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Rovnag Abdullayev: Caspianв's gas potential is great and there will occur need for additional gas corridors
28.06.2013 16:48
By selecting TAP (Trans Adriatic Pipeline), Azerbaijan has taken its important steps to become European energy supplier, said the President of the State Oil Company of Azerbaijan Rovnag Abdullayev.

Abdullayev noted that the idea on delivery of Azerbaijani gas to Europe will not be limited only with Shahdeniz project: "Azerbaijan has gas reserves approved in the 2 trillion cm. TAP project will change European energy map."

He stressed that Azerbaijan will participate in other energy projects of Europe: "Caspianв's gas potential is great and there will occur need for additional gas corridors."

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  • ''Karabakh on my mind'' exhibition opens in Mexican Senate
    25.10.2014 22:05
    Baku, October 25, AzerTAc

    "Karabakh on my mind" exhibition by Azerbaijani artist and architect Yavar Rzayev has opened in the Mexican Senate.

    Organized by Chairperson of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Senate Gabriela Cuevas Barron, the event brought together representatives of the Mexican Congress, the country's officials, members of the diplomatic corps, as well as Vice-president of the Senate Jose Rosas Aispuro.

    Addressing the opening event, Chairperson Gabriela Cuevas Barron said the exhibition shows Azerbaijan's cultural diversity, support to dialogue among civilizations and cultural bridge among nations.

    Azerbaijani Ambassador to Mexico Ilgar Mukhtarov noted that the exhibition would contribute to strengthening cultural relations between Azerbaijan and Mexico.

    The diplomat highlighted the causes and consequences of the Armenia-Azerbaijan Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, adding the Armenian armed forces have occupied 20 percent of Azerbaijan's territories.

    Books and brochures related to Azerbaijan's history, culture and cuisine were also put on display. The participants also had an opportunity to enjoy the taste of various goodies of Azerbaijani and Mexican national cuisine.

    Yavar Rzayev, living in Washington since 2000 has made Azerbaijan popular among the American art lovers. For this period, Yavar, who arrived in Washington at the invitation of Americans acquainted with his works in Baku, has already taken part in many exhibitions. His works were exhibited in the famous Dupont Gallery in Washington.
  • Korean companies to construct metro stations in Baku
    25.10.2014 21:35
    Baku, October 25, AzerTAc

    Chairman of Baku Metro CJSC Zaur Huseynov has met Vice Minister for Land, Infrastructure and Transport of South Korea Kyung-Sik Kim.

    During the meeting, the Korean Vice Minister said Korean companies would like to participate in the construction of metro stations in Baku.
  • Heydar Aliyev Foundation provides assistance to orphanage in Romania
    25.10.2014 20:15
    Bucharest, October 25, AzerTAc

    The Heydar Aliyev Foundation has provided humanitarian assistance to St Mary orphanage in the Romanian capital of Bucharest.

    The assistance includes domestic appliances, food and clothing.

    Head of the orphanage Juliana Stoicesku praised the Foundation's "continuously assisting people in need".

    "We thank the Heydar Aliyev Foundation, especially its President Mehriban Aliyeva for the assistance."

    Director of the Heydar Aliyev Foundation's Romania Office Igbal Hajiyev highlighted the activities of the Foundation. He said the Foundation will continue its charity campaigns in Bucharest and other Romanian cities.
  • Two dead, including gunman, in Washington High School Shooting
    25.10.2014 19:04
    Washington, October 25, AzerTAc

    A high school student opened fire Friday morning at Marysville-Pilchuck High School in Washington state Friday morning, killing at least one person before turning the gun on himself.

    A spokesman for the Marysville Police Department told TIME that "multiple" people were injured in the incident. Four patients were taken to Providence Regional Medical Center Everett, according to the hospital's website. Three victims remained in critical condition Friday afternoon, the Seattle Times reported.

    The Times also reported several students identified the shooter as freshman Jaylen Fryberg. Jordan Luton, a student at the school, told CNN he saw Fryberg go up to a table with students, "came up from behind . . . and fired about six bullets into the backs of them." Luton added, "They were his friends, so it wasn't just random." Federal law enforcement believe the shooter used a .40-caliber handgun.

    The shooting occurred shortly before 11 a.m. PT. Students were evacuated while police cleared the school room to room with guns drawn.

    Fryberg was a popular student, CNN reports, who played football and was named as the high school's freshman homecoming prince. He also belonged to the local Tulalip Native American tribe, and was an avid hunter. "He was a people person," freshman Rachel Heichel said. "He was just a really nice kid and all-around good person."

    Luton told CNN that Fryberg got into a fight with someone a few weeks before who "said something racist to him." Fryberg was suspended, but there's no evidence the fight had anything to do with the shooting.

    Student Austin Taylor told a local news station he was standing near the shooter when the shooting began. "He had a blank stare," he said. "He was just staring at the victims as he shot them."
  • Jacqueline Jossa shares recent baby scan on Instagram
    25.10.2014 18:47
    Mum-to-be Jacqueline Jossa has been proudly showing off her growing baby bump and on Friday she shared her recent scan with her hundreds of thousands of followers.

    "Can't wait to meet this little one", the Eastenders actress captioned the picture, with fans eagerly adding their comments of support.

    Jacqueline and her partner The Only Way Is Essex star Dan Osborne revealed they were expecting their first child together in August, releasing a joint statement saying that they were "thrilled by our news".

    The 23-year-old TOWIE star - who welcomed son Teddy in December with ex-girlfriend Megan Tomlin - added, "Becoming a father has been the most amazing thing to ever happen to me. I can't believe I'm going to be a dad again '" I'm truly blessed."

    A spokesperson for EastEnders also offered their congratulations to Jacqueline, adding: "Everyone at EastEnders is thrilled for Jacqueline," said the rep.

    In October the the two hosted a celebratory party to mark finding out the gender of their first child.

    Pictured next to the scan was the couple's 'baby reveal cake', a popular style of cake offered at baby showers where the sponge inside is dyed blue or pink to indicate whether the baby is a boy or a girl.

    While the parents-to-be posed for a picture with a slice of the cake, which was iced with the phrase "twinkle, twinkle little star... how we wonder what you are?", they kept their fans guessing about the sex of their baby by filtering the picture black and white.
  • Grateful for US strikes, Syrian Kurds name baby 'Obama'
    25.10.2014 18:18
    Sultan Muslim, a Syrian Kurd, had no doubt what to name her seventh child when he was born, safely in Turkey, after a harrowing month-long flight from her home in Kobane: Obama.

    Desperate to flee the flashpoint Syrian border town, the heavily pregnant mother, her husband and six other children made it across the frontier just in time for the boy's arrival.

    Islamic State (IS) jihadists, accused of widespread atrocities, seized control of the strategic locality and US-led bombing raids launched in the last few weeks have tried to stop their advance.

    "I gave my son this name from my heart. I will never change this name," the shy 35-year-old said in a refugee camp in Suruc, just inside Turkey.

    "He dispatched planes, aid for us. Because of his help maybe we will get rid of this cruelty and get back to our homes," she said, cradling her three-day-old son.

    The family started their exodus almost a month ago, following some 200,000 Kurds who have already entered Turkey to escape the IS onslaught on Kobane.

    "We were stranded at the border for days, without water or food," said the young mother. "We did not take any clothes to wear. We did not have any blankets ... I was pregnant and had no chance of taking a bath."

    Though not the world's first baby named after US President Barack Obama, the choice reflects the relief of many locals who thought help would never come.
  • Pippa Middleton reveals diet and exercise secrets
    25.10.2014 17:54
    Pippa Middleton captured the world's attention when she stepped out at her sister the Duchess of Cambridge's wedding showing off her enviable physique in a slinky ivory bridesmaid gown.

    Now, the pretty brunette has revealed the diet and exercise secrets behind her trim frame '" and the naughty foods that she likes to treat herself to occasionally.

    "I grew up with the belief that good health is about moderation in all things, so I'll be celebrating healthy living through exercise, a balanced diet and a little of the naughty stuff sprinkled in '" I'm talking chocolate, crisps and occasional glass of wine," she said in her first Mind amp; Body column for Waitrose Weekend.

    She continued: "I've never done Dukan, attempted Atkins or exercised religiously seven days a week but I do believe in making healthy choices '" keeping refined carbs such as white bread and pasta to a minimum, and sticking to sensible portion sizes."

    Pippa, an avid sports fan, also dished on the exercises she carries out to maintain her lean frame.

    "I know that if I fit in at least three, ideally five, sessions of exercise a week '" be it a 30 minute run, an hour's walk or a good game of tennis '" it boosts my mood and energy, and helps me sleep and digest better," she said.

    She swears by four key exercises, which she goes on to detail in the column '" ladders, pliГ© squats, wall pushes and the 'classic plank', which are "quick and great for toning all over".
  • The Times of Israel about Armenian-American lobby
    25.10.2014 16:44
    An article titled 'Armenian-American lobby is powerful, despite overt support of Iran, Russia and opposition to Israel Russia' has been published in The Times of Israel.

    The article byMaayan Jaffe reads:

    We hear a lot of noise from the pro-Israel and Cuban-American lobbies, vaunted on Capitol Hill and in the media. Rarely do we hear about another highly influential force mdash; the Armenian-American lobby. Former National Security Advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski once referred to the Armenian-American lobby as one of the three most influential foreign-ethnic lobbies in the U.S.

    The lobby boasts impressive accomplishments. It brings in $90 million of U.S. aid to Armenia on an annual basis, regularly blocks aid to close U.S. and Israeli ally-Azerbaijan, stalls arms deals with U.S. ally and NATO member-Turkey (a much larger and more important regional power), and pushes each year - over the objections of Ankara - a Congressional resolution recognizing Armenian genocide.

    The Armenian Congressional Caucus claims 88 members of Congress, which means that the Armenian-American lobby can count on these elected officials not just for their votes, but to push for the Armenian agenda on the House and Senate floors.

    Like other significant lobbying forces, the Armenian-American lobby is not made up of a single group, but of a network of organizations, acting in concert. These groups include the Armenian American Political Action Committee, the Armenian National Committee of America and The Armenian Assembly of America. They are bolstered by a network of local and state organizations, which are also heavily involved in the political process mdash; many times oddly in the realm of U.S. foreign policy, a place in which they have no expertise or business.

    Armenia's interests are not in line with those of the U.S. Disturbingly, the Armenian-American lobby has successfully provided cover for Armenia's strategic relationships with Iran and Russia, countries that no one could mistake as allies of the United States.

    In 2010, Wikileaks, the leaked archive of U.S. diplomatic traffic, brought to light that Armenia had sold Iran rockets and machine guns used to kill American military personnel in Iraq. Then Deputy Secretary of State, John D. Negroponte, wrote a strongly worded letter to Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan, expressing "deep concerns about Armenia's transfer of arms to Iran which resulted in the death and injury of U.S. soldiers in Iraq." The letter goes on to say that "In 2007 some of these weapons were recovered from two Shia militant attacks in which a U.S. soldier was killed and six others were injured in Iraq."

    "Notwithstanding the close relationship between our countries," the letter states, "neither the Administration nor the U.S. Congress can overlook this case."

    Yet Armenian friends in Congress seem to have done just that, continuing to do Armenia's bidding in Congress and providing the country significant financial aid.

    The established Armenian-American community seems to take Armenia's relationship with Iran as a given. A September 2014 story in Asbarez, the Los Angeles-based Armenian-American newspaper of record, cites anonymous sources as claiming Armenia's foe, Azerbaijan, allowed Israeli spy drones to fly into Iranian air space to conduct a reconnaissance mission. The paper states disapprovingly that this revelation implicates "Baku's involvement in the spying mission. " The report goes on to call out the Azerbaijan's government for its "hostility against the Islamic Republic."

    One would think that an Armenian-American newspaper would applaud efforts to undermine Iran's nuclear program. Instead, the paper condemns Azerbaijan for aiding an alleged espionage effort against Tehran.

    Armenia's ties to the Islamic Republic go well beyond military sales. ArmeniaNow, an Armenian online news agency published in English and Armenian, quotes Armenia-Iran Trade Palace chair, Levon Aharonyan, as saying his group is planning to open "an Iranian center in Armenia which will serve as a trade passage zone where goods will be exported to other countries from Armenia."

    Aharonyan reportedly said that, "It will be a center where goods from Iran will arrive in Armenia lsquo;semi-fabricated', here they will be finalized and labeled as lsquo;made in Armenia' and be exported. It is essential for us to enter Russian and CIS market through Armenia." Clearly, Armenia is no ally of the U.S. in the effort to halt Iran's menacing nuclear program.

    Supporters of Armenia in Congress have thus far gotten a free pass. These Members of Congress have unabashedly accepted campaign contributions from the lobby, and have looked the other way while Armenia aids and abets Iran, and Armenia's American friends provide political support for Armenian-Iranian ties. It's high time that these Members of Congress are called out for it.

    Maayan Jaffe is senior writer/editor at Netsmart, the former editor-in-chief of the Baltimore Jewish Times and a regular freelance writer for She lived in Israel for five years. Today, she is raising her four children in the bread basket of the world.
  • Egypt declares three-month state of emergency in north of Sinai Peninsula
    25.10.2014 16:40
    The Egyptian authorities have introduced a three-month state of emergency in the north of the Sinai Peninsula after a series of terror attacks on the army checkpoints that killed some 30 people and wounded dozens of others.

    The measure comes into force at 0300 GMT on Saturday "for a duration of three months," the presidency said in a statement. A curfew is due to be introduced in the region.

    A suicide bomber drove a car with some five tons of explosives into an army checkpoint in the town of Sheikh Zuweid, a few kilometers from Gaza, on Friday. As a result the checkpoint was completely ruined and two armored fighting vehicles were destroyed.

    The terrorists later attacked the site with guns and a rocket-propelled grenade. Some 28 soldiers were wounded and several of them are currently in a critical condition.

    In response, the Egyptian army has launched a large-scale operation against the gunmen in the north of the Sinai Peninsula, involving armored fighting vehicles and special forces. Egypt also carries out air strikes against the terrorists.

    No group has claimed responsibility for the attacks on Egyptв's military, which are the deadliest in decades.
  • Spain defends Canaries oil drilling plan
    25.10.2014 16:23
    Spain on Friday launched a legal challenge to defend plans to explore for oil and gas off the Canary Islands, a popular tourist destination.

    Authorities in the Canaries oppose the government-backed plan by oil giant Repsol to prospect under the seabed near the Spanish Atlantic archipelago and have said they will let locals vote on the plan on November 23.

    The conservative government in Madrid decided Friday to appeal to the Constitutional Court against that referendum, Deputy Prime Minister Soraya Saenz de Santamaria said.

    "This appeal motion has already been signed" by Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy, she told a news conference after Friday's weekly cabinet meeting.

    She said the government would challenge the vote on the same legal grounds it has used to get a planned referendum on independence for the Catalonia region suspended.

    In both cases, the government says the regional governments are not authorised to hold referendum-style votes.

    "We are talking about matters that are in the power of the state, not of the Canary Islands government," Saenz said.

    Madrid outraged the Canaries' regional government, residents and environmental groups in August by giving Repsol the all-clear to explore near the islands' coasts.

    The company has been authorised to spend three years probing below the sea bed about 50 kilometres (30 miles) from the islands of Lanzarote and Fuerteventura.

    Residents of the archipelago off the northwest coast of Africa fear Repsol's explorations will harm the environment and disrupt the tourism industry on which their economy relies.
  • Facebook goes retro with 'Rooms' chat app
    25.10.2014 15:29
    Facebook on Thursday released an application that lets people create virtual "rooms" to chat about whatever they wish using any name they would like.

    "Rooms" software introduced in the US and Britain for iPhone made its debut as Facebook tries to make peace with people unhappy that real identities are mandated for profiles at the world's leading social network.

    "One of the things our team loves most about the Internet is its potential to let us be whoever we want to be," said a blog post from Facebook's Creative Labs. That's why in Rooms you can be 'Wonder Woman' - or whatever name makes you feel most comfortable and proud." Virtual rooms become home to feeds of pictures, videos, and text.

    The application puts a smartphone spin on chat forums that were popular venues for online discourse in early Internet days.

    "Forums, message boards and chatrooms were meeting places for people who didn't necessarily share geographies or social connections, but had something in common," the Creative Labs message noted.

    The Rooms application was "inspired by both the ethos of these early Web communities and the capabilities of modern smartphones," according to Facebook.

    Rooms serve as virtual settings for photos, videos, and text posted in the spirit of taking part in a conversation about chosen topics. Those who create rooms can make participation invite-only or post public links to join.

    Release of the application came just weeks after Facebook vowed to ease a "real names" policy that prompted drag queen performers to quit the social network and sparked wider protests in the gay community and beyond.

    The huge social network apologised early this month in a bid to quell the simmering dispute over its enforcement of the policy. Facebook executives and representatives of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender communities said they found a solution acceptable to both sides, allowing people to use assumed names, subject to verification, allowing performers like "Sister Roma" and "Lil Miss Hot Mess" to keep those names on Facebook.
  • China to allocate $81 million to fight Ebola
    25.10.2014 15:08
    China plans to earmark $81 million in aid to Liberia, Guinea and Sierra-Leone to combat the Ebola virus, Secretary General of the Communist Party of China, Xi Jinping, told Tanzaniaв's President Jakaya Kikwete at a meeting on Friday during his official visit to Beijing.

    ''We will provide money and material help and send more experts and physicians to combat the virus. Besides, we are going to build a medical centerin Liberia'', he said.

    This is the fourth time China provides aid to West African countries to support them in their struggle against the Ebola epidemic. Beijing allocated some $50 million over the last two months to fight the deadly virus.It also provided humanitarian aid, medicine and medical equipment. Moreover, around 200 Chinese specialists are currently working in the epidemic area.

    According to the latest reports of the World Health Organization (WHO), the death toll from Ebola virus neared 4,900, while the number of probable and suspected cases is around 10,000, with most of them detected in three West African countries '"Liberia, Guinea and Sierra-Leone.
  • ISIL militants attempted to establish control over the border with Turkey
    25.10.2014 14:55
    Baku-APA. Kurdish defense forces foiled an attempt of "Islamic State" militants to capture the checkpoint on the Syrian-Turkish border near the city of Coban, APA reports quoting RIA Novosti.

    According to the Syrian news portal "Akhbar Suria" militants on Tuesday attempted to establish control over the border with Turkey CPR. The attack on the strategic object started from three directions. However, the Kurdish militia was able to repel the attack of terrorists, throwing them forward detachments at a safe distance.
  • Iconic UK landmarks turn pink for Breast Cancer Campaign PHOTO
    25.10.2014 14:44
    The UK was painted pink asiconic landmarks were lit up to support Breast Cancer Campaign's wear it pink on 22 October.

    From St Austell in Cornwall to London's Oxo Tower andBelfast Castle, a total of 18 landmarks all over the British Isles took part in the initiative ahead of Breast Cancer Campaign's fashionable fundraiser, wear it pink day on 24 October.

    Old Joe Clocktower at The University of Birmingham turns pink to support Breast Cancer. Photo by Graham Stone/REX

    London town was painted pink for the Breast Cancer campaign, wear it pink day.
  • Mali's first Ebola case, a 2-year-old girl, dies
    25.10.2014 14:28
    A two-year-old girl who was Mali's first case of Ebola died on Friday, shortly after the World Health Organization warned that many people had potentially been exposed to the virus because she was taken across the country while ill.

    The girl had traveled with her grandmother hundreds of miles by bus from Guinea via Mali's capital to the western town of Kayes, where she was diagnosed on Thursday. Health workers were scrambling to trace hundreds of potential contacts in a bid to prevent Ebola from taking hold in Mali.

    The worst Ebola outbreak on record has killed 4,900 people, mainly in nearby Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea. A global response to the epidemic is being rolled out but experts warn that tens of thousands more people are at risk.

    In a statement on Friday night, Mali's government confirmed the death of the girl, who has not been identified.

    Mali is the sixth West African nation to record a case of Ebola. Senegal and Nigeria have successfully contained outbreaks. Spain and the United States have had a few cases.

    Diplomatic sources have expressed concern about the preparedness of Mali, one of the world's poorest countries, to contain an outbreak. Home to a large U.N. peacekeeping mission, the mostly Muslim country is still battling northern Islamist militants after a brief French-led war last year.

    WHO said that an investigation into the girl's case revealed that she had already started showing symptoms, and was therefore contagious, before being taken to Kayes.

    "WHO is treating the situation in Mali as an emergency," the U.N. health agency said in a statement.

    "The child's symptomatic state during the bus journey is especially concerning, as it presented multiple opportunities for exposures, including high-risk exposures, involving many people," it added.
  • ''Application of the European Convention on Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms on national level and the role of national judges'' international conference continues in Baku
    25.10.2014 14:20
    Baku, October 25, AzerTAc

    "Application of the European Convention on Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms on national level and the role of national judges" international conference has entered its second day in Baku.

    Co-organized by Azerbaijan`s Supreme Court and the Council of Europe, 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, as well as judges, prosecutors, justice officials, lawyers and human rights experts.

    The second day of the conference started with the session titled "Dialogue between judges within the Convention system". Moderator Mikhail Lobov, Head of the Human Rights Policy and Development Department, Directorate General Human Rights and Rule of Law, Council of Europe, highlighted the agenda of the session.

    Speakers included Michael O`Boyle, deputy Registrar of the European Court of Human Rights, Morten Ruud, chairperson of the GDR Committee, Council of Europe, and Herdis Thorgeirsdottir, chairperson of the sub-committee on fundamental rights of the European Commission for Democracy through Law (the Venice Commission).

    The speeches were followed by discussions involving director of the section at the Department for Coordination of Law Enforcement Agencies at the Administration of the Azerbaijani President Chingiz Asgarov. Mr. Asgarov stressed the importance of the Protocol No. 16 to the Convention on Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, saying Azerbaijan has already started internal procedure to join the document.
  • Foundation run by Kerry's Wife Funds Anti-Israel Eatery
    25.10.2014 14:09
    A foundation chaired by Teresa Heinz Kerry, wife of Secretary of State John Kerry, who is deeply involved in negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians, is funding a radical anti-Israel, anti-American snack bar near the Carnegie Mellon and Pittsburgh University campuses.

    The restaurant, Conflict Kitchen, which proudly boasts that it serves food only from countries with which the U.S. is in conflict, received a $50,000 grant from the Heinz Endowment in April to assist it in moving locations.

    However, the restaurant lately has been serving its hummus and baba ghanoush sandwiches in propaganda wrappers that carry quotes from Palestinians opposing the existence of the state of Israel and has hosted panel discussions featuring pro-Palestinian speakers, in which supporters of the Jewish community and Israel have not been allowed to participate by the restaurant's owners, the Free Beacon reports.

    A spokesman for Heinz confirmed to the Free Beacon that the organization has been funding Conflict Kitchen, and stated, "The opinions of Conflict Kitchen do not represent those of the Heinz Endowment."

    Capital Research, which tracks foundations, stated on its website, "Mrs. Kerry has funneled millions of dollars to radical left-wing environmentalists."

    "How can you compare Israeli F-16s, which are some of the best military planes in the world, to a few hundred homemade rockets? Youв're pushing them (Palestinians) to the absolute extreme. So what do you expect?" one food wrapper states, the Free Beacon notes.

    "Palestinians are not going to just let (Israel) in and drop their arms. No, theyв're going to kill and they are going to die."
  • Heavy rains bring life to a standstill in Athens
    25.10.2014 14:04
    Heavy rains brought life to a standstill in the Greek capital Athens Friday.

    The fire brigade told Anadolu Agency that they received more than 500 emergency calls from Athensand its western suburbs.

    ''It is a miracle there are no casualties considering the rain caused cars to submerge in the water,'' a firefighter told AA.

    Three people were trapped in their drifting car and had to wait for the fire brigade to rescue them, the firefighter added.

    The heavy rain started early morning and lasted several hours. Apart from wreaking havoc in the largest city of Greece, the worst-affected areas were in the western suburbs of Keratsini, Drapetsona, Nikea, Egaleo and Pireaus.
  • Iranian Youth and Sports Minister to visit Azerbaijan
    25.10.2014 14:00
    Tehran, October 25, AzerTAc

    Iran`s Minister of Youth and Sports Mahmud Guderzi will embark on a visit to Azerbaijan.

    He will attend the First Global Forum on Youth Policies to take place on October 28-30.

    The Iranian Minister will also meet his Azerbaijani counterpart to discuss cooperation prospects.

    Rabil Katanov

    Special correspondent
  • US congressman calls on Barack Obama to support Azerbaijan
    25.10.2014 13:58
    Paul Gosar, Congressman from Arizona, has addressed a letter to President Barack Obama calling on the U.S. government to support Azerbaijan.

    News.Az reports with reference to Azerbaijan America Alliance that the congressman said Azerbaijan is a reliable ally and important strategic partner of the USA, adding the country remains committed to its partnership with Washington despite being located in a volatile region. He hailed Azerbaijan`s contribution to combating international terrorism, restoring stability in Iraq and Afghanistan and ensuring Europe`s energy security.

    The congressman noted that Azerbaijan effectively used its oil revenues to rebuild its economy, reduce poverty from 50 to 6%, increase GDP and become an important trade partner of the USA in the South Caucasus.

    Congressman Gosar also praised the traditions of tolerance in the country.
  • Ebola-free nurse visits Obama PHOTO
    25.10.2014 13:24
    Before returning to her "normal life" in Texas, newly Ebola-free Dallas nurse Nina Pham got a hug from President Barack Obama in the Oval Office.

    Hours earlier, Pham had walked out of the National Institutes of Health Clinical Center, where she has been in isolation since Oct. 16, to a round of applause. She thanked everyone who cared for her since her Oct. 11 Ebola diagnosis, and said she would finally go home to her dog, Bentley.

    "I feel fortunate and blessed to be standing here today," she told reporters, flanked by her mother and sister.

    Pham, 26, contracted Ebola from Liberian national Thomas Duncan, who flew to the United States in September and was diagnosed with Ebola at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas.

    Pham, a nurse there, cared for Duncan when he was especially contagious. He died on Oct. 8, and she tested positive for the deadly virus on Oct. 11.

    It was the first Ebola transmission on U.S. soil.

    "I am on my way back to recovery even as I reflect on others who have not been so fortunate," Pham said, reading from her prepared statement at the press conference.

    Pham's colleague, nurse Amber Vinson, 29, also tested positive for the virus on Oct. 15, and was flown from Dallas to Emory University Hospital later that night. The following day, Pham was flown to the Special Clinical Studies Unit of the National Institutes of Health Clinical Center in Bethesda, Maryland, at the Dallas hospital's request.

    At the news conference announcing Pham's discharge, Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases at the National Institutes of Health, said she tested negative for Ebola five times, and that it wasn't clear which treatment saved her because they were all experimental.

    "I want to first tell you what a great pleasure and in many respects, a privilege have the opportunity to treat and care for and get to know such an extremely courageous and lovely person," Fauci said, adding that she represents the health care workers who "put themselves on the line"

    He said he wore Pham's nursing school colors for the press conference in her honor.

    "I'm going to miss Nina a lot," Fauci quipped at the end of the conference, adding that he gave her his cell phone number.

    Pham also thanked Dr. Kent Brantly, the American missionary who had been treating Ebola patients in Liberia when he contracted the deadly virus in late July. Brantley was declared virus-free in September and has donated plasma to Pham and other American Ebola patients in the hopes of boosting their ability to fight the virus with his antibodies.

    Pham's dog, Bentley, was taken to an animal shelter following her diagnosis. He has tested negative for Ebola, but his 21-day incubation period isn't over until Nov. 1. They will likely reunite a few days later.

    Vinson's family announced on Oct. 22 that she, too, tested negative for the virus at Emory.
  • Journalist of Armenian origin becomes Davutoglu's senior advisor
    25.10.2014 12:43
    Prime Minister of Turkey Ahmet Davutoglu has appointed journalist of Armenian origin Etyen Mahçupyan his Senior Advisor, APA reports quoting Turkish newspaper Vatan.

    The Turkish Prime Minister and Mahçupyan have been acquainted for many years.

    They had regular meetings during Davutoglu's activity as the Minister of Foreign Affairs.

    Mahçupyan said that he will support the Turkish Prime Minister by carrying out works in the direction of "democracy", "government and public relations" and "minorities".

    Mahçupyan is the first non-Muslim person among the Advisors of the Turkish President and Prime Minister.

    Mahçupyan has graduated the Faculty of Chemistry at BoДџaziçi University of Turkey in 1972.

    He has also graduated the Faculty of Political Science at Ankara University.\
  • Google executive plunges 130,000ft
    25.10.2014 12:18
    Google executive Alan Eustace has broken the sound barrier and set several skydiving records over the southern New Mexico desert after taking a big leap from the edge of space.

    Eustace jumped from over 130,000ft in a specially designed spacesuit, beating the mark set by the Austrian Felix Baumgartner in 2012. Eustace hit a top speed of 822mph during a freefall that lasted four-and-a-half minutes.

    The supersonic jump was part of a project by Paragon Space Development Corp and its Stratospheric Explorer team, which has been working secretly for years to develop a self-contained commercial spacesuit that would allow people to explore some 20 miles above the Earthв's surface.

    The technology that has gone into developing the balloon, the spacesuit and the other systems that were used in Fridayв's launch will be used to advance commercial spaceflight, namely efforts by Arizona-based World View Enterprises to take paying tourists up in a high-altitude balloon and luxury capsule starting in late 2016.

    As more people head into the stratosphere, the spacesuits could be adapted for emergency rescues or other scientific endeavours, officials said.

    After nearly three years of intense planning, development and training, Eustace began his ascent via a high-altitude, helium-filled balloon just as the sun was rising.

    It took more than two hours to hit an altitude of 135,890 feet (41,419 metres), from which he separated himself from the balloon and started plummeting back to Earth.

    Jim Hayhurst, director of competition at the United States Parachute Association, was the jumpв's official observer. He said Eustace deployed a drogue parachute that gave him incredible stability and control despite the massive Mach 1.23 speed reached during the freefall.

    Eustace did not feel it when he broke the sound barrier, but the ground crew certainly heard the resulting sonic boom, Hayhurst said.

    ''He just said it was a fabulous view. He was thrilled,'' Hayhurst said of his conversation with Eustace after he landed.

    The supersonic skydive happened with little fanfare, out of the media spotlight, unlike the 2012 attempt by daredevil Baumgartner and the Red Bull Stratos team.

    Baumgartner, who was taken aloft in a capsule with the help of millions of dollars in sponsorships, had set the previous altitude record by jumping from 128,100 feet (39,045 meters).
  • Azerbaijani-Turkish Business Forum to be held in Baku on October 30
    25.10.2014 12:13
    The Azerbaijani-Turkish Business Forum will be held in Baku on October 30.

    According to the Azerbaijan Entrepreneurs Confederation (ASK), the Forum will be held within the visit of Turkish governmental delegation to Baku.

    "The Forum will be held with participation of Turkish companies engaged in different sectors", - ASK says.

    The number of Azerbaijani participants of the Forum is still to be fixed.
  • Prof. James from USC: Azerbaijan is developing a significant identity as the crossroads for the developed and developing worlds
    25.10.2014 12:00
    Washington, October 25, AzerTAc

    Professor Patrick James of the University of Southern California, Director of Center for International Studies, gave an interview to Washington Bureau of AzerTAc following his recent visit to Azerbaijan.

    - You recently attended Baku International Humanitarian Forum. What are your general impressions about the forum itself and the capital of Azerbaijan?

    The Forum is one of the finest events I've ever attended. The Organizing Committee put together a galaxy of stars from the worlds of academe, politics and media. We as participants had many chances to interact informally as we enjoyed Baku as a backdrop to our discussions. The Heydar Alivev Center, where we spent the initial day of the Forum, is one of the architectural wonders of the world. One is struck by the capital of Azerbaijan, Baku, as a world class city where East meets West.

    - Metaphorically speaking, what puts Azerbaijan on the map for you? What is significant about Azerbaijan that will draw the attention of an American to this country?

    My view is that Azerbaijan is developing a significant identity as the crossroads for the developed and developing worlds, East and West and in other ways, as well. Any American would be fascinated by the uniqueness of Azerbaijan as a combination of cultures and ideas.

    - Azerbaijan is a fast developing economy. Although oil and gas is a driving force, it's also developing its non-oil sector. What is your outlook for Azerbaijan in a decade? What areas of economy, in your opinion, can or should develop and make it a regional hub?

    I hope that Azerbaijan joins forces with other states to continue to work on behalf of trade openness. I could see Baku becoming an lsquo;on land' version of Singapore because it is so friendly to travelers and located in a strategic position.

    - What should be done to enhance educational and cultural exchange between Azerbaijan and the United States?

    The Azerbaijan Diplomatic Academy, along with the Baku International Humanitarian Forum are superb initiatives. I hope both are maintained. As an academic, I would like to participate in a dialogue on the subject of further educational exchanges.

    Yusif Babanli

    Special Correspondent
  • 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.
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