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Registration of applications for NETTY 2013 continues
11.05.2013 00:57
Winners of the 9th National Internet Award NETTY 2013 is chosen in Azerbaijan, the website of theMinistry ofCommunications and Information Technology said.

According to the terms of the contest, participants can submit their applications for registration ofwebsites and projects from April 3 to May 31, 2013. For participation applicants should register on theNETTYwebsite:

Votingof the Expert Council and Virtual Jury to determine the nominees for the prizewill be held simultaneously from June 1 to June 11.

On June 12,the NETTY Academy will start its voting which will will be based on afinalchoice of the Expert Council that selects three nominees for each category and Virtual jury that selects one nominee for each category.

The Academy chooses a single award winner in each of 12 nominations. At the same time it votes on non-competitive honorary and 'special mention' prize nominations.

A new 'special mention' prize nomination for "Best mobile device applications" was open in 2013. The most popular and in-demand applications built in Azerbaijan on the basis of mobile systems Android, iOS, Windows Phone will be determined within the nomination.

This year the Academy will also traditionally award a honorary prize "For contribution to development of the domestic information technologies" and "IT developments of the year".

The competition is supported by the Ministry of Communications and Information Technologies and Ministry of Culture and Tourism.

Dear User, please take into the consideration the fact that all news are posted to our portal automatically by the system and no human factor is used to estimate the content of information, therefore if you consider this article non-ethical, offensive, illegal or incorrect, we kindly ask you to inform us about this issue.
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  • 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''...
  • Armenians fire on positions of Azerbaijani Army 28 times
    25.10.2014 10:58
    The ceasefire was violated 28 times in various directions of the frontline within a day.Armenian armed units fired on the positions of Azerbaijani Armed Forces from their posts near Ashagi Seyidahmadli, Ashagi Veyselli, Horadiz and Garakhanbeyli villages of Fuzuli, Yusifjanli village of Aghdam, Kuro...
  • Anti sex-trafficking campaign launched in Azerbaijan
    24.10.2014 19:26
    Baku, October 24, AzerTAcThe British Embassy and International Organization for Migration (IOM) Mission in Azerbaijan have launched the lsquo;Two Little Girls' awareness raising campaign in Azerbaijan.Addressing the event, British Ambassador Irfan Siddiq highlighted the implementation of this ca...
  • Baku to amaze racers, spectaculars of F1
    24.10.2014 16:34
    /AzerNews/By Nigar OrujovaBaku, 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 annua...
  • 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 Kyrgyz...
  • Azerbaijan-Lithuania trade turnover doubled
    24.10.2014 15:19
    /AzerNews/By Nigar OrujovaThe 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 interg...
  • The process of change of power is gaining strength in Armenia
    25.10.2014 11:53
    Levon Ter-Petrosyan: ''The process of change of power is gaining strength in Armenia.''

    Ba Mass rallies are evidence the process of change of power is gaining strength in Armenia, Leader of the Armenian National Congress (ANC) party Levon Ter-Petrosyan said at a rally in Yerevan, APA reports quoting

    According to him, this is a highly promising process.

    With respect to Armenia's accession to the Eurasian Economic Union, Ter-Petrosyan said: "There is no sense in declaring national mourning. We must take advantage of the system to build up our country. Talks about Armenia's lost sovereignty are exaggerations."

    The first president of Armenia did not share the opinion that Armenia will lose its sovereignty by becoming a member of the EEU. He noted that all states partially lose their sovereignty when they join an organization. "If Armenia signed an agreement with the EU, it would also lose part of its sovereignty, perhaps even to a greater extent than in case of EEU," Ter-Petrosyan said.

    As regards further actions of the trio, Levon Ter-Petrosyan refused to give details, saying that they "are not going to hand their tactical steps to Serzh Sargsyan on a plate".
  • Italian court overturns DG tax convictions
    25.10.2014 11:43
    The Italian supreme court on Friday overturned fraud convictions and 18-month jail terms against celebrated fashion duo Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana, their company announced.

    ''We have always been honest and we are extremely proud of this recognition by the Italian court of justice. Viva lв'Italia,'' the two fashion house chiefs said in a statement.

    ''The Italian supreme court of justice found Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana not guilty of tax evasion,'' a company press release said.

    In April an Italian appeals court had upheld a guilty verdict against Dolce and Gabbana for evading taxes totalling €200m ($277m).

    Dolce and Gabbana, whose celebrity clients include Beyonce and Madonna, were accused of having transferred control of their brands to a shell company in Luxembourg in 2004 and 2005 to avoid paying Italian taxes.

    Prosecutors had argued that setting up the Luxembourg company Gado '" an acronym of the surnames of the two designers '" while the operation was being run out of Italy was a bid to defraud the state.

    They were found guilty in June 2013, and given 20-month jail sentences, which they appealed.

    Dolce and Gabbana were originally accused of tax evasion of around €1bn, but the court ruled that just €200m of that sum was relevant.

    On Friday the supreme court annulled the conviction, declaring that the prosecution case was ''unfounded'' and ending the case, Italian media reported.
  • Duracell jolt highlights the value of focus at PG
    25.10.2014 11:08
    Procter amp; Gambleв's Duracell jolt highlights the value of focus at the sprawling $225 billion consumer products giant. Investors were energized by the detergent-to-diapers behemothв's plan to offload its batteries arm. Spinning off copper tops wonв't create much value on its own. But itв's a solid plank in boss A.G. Lafleyв's campaign to shed underperforming brands and simplify an unwieldy business.

    Pamp;Gв's shares rose 3 percent on news of the battery exit, which will probably take the form of a spinoff to shareholders. The resulting $7 billion lift to Pamp;Gв's market value handily matches the price Gillette paid for the top U.S. battery brand in 1996. Pamp;G inherited Duracell when it bought Gillette nine years later.

    Duracell is unlikely to be worth that much as a stand-alone company. Analysts at Bernstein estimate the battery unit makes earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization of about $580 million '" or 3 percent of Pamp;Gв's forecast EBITDA for the fiscal year ending next June, according to estimates tracked by Thomson Reuters. On an enterprise multiple of seven times EBITDA '" a steep discount to Pamp;Gв's 13 times EV/EBITDA, to reflect the fact that batteries are a mature, commodity product with few growth prospects '" the business would be worth $4 billion.

    The spinoff may be more valuable for the signal it telegraphs. Coming less than three months after Lafley announced a plan to cull up to 100 lackluster brands, it suggests the Pamp;G chief is working with appropriate urgency and willing to consider large divestitures.

    It will take time for Lafley to show that narrowing Pamp;Gв's focus to a few dozen core brands can revive sluggish sales. Announcing its quarterly results on Friday, Pamp;G said it still expects only modest single-digit increases in annual revenue growth in 2015. Still, the marketв's energetic reaction suggests the lumbering giant is moving in the right direction.
  • A friendly match on wrestling will be held between the French and Azerbaijani national teams
    25.10.2014 10:58
    National teams of Azerbaijan and France on wrestling will meet in the Winter Circus of Paris, December 4, 2014. At the friendly match to be held within the framework of ''Baku-2015'' first European Games presentation campaign, the teams will compete on three types of wrestling - Greco-Roman style, freestyle and woman wrestling. In a competition to be held on 8 weight categories, the team winning with aggregate scores will be considered the winner of the competition.

    1600 onlookers will have a chance to watch this friendly match. In an official part to be arranged after the competition, information will be given about todayв's development and achievements of the Azerbaijani sport, as well as the preparation works for the first European Games at the state level. Up to 200 guests to be invited from political circles of France and the general public are expected to participate in the ceremony.

    Tickets may be purchased through the following link at acceptable prices.
  • Armenians fire on positions of Azerbaijani Army 28 times
    25.10.2014 10:58
    The ceasefire was violated 28 times in various directions of the frontline within a day.

    Armenian armed units fired on the positions of Azerbaijani Armed Forces from their posts near Ashagi Seyidahmadli, Ashagi Veyselli, Horadiz and Garakhanbeyli villages of Fuzuli, Yusifjanli village of Aghdam, Kuropatkino village of Khojavand, Mehdili village of Jabrayil region and nameless uplands of Fuzuli, Jabrayil and Khojavand regions.

    Defense Ministry's press service told APA that the enemy was silenced by retaliation fire.
  • SOCAR: Divers find dead bodies of 3 workers fallen into sea during offshore platform accident - UPDATED
    25.10.2014 10:55
    The search for another missing worker is underway

    Baku - APA. SOCAR issued regular information about the offshore platform accident, APA reports quoting SOCAR.

    The dead bodies of 3 of the 4 workers, missing after an accident at the faulty platform #441 of the Narimanovneft oil and gas production department, have been foundand took them to the shoreby divers ofSOCAR and MES.The search for another missing worker is underway.


    Baku - APA. SOCAR has released a new statement on the offshore platform accident.

    A repair platform at the 441st platform of the oil and gas management lsquo;Narimanneft' of the State Oil Company of Azerbaijan (SOCAR) collapsed during ongoing repairs at around 12:00 October 23, the company told APA.

    As a result of the collapse, a small wagon-house on the platform fell into the sea. The fire occurred as a pipeline with a diameter of 700 mm over the platform was broken. The fire was extinguished at 12:45.

    At the moment of the collapse, there were 41 workers at the site. Thanks to the operative measures taken by a rescue team, 37 workers were evacuated and taken to the shore via ships Orion-15 and PSK-52.

    The injured workers are currently being provided with first aid. Search operation is underway for four persons, supposedly fallen into sea during offshore platform accident. Additional information will soon be given.

    A special commission has been created in order to investigate the accident.
  • Armenian politician: The people are in a very difficult situation in Armenia
    25.10.2014 10:13
    ''The country and the people are in a very difficult situation as a result of the government's policy emigration of the population is being intensified.'' SIA reports quoting the Armenian media that leader of the Prosperous Armenia party Tsarukyan told this.

    The head of the parliamentary faction of the Armenian National Congress Levon Zurabyan, summarizing the meeting, said that today was made decision on the process of change opposition and peopleв's power. "We will not delay the process, no one will be slow," - said Zurabyan, adding that in the future may also sit pickets.

    Note that at the meeting on October 24th leader of the Prosperous Armenia party Tsarukyan stressed that Armenia needs government with new quality. "The country and the people are in a very difficult situation as a result of the government's policy emigration of the population is being intensified. Foreign policy has failures. The situation in Armenia has reached the point that many Armenian citizens are unable to heat their apartments, and we need to change the situation", - said the leader of" Prosperous Armenia ", without naming specific solutions to problems.
  • Coal mine accident in far west China kills 16
    25.10.2014 10:13
    Sixteen workers were killed after a coal mine collapsed in China's far western region of Xinjiang, the official Xinhua news agency reported on Saturday, highlighting the poor safety standards in the world's biggest coal producing country.

    The accident occurred in the regional capital of Urumqi on Friday night when 33 workers were underground, the report said citing local officials.

    Eleven workers were injured and six escaped, it added.

    The report did not identify the name of the coal mine and said the cause of the accident is being investigated.

    China's mines are the deadliest in the world because of lax enforcement of safety standards and a rush to feed demand from a robust economy. Twenty two workers were killed in a coal mine accident in southwestern China in June.

    In an effort to eliminate outdated capacity and improve work safety, China plans to shut down over 2,000 small-scale coal mines by 2015.
  • Azerbaijan considers its withdrawal from EITI
    25.10.2014 10:08
    "The Azerbaijani government does not intend to put up with that pressure."

    The Government of Azerbaijan considers its withdrawal from the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative.

    Oxu.Az reports citing that this statement came from the chairman of the State Commission of Azerbaijan on EITI, the executive director of the State Oil Fund of Azerbaijan (SOFAR) Shahmar Movsumov.

    A statement posted on EITI website in Azerbaijan's section.

    The text of the statement indicates that Azerbaijan joined the EITI in 2003.

    "During the creation the EITI was aimed at ensuring transparency of revenues from extractive industries. In line with this objective, Azerbaijan was publishing reports on the receipt of revenues from the extractive industry, revenue transparency has been achieved, and all relevant information was brought to the country's citizens. This process is lead by the multinational group, which includes the Coalition of non-governmental organizations (NGOs).

    But over the last few years at the level of the international board there are attempts to change the organization's mandate. Unfortunately, this has led to the fact that EITI has moved away from its original goals, and began to resemble the organization for the protection of human rights, and more specifically, NGOs. Over recent years, all the statmenets regarding EITI from various international organizations, articles published in reputable media reflect the position of NGOs and were far from the issues of transparency and basic mandate of EITI", the statement notes.

    The document emphasizes that the main purpose of joining of Azerbaijan's government to the EITI was to ensure transparency of revenues from extractive industries for citizens.

    "Today Azerbaijan criticized organizations applying double standards. Conversion of EITI in one of these organizations is unacceptable," the document says.

    The statement also said that "Azerbaijan joined the EITI not to report back to the organization based outside the country."

    "Azerbaijan is also not obliged to listen to criticism on issues not corresponding to the basic mandate of the organization. The Azerbaijani government does not intend to put up with that pressure. In view of the foregoing, the government will consider leaving the EITI, and bring their concerns to other members of the organization.

    But in spite of the above, as part of EITI, or outside of the organization, Azerbaijan will continue to work to ensure the transparency of revenues from extractive industries for their citizens," the statement says.

    Azerbaijan joined the EITI in 2003 and became the first country in the history, which passed the assessment process and became a full member of the EITI (on International Conference on EITI in Doha, Qatar, on 16-18 February, 2009).
  • ErdoДџan announces Turkey will allow FSA to Kobane, PYD says talks continue
    25.10.2014 10:08
    The Democratic Union Party (PYD), the main Kurdish group fighting in Syria against jihadists, has agreed to the passage of 1,300 Free Syrian Army (FSA) fighters to the Syrian border town of Kobane, Turkish President Recep Tayyip ErdoДџan has said.

    "The PYD said it accepted the passage of 1,300 people from the FSA, and on this topic, right now, our relevant teams are negotiating what the route of their passage should be," ErdoДџan said, during a press conference in the Estonian capital of Tallinn on Oct. 24, Hurriyet Daily reports.

    The co-chair of the PYD confirmed the groups are in contact, but asserted that no agreement has been reached yet on the FSA fighters' passage to the besieged border town.

    "We had already established a connection with the FSA, but no such agreement has been reached yet, as Mr. ErdoДџan has mentioned," Salih Muslim told Reuters via phone from Brussels.

    Muslim said Oct. 24 that the FSA should open a second front against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) instead of coming to Kobane in support of the Kurdish fighters.

    ErdoДџan had previously said he proposed to U.S. President Barack Obama that FSA fighters could join the battle against ISIL in Kobane.

    In his remarks on Oct. 24, the Turkish president also said he has learned the number of Iraqi Kurdish Peshmerga fighters allowed to go to Kobane through Turkey has been decreased to 150 from the initially announced 200.

    "As I said before, we told Mr. Obama the main group to be cooperated with is the FSA and secondarily the Peshmerga. After a few days, the PYD agreed for 200 Peshmerga to come. According to the information I have recently received, this number has been reduced to 150 now," ErdoДџan said.

    The Turkish government views the PYD with deep suspicion because of its ties to the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) and has previously turned down requests for it to open a land corridor so that Kobane could be resupplied from other Kurdish areas of northern Syria. In response to earlier statements by ErdoДџan, Washington has already said the PYD's legal situation in the United States was different than that of the PKK, which is on its list of Foreign Terrorist Organizations (FTOs).

    Army denies media reports on corridor

    The Turkish General Staff, meanwhile, issued a clarification about the Peshmerga forces' passage through Turkey to Kobane after some local media outlets reported various scenarios about how or when the Iraqi Kurds will travel across Turkey.

    Referring to some specific stories, the General Staff denied newspaper reports purporting to reveal these details, labeling them "completely unreal."

    Some of the articles said Peshmerga forces would be airlifted to Kobane through Turkey's southeastern province of ЕћanlД±urfa or that the forces were to enter Turkey through the Khabur border check point on country's southeastern border with Iraq.

    "These and similar articles involving the movement of Pershmerga forces from Turkey to Kobane were all untrue," the statement said.
  • Attacker among two dead inn school shooting PHOTO
    25.10.2014 09:53
    A school student who went on a shooting spree before killing himself wrote a series of chilling tweets in the months before he ran amok with a gun.

    Jaylen Fryberg opened fire in a cafeteria, murdering one and critically injuring three others at Marysville-Pilchuck High School in Marysville, about 35 miles north of Seattle, Washington.

    A student who called himself Austin told an affiliate of CNN that the gunman was initially "quiet" before opening fire on fellow diners.

    Austin said: "There was just a big group of kids... He was quiet. He was just sitting there. Everyone was talking. All of a sudden I see him stand up, pull something out of his pocket.

    "At first I thought it was just someone making a really loud noise, like a bag, like a pretty loud pop, until I heard four more after that, and I saw three kids just fall from the table like they were falling to the ground dead."

    Fryberg left a series of posts on Twitter before his attack which painted a picture of a teenager who was familiar with using weapons.


    Gallery: Students Distraught After High School Shooting

    Police have said two people are dead, including an armed student, after a shooting at a high school north of Seattle
  • Iran to produce 5,000 MW clean power in five years
    25.10.2014 09:33
    Iran is planning to produce 5,000 megawatts of electricity in the next five years using renewable energy sources, an Iranian official says.

    "The Renewable Energy Organization [of Iran] has comprehensive plans underway with respect to utilization of clean methods of energy supply," said the organization's managing director, Yusef Armodeli, in a Friday interview, Press TV reports.

    "Iran has put the objective of producing 5,000 MW [of clean energy] from renewable sources in the next five years on its agenda," he added.

    At present, the country produces 10,000 MW of electricity from hydropower plants, Armodeli added.

    He underlined the Iranian administration's resolve to support the development of renewable energies and noted that the incentives provided by the government have attracted investors to the sector.

    "The majority of [investment] requests are related to wind and solar power plants. This indicates that there are resources and demand for investment. Moreover, the industrial infrastructure for production [of energy] exists in the country," Armodeli pointed out.

    Due to its geographical and geological position, Iran enjoys enormous potentials for production of different sorts of renewable energies, including geothermal, solar and wind power.

    The country seeks to gradually shift its energy consumption toward renewable resources in a bid to derive the remarkable economic benefits of the sector and tackle its growing environmental issues.
  • Turkey to refrain from sanctioning Russia: Turkish Ambassador to Russia
    25.10.2014 08:59
    Turkish authorities do not intend to impose sanctions on Russia if asked by the United States or the European Union, Turkish Ambassador to Russia Umit Yardim told RIA Novosti on Friday.

    "I do not see the Russian-Turkish relations within the framework of these sanctions [against Russia]. Russia-Turkey relations develop naturally and they are special in their own way. We will keep our relations that way," Yardim said, RIA Novosti reports.

    "While I worked in Iran, I realized that sanctions are not a method that leads to expected results in politics. Turkey follows the decisions made by the UN. It concerns not only Turkey but all UN member states," the ambassador added.

    The West has introduced several rounds of sanctions against Russia, freezing assets and banning visas for certain individuals and targeting Russia's largest banks, energy and defense companies. The restrictive measures have been put in place over Moscow's alleged involvement in the Ukrainian crisis, although Russian authorities have repeatedly denied the claim.

    Earlier on Thursday, Kremlin chief of staff Sergei Ivanov said that "real sanctions" could only be imposed by the United Nations Security Council, calling the West's attempts to isolate Russia futile.
  • Official distributor of Volkswagen cars in Azerbaijan violates antitrust laws
    25.10.2014 08:52
    Official distributor of Volkswagen cars in Azerbaijan has violated the antitrust laws.

    The State Service for Antimonopoly Policy and Consumer Rights' Protection under the Ministry of Economy and Industry has revealed signs of inaccuracies in the advertisements of Polo Sedan and Tiguan models of Volkswagen cars which cause confusion of consumers.

    According to the Ministry, it was revealed usage of advertisements "Polo Sedan - ideal meeting of your daily needs" and "Tiguan - your most reliable friend on the road and bad condition of roads" which create an idea that these cars are superior of other cars.

    A case was launched on violation of antitrust laws against Euro Style LTD LLC which sells those cars.

    Researchers are underway.
  • EU agrees landmark climate change deal
    24.10.2014 23:55
    European Union leaders agreed Friday a landmark climate change deal, including a headline commitment to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 40 percent by 2030, EU head Herman Van Rompuy said.

    "Deal! At least 40% emissions cut by 2030. World's most ambitious, cost-effective, fair climate energy policy agreed," Van Rompuy said, adding that the European leaders also adopted 27 percent targets for renewable energy supply and efficiency gains.
  • ВЈ425,000 paid to mother of spy's child
    24.10.2014 23:38
    British police are to pay compensation to woman who had a child with a man she did not know was an undercover agent, the Guardian and BBC reported, SIA reports quoting the AFP.

    The ВЈ425,000 ($681,000, 539,000 euros) payment follows a legal battle by several women who say they were tricked into having relationships with officers sent to spy on political activists.

    Known only as "Jacqui", the woman said she had received psychiatric treatment since discovering the true identity of her child's father in a newspaper in 2012.

    "He presented himself as Bob Robinson, a long-haired leftwing radical," the woman known as "Jacqui" told the Guardian.

    "In reality he was a member of a secret police unit, the special demonstration squad, and was embarking on a five-year mission to infiltrate environmental and animal rights groups."

    The man disappeared from her life when the child was two years old, going back to his original wife, children and identity.

    Now an academic, he was one of several officers who had undercover roles as part of the now-defunct special demonstration squad between 1968 and 2008.

    He was confronted in 2012 at a conference by members of London Greenpeace, who said he had infiltrated their group in the 1980s as it campaigned on nuclear and environment issues.

    Police later acknowledged that he had been an undercover officer.

    A Scotland Yard spokesman said the force "unreservedly apologises for any pain and suffering that the relationship" caused.

    However, it added that it "never had a policy that officers can use sexual relations for the purposes of policing".

    In August, four former officers in the squad were told they would not face criminal charges for forming sexual relationships with women while undercover.

    Several other legal claims relating to undercover officers are ongoing.
  • China launches first mission to moon and back
    24.10.2014 23:13
    China launched its first space mission to the moon and back early Friday, authorities said, the latest step forward for Beijing's ambitious programme to one day land a Chinese citizen on the Earth's only natural satellite.

    The unnamed, unmanned probe will travel to the moon, fly around it and head back to Earth, re-entering the atmosphere and landing, the State Administration of Science, Technology and Industry for National Defence (SASTIND) said in a statement.

    "The first stage of the first return journey test in China's moon probe programme has been successful," it said after the launch, from the Xichang space base in the southwestern province of Sichuan.

    The module will be 413,000 kilometres from Earth at its furthest point on the eight-day mission, it added.

    The official Xinhua news agency said it would re-enter the atmosphere at 11.2 kilometres per second (25,000 mph) before slowing down -- a process that generates extremely high temperatures -- and landing in northern China's Inner Mongolia region.

    The mission is intended to test technology to be used in the Chang'e-5, China's fourth lunar probe, which aims to gather samples from the moon's surface and will be launched around 2017, SASTIND said previously.

    Beijing sees its multi-billion-dollar space programme as a marker of its rising global stature and mounting technical expertise, as well as evidence of the ruling Communist Party's success in turning around the fortunes of the once poverty-stricken nation.

    The military-run project has plans for a permanent orbiting station by 2020 and eventually to send a human to the moon.

    China currently has a rover, the Jade Rabbit, on the surface of the moon.

    The craft, launched as part of the Chang'e-3 lunar mission late last year, has been declared a success by Chinese authorities, although it has been beset by mechanical troubles.
  • 11 arrested over rape of woman in Liverpool
    24.10.2014 22:53
    Eleven people, including a 12-year-old boy and a 15-year-old girl, have been arrested on suspicion of raping a woman in her home in Liverpool.

    The 43-year-old woman, described by police as vulnerable, was attacked at a property in Anfield on 24 September.

    Paramedics called police to report the woman had been sexually assaulted.

    Two men aged 19 and 18, eight boys aged between 12 and 16, and the girl have been released on bail. Merseyside Police said they were investigating whether any other people were involved.

    Det Supt Tim Keelan, said: "The victim has been distressed by her ordeal and is being supported by specialist officers.

    "This was an appalling attack on a woman in her own home and we would urge anyone who has information, which could help us bring those responsible to justice, to come forward."

    She no longer lives at the address, police said.
  • IS allegedly used chlorine gas in Iraq
    24.10.2014 22:28
    Dizzy, vomiting and struggling to breathe, 11 Iraqi police officers were rushed to a government hospital 50 miles north of the capital last month. The diagnosis: poisoning by chlorine gas. The perpetrators, according to the officers: Islamic State extremists.

    The chlorine attack appears to be the first confirmed use of chemical weapons by the Islamic State on the battlefield. An Iraqi Defense Ministry official corroborated the events, and doctors said survivorsв' symptoms were consistent with chlorine poisoning.

    Iraqi forces say two other crude chlorine attacks have occurred since the extremists seized vast tracts of Iraqi territory this summer, but details on those incidents remain sketchy. The reported assaults all raise concerns that the militants are attempting to hone their chemical weapons capabilities as they push to control more ground.

    The presence of a large former Iraqi chemical weapons production plant in territory seized by the Islamic State has compounded those fears, although officials and chemical weapons experts say the 2,500 degraded rockets filled with nerve agents that remain there are unlikely to be fit for use. Weapons inspectors sealed them off with concrete in a bunker more than 20 years ago.
  • Turkish educators visit Khazar University
    24.10.2014 22:06
    Baku, October 24, AzerTAc

    Associate Professor Melike Ozer Keskin, assistant director of the Center for International Education Activities in Turkey, coordinator of Mevlana Programs, Associate Professor Salman Akin and instructor of the Department of Biology at Gazi University Professor Tahir AtД±cД± have visited Khazar University.

    Melike Keskin gave information about Mevlana programs to the students.

    Tahir AtД±cД± delivered a lecture on algae to the students majoring in Biology. AtД±cД± also spoke on the subject of "General Ecology" in a workshop organized by the School of Education.
  • Belgian chocolate trade mark changed in fear of confusion with IS
    24.10.2014 21:54
    The Belgian company Isis has changed its trade mark for fear that its customers might associate the name of its chocolate brand with the name of the Islam State terrorist organization responsible for crimes in Syria and Iraq, local media sources reported Friday.

    The reason behind the change was that chocolate produced under the Isis brand might be associated in the minds of Isis chocolate lovers with the English abbreviation for the terrorist organization of Islamic State militants often still known by its old name ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and Syria).

    Because of negative associations with the recent developments in the Middle East the company ought to change its trade mark, the Belgian chocolate producer said. Its new trade mark is Libeert.
  • China not to join sanctions against Russia
    24.10.2014 21:19
    The Chinese government will not join economic sanctions against Russia over the events in Ukraine, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying told TASS on Friday.

    She commented on a statement by Paul Jones, USPrincipal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State in the Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs.

    ''We come against any sanctions or threats because they are not an effective method of solving problems. We believe that the political settlement of the situation in Ukraine is the only right way of solving problems,'' Hua Chunying said.

    ''China supports the efforts by the parties involved in the Ukrainian issue to improve the dialogue in order to search for comprehensive political settlement that will meet the interests of all sides,'' she said.

    ''The Asian countries have their own view on the Ukrainian problem. But China is sure that sanctions are useless,'' Hua said.

    In an interview with Japanв's largest business newspaper, the Nikkei, Jones said the USintended to influence the Asian countries in order to convince them to join economic sanctions against Russia due to the events around Ukraine.
  • Azerbaijani Deputy Premier: Mechanisms to stimulate performance of health care facilities and doctors should be improved
    24.10.2014 21:15
    Baku, October 24, AzerTAc

    Deputy Chairman-Executive Secretary of the New Azerbaijan Party (YAP), Deputy Prime Minister Ali Ahmadov has emphasized the necessity of improving mechanisms to stimulate performance of health care facilities and doctors in the country.

    "What we seek is to better address the needs of those who work in the health care sector," he told "Reforming health care funding system in the region: options for Azerbaijan" workshop in Baku. "Shifting to compulsory health insurance system can assist us in fulfilling this task," he added.

    The Deputy Prime Minister highlighted Azerbaijan's achievements in health care system. "Major reforms have been carried out in health care system in the last decade. State-of-the-art hospitals and medical facilities have been built in Azerbaijan. These facilities are fitted with cutting-edge medical equipment. This is a vivid evidence of the government`s attention to its citizens."

    "Serious work is also carried out to increase the professionalism of medical staff. All this paved the way for elevating health care reforms in Azerbaijan to a new level. This is due to the use of new methods and improving financial system in the healthcare. There is a specific legislative framework for the application of the compulsory health insurance. We are working on new legal documents and examine the international experience in this regard," Mr. Ahmadov added.

    Other speakers at the event included World Bank Country Manager for Azerbaijan Larisa Leshchenko and former Turkish Health Minister, member of the Grand National Assembly Recep Akdag.

    The workshop continued with discussions.
  • Azerbaijan is once again ready to plunge into the world of luxury and art
    24.10.2014 21:10
    Baku, October 24, AzerTAc

    Spring of 2013 was the starting point for the annual exhibition "Jewels of the World" in one of the capital's most beautiful hotels - Four Seasons Hotel Baku, Azerbaijan. This autumn Baku is offering the world a new tradition, combining the jeweler's art with the visual art, thus transforming Jewels of the World in Art and Jewels of the World 2014. French and international galleries will join the world's luxurious and leading jewelry brands by presenting among the best works of art.

    From 29th October to 2nd November, visitors of the exhibition will be able to evaluate enjoy and try the unique creations of jewelry, see the works of international artists and have an opportunity to talk with the fashion house and gallery presenters.

    Jeweler's art is represented by such brands as: Al Nahar, Avenue, Brigitte Ermel, Grande Luxe, Michael Young, Quinting Watches, RCM Gioielli, Shakh Diamond, Suzanne Syz Art Jewels. World Art Gallery will present the following: YAY Gallery, Berko Fine Paintings, Boccara Gallery, Maison D'Art, Ruzhnikov.

    A special tasting program by Johnnie Walker is awaiting the guests as well.
  • Boeing sells first parts to Iran since 1979
    24.10.2014 20:45
    Baku, October 24, AzerTAc

    Boeing has sold plane parts to Iran Air, the first time it has done business with the Tehran's national carrier since the 1979 hostage crisis, the US aviation firm reported.

    The sales generated $120,000 in revenue, Boeing said, ending a 35-year break in business between the two air companies prohibited under decades of US sanctions.

    "During the third quarter of 2014, we sold aircraft manuals, drawings, and navigation charts and data to Iran Air," Boeing said in its quarterly report.

    The sales earned Boeing $12,000 in gross profits, according to the report.

    In April, the US government issued a license allowing Boeing, for a "limited period of time," to provide "spare parts that are for safety purposes" to Iran.

    Boeing is still not allowed to sell new planes to Iran.

    The license was granted by the US Treasury Department in the context of an interim deal between world powers and Iran over its nuclear programme signed in November.

    Boeing said the parts were purchased "consistent with guidance from the US government in connection with ongoing negotiations."

    The US company said more parts could be sold to Iran Air in the future.

    "We may engage in additional sales pursuant to this license," it added.

    Iran Air's fleet includes Boeing airplanes acquired before the 1979 revolution.

    Other US companies have said they want to conduct business with Iran under the sanctions ease, including General Electric, which in February requested permission to sell spare airliner parts to Iran.
  • China punishes 17 officials after deadly village clash
    24.10.2014 20:39
    Chinese authorities have arrested an official and punished 16 others following a deadly clash earlier this month in Yunnan, state media say.

    Eight people died, including four construction workers who were burnt to death, and 18 others were injured in the violence in Fuyou village.

    Villagers were reportedly unhappy about a land deal involving the construction of a trade and logistics centre. The arrested official was the village chief who state media said took bribes.

    There have been several high-profile village clashes over land deals in recent years amid rapid development.

    All land in China is state-owned and farmers often have little say when state-appointed local officials sell off large tracts of land to developers, some pocketing bribes in the process and paying inadequate compensation to villagers forced to relocate.
  • ''Application of the European Convention on Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms on national level and the role of national judges'' international conference kicks off in Baku
    24.10.2014 20:25
    Baku, October 24, AzerTAc

    "Application of the European Convention on Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms on national level and the role of national judges" international conference has got underway in Baku. The conference is attended by judges and the President of the European Court of Human Rights, more than 60 judges and chairmen of constitutional, supreme, supreme administrative and other courts of the Council of Europe member states and other countries, senior officials at the Secretariat of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe, chairman of Azerbaijan`s Constitutional Court Farhad Abdullayev, Justice Minister Fikrat Mammadov, first deputy chairman of the Milli Majlis Ziyafet Asgarov, Prosecutor General Zakir Garalov,

    Director of Department for Coordination of Law Enforcement Agencies at the Administration of the Azerbaijani President Fuad Alasgarov, as well as judges, prosecutors, justice officials, lawyers and human rights experts.

    In his opening remarks, Ramiz Rzayev, chairman of Azerbaijan`s Supreme Court, expressed his confidence that the conference will contribute to the implementation of the decisions of the Council of Europe on national level.

    President of the European Court of Human Rights Dean Spielmann hailed dialogue between national judges and courts.

    Fuad Alasgarov, Director of Department for Coordination of Law Enforcement Agencies at the Administration of the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan, said: "During the 2014 summer part-session of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe the Azerbaijani President has identified priorities of the Azerbaijani chairmanship, which include strengthening rule of law through enhanced cooperation in combating corruption; consolidation of culturally diverse societies based on mutual respect and understanding; ensuring social cohesion and social sustainability; enhanced protection of human rights; education of youth in human rights and democratic citizenship."

    "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."

    Mr. Alasgarov said: "We support the adoption of new approaches to raise effectiveness of the European Court and widely disseminate the Convention values. The Brighton Declaration of the High Level Conference on the Future of the European Court of Human Rights stressed that "The full implementation of the Convention at national level requires States Parties to take effective measures to prevent violations. National courts and tribunals should take into account the Convention and the case law of the Court. Collectively, these measures would reduce the number of well-founded applications presented to the Court, thereby helping to ease its workload".

    "To implement Convention provisions the Azerbaijani State undertakes effective measures in several directions. These include improvement of legislation, continued trainings for public officials and judges, modernization of judicial infrastructure, public awareness-building, implementation of various social oriented innovations, etc.

    Apparently, the main role in protection of human rights and freedoms lays on courts which have the competencies to examine civil, criminal and administrative cases in independent, objective and impartial way," he said.

    "We take purposeful measures to ensure independent and effective operation of judiciary in our country. Among our achievements one can note building of judicial infrastructure meeting modern requirements, creation of new regional administrative and economic and appellate courts in the regions, establishment of and improvement of the activities of the Judicial-Legal Council, establishment of the Academy of Justice, etc.

    New transparent procedures on selection of judges in Azerbaijan have been acknowledged by the Council of Europe's CEPEJ Committee as one of the best practices. Following these procedures young modernizers with knowledge of the Court's case law were appointed on judge position. They compose now more than 60% of the judiciary."

    "I would like to stress also the significant role played by the Supreme Court in the field of application of the Convention. Vast majority of its decisions are being taken in the light of case law of the European Court and with due regard to Convention requirements.

    Azerbaijani State respects the judgments and decisions of the European Court and undertakes necessary measures for their domestic application."

    "There is no doubt that this conference will play important role for Convention's application in Europe and determination of additional measures for wider implementation of the Court's case law," said Mr. Alasgarov.

    The conference then featured two sessions titled Anticipation of Violations and Enforcement of the Court`s judgments.
  • Russia launches Ebola vaccine production
    24.10.2014 20:05
    Russia has launched the production of a trial batch of the Ebola vaccine Triazavirin that will be sent to Africa in the coming days forefficiency tests, head of the vaccine producer Yunona (Juno) pharmaceutical holding Alexander Petrov said on Friday.

    The vaccine was created by the Ural Biopharmaceutical Technology Center.

    Triazavirin has been approved by the Russian Health Ministry, Petrov said. ''Studies have confirmed the medicineв's high efficiency against a number of viral infections'" influenza, tick-borne encephalitis and exotic viruses that are common in Africa and Asia,'' the scientist said.Tests of Triazavirin have shown the vaccineв's high efficiency (70-90%) against various kinds of haemorrhagic fevers, including Marburg fever, which has a close relation to Ebola.

    Russian Deputy Prime Minister Olga Golodets said on October 13 that Russian specialists were close to completingthe work to create the Ebola fever vaccine. Moreover,Russia and Guinea will ink a memorandum on the fight with the Ebola virus outbreak in the coming week, Golodets said on Friday.''We are working together with Guineaв's leadership on the issues related to signing a memorandum on joint efforts in the fight with the Ebola virus outbreak,'' she said.
  • Nadal pulls out of Paris Masters for personal reasons
    24.10.2014 19:55
    French Open champion Rafael Nadal has pulled out of the next week's ATP Paris Masters citing personal reasons, the French Tennis Federation (FFT) said Friday.

    The Spanish world number three is already guaranteed a place in the season-ending World Tour Finals in London next month.

    The Paris tournament, often beset by withdrawals due to its position in the calendar at the end of the season, has also seen US Open champion Marin Cilic pull out with an arm injury and No.13 Ernests Gulbis withdraw due to a shoulder problem.

    Nadal has been replaced in the draw by compatriot Pablo Andujar while Pole Jerzy Janowicz, finalist in 2012, and Canadian Vasek Pospisil take the places of Cilic and Gulbis.
  • European stocks drop on Ebola
    24.10.2014 19:33
    European stock markets sank on Friday on concerns over New York's first Ebola case, looming eurozone bank stress test results, and news of a British economic slowdown.

    In late morning deals, London's FTSE 100 index slid 0.29 percent to stand at 6,400.77 points, as data showed British economic growth slowed to 0.7 percent in the third quarter after 0.9-percent expansion in the second.

    Frankfurt's DAX 30 dipped 0.12 percent to 9,036.83 points and in Paris the CAC 40 fell 0.30 percent to 4,145.16 compared with Thursday's close.

    "Equity traders have been met with red across their screens this morning as fresh Ebola worries and looming bank stress test results have dented trader?s optimism," said analyst Alastair McCaig at IG trading group.

    The first confirmed Ebola case in New York City has meanwhile hurt investors' risk appetite.

    On Sunday, the European Central Bank (ECB) will issue the results of an unprecedented health check of eurozone banks under new powers for the central bank. These tests are one of the main reforms after the eurozone debt crisis to reduce the risks of a repetition of crisis in parts of the banking system.

    New frameworks are intended to put up firewalls so that a fall in value of government bonds, held heavily by banks, does not pull down banks and lead to rescues by governments, which then have to issue more debt.

    The ECB will publish the results of the audit -- which will put under the microscope the balance sheets of about 130 banks accounting for 82 percent of total banking assets in 19 countries (the eurozone plus Lithuania) -- at 1100 GMT on Sunday.

    At the same time in London, the European Banking Authority (EBA) will publish the results of its own stress test for the wider European Union.

    Analysts are confident that because banks have been taking action for months now to plug any holes in their balance sheets, there will not be any nasty surprises.

    "We expect that the majority of banks will pass the assessment," said credit rating agency Fitch.

    On Friday, Europe's top banks were rising slightly. In London, British banks Barclays and Lloyds saw their share prices rise by 0.22 percent and 0.68 percent, to stand at 226.4 pence and 76.85 pence respectively.

    In Paris, Credit Agricole shares advanced 0.22 percent to 11.62 euros and Societe Generale was up 1.04 percent at 49.7 euros.

    Shares in Commerzbank meanwhile gained 0.90 percent to 11.78 euros in Frankfurt.

    Publisher Pearson was meanwhile the top faller in the British capital, losing 2.78 percent to 1,136.5 pence.

    The owner of the Financial Times newspaper revealed that sales fell six percent in the nine months of 2014 from a year earlier, hit by adverse currency factors.

    The stock was also hit by news that chief financial officer Robin Freestone will leave before the end of 2015, after a total of 10 years at the group.

    In Paris, French luxury products group Kering topped the CAC 40 fallers board, sinking 4.14 percent to 147.2 euros.

    Kering posted rising third-quarter sales after the market close on Thursday, but investors focussed on falling revenues at its high-end brand Gucci.

    Asian markets were mixed on Friday following strong gains on Wall Street, with Tokyo enjoying a significant bump due to the dollar's rise against the yen.

    Tokyo rose 0.79 percent, Sydney added 0.54 percent, while Hong Kong lost 0.13 percent, Seoul fell 0.31 percent and Shanghai ended flat.

    In foreign exchange deals in London, the euro climbed to $1.2653 from $1.2647 late in New York on Thursday. The European single currency eased to 78.82 British pence from 78.88 pence. The British pound rose to $1.6056 from $1.6032 on Thursday.

    "Sterling has remained within a tight trading range against the euro and dollar, despite another week of disappointing data for the pound," said Phil Ryan, a dealer at Currencies Direct.

    On the London Bullion Market, the price of gold slipped to $1,232.32 an ounce from $1,232.75 on Thursday.
  • Anti sex-trafficking campaign launched in Azerbaijan
    24.10.2014 19:26
    Baku, October 24, AzerTAc

    The British Embassy and International Organization for Migration (IOM) Mission in Azerbaijan have launched the lsquo;Two Little Girls' awareness raising campaign in Azerbaijan.

    Addressing the event, British Ambassador Irfan Siddiq highlighted the implementation of this campaign jointly with the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Azerbaijan against human trafficking. Stressing the importance of the campaign, the Ambassador thanked the Azerbaijani Government for efforts in fighting against human trafficking.

    Deputy Head of the Main Department for Combating Trafficking in Human Beings of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, Police colonel Imran Najafov said Azerbaijan joined relevant Conventions of the UN.

    The event saw speech by Regional Director for Eastern and South-Eastern Europe and Central Asia of the International Organization for Migration Renate Held.

    lsquo;Two Little girls' is a short animated film designed to spearhead an anti sex-trafficking campaign in East Europe and now Central Asia and the Caucasus. The campaign began in January 2009 and will continue into 2015. The lsquo;Two Little Girls' campaign has been generously supported by a number of leading UK charities most notably Comic Relief and the Tudor Trust.

    The campaign in Azerbaijan seeks to sensitize and raise awareness among the population to the dangers and risks of human trafficking, and thus to support its combating. In addition to the video, the IOM jointly with the Azerbaijan Red Crescent Society will be holding a series of awareness raising seminars to highlight the risks of trafficking and further promote the key themes of the lsquo;Two Little Girls' campaign.

    The event brought together the government officials, as well as representatives of the embassies, international organizations and non-governmental organizations.
  • Azerbaijan bids for ITU Council membership
    24.10.2014 19:26
    Busan, October 24, AzerTAc

    The Plenipotentiary Conference of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) continues its work in Busan, Republic of Korea.

    The ITU Plenipotentiary Conference is the top policy-making body and supreme organ of the International Telecommunication Union. It is a meeting of ITU Member States and is held every four years. Plenipotentiary conferences adopt the underlying policies of the organization, determine its structures and activities, establish the financial plan for the organization. It sets the ITU's general policies, adopts four-year strategic and financial plans, and elects the Secretary General and its deputy, members of the council, bureau, committee and subcommittee.

    The conference is attended by a total of more than 3 thousand representatives from 175 member countries, international and regional organizations, as well as the observer countries. Azerbaijan at the event is represented by a delegation led by Minister of Communications and High Technologies Ali Abbasov. It should be noted that Azerbaijan is a candidate for the membership of the ITU Council from Eastern Europe and North Asia region.

    President of the Republic of Korea Park Geun-hye, ITU Secretary-General Hamadoun Toure addressed the opening ceremony of the conference which kicked off in Busan Exhibition and Convention Center. A video message of UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon was demonstrated at the event. The Azerbaijani delegation took part in the meeting of ministers of the area of information and communication technologies, at the general meeting, the meeting of the heads of delegations of the RCC (Regional Commonwealth in the field of Communications). In his speeches, Minister Ali Abbasov said the country attaches great importance to the cooperation with ITU, stressed the organization's support for the projects proposed by Azerbaijan.

    Speaking about achievements in the country in the ICT sector in recent years under the leadership of President Ilham Aliyev, the Minister provided information about the development in all areas, including information and communication technologies, high technologies.

    During the event, Ali Abbasov held bilateral meetings with ITU Secretary-General Hamadoun Toure, ministers of Russia, Hungary, Iran, Uganda, and Ivory Coast. Issues of development of relations and cooperation between the sides, encouraging foreign companies to invest in Azerbaijan's economy, as well as possibilities of Azerbaijani companies' entry into the international markets were discussed during the meetings.

    Various meetings, exhibitions, forums, discussions will be held as part of the conference, ITU's strategic and Financial Plan for 2016-2020 will be approved, governing bodies of the organization will be elected.
  • Sweden submarine search called off
    24.10.2014 19:25
    Baku, October 24, AzerTAc

    The Swedish military has called off its week-long search for a suspected submarine in the sea south of Stockholm, according to BBC News.

    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.
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