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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.

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    This information was provided to "ICTnews" online news service by the Ministry of Youth and Sports. According to the ministry, representatives from the Ministries of Youth and Sports, Economic Development, Education, Culture and Tourism, Labor and Social Protection of Population, Defense, Communications and Information Technologies, National Academy of Sciences, Youth Fund under the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan, "Irali" Public Union, Azerbaijan's National Council of Youth Organization, Azerbaijan Student Youth Organizations' Union and other youth organizations will take part in the training.
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    The President of Azerbaijan indicated that bilateral relations between the Republic of Azerbaijan and the Republic of Austria were developing successfully in all fields. Recalling with satisfaction the visit of Austrian President Heinz Fischer to Azerbaijan and the discussions held during the visit, President Ilham Aliyev noted the high level of mutual interest in further expansion of cooperation between our countries.

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    The President expressed his gratitude for the greetings from President Heinz Fischer and asked the guest to communicate his greetings to the President of Austria.
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    01.08.2014 00:24
    Within the framework of "Azerbaijan youth in 2011-2015" State Program 65,000 students have been provided with student discount cards. The young people owning these cards are able to make purchases at different entertainment centers and computer shops with 5-50 percent discounts.

    In his interview to "ICTnews" online news service the chairman of the Azerbaijan Student Youth Organizations' Union Shahin Ismayilov said that along with discount cards the students were provided with the single catalog of facilities where student cards can be used. In addition to that, "187" telephone hot line was created in order to obtain additional information and solve various problems regarding the use of cards. Note that following the Azerbaijan Student Youth Organizations' Union's proposal, the "Azerbaijan Student Card" project was included in the State Youth Program.

    The project is now being jointly implemented by the Azerbaijan Student Youth Organizations' Union, the Ministry of Youth and Sports, the Ministry of Education and the "Khazar" Investment Centre.
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    01.08.2014 00:23
    As a result of mass registration of acts of marital status in Azerbaijan, some 350,000 operations have been registered at notary publics. Over 168,000 births were electronically registered in the country through the information system insuring data exchange between the Ministries of Health and Justice.

    This information was provided to "ICTnews" online news service by the Ministry of Justice.

    According to the ministry, appropriate measures are now being implemented in the Republic towards improving the quality of services rendered to the population by various legal institutions and the state register. Positive results have already been achieved upon introducing information and communication technologies in this area.
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    "The country is developing. The development is very rapid and, of course, we want to present ourselves broadly to the international business community, particularly to those who are not still working in Azerbaijan", President Aliyev said.

    He also noted that Azerbaijan opened our doors wide and invites friends and partners to work in Azerbaijan, to invest.

    As for whether Davos is considered an ideal place for the familiarization of foreign businessmen with the country, President Ilham Aliyev noted that it is true.

    "Of course, it is the best place to do it. Here is the elite of international business, politicians. Representatives and leaders of major international companies are here. Therefore, this is the best place to present your country", Ilham Aliyev said.

    In his next question, Richard Quest noted that the issue of Azerbaijan's relationship with BP has been broadly discussed in media.

    "Mr.President, is it possible that BP, which is by the way closely connected with Russian Rosneft is being used to insert pressure on Azerbaijan? Are you not concerned that BP can be used by Russians for the interference?", Quest asked.

    "First of all, of course, we are not concerned. First of all, BP is a company which has been present in Azerbaijan almost since the very beginning of our independence, since 1994. It is a history of relationship for almost 20 years. And very friendly relationship. Partnership relationship. And also the relationship which will continue for 20 years more because the projects which we are now implementing jointly with BP aimed at the future. Therefore, I am not concerned about any other issues which BP pursues with other partners", Ilham Aliyev said.

    As for the main objective of the Azerbaijani delegation in Davos and whether the global crisis affected our country, President Aliyev said that Azerbaijan's economy is very stable and it managed to develop even in the years of economic crisis.

    "Azerbaijan's economy is one of the fastest growing economies of the world. We managed to triple our GDP in less that ten years of more than 300% growth. And now the economy is more diversified and it is not only energy so my main aim now is to attract investment in nonenergy sector of Azerbaijan particularly in hi-tech, IT, and services", the president of Azerbaijan.

    As for the traditional question from Quest about whether the economic situation is more stable in US or EU, Ilham Aliyev said he considers that the United States are more stable.

    "From economic point of view, I think the US is now much stable than EU. EU still has problems, still there are countries which big European countries have to take care of, have to you know provide some financial assistance. It is not easy, it creates some, you know, irritation even in those countries which are being supported. Therefore, taking that into account I would say that US looks much stable from economic and political point of view", the head of the state said.

    The 43rd annual session of the World Economic Forum opens in Davos.

    A luxurious ski resort is to host some 2,500 delegates from more than 100 countries including the presidents and heads of governments of nearly 50 countries from 23 until 27 January.

    Azerbaijan is represented by President Ilham Aliyev and a large governmental delegation. As part of the forum it is planned to hold a reception by the State Oil Company of Azerbaijan.

    The topic of the forum lsquo;Flexible dynamism' reflects the understands that it will be impossible to restore the pre-crisis economic growth rates and the world leaders of politics and business will have to search new sources of growth.

    "To be flexible means to be able to adapt to changing conditions, resist unexpected shocks and recover after them while pursuing critically important development goals", said the founder of the forum Claus Schwab speaking at a news conference in anticipation of the summit in Davos (Interfax).

    The forum participants will continue to analyze the lessons of lsquo;Arab spring' which coincided with the Davos summit of 2011.

    Davos will traditionally host the leaders of all leading interstate organizations including UN, IMF, EBRD, WTO and others.

    The United States is one of the few leading states that reduced the level of representation in Davos compared to 2012. This time the country will be represented by Deputy Secretary of State for Economy, Energy and Agriculture Robert Hormats.
  • Assad vows persistent fight against "terrorism" in Syria
    31.07.2014 23:26
    Syrian President Bashar al-Assad said Thursday that his administration's war against terrorism is a "battle of existence," according to the state news agency SANA.

    Assad made the remarks in a speech marking the 69th anniversary of the Syrian army, during which Assad stressed that there would be no leniency in fighting terrorism. "Today we are more determined to stand in the face of the terrorist and colonial schemes of sedition and defragmentation that target Syria and the entire region," Assad said.

    The president stressed that "we reject bargaining on our causes or compromising our rights. We will not deviate from our principles and we will hold fast to our approach."

    He said there would be no wavering in "defending the homeland despite the woes and the hardships and conspiracies would make us stronger."

    Assad's remarks come at a time when his troops are deadlocked in battles against the so-called Islamic State militant group and other hard-liner groups across Syria.

    The Islamic State (IS), an al-Qaida-breakaway group, has been advancing recently in eastern and northern Syria, as other rebel groups are fighting the government troops to keep their positions in the eastern and northern countryside of Damascus.

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  • Israel says ready for 'serious' Gaza ceasefire proposal
    31.07.2014 22:22
    Israeli Science Minister Yaakov Peri said Thursday that his government would accept any "serious" proposal for a ceasefire in the Gaza Strip, SIA reports with reference to AA.

    Speaking to the Israeli Radio, Peri, a former chief of Israel's internal security agency (Shin Bet), said the security cabinet is likely to vote in favor of any "serious" proposal for ceasefire with Gaza-based Palestinian groups.

    He went on to say that time is ripe for a political solution to the Gaza situation to build up on the "several achievements" made by the Israeli army in its ongoing military offensive in the Palestinian enclave.

    Israel has been pounding the besieged Gaza Strip since July 7 with the ostensible aim of halting rocket fire from the region.

    At least 1363 Palestinians have been killed and over 7000 others injured in the unrelenting Israeli aerial, naval and ground attacks.

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    Gaza-based resistance factions, meanwhile, have continued to fire rocket at Israeli cities in response to the ongoing military offensive.

    According to official Israeli figures, 53 Israeli soldiers and three civilians have been killed since the hostilities began.

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    31.07.2014 22:08
    Azerbaijan Golf Challenge Open has started in Guba, Azerbaijan, marking the first time when the European Challenge Tour travels to the country.

    President of Azerbaijan Golf Federation, Anar Mammadov, who opened the tournament by making the first strike on the ball, told the opening ceremony that Challenge Tour was held in 42 countries annually. He said that henceforth the tournament would also be organized in Azerbaijan every year.

    The world`s most talented young golfers, 156 from 72 countries, will compete in the four-day 18-hole tournament, which takes place at National Azerbaijan Golf Club. Built as the headquarters for the Azerbaijan Golf Federation, the 7,011 yard layout takes advantage of the rugged, natural terrain, and boasts breath-taking views of the nearby hills and mountains due to numerous natural changes in elevation.

    The decision to host this week's tournament in Azerbaijan forms part of the country's strategy to stage and promote international sporting events.

    Next year Baku will stage the inaugural European Games, which will be the largest multi-sport event ever held in Azerbaijan, and the following year the country will also join the Formula One Grand Prix circuit for the first time.
  • Nadal a doubt for U.S. Open
    31.07.2014 21:51
    Rafael Nadal's hopes of successfully defending his U.S. Open title have been dealt a serious blow after the Spaniard revealed he has sustained a wrist injury during a practice session.

    The world No. 2 says he will be out of competitive action for "at least two-three weeks," ruling him out of the upcoming ATP Tour 1000 events in Toronto and Cincinnati and possibly out of this season's final grand slam tournament which starts on August 25.

    Nadal won both Masters events last season before beating Novak Djokovic in the final at Flushing Meadows in New York.

    In a statement released by organizers of Toronto's Rogers Cup, Nadal expressed his dismay at missing out this year.

    "I'm extremely disappointed that I am unable to defend my Rogers Cup title this year," said Nadal, who beat home favorite Milos Raonic in last year's final.

    "I was looking forward to coming there and playing again in Toronto as I have always loved to play in Canada and had great results in the past at a very important event.

    "Unfortunately I injured myself yesterday (Tuesday) during practice and after checking with my doctors I will have to stay out of competition for at least two-three weeks. I am sorry to the tournament and to all of the fans."

    The 28-year-old last missed the U.S. Open in 2012 when a knee injury forced him out of action for seven months in total. Nadal has endured fluctuating fortunes on court this year winning four tournaments so far including the French Open in June.

    His four-set win over Novak Djokovic clinched a ninth title at Roland Garros, but this was tempered by disappointments at Melbourne Park and Wimbledon.
  • IranЛ€s top nuclear negotiator denies any deal on Arak, Fordu nuclear sites
    31.07.2014 21:51
    IranЛ€s top nuclear negotiator Abbas Araqchi on Thursday denied any deal between Iran and G5 1 on Arak and Fordu nuclear sites, IRNA reported.

    AraqchiЛ€s denial came in response to the allegations made by US Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Wendy Sherman in the US Congress and underlined that principally there is no agreement on such issues with any party.

    Speaking to IRNA, he said our differences on Arak and Fordu have not been resolved yet.

    The only criterion for the Islamic Republic of Iran is the countryЛ€s needs and any decisions in negotiations will be made based on such needs, he said.

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  • Johannesburg Philharmonic Orchestra violinist hails '˜beautyв' of Gabala
    31.07.2014 21:37
    "I am impressed by the beauty of Gabala. I would like to visit this marvelous place once again," member of Johannesburg Philharmonic Orchestra, violinist Daline Wilson has told AzerTAc`s correspondent.

    "I earlier heard about the Gabala International Music Festival," she said, thanking the organizers for "the grandiose show".

    Wilson said the festival was a brilliant opportunity for the participants and visitors to familiarize themselves with Azerbaijan and build contacts with local musicians.

    "Azerbaijan has its own traditional classical music. I think that interest will grow in Azerbaijani composers who earned recognition in Europe and other parts of the world."
  • Turkish newspaper highlights victory of Azerbaijani FC Qarabag in UEFA Champions League qualifier
    31.07.2014 21:22
    Turkish newspaper Cumhuriyet has praised yesterday`s win by Azerbaijani FC Qarabag over Austrian Salzburg in the first game of the two-legged third qualifying round encounter in the UEFA Champions League.

    Headlined Historic triumph from Qarabag, the article says it is for the first time when an Azerbaijani club celebrates its victory in the third qualifying round of the UEFA Champions League.

    The article says the club holds its home games in Baku since Azerbaijan`s Aghdam region has been under Armenian occupation for more than 20 years.
  • Macedonian President receives Executive Director of Nizami Ganjavi International Center
    31.07.2014 21:08
    President of Macedonia Gjorge Ivanov has received Executive Director of the Nizami Ganjavi International Center Rovshan Muradov.

    Muradov informed the Macedonian leader on the results of the 2nd Shared Societies Forum co-organized by the Nizami Ganjavi International Center and Club de Madrid in Baku. He also highlighted the organization`s future plans.

    Ivanov stressed the importance of the meetings organized by the Nizami Ganjavi International Center in terms of removing negative stereotypes, and combating poverty and discrimination in the world.

    They also discussed the issues over the 3rd Shared Societies Forum to be held in 2015. The Romanian President accepted the invitation to attend the Forum, and thanked Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev for supporting the initiative.

    During the meeting, they agreed the signing of a cooperation agreement between the Nizami Ganjavi International Center and the School for Young Leaders, an initiative by the Macedonian President.
  • Kerry says 'no promise' of cease-fire in the Gaza Strip
    31.07.2014 20:46
    Secretary of State John Kerry said Thursday there is "no promise" of a negotiated cease-fire between Israel and militants in the Gaza Strip, but he said the U.S. remains hopeful, AP reported.

    Kerry told reporters in the India capital Thursday that the sooner a cease-fire happens, the better.

    "We've never stopped working toward the notion that a cease-fire at some point is essential," Kerry said. "Yes, the United States remains hopeful that it is achievable. And sooner is better, because of the needs to get to the table and begin negotiations that could ultimately, hopefully resolve issues.

    "There's no promise in that - I want to make that clear - no promise in that," he said. "But I think everybody would feel better if there was a bona fide effort to try to see that out."

    The violence is now in its fourth week and has killed over a thousand Palestinians living in Gaza and several dozen Israeli troops fighting there.

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  • Georgian PM observes military exercises
    31.07.2014 20:41
    Tbilisi, Georgia, July 31

    By Nana Kirtzkhalia - Trend:

    "Vaziani 2014" exercises were held at the Vaziani landfill. Georgian Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili, Defense Minister Irakli Alasania, head of the General Staff, Major-General Vakhtang Kapanadze, State Minister for European Integration Alexi Petriashvili and members of the "Society of Army Friends" observed the exercises.

    Colonel Alexander Kiknadze was in command of the tactical exercises.

    The observers appreciated the exercises.

    "We are very satisfied," Garibashvili added. "This is very impressive. The soldiers are well-trained. They coped with the task and neutralized the enemy. I am and the government are proud of the soldiers. We are proud that the soldiers are motivated and mobilized."

    "The exercises were held at a high level," he added.

    "It is important that the exercises included all components," Alasania added.

    The Marneuli aviation brigade, personnel of the 42nd battalion of the fourth mechanized brigade and a medical group, one group of special forces, artillery and tank units were involved in these exercises.

    MILES laser systems were used during the exercises.

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  • Human right activist carry out activity contrary to Azerbaijanв's national interests
    31.07.2014 20:26 Zeyni_020410.jpg Zeyni_020410.jpg
    Baku, Azerbaijan, July 31

    By Elchin Mehdiyev - Trend:

    While carrying out activity contrary to the national interests of Azerbaijan, Leyla Yunusova created a false world public opinion about the country, president of the National NGO Forum Rauf Zeyni told Trend on July 31.

    He was commenting on the arrest of the director of the Institute for Peace and Democracy, human rights activist Leyla Yunusova.

    Zeyni stressed that the head of each organization, each non-governmental organization and in general each person is responsible for their own actions.

    "Leyla Yunusova and her entourage conveyed biased information to the world public, introduced the people to the world community whose crimes were proven, as political prisoners, disseminated false information about Azerbaijan, cooperated with the Armenians," he added.

    "All except Armenians, Leyla Yunusova and her entourage supported holding "Eurovision" song contest in Azerbaijan," he said.

    "Leyla Yunusova and her entourage gained support of some international organizations, which even began to believe that Azerbaijan really has such a situation as Leyla Yunusova says," he added.

    "I believe that law enforcement bodies are investigating these issues objectively," he said.

    "The Azerbaijani government has created all the conditions for conducting independent investigation," he said. "These conditions were created for the world public to know the truth. Leyla Yunusova's activity will be assessed under the law."

    Leyla Yunusova was accused under articles 274, 178.3.2, 192.2.2, 213.2.2, 320.1 and 320.2, Arif Yunusov - under Articles 274 and 178.3.2 of the Criminal Code, according to the report.

    In a joint statement of the Prosecutor General's Office and the Ministry of National Security, defendants Leyla Yunusova and Arif Yunusov's rights for legal aid, lawyer's services, envisaged by the criminal procedural legislation were ensured. Their rights will be protected by their own lawyers.

    A criminal procedure law was not violated during the investigation, the report underlines.

    Taking into account the fact that Leyla Yunusova tried to leave the country, not to testify without a valid reason and illegally pressured Matanat Azizova and others questioned as witnesses in the case, a preventive measure in the form of arrest was chosen for Leyla Yunusova upon a decision of the Nasimi district court. Taking into account Arif Yunusov's health, a preventive measure in the form of law enforcement surveillance was chosen for him.

    Human rights activist Leyla Yunusova and her husband Arif Yunusov were arrested by law enforcement bodies of Azerbaijan on Wednesday.

    Human rights activist Leyla Yunusova and her husband Arif Yunusov were repeatedly summoned as witnesses to testify in a criminal case, considered in the Heinous Crime Investigation Department of the Prosecutor General's Office of Azerbaijan. But they deliberately did not appear to testify, the Prosecutor General's Office reported earlier.

    Leyla Yunusova with her husband Arif Yunusov intended to leave the country on April 28, trying to evade investigation. This attempt was prevented.

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  • President orders extra measures over construction of highway in Jalilabad District
    31.07.2014 20:23
    President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev has signed an Order on extra measures related to the construction of the Alar-Tezekend-Uctepe-Aligasimli-Ceferkhanli highway in Jalilabad District.

    Under the presidential order, AZN 7 million was allocated to the Jalilabad District Executive Authorities from the state budget of Azerbaijan for 2014.

    The highway links six residential areas with the total population of 23,000 people.
  • US to send 5,000 more Hellfire missiles to Iraq
    31.07.2014 20:17
    As violence continues unabated in Iraq, the United States has agreed to sell $700 million in military aid, including 5,000 Hellfire missiles.

    The Iraqi government made the request for the missiles, which are primarily fired from helicopters, according to the Defense Security Cooperation Agency.

    The United States has already been providing Iraq with Hellfires. Since January, 780 were delivered, according to Pentagon spokesman Rear Adm. John Kirby. The United States expects to ship another 366 in August.

    Kirby said the additional 5,000 missiles would likely be shipped in batches, but he had no details on a delivery schedule.

    Congress, which has the authority to block it, was notified of the potential new sale on Monday. The State Department has approved the proposal.

    Iraq's government has been waging war with militants from the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, or ISIS. The terrorist group has taken over several cities. It is seeking to create an Islamic caliphate that encompasses parts of Iraq and Syria and has begun imposing Sharia law in the towns it controls.

    Police officials in Baghdad told CNN two car bombs exploded in two Shiite neighborhoods on Wednesday.

    At least seven people were killed and 25 were wounded when one bomb exploded near a gas station in Sadr district in eastern Baghdad.

    About 30 minutes later, another explosion near a busy outdoor market in al Ameen neighborhood in southern Baghdad killed five people and wounded 35 others.
  • Armenian population continues decline
    31.07.2014 20:16
    Armenia's population decreased by 7,300 people as of July 1, 2014 compared to early 2014, News-Armenia reported with reference to the Armenian National Statistics Service.

    As of July 1, 2014, the number of people constantly living in the country on the basis of population census of 2011 was 3,009,800, of which 1,911,900 live in cities, 1,097,900 in rural areas.

    The gross external passenger turnover through the checkpoints of the republic amounted to 2,242,300 trips in January-June compared to 1,938,900 trips during the same period of 2013, according to the statement.

    Some 1,078,202 people entered the country (a 16.9 percent growth for the same period of 2013), while 1,164,071 people (a 14.5 percent growth) left the country for this period.

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  • Depression Is a risk factor for dementia
    31.07.2014 19:26
    The link between depression and dementia is puzzling for researchers. Many studies have noticed a correlation between the two diseases and a 2013 review of 23 studies of about 50,000 older men and women reported that older adults suffering from depression were more than twice as likely to develop dementia and 65% more likely to develop Alzheimer's. But these have often only been associations. The newest study, published Wednesday in the journal Neurology, takes it further. The researchers believe that their findings, while not definitive, show that depression is in fact an independent risk factor for dementia '" and not the other way around.

    Researchers looked at 1,764 people with no memory problems around age 77 and followed them for about eight years. They discovered that people with mild cognitive decline as well as people with dementia were likely to have higher levels of depression symptoms before they were diagnosed, and that having these symptoms was associated with a greater decline in memory. Depression symptoms, the researchers estimated, accounted for 4.4% of the difference in memory decline that could not be caused by brain damage.

    The reasons for the link between the two diseases are more unclear. Some research suggests that people with depression may have high levels of hormones that interfere with the region of the brain responsible for learning and memory aptitude. Gary Kaplan, an osteopath who runs the Kaplan Center for Integrative Medicine, as well as a handful of other researchers, has another theory: that inflammation caused by hyperreactivity of immune cells can hinder blood flow to '" and impact neural pathways in '" the brain.
  • FILA hails Baku-hosted Final Golden Grand Prix
    31.07.2014 19:03
    The International Wrestling Federation (FILA) has praised the organization of the Final Golden Grand Prix wrestling tournament in Baku.

    In a letter sent to Azerbaijan`s Wrestling Federation, FILA President Nenad Lalovich, who visited Baku for the tournament, said "I was impressed by the excellent organization of the Grand Prix".

    Lalovich hailed the performance of Azerbaijani wrestlers, saying he was delighted by their results.

    The FILA chief also thanked president of the Azerbaijani Wrestling Federation Fazil Mammadov for the attention and high hospitality shown during the tournament.

    The Final Golden Grand Prix, hosted by the Azerbaijani capital from July 25-27, commemorated national leader Heydar Aliyev.

    It involved nearly 400 wrestlers from 35 countries.
  • 40% of Armenia's population is potential migrants, expert says
    31.07.2014 18:56
    Some 750,000 inhabitants will remain in Armenia at the end of the century, according to the UN humanitarian fund. The percentage of Armenians among these inhabitants is unknown, sociologist Aharon Aghabekian told media at a meeting on July 31, website reported.

    He was presenting the poll results on "Geography of migration".

    "Kotayk region ranks first on the number of potential migrants," he said. "The reason is that Kotayk is an urbanized area. Earlier, there were dozens of plants. At present, they do not work. This is not a very favorable region in terms of agriculture. There is the only hope for migration."

    "The residents of Vayots Dzor, Armavir and Aragatsotn want to leave Armenia," he said.

    "Some 40 percent of Armenia's population is potential migrants," the sociologist added.

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  • Azerbaijan to vie for medals at Tromso2014 Chess Olympiad
    31.07.2014 18:54
    Azerbaijan will compete in the Tromso 2014 Chess Olympiad, which kicks off in Norway Friday.

    The Azerbaijani men`s squad includes grandmasters Shahriyar Mammadyarov, Teymur Rajabov, Eltaj Safarli, Gadir Huseynov and Rauf Mammadov.

    In the women`s event, Azerbaijan`s hopes will be pinned on Zeynab and Turkan Mammadyarovas, Gulnar Mammadova, Khayala Abdulla and Sabina Ibrahimova.

    The Tromso 2014 Chess Olympiad will bring together 178 men and 139 women teams, including 385 grandmasters.

    A day of Azerbaijan will be arranged in Tromso as part of the tournament featuring the presentation of Baku as the capital of the World Chess Olympiad 2016.
  • Winner of Vugar Hashimov Memorial to be defined in August
    31.07.2014 18:53
    The winner of the international tournament devoted to Azerbaijan's late grandmaster Vugar Hashimov will be defined on August 1 in Baku.

    Azerbaijan`s Ravan Aliyev is leading in the tournament with 6.5 points.

    The memorial tournament for children under 12 that gathered about 96 chess players from Azerbaijan, Russia, France, Georgia, Turkey, Iran and other countries will come to an end on August 2.

    The winner of the tournament will be awarded with Vugar Hashimov's Cup and would have the opportunity to participate in the European Youth Chess Championship to be held in Batumi on October 18-29.

    The silver medalist will be invited to Baku Open tournament and the holder of the third place would take part in Nakhchivan Open tournament.

    This tournament is the second competition devoted to the prominent Azerbaijani grandmaster and European Champion of 2009 Vugar Hashimov, who was known as a strong player in blitz.
  • Deputy Chairman of YAP`s Youth Union to attend meeting of DEMYC Board of Directors and international conference
    31.07.2014 18:53
    Deputy Chairman of the New Azerbaijan Party`s Youth Union, member of the party's Political Council Ramin Mammadov will attend a meeting of the Board of Directors of the Democrat Youth Community of Europe (DEMYC) and an international conference to be held in Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina respectively.
  • Salaries and pensions to increase by 12 percent in Uzbekistan
    31.07.2014 18:46
    Tashkent, Uzbekistan, July 31

    By Demir Azizov- Trend:

    The salaries of state servants, pensions and social benefits, scholarships will be increased by an average of 12 percent in Uzbekistan from September 1 in accordance with President Karimov's decree dated on July 31.

    The minimum salary will be 107,635 soums per month, the minimum old-age pension and allowances to those disabled from childhood - 210,525 soums, benefits to elderly and disabled citizens without the required work experience - 129,180 soums per month from September 1, according to the presidential decree.

    All kinds of allowances and bonuses to salaries and pensions, compensation and other payments are carried out from September 1, 2014 depending on a minimum salary set by decree.

    The costs, associated with an increase in salaries of state servants, pensions, allowances and scholarships, are made through the state budget of the country and off-budget Pension Fund under the Ministry of Finance.

    The self-supporting associations, enterprises and organizations will increase salaries in line with the minimum salary by increasing production efficiency and reducing labor costs.

    The minimum salary has been previously increased by 5 percent in Uzbekistan since December 15, 2013. Then the minimum salary was set at 96,105 soums per month, the minimum old-age pension and allowances to those disabled from childhood - 187,970 soums, benefits to elderly and disabled citizens without the required work experience - 115,340 soums per month.

    The official exchange rate is 2332.24 soums/$1 on July 31.

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  • Azerbaijan`s Kovsarbank launches capitalization activity
    31.07.2014 18:33
    Baku, Azerbaijan, July 31

    By Ilaha Mammadli - Trend:

    The State Committee for Securities registered the issue of "Kovsarbank" JSC shares in the total amount of 38 million AZN.

    Some 190,000 shares at par value of 200 AZN were issued within the framework of emission, according to the state committee. The placement will be conducted by the method of mass sale.

    The placement of emission will increase the bank's capital up to the minimum requirements of the Central Bank of Azerbaijan to total capital in the amount of 50 million AZN.

    The license of Kovsarbank JSC was restored in early April. The bank's license was liquidated in late 2010 regarding non-compliance with the CBA requirement on minimum total capital, violation of the requirements of banking legislation, including non-observance of the management's activity in a safe and prudential manner.

    The license of this bank has been revoked twice. First, in 2001, due to a mismatch with prudential norms CBA License of Kovsar Bank has been revoked, however, through the courts the bank reached recovery.

    Kovsar Bank JSC was founded in 1989 as Universal Bank. Kovsar Bank operates in accordance with Islamic banking principles.

    Official exchange rate on July 31 is 0.7842 AZN / USD.

    Edited by CN

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  • Assets of Azerbaijani AtaInsurance company amount to almost $32 million
    31.07.2014 18:26
    Baku, Azerbaijan, July 31


    AtaInsurance OJSC announced its financial results for the first 6 months of 2014.

    The premiums collected within 6 months of the current year totaled to 4.72 million AZN, according to the bank's information.

    During the corresponding period of the year insurance payments equaled to 1.59 million AZN.

    The authorized capital is 10 million AZN in the current year, while the total amount of the assets is about 25 million AZN. The balance profit of AtaInsurance was 1.04 million AZN during the 6 month of 2014.

    Ata Insurance company being Ata Holding Group of companies subsidiary has been operating in the insurance business since 2004. The company offers 22 voluntary and 4 mandatory types of insurance. Company is the founder and participant of the Compulsory Insurance Bureau. AtaInsurance OJSC has 6 branches and 6 representative offices.

    The official exchange rate on July 31 is 0.7842 AZN / USD.

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  • Baku 2015 European Games signs McDonaldв's as Official Supporter
    31.07.2014 18:22
    Baku 2015 European Games Operation Committee is today proud to announce McDonaldв's as an Official Supporter of next yearв's historic sporting event.

    The partnership will see co-branding within McDonald's restaurants and marketing campaigns tailored to deliver messages about the inaugural European Games throughout Baku and the whole of Azerbaijan.

    In addition, McDonald's will promote the European Games across Azerbaijan through in-store messaging, Games-related competitions, and a specially designed Baku 2015 European Games variety menu.

    Mr Simon Clegg, Chief Operating Officer at Baku 2015, said: "The McDonald's brand is synonymous with major international sporting events around the world and I am delighted that we have signed them as an Official Supporter of the first ever European Games.

    "This agreement will further increase Baku 2015's visibility across Azerbaijan and I am sure it will generate greater interest in what will be an historic and memorable celebration of sport in Baku next summer."

    The in-store marketing campaigns in all of the McDonald's restaurants in Azerbaijan will reach out to approximately 750,000 customers per month.

    Mr Maqsud Mirzayev, Managing Director of McDonald's Azerbaijan, said: "It is a real honour for McDonald's to be supporting such an important event for Azerbaijan.

    "We will ensure that we put all our efforts and experience into producing imaginative marketing strategies which will make the Games even more unforgettable and popular among customers visiting our stores."

    Mr Charlie Wijeratna, Commercial Director at Baku 2015, added: "Given the strong reputation which McDonald's has it is fantastic to be able to rely on their support, which adds further credibility to our Baku 2015 brand."

    McDonald's has been a TOP Olympic sponsor of every Olympic and Olympic Winter Games since 1976, and extended its sponsorship in 2012 for a further eight years. It also has experience and proven capability of sponsoring other major international sporting events such as the FIFA World Cup.
  • Floods submerge south Romania
    31.07.2014 18:21
    Authorities in Romania said a second person has drowned after rivers burst their banks and the flooding has also damaged around 2,200 houses in the south of the country.

    Forecasters issued a severe weather warning Thursday for parts of southern Romania, which has been worst hit by the floods this week.

    About 300 people were stranded by floods in a village near the Gilrot River, which bursts its banks. Authorities said a man was found dead several kilometers from his home, the second person to drown. Around 1,200 people have been evacuated, and among the damaged homes, 99 of them are completely destroyed.

    Environment and Climate Change Minister Attila Korodi said he would investigate whether excessive cutting of forests had caused the floods.
  • Ali Abbasov: Nuclear power plant may be constructed in Azerbaijan
    31.07.2014 18:20
    "Azerbaijan has a lot of radioactive ores."

    There are plans to start preparing the State's nuclear program for peaceful purposes.

    Oxu.Az reports referring to Marja that the statement came from the Minister of Communications and High Technology Ali Abbasov speaking at the board meeting held at the Ministry of Communications and high technology in the first half of 2014.

    "This is a program used for peaceful purposes. The construction of a nuclear research reactor is envisaged here, it is used in medicine, the field of agriculture, etc. Also there are many radioactive ores in Azerbaijan. In the future, if necessary, we will carry out works on construction of nuclear power plant " said minister.

    "National Center for Nuclear Research" JSC was created by order of the President of Azerbaijan.
  • Azerbaijanв's oil funds turning into Chinese Yuan
    31.07.2014 18:18
    By AzerNews

    Azerbaijan's state oil fund SOFAZ which is in charge of accumulating and managing the country's oil and gas revenues have taken some measures to include Yuan in its currency portfolio.

    SOFAZ Deputy Executive Director Israfil Mammadov said the fund has appealed to the People's Bank of China to obtain quotes on indirect investment in the Chinese yuan onshore market with a view to diversify its investment portfolio.

    The fund, established in 1999 aimed at transforming rising hydrocarbon reserves into financial assets, started investing in new asset classes such as equities, real estate, and gold, as well as diversifying its currency portfolio toward the Turkish lira, Russian ruble, and Australian dollar, from 2012.

    "We intend to invest gradually, initially through the Chinese government securities. We will consider other investment tools available on the Chinese financial markets with the growth of our experiences," Mammadov told local media.

    Mammadov further said the decision was made ??after a careful analysis of the fund's portfolio with a view to use the opportunities available in the Chinese markets.

    "SOFAZ is in talks with the Chinese authorities. The approved quota will be announced after the two institutions sign an agreement, " he said.

    Currently, the currency structure of the SOFAZ investment portfolio is as follows: 51.7 percent of its total investment portfolio was concentrated in U.S. dollars (around $19.4 billion), 35.4 percent of its investment portfolio in euro (9.74 billion euro), 5.3 percent in British pounds (1.17 billion pounds), 1.2 percent in Turkish lira, 0.5 percent in Australian dollars, 1.3 percent in Russian rubles, and 1.2 percent in Korean Won.

    The remaining part of the portfolio (3.4 percent, or about $1.3 million) is concentrated in gold, which the fund began to purchase since the first quarter of 2012. The amount of the purchased gold stood at 30 tons 175 kg (970,146 ounces) as of July 1.

    According to SOFAZ's investment strategy, up to five percent of its investment portfolio may be placed in stocks, up to five percent in real estate and five percent in gold.

    The assets of SOFAZ, that hit $37.622 billion as of July 1 , 2014, are placed partly in securities, money market instruments (deposits, bank accounts).

    The map of the fund's assets is as follow: 55.18 percent of assets was invested in the European countries, 19.56 percent in North America, 12.33 percent in the Asia-Pacific region, 1.05 percent in the Middle East, 5.03 percent in South America, 6.84 percent in international financial institutions, and 0.01 percent in Africa.

    SOFAZ earlier announced that it analyzed opportunities for investment in East and Southeast Asia, conducted the necessary evaluations of investment prospects in the respective countries, and targeted the Asian market as the most promising destination for real estate investment.

    The main goals of SOFAZ include accumulation of resources and placement of the Fund's assets abroad in order to minimize the negative affects on economy, the prevention of 'Dutch disease' to some extent, promotion of resource accumulation for future generations and support of current social and economic processes in Azerbaijan.
  • Human right activistв's position against Azerbaijanв's national interests always obvious
    31.07.2014 18:11
    Baku, Azerbaijan, July 31

    By Elchin Mehdiyev - Trend:

    A preventive measure in the form of arrest for three months against Leyla Yunusova must be seen as a procedure that meets the requirements of the Criminal Procedure Code. This is necessary for investigation, Azerbaijani Deputy Speaker Bahar Muradova told Trend on July 31.

    Leyla Yunusova's position directed against the national interests of Azerbaijan, has always been evident," she added. "Everybody knows about this in Azerbaijan."

    "Those who engage in suspicious activity directed against the national interests of Azerbaijan must be held accountable before the law," she said. "Therefore, I normally treat the arrest of Leyla Yunusova."

    Muradova added that those who want to make a sensation out of this try to use this issue for their own political interests.

    "I understand the concern of heads of political parties, mistakenly defending Leyla Yunusova and some individuals who were with her in one team once," she said. "Apparently, they believe that the investigation can affect them. Their concern is connected with this."

    Leyla Yunusova was accused under articles 274, 178.3.2, 192.2.2, 213.2.2, 320.1 and 320.2, Arif Yunusov - under Articles 274 and 178.3.2 of the Criminal Code, according to the report.

    Taking into account the fact that Leyla Yunusova tried to leave the country, not to testify without a valid reason and illegally pressured Matanat Azizova and others questioned as witnesses in the case, a preventive measure in the form of arrest was chosen for Leyla Yunusova upon a decision of the Nasimi district court. Taking into account Arif Yunusov's health, a preventive measure in the form of law enforcement surveillance was chosen for him.

    In a joint statement of the Prosecutor General's Office and the Ministry of National Security, defendants Leyla Yunusova and Arif Yunusov's rights for legal aid, lawyer's services, envisaged by the criminal procedural legislation were ensured.

    A criminal procedure law was not violated during the investigation, the report underlines.

    The investigation is underway. All actions of Leyla Yunusova and Arif Yunusov will be legally assessed. The public will be informed about the results of the investigation.

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  • Did Zhou Yongkang murder his first wife?
    31.07.2014 18:11
    After blanket censorship is lifted, the Chinese media hints that one of the Communist party's highest ranking former officials may have murdered his first wife.

    Rumours have circulated for years about the life and lusts of 71-year-old Zhou Yongkang, a man who at his peak controlled China's police, intelligence networks and law courts, wielding a budget of ВЈ70 billion.

    But until he was put under investigation on Tuesday, even his name was censored on the Chinese internet, let alone the possibly murky details of his past.

    Now, however, the Chinese media has been unleashed. On Wednesday, Caixin, a magazine which has led the coverage of the Communist party's corruption scandals, published lengthy biographies of Zhou's family, including of his first wife, Wang Shuhua.

    Ms Wang, a "simple and unsophisticated" woman who met Zhou when they worked together in the 1970s on an oilfield in Liaohe, in Inner Mongolia, died in 2000 in a car crash, leaving Zhou free to remarry a glamorous television anchor 28 years his junior.
  • Fitzpatrick aims to embrace Challenge Tour opportunities
    31.07.2014 18:10
    Matthew Fitzpatrick will seek to enhance his burgeoning reputation at this weekв's Azerbaijan Golf Challenge Open with a hot performance in the 'Land of Fireв'.

    The Challenge Tour's maiden voyage to Azerbaijan is an entirely new experience even for the most seasoned of players; but for Fitzpatrick in particular everything feels fresh, having only made his debut on the developmental tour in last week's Le Vaudreuil Golf Challenge.

    That Fitzpatrick confessed to feeling mildly disappointed with a tied eighth finish in France, having at one point got into the lead on the final day, shows the levels of expectation he - and indeed other observers - have placed on his young shoulders.

    But as the 19 year old readily admitted, being able to cope in the white hot heat of battle down the stretch on a Sunday afternoon is one of the many lessons he is hoping to learn over the remainder of his debut professional campaign.

    "Last week was definitely a learning curve for me," said the Sheffield native.

    "I played really well for 63 holes, but unfortunately couldn't quite finish it off on the back nine on Sunday. Everyone says that's where the tournament is won or lost, and unfortunately it was the latter for me.

    "But I don't feel like I threw it away, it was more a case of Andrew [Johnston] playing very well to win. And I have to remind myself I'm still only 19, so I've still got so much to learn about myself and the game."

    Fitzpatrick will continue his education at The National Azerbaijan Golf Club, in Quba, where he will be joined by some familiar faces in the form of his former Walker Cup team-mates Callum Shinkwin, Garrick Porteous, Max Orrin and Nathan Kimsey.

    The firm greens and thick rough are set to test both the talent and temperament of the 156 players competing for the euro;300,000 prize fund, but Fitzpatrick's youthful exuberance shines though as he discusses the prospect of teeing up in an alien environment, where golf's profile is - at least at present - in its embryonic stages.

    "It's exciting to be able to come to places like Azerbaijan, because it's not the sort of place you'd necessarily expect to come and play golf. So we're very lucky to be doing what we do, visiting new places and experiencing new cultures. It's a different environment to what I've been used to, and you can only benefit from it.

    "The course is a very nice layout, and it's in good condition. The greens are very firm and the rough is extremely thick in places, so you probably won't have a shot in if you don't find the fairways. But it'll be a great experience to play on a different course and in different conditions, because that's the only way you're going to improve and become a more complete player."

    Fitzpatrick's chief aim in the remainder of the campaign is to emulate the achievements of a certain Rory McIlroy, who accrued enough winnings through his four sponsor's invitations in 2007 to earn a place on The European Tour the following term.

    But, as is befitting of a man who is yet to spend any of the euro;49,240 he has accrued in his four events since he relinquished his amateur status, Fitzpatrick's outlook remains refreshingly level-headed.

    He said: "The standard on the Challenge Tour is very high, but hopefully I can play well enough in the events I've got left this year to get a full card for next season, so that I can plan my schedule. I'd love to be playing on The European Tour next season, but that's obviously going to be very difficult and in some ways a full season on the Challenge Tour may be better for me in the long term.

    "I just need to get used to playing in professional tournaments because there is a big step up from the amateur game, and so the Challenge Tour is a great stepping stone in that respect. It's quite a ruthless world out here and a missed putt here or there can potentially end up costing you euro;1,000, which over the course of the season can really affect your potion in the rankings. So you've got to learn fast, but I'm confident enough in my abilities that I can adapt quickly."
  • Over 6,000 Turkish citizens to living in Azerbaijan to join Turkish presidential election
    31.07.2014 18:02
    The citizens of Turkey, living and temporarily residing in Azerbaijan, will be able to vote in the Turkish presidential election on August 3 at the country's embassy.

    The voting will last from 08:00 to 17:00 local time (GMT 5) on August 3, Turkish embassy in Azerbaijan told Trend on July 31.

    Only Turkish citizens who have been registered online on the website of the Central Election Commission (CEC) until July 9 will be able to vote in Turkey's presidential election, the embassy said.

    Some 6,305.out of 15,536 Turkish citizens living in Azerbaijan will be able to take part in the presidential election, according to the Turkish embassy.

    Around 5,611 of them will vote in Baku, 291 - in Nakhchivan and 403 - in Ganja.

    In the case of holding the second round of the presidential election, the voting in Azerbaijan will take place on August 17

    Besides Azerbaijan, the voting on August 3 will also take place in Albania, Bahrain, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Czech Republic, Finland, Georgia, Iran, Ireland, Spain, Kuwait, Egypt, Uzbekistan, Poland, Sudan, Tunisia, Ukraine, Oman, Jordan and New Zealand.

    The voting in the Turkish presidential election for the country's citizens living abroad started on July 31. Turkish citizens, living in Russia, Canada, Australia, Germany, U.S., Belgium, the Netherlands, France, Israel, Italy, Lebanon, Romania, Saudi Arabia and Turkmenistan, will be able to vote in the presidential election on July 31.

    A total of 2,790,408 Turkish citizens living in some 53 countries have the right to take part in the voting for the presidential election.

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

    As distinct from the previous presidential election, the Turkish president will be elected by the people, 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.

    Turkey's ruling Justice and Development Party nominated Prime Minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan's candidacy for the presidential election.

    Turkish oppositional Republican People's Party (CHP) nominated the former Secretary-General of the OIC Ihsanoglu as a candidate for the presidential elections on June 16.

  • Hezbollah commander killed
    31.07.2014 18:02
    Officials say a commander with the Lebanese militant group Hezbollah was killed in Iraq.

    The Lebanese officials, close to the Shiite Hezbollah, say Ibrahim Mohammed al-Hai was killed during the past week while on a "jihadi mission" without providing further details.

    It is the first known Hezbollah death in Iraq since Sunni extremists captured large parts of the country north and west of Baghdad in June.

    The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the matter.

    Iraqi officials have said that a handful of advisers from Hezbollah are offering front-line guidance to Iraqi Shiite militias fighting jihadi militants north of Baghdad.

    Hezbollah fighters openly joined Syrian President Bashar-Assad's forces last year in a decision that has fueled sectarian tensions in Lebanon.
  • Turkish opera singer to perform in Baku
    31.07.2014 17:53
    The Turkish well known opera singer Oya Ergun will perform at the Kapellhaus building of the German-Azerbaijan Cultural Association in Baku on August 2.

    Supported by the Turkish Embassy in Azerbaijan, the concert, "Evening of Baroque Arias", will be accompanied by renowned organist, Jamila Javadova-Spitzberg who lives in America.
  • EU concerned about criminal charges against former Georgian president
    31.07.2014 17:53
    Tbilisi, Georgia, July 31

    By Nana Kirtzkhalia - Trend:

    The European Union is concerned about the criminal charges against ex-Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili, according to the communiquГ© of the representatives of EU diplomacy head Catherine Ashton.

    "We are concerned to note that the Georgian prosecutor filed criminal charges against former President Saakashvili. Though no one is beyond the law, the prosecution in Georgia should be transparent, proportionate, free from political motives and in accordance with due process of law," communiquГ© said.

    As noted in the press release, the EU will closely monitor this issue and other trials against members of the former government and the current opposition in Georgia.

    "The EU reiterates that the EU association agreement with Georgia, which has been ratified by the Georgian Parliament only two weeks ago, imposes obligation on Georgia to adhere to common values, including respect for the rule of law and good governance," the communique said. The EU called on all politicians in Georgia "to leave behind past conflicts and focus on the future of the country."

    On July 29, Saakashvili was charged in absentia on the abuse of office in the case of dispersal of opposition's rally in November 2007, in the collapse of the "Imedi" TV and confiscation of property of TV company's founder Badri Patarkatsishvili.

    Edited by CN

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  • New EU sanctions against Russia to come into force tomorrow
    31.07.2014 17:51
    The European Union has prepared the third package of sanctions against sectors of the Russian economy.

    High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Catherine Ashton's spokesperson Maya Kosyanchich made the above statement during her briefing in Brussels, APA reports quoting UNIAN.

    Kosyanchich noted that the package of sanctions has already been ratified and will come into force on August 1.
  • Johnston hopes hot form continues in Azerbaijan
    31.07.2014 17:43
    New Challenge Tour Rankings leader Andrew 'Beef' Johnston has proved himself a lean, mean, money-making machine this season.

    The Englishman could complete a remarkable rise to The European Tour with victory at this week's Azerbaijan Golf Challenge Open.

    The 25 year old collected his second title of the year in some style in France last week and, with a euro;300,000 prize fund up for grabs in this week's inaugural Azerbaijan Golf Challenge Open, another strong showing in Quba would put further daylight between him and his closest rivals.

    Foremost in his mind, however, will be the opportunity of a third victory of the season in the Challenge Tour's first venture to the eastern European nation, which would earn him automatic promotion to The Race to Dubai.

    Johnston's stylish win at the Le Vaudreuil Golf Challenge, where he came from three shots back on the final day to prevail by four strokes courtesy of a closing round of 64, saw the affable Londoner become the first player to smash through the euro;100,000 barrier on the Challenge Tour this season.

    With two victories and a brace of top ten finishes in his last four appearances there is no doubting Johnston is in the form of his life, and his current purple patch has even surprised the man himself.

    Speaking after collecting his euro;32,000 winner's cheque, Johnston said: "You never think at the start of the season that you are going to end up with a European Tour card this early in the season. I knew the work I had done over the winter was really good, and I've stuck to my task every week and am now getting the rewards. I'm on a great run, and I don't want it to end."

    With euro;48,000 on offer to this week's winner, the rewards are certainly rich in Azerbaijan, where Johnston will face one of the strongest fields of the season.

    Two other players in the field join Johnston in the chase for that all-important third victory of the 2014 campaign, with German Moritz Lampert aiming to make a swift return to The European Tour, whilst South African Jake Roos also has a rookie season on the top tier in his sights.

    Eight of the top ten players in the Rankings will be in action at The National Azerbaijan Golf Club, with second placed Jordi Garcia Pinto of Spain and Germany's Florian Fritsch, currently in ninth, the only two players not teeing up.

    Korean Byeong-hun An, currently ranked sixth, will hope to continue his solid recent form, having finished in a tie for second place behind Johnston in France.

    That came after the former US Amateur Open champion - the youngest player to win the prestigious amateur event - earned a top 30 finish in The Open Championship at Royal Liverpool Golf Club.

    The National Azerbaijan Golf Club, which also serves as the headquarters for the recently-formed Azerbaijan Golf Federation, was the first and so far only 18-hole championship golf course to be built in Azerbaijan.

    With challenging changes of elevation which offer breath-taking views of the Caucasus Mountains, the 7,011 yards, par 72 course should prove a fitting venue for the Challenge Tour's first visit to the lsquo;Land of Fire'.
  • Russiaв's suspending free trade agreement with Georgia is not tragedy
    31.07.2014 17:36
    Tbilisi, Georgia, July 31

    By Nana Kirtzkhalia - Trend:

    Russia's suspending a free trade agreement is not a great tragedy, Georgian Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili told media on July 31. The consultations on this issue will be held.

    "We will conduct consultations," Garibashvili said. "I talked with special representative Zurab Abashidze yesterday. We will contact the Russian side. I think that we will reach an agreement. This is not a very big tragedy. We will discuss the issue and make comments later."

    Earlier, the Russian Ministry of Economy and Development worked out the government's draft decree on suspending the free trade agreement between Russia and Georgia. The relevant document is available on a single legal information portal, RIA Novosti reported.

    The suspension of the free trade agreement with Georgia was coordinated with Russian relevant ministries - the Foreign Ministry, the Ministry of Economic Development and the Ministry of Justice, according to the draft decree. The agreement was signed on February 3, 1994.

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  • Azerbaijan starts overhaul at railway section westward
    31.07.2014 17:31
    Baku, Azerbaijan, July 31

    By Emil Ismayilov - Trend:

    "Azerbaijan Railways" CJSC started overhaul at the 2.3 kilometer Padar-Sygyrly section as part of the overhaul of the Baku-Boyuk Kesik railway (towards Georgia), the company said on July 31.

    "Work on the overhaul of the railway section will last for three days," according to a statement.

    The company completed repairing a section of the Baku-Boyuk Kesik railway in December 2013 which extends for 317 kilometers. The work was carried out within the "State program on development of the railway system in Azerbaijan for 2010-2014" through a loan worth $ 215 million allocated by the Czech "Exim Bank".

    The Baku-Georgian border railway is part of a project on creating a rail link along Baku-Tbilisi-Kars route. The Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway line is expected to be put into operation in 2015. The peak capacity of a new corridor will be 17 million tons of cargo per year. At the initial stage, this figure will be at the level of one million passengers and 6.5 million tons of cargo per year.

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  • Alain de Soultrait : Golf club in Guba surpassed all my expectations
    31.07.2014 17:30
    Oxu.Az interviews director and one of the founders of the European Tour Alain de Soultrait.

    Little was known in our country about golf and key figures in the world of golf, including you, undoubtedly, until recently. Could you provide some information about yourself?

    My name is Alain de Soultrait, I am from France and I have been the head of the European Challenge Tour for the past 23 years. That's all, I think (laughs).

    How do you assess the efforts of the Azerbaijani Golf Federation to popularize this sport in our country? Did you like the golf club in Guba?

    Frankly speaking, the result surpassed all my expectations. The golf club here is just impressive-a wonderful course, an incredible landscape, a well-equipped golf-house. Moreover, the nature is singularly beautiful here-these mountains, the foresthellip;

    We did not know what to expect when we came here for the first time, but what we saw here was just astonishing.

    Did you have time to visit Baku?

    Yes, I was in Baku in June. A great city, so many beautiful and modern buildings, wonderful architecture. I am very glad that I visited there.

    What is your vision of golf development in Azerbaijan?

    Golf development is a very long process. At a meeting with President of the Azerbaijan Golf Federation we discussed the development of the sport in your country. Everything is possible when there is a desire, especially in Baku with its wonderful golf academy and good, experienced coaches.

    I am sure that the Azerbaijan Challenge Tour will also help the development of golf in Azerbaijan. In general, holding such a tournament in a country where golf was almost an unknown kind of sport until recently is an incredible success.

    I think it is very important that the club is in Guba, this will help attract local people to golf.

    The Golf Federation of Azerbaijan pays special attention to the education of children, because children are the future of golf, the future professional team of Azerbaijan.

    And what about the time you think we need to make a really strong team?

    As I said, it's a long process. At least five years will be needed with the extensive training of young players.

    Are you familiar with any of the Azeri players? For example, do you know Kamran Zeynalov who represents Azerbaijan at this tournament?

    Of course, I heard about him, he lives in Scotland. But I do not know him personally and have not seen him playing. I think it is very important that there is a player who can represent Azerbaijan at the first tournament in the country.

    I wish success to all participants of Azerbaijan Challenge Open, as well as the Golf Federation in the further promotion of golf in your country.

    Thank you very much for the interview.
  • Drinks that help you lose weight
    31.07.2014 17:12
    If you have decided to lose the extra pounds, then you surely know that the only way to do that is by combining workouts with a healthy, balanced and nutritious diet. However, there are some types of drinks that will speed up the fat burning and help you lose weight quicker than you normally would, and here you will find 5 of the most efficient ones:

    Detox Juices

    Detox juices are certainly your most trustworthy allies in your battle against the extra pounds '" you can easily make them in your kitchen, either entirely out of fruits or vegetables or by combining these two. Citrus fruits are known to have a powerful detox capability, therefore if you are looking for foods to help you purge all the toxins that have gathered inside you over the months then you must certainly include them in your detox juice.High-fiber root foods such as ginger, carrots or apples are also highly recommended for these juices, as they are known to also support the correct functioning of your digestive tract, not to mention the wealth of antioxidants that they deliver to your body.

    As you may know already, antioxidants are essential as they protect your body from the negative effects of the free radicals that can wreak havoc on your health if you allow them two. One eight ounce glass of detox juice per week will certainly keep all these problems far away from you!These juices have a double benefit '" while they help your body get rid of the toxins, chemicals and all the dangerous substances that have accumulated inside your intestines, they also help you lose weight in the fastest and most natural way. One thing is for sure, though: all those who want to shed pounds yet stay healthy at the same time must go through at least one or two detox sessions throughout the course of a year.

    Vegetable Juices

    Vegetable juices, on the other hand, can also benefit your weight loss efforts in the long run and it is a known fact that the most suitable type of veggies for weight loss are the cruciferous ones. No matter if you juice them alone or you use them in conjunction with other fruits, these veggies (cabbage, kale, broccoli or cauliflower) will be your most efficient fat fighting weapon, and there is no better way to keep all the toxins away. Another notable benefit of the vegetable juices is that in addition to helping your body fight free radicals and keeping you healthy, they will also balance the hormone levels in your body and prevent the hormone disruptors from interfering with the normal hormone levels. Cruciferous veggies are very rich in natural phytonutrients that are perfect for reducing the overall amount of body fat, for reducing inflammation and controlling the blood sugar levels, for balancing the hormone levels, boosting your metabolism as well as providing a thorough general detoxification.
  • Turkey intends to purchase new satellites
    31.07.2014 17:11
    Baku, Azerbaijan, July 31

    By Rufiz Hafizoglu - Trend:

    Turkey plans to buy new satellites, the country's Haber7 TV channel reported on July 31.

    It is also expected to launch the Turksat 4B satellite into orbit in 2014, following that Turkey will work on purchasing two new satellites such as Turksat 5Рђ and Turksat 6Рђ, according to the TV channel.

    The Turksat 4A satellite was launched into orbit from Kazakhstan's Baikonur cosmodrome on February 14, 2014.

    The launch of the satellite was attended by Turkey's Minister of Transport, Maritime Affairs and Communications, Lutfi Elvan.

    The Turksat 4A satellite, built by the Japanese Mitsubishi Electric, was handed over to Turkey on January 8, 2014.

    The first Turkish reconnaissance satellite 'RASAT' was launched in 2011.

    Turkey launched its second satellite - Gokturk-2 from the Chinese Zhiuguan base on December 18, 2012. The satellite is used for defense purposes.

    Turkey plans to launch Turksat 3A satellite in 2019.

    Edited by CN

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