" sports club also performed in the competition.

    The non-competitive performances of Kazakh and Hungarian gymnasts, who participated in the training assemblies in Baku, were also held during the tournament.

    A gala concert and the ceremony of awarding the winners were held upon completion of the performances.

    Zuleykha Ismayilova was the strongest among juniors in the absolute all-around. Silver and bronze medals were taken by Jala Piriyeva and Rugiya Sattarova.

    Marina Durunda became the two-time champion of Azerbaijan in rhythmic gymnastics among the seniors in the absolute all-around exercises. Lala Yusifova took the second place, followed by Gulsum Shafizadeh.

    The 21st Rhythmic Gymnastics Azerbaijan Championship is the first tournament held at the recently constructed National Gymnastics Arena in Baku.

    The opening ceremony of the grand sports complex was held just a few days before the tournament and was attended by Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev and Azerbaijan's First Lady, President of Azerbaijan Gymnastics Federation, Mehriban Aliyeva.

    The construction of the National Gymnastics Arena, which is an important part of measures on further strengthening the sports infrastructure, opens up opportunities for organizing sports events of international importance at the high level.

    The facade of the complex contains screens displaying interesting illuminative elements. One of the most important features that increase the importance of the arena, which is mainly intended for gymnastics competitions, is the fact that it can be adapted for other sports events and competitions.

    The gymnastics arena consists of a main competition and auxiliary training parts. Depending on the scale of a competition, the number of seats in the arena can be increased from 5,000 to 10,000.

    The complex, built in accordance with international standards, has a press center, a first aid station, a dance hall and a gym, doping control rooms, offices, shops, cafes and ancillary facilities. The sports facility, which is expected to become one of the best gymnastic centers in Europe, also has a hotel.

    The athletes have all the conditions created for them at the newly built National Gymnastics Arena.

    Translated by E.A.

    Edited by S.I.

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  • Azerbaijani wrestlers into semi final of AWF Cup
    19.04.2014 17:58
    Four Azerbaijani wrestlers have progressed to the semi finals of the Azerbaijan Wrestling Federation's Cup international tournament.

    In 76kg division, Nijat Abdullayev will compete against Turkish Dogukan Kuru, while Igbal Aliyev will face his teammate Rashad Mustafayev in the other semi final.

    In 100kg division, Javid Feyziyev will lock horns with Georgian Giorgi Marshania.
  • P5 1 agrees to have Iran re-install Arak heavy-water reactor's core
    19.04.2014 17:56
    Baku, Azerbaijan, April 19

    By Temkin Jafarov - Trend:

    The issue of re-installing of Arak heavy-water reactor's core has almost been settled with P5 1, Iranian Atomic Energy Organization's Head Ali Akbar Salehi said.

    In an interview with Al-Alam TV channel, Salehi said that Iran proposed P5 1 to re-install the core of the reactor, and the proposal was accepted by the other side, IRIB news agency reported.

    The Arak heavy water reactor if operating optimally would produce about nine kilograms of plutonium annually or enough for two nuclear weapons each year.

    The U.S. and the EU are concerned that the heavy water reactor could be used to produce plutonium, which can be used to fuel a nuclear weapon as an alternative to highly enriched uranium.

    Iran says its atomic program is peaceful and the reactor is intended to produce isotopes for cancer patients.

    The Islamic Republic has agreed to suspend the installation activity at the reactor based on the Geneva nuclear deal. Since the deal, Iran has diluted 103 kilograms of its 20 percent-enriched uranium down to 5 percent.

    On Jan. 16, the White House released details of implementing the nuclear deal signed by Iran and the world's six major powers. According to the statement Iran is committed not to fuel the Arak reactor or to install the remaining components there.

    Additionally, Salehi has previously said that Iran can make modifications to the reactor, to produce less plutonium. He also added that the Arak-produced plutonium is not weapons-grade plutonium.

    Under the interim nuclear deal between Iran and the P5 1 group (five members of the UN Security Council plus Germany) which took effect on January 20, the six major powers agreed to give Iran access to its $4.2 billion in revenues blocked overseas if the country fulfils the deal's terms which offer sanctions relief in exchange for steps on curbing the Iranian nuclear program.

    Iran and P5 1 intend to continue their talks to reach a final agreement to fully resolve the decade-old dispute over the Islamic Republic's nuclear energy program.

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  • Iran, Azerbaijan discuss abolition of visa regime
    19.04.2014 16:58
    Baku, Azerbaijan, April 19

    By Temkin Jafarov - Trend:

    Iran and Azerbaijan have discussed the abolition of visa regime, Iran's Deputy Foreign Minister for Asia and Oceania and Special Representative for Caspian Sea Affairs, Ebrahim Rahimpour said.

    "The work in this regard is underway," Rahimpour said, IRNA news agency reported on April 19.

    He went on to add that a special group at Iran's Foreign Ministry is currently reviewing the abolishment of the visa regime with other countries for Iranian citizens.

    "Simplification of Iranian citizens' entry and exit into neighbouring countries is one of the main directions of Tehran's foreign policy," he said.

    Iran unilaterally abolished visa requirements for Azerbaijan's citizens on January 1, 2010.

    Translated by E.A.

    Edited by S.I.

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