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Azerbaijani delegation attends International Astronautical Congress
29.09.2013 13:52
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An Azerbaijani delegation led by Alchin Shirinzade, Director General of the National Aerospace Agency of theMinistryof Defense Industry, has attended the 64th International Astronautical Congress (IAC)in Beijing, China.

Held in Beijing for the second time and organized jointly by the IAF, the International Academy of Astronautics (IAA) and the International Institute of Space Law (IISL), the eventwas declared open by IAF President Kiyoshi Higuchi.

The event hosted more than 3000 attendees, 180 technical sessions, 8 plenary events, 3 highlight lectures and 3 late breaking News and appearances by elites.

Speaking at the opening ceremony, Li Yuanchao, Vice-President of the People's Republic of China, described the Congress as an Olympic-class event for the worldwide aerospace community. He revealed that 74 countries were represented among the 3,359 registered delegates, making it a truly international gathering and the largest of its kind in the history of the IAC.

With keynote speakers from most of the world`s space organizations and companies, the Congress technical programme featured a record-breaking number of symposia with a series of keynote Plenary lectures underscoring the theme of "Promoting Space Development for the Benefit of Mankind".

Speaking at the event, head of the Azerbaijani delegation Shirinzade highlighted the country`s achievements in space industry. "Azerbaijan is rapidly developing its space activities. Azerbaijan`sfirst telecommunications satelliteAzerspace-1, launched in February this year, is only the beginning of the development of the country`s space industry," Shirinzadeh said.

On the sidelines of the event, the Azerbaijani delegation held bilateral meetings to discuss cooperation in the field of telecommunication satellites and space science.

A Space Exhibition featuring nearly 80 organizations from six continents, including national space agencies and specialized technology firms, also opened at the Congress venue.
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    http://en.trend.az/article_photo/2014/04/23/turgay-teymurov.jpg
    Baku, Azerbaijan, April 23

    Trend:

    The 14th CIS Oil amp; Gas Summit was dedicated to the development of existing major projects and new strategies in the Oil amp; Gas industry across the CIS region. The Summit covered various topics, including current trends that affect the CIS oil amp; gas sector, technical and financial challenges, policies and regulations and other subjects.

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    The summit has become the flagship event in the oil amp; gas sector in the CIS. EY was one of the sponsors of the event.

    About EY

    EY is a global leader in assurance, tax, transaction and advisory services. The insights and quality services we deliver help build trust and confidence in the capital markets and in economies the world over. We develop outstanding leaders who team to deliver on our promises to all of our stakeholders. In so doing, we play a critical role in building a better working world for our people, for our clients and for our communities.

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    Edited by C.N.

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  • 1st International Caspian Energy Forum'"2014 kicks off in Baku
    23.04.2014 21:14
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    http://www.today.az/pictures/pic132962.jpg
    В The 1st International Caspian Energy Forum'"2014 has kicked off in Baku.

    Organized by the Caspian Energy International Media Group, the forum brings together 300 delegates from 50 countries. The forum is supported by Azerbaijan`s Cabinet of Ministers, Parliament, Ministry of Energy, State Oil Company, State Committee for Standardization, Metrology and Patent, State Customs Committee, State Migration Service, Embassy of the United States to Azerbaijan, and Caspian European Club (CEIBC).

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    23.04.2014 20:57
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    Armenian terrorist Vazgen Sislian from ASALA demonstrates the true nature of Armenian authorities by voicing threats against Turkey.

    It was stated by member of Milli Majlis (Parliament) of Azerbaijan Aydin Mirzazade while commenting on threats against Turkey voiced by Vazgen Sislian, member of ASALA who organized a terrorist attack against the Turkish embassy in Paris in 1981.

    Sislian was released from prison in France with the help of Armenia directly, after which he and some other Armenian terrorists were granted great privileges and opportunities in Armenia, Mirzazade said.

    "He was also involved in occupation of Azerbaijan's lands and killings of peaceful Azerbaijani population after the release," the MP added.

    A respect for universal values is alien to Armenian chauvinists and the current Armenian authorities in general, the MP noted.

    "Armenian terrorist voices threats against Turkey relying on Serzh Sargsyan and his instructions."

    The MP mentioned that the ASALA member overestimates his capabilities.

    "The world has changed a lot during over this time. All have seen the real face of the Armenian government and understood the essence of Armenian nationalists. These statements will not remain unanswered. Turkish state will protect the security of its citizens and its diplomats and it is not so easy today to commit the terrorist attacks that took place in the last century," Mirzazade continued.

    The MP said that the aggressive rhetoric by the president and former terrorists of Armenia show what a miserable state Armenians have ended up.

    In turn, France needs explain why a terrorist who took part in an attack on the Turkish Embassy in Paris in 1981 was so hastily released and then was involved in battles in the territory of Azerbaijan, and now makes threats of terrorism to other states, the MP stressed.

    "The issue of political responsibility is involved here. Today the French government can declare that it is a responsibility of the previous government. Be anyway, governments come and go, but the state remains," the MP concluded.

    On 24 September, 1981, four Armenians aged 20-24 years (Vazgen Sislian, Aram Pasmachyan, Hakob Julfayan and Gevorg Kuzelyan) armed with pistols and guns and explosives, seized the Turkish consulate, while taking 60 people hostages.

    A Turkish guard was killed and vice-consul got wounded as a result of the attack.

    Vazgen Sislian was arrested later. However, he was released on a parole five years later and settled in Armenia in 1990.

    Sislian was also involved in battles to occupy the lands of Azerbaijan. He was announced a lsquo;hero' of Karabakh war together with other Armenian terrorists by former Armenian President Robert Kocharyan.

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  • 'Investments worth $50bn required to export gas from Shah Deniz-2 to Europe'
    23.04.2014 20:56
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    The Caspian region has very rich energy resources.

    Proved oil reserves make up 3.5%-4% while proved gas reserves make up11.7% of the total volume of all the world's reserves.

    It was announced by Energy Minister of Azerbaijan Natiq Aliyev at the I Int'l Caspian Energy Forum in Baku.

    Only 1.4% of proved reserves of the Caspian region is used at the moment, the minister said.

    "This shows that the Caspian region has a great potential to export resources," Aliyev added.

    Azerbaijan has an important place in the Caspian region, he noted.

    "Azerbaijan stands among the developed countries of the world due to the successful policies pursed over the last 20 years. Energy resources became one of the sources of successful development of the country," the minister stressed.

    Oil output in Azerbaijan increased up to 43-50m tons and gas - up to 30bn cu m a year over the last years, the minister continued.

    "The electricity sector has stepped into a new era and 30% of power generating capacity of the country was upgraded over the last five years."

    As to the export of energy resources, the minister said Azerbaijan closely cooperates with Europe over this issue.

    "The Caspian region is the most reliable source of [energy supplies] for the European Union. An energy corridor to Europe is being created thanks to the political will of Azerbaijan that will stretch from Azerbaijan till Italy. A great work is underway at the moment to create it," Aliyev mentioned.

    Investments worth over $50bn are required to ensure export of gas from Shah Deniz-2 to Europe, the minister pointed out.

    1
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  • BTC loads 2500th tanker at Ceyhan
    23.04.2014 20:50
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    The Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan Company (BTC Co.), operated by BP, is pleased to advise that the 2500th tanker loaded with BTC oil sailed away yesterday from the Ceyhan terminal in Turkey.

    The tanker called the Vinga arrived at the Ceyhan Marine Terminal on 15 April and departed for Spain on 21 April upon completion of the loading. The tanker took on board approximately 735,000 barrels of oil transported from the Sangachal terminal near Baku across Azerbaijan, Georgia and Turkey to the Ceyhan Terminal. The cargo of crude loaded on the Vinga belongs to SOFAZ (the State Oil Fund of Azerbaijan).

    The oil transported via BTC to world markets mainly comes from the Azeri-Chirag-Gunashli (ACG) and Shah Deniz fields in the Azerbaijan sector of the Caspian Sea.

    The 1768km BTC pipeline became operational in June 2006. Since that time BTC has carried a total of over 1.9 billion barrels (256 million tonnes) of crude oil and sent to world markets.

    Craig Wiggs, BP's Vice-President, Midstream, says: "During the eight years of its operations, BTC has demonstrated exceptional efficiency. The lifting of the 2500th tanker from Ceyhan is a remarkable milestone achieved by this world-class facility. When we built the pipeline we described it as a huge engineering achievement. And now after eight years of safe and reliable operations it can be described as a remarkable example of operational efficiency and world class delivery of one-team across the three countries - Azerbaijan, Georgia and Turkey. I would like to take this opportunity to thank our BTC operations team for their excellent safety performance and operational efficiency. This team includes many hundreds of people who day and night run the pipeline and provide services to ensure BTC operates silently and efficiently. I would also like to thank the operator of the pipeline in Turkey and the Ceyhan Terminal, Botas International Limited (BIL), for their essential role in achieving this major milestone.

    "As well as achieving this major milestone, BTC has implemented major sustainable development initiatives across the three countries to build skills and capabilities in local communities, improve their access to social infrastructure and help them to generate sustainable livelihoods. I would like to thank all communities along the pipeline for their support and cooperation. BTC remains committed to continuing this excellent cooperation."

    The BTC Co. shareholders are: BP (30.1 per cent); AzBTC (25.00 per cent); Chevron (8.90 per cent); Statoil (8.71 per cent); TPAO (6.53 per cent); ENI (5.00 per cent); Total (5.00 per cent), ITOCHU (3.40 per cent); INPEX (2.50 per cent), ConocoPhillips (2.50 per cent) and ONGC (BTC) Limited (2.36 per cent).

    BTC's throughput capacity is currently 1.2 million b/d.

    In 2013, BTC exported about 247.2million barrels (33 million tonnes) of crude oil loaded on 329 tankers at Ceyhan.

    The BTC pipeline currently carries mainly ACG oil and Shah Deniz condensate from Azerbaijan. In addition, crude oil from Turkmenistan continues to be transported via BTC. Starting October 2013, we have resumed transportation of some volumes of Tengiz crude oil through the BTC pipeline.
    2
  • Iran willing to boost ties with Latvia
    23.04.2014 20:46
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    http://en.trend.az/article_photo/2014/02/20/mohammad_javad_zarif_200214.jpg
    Iranian foreign minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said that Iran is willing to promote bilateral ties with Latvia as the next rotating president of the European Union Council, Iranian IRNA news agency reported on April 23.

    Latvia will hold the Presidency of the Council of the European Union in the first half of 2015.

    Zarif made the remarks in a joint press conference with his visiting Latvian counterpart Edgar Rinkevich who arrived in the Iranian capital on April 23 morning.

    This is the first visit to Tehran of a Latvian foreign minister, Zarif said referring to the long history of Iran-Latvia relations.

    The two capitals began their political ties in 1920s.

    Latvia became an independent country after the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991. It locates in the Baltic region of Northern Europe and is a member of the European Union Council as well as the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. The country joined the Eurozone on 1 January 2014.

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    2
  • Turkish PM ErdoДџan stresses 'shared pain' in statement on Armenian issue
    23.04.2014 20:41
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    http://www.topnews.az/images/logo.png
    Prime Minister Recep Tayyip ErdoДџan has highlighted the "shared pain" endured during the 1915 events in a historic statement April 23 on the Armenian issue, expressing condolences on behalf of the Turkish state to the grandchildren of Armenians who lost their lives "in the context of the early twentieth century."

    In a first-of-its-kind statement released by the Prime Minister's Office, ErdoДџan said April 24 carries "particular significance for our Armenian citizens and for all Armenians around the world."

    Arguing that all ethnicities in the late years of the Ottoman Empire lived a hard time full of pains, ErdoДџan called for a just, humane and conscientious standing to commemorate all pains experienced in that era.

    "The incidents of the First World War are our shared pain. To evaluate this painful period of history through a perspective of just memory is a humane and scholarly responsibility."

    ErdoДџan's statement also stressed the importance of freedom of expression and respect of plurality regarding history.

    "In Turkey, expressing different opinions and thoughts freely on the events of 1915 is the requirement of a pluralistic perspective as well as of a culture of democracy and modernity," the statement said.

    "It is with this hope and belief that we wish that the Armenians who lost their lives in the context of the early twentieth century rest in peace, and we convey our condolences to their grandchildren," it said.

    The statement has been issued in eight languages, including Eastern and Western Armenian.

    Armenians will mark this year the 99th anniversary of the tragedy on April 24, the date on which the mass deportations of hundreds of thousands of Ottoman Armenians started when a telegram by Ottoman Interior Minister Talat PaЕџa ordered provincial governors and commanders - especially in the eastern regions to which the Tsarist Russian army was advancing - to forcibly deport the Armenian population.

    Armenians describe the events as "genocide" and demand its recognition by Ankara. Turkey claims the killings should be understood in the context of World War I.

    A resolution that recognizes the killings of Ottoman Armenians as a genocide, which passed at the U.S. Senate's Foreign Relations Committee on April 10 by bipartisan vote, failed to reach the floor earlier this month.

    www.hurriyetdailynews.com
    1
  • Chief of State Migration Service of Azerbaijan visits Netherlands
    23.04.2014 20:37
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    Chief of the State Migration Service of Azerbaijan Firudin Nabiyev has visited the Kingdom of the Netherlands.

    The goal of the visit is to discuss the next stage of the joint Twinning project, as well as how to expand bilateral relations between the State Migration Service of Azerbaijan and the Repatriation and Departure Service of the Security and Justice Ministry of the Kingdom of Netherlands.

    During the trip, Nabiyev also met Director General of the Repatriation and Departure Service Rhodia Maas to discuss bilateral cooperation.

    He will also meet Minister for Migration Fred Teeven and Director General of the Immigration and Naturalisation Services Van Lint.
    3
  • U.S. State Department official meets Georgian non-governmental sector reps
    23.04.2014 20:33
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    Tbilisi, Georgia, April 23

    By Nana Kirtzkhalia - Trend:

    Thomas Melia, U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of State, met with non-governmental sector's representatives in Tbilisi.

    Following the meeting the head of the 'Fair Elections' non-governmental organization, Nino Lomjaria said the talks focused on the electoral law, self-government reforms and the problems in these areas.

    The high-ranking U.S. official also met with the media representatives in the country.

    Translated by E.A.

    Edited by S.I.

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    3
  • 175m tonnes of Azeri profit oil sold on world market-SOCAR
    23.04.2014 20:03
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    175m tonnes of Azeri profit oil have been sold in period of development of Azeri-Chirag-Guneshli oil fields on the world market.

    The statement came from first vice president of the State Oil Company of Azerbaijan Khshbakht Yusifzade speaking at the first International Caspian Energy forum in Baku.

    He said that the volumes of profit oil are growing every year.

    "Participants of the ACG project, including Azerbaijan receive profit from the development of the block of fields for already more than 15 years".

    In 2013 ACG produced 32,700,000 tonnes of oil of which 22.5m tonnes or 66.8% was the oil of Azerbaijan. Revenues from the sale of profit oil are accumulated in the State Oil Fund of Azerbaijan and spent to improve the welfare of the people and develop the country's nonoil sector", Yusifzade said.

    The SOCAR vice president also touched upon both the political and economic significance of the Contract of Century.

    "By this agreement, Azerbaijan has proved that it is a reliable partner. This promoted increased investments in the country. And after signing the agreement on ACG development foreign companies signed 32 PSA agreements with Azerbaijan", he said.

    Yusifzade noted that while in 1997 Azerbaijan produced 9m tons of oil, in 2010 this indicator grew to 50m tonnes a year, that is rose by 5.6 times.

    All the same he noted that investments in Azerbaijan's oil and gas sector made $51.6bn in 1995-2013.

    All the same Yusifzade noted that SOCAR is today implementing different projects in foreign countries-Georgia, Turkey, Kazakhstan, etc.

    "Today SOCAR's activity embraces the activity of 36 joint ventures and daughter affiliates, as well as 13 representative offices functioning in the oil and gas sector of different countries.

    SOCAR that signed 17 PSA agreements with 25 companies from 15 countries successfully represents Azerbaijan on the world arena", he said.

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  • Milky Way to Be Explored w/ Auв's $13 Million Instrument
    23.04.2014 20:00
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    Australia will be exploring the Milky Way to identify its origins soon with its new $13 million instrument, HERMES (the High Efficiency and Resolution Multi-Element Spectrograph), launched by Industry Minister Ian Macfarlane at the Australian Astronomical Observatory (AAO) at Coonabarabran.

    HERMES is designed to gather and identify light from up to 400 stars or galaxies simultaneously.

    The development of HERMES is a multinational project involving 70 astronomers from 17 institutions in eight countries, led by Professor Ken Freeman from the Australian National University, Professor Joss Bland-Hawthorn from the University of Sydney and Dr Gayandhi De Silva from the AAO.

    The Australian Government donated $8 million from the National Collaborative Research Infrastructure Strategy and the Education Investment Fund for the completion of HERMES.

    HERMES works through fed light along optical fibres. The fibres were installed by a robotic technology created by AAO. The colours of the fed light will then be scattered into spectra which translates motion and chemical composition of stars in the Milky Way.

    "Australia is a world leader in astronomy. This new instrument will allow some of our greatest scientists to make new breakthroughs in this important field. The AAO's Anglo-Australian Telescope is world-renowned for its record of discovery and this new instrument, HERMES, will ensure it continues to lead the way. Using HERMES, astronomers will be able to analyse light from more than a million stars in our galaxy, helping them map the age and movements of the stars and unravel how the Milky Way formed. HERMES has been developed over five years by scientists and engineers at the AAO, and will be used by scientists from all over the world," Mr Macfarlane said in a statement.

    AAO, with laboratories in Chile and Hawaii, holds a record of world-leading technological innovations with robotic control systems and other highly advanced sensors.
    1
  • New air terminal launched at Heydar Aliyev International Airport
    23.04.2014 19:58
    http://www.topnews.az/images/logo.png
    http://www.topnews.az/images/logo.png
    President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev attended the opening ceremony.

    The opening ceremony of the new air terminal of the Heydar Aliyev International Airport was held on April 23. The event was attended by President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev, his spouse Mehriban Aliyeva and their family members.

    The new air terminal whose groundbreaking ceremony was held with participation of President Ilham Aliev on 17 March 2011 stands out for its beauty and functional qualities. President Ilham Aliyev cut the red ribbon symbolizing the opening of the air terminal.

    The head of state familiarized closely with the new air terminal.

    He expressed satisfaction with the conducted works and set due instructions. A memory photo was taken at the end.

    The first passengers of the new air terminal - President Ilham Aliyev and his spouse Mehriban Aliyeva left for the capital city of the Czech Republic, Prague on April 23.

    AzerTAc
    1
  • Turkish government spreads message regarding 1915 events
    23.04.2014 19:57
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    http://en.trend.az/article_photo/2009/07/16/Turkey_flag_160709.jpg
    Baku, Azerbaijan, April 23

    By Rufiz Hafizoglu - Trend:

    Turkey's Cabinet of Ministers has spread a message in connection with the events of 1915, the website of the country's government said on April 23.

    The message says it is important not to be a captive of historical events and there is need to create a foundation for building a common future.

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

    "Nevertheless, it is impossible to use the events of 1915 as a tool of political pressure on Turkey," the message of Turkish government said.

    The message says Turkey supports the creation of a joint historical commission to investigate the events of 1915 and expresses condolences to the families of those killed in the events of 1915, including the Armenians.

    The message highlights that the events of 1915 are common grief.

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

    Translated by L.Z.

    Edited by C.N.

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    1
  • Baku to host Formula-1 races '" minister
    23.04.2014 19:57
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    http://www.topnews.az/images/logo.png
    Youth and Sports Minister of Azerbaijan Azad Rahimov talked about Formula-1 races to be held in Baku at a press conference here today.

    "A contract will be signed in April in London to hold Formula-1 races in Baku," sport.1news.az reports quoting the minister as saying.

    "We will hold an event on this occasion in Baku in May," the minister added.

    1
    2
  • New York Times: Galaxy S5 competition against iPhone 5S isnв't even close
    23.04.2014 19:51
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    http://www.today.az/pictures/pic132955.jpg
    Interestingly, the newspaper found that the competition wasnв't even close.

    ''Although it offers no spectacular advances over the previous version, Samsung seems to have done just enough with the S5 to stay ahead of every other Android phone maker,'' NYT columnist Farhad Manjoo wrote. ''The only plausible competition comes in the form of the HTC One, which, as my colleague Molly Wood wrote, is prettier than the S5 but not as functional. The upshot of all these reviews is that if youв're looking for the best Android phone, Samsungв's is the one to buy.''

    He continued, ''But thatв's not the whole story. While there are probably some people who go out to shop for the best Android phone, I suspect that most people want to know which phone is best of all, whatever operating system it runs. In other words, how does the Galaxy S5 compare to the iPhone 5S, Appleв's six-month-old flagship device and the champion to beat?''

    The answer, Manjoo says, is ''not very well.''

    According to The New York Times, the brand new Galaxy S5 really doesnв't complete on any level with the iPhone 5s, which is nearly seven months old at this point.

    ''By just about every major measure youв'll care about, from speed to design to ease of use to the quality of its apps, Samsungв's phone ranks behind the iPhone, sometimes far behind,'' Manjoo wrote. ''If youв're looking for the best phone on the market right now, Iв'd recommend going with the iPhone 5S.''

    Manjoo says the Galaxy S5?s three biggest advantages over the iPhone 5s are slightly longer battery life, water-resistance and the phoneв's larger display. The first two are minor advantages according to Manjoo, and the display size discrepancy will reportedly disappear later this year when Apple launches a larger iPhone 6 and an iPhone phablet.

    The columnist concludes that Samsungв's Galaxy S5 is the best smartphone with a large screen that money can buy right now, and that will continue to be the case for the next few months. But Manjoo says that once Apple launches its larger iPhones, ''Samsungв's smartphone ascendance may look a bit uncertain.''

    /Yahoo/
    1
  • Azerbaijan, the Netherlands to work out investment agreement soon
    23.04.2014 19:36
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    http://en.trend.az/article_photo/2013/09/10/shahin_mustafayev_100913.jpg
    Baku, Azerbaijan, April 23

    By Emin Aliyev - Trend:

    The formulation of the intergovernmental agreement between Azerbaijan and the Netherlands on promotion and mutual protection of investments, is close to completion, Azerbaijani Minister of Economy and Industry, Shahin Mustafayev said on April 23, while speaking at the Azerbaijani-Dutch business forum in Baku.

    "Successful and effective political ties between our countries have created opportunities for expanding their economic cooperation. Currently, around 170 Azerbaijani entrepreneurs operate in the Netherlands, while 108 Dutch companies operate in Azerbaijan," Mustafayev said.

    The mutual interest is as high as the interaction potential, according to the minister.

    "The trade turnover between our countries has increased by 24 percent in 2013. This trend continued in the first quarter of 2014: the trade turnover between Azerbaijan and the Netherlands increased by almost 20 percent compared to the same period of 2013. Dutch companies have made nearly $670 million direct investments in Azerbaijan's economy and rank fourth on this index among the countries investing in Azerbaijan's economy," Mustafayev added.

    Translated by L.Z.

    Edited by C.N.

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    4
  • Calm spring weather expected
    23.04.2014 19:22
    http://www.today.az/pictures/pic132972.jpg
    http://www.today.az/pictures/pic132972.jpg
    No precipitation is going to interrupt the volatile cloudy and infrequently gloomy course of weather in Baku and Abhseron peninsula on April 24. Mild south-eastern wind to blow. The temperature will be 10-14C at night and 18-23 in the noon.

    While most of Azerbaijani regions will have rainless weather in the noon, night and evening are going to bring short-term rain and lightning in some mountainous and foothills regions. Western wind to waft and strengthen during lightning. The temperature will be 8-13C at night and 22-27 and in the noon, while 4-9C in mountains at night and 13-18C in the noon.

    /Eco.Gov.Az/
    2
  • 6 billion people have cellphones
    23.04.2014 19:17
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    http://www.topnews.az/images/logo.png
    A UN report says six of the world's seven billion people have mobile phones but only 4.5 billion have toilets. In response to the statistics the UN has issued a call "to change a situation in which more people worldwide have mobile phones than toilets."

    At a press conference held on Thursday in which he announced the report, the UN Deputy Secretary-General Jan Eliasson, said that the UN has launched a global effort to improve sanitation for 2.5 billion people who do not have toilets, 1.1 billion of whom defecate in the open, some making calls on their cellphones while relieving themselves under bridges and on refuse dumps. As Slate comments: "That phenomenon is easily visible in Indonesia, for example, where it is common to see people who live in metal roofed shacks without bathrooms surfing Facebook on their smartphones or feature phones."

    NPR notes that the Hindustan Times reported Wednesday that in India's state of Maharashtra about 70 percent of the state's 100 million people have cellphones, and 60 percent have televisions in their homes, but nearly half of families still don't have a toilet.

    Eliasson said: "I am determined to energize action that will lead to results. I am calling on all actors - government, civil society, business and international organizations - to commit to measurable action and to mobilize the resources to rapidly increase access to basic sanitation."

    Eliasson described the situation as a "silent disaster" that reflects the wide income disparities in the world. He said: "I am determined to energize action that will lead to results. I am calling on all actors - government, civil society, business and international organizations - to commit to measurable action and to mobilize the resources to rapidly increase access to basic sanitation."

    He continued: "Let's face itmdash;this is a problem that people do not like to talk about. But it goes to the heart of ensuring good health, a clean environment and fundamental human dignity for billions of people."

    The announcement follows the initiation in August 2012 of the Bill Gates Foundation program to "reinvent the toilet" as part of effort to reduce the number of people who do not have access to sanitary waste disposal facilities.

    Eliasson told the press conference that the problem of access to toilets must be tackled for the UN to achieve its goal of cutting by half by the end of 2015 the proportion of the world's people without access to sanitation and eliminating by 2025 the practice of open defecation. He noted that out of all the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) to end poverty set in 2000, the UN has made the slowest progress with the goal of improving sanitation for the world's poor.

    UN figures estimate that 1.8 billion people gained access to improved sanitation since 1990 and that the MDG target to halve the proportion of people without access to improved sources of water has been met. The organization, however, estimates that about 1.1 billion people or 15 percent of the world's population continue to defecate in the open.

    According to UN public health experts the practice of open defecation is a major cause of diarrhea that causes the death of more than 750,000 children under the age of five every year. Eliasson said that 22 countries account for more than 80 percent of the world's incidence of open defecation. He listed the countries: Brazil, China, India, Indonesia, Cambodia, Ethiopia, Kenya, Madagascar, Malawi, Mozambique, Nepal, Nigeria, Pakistan, Sierra Leone, Zambia, Afghanistan, Burkina Faso, Chad, Congo, Niger, Sudan and South Sudan.

    UN figures indicate that India alone accounts for 60 per cent of the number of people in the world who practice open defecation. The number of people who use mobile phones in India increased from 45 million in 2002 to 1 billion in 2012. However, only about 30 percent of Indians have proper sanitation.
    2
  • Meteorits and vitamin B!?
    23.04.2014 19:06
    http://www.today.az/pictures/pic132965.jpg
    http://www.today.az/pictures/pic132965.jpg
    Did life here begin...out there? We don't yet know and may never. But there is compelling evidence that I might not be sitting here writing this today, or you reading it, if not for meteorite-enabled distribution of a simple vitamin billions of years ago.

    Scientists funded by NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center have found vitamin B3, a.k.a. niacin, in a group of eight ancient, carbon-rich meteorites. And the more pristine a meteorite is, the more B3 it contains.

    The amount of niacin in the eight meteorites ranged from 30 to 600 parts per billion.

    The finding suggests that a lot of the Earth's initial niacin supply may have originated in space, during the cosmic events that created the Solar System, and been brought to earth by meteorites. Once here, natural processes like erosion degraded the meteorites, leeching that B3 into the environment.

    Why is this a clue to the origins of life on Earth? Well, niacin, also called nicotinic acid, is a precursor to an amine called nicotinamide adenine dinuclotide (NAD). Amines are substances that are key to the formation of amino acids, which in turn are building blocks for molecular proteins. Molecular proteins are crucial to the functions that comprise living organisms, essentially the chemical bits within our cells that act upon the other, relatively inert bits.

    The researchers are careful not to overstate the case, which was published this week in the journal Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta. "It is always difficult to put a value on the connection between meteorites and the origin of life,'' says lead researcher Karen Smith of Penn State, in an article on the NASA website. ''For example, earlier work has shown that vitamin B3 could have been produced non-biologically on ancient Earth, but it's possible that an added source of vitamin B3 could have been helpful."

    However, Smith and her colleagues also also found niacin isomers'"related substances with the same chemical formula as niacin but with atoms attached in different formations'"in the meteorites, at similar concentrations to the niacin. These variants are not used in or created by living processes, so are very unlikely to exist in the meteorites if the B3 they contain came from exposure to Earth-bound life.

    /Popsci.Com/
    3
  • Pirates raid oil tanker off Malaysia, take away three crew
    23.04.2014 18:55
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    http://www.topnews.az/images/logo.png
    Armed pirates raided an oil tanker off the coast of Malaysia and took three crew members with them, Malaysian maritime officials said on Wednesday, underscoring increasing threats to shipping in one of the world's busiest waterways, Reuters reported.

    The incident in the Malacca Strait, a route for about a quarter of the world's seaborne oil trade, has fuelled fears piracy could be on the rise in the area and drive up ship insurance premiums.

    "We are very concerned," said Noel Choong, head of the International Maritime Bureau's Malaysia-based Piracy Reporting Centre, who added the ship was hijacked while sailing near the Malaysia town of Port Klang.

    "It's the first time this has happened so far north in the Malacca Strait, and the first time they have kidnapped the crew. It's not an area where we have seen the modus operandi of ships hijacked for their cargo," he told Reuters.

    Eight Indonesian pirates in a fishing vessel boarded the Naniwa Maru No.1 at 1 a.m. local time on Tuesday off the coast of west Malaysia, the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency said.

    The pirates pumped out about 3 million liters of the 4.5 million liters of diesel carried by the tanker into two waiting vessels and made off with three Indonesian crew members, including the captain and chief engineer, the agency said.

    "There is a possibility that the abducted crew was involved in the hijack based on new leads and that their personal documents, clothes and belongings were taken along with then," the agency said in a statement.

    The Saint Kitts and Nevis registered oil tanker, which was bound for Myanmar from Singapore, had been towed to Malaysia's Port Klang for further investigations.

    Malaysian authorities are now working closely with their Indonesian counterparts to track down the two vessels and locate the missing crew.

    Regional security officials have previously told Reuters that armed gangs prowling the Malacca Strait may be part of a syndicate that can either have links to the crew on board the hijacking target or inside knowledge about the ship and cargo.

    Such intelligence-led hijacks have involved seizing tankers so that gasoil cargoes can be transferred and sold on the black market, the officials, who declined to be identified because they are not authorized to speak to the media, have said.

    The stolen cargo is worth about $2.5 million, based on the average price of diesel this year in Singapore, data from British shipping services firm Clarkson shows.

    The tanker is managed by Singapore company Pantec Chartering which was unable to comment when contacted by Reuters. The 4,999-deadweight ton vessel had a 18 member crew of Indonesian, Thai, Myanmar and Indian nationals.

    Insurance sources said the incident was unlikely to spark an immediate increase in premiums, but insurers would be concerned if there were several more hijackings.

    Previous tanker hijackings and cargo thefts have taken place closer to Singapore, with five such incidents between 2011 and 2013, according to the government-to-government body Regional Co-operation Agreement on Combating Piracy and Armed Robbery against Ships in Asia (ReCAAP).

    There were eight armed robbery attacks in the Malacca Strait and around Singapore in the first quarter this year, compared with one in the same period last year, Singapore-headquartered ReCAAP said, although most were small thefts.

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    4
  • Azerbaijan, Russia preparing agreement on labor migration
    23.04.2014 18:45
    http://en.trend.az/article_photo/2014/01/28/handshake_280114.jpg
    http://en.trend.az/article_photo/2014/01/28/handshake_280114.jpg
    Baku, Azerbaijan, April 23

    By Huseyn Valiyev - Trend:

    Azerbaijan and Russia will hold talks on cooperating in the migration area, according to Azerbaijani State Migration Service's Deputy Chief, Parviz Musayev.

    Musayev made the remarks on Wednesday, April 23, at the Caspian Energy Forum-2014.

    He went on to add that the labor migration agreement has already been prepared and submitted to the Russian side's consideration.

    This year, Azerbaijani parliament ratified the labor migration agreement between Azerbaijan and Turkey.

    Translated by E.A.

    Edited by S.I.

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    2
  • FIFA allows Barca to have summer transfer
    23.04.2014 18:42
    http://www.today.az/pictures/pic132970.jpg
    http://www.today.az/pictures/pic132970.jpg
    Fifa has announced they have suspended Barcelona's transfer ban following their appeal against the punishment.

    The Catalans were banned from signing players for the next two transfer windows for breaching regulations relating to the international transfer of players under 18 years of age, but the suspension has been put on hold until a final decision on their appeal is taken.

    "The club Barcelona have lodged an appeal before the Fifa Appeal Committee against the decision of the Fifa Disciplinary Committee that sanctioned the club for breaches relating to the international transfer and registration of players under the age of 18. Together with the appeal, the club requested that its appeal be granted suspensive effect," an official statement reads.

    "In this respect, the chairman of the Fifa Appeal Committee, Larry Mussenden, took into consideration the sanctions imposed against the club, the complexity of the matter, the start date of the next registration period '" 1 July 2014 '" and the fact that the Fifa Appeal Committee does not seem in a position to take a decision on the main issue early enough so that an eventual appeal of the club against its decision before the Court of Arbitration for Sport would still be decided before the beginning of the next registration period.

    "Consequently, the chairman of the Fifa Appeal Committee considered that the appeal lodged by the club is to be granted suspensive effect.

    "In view of the foregoing, the chairman of the Fifa Appeal Committee assures that proper and adequate appeal proceedings will take place and, at the same time, that all rights of the club will be respected."

    World football governing body's decision to suspend Barcelona's transfer ban means the already confirmed transfer of Alen Halilovic from Dinamo Zagreb is back on, while it now also seems to be a matter of time before they complete the signing of Borussia Monchengladbach goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen.

    /Goal.Com/
    3
  • Assad faces first presidential opponent in elections
    23.04.2014 18:40
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    http://www.topnews.az/images/logo.png
    A Syrian lawmaker has registered as the first-ever challenger for the presidency in an upcoming election expected to return incumbent Bashar al-Assad to power, the speaker of parliament said Wednesday, Al Arabiya reported.

    "We have received information from the higher constitutional court that member of parliament Maher Abdel Hafiz Hajjar has filed his candidacy for the post of president of the Syrian Arab Republic," state television quoted Mohammad Lahham as saying.

    Hajjar, an independent MP, was born in Aleppo in 1968, the broadcaster said.

    His candidacy was announced two days after Lahham said Syria would hold a presidential election on June 3.

    Assad, who became president on the death of his father Hafez in 2000 and whose current term ends on July 17, is expected to stand and win another seven-year term despite the three-year-old civil war.

    It will be Syria's first presidential election -- previously a referendum was held on a single candidate but that system was replaced by an amendment to the constitution.

    Election rules require candidates to have lived in Syria for the last decade, effectively preventing key opposition figures in exile from standing.

    The Syrian opposition has slammed the planned election as a "farce," while the United Nations and the Arab League have said it poses a major obstacle to efforts for a negotiated peace.

    The conflict has killed more than 150,000 people and nearly half of Syria's population has been displaced.

    Violence continues to ravage many parts of the country, even reaching the heart of the capital, which has come under repeated mortar fire by opposition fighters on its outskirts.

    The government has not laid out how it plans to hold a credible election with large swathes of the country outside its control.

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    4
  • ADBв's regional forum opens in Tbilisi
    23.04.2014 18:18
    http://en.trend.az/article_photo/2012/09/19/Tbilisi_190912_2.jpg
    http://en.trend.az/article_photo/2012/09/19/Tbilisi_190912_2.jpg
    Tbilisi, Georgia, April 23

    By Nana Kirtzkhalia - Trend:

    The regional forum of the Asian Development Bank (ADB) on public debt management issues, has opened in Tbilisi.

    The conference was opened by Georgian Finance Minister Nodar Khaduri. Delegations from the ADB member states, international financial institutions and representatives of the organizations which have experience in public debt management sphere, are participating in the forum.

    The forum's aim is to provide the exchange of views in the sphere of public debt management between the regional countries.

    It is planned to hold around 13 sessions during the three-day forum. Each of these sessions will focus on certain issues.

    The conference's agenda includes such issues as the strategy of management and analysis of the public debt, risk management, review of the global and regional economy and others.

    Representatives of Georgia's Finance Ministry and the Central Bank will make a presentation about Georgia.

    Translated by L.Z.

    Edited by C.N.

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    4
  • Azerbaijan, China discuss prospects for cooperation in the field of information
    23.04.2014 18:12
    http://www.azertag.com/sites/default/files/1398245185.JPG
    http://www.azertag.com/sites/default/files/1398245185.JPG
    They met AzerTAc Director General Aslan Aslanov, who spoke of the agency`s history. He highlighted national leader Heydar Aliyev`s attention to development of AzerTAc

    Baku, April 23 (AzerTAc). Azerbaijan and China have explored prospects for enhancing cooperation in the field of information as a delegation led by Editor-in-Chief of Global Times newspaper Hu Xijin visited the Azerbaijan State Telegraph Agency (AzerTAc).
    4
  • President Ilham Aliyev held several official meetings
    23.04.2014 18:11
    http://www.today.az/pictures/pic132968.jpg
    http://www.today.az/pictures/pic132968.jpg
    President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev received a delegation led by Member of the Senate of the Kingdom of the Netherlands Rene van der Linden.

    They hailed relations between the Republic of Azerbaijan and the Kingdom of the Netherlands, saying they were successfully developing in the political, economic and other areas.

    They also expressed confidence that the visit of the delegation led by Member of the Senate of the Kingdom of the Netherlands RenГ© van der Linden would contribute to further boosting cooperation.

    ***

    President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev received a delegation led by Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation of the Kingdom of Spain Jose Manuel Garcia-Margallo.

    The head of state expressed hope that the visit of the delegation led by Jose Manuel Garcia-Margallo to Azerbaijan would contribute to strengthening relations between the two countries.

    Recalling with satisfaction his meeting with Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy Brey in Vilnius, President Ilham Aliyev said they held fruitful discussions on the expansion of cooperation. The head of state stressed the importance of mutual interest in developing cooperation between the two countries in various areas, including politics, economics and culture.

    Minister Jose Manuel Garcia-Margallo conveyed greetings on behalf of King of Spain Juan Carlos and Premier Mariano Rajoy Brey to the head of state.

    He handed a letter of Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy Brey to President Ilham Aliyev inviting him to visit Spain.

    The Spanish Minister said Premier Mariano Rajoy Brey also recalled with satisfaction his meeting with the Azerbaijani President in Vilnius.

    Saying it was the first visit of the Spanish FM to Azerbaijan, Jose Manuel Garcia-Margallo stressed the importance of the visit in terms of the expansion of the relations.

    The head of state thanked for the greetings of King of Spain Juan Carlos and Premier Mariano Rajoy Brey, and asked the Spanish Minister to communicate his greetings to the Spanish King and Prime Minister.

    /AzerTAc
    9
  • Carlsen reign keeps, Mammadyarov loses to Nakamura
    23.04.2014 18:05
    http://www.today.az/pictures/pic132961.jpg
    http://www.today.az/pictures/pic132961.jpg
    By AzerNews

    Magnus Carlsen continues to top the Hashimov Memorial by a point over the other participants, following the results of the third tour of the tournament held on April 22.

    After five hours of fighting, Sergey Karjakin, the World Champion in rapid chess from Russia and Carlsen, the reigning World Champion from Norway, agreed to a draw.

    The match between Azerbaijan's Teymur Rajabov and Italy's Fabiano Caruana also ended in a draw on the 27th move, while the game of American Hikaru Nakamura and Azerbaijani grandmaster Shahriyar Mammadyarov, one of the memorable events of the A tournament, ended in victory for the American player.

    Carlsen leads the standings of the A tournament with 2.5 points, leaving behind Caruana, Karjakin, Nakamura, and Rajabov with 1.5 points, and Mammadyarov with 0.5 points.

    The B tournament's third round ended with French Etienne Bacrot's victory over Azerbaijan's Gadir Huseynov. Russian Alexander Motylev lost to Polish chess player Radoslav Wojtaszek, while Eltaj Safarli ended in a draw with Rauf Mammadov (both from Azerbaijan); Paul Elyanov (Ukraine) and Vasif Durarbeyli (Azerbaijan), and Wang Hao (China) and Nijat Abbasov (Azerbaijan) also made peace.

    Standings after the second round of the B tournament is as following: Bacrot - 2.5 points, Elyanov and Abbasov - 2 points, Wang Hao, Wojtaszek, Motylev, and Safarli - 1.5 points, and Huseynov, Durarbeyli, and Mammadov - 0.5 points.

    Speaking at a press conference after the round, Fabiano Caruana who ended the game in a draw said he had tried to play carefully.

    "I made a mistake in the first round and lost victory," he said. "After three rounds, I think my results are satisfactory. Speaking about Magnus Carlsen's leadership, I must say he is a strong chess player. One just needs to stop him and play even better and prepare carefully for this."

    Shamkir Chess 2014 opened in the Heydar Aliyev Center on April 19 and will run until April 30.

    The grandiose event, organized by JSC Synergy Group, is being held within the framework of the "State Program on development of chess in Azerbaijan in 2009-2014" and is dedicated to world-famous Azerbaijani grandmaster Vugar Hashimov who passed away as a result of a serious disease in January.

    Money prize of the A tournament, sponsored by "Synergy Group" is 100,000 euros, while the prize fund for this tournament will be 30,000 euros.
    6
  • Turkey raises visa fee for Armenians from USD 15 to USD 25
    23.04.2014 17:57
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    http://www.topnews.az/images/logo.png
    Turkey has raised the cost of entry visas for citizens of Armenia, from USD 15 to USD 25, Armenian News source NEWS.am reports.

    According to the department of visas at the border crossing in Turkey, under the new decision from 11 April 2014, for the citizens of Armenia, the visa to enter the territory of Turkey reached USD 25 instead of the previous USD 15.

    On the border with Turkey Armenian citizens are granted a multiple visa for 30 days.

    In 2013 Turkey was visited by 73,365 Armenians, in 2012 - 70,956.

    News.am
    3
  • President Ilham Aliyev received delegation of Senate of Kingdom of the Netherlands
    23.04.2014 17:52
    http://www.topnews.az/images/logo.png
    http://www.topnews.az/images/logo.png
    President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev received a delegation led by Member of the Senate of the Kingdom of the Netherlands Rene van der Linden.

    They hailed relations between the Republic of Azerbaijan and the Kingdom of the Netherlands, saying they were successfully developing in the political, economic and other areas.

    They also expressed confidence that the visit of the delegation led by Member of the Senate of the Kingdom of the Netherlands Reneacute; van der Linden would contribute to further boosting cooperation.
    4
  • President Ilham Aliyev received delegation led by Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation of the Kingdom of Spain
    23.04.2014 17:32
    http://www.topnews.az/images/logo.png
    http://www.topnews.az/images/logo.png
    President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev received a delegation led by Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation of the Kingdom of Spain Jose Manuel Garcia-Margallo.

    The head of state expressed hope that the visit of the delegation led by Jose Manuel Garcia-Margallo to Azerbaijan would contribute to strengthening relations between the two countries.

    Recalling with satisfaction his meeting with Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy Brey in Vilnius, President Ilham Aliyev said they held fruitful discussions on the expansion of cooperation. The head of state stressed the importance of mutual interest in developing cooperation between the two countries in various areas, including politics, economics and culture.

    Minister Jose Manuel Garcia-Margallo conveyed greetings on behalf of King of Spain Juan Carlos and Premier Mariano Rajoy Brey to the head of state.

    He handed a letter of Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy Brey to President Ilham Aliyev inviting him to visit Spain.

    The Spanish Minister said Premier Mariano Rajoy Brey also recalled with satisfaction his meeting with the Azerbaijani President in Vilnius.

    Saying it was the first visit of the Spanish FM to Azerbaijan, Jose Manuel Garcia-Margallo stressed the importance of the visit in terms of the expansion of the relations.

    The head of state thanked for the greetings of King of Spain Juan Carlos and Premier Mariano Rajoy Brey, and asked the Spanish Minister to communicate his greetings to the Spanish King and Prime Minister.
    6
  • Agreement on unique vessel construction for Shah Deniz project signed
    23.04.2014 17:26
    http://en.trend.az/article_photo/2013/06/08/socar_bp_logo_080613.jpg
    http://en.trend.az/article_photo/2013/06/08/socar_bp_logo_080613.jpg
    Baku, Azerbaijan, April 23

    By Emil Ismayilov - Trend:

    SOCAR's shipyard and BP signed an agreement for the construction of a multipurpose vessel to be used as part of the second phase of developing the Azerbaijani offshore gas condensate Shah Deniz field.

    The agreement was signed by BP president for Azerbaijan, Georgia and Turkey Gordon Birrell and Baku Shipyard Director David Loh in Baku.

    The contract is worth $378 million. The vessel will be constructed in April 2017.

    During the signing ceremony, Minister of Economy and Industry Shahin Mustafayev stressed the importance of the new shipyard and its commissioning on time.

    "Signing the agreement with BP emphasizes the high level of technical equipment of the shipyard and its compliance with international standards," he said.

    "Shah Deniz-2 project is large and unique," SOCAR head Rovnag Abdullayev said. "It would be impossible to construct such a vessel in the Caspian Sea without a new shipyard."

    "It is possible to implement several large projects simultaneously thanks to a shipyard," Abdullayev said. "In particular, bottom side of a new floating drilling rig will be constructed at the shipyard that is being created to meet SOCAR's needs."

    "The subsea equipment and units will be placed on the vessel," Birrell said. "Accordingly, it will be possible to conduct much work with the help of the vessel before the first gas is obtained as part of Shah Deniz-2 project."

    "The vessel will be built in accordance with high international standards that meet the requirements for implementation of the Shah Deniz project," Birrel said.

    Therefore, the vessel will be mainly used for the Shah Deniz-2 project, but it will also be involved in other work in the Caspian Sea, according to the BP representative.

    Birrel also pointed out that given BP's growing business in the region, the company will use the plant's services to build new vessels.

    In total, around 12 major contracts, totaling over $5 billion, have been signed under the Shah Deniz-2 project.

    Baku Shipyard LLC is a joint venture of SOCAR, Azerbaijan Investment Company (AIC) and Keppel Offshore amp; Marine. It was opened by Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev in September 2013.

    Keppel owns some 10 percent share of the plant and is fully responsible for its management and operation. The largest shareholders are SOCAR with 65 percent share and AIC which owns a quarter of the enterprise's shares.

    The plant is designed for constructing a large spectrum of specialized and merchant ships, including multi-purpose vessels such as platform supply vessels, as well as tankers and cargo ships. The enterprise also has ship-repair capabilities.

    At full capacity, the plant will be able to carry out up to 100 repair or rebuild works a year.

    The contract for development of the Shah Deniz offshore field, which has proven reserves of 1.2 trillion cubic meters of gas, was signed on June 4, 1996.

    Participants in the Shah Deniz field development are the State Oil Company of Azerbaijan (SOCAR) with a share of 16.7 percent, British BP (28.8 percent), Norway's Statoil (15.5 percent), Iran's NICO (10 percent), French Total (10 percent), Russia's Lukoil (10 percent), Turkish TPAO (9 percent).

    A final investment decision was made on the second phase of Azerbaijani Shah Deniz offshore gas and condensate field development on December 17, 2013. Some 10 billion cubic meters of gas from this field will be supplied to the European market.

    The gas to be produced within the second phase of the field development will be exported to Turkey and European markets by expanding the South Caucasus Gas Pipeline and constructing the Trans-Anatolian Gas Pipeline (TANAP) and the Trans-Adriatic Gas Pipeline (TAP).

    Translated by N.H., L.Z.

    Edited by C.N.

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    10
  • Malaysian ISO's Iranian oil brokerage confirmed
    23.04.2014 17:24
    http://en.trend.az/article_photo/2011/12/20/iran_oil_201211.jpg
    http://en.trend.az/article_photo/2011/12/20/iran_oil_201211.jpg
    Tehran, Iran, April 23

    By Dalga Khatinoglu- Trend:

    The Supreme Audit Court of Iran confirmed that a subsidiary of the National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) sold several crude oil and condensate freights worth about $1 billion to International Safe Oil Company in the second half of 2012.

    The exact value of sold cargoes is $1,004, 609, 117.

    According a report released by the Supreme Audit Court of Iran says that the Malaysian International Safe Oil Company (ISO) should have paid off its debt by the end of 2012, but hadn't.

    The U.S. and EU adopted tough sanctions targeting Iran's oil revenues in mid-2012 to persuade Iran to curb its sensitive nuclear activities. After sanctions, Iran's oil exports dropped significantly and went from 2.5 million barrels to 1.07 million barrels per day in 2013.

    Iran reportedly has been using various ways to bypass the imposed sanctions on both its oil exports and transferring the payments.

    ISO was sanctioned by EU in December 24, 2012 for abusing imposed sanctions on Iran's oil exports by this Union.

    Now, The Supreme Audit Court of Iran reported on April 22 that ISO hasn't paid off its debts to Iran yet.

    The U.S. Department of the Treasury expanded Iranian related sanctions in April 2013. According to the report published by the Treasury on April 11, 2013, the International Safe Oil was designated for providing financial, material, technological or other support for NIOC and Naftiran Intertrade Company (NICO).

    The report says ISO is a part of the Sorinet Group, and operates in Malaysia. ISO purchased over tens millions barrels of Iranian crude oil from NICO in 2012 in a deal that was negotiated between Zanjani and the leadership of NICO.

    The Sorinet Group is owned by Iranian businessman Babak Zanjani, who has been blacklisted by both the U.S. and EU for helping Iran to evade western sanctions.

    Babak Zanjani was arrested in December 2013, charged with corruption, economic frauds and defrauding the government, as well as his own $2.35 billion debt to Iran's Oil Ministry.

    The U.S. Treasury reported in April 2013 that Dubai-based Sorinet Commercial Trust Bankers (SCT Bankers) and Malaysia-based First Islamic Investment Bank (FIIB) were designated for providing financial, material, technological or other support for NIOC and NICO.

    The report said that in August 2012, FIIB issued a letter of credit for Hong Kong Intertrade Company (HKICO) for almost $600 million in relation to an oil contract. HKICO was identified by Treasury as a NIOC front company in July 2012. A May 2012 oil contract negotiated by Zanjani on behalf of ISO worth over $200 million was financed by both FIIB and SCT Bankers.

    On December 21, 2012, the European Union also imposed sanctions under its Iran-related authority against Zanjani, International Safe Oil, Sorinet Commercial Trust Bankers, and First Islamic Investment Bank.

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    5
  • Energy expert says Iranian gas faces a long road to reach EU
    23.04.2014 17:05
    http://en.trend.az/article_photo/2014/04/23/sohbet_karbuz.jpg
    http://en.trend.az/article_photo/2014/04/23/sohbet_karbuz.jpg
    Baku, Azerbaijan, April 23

    By Dalga Khatinoglu - Trend:

    Iran aims gas supplies to Oman and Europe and is preparing to start gas delivery to Iraq.

    Iran's Gas Engineering and Development Company Alireza Gharibi said on April 22 that the first pipeline intended to transfer Iranian gas to Iraq would be completed in four months, making Iran capable of diversifying the second gas export route abroad.

    Iran has two gas contracts with Iraq, totally counted 45 million cubic meters per day (mcmpd), alongside a 30-mcmpd gas export contract with Oman. Both mentioned contracts will be realize during the next three years.

    Iran is exporting about 25 million cubic meters per day (mcmpd) of gas to Turkey, while some 1.5 mcmpd is being swapped with Armenian electricity.

    At the same time, Iranian Minister of Industries, Mines and Trade Mohammad Reza Nematzadeh said on April 15 that "Iran can be a reliable, secure and long-term supplier of gas to Europe because we have the energy reserves and the plans for cooperation".

    The Director of its Hydrocarbons Division at the Mediterranean Observatory for Energy (OME) Sohbet Karbuz, told Trend on April 22, "Iran could potentially contribute to Europe's gas security in terms of diversification of supply sources and routes, provided that Europe is sincere about improving its energy security".

    The EU has already planned some measures to increase energy security by diversification of supplier sources, including launching more LNG terminals and accelerating the process of piping Azerbaijani gas to Europe.

    The EU demands 485 bcm of gas annually, of which 150 bcm is supplied by Russia.

    Karbuz says, in fact, Iran had already been considered as one of the feeding legs of the EU's southern gas corridor concept. "In the Nabucco pipeline project Iran was one of the supply sources. But the politically motivated sanctions not only eliminated Iran as a supply source but also helped kill the Nabucco project," he added.

    Nabucco had been considered as a project to deliver Caspian gas, as well as Iranian gas to Europe, but after some amendments on the proposed project, finally lost in competition to the Trans Adriatic Pipeline (TAP) project in 2013.

    Azerbaijani gas will be delivered to TAP through Trans-Anatolian gas pipeline in first phase, while joined by the Turkmen, Iranian gas or other Middle Eastern gas sources are excepted.

    However, the imposed sanctions by EU over Iran aimed to persuade it to curb its sensitive nuclear activities diminished Iranian gas supplement chance towards Europe.

    Due to sanctions, Iran also is suffering from a gas shortage, while it sits on 18 percent of the total global gas reserve. Iran produces about 575 mcmpd of gas and most of it is consumed domestically.

    Iran has been attempting to accelerate completion of Phases 12, 15 and 16 of the giant South Pars gas field to increase gas output by 182 mcmpd, thus making the country capable of exporting abroad.

    Karbuz added that "Even if we leave the nuclear issues aside, the place of Iran in Europe's gas supply security is questionable. This is because first, the role of gas in the EU's energy mix is a big question mark, and hence the EU's gas import needs in the long term is not more than guess work given the current blurry policy environment".

    The energy expert went on saying that, "I personally would imagine a bigger role for Iranian gas in the Turkish market, provided that Iranian gas becomes more competitive".

    According to him, "second, it is a very long road (not less than a decade) for Iran to become a gas exporter to Europe, be it by pipeline or LNG. This long road requires overcoming of several major barriers, particularly the improvements in and amendments to the legal and fiscal model, including buy-back agreements".

    Iran has already announced several times that the country is working on a new generation of gas contracts which are more attractive for foreign companies. Iran has only the experience of sealing buy-back contracts with foreign companies, but it seems this kind of contracts has not attraction for companies any more.

    According to Iran's laws, production-sharing agreements (PSA) are banned, but Iranian government said that they want to lift legal obstacles to sign production-sharing agreements with foreigners.

    Iran has not unveiled the details of his mentioned new generation contracts yet.

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    3
  • German company to provide Georgian vocational schools with new technologies
    23.04.2014 17:04
    http://en.trend.az/article_photo/2012/09/19/Tbilisi_190912_1.jpg
    http://en.trend.az/article_photo/2012/09/19/Tbilisi_190912_1.jpg
    Tbilisi, Georgia, April 23

    By Nana Kirtzkhalia - Trend:

    The Georgian Ministry of Education and Science and the Robert Bosch company signed a memorandum of cooperation to develop vocational education.

    The document was signed by First Deputy Minister Ketevan Natriashvili and the company's Managing Director in the Caucasus region Nino Pruidze.

    The purpose of the memorandum is to develop vocational education in engineering in Georgia.

    The company's licensed trainers will increase knowledge of vocational education teachers by using new technologies and Bosch accessories.

    The company will provide the workshops with modern equipment.

    Robert Bosch company implements similar projects in different European countries.

    Translated by NH

    Edited by CN

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    2
  • Cash payment in buses ends in Baku
    23.04.2014 16:59
    http://www.today.az/pictures/pic132967.jpg
    http://www.today.az/pictures/pic132967.jpg
    Translated by Mushvig Mehdiyev

    Passenger transport sphere in Baku will have 30 more routes equipped with card payment system.

    В 

    Transport Ministry's press-service department head Namig Hasanov told Movqe.Az, informs Day.Az referring to Milli.Az.

    В 

    According to him, realization of payment based on card system on 30 routes to start in the next 2 months.

    В 

    "40 routes in Baku work with card payment system, currently. That list will be enlarged with 30 more routes during the upcoming 2 months. Thus, number of the buses equipped with card system will surpass 1000. Citizens have already acquired 10,000 cards, according to the latest information we have. Measures are intensively being taken regarding card payment application. After full completion of the all processes in the system, cash payment will be discontinued and only card payment be available in the buses" - said Hasanov
    2
  • Smugglers kill four in Iran
    23.04.2014 16:54
    http://www.topnews.az/images/logo.png
    http://www.topnews.az/images/logo.png
    Baku, Azerbaijan, April 23

    By Temkin Jafarov - Trend:

    Unknown gunmen, suspected of smuggling historical valuables, have killed four people (two residents of the Shorgol village in the city of Bilasuvar and two policemen), police commander of Iran's Ardabil province, Ibrahim Karimkhan said, the country's IRNA news agency reported on April 23.

    The incident occurred on April 22. The policemen stopped a suspicious car and subsequently the officers were fired upon, according to the police commander.

    A criminal case has been initiated on the fact. Operations are underway to detain the perpetrators.

    Other details of the incident haven't been reported so far.

    Previously, several Iranian websites spread information about the death of four people in an armed incident on the Iranian-Azerbaijani border. Iranian websites also reported that the incident occurred in the village of Khoruzlu in the city of Bilasuvar in Iran's Ardabil province.

    Translated by L.Z.

    Edited by C.N.

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    4
  • Kempinski Hotel Badamdar makes difference celebrating Earth Day
    23.04.2014 16:54
    http://en.trend.az/article_photo/2013/05/22/kempinski_hotel_badamdar_logo_220513.jpg
    http://en.trend.az/article_photo/2013/05/22/kempinski_hotel_badamdar_logo_220513.jpg
    Kempinski Hotel Badamdar on the occasion of the annual Earth Day, celebrated worldwide on the April 22, organizes two-day screening of Home film.

    Home is a 2009 documentary by Yann Arthus-Bertrand. The film is almost entirely composed of aerial shots of various places on Earth. It shows the diversity of life on Earth and how humanity is threatening the ecological balance of the planet. The film is produced 5 years ago but it remains extremely popular and is part of many environmental campaigns worldwide.

    The first screening took place at the Auditorium of the Kempinski Hotel Badamdar. The event was sponsored by Greentech.

    On April 23, a public viewing is organized free of charge at Park Cinema in Metro Park. The sponsor of this event is Park Cinema, who was glad to add this activity to its list of social responsible projects.

    Earth Day by Kempinski Hotel Badamdar received support from UN office in Baku as well as the Ministry of Ecology and Natural Resources of Azerbaijan.

    "We believe that prestigious, European heritage of Kempinski puts our hotels in a unique position to anticipate the future needs of the sensitive and increasingly green oriented traveller. At Kempinski we encourage and promote ecological consciousness in the hospitality industry." says Kai Behrens, General Manager of Kempinski Hotel Badamdar.

    After the Earth Day the social initiatives of Kempinski Hotel Badamdar will be continued with the Ocean Day on the June 8, to join celebration of the International Ocean Day.

    About Kempinski Badamdar Baku:

    Kempinski Badamdar Baku was opened in September 2011.It represents a brilliant addition to a rapidly growing network of urban Kempinski hotels. The hotel is a resort in the heart of the city and offers services for business and leisure travelers. The hotel facilities include 280 guest rooms and suites, 38 fully furnished residences, 36fully equipped offices, 18 conference rooms, banquet hall, auditorium, two restaurants, two bars and a spa with a total area 3,500 sq. m including an indoor pool, tennis and basketball courts, an entertainment centre, a shopping centre and an Aquapark.

    About Kempinski Hotels:

    Created in 1897, Kempinski Hotels is Europe's oldest luxury hotel group. Kempinski's rich heritage of impeccable personal service and superb hospitality is complemented by the exclusivity and individuality of its properties. Kempinski now manages a portfolio of 75 five-star hotels in 32 countries and continues to add new properties in Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Asia. Each one reflects the strength and success of the Kempinski brand without losing sight of its heritage. The portfolio comprises historic landmark properties, award-winning urban lifestyle hotels, outstanding resorts, and prestigious residences. Each one is imbued with the quality guests have come to expect from Kempinski while embracing the cultural traditions of its location. Kempinski is a founding member of the Global Hotel Alliance (GHA), the world's largest alliance of independent hotel brands, which is celebrating its tenth anniversary in 2014.

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    2
  • Prospects of Georgia's integration into NATO discussed in Tbilisi
    23.04.2014 16:49
    http://en.trend.az/article_photo/2012/06/11/Nato_Georgia_flags_Album.jpg
    http://en.trend.az/article_photo/2012/06/11/Nato_Georgia_flags_Album.jpg
    Tbilisi, Georgia, April 23

    By Nana Kirtzkhalia - Trend:

    Georgian President Giorgi Margvelashvili met with the head of the NATO Liaison Office William Lahyu on April 22.

    The parties discussed the North Atlantic prospects of Georgia and the course of the integration process into NATO, the presidential administration told Trend.

    Georgia's internal and external challenges were discussed. Taking into account Ukraine's events, regional security, prospects for intensifying the cooperation in the energy and transport sectors among the regional countries were the main discussed topics.

    The two sides discussed the NATO upcoming summit to be held in Great Britain in September.

    The meeting was held at the presidential palace. Security Council Secretary Irina Imerlishvili, Presidential Adviser on Foreign Affairs Vano Machavariani and head of administration Lasha Abashidze attended the meeting.

    Translated by NH

    Edited by CN

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    2
  • Three under-agers detained in Turkey during Childrenв's Day celebrations
    23.04.2014 16:48
    http://en.trend.az/article_photo/2013/12/17/polis_turk_171213.jpg
    http://en.trend.az/article_photo/2013/12/17/polis_turk_171213.jpg
    Baku, Azerbaijan, April 23

    By Rufiz Hafizoglu - Trend:

    Three under-agers were detained in Turkey during Children's Day celebrations on Wednesday, April 23, according to Turkish Hurriyet newspaper.

    The children were reportedly chanting provocative slogans.

    Hurriyet newspaper said the under-agers, who joined the celebrations, started chanting 'Berkin is immortal!' slogans, and following this they were detained by the police.

    Berkin Elvan, 14, was wounded last year during the protests held in Taksim Square, Istanbul. Elvan passed away in 2014.

    Elvan's death was followed by protests in many Turkish cities on March 11.

    Translated by E.A.

    Edited by S.I.

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    3
  • 20th Int. Energy Conference 2014 to begin in Istanbul
    23.04.2014 16:48
    http://www.topnews.az/images/logo.png
    http://www.topnews.az/images/logo.png
    The 20th International Energy and Environment Fair and Conference (ICCI 2014), whose main media sponsor will be Anadolu Agency, will run between April 24th until 26th at the Istanbul Expo Center Anadolu Agency reported.

    The convention, the largest energy and environment fair to be held in Turkey, will be be opened by Energy Minister Taner Yildiz. It is expected to attract approximately 16,000 local and foreign participants.

    International Energy Agency Chief Economist Fatih Birol will deliver a speech during the opening ceremony where International energy experts will discuss a variety of issues including renewable energy technologies and developments, the operation and maintenance of power plants, nuclear power, natural gas and petroleum and the financing of energy projects and laws governing energy.

    Anadolu Agency's Deputy Director General Cagatay Culcuoglu will also chair a session entitled, "Nuclear energy and the latest developments in Turkey."

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    3
  • Lebanese MPs fail to pick new president in first vote
    23.04.2014 16:40
    http://en.trend.az/article_photo/2011/01/27/Lebanon_parliament.jpg
    http://en.trend.az/article_photo/2011/01/27/Lebanon_parliament.jpg
    Lebanese parliamentarians failed to elect a new president in a first round of voting on Wednesday, with leading candidate Samir Geagea falling well short of the required two-thirds majority, Reuters reported.

    Parliament must choose a successor to President Michel Suleiman, whose six-year term ends in late May. But deep political divisions within the country and over the war in neighboring Syria have hampered efforts to agree on a new president, who must be a Maronite Christian.

    Geagea's failure to win sufficient votes had been widely expected and is likely to open up the race to other candidates in a process which politicians have warned could drag on for months.

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    2
  • Staff of Kazakh Baiterek Holdingв's board of directors changed
    23.04.2014 16:39
    http://en.trend.az/article_photo/2012/09/24/Astana_symbol_240912_2.jpg
    http://en.trend.az/article_photo/2012/09/24/Astana_symbol_240912_2.jpg
    Astana, Kazakhstan, April 23

    By Daniyar Mukhtarov - Trend:

    Kazakh Prime Minister Karim Massimov was appointed Chairman of the Board of Directors of JSC National holding Baiterek.

    Former Chairman of the Board of Directors of the holding, Serik Akhmetov was withdrawn from in connection with his appointment as defense minister, the press-service of the company reported.

    The composition of the board of directors includes Prime Minister of Kazakhstan- Karim Maasimov, the First Deputy Prime Minister- Bakytzhan Sagintayev, the Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Industry and New Technologies - Asset Issekeshev, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Finance Bakhyt Sultanov, Minister of Economy and Budget Planning Erbolat Dossayev, the head of the socio-economic monitoring of the Presidential Administration of the Republic of Kazakhstan -Ergozhin Daulet Edilovich, the Chairman of the Board of the holding Kuandyk Bishimbayev, independent directors: Klaus Mangold, Thomas Mirow and Philip Yeo.

    Baiterek National Managing Holding was established in accordance with a decree of the Kazakh president as of May 22, 2013. The purpose for establishing the holding was to promote the development and diversification of the economy, attract investments and to improve the corporate governance system in its subsidiaries.

    The holding's trust management includes 10 state financial institutions such as the Development Bank of Kazakhstan, Housing Construction Savings Bank of Kazakhstan, KazExportGarant, DAMU Entrepreneurship Development Fund, National Agency for Technological Development, Investment Fund of Kazakhstan, Kazyna Capital Management, Distressed Assets Fund, Kazakhstan Mortgage Guarantee Fund and Kazakhstan Mortgage Company.

    Translated by S.I.

    Edited by C.N.

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    5
  • US to help Ukraine reduce energy dependence on Russia with Azerbaijanв's support
    23.04.2014 16:35
    http://www.topnews.az/images/logo.png
    http://www.topnews.az/images/logo.png
    The United States will help Ukraine reduce its energy dependence on Russia by transporting liquefied gas.

    According to UNIAN, the statement came from chairman of the Committee on Foreign Affairs of the US Congress House of Representatives Ed Royce speaking at a news conference in Kiev.

    "We are talking about the energy assistance to Ukraine since we have additional capacities in Louisiana, we can transport liquefied natural gas from the United States and step up construction of terminals in Europe for Europe to get this gas", he said.

    In addition, he announced that lsquo;a pipeline (bypassing Russia-UNIAN' will be built from Azerbaijan to pump gas to Europe and we are negotiating with Azerbaijanis about how this program may be helpful'.

    The congressman also noted that lsquo;Ukraine can produce 50% of its own capacities until 2020 if gas deposits are developed effectively'.

    "We believe that the combination of all these strategies will help Ukraine to stand to its feet for this to reduce gas prices and then Ukraine will be less in a position of Gazprom's hostage', Royce said.

    1
    6
  • Saudi Arabia reports 11 new cases of MERS virus, first in Mecca
    23.04.2014 16:26
    http://en.trend.az/article_photo/2010/09/23/Saudi_arabia_230910.jpg
    http://en.trend.az/article_photo/2010/09/23/Saudi_arabia_230910.jpg
    Saudi Arabia said on Wednesday it had discovered 11 more cases of the potentially deadly Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS), including what appeared to be the first case in the Muslim holy city of Mecca, Reuters reported.

    A health ministry statement said eight of the people were in intensive care, two were stable, including a 24-year-old Saudi man from the "holy capital" Mecca, and one showed no symptoms. Three of those affected worked in health care, it said.

    Saudi Arabia has witnessed a jump in the rate of infection with the virus in recent weeks, with many of the new cases recorded in Jeddah, the kingdom's second largest city.

    Of Wednesday's 11 new cases, four were recorded in the Saudi capital Riyadh, six in Jeddah - the second largest city and the main entry point for pilgrims visiting nearby Mecca - and one in Mecca itself, the statement said.

    The jump in Saudi cases is of particular concern as the country is expected to see a large influx of pilgrims from around the world in July during the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan, followed in early October by the arrival of millions of people to perform the annual Haj in Mecca and Medina.

    The latest cases bring the total number of confirmed cases in the kingdom to 272, of whom 81 have died.

    MERS emerged in the Middle East in 2012 and is from the same family as the SARS virus, which killed around 800 people worldwide after first appearing in China in 2002. MERS can cause coughing, fever and pneumonia.

    Although the worldwide number of MERS infections is fairly small, the more than 40 percent death rate among confirmed cases and the spread of the virus beyond the Middle East is keeping scientists and public health officials on alert.

    Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah replaced the health minister on Monday amid growing public disquiet at the spread of the disease. A day before his dismissal, Abdullah al-Rabeeah said there were no cases of the virus in Mecca.

    Labour Minister Adel Fakieh, who has been appointed as acting health minister, said on Wednesday he had just returned from a visit to the King Fahd hospital in Jeddah where a number of coronavirus patients are being treated.

    Fakieh said he was pleased that a number of patients, including doctors, were recovering but said that there were a few critical cases still receiving medical care.

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    4
  • Beyonce and Jay Z moving to their new townhouse in London
    23.04.2014 16:18
    http://www.today.az/pictures/pic132964.jpg
    http://www.today.az/pictures/pic132964.jpg
    With Wills and Kate out of the country Down Under, two new royals are stepping into the breach '" and moving to England.

    American hip-hop and Rв'nв'B royalty Jay-Z and Beyonce have just bought themselves a sprawling ВЈ5.5million London townhouse.

    After looking both in Mayfair and out in the sticks '" the Cotswolds '" the power couple have chosen a detached property in West London.

    They are understood to have exchanged on the pad around four weeks ago.

    The superstars will be spending more time in the UK this year. A week ago they announced a joint US stadium tour '" possibly called the Mr and Mrs Carter Show? '" expected to come over here in the autumn.

    A source said: ''Both Jay and Beyonce are Anglophiles and have been toying with the idea of getting a pad for a couple of years now.

    ''On previous trips, they have stayed in five star hotels and, on one occasion, a rented mansion. While money isnв't an issue, it makes sense for them to have a more permanent base and get to know one particular area.

    ''They are coming to England this year and touring before the year is out.''

    As well as a host of trendy restaurants and Portobello market, their new home is near a number of top primary schools '" should the couple want to make the move more permanent and pack off daughter, Blue Ivy, two.

    And billionaires Queen B, 32, and Jay, 44, will quickly recoup the cost of their plush new crib as theyв're set to gross over ВЈ2million per show for their 20-date US tour.

    Thatв's right '" per show.

    The superstar couple, who recently shared top spot on Billboardв's Power 100 list, will also be able to see more of their London-based friends Chris Martin '" alas, now separated from Gwyneth Paltrow '" and Rita Ora, who is signed to Jayв's record label.

    Possibly, 99 Problems but getting on the housing ladder ainв't one..

    /Daly Mirror/
    7
  • Azerbaijan to mark Kechachioglu Mahammad's anniversary
    23.04.2014 16:03
    http://www.topnews.az/images/logo.png
    http://www.topnews.az/images/logo.png
    President Ilham Aliyev has signed a decree on holding the 150th anniversary of Kechachioglu Mahammad.

    1news.az reports citing the president's official website that the decree states:

    "The year of 2014 marks the 150th anniversary of the outstanding representative of Azerbaijani art, khanende Kechachioglu Muhammad (Mahammad Meshadi Khalil oglu).

    Kechachioglu Muhammad, having an important place among the greatest masters of the Karabakh mugham school, adequately maintaining the rich tradition of folk music having ancient historical roots, as a unique and unforgettable singer of especially classical mugam, made a valuable contribution to the treasury of the centuries-old culture of Azerbaijan.

    Pursuant to Paragraph 32 of Article 109 of the Constitution of Azerbaijan Republic and given the exceptional service of outstanding representative of art, khanende Kechachioglu Mahammad in the development of national musical culture, I hereby decree:

    1. the Ministry of Culture and Tourism of Azerbaijan Republic with regard to the proposals of the Azerbaijan National Conservatory to prepare and implement a plan of events dedicated to the 150th anniversary of acclaimed master Kechachioglu Mahammad.

    2. the Cabinet of Ministers to resolve issues arising from this Decree."

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  • Divers with their hands search for corpses in collapsed South Korean ferry
    23.04.2014 15:44
    http://www.today.az/pictures/pic132946.jpg
    http://www.today.az/pictures/pic132946.jpg
    South Korean divers swam though dark, cold waters into a sunken ferry on Wednesday, feeling for children's bodies with their hands in a maze of cabins, corridors and upturned decks as they searched for hundreds of missing.

    The divers, with oxygen and communications lines trailing, can only see a few inches in front of them in the wreckage of the ship that started sinking a week ago after a sharp turn. Most of the victims were high school children, who were told to stay where they were for their own safety and were trapped.

    "We are trained for hostile environments, but it's hard to be brave when we meet bodies in dark water," diver Hwang Dae-sik told Reuters, as the funerals of 25 students were held near the capital, Seoul.

    Prosecutors investigating the disaster said they raided the home of Yoo Byung-un, the head of a family that owns the Chonghaejin Marine Co. Ltd, the company that operated the Sewol ferry. They also raided his son's home and the office of a church with which Yoo is associated, said a prosecutor who did not want to be identified..

    The finances of Chonghaejin and its complex share structure have come into the spotlight in recent days. Yoo was jailed for fraud for four years in the early 1990s.

    Underwater, at the site of the sunken Sewol, divers can work for nearly an hour at a time as long as the oxygen lines do not snag on sharp corners of the ship's internal structure. When they use cumbersome oxygen tanks on their backs instead, they can work for about 20 minutes before an alarm bell sounds.

    The Sewol sank last Wednesday on a routine trip from the port of Incheon, near Seoul, to the southern island of Jeju.

    Of the 476 passengers and crew on board, 339 were children and teachers on a high school outing. Only 174 people have been rescued and the remainder are presumed to have drowned.

    The confirmed death toll on Wednesday was 146, many found at the back of the ship on the fourth deck.

    Hwang said his team had retrieved 14 bodies so far. "We have to touch everything with our hands. This is the most grueling and heartbreaking job of my career," he said.

    Captain Lee Joon-seok, 69, and other crew members have been arrested on negligence charges. Lee was also charged with undertaking an "excessive change of course without slowing down".

    LAW REQUIRES CAPTAIN TO STAY ON BOARD

    Several crew members, including the captain, left the ferry as it was sinking, witnesses have said, after passengers were told to stay in their cabins. President Park Geun-hye said on Monday that instruction was tantamount to an "act of murder".

    According to Article 10 of Seafarers' Act, a captain has to remain on board until all passengers have disembarked.

    A boy with a shaking voice gave the first distress call to the emergency services when the ferry listed.

    Most of those who survived made it out on deck and jumped into rescue boats, but many of the children did not leave their cabins, not questioning their elders as is customary in hierarchical Korean society. They paid for their obedience with their lives.

    Lee was not on the bridge when the ship turned. Navigation was in the hands of a 26-year old third mate who was in charge for the first time on that part of the journey, according to crew members.

    The wife of one crew member under investigation who did not wish to be identified quoted her husband as saying: "I should have died out there."

    "He told me that he was taking some rest as he had finished his shift. He fell from his bed and struggled to open the room door to get out. He said he didn't go to the steering house to meet up with rest of the crew. Rather he was found by coastguards and was rescued.

    "My husband didn't get along with other crewmen, but he told me that Captain Lee was someone comfortable and extremely calm. He said Captain Lee was like no other: he didn't drink much, although he did smoke."

    In a confused exchange between the sinking Sewol and maritime traffic control released by the government, the crew said the ship was listing to port.

    "Make passengers wear life jackets and get ready in case you need to abandon ship," traffic control said.

    The Sewol answered: "It's difficult for the passengers to move now."

    Hwang stressed the danger of the job of searching for corpses in such tight confines.

    "It threatens health and safety," he said. "But we are trying really hard. The entire nation is worried."

    /Reuters/
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  • Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan to create common navigation space
    23.04.2014 15:43
    http://www.topnews.az/images/logo.png
    http://www.topnews.az/images/logo.png
    Baku, Azerbaijan, April 23

    By Elena Kosolapova- Trend:

    Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan agreed to establish a common navigation space, a Russian high official said at the Navitech-2014 forum on April 23.

    "The creation of common navigation space between Russia, Kazakhstan and Belarus is among our top priorities. Appropriate agreements have been already signed," Kremlin administration head Sergei Ivanov said.

    Russia intends to expand international cooperation in satellite navigation, Ivanov said. In particular, Russian specialists will participate in the work of international structures that define rules and recommendations ensuring compatibility between the Russian navigation system GLONASS with navigation systems of other countries.

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  • Azerbaijan is '˜an importantв' country for Bulgaria
    23.04.2014 15:38
    http://www.topnews.az/images/logo.png
    http://www.topnews.az/images/logo.png
    Bulgarian Deputy Prime Minister and Justice Minister Zinaida Zlatanova has said Bulgaria considered Azerbaijan an important country.

    She said Bulgaria attached special emphasis to expanding its relations with Azerbaijan as she received the country`s ambassador in Sofia Emil Karimov.

    Ms. Zlatanova hailed cooperation between the two countries` justice authorities, underlining the significance of continuing work to expand the bilateral cooperation even further.

    Ambassador Karimov highlighted latest reforms in Azerbaijan`s justice and legal system.

    He stressed the necessity of increasing reciprocal visits of justice officials and organizing bilateral meetings in international organizations.
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  • Netanyahu tells Abbas to choose peace partner: Hamas or Israel
    23.04.2014 15:37
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    http://en.trend.az/article_photo/2013/12/30/benjamin_netanyahu_301213.jpg
    Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu cautioned Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on Wednesday over just-revived unity talks with Hamas, saying he had to choose between peace with Israel or its Islamist enemy, Reuters reported.

    Delegates from Abbas's Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO) and Hamas representatives held a fence-mending session on Tuesday in the Gaza Strip, their first since a 2007 conflict in which forces loyal to Western-backed Abbas lost control of the enclave to the militant group, an opponent of peace with Israel.

    The bid for reconciliation coincided with meetings between the Fatah-led PLO and Israeli negotiators to try to extend U.S.-sponsored peace talks beyond an April 29 deadline. Sources from both sides said strong disagreements remained after they convened in Jerusalem.

    "Does he [Abbas] want peace with Hamas or peace with Israel?" Netanyahu asked, in remarks to reporters at a meeting with Austrian Foreign Minister Sebastian Kurz.

    "You can have one but not the other. I hope he chooses peace. So far he hasn't done so."

    Few Palestinians expect a breakthrough in the Hamas-Fatah deadlock that has paralyzed Palestinian politics, and many have low expectations of any resolution to the seemingly endless duel.

    But a Palestinian official who attended Tuesday's meeting said there had been an "agreement in principle" on forming a "government of experts", a term for a cabinet staffed by technocrats rather than politicians, possibly within five weeks.

    Further talks in Gaza were planned for Wednesday.

    But Palestinian hopes of reconciliation have been dashed before. Since 2011, Hamas and Fatah have failed to implement an Egyptian-brokered unity deal because of disputes over power-sharing and the handling of conflict with Israel.

    An agreement, paving the way for elections and a national strategy towards Israel, could not only give Abbas a measure of sovereignty in Gaza but also help Hamas, hemmed in by an Israeli-Egyptian blockade, become less isolated.

    In the troubled Israeli-Palestinian negotiations, both sides have said they are willing to extend the talks championed by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry.

    However, Netanyahu accused Abbas on Wednesday of making unacceptable demands. Meeting Israeli journalists on Tuesday, Abbas had said Israel should commit to freezing settlement activity on occupied land and focus on demarcating the borders of a future Palestine.

    "We're trying to re-launch the negotiations with the Palestinians," Netanyahu said. "Every time we get to that point [Abbas] stacks on additional conditions which he knows that Israel cannot give."

    Abbas, whose Palestinian Authority exercises limited self-rule in the occupied West Bank, told reporters that if peace talks did not continue, Israel - as the occupying power in the territory - would be obliged to take on the administrative and financial burden of governing Palestinian areas.

    Kerry revived the peace talks in July after a nearly three-year hiatus, with the aim of ending a decades-old conflict and establishing a Palestinian state alongside Israel.

    The negotiations plunged into crisis this month when Israel refused to carry out the last of four waves of prisoner releases unless it received assurances the Palestinian leadership would continue the talks beyond the end of April.

    After Israel failed to free the prisoners, Abbas responded by signing 15 international treaties, including the Geneva Conventions on the conduct of war and occupations. Israel condemned the move as a unilateral step toward statehood.

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  • Kazakhstan, Morocco discuss bilateral relations
    23.04.2014 15:25
    http://en.trend.az/article_photo/2013/02/22/handshake.jpg
    http://en.trend.az/article_photo/2013/02/22/handshake.jpg
    Astana, Kazakhstan, April 23

    By Daniyar Mukhtarov - Trend:

    Chairman of the Kazakh Senate (upper house of the parliament) Kassym-Jomart Tokayev met with chairman of the House of Councillors of Morocco's parliament Mohammed Cheikh Biadillah, who paid an official visit to Kazakhstan, the Kazakh Senate reported on April 22.

    "A fruitful conversation on a wide range of issues concerning Kazakh-Moroccan relations and relevant international issues was held among speakers in the Senate," according to a statement.

    Tokayev expressed confidence that the visit of the distinguished guest will give a new impetus to mutually beneficial cooperation, in which the inter-parliamentary relations play an important role. In this regard, the parties agreed to fully promote the work of the MPs' groups on cooperation in the two countries' parliaments.

    Kazakh Senate Speaker spoke about the beginning of implementing Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev's strategy "Kazakhstan-2050". The country's joining 30 most developed world countries is its aim. He invited Morocco to take part in the Expo-2017 international exhibition in Astana.

    Tokayev informed Biadillah about the preparation for the fifth congress, scheduled for 2015, and discussed the opportunity of Morocco's participation at the highest political level.

    The speaker of the upper chamber of the Moroccan parliament spoke in detail about the development of modern Morocco, the situation in the Arab world and the African continent.

    Biadillah stressed Kazakhstan's significant contribution to establishing cooperation between Asia and Europe, and expressed appreciation for the stability and development in Kazakhstan.

    "President Nazarbayev and Morocco's King Muhammad VI attach great importance to internal and regional stability," he said. "Moreover, the two leaders foster a dialogue among civilizations and religions. Such a dialogue greatly contributes to safety."

    In general, Kazakhstan and Morocco have many common interests and opportunities for further development of cooperation, including alternative energy and agriculture, he added.

    Translated by NH

    Edited by CN

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  • Azerbaijani deputy FM: We agreed on many principal points related to the final document to be adopted at Astrakhan Summit of heads of state of Caspian littoral countries
    23.04.2014 15:23
    http://www.topnews.az/images/logo.png
    http://www.topnews.az/images/logo.png
    "We have reached consensus on many principal points related to the final document to be adopted at the Astrakhan Summit of heads of state of the Caspian littoral countries," said Azerbaijani deputy FM Khalaf Khalafov, who attended a conference of FMs of the Caspian littoral states in Moscow.

    "The Astrakhan Summit will be preceded by meetings of the Working Group on the level of deputy foreign ministers in Tehran and Astrakhan."

    Mr. Khalafov said he strongly believed that "all the issues to be included in the Astrakhan Summit agenda will be agreed at these meetings".

    "We will also agree on the adoption of a final communiqueacute; reflecting the results of the Summit," said the deputy FM.

    Mr. Khalafov added: "We also plan to finalize our work on draft agreements on hydrometeorology and moratorium on sturgeon fishing, and a draft intergovernmental agreement on prevention and elimination of consequences of emergency situations."
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  • Nagorno-Karabakh conflict to be discussed at second Global Open Society Forum
    23.04.2014 15:22
    http://en.trend.az/article_photo/2014/04/23/global_forum_230414.jpg
    http://en.trend.az/article_photo/2014/04/23/global_forum_230414.jpg
    Baku, Azerbaijan, April 23

    By Sabina Ahmedova - Trend:

    One of the sessions of the Second Global Open Society Forum, to be held in Baku from April 28 to April 29, will focus on discussion of the ways to solve complicated conflicts, Azerbaijani State Committee for Work with Diaspora said on April 23.

    The second Global Open Society Forum will be organized by the Nizami Ganjavi International Center, the Club of Madrid, with support of the Azerbaijan State Committee for Work with Diaspora.

    During this session, the participants will share their experience and knowledge in the sphere of conflict resolution and social integration, and will discuss the basic principles that can be effective in eliminating problems in this sphere. The discussions will mainly focus on the settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict and the participants will exchange views on this issue.

    The session will be chaired by Greece's former Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis.

    Turkey's former Foreign Minister Hikmet Chetin, director of the Bibliotheca Alexandrina, co-chair of the Nizami Ganjavi International Center, Ismail Serageldin, the center's members - the former president of Romania, Emil Constantinescu, former President of Serbia, Boris Tadic, co-chair of the Nizami Ganjavi International Center, president of the Club Madrid, Latvia's former President Vaira Vike-Freiberga are expected to speak at the session.

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

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

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

    Translated by L.Z.

    Edited by C.N.

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    4
  • Russia to expel first secretary of Canadian embassy in 14 days
    23.04.2014 15:13
    http://www.topnews.az/images/logo.png
    http://www.topnews.az/images/logo.png
    The step came in retaliation for the recent expulsion from Ottawa of an aide to the Russian military attache, the source in Russia's Ministry of Foreign Affairs said, APA reports quoting ITAR-TASS.

    MOSCOW, April 22. /ITAR-TASS/. Russia is expelling the first secretary of the Canadian embassy in Moscow, a Russian Foreign Ministry source told ITAR-TASS on Tuesday.

    On April 22, the Canadian embassy in Moscow was notified that the embassy's First Secretary Margarita Atanasov would be expelled from Russian in the next 14 days.

    "The step came in retaliation for the recent expulsion from Ottawa of an aide to the Russian military attache," the source said.

    "It is not the first time that the Russian and Canadian Foreign Ministries had "exchanged niceties". Each time, such incidents were initiated by the Canadian side.

    "The talk is about groundless visa denials to Russian diplomats. It seems that a destructive anti-Russian stance of the Canadian authorities on the events in Ukraine and Crimea is only adding fuel to fire," the Russian Foreign Ministry said.

    Despite all the differences with the Canadians, Russia is not against closing the current negative page in bilateral relations.

    "There is a field for constructive interaction in areas where the interest of the two countries objectively coincide, such as in the Arctic and in the sphere of economy. But it is natural that openly unfriendly demarches should not be left unanswered," the Russian Foreign Ministry source stressed.

    APA
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  • Ancelotti says no Ronaldo if any risk
    23.04.2014 15:08
    http://www.today.az/pictures/pic132958.jpg
    http://www.today.az/pictures/pic132958.jpg
    Carlo Ancelotti spoke in the press conference prior to the semifinals tie against Bayern. The Italian manager revealed that the decision whether to play Cristiano Ronaldo or not hasn't yet been taken. "He trained quite normally today, like any day. Tomorrow we will test him again and see how it goes. He will play if everyone us sure that it is safe. If there is any risk of a relapse, he won't play."

    CR7, motivated: "He's raring to go. That's normal, as the game is important for us all. He's motivated, just as all the others are."

    Left back: "Marcelo started back in training a week ago, but he hasn't played for a while. Tomorrow, Coentrao will start."

    Is not reaching the final a failure? "Failure is a very tough word. Although neither can I say that reaching the semis is a success. The main objective this season was to reach the Champions League final."

    Fans: "The atmosphere in Valencia was very good. I'm sure that tomorrow we will have great support from the stands." The Black Beast? "Bayern are not my Black Beast because thinking that doesn't fill me with confidence. My team makes me feel very confident, the players that I have and that is why I believe that tomorrow we will see a great Real Madrid."

    Bayern as favourites? "It doesn't surprise me; they are a great team, very strong, that have won many matches and that won the Champions League last year."

    /Marca/
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  • Bomb kills Egyptian police officer
    23.04.2014 15:07
    http://en.trend.az/article_photo/2011/09/04/car blast.jpg
    http://en.trend.az/article_photo/2011/09/04/car blast.jpg
    A senior Egyptian police officer was killed when a bomb exploded under his car outside his home near Cairo on Wednesday, state television and a security source said, Reuters reported.

    Brigadier-General Ahmed Zaki was killed in the explosion in 6th of October City, 32 km (20 miles) from the capital, the state-run Nile news TV station reported.

    Bombings and shootings targeting the police have become commonplace in Egypt since the army deposed president Mohamed Mursi of the Muslim Brotherhood last July.

    Egypt holds a presidential election in late May which former army chief Abdel Fattah al-Sisi is expected to win. Sisi, who deposed Mursi following mass protests against his rule, has vowed to crush the militant threat.

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    6
  • Armenian President makes staff appointments in government
    23.04.2014 14:58
    http://en.trend.az/article_photo/2012/06/17/Yerevan_170612_2.jpg
    http://en.trend.az/article_photo/2012/06/17/Yerevan_170612_2.jpg
    Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan has signed a decree on the appointment of Karen Chshmaritian as Minister of Economy of the country.

    Sargsyan also signed decrees on the appointment of Gagik Beglaryan as Minister of Transport and Communication, Armenia Today reported. Hasmik Poghosyan was re-appointed Minister of Culture.

    Furthemore, Vache Gabrielyan was appointed as Chief Advisor to the Prime Minister, Novosti-Armenia said.

    Translated by S.I.

    Edited by C.N.

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