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China bans new government buildings in corruption curb
24.07.2013 13:18
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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.

Chandeliers

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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  • Exhibition in Moscow: "Azerbaijan. Tradition and Modernity"
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    http:// www.news.az/photos/page-photo/134409.jpg
    http:// www.news.az/photos/page-photo/134409.jpg
    We see people and man-made creations on his photographs.

    An exhibition of Russian photographer Andrey Bronnikov titled "Azerbaijan. Tradition and Modernity" opened in Moscow Multimedia Art Museum. The ability to see the beauty in trivial things, to find something gorgeous in the ordinary is the talent of the master. Born in Krasnoyarsk, Andrew Bronnikov tried to tell about what charmed him in Azerbaijan in his works.

    Oxu.Az reports citing "Vestnik Kavkaza" that on his photographs we see people and man-made creations, we travel to Baku, Gobustan, Sheki, Lagich and Nakhichevan, he transports us from the past to the future. The author, Andrew Bronnikov told us how the idea of the exhibition originated: "The idea came very easy. I worked on assignment of photo editor's office in Baku, filmed different materials for 7 years. There were no specific ideas. You know, when I shoot the materials to order, I always look around and still want to find something really interesting, that does not fit into the magazine. It happened because Azerbaijan is a magical, wonderful, beautiful country, I found a lot of interesting things. The result was an exhibition. What is the charm of Azerbaijan? Its amazing intertwinement, and the combination of climate and landscape, and culture, and traditions, and wonderful people and some astonishing human stories, all I wanted to somehow reflect what I've seen. I do not know how it happened. "

    Director of the Moscow House of Photography Olga Sviblova shared her impressions of the exhibition: "Through this exhibition, we can see what we can't see, when we come to the first guest tour. We can see how the old crafts are flourishing today, we can see the Fire Temple, everyone needs to get there. We can see the ingenious building of the petals in the center of Baku, which shows how it all together can coexist in the same territory. The more it is a mixture of styles and of the times, the more we see the future. I think that the exhibition succeeded, and the festivity took place. Of course, we also discuss our future plans. "

    Dmitry Shepelev, Belarusian, Ukrainian and Russian TV and radio anchor, said: "Quite long friendship links me to Baku. I once visited the city and fell in love with it. We are close friends with Rovshan Asgarov. Actually I considered it right to come here today and share this joyous day. "

    Rector of Russian State Humanitarian University Yefim Pivovar said: "The love to the country, which is very rich, very colorful, is reflected in this exhibition. Some perspectives are unique: the ancient, rock paintings, which we have seen many times, but not in this perspective, of course. I am very glad to see another alternative of the pomergarante epic because Azerbaijani pomegranate is a special colour, special culture. Of course, here is the mass of insightful works that reflect the beauty and richness of this land. "

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  • Azerbaijani military schools to hold NATO Days
    31.10.2014 11:10
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    http:// www.news.az/photos/page-photo/134408.jpg
    The Azerbaijani Armed Forces will hold NATO Days next week, NATO delegation that will attend the events told APA.

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  • Armenians violate ceasefire again
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    http:// www.news.az/photos/page-photo/134405.jpg
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  • Pomegranate paradise in Goychay
    31.10.2014 10:22
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    http://www.today.az/pictures/pic137302.jpg
    /AzerNews/

    By Nigar Orujova

    Azerbaijan is a country of ancient traditions that have been respected for centuries. In addition, the country is keen on creating more pleasant traditions, Pomegranate Festival is among them.

    This unique and juicy holiday has been celebrated regularly in early November since 2006 around the country and mainly in Goychay.

    Goychay's pomegranates have gained international recognition as the true Azerbaijani pomegranates. The secret of the magnificent taste and quality of the Goychay pomegranates is unique microclimate and fruitful soil.

    The main attraction of the beautiful pomegranates is its sweet and healthy seeds. Pomegranate contains 8-19 percent of glucose and fructose, 3-7 percent - citric acid, minerals as well as vitamins, cellulose, and pectin substances. This fruit is extremely rich in antioxidants.

    Pomegranate juice improves appetite and treats anaemia and other diseases.

    The king of all fruits, as it is called in Azerbaijan, pomegranate is constantly associated with fertility and strong health.

    The pomegranate has been praised in the Holy Quran and considered to be a fruit of paradise. For this reason, Azerbaijanis concern this tree and its fruits as sacred.

    This fruit is also honored in other religious. For the Christians, pomegranate means life and hope for eternal life, for the Jews, it represents righteousness, and for the Chinese it implies wealth and many sons.

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    Azerbaijan not only grows pomegranates, but also produces pomegranate juice for export. Another export product from pomegranate that is very famous beyond the country is juice concentrate Narsharab, which is used as a sauce to meat and fish.

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    http:// www.news.az/photos/page-photo/134404.jpg
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    http:// www.news.az/photos/page-photo/134403.jpg
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    http://img.sia.az/news/2014/siaphoto_440614.jpg
    http://img.sia.az/news/2014/siaphoto_440614.jpg
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    31.10.2014 09:30
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    http:// www.news.az/photos/page-photo/134402.jpg
    Turkish Labor Minister Faruk Г‡elik has admitted that the state is having trouble in closing down mines under bad conditions, implying that local nepotism was hampering efforts.

    "This pain is unbearable," Çelik told journalists in Ermenek, the small town in the Central Anatolian province of Karaman where efforts were desperately continuing to pull out 18 workers trapped 375 meters below the ground at a mine that filled with underground water on Oct. 28.

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    4
  • First Global Forum on Youth Policies adopts Baku declaration
    31.10.2014 09:06
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    http:// www.news.az/photos/page-photo/134400.jpg
    The First Global Forum on Youth Policies held in Baku has come to an end.

    A number of regional sessions were held on the last day of the forum, APA reports. At the regional sessions, the sides discussed the works carried out in Africa, Western Asia, Asia and Pacific, Europe and Central Asia, Latin America and Caribbean states on youth policies and development, having an exchange of experience among one another's countries. Later on, the sessions' moderators reported on the discussions.

    Kuwait's Minister of State for Youth Affairs Sheikh Salman Sabah Al-Salem Al-Homoud Al-Sabah said the forum will give a new impetus to the development of global youth, adding that it will not only be remembered with the Baku Declaration: "We held very important discussions here. We have to be even closer to youths, getting to know what they like. I think the forum will contribute to this issue".

    Azerbaijani Minister of Youth and Sports Azad Rahimov said in his speech the forum has been providing information experience to youths for three days and was very interesting: "We had a look at the past and future, discussing modern day and development. There are also difficulties in development. Unfortunately, today we have some youths joining radical religious groups. Education and exchange of experience are ahead of all things. For us, one of the most essential things is quality education. Azerbaijan is located in a region which is quite vital in geographical terms. We want our youths to be in continuous touch with those in other countries and gain good experience".

    The minister added that Azerbaijan is one of the countries that seriously approach events happening in the world: "I'm sure this forum made history. One of the most interesting aspects of this forum is President Ilham Aliyev's decision to transfer $1 million to the UN Global Foundation for the countries suffering in the fight against Ebola".

    In the end, the Baku Declaration of the First Global Forum on Youth Policies was passed.
    11
  • Biased interview on NK removed from VoA Armenia website
    31.10.2014 08:50
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    http:// www.news.az/photos/page-photo/134399.jpg
    The Voice of America Armenian service has removed a biased video-interview on occupied Nagorno-Karabakh region of Azerbaijan from the website.

    A statement was posted on the website in this regard, APA reports quoting AzerTAc.

    "On October 18, 2014, VOA Armenian service aired a 10-minute video-interview on Nagorno-Karabakh on its website violating balance of journalistic standards and objective review of the Voice of America. We regret for the breach of our standards and are confident that the VOA Armenian service will operate as a reliable news source," says the statement.
    6
  • Ali Huseynli: Silence of international organizations and states over ''trial'' of Dilgam Asgarov and Shahbaz Guliyev unclear
    30.10.2014 23:08
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    http://apaholding.az/upload/images/photos/apa_logo.png
    ''International organizations and some countries that are asking Azerbaijan to be patient and peaceful must take an action for the immediate release of the hostages''

    Baku. Mubariz Aslanov - APA. Movement within boundaries of their own country is one of the fundamental rights of every citizen and is clearly confirmed in the European Convention on Human Rights (Article в„-2), Universal Declaration of Human Rights (Article в„-13), International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (Article в„-5), International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (Article в„-12) and other international documents.

    Chairman of the Azerbaijani Parliament's Committee on Law Policy and State Building Ali Huseynli said this while commenting on the "trial" of Azerbaijani hostages Dilgam Asgarov and Shahbaz Guliyev held by the separatist regime in Nagorno Karabakh yesterday, APA reports.

    He said the Resolution 822 of the UN Security Council demands the withdrawal of Armenian occupying forces from Kalbajar region.

    "President Ilham Aliyev has always held a principal position regarding the issues on the protection of Azerbaijan's territorial integrity. We all should take an example from Mr. President. We consider a campaign launched on social networks for the release of the Azerbaijani civilians taken hostage during their regular visits to the country's regions a very important act in terms of informing the world community about Armenia's actions contrary to international legal norms and principles and support it," he said.

    Huseynli said that Azerbaijan's borders are recognized by the UN and other international organizations as well as the world countries. The Republic of Armenia has occupied Azerbaijani territories through armed aggression which is considered a crime under international law.

    "The international law does not accept and recognize the change of borders by force. The occupation of Azerbaijani territories is an obvious fact for world countries and organizations. The UN four resolutions confirmed the fact of occupation, demanding the withdrawal of aggressors from the occupied territories. In particular, the UN Resolution 822 demands the withdrawal of Armenian occupying forces from Kalbajar region. According to the Article 51 of the UN Charter, the occupation of a territory gives the country that suffered the occupation, the right to liberate its lands and at the same time, does not prohibit the free movement of the citizens of the country, which is under occupation. Armenian armed forces took Dilgam Asgarov and Shahbaz Guliyev hostages in Azerbaijan and within its internationally recognized borders. The international law does not authorize the Armenian armed forces for such actions. Dilgam Asgarov and Shahbaz Guliyev did not violate any country's borders or any law, they moved within their own country. Contrary to international law, they were taken hostage though they were civilians. They were demonstrated attitude contrary to international humanitarian law and even the so-called trial was held," Hasanli said.

    The committee chairman said that it is inadmissible for an illegal and marionette regime that is unrecognized by any of world countries and has made its ambition, procedure, and result in Nagorno-Karabakh which is an integral part of Azerbaijan clear ahead of time to play a political game over a couple of civilians and their grief resulting from paying a visit to the graves of their parents.

    "Silence of international organizations and states criticizing Azerbaijan in a tendentious manner over this issue is unclear. It seems as if some countries and international organizations have forgotten that human rights and freedoms are not a political tool, but an issue about the fates of humans. In fact, the primary purpose of international organizations and some countries is to apply human rights and freedoms to Dilgam Asgarov and Shahbaz Guliyev. Taking all mentioned above and the international law into account, we demand Armenia and its backers immediately release Dilgam Asgarov and Shahbaz Guliyev. International organizations and some countries that are asking Azerbaijan to be patient and peaceful must take an action in this respect. Remember that Azerbaijan is a sovereign country and must protect and save its citizens. The world and the international law are well familiar with the examples of countries that have saved their citizens in the territories of other countries.

    At the same time, a separatist and occupying regime conducting a judicial procedure against hostages is beyond any judicial norms. With such a step, Armenia uses the principle of law supremacy for its own dishonest political goals. What is even more upsetting is that international organizations which continuously speak about law supremacy are silent about this matter," he added.
    86
  • Beckham and Amal Clooney go head-to-head for British Style Award
    30.10.2014 23:00
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    http://img.sia.az/news/2014/siaphoto_440490.jpg
    David Beckham and Amal Clooney are going head-to-head for the title of Britain's most stylish individual.

    The pair have been nominated by the British Fashion Council for their prestigious British Style Awards, competing against the likes of Emma Watson and Jourdan Dunn for the title.

    It comes as no surprise that Amal features on this list, as all eyes were on the human rights lawyer's wedding style as she married Hollywood actor George Clooney in Venice this September.

    Amal, who was already renowned for her chic and elegant outfits, didn't disappoint, wowing in a custom-made French lace Oscar de la Renta gown embroidered with pearls, featuring off-the-shoulder sleeves and a gorgeous lace overlay.

    Meanwhile, David has repeatedly had jaws dropping with his striking campaigns for Hamp;M, and made his first step into the world of designing earlier this year as he launched a capsule collection for menswear brand Belstaff.

    Despite launching her flagship store in London and dazzling the fashion pack with her collection at New York Fashion week this year, wife Victoria doesn't feature on the list.

    Supermodels Kate Moss and Cara Delevingne are also competing for the title, following their striking campaign for Burberry's fragrance.

    The full list of nominees:

    Amal Clooney

    Benedict Cumberbatch

    Bobby Gillespie

    Cara Delevingne

    Daniel Sturridge

    David Beckham

    David Gandy

    Douglas Booth

    Emma Watson

    FKA Twigs

    Helen Mirren

    Idris Elba

    Jamie Hince

    Jourdan Dunn

    Kate Moss

    Kiera Knightley

    Ralph Fiennes

    Rita Ora

    Tinie Tempah
    6
  • Basketball: Eurobasket 2015 team choices in Paris
    30.10.2014 22:40
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    http://img.sia.az/news/2014/siaphoto_440499.jpg
    The top competition in Europeanbasketball,EuroBasket 2015, will select the teams to competein Disneyland Paris on December 8.

    The participating 24 teams, including Turkey, will be separatedinto four groups, according to the statement made bythe International Basketball Federation, thegoverning body for basketball in Europe, on its website,.

    "Disneyland Paris will set a magical stage for the EuroBasket Draw, announcing the spectacle that will await us next year" remarked FederationEurope President Turgay Demirel.

    The European Basketball Championship, to be heldfrom 5 to20 September,will also serveas a qualification round for 2016 Olympics to be held in Brazilian city Rio de Janeiro.

    The tournament will be held in four different countries for the first time. SoEuroBasket 2015'sgroup competitionswill be held in Germany's capital cityBerlin, French city Montpellier, Latvian capital city Riga and Croatia's Zagreb, and the finals will be played in French city Lille.

    After the crisis in Ukraine, the Federationannounced that differentcountries from those initially planned will be hosting the tournament for security reasons.
    15
  • Azerbaijan once again plunges into the world of luxury and art
    30.10.2014 22:27
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    http://azertag.az//files/galleryphoto/2014/3/600x400/141469335239651962_600x400.JPG
    Baku, October 30, AzerTAc

    Art and Jewels of the World 2014 exhibition has opened at Four Seasons Hotel Baku.

    At a press conference preceding the opening ceremony, Valentina Vassileva, Art and Jewels of the World CEO, Sixtine Crutchfield, manager of the exhibition, Sam Ioannidis, General Manager of Four Seasons Hotel Baku, Lina Aliyeva, Editor-in-Chief of L'Officiel Azerbaijan, and Vyacheslav Sapunov, Editor-in-Chief of Boutique Baku, provided an insight into the exhibition.

    Spring of 2013 was the starting point for the annual exhibition "Jewels of the World". This autumn Baku is offering the world a new tradition, combining the jeweler's art with the visual art, thus transforming Jewels of the World in Art and Jewels of the World 2014.

    French and international galleries joined the world's luxurious and leading jewelry brands by presenting among the best works of art.

    Visitors of the exhibition, which will run until November 2, will be able to evaluate, enjoy and try the unique creations of jewelry, see the works of international artists and have an opportunity to talk with the fashion house and gallery presenters.

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

    The event featured a special tasting program by Johnnie Walker.
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  • Hackers breach White House computer system
    30.10.2014 22:21
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    http://img.sia.az/news/2014/siaphoto_440507.jpg
    The White House's unclassified computer network was recently breached by intruders, a US official said Tuesday, with The Washington Post newspaper reporting that the Russian government was thought to be behind the act.

    "In the course of assessing recent threats, we identified activity of concern on the unclassified EOP network," said the White House official, speaking on condition of not being named.

    "Any such activity is something we take very seriously. In this case, we took immediate measures to evaluate and mitigate the activity." The Washington Post quoted sources as saying hackers believed to be working for the Russian government were believed to be responsible.

    The hackers entered the US presidential mansion's unclassified computer network in recent weeks, the Post quotes the sources as saying.

    In a statement, the White House official said the Executive Office of the President receives daily alerts concerning numerous possible cyber threats.

    In the course of addressing the breach, some White House users were temporarily disconnected from the network.

    "Our computers and systems have not been damaged, though some elements of the unclassified network have been affected. The temporary outages and loss of connectivity for our users is solely the result of measures we have taken to defend our networks," the official said.

    No additional information was immediately available.
    7
  • World Bank Country Manager hails Azerbaijani government`s work to solve problems of refugees and IDPs
    30.10.2014 22:06
    http://azertag.az//files/galleryphoto/2014/3/600x400/1414692193522027644_600x400.JPG
    http://azertag.az//files/galleryphoto/2014/3/600x400/1414692193522027644_600x400.JPG
    Baku, October 30, AzerTAc

    World Bank Country Manager for Azerbaijan Larisa Leshchenko has praised what the Azerbaijani government is doing to solve the problems of refugees and IDPs.

    "The World Bank is interested in maintaining cooperation with Azerbaijan, and working with IDPs," she told Azerbaijani Deputy Prime Minister, chairman of the State Committee for Refugees and IDPs Affairs, chairman of the Commission for International Humanitarian Assistance Ali Hasanov. Ms. Leshchenko expressed her confidence that projects related to refugees and IDPs will further be successfully implemented.

    Mr. Hasanov said the relations between the Azerbaijani government and the World Bank "reached a qualitatively new level in the past few years". He stressed the importance of joint projects.

    "The government of Azerbaijan is solving the problems of citizens. Our growing economic potential allows us to do it."

    Mr. Hasanov highlighted the Armenian-Azerbaijani Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, and the problems of more than 1.2 million refugees and IDPs. He stressed the necessity of implementing projects aimed at improving the living standard of refugees and IDPS, including supporting youth and micro-loan programs.

    They also discussed "Azerbaijan - Internally Displaced Person (IDP) Living Standards and Livelihoods Project" which is implemented under a loan agreement signed between the Azerbaijani government and the World Bank. Some 44 micro-projects were implemented benefiting more than 42,000 IDPs throughout Azerbaijan in the first nine months of the year.

    Mr. Hasanov said the government of Azerbaijan was interested in continuing cooperation with the World Bank and benefiting from its experience.
    7
  • Ukraine gives no guarantees on paying off its Russian gas debt
    30.10.2014 21:52
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    http://img.sia.az/news/2014/siaphoto_440522.jpg
    After 12 hours of intense trilateral negotiations in Brussels, Ukraine has failed to provide written guarantees on finding funds to pay off its gas debt before Gazprom and pay in advance for future supplies.

    The Russian delegation has left the Belgian capital, while the missions of Ukraine and the European Commission continue talks. A source close to negotiations said Russia is ready to come back to Brussels on Thursday if Kiev and the EC agree on financial guarantees.
    7
  • President Ilham Aliyev: Azerbaijan has become a country hosting European and world championships
    30.10.2014 21:32
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    http://www.topnews.az/images/logo.png
    Baku, October 30, AzerTAc

    President Ilham Aliyev has said Azerbaijan has become a country hosting European and world championships.

    "We will host the first European Games next year. This will be a historical event for us. Unlike Pan-American, Asian and African Games, European Games have never been held before," the head of state told the opening ceremony of the First Global Forum on Youth Policies.

    "This tournament will be held in Azerbaijan for the first time. More than 6,000 athletes will compete in the Games. We plan to organize this event at the level of the Summer Olympic Games," said the head of state.

    "In 2016 Azerbaijan will host the World Chess Olympiad. We are all proud of the success of our chess team. All members of this team are representatives of the young generation. There are European champions among them."

    The President said: "In 2017, our country will host the Islamic Solidarity Games. In a short period of time we will host European and Islamic Solidarity Games. This clearly demonstrates the role Azerbaijan plays in international issues."
    14
  • Judo fight between Putin, Australian PM Abbot
    30.10.2014 21:25
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    http://img.sia.az/news/2014/siaphoto_440525.jpg
    A Tasmanian judo club has asked Vladimir Putin to accept an honorary membership and proposed holding a fundraising judo fight between the Russian leader and Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbot, a local senator said on Wednesday.

    Senator Jacqui Lambie said shehad handed over the Ulverstone Judo Club's invitation and T-shirt to Russian ambassador in Australia Vladimir Morozov.

    The senator said that if a fight was held, the club would stake on Putin, a judo black belt.

    According to Lambie, a judo event between Putin and Abbot will be "great for international relations." She said she admires Putin's work as he is serving the interests of Russian people.

    On October 13, Abbott vowed to ''shirtfront'' Putin over the MH17 crash in Ukraine if the Russian president arrives at the G20 Leader's summit in Brisbane scheduled for November 15-16.
    14
  • Azerbaijan among top 10 economies that improved most in 2013/2014 tracked by Doing Business
    30.10.2014 21:02
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    http://azertag.az//files/galleryphoto/2014/3/600x400/14146884342965419978_600x400.jpg
    Baku, October 30, AzerTAc

    Azerbaijan is among the economies that improved the most in 2013/2014 in areas tracked by Doing Business. The 10 top improvers implemented 40 regulatory reforms making it easier to do business, according to Doing Business 2015 report.

    "Azerbaijan's reforms on three indicators ("Property Registration", "Starting a business" and "Taxes paid") were taken into consideration in the report," the Ministry of Economy and Industry has said. "Compared with the last year's results Azerbaijan showed better outcomes on many indicators."

    Doing Business 2015: Going Beyond Efficiency, a World Bank Group flagship publication, is the 12th in a series of annual reports measuring the regulations that enhance business activity and those that constrain it. Doing Business presents quantitative indicators on business regulations and the protection of property rights that can be compared across 189 economiesmdash;from Afghanistan to Zimbabwemdash;and over time.

    Doing Business measures regulations affecting 11 areas of the life of a business. Ten of these areas are included in this year's ranking on the ease of doing business: starting a business, dealing with construction permits, getting electricity, registering property, getting credit, protecting minority investors, paying taxes, trading across borders, enforcing contracts and resolving insolvency. Doing Business also measures labor market regulation, which is not included in this year's ranking.
    8
  • Iran says foils bid to sabotage nuclear heavy-water tanks
    30.10.2014 20:56
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    http://img.sia.az/news/2014/siaphoto_440549.jpg
    Iran has foiled an attempt to sabotage tanks used for transporting heavy water, which is needed to run some nuclear reactors, and blames a "foreign country" for the incident, a senior official was quoted by local media as saying.

    The Islamic Republic is at odds with the West over suspicions it is covertly using its declared civilian atomic energy programme to develop a nuclear arms capability. It denies this and has repeatedly accused certain Western states of trying to cripple the programme through acts of sabotage.

    Asghar Zarean, deputy chief in charge of nuclear protection and security at Iran's Atomic Energy Organisation, was quoted by the Tehran newspaper Arman as saying the bid to damage tanks at the Arak heavy-water production plant occurred two weeks ago.

    "There were attempts to cause disruption in storage tanks due to carry heavy water. But these attempts were discovered and foiled before the tanks were filled with heavy water at Arak," Zarean was quoted as saying.

    "A foreign country was behind the attempt," he said, without elaborating. Iranian officials could not be immediately reached for further comment.

    The Arak plant has been producing heavy water to operate a planned 40-megawatt research reactor nearby that Iran says is intended to make isotopes for cancer and other medical treatments.

    But in June it said that it was redesigning the Arak reactor to sharply cut its potential output of plutonium, a nuclear bomb material, a gesture apparently meant to address a thorny issue in negotiations with six world powers.

    Iran also stopped installing major components in the Arak reactor as part of an interim deal struck with the powers in November 2013, and which expires next month, to curb some sensitive nuclear activity in exchange for limited relief from sanctions. Iran also agreed not to transfer heavy water to the reactor site under this temporary pact.

    World powers are negotiating to strike a permanent settlement with Iran by a Nov. 24 deadline under which Tehran would curb its nuclear fuel enrichment work to ensure it cannot be applied to bomb-making in exchange for a phased removal of international sanctions that have hobbled its oil-based economy.

    The Islamic Republic has repeatedly complained of alleged covert U.S. and Israeli attempts to cripple its nuclear programme.

    Iran's intelligence minister said on Oct. 21 that several people seeking to engage in nuclear espionage "for foreigners" had been arrested in the southern province of Bushehr, where Iran's only nuclear power station is located.

    In 2010, Iran's uranium enrichment facilities were temporarily impaired by a virus known as Stuxnet, which was widely believed to have been developed by the United States and Israel, although no government took responsibility for it.

    In March of this year, pumps at the Arak reactor were subjected to a failed sabotage attempt, Iranian media quoted a senior official as saying at the time.
    6
  • '˜Azerbaijan`s improving image creates favourable opportunities to develop information exchangeв'
    30.10.2014 20:42
    http://azertag.az//files/galleryphoto/2014/3/600x400/14146860894811560291_600x400.JPG
    http://azertag.az//files/galleryphoto/2014/3/600x400/14146860894811560291_600x400.JPG
    Baku, October 30 AzerTAc

    "Azerbaijan`s improving image creates favourable opportunities for it to develop information exchange with foreign countries," Director General of Azerbaijan State Telegraph Agency (AzerTAc) Aslan Aslanov has told British Ambassador in Baku Irfan Siddiq.

    Mr. Aslanov said: "AzerTAc as the national news agency is willing to take advantage of this opportunity." The Director General said Azerbaijan "has become a venue for international political, humanitarian and sport events".

    Mr. Aslanov provided an insight into AzerTAc`s history and achievements, adding the agency has bilateral agreements with national news agencies of more than 40 countries.

    "This increases our responsibility as an accurate and reliable source of news."

    He stressed the importance of social media, saying national news agencies "should take advantage of the opportunities of social media to enhance the geography of the spread of their news".

    He hailed "close' relations between AzerTAc and British Press Association. "We have sincere and friendly relations with CEO of Press Association Clive Marshall." "Mr. Marshall made an important contribution to the Baku meeting of the News Agencies World Council (NACO) hosted by AzerTAc earlier this year. He also visited the regions of Azerbaijan during his stay in the country."

    Ambassador Siddiq said historically friendly relations existed between Azerbaijan and Great Britain.

    He said Azerbaijan has reached a new level of development. The Ambassador said British energy companies are interested in making investment in Azerbaijan. Mr. Siddiq said he is ready to contribute to developing relations with Azerbaijan in the fields of trade and education during his diplomatic tenure.

    He also stressed the importance of developing relations between the two countries in the field of information. Mr. Siddig expressed his readiness to contribute to the development of cooperation with AzerTAc.
    6
  • Cameron appeals to Qatar emir for more investment
    30.10.2014 20:32
    http://img.sia.az/news/2014/siaphoto_440533.jpg
    http://img.sia.az/news/2014/siaphoto_440533.jpg
    Prime Minister David Cameron on Wednesday urged Qatar to plough more of its vast oil and gas wealth into infrastructure projects across Britain during an official visit from the Gulf state's emir.

    Cameron asked Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani to consider further funding to help Britain's push to develop cities in the north of the country and connect them to London using a high speed rail line, a statement released by his office said.

    Qatar is one of the world's richest countries and is already heavily invested in British firms and property.

    Among its highest profile investments are London's tallest building, the Shard, which was funded by the Qatari royal family, and the upmarket Harrods department store owned by sovereign wealth fund Qatar Investment Authority.

    "The Prime Minister ... encouraged the Emir to consider more opportunities across the country, particularly the governmentв's plan to establish a Northern Powerhouse by connecting our great Northern cities and the development of high speed rail," the statement said.

    Earlier this week the British government said it was backing the development of a fast rail link between the English cities of Leeds and Manchester, in addition to an existing 43 billion pound plan to develop high speed links to London.

    During the state visit, which also included a meeting with the Queen as well as senior politicians and executives, the two countries signed an agreement setting out a framework for further talks on issues such as defence, energy and trade.
    9
  • '˜Azerbaijan`s improving image creates favourable opportunities develop information exchangeв'
    30.10.2014 20:27
    http://azertag.az//files/galleryphoto/2014/3/600x400/14146860894811560291_600x400.JPG
    http://azertag.az//files/galleryphoto/2014/3/600x400/14146860894811560291_600x400.JPG
    Baku, October 30 AzerTAc

    "Azerbaijan`s improving image creates favourable opportunities for it to develop information exchange with foreign countries," Director General of Azerbaijan State Telegraph Agency (AzerTAc) Aslan Aslanov has told British Ambassador in Baku Irfan Siddiq.

    Mr. Aslanov said: "AzerTAc as the national news agency is willing to take advantage of this opportunity." The Director General said Azerbaijan "has become a venue for international political, humanitarian and sport events".

    Mr. Aslanov provided an insight into AzerTAc`s history and achievements, adding the agency has bilateral agreements with national news agencies of more than 40 countries.

    "This increases our responsibility as an accurate and reliable source of news."

    He stressed the importance of social media, saying national news agencies "should take advantage of the opportunities of social media to enhance the geography of the spread of their news".

    He hailed "close' relations between AzerTAc and British Press Association. "We have sincere and friendly relations with CEO of Press Association Clive Marshall." "Mr. Marshall made an important contribution to the Baku meeting of the News Agencies World Council (NACO) hosted by AzerTAc earlier this year. He also visited the regions of Azerbaijan during his stay in the country."

    Ambassador Siddiq said historically friendly relations existed between Azerbaijan and Great Britain.

    He said Azerbaijan has reached a new level of development. The Ambassador said British energy companies are interested in making investment in Azerbaijan. Mr. Siddiq said he is ready to contribute to developing relations with Azerbaijan in the fields of trade and education during his diplomatic tenure.

    He also stressed the importance of developing relations between the two countries in the field of information. Mr. Siddig expressed his readiness to contribute to the development of cooperation with AzerTAc.
    9
  • WizzAir to resume flights to Baku next year
    30.10.2014 20:15
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    http://www.today.az/pictures/pic137301.jpg
    /AzerNews/

    By Amina Nazarli

    Hungarian Wizz Air airline will not offer flight services on the Budapest-Baku-Budapest route during winter.

    AZAL Spokesman Maharram Safarli said on October 30 that the company will resume the flights from March 29, 2015 to October 24, 2015.

    As Deputy Head of Azerbaijani Airlines AZAL Sabir Ilyasov said earlier Hungarian Wizz Air airline will continue to carry out flights on the Budapest-Baku-Budapest route in accordance with an intergovernmental agreement on air service.

    The memorandum is valid until October 26 and from this date on, the flights along this route will be conducted in accordance with an intergovernmental agreement to be signed between the two counties.

    Airbus aircrafts of Hungarian airline currently fly from Budapest to Baku on Mondays and Fridays and from Baku to Budapest on Tuesdays and Saturdays.

    The first Baku-Budapest direct flight opened on June 2013. Budapest, one of Europe's most beautiful cities, which attracts many Azerbaijani tourists.

    As of January 2014, the passenger traffic exceeded 14,000 people on Budapest-Budapest-Baku route within six months. This year, the company plans to increase passenger traffic up to 26,000 people.
    17
  • 7 Ukrainian soldiers killed in past 24 hours
    30.10.2014 20:10
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    http://img.sia.az/news/2014/siaphoto_440532.jpg
    Seven Ukrainian soldiers have been killed in the past 24 hours in the east of the country despite a ceasefire with separatists, a military spokesman said on Thursday.

    "They were killed in different places by shelling and one was killed in an ambush," spokesman Andriy Lysenko said. Eleven others had been wounded in various incidents.

    The deaths further strained a tenuous ceasefire, which came into force on Sept. 5, while tension is growing in the run-up to a local election on Sunday organised by the separatists and which has been denounced as illegal by the Kiev government.
    8
  • Presidents of France, Azerbaijan and Armenia meet in Paris
    30.10.2014 20:07
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    http://apaholding.az/upload/images/photos/apa_logo.png
    François Hollande proposed to launch drafting a comprehensive peace agreement in order to move forward

    Strasbourg. Fuad Goulubayli-APA. The President of the Republic of France met Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan and Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev on the settlement of the Nagorno Karabakh conflict.

    The three co-chairs as well as the personal representative of the Presidency of the OSCE, have attended the meeting, APA reports quoting official website of Eacute;lyseacute;e Palace.

    "The Summit followed the visit by the President of France to the South Caucasus in May of this year. During this visit, the President François Hollande had reaffirmed the commitment of France, as a co-chair of the Minsk Group, to continue the mediation in finding a peaceful solution to this conflict after 20 years, the cease-fire came into the force.

    In a context of increasing armed incidents in Nagorno Karabakh this summer which have caused many casualties, including civilians, the Paris Summit allowed the resumption of direct dialogue between the Armenian and Azerbaijani Presidents. The President of the Republic of France marked the need for an effective decrease in the tension between the two parties in the region.

    The Armenian and Azerbaijani presidents have decided to exchange data on missing people at the conflict under the auspices of the ICRC.

    François Holland encouraged the Armenian and Azerbaijani Presidents to intensify their efforts towards a negotiated and continuous settlement of the Nagorno Karabakh conflict, in accordance with the principles of international law and the principles identified by the Minsk Group Co-Chairs. He noted that the status quo was not tenable.

    He called the Armenian and Azerbaijani presidents to demonstrate the necessary political will to overcome their differences and prepare their populations for peace. He proposed to launch drafting a comprehensive peace agreement in order to move forward.

    The Armenian and Azerbaijani presidents agreed to continue the dialogue, in the frame of the sitting of the General Assembly of the United Nations in New York in September, 2015", the statement reads.
    9
  • Sweden to give up to $200 million to Palestine
    30.10.2014 19:55
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    http://img.sia.az/news/2014/siaphoto_440560.jpg
    Sweden is set to give Palestineup to 1.5 billion kronor ($200 million) in aid,Foreign Minister Margot Wallstrom has announced, hours after it became the first European Union country toofficially recognizePalestine as a state.

    Wallstrom said in a statement on Thursday that Palestine fulfilled the criteria for recognition as a statein international lawdespite it not having fixed borders, and would receivebetween 500 million kronor ($68 million) and1.5 billion kronor undera five-year assistance plan.

    Wallstrom said:''There is a territory,there is also a population. There is also a government with the opportunity to exhibit internal and external control."

    Sweeden has previously recognized states - Croatia in 1992 and Kosovo in 2008 - even though they lacked effective control over parts of its territory, Wallstrom said, underlying that Palestine was a similar case.

    Wallstrom said the move showed Sweeden wanted to give its support to "the moderates among the Palestinians ...who will govern complex Palestinian policy and those who will soonagain have to sit down at the negotiating table".

    Referring to a warning on October 4from the U.S. which cautioned Sweeden that recognizingPalestine was "premature"and"can only come through a negotiated outcome",Wallstrom said: "Itв's not too early; the risk is that itв's too late."

    She added: ''I would like to say that a six-year-old girl or a boy in Gaza has experienced three wars in their lifetime."

    Sweeden supports a two-state solution and wants to give young people hope that "another peaceful world is possible",Wallstrom said.
    9
  • James Corden and wife Julia welcome their second child
    30.10.2014 19:20
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    http://img.sia.az/news/2014/siaphoto_440556.jpg
    James Corden and his wife Julia are reportedly celebrating the arrival of their second child, a daughter named Carey '" Julia's maiden name.

    The little girl arrived into the world on Monday night, according to the Sun.

    James, 36, and Julia are already parents to a three-year-old son named Max. A spokesperson for the couple confirmed in May that they were expecting their second baby.

    "James and Julie have loved every minute of becoming parents to their toddler Max, and were keen to give him a brother or sister who is close in age," a source told the Mirror at the time.

    "They're delighted to be pregnant again and can't wait to expand the family."

    James and Julia met in 2009 after being introduced by mutual friend Dominic Cooper. The actor popped the question on Christmas Day in 2010, and the couple tied the knot at Somerset's Babington House in September 2012.

    The couple's son Max was born in March 2011

    The new little family will soon be starting a new American adventure together, when James heads Stateside as the new host of The Late Late Show.

    The star is replacing Scotland's Craig Ferguson - who is leaving after a ten year stint - in a deal reportedly worth around $8million (just under ВЈ5million). His first show will air on 9 March.

    Following the announcement, James said, "I can't describe how thrilled and honoured I am to be taking over from the brilliant Craig Ferguson.

    "To be asked to host such a prestigious show on America's number one network is hugely exciting. I can't wait to get started and will do my very best to make a show America will enjoy."
    10
  • Armenian air carrier suspends flights
    30.10.2014 19:07
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    http://www.today.az/pictures/pic137299.jpg
    By Mushvig Mehdiyev

    Armenia's national air carrier Air Armenia has suspended its flights after months of financial difficulties, promising to resume its work in winter.

    The company faced problems after sending its two aircrafts for technical maintenance service to the Netherlands. So it had to offer services with only one aircraft.

    There were also other problems resulted from the works by certain ticket sale agents who kept the proceeds as a guarantee for refunding the tickets.

    The proceeds in Armenia dropped to a critical minimum and now it is impossible to carry out passenger transportation. The airline's administration has decided to restructure the organization's financial policy through strict measures and reform the flight schedule by December 20.

    Air Armenia's Head Arsen Avetisyan earlier said Russian Rosaeronavigation Company's statement published on September 11 threatened to restrict the air carrier's flights to Russian cities from September 21 and it had subsequently caused great damage to the Armenian company."The statement sparked great panic among passengers, creditors and debtors. Many passengers began to return their purchased tickets. A large number of customers refused to use Armenian air carrier's services. Meanwhile, sales fell by 60 percent," the company said.

    It added that at the same time all creditors began to demand the debts to be paid, refusing to apply the schedule agreed earlier.

    Air Armenia has around $405,000 overdue debt to Rosaeronavigation. It currently owes the Russian company about $700,000.

    Poor performance, inaccurate flights and lack of necessary clientile are the major factors paralyzing the airline's operation.

    Air Armenia has recently delayed flights from Yerevan to Russian Krasnodar city for three times in a row and caused problems for the passengers who had reserved earlier the flight. The company failed to compensate passengers for the delay and ensuing costs saying it didn't have enough cash to indemnify.

    Armenia's national air carrier was forced to cancel four flights to Saint Petersburg and two flights to Moscow and Athens earlier on October 6. The massive cancellations came after financial problems with a Dubai-based company. Air Armenia miscarried to pay about $5 million for two airplanes it had purchased from the Arabian aircraft supplier.

    Air Armenia replaced the collapsed Armavia Company in 2013 as the latter filed bankruptcy after the years of financial hassle.
    10
  • Armenian government, opposition launch joint businesses
    30.10.2014 19:01
    http://www.today.az/pictures/pic137298.jpg
    http://www.today.az/pictures/pic137298.jpg
    /AzerNews/

    By Mushvig Mehdiyev

    A business partnership between Armenia's Prime Minister Hovik Abrahamyan and an opposition leader Gagik Tsarukyan has sparked public concerns across the country.

    Gagik Tsarukyan is currently among the most famous persons in Armenia after his leading role in the new national movement. His Prosperous Armenia party, one of the three driving opposition forces which are uniting under informal "troika" alliance, has orchestrated the recent protest rallies across the country demanding a power change in Armenia. But the new facts revealed by Hetq, an investigative journalism organization, have put Tsarukyan's anti-government activities in doubt.

    Hetq reported that Tsarukyan owns a number of joint businesses with Hovik Abrahamyan. Hetq's investigation shows that the current "enemies" are in fact close and long-term "friends."

    Abramyan's nephew Hovaness Abrahamyan owns about 33 percent of the shares of Ecofish Trade company, which is engaged in fishing industry. Tsarukyan controls 34 percent of the company's shares, as the major stakeholder of the business in Ararat region.

    Abrahamyan's son Argam Abrahamyan and Gagik Tsarukyan also share the stakes of the Franck Muller Yerevan Watch Distribution, a store that sells brand watches manufactured by the Franck Muller company. Around 12 percent of the shop's shares is owned by Abrahamyan Jr., while Tsarukyan benefits by 12 percent of the shares. Armenian entrepreneurs in Moscow control the rest of the company's shares.

    Abrahamyan and Tsarukyan have same shares in Aysirkap and Forts companies. The two oligarchs own 25 percent of Forts's shares. The rest 50 percent belongs to an Armenian businessman in Moscow.

    The two Armenian statesmen's business "empire" is not limited to the mentioned businesses. It also includes Abovyan City supermarket. Abrahamyan Jr. and Tsarukyan control the shares of the huge supermarket with Abovyan region's mayor Karen Abovyan.

    Hotel Imperium Plaza with the total capital of $4.6 million fully belongs to the prime minister's son Argam.

    The rule of law should unconditionally be obeyed in each country since this is the law which defines the rights and wrongs, as well as the things to do or not to do. The statesmen in Armenia should unambiguously avoid any business engagement as additional sources of income according to the country's constitution. Nevertheless, high-ranking officials of the country breach the law. Huge business network of Abrahamyan and Tsarukyan proves the officials' disrespect towards the constitution.

    Another important issue is the proximity of the two opposing political figures. Tsarukyan is an opposition leader who is preparing to put forward his candidacy in the next presidential elections. He called for a new power system in Armenia during the latest rally held on October 24. Abrahamyan is the second main political figure in the country after the president. The incumbent government is headed by Abrahamyan and Tsarukyan's demand for the transition of power directly hints to the resignation of the government including the PM.

    Briefly, Abrahamyan and Tsarukyan are the two "gladiators" fighting each other in the political arena. But when it comes to business, they turn into "Batman and Robin" supporting each other in the prolific operations.
    8
  • Moscow hosts Atomex 2014 nuclear exhibition
    30.10.2014 18:56
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    http://img.sia.az/news/2014/siaphoto_440557.jpg
    Global nuclear industry players gatheredin Moscow for the Atomex-2014 exhibition onWednesdaywith over 400 companies fromdomestic and international nuclear sectors.

    The sixth Atomex, organized and sponsored by Russiaв's State Atomic Energy Corporation - ROSATOM, began on Wednesday and will run until Friday in the Russian capital, Moscow.

    Russian and foreign nuclear industry enterprises, both existing and potential suppliers of equipment will be among the participants of the event.
    11
  • Azerbaijani FM meets First Deputy Prime Minister of Croatia
    30.10.2014 18:52
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    http://azertag.az//files/galleryphoto/2014/3/600x400/14146804562126253292_600x400.jpg
    Baku, October 30 AzerTAc

    Azerbaijani Minister of Foreign Affairs Elmar Mammadyarov has met First Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign and European Affairs of Croatia Vesna Pusic.

    They discussed the development of a legal base, as well as promotion of investment, cooperation in the cultural, tourism and humanitarian fields.

    FM Mammadyarov hailed Azerbaijan-Croatia relations as close.

    He stressed the importance of increasing the number of reciprocal visits, saying this contributes to developing the relations.

    Ms. Pusic lauded Azerbaijan`s role in ensuring the energy security of Europe, adding Croatia was interested in energy cooperation with Azerbaijan.

    She hailed "successful" cooperation between the two countries in the field of shipbuilding.

    Mr. Mammadyarov highlighted the history and consequences of the Armenia-Azerbaijan Nagorno-Karabakh conflict and the current state of the negotiations to solve the dispute. He praised Croatia`s position on the conflict, saying it is based on the UN Charter and international law.
    8
  • Azerbaijan, EU to set up joint committee
    30.10.2014 18:40
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    http://www.today.az/pictures/pic137296.jpg
    /AzerNews/

    By Sara Rajabova

    Works are underway to establish a new joint committee between Azerbaijan and the European Union.

    Malena Mard, head of EU Baku office, toldВ TrendВ Agency that the committee will monitor the implementation of agreements on visa facilitation between Azerbaijan and the EU, which came into force on 1 September.

    "We want to make sure that the agreement is beneficial to both parties. I think that this step is important for further advancement," Mard said.

    Regarding the prospects of cooperation between the sides, Mard added that the number of twinning-programs between Azerbaijan and the EU are growing.

    "EU member states together with the Azerbaijani side are exploring ways of cooperation in the fields of tourism, pension system, as well as in the field of the environment and other spheres," Mard said.

    The EU and Azerbaijan are maintaining relations under the Partnership and Cooperation Agreement, which was signed in 1996 and came into force in 1999.

    Since then the PCA has provided the legal framework for EU-Azerbaijan bilateral relations in the areas of political dialogue, trade, investment, economic, legislative and cultural cooperation.

    Azerbaijan is also included in the EU program on "Eastern Partnership" adopted on the initiative of Poland and Sweden and approved at the EU summit in Brussels in 2008.

    The goal of the program is the rapprochement between the EU and Azerbaijan, Ukraine, Armenia, Moldova, Georgia, Belarus. The program envisages significant expansion of political interaction, larger integration of former Soviet republics into EU economy, increasing the volume of financial aid to them and strengthening the energy security.
    10
  • The Russian Football Union (RFU) not be revising terms of its contract Capello
    30.10.2014 18:35
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    http://img.sia.az/news/2014/siaphoto_440562.jpg
    The Russian Football Union (RFU) will not be revising terms of its contract with Russian national football teamв's Head Coach Fabio Capello, RFU President Nikolay Tolstykh said on Thursday.

    ''The contract is in force and there will be no revision of its terms,'' Tolstykh told journalists.

    Titled Italian coach Capello has not been paid under his contract with the RFU for over four months. According to various media reports, the RFUв's current debt to the Italian coach stands at some 250 million rubles (over $6 million). The RFU, however, does not keep it a secret that the union experiences financial difficulties at the moment and its budget deficit stands at 500 million rubles ($11.5 million).

    The Russian national squad experienced a string of setbacks over the past decade failing to qualify for the 2006 World Cup in Germany and 2010 championship in South Africa to the great dismay of the Russian football fans.

    Things changed, however, when Italian phenomenon Capello took over the team as the head coach and managed to help the Russian national squad to qualify for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.

    The team, however, failed to clear the first stage of the much-anticipated global tournament putting their coach in the center of stern criticism and raising serious concerns in the country about the teamв's performance in the next World Cup, which would be hosted by Russia in 2018.
    8
  • SOCAR conducts 2D seismic survey on an onshore structure
    30.10.2014 18:32
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    http:// www.news.az/photos/page-photo/134398.jpg
    The State Oil Company of Azerbaijan Republic (SOCAR) conducts 2D seismic survey on an onshore structure.

    According to SOCAR, the 2D seismic survey is conducted at Cheylakhtarma-Nardaranakhtarma structure located in Shemakha-Gobustan oil and gas region. The survey aims to specify prospectivity for hydrocarbons and area of their occurrence. 50% of works have been carried out so far.
    14
  • Azerbaijani Ambassador and Prime Ministerial Trade Envoy join forces in Central London
    30.10.2014 18:22
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    http://img.sia.az/news/2014/siaphoto_440565.jpg
    The European Azerbaijan Society (TEAS) has collaborated with CATBIG '" a business-to-business network for UK-based companies, focusing on the countries of Central Asia and the Trans-Caucasus '" to organise a briefing for more than 60 diplomats and international delegates from the UK energy, financial services, information technology, infrastructure and agricultural sectors. The UK remains the greatest contributor of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) to Azerbaijan, equating to 32.2 per cent of all FDI ($1.3bn) during the first half of 2014, according to the Azerbaijani State Statistics Committee, SIA reports quoting the AzerTac.

    The relevance of Azerbaijan to the UK and across Europe has increased considerably since the signing of a $45bn agreement in 2013 between the Azerbaijani government and the BP-led Shah Deniz Consortium. From 2018, this will see Caspian gas from the Shah Deniz II development being transported to an interconnector in Italy.

    Charles Hendry MP, Prime Ministerial Trade Envoy to Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan, commented: ''An excellent state of relations exists between the countries, and it is imperative for British businesses to see where the opportunities lie and understand how UK and Azerbaijani governments and partner organisations can collaborate to help UK businesses optimise their revenues.

    ''The relationship is currently overwhelmingly centred around oil and gas, and BP was significantly the first international investor in the country, following the regaining of independence. Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev has spoken of BP as being the partner of choice for another 20'"30 years. The final investment decision (FID) between the Azerbaijani government and the BP-led Shah Deniz Consortium, signed in December 2013 in the presence of the Rt. Hon. William Hague MP, former UK Foreign Secretary, can be seen as the next stage of this relationship. This marks the first step in the Southern Gas Corridor, which will bring Azerbaijani Caspian Gas to Southern Europe and ensure European energy security and energy supply diversification.

    ''Around 500 UK companies and 5000 UK citizens are working in Azerbaijan, most of which are related to BP and its partners. We now need to take this relationship beyond energy, and help build the skills base amongst local people in Azerbaijan. The Sumgait Chemical Industrial Park is currently under construction, and British investment and the skills that British companies can bring are a necessity. The White City Project has transformed an area of heavily contaminated land into a world-class location for top-quality hotels. British companies can certainly contribute in terms of design, architecture and project management. There is also collaboration in the information technology sector, and more students are being sent to the UK on Presidential scholarships than any other country. There are also great opportunities in the financial services sector, which remains underdeveloped.

    ''Baku is preparing to host the inaugural European Games and many companies and specialists who were involved in the London 2012 Olympics are working in Baku. Azerbaijan will be on the World Stage for the first time, and Formula 1 will be hosted in 2016. I am certain that Baku will rise to the occasion due to the drive and determination of the Azerbaijani government. Azerbaijani Ministers are pro-British, keen to see engagement and want British business in their country.''

    Tahir Taghizadeh, recently-appointed Azerbaijani Ambassador to the UK, stated: ''Our Ministers are pro-British and are also pro-Azerbaijani, and our economic, political and security interests almost coincide. We want our relationship with the UK to outlast our hydrocarbon resources. Since 2003, due to political stability and sound macroeconomic policies, the country transformed and the economy grew 3.2 times by 2013. Last year, AzerSpace'"1, the first Azerbaijani satellite was launched, and will soon be followed by the second satellite. There are also many projects aimed at developing the tourist industry.

    ''Azerbaijan accounts for 70 per cent of the South Caucasus GDP, and trades with around 150 countries. Azerbaijan was ranked in 38th position in the Global Competitiveness Report 2014'"15, published by the World Economic Forum. Azerbaijan applies the same principles as the UK in terms of economic development and political ideals. Economic issues will remain at the top of my Ambassadorial agenda. I am committed to bringing easy access to the Azerbaijani economy for UK businesses, whether in the energy or non-energy sector.''

    Lionel Zetter, Director, TEAS, said: ''As you will be aware, Azerbaijan is a very prosperous and stable country, but it has a long-running conflict with neighbouring Armenia and has to look after around 875,000 refugees and Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs). This is a considerable financial burden, even for a wealthy country such as Azerbaijan. It is our job to remind people that the conflict is ongoing and that these people are unable to return to their rightful homes.''

    The meeting was followed by a question-and-answer session which covered such topical issues as flights and visas; the status of the Caspian Sea; the Trans-Eurasian Information Superhighway (TASIM) project; and educational development in the country.
    11
  • Ebola slowing in Liberia
    30.10.2014 18:20
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    http://img.sia.az/news/2014/siaphoto_440564.jpg
    The World Health Organization (WHO) says there has been a decline in the spread of Ebola in Liberia, the country hardest hit in the outbreak.

    The WHO's Bruce Aylward said it was confident the response to the virus was now gaining the upper hand.

    But he warned against any suggestion that the crisis was over.

    The WHO later said the number of cases globally had risen more than 3,000 to 13,703 since its last report, but that this was due to reporting reasons.

    The number of deaths was put at 4,920, roughly the same as the last report four days ago. All but 10 of the deaths have been in Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea.
    7
  • "From Gabala to Johannesburg,The music knows no borders" due in S.Africa
    30.10.2014 18:18
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    http://www.today.az/pictures/pic137295.jpg
    /AzerNews/

    By Amina Nazarli

    The classic music concert called "From Gabala to Johannesburg, The music knows no borders" will be held in Johannesburg, South Africa on November 12-13.

    The event is devoted to the 90th establishment anniversary of Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic and 20thВ anniversary of establishment of democracy in South Africa.

    The event has been co-organized by Azerbaijani Embassy in South Africa, Azerbaijani Ministry of Culture and Tourism and the South African NGO "Friends of Azerbaijan."

    Works of Azerbaijani classical music luminaries such as Gara Garayev, Fikrat Amirov, Soltan Hajibeyov and many others will be performed by Azerbaijani conductor Yalchin Adigozelov, Saida Tagizada (piano) and Alexey Miltukh (violoncello) along with Johannesburg Philharmonic Orchestra.

    The program includes the world's premiere by Sevda Ibrahimova "Confession", which will be performed on the stage of the famous "Linder" concert hall.

    The concert dedicated to Azerbaijan and its classic music will be held for the first time in South Africa.

    This year, the Johannesburg Philharmonic Orchestra took part in the traditional Gabala International Music Festival, where it gave a number of concerts during the ten-day event.

    Formed by a group of committed musicians, the Johannesburg Philharmonic Orchestra was established in May 2000 following the demise of the National Symphony Orchestra.
    7
  • Turkish president Erdogan unveils his new palace of a thousand rooms
    30.10.2014 17:56
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    http:// www.news.az/photos/page-photo/134397.jpg
    The Turkish president has unveiled his new presidential palace on Wednesday amidst huge controversy.

    Opposition politicians have mocked the extravagance of the palace - which has 1,000 rooms and is understood to have cost more than 270 million euros - and say it is evidence of the president's autocratic tendencies.

    Environmentalists are angry that the complex has been built on one of the city's best preserved green spaces and that hundreds of trees were cut down.

    It was originally planned as a palace for the prime minister but once Erdogan stepped down as prime minister and was voted in as president, the plans changed.

    More than 4,000 people had been invited to an evening reception although media outlets critical of his policies were not on the guest list.

    In the end the reception - to mark the annual Republic Day - was cancelled after the mining disaster in the south of the country.
    8
  • Baku 2015 European Games welcomes Serbiaв's Minister of Youth and Sport to Azerbaijan
    30.10.2014 17:51
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    http://img.sia.az/news/2014/siaphoto_440552.jpg
    Baku 2015 European Games yesterday welcomed Mr Vanja UdoviДЌiД‡, Serbiaв's Minister of Youth and Sports, to the organisationв's headquarters.

    Mr UdoviДЌiД‡ was one of his countryв's most talented Water Polo players and won three Olympic medals '" silver at Athens 2004 and bronze at Beijing 2008 and London 2012 '" before moving into politics.

    Mr UdoviДЌiД‡ is visiting Azerbaijan for the Global Forum on Youth Policies, and was updated on all of the latest progress and developments being made before next yearв's inaugural European Games.

    Mr Simon Clegg, Chief Operating Officer of Baku 2015, said: ''It was a pleasure to welcome Mr Udovičić to the Baku 2015 headquarters.

    ''Serbia will be sending a strong team to the inaugural European Games, and we are looking forward to welcoming their athletes to the competition here next year.''

    To date, with 50 per cent of the sports qualification process complete, Serbia have qualified athletes to compete in Basketball 3x3, Boxing, Canoe Sprint, Gymnastics and Wrestling.

    Mr Udovičić, said: ''I was very pleased to be able to visit the Baku 2015 offices and some of the competition venues and facilities. This was also an excellent opportunity for me to meet some of the

    Serbian members of the Baku 2015 team that are helping to make the European Games come alive next year.

    ''In Serbia, our athletes are aware that the European Games as an important event that will become one of the major multi-sport events on the international calendar, so they are very excited about the opportunity to represent our country here in Baku.''
    11
  • Sweden officially recognises Palestinian state
    30.10.2014 17:21
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    http://img.sia.az/news/2014/siaphoto_440536.jpg
    The Swedish government officially recognised the state of Palestine on Thursday, saying it hoped the move would help to revive the stalled Israeli-Palestinian peace process, SIA reports quoting the Reuters.

    The decision drew praise from the Palestinian president and criticism from Israel.

    "Our decision comes at a critical time because over the last year we have seen how the peace talks have stalled, how decisions over new settlements on occupied Palestinian land have complicated a two-state solution and how violence has returned to Gaza," Swedish Foreign Minister Margot Wallstrom told reporters.

    "By making our decision we want to bring a new dynamic to the stalled peace process."

    She rejected accusations that Sweden was taking sides and she hoped other EU countries would follow Sweden's lead.

    Palestinians seek statehood in the Israeli-occupied West Bank and the blockaded Gaza Strip, with East Jerusalem as their capital. But years of efforts to forge a two-state solution with the Israelis have made next to no progress and the Palestinians now see little choice but to make a unilateral push for statehood.

    Wallstrom said Sweden's move aimed at supporting moderate Palestinians and making their status more equal with that of Israelin the peace negotiations, as well as giving hope to young people on both sides.
    9
  • Ukraine ready to pay $268 per 1,000 cubic meters of supplied Russian gas: Yatsenyuk
    30.10.2014 17:16
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    http://img.sia.az/news/2014/siaphoto_440523.jpg
    Ukraine is ready to pay for supplied Russian natural gas at the price of $268 per 1,000 cubic metres, Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk said at a meeting of the Ukrainian government on Thursday.

    ''We are ready to pay the price of $268 for the already supplied gas,'' he said,adding thatKiev had funds for that in the amount of $3.1 billion.

    ''We will pay $1.450 billion right after the signing of the trilateral protocol between Ukraine, Russia and the EU, and $1.650 billion more by the end of the year,'' the prime minister concluded.

    Earlier on Tuesday Russia's Energy Minister Alexander Novak told a government session thatRussia and Ukraine have coordinated framework conditions for the renewal of gas deliveries to Ukraine in winter.
    6
  • Ministry employs over 22 000 people
    30.10.2014 17:08
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    http:// www.news.az/photos/page-photo/134394.jpg
    191 of them are disabled.

    State Employment Service of the Ministry of Labor and Social Protection (MLSP) of Azerbaijan since the beginning of the year employed 814 citizens who are in need of social protection and having trouble finding a job.

    Oxu.Az reports that according to the Ministry, 172 of them are the parents of large families and educate minors alone, 191 - the disabled, 172 - refugees and internally displaced persons, 148 - young people aged up to 20 years, 32 - veterans of war.

    Also, jobs are provided by the quota for 20 members of the families of martyrs, 19 people left on the freedom from the penitentiary, 22 citizen raising children with disabilities, 38 persons close to retirement age (less than two years left to retirement).

    Recall that since the beginning of this year the Ministry of Labor and Social Protection of the Republic employed 22,700 people.
    10
  • Georgia ready for second phase of visa liberalization
    30.10.2014 16:51
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    http://www.today.az/pictures/pic137292.jpg
    /AzerNews/

    By Mushvig Mehdiyev

    Georgia expects a decision on visa-free regime with the EU countries to be adopted by spring, State Minister for European Integration Alexi Petriashvili said.

    Petriashvili noted that Georgia is ready to move to a new phase of the action plan on visa liberalization.

    "European Commission's assessment is of great importance. That's a big step and will lead Georgia to a visa-free regime with the European Union. We should adopt a favorable decision on visa-free regime by Riga Summit in spring," he said.

    European Commission approved the second report on Georgia's progress for implementing the visa liberalization. The report states that Georgia meets the demands of the visa dialogue's first phase. The Commission can subsequently start the assessment of the implementation of the second phase's obligations by Georgia.

    "I am satisfied with the result of the assessment and would like to congratulate the Georgian government for their diligence. They proved they are ready to implement legislative changes. It is a significant progress and an important step in the process of Georgia's approximation to the EU with the purpose of creating visa-free relations," European Commissioner on Internal Affairs Cecilia Malmstrom said.

    The Georgian Foreign Ministry welcomed the European Commission's mentioned decision. It noted that the achieved progress is the result of Georgian government bodies' joint work.

    The Georgian government expressed its readiness to meet the demands envisaged in the second phase of visa liberalization.

    Georgia has earlier made some corrections to its newly amended visa policy in an effort to keep the right balance between the European Union's requirements and liberal approaches. The updated visa regulations enabled to issue multiple-entry visas for a period of 180 days for the citizens of the countries which apply a visa regime with Georgia. The citizens of the countries which Georgia applies visa-free regime - European states, NATO and CIS member-states, as well as the countries which are the important partners - will have a right to stay in the country for a total of 90 days within a period of six months without an entry visa, according to the corrections.
    10
  • LG obliterates the bezel with new smartphone LCD display
    30.10.2014 16:46
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    http://img.sia.az/news/2014/siaphoto_440517.jpg
    Everyone who has seenSharp's Aquos Crystal smartphone has been impressed by it. Thanks to incredibly thin bezels on three sides of its display, that Japanese phone looks like a prop from a sci-fi movie rather than a real device. But LG already has something even better in the works with a new Full HD smartphone display that takes the bezels down toan unprecedented 0.7mm. That's only for the left and right edges of the screen, though looking at the images provided from LG Display shows a sufficiently futuristic panel that should make for some fine competitors to Sharp's smartphone.

    LG Display has achieved the new breakthrough by using a new Neo Edge process wherein the screen's circuit board, touch panel, and backlight are all sealed into one integrated unit. That's said to also help in blocking light leakage and making the display both waterproof and dust-proof. Mass production of the 5.3-inch display is starting next month and the first customers to get ahold of it will be in China, "where demand for large screen smartphones is strong," according to LG.
    8
  • IREIS aims to facilitate property transactions in Abu Dhabi, major intв'l markets
    30.10.2014 16:46
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    http://www.today.az/pictures/pic137291.jpg
    /AzerNews/

    By Sara Rajabova

    The sixth edition of International Real Estate and Investment Show (IREIS 2014), the only dedicated real estate event that targets investors and end-users rather than trade visitors, will focus on high net worth individuals living in the UAE, according to organizers Dome Exhibitions.

    IREIS, which is scheduled to be held on November 20 to 22, 2014 at Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre (ADNEC), aims to provide a snapshot of property markets in the Middle East, Europe and the Asia Pacific region and is looking to influence the real estate investment decisions of the 7.5 million-strong expatriate community living in the UAE.

    The recently published 2014 Global Investor Sentiment Report by Colliers International, the leading real estate services organization, painted the overall picture of investor confidence worldwide as one of improving with expectations of increasing transactional volumes in 2014. The report particularly mentioned key Asian cities including Singapore, Mumbai, Shanghai, Tokyo and Hong Kong to be the top five cities to focus on the future.

    "The key objective of the event is to facilitate and enhance property transactions in Abu Dhabi and major international markets given the UAE's appeal as a leading destination for large numbers of expatriates from all over the world. As the leading investor and end user-centric property event, IREIS will offer a wide selection of properties at different price ranges in key international markets," Antoine Georges, a Managing Director at Dome Exhibitions said.

    The 2014 Global Investor Sentiment Report found out that despite the increasing globalization of the real estate investment market, investors, particularly Asians, still prefer their home markets. Some 77 percent of Asian respondents to Colliers International's survey considered Asia to be their primary investment focus during next 12 months. Additionally, 62 percent of Asian investors believed Asia's property market would improve over the next 12 months.

    Expatriates from the UAE, one of the top global destination for expatriates, is remitted an estimated over $ 20 billion to their home countries according to a report issued by the UAE Foreign Ministry in 2012, which has had a significant impact on the economic growth in recipient countries. A major chunk of these remittances are used to invest in houses and lands as a preferred savings mechanism for expatriates amid rising real estate prices worldwide.

    "IREIS 2014 will benefit those looking to invest in real estate projects in their home countries to find the finest properties that suit their budgets and requirements, while offering them access to mortgage options and answering their queries relating to the investment climate and relevant real estate regulations in the UAE and abroad. Additionally, it serves as an ideal platform for those seeking suitable units for the purpose of leasing, investment or buying in freehold areas in the country, " Georges added.

    The real estate market in Abu Dhabi is currently witnessing a resurgence backed by the strong performance of other economic sectors. Experts in the industry attribute the improving conditions in Abu Dhabi market, especially in prime areas, to a number of factors, most notably the new structural changes in Abu Dhabi's economy that is rapidly shifting its focus to sectors such as tourism, hospitality, media, aviation, manufacturing and renewable energy as articulated by the Abu Dhabi Economic Vision 2030. This has led to a huge influx of well-educated and highly-skilled and financially enabled expatriate professionals to the emirate.

    Expatriates are looking for high quality housing units both in the UAE and in their home countries, which has prompted Abu Dhabi's decision to designate certain areas as freehold properties where foreigners can buy and own real estate such as Reem Island, Saadiyat Island and Al Raha Beach.

    Despite the significant number of new stock has entered Abu Dhabi real estate market in recent years, demand is expected to remain strong due to underlying demographic and economic drivers.

    Colliers International's Abu Dhabi Real Estate Overview for the second quarter of 2014 found the residential market in Abu Dhabi currently supplied with 241,000 units whereas the demand is for 292,000 units. The shortage of 51,000 units or 21 percent of current supply, coupled with the growing housing demand from expatriates has pushed the rental prices up by 12 percent and sales prices by 9 percent year on year basis. The report also found an opportunity for non-national investment in affordable housing sector with Emirate's population increasing 5.5 percent year on year.

    IREIS 2014 is anticipated to attract nearly 10,000 visitors and more than 70 exhibitors from over 20 countries, including the UAE, Saudi, U.S., UK, Poland, Cyprus, Turkey, Greece, Lebanon, Egypt, India, Pakistan, Jordan, Thailand, Portugal and Azerbaijan among others.

    IREIS 2014 will gather key investors, developers, financiers, property advisors, real estate consultants, architects as well as regional and international investment promotion authorities related to the real estate sector. The definitive property event is set to host a number of associated initiatives including an international conference, country-specific presentations, business networking meetings and investor exchanges. DOME Exhibitions, organizers of IREIS 2014, hosts exhibitions in the emirate of Abu Dhabi and helps businesses in the UAE to extend their reach and enhance their visibility in the global marketplace.
    6
  • Erdogan to unveil a new presidential palace
    30.10.2014 16:45
    http://img.sia.az/news/2014/siaphoto_440512.jpg
    http://img.sia.az/news/2014/siaphoto_440512.jpg
    Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is on Wednesday set to unveil his new presidential palace on the outskirts of Ankara.

    Erdogan will host his first official event at the new palace, a reception marking Turkey's annual republic day which celebrates the foundation of modern Turkey in 1923 out of the ruins of the Ottoman Empire.

    The complex, located in the Bestepe (Five Hills) area, has become known as the Ak Saray -- the White Palace.

    An immense project built at a reported cost of $350 million, it has an area of 200,000 square metres, 1,000 rooms and architecture that is supposed to marry modernism and the traditions of the mediaeval Seljuk dynasty.

    It will become the new home of the Turkish presidency, marking an historic break with the Cankaya presidential palace in downtown Ankara.

    The Cankaya has been the seat of the Turkish president ever since the modern republic's founder Mustafa Kemal Ataturk became president and for many has been a symbol of Turkey's modern history as a progressive secular state.

    From Ataturk to Erdogan, it has been the home of 12 Turkish presidents.
    8
  • Azerbaijan increases gold reserves by 17 pct
    30.10.2014 16:42
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    http://www.today.az/pictures/pic137290.jpg
    /AzerNews/

    By Nigar Orujova

    The central banks of developing countries including Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan and Russia increased their gold reserves in September, a report by Dow Jones shows said citing data from the International Monetary Fund.Azerbaijan increased its official gold reserves for the second consecutive month, the report noted. The Central Bank of Azerbaijan increased its reserves by 17.4 percent, bringing them up to 868.321 ounces."The central banks of developing countries have increased their gold reserves over the past few years amid uncertain prospects of the reserve currencies such as the dollar and the euro," the report said.Russia, which is one of the largest holders of precious metals in the world, increased its reserves by 1.2 million ounces, according to the IMF. The Central Bank of Russia, which buys gold from the domestic gold producing industry, currently has reserves of 37 million ounces of gold.Kazakhstan, adding 68,000 ounces to its reserves in September, brought them up to the amount of 5.9 million ounces."At the same time, countries like the Czech Republic and Mexico reduced their reserves," the report said.

    Earlier, Anglo Asian Mining plc, a company involved in the extraction of precious metals in Azerbaijan, revealed plans to become the most leading precious metals and copper producer in the Caucasus.

    AAM has 75 tons of dry copper concentrate and 550 tons of wet copper concentrate stockpiles to sell.

    The company has the right to develop six deposits in the south-west of Azerbaijan - Gadabay, Ordubad, Gosha Bulag, Gyzyl Bulag, Vezhnali, and Soyutlu- under a production sharing agreement signed in August 1997 with Azerbaijan's government.

    The resource base of the company exceeds 36 tons of gold, 292 tons of silver and 94.000 tons of copper.

    The gold produced at the mines is sent for treatment to Switzerland. The ingots are brought to Azerbaijan and stored on the government's account.Overall, Anglo Asian's production in the nine months of the year reached 43,232 ounces of gold, 27,419 ounces of silver and 580 tons of copper.
    11
  • Poles want to lay tram tracks in Baku
    30.10.2014 16:41
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    http:// www.news.az/photos/page-photo/134392.jpg
    The countries may begin the cooperation.

    Chairman of the State Committee for City Building and Architecture Abbas Alasgarov adopted on the basis of the presentation of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Azerbaijan the delegation headed by Deputy Minister of Infrastructure and Development of Poland Marcin Kubyakin.

    Oxu.Az reports with reference to the Comittee that Abbas Alasgarov presented guests with detailed information about the functions of the State Committee for Architecture and Urban Planning and the work done, and also clarified their questions.

    The guests spoke about the need to build a tram network, which can take an important place in the transport infrastructure of Baku and about the experiences of Poland in this area, as well as the possibility of its use and stated that they were interested in cooperation with Azerbaijan in the future in this area.
    7
  • Azerbaijani Ambassador and Prime Ministerial Trade Envoy join forces in Central London
    30.10.2014 16:35
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    http://azertag.az//files/galleryphoto/2014/3/600x400/14146721201731932541_600x400.JPG
    London, October 30, AzerTAc

    The European Azerbaijan Society (TEAS) has collaborated with CATBIG - a business-to-business network for UK-based companies, focusing on the countries of Central Asia and the Trans-Caucasus - to organise a briefing for more than 60 diplomats and international delegates from the UK energy, financial services, information technology, infrastructure and agricultural sectors. The UK remains the greatest contributor of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) to Azerbaijan, equating to 32.2 per cent of all FDI ($1.3bn) during the first half of 2014, according to the Azerbaijani State Statistics Committee.

    The relevance of Azerbaijan to the UK and across Europe has increased considerably since the signing of a $45bn agreement in 2013 between the Azerbaijani government and the BP-led Shah Deniz Consortium. From 2018, this will see Caspian gas from the Shah Deniz II development being transported to an interconnector in Italy.

    Charles Hendry MP, Prime Ministerial Trade Envoy to Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan, commented: "An excellent state of relations exists between the countries, and it is imperative for British businesses to see where the opportunities lie and understand how UK and Azerbaijani governments and partner organisations can collaborate to help UK businesses optimise their revenues.

    "The relationship is currently overwhelmingly centred around oil and gas, and BP was significantly the first international investor in the country, following the regaining of independence. Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev has spoken of BP as being the partner of choice for another 20-30 years. The final investment decision (FID) between the Azerbaijani government and the BP-led Shah Deniz Consortium, signed in December 2013 in the presence of the Rt. Hon. William Hague MP, former UK Foreign Secretary, can be seen as the next stage of this relationship. This marks the first step in the Southern Gas Corridor, which will bring Azerbaijani Caspian Gas to Southern Europe and ensure European energy security and energy supply diversification.

    "Around 500 UK companies and 5000 UK citizens are working in Azerbaijan, most of which are related to BP and its partners. We now need to take this relationship beyond energy, and help build the skills base amongst local people in Azerbaijan. The Sumgait Chemical Industrial Park is currently under construction, and British investment and the skills that British companies can bring are a necessity. The White City Project has transformed an area of heavily contaminated land into a world-class location for top-quality hotels. British companies can certainly contribute in terms of design, architecture and project management. There is also collaboration in the information technology sector, and more students are being sent to the UK on Presidential scholarships than any other country. There are also great opportunities in the financial services sector, which remains underdeveloped.

    "Baku is preparing to host the inaugural European Games and many companies and specialists who were involved in the London 2012 Olympics are working in Baku. Azerbaijan will be on the World Stage for the first time, and Formula 1 will be hosted in 2016. I am certain that Baku will rise to the occasion due to the drive and determination of the Azerbaijani government. Azerbaijani Ministers are pro-British, keen to see engagement and want British business in their country."

    Tahir Taghizadeh, recently-appointed Azerbaijani Ambassador to the UK, stated: "Our Ministers are pro-British and are also pro-Azerbaijani, and our economic, political and security interests almost coincide. We want our relationship with the UK to outlast our hydrocarbon resources. Since 2003, due to political stability and sound macroeconomic policies, the country transformed and the economy grew 3.2 times by 2013. Last year, AzerSpace-1, the first Azerbaijani satellite was launched, and will soon be followed by the second satellite. There are also many projects aimed at developing the tourist industry.

    "Azerbaijan accounts for 70 per cent of the South Caucasus GDP, and trades with around 150 countries. Azerbaijan was ranked in 38th position in the Global Competitiveness Report 2014-15, published by the World Economic Forum. Azerbaijan applies the same principles as the UK in terms of economic development and political ideals. Economic issues will remain at the top of my Ambassadorial agenda. I am committed to bringing easy access to the Azerbaijani economy for UK businesses, whether in the energy or non-energy sector."

    Lionel Zetter, Director, TEAS, said: "As you will be aware, Azerbaijan is a very prosperous and stable country, but it has a long-running conflict with neighbouring Armenia and has to look after around 875,000 refugees and Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs). This is a considerable financial burden, even for a wealthy country such as Azerbaijan. It is our job to remind people that the conflict is ongoing and that these people are unable to return to their rightful homes."

    The meeting was followed by a question-and-answer session which covered such topical issues as flights and visas; the status of the Caspian Sea; the Trans-Eurasian Information Superhighway (TASIM) project; and educational development in the country.

    Orkhan Ismayilov

    Special Correspondent
    6
  • Synergy Baku Cyclists to join Tour of Taihu Lake
    30.10.2014 16:22
    http://www.today.az/pictures/pic137289.jpg
    http://www.today.az/pictures/pic137289.jpg
    /AzerNews/

    By Amina Nazarli

    The Tour of Taihu Lake will be held in China from November 1 to 9.

    The Synergy Baku Cycling' riders will continue their racing schedule in China to build on their impressive performance in the just-ended Tour of Hainan.

    Team captain Maxim Averin will attend the competition along with national champions Elchin Asadov, Enver Asanov, Ismail Ilyasov, Samir Jabrayilov and Alex Surutkovych. Only Christoph Schweizer will not take part at the race in eastern China.

    The nine-stage race is mostly flat, offering bunch sprint finishes. The weather for the first few days is expected to be about 20 degrees C with light rain.

    The squad recently competed successfully in the Tour of Hainan, where it took the fifth place among 20 teams, standing above such strong teams as Holland Belkin-Pro Cycling Team, Australian Drapac Professional Cycling and Team Novo Nordisk of the U.S.

    Team manager David McQuaid praised the Azeri riders for their unity and strong performance.

    Being loyal to its slogan "For a sustainable future" Synergy Group OJSC is the main sponsor of the first professional cycling team of Azerbaijan "Synergy Baku Cycling Project".
    8
  • Apple CEO Tim Cook: I'm proud to be gay
    30.10.2014 16:22
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    http://img.sia.az/news/2014/siaphoto_440498.jpg
    Apple CEO Tim Cook publicly confirmed he is gay in an opinion piece published Thursday advocating for human rights and equality.

    In the essay published by Businessweek, Cook says he was inspired by Dr. Martin Luther King, citing the quote "Life's most persistent question is, 'What are you doing for others?'"

    "While I have never denied my sexuality, I haven't publicly acknowledged it either, until now," writes Cook. "So let me be clear: I'm proud to be gay, and I consider being gay among the greatest gifts God has given me."

    Cook says he's been privately open with others about being gay, but felt compelled to come out to help others. "I don't consider myself an activist, but I realize how much I've benefited from the sacrifice of others," writes Cook. "So if hearing that the CEO of Apple is gay can help someone struggling to come to terms with who he or she is, or bring comfort to anyone who feels alone, or inspire people to insist on their equality, then it's worth the trade-off with my own privacy."

    Cook's piece published days after the Apple CEO criticized his home state of Alabama over gay rights. "We can't change the past, but we can learn from it, and we can create a different future," said Cook.

    This is not the first time Cook's sexuality has been addressed. In June, CNBC hosted a segment on gay CEOs where one host seemd to out Cook as gay. "I think Tim Cook is fairly open about the fact that he is gay at the head of Apple, isn't he?" said Squawk on the Street co-host Simon Hobbs, causing an awkward silence. Hobbs quickly followed with "Oh dear, was that an error?"

    Cook says the decision to reveal his sexuality was difficult, and hopes people focus more on his efforts running the tech giant. "Part of social progress is understanding that a person is not defined only by one's sexuality, race, or gender. I'm an engineer, an uncle, a nature lover, a fitness nut, a son of the South, a sports fanatic, and many other things. I hope that people will respect my desire to focus on the things I'm best suited for and the work that brings me joy."
    10
  • Former member of "NIDA" joins "Yeni Azerbaijan" party
    30.10.2014 16:15
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    http:// www.news.az/photos/page-photo/134391.jpg
    "Henceforth, I will direct all my forces to promote Azerbaijan."

    Pardoned by presidential decree, the former member of the revolutionary youth organization "NД°DA" Elsever Mursalli applied for membership in the "Yeni Azerbaijan" party (NAP).

    According to Oxu.Az, the information about it was published in the "Yeni Azerbaijan" newspaper.

    In the appeal, which E.Mursalli wrote to Khachmaz district organization of the Party, he said that he was under the influence of some opposition forces, being already under arrest:

    "... They promised that if I join the ranks of the revolutionary organization "NД°DA", they will attained my release, and I truest them and joined the organization.

    Later I realized that I was going down the wrong path, and considering the fact that I was very young and entered the wrong path unwittingly, I turned to President Ilham Aliyev for pardon. Soon, Mr. President pardoned me.

    I can not express in words the joy I felt at that moment when I was told that I was pardoned. I thanked the President through the media on my behalf and on behalf of my family. Immediately after the release, I visited the grave of national leader Heydar Aliyev and only then I went home.

    After being released, I again witnessed the rapid development of Azerbaijan and came to a conclusion that I will continue to direct all my efforts to promote this development. That's why I decided to join the ranks of the ruling "Yeni Azerbaijan" Party. "
    7
  • Queen Maxima in Japan
    30.10.2014 16:02
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    http://img.sia.az/news/2014/siaphoto_440486.jpg
    Handshakes, beaming smiles and kisses set the tone for Queen Maxima and King Willem-Alexander's state visit to Japan, which combined pomp and ceremony with the feeling of a meeting between family friends.

    Arriving at the Imperial Palace at the start of a six-day trip, the Dutch royals were greeted warmly by Emperor Akihito and his wife Empress Michiko, both 80.

    The Emperor's daughter-in-law Princess Masako, wife of his son Crown Prince Naruhito, had paid their guests the ultimate compliment by wearing orange '" the Dutch national colour. Her suit echoed Maxima's own elegant choice of a Fifties-style day dress in burnt orange, with a bandeau head dress.

    For many years Masako has suffered from a stress-induced nervous condition. So her high-profile participation in the welcome is a sign both of her improving health and her closeness to the Dutch royals.

    In 2006, two years after Masako's diagnosis, Willem-Alexander's mother, formerly Queen Beatrix, invited the Japanese princess and her husband for a two-week holiday at her private estate, Het Loo Palace, in Apeldoorn.

    The Dutch royals are welcomed by Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko

    Many royal watchers said Beatrix sympathised given that her own husband, the late Prince Claus, suffered with severe depression.

    Last year Masako undertook her first overseas engagement in 11years to attend Willem-Alexander's inauguration as king at the express request of Maxima, who phoned to encourage her.

    On Tuesday, the Dutch monarch was invited to inspect an honour guard as soldiers raised the flags of both their countries.

    After a visit to a design museum and an oriental garden, the royals were guests of honour at a splendid banquet. For the stylish evening affair, Maxima was resplendent in a gold sequin-encrusted gown, with a diamond and pearl tiara, with matching drop earrings and a diamond bow-shaped brooch.
    17
  • Croatian Deputy PM pays respect to national leader Heydar Aliyev and Azerbaijani heroes
    30.10.2014 15:53
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    http://azertag.az//files/galleryphoto/2014/3/600x400/14146695765761852258_600x400.JPG
    Baku, October 30, AzerTAc

    A delegation led by First Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign and European Affairs of Croatia Vesna Pusic has today visited the Alley of Honors to lay a wreath at the tomb of national leader, founder and architect of modern Azerbaijani state Heydar Aliyev.

    The delegation also put flowers at the grave of prominent ophthalmologist, academician Zarifa Aliyeva.

    They then visited the Alley of Martyrs to commemorate Azerbaijani heroes who gave their lives for the country's independence and territorial integrity.

    The Croatian Minister laid a wreath at the Eternal Flame monument.
    8
  • Iran petrodollars down 30% as crude prices fall: Rouhani
    30.10.2014 15:52
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    http:// www.news.az/photos/page-photo/134388.jpg
    Iranв's President Hassan Rouhani says the countryв's oil revenues have plunged by 30 percent due to a recent fall in crude prices in the global market.

    Addressing a Majlis session on Wednesday, Rouhani said that the oil-rich country should be prepared to deal with "the new conditions", Press TV reports.

    President Rouhani said that economic issues have never been the only determinants of oil prices, as "politics and global plots" have often had a significant role as well.

    Oil is the main source of income for Iran.

    Brent crude, a benchmark for more than half of the world's oil, has fallen more than 20 percent since June, when its price had reached about USD 115 a barrel.

    Iran has slashed its crude price in an attempt to attract Asian customers following a recent slump in the oil prices due to market oversupply and concomitant falling demand.

    The director for international affairs of National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) said recently that OPEC is unlikely to reduce its production ceiling when it meets in November.

    Mohsen Qamsari also said that an emergency meeting of OPEC is unnecessary now. "Holding a meeting now is ineffective," he said.

    In May, NIOC said oil production capacity of the Islamic Republic would reach four million barrels per day by the end of the current Persian calendar year in March 2015.

    Iran will be capable of exploiting its oil reservoir for the next six decades as the country has estimated crude reserves of 157 billion barrels, the NIOC says.
    7
  • Emma Watson on her feminist UN speech
    30.10.2014 15:47
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    http://img.sia.az/news/2014/siaphoto_440471.jpg
    Last month Emma Watson made waves when she delivered a game-changing speech about feminism.

    The 24-year-old star, who is a UN Goodwill Ambassador for Women, was speaking at the launch of the HeForShe campaign '" a solidarity movement for gender equality that "brings together one half of humanity in support of the other".

    Opening up about that speech that went viral, Emma told Elle UK: "I was very nervous."

    Photo: В© Getty Images

    UN Ambassador Emma Watson delivered a speech on feminism last month

    "It wasn't an easy thing for me to do," she said. "It felt like: 'Am I going to have lunch with these people, or am I going to be eaten? Am I the lunch?'"

    The Harry Potter actress explained how she was using her stardom for the good of her cause.

    "Fame is not something I have always felt comfortable with," said Emma. "I have really grappled with it emotionally. And, in a funny way, doing this is my way of making sense of the fame, of using it. I have found a way to channel it towards something else, which makes it so much more manageable for me. And this is something I really believe in."

    Her attitude is something she picked up from a young age, when, sitting around the dinner table, Emma was raised to believe that her opinion was valuable. "My mum and I spoke as loudly as my brothers," she said.

    Last month, the Paris-born beauty reinforced her feminist views in a rousing speech delivered at the New York United Nations headquarters.

    "You might be thinking who is this Harry Potter girl?" said Emma. "And what is she doing up on stage at the UN. It's a good question and trust me I have been asking myself the same thing. I don't know if I am qualified to be here. All I know is that I care about this problem. And I want to make it better."

    Emma warned her audience not to confuse feminism '" "an unpopular word" '" with "man-hating" and called on men to support her fight for gender equality.

    "I want men to take up this mantle," she said. "So their daughters, sisters and mothers can be free from prejudice but also so that their sons have permission to be vulnerable and human too '" reclaim those parts of themselves they abandoned and in doing so be a more true and complete version of themselves."
    8
  • Pomegranate tree exhibition opens in Baku
    30.10.2014 15:41
    http://www.today.az/pictures/pic137287.jpg
    http://www.today.az/pictures/pic137287.jpg
    /AzerNews/

    By Amina Nazarli

    "Pomegranate Tree" exhibition of young Azerbaijani artists was held in Shirvanshahs Palace Complex in the ancient part of Baku - Icheri Sheher on October 29.

    The exhibition is dedicated to the upcoming holiday of pomegranate, which is celebrated annually in Azerbaijan in early November.

    The event was organized by creative youth club "Constellation" at the Russian Information and Cultural Center (RICC) in Baku.

    Speaking at the event, Head of Museum-Reserve Rena Rzayeva noted that this exhibition is not the first one, which the museum is holding jointly with the creative youth club "Constellation" at the RICC.

    It was emphasized that such events attract young people to the museum promoting art and beauty among them.

    Head of Russian cooperation in Azerbaijan Valentin Denisov, Rena Rzayeva and Head of the club "Constellation" Munavvar Mukhtarova presented special diplomas to the exhibition's participants.

    Mukhtarova added that the exhibition will last for one week in Park Boulevard from November 1.

    Thirty young and talented artists displayed their works at the exhibition.

    The pomegranate is a unique fruit, and Azerbaijan is the only country in the world which grows all varieties of pomegranate. The bright juicy fruit has long been a symbol of Azerbaijan.

    Since 2006 the Pomegranate Festival being held on the harvesting time has been celebrated in Azerbaijan's Goychay region in early November.

    The varieties of pomegranates grown in different villages of Goychay and the products made of pomegranate are brought to the center of the region and shown at an exhibition in the town square.

    Young athletes' performances and concerts take place in the town's center as well.

    The main purpose of the holiday is to promote the region's culture and its economic capacities to attract more tourists.
    9
  • Mubariz Gurbanli sees no need to declare Ashura as non-working day in Azerbaijan
    30.10.2014 15:30
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    http:// www.news.az/photos/page-photo/134383.jpg
    Mubariz Gurbanli answered those who demand to declare the Day of Ashura as a non-working day in Azerbaijan, APA reports.

    Azerbaijan is a secular country and all the momentous days, including Ramadan and Eid al-Adha in Islamic world as holidays are marked in the country where 96 percent of its population is Muslim.

    The Chairman of the Committee said that if Azerbaijan includes the Day of Ashura in this list, it will cause some kind of discrimination against other religious sects in the country.

    "Fore example, Iran is a country where Shiites live in. However, 60 percent of Azerbaijan's population is Shiites. The government doesn't want to demonstrate discrimination in this matter. Anyway, people visit mosques and celebrate the Day of Ashura. The Caucasian Muslims Office also issues fatwa. There is no need for the government's any intervention in this matter.
    7
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