top of page
Online Payment
China bans new government buildings in corruption curb
24.07.2013 14:18
China has banned the construction of government buildings for five years, according to state media, BBC reported.

The move comes as part of a campaign by President Xi Jinping to show that the ruling Communist Party (CPC) is cracking down on corruption and waste.

Glitzy new government buildings, sometimes in impoverished areas, have been a source of public outrage.

The directive forbids luxury makeovers and expansions done under the guise of repair work, Xinhua newspaper said.


The notice says some departments and local authorities have built huge government office compounds against regulations, tainting the image of the CPC.

Among the buildings that have attracted widespread disapproval in recent years is the western-style government office building in the city of Fuyang in Anhui province, in eastern China.

It reportedly cost 30 million yuan ($4.89m, pound;3.19m) to build and is referred to as the 'White House' by residents.

A state-owned drug company also caused outrage after photographs emerged apparently showing a building decorated to mimic France's Versailles palace, complete with gold-tinted walls and chandeliers.

Some government agencies have reportedly built luxury offices in seaside resorts where officials can stay for free or at deeply discounted prices.

The ban - described as an "across-the-board halt" - includes training centres, hotels or government motels, Xinhua said.

It also says government organisations should not receive sponsorship or donations towards construction projects, or collaborate with private companies.

"Banning the building of new government buildings is important for building a clean government and also a requirement for boosting CPC-people ties and maintaining the image of the CPC and the government," Xinhua quoted the directive as saying.

Tackling corruption has been President Xi Jinping's most high-profile policy since he became China's leader earlier this year.

He has warned that "corruption and bribe-taking by some party members and cadres" pose "severe challenges" to the Communist Party's rule.

Dear User, please take into the consideration the fact that all news are posted to our portal automatically by the system and no human factor is used to estimate the content of information, therefore if you consider this article non-ethical, offensive, illegal or incorrect, we kindly ask you to inform us about this issue.
Important news
Popular news
  • Baku hosts 16th International Conference InvestPro - Azerbaijan 2014
    18.04.2014 16:24
    The 16th international conference InvestPro-Azerbaijan 2014 has been held in Baku.The event focused on a wide range of issues, including international investment, financing, management, and the establishment of international institutions.The conference was attended by more than 300 delegates from 30...
  • President congratulates country's Orthodox Christian community
    18.04.2014 11:46
    President Ilham Aliyev has congratulated the Orthodox Christian community of the country with a sacred Easter reports citing the president's official website that the message reads:"Dear compatriots!I heartily congratulate you and the entire Christian community of Azerbaijan on ...
  • Situation on contact line of Azerbaijani-Armenian troops remains tense
    18.04.2014 10:59
    Baku, Azerbaijan, April 18Trend:Armenian Armed Forces opened fire at the positions of Azerbaijani Armed Forces located in the village of Aqbulaq of the Tovuz region from the positions located in the village of Chinari of Armenia's Berd region last night, the Azerbaijani Defense Ministry said on ...
  • Earthquake hits Azerbaijanв's Goranboy city
    18.04.2014 01:35
    Baku, Azerbaijan, April 17Trend:An earthquake jolted Azerbaijan's Goranboy city on Thursday, April 17.The earthquake was registered at 19:25 local time, 32 kilometres south-west of Mingachevir city, at a depth of 12 kilometres, Republican Seismology Center of Azerbaijani National Academy of Scie...
  • Ambassador: Italy is interested in cooperation with Azerbaijan in ICT sector
    18.04.2014 00:57
    "Italy is interested in cooperation with Azerbaijan in the field of information and communication technologies," said Italian Ambassador Giampaolo Cutillo at a meeting in Azerbaijan`s Ministry of Communications and High Technologies.Ambassador Cutillo accompanied an Italian delegation, which include...
  • Large-scale military exercises end in Nakhchivan
    17.04.2014 21:34
    The Defense Ministry told APA that an active phase of large-scale military exercises held by Azerbaijani Armed Forces in Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic in accordance with the combat training plan for 2014 has been completed.The exercises were held with the participation of near 20 000 personnel of A...
  • Turkish president has no political plans for future
    18.04.2014 17:40
    Baku, Azerbaijan, April 18By Rufiz Hafizoglu - Trend:Turkish President Abdullah Gul has no political plans for the future, Turkey's Anadolu agency reported."Currently, I do not have concrete political plans for the future," Gul told journalists on April 18.Earlier, the deputy head of the ruling ...
  • International Bank of Azerbaijan assets increase by 23% per year
    18.04.2014 17:24
    Baku, Azerbaijan, April 18Trend:The assets of the International Bank of Azerbaijan (IBA) increased by 22.8% during the year and reached 7.648 bln manat as of April 1, 2014, the bank said on April 18.IBA's loan portfolio increased 28.2% compared to April 1, 2013 and amounted to 5.155 bln manat as...
  • Magnus Carlsen praises organization of Vugar Hashimov memorial
    18.04.2014 16:53
    Reigning world chess champion and the No. 1 ranked player in the world, Norwegian Magnus Carlsen has hailed the organization of Shamkir 2014 tournament that will commemorate late Azerbaijani grandmaster Vugar Hashimov."The tournament is perfectly organized," Carlsen, 24, told journalists in Baku.The...
  • At least 12 Nepali guides killed in Everest avalanche (UPDATE)
    18.04.2014 15:01
    the details were added (the first version was posted at 12:27)An avalanche swept down a slope of Mount Everest on Friday killing 12 Nepali mountaineering guides at the beginning of the main climbing season, a Tourism Ministry official said.The avalanche, the deadliest in eight years, hit the most po...
  • Milan eyes goalee from Ligue 1
    18.04.2014 20:25
    Guillermo Ochoa's representative Jorge Berlenga has claimed that AC Milan are interested in signing the Ajaccio goalkeeper this summer.

    The Serie A outfit have long been linked with a new goalkeeper to battle it out with Christian Abbiati for the No.1 position at San Siro and are believd to have identified the Mexico international as a suitable option.

    Berlenga claims the 28-year-old would rather continue to play in Ligue 1 but admits the Rossoneri are interested as he weighs up his long-term future.

    "I believe that he would prefer to continue his career in France, but he has also received an offer form Milan," Ochoa's agent told Fox.

    "I hope that he makes the step up to a big club. He really deserves it. I don't know where he will play next season, though.

    "He does not necessarily have to go to the World Cup to show off his talents."

    Ochoa's contract with Ajaccio is due to expire at the end of the season, making him a free agent come June.

    The Mexican started his professional career at America before joining Ajaccio in the summer of 2011.

  • Turkmenistan to ensure supply of contracted gas to China
    18.04.2014 20:08
    Ashgabat, Turkmenistan, April 18

    By Huseyn Hasanov- Trend:

    A gas purification facility will be commissioned in Turkmenistan's Lebap province in early May that will allow transportation of the planned volume of fuel to China, Turkmen President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov said at the Cabinet of Minister's meeting, a message from the Turkmen government said on April 18.

    "The head of state said a gas purification facility will be commissioned in Lebap province in early May under the National Socio-Economic Development Program for 2011-2030. This will allow natural gas to be transited to China in the volume envisaged by the program," the government message said.

    Previously, the Turkmen president issued a number of instructions to carry out accelerated work on a stepwise increase of gas export via Turkmenistan-China gas pipeline. There was a report made on construction of the second gas processing plant in the Bagtyyarlyk contract territory, which serves as a resource base for this interstate gas pipeline.

    China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC) carries out the development of Bagtyyarlyk in accordance with the Production Sharing Agreement signed with the State Agency for Management and Use of Hydrocarbon Resources under the President of Turkmenistan.

    The Central Asian gas pipeline is the first cross-border gas pipeline in China.

    Translated by L.Z.

    Edited by C.N.

    Follow us on Twitter @
  • SOCAR commissions new well in Caspian Sea
    18.04.2014 20:07
    Baku, Azerbaijan, April 18


    The State Oil Company of Azerbaijan (SOCAR) has commissioned a new well at Guneshli field, a message posted on the company's website said on April 18.

    The well has been drilled in the Interval suite by the SOCAR-AQЕћ LLC, according to the company's website.

    The well has been accepted to the operating fund with the daily production of 75 tonnes of oil and 11,000 cubic meters of gas from the depth of 3,065-3,027 meters.

    The well has been drilled by request of the 'May 28' Oil and Gas Production Unit (OGPU) of SOCAR.

    Translated by L.Z.

    Edited by C.N.

    Follow us on Twitter @
  • Azerbaijani President: Moving to "Euro-4" standard will significantly improve the composition of air
    18.04.2014 20:05
    "Starting from this month, we switched to the "Euro-4" standard. I am sure that the move will significantly improve the composition of air. According to the available data, the main source of air pollution is vehicles, not industrial plants. I believe that the application of "Euro-4" will prevent this," said President Ilham Aliyev in a meeting of the Cabinet of Ministers dedicated to the results of socio-economic development in the first quarter of 2014 and objectives for the future.

    The Head of State noted: "At the same time, we certainly have to say that the quality of fuel produced in Azerbaijan should be improved. A new refinery is to be built in Baku. It will be built, but it will take time, perhaps three to four years. We need to try, and the government should also make suggestions on how we can improve the quality of fuel produced in Azerbaijan while the plant is built. I believe that we can allocate financial resources for that too."
  • Baku to host Azerbaija-Spain business forum
    18.04.2014 19:39
    Baku will host Azerbaijan-Spain business forum.

    Azerbaijan Export and Investment Promotion Foundation (AZPROMO) told APA-Economics that the event will be held within the visit of delegation led by Spanish Minister for Foreign Affairs and Cooperation Joseacute; Manuel Garciacute;a-Margallo to Azerbaijan on April 24.

    The forum will be held under the support of ministry of Economy and Industry and organization of AZPROMO.

    The event will be attended by Spanish companies from different spheres of economy.

  • Libyan kidnappers of Tunisian diplomat demand Islamistsв' release
    18.04.2014 19:22
    Militants who kidnapped a Tunisian diplomat in Tripoli on Thursday have demanded the release of Islamist militants detained in Tunisia, its foreign minister said.

    Mongi Hamdi also said Tunisia was considering reducing its diplomatic mission in Libya, where kidnappings have become commonplace, with foreign officials often the targets, Reuters reported.

    The adviser at the Tunisian embassy was taken on Thursday, becoming the second Tunisian diplomat to be kidnapped in the Libyan capital within a month.

    "We have been able to learn the identity of the kidnappers," Hamdi told reporters on Friday. "They belong to the family of a group of terrorists detained in Tunisia because of their involvement in attacks [three years ago] against security forces in [Tunisia's] Rouhia city."

    Libya's weak interim government has been unable to disarm former rebels and Islamist militants who fought to depose ex-leader Muammar Gaddafi in 2011 and who have formed increasingly powerful and violent militias.

    On Tuesday, gunmen kidnapped Jordan's ambassador to Libya and demanded an Islamist militant be released from a Jordanian jail in exchange for the diplomat's freedom.

    Follow us on Twitter @
  • Ukraine should singly solve its problems
    18.04.2014 19:21
    Astana, Kazakhstan, April 18

    By Daniyar Mukhtarov - Trend:

    The Ukrainian people should singly solve their internal problems, according to Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev.

    "We are confident that the Ukrainian people should solve their internal problems without outside interference, though peaceful negotiations with all the interested parties," Nazarbayev said at the 21st session of the People's Assembly of Kazakhstan on April 18.

    Nazarbayev said the developments in Ukraine should make everyone take thought

    "Economy and normal life, growth, improvement - all this can be achieved only in peace and in harmony. You see it," the president said.

    Interethnic relations are not a field for political games, according to the head of state.

    "Interethnic relations, civil equality, language policy - all this is not a field for political games but human destiny," Kazakh president said.

    Nazarbayev added that these issues shouldn't be left until later and one shouldn't ignore their cynical use by any political group as an argument in the struggle for power.

    "It is a threat for a state, people and for everyone. Everyone should understand that chauvinism or nationalism is separated from outright neo-fascism by a fine line that is easy to cross," Nazarbayev said.

    Translated by L.Z.

    Edited by C.N.

    Follow us on Twitter @
  • Azerbaijani ministry obliges mobile operators to solve traffic exchange problem
    18.04.2014 19:05
    Baku, Azerbaijan, April 18

    By Huseyn Valiyev - Trend:

    The Azerbaijani Ministry of Communications and High Technologies will put pressure on mobile operators in the country to solve the problem with traffic exchange between their own networks, Azerbaijani Minister of Communications and High Technologies Ali Abbasov told media on April 17.

    "The tariffs for the traffic exchange among mobile operators have declined in early 2014," he said. "This must affect the reduction of tariffs for mobile services rendered to the end user."

    "Unfortunately, this has not happened yet," he said. "We believe that this is inadmissible as the tariff is regulated at the level of the Tariff Council and the Cabinet of Ministers. We will take coercive measures, by using the legislative base for the cost of traffic exchange among operators to comply with the established rules. This will inevitably affect the reduction of tariffs for mobile communication services in Azerbaijan."

    translated by NH

    edited by CN

    Follow us on Twitter @
  • About 30 parties to participate in Georgian municipal elections
    18.04.2014 19:03
    Tbilisi, Georgia, April 18

    By Nana Kirtzkhalia - Trend:

    Some 28 political parties appealed to Georgian Central Election Commission (CEC) submitting their requests to participate in the municipal elections, CEC told Trend on April 18.

    Six parties have already been registered.

    The deadline for submitting applications is April 19. The registration of candidates for mayors and local administrations heads will end on May 22.

    International observers should appeal to the CEC with regard to registration before June 8 and local NGOs prior to June 5.

    For media representatives the registration term expires on June 12.

    The local elections are scheduled to be held in Georgia on June 15.

    Translated by E.A.

    Edited by S.I.

    Follow us on Twitter @
  • Armenian security council secretary meets OSCE chairman special representative
    18.04.2014 19:02
    Armenian National Security Council's Secretary Artur Baghdasaryan met with OSCE Chairperson-in-Office Special Representative for South Caucasus Angelo Gnaedinger and Swiss Ambassador to Armenia Lukas Gasser.

    During the meeting the parties discussed issues regarding Armenia's accession to the OSCE, the Armenia-EU relations, regional security as well as the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict's peaceful settlement, Armenia Today said on April 18 citing the National Security Council's press service.

    The conflict between the two South Caucasus countries began in 1988 when Armenia made territorial claims against Azerbaijan. As a result of the ensuing war, in 1992 Armenian armed forces occupied 20 percent of Azerbaijan, including the Nagorno-Karabakh region and seven surrounding districts.

    The two countries signed a ceasefire agreement in 1994. The co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group, Russia, France and the U.S. are currently holding peace negotiations.

    Armenia has not yet implemented the U.N. Security Council's four resolutions on the liberation of the Nagorno-Karabakh and the surrounding regions.

    Translated by E.A.

    Edited by S.I.

    Follow us on Twitter @
  • Azerbaijan, Italy discuss expansion of bilateral relations
    18.04.2014 18:57
    Azerbaijan and Italy have discussed ways of developing bilateral relations as Azerbaijani ambassador Vagif Sadigov met Mayor of Bari Michele Emiliano as part of his visit to Puglia region.

    Sadigov hailed relations between the two countries, particularly in the fields of politics and economics. He described Italy as an important trade partner of Azerbaijan. "There are good opportunities for deepening cooperation between our regions and cities."

    "A lot of Italian businessmen, including from Puglia region are paying visits to Azerbaijan on a constant basis, and these visits are very fruitful in terms of realization of joint projects."

    Sadigov also highlighted Azerbaijan`s history, current political and economic situation in the country.

    Mayor Michele Emiliano praised relations between Azerbaijan and Italy, and noted the importance of strengthening cooperation between institutional organizations.
  • Ilham Aliyev offers condolences to president of Republic of Korea
    18.04.2014 18:56
    President Ilham Aliyev has sent a letter to President of the Republic of Korea Park Geun-hye.

    The letter reads:

    "Dear Mrs. President,

    I was very saddened by the news of casualties as a result of a crash of the ferry Sevol. I express my deep condolences to You, families and relatives of the deceased and your people on my own and on behalf of the entire Azerbaijani people and wish speedy recovery to the injured."

  • Hezbollah planned attack on Israeli tourists in Bangkok, says report
    18.04.2014 18:48
    One of the men suspected of belonging to Shiite Lebanese movement Hezbollah has admitted to planning an attack on Israeli tourists in Bangkok, a Thai newspaper reported on Friday.

    Bangkok Post, citing a source involved in the investigation, reported that the men have been identified as French-Lebanese Daoud Farhat and Lebanese-Filipino Youssef Ayad, Al Arabiya reported.

    The newspaper said Farhat and Ayad arrived days before the start of a festival called Songkran on April 13, but were arrested on suspicion of links to Hezbollah.

    Both were born in Lebanon but authorities have to confirm if their travel documents are genuine.

    Assistant national police chief Winai Thongsong told the newspaper that the two were arrested at different locations in Bangkok after Thai police received intelligence from Israel about a planned plot targeting Israeli tourists.

    The source said Ayad has admitted that Hezbollah entered Thailand to carry out a bomb attack against Israeli tourists and other Israeli groups on Khao San Road during Songkran.

    "Now we can seize materials, such as nails and bolts, used in making bombs from their homes in Bangkok," the source said, adding "we are taking the holder of the Philippines passport to Rayong province to search for more bomb-making material kept there."

    The source also said that authorities are trying to track down Hezbollah operatives in Thailand.

    "If we had been unable to arrest the men during Songkran, a bomb attack would certainly have taken place somewhere on Khao San Road," said the source, according to the newspaper.

    Follow us on Twitter @
  • 2015 announced Year of Peopleв's Assembly of Kazakhstan
    18.04.2014 18:47
    Astana, Kazakhstan, April 18

    By Daniyar Mukhtarov - Trend:

    Kazakhstan President Nursultan Nazarbayev has announced 2015 the Year of People's Assembly of Kazakhstan.

    The Kazakh president also instructed the Government, together with the Assembly to prepare a National Action Plan for the Year of People's Assembly of Kazakhstan and the 20th anniversary of the Constitution, at the XXI session of People's Assembly of Kazakhstan themed "Kazakhstan-2050 Strategy: culture of peace, spirituality and accord.

    The Assembly is attended by members of the People`s Assembly of Kazakhstan, MPs, government officials, leaders of political parties, religious leaders, and diplomatic missions.

    Translated by S.I.

    Edited by C.N.

    Follow us on Twitter @
  • Russia, Ukraine, EU tied by gas dependency
    18.04.2014 18:32
    The need for cooperation over Russia's exports of gas to the EU via Ukraine was an important reason for the tentative peace deal struck in Geneva yesterday. But as Jack D. Sharples writes, gas will also be a source of East-West tensions for a long time to come.

    The German energy giant RWE has begun to 'reverse flow' supplies of gas from Europe back to Ukraine via Poland, a process first arranged in 2012, with an agreement to deliver up to 10 billion cubic metres (bcm) of gas per year.

    The question for the Ukrainian interim government and state-owned energy firm Naftogaz is how this gas will be delivered, how soon, and whether it will be enough.

    Hungary has the capacity to deliver 5.5 bcm, Poland could deliver 1.5 bcm, and Romania could potentially provide 1.8 bcm capacity, but not before 2016-17 at the earliest.

    Talks between Ukraine and Slovakia have renewed in an effort to tap into its capacity to deliver 9 bcm of gas, but the Slovak government and pipeline operator Eustream are anxious to ensure that feeding gas back to Ukraine does not breach its contracts with Russian state-owned energy giant Gazprom.

    Given that Ukraine imports around half of its annual 55 bcm of gas consumption, even with these new suppliers it will remain dependent on Russian gas.

    The current situation comes as Kiev faces price hikes from US$285 to US$485 per thousand cubic metres of Russian gas, after Gazprom cancelled discounts offered in April 2010 and December 2013. The new price is significantly higher than, for example, the price of US$399 paid for Russian gas at the German border.

    Naftogaz has struggled to pay for its Russian gas imports since late 2013, and now owes Gazprom more than US$2 billion. The combination of Naftogaz's debts and unwillingness to pay the higher price means that many in Europe fear a suspension of Russian gas supplies to Ukraine - which, as it travels through the same pipelines, would also interrupt Russia's gas exports destined for Western Europe.

    This is not the first time that Russia and Ukraine have clashed over gas prices. For more than a decade following the collapse of the Soviet Union, Ukraine benefited from Russian gas import prices far lower than those in Western Europe.

    Attempts by Gazprom to raise gas prices for Ukraine resulted in disputes and suspensions of gas supplies to Ukraine in January 2006 and January 2009.

    With Gazprom delivering 140 bcm to the EU in 2013 - more than a quarter of the EU's total gas consumption - this has left many countries scrambling to find alternative ways to meet their needs.

    Russian gas is delivered to the EU via several routes, of which the Ukraine pipelines are the most important, accounting for 55-60%. Around 25-30% travels through Belarus, and the remainder comes through the new Nord Stream gas pipeline, which runs under the Baltic Sea directly from Russia to Germany.
  • British teenager killed in Syria conflict
    18.04.2014 18:25
    A British teenager whose uncle was detained in the Guantanamo Bay camp has been killed in the Syrian conflict, his family said on Friday.

    Abdullah Deghayes, 18, died earlier this month although the circumstances of his death are unclear, Al Arabiya reported.

    The teenager from Brighton in southeast England is the nephew of Omar Deghayes who was held by the United States as an enemy combatant at Guantanamo between 2002 and 2007 after he was arrested in Pakistan.

    The family of Abdullah Deghayes confirmed his death to local newspaper The Argus and said they had not been aware that he had travelled to Syria.

    A Foreign Office spokeswoman said: "We are aware of the death of a British national and are urgently looking into it."

    His Facebook page states that he was studying at the University of Brighton.

    Around 400 Britons are believed to have gone to Syria over the last two years, authorities believe, with an estimated 20 having died.

    British intelligence services have expressed concern about the risk of aspiring jihadists going to Syria to learn how to fire guns and make bombs before using their training to attack Britain.

    Follow us on Twitter @
  • Turkish opposition challenges Internet law
    18.04.2014 18:20
    Turkey's main opposition party has applied to the Constitutional Court to repeal amendments to an Internet law which would allow the telecommunications authority to block access to websites without prior court approval Anadolu Agency reported.

    The Republican People's Party's deputy, Akif Hamzacebi, who handed in the application, said Turkey had "lost its altitude'' with the new law which seeks to regulate the banning of Internet services.

    The amendments stipulate that any decision to block a website must be sent to the relevant court within 24 hours and a ruling issued within 48 hours.

    If the court annuls the decision, any block must be lifted.

    Hamzacebi said: ''While carrying out the process of accession into the EU, this legal amendment has positioned Turkey among third world countries.

    ''Twitter and YouTube bans are unworthy of Turkey, which wants to raise the bar for more democracy.''

    However, Turkey's President Abdullah Gul has said social platforms could not be banned, but criminal acts "must be".

    - Leaked recordings

    Gul said the country's new Internet law did not seek to bar social media platforms such as Facebook and YouTube, but aimed to ensure that online activities involving crimes or damage to private lives could be blocked by the courts.

    Access to Twitter was blocked in Turkey on March 21 on the grounds that it violated personal rights and privacy.

    Access to the site was restored on April 3 after Turkey's Constitutional Court ruled the ban violated the freedom of expression.

    Access to YouTube was barred on March 27 after legally questionable content was published on the site, including the leaked recordings of a security meeting of high-ranking officials.

    The events led to senior officials from Twitter's management meeting representatives from Turkey's information technologies authority in Ankara to discuss the possibility of opening an office in Turkey.

    Turkey has blamed a "parallel state" within the country for the recent flurry of online wiretap leaks.

    The "parallel state" controversy erupted in Turkey after the government accused a ring led by the powerful U.S.-based Turkish preacher, Fethullah Gulen, of forming a parallel structure within the state and of plotting to topple the government.

    Follow us on Twitter @
  • Bakcell cuts roaming prices by more than a half
    18.04.2014 18:12
    Baku, Azerbaijan, April 18


    Bakcell, the First Mobile Operator and Leading Mobile Internet Provider of Azerbaijan, has made significant changes to its roaming prices. These changes cover both incoming and outgoing roaming calls. According to these changes, all our subscribers have received a more than 50% discount for incoming roaming calls in many countries, which means the cost of one minute of incoming calls in the most frequent destinations (countries) was cut down from 65 qapik to 32 qapik, the company said on April 18.

    The roaming service is activated automatically for individual subscribers of CIN, KLASS and GOLD tariffs and there is no requirement of placing any deposit amount. The subscribers of GOLD corporate tariff may ask their curators to activate the roaming service.

    It should be emphasized that Bakcell has concluded roaming agreements with more than 370 mobile operators of more than 166 countries and this number is constantly increasing.

    For our compatriots who are beyond the borders of Azerbaijanis and want to easily top-up the balance of any Bakcell number, our international balance top-up service is available in Russia, Kazakhstan, and UAE. While traveling, the subscribers can use the top-up service at service points operating in these countries.

    Bakcell, The First Mobile Operator and the Leading Mobile Internet Provider of Azerbaijan offers a variety of products for modern mobile communications customers. Bakcell provides class leading 3G mobile internet experience in the country under the SГјr@ brand name.

    As one of the largest national non-oil investors, Bakcell today continues making large investments in the economy of Azerbaijan through its investments in state-of-the-art telecommunication technology and its people who service our customers.

    Bakcell's network covers more than 99% of the population and 92% of the land area of the country (excluding occupied territories). Bakcell is a leader in innovation and it focuses on bringing the best of the mobile internet to Azerbaijanis through new partnerships and its SГјr@ services. With 257 retail outlets and 7 Customer Service Centers operating 24x7 Bakcell provides the best customer experience to its customers.

    For more information about Bakcell products and services, please visit or call 555.For press releases please see (or for press releases in English).

    If you are not a Bakcell subscriber, but wish to find out about Bakcell and its services, please call 055 000 05 55.

  • Kazakhstan sees no legal reasons to put pressure on Kashagan developer
    18.04.2014 18:11
    Kazakhstan's oil and gas minister said on Thursday he was disappointed over the slow development of the giant Kashagan oilfield, but he saw no legal reasons to put pressure on the consortium which oversees the offshore project, Reuters reported on April 17.

    The Central Asian nation of 17 million relies heavily on oil exports, and the setback in development of the huge Kashagan field could be a drag on state coffers.

    Delayed output at Kashagan has unsettled Kazakh authorities, which have already sued the consortium operating the field for 134 billion tenge ($737 million) over ecological damage, but on Thursday they signalled the possibility of no further penalties.

    "We can't push (the consortium). This is a huge and dangerous field, and we can't pressure legally," Uzakbai Karabalin said after meeting members of the North Caspian Operating Company (NCOC) consortium, which include Eni, Exxon Mobil, Royal Dutch Shell and Kazakh state-run KazMunaiGas.

    "I said that we are hugely disappointed by the way the project is progressing," the minister said.

    NCOC also includes Japan's Inpex with 7.56 percent and China National Petroleum Corp (CNPC) with 8.33 percent, which it bought from ConocoPhillips last year.

    The consortium said last month it would challenge the fine, potentially raising tensions with the government, which in recent years has become more assertive in dealing with foreign investors and has used legal action as leverage to increase participation in some energy projects.

    Production at the offshore deposit, the world's biggest oil find in 35 years, started in September but was halted in early October after the detection of gas leaks in the $50 billion project's pipeline network.

    The government had great expectations for Kashagan to start producing oil last year and officials had said they hoped to see it produce 22 million barrels of crude by the end of the year.

    The minister didn't comment about the possible costs of the repair work, reiterating that the authorities expect the results of the pipeline examination by the end of May.

    "If it is confirmed that there are cracks in the sea part of the pipeline, then it will indicate the situation is getting worse as the sea section of the pipe should also be replaced. Then, there will be no output this year," Karabalin said.

    Follow us on Twitter @
  • Temperature rises, no precipitation
    18.04.2014 17:58
    Temperature to rise up to 26C while weather to have no precipitation along with clouds in the sky in Baku and Absheron peninsula on April 18. Southern wind will give its turn to north-western wind in the evening. Night to have 9-12C heat and noon 20-25C.

    Generally rainless weather will be interrupted byВ  short-term rain and lightning in some mountainous and foothills regions. Separate zones to have fog in the morning. Eastern blow to waft. The temperature will be 8-13C at night and 23-28 and in the noon, while 5-10C in mountains at night and 15-20C in the noon.

  • Tajikistan, UN discuss cooperation issues
    18.04.2014 17:58
    Baku, Azerbaijan, April 18

    By Aygun Badalova -Trend:

    Tajik President Emomali Rahmon and the UN Resident Coordinator in Tajikistan Alexander Zuev discussed development of cooperation between the United Nations.

    The meeting, which also discussed current issues and prospects for cooperation, was held in Dushanbe, Avesta.Tj reported referring to the president's press service.

    Zuev informed Tajikistan's president about the results of the cooperation in 2013 and outlined plans for the interactions of the parties for 2014.

    "The construction of innovative laboratory of infectious diseases and three hospitals for the treatment of tuberculosis, implementation of projects in education, further cooperation in the land mine clearing are the main areas of cooperation," Zuev said.

    The sides expressed confidence in further development and strengthening of cooperation between Tajikistan and the UN.

    Follow us on Twitter @
  • Turkish president has no political plans for future
    18.04.2014 17:40
    Baku, Azerbaijan, April 18

    By Rufiz Hafizoglu - Trend:

    Turkish President Abdullah Gul has no political plans for the future, Turkey's Anadolu agency reported.

    "Currently, I do not have concrete political plans for the future," Gul told journalists on April 18.

    Earlier, the deputy head of the ruling Justice and Development Party, Mehmet Ali Sahin said that if the Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan is elected the president, then the current President Abdullah Gul could take the prime minister's post.

    He said President Abdullah Gul has extensive political experience, and the ruling party would like to benefit from this experience.

    Previously, a founding board member of the Justice and Development Party, Salih Kapusuz said that Turkish Prime Minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan can be nominated as a candidate for the presidential elections.

    The results of the municipal elections showed that the country's prime minister is a worthy candidate for the presidential elections, according to Kapusuz.

    The country's Deputy Prime Minister Bulent Arinc also earlier said that the great support of the Turkish people and the results of the municipal elections give ground to say that Turkish prime minister can be elected president if his candidacy is nominated.

    The presidential elections in Turkey have been scheduled for August 10, 2014. If none of the candidates gathers 51 percent of votes in the first round, the second round will take place on August 24.

    As distinct from the previous presidential elections, the Turkish president will be elected by people, but not by the parliament as of 2014, according to the results of a referendum held in 2007. The Turkish president will be elected for five-year term instead of the previous seven-year term, according to the referendum results.

    Turkish opposition is expected to nominate a single candidate for the presidential elections.

    Follow us on Twitter @
  • Baku rejects reports about transfer of 'disputed land' to Iran
    18.04.2014 17:40
    Chairman of the State Committee for Land and Cartography Garib Mammadov has commented on reports claiming that Azerbaijan has handed over certain area of its land to Iran.

    Mammadov told the journalists that such claims are ungrounded, reports.

    "The construction of hydro power station between Ordubad (Azerbaijan) and Mazandaran (Iran) is being discussed at the moment. No land of Azerbaijan has been handed over to Iran," Mammadov said recalling that recently his assistant visited Iran for talks and no land issue was raised there.

    "Nothing of this kind is likely to happen," added Garibov.

    On 6 April, some Iranian media reports claimed that Azerbaijan has transferred disputed stretch of 44 meters of land in Julfa to Iran.

  • International Bank of Azerbaijan assets increase by 23% per year
    18.04.2014 17:24
    Baku, Azerbaijan, April 18


    The assets of the International Bank of Azerbaijan (IBA) increased by 22.8% during the year and reached 7.648 bln manat as of April 1, 2014, the bank said on April 18.

    IBA's loan portfolio increased 28.2% compared to April 1, 2013 and amounted to 5.155 bln manat as of April 1, 2014. Loans given to physical entities reached 557.2 million manat.

    Retail deposits in the bank as of the end of the first quarter of 2014 amounted to 1.542 bln manat. Their growth compared to April 1, 2013 made up 8.7%.

    IBA`s total capital reached 950.6 million manat that is by 27.1% more than as of April 1, 2013. The authorized capital of the IBA reached 499.8 million manat. The bank's revenues made 143.97 million manat in the first quarter of 2014. IBA`s net profit as of April 1, 2014, amounted to 12.3 million manat.

    The number of active cards issued by the IBA as of April 1, 2014 amounted to 2,041,206. The bank runs 697 cash machines and 5,123 POS-terminals.

    The International Bank of Azerbaijan (IBA) was founded in January 1992. The IBA is the largest bank in the country. The bank's main shareholder is the Azerbaijani government, which owns a 50.2 percent stake, while 49.8 percent of the shares are owned by private shareholders.

    The official exchange rate is 0.7843 AZN/USD on April 18.

    Follow us on Twitter @
  • Turkey says Ukraine talks positive
    18.04.2014 17:23
    Turkey's Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu has said the agreement reached at the talks in Geneva, between Russia, Ukraine, U.S. and the EU, aimed at de-escalating tensions in Ukraine was "positive" and that Turkey continues to follow the developments closely Anadolu Agency reported.

    "It is an important step that both Russia and Ukraine have agreed on the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) Special Monitoring Mission's role to de-escalate tension," Davutoglu told a joint press conference Friday with his Albanian counterpart Ditmir Bushati.

    He added that Turkey was ready to take every step needed to contribute to the solution of the Ukraine crisis and would support any initiatives.

    Moving on to domestic affairs, Davutoglu, when asked whether there were any concrete findings concerning the investigation into the leaked recordings of a high-level security meeting of Turkish officials on Syria said "the authorities are conducting a very serious and meticulous investigation."

    "We need to wait until the investigation has been concluded and an official statement is made," he added.

    Additionally, it was announced that a cooperation agreement on information technologies was signed between Turkey and Albania in the presence of Davutoglu and his Albanian counterpart Bushati before the conference.

    Davutoglu said Turkey will continue to boost its relations in every field with Albania, while Bushati said improved relations would contribute to regional peace and called for more Turkish investment in Albania.

    Follow us on Twitter @
  • Iran dismiss U.S. private airplane landing at Tehran
    18.04.2014 17:10 .jpg .jpg
    Baku, Azerbaijan, April 18

    By Umid Niayesh - Trend:

    Iran rejects the reports that claim a U.S. plane, owned by the Bank of Utah, had landed in Tehran.

    Director General of Tehran's Mehrabad Airport Nasrollah Mansouri Shirazi said that he has no information on the issue, Iranian Fars news agency reported on April 18.

    "There is no report on landing of any American air plane at the airport," he underlined.

    On April 17, the New York Times claimed that on the morning of April 15, a plane bearing a small U.S. flag on its tail was parked in a highly visible section of Mehrabad Airport in Tehran.

    The plane belongs to the Bank of Utah, a community bank in Ogden that has 13 branches throughout the state, the report said.

    Earlier Iranian officials declined to comment on the purpose of the plane's visit or passengers' identities.

    A spokesman for Iran's United Nations mission in New York, Hamid Babaei, said: "We don't have any information in this regard. I refer you to the owner."

    Follow us on Twitter @
  • Antigone to be staged in Baku
    18.04.2014 17:07
    By AzerNews

    The legendary tragedy of Sophocles will be staged by world-famous Greek director Theodoros Terzopoulos in Baku by the end of the year.

    Terzopoulos arrived in Baku at the invitation of the Head of the Azerbaijan Academic National Drama Theater Israfil Israfilov, the theater reported.

    Based on an agreement, which was signed between the director and the theater, Terzopoulos will stage "Antigone", originally written in or before 441 BC.

    In his two-day visit to Baku, Terzopoulos discussed the details of the upcoming performance, met with young theater directors, actors, and experts, and answered their questions.

    The Greek director will hold a casting for the play during his next visit to Azerbaijan's capital; workshops and master classes will also be held.

    Terzopoulos is one of the Europe's leading theater directors; he's been the President of the International Committee of the Theater Olympiad since 1993. He established the Attis Theater in Athens in 1985 and organized the Delphi Meeting of Ancient Drama. He founded and then headed the International Institute of Mediterranean Theaters in 1990.

    Terzopoulos has received many prestigious theater awards for his directions: "The Bacchae" was appreciated the best performance at the Madrid and Malaga Festival (1987), and "Persians" in Karakas, Montpelier and Barcelona (1992), and Lisbon (1993).
  • Sale of large consignment of drugs from Iran prevented in Azerbaijan
    18.04.2014 17:05
    Baku, Azerbaijan, April 18

    By Ilkin Izzet - Trend:

    The Bilasuvar Customs Administration representatives detained Kamil Talibov trying to sell a large consignment of drugs smuggled from Iran, the Azerbaijani State Customs Committee said on April 17.

    Talibov was detained while hiding 2,690 kilograms of hashish and 2,645 kilograms of opium.

    The investigation department under the committee filed a criminal case under articles 206.3.2, 234.4.1 and 234.4.3 of the Criminal Code.

    Talibov was arrested as a suspect. As a preventive measure, Baku's Yasamal District Court decided he will be detained for three months.

    The necessary operational and investigative actions are underway to identify and bring to justice other persons who may be involved in illicit trafficking of large consignment of drugs.

    translated by NH

    edited by CN

    Follow us on Twitter @
  • Magnus Carlsen praises organization of Vugar Hashimov memorial
    18.04.2014 16:53
    Reigning world chess champion and the No. 1 ranked player in the world, Norwegian Magnus Carlsen has hailed the organization of Shamkir 2014 tournament that will commemorate late Azerbaijani grandmaster Vugar Hashimov.

    "The tournament is perfectly organized," Carlsen, 24, told journalists in Baku.

    The Norwegian grandmaster said he would try his best to win the Shamkir tournament that kicks off on Sunday.

    In the A tournament, Carlsen will face Italian Fabiano Caruana, Russian Sergei Karyakin, American Hikaru Nakamura, and Azerbaijanis Shahriyar Mammadyarov and Teymur Rajabov.

    Money prize of the A tournament, sponsored by "Synergy Group", one of the leading local investment companies, is euro;100,000.

    There will be a second tournament alongside the main event.

    In this B tournament ten players will play, including five from Azerbaijan (Eltaj Safarli, Nijat Abbasov, Gadir Huseynov, Rauf Mammadov, Vasif Durabeyli) and five foreign players Hao Wang (China), Pavel Eljanov (Ukraine), Etienne Bacrot (France), Radoslav Wojtaszek (Poland), and the new European champion Alexander Motylev (Russia).

    The prize fund for this tournament will be euro;30,000.
  • No May Day march on Taksim Square
    18.04.2014 16:45
    Baku, Azerbaijan, April 18

    By Rufiz Hafizoglu - Trend:

    There will be no May Day march on Taksim Square, TRT Haber TV channel quoted Turkish Interior Minister Efkan Ala as saying on April 18.

    "Taksim Square is not suitable for any marches, so the procession should be held somewhere else," Minister Efkan Ala told journalists.

    He said that many things, including public safety should be taken into account during public events.

    Turkey's leading oppositional Republican People's Party (CHP) today said the party's supporters will gather on May Day on Taksim Square in Istanbul, despite prohibitions.

    Translated by E.A.

    Edited by S.I.

    Follow us on Twitter @
  • Voice command mini-computer created in Azerbaijan-Ali Abbasov
    18.04.2014 16:37
    A voice command mini-computer has been created in Azerbaijan.

    The statement came from Azerbaijan's Minister of Communications and high technology, academician Ali Abbasov speaking at the general assembly of the Presidium of the National Academy of Science of Azerbaijan.

    "Speaking about the actual results in the field of information technology, it is possible to call the automatic and voice translation from Azerbaijani into other languages. Creation and production of the voice-command mini computer, and development of the keyboard under the Azerbaijani alphabet are also the achievements", Abbasov said.

    The Minister also noted the importance of establishing ties between scientific and economic sectors.

    "It is important to build a bridge between science and the economy, ie to create an innovative economy. And in this direction we have already taken steps to create industrial and technological parks", he said.

    Abbasov also stressed the close collaboration between his Ministry and the academy of science in various fields of scientific activity.

  • Turkish municipal elections - most difficult elections in countryв's history
    18.04.2014 16:32
    Baku, Azerbaijan, April 18

    By Rufiz Hafizoglu - Trend:

    The municipal elections held in Turkey on March 30 were the most difficult elections in the country's history, Turkey's Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said, TRT Haber TV channel reported on April 18.

    Erdogan said that despite all attempts of the opposition to discredit the Justice and Development Party's activities during the election campaign, the majority of voters cast their votes for the ruling party's members.

    He explained this by the fact that the opposition, unlike the ruling party, "did nothing to improve the people's situation."

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

    The number of voters registered in Turkey was 52,695,831 people, some 26,704,757 people out of them being women and 25,991,075 being men.

    Some 194,310 ballot boxes were installed across the country. Some 26 political parties took part in the municipal elections.

    Translated by E.A.

    Edited by S.I.

    Follow us on Twitter @
  • Kazakh border guards prevent smuggling from Kyrgyzstan
    18.04.2014 16:31
    Astana, Kazakhstan, April 18

    By Daniyar Mukhtarov - Trend:

    Ten smugglers, including one injured, have been detained on the Kazakh-Kyrgyz border, Border Guard Service of Kazakhstan's National Security Committee said on April 18.

    The Kordai border guard detachment detected a group of unknown citizens, who were smuggling consumer goods from Kyrgyzstan to Kazakhstan across the Shu River. During the arrest, the smugglers put up active physical resistance to the border guards and attempted to escape.

    The smugglers ignored the demands of the border guards stipulated by the law "On the state border of Kazakhstan" and even attempted to run down the border guards with a Mitsubishi Delica car. In order to force the car to stop, the border guards fired warning shots in the air from Kalashnikov rifle. The second shot targeted the car and the bullet hit the right eye of one of the smugglers (Kazakhstan citizen, the resident of Kordai settlement) who was driving the car.

    As a result, ten citizens, including five Kyrgyzstan citizens and five Kazakhstan citizens, who were engaged in smuggling, as well as the Mitsubishi Delica car carrying smuggled consumer goods, were taken into custody.

    The injured smuggler has been rushed to the central hospital of Kordai village. His health condition is stable.

    Translated by L.Z.

    Edited by C.N.

    Follow us on Twitter @
  • Baku hosts 16th International Conference InvestPro - Azerbaijan 2014
    18.04.2014 16:24
    The 16th international conference InvestPro-Azerbaijan 2014 has been held in Baku.

    The event focused on a wide range of issues, including international investment, financing, management, and the establishment of international institutions.

    The conference was attended by more than 300 delegates from 30 countries, including from the EU, CIS and the Middle East.

    Speaking to the conference, Head of AZPROMO Rufat Mammadov highlighted Azerbaijan`s economic achievements and large-scale regional projects initiated by the country.

    He also spoke of business and investment environment in Azerbaijan.
  • Baku to host Startup Weekend `14
    18.04.2014 16:23
    Startup Weekend Baku will commence today in capital Baku for the second time. The event, which has taken place in more than 200 cities around the world, will gather entrepreneurs, marketing specialists, designers and programmers that will form teams and present the jury with new projects.

    The Bakutel International Exhibition and Conference of Telecommunications and Information Technologies will provide support for the event.

    It offers opportunities to young specialists to describe their inventions, programmes and services as part of the biggest ICT event in Azerbaijan and the Caspian region.

    There has been a lot of attention given to startups at the exhibition for many years. They are provided with special stands, under the initiative of the Ministry of Communication and High Technologies of the Republic of Azerbaijan and the exhibition organizer Iteca Caspian.

    This event, to run till April 10, will lay ground for entrepreneurs to build their network, co-founder dating, learn a new skill, get face time with thought leaders, join a global community and actually launch a business.

    A certificate will be issued for an exhibitor stand at Bakutel 2014, which will take place at the Baku Expo Centre from December 2 to 5.

    Startup Weekend is a global grassroots movement of active and empowered entrepreneurs who are learning the basics of founding startups and launching successful ventures. It is the largest community of passionate entrepreneurs with over 400 past events in 100 countries around the world.

    The non-profit organization is headquartered in Seattle, Washington but Startup Weekend organizers and facilitators can be found in over 200 cities around the world. From South Africa to London to Brazil to Azerbaijan, people around the globe are coming together for weekend long workshops to pitch ideas, form teams, and start companies.
  • 'Tom Jerry show' continues in Armenia
    18.04.2014 16:21
    By AzerNews

    We always wondered -and even worried- if Tom would catch and punish that naughty Jerry when we were watching Walt Disney's famous cartoon in early childhood. The cartoon continues, but, alas, that did not happen...

    The recent appointment of the head of government in Armenia, which was left without PM after the resignation of Tigran Sargsyan, was a reminder of the animation.

    So, Armenian authorities had to have "a mouse" in the government since April 13, when President Serzh Sargsyan appointed Parliamentary Speaker Ovik Abramyan as the prime minister.

    Mouse is a kiddy nickname granted to Abramyan by his grandmother because of his inclination to grab candies without permission.

    Mice steal everything, even some countries' strategic grain reserves. Indeed, Sargsyan left nothing to steal after years of tenure. The country is barely able to survive and Armenian citizens cannot allow the "mouse" to steal the last means of their existence.

    Dissatisfied Armenians who are suffering from serious socio-economic problems gave a surprising warning to Abramyan who chaired the first meeting of the Cabinet of Ministers on April 17.

    Abramyan's meeting was accompanied by several protest actions, which made fun of him.

    The action had quite strange and unusual participants - a cat and a mouse. No, animals in Armenia have not yet expressed their dissatisfaction with the newly appointed PM, but they were in main roles of the protest actions.

    The protesters let the mouse out and started to chant "Prime Minister, out!". Frightened by the cat, the mouse ran to the entrance of the government building and started to run up the stairs.

    The protesters stated that the officials also ran away from them. "The frightened officials will face the mouse's fate, which is running away from the cat," they chanted.

    Having a mouse as the head of the government, Armenia's citizens have turned into a "cat".

    Local media were surprised with the appointment of the "mouse" as a prime minister. "Mouse" Abramyan provided himself with a gambling business, vineyards, mines, filling stations, knitted goods factory, and a mechanical plant. He also has a rest house in Crimea, bought for $7 mln in 2007.

    It is impossible to dissuade a mouse from stealing. Now, Armenia has got a governmental mouse, which is near to the state budget. The mouse does not understand what is inviolable.

    Will this mouse be caught by the cat? The Armenian people shall see.
  • Azerbaijan's role in European energy security discussed in US
    18.04.2014 16:17
    A large-scale political forum "The changing landscape of natural gas" took place in Atlanta, the capital of the US state of Georgia, on 16 April.

    The forum was organized upon the initiative of the Georgia Institute of Technology. The forum was attended by US Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz, representative of the State of Georgia to the Senate Sam Nunn, heads of influential energy companies, leading analysts, Azerbaijani Ambassador to US Elin Suleymanov.

    Addressing the forum, US Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz noted the importance of energy security of European allies of the US, energy reserves of the Caspian Sea and diversification of transport routes of natural gas.

    Suleymanov addressed the panel on lsquo;Thresholds of new gas era: tendencies, problems and opportunities' with a report on lsquo;Changing pattern of energy security in the Trans-European and Eurasian regions.'

    The diplomat gave a brief insight on energy diplomacy of Azerbaijan which has proved as a reliable partner in the energy market, told about the Contract of the Century and its importance in transport of energy resources to the West.

    The panel also heard the report of Sarah Ladislaw, director and senior fellow at the Energy and National Security Program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies titled lsquo;Changing global and national landscape: Overall view.'

    She emphasized that it would be possible to import gas resources of the US in the future, but it will be mainly forwarded to the Asian market in order to make price affordable. The Azerbaijani gas will therefore retain its strategic importance for Europe for a long time.

  • KazTransGas, Gazprom Gas '" Engine Fuel LLC sign cooperation memorandum
    18.04.2014 15:45
    Astana, Kazakhstan, April 18

    By Daniyar Mukhtarov - Trend:

    KazTransGas JSC and Gazprom Gas - Engine Fuel LLC signed a memorandum on cooperation in the use of natural gas as a motor fuel.

    "In order to develop markets for engine fuel, as well as pursuing single technical policy on the use of natural gas as engine fuel between KazTransGas JSC and Gazprom Gas - Engine Fuel LLC signed a memorandum of cooperation," the press-service of the KazTransGas JSC reported.

    The document was signed by the General Director of KazTransGas JSC Serik Sultangali and CEO of Gazprom Gas Engine Fuel LLC Mikhail Likhachev.

    "The main purpose of the document is the expansion of the use of gas engine fuel to ensure the market stability of petroleum products. The memorandum also envisages the creation of a network of gas filling stations on the route of Western Europe - Western China road , the coordination of efforts to develop a network of NGV filling stations and the creation of refitting points of vehicles to use compressed natural gas," the statement said.

    At present KazTransGas JSC examines the construction project of NGV filling stations in the gasified regions of Kazakhstan, as switching to natural gas will significantly reduce fuel costs and positively impact the environment.

    KazTransGas was established in 2000 to organize the work in the oil and gas industry. The companies and organizations dealing with gas production, transportation and sale are included in the KazTransGas company group.

    Starting from July, 2012 KazTransGas JSC is being defined as the national operator in the field of gas and gas supply in accordance with the Kazakh government's decree.

    Translated by S.I.

    Edited by C.N.

    Follow us on Twitter @
  • Wall Street week ahead
    18.04.2014 15:38
    The first batch of earnings came out as equities were working their way through a selloff led by trading-crowd favorites like Netflix and the biotech stocks. With the late-week recovery, the hope is that the recent volatility has ebbed. If poor results dominate next week's action, that could reignite the selling.

    "We are still off our highs, but we still remain in an uptrend so it would not surprise me to see sideways action," said Andre Bakhos, managing director at Janlyn Capital LLC in Bernardsville, New Jersey.

    "If we were to have a set of earnings releases that were well off expectations to the downside, that could create hesitation in the market."

    A few themes will dominate in the coming week: The outlook for China, the rotation to slower-growing stocks, and results from high-flying trading favorites.

    Samp;P 500 companies' first-quarter earnings are projected to have increased 1.7 percent from a year ago, Thomson Reuters data showed. The forecast is down sharply from the start of the year, when profit growth was estimated at 6.5 percent, but has climbed from a low of 0.6 percent reached on Wednesday.

    That jump occurred despite notable disappointments from IBM Corp (IBM.N) and Google Inc (GOOGL.O). Even with those two lackluster reports, equities still mostly rallied on Thursday.

    The benchmark Samp;P index rose 2.7 percent for the holiday-shortened week, helping the index recapture nearly all of the declines suffered in the previous week. The U.S. stock market will be closed for Good Friday.

    Investors eyeing the impact of China's troubles on corporate America's bottom line will have a few spots to pick from, including Apple (AAPL.O), Qualcomm (QCOM.O) and Yum Brands

    There have been warning signs, with IBM saying this week that its disappointing quarterly revenue was due to worsening sales in the world's second-largest economy and other emerging markets. Earlier in the week, China reported growth came in at its slowest pace in 18 months.

    Qualcomm's (QCOM.O) revenue for its fiscal year ended September 29, 2013, showed China accounted for nearly half of the company's revenue. Options activity in Qualcomm has been defensive in nature, with investors paying more money to hedge against a fall than a rise in the stock's price.

    But strategists at Goldman Sachs see this as a buying opportunity, believing the options data shows investors are overly concerned about the quarter.

    Apple Inc (AAPL.O) also derives 13 percent of its sales from China, according to Thomson Reuters data. The company was once a favorite among momentum investors looking to capitalize on swift price gains, but the stock dropped sharply from all-time highs reached in late 2012. It has been mostly stuck in a range for the last year.

    StarMine expects Apple to exceed earnings estimates by 1 percent. Notably, Apple has not benefited from a rotation into older tech stocks like Microsoft has. Its shares are down 6.1 percent on the year.

    Along with Facebook Inc (FB.O) and Netflix Inc (NFLX.O), momentum names such as Gilead Sciences Inc (GILD.O), Biogen Idec Inc (BIIB.O) and Illumina Inc (ILMN.O) are set to post results.

    Investors are gearing up for wild swings in those names next week. Trading in Facebook options expiring next Friday suggest investors expect about a 12 percent move in the stock's price by the end of next week. Weekly options are often used in advance of a major event like earnings. Similarly, Netflix options also suggest a 12 percent move.

    After a spectacular performance in 2013, the selloff in many of these stocks over the past few weeks has contributed to the market's volatility. Whether they affect the broader market may determine how well stocks trade next week.

    The Nasdaq biotech index .NBI is down nearly 19 percent from its closing high on February 25 while the Global X Social Media Index ETF (SOCL.O) is down 18 percent from its March 6 high. However, both have bounced off drops of more than 20 percent that had sent each into bear market territory.

    With the nervousness created by the declines in the momentum names, investors have rotated into more defensive names.

    "What happens at some point is (momentum names) become disassociated from the market at large. People see this happening, they become scared, and they start selling other companies as well," said Stephen Massocca, managing director at Wedbush Equity Management LLC in San Francisco.

    "It gets to a point where that stops happening and the rest of the market - outside of these crazy names - is not that overvalued."

    Some of those names, including Dow components Microsoft (MSFT.O), DuPont (DD.N) and Travelers (TRV.N), are among those identified by Credit Suisse quantitative analysts as potential "contrarian" picks as they're among the least loved by Wall Street analysts.

    All three are also considered undervalued by StarMine's measure of intrinsic value that looks at the long-term growth expectations for these names. Microsoft, for example, is the third-best performer in the Dow this year, having gained 7 percent for the year.

  • Putin's "cold" Alaska joke
    18.04.2014 15:33
    In a patriotic fervour, Russians are asking President Vladimir Putin to bring back the US state of Alaska, sold off to the United States in Tsarist times. Putin's answer? It's too cold.

    During Putin's annual marathon phone-in session Thursday, when Russians pose questions to the Russian leader, a pensioner asked him to possibly follow the annexation of Crimea from Ukraine with the taking of Alaska.

    "Faina Ivanovna, dear, why do you need Alaska?" Putin asked the pensioner.

    "We have a northern country -- 70 percent of our territory are in the north and the far north," he noted.

    "Alaska is cold too," he said. "Let's not get ahead of ourselves."

    Alaska was settled by Russians since the 18th century after Russian boats reached it from the Russian Far East territories of Kamchatka and began fur trading with the indigenous population.

    Since its purchase by the United States in 1867, people in some small Alaskan villages still use random Russian words and there is even a Russian Orthodox seminary.

    Media in Anchorage said this week that Russian state television had contacted a local journalist to film Alaskans asking Putin questions to include in the phone-in programme.

    The Russian channel reportedly cancelled their request later, the journalist, Dorene Lorenz, told the local website Alaska Dispatch.

    She still had posted a question on her Facebook page: "If you had one question that you coul ask Putin, what would it be?"

    Nobody asked Putin if he could annex Alaska, however. One question was "How long before World War III?"

    "What is your favourite vodka?" another said.

    A petition posted on the White House website in March asking to give Alaska back to Russia had gathered over 42,000 signatures by Thursday.

  • Ilham Alieyev receives director general of Saudi Arabian border service
    18.04.2014 15:28
    President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev has today received a delegation led by Director General of Border Service of Saudi Arabia Zumeim bin Juveibir As-Savvat.

    Emphasizing successful development of ties between Azerbaijan and Saudi Arabia, the President noted importance of friendly ties between the two states, reports quoting official website of the President as saying.

    Aliyev pointed out high level political ties between the two states and expressed his satisfaction with cooperation in cultural and humanitarian spheres.

    The president noted the importance of cooperation between the border services, expressed his hope that the joint activities in this field, mutual exchange of information and experience will contribute to further strengthening of security of the two countries.

    In turn, Director General of Border Service of Saudi Arabia recalled his visit to Azerbaijan last year with great pleasure and that he discussed development of cooperation with his Azerbaijani counterparts as part of the visit.

  • Homs civilians in danger as deal breaks down
    18.04.2014 15:28
    Lakhdar Brahimi, the UN-Arab League special envoy to Syria, has said that a deal that allowed some civilians to leave Homs has broken down, Al Jazeera reported.

    Brahimi's comments came as activists said on Thursday that barrel bombs were being dropped by government forces targeting opposition-held areas in Homs after Syrian troops and pro-regime militiamen fought their way into the neighbourhoods during the course of the week, after besieging them for nearly two years.

    The special envoy said on Thursday that Syria's government and opposition groups should resume talks to lift the siege on Homs.

    "We urge all the parties to return to the negotiating table and complete the deal which was on the verge of being signed," he said.

    Brahimi added that the discussions had been well underway between the Syrian government and "a negotiating committee representing the civilians and fighters still trapped in the Old city of Homs as well as the inhabitants of the Al-Waer neighborhood".

    Members of the UN Security Council have also expressed "grave concern" over the plight of civilians caught in fighting in the old quarter of Homs.

    Joy Ogwu, Nigeria's ambassador to the UN, who is serving as the council's current president, said the council "urged the immediate implementation" of a February resolution to improve humanitarian access in the country.

    She said council members also stand behind Brahimi call to resume negotiations to end the siege.

    In a statement, US ambassador to the UN Samantha Power appealed "to all those UN member states with influence on Damascus to pressure the regime to return to the negotiating table".

    "It is imperative that those who want to leave Homs are able to do so quickly and safely," she said.

    Syrian ambassador Bachar Jaafari told reporters that only 170 civilians were trapped in Homs, alongside thousands of terrorists - the regime's term for rebels. He said the civilians refused to leave.

    Activists describe the bombardment as the worse in months.

    Al Jazeera's Zeina Khodr, reporting from Antakya, in Turkey, said losing Homs would be a major blow to the opposition.

    "It is not just strategic territory - lying along a major crossroad between the north and south of the country. Losing Homs would hurt the morale of the opposition," she said.

    Some of the biggest anti-government demonstrations originally took place in Homs, considered the capital of the rebellion, which began more than three years ago.

    Rebel-held pockets have been under a siege for nearly two years, leading to dwindling food and medical supplies.

    Follow us on Twitter @
  • No political prisoners in Azerbaijan-Vice-Speaker
    18.04.2014 15:24
    "Azerbaijan has no political prisoners, there are people persecuted for specific criminal acts. And nothing more!".

    This statement was made at today's plenary session of Milli Majlis by vice speaker of the Azerbaijani parliament Ziyafat Asgarov, responding to the statement of opposition MP Iqbal Aghazadeh that bias is allegedly felt in the investigation on the case of Nida movement activists. The deputy considered the position of state prosecution to be too strict.

    MP from the ruling party Siyavush Novruzov further noted that the questions should be asked first and foremost to those who taught these young people illegal methods of political struggle - the use of "Molotov cocktails", planning riots and provocations, etc.

    "Ask these people why they make those guys unhappy? Why did not they teach them to study, care about the environment, visit libraries but call on them to attack the law enforcement officers, arrange protests, cause damage to citizens' property? It has repeatedly been proven that there is no one who could be attributed to the term of "political prisoner" in Azerbaijan. There are specific cases of violations of the laws on which court trials are held. They should not cast a shadow over the court decision in cases in which decisions have not even been made yet", Novruzov said.

  • Households account for 40% of loans issued '" Central Bank
    18.04.2014 15:23
    Households still retain the status of largest borrowers in Azerbaijan.

    Some 41% of 6.431bn AZN were issued for households as of 1 March, 2014, according to the report of the Central Bank of Azerbaijan.

    This figure totaled 40.9% or 6.358bn AZN of the loans issued a month ago.

    Households is followed by trade and services (14.3% or 2.240bn AZN) and construction and real estate (13.1% or 1.056bn AZN respectively).

    Industry and production accounts for 11.5% or 1.801bn AZN, agriculture and processing - 4.7% or 734m AZN, transport and communication - 3.4% (529.6m AZN), energy, chemistry and natural resources - 1.8% (285m AZN) of the loans issued.

    In January-February 2014, bank lending to the economy of Azerbaijan totaled 15.667bn AZN which marks a rise of 28.3% from 2013.

  • Turkey to seek discount in Russian gas price next week: minister
    18.04.2014 15:21
    Turkey will seek a discount in the price of gas it is buying from Russia during planned talks next week, when the deputy head of state-controlled Gazprom will visit Ankara, Turkey's energy minister said on Friday Hurriyet Daily News reported.

    "The contract we have with Russia gives us the right for a price revision. We will convey our demands about this to the Russian and Gazprom officials," Taner Yildiz told reporters.

    Turkey is dependent on imports for almost all of its energy needs and Russia is its biggest natural gas supplier.

    Follow us on Twitter @
  • Azerbaijan has all capabilities to become scientific center of the region
    18.04.2014 15:09
    "President Ilham Aliyev's orders to develop science in the country have formed the basis for success of the National Academy of Science".

    According to, the statement came from President of the academy, academician Akif Alizadeh, who spoke at a general meeting of the Presidium of the Academy, dedicated to scientific and organizational activities in 2013.

    Alizadeh said that the basic principles of scientific development include organization and management of research activities based on modern criteria, improvement of research infrastructure, reforms aimed at the application of advanced technologies.

    He stressed that Azerbaijan has all the necessary capabilities to become a scientific center in the region .

    According to him, the Information Resource Center, equipped with modern information and communication technologies, is ready for operation. "This center is one of the best libraries in the region", said the academician, while pointing out that there are plans to create new institutions that will cover the modern scientific fields in the country.

    At the same time, the academy chief reminded about the implementation of a series of reforms aimed at strengthening the scientific and technological potential of the regions of the country, and noted the establishment of the Ganja branch of the academy.

    He said that the boards of directors of scientific institutions were created along with conduction of an expertise and coordination of innovative projects of young scientists and specialists last year. According to him, the main part of youth and staff policies of the Academy is the nomination of particularly distinguished young scientists to receive presidential awards for young people.

    Alizadeh noted that the concept of the academy for 2020 is under development.

    Alizadeh stressed the importance of holding various international events in Azerbaijan, including the Third Baku International Forum.

    "Such events transform the republic into a center of international scientific co-operation", he said.

    Alizadeh also spoke about plans for holding the Festival of Science in Azerbaijan in order to demonstrate the achievements of the country, popularize science, attract the attention of young people to science.

  • Eurogames in Baku to become an important step in basic preparations for Olympics
    18.04.2014 15:08
    Deputy Minister of Sport of the Russian Federation Pavel Kolobkov described the preparation of the national team to the European Games 2015 to be held in Baku.

    "These competitions are held for the first time - a program of competitions has been approved recently, although only a year is left to the Games", quotes Kolobkov as saying, with reference to ITAR-TASS. "It will be a debut - the program also includes Olympic and non-Olympic sports .

    Even in a number of Paralympic disciplines. Only in few sports the competition will be qualifying for the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. These competitions are certainly important; we regard them as a very important step in basic preparations for the Olympics. All the same, the task of successful performance has not been lifted by anyone.

    No additional funding is neede to prepare for the European games. The visits for the competition will be organized by the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC), and the team will prepare in the current regime. Of course, next spring it (the training) will be more centralized. We are training for Baku in preparation for the Rio de Janeiro, we did not divide them.

    Not all sports in Azerbaijan will be presented by the strongest teams. Sportsmen of other ages will take part in a number of sports. For example, in athletics, swimming youth teams are planned.

    Therefore, in these kinds we will focus on preparation of the reserve. In some sports, on which more important tournaments are held, we will present a good squad, but not necessarily that it will be the primary. We just started to discuss training programs with the federations. Still, a key challenge will be the Olympics.

    The European games will be held amid the qualifying period, we should build training so that to obtain maximum quotas for participation in the Brazilian Games.

  • At least 12 Nepali guides killed in Everest avalanche (UPDATE)
    18.04.2014 15:01
    the details were added (the first version was posted at 12:27)

    An avalanche swept down a slope of Mount Everest on Friday killing 12 Nepali mountaineering guides at the beginning of the main climbing season, a Tourism Ministry official said.

    The avalanche, the deadliest in eight years, hit the most popular route to the mountain's peak. Three Nepali guides were injured and up to five people were missing, said Dipendra Paudel at the Tourism Ministry's mountaineering department, Reuters reported.

    It was the first major avalanche on Mount Everest this climbing season, when hundreds of foreign and Nepali climbers flock to the mountain to attempt to reach its 8,850 meter (29,035 feet) peak.

    The avalanche hit the sherpa guides relatively low on the mountain, between base camp and camp 1, early on Friday, ministry officials said.

    Helicopters and rescuers on foot had been sent to the site, said senior ministry official Madhusudan Burlakoti.

    More than 4,000 climbers have scaled Everest's summit since it was first climbed by Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay Sherpa in 1953. The route they took is the one hit by the avalanche on Friday.

    Nearly 250 people have died on the mountain.

    Everest is on the border between Nepal and the Chinese region of Tibet and can be climbed from both sides.

    Nepal's Tourism Ministry has issued permits to 334 foreign climbers to scale Mount Everest this season, up from 328 the whole of last year. Nepal plans to cut fees to climb the mountain despite concern about overcrowding.

    An equal number of sherpa guides also climb the mountain to help the foreign mountaineers. They often go ahead of the foreign climbers, preparing the way by fixing ropes and setting up camps.

    The climbing season usually ends in late May when rainy season wind and cloud push up from the south to cloak the Himalayas, making climbing at high altitudes virtually impossible.

    Nepal is home to eight of the world's 14 highest peaks.

    Follow us on Twitter @
  • NASA discovers another life!?
    18.04.2014 14:59
    It's like finding a needle in a universe-wide haystack. Researchers have located a planet roughly the size of Earth that could be habitable.

    Designated Kepler-186f, the planet is 490 light-years away. But in the search for worlds similar to ours, nothing has come closer.

    "This is the first definitive Earth-sized planet found in the habitable zone around another star," said Elisa Quintana of the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI) Institute at NASA. "Finding such planets is a primary goal of the Kepler space telescope."

    "This discovery not only proves the existence of worlds that might be similar to our own but will undoubtedly shape future investigations of exoplanets that could have terrestrial surface environments," the institute said in an announcement Thursday.

    After spotting it, the institute wasted no time searching for emissions that could indicate the presence of ETs. So far, no emissions have been found.

    The size -- estimated to be 10% larger than Earth -- and distance from its star don't just make for interesting factoids. They give scientists hope that Kepler-186f might sustain life as we know it.

    Of nearly 1,800 "confirmed exoplanets" that have been found, approximately 20 orbit their host stars within habitable zones, where it's believed surface water would not freeze or boil. In 2011, NASA announced that Kepler had observed five planets approximately the size of Earth and in the habitable zone

    But the "previously discovered worlds are larger than Earth, and consequently their true nature -- rocky or gaseous -- is unknown," the SETI Institute said in a written announcement on Thursday. "On the basis of the observed dimming of starlight from Kepler-186, the authors estimate that this newly discovered planet is roughly the same size as the Earth."

    Theoretical models and observations tell scientists that planets the size of Kepler-186f likely have a composition of iron, rock and ice, like Earth, Quintana told reporters Thursday.

    Even if Kepler-186f is rocky, it's not necessarily habitable, scientists warned Thursday. First, a lot would depend on the atmosphere, if it has one, Thomas Barclay of NASA's Kepler mission said. And scientists right now don't have the technology to know what the atmosphere is.

    The star's size -- it's an M-dwarf star, smaller and less hot than our sun -- also could come into play. Because it is smaller, the habitable zone is closer, so radiation could prevent life if the atmosphere isn't dense enough, said Victoria Meadows of the University of Washington Virtual Planetary Laboratory.

    But the Webb space-based telescope, now under construction, should be able to gather images of planets around closer dwarf stars and study their atmospheres.

    Scientists are especially keen about checking dwarf stars because their habitable planets are more easily detectable, and because they are the most abundant type of star in our galaxy, Barclay said.

    For researchers, the discovery of Kepler-186f is like a beginning. It's a first but "not a record we wish to keep," Quintana said. "We want to find more of these."

    It's likely they will. Astronomers at the University of California, Berkeley, and the University of Hawaii, using data from Kepler, estimate there are tens of billions of Earth-size, possibly habitable planets in our Milky Way galaxy.


    Photos: The Daily Mail
  • Benelux Azerbaijanis Congress establishes two more diaspora organizations
    18.04.2014 14:46
    Two more diaspora organizations have been established under the Benelux Azerbaijanis Congress in the Netherlands and Belgium.

    The established organizations are Azerbaijanis Union of the Brabant Provinces and Azerbaijanis Union of the Noord-Holland Province.

    The presentation of both organizations was held in Rotterdam.

    The event was attended by representatives of the Azerbaijani Embassy in the Hague Elkhan Alasgarov, First Vice President of the Benelux Azerbaijanis Congress Elsever Mammadov, Chairman of the Turkish Federation of the Netherlands Murad Gedik, and representatives of diaspora organizations.

    The Benelux Azerbaijanis Congress plans to set up three new organizations.

  • Where is Messi?
    18.04.2014 14:32
    Messi's recent lack of involvement on the pitch was on everyone's lips off it during the azulgranas' trip home from Valcencia. One of the most popular theories is that he has his mind firmly set on the World Cup. And they might be right.

    The Argentine now never challenges for the ball, doesn't get stuck in. It's as if he was saving himself, not taking the risk of picking up any injury so close to this summer's big event.

    Only Leo himself knows if this is the truth or just idle gossip, but more and more people both inside and outside the Camp Nou are thinking that Messi has perhaps decided to throw in the towel with his club and throw in his luck with his country. It hasn't been an easy year for 'La Pulga'. It all started with his run-in with the taxman, which seemed to have left the player scathed.

    Neymar's arrival was also an unwelcome surprise, as he felt cheated by the club, which had assured him that the newbie would not be earning as much as he did. In the end, it was demonstrated to the whole world that the Brazilian was to earn the same, if not even more.

    Then came the Argentine's drawn-out contract renewal, which started with Rosell's bold promise to pay him the world (which came to be nothing more than hot air), the rumours of the player moving to another club and finally the less than spectacular offer made by the club's new president, Bartomeu. And then there have been Messi's injuries.

    All these factors must have taken their toll on him. Added to that is his evident obsession with the Brazil World Cup. Everything seems to point to the player giving this competition priority over his club this season. Down in Argentina, everyone is certainly hoping that this is indeed the case, and not that he is quite simply not the player he used to be with such a big event coming up.

  • State Committee considers land plot allocation issue on Azerbaijani-Iranian border
    18.04.2014 14:31
    Baku, Azerbaijan, April 18

    By Ilkin Izzet - Trend:

    The issue on the allocation of land plot for the construction "Ordubad" power plant on the Azerbaijani side and "Marazad" power plant on the Iranian side on the Azerbaijani- Iraninan border is being considered.

    These issues were discussed in Iran with the deputy chairman of the State Committee for Land and Cartography of Azerbaijan, the Chairman of the Azerbaijani State Committee for Land and Cartography, Garib Mammadov told journalists.

    "At the moment, the issues on the allocation of land plots for construction of power plants are being considered. On the Azerbaijani side, "Ordubad" power plant will be built and on the Iranian side the "Marazad" power plant," he said.

    According to the head of the State Committee, previously spread information by the Iranian media that Azerbaijan allegedly gave Iran a small portion of its territory, does not correspond reality.

    Translated by S.I.

    Edited by C.N.

    Follow us on Twitter @
  • Iran unveils new home-made military equipment
    18.04.2014 13:53
    Baku, Azerbaijan, April 18

    By Umid Niayesh - Trend:

    Iran unveiled its various home-made military equipment today, during the parade on the occasion of Day of the Iranian Armed Forces.

    All units of the Iranian Armed Forces and the Islamic revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) including Air Force fighters participated in the parade which took place in front of the mausoleum of former Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khomeini on April 18, the country's ISNA news agency reported.

    Iranian president Hassan Rouhani and senior military commanders attended the ceremony.

    During the parade, the upgraded models of home-made Zulfiqar, Samsam and Sabalan tanks, Akhgar and Moharram machine guns, Poush and Ghader mobile missile launchers, and Arash radar system were exhibited.

    Commander of Iran's Khatam al-Anbia Air Defense Base Brigadier General, Farzad Esmaili said that the unveiled mobile launchers will increase Iranian defence system's capabilities.

    Commenting on the Arash radar system, Esmaili said that it is a long-range radar system, which has high capability of detecting targets in electronic warfare.

    The unveiled six-barrel, 50-caliber machine gun "Moharram" has a firing rate of 2000 rounds per minute.

    Another home-made 76-caliber, gatling-type machine gun "Akhgar" which was unveiled, has an effective range of more than 2 km and has a firing rate of 4000 to 6000 rounds per minute, according to some Iranian media outlets.

    Iranian military officials have previously announced that the country will start mass production of the newly unveiled models of Zulfiqar and Samsam tanks.

    Iranian media outlets claim Iran has made great achievements in its defence sector and attained self-sufficiency in producing essential military equipment and systems in recent years.

    Since 1992, Iran has manufactured its own tanks, armoured personnel carriers, missiles, radars, boats, submarines and fighter planes. Iran also unveiled its first domestically-manufactured long-range Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) in 2010.

    Follow us on Twitter @
  • Canada concerned about Egyptв's Brotherhood
    18.04.2014 13:43
    Canada on Thursday said it was concerned about the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt following the military-backed ouster of President Mohamed Mursi last July Al Arabiya reported

    "Canada has taken an aggressive stand when it comes to listings [of terror groups] ... but there is a certain process," John Baird, Canada's foreign minister, said at a news conference in Cairo.

    "We are tremendously concerned about the Muslim Brotherhood ... but the listings are made on the basis of facts and intel."

    Ottawa's standpoint comes weeks after Britain ordered a probe into the Muslim Brotherhood in a bid to investigate if the group has ties to extremist groups or violent acts.

    Alternating stances?

    Cairo listed the Brotherhood as a "terrorist organization" last December following a series of attacks which the state claims were orchestrated by the Islamist group in revenge for Mursi's removal. The group was later blacklisted by Saudi Arabia.

    Ammar Ali Hassan, an Egyptian political scientist, told Al Arabiya News that the Canadian minister's statement on the Muslim Brotherhood implies that the West was beginning to share Cairo's worries about the Islamist group.

    "The foreign minister made a point that Canada cannot list the Muslim Brotherhood under its terror list unless clear evidence is available," Hassan said.

    The statements made by the minister "are hinting at the possibility of listing the group," he added.

    "The West is moving toward protecting itself from the Brotherhood rather than criticizing the Egyptian authorities for its stance on the Brotherhood."

    Britain's probe decision

    London ordered an investigation into the Islamist movement earlier this month over concerns that the group is planning radical activities in Britain.

    A statement by David Cameron's office read: "The Prime Minister has commissioned an internal government review into the philosophy and activities of the Muslim Brotherhood and the government's policy toward the organization."

    If a conclusion that the Brotherhood is linked to acts of violence in Western countries, Hassan said that could in the future limit the rights granted to Brotherhood members in those countries.

    Follow us on Twitter @
  • Iranian director Farhadi says Istanbul as new film location
    18.04.2014 13:38
    Iran's award-winning director Asghar Farhadi, who brought his country its first Academy Award in 2012, revealed at the Istanbul Film Festival that his next work will be set in Europe Hurriyet Daily News reported.

    The 41-year-old director, who is in Turkey as the international competition jury president of the 33rd Istanbul Film Festival, said the exact setting of his next movie is a secret, although his last work, "The Past," was set in France.

    "The Past," which was shot in French despite Farhadi not speaking the language, brought leading actress Berenice Bejo the Palme d'Or at Cannes Film Festival in 2013.

    Stating Turkish culture is very close to his own, Farhadi said Istanbul could be a future filming location.

    Considered a master filmmaker and screenwriter, Farhadi thinks Iranian cinema was important to change American "misconceptions" about contemporary Iranian life.

    "The media gives people the wrong image but through these kinds of films, they can find real people, real Iranians," he added, claiming that by watching these works, more people would understand that Iranians are very similar to themselves.

    Known for his open-ended and dilemmatic movies, Fahradi said there is not a good and bad difference between the characters in his films, unlike Greek tragedies. "In today's world, the dispute is between good and good. We don't really know if we would be happy when any of them win," the director

    said. Although Iran has a long-standing cinema tradition which was established before the 1979 revolution, Fahradi claimed most people do not know Iranian cinema's earlier examples, adding only the output from the industry's last two decades is well-known in Turkey or internationally.

    Praised directors Guney and Ceylan

    Pointing to the importance of Iranian cinema to showcase ordinary people's lives, Farhadi said around 100 films are made annually in Iran.

    He also praised Turkey's Cannes-winning director YД±lmaz Guney, who mainly portrayed working-class people's lives on film, and Nuri Bilgi Ceylan, a multi-award winning filmmaker.

    Farhadi's fifth move "A Separation" won a range of awards in 2012, including an Oscar and a Golden Globe for best foreign language film and a Golden Bear award at the Berlin Film Festival.

    The film begins with the divorce proceedings of a couple in a courthouse. As the couple tries, perhaps not very hard, to find the ideal solution for their teen daughter's sake, the film takes a whole different turn with unexpected complications.

    Follow us on Twitter @
  • Azerbaijani ambassador to Ukraine meets Sumy province governor
    18.04.2014 13:36
    Azerbaijani Ambassador to Ukraine Eynulla Madatli met with Volodymyr Shulha, governor of the administration of Sumy province of Ukraine, in the Azerbaijani embassy on 16 April.

    The meeting focused on prospects of inter-regional cooperation and full understanding of both sides.

    Shulha told the Azerbaijani Ambassador about his activities as a member of the Supreme Rada and also as a member of the Azerbaijan-Ukraine inter-parliamentary friendship group. They also discussed prospects of inter-parliamentary cooperation.

    Member of Sumy oblast council, entrepreneur and Maecenas Afgan Salmanov also attended the meeting.

    The guests also visited the park named after national leader of Azerbaijan Heydar Aliyev where a monument to the great leader of Azerbaijan has been erected.

  • At least nine Nepali guides killed in Everest avalanche
    18.04.2014 13:11
    An avalanche swept down a slope of Mount Everest on Friday, killing nine Nepali mountaineering guides at the beginning of the main climbing season, a Tourism Ministry official said.

    The avalanche hit the most popular route to the mountain's peak and three Nepali guides were injured and some people may be missing, Tilak Ram Pandey, an official at the ministry's mountaineering department, told Reuters.

    It was the first major avalanche on Mount Everest this climbing season, when hundreds of foreign and Nepali climbers flock to the mountain to attempt to climb its 8,850 meter (29,035 feet) peak.

    The avalanche hit the sherpa guides between base camp and camp 1 early on Friday, Pandey said.

    Madhusudan Burlakoti, a senior official at the ministry, said helicopters and rescuers on foot had been sent to the site.

    More than 4,000 climbers have scaled Everest's summit since it was first climbed by Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay Sherpa in 1953. Nearly 250 people have died on the mountain.

    Nepal is home to eight of the world's 14 highest peaks.

    Everest is on the border between Nepal and the Chinese region of Tibet and can be climbed from both sides.

    The climbing season usually ends in late May when rainy season wind and cloud pushes up from the south to cloak the Himalayas.

    Follow us on Twitter @
  • Looking forward to start of tournament in Shamkir '" Magnus Carlsen
    18.04.2014 13:03
    World chess champion Magnus Carlsen has shared his opinion on an upcoming tournament dedicated to Vugar Hashimovв's memory in Shamkir city of Azrebaijan.

    "I have tripped to Azerbaijan with a great pleasure," quotes Carlsen as saying. "I am looking forward to a start of the tournament in Shamkir.

    The result of this tournament is very important. I want to win. I understand that my colleagues also want to perform successfully. I have a respect for all my rivals. Of course, I will play to win" said Carlsen said.

    "Vugar Hashimov was a prominent chess player around the world. He played superbly. I am very sorry that he is now not with us now. I was very sad when I heard about his death."

  • Georgia can apply for EU membership if it complies with democratic principles
    18.04.2014 13:03
    Tbilisi, Georgia, April 18

    By Nana Kirtzkhalia - Trend:

    Eastern Partnership countries have a European perspective and can apply for EU membership in case of compliance with the principles of democracy.

    "The European Parliament stresses that the association agreements with Ukraine and other countries of the Eastern Partnership are not the end point in relations with the EU," according to the European Parliament's resolution recently passed in Brussels. "The European Parliament also stressed that in accordance with Article 49 of the Treaty on European Union, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine, as well as any other European country, have a European perspective and can apply for EU membership in compliance with the principles of democracy, respect for fundamental freedoms and human rights, minority rights and ensuring the rule of rights."

    This session is the last one before the elections to the European Parliament, scheduled for May 23-25.

    translated by NH

    edited by CN

    Follow us on Twitter @
  • Nakhchivan Open-2014 chess tournament money prize amounts to $10,000
    18.04.2014 12:59
    The International Chess Festival Nakhchivan Open 2014 commemorating Azerbaijani national leader Heydar Aliyev will have a total money prize of $10,000.

    Organized by the Azerbaijan Youth and Sport Ministry, Azerbaijan Chess Federation and Nakhchivan Chess Federation, the tournament will take place from May 3-12 at the Nakhchivan Chess Center.

    The Swiss-system tournament will bring together a total of 101 chess players from Azerbaijan, India, Georgia, Latvia, Iran, Russia, Afghanistan and Ukraine.

    The Nakhchivan Open-2014 will also feature a tournament for U12 juniors.
Exchange Rates of Central Bank