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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
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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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    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2015/03/06/hayde_bruneder_060315.jpg
    Baku, Azerbaijan, March 6

    Trend:

    Azerbaijan's gymnastics team is in the first three of the world, President of the Technical Committee for Women's Rhythmic Gymnastics Heide Bruneder from Austria told trend Mar. 6.

    "All the results from today and the former European and World championships show that the country growth up permanently and always in the first three of the world. They are really perfect and congratulations. And we could see from the last year till now its amazing how they developed", Bruneder said.

    According to her, Azerbaijani gymnasts will be able to get medals during European games.

    "If they work as for instance today. They are absolutely able to get medals. I am sure they will get", she said.

    "I am jealous. I am from Austria and we can only dream to have nearly this what you have here. I think better is not possible. You have everything what you need for perfect training", Heide Bruneder said.

    According to her, all the training facilities that you have here can give the gymnast a very good possibility to train, to develop and they have no problems, they should only concentrate on the trainings and develop.

    As I see here from gymnastics, the federation is absolutely able to do it. People are responsible.

    According to Bruneder, European Games in Baku will be amazing event.

    " I am sure it will be possible because you have all the stadiums, all the sport technicians", she added.

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    9
  • Azerbaijan hosts first ever championship on all six gymnastic disciplines
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    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2015/03/06/trend_altay_hasanov_060315.jpg
    Baku, Azerbaijan, March 6

    Trend:

    Baku will host the European Games, which is the first in the history of sports, Vice President of Azerbaijan Gymnastics Federation (AGF) Altay Hasanov told Trend on March 6 during the Open Joint Azerbaijan Championship in Gymnastics Disciplines.

    "The Open Joint Azerbaijan Championships is being held as preparations for this big sports event," Hasanov said.

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    "Artistic and rhythmic gymnasts are performing well and we expect them to make even greater success in the future," he said. "Marina Durunda was indeed very good."

    "The most important point was to find out how our athletes will feel with the combined four Olympic and two non-Olympic gymnastic disciplines in a single sport event," Hasanov added.

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  • Azerbaijan key to EU goals of energy diversification
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    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2015/02/13/gas_pipeline_construction_130215.jpg
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2015/02/13/gas_pipeline_construction_130215.jpg
    Baku, Azerbaijan, Mar. 6

    By Aygun Badalova - Trend:

    As of today, Azerbaijan has managed to create a system on the energy market that is hard to bypass even for the largest gas supplier- Russia.

    Azerbaijan is the initiator, as well as a major player in the Southern Gas Corridor project, which is the key to the EU achieving its goals on diversification.

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    Edited by CN

    ---

    Aygun Badalova is Trend Agency's staff journalist, follow her on Twitter: @AygunBadalova

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    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2015/02/28/trend_european_union_building_230413_1.jpg
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2015/02/28/trend_european_union_building_230413_1.jpg
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    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2013/09/06/nursultan_nazarbayev_060913.jpg
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2013/09/06/nursultan_nazarbayev_060913.jpg
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    Translated by EA

    Edited by CN

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    6
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    06.03.2015 19:15
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2014/06/19/lutfi_elvan_190614.jpg
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2014/06/19/lutfi_elvan_190614.jpg
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    The peak capacity of the corridor will be 17 million metric tons of cargo per year. At the initial stage, this figure will be equal to one million passengers and 6.5 million metric tons of cargo. The railway is expected to be commissioned by the end of 2015.

    Edited by CN

    ---

    Follow the author on Twitter: @rhafizoglu

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    5
  • Azerbaijani gymnasts win gold medal in mixed doubles
    06.03.2015 19:10
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2014/08/16/no_image_found.jpg
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2014/08/16/no_image_found.jpg
    Baku, Azerbaijan, Mar. 6

    By Maksim Tsurkov - Trend:

    Azerbaijani gymnasts Ulyana Dyakova and Anatoliy Leonov won their third gold medal in the Open Joint Azerbaijan Championships in Gymnastics Disciplines taking place in Baku March 4-6.

    In today's final of the static exercises among mixed doubles, Dyakova and Leonov scored 27.206 points and left behind the German team that had gathered 26.329 points. Bulgarian mixed double won the bronze medal.

    The Azerbaijani team also won in rhythmic gymnastics taking the second silver medal in group competitions.

    They also scored 16.833 points in the exercises with three pairs of clubs and two hoops.

    Russian gymnasts again won the gold medal, while the Latvian team took third place. Azerbaijan's second team took the fourth place.

    Today completes The Open Joint Azerbaijan Championships in Gymnastics Disciplines where 133 gymnasts from 22 countries participated in both the all-around and individual competitions.

    Such well-known gymnasts, as two-time absolute world champion Yana Kudryavtseva (Russia, rhythmic gymnastics), Olympic silver medalist Filip Ude (Croatia), European champion Alexander Shatilov (Israel, both - sports gymnastics) and other athletes came to Azerbaijan's capital Baku for the competition.

    What makes this event special is that it will be held on the same scheme with the First European Games. Open Joint Azerbaijan Championships in Gymnastics Disciplines will set a precedent in the history of gymnastics and a great opportunity for the masters of aerobics and acrobats to compete together with rhythmic and artistic gymnasts and trampoliners.

    Edited by CN

    ---

    Follow the author on Twitter: @MaksimTsurkov

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    6
  • Cate Blanchett reportedly adopt baby girl
    06.03.2015 19:01
    http://img.sia.az/news/2015/siaphoto_464800.jpg
    http://img.sia.az/news/2015/siaphoto_464800.jpg
    Cate Blanchett has reportedly adopted a baby girl, according to Australian news outlet Women's Weekly. The magazine claims that representatives for the Melbourne-born actress have confirmed to them that she and her husband Andrew Upton have welcomed a daughter to their family.

    Women's Weekly also reports that Oscar-winner Cate has been telling her friends about the new arrival, who is believed to be called Vivienne, and has been seen craddling the little one as she waits at the school gates to collect her sons.
    6
  • Ideal conditions in Azerbaijan for gymnastics '" Slovak athlete
    06.03.2015 19:00
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    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2015/03/06/trend_gymnast_start__060315__060315_02.jpg
    Baku, Azerbaijan, Mar. 6

    By Elena Kosolapova - Trend:

    Baku has a very good sports infrastructure, ideal conditions for gymnastics, and the best gyms, the Slovak gymnast, Xenia Kilianova, taking part in the Open Joint Azerbaijan Championships in Gymnastics Disciplines, told Trend March 6.

    Kilianova said she has had only positive impressions of the Open Joint Azerbaijan Championships in Gymnastics Disciplines held in Baku, adding that the tournament is very well organized.

    Kilianova sees the gymnasts from Finland and Latvia as her main rivals in the competitions, because, as she said, she can't compare herself with twice world champion from Russia, Yana Kudryavtseva.

    The athlete also said she is in Baku for the third time and she really loves the city.

    "Baku is a very beautiful, unusual city. Here are beautiful buildings and a magnificent boulevard," she added.

    Kilianova noted that Baku is not like other cities she has visited.

    "Baku is such a city, to be remembered for a lifetime," she added.

    The Open Joint Azerbaijan Championships in Gymnastics Disciplines is being held in Baku on March 4-6.

    This is the test championship on the eve of the First European Games.

    Coming from 22 countries, 133 gymnasts compete for medals in both the all-around and individual competitions.

    Such well-known gymnasts, as two-time absolute world champion Yana Kudryavtseva (Russia, rhythmic gymnastics), Olympic silver medalist Filip Ude (Croatia), European champion Alexander Shatilov (Israel, both - sports gymnastics) and other athletes have arrived in the capital of Azerbaijan - Baku.

    Edited by CN

    ---

    Follow the author on Twitter: @E_Kosolapova

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    4
  • 9 injured after knife attack
    06.03.2015 19:00
    http://img.sia.az/news/2015/siaphoto_464807.jpg
    http://img.sia.az/news/2015/siaphoto_464807.jpg
    At least two assailants armed with knives attacked people at a train station in southern China on Friday, injuring nine, and police fatally shot one of the suspects, officials said.

    The second suspect was captured, police in the city of Guangzhou said in a statement. The incident was still under investigation and a motive has not been determined, police said.

    Photos and video posted on social media reportedly showed the attack took place in a square outside the station. One video showed a man hacking near a vendor stall with a cleaver while a security officer approached with a long baton. Several photos showed blood smeared in several places on the rain-soaked pavement.

    A knife attack at a train station in the southern city of Kunming about a year ago claimed 29 lives. Authorities blamed separatists from the western province of Xinjiang.

    China has also suffered a spate of knife attacks on schoolchildren carried out by people lashing out over personal problems.
    7
  • Hungary hosts presentation marking 100 Days To Go to Baku 2015
    06.03.2015 18:16
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    http:// www.news.az/photos/page-photo/137821.jpg
    The Hungarian National Olympic Committee (NOC) and the Embassy of Azerbaijan in Budapest have held a presentation entitled ''Baku-2015: 100 To Go''.

    Hungarian officials, representatives of the sports community, journalists, and staff members of Azerbaijani Embassy attended the ceremony, AzerTag reports.

    Hungarian Minister of State for Sport and Youth Affairs Istvan Simicsko described the presentation of Baku-2015 by the Heydar Aliyev Foundation last month as one of the most important events in the cultural and sporting life of Budapest.

    He highlighted Hungary`s intention to host the Summer Olympics in 2024, stressing the importance of benefiting from Baku`s experience.

    Mr Simicsko expressed confidence that Baku-2015 Olympic Games will open a new, remarkable chapter in the history of sport in Europe.

    Director of Sports for the Hungarian Olympic Committee, Olympic champion Laszlo Fabian. said that he has already been in Baku twice as part of a Hungarian delegation in connection with the organization of the games. He hailed the preparation for the event.

    The ceremony featured demonstration of a documentary made by the Heydar Aliyev Foundation and the European Games Organizing Committee on preparation for the first European Games.
    5
  • Uzbekistan pardons over 52,000 people
    06.03.2015 18:09
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2015/03/05/prison_amnistiya_050315.jpg
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2015/03/05/prison_amnistiya_050315.jpg
    Tashkent, Uzbekistan, March 6

    By Demir Azizov - Trend:

    An amnesty act, declared by the Senate of Uzbekistan's parliament in November 2014, has been implemented with respect to 52,498 people, the press secretary of Uzbekistan's Supreme Court, Aziz Abidov, told reporters March 6.

    "Among those subject to the amnesty act, are 7,865 women (15 percent), 1,174 minors (2.2 percent), 681 men aged over 60 (1.3 percent) and 172 disabled (0.2 percent)," he said.

    Abidov added that based on the amnesty act some 3,289 persons have been released from penal institutions.

    The Senate adopted the amnesty act in connection with the 22nd anniversary of the constitution of Uzbekistan on Nov. 14, 2014.

    The amnesty has been applied to the individuals who committed the crimes posing no threat for society.

    The amnesty act in particular stipulates the pardoning of the sentenced women, the individuals who committed crimes being under 18 years old, men who have reached the age of 60, as well as the foreign citizens.

    The amnesty also covered those convicted for the first time for taking part in the activities of banned organizations, but didn't commit serious crimes in this case and firmly embarked on the path of correction.

    The act was subject to implementation within three months.

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    15
  • 300 delegates to participate in Forum
    06.03.2015 18:04
    http://img.sia.az/news/2015/siaphoto_464797.jpg
    http://img.sia.az/news/2015/siaphoto_464797.jpg
    Baku will host the 3rd International Caspian Energy Forum '" 2015 on March 11. Participation of over 300 delegates from 17 countries of the world proves high status and actuality of the 3rd International Caspian Energy Forum '" 2015. Caspian Energy International Media Group is an organizer of the Forum.

    President of the Republic of Azerbaijan and Chairman of the Caspian European Club, His Excellency Mr. Ilham Aliyev has been invited to the opening ceremony of the 3rd International Caspian Energy Forum '" 2015

    Full list of speakers and a program of the forum is available at www.caspianenergyforum.com.

    As the Chief Executive Officer of the Caspian European Club Telman Aliyev said, the conduction of the Caspian Energy Forum is of importance from the standpoint of exchange of opinions between the government agencies and private companies amid the situation at global markets, including oil markets.

    The first part of the forum will focus on discussion of all aspects of energy integration of the countries of the Caspian-Black Sea and Baltic regions into the global energy markets. Speakers, delegates and forum participants will focus their attention on Azerbaijanв's key role in energy, transport and infrastructure projects, growing sector of gas upstream, Southern Corridor projects and the resource potential of the Caspian.

    The Caspian European Forum, dedicated to the development of the non-oil sector, will be held in the second part of the forum. Issues of introduction of innovations in financial-banking, insurance, leasing, telecommunication, tourism, machine-engineering, construction and other sectors of the non-oil industry, issues of business doing, creation of government-to-business dialogue will be discussed within the framework of the Caspian European Forum.

    The Government of the Republic of Azerbaijan, the State Oil Company of the Republic of Azerbaijan (SOCAR) and the Caspian European Club are lending official support to the 3rd International Caspian Energy Forum '" 2015.

    The program of the event provides additional opportunities for working and communication of participants during coffee-breaks and the business lunch. Official ceremony of presentation of Caspian Energy Award '" 2015 will be held within the framework of the evening gala-reception.
    15
  • Tajik opposition leader shot dead
    06.03.2015 17:56
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    http://img.sia.az/news/2015/siaphoto_464798.jpg
    A Tajik leader, belonging to the country's Group 24 opposition movement, was killed in Istanbul late on Thursday, SIA reports citing the AA.

    Umarali Kuvatov was reportedly shot after a quarrel on a street in Fatih district, sources said.

    The unidentified suspect fled the scene and the victim's body was transferred to a local morgue.

    Officials said the case remains under investigation.

    The Supreme Court of Tajikistan had labeled Group 24 an "extremist" group and had banned its activities in October 2014. The court decision came after the opposition group called online for anti-government protests.

    Tajik chief prosecutorв's office claimed that Group 24's objective was to seize power in an unconstitutional manner, a charge the group said was politically motivated.
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  • FAO invest $638,000 in Tajikistan's agriculture
    06.03.2015 17:56
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    http://www.today.az/pictures/pic139080.jpg
    /By AzerNews/

    By Sara Rajabova

    The Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN is set to invest $638, 000 in Tajikistanв's agriculture sector. Tajikistan is a highly agrarian country, with its rural population (more than 70 percent) where agriculture accounts for 48 percent of national employment.

    FAO in Tajikistan and Tajik agriculture ministry and the State Enterprise 'Project Management UnitLivestock and Pasture Developmentв' signed on March 4 an agreement toward the implementation of a new project on farm technology validation and demonstration under Khatlon Livelihoods Support Project.

    Under a deal between FAO and the Tajik government, the International Fund for Agricultural Development will finance FAO Tajikistan to implement the Khatlon Livelihoods Support Project.

    The total cost of the provision of the services stands at $638,227, Avesta news agency reported.

    "This project will help 1,500 household farms to increase their profitability through improved agricultural (including livestock) technologies and inputs,'' said Viorel Gutu, FAO representative in Tajikistan.

    He also added that the proposed implementation arrangements involve state and local government agencies in project coordination and in providing support services at the national, district and jamoat levels.

    The project will work in 30 villages in Muminobod and Shuroobod districts and closely cooperate with the Village Organizations formed by Khatlon Livelihoods Support Project. It is expected that the farmers, farmersв' communities and rural households as well as implementing partners will directly benefit from knowledge management, field days, exchange visits, season-long trainings, training modules and materials, as well as information materials on agriculture.

    The project will also organize an international study tour and visits to advanced farms and research institutes for selected agricultural specialists and farmers from the project districts.

    It will introduce conservation agriculture, improved pasture and grassland management practices in farming communities, promotion of diversified cropping systems and seed production, and suitable fodder crops for pasture improvement. Some 28 local veterinarians will be trained in animal health and production, and will be provided with transport facilities.

    Agriculture accounts for 23 percent of GDP and 48 percent of employment in Tajikistan, so it plays a major role in economic growth and poverty reduction.

    Cotton and wheat are the two main cash crops in Tajikistan, cultivated on nearly 70 percent of the cropped area. Beef, mutton, and poultry are the most important meat products; cow's milk, goat's, cheese, and wool are also important. Silk production exists, but remains a comparatively minor industry.
    5
  • Good nuclear deal at hand: EU's Mogherini
    06.03.2015 17:48
    http:// www.news.az/photos/page-photo/137820.jpg
    http:// www.news.az/photos/page-photo/137820.jpg
    The EU foreign policy chief says Iran and the P5 1 group of countries are close to reaching a ''good deal'' over Tehranв's nuclear program.

    "I believe a good deal is at hand," said Federica Mogherini in the Latvian capital city of Riga on Friday, adding, "I also believe that there is not going to be any deal if it is not going to be a good deal", Press TV reports.

    The EU official also stated that the two sides' political will, and not the technical issues, now defines the fate of negotiations.

    Earlier in the day, Mogherini gave a positive assessment of the technical talks between the deputy foreign ministers of Iran and the six world powers in the Swiss city of Montreux on Thursday.

    "The meetings were constructive and useful. Some progress was made and a better understanding on some of the issues emerged," her office said in a statement.

    "The (parties) will continue to work on the remaining gaps and will meet again very soon," the statement added.

    On Wednesday, Iran's negotiators also held quadrilateral deputy-level talks with Hans Dieter Lucas from Germany, Simon Gass from Britain and Nicolas de Riviere from France.

    On the same day, Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and his American counterpart, John Kerry, wrapped up intense negotiations in Montreux. Head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) Ali Akbar Salehi and US Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz also attended the talks.

    Iran and the P5 1 countries - Russia, China, Britain, France, and the United States plus Germany - are seeking to seal a comprehensive nuclear deal by July 1. The two sides have already missed two self-imposed deadlines for inking a final agreement since they signed an interim one in the Swiss city of Geneva in November 2013.
    5
  • AFFA stops funding school in Germany
    06.03.2015 17:45
    http:// www.news.az/photos/page-photo/137819.jpg
    http:// www.news.az/photos/page-photo/137819.jpg
    "There is no effect."

    According to Oxu.Az, AFFA President Rovnag Abdullayev said that AFFA will stop funding a school in Germany for players with Azerbaijani roots.

    "AFFA finance it, and we talked about the fact that every year each national team will be provided with 10 players, but there is no effect. The school will be closed."
    5
  • Azerbaijan able to host Olympic Games - Olympic silver medalist
    06.03.2015 17:32
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2015/03/06/trend_ude_060315.jpg
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2015/03/06/trend_ude_060315.jpg
    Baku, Azerbaijan, March 6

    By Elena Kosolapova - Trend:

    Holding such a large-scale sports event as the First European Games, will be beneficial for Baku, Olympic silver medalist Filip Ude from Croatia told Trend on Mar.6.

    Azerbaijan will be able to host the Olympic Games as well in 10-15 years, according to the athlete.

    Alongside with other well-known gymnasts, Ude is participating in the Open Joint Azerbaijan Championships in Gymnastics Disciplines that kicked off in Baku on Mar.4.

    Ude, who won two bronze medals in these competitions, said he is satisfied with his results.

    The gymnast said all participants in the competitions are worthy rivals, but he considers the Azerbaijani gymnasts Oleg Stepko, Petr Pakhnyuk and the Israeli gymnast Alexander Shatilov as the strongest of them.

    Furthermore, Ude said he would like to participate in the First European Games to be held in Baku in June 2015, but no decision has been made on this issue yet.

    He went on to add that only one gymnast from Croatia will be able to participate in the First European Games. European Championships will be held in April and the best gymnast in this championship will participate in the First European Games in Baku, according to Ude.

    "I want to take part [in the First European Games] and hopefully, I will be the best in the European Championships," Ude said.

    Furthermore, Ude talked about his impression of Baku. The Croatian athlete said this is his second visit to Azerbaijan's capital.

    "I have good impressions of Baku," he said. "It is a very beautiful city with large new buildings."

    Talking about the sports infrastructure in Baku, he said that a very comfortable National Gymnastics Arena has been built in the city. "I am glad to participate in the competitions here."

    The Open Joint Azerbaijan Championships in Gymnastics Disciplines will be completed on Mar.6.

    Coming from 22 countries, 133 gymnasts compete for medals in both the all-around and individual competitions.

    Edited by SI

    ---

    Follow the author on Twitter: @E_Kosolapova

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    10
  • Synergy Baku to compete in Le Tour de Langkawi
    06.03.2015 17:31
    http://www.today.az/pictures/pic139079.jpg
    http://www.today.az/pictures/pic139079.jpg
    /By AzerNews/

    By Amina Nazarli

    The Synergy Baku Cycling Project heads to Malaysia and its first stage race of the year, Le Tour de Langkawi to be held on March 8-15. The race covers 1118 km divided across eight stages, offering unique challenges and climbs.

    The Azerbaijani team will be led by Oleksandr Surutkovych, who will go for the teamв's GC chances, and Elchin Asadov, who the team expects to see in breakaways.

    The other three riders for whom such races are an important step in their development are Elgun Alizada, Enver Asanov and Samir Jabrayilov. They will all be making their first appearance in Langkawi.

    These three riders are in fact three of the youngest in the race. Alizada, 18, is the second youngest overall, while Asanov and Jabrayilov, both 20, are respectively the fourth and fifth youngest participants in the race.

    ''We are looking forward to Langkawi with a predominantly Azerbaijan's team,'' sport director Jeremy Hunt said. ''Developing the young guys is one of the teamв's goals and riding Langkawi follows the same path as Australia and Great Britain have used in the past.''

    ''This race is to give the U23 riders some race experience for the future and with its profile it is perfectly suited to this purpose.''

    The race features 12 climbs, including the steep mountain top finish on the Genting Highlands, which this year is the penultimate stage and should decide the overall winner.

    Synergy Baku For Le Tour De Langkawi: Elgun Alizada, Elchin Asadov, Enver Asanov, Samir Jabrayilov and Oleksandr Surutkovych.

    Earlier, national cyclist Maksym Averin won took second place in the Umag Trophy (1.2) race which was held in Croatia on March 4.
    7
  • Armenian wrestlers not to participate at first European Games
    06.03.2015 17:22
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2014/07/01/baku_2015_1st_european_games_logo_new_010714.jpg
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2014/07/01/baku_2015_1st_european_games_logo_new_010714.jpg
    Baku, Azerbaijan, Mar.6

    Trend:

    Armenian Wrestling Federation is against the participation of Armenian wrestlers at the first European Games in Baku, Armenia Today news agency reported March 6.

    "Management and the Executive Committee of the Federation have thoroughly and seriously studied the issue of participation of Armenian wrestlers at the European Games in Baku and decided that the participation of our representatives is pointless and impractical," the head coach of Armenian national Greco-Roman wrestling team Levon Julfalakyan said in an interview posted on the official website of the Federation. "In the coming days we will inform the ministry of sports and Olympic Committee about our decision."

    Baku 2015 is the first-ever European Games, an exciting and innovative multi-sport event for the continent, which will take place on June 12-28, 2015.

    There will be a total of 20 sports at Baku 2015: 16 Olympic sports and four non-Olympic sports. More than 6,000 athletes from across Europe will be representing their nations over 17 days of competition.

    Twelve of the sports will offer qualification opportunities for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games. Those sports include Archery, Athletics, Boxing, Cycling, Judo, Shooting, Swimming, Table Tennis, Taekwondo, Triathlon, Wrestling and Volleyball.

    Baku was awarded the games by the European Olympic Committees (EOC) in December 2012. The Baku European Games Operations Committee (BEGOC) will organize and run the Games in co-operation with the EOC.

    Translated by EA

    Edited by CN

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    6
  • IMF helps Georgia avoid economic slowdown
    06.03.2015 17:05
    http://www.today.az/pictures/pic139076.jpg
    http://www.today.az/pictures/pic139076.jpg
    /By AzerNews/

    By Mushvig Mehdiyev

    The International Monetary Fund has come up with a list of recommendations to help stabilize Georgia's economy.

    Improving the countryв's social policy, increasing taxes and strengthening the dialogue and cooperation between the government and the National Bank are among the recommendations the analytic mission of IMF introduced to the Georgian rulers.

    The IMF mission led by Mark Griffiths has set the assessment of the influence of the situation in neighboring countries on Georgiaв's economy during its visit to Tbilisi from February 23 to March 4.

    Despite IMFв's suggestion to increase taxes, Georgiaв's Economy Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili announced taxes would be reduced instead.

    "We have been working very hard to reduce taxes. We think even more liberalization is needed to achieve a result," Kvirikashvili said.

    While evaluating the reasons behind the devaluation of Georgiaв's national currency, the lari, Griffiths said a combination of several strong shocking factors had influenced Georgiaв's economy, including the Russia-Ukraine crisis, deep recession in Russia and the devaluation of currencies in trade partner countries.

    "Following the shocks, Georgiaв's exports dropped by 30 percent compared to the previous year and the monetary transfers sent home by those working abroad reduced by 25 percent,'' Griffiths noted.

    "It is true that the lari has depreciated less than other currencies in the region, but anyway it creates problems for individuals who have loans in U.S. dollar against their incomes in the lari,'' he added.

    Georgiaв's economic growth may reach two percent this year but risks are not excluded, Griffiths believed.

    "The activities of Georgiaв's main trade partners have also slowed and devaluation of their currencies unavoidably influences Georgiaв's competitiveness," Griffiths said. In view of recent allegations about the National Bank's inappropriate measures amid the currency crisis, the IMF Mission leader said it was necessary to respect the bankв's independence.

    "The government and the bank should unite and resolve the existing problems," Griffiths noted.

    Griffiths went on to add that no intervention was needed by the bank when there was a floating exchange rate in a country.

    Giorgi Kadagidze, the National Bank's chairman, said earlier that the bank did everything right in order to avoid the currency crisis, and it would not spend money from the reserves to strengthen the lari as its devaluation came after fundamental economic problems in Georgia.

    Following a meeting with IMF reps a week ago, Kvirikashvili said the leading monetary institution voiced its backing to the national currency destabilization efforts taken in Georgia.

    Georgia's national currency, the lari, started to fall in value against the dollar last November. A drop in oil prices and Russia' economic comedown following west-imposed sanction have contributed to such a devaluation.

    As of March 6, one lari is traded at 2.12415 per one dollar, while one euro is calculated at 2.34748 lari.
    7
  • Corpses of 33 miners taken out
    06.03.2015 16:59
    http://img.sia.az/news/2015/siaphoto_464772.jpg
    http://img.sia.az/news/2015/siaphoto_464772.jpg
    Search and rescue operations during a Donetsk spark cave finished Thursday after rescuers took out a bodies of 33 miners who died in a collision that happened on Wednesday morning, internal authorities said, SIA informs citing the AA.

    AlekseyKostrubitskiy,the eastern Ukrainian self-proclaimed Donetsk Peopleв's Republicв's puncture minister,said that 15 miners, who were harmed in a incident, were taken to an area hospital.

    He combined that some-more than 200 rescuers had taken partial in a hunt and rescue efforts.

    The apportion also pronounced that officials were questioning a means of a accident, though initial reports contend a methane gas blast is to blame.

    The Zasyadko spark cave was non-stop in 1958 andproduced 144 million tons of spark in 2013.

    Six largeincidents took place during this cave in a past 15 years, claiming a lives of 244 miners.
    6
  • Syrian crisis may last long - Turkish PM
    06.03.2015 16:54
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2015/02/13/ahmet_davutoglu_albom.jpg
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2015/02/13/ahmet_davutoglu_albom.jpg
    Baku, Azerbaijan, March 6

    By Rufiz Hafizoglu - Trend:

    The crisis in Syria can last long even if the "Islamic State" militants in that country are completely eliminated, the Anadolu agency quoted Turkey's Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu as saying on March 6.

    He said it is possible that after the destruction of the militants of the "Islamic State" in the region, other radical terrorist groups will appear.

    The prime minister added that a certain part of the "Islamic State" militants was formed in the Iraqi military prison Abu Ghraib, operated by the US military.

    The "Islamic State" (IS, formerly ISIL or ISIS) penetrated Syria's territory in 2013. The organization said at the time it refuses to take the oath of Al-Qaeda and declared "a holy war" against all groups and government forces of Syria.

    Strengthening of the IS in Syria allowed it to return to Iraq, deploying military actions against government forces there.

    In late June 2014, the IS announced about the creation of the "Islamic Caliphate" on the territories under its control in Iraq and Syria. In turn, Iraqi authorities asked the international community for help in fighting the IS.

    After the start of the Western coalition forces' operation in Iraq in 2003, the Iraqi nationals accused of committing crimes against the coalition forces, were held in the Abu Ghraib prison in the Iraqi town of Abu Ghraib, some 32 kilometers west of Baghdad.

    On March 9, 2006, the coalition forces command decided to shut down the prison.

    In August 2006, all the prisoners were transferred from Abu Ghraib to other prisons in Iraq, and on Sept. 2 the prison came under the control of the Iraqi government.

    In late April 2004, CBS aired a story about the torture and abuse against the Abu Ghraib prisoners committed by the US soldiers. This became a scandal around the US military presence in Iraq.

    Edited by SI

    ---

    Follow the author on Twitter: @rhafizoglu

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    6
  • Conditions created in Azerbaijan allow gymnasts to prepare well for Baku 2015 '" gold medal winner
    06.03.2015 16:48
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2015/03/06/smirnova_060315.jpg
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2015/03/06/smirnova_060315.jpg
    Baku, Azerbaijan, March 6

    By Maksim Tsurkov - Trend:

    The conditions created in Azerbaijan for gymnasts allow to prepare well for the First European Games, Azerbaijani gymnast Maria Smirnova told Trend on Mar.6.

    Smirnova won two gold medals in the Open Joint Azerbaijan Championships in Gymnastics Disciplines that kicked off in Baku on Mar.4.

    The gold medal winner said she is satisfied with her result.

    "Today I performed better than on the first day," said Smirnova. "If I performed on the first day as well as today, I could be in the top 3 in the all-around competitions."

    The gymnast added that her coach is also satisfied with her results, since they expected to win a medal only in the floor exercises.

    Furthermore, Smirnova added that she will prepare for the European Games in Baku, since the conditions created in Azerbaijan allows to fulfill all the tasks of the gymnast.

    The Open Joint Azerbaijan Championships in Gymnastics Disciplines will be completed on Mar.6.

    Coming from 22 countries, 133 gymnasts compete for medals in both the all-around and individual competitions.

    Such well-known gymnasts, as two-time absolute world champion Yana Kudryavtseva (Russia, rhythmic gymnastics), Olympic silver medalist Filip Ude (Croatia), European champion Alexander Shatilov (Israel, both - sports gymnastics) and other athletes have arrived in the capital of Azerbaijan - Baku.

    What makes this competition special is that it will be held on the same scheme with the First European Games. Open Joint Azerbaijan Championships in Gymnastics Disciplines will set a precedent in the history of gymnastics and a great opportunity for the masters of aerobics and acrobats to compete together with rhythmic and artistic gymnasts and trampoliners.

    The European Games to be held in Baku on June 12-28, 2015 are the first games in the history of the European continent.

    Edited by SI

    ---

    Follow the author on Twitter: @MaksimTsurkov

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    4
  • Nar Mobile participates at Mobile World Congress
    06.03.2015 16:48
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2012/03/14/Nar_Mobile_logo_140312.jpg
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2012/03/14/Nar_Mobile_logo_140312.jpg
    Baku, Azerbaijan, March 6

    Trend:

    The delegation of Nar Mobile participated at the GSMA Mobile World Congress that took place in presence of world's leading ICT companies, telecommunication giants and mobile operators.

    Starting its work in Barcelona, Spain, on March 2, this traditional event created opportunities to widely share vision on new market trends, technological achievements, modern ideas and initiatives as well as important issues related to future prospective of mobile communication.

    At the same time, interactive sessions and panel discussions have been organized within the framework of the Congress.

    This Congress was attended by CEOs and leaders of the largest companies which are active in ICT sphere at the global level.

    Nar Mobile representatives joined wider discussions with other Congress delegates, shared their opinions and expressed ideas on innovations and changes applied in the field of telecommunications.

    Nar Mobile delegation also participated at the mobile technologies exhibition organized in the framework of the Mobile World Congress. It should be noted that thousands of people from various countries of the world took part at distinctive sessions during this four-day event.

    Azerbaijan's fastest growing mobile operator Nar Mobile serves its subscribers since 2007.

    Since its creation, Nar Mobile remained always committed to its policy of affordable prices providing an exceptional value for its customers via a variety of attractive tariff offerings.

    Beyond the convenient voice tariffs, it also offers a great variety of choice and best value for its internet packages and a single price for each roaming zone. Nar Mobile is proud to be an Official Mobile Telecommunications Service Provider of the Baku 2015 European Games.

    Follow us on Twitter @
    5
  • Depreciation of Turkish Lira distresses government
    06.03.2015 16:43
    http:// www.news.az/photos/page-photo/137817.jpg
    http:// www.news.az/photos/page-photo/137817.jpg
    Depreciation of Turkish Lira has distressed the government.

    When Turkish President Tayyip ErdoДџan began a new wave of statement against the Central Bank on Jan. 16, roughly one-and-a-half months ago, one U.S. dollar was worth 2.30 Turkish Liras (TL), Hurriyet Daily reports.

    That was already a high figure. While arranging their 2015 budgets at the end of 2014, almost all major companies in Turkey had based their estimates on a yearly average of 2.4 liras to the dollar, relying on government extrapolations. That limit was surpassed by Jan. 30.

    There are external factors such as the global appreciation of the dollar, but it is not a coincidence that whenever ErdoДџan slams the Central Bank and its governor Erdem BaЕџçД± for not lowering interest rates further, or whenever he criticizes Deputy Prime Minister Ali Babacan and Finance Minister Mehmet ЕћimЕџek for not putting more pressure on the supposedly independent institution, the lira loses more value.

    Yesterday, March 5, the value of one dollar approached 2.60. That was one of the thresholds for Turkish banks to back their guarantees without additional funding.

    But it also means that the actual devaluation of the lira against the dollar over the last one-and-a-half months is nearly 12 percent.

    There is more. When the lira depreciated against the dollar from the 1.80s to the 1.90s - roughly 10 kuruЕџ or one-tenth of a lira - during the month-long Gezi protests in June 2013, ErdoДџan said the protests had been instigated and manipulated by an international "interest rate lobby" in order to make the lira less valuable.

    Since Gezi, the lira has lost its value versus the U.S. dollar by more than 40 percent. That 40 percent is the same amount as the losses that occurred over a few days in February 2001, which was caused by the largest financial crisis in Turkey's history. It was that crisis that caused the collapse of the coalition government and brought ErdoДџan's Justice and Development Party (AK Parti) to power in the early elections of 2002.

    Today the same number of Turkish people is becoming poor, but it is taking place over a longer period of time - nearly two years rather than the trauma of a few days. Its negative effect on the purchasing power of the Turkish people is the same, but now it's like the story of the frogs being boiled slowly in water, rather than being thrown straight into boiling water.

    The depreciation of the lira might seem attractive to exporters, but because of the changing nature of Turkey's export-oriented industries, which have begun to rely less and less on native input, (mainly because of cheaper Chinese support), the country has started to rely more on imports in order to carry out exports, thus losing money in any case.

    While all this is going on in the Turkish economy, Prime Minister Ahmet DavutoДџlu, together with his economy deputy and finance minister, is in New York to tell investors there that Turkey is a profitable market for them and also stable, because his party is going to stay in power after the June 7 elections.

    It may be true that an accelerating dollar versus the lira is profitable for foreign investors, but the figures are starting to be alarming regarding the endurance of the Turkish financial system, and the Turkish people.
    6
  • Tender for Azerspace-2 starts
    06.03.2015 16:37
    http://www.today.az/pictures/pic139075.jpg
    http://www.today.az/pictures/pic139075.jpg
    /By AzerNews/

    By Nigar Orujova

    Azerbaijanв's space agency Azercosmos has announced a tender for its second telecommunication satellite Azerspace 2.

    The tender is announced for the satellite construction and equipment for the ground control center of Azerspace-2.

    Azerspace-2 will be designed to provide digital broadcasting, Internet access, data transmission, creation of multiservice networks VSAT, etc.

    International Telecommunications Satellite Organization rents 45.9 percent of the resources of the satellite. The satellite will be launched into orbit in 2017.

    The geostationary satellite will be equipped with transponders of Ku and Ka range.

    Applicants for the tender and those wishing to purchase a package of basic conditions of tender should submit their documents to the agency by 6.00 p.m., March 13.

    The fee for participation in the tender is non-refundable and amount to $20,000.

    The bids and bank guarantee must be submitted to the Azercosmos by 6.00 p.m., April 22.

    The tender offer is defined in 180 days. The bank guarantee shall be not less than one percent of the bid, and the period of validity should exceed the period of the tender offer for at least 30 days.

    The tender procedure will be held at Azercosmos office in Baku, AZ1000, Uzeyir Hajibeyli str. 72, at 11.00 a.m. on April 23.

    The tender terms which cover works for installation of equipment of the ground station must be completed no later than 2017 and the satellite must be sent to the space launch site no later than the end of 2017.

    Azerbaijan expects the satellite will be constructed in 30 months.

    The project for the launch of Azerspace-2 will be realized jointly with US and French companies. The orbital position of the satellite will be at 45 degrees east longitude.

    More information about the tender can be found at ( 994 12) 565 00 55. Contacts: Sameddin Asadov (chairman of the tender commission) and Arzu Guliyeva (Chief Procurement Specialist).

    Azerbaijan entered the global space club by launching into orbit its own satellite by Franceв's Ariane 5 ECA launcher, "Arianespace" company, in February 2013.

    Azercosmos also jointly uses the low-earth-orbit satellites SPOT 6 and SPOT 7 together with the French company "Airbus Defense and Space".
    6
  • PACE rapporteur on Nagorno-Karabakh conflict to visit Azerbaijan
    06.03.2015 16:28
    http:// www.news.az/photos/page-photo/137815.jpg
    http:// www.news.az/photos/page-photo/137815.jpg
    Robert Walter, the rapporteur of the PACE Political Affairs Committee on the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, will pay a visit to Azerbaijan on March 12-13, APAв's Europe bureau reports.

    The rapporteur will prepare a report on the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict based on the results of his visit.

    During the visit, Walter will meet with the Azerbaijani president, speaker of the parliament, foreign, justice and defense ministers, a group of refugees and IDPs, as well as representatives of civil societies.
    5
  • SOCAR capex to exceed $2.2 B during 2 years
    06.03.2015 16:25
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2014/09/20/socar_logo_new_200914.jpg
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2014/09/20/socar_logo_new_200914.jpg
    Baku, Azerbaijan, Mar.6

    By Azad Hasanli - Trend:

    Fitch Ratings global rating agency has assigned State Oil Company of the Azerbaijan Republic's (SOCAR; BBB-/Stable) proposed notes an expected foreign currency senior unsecured rating of 'BBB-(EXP)', in line with SOCAR's Long-term Issuer Default Rating.

    "SOCAR's ratings are aligned with sovereign Azerbaijan's (BBB-/Stable), as it represents the state's interests in the strategically important oil and gas industry," said the message. "SOCAR maintains close ties with the government and the State Oil Fund of the Republic of Azerbaijan (SOFAZ) to make financial and investment decisions."

    Fitch views SOCAR's standalone profile as commensurate with the mid 'BB' category, reflecting its limited reserves, declining brownfield production, aged refineries, but also an extensive domestic pipeline network, an expanding international downstream and retail portfolio, and adequate credit metrics.

    "In 2014, SOCAR's total hydrocarbon output was 297,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day (mboepd), flat on previous year's levels. While SOCAR's upstream is weaker and its lifting costs are higher than that of 'BB' rated Russian peers, this is partially compensated by profits from its midstream and downstream operations.

    Under Fitch's base rating case, it is expected that SOCAR's own (excluding JVs) oil production to decline gradually to 2016 from the depletion of existing brownfields in Azerbaijan, SOCAR's only upstream region.

    "At the same time, we forecast higher natural gas production from Azerbaijan's PSAs, in particular the Stage 2 of the Shah Deniz PSA," said the message. "Once completed, the project aims to increase production by 16 billion cubic meters of gas and 4 million metric tons of gas condensate starting from late 2018."

    The agency conservatively estimates that SOCAR will spend around $2.2 billion on capex in 2015-2016.

    "The company has little capex flexibility as most funds are earmarked for its upstream business to arrest brownfield production decline, to meet its obligations under the PSAs and to complete projects that are already underway, including the construction of the STAR refinery," the message said. "We forecast that under Fitch's oil price deck of $55 per barrel of oil (bbl) in 2015 and $65/bbl in 2016, SOCAR's FFO net leverage could exceed 2x."

    The analysts of the agency said that an increase in state support through eg, government guarantees for a large portion of the company's debt, or additional lending by SOFAZ, coupled with a sovereign rating upgrade.

    Future developments that may result in negative rating action include weakening state support, an aggressive investment program and/or acquisitions resulting in a significant and sustained deterioration of standalone credit metrics.

    SOCAR includes production associations Azneft (the enterprises producing oil and gas onshore and offshore), Azerkimya (the chemical industry enterprises) and Azerigaz.

    The company also has a number of processing enterprises, service enterprises, and institutions involved in geophysical and drilling operations.

    SOCAR is the sole producer of oil products in Azerbaijan. It has two oil refineries on its balance sheet, and also owns filling stations in Azerbaijan, Georgia, Ukraine, Romania and Switzerland.

    SOCAR is a co-owner of the largest Turkish petrochemical complex, Petkim, and other assets in Turkey. The company is also currently working as part of the supply of Azerbaijan's gas to Europe.

    In this regard, work is underway within the second phase of development of the Shah Deniz gas and condensate field, to expand the South Caucasus Pipeline, and projects are being developed to construct the Trans Anatolian Natural Gas Pipeline (TANAP) and the Trans Adriatic Pipeline (TAP).

    ---

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    6
  • Poland backs liberalization of Azerbaijan-EU visa regimem
    06.03.2015 16:10
    http://www.today.az/pictures/pic139074.jpg
    http://www.today.az/pictures/pic139074.jpg
    /By AzerNews/

    By Nigar Orujova

    Poland wishes for Azerbaijan to be a strategic partner of the EU formally and in practice, Polish Ambassador to Azerbaijan Marek Calka said on March 5.

    "We will support the signing of certain documents in the future,'' he said. ''We think that this is in the strategic interests of Poland. We must wait for the greater liberalization of the visa regime."

    The full liberalization of the visa regime with the EU countries will make a great contribution to the promotion of Azerbaijan in these countries.

    "Azerbaijan has a rich history, culture and architecture,'' the diplomat said. ''It can charm any European tourist and bring a lot of money to the country. The country fully complies with European standards by its cultural and religious tolerance."

    The more open is the country, the easier this country will be understood, he said. ''And the country will present itself without advocacy at all state levels.''

    ''The liberalization of the visa regime will also open the country's market for Europe and increase the trade turnover,'' the ambassador added.

    As a new tourist destination, Azerbaijan is planning to facilitate visa issuing processes.

    Since last September, the visa regime was simplified between Azerbaijan and the European Union. The agreements make it easier and cheaper for all Azerbaijanis and citizens of the EU, especially for those who travel a lot, to acquire short-stay visas.

    A short-stay visa is a visa for an intended stay of no more than 90 days per period of 180 days.

    Under the agreement, visa fees were reduced two-fold from 60 euro to 35 euro. Earlier, Hungary reported their decision to simplify visa issuance procedure for Azerbaijanis, by opening a visa center in Baku in the near future.

    Moreover, Hungarian WizzAir airline will resume Baku-Budapest-Baku flights by late March in accordance with an intergovernmental agreement on air service.

    This fact will also increase the tourist flow between Azerbaijan and the EU.
    8
  • A famous actor injured in plane crash
    06.03.2015 16:10
    http://img.sia.az/news/2015/siaphoto_464759.jpg
    http://img.sia.az/news/2015/siaphoto_464759.jpg
    Actor Harrison Ford crash landed a small vintage plane at Penmar Golf Course in Venice less than two minutes after takeoff on Thursday afternoon.

    The single-engine, Ryan Aeronautical ST3KR plane clipped the top of a tree before crashing shortly before 2:30 p.m. onto the golf course, just west of the Santa Monica Municipal Airport, according to Federal Aviation Administration officials. Ford was attempting to return to the airport due to engine trouble, according to a senior federal official and audio of the crash.
    5
  • Armed Forces suffered no losses Defense Ministry
    06.03.2015 16:05
    http://img.sia.az/news/2015/siaphoto_464756.jpg
    http://img.sia.az/news/2015/siaphoto_464756.jpg
    Following the fail attempt of sabotage on the contact line, Armenian side released misleading statements, Defense Ministry of Azerbaijan told SIA.

    The opposite side admits its casualties on the contact line, as well lack of skills and the fact that Armenian servicemen have thrown their weapons on the battlefield and run away. They certainly failed in a sabotage attempt made last night in the Aghdere- Terter part of the contact line.

    ''We donв't have any unit of special forces on the frontline.'' stated Azerbaijanв's Defense Ministry.

    The situation on the frontline is fully under control. There is one wounded and Azerbaijani Armed Forces suffered no losses in manpower and equipment. We once again urge the representatives of mass media outlets not to use provocative reports disseminated by the Armenians.

    Note that, Armenian mass media spreads misinformation misinformation that the Azerbaijani Armed Forces allegedly lost 7 servicemen.
    5
  • Azerbaijan introduces official salary cap for footballers
    06.03.2015 16:00
    http:// www.news.az/photos/page-photo/137814.jpg
    http:// www.news.az/photos/page-photo/137814.jpg
    The players invited to the national team may earn even more.

    The recommendation solution of the AFFA club committee on introducing a limit for wages of the young footballers was officially approved at today's session of AFFA's executive committee.

    According to Oxu.Az, the players younger than 21 will get no more than AZN 30,000 a year and up to 23 years no more than AZN 50,000 a year. Meanwhile, the players invited to the national team have the right for the 50% increase in salaries.

    A footballer who violates this rule will be disqualified for a year.
    5
  • Azerbaijan bringing Southern Gas Corridor to life
    06.03.2015 15:55
    http://www.today.az/pictures/pic139073.jpg
    http://www.today.az/pictures/pic139073.jpg
    /By AzerNews/

    By Gulgiz Dadashova

    The Southern Gas Corridor is a top priority for the EU in terms of its energy diversification plans and at this point the most important thing is bringing the corridor to life.

    Amanda Paul, the policy analyst at the European Policy Centre in Brussels, believes that it is what Azerbaijan, the only country so far committed gas to the Southern Gas Corridor, is doing.

    The 3,500-kilometer Southern Gas Corridor which would finally end Europeв's dependence on a single pipeline was initially launched as part of the South Caucasus Pipeline Expansion, which will connect the Sangachal terminal with eastern Turkey through Georgia. It will link up with the SOCAR-led TANAP to be connected with a third pipeline TAP on the Turkish-Greek border.

    ''So far Azerbaijan is the only country that has committed gas to the SGC although it is hoped that more will follow,'' she wrote in an e-mail to AzerNews. ''Efforts on ongoing to also contract gas from Turkmenistan although nothing concrete has been agreed, not least, because of the issue of getting this gas across the Caspian which is still fully of difficulties.''

    Turkmenistan considers delivering its huge natural gas reserves to the West via the Trans-Caspian pipeline project, a proposed project which would run under the Caspian Sea to reach Azerbaijan, then Georgia, and finally connect with TANAP.

    As to Moscowв's counter moves in case Turkmenistan makes a decision on gas supply to Europe, the expert noted that the Turkmens are very careful in terms of their foreign policy moves, including on energy.

    ''It is clear that Russia would not like to see Turkmenistan sell huge amounts of gas to Europe. But this is far from being realized anyway, not least, because it is not clear which route would take the gas to hook up to the Southern Gas Corridor.

    The Trans-Caspian-Pipeline is far from being realized as both Russia and Iran do not want it. Furthermore it would require significant investment. The Turkmens prefer to play a waiting game. Wait until all the necessary infrastructure is in place and operational; when gas is flowing from other sources,'' she said.

    The expert also reminded the country also enjoys opportunity to sell gas to China and other Asian states. ''I do not think we should overestimate what would be Russiaв's ''counter move'' if Turkmenistan eventually sold. Azerbaijan has already achieved this, as Baku broke Russiaв's hold on pipes going to the West when the BTC pipe was inaugurated. Itв's not always easy to do this but ultimately sovereign states should be allowed to pursue their own interests.''

    The Trans-Caspian pipeline project is not a new idea, but the Caspian countries have yet to reach a resolution on the issue at a time when Iran and Russia is opposing any undersea project.

    Still, the governments of Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan state that the route for a pipeline project under the Caspian could be agreed by Turkmenistan and Azerbaijan without consent of the other littoral states.

    Regarding the Russian-Turkish initiative Turkish Stream, Paul said the EU is slowing coming to terms that this will almost certainly become a reality although that does not mean any of the gas will ever come the EU market.

    ''Russia will need to meet its obligations in the current contracts it has with various member states, it cannot just switch transit routes with the blink of an eye. Furthermore, new infrastructure would need to be built in South Eastern Europe and at the moment there is no appetite to do so,'' she wrote, noting that everything can change in the future but it would involve a lot of investment

    Paul said the EU is committed to strengthening its internal energy market so that countries that now find themselves rather disconnected can be connected to an internal gas market. However, one should not rule out that some countries, including Bulgaria, may use gas from Turkish Stream.

    Commenting on possible Iranian gas supply to Europe, Paul noted that a deal with Iran will change the face of the entire region and Iran would once again be able to play a full regional and global role including related to its energy policy.

    ''However, after so many years of isolation due to sanctions, Iranв's gas infrastructure is not in good shape and would require huge investment which could take several years. Furthermore it is likely that resurrecting the oil industry may take precedence over gas. However, ultimately Iran could be a source for the Southern Gas Corridor.''

    Speaking about the huge volumes that potential supply routes to Europe offer for European consumers, Paul said the EU will consider to consume a large amount of gas for the foreseeable future.

    ''However we are moving towards a buyers rather than a sellers market which was not the case in the past.

    Moreover, the EU aims to diversify its energy mix meaning that increased green energy, renewable, etc will be increase in the future so ultimately there will not be a gigantic jump is gas consummation. The point is to reduce the amount of gas the EU currently gets from Russia by achieving the maximum routes and sources,'' she wrote.

    The EU imported 53 percent of its consumed energy in 2014, to a cost of about €400 billion, according to the European Commission. Six of the 28 EU member states are 100 percent dependent on Russian gas which makes up 27 percent of all gas consumed by the EU.
    5
  • Azerbaijani gymnast wins bronze at championship in Baku
    06.03.2015 15:48
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2015/03/06/trend_gimnastika_women-_060315_001.jpg
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2015/03/06/trend_gimnastika_women-_060315_001.jpg
    Baku, Azerbaijan, March 6

    By Maksim Tsurkov - Trend:

    Azerbaijani gymnast Marina Durunda won bronze medal at the Open Joint Azerbaijan Championships in Gymnastics Disciplines held in Baku.

    Durunda scored 17.450 points in the performances with a hoop that brought her the bronze medal. Russian gymnast Yana Kudryavtseva took the first place with 18,866 points. Salome Pazhava from Georgia took the second place with 17,716 points.

    In group competitions in acrobatics, after static exercises among women, the Azerbaijani team won the gold medals, while the German gymnasts won the silver medals.

    The Open Joint Azerbaijan Championships in Gymnastics Disciplines is being held in Baku on March 4-6. This is the test championship on the eve of the First European Games. Coming from 22 countries, 133 gymnasts compete for medals in both the all-around and individual competitions.

    Such well-known gymnasts, as two-time absolute world champion Yana Kudryavtseva (Russia, rhythmic gymnastics), Olympic silver medalist Filip Ude (Croatia), European champion Alexander Shatilov (Israel, both - sports gymnastics) and other athletes have arrived in the capital of Azerbaijan - Baku.

    A special feature of these games is the same scheme as that of the First European Games. The Open Joint Azerbaijan Championships in Gymnastics Disciplines will set a precedent in the history of gymnastics and an excellent opportunity for acrobats and aerobics representatives to compete along with the rhythmic, artistic and trampoline gymnasts.

    The European Games are the first games in the history of the European continent, to be held in Baku on June 12-28, 2015.

    Edited by SI

    ---

    Follow the author on Twitter: @MaksimTsurkov

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    4
  • Baku 2015 extends deadline of press accreditation
    06.03.2015 15:30
    http://img.sia.az/news/2015/siaphoto_464703.jpg
    http://img.sia.az/news/2015/siaphoto_464703.jpg
    Baku 2015 is today pleased to announce an official extension to the press accreditation deadline for this summerв's inaugural European Games.

    The original deadline was Friday 6 March but in response to high press interest, and many requests for more time to submit applications, the deadline has been extended by four weeks to Friday 3 April.

    Press representatives interested in covering Baku 2015 are encouraged to apply before this final deadline as accreditations beyond this date will not be accepted. Once approved, international press will be sent a pre-valid card which will serve as their visa to enter Azerbaijan.

    Press are also encouraged to book their rooms in the newly constructed Media Village (50 euro per night including breakfast and 65 euro per night for a twin room) as spaces are limited. The Media Village is adjacent to the Athletesв' Village and will serve as a transport hub for all venues and provide working and catering facilities.

    Please email pressoperations@baku2015.com to request a press accreditation form before 3 April 2015.
    10
  • Azerbaijan military disarms Armenian sabotage group
    06.03.2015 15:25
    http://www.today.az/pictures/pic139072.jpg
    http://www.today.az/pictures/pic139072.jpg
    /By AzerNews/

    By Mushvig Mehdiyev

    Escalation along the line of contact has flared once again as Armenian troops attempted to carry out acts of sabotage against Azerbaijan on March 5.

    The Azerbaijani armed forces managed to prevent such hostile interference from taking place on the contact line in the direction of the Agdere-Terter zone, the Azerbaijani Defense Ministry said.

    The ministry explained how Azerbaijani troops were able to prevent an all-out assault against its positions when an Armenian reconnaissance group infringed on the ceasefire.

    A powerful strike from Azerbaijan troops confused the Armenian saboteurs forcing them to retreat and run. They fled with such speed and confusion that they left their weapons on the ground, only concerned with saving their own lives.

    Provocative measures once again ended in failure, getting a fitting rebuff from the frontline units of the Azerbaijani armed forces.

    Unfortunately, one Azerbaijani serviceman, Sergeant Dayanet Zahidov was slightly wounded in the arm during the exchange of fire.

    Meanwhile, the Armenian military units infringed on the terms of the armistice a reported 69 times on various parts of the contact line between the armies over the past 24 hours, confirmed the ministry.

    The ministry has repeatedly slammed Armenia's leadership and brass for constantly infringing and violating on the ceasefire, by unlawfully entering onto Azerbaijan's territories.

    Regular ceasefire violations triggered by the Armenian forces have generated much instability, complicating any hope for a fast and peaceful resolution of the ongoing territorial dispute between the two countries.

    Armenia's preference for armed incursions instead of pulling its troops peacefully out of the occupied Azerbaijani territories as prescribed by the UN resolutions has periodically pushed Azerbaijan to consider opting for an armed resolution over the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.

    The protracted conflict in Karabakh is the fruit of Armenia's military invasion in Azerbaijan's internationally recognized Nagorno-Karabakh and seven adjacent regions in the early 1990s.

    As a result of bloody warfare, 20 percent of Azerbaijan's territory has been under Armenia's occupation for over two decades. Over a million Azerbaijanis have lived in refuge towns and camps as a result.
    6
  • Defense Minister receives Commander of the Turkish Air Force
    06.03.2015 15:09
    http://img.sia.az/news/2015/siaphoto_464732.jpg
    http://img.sia.az/news/2015/siaphoto_464732.jpg
    Azerbaijan's Defense Minister, Colonel General Zakir Hasanov has received Commander of the Turkish Air Force, General AkД±n Г-ztГјrk, who is on a visit to Azerbaijan, said the Ministry.

    At the meeting, Z. Hasanov stressed that the cooperation between Azerbaijan and Turkey is based on the ties of friendship and brotherhood and these ties are constantly developing.

    Mentioning that the joint exercises of the Air Forces held in Azerbaijan in 2014 and in Turkey at present according to the military cooperation plan between the two countries are important in terms of gaining experience, the Azerbaijani Defense Minister emphasized that the relations in this field should be further developed.

    Touching upon the military-political situation in the region, Hasanov said that Armenia is the main danger to regional stability and stressed the importance of a solution to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict within the international law.

    Mr. Г-ztГјrk noted that the relations between the two countries are based on historical roots and friendship and Turkey is an important partner to Azerbaijan.

    Ambassador of Turkey to Azerbaijan Ismail Alper Coskun was present at the meeting.
    9
  • UNESCO condemns IS destruction
    06.03.2015 15:09
    http://img.sia.az/news/2015/siaphoto_464733.jpg
    http://img.sia.az/news/2015/siaphoto_464733.jpg
    The head of UNESCO condemned on Friday the destruction of the ancient Assyrian city of Nimrud in Iraq by the Islamic State group, saying it amounted to a "war crime".

    "I condemn with the strongest force the destruction of the site at Nimrud," Irina Bokova said in a statement.

    She said she had already spoken with the heads of the UN Security Council and International Criminal Court on the issue.

    "We cannot remain silent. The deliberate destruction of cultural heritage constitutes a war crime. I call on all political and religious leaders in the region to stand up and remind everyone that there is absolutely no political or religious justification for the destruction of humanity?s cultural heritage."

    IS "assaulted the historic city of Nimrud and bulldozed it with heavy vehicles," Iraq's government said on Thursday.

    An antiquities official said the destruction began after noon prayers on Thursday and that trucks may have been used to haul away artefacts.

    "UNESCO is determined to do whatever is needed to document and protect the heritage of Iraq and lead the fight against the illicit traffic of cultural artefacts, which directly contributes to the financing of terrorism," said Bokova.
    5
  • Armenia's rulers in panic over secret letter to PACE
    06.03.2015 15:08
    http://www.today.az/pictures/pic139071.jpg
    http://www.today.az/pictures/pic139071.jpg
    /By AzerNews/

    By Mushvig Mehdiyev

    The newly leaked letter which was sent by political figures to an influential European institution in mid-February has become the subject of much controversy in Armenia's political circles.

    The letter essentially highlighted the depth of the recent government versus opposition scandal, putting the focus on the government-led culture of repression and oppression.

    "Whatв's happening in Armenia is clearly political persecution and repression,'' said the letter addressed to President of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, Anne Brasseur by three members of Armeniaв's National Assembly - Naira Zohrabyan and Vahe Hovhannisyan of the Prosperous Armenia Party and Levon Zurabyan of the Armenian National Congress.

    The lawmakers informed Brasseur about the types of methods used against members of the opposition such as kidnapping, brutalization, harassment and other harrowing treatments.

    President Serzh Sargsyan's behavior in a brawl with opposition leader Gagik Tsarukyan was called ''an all-out war against Armeniaв's second largest political force, the Prosperous Armenia Party'' in the letter.

    The reads Sargsyan has publicly avowed that he will do everything in his power to deny Tsarukyan the right to engage in political activity just because he has publicly refused to support the constitutional changes suggested by the president.

    On February 12, in his warm speech, Sargsyan exposed his bigotry against Tsarukyan when he called him an "evil" for Armenia's statehood, and hinted to the latter's imminent "neutralization." The speech set into motion a series of events that jeopardized the existence of one of the most powerful opposition parties in the country.

    "This is obvious political persecution against a person refusing to welcome prolongation of Sargsyan's grip on power for another 10 years," said the authors of the letter.

    Lawmakers went on to express their hopes that PACE would publically react and act on their behalf as to prevent a further slip into authoritarianism.

    "The situation is potentially explosive, and the right kind of rebuke and strong cautionary statements from PACE president may prevent serious confrontation and turmoil," the letter concludes.

    Two days after the letter was sent, Brasseur, on February 18, responded, saying: ''There should be no place for politically motivated use of physical violence and of administrative harassment in democratic societies.''

    Brasseur said the Monitoring Committee of the Assembly will absolutely take the letter into account in the preparation of the report on the Honoring of Obligations and Commitments by Armenia.

    The PACE president added that developments surrounding the situation of the opposition leaders and activists in Armenia will be under her close focus.

    Brasseur promised to raise the issue during the high-level meetings within her visit to Armenia scheduled for this April.

    Meanwhile, tycoon Tsarukyan announced his resignation as chairman of the Prosperous Armenia party at an extraordinary congress of the Armenia's second largest party on March 5.

    In a post-congress statement, Tsarukyan also heralded his retirement from active politics, saying that he stepped back from political struggle because he saw the limit of his power and did not want to see bloodshed in Armenia.

    Naira Zohrabyan, who was elected to fill Tsarukyan shoes as party leader, declared that the PAP will be a pure opposition party from now on.
    5
  • Garibashvili: Turkey and Azerbaijan are true friends of Georgia
    06.03.2015 14:59
    http:// www.news.az/photos/page-photo/137810.jpg
    http:// www.news.az/photos/page-photo/137810.jpg
    "There is a lot of potential."

    The head of the Georgian government Irakli Garibashvili launched the business forum with the participation of Georgia, Turkey and Azerbaijan in Batumi (Adjara Autonomous Republic) on Friday, March 6, Oxu.Az reports citing Novosti-Georgia.

    "Turkey and Azerbaijan are real friendly states for Georgia, our main strategic partners, and we always fix a willingness to further deepen our trade, economic and friendly relations. I am really pleased that this forum, which is the 4th in a row, held in Batumi and it became a good tradition," Garibashvili said.

    The head of government expressed confidence that negotiations within the forum will give the parties an opportunity to deepen trade and economic relations.

    "Our businessmen will be given the opportunity to cooperate with each other more intensively. As a rule, this format contributes to more efficient and timely resolution of issues ... Georgia, Azerbaijan and Turkey have great potential, and we are able to make our entire region a major player in economic relations between East and West, " Garibashvili said.

    The forum includes bilateral meetings of Georgian Vice Prime Minister, Minister of Economy and Sustainable Development Giorgi Kvirikashvili with colleagues from Turkey and Azerbaijan.
    9
  • Pay cuts for Putin and his colleagues
    06.03.2015 14:58
    http:// www.news.az/photos/page-photo/137811.jpg
    http:// www.news.az/photos/page-photo/137811.jpg
    Vladimir Putin has signed a decree that cuts back on monthly salaries of the president, the chair of the government, the prosecutor-general and the head of the Investigative Committee by 10 percent for the period of March 1 to December 31, 2015.

    The wage reduction includes monthly and quarterly bonuses.

    Similar wage cuts are expected for employees of the Russian Accounts Chamber, the Presidential Executive Office, and the Russian government.

    The decree comes into effect on the day it is signed.

    At the end of February, 2015, State Duma speaker Sergei Naryshkin proposed to cut the salaries of Duma deputies by 10 percent.

    On March 3, members of the Federation Council (the upper house of Russia's parliament) announced that they will agree to a 10 percent pay cut only in the event that members of the government also get the same reduction in salary.

    According to official documentation, in 2013 president Vladimir Putin earned a total of 3.672 million rubles ($61,557). The annual salary of Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev amounted to 4.259 million rubles ($71,452). Information on salaries from 2014 has not yet been made public.
    7
  • Iran buries bodies of 7 Afghan fighters killed in Syria
    06.03.2015 14:56
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2009/04/01/Iran_Afghanistan_010409.jpg
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2009/04/01/Iran_Afghanistan_010409.jpg
    Baku, Azerbaijan, Mar. 6

    By Khalid Kazimov - Trend:

    The bodies of 7 Afghan fighters who were killed in Syria fighting the ISIL were buried in Iran's Mashhad, Razavi Khorasan Province on Thursday, March 5.

    On the same day, the body of an Iranian Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) force, who was killed in Iraq's Samarra, was buried in Langarud, Guilan Province, IRNA news agency reported March 5.

    Reports say that since the start of the Iranian-calendar month of Esfand (Feb. 20), 12 Iranian and Afghan forces killed in Syria have been buried in Iran.

    The people buried on Thursday were identified as Alireza Tavassoli, Reza Bakhshi, Nematollah Najafi, Javid Yousefi, Hossein Hosseini, Mahmoud Hakimi, and Qasem Sadat.

    It is reported that Tavassoli, nicknamed Abu Hamed, was the commander of the Fatemiyoun Brigade and Bakhshi, nicknamed Fateh, was the second-in-command of the brigade.

    The Wall Street Journal had previously reported that Iran is granting thousands of Afghan refugees in the country residence as well as $500 monthly allowances hiring them to fight in Syria.

    A Feb. 16 report said at least 20 IRGC members had been killed in Syria up to that point.

    Iran is a close ally of the Syrian government and has always shown its support for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

    Syrian rebels claim that Iranian military forces are fighting against them, while Iran dismisses the claims saying that Iran only has advisors in Syria, to transfer its military experience to the Syrian army.

    Edited by CN

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    4
  • ECO Council supports initiative of Azerbaijan on TASIM construction
    06.03.2015 14:45
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2015/03/06/tasim_tedbir.jpg
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2015/03/06/tasim_tedbir.jpg
    Baku, Azerbaijan, Mar. 6

    By Huseyn Veliyev - Trend:

    Regional Planning Council (RPC) of Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO) supported the initiative of Azerbaijan on implementation of the construction project of Trans-Eurasian Information Super Highway (TASIM), the head of the working group on the TASIM project Zaur Hasanov told Trend March 6.

    He said that the presentation of the project took place within the framework of the 25th session of the Secretariat of the Regional Planning Council of ECO member countries March 1-5 in Tehran.

    The meeting was attended by representatives of ministries of Azerbaijan, Turkey, Pakistan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Iran, Afghanistan and Kyrgyzstan.

    "TASIM contacts with countries that are geographically close to its route, which is of specific interest to them in terms of the use of optic backbone resources in the long term," Hasanov said. "The idea of '‹'‹presenting the project to ECO member countries, which have expressed great interest in participating in it, was aimed so that they would get acquainted with the work conducted in terms of its implementation."

    TASIM project envisages the creation of a major transit line from Frankfurt to Hong Kong. The network, which will link the largest information exchange centers in Europe and Asia, will run through China, Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan, Georgia and Turkey to Germany.

    A second alternative northern transit line is planned to run through Russia, Ukraine and Poland.

    Laying the Caspian segment of the cable line is an integral part of the TASIM project, negotiations are underway with Kazakhstan on this issue.

    The TASIM project includes such countries as Russia (RosTelecom), Kazakhstan (KazTransCom), Turkey (TurkTelecom), China (China Telecom), and Azerbaijan (represented by the Center for International Relations and Calculations of the Ministry of Communications and High Technologies).

    The project cost is estimated at $100 million, and after the coordinationof a number of aspects it can be adjusted, according to preliminary estimates. Investments will be distributed equally between the project participants. Construction is planned for 2016.

    The project aims at reducing poverty and accelerating the economic growth. It can also play a leading role in the region's development.

    The TASIM project is designed to connect 20 countries, and its realization will help to address the information gap between Western Europe and the Pacific Basin.

    Edited by CN

    Follow the author on Twitter: @h_veliyev

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    4
  • Elmira Suleymanova: "Azerbaijan needs to establish alimony fund"
    06.03.2015 14:24
    http:// www.news.az/photos/page-photo/137807.jpg
    http:// www.news.az/photos/page-photo/137807.jpg
    "The world practice shows that the formation of the Alimentary Fund yields positive results, and I think there is a need of establishment of such a structure in Azerbaijan."

    According to 1news.az, the statement came from the Commissioner for Human Rights (Ombudsman) Elmira Suleymanova, speaking in the Parliament with a report on the results of operations for 2014.

    According to her, although the subject of the Alimony Fund sparked heated debate in the Azerbaijani society, the existence of such a structure is necessary.

    This initiative was voiced by Suleymanova before. In early November 2014, speaking at a discussion of the draft budget for 2015, Suleymanova drew attention to the fact that in recent years the divorces in Azerbaijan have become dangerous, primarily affecting children and women: "After the divorce, most men refuse to pay child support. I think that there is a need for a specialized structure - Alimony Fund. Financial capabilities allow our country to take this step."
    6
  • Number of female births declines in Azerbaijan
    06.03.2015 14:23
    http:// www.news.az/photos/page-photo/137808.jpg
    http:// www.news.az/photos/page-photo/137808.jpg
    As of early February 2015 women made 50.2% of 4,820,200 people.

    Oxu.Az reports with reference to the State Statistical Committee that 57.1% women are fertile, every 10 women in average give birth to 22 children.

    Girls constituted 46.4% of 170,500 newborns last year.

    Currently, the country accounts for 21 maternity houses, 282 children's polyclinics and ambulatories. Women's life expectancy is 5.2 years longer than of men and makes 76.8 years on average.
    6
  • Turkish interior minister does not recognize current constitution
    06.03.2015 14:11
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2014/06/23/icisleri_bakani_efkan_ala_230614.jpg
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2014/06/23/icisleri_bakani_efkan_ala_230614.jpg
    Baku, Azerbaijan, Mar. 6

    By Rufiz Hafizoglu - Trend:

    Turkish Interior Minister Efkan Ala has publicly stated that he does not recognize the current Constitution of the country, Haber7 TV channel reported March 6.

    However, he did not explain the reasons for making such a statement. Ala just said that as a citizen of the country, he does not recognize the current Constitution.

    "Turkey needs a new constitution," Ala said.

    Earlier it was reported that the Justice Minister Bekir Bozdag, Interior Minister Efkan Ala and the Minister of Transport, Maritime and Communications Elvan Lutfi will resign on March 6.

    He added that Kenan Ipek would be the justice minister, Sebahattin Ozturk - the interior minister, and Ferudin Bilgin - the minister of transport, maritime and communications.

    The resignation of the three government ministers is due to the parliamentary election to be held in Turkey on June 7.

    Representatives of 31 political parties will participate in the parliamentary election in Turkey.

    Earlier, Turkey's Justice Minister, Bekir Bozdag said that the country needs a new Constitution. Bozdag said that despite the changes in over 100 paragraphs of Turkey's current Constitution, the government was not able to make it more democratic.

    Moreover, following the Turkish presidential election held on August 14, 2014, Turkey's then Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said a new Constitution is needed for Turkey's democratization.

    Davutoglu said the new government would aim to work out a democratic Constitution.

    Turkish then Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan sent a letter to the leaders of the oppositional Republican People's Party and the Nationalist Movement Party in late October 2011 where he called on them to participate in the talks on working out a new Constitution.

    ---

    follow the author on Twitter: @rhafizoglu

    Edited by CN

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    6
  • Caspian Corridor Conference to be held in UK
    06.03.2015 14:00
    http:// www.news.az/photos/page-photo/137805.jpg
    http:// www.news.az/photos/page-photo/137805.jpg
    The 3rd international Caspian Corridor Conference will be held in London with the support of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development.

    The third Caspian Corridor Conference will focus on the key drivers needed to build a safer energy corridor for Europe and Eurasia, AzerTag reports. The conference will also look more broadly at the building blocks being put in place that are leading to a stronger economic corridor linking Europe and Asia across the ancient land bridge of the New Silk Road.

    The Caspian Corridor countries of the Caucasus' and Central Asia's oil and gas exporting markets remain on course for softer but strong 6 percent growth despite the drastic slide in oil prices and weaker growth in trading partners Russia, China and Turkey. A region in the midst of profound economic transformation and complexities, the energy triangle between Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan reveals a confluence of new regional and global investment relationships creating a new economic architecture of energy and infrastructure. Incrementally and collectively, these projects will realise a trade corridor over the next decade that will diversify energy supplies as well as the flow of goods and services between Europe and Asia.
    8
  • Amnesty International does not call for boycott of first European Games in Baku
    06.03.2015 14:00
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2012/05/25/Amnesty_Logo_Albom_250512.jpg
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2012/05/25/Amnesty_Logo_Albom_250512.jpg
    Baku, Azerbaijan, March 6

    Trend:

    Amnesty International has not called for a boycott of the first European Games in Baku, John Dalhuisen, Amnesty International's Director of Europe and Central Asia, said.

    "It has been reported in the Azerbaijani and Armenian press that Amnesty International has called for a boycott of the European Games following the release of its report entitled Guilty of Defending Rights: Azerbaijan's human rights defenders and activists behind bars," the statement says. "Amnesty International has not called for a boycott of the Games in the report or in the accompanying press release or any media interviews related to the report."

    The European Games themselves will be held in Baku on June 12-28, 2015. There will be a total of 20 sports at Baku 2015: 16 Olympic sports and four non-Olympic sports. More than 6,000 athletes from across Europe will be representing their nations over 17 days of competition. Baku was awarded the games by the European Olympic Committees (EOC) in December 2012.

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    3
  • Parliament ratifies Azerbaijani-Norwegian documents
    06.03.2015 13:59
    http:// www.news.az/photos/page-photo/137806.jpg
    http:// www.news.az/photos/page-photo/137806.jpg
    The Azerbaijani Parliament has today ratified the documents signed between Azerbaijan and Norway.

    These documents are "Agreement on readmission of persons residing without authorization between the Government of the Republic of Azerbaijan and the Kingdom of Norway" and "Agreement on visa facilitation between the Government of the Republic of Azerbaijan and the Kingdom of Norway".

    Both documents were put to the vote and adopted.
    4
  • Georgia reduces administrative costs
    06.03.2015 13:45
    http:// www.news.az/photos/page-photo/137803.jpg
    http:// www.news.az/photos/page-photo/137803.jpg
    The Government has made a decision.

    The Georgian government reduces administrative costs.

    According to Oxu.Az, the Georgian media reports with reference to the press service of the Georgian prime minister that this was announced at the meeting of the Cabinet of Ministers,

    Government agencies, in accordance with the request of the Prime Minister of Georgia, will present "plan of their actions" in the Ministry of Finance no later than March 16.

    Spending cuts will not affect the infrastructure projects and social spending.

    On the recommendation of the government, the repair costs of administrative buildings, purchase of upholstered furniture will be reduced to a minimum this year, the purchase of new vehicles, except motor vehicles for special purpose, will be limited, the expenditures for fuel, which is not the case for operational vehicles, will be reduced by 30%.

    In addition the trips will be reduced to a minimum, the so-called representation expenses will be reduced by 20%, educational leave will be used only in urgent cases.

    The Government requests budgetary organizations to reduce administrative costs that are not accountable to it - to the parliament, the courts, municipalities, including the Tbilisi City Hall and the Autonomous Republic of Adjara.
    4
  • Number of women deputies grows in Azerbaijan
    06.03.2015 13:44
    http:// www.news.az/photos/page-photo/137804.jpg
    http:// www.news.az/photos/page-photo/137804.jpg
    The share of women deputies in Milli Majlis makes 15.6% today, according to the State Statistical Committee.

    Oxu.Az reports that in line with the information, women made 4.3% of the total number of deputies in 1990 and 10.7% in 2000.

    The number of women working at municipalities is also growing.

    Thus, the number of women elected to municipalities during the recent elections has grown 6 times reaching 5,236 people which makes 35% of the total number of municipality members. This indicator made 4% at the previous elections.
    5
  • Baku 2015 extends press accreditation deadline
    06.03.2015 13:31
    http://img.sia.az/news/2015/siaphoto_464703.jpg
    http://img.sia.az/news/2015/siaphoto_464703.jpg
    Baku 2015 is today pleased to announce an official extension to the press accreditation deadline for this summerв's inaugural European Games.

    The original deadline was Friday 6 March but in response to high press interest, and many requests for more time to submit applications, the deadline has been extended by four weeks to Friday 3 April.

    Press representatives interested in covering Baku 2015 are encouraged to apply before this final deadline as accreditations beyond this date will not be accepted. Once approved, international press will be sent a pre-valid card which will serve as their visa to enter Azerbaijan.

    Press are also encouraged to book their rooms in the newly constructed Media Village (50 euro per night including breakfast and 65 euro per night for a twin room) as spaces are limited. The Media Village is adjacent to the Athletesв' Village and will serve as a transport hub for all venues and provide working and catering facilities.

    Please email pressoperations@baku2015.com to request a press accreditation form before 3 April 2015.
    9
  • Azerbaijani weightlifters to vie for medals of Islamic Solidarity Sports Federation championship
    06.03.2015 13:31
    http://www.today.az/pictures/pic139068.jpg
    http://www.today.az/pictures/pic139068.jpg
    Azerbaijan will compete in the third weightlifting championship of Islamic Solidarity Sports Federation to be held in Antalya, Turkey, from March 10-18.Azerbaijan`s squad will include Allahyar Abishov, Mahammad Mammadli, Rauf Nabiyev, Elshad Sharifov and Hamid Gojayev.Doping inspection will be based on the rules of the International Weightlifting Federation.

    /By AzerTac/
    3
  • Nemtsov murder witness receives threats '" Ukrainian Prosecutor-Generalв's Office
    06.03.2015 13:30
    http:// www.news.az/photos/page-photo/137801.jpg
    http:// www.news.az/photos/page-photo/137801.jpg
    Ukrainian Prosecutor-Generalв's Office, Viktor Shokin, has issued orders to ensure protection of Anna Duritskaya, the key witness in the murder of Russian politician Boris Nemtsov.

    The PGO's press-service said Duritskaya had turned to law enforcement agencies for protection saying she was receiving threats from unidentified persons to the address of her parents, ITAR TASS reports.

    "On instructions from the prosecutor's office of the Kiev Region the investigative department of the Belaya Tserkov city police department launched an investigation under part one of article 15 and part one of article 115 of the Ukrainian Criminal Code," the PGO said in a statement.

    The pre-trial investigation is under the personal control of the Ukrainian prosecutor-general's office.

    A co-chairman of the RPR-Parnas party, member of the Yaroslavl regional legislature, Boris Nemtsov was gunned down minutes before the midnight of Friday, February 27. The investigators are pursuing several lines of inquiry, including a contract killing. Netmsov was buried at a Moscow cemetery on March 3.
    4
  • Polish senate ratifies EU-Georgia association agreement
    06.03.2015 13:25
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2012/10/15/Georgia_EU_151012.jpg
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2012/10/15/Georgia_EU_151012.jpg
    The upper house of the parliament of Poland, the Senate, ratified on March 6 the association agreement between the EU and Georgia, Georgia Online reported citing the Foreign Ministry of Georgia.

    The agreement was ratified unanimously - with 75 senators voting in its favour.

    Immediately after the vote, the Senate's Marshal Bogdan Borusewicz handed over the Senate's decree on the agreement's ratification to Georgia's ambassador in Poland.

    Poland is the 13th EU country to ratify the agreement. On Dec. 18, 2014, it was ratified by the European Parliament.

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    4
  • Iran takes 18th place among world's automakers
    06.03.2015 13:04
    http://www.today.az/pictures/pic139063.jpg
    http://www.today.az/pictures/pic139063.jpg
    /By AzerNews/

    By Sara Rajabova

    New statistics by the International Organization of Motor Vehicle Manufacturers showed that Iran takes 18th place on the list of the worldв's top auto manufacturers.

    The 2014 Production Statistics by the OICA revealed Iranв's auto production increased by 46.7 percent in the 12-month period, Press TV reported.

    The latest figures indicated that Iranian automakers produced 1,090,846 cars and commercial vehicles last year, of which 925,975 were cars and 164,871 were other vehicles.

    Mohammad Reza Abbasi, head of the commerce and sales office of Iranian carmaker Saipa Co. said in February that the country had sold over a million vehicles in the current Iranian calendar year which ends on March 21.

    Abbasi said Iranв's auto production and sales rose 32 percent in 2014 from the year before as the industry started emerging from sanctions.

    Iran sold 737,000 cars in 2013 as the industry suffered under sanctions. Sales however picked up after the Europeans lifted the sanctions on the Iranian auto industry under a temporary nuclear agreement reached in November 2013.

    Abbasi said Saipa saw both production and sales rise by 32 percent in 2014. Saipa and Iran Khodro account for 82 percent of the countryв's auto market.

    He added that the automaker will start producing a low-cost car, Saina, in the first half of the new Iranian year. Saipa will also unveil more than 10 models at the next auto show in the central city of Isfahan.

    Iranв's auto industry is the biggest in the Middle East which it has developed for five decades. The country produced 1.6 million vehicles in 2011, the year new sanctions were introduced by the Europeans.

    The OICA report also said China topped the list with over 23 million motor vehicles and 7.3 percent rise from the previous year.

    The United States and Japan trailed behind with more than 11.66 and 9.77 million vehicles respectively, each registering smaller growths than China.

    In total, the world produced 87,507,027 cars and other commercial vehicles in 2014, which shows a 2.6 percentage-point rise from 2013. The OICA also predicted a global auto production increase of 3 percent to about 91 million vehicles in 2015.
    7
  • An 11-year old boy dressing as 50 Shades of Grey
    06.03.2015 12:58
    http://img.sia.az/news/2015/siaphoto_464689.jpg
    http://img.sia.az/news/2015/siaphoto_464689.jpg
    An 11-year-old boy has been banned from taking part in World Book Day activities at his school after turning up dressed as a Fifty Shades of Grey character.

    Liam Scholes, from Manchester, arrived for lessons at Sale High School wearing a Christian Grey costume, complete with cable ties and eye mask.

    The school had asked Year 7 pupils to dress up as famous literary characters to celebrate World Book Day.

    Liam was then told by the school that his outfit was 'offensiveв' and told he could not participate in activities or the class photograph.

    His mother Nicola Scholes, 36, was called and told the outfit was inappropriate.
    6
  • World Bank says Armenian government's economic growth forecast unrealistic
    06.03.2015 12:43
    http://www.today.az/pictures/pic139066.jpg
    http://www.today.az/pictures/pic139066.jpg
    /By AzerNews/

    By Mushvig Mehdiyev

    The World Bank has come up with a new report on Armenia that promises no significant economic growth in the country this year.

    Referring to the latest economic indicators, WB excluded any considerable breakthrough in Armenia's economy which currently is suffering from a major slowdown, very similarly to Armenia in 2009 crisis.

    "Armenia's economy will remain in stagnation this year as well," World Bank Country Manager in Yerevan, Laura Bailey said.

    Bailey explained that the slowdown observed in Armenia's economic growth in 2014 is tied to a Yerevan's dependence on Russia as its main economic and trade partner as well as a global slowdown in Europe in general.

    "Problems emerged in Russia based primarily on a drop in oil prices and to some extent on Western sanctions. For Armenia, we forecast a stagnated economy in 2015," she said.

    Armenian government expects a 4.1 percent growth in country's economic skills this year. However, Bailey believes that the provided forecast is unrealistic given the ongoing difficulties the country is facing. She even went as far as saying she expects Yerevan to lower its forecast this month.

    "The government's 4.1 percent growth expectation could have been realistic six months ago when it was drawing its state budget. We are sure that the authorities will introduce new figures for economic growth rate in the upcoming meeting this month," Bailey said.

    The World Bank's very recent prediction for Armeniaв's economic growth in 2015 stood at 3.3 percent after the world's top banker had to lower its expectation from an earlier forecast of 5 percent.

    The current economic atmosphere in Armenia is viewed as reminiscent of 2009 crisis as the gross domestic product in this former Soviet country grew by 3.4 percent in 2014, disproving the expected target announced by the government earlier last year.

    Local experts, including Artak Manukyan say Armenia's economy is observing a free fall, characterized by year-on-year worsening life conditions in the country. Social indicators in 2013 were more positive than in 2014. Experts believe that 2015 and 2016 will see a worsening of all social indicators.

    Based on the aforementioned stagnation, Armenia got bad mark also from Fitch and Moody's as both have downgraded their outlooks for the former Soviet nation's economic growth. The European Bank for Development and Reconstruction has even zeroed out its forecast on economy for Armenia in 2015.
    4
  • IBM representative office opened in Baku
    06.03.2015 12:42
    http://img.sia.az/news/2015/siaphoto_464686.jpg
    http://img.sia.az/news/2015/siaphoto_464686.jpg
    The U.S. International Business Machines Corp. (IBM) has today announced the opening of its new official representation in Baku and held a press conference in this regard, SIA informs.

    The new office will focus on the interaction with clients on strategic areas such as analytics, cloud computing, mobility, social interaction, as well as infrastructure solutions.

    ''The opening of IBM representation in Azerbaijan and its further activities will contribute to the implementation of the national strategy to attract foreign investment in the countryв's ICT sector, expand the partnership between international vendors and local companies, as well as strengthen their capacity,'' said Elmir Velizadeh, Azerbaijanв's Deputy Minister of Communications and High Technologies.

    ''The company pays great attention to activities in emerging markets as we are well aware of the opportunities offered by high growth rates and increasingly competitive market. Our current strategy of expanding regional coverage is successful and long-lasting. We consider Azerbaijan to be the key direction in this work,'' said Eray Yuksek, IBM Director General for Countries with Developing Economy.

    Azerbaijan is one of the most fast-growing markets in the region due to the national economic policy aimed at creating sustainable and diversified economy by 2020.

    ''Demand for state-of-the-art technologies is growing as a result of the reforms in the economic development of the country. Thus, companies are eager to make their activities more efficient and competitive. Up-to-date solutions offered by IBM at this market will lay the foundations of a new stage in the development of this rapidly growing economy,'' said Ilya Kravtsov, IBM Director General in Azerbaijan.

    IBM has a number of clients operating in Azerbaijan in IT-services, banking, public sector, telecommunications and industrial sectors.

    IBM Baku office is located at Nizami Street 90a, business center Landmark 1.
    4
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