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Arshin mal alan by great Uzeyir Hajibeyli conquers Los Angeles
08.09.2013 22:09
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Los Angeles has hosted the premiere of Arshin mal alan (The Cloth Peddler), a world-known operetta by great Azerbaijani composer Uzeyir Hajibeyli.

The operetta was performed by an all American team and produced by famous director Michael Schnack. Actors had diligent rehearsals for several months. They said the toughest thing to do was to learn to sing in Azerbaijani.

James Judd, who played the musical comedy`s main character, Asgar, said it took them a long time to learn the words of arias.

Asha Lindsey, who played Gulchohra, said she learned a lot about Azerbaijan`s history and culture, as well as Islam when she played in Arhshin mal alan for the first time seven years ago. "I have many Azerbaijani friends. I can tell much about this unique country. I know very well what my character wants. If Gulchohra lived now, she would have been very brave," Lindsey added.

Michael Schnack said the Americans have a different approach to tradition, especially in an artistic sense. "Younger generations in America are open to changes. One of the reasons why Azerbaijan is of such interest to Americans is that the West was once strongly influencing this country."

Hundred years ago helped by oil tycoon and philanthropist Haji Zeynalabdin Taghiyev, Uzeyir Hajibeyli presented his brainchild to the world. Symbolically, hundred years later this masterpiece of Hajibeyli is staged in the USA with the support from the State Oil Company of Azerbaijan Republic (SOCA), a major actor on the global energy market. The Consulate General of Azerbaijan in Los Angeles and the Ministry of Culture and Tourism greatly contributed to organizing the event.

It was Los Angeles where in 1937 Armenians attempted to plagiarize this masterpiece by great Hajibeyli.

Azerbaijan`s Consul General Nasimi Aghayev said California is home to 1.5 million Armenians, with most of them living in Los Angeles. "The Armenian lobby is carrying out active propaganda against us. In order to prevent this we must make the truths about Azerbaijan known to the American society, and we are doing this. And the best way to do this is to promote Azerbaijan`s reach cultural legacy," said the Consul General.

The musical comedy was played to a full house at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, one of the premier opera houses of the world also famous for hosting Oscar Awards ceremonies in 1970-90s. An audience of 3,000 people enjoyed this comic and romantic story of love full of songs and humor for about two hours. The performance received a standing ovation.

Following the performance the guests who came to watch it were exchanging their impressions. Some said they enjoyed the music, while others were amazed by the setting and the national costumes.

Kalma Blumber, a Los Angeles resident, said: "It`s fantastic. Amazing music, unique costumes, a very impressive story. I`ve discovered much about Azerbaijan, its history. It`s a sensation."

Austrian Consul in Los Angeles Liliana Popova said: "Great, breathtaking music. My brother is a pianist. He worked with a symphonic orchestra in Baku, and I have many recollections of that time. And I`m very happy today. I`m really amazed by today`s performance."

Jim Kerkman, a Los Angeles resident, said: "It`s a remarkable event that opens the door for us to the beautiful East in a true sense of the word."

The Cloth Peddler conquered Los Angeles, which is considered the movie capital of the world and is home to Hollywood. But to amaze Hollywood is no easy task.
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  • Bankruptcy threatening banks in Armenia
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    http://www.today.az/pictures/pic138523.jpg
    http://www.today.az/pictures/pic138523.jpg
    /By AzerNews/

    By Mushvig Mehdiyev

    There are only two options left for banks in Armenia amid the financial crisis: either merge or turn into a credit organization.

    The central bank adopted an unparalleled decision last year to urge the banks to increase their overall capital from $10 million to $60 million. The new decision is expected to come into force in 2017.

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    The total capitals of the two commercial banks - Armbusinessbank and Inecobank - are slightly below the considered $60 million average norm. They are among the banks which are expected to have no problem to meet the central bank's demand in 2017.

    But the new decision will inflict a heavy blow on eight commercial banks in the post-Soviet country, since their overall money reserve is even under the current $10 million threshold.

    The experts believe that these banks will either merge to achieve the obligatory capital together or will just turn into credit organizations to remain in Armenia's financial market. The new decision could finally bring some of them to closure, claim the specialists.

    The central bank justifies its unexpected decision with a move to ensure the credibility and protection of the commercial banks.

    Smbat Nasibyan, Co-Founder of the Converse Bank, believes there is already a financial crisis in Armenia and the banks donв't have enough accumulated reserves to welcome the new decision.

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    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2014/11/03/cemil_cicek_031114.jpg
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    http://www.today.az/pictures/pic138522.jpg
    http://www.today.az/pictures/pic138522.jpg
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    By Mushvig Mehdiyev

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  • Georgia to launch e-visa service soon
    30.01.2015 11:20
    http://www.today.az/pictures/pic138521.jpg
    http://www.today.az/pictures/pic138521.jpg
    /By AzerNews/

    By Mushvig Mehdiyev

    In an effort to give an impetus to the tourism sector of its economy, Georgia is planning to launch the electronic visa issuance service in February, 2015.

    The initiative is part of the government's strategy to maintain the long-term stability of the national currency, lari. The measure also aims to encourage export, tourism and direct foreign investment inflow in Georgia.

    "We want to increase the number of tourists. Launch of e-visa service will simplify the procedures of visiting Georgia,'' said Irakli Garibashvili, Prime Minister.

    Meanwhile, the government is working on the drafts of investment projects to be realized in different regions of Georgia.

    "We have already created a very attractive ground for the investors, including establishment of favorable business conditions in Georgia's regions. The projects to be implemented in the regions are building hydro power stations and developing and promoting the local production and etc. Now we are trying to establish communication with the businessmen who are interested in investing in the regions. We will also do our best to encourage the private business,'' Garibashvili said.

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  • Shakira gives birth to second baby
    30.01.2015 11:20
    http://img.sia.az/news/2015/siaphoto_457403.jpg
    http://img.sia.az/news/2015/siaphoto_457403.jpg
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  • Most popular money transfer systems announced in Kazakhstan
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    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2013/03/12/Money_transfers_120313.jpg
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2013/03/12/Money_transfers_120313.jpg
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    Around 89 percent of money transfers account for TOP 5 systems.

    There are 14 money transfer systems on the market. Around 276 billion tenge were transferred abroad via money transfer systems during a year.

    As of 2014, Kazakhstan's Faster money transfer system was among the five largest money transfer systems - 28 billion (10 percent of the market).

    Faster system showed the maximum share increase on the market - from 4 to 10 percent compared to the first quarter of 2014. Golden Crown is a leader on the market. It reduced the share from 32 to 28 percent during this period. Around 1.8 million remittances were conducted abroad during the year. The average money transfer check on the market is 150,400 tenge, Golden Crown - 129,300, Western Union - 201,600, Faster - 131,000 tenge.

    Edited by CN

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  • Azerbaijani MP elected deputy chairman of PACE committee
    30.01.2015 11:13
    http:// www.news.az/photos/page-photo/136804.jpg
    http:// www.news.az/photos/page-photo/136804.jpg
    Sevinj Fataliyeva has been elected a deputy chairman of the PACE committee, AzerTag reports.

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  • Investing in European real estate market profitable
    30.01.2015 11:06
    http://www.today.az/pictures/pic138520.jpg
    http://www.today.az/pictures/pic138520.jpg
    /By AzerNews/

    By Aynur Karimova

    ''The best investment on earth is earth.'' Louis Glickman.

    Real estate is the safest kind of investment in the world. It cannot be lost or stolen, but, if needed, one can sell his / her real estate for good money.

    In recent years, with the development of Azerbaijanв's economy, the countryв's citizens have started investing in real estate markets of various foreign countries. They usually purchase real estate for business and living purpose.

    Recently, a favorable prospect has appeared for Azerbaijani citizens who wish to invest in the European real estate market. Head of the consulting company 'Value and Sourcesв' Rashad Aliyev believes this is mainly due to the stability of Azerbaijanв's national currency manat.

    ''The exchange rate of manat to the U.S. dollar is stable. This, in turn, means that the depreciation of euro against dollar occurs in parallel with its depreciation against manat,'' he told local media.

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    The expert went on adding that depreciation of the exchange rate of euro will stimulate not only the export of the Eurozone, but will also improve the indicator of tourist flow to Europe.

    ''The level of investment in the real estate market will be in focus as well. However, unlike Azerbaijan, the unfavorable situation of the national currencies in other CIS countries, including Russia, Ukraine, Kazakhstan, Belarus, are unlikely to fully stimulate their citizens to seize the opportunity. Currencies of some of these countries have generally outperformed the euro in depreciation. Therefore, no increase is expected in tourist flow and the level of investment in real estate in these countries,'' he said.

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    ''It is expected that pumping of money by the ECB into the economy could give an impetus to the growth in property prices. Therefore, the further effect of depreciation of the exchange rate may be offset by the likely increase in property prices,'' the expert concluded.

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  • AtaBank OJSC enforces implementation of ''MasterCard Contactless'' functionality
    30.01.2015 11:06
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    http://img.sia.az/news/2015/siaphoto_457397.jpg
    AtaBank OJSC implemented the ''MasterCard Contactless'' functionality on its new ''MasterCard'' plastic cards. POS-terminals that belong to AtaBank and installed in partner network are programmed and ready to accept contactless cards. It was reported by Mr. Elnur Osmanov, Member of the Board '" Executive Director of the AtaBank OJSC. As he said, POS-terminals of AtaBank will be able to accept ''MasterCard Contactless'' cards. AtaBank OJSC is the Principal Member of ''MasterCard Europe SPRL'' since 2013. Being the biggest bank-acquirer in Azerbaijan AtaBank will gradually activate contactless payments throughout the POS-terminals network. MasterCard Country Manager HakanAcar stated: ''Consumers around the world are embracing contactless payment experience more and more each day. We are very proud to partner with AtaBank, as it is one of the largest acquirers in Azerbaijan, to expand the use of MasterCard contactless payment service to consumers across the country. We look forward to providing more contactless payments opportunities for cardholders, through a wider range of MasterCard-enabled cards and devices.'' Number of cards issued by AtaBank is almost 26 000. Bank has 78 ATMs and 18 567 POS-terminals.

    For detailed information about MasterCard products of AtaBank OJSC visit the official website www.atabank.com or the bankв's official facebook page www.facebook.com/AtaBank.
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  • OSCE MG: Use of drones on Azerbaijani-Armenian troops contact line - provocation
    30.01.2015 11:00
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    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2013/11/05/james_warlick_051113_02.jpg
    Baku, Azerbaijan, Jan. 30

    By Anakhanim Hidayatova - Trend:

    The reported use of drones above or across the contact line between Azerbaijani and Armenian troops in Nagorno-Karabakh is a provocation, the OSCE Minks Group's US Co-chair James Warlick tweeted Jan. 29.

    "The sides need to reduce tensions," Warlick noted.

    On Jan. 29, the Azerbaijani armed forces destroyed an Armenian unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV).

    Azerbaijan's air force destroyed the UAV belonging to the Armenian armed forces above the Azerbaijani army positions in the Aghdam part of the frontline at around 14:00 (UTC/GMT 4 hours).

    The conflict between the two South Caucasus countries began in 1988 when Armenia made territorial claims against Azerbaijan.

    As a result of the ensuing war, in 1992 Armenian armed forces occupied 20 percent of Azerbaijan, including the Nagorno-Karabakh region and seven surrounding districts.

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

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

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  • Rouhani says Iran should progress in space technology
    30.01.2015 10:43
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2013/08/06/hassan_rouhani_060813_11.jpg
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2013/08/06/hassan_rouhani_060813_11.jpg
    Baku, Azerbaijan, Jan. 30

    By Temkin Jafarov - Trend:

    Priority to restructure Iranian Space Agency is in line with the government's policy to promote knowledge-based economy, Iranian president Hassan Rouhani said, IRNA reported.

    Rouhani's statement came out amid Iran's preparation to launch the "Sharif" satellite into space by February 11, 2015.

    Meanwhile, Iran's vice president for executive affairs Mohammad Shariatmadari told Fars News Agency on Nov. 14 that Iran's Defense Ministry has announced readiness for launching the satellite.

    Back in 2012 it was reported that more than 100 Iranian students, scholars and academics have been involved in designing and constructing the indigenous satellite, which weighs less than 50 kilograms.

    Iran launched its first indigenous satellite, Omid (Hope), in 2009. The country also sent its first bio-capsule containing living creatures into the space in February 2010, using the indigenous Kavoshgar-3 (Explorer-3) carrier.

    In June 2011, Iran put the 15.3-kilogram Rasad (Observation) orbiter in space. Rasad's mission was to take images of the Earth and transmit them along with telemetry information to ground stations.

    Iran also launched Navid-e Elm-o Sanat (Harbinger of Science and Industry), another indigenous satellite, into the orbit on February 3, 2012.

    Follow us on Twitter @
    5
  • Nature needs not plastic bags
    30.01.2015 10:41
    http://www.today.az/pictures/pic138519.jpg
    http://www.today.az/pictures/pic138519.jpg
    /By AzerNews/

    By Nigar Orujova

    Have you ever thought how much garbage you create every week, over an entire year or throughout your life? We all come to this world with nothing but our body. However we start to leave behind our first trash with the first diaper.

    Piles of garbage raise the ecological warnings. One of the most widespread dangerous trashes is plastic in general and plastic bags, a sign of the consumption era, in particular.

    Twenty years ago, plastic bag was in a deficit in our region and people used string and paper bags instead. Today, the situation has changed dramatically.

    More than 1,000 plastic bags are used by average Azerbaijani citizen every year. Meanwhile, the number of plastic bags used worldwide is estimated at 1 trillion annually.

    Non-compostable plastic bags take 500-1,000 years to degrade. They hurt our children, our animals and damage our nature. Despite this, we use plastic bags in tones, collecting them in our house.

    Azerbaijanв's capital Baku has been famous for centuries as the city of wind. Nowadays, it is famous for its wind and plastic bags that fly over the city.

    Ecologists have called for banning production and usage of the plastic bags in Azerbaijan.

    "Azerbaijan needs to stop production the plastic bags! We must not learn from the European experience in this area by reducing the annual usage of the plastic bags. We just have to ban its production immediately,'' Telman Zeynalov, ecologist, Chairman of the Environmental Council of the Ecology and Natural Resources Ministry, said to the local press.

    Plastic bags are made from oil, and the cessation of their production will lead to savings of oil resources, he believes. ''We should not forget that the process of decomposition of these packages takes a century. In the process of decomposition, the soil becomes polluted thereby infecting the crops.''

    Plastic bags production contributes to air pollution and energy consumption. Just imagine that the amount of petroleum used to make 1 plastic bag would drive a car about 11 meters. Meanwhile, trillions of these bags are produced annually around the world.

    Europe, for its turn has come to the decision to decrease the usage of plastic bags in the European Union, in order to reduce the production of waste and to reduce the potential impact on the environment.

    Today, each European, according to the European Commission, annually uses 198 plastic packages including thin bags and durable package.

    It is expected that by 2025, EU citizens will use no more than 45 such packages per year. Today, fewer plastic bags in the EU are used per year by averaged residents of Luxembourg (20), Ireland (20) and Austria (51). Meanwhile, citizens of Bulgaria (421), Czech Republic (330) and Romania (280) use many of these bags.

    Europe is now imposing taxes on the plastic bags. In Ireland, usage of plastic bags has decreased by almost 90 percent a few months after the introduction of the tax in 2013.

    Azerbaijan can also use this system.

    There are also other ways to find a way out '" production of bio-plastic bags that are made of plastic that decomposes in natural conditions. But the most effective way is to switch to reusable bags.

    People, who are worried about the situation are creating different trends around the world. Some choose to live without plastic, while others try to live with no garbage at all, calling their lifestyle as ''zero plastic'' and ''zero waste.'' They do not use the traditional packing, and avoid food products garbage.

    There are green stores in different parts of the world that offer shopping by weight without any package. People come here with their own bags. This idea is not a new one for our region, as our grandparents used to buy food and other products at bazaars where no package was used.

    Maybe it is the high time to recall this tradition as long as the nature has still some chances for survival.
    4
  • OSCE chairman hopes for peace settlement
    30.01.2015 10:40
    http://img.sia.az/news/2015/siaphoto_457388.jpg
    http://img.sia.az/news/2015/siaphoto_457388.jpg
    The OSCE Chairperson-in-Office, Serbiaв's Foreign Minister Ivica Dacic, said Thursday he hopes the Minsk meeting of the Contact Group on Ukraine will pave the way toward peace settlement of the conflict in Ukraine.

    Dacic held a telephone conversation with his Special Representative to the Trilateral Contact Group, Ambassador Heidi Tagliavini, who briefed him on the latest developments in the implementation of the peace plan in eastern Ukraine, the OSCE reported Thursday.

    "Dacic extended his full support for the work of Tagliavini and the Trilateral Contact Group. He expressed his hope that the Contact Group members and all the signatories of the Minsk documents would gather for a new round of peace consultations in Minsk as soon as possible," the statement said.

    "I urge all sides involved in the conflict to stop the hostilities and return to the negotiating table. The international community expects the signatories of the Minsk documents to honour their commitments and pave the way for a peaceful resolution of the conflict," Dacic said.

    A regular meeting of the Contact Group with participation of representatives of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, Russia, Ukraine, the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Lugansk Peopleв's republics (DPR and LPR) will be held in Minsk on Friday, January 30.

    The decision to make Minsk a permanent negotiating site for the Contact Group on Ukraine was made August 26, 2014 in the Belarusian capital after a Customs Union summit.

    Over 4,000 people have lost their lives and hundreds of thousands have fled Ukraineв's southeast as a result of clashes between Ukrainian troops and local militias in the Donetsk and Lugansk regions during Kievв's military operation, conducted since mid-April 2014, to regain control over parts of the breakaway territories, which call themselves the Donetsk and Lugansk Peopleв's republics, according to UN data.

    A ceasefire was agreed upon at talks between the parties to the Ukrainian conflict mediated by the OSCE on September 5, 2014 in Belarusian capital Minsk two days after Russian President Vladimir Putin proposed his plan to settle the situation in the east of Ukraine.

    Numerous violations of the ceasefire, which took effect the same day, have been reported since.

    A memorandum was adopted on September 19, 2014 in Minsk by the Trilateral Contact Group on Ukraine comprising representatives of Ukraine, Russia and the OSCE. The document outlined the parameters for the implementation of commitments on the ceasefire in Ukraine laid down in the Minsk Protocol of September 5, 2014.

    The nine-point memorandum in particular envisioned a ban on the use of all armaments and withdrawal of weapons with the calibers of over 100 millimeters to a distance of 15 kilometers from the contact line from each side. The OSCE was tasked with controlling the implementation of memorandum provisions.

    A "day of silence" in eastern Ukraine began at 09:00 a.m. local time (0700 GMT) on December 9. It was seen as another attempt by both parties to the intra-Ukrainian conflict to put an end to hostilities. Both Kiev and the self-proclaimed republics voiced the necessity to start withdrawal of heavy armaments, swap prisoners and demilitarize the region.

    The situation in the region deteriorated when a passenger bus bound from Donetsk to Zlatoustovka was shelled on January 13. Twelve civilians were killed and 16 wounded.
    4
  • Azerbaijani Defense Ministry: Armenians violate ceasefire 79 times
    30.01.2015 10:39
    http:// www.news.az/photos/page-photo/136802.jpg
    http:// www.news.az/photos/page-photo/136802.jpg
    Armenian armed forces violated ceasefire 79 times in various directions of the frontline within a day, said Defense Ministry, APA reports.

    Armenian armed units fired on the positions of Azerbaijani Armed Forces in Kohnegishlag village of Aghstafa region, Gizilhajili village of Gazakh region from their posts in Paravakar and Berkaber villages of Armenia's Icevan region, positions in Aghdam and Kokhanebi villages of Tovuz region from the posts in Mosesqekh and Chinari villages of Berd region, positions in nameless uplands of Gedebey region from the posts in nameless uplands of Krasnoselsk region.

    Armenians also fired on the positions of Azerbaijani Armed Forces from their posts near Chilaburt and Goyarkh villages of Terter, Tapgaragoyunlu village of Goranboy, Yusifjanli, Shikhlar, Shuraabad, Bash Gervend, Javahirli and Novruzlu villages of Aghdam, Kuropatkino village of Khojavand, Garakhanbeyli, Ashaghi Abdulrahmanli, Ashaghi Seyidahmedli villages of Fuzuli, Mehdili village of Jabrayil region and nameless uplands of Goranboy, Khojavand, Fuzuli and Jabrayil regions.

    The enemy was silenced by retaliation fire.
    3
  • Azerbaijan to improve '˜single windowв' principle in customs area
    30.01.2015 10:35
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2014/01/27/aydin_aliyev_300113_1.jpg
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2014/01/27/aydin_aliyev_300113_1.jpg
    Baku, Azerbaijan, Jan. 29

    By Maksim Tsurkov - Trend:

    The creation and improvement of an appropriate legislation is among the main directions in the activity of Azerbaijan's State Customs Committee (SCC), the SCC chairman, lieutenant general of customs service, Aydin Aliyev, told Trend Jan. 29.

    He said that in 2014, the SCC held a lot of work towards the improvement of the normative legal framework in the area of customs.

    "In particular, lsquo;The rules for placing processing products under special customs procedure', lsquo;The rules governing the activities of customs representative offices' and lsquo;The rules of placing transit goods under the special customs procedure' were prepared and approved by the relevant decisions of the Cabinet of Ministers, while a number of regulations were included to the state registry," said Aliyev.

    He noted that the SCC and its local structures, over the past period, took measures to improve the customs controls in the export and import operations, strengthening the fight against smuggling and customs rules violations.

    "In this sense, the mobile customs offices, which simplify the control, are of great importance," he said. "Last year, the activity of such offices revealed over 352 cases of deviation of vehicles from the route or attempts for such deviation. Operative measures were taken with respect to such trucks."

    The SCC chairman also said that in order to speed up the operations on customs control and increase their efficiency, work is underway to provide the customs authorities with modern technical control means.

    He also noted that the plan of measures for the current year includes the works provided for in the action plan for the development of SCC in 2012-2016.

    "It is also envisaged to carry out relevant work for executing the tasks set in the development concept lsquo;Azerbaijan 2020: A Look into the Future', to further improve the lsquo;single window' principle at the customs checkpoints in the country," said Aliyev.

    The "single window" principle has been used at customs in Azerbaijan since January 1, 2009.

    Aydin Aliyev noted that in 2015, it is envisaged to fully automate the customs procedures, the measures for ensuring the timely consideration of citizens' appeals, the customs control in line with modern requirements, simplification of customs procedures, strengthening financial discipline and combating customs offences, the wide use of modern information systems, expansion of the number of e-services, using the e-signature and VAIS system, and ensuring the SCC's integration in the state program "Electronic Azerbaijan".

    Follow the author on Twitter @MaksimTsurkov

    Follow us on Twitter @
    5
  • AZERNEWS releases another print issue
    30.01.2015 10:27
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2015/01/30/azetag_300115.jpg
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2015/01/30/azetag_300115.jpg
    A new print edition of the AZERNEWS online newspaper was released on January 30.

    The new edition includes articles about Polad Bulbuloglu, a singer for all generations, Baku's new airport, nature not needs plastic bags any more, moves in oil and gold: a dilemma for investors, the magnificent Heydar Aliyev Center and etc.

    AZERNEWS is an associate member of the World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers (WAN-IFRA).

    The online newspaper is available at www.azer
    3
  • Psaki disagrees with Gorbachev: There is no new cold war
    30.01.2015 10:20
    http:// www.news.az/photos/page-photo/136801.jpg
    http:// www.news.az/photos/page-photo/136801.jpg
    The US authorities do not agree with the former president of the USSR Mikhail Gorbachev about a new cold war between the United States and Russia.

    The statement came from representative of the State Department Jen Psaki.

    According to Oxu.Az, she clarified that Washington continues cooperation with Moscow on a number of issues, which, particularlt, relate to the situation in Iraq, Syria and Middle East.

    "But what is happening in Ukraine is illegal and must have implications", RIA Novosti quotes the State Department representative as saying.

    All the same, she noted that the 'United States will continue supporting Ukraine'.

    Gorbachev said yesterday that there is a cold war between Russia and the United States which threatens to become 'hot'.

    According to him, Washington has dragged Moscow into confrontation, 'trying to openly implement his general about of triumphalism.
    5
  • '˜I am sure that European Games will be excellently organized by Azerbaijanв'
    30.01.2015 10:10
    http:// www.news.az/photos/page-photo/136800.jpg
    http:// www.news.az/photos/page-photo/136800.jpg
    I am sure that the European Games will be excellently organized by Azerbaijan.

    The statement came from chairman of the Olympic Committee of Serbia Vlade Divac as he met with Azerbaijani Ambassador to the country Eldar Hasanov, AzerTag reports.

    The sides discussed the preparations for the European Games, as well as the development of relations between the two countries in the field of sports.

    Vlade Divac said during his Azerbaijan trip he had opportunity to visit the venues of the Games. He expressed hope that Serbian athletes would return home with good achievements.
    4
  • Amazon announced a new plan to compete with Microsoft Outlook
    30.01.2015 10:03
    http://img.sia.az/news/2015/siaphoto_457375.jpg
    http://img.sia.az/news/2015/siaphoto_457375.jpg
    US online giant Amazon announced plans Wednesday to offer a cloud-based email and calendar service to directly compete with Microsoft Outlook and others.

    The service dubbed Amazon WorkMail "enables users to send and receive email, manage contacts, share calendars, and book resources using the same email applications they use today" including Outlook and services like Google Apps.

    The service appears aimed at corporate customers that currently pay for Microsoft Outlook or other services.

    Amazon, offering the service through its cloud unit Amazon Web Services, will charge US$4 (S$5.40) per user per month and include 50GB of mailbox storage for each user.

    The service may also be bundled with Amazon WorkDocs, a file storage service previously known as Zocalo.

    The service "is fully compatible with Microsoft Outlook, and customers can quickly integrate Amazon WorkMail with their existing corporate directory, choose encryption keys, select the location where they want their data to reside, and pay only for the mailboxes they create," Amazon said in a statement.

    "Customers have repeatedly asked us for a business email and calendaring service that is more cost-effective and simpler to manage than their on-premises solution, more secure than the cloud-based offerings available today, and that is backed by the same best-in-class infrastructure platform on which they're reliably running so many of their current (and future) workloads," said Peter De Santis, vice president at Amazon Web Services.

    "We built Amazon WorkMail to address these requests and to help businesses achieve agility and cost savings."
    3
  • Turkey does not recognize "genocide" of Armenians
    30.01.2015 10:00
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2013/05/02/erdogan.jpg
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2013/05/02/erdogan.jpg
    Baku, Azerbaijan, Jan. 30

    By Rufiz Hafizoglu - Trend:

    Turkey does not recognize the 1915 events as "genocide" of Armenians, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said in an interview with TRT-Haber TV channel.

    President Erdogan said that Turkey repeatedly said that it has looked through its archives to clarify the 1915 events.

    "If Armenia has such archives, let it also look through them to reveal the truth of the 1915 events," President Erdogan said.

    "Historians must deal with this issue," President Erdogan said. "We have submitted more than a million documents."

    Previously, Turkish authorities have repeatedly made gestures to Armenia. Recep Tayyip Erdogan's message to the Armenian people on April 24, 2014 is one of such recent gestures.

    Erdogan said in that message that the events of 1915 were a difficult time not only for Armenians, but also for Arabs, Kurds and representatives of other nations living in the country.

    Armenia and the Armenian lobby claim that Turkey's predecessor, the Ottoman Empire allegedly carried out "genocide" against the Armenians living in Anatolia in 1915. Turkey in turn has always denied "the genocide" took place.

    While strengthening the efforts to promote the "genocide" in the world, Armenians have achieved its recognition by the parliaments of some countries.

    Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said earlier that the emphasis on the 1915 events hinders the normalization of relations between Ankara and Yerevan.

    He said that Ankara hopes for the normalization of relations with Yerevan, however, Armenia should break down its stereotypes associated with the mentioned events.

    President Davutoglu said that together Turks and Armenians will be able to solve common problems.

    ---

    follow the author on Twitter: @rhafizoglu

    Follow us on Twitter @
    5
  • Azerbaijan, TeliaSonera discuss cooperation
    30.01.2015 09:52
    http:// www.news.az/photos/page-photo/136799.jpg
    http:// www.news.az/photos/page-photo/136799.jpg
    Azerbaijan`s Minister of Communications and High Technologies Ali Abbasov has met a delegation from TeliaSonera Group of Companies.

    During the meeting, the sides discussed issues related to the development of the mobile communications sector in Azerbaijan, including technical issues existing in this area as well as the directions of Azerbaijan's future cooperation with TeliaSonera, AzerTag reports.

    Vice-President and Head of Group Public Affairs at TeliaSonera Kjell Lindstrom highlighted the company's activity in Azerbaijan, Azercell Telecom's achievements in the mobile communications sector, including the company's services, implementation of 3G and 4G new generation telecommunication technologies and other innovations.

    Noting the growing need for Internet and innovations in the mobile communications sector, Minister Ali Abbasov said in this context, it is very important to further improve the quality of mobile services, expand the application of new services, provide remote residential areas with LTE technologies offered by Azercell to provide customers with convenient and effective communication services. The mobile communications sector will also be responsible for ensuring high quality communication services during the forthcoming Baku 2015 First European Olympic Games.

    The meeting also discussed proposals on additional measures for further expansion of Azercell Telecom's activity in Azerbaijan, as well as continuation of work on the implementation and organization of innovative technologies and efficient services.
    3
  • The Washington Times: Azerbaijan singled out at Davos for sports leadership, economic growth
    30.01.2015 09:47
    http://img.sia.az/news/2015/siaphoto_457368.jpg
    http://img.sia.az/news/2015/siaphoto_457368.jpg
    The Washington Times has published an article titled ''Azerbaijan singled out at Davos for sports leadership, economic growth''.

    The article reads: ''Azerbaijan was one of the darlings at the just-completed World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, where officials hailed the former Soviet republic for its economic growth and its commitment to global sports competition.

    The country received significant attention for its efforts to host the first-ever European Games this June in Baku. President Ilham Aliyev and Minister of Youth and Sports Azad Rahimov, who also serves as chief executive of the Baku 2015 games, led a delegation to the annual event in Davos. They also hosted a dinner gala celebrating the upcoming sports competition.

    Patrick Hickey, president of the European Olympic Committees, and Klaus Schwab, executive chairman of the World Economic Forum, celebrated Azerbaijan for its economic growth and its growing presence on the world stage just 23 years after winning its independence from the Soviet Union.

    ''This yearв's theme in Davos is 'The New Global Context,в' a theme which is also reflective of the sports movement in 2015. Sport in Europe is not only embracing a new context; it is helping to create a new context '" through the introduction of the European Games,'' Mr. Hickey told the dinner.

    ''Baku will stage a fantastic first edition. Azerbaijan is a nation emerging at a rapid pace, and with an abundance of natural resources combined with efficient management, it has become a remarkably dynamic state in just 23 years,'' he said. ''Being part of the European Olympic family has helped accelerate this development. Sport occupies a special place in Azerbaijanв's society.''

    Mr. Rahimov said the Baku 2015 Games werenв't just a single event but rather ''a part of our nationв's broader strategy'' to become more integrated into the European economy''.
    3
  • Uzbekistan to direct $10 billion for transport projects until 2020
    30.01.2015 09:46
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2012/05/11/dollars_120412_2.jpg
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2012/05/11/dollars_120412_2.jpg
    Tashkent, Uzbekistan, Jan.27

    By Demir Azizov- Trend:

    Uzbekistan will direct about $10 billion for projects on development of roads and railways, logistics centers and communications over the next five years , the Uzbek media Program of Action of the Cabinet of Ministers of Uzbekistan said Jan.27.

    In total, the implementation of over 150 projects is provided within the program of development and modernization of production infrastructure in Uzbekistan for 2015-2019.

    The implementation of 13 investment projects for the development and electrification of railway communications, including Angren-Pap, Marokand-Karshi, Karshi-Termez, Marokand-Bukhara directions will be under special control of the government.

    In addition, it is necessary to ensure the construction and renovation of 1,800 kilometers of the Uzbek national highway, the new bypass roads in Karshi, Kokand, Tashkent, Bukhara, Gulistan cities, and consistently upgrade local roads.

    Remoteness of transport communications and the lack of direct access to sea ports is a major problem for Uzbekistan, the foreign trade turnover of which is implemented by the transit through the territories of two or three states, which leads to an increase in costs for the delivery of goods, as well as negatively affects the export competitiveness of enterprises of the republic, the program said.

    Currently, the total length of roads in Uzbekistan is 146, 400 kilometers. Some 42, 500 kilometers of them are main public roads, including 3, 200 kilometers - international highway and 18, 800 kilometers - highway of national importance. Some 20 international transport routes and directions pass through the territory of Uzbekistan.

    Program of construction of national highway of the first category worth $3.44 billion was approved by the president of Uzbekistan in May 2009.

    The project is financed by the government of Uzbekistan in the amount of $1.86 billion, as well as loans of the Asian Development Bank (ADB), Islamic Development Bank (IDB) and other international financial institutions totaling $1.58 billion.

    The total length of railways of Uzbekistan is more than 4,200 kilometers, about 1,000 kilometers of which were electrified.

    In total, it is planned to electrify about 2,000 kilometers of railways in the country.

    Edited by CN

    Follow us on Twitter @
    4
  • Media: US Secretary of State John Kerry may visit Moscow on February 4-5
    30.01.2015 09:46
    http:// www.news.az/photos/page-photo/136798.jpg
    http:// www.news.az/photos/page-photo/136798.jpg
    The key topic is likely to be the situation in Ukraine.

    U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry may visit Moscow on February 4-5, TASS reports with reference to the Russia's Kommersant.

    "If the sides agree all the aspects, it will be the first visit by the U.S. top diplomat to Moscow since May 2013," the newspaper writes.

    According to the newspaper, the Russian and American sides have been looking at a possibility of such contacts for several days, but the visit has not yet been confirmed.

    The key topic is likely to be the situation in Ukraine. "The United States that has taken no part in the multi-party talks on the settlement of the Ukrainian crisis since the April meeting in Geneva is not averse to take a more active part in the efforts towards de-escalation in Donbass," the Kommersant wrote, adding that John Kerry had given it to understand during his telephone conversation with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on January 25.
    3
  • Georgia, Turkey agree to intensify customs cooperation
    30.01.2015 09:40
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2012/07/18/Turkey_Georgia_flags_Album_180712.jpg
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2012/07/18/Turkey_Georgia_flags_Album_180712.jpg
    Tbilisi, Georgia, Jan. 30

    By Nana Kirtzkhalia - Trend:

    Georgia and Turkey reached an agreement on intensifying the development of the coordinated and mutually beneficial customs cooperation.

    The agreement was reached during Turkish Customs and Trade Minister Nurettin Canikli's visit to Georgia.

    The purpose is to discuss the trade-economic and customs issues, existing in the format of bilateral and multilateral cooperation.

    As part of the visit, Canikli visited the Tbilisi Economic Clearance Zone, the Georgian Finance Ministry told Trend.

    The Turkish side is interested in the free movement of Turkey's vehicles in Georgia and their transit through this country, as well as the capacity of customs points of Georgia.

    Follow us on Twitter @
    6
  • Accident occurs in south-east of Turkey, injuries reported
    30.01.2015 09:32
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2011/08/27/Crash_Bus_Turkey_270811.jpg
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2011/08/27/Crash_Bus_Turkey_270811.jpg
    Baku, Azerbaijan, Jan. 30

    By Rufiz Hafizoglu - Trend:

    A passenger bus overturned in Turkey's south-east province of Bingol as the bus driver lost control, the Turkish newspaper Milliyet reported Jan. 29.

    Reportedly, 48 people were injured.

    All the injured were taken to nearby hospitals, two of them were listed in critical condition

    A criminal case has been launched into the accident.

    Follow the author on Twitter @rhafizoglu

    Follow us on Twitter @
    4
  • Turkish government wants March 21 as date for PKK disarmament
    30.01.2015 09:13
    http:// www.news.az/photos/page-photo/136797.jpg
    http:// www.news.az/photos/page-photo/136797.jpg
    The Turkish government has publicly declared its demand that the outlawed Kurdistan Workersв' Party (PKK) lay down arms on the Nevruz festival, which is marked on March 21, underlining that the jailed PKK leaderв's 2014 Nevruz message needed to be developed further this year.

    "On this Nevruz, laying down arms and taking a further step in the message is needed. There must be an expression concerning a transition to the phase of laying down arms," Deputy Prime Minister YalçД±n AkdoДџan said on Jan. 28., Hurriyet Daily reports.

    "There must be a call for laying down arms and completely ending actions against Turkey. I believe that this would have a meaning, but we know that previous calls by [PKK leader Abdullah] Öcalan have been let down from time to time," AkdoДџan told private broadcaster A Haber.

    His remarks came after being asked whether Öcalan's role in the current situation was "sufficient and positive," with regard to the ongoing peace process aimed at ending the three-decade long conflict between Turkey's security forces and the PKK.

    "Öcalan definitely has a role. He has clout with the [PKK] organization's constituents. This is not to give him merit, [but he] should not necessarily be underestimated either. There is an organization, and if that organization will lay down arms upon his word, that means he has a role to play. However, we know that this role is still being let down by the organization from time to time," AkdoДџan said.

    Last week, a delegation from the Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) issued a warning on the peace process from the leaders of the Kurdistan Communities Union (KCK), a supra-organization that includes the PKK, following a meeting at their headquarters in the Kandil Mountains of northern Iraq on Jan. 22.

    In a written statement, the HDP delegation said they were all focused on the "draft negotiation framework" that is at the center of the peace process after being drawn up by Öcalan and shared with both the HDP and the PKK leadership in Kandil.

    "We have set a timeline in order to prevent, yet again, stalling and deception," senior PKK leader Cemil BayД±k said, adding that they themselves would disclose Öcalan's "Democratic Solution and Negotiation Draft" if the government failed to stick to the timeline.

    Accusing the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) of imposing practices that stalled the process, the KCK leaders said the government was "still not seriously approaching the negotiation process."

    They urged the government to "cease wasting time and carry the process to a permanent resolution."
    6
  • Discounts on Baku-London flights
    30.01.2015 09:07
    http:// www.news.az/photos/page-photo/136796.jpg
    http:// www.news.az/photos/page-photo/136796.jpg
    AZAL disseminated the information.

    "Azerbaijan Airlines" CJSC (AZAL) holds a special campaign for flights on the route Baku-London-Baku (London-Baku-London), Oxu.Az reports citing AZAL.

    The cost of flights on Baku-London-Baku (London-Baku-London) from January 30 to March 10 will be only EUR 444 (GBP 383) or AZN 392.

    Earlier the tickets were available online for AZN 486, and at the box office - for AZN 503.

    In the information AZAL noted that rebooking and refund is not allowed and the number of seats may be limited.
    5
  • Baku 2015: Inaugural European Games launch in Azerbaijan this June
    30.01.2015 08:50
    http:// www.news.az/photos/page-photo/136792.jpg
    http:// www.news.az/photos/page-photo/136792.jpg
    The Washington Times has published the article titled 'Baku 2015: Inaugural European Games in Azerbaijan this June'.

    When the first-ever European Games launch this June in Baku, technology, athletes and entertainers will command the stage in a two-week extravaganza certain to catapult Azerbaijan onto the global sports stage.

    Baku is a city known for its rich European history and culture, but after a massive construction effort it will also showcase a state-of-the-art sports venue unlike any in the world.

    The European Games is the first multi-sport event to rely entirely on cloud-based technology for both infrastructure and software applications, a model that is likely to be adopted by all major sports events in the future.

    Baku 2015 will also make use of more than 600 kilometres of fibre optic network to connect venues. That new optical fibre network won't just bring the games to life on television and computer screens, it will also provide a lasting benefit to the former Soviet republic with a booming oil economy and a populace craving innovation, information and economic opportunity.

    "The European Games is an opportunity for Azerbaijan to be at the forefront of technological advancements in sport and we are extremely happy with how our preparations are progressing so far," Adrian Corcoran, Baku 2015's director of technology, proclaimed last month.

    The European Games are the continent's first major multi-sport event, with participants from all countries regulated by the European Olympic Committees. Baku, a capital city on the Caspian Sea, was awarded the first ever games back in 2012 and will host the first competition starting June 12. The European Games will take place every four years thereafter, with the next competition slated for 2019

    Of the 18 venues that will host competition ranging from boxing and boxing to volleyball and gymnastics, the majority are ready. And the main arena is due to be finished in a few short weeks.

    Some of the world's biggest corporate names will also be front and center.

    Coca-Cola mdash; a decades-long sponsor of the Olympic was mdash; was the latest to sign on an official partner of the European Games last month. Its logo and soda products will be visible throughout Baku 2015 for what company executives see as the next big global sporting event.

    "This is an exciting opportunity to support a new and innovative event that will unite Europe in a celebration of sport and active lifestyle," expained Galya Frayman Molinas, President of Coca-Cola's Turkey, Caucasus and Central Asia Business Unit. "We are very proud to be supporting the inaugural European Games, which will soon become one of the international calendar's leading multi-sport events."

    Other corporate partners include Azerbaijan Airlines, oil giants BP and SOCAR and Pamp;G.

    The host country also has assembled a star-studded lineup of global ambassadors and entertainers to showcase Azerbaijan's many talents, including actor and comedians Bahram Baghirzade and Murad Dadashov as well as female singing sensations Nigar Jamal and Roya Aykhan.
    6
  • Warlick comments on tensions on Karabakh front line
    30.01.2015 08:49
    http:// www.news.az/photos/page-photo/136794.jpg
    http:// www.news.az/photos/page-photo/136794.jpg
    The sides need to reduce tensions.

    US co-chair of the OSCE Minsk Group James Warlick believes that the use of manless jets in the air space over the front line in Nagorno Karabakh is a provocation.

    According to Oxu.Az, Warlick wrote this on his Twitter page.

    "The reported use of 'drones' above or across the Nagorno Karabakh line of contact is a provocation. The sides need to reduce tensions", the diplomat said.
    3
  • Azerbaijani President: "No crisis can affect us"
    30.01.2015 08:47
    http:// www.news.az/photos/page-photo/136793.jpg
    http:// www.news.az/photos/page-photo/136793.jpg
    "We confidently develop and our regions also develop".

    "The nature of Azerbaijan is so that there are many beautiful, scenic places, mountains, forests, rivers. This is our greatest wealth. We must make good use of this wealth", Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev said in his speech at the opening of the "Park Chalet Shahdag" hotel in Gusar region, APA reports.

    "Tourism in Azerbaijan develops. Several tourist centers were created. One of them is "Shahdag". At the same time now operates Naftalan tourist center. In the near future will be opened Galaalti tourist center. In the southern region - Lankaran-Astara zone, Lerik - have excellent tourism opportunities. Gabala has turned into a tourist center, there are several five star hotels. In the western region - Ganja and centered around areas also is a great place for tourism. Of course, a major tourist center is Baku. Now in Baku are leading hotels of the world. For a short time in Baku were built 6 five star hotels. I think that this is also a record figure, within 5-6 years in one town were built six five-star international hotels. Every guest who arrives in Baku falls in love with our capital. Because today Baku is one of the most beautiful cities in the world. I want all the cities of Azerbaijan were beautiful, all the cities would have conditions, people lived well. Today, we provide it. Azerbaijan is developing. No crisis can impact on us. We confidently developing and our regions are also being developed", President Ilham Aliyev said.

    "Two days ago, at a conference on the results of the first year of the third program of socio-economic development of regions, once again sounded all the figures, the development of regions of Azerbaijan will continue to be successfully achieved. I am very glad that my initiative is being implemented in the short term", the Head of State noted.
    5
  • Iranian Minister: Talks with Azerbaijani officials constructive
    30.01.2015 08:07
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2012/05/09/Azerbaijan_Iran_flags_Album_090512.jpg
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2012/05/09/Azerbaijan_Iran_flags_Album_090512.jpg
    Visiting Minister of Economy and Financial Affairs of Iran Ali Tayyebnia said on Thursday that he had fruitful and constructive talks with senior officials of Azerbaijan, IRNA reported.

    Speaking in a press conference, Tayyebnia outlined outcomes of his two-day visit to Azerbaijan which has started since Wednesday.

    He said implementation of agreements made during the visit of presidents of Iran and Azerbaijan was one of major goals of his visit to the neighboring state of Iran.

    The minister added promotion of Tehran-Baku relations and cooperation would benefit both capitals as well as all regional states.

    Economic ties between Iran and Azerbaijan are not as good as their political relations, Teyyebnia said.

    According to the Iranian minister the volume of bilateral economic exchange stood at $500 million which can be multiplied to suit the political relations of the two neighboring countries.

    Tayyebnia voiced Iran's readiness to help better fulfilment of development projects in Azerbaijan by sharing Tehran's significant technical experiences with Baku.

    The Iranian minister added Iran is a proper route for transit of goods from Azerbaijan in north of Iran to the Persian Gulf's littoral states in the southern parts of the country.

    He added that Tehran and Baku can have useful cooperation in the field of health tourism and banking activities.

    Referring to Iran's successful economic policies, Tayyebnia said Tehran has succeeded to reduce its over 40-percent inflation to lower than 16 percent through proper monetary and financial policies.

    He added, after eight seasons of consequent recession, the rate of Iran's economic growth mounted to four percent in the first half of the current Iranian year (from March 21-Septemeber 22, 2014).

    "According to domestic and international forecasts, this growing trend will continue in the future and reach its highest level in the entire Middle East and North African regions," said the Iranian minister.

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    11
  • Germany's anti-Islam PEGIDA movement breaks up
    30.01.2015 06:48
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2012/07/05/Germany_flag_albom_050712.jpg
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2012/07/05/Germany_flag_albom_050712.jpg
    The German anti-Muslim and anti-immigrant group PEGIDA appears to be all but finished after five of its leaders said they were setting up a rival movement amid intense disagreements, Press TV reported.

    The five leaders of the so-called Patriotic Europeans Against the Islamization of the West, or PEGIDA, resigned en masse on Tuesday night, claiming that they wanted to campaign for democracy and controlled immigration, and that they would stage a march in the eastern German city of Dresden on February 9.

    "We five want to reach out to the middle of society... There is a certain level of discontent in the population; this was communicated to us at our rallies and, after we resigned, many people said we must continue," former PEGIDA committee member Rene Jahn told a news conference on Thursday.

    Among those who resigned was Kathrin Oertel, who emerged as the second leader of PEGIDA after its founder and initial leader, Lutz Bachmann, resigned last week following public outrage over a front-page photo of him posing as Adolf Hitler, published in the German daily Bild.

    The picture, which was taken two years ago, showed Bachmann looking vengefully into the camera while wearing a toothbrush mustache and having combed the bulk of his hair to one side in the same style as the German despot.

    The number of the group's supporters started to subside following the revelations about Bachmann, with the number of people attending weekly protests dropping from 25,000 to 17,500.

    PEGIDA's latest protests were overwhelmed by counter-rallies across Germany and a rock concert on Monday.

    Over 22,000 Germans took part in an anti-PEGIDA rally and a concert held by German rock groups in Dresden, where the far-right group has been holding weekly rallies since October.

    Over 15,000 anti-PEGIDA demonstrators also gathered in Frankfurt to outnumber the 70 PEGIDA protesters there.

    More than 2,300 demonstrators also showed up at an anti-PEGIDA rally in Munich against an 800-man PEGIDA gathering in the city.

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    15
  • Islamic State faction claims responsibility for Egypt attacks
    30.01.2015 06:08
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2013/11/20/egypt_sinai_attack_201113.jpg
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2013/11/20/egypt_sinai_attack_201113.jpg
    Islamic State's Sinai wing has claimed responsibility for a spate of attacks across Egypt that killed at least 27, the group said on its official Twitter account, The Irish Times reported.

    A series of tweets from the Sinai Province's Twitter account claimed responsibility for each of the four attacks that took place in North Sinai and Suez provinces, in some of the worst anti-state violence Egypt has seen in months.

    Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis, Egypt's most active militant group, changed its name to Sinai Province last year after swearing allegiance to Islamic State, the hardline Sunni militant group that has seized swathes of Iraq and Syria.

    At least 27 people, including civilians, were killed in a spate of attacks by militants on more than a dozen army and police targets in the restive Sinai Peninsula.

    The simultaneous attacks involved a car bomb and mortar rounds,officials said.

    Ansar Beit al-Maqdis has launched several attacks against the police and the army in Sinai in recent years, particularly following the military overthrow of Islamist president Mohammed Morsi in 2013.

    But the latest attacks, which struck the Northern Sinai provincial capital el-Arish, the nearby town of Sheik Zuwayid and the town of Rafah bordering Gaza, indicate a previously unseen level of co-ordination.

    Security sources in Egypt also reported an officer was killed in Suez City.

    The officials said these attacks included at least one car bomb set off outside a military base and mortar rounds fired at a hotel, a police club and more than a dozen checkpoints. At least 36 people were injured, according to medical officials, who also confirmed the death toll.

    Officials said the death toll is expected to rise after the military base hit by the car bomb was also struck by mortars that destroyed buildings inside the camp, burying people under the rubble.

    The state news agency Mena said more than one car bomb was used in the attacks, without elaborating.

    The explosions smashed windows and shook residential areas in el-Arish.

    The areas where the attacks took place have been under a state of emergency and a curfew since October, when militants killed dozens of soldiers in a deadly attack on a checkpoint in Sinai.

    In an attempt to stop weapons smuggling to and from the Gaza Strip, authorities demolished houses and residential buildings located within 500 metres of the border, where a complex network of tunnels had long been used to bring consumer goods, as well as weapons and fighters, to and from the Palestinian territory.

    Ansar Beit al-Maqdis was initially inspired by al Qaida, but last year it pledged allegiance to Islamic State, which controls large parts of Syria and Iraq.

    Sinai-based militants have exploited long-held grievances in the impoverished north of the peninsula, where the mainly Bedouin population has complained of neglect by Cairo authorities and where few have benefited from the famed tourist resorts in the more peaceful southern part of Sinai. The police in northern Sinai largely fled during the 2011 uprising that toppled long-time autocrat Hosni Mubarak, as militants attacked their stations and killed scores of security forces.

    Egypt has a long history of Islamic militancy. Former president Anwar Sadat was assassinated by Islamic militants in 1981, and extremists carried out a wave of attacks targeting security forces, Christians and Western tourists during the 1990s.

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    9
  • Turkey's Erdogan praises presidential system
    30.01.2015 03:43
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2014/12/06/erdogan_election_061214.jpg
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2014/12/06/erdogan_election_061214.jpg
    Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Thursday that Turkey could have achieved more if apresidential system had been adopted earlier, Anadolu agency reported.

    Turkey's state-run broadcaster TRT held a special TV program late Thursday with high-profile journalists interviewing Erdogan in the new Turkish presidential palace in Ankara.

    "I believe that with the presidential system, we will make more progress concerning the rights and freedoms," said Erdogan.

    Turkey has been governed under a parliamentary system for decades. The country has been discussing the possible introduction of a presidential system for a long while now and Erdogan had expressed his willingness for such a change.

    Erdogan added Thursday evening that Turkey's presidential system model did not have to resemble the United States'.

    He proposed that the president could use the authority determined by the constitution and that the current prime minister could acting as the first vice president.

    A new presidential system has been a topical issue in Turkey, as the country is getting closer to parliamentary elections in June 2015.

    Erdogan also said that, after the June elections, the priority of the political agenda should be the drafting of a new constitution.

    "A new constitution is a must for a new Turkey," he said.

    A constitutional amendment or a new charter is needed to set up a presidential system inTurkey. The country's current constitution was drafted two years after a military takeover in 1980 and numerous amendments have been made to it since then.

    Erdogan is the first president of the Republic of Turkey to be elected by popular vote. Prior to that, he was the country's prime minister for 11 years.

    The Turkish president also addressed the issue of the 'parallel state,' which refers to an alleged group of Turkish bureaucrats and senior officials embedded in the country's institutions, including the judiciary and the police, who are working to undermine the Turkish government.

    Erdogan described the group as "an illegal organization which has carried out illegal activities under a legal appearance."

    "The U.S. should do its part as a strategic partner of Turkey,' said President Erdogan as he called on the United States to deport Pennsylvania-based preacher Fethullah Gulen as part of the fight against the "parallel state."

    "This is not an ordinary fight, but a serious issue. They are a treacherous network," he stressed.

    Erdogan also stressed and voiced his determination to continue what is termed as the "solution process," which was launched in 2013 to end the decades-old conflict with the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party, or PKK. PKK is listed as terrorist group by Turkey, the U.S. and the European Union.

    "I do not find those who are claiming to be representing the Kurdish people sincere enough," said Erdogan, referring to those who "do not want a solution."

    Erdogan said with an internal security bill, of which the draft law is expected to be presented to the parliament later next week, considerable progress would be achieved in the "solution process," including the PKK laying down its arms.

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    21
  • King Salman dismisses Prince Bandar from National Security Council
    30.01.2015 03:03
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2012/06/15/Saudi_Arabia_flag_1.jpg
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2012/06/15/Saudi_Arabia_flag_1.jpg
    Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud has dismissed Prince Bandar bin Sultan from the National Security Council, Press TV reported.

    King Salman on Thursday issued a number of royal decrees that removed or changed a number of top Saudi officials.

    The new king, who succeeded the late King Abdullah last week, also removed Intelligence Chief Prince Khaled bin Bandar from his post and appointed him as his advisor.

    He also sacked two of the late king's sons from big jobs.

    King Salman replaced Riyadh Governor Faisal bin Bandar with Turki bin Abdullah, and reinstated Khaled al-Faisal as Mecca governor less than two years after he was replaced by Mishaal bin Abdullah.

    The new king, however, kept in place Abdullah's other son Miteb as the Minister of the National Guard.

    ing Salman also reshuffled a number of posts in the cabinet, while keeping unchanged the oil, foreign, finance, defense and interior ministers.

    The 79-year-old king also eliminated a dozen councils and specialized committees while creating two main bodies for security and economy affairs.

    The former king died on January 23 at the age of 90 after weeks of being hospitalized with a lung infection. He had suffered frequent periods of ill health in recent years.

    The new monarch, who has suffered at least one stroke that has left him with limited movement on his left arm and is believed to be suffering from Alzheimer's, is taking over at a time when King Abdullah's demise is expected to fuel a power struggle within the ruling family.

    His succeeding to the throne also coincides with the kingdom's grappling with dissent in the east and the region's attempting to deal with the repercussions of the terrorism funded and the extremism exported by Riyadh.

    Riyadh has also turned into a butt of criticism for sending shockwaves throughout the international economy by allegedly fixing oil prices.

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    15
  • 25 killed, dozens injured in Egyptв's restive Sinai Peninsula
    30.01.2015 02:23
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2013/11/20/egypt_sinai_attack_201113.jpg
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2013/11/20/egypt_sinai_attack_201113.jpg
    At least 25 people have been killed and 36 others injured in militant attacks across Egypt's volatile Sinai Peninsula, Press TV reported.

    Egyptian security officials said at least 25 people were killed and 36 others injured when militants carried out attacks on army and police targets as well as an office of a daily newspaper in the strife-stricken Sinai Peninsula.

    The officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, said a massive car bomb detonated outside the headquarters of the 101st Brigade of the Egyptian army in the city of El-Arish, situated 344 kilometers (214 miles) northeast of the capital, Cairo, late on Thursday, leaving scores of people killed and wounded.

    They noted that the death toll is expected to rise since several rounds of mortar shells were fired at the military base shortly afterwards, destroying buildings inside the camp and burying people under the rubble.

    Eyewitnesses said that at least 20 ambulances rushed to the scene of the attack, and took the injured soldiers to nearby hospitals.

    Separately, an office of Egypt's mostnot;-widely-circulating daily, al-Ahram, was "completely destroyed" in an assault by gunmen.

    Two Egyptian army officers were also injured when an army convoy was targeted with mortar shells in the border town of Rafah.

    Over an hour later, there were reports of another ambush on an army convoy just south of Rafah. Gunmen also reportedly attacked a checkpoint in Rafah.

    Earlier on Thursday, fierce clashes broke out between militants and Egyptian army soldiers in the town of Sheikh Zuweid, situated 334 kilometers (214 miles) northeast of Cairo. The violence lasted for over an hour, and completely destroyed an armored vehicle belonging to the Egyptian military.

    A state of emergency has been declared in the northern part of the Sinai Peninsula since a militant attack on an Egyptian army checkpoint killed more than 30 soldiers in October 2014.

    The residents living along the border between northern Sinai and the besieged Gaza Strip have been ordered to relocate. The Egyptian army is also razing over 800 houses in the area to create a wider buffer zone with Gaza.

    The Egyptian military considers the Sinai Peninsula a safe haven for gunmen, who use the region as a base for their "acts of terror."

    Ansar Bait al-Maqdis, an al-Qaeda-affiliated militant group, has claimed responsibility for most of the terrorist attacks in the region.

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    14
  • Three American contractors killed in 'insider attack' in Afghan capital
    30.01.2015 00:22
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2010/08/17/Afghanistan_US_Soldier_170810.jpg
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2010/08/17/Afghanistan_US_Soldier_170810.jpg
    Three American contractors were killed and a fourth was wounded by an Afghan soldier at the military airport in the capital Kabul, an Afghan air force official told Reuters on Thursday, Reuters reported.

    "It is unclear yet why he shot these advisers and no one else was there to tell us the reason," the official said, asking not to be named because he was not authorized to give statements to the media. "An investigation has been opened."

    The international force in Afghanistan confirmed the shooting took place on Thursday evening.

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    15
  • Araqchi: Marathon-like talks with six countries a tough job
    29.01.2015 23:07
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2013/06/06/abbas_araqchi_060613_4.jpg
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2013/06/06/abbas_araqchi_060613_4.jpg
    Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araqchi said on Thursday that continued talks with six countries that lack close stands is like a Marathon, IRNA reported.

    More details will lead to more differences of opinion between the two sides, he said.

    After four hours of talks with foreign ministers of France, Britain and Germany, he described the trend of nuclear talks as very promising, he said.

    Both sides try to reach the first political agreement before March, 2015, he said.

    'Today we held talks with three European states and last week we talked with American officials,' he said, adding that talks with Russian and Chinese officials are now underway.

    Talks with Russia and China will be continued separately and today's talks with three European states should be regarded as a separate meeting, he said.

    Obtaining logic of negotiation will be time consuming, Araqchi said.

    He described results of talks with three European states as very positive and promising.

    He avoided to make any pre-judgment about the outcome of today's nuclear talks.

    To attain desirable goal, the two sides should adopt a realistic stand based on firm political determination, he said.

    The Islamic Republic of Iran has attended these series of talks with firm political determination, he said.

    It is expected that both sides would pursue the same positive approach, Araqchi said.

    Any negotiation, which is based on factualism and good-will, will bear fruit and getting such agreement is not far away, he said.

    The two sides have discussed various dimensions of Iran's peaceful nuclear programs, he said.

    There are many obstacles and problems on the way and all should try to resolve them, Araqchi said on Thursday.

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    25
  • Iran can meet Indiaв's needs for cement, petrochemicals
    29.01.2015 23:02
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2012/05/16/India_Iran_flags_Album_160512.jpg
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2012/05/16/India_Iran_flags_Album_160512.jpg
    Baku, Azerbaijan, Jan. 29

    By Fatih Karimov - Trend:

    Iran can meet India's need to cement and petrochemicals, said Ebrahim Jamili, the chairman of Iran-India joint business council.

    He said India is the main consumer of agricultural fertilizers and Iran is a main producer of such products, Iran's ISNA news agency reported on Jan. 28.

    Signing a preferential trade agreement with India is necessary for Iran to boost its presence in international markets, he noted.

    Iran can also increase technical and engineering exports to India, he added.

    India was the 4th biggest importer of Iranian non-oil goods in the previous Iranian calendar year, which ended on March 20, 2014, according to the Iran Customs Administration.

    Iran exported $2.417 billion of non-oil goods to India and imported $4.31 billion of non-oil goods from the country.

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    15
  • Lebanon's security, territorial integrity very important to Iran: MP
    29.01.2015 21:47
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2012/08/06/Iran_Lebanon_flags_Album_060812.jpg
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2012/08/06/Iran_Lebanon_flags_Album_060812.jpg
    Senior Iranian lawmaker Alaeddin Boroujerdi says Lebanon's security and territorial integrity are of great significance to the Islamic Republic, Press TV reported.

    "Lebanon's security and territorial integrity are very important to us and we pursue stability in the region," said the chairman of the National Security and Foreign Policy Committee of Iran's parliament (Majlis) on Thursday.

    Boroujerdi is in Beirut to attend the commemoration ceremony of six Hezbollah members and an Iranian commander who lost their lives in the Israeli airstrike on Syria's Golan Height on January 18.

    "We have always supported the [anti-Israeli] resistance and will continue to do so," the lawmaker stated.

    Boroujerdi also condemned the recent Israeli attack, saying, "This crime showed that this regime has no red line for its criminal activities."

    The commemoration ceremony for the victims of the Israeli airstrike will be held on Friday with Hezbollah's leader, Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah, addressing the congregation.

    On January 18, an Israeli military helicopter fired two missiles into Amal Farms in the strategic southwestern Syrian city of Quneitra, close to the line separating the Syrian part of the Golan Heights from the Israeli-occupied sector.

    Six Hezbollah members as well as Brigadier General Mohammad Ali Allahdadi, an Iranian commander, lost their lives in the Israeli assault.

    On Wednesday, Hezbollah killed two Israeli soldiers in a retaliatory attack on an Israeli convoy in northern occupied territories.

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    14
  • Iran offers Azerbaijan to start using national currencies in mutual trade
    29.01.2015 20:02
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2014/11/13/ali_tayyebnia_131114.jpg
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2014/11/13/ali_tayyebnia_131114.jpg
    Baku, Azerbaijan, Jan. 29

    By Temkin Jafarov - Trend:

    Iran offers Azerbaijan to start using national currencies in the calculations in mutual trade.

    Iran's Economy and Finance Minister Ali Tayebnia said at a press conference in Baku on Jan. 29 that currently Iran is already carrying out foreign trade settlements in national currencies with a number of countries, and is interested in expanding this tendency with other countries, with which it cooperates.

    "We have not yet discussed this issue with the Azerbaijani government, but the negotiations in this area should be carried out by the central banks of the two countries," said the minister.

    Tayebnia said that today a meeting would be held with the Chairman of the Central Bank of Azerbaijan Elman Rustamov.

    "The meeting will discuss the expansion of cooperation in the banking sector, in particular in the development of operations between the banks of the two countries and the money transfers," the minister said.

    He added that the economic opportunities and the potential of the two countries contribute to the further development of ties and increasing the trade significantly.

    Tayebnia said the Iranian companies have extensive experience in engineering and technology.

    "They can take part in major projects and construction works implemented in Azerbaijan," he added.

    The minister also stressed that Iran can mediate in the supply of Azerbaijani goods by railway to the Gulf countries.

    Edited by CN

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    16
  • Azerbaijanis living in Brooklyn contribute to cultural life of borough
    29.01.2015 19:27
    http://www.today.az/pictures/pic138516.jpg
    http://www.today.az/pictures/pic138516.jpg
    /By AzerNews/

    By Amina Nazarli

    Abulfas Garayev, Azerbaijani Culture and Tourism Minister has met Eric Adams, Brooklyn Borough President to discuss opportunities for cooperation between the country and the borough.

    Adams said Brooklyn and Sabail District of Baku signed a protocol on friendship and cooperation in November 2014. Thus, Bakuв's most attractive Sabail District and New Yorkв's picturesque Brooklyn will become sister cities, Azertag state news agency reported.

    He said he was deeply impressed by what he saw in the Azerbaijani capital when he was there to watch Eurovision song contest in 2012.Many Azerbaijanis live in Brooklyn, Adams said, adding ''they play an important role in the cultural life of the region''.He also noted that relations between Azerbaijan and Brooklyn should be developed in the three main areas - education, trade and cultural exchange.Garayev, for his turn, stressed the importance of expanding relations between cultural institutions.He praised the opening of Baku-New York flight, saying it will contribute to broadening the exchange between Azerbaijan and Brooklyn in the fields of culture and education.The minister highlighted Azerbaijan`s tourism potential, and noted the importance of promoting the country in New York.Garayev invited the Brooklyn Borough President to the third World Forum on Intercultural Dialogue to be held in Baku this May.Elin Suleymanov, Azerbaijani Ambassador to the USA and Yashar Aliyev, Permanent Representative to the UN were also present at the meeting.Sabail district is a central and ancient dwelling of Baku city which is located along the Caspian Sea.

    There are monuments dating back to the ancient age and medieval centuries in the territory of the district. Icherisheher (Old City) is the most magnificent of the historical monuments existing in Azerbaijan and included in the world cultural heritage items by UNESCO. Icherisheher is over 1000 years old. Shirvanshah palace complex which is another astonishing state historical architectural museum-preserve is its masterpiece.

    "Shahidlar Khiyabani" (Martyrs Avenue) and "Fakhri Khiyaban" (Honorary Avenue), Heydar Aliyev Foundation, as well as many recreational and leisure centers, including Fountains Square, Coastal Boulevard and Freedom Square which are the main places in Baku to be visit for Bakuв's population and its guests are located in this district.

    Brooklyn is the most populous of New York Cityв's five boroughs, with about 2.6 million people, as well as the second-largest in area.

    Every year the city attracts thousands of tourists and locals, who enjoy spectacular views of lower Manhattan and other city landmarks.

    It is home to many New Yorkв's top attractions, including the Brooklyn Bridge, Prospect Park, Brooklyn Heights and Brooklyn Promenade, Brooklyn Botanic Garden and Coney Island Cyclone.
    11
  • Ford profit beats estimates
    29.01.2015 19:03
    http://img.sia.az/news/2015/siaphoto_457323.jpg
    http://img.sia.az/news/2015/siaphoto_457323.jpg
    Ford Motor on Thursday said it would keep relying on North America for its profit this year as the No. 2 U.S. automaker signaled that losses in Europe would be more than previously forecast, SIA reports citing the Reuters.

    Ford had previously estimated losses from Europe at about $250 million in 2015. On Thursday, however, it backed away from that forecast, saying the loss would narrow from $1 billion in 2014 but would be wider than previously thought.

    "We're seeing a much bigger impact from Russia," Chief Financial Officer Bob Shanks said.

    The company's earnings beat Wall Street's expectations but fell from the prior year, mainly due to charges for a previously announced accounting change for its Venezuela operations. Ford also maintained its 2015 profit forecast.

    Shanks said the introduction of the latest version of Ford's F-150 pickup truck was going "extremely well" in North America, where 2014 pretax earnings of $6.9 billion were greater than the overall profit of $6.3 billion. The truck is the major force behind Ford's earnings.

    The profit margin in North America was 8.4 percent last year. Ford had said last fall that figure would finish at the low end of a range of 8 percent to 9 percent.

    In the fourth quarter, Ford's pretax profit fell in North America and Asia.

    Ford's loss in Europe was $443 million, compared with $529 million a year earlier.

    Net income was $52 million, or 1 cent per share, a decline from $3.07 billion a year earlier, when results were boosted by a one-time $2.1 billion special tax item. This year, Ford took a one-time charge of $800 million in the fourth quarter for an accounting change in Venezuela that also shields its future earnings from the volatile currency and operations there.

    Excluding special items, earnings were 26 cents per share, 3 cents higher than the expectations of analysts polled by Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

    Revenue of $35.9 billion topped analysts' estimates of $34.54 billion.
    13
  • Austriaв's NOC (OeCC) General Secretary would like to see the Baku 2015 European Games
    29.01.2015 18:42
    http://img.sia.az/news/2015/siaphoto_457321.jpg
    http://img.sia.az/news/2015/siaphoto_457321.jpg
    Austriaв's NOC (OeCC) General Secretary Mr. Peter Mennel would like to see the Baku 2015 European Games and its future editions increase in importance, especially in regards to Olympic Games qualification.

    ''For the compact (11-member) OeCC team, the Baku 2015 European Games represent a major effort. We have enough European Championships already. But, just like the Asian or PanAmerican Games, the European Games could be established as the qualification opportunity for the next Olympic Games,'' Mr. Mennel said in an interview with the Austrian magazine SportWoche.

    Eleven of the 20 sports at Baku 2015 offer qualification opportunities for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.
    13
  • "Madama Butterfly" opera to be staged in Baku
    29.01.2015 18:36
    http://www.today.az/pictures/pic138515.jpg
    http://www.today.az/pictures/pic138515.jpg
    /By AzerNews/

    By Amina Nazarli

    Azerbaijan State Academic Opera and Ballet Theatre in Baku will host the "Madama Butterfly" opera (Chio Chio San) by Giacomo Puccini on February 7.

    Elena Bundeleeva, the soloist of the Belarus National Academic Bolshoi Opera and Ballet Theatre has been invited to play one of the main roles of the play.

    Mikhail Kirishev, the leading soloist of the Ukrainian National Opera will act as Sharpless hero in the performance.

    These two singers are the most popular soloists in Europe. Their concert tours have been always appreciated by the public in the best European opera theatres and concert halls.

    Azerbaijani artists including Sabina Vahabzada (Suzuki) and Farid Aliyev (Pinkerton) will also take part at the performance.

    National conductor Yalchin Adigezalov will conduct the opera.

    Madama Butterfly is a Japanese tragedy in two acts and three parts. It reveals the love story of a Japanese girl's, betrayal of her lover and tragic end. The production was created by Wilson in 1993 for the Paris National Opera. The performance has been recognized as a better interpretation of Puccini's opera in the twentieth century by the international music community.

    The performance in this star lineup, will undoubtedly be an outstanding event, both in the creative activity of the theater, and cultural life of the city.

    The performance will be staged at 19:00. The address of the venue is 28 May street, 8. The cost of the tickets is 12, 22 and 33 manats.
    7
  • Ilham Aliyev visits "Shahdag"
    29.01.2015 18:31
    http:// www.news.az/photos/page-photo/136791.jpg
    http:// www.news.az/photos/page-photo/136791.jpg
    The head of state has launched a cable car в„-1.

    Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev and his spouse Mehriban Aliyeva visited the winter and summer tourist complex "Shahdag".

    According to Oxu.Az, the head of state and his wife attended the opening of the hotel "Park Chalet Shahdag", as well as the opening of the cable car в„-1 and ski slope.

    President Ilham Aliyev cut the ribbon symbolizing the opening of the hotel.

    Then Ilham Aliyev and Mehriban Aliyeva got acquainted with the rooms in the hotel, then met with its team.

    The head of state has launched a cable car в„-1 and tried it with his wife.

    A large golf court, interesting parks and swimming pools are planned to be created here.
    13
  • Flight of MH370 officially declared lost
    29.01.2015 18:24
    http://img.sia.az/news/2015/siaphoto_457318.jpg
    http://img.sia.az/news/2015/siaphoto_457318.jpg
    Director General of the Malaysian Department of Civil Aviation Azharuddin Abdul Rahman announced Thursday that the status of flight of MH370 has been finalized as lost.

    The director general also said passengers and crew of the flight presumed dead.

    "It is therefore, with the heaviest heart and deepest sorrow that, on behalf of the government of Malaysia, we officially declare Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 an accident...and that all 239 of the passengers and crew on board MH370 are presumed to have lost their lives."
    10
  • Turkey realizing energy projects within national interests, minister says
    29.01.2015 18:11
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2013/04/08/Taner_Yildiz_080413.jpg
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2013/04/08/Taner_Yildiz_080413.jpg
    Baku, Azerbaijan, Jan. 29

    By Rufiz Hafizoglu - Trend:

    Ankara is realizing energy projects within its national interests, said the Energy and Natural Resources Minister of Turkey Taner Yildiz, the Anadolu news agency reported Jan. 29.

    Hew said currently Turkey is implementing a number of energy projects with the US, Iran and Russia. He also said that the energy projects that Turkey is implementing with Azerbaijan have a special status.

    "The start of realization of new energy projects doesn't mean that Ankara waives other projects and that the new projects will be alternatives to other projects," the minister said.

    Yildiz said on Jan. 28 that a healthy competition began between the "Turkish stream" gas pipeline and the Trans Anatolian Natural Gas Pipeline Project (TANAP) after determining a route for the "Turkish flow".

    He said it is planned that the first line of the "Turkish stream", which is to have a pumping capacity of 15.75 billion cubic meters of gas per year, will run to Turkey in December 2016.

    Previously, Yildiz said the "Turkish stream" will not be a rival for TANAP.

    The TANAP project envisages the transportation of gas of Azerbaijan's Shah Deniz field from the Georgian-Turkish border to the western borders of Turkey. TANAP's initial capacity is expected to reach 16 billion cubic meters of gas per year.

    Around six billion cubic meters will be delivered to Turkey and the rest of the volume to Europe. Turkey will obtain gas in 2018. The gas will be supplied to Europe in early 2020 after the Trans Adriatic Pipeline (TAP) is constructed. The project's cost is estimated at $10-$11 billion.

    Contracts for the supply of pipes for the construction of TANAP were signed in Turkey's Ankara on Oct.14 with six Turkish and one Chinese company.

    Turkey's Mannesmann-Noksel-Erciyas and Umran-Emek consortiums, and the company Toscelik Profil ve Sac Endustrisi, as well as the Chinese contractor Baosteel Europe won the tender for the supply of pipes for the TANAP project.

    All the companies that will participate in the construction and supply of the TANAP project in Turkey are exempt from the VAT.

    Edited by SI

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    8
  • Assets of Azerbaijani life-companies increase by over 80%
    29.01.2015 18:01
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2014/08/16/no_image_found.jpg
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2014/08/16/no_image_found.jpg
    Baku, Azerbaijan, Jan.29

    By Azad Hasanli - Trend:

    Assets of Azerbaijani insurance company Pasha Hayat Sigorta JSC on the results of 2014 amounted to 94.8 million AZN, which is an increase of 43.1 million AZN or 83.2 percent compared to 2013, said the Director on Strategic Development of the company Israil Garayev, the insurance company said Jan.29.

    The official exchange rate on January 29 is 0, 7844 AZN / USD.

    He said that the investment portfolio of the company increased by 40.1 million AZN or 99.3 percent and reached 80.5 million AZN.

    "The amount of insurance reserves of the company for the period increased by 29.3 million AZN or 2.7 times and reached 46.1 million AZN, insurance fees - by 6.9 million AZN or 19.7 percent and reached 41.9 million AZN, insurance payments - 1.8 million AZN or 2.7 times and reached 2.9 million AZN," he said.

    Garayev said that during 2014 the share capital of the company also significantly increased. For example, in 2014, the capital of Pasha Hayat Sigorta increased by 15.05 million AZN or 59.7 percent and reached 40.25 million AZN.

    Pasha Hayat Sigorta is the most capitalized company among life-companies in the country (Atashgah Hayat and Qala Hayat). The sole shareholder of the company is the group of companies Pasha Holding.

    edited by CN

    Follow the author on Twitter: @AzadHasanli

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    9
  • Word, Excel and PowerPoint applications available for free on Android tablets
    29.01.2015 17:59
    http://img.sia.az/news/2015/siaphoto_457315.jpg
    http://img.sia.az/news/2015/siaphoto_457315.jpg
    Microsoft Corp made its popular Word, Excel and PowerPoint applications available for free on Android tablets on Thursday, marking the latest step in its drive to get as many mobile customers as possible using its software.

    It also released an app for its popular Outlook email program to run on Apple Inc's iPhone and iPad, hoping to attract the millions of users familiar with Outlook from their work desktops.

    The new releases are the latest gambits in Chief Executive Officer Satya Nadella's attempt to wrest back the initiative in the battle for mobile users, where Microsoft has fallen behind Apple and Google Inc.

    Nadella broke with decades of tradition last March by releasing a free, touch-friendly version of Office for Apple's iPad, before such software was even available for Microsoft's Windows devices.

    By giving away its industry-standard Office apps on Apple's popular iOS and Google's Android operating systems, Microsoft is looking to build up a base of users which it can later persuade to sign up for Office 365, the full, Internet-based version of Office starting at $7 a month for personal users.

    Microsoft has been offering test versions of the Office apps on Android for almost three months, but Thursday marks the first day they are available as finished products from the online Google Play app store.

    Word, Excel and PowerPoint, the key elements of Microsoft's top-selling Office suite of applications, have been a hit on Apple's mobile devices, with 80 million downloads since last March, according to Microsoft.

    Microsoft plans to release new, touch-friendly versions of its Office apps for Windows devices later this year when it releases the Windows 10 operating system.

    The new Outlook app, based on a popular app made by Acompli, which Microsoft bought in December, will allow iPhone and iPad users much easier ways of linking email to calendars and working with file attachments. Microsoft is also releasing a test version of the Outlook app for Android users.
    8
  • Iran's Intelligence Ministry denies bank head escaped
    29.01.2015 17:58
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2014/06/19/iran_flag_190614.jpg
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2014/06/19/iran_flag_190614.jpg
    Baku, Azerbaijan, Jan. 29

    By Dalga Khatinoglu- Trend:

    Iran's Intelligence Ministry denied the escape of a head of a private bank abroad.

    According to ministry's announcement released Jan.29, the head of Egtesad Novin Bank (EN Bank) hasn't escaped abroad and rumors published on social networks are baseless.

    hassan Motamedi, the head of EN Bank also rejected the information published on social networks about his escape during an interview with Iran's state TV, IRIB on Thursday.

    During the past few days, some internet users released information about Mr.Motamedi and two other Iranian officials escaping the country and calling on people to withdraw their assets from EN Bank.

    Established in 2001 following authorization from the Central Bank of the Islamic Republic of Iran (CBI), EN Bank is Iran's first private bank. A group of industrial, construction and investment companies launched the bank, with the aim of providing flexible financial services to the Iranian private sector.

    Before him, the former head of Bank Melli, Iran Mohammad Reza Khavari, who has dual Iranian-Canadian citizenship, escaped to Canada in September of 2011, after revealing a $3-billion embezzlement scheme.

    Also this week, Iran's former Vice-President Mohammad Reza Rahimi was sentenced to prison and fined.

    The court issued its verdict on the case sentencing Rahimi to 5 years and 91 days in prison and a fine of 38,500 billion rials (about $1.1 million) on Jan. 21

    Rahimi, who served as vice-president from September 2009 to August 2013 during the administration of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has been charged in several fraud cases so far, but according to some MPs, Ahmadinejad used his influence to prevent investigations about the cases in the courts.

    In a fraud case against the Iran Insurance Company, a defendant claimed to have paid more than $1.2 million in bribes to Rahimi.

    Rahimi has reported links to jailed Iranian businessman Babak Zanjani, chairman of Sorinet Group, who is accused of skimming up to $2.7 billion off illegal oil exports, as Ahmadinejad's government tried to bypass international sanctions against Iran over its disputed nuclear program.

    Edited by CN

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    11
  • Dan Burton: US needs more friends like Azerbaijan
    29.01.2015 17:52
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2015/01/29/dan_burton_290115.jpg
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2015/01/29/dan_burton_290115.jpg
    Baku, Azerbaijan, Jan. 29

    By Aygun Badalova - Trend:

    America and the rest of the free world need more friends like Azerbaijan, Dan Burton, a former Republican member of the US House of Representatives from Indiana, said in article published by The Washington Times.

    Burton said Azerbaijan is located in a part of the world that is in a chaotic state.

    "Azerbaijan, after a mere 23 years of independence, stands out as a friend to America and a stabilizing force in the region," he said.

    "Russia and Iran border Azerbaijan, and the policies of those countries make it even more important that the United States and the rest of the free world have a stalwart friend in the region."

    Burton said there are many other reasons why the US should value its relationship with Azerbaijan.

    "Azerbaijan, a 96 percent majority Muslim country, has demonstrated a commitment to religious tolerance and understanding," says the author.

    "Building an inclusive society is a priority of Azerbaijan's public policy, emphasized in Article 25 of the Azerbaijani Constitution, which bans political, racial, ethnic, national, cultural, religious or sexual persecution."

    Burton also noted that Azerbaijan has made a remarkable transition from the planned economy to a modern market economy.

    "The economy is robust, and economic policies are aimed at improving the lives of citizens and paving the way for the success of future generations," he noted.

    Burton further noted that Azerbaijan also has integrated itself into the international community as a partner to NATO, a strong defense and economic partner to Israel, a member of the European Council and an elected member of the UN Security Council from 2011 to 2013.

    "Azerbaijan and the United States have built a strong partnership supported by shared values, and it should value Azerbaijan's leadership and partnership in the Caucasus region," he stressed.

    The author also said Azerbaijan has emerged in difficult geographic and political circumstances.

    "It has become an example of social and economic responsibility in only 23 years," he said.

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    8
  • Bakcell supports protection of physical and mental health of children
    29.01.2015 17:43
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2009/09/01/Logo_Bakcell_010909.jpg
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2009/09/01/Logo_Bakcell_010909.jpg
    Baku, Azerbaijan, Jan. 29

    Trend:

    Bakcell, The First Mobile Operator and The Leading Provider of Mobile Internet of Azerbaijan, together with the Ministry of Education of the Republic of Azerbaijan and the British Council Azerbaijan, has supported the "TOPs Program - improving physical and mental fitness as well as the academic performance of students" project.

    The main purpose of this project, implemented by the "Sports for Development" Public Association, is to provide physical education teachers from three selected secondary schools with modern educational technologies on this particular subject. Application of this method will also serve the creation of a favorable environment for development of moving and motor capabilities of students as well as the protection of their physical and mental fitness during the period of education.

    The project's preliminary model phase will take place until the 31st of May 2015, and during this stage, will cover only the secondary schools located in the city of Baku.

    By results of this project, the active education methodology for application the physical education curriculum will be improved and an active training method, suitable for the country's all secondary schools, will be developed. At the same time, more than 3000 students and parents will improve their knowledge about the role of healthy food, active lifestyle and sports in development of social skills.

    Within the frames of the "Bakcell Stars" Corporate Social Responsibility program, Bakcell supports various projects, aimed at creating new opportunities for children.

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

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

    Bakcell's network covers more than 99% of the population and 93% of the land area of the country (excluding occupied territories). Bakcell is a leader in innovation and it focuses on bringing the best of the mobile internet to Azerbaijanis through new partnerships and its Sür@ services.

    For more information about Bakcell products and services, please visit www.bakcell.com or call 555.For press releases please see www.bakcell.com/az/news (or www.bakcell.com/en/news for press releases in English).

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

    9
  • The Washington Times: US foreign policy generating global bewilderment
    29.01.2015 17:31
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2013/03/19/washington_times_19.jpg
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2013/03/19/washington_times_19.jpg
    Baku, Azerbaijan, Jan. 29

    Trend:

    At a time when the direction of America's foreign policy is generating abundant global bewilderment, policymakers in Congress and the administration must be mindful not to alienate more allies and increase doubt and distrust of America's promises, according to Alex Vatanka, said the Washington Times article of a senior fellow at the Middle East Institute in Washington, D.C. Alex Vatanka.

    He noted that Azerbaijan is one of those ally countries.

    "Authorities in Baku are increasingly speculating about Washington's commitment to its strategic allies and its own stated values," Vatanka said. "Some of America's latest policy maneuverings, including an inconsistent and largely toothless response to Russia's actions in Ukraine, have not helped alleviate Baku's fears."

    He further noted that Azerbaijan, since its independence upon the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991, has considered the United States as one of its principal strategic partners.

    "This conscious, but at times hazardous, choice to turn to Washington was, from the outset, rooted in a belief in American strength and hope in Washington's fairness in mediating among disputing nations," he noted. "It was a conviction that drove successive Azerbaijani governments to accept American arbitration in Baku's conflict with neighboring Armenia over Nagorno-Karabakh, an Azerbaijani region occupied by Armenian forces since the end of a war in 1994."

    Vatanka said that for 20 years Azerbaijan has patiently stuck to this belief in the US as the foolproof arbiter that will somehow and someday help engineer a peaceful resolution to this frozen conflict in the South Caucasus.

    "Increasingly, however, the Azerbaijanis question whether the United States prioritizes short-term goals over long-term objectives of peacemaking and the upholding of key American values, including respect for the territorial integrity and sovereignty of nations," he further noted.

    Vatanka said Azerbaijan's anxieties about Congress and the administration's stance on the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict recently surfaced again following Russia's annexation of Crimea in March.

    "Officials in Baku quickly grasped the possible impact of Moscow's actions on the fate of other forcefully annexed territories, including Azerbaijan's Nagorno-Karabakh region," he said.

    "At a minimum, Baku had hoped that the United States would adhere to the same principles when adopting policies to deal with international territorial disputes," Vatanka added.

    He went on to note that the US policymakers in Congress and the executive, however, seem more preoccupied with scoring symbolic geopolitical points against Moscow than applying international laws on the question of territorial integrity of states.

    "It is one thing to pursue a muddled foreign policy that leaves US allies puzzled; it is an entirely different proposition mdash; and with potential grave consequences for America's global leverage mdash; when Washington's policies foster a sense of American double standards or its undependability as a partner," the author added.

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    8
  • Chief Executive of McDonaldв's to retire
    29.01.2015 17:28
    http://img.sia.az/news/2015/siaphoto_457294.jpg
    http://img.sia.az/news/2015/siaphoto_457294.jpg
    Chief Executive of McDonald;s Don Thompson would retire at the end of February and be succeeded by Steve Easterbrook, the company's chief brand officer.

    The announcement from the company, which has just finished one of its toughest years in decades, pushed its shares up 3 percent in after-market trading on Wednesday.

    "I don't think it was too much of a surprise. Maybe in the timing but not the action," Sanford Bernstein analyst Sara Senatore said. "This has been something that people have been talking about for a while."

    McDonald's warned last week that business would be weak in the first half of 2015 and said it would cut its annual construction budget to the lowest in more than five years as it opens fewer restaurants in struggling markets.

    Thompson, 51, joined the company in 1990 as an electrical engineer and went on to become president of McDonald's USA and global chief operating officer before taking over the top job in July 2012.

    Easterbrook, who has been with the company since 1993, has also served as president of McDonald's Europe.
    9
  • Georgian, British servicemen discuss opening of NATO training center in Tbilisi
    29.01.2015 17:20
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2012/06/11/Nato_Georgia_flags_Album.jpg
    http://cdn.trend.az/pictures/2012/06/11/Nato_Georgia_flags_Album.jpg
    Tbilisi, Georgia, Jan. 29

    By Nana Kirtzkhalia - Trend:

    Georgian Defense Minister Mindia Janelidze received a British delegation led by the head of the security and justice group David Clarke Jan. 28.

    Special Advisor to the British Defense Minister Stephen Glover attended the meeting.

    Janelidze briefed the guests on the current reforms in the defense system and plans for the future.

    One of the main topics at the meeting was the implementation of a NATO substantial package, obtained by Georgia at the Wales summit. In this regard, Great Britain's support was stressed, the Georgian Defense Ministry told Trend.

    The sides also discussed the opening of a NATO training center in Georgia, the national document of military policy, infrastructure projects, resource management and the prospects for intensifying the military cooperation between Georgia and Great Britain.

    In conclusion, Janelidze thanked the British side for support and assistance.

    Edited by CN

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    9
  • 2014 state budgetв's revenues hit 18 bln manats
    29.01.2015 17:05
    http://www.today.az/pictures/pic138514.jpg
    http://www.today.az/pictures/pic138514.jpg
    /By AzerNews/

    By Aynur Karimova

    According to operative data, revenues of Azerbaijanв's state budget amounted to 18.4 billion manats, while expenditures-to over 18.699 billion manats in 2014, Finance Ministry said on January 28.

    Last year the countryв's Taxes Ministry fulfilled the forecasts on tax revenues by 100.2 percent, transferring around 7 114 billion manats to the state budget. This figure is 449.6 million manats, or 6.7 percent more compared to 2013.

    Some 60.5 percent or 4.306,5 billion manats from these funds fell on revenues from the oil sector, which is 539.7 million manats or 14.3 percent more than previous year.

    The State Customs Committee fulfilled the forecasts at 100.1 percent, transferring about 1.511 billion manats to the state budget. This figure is 127.6 million or 9.2 percent more compared to 2013.

    Revenues from organizations, financed from the state budget, amounted to 207.3 million manats. Other revenues amounted to 231.8 million manats, which is 6.6 times more than the forecasted figure, and exceeds the indicator of the analogue period by 132.7 million manats or 2.3 times.

    The countryв's state oil fund SOFAZ transferred 9.3 billion manats to the state budget as well.

    Some 24 percent or 4.5 billion manats of expenditures were used for spending of social means, which is 9.9 percent or 403.9 million manats more compared to 2013.

    In 2014, housing and community-business expenditures increased by 4.7 percent (18.8 million manats), defense spending - by 2.1 percent (31.1 million manats), health care - 7.5 percent (46.4 million manats), social protection and social security - by 12.6 percent (220.8 million manats), education - 8.2 percent (117.6 million manats), agriculture, forestry, fishing, hunting and environmental protection - by 3.5 percent (17 million manats), and economic activity - by 10.9 percent (30.1 million manats).

    In 2014, public investments in the construction and reconstruction of scientific, educational, medical, social, cultural, sports and other socio-cultural and household facilities amounted to 1.401 billion manats, and in the construction and reconstruction of energy, water, gas, transportation, community and reclamation infrastructure and other fields '" to 2.729 billion manats.
    11
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