Today.Az http://www.today.az Covering Azerbaijan inside and outside http://www.today.az/images/logo_small.gif Today.Az http://www.today.az Jirtdan Puppet Theatre Festival due in Baku http://www.today.az/news/entertainment/141954.html Arts & Entertainment Fri, 03 Jul 2015 15:34:00 +0500 /By AzerNews/By Amina NazarliThe 3rd International "Jirtdan" Puppet Theatre Festival will be held in Baku on November 15-20.The festival will be co-organized by the Azerbaijan Culture and Tourism Ministry, International Association of Puppetry UNIMA, and the Azerbaijan State Puppet Theatre named after Abdulla Shaig.Within six days the country’s capital will host the multi-genre festival, to be filled with colorful performances of puppeteers from around the world.It will be held under the state program entitled "Azerbaijani theater in 2009-2019," which aims to ensure the preservation and development of the rich heritage and artistic traditions of Azerbaijani theater.Last year, the festival attracted puppeteers from many popular international puppet theaters, including the British Puppet Theatre Dorset and an Italian Puppet Theatre called “Teatro Verde Burattini.”Every nation has its own verbal folklore for children, many created by adults, and some even spontaneously created by children themselves in response to a situation."Jirtdan" is one of the most popular and beloved fairy tales in Azerbaijan. Jirtdan, meaning "tiny" in Azerbaijani, is about a child, much too small for his age, who finds strength in being intelligent.This fairy tale closely resembles the German story of Hansel and Gretel, in which a brother and sister lose their way in the forest and finally outsmart and escape an evil witch who intends to eat them. Criminal case opened over police violence while dispersing Yerevan rally http://www.today.az/news/regions/141953.html World news Fri, 03 Jul 2015 15:19:00 +0500 Armenia's investigation service has opened a criminal case in connection with impeding impeding journalists'work, abuse of power combined with violence.According to investigation service, after studying media reporters it was revealed that during the special action to disperse the demonstration organized at Baghramyan Avenue and a sit-in on June 23, the representatives of law enforcement agencies abused power and used violence against demonstrators and journalists that were covering the events.On June 22, numerous people—led by the “No to Plunder” initiative—staged a protest at Baghramyan Avenue, and demanded the revoking of the decision to raise the price of electricity in the country. In the morning of June 23, however, the police forcibly dispersed this sit-in. Since the evening of the same day, however, the demonstrators have resumed the sit-in at the avenue.President Sargsyan, however, stated that the government will cover this price hike until an audit is conducted at the ENA, which supplies electricity to the country’s residents. Part of the demonstrators left the avenue after the decision, while the rest continued a sit-in./By News.am/ Nani: Fenerbahce agree £4.25m fee for Man Utd winger http://www.today.az/news/sports/141952.html Sports Fri, 03 Jul 2015 15:15:00 +0500 Manchester United winger Nani is to have a medical at Turkish side Fenerbahce after the clubs agreed a 6m Euro (£4.25m) fee.The 28-year-old Portugal international moved to Old Trafford in 2007 from Sporting Lisbon.He spent last season back on loan with the Portuguese side, scoring 11 goals.Fenerbahce said  negotiations to "transfer the player" were under way and that "Nani will be in Istanbul on Sunday for medical check up".Nani has won four Premier League titles and the Champions League during his time with Manchester United.He signed a five-year deal with the club in September 2013./By BBC/ Common understanding with IAEA reached, Iran says http://www.today.az/news/regions/141951.html World news Fri, 03 Jul 2015 15:01:00 +0500 A senior Iranian diplomat says the Islamic Republic and the International Atomic Energy Agency have reached a common understanding on further cooperation.Iranian Ambassador to the IAEA Reza Najafi said the two have agreed on a general framework how to work on removing the international body’s questions regarding Iran's nuclear activities, ISNA news agency reported July 3.The two are to hold an expert meeting to define a timetable and the executive measures needed to meet IAEA questions.IAEA Secretary General Yukiya Amano visited Tehran on July 2 to discuss mechanisms for clarification of key nuclear issues with top Iranian officials.He met Iranian President Hassan Rouhani and Supreme National Security Council Secretary Ali Shamkhani.Rouhani said during his meeting with Amano that the IAEA should play its proper role in the nuclear talks between Iran and the P+1 group without being influenced by world powers.Negotiators from Iran and the P5+1 group of countries - the United Sated, Britain, China, France, Russia and Germany - are working to reach a comprehensive agreement on the Iranian nuclear program in the Austrian city of Vienna. The two sides have agreed to continue talks to strike a final deal by July 7./By Trend/ IS militants preparing terrorist attacks detained in Turkey http://www.today.az/news/regions/141950.html World news Fri, 03 Jul 2015 14:40:00 +0500 Seven people preparing terrorist attacks on a number of strategic facilities of the province were detained in the Turkish province of Izmir in the southwest of the country, the Turkish Anadolu news agency reported July 3.The detainees are citizens of Turkey.They actively participated in the activity of armed groups in Syria and fought on the side of the Islamic State (IS) militants.The IS announced the establishment of an "Islamic caliphate" in its controlled areas in Iraq and Syria in late June 2014.Iraqi authorities appealed to the international community for help to combat this terrorist organization./By Trend/ National, Int'l Athlete Ambassadors reach high results http://www.today.az/news/sports/141949.html Sports Fri, 03 Jul 2015 14:29:00 +0500 /By AzerNews/By Nigar OrujovaThe inaugural European Games Baku have been a great success for Baku 2015 International and National Athlete Ambassadors.Competing with Europe’s leading elite athletes, the Ambassadors were able to reach the highest results and prove once again their important Ambassador roles.Azerbaijani Athlete Ambassadors were: Amil Hamzayev (Basketball 3x3), Elgun Alizada (Cycling), Elmar Gasimov (Judo), Jeyran Aliyeva (Volleyball), Marina Durunda (Gymnastics), Murad Sultanov (Cycling), Nazim Babayev (Athletics), Rovshan Bayramov (Wrestling), Sabina Mikina (Fencing), Sugrakhanim Mugabilzada (Archery), Mariya Stadnik (Wrestling).National Athlete Ambassadors successes:Athlete’s nameSportMedalMarina DurundaRhythmic GymnasticsSilverNazim BabayevAthletics (Men’s Triple Jump)GoldMariya StadnikWrestlingGoldInternational Athlete Ambassadors team included: Taha Akgul (Turkey, Wrestling), Niccolo Campriani (Italy, Shooting), Maja Wloszczzowska (Poland, Mountain bike cycling), Vasiliki Vougiouka (Greece, Fencing), Dimitrij Ovtcharov (Germany, Table Tennis), Katie Taylor (Ireland, Boxing), Jade Jones (Great Britain, Taekwondo), Kseniya Moustafaeva (France, Gymnastics), Rene Holten Poulsen (Denmark, Canoe Sprint), Serbia 3x3 Basketball team, Russian Beach Soccer Team.International Athlete Ambassadors successes:Athlete’s nameSportMedalMaja WloszczowskaMTBBronzeNiccolo CamprianiShootingSilverRene Holten PoulsenCanoe SprintBronzeDimitrij OvtcharovTable TennisGoldJade JonesTaekwondoGoldKatie TaylorBoxingGoldTaha AkgulWrestlingGoldSerbia Basketball 3x3 (Dusan Domovic Bulut, Marko Savic, Marko Zdero and Dejan Majstorovic)Basketball 3x3BronzeRussian Beach Soccer (Andrey Bukhlitskiy, Ilya Leonov and Anton Shkarin)Beach SoccerGoldAzad Rahimov, Youth and Sport Minister, Chief Executive of Baku 2015, said: "We had no doubt that our talented Athlete Ambassadors would do a great job promoting Baku 2015 around Europe as well as in Azerbaijan."He went on to stress that "They backed this up showing great results in the competitions. I am delighted to see how many medals our Ambassadors won and I want specifically congratulate Azerbaijani athletes Maria Durunda, Nazim Babayev and Maria Stadnik for the outstanding results. We thank them all for their outstanding support and contribution to the success of the inaugural European Games."There were 253 medal events in the inaugural European Games, that gathered over 6,000 athletes to compete in 20 sports. Heydar Aliyev Center now enjoys Mobile App http://www.today.az/news/business/141948.html Business Fri, 03 Jul 2015 14:18:00 +0500 /By AzerNews/By Amina NazarliThe Heydar Aliyev Center has released a new Mobile App.The application, available for IOS and Android, can be purchased in the App Store and Google play.The app gives detailed information about the life and activity of national leader Heydar Aliyev and the Heydar Aliyev Center itself.The application also features the news and detailed information about events and exhibitions held in the center.Users can also purchase online tickets for exhibitions and concerts hosted at the center, using the “buy tickets” feature under the E-ticket tabPurchased tickets are stored in the "My Tickets" section. Once the consumer purchases a ticket, he/she will receive a confirmation e-mail.Ticketholders can then present the ticket stored in the app on their mobile devices upon entry or provide a printout of the ticket via e-mail.The futuristic Heydar Aliyev Center is a brilliant piece of post-modern architecture.The building’s shape is an eternal cycle, connecting the past with the present.A bright white pearl of modern Baku, the center, designed by Iraqi-British architect Zaha Hadid, was opened in the capital in 2012.Recognized as a world masterpiece of architecture, the Heydar Aliyev Center has immediately grown into a signature architectural landmark of modern Baku. The building won the London Design Museum award in 2014.The harmonious lines connecting to its interior design also attracts guests, who get the sense of being onboard a UFO.The center is divided into three sections. One of the most popular is the Heydar Aliyev Museum, which describes the history of Azerbaijan through different stages of Heydar Aliyev’s life and work.The second section is the Exhibition Halls, which consists of nine floors with exhibition halls, an administrative office, and a cafeteria.The Auditorium is the last section. It contains four levels and contains two multifunctional conference halls, meeting rooms, and the media center. Armenia violates ceasefire with Azerbaijan over 75 times within 24 hours http://www.today.az/news/society/141947.html Society Fri, 03 Jul 2015 14:03:00 +0500 Armenian armed forces have broken the ceasefire with Azerbaijan 77 times in numerous positions in the last 24 hours, Azerbaijani Defense Ministry said July 3.Armenian armed forces located on the nameless heights of Armenia’s Ijevan district, opened fire at the positions of Azerbaijani armed forces located on the nameless heights of Gazakh district.Azerbaijani positions located in the village of Alibeyli of Tovuz district took fire from the positions located in the village of Aygepar of Armenia’s Berd district.Moreover, Azerbaijani positions located on the nameless heights of Gadabay district underwent fire from the positions located on the nameless heights of Armenia’s Krasnoselskiy district.Another ceasefire violation came from the positions located near the villages of Gulustan, Talish, Tapgaragoyunlu of Goranboy district, Chileburt, Gizil Oba of Terter, Shikhlar, Shirvanli, Garagashli, Sarijali, Javahirli, Merzili of Aghdam, Kuropatkino of Khojavend, Garakhanbeyli, Horadiz, Ashagi Seyidahmadli, Gorgan of Fizuli and Mehdili of Jabrayil district.Azerbaijani positions also took fire from the positions located on the nameless heights of Goranboy, Khojavend, Fizuli and Jabrayil districts.The opposing side was silenced with return fire.The conflict between the two South Caucasus countries began in 1988 when Armenia made territorial claims against Azerbaijan. As a result of the ensuing war, in 1992 Armenian armed forces occupied 20 percent of Azerbaijan, including the Nagorno-Karabakh region and seven surrounding districts.The two countries signed a ceasefire agreement in 1994. The co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group, Russia, France and the US are currently holding peace negotiations. Armenia has not yet implemented the UN Security Council's four resolutions on the liberation of the Nagorno-Karabakh and the surrounding regions./By Trend/ Vladimir Putin hails organization of Baku 2015 http://www.today.az/news/baku2015/141946.html Baku-2015 Fri, 03 Jul 2015 13:52:00 +0500 /By AzerNews/By Nigar OrujovaRussian President Vladimir Putin praised the organization of the first European Games in Baku, said Igor Levitin, Aide to the Russian President.“The European Games were held at the level of Olympic Games. The opening and closing ceremonies were excellently organized. President Vladimir Putin is very much pleased with how the Games were delivered,” Vice-President of the country’s Olympic Committee Levitin said at a press conference at TASS headquarters.He said that prior to the beginning of the Games he visited Baku to view the preparations. “The Russian side was always in contact with the Organizing Committee, which approached its work with high professionalism.”President of the Russian Olympic Committee Alexander Zhukov also said the inaugural European Games in Baku fully complied with Olympic standards.The inaugural European Games in Baku has attracted the head of states and high officials from all over the world. The magnificent opening ceremony of the Games was attended by Russian President Vladimir Putin, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Belorussian President Alexander Lukashenko, Serbian President Tomislav Nikolic, Turkmenistan’s President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov, Tajikistan’s President Emomali Rahmon, and Filip Vujanovic, the President of Montenegro.The innovative competitions gathered over 6,000 athletes to show their strength and skills in 20 sports, 16 of which was Olympic and 12 were licensed for the Summer Olympics in Rio.Russia, presented by the team of 351 athletes, won the overall ranking with unbeaten 164 medals, 79 of which was gold medals.The country was followed by Azerbaijan with 56 medals and the Great Britain with 47 medals. Sheki to host sweets festival http://www.today.az/news/entertainment/141945.html Arts & Entertainment Fri, 03 Jul 2015 13:40:00 +0500 /By AzerNews/By Amina NazarliAzerbaijan’s ancient city of Sheki will host the second International Festival of National Sweets, scheduled for July 20.Sweets are an inseparable part of the national cuisine, that’s why the festival will gather cooks from all over Azerbaijani regions.Tahir Amiraslanov, the president of the Azerbaijan National Culinary Association, said this year the sweets festival will host pastry chefs from 25 regions of Azerbaijan, along with international confectioners from Turkey, Greece, Romania, Moldova, Russia, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Serbia, Korea and etc.All around, the event will celebrate Azerbaijan's rich cuisine and traditions in a joyful national atmosphere. The event participants will display their dishes according to national and regional custom. The treats will be placed in special pavilions equipped alongside decorative household items and rugs, relating to the region in which they are produced.The aromatic festival will be co-sponsored by the Culture and Tourism Ministry, Sheki City Executive Authority, and the Azerbaijan National Culinary Association.Representatives of UNESCO, the World Association of Chefs Societies, and various international organizations are expected to attend the sweets festival.Last year, the event hosted chefs from 23 regions in Azerbaijan and 6 foreign countries. The confectioners from Sheki and Kyrgyzstan were awarded top prize at the festival. Second place was taken by chefs from the Shamakhi region of Azerbaijan, Naftalan city, Turkey, and Georgia. Third place went to confectioners from the Gabala, Shamkir, Balakan regions, Ganja city, and Korea.Sheki is one of the most fascinating ancient cities of Azerbaijan, famous for its own sweet pakhlava, which is made of rice flour, nuts, and sugar-honey syrup. Anyone visiting Sheki will not be able to resist the temptation of its famous Pakhlava.There are more than 30 varieties of Azerbaijani pastries using ingredients such as poppy seeds, walnuts, almonds, sesame seeds, ginger, and cardamom, which make treats spicy and especially tasty.Every region of Azerbaijan has its own special recipe for local sweets, which may even have different shapes depending on the traditions of the region.Pakhlava, shekerbura and badambura- adornments of the Novruz holiday- are among the most famous Azerbaijani sweets. OSCE MG co-chairs to mull presidential meeting during South Caucasus visit http://www.today.az/news/politics/141943.html Politics Fri, 03 Jul 2015 13:29:00 +0500 /By AzerNews/By Sara RajabovaThe U.S. ambassador to Azerbaijan has said the visit of the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairs to the South Caucasus is under discussion.The issue of organizing a meeting of Azerbaijani and Armenian presidents will be discussed during this visit, Robert Cekuta said at an event dedicated to the U.S. Independence Day in Baku on July 2.The latest meeting between Presidents Ilham Aliyev and Serzh Sargsyan took place in Paris, France last October through the French president's initiative.Cekuta said at the meeting, the leaders of the two countries would have the opportunity to discuss ways to promote peaceful settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.Earlier, James Warlick, the Minsk Group’s U.S. co-chair said the OSCE Minsk Group is working on organizing the meeting, noting that mediating a new meeting between Presidents Ilham Aliyev and Serzh Sargsyan is the main call of the Minsk Group.The Armenian and Azerbaijani presidents periodically meet to discuss the settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict on the sidelines of negotiations. However, the talks have so far failed to produce any genuine results, given the Armenian side's inclination to remain belligerent rather than engage in peace-making.The Nagorno-Karabakh conflict emerged in 1988 when Armenia made territorial claims against Azerbaijan. Since then, a lengthy war in the early 1990s displaced over one million Azerbaijanis and led Armenian armed forces to occupy over 20 percent of Azerbaijan's internationally recognized territory, including Nagorno-Karabakh and seven adjacent regions.Cekuta further spoke about the achievements of the United States over these years, saying that the U.S. and Azerbaijan continue to work on the creation of strong relations between the two countries.Meanwhile, Ismayil Ismayilov, Azerbaijan’s deputy Youth and Sports minister said Azerbaijan hopes that the U.S., as the co-chair country of the OSCE Minsk Group, will be active in resolving the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.Ismayilov congratulated the American people on their Independence Day on behalf of the government of Azerbaijan. He said relations between the two countries have been developing in various fields, especially in economic and security sphere since 1992.He added that Azerbaijan assisted the United States in operations in Kosovo and Afghanistan, and the country is ready to cooperate with the US in the fight against terrorism in the future. Leyla Aliyeva: Heydar Aliyev Foundation aims to be where people need support (INTERVIEW) http://www.today.az/news/society/141944.html Society Fri, 03 Jul 2015 13:20:00 +0500 Ms Aliyeva, first of all, let us to congratulate You on behalf of the staff of the Trend Agency on your appointment as Goodwill Ambassador of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), as well as on presenting you the "International Dialogue of the Year" award for effective activity in the field of protection of human health and the valuable contribution to the development of the international dialogue to ensure the ecological balance.Q.: The issue of food security is quite acute worldwide now. How would you describe the food security in our country? As a FAO Goodwill Ambassador, which FAO issues would you like to draw to attention of the international community?A.: Each of the FAO strategic objectives, whether it is eradication of hunger and lack of food security, or eradication of poverty, raises the issues of concern to all the countries today. The countries are using various methods to meet the world’s growing demand for food. The production of genetically modified food (GMO) is, unfortunately, among them. Their production becomes more massive in the modern world and that worries me a lot.Azerbaijan has always grown quality, natural products. They are distinguished by excellent taste and ecological purity of fruit. This is a great wealth and we must protect it. I would not want our country to follow the genetic engineering. Although an article envisaging the punishment for the production and import of GMO products has been recently included in the Criminal Code, I believe that people must refrain from this because they must be aware of a great harm caused by GMO products to all living things, rather than because of fear of the law.As a founder of the International Dialogue for Environmental Action (IDEA), I am also attaching great importance to the achievement of the rational use of natural resources, protection and restoration of rare and vanishing species of plants and animals, strengthening of the enlightenment and ecological propaganda among the population, in particular among young people.Q.: On our own behalf and on behalf of our readers, let us thank you for your activities in the sphere of environment. IDEA implements a large number of creative, socially important projects. What is the scope of the projects and how far they have gone beyond the country?A.: I frequently travel through IDEA, spend a lot of time outdoors and each time, I get convinced that no matter how many beautiful and unique masterpieces are created by a human, nothing can overshadow the captivating beauty of nature. When being with nature, one feels the real, genuine serenity, peace, vitality and harmony.I have noticed that those people living close to nature – it is about Azerbaijan as well – are more careful with it than those who live in urban areas. Therefore, we call on the metropolitan city residents to visit nature more often. Over the past several years, 4 million trees have been planted by the IDEA volunteers in Baku and the regions of our country. Hopefully, this initiative will be supported further and continued.Environmental problems affect all countries and only a collective approach is required to resolve them. IDEA tries to convey namely this concept to the international community and to unite the people, in particular, the youth under the slogan “One Earth One Future”.IDEA has long ago gone beyond Azerbaijan in resolving the environmental problems. We are the partners of the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP), the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and the World Wildlife Fund (WWF).I would like to mention the one among other regional projects which was implemented in October 2013 to carry out the first reintroduction of ten jeyrans (gazelles) in Georgia. Furthermore, the Caucasus Biodiversity Summit was held in May 2014 on the initiative of IDEA and with the organization support of the Heydar Aliyev Foundation. During this summit, the international experts exchanged knowledge and experience in the sphere of protection of leopards.Among the international projects, I would like to highlight the Here Today exhibition dedicated to the 50th anniversary of the "Red Book" of the International Union for Conservation of Nature held in London in November 2014, as well as the ongoing Vita Vitale exhibition exhibits at Venice Biennale, which began in May, 2015 bringing together the artists from various countries, whose works reflect concern about the fate of the planet.Q.: IDEA has taken under its wing the rare species of the Caucasus fauna, namely, the so-called The Big Five of the Caucasus - the brown bear, the imperial eagle, the grey wolf, the gazelle and the Caucasian leopard. We would like to know about the further plans in this direction.A.: We have been working in this area for several years. These animals are really on the verge of extinction. For example, we have installed the surveillance cameras, invited ZSL experts (Zoological Society of London) to reveal the exact number and to further protect the Caucasian leopard. Their calculation has shown that there are from five to ten Caucasian leopards on the territory of Azerbaijan.Of course, this figure is low. It is necessary to take various measures to increase the number of leopards. Enlightening people about the endangered species of animals, calling them for their protection and increasing of its food are among these measures. I wouldn't want the Caucasian leopard to disappear, as this happened with the Caspian tiger living on the territory of Azerbaijan 70 years ago. We can save the leopard from extinction due to the measures undertaken on time. Moreover, I have recently talked to the international experts, and I have learned that it is possible to restore the population of the Caspian tiger. Perhaps, we will deal with this issue in the near future.For us, not only reintroduction or protection of endangered species is important, I am very concerned about the indifferent attitude towards all living beings. Last year, IDEA added a new profile in its activity, namely, a solution to the problem of stray animals. As it is known, at present, this problem is quite relevant not only in our region but worldwide.In my opinion, there are two sides of this problem. One side is an environmental threat and a threat to public health posed by these animals. And of course there is deplorable situation of animals dying of hunger, disease or abuse. In this regards, the homeless animal shelter construction project is being implemented in Baku at our initiative. It is planned to complete in autumn 2015.Q.: Today, the Heydar Aliyev Foundation, of which you are the vice-president, actively participates in the social life of not only Azerbaijan, but also of many other countries. Alongside with the implementation of various charity projects and programs, the Foundation actively popularizes Azerbaijan in the world. The Foundation indeed has a large number of projects. We would like to ask which of them are the closest to you?A.: The spectrum of activity of the Heydar Aliyev Foundation is really multifaceted and diverse. We successfully implement projects in very different areas, including charity, education, environment, as well as the projects aimed at developing the art, culture, health, sports and Information and Communication Technologies (ICT).Many projects are the matter of exceptional pride for me. It is the pride for promotion of new initiatives that have fundamentally affected the development of various spheres. Very frequently, we launch a project and the state supports it further, for instance, as it was in the case of the "New school for renewed Azerbaijan" project. Over 400 schools were built and repaired within this project. The state continued this program and around 3,000 schools were refurbished in Azerbaijan.We are proud of worthily representing Azerbaijan abroad, expanding the intercultural dialogue and preserving the traditions of tolerance. I experienced indescribable joy and pride when all the guests, tourists at Venice Biennale were wondering about namely the Azerbaijani pavilion and the whole Venice was talking about our pavilion.The projects covering the socially vulnerable groups of citizens – disabled people, orphans and children deprived of parental care – are of special importance for me. Under the Development of orphanages and boarding schools program, 32 child welfare institutions were overhauled and provided with new equipment by the Foundation. We ensure the participation of these children in the international competitions, send them to vacations abroad in order to arrange effective leisure and recreation. We also create opportunities for the children brought up in such institutions in other countries to visit Azerbaijan and become familiar with our country.Everything that the Foundation is doing in the sphere of health care is very important for me. For many years already, we have been implementing the project within which the children under 14 suffering from diabetes are regularly provided with the necessary volume of insulin and summer camps are organized for them. Heydar Aliyev Foundation has built specialized medical institutions, including Children's Psycho-Neurological Centre, Rehabilitation Centre for Children Needing Special Care and Rehabilitation Centre for Children with Down Syndrome.I am very concerned about the thalassemia problem. Azerbaijan is among the countries with widespread thalassemia. Over 200 children are annually born in the country with this disease. Taking into account the seriousness of the problem, the Heydar Aliyev Foundation started the implementation of "In the name of life without thalassemia" project in 2005. We built the largest Thalassemia Center in the region as part of this project. Transplantation of bone marrow is carried out in this Center for the first time in Azerbaijan. It is planned to implement the program on eradication of thalassemia in Azerbaijan on a larger scale in the near future.In general, all the projects are equally significant and important for me. Each new project is an opportunity to join the life of society, support the socially important ideas. Therefore, we choose the spheres where we can be more useful for the people. I would like to mention that the projects of the Heydar Aliyev Foundation are always implemented successfully. It seems like good forces help us to implement the charity projects.Q.: How do you assess the role of humanitarian projects in enhancing an intercivilizational dialogue? What projects were implemented by the Heydar Aliyev Foundation in this direction?A.: Today's realities of the modern world, aggravating conflicts require the creation of a humanitarian platform that will help eliminate the problems hindering the development of intercivilizational dialogue. The international cultural and humanitarian cooperation is the most effective tool to enhance the mutual understanding among the countries, to smooth contradictions and to bring peoples together. The Heydar Aliyev Foundation uses this tool successfully. With each project, we aim at contributing to such universal values among different peoples as humanism, solidarity and tolerance.The Heydar Aliyev Foundation has assisted in the restoration of the Berlin castle, ancient monuments in the park of the Palace of Versailles, the Louvre Museum, medieval manuscripts in the archives of Vatican, the Hall of the Philosophers in Rome’s Capitoline Museums.We have reconstructed and overhauled several schools in Georgia, the Netherlands, Egypt, Romania, the Russian Federation and Pakistan. We have allocated funds for the development of the School of African Heritage (EPA), located in the city of Porto-Novo in Benin. We have also rendered assistance to the Network of Social Sanctions Against Child Abuse in Columbia.The Heydar Aliyev Foundation aims to be where people need support. We have rendered financial assistance for earthquake relief in Haiti, Iran, Turkey and Pakistan, as well as natural disasters in Romania.The repair and restoration work was conducted in the churches and synagogues of the country. An educational complex opened for Jewish children in Baku. We contributed to the restoration of the churches in the regions of France, the Holy Roman catacombs and the erection of a monument to St. Prince Vladimir in Astrakhan. All this serves to the expansion of the relations of mutual respect and friendship among different peoples and confessions.Q.: You are the initiator of such an important campaign as “Justice for Khojaly”. This campaign united the people from all over the world. In which directions is it needed to intensify work to convey the truth about the events in Nagorno-Karabakh to the international community?A.: Khojaly is our pain and the truth about this tragedy, as well as the truth about the Armenian-Azerbaijani Nagorno-Karabakh conflict in general, should be conveyed to the international community. The international community should make legal assessment on this crime against humanity. Our aim is to restore the historical justice, expose the criminals and bring them to international court. We will continue our activities in this sphere in the future until the fair settlement of this conflict and restoration of Azerbaijan’s territorial integrity.Starting from 2009, a series of events are held each year as part of the “Justice for Khojaly” campaign and the anniversary of the horrible tragedy is marked in various countries with a heavy heart. The campaign has been supported by a number of countries in recent years. The parliaments of Canada, Mexico, Colombia, Peru, Pakistan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Romania, the Czech Republic, Jordan, Honduras and other countries, as well as the legislative bodies of a number of US states and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation have recognized the Khojaly genocide.We often witness how Armenia wants to mislead the international public opinion on its deeds in Khojaly. Therefore, today, alongside with the official state structures, each of us should carry out coherent activity aimed at conveying to the international community the truth and facts about the Armenian-Azerbaijani Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, the policy of genocide against Azerbaijanis. All of us should actively participate in exposing the lie and slander vigorously spread through Armenian propaganda.We should show the international community the history of the conflict which has its roots in the past centuries. For instance, Guba Genocide Memorial Complex built by Heydar Aliyev Foundation reflects the history of genocide of Muslim population in five districts of Baku province - Baku, Shamakhi, Guba, Javad and Goychay - in March-July 1918.In general, large-scale work was done by Heydar Aliyev Foundation to inform the international community about Azerbaijan’s historical realities. Numerous printed materials were issued, exhibitions featuring the essence of the conflict were held and "Endless Corridor" film was shot to mark the 20th anniversary of Khojaly genocide. A memorial to the victims of genocide in Srebrenica and Khojaly was erected in Sarajevo.Currently, work on construction of Baku Memorial Complex to perpetuate the memory of the Khojaly genocide is underway. So, the work as part of the “Justice for Khojaly” campaign is carried out not only on the eve of February 26, but throughout the year. We try not to reduce the intensity of our activities in this sphere and make every effort to inform the whole world about the real essence of the Armenian-Azerbaijani Nagorno-Karabakh conflict and the damage it caused to our country.Q.: You are the chairperson of the Azerbaijani Youth Organization of Russia (AMOR). Its activity is very successful and fruitful. Moreover, other organizations have been using AMOR’s experience today. What contribution does this organization make in Azerbaijan-Russia relations today?A.: Today AMOR is the most active youth organization outside Azerbaijan. One of the main objectives during its establishment was to unite and strengthen the Azerbaijani youth in Russia. We really managed to do that. The organization covers more than 70 regions of Russia. Almost all universities have the Azerbaijani youth clubs. AMOR welcomes all other organizations and clubs. It is ready to help them because we are all pursuing the same goal - to represent Azerbaijan in Russia with dignity.AMOR activists constantly put forward new initiatives. They visit the orphanages, help children and students. AMOR conferences are periodically organized. We hold such campaigns as "Blood has no nation!", "Make sure you are healthy, say ‘no’ to disease!" Over a hundred youth representatives annually attend the free blood donation action. The raised funds are spent for the treatment of children with oncological diseases.In my opinion, the sincere, pure, human relations are the most important thing. Our task is to establish warm relations between Azerbaijani youth and their Russian counterparts. Our young people are talented and intelligent. They love their motherland. I believe that the contribution to the preservation and strengthening of friendly relations between the Azerbaijani and Russian peoples is AMOR’s main contribution to the relations between Azerbaijan and Russia.Q.: Azerbaijan has entered a new stage of its development following the first European Games, held in Baku. We all know that Azerbaijan will have many more such wonderful events in the future. However, the most memorable, of course, is the first one. How do you assess these games?A.: I would like to start with the congratulation. First of all, I would like to congratulate the Azerbaijani team with excellent results and to thank the athletes for the minutes of pride and joy. We are proud that the first European Games have been held in our country. These games have opened a new page in the history of European sport. It was a great honor and great responsibility for our country to host and hold the first European Games.It is gratifying that all this time, young people, many volunteers have been willing to help and have participated in the preparatory processes. Of course, despite the high level organization and good preparation, we wouldn't have done it without the volunteers. The volunteers fulfilled their work with diligence, responsibility and enthusiasm. This was one of important elements of the success of the European Games.We observed high activity of the population, literally all halls were full of spectators. We understood that the Baku 2015 first European Games will determine the standards for all further games. Taking into account the national experience of organizing big, prestigious competitions and brilliant sports traditions, we all believed that Azerbaijan will surely hold the games at the highest level. And today we witness that the games were held in terms of justice, healthy competition, friendship and solidarity. By bringing together different countries, nations, peoples, the games became a grand sports event for the guests and Baku residents. And now it will be very difficult for any other hosting country, as they have something to compare with.Q.: You are the chief editor of the ‘Baku’ magazine therefore it is very interesting to have your opinion about how you see the challenges of the modern media, and what, in your opinion, is important today to convey to readers?A.: The ‘Baku’ magazine publishes interesting articles about history, culture, past and present day of Azerbaijan. It is published in order to familiarize a broad international audience with our beautiful Baku, where the architectural masterpieces and ancient facades of houses, theaters and museums harmoniously match with the unique modern complexes.We try to cover the ancient history, the rich culture and the amazing nature of Azerbaijan, and talk about the great Azerbaijani artists, writers, composers and even the ordinary people who have their own history and who are united by the love of Baku. That is, the functions of our magazine are mainly the informative and educational ones.Today we are surrounded by global problems. These include military threats, environmental threats, global economic and demographic problems, and the issues of eliminating poverty, hunger and illiteracy. The media should be able to respond to the challenges of the modernity and properly perform simultaneously both the informing function, and the function of forming the public opinion. Regardless of the large scale and the topics of the covered events, the audience always expects efficiency, objectivity and relevancy from the media.I’d like to note that through AMOR we support Azerbaijani youth studying at the faculty of journalism. It is desirable that there would be more of our specialists in this area, and in that case our voice would be louder.Q.: Creative work - poetry, painting hold an important place in your life. Once you said that to draw is a great pleasure but it is necessary to wait for inspiration. What is the source of your inspiration?A.: I think that there is no eternal source of inspiration. Creative people are looking for something new that might motivate them. I would say that all beautiful things are a source of inspiration. It is love in all its forms, namely, love for people, love for nature, love for life. The life itself is a source of inspiration.I would like to say that very often many people associate my poetry with my emotions and mood and sometimes think that they are very sad. But in fact, my poems are not always sad. They do not concern me personally. They reflect the state of mind and internal experience of a person as a whole. I have repeatedly stated that I have a very positive attitude towards the world. I always think that a positive attitude, compassion of people, good thoughts, belief in the victory of good over evil help make the world better. This inspires me.Q.: What do you like more, drawing or writing poetry?A.: I like drawing more. I’d like to say that drawing takes much more time. When I am drawing, I have a feeling that time goes by in a different dimension. Sometimes very little time is left for everything else. Sometimes I promise myself that I will be drawing only half an hour, and after “half an hour”, when I check the time, I see that it has been four hours. Of course, if I had a lot of free time, I would be drawing more. Maybe that is why I often draw clock. Time is something that can’t be controlled and at the same time, it is something that is never enough. Although, I believe that, depending on what you are doing, time also goes by in different ways.As for poems, I write them very quickly. Writing a poem takes only five minutes if some idea or thought comes up. The main thing is to simultaneously think and feel the topic. But at that time I can’t think of anything else. And if I am in a public place, surrounded by people, I don’t see or hear anything unless I write down those lines.My mother and sister are the ones to whom I read my poems first. For me, opinion on my creativity is very important, and I take it very close to heart. Positive feedback, of course, inspires me even more. I want to show my works to others, to share experiences. Therefore I hope that very soon I will be able to publish a poetry book, and perhaps to organize an exhibition of my works. I would also like to continue to learn and develop on a more professional level.Q.: As a creative person, you attach great importance to the promotion of contemporary art. However, it is very important that you do not forget about the origin and traditions of national creativity. This can be seen at all events, various exhibitions and biennials. In your opinion, is it possible to combine the past and the present? How is this reflected in contemporary art?A.: As for me, I prefer painting. I believe that the latest technologies in the video art and modern installations can not convey the harmony of senses as opposed to the work of art. It is the soul an artist puts into his works that makes them brilliant. I spend a lot of time in museums and galleries. I can even attend the exhibitions for hours and often wonder why I like and dislike some pictures. I think that the matter rests in the artist's soul, reflected in his paintings.Q.: The shooting of “Ali and Nino” film, of which you are the executive producer, has just recently wrapped up. Why exactly "Ali and Nino"?A.: The main reason for choosing this novel is the topic of independence. The novel touches upon the topic of establishment of Azerbaijan Democratic Republic which has a great historic importance. Independence is the most valuable and precious factor for each Azerbaijani.In addition, we wanted to shoot an adaptation of a book about the history of sincere and pure love, which resonates even after 100 years and to show the issues of interpenetration of cultures and religions. The novel very colorfully describes the political, ethnic and cultural life of Baku. I wanted this novel to be adapted namely in Azerbaijan and the film shoot to be conducted in the places described in the book. Aside from Baku, the shooting took place in Gadabay, in the village of Khinalig of Guba district and in Gobustan.“Ali and Nino” is a masterpiece and to film it is a big responsibility. We attracted talented people to work on the creation of the film. An excellent crew assembled for the filming of this beautiful work, and all the conditions were created for the fruitful filming process. I was on set practically every day, we were spending a lot of time together, and I was very sad when the work was completed. I have realized how difficult it is for actors and filmmakers, because they don’t have constancy within a team.I’d like to note an important fact: people from various countries of the world were working on the film, which, of course, will further increase the interest in it. The entire cast, the crew - all who took part in the making of the film, are very talented people, experts in their field, and they have done their best for the film to be interesting. I believe the film will be a big success.Q.: You have wonderful kids. In your opinion, what are the fundamentals of education and training necessary to be inculcated from childhood? How do you do this?A.: Children is the greatest happiness. My children have reached such an age that it is interesting for me to spend more time with them than with friends. We walk together, go to museums, parks. From the very beginning I have friendly relations with them. First, children must respect their parents, rather than be afraid of them. It is very important for me. When they do something wrong, I try to explain to them. I always give the right to choose.I think that they need quite a lot of freedom. I believe that a person has been gifted by God with an ability of understanding of right and wrong from the moment of birth. Sometimes parents patronize children too much and impose restrictions and prohibitions to protect them. I try to give my children more freedom, especially, since they are boys. Let them be independent, self-reliant and strong.The most important thing is when I am with them, I am in a good mood. They have never seen me upset and sad. I always tell them that everything will be fine. I incite them positively.Their education is also important for me. They speak three languages: Azerbaijani, English and Russian. They are interested in mathematics, arts. I constantly read books for them. I try for them to spend less time at the computer. I really want my children to cordially remember their childhood after they grow up.Q.: You will celebrate your anniversary. We would like to congratulate you on your birthday and wish health to you and all your family members. We wish you prosperity and luck in your endeavors. How will you celebrate the birthday? What would you wish our readers?A.: I will celebrate my birthday with my family and parents. In my childhood, I liked when a lot of guests came to my birthday. It was noisy and merrily. Today I want to spend this day with the people closest to me. I would like to be surrounded with unconditional love.I would like to wish everyone positive mood, robust health and lots of happiness./By Trend/ US dollar drops, euro rises in Azerbaijan http://www.today.az/news/business/141942.html Business Fri, 03 Jul 2015 13:18:00 +0500 The official exchange rate of the US dollar and euro to Azerbaijani manat was set at 1.0488 and 1.1635 manats, respectively as of July 3.Below is the exchange rate of Azerbaijani manat compared to the world currencies and precious metals on July 3, according to the Central Bank of Azerbaijan.Currencies and precious metalsJuly 2, 2015July 3, 20151 US dollar1 USD1.04891.04881 euro1 EUR1.16121.16351 Australian dollar1 AUD0.80280.79551 Argentine peso1 ARS0.11530.1152100 Belarusian rubles100 BYR0.00680.00681 Brazilian real1 BRL0.33310.33841 UAE dirham1 AED0.28560.28551 South African rand1 ZAR0.08560.0854100 South Korean won100 KRW0.09340.09361 Czech crown1 CZK0.04260.04271 Chilean peso1 CLP0.16410.16521 Chinese yuan1 CNY0.1690.1691 Danish krone1 DKK0.15570.1561 Georgian lari1 GEL0.46470.46491 Hong Kong dollar1 HKD0.13530.13531 Indian rupee1 INR0.01650.01651 British pound1 GBP1.63751.6375100 Indonesian rupiah100 IDR0.00790.0079100 Iranian rials100 IRR0.00360.00361 Swedish krona1 SEK0.12540.12421 Swiss franc1 CHF1.1081.11191 Israeli shekel1 ILS0.27720.27751 Canadian dollar1 CAD0.83360.83521 Kuwaiti dinar1 KWD3.46593.46711 Kazakh tenge1 KZT0.00560.00561 Kyrgyz som1 KGS0.01680.0171100 Lebanese pounds100 LBP0.06950.06961 Malaysian ringgit1 MYR0.2780.27721 Mexican peso1 MXP0.06650.06691 Moldavian leu1 MDL0.05550.05541 Egyptian pound1 EGP0.13750.13571 Norwegian krone1 NOK0.13230.1318100 Uzbek soums100 UZS0.0410.0411 Polish zloty1 PLN0.27730.27761 Russian ruble1 RUB0.01880.01891 Singapore dollar1 SGD0.77590.7771 Saudi riyal1 SAR0.27970.27961 SDR (IMF Special Drawing Rights )1 SDR1.47071.46761 Turkish lira1 TRY0.38960.39011 Taiwan dollar1 TWD0.03390.0341 Tajik somoni1 TJS0.16740.16741 New Turkmen manat1 TMM0.30020.30021 Ukrainian hryvnia1 UAH0.04980.0499100 Japanese yen100 JPY0.85060.85241 New Zealand dollar1 NZD0.70380.7043Gold (1 ounce)1 XAU1225.11521222.1142Silver (1 ounce)1 XAG16.331416.3823Platinum (1 ounce)1 XPT1134.90981135.8504Palladium (1 ounce)1 XPD733.1811735.2088/By Trend/ Number of Armenian protesters to rise http://www.today.az/news/regions/141941.html World news Fri, 03 Jul 2015 13:04:00 +0500 /By AzerNews/By Laman SadigovaProtesters in Armenia expect increase in number by Friday evening.About 30 protesters remained on Baghramyan Avenue in Yerevan for yet another night; and they are now awake and cleaning the camp."We are not planning to leave because our requirements about the tariff cuts have not yet been fulfilled," one of the protesters told RIA Novosti. He added that protesters have begun cleaning the area with the expectation that more activists would join them on Friday evening.The Commission on Regulation of Public Services in Armenia in its June 17 meeting approved a decision to increase electricity tariffs by 6.93 Armenian drams (about $0.015). As a result, starting on August 1 consumers would have been required to pay 48.78 drams instead of the current 41.85 per 1 kWh per day.The approval of price hike has spurred strong discontent among the population, as many in Armenia believe that the rise in electricity tariffs will consequently trigger a price increase for crucial basic goods and services in a country already plagued by miserable economic conditions.However, once the authorities had offered to implement an audit of tariffs, the ranks of the protesters saw a split—some of them announced their readiness to terminate their actions. At the same time, most of the protesters remained on Baghramyan Avenue. They refuse to leave the street, "as long as the authorities do not fulfill their demands for lower tariffs", as the protesters claim.Meanwhile, a civil initiative called “No robbery!” will convene a public meeting on Theatre Square in Gyumri on June 4 at 18:00. Baku prepares for Formula 1 Grand Prix http://www.today.az/news/sports/141940.html Sports Fri, 03 Jul 2015 12:42:00 +0500 /By AzerNews/By Nigar OrujovaPreparations for the Formula 1 Grand Prix, to be held in Azerbaijan in 2016, are on schedule, according to the Baku Grand Prix company.The urban highway project in the center of Baku has been designed by Hermann Tilke’s architectural firm.The repair work will consist of several stages, Baku Grand Prix said. The main road construction work is planned for 2016.The project has already been prepared and submitted to the International Automobile Federation. Once the project is approved, construction work will begin.The competitions in Baku will be distinguished by their uniqueness, as the Azerbaijani capital, along with Monaco and Singapore, will each host a street circuit.The Baku race will overlap Seaside Boulevard and make a circle around the Old City, a national historical and architectural preserve and the most ancient part of Baku.Thus, spectators and guests can observe the entire city during these competitions. Taking into account that Formula 1 is one of the world’s most popular television, the broadcasts will display the streets of Baku to the world.The length of the route in Baku will be 6 km with 8 right and 12 left turns. The speed on the track will reach 340 km/h.There will be an extremely narrow uphill section at the old town wall that will reward pinpoint accuracy and courage, and an acceleration section that will extend nearly 2.2km along the promenade where cars will be seen going at high top speeds. This is expected to create an incredible spectacle for race fans on the track and the viewers at home.The track will start and finish near Government House and covers all the landmarks of the capital city, medieval Old City, modern iconic skyline, and spectacular views across the Caspian Sea.Earlier, the CEO of Tilke Engineering, Hermann Tilke said he is absolutely thrilled up by the Baku European Grand Prix project."We have created a challenging street circuit, in terms of engineering and design, and one that thrives on Baku's very attractive urban atmosphere and its great combination of history and 21st century style. The historic city centre, the beautiful seaside promenade and the impressive government house all are combined in a way to provide the perfect backdrop for a spectacular new track," he said.Formula One, the world's fastest motorsport championship is already very popular in Azerbaijan as a spectator sport.A National F1 team?Youth and Sports Minister Azad Rahimov earlier said the active support of the young drivers should be expected.“Of course, we would like to see stages [of the F1] held under our flag, to have our drivers participating, teams and sponsors. We see a great potential in this project,” he said.The minister expressed assurance that Azerbaijan would be interested in participating in the most prestigious racing series.As for the stage in 2016, he expects more than 11,000 foreign fans arriving in Baku.Azerbaijan is expected to spend between $66 to $86 million on the organization of the first stage.Baku has deep experiences in hosting international motor racing and has been hosting racing series for the past two years. This year, the Baku World Challenge will take place on November 1-2. Iranian MP calls for freeing Iranians jailed in U.S. http://www.today.az/news/regions/141939.html World news Fri, 03 Jul 2015 12:30:00 +0500 By Fatih Karimov  Head of National Security and Foreign Policy Commission of Iranian Parliament, Allaeddin Boroujerdi, has requested Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif to take measures promptly to free Iranians who are jailed in the U.S.In a letter to Zarif, Boroujerdi said: “A remarkable number of Iranian educated people have been arrested by the Central Intelligence Agency of the U.S. under the pretext of making an attempt to procure items which have been banned as a result of the sanctions,” the Iranian parliament’s news agency, ICANA, reported on July 3.“Considering that the imposition of sanctions is not legal and is a clear oppression to the Iranian nation, and the U.S. has misused its power to impose the sanction, I strongly demand you to make use of all your capacities to free the people who are illegitimately jailed in the US,” the letter reads.Iranian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Marzieh Afkham said on June 13 that thirteen Iranians, who had been imprisoned on charges related to the sanctions, have been freed.Referring to nine Iranians, who are jailed in US prisons, she said that the consulate department of the Iranian Foreign Ministry is following up the case.“Arresting the persons was illegal and was based on void convictions. It is hoped that they would be freed as soon as possible.”/By Trend/ Rouhani: Iran, IAEA determination can settle remaining issues http://www.today.az/news/regions/141938.html World news Fri, 03 Jul 2015 12:19:00 +0500 President Hassan Rouhani underlined that Iran and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) can resolve their remaining issues in a short time, IRNA reported.'Iran is still ready to achieve a fair framework for settling the remaining issues in the specified time under the safeguards and existing regulations,' President Rouhani said in a meeting with IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano in Tehran on Thursday.The Iranian president noted that Iran like other member-states of the non-proliferation treaty (NPT) should achieve its full nuclear rights and there should be no discrimination in this regard.He pointed out that the expansion of peaceful nuclear activities and also non-proliferation of nuclear weapons are two important duties of the IAEA which should be fulfilled in a balanced way and without discrimination against its member-states.'Iran's transparent cooperation with the IAEA is a golden example of a large number of examples and it has been proven for the IAEA that the accusations on Iran's diversion from nuclear activities have been baseless,' President Rouhani added.The Iranian president reiterated that proving the non-diversion from nuclear activities by Iran over past 12 years of close cooperation with the IAEA is the best judgment for international public opinion.'The IAEA should play its conspicuous role in this juncture that talks with the Group 5+1 is approaching its final stage,' he added.President Rouhani pointed to the settling of several problems in the past due to Iran-IAEA cooperation, and said, 'If there will be necessary will in both sides and some non-technical issues do not interfer, some differences can be fully resolved in a short period of time.'IAEA director general, for his part, appreciated Iran's cooperation with the agency, and said, 'We have always announced in the past inspections that Iran's nuclear activities have had no diversion towards military objectives following the previous inspections and that the country has always fulfilled its commitments.'Amano pointed to his constructive talks with Secretary of Iran's Supreme National Security Council Ali Shamkhani, and said, 'I believe that through mutual respect and close cooperation all issues can be resolved and I hope that IAEA's reports will help to the process of nuclear talks after this visit.'/By Trend/ Earthquake hits Turkey http://www.today.az/news/regions/141937.html World news Fri, 03 Jul 2015 12:07:00 +0500 An earthquake, measuring 3.9 on the Richter scale, hit Turkey's south-western Balikesir province on July 3, Anadolu Agency reported.The quake caused panic among the local population.No casualties or damage has been reported./By Trend/ Earthquake magnitude 6.1 shakes China http://www.today.az/news/regions/141936.html World news Fri, 03 Jul 2015 11:59:00 +0500 China's far western region of Xinjiang has been struck with the strong magnitude 6.1 earthquake on Friday, the US Geological Survey said.Remoted area of the Taklamakan desert at a depth of 10 kilometres has been named as the epicentre of the earthquake.The magnitude toll has been risen to 6.5 by The China Earthquake Network Centre.China, especially its southwestern part, has been experienced earthquakes on a regular basis. Last August saw a 6.1-magnitude earthquake, resulted in 600 deaths.8,800 people were killed as a result of destructive earthquake in the neighbouring Nepal last April./By Trend/ Kazakhstan increases electricity consumption http://www.today.az/news/regions/141935.html World news Fri, 03 Jul 2015 11:52:00 +0500 In January-May of 2015, electricity consumption in Kazakhstan increased by 0.6 percent compared with the same period last year (from 38.83 billion kilowatt/hours to 39.06 billion kilowatt/hours), said the message released by analytical service Ranking.kz.“It became the result of an increase in electricity consumption in the main consuming regions - Pavlodar (1.7 percent increase - 23.1 million kilowatt/hours) and Karaganda (6.1 percent increase - 70.7 million kilowatt/hours) regions, as well as a sharp rise in consumption in the Aktobe region (25.5 percent increase - 78 million kilowatt/hours),” said the message.The growth in electricity consumption in the Karaganda region of Kazakhstan is predictable and is due to the good rates in the industry (according to the Statistics Committee of the Ministry of National Economy, production of copper concentrates, non-alloy steel, refined copper and copper blister increased in January-May), according to the message.At the same time, Kazakhmys corporation, which is engaged in the production of copper, operates at two producing and manufacturing sites of the Karaganda region - Jezkazgan and Balkhash.In May 2015, electricity consumption in Kazakhstan has exceeded its production, said the message.Analytical service forecasts that electricity consumption in Kazakhstan will decrease in June and will remain at the minimum level until the autumn./By Trend/ Armenia sees significant drop in foreign trade http://www.today.az/news/regions/141934.html World news Fri, 03 Jul 2015 11:37:00 +0500 /By AzerNews/By Sara RajabovaIn the background of the economic recession in Russia, the Armenian economy is also experiencing great hardships.The deepening recession in Russia has exacerbated the already miserable situation of the Armenian economy. Armenia’s foreign trade turnover decreased by 32.3 percent in five months.Armenia’s National Statistical Service reported that the volume of Armenia’s foreign trade turnover in January-May of this year amounted to about $ 1.56 billion which reflects a32.3 percent drop compared to the same period in 2014.The volume of exports in January-May 2015 amounted to about $ 488.6 million, falling 15.2 percent, while import volume stood at $ 1,070 billion, showing a 38 percent decrease, according to official data. As a result, the foreign trade deficit amounted to a staggering $ 581.5 million.Armenia's foreign trade turnover with the Commonwealth of Independent States countries in the same period amounted to approximately $305.7 million (19.6 percent share and a 51.8 percent decline), with trade with Russia amounting to $ 242.7 million (54.6 percent decline), $ 50 million (32.7 percent decline) with Ukraine, and about $ 1.4 million (89.8 percent decline) with Belarus.In meantime, Armenia’s trade volume with European Union countries in January-May totaled approximately $ 462.2 million (29.7 percent share and 28.6 percent decline), and trade with other countries stood at $ 790.8 million (50.7 percent share and 22.4 percent decline).The country's economic indicators are deteriorating by the day. Recession in Russian economy has been accelerating Armenia's worsening economic situation, since the country relies heavily on money transfers from its “big brother.” The strongest impact carried by the Russian recessions has been seen in the sharp decline of money transfers sent by labor migrants.Forecasts for the Armenian economy are far from favorable for the next few years. Any positive developments in the Armenian economic depend on Russia coming out of recession.The global financial crisis in previous years and a hardship that began in late 2014 have once again proved that the fragile Armenian economy depends strongly on regional developments - as reflected by falling foreign investments, remittances, and domestic trade. Children take runway in Baku http://www.today.az/news/entertainment/141933.html Arts & Entertainment Fri, 03 Jul 2015 11:27:00 +0500 /By AzerNews/By Amina NazarliA colorful children's fashion design competition, devoted to the 1st European Games, was held in Baku on July 1.Around 20 designers participated in the competition. Their collections were worn by young models aged between 5 and 11 years old.The organizer of the event, Mina Vagif, who also serves as the chairman of the Azerbaijani Volunteers Association, said that the main task of the designers was to reflect the spirit of the European Games in their dresses.A significant event in the history of Azerbaijani sports, the European Games hosted more than 6,000 athletes competing in 20 sports.Little boys and girls donning colorful sport attire and clothing reflecting traditional national ornaments and drawings of the pomegranate and Gazelle -- the mascots of Baku 2015 European Games -- happily walked down runway sharing smiles and kisses with the audience.Famous Azerbaijani fashion designers Fakhriya Khalafova and Gulnara Khalilova, as well as Samira Zeynalova, the head of the Azerbaijan Culture and Arts Studio in Moscow, Konul Azizova, the Azerbaijani model and actress who lives in Turkey and well known dancer Oksana Rasulova were among the jury.Designers Ilaha Hasanova and Natig Musazade won first place by vote.The children's fashion show is great opportunity for many boys and girls to expand their creative potential and support their freedom of expression.Azerbaijani moms today try to follow fashion trends, as clothes for children are not just a fad, but also a means to reflect their personalites and tastes.Azerbaijan has an ancient dress tradition and the national costume was basically the same in all historical ethnographic zones of the country.The national women's dresses have elegant silhouettes and are cut to emphasizing flexible waist of Azerbaijani beauties. They are decorated with intricate embroidery and beautiful golden band.Azerbaijani Men's clothing is also very distinct. They emphasize the masculinity without restricting a man’s rapid movements. Baku, Vilnius mull expansion of bilateral ties http://www.today.az/news/politics/141932.html Politics Fri, 03 Jul 2015 11:14:00 +0500 /By AzerNews/By Sara RajabovaThe expansion of bilateral ties between Azerbaijan and Lithuania has been discussed during Azerbaijani defense minister’s visit to Vilnius.Zakir Hasanov met Lithuania’ Prime Minister Algirdas Butkevicius on July 2, AzerTac news agency reported.Hasanov provided an insight into the Armenia-Azerbaijan Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, which emerged in 1988 over Armenia’s territorial claims against Azerbaijan.He further hailed Azerbaijani-Lithuanian cooperation, saying the expansion of bilateral relations is in the best interests of the two countries."We are confident that the consultations between the two countries and expansion of cooperation will contribute to the strengthening of peace and security in the Eurasian region," added Hasanov.The sides condemned international terrorism, all kinds of extremism, aggressive separatism and other threats to international security and stability, noting the need to intensify international efforts in the fight against them.Prior to the meeting, Hasanov laid a wreath at the independence monument commemorating those who died in the Lithuanian independence struggle in 1991.Earlier, Hasanov met his Lithuanian counterpart Juozas Olekas. They discussed issues on regional security, development of Armed Forces, boosting prospects for military cooperation between the two countries.Lithuania recognized Azerbaijan’s independence on December 21, 1991. Diplomatic relations between two countries were established on November, 1992. Lithuanian embassy was opened in Azerbaijan in April 2007. The Embassy of Azerbaijan was opened in Lithuania in September 2007. Kazakhstan takes measures to attract foreign investors http://www.today.az/news/regions/141931.html World news Fri, 03 Jul 2015 10:59:00 +0500 /By AzerNews/By Aynur KarimovaKazakhstan, the largest economy in the Central Asian region, is keen on attracting foreign direct investment in various sectors of its national economy.Recently, speaking at a Kazakh-Italian business forum in Milan, President Nursultan Nazarbayev said the country has decided to extend a unilateral visa-free regime for a year for citizens of Switzerland, Spain, Belgium, Hungary, Monaco, Singapore, Australia, Norway, Sweden and Finland, 10 countries actively investing in Kazakh economy.This is not the first such step. Kazakhstan had introduced a unilateral visa-free regime for citizens of the U.S., the Netherlands, Britain, France, Germany, Italy, Malaysia, United Arab Emirates, Korea, and Japan starting July 15, 2014.The creation of a favorable investment climate has been and remains one of the main priorities of Kazakhstan. The country primarily focuses on the countries whose representatives will not only make sound investments and bring effective management when entering the Kazakh market, but also introduce completely new technologies into production, which will make the country's industrial enterprises much more competitive.Analyses show that Kazakhstan is on the list of top countries in terms of foreign direct investment, which amounted to $180 billion in 2013. According to estimates by experts and investors operating in the country, today Kazakhstan has created the best investment conditions in the Central Asian region.The World Bank has recognized Kazakhstan as a country favorable for investment. It maintains a low international debt while its currency reserves exceed $100 billion.Some 10 special economic zones operate in Kazakhstan. Entrepreneurs enjoy full support and tax preferences in these zones.Investors in priority sectors (metallurgy, petrochemical, oil refining, engineering, construction materials, and food production sectors) are exempt from corporate income tax and land tax for a period of 10 years, and the property tax for eight years.The stability of tax legislation is guaranteed for investors. The government provides investment subsidies up to 30 percent for construction and the procurement of equipment.According to the Kazakh law "On Investments," investors are exempt from customs duties on the import of equipment, its components and spare parts, raw materials and supplies, as well as kind grants of not more than 30 percent of the total investment in fixed assets.Kazakhstan is also focused on the creation of an open labor market. The country grants the right to employ a foreign labor force beyond the quota for a period of more than one year for construction contracts, reconstruction, or completion of a construction project.Kazakhstan also continues institutional reforms aimed at improving the business climate. An international financial center will begin operating next year in Astana.The country also offers legal regulation for investment issues based on English law, with the proceedings in English involving foreign judges.The government also considers the exemption of foreign investors from the payment of corporate and individual income taxes for 10 years.In Kazakhstan, foreign businessmen do not need to go to the state agencies for the relevant documents, since the Ministry of Investment and Development handles these claims.Kazakhstan has also created an investment climate monitoring system. The Council of Foreign Investors, envisioned by the Kazakh president, addresses strategic issues, while the Council for Improvement of Investment Climate, created under the prime minister, is engaged in improvements on tax legislation and customs duties. Kazakhstan’s investment ombudsman is focused on resolving investor problems.Kazakhstan plans to transfer to the e-government platform to eliminate all contact between civil servants and investors. It will be possible to obtain all permits online thanks to the electronic document management system. Four Asian countries to ink deal on power transmission http://www.today.az/news/regions/141930.html World news Fri, 03 Jul 2015 10:48:00 +0500 /By AzerNews/By Vusala AbbasovaKyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Afghanistan and Pakistan will sign an agreement on the electric power line project CASA-1000 at the end of July, 2015.Representatives from four countries discussed the project with the World Bank, IDB, USAID, IFC, DFID, EBRD and the Intergovernmental Council Secretariat at the meeting in Kazakhstan on June 13.The CASA-1000 electric power line project will supply electricity from Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan to Afghanistan and PakistanThe CASA-1000 project with total estimated cost of $997 million will enable to supply 1,300 megawatt of existing summertime hydropower surplus from Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan in Central Asia to Afghanistan and Pakistan in South Asia.Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan possess the world's largest environmentally friendly and inexpensive electric power, which is known as hydropower.Afghanistan and Pakistan have a demand for energy for electricity in the summer to operate their industrial production, and avoid the closure of small businesses and job cuts.Tajikistan has 527 billion kWh of electricity reserves per year, which exceed by thrice the current demand of the Central Asian region for electricity.Tajikistan plans to export 3 billion kWh under the CASA-1000 project can stimulate the interregional cooperation between the countries of Central and South Asia, as well as provide the rational use of natural resources.Implementing CASA-1000 project on the territory of Tajikistan will be worth over $300 million, according to the Tajikistan Energy and Water resources Ministry.The project is financed by the World Bank (WB), Islamic Development Bank (IDB), European Investment Bank (EIB), as well as the United States Aid (USAID).Earlier, Tajikistan and the EIB signed a financial agreement on Tajik section of the CASA-1000 project, under which the EIB was to allocate 70 million euros.Tajikistan plans to allot 13 million soms (almost $2 million) from the state budget to construct its section of the electricity line.However, Kyrgyzstan has a problem with financing its section of CASA-1000, as it may increase the national debt to the critical level of 60 percent of GDP, the country's Finance Ministry assures.The total cost of Kyrgyzstan's section of the electricity line is $233 million, of which $124.1 million has been confirmed for financing.The Kyrgyzstan state debt amounted to $3.6 billion (214.8 billion soms) on December 31, 2014, and 94 percent of them is related to the public external debt amounting $3.4 billion (202.4 billion soms).The CASA-1000, which envisages creating necessary infrastructure and systems for power transmission, is scheduled to launch in 2018. Armenian authorities better to sink into a reverie http://www.today.az/news/regions/141929.html World news Fri, 03 Jul 2015 10:36:00 +0500 /By AzerNews/By Laman SadigovaA break in “Electric Maidan” has emerged on Day 12 of protests following the Armenian government's June 17 decision to increase the electricity tariff by 6.93 drams per kWh starting from August 1."We are currently carrying out explanatory work among the citizens, so that they can refrain from violating the law and leave the Avenue," Yerevan Deputy Chief of Police Valery Osipyan said."I think our citizens respect the law and understand that violating the law is impermissible," he added.Does the Armenian government not understand the problems of people, with every third person living in poverty?At the first sight, the cost seems insignificant, but not for Armenia, where citizens have no sources to pay for electricity. Armenia's current authorities led the country into poverty under their separatist policies. The country spends 30 percent of its budget on the military.This decision appeared to be the final boiling point for Armenian people.Despite Armenian experts’ attempts to convince everyone that the protests are only for economic, not political reasons, the protests seemingly have deeper roots judging by demonstrator demands to meet with the president, which he successfully evaded.Armenia keeps 20 percent of neighboring Azerbaijan under occupation, a factor that undermines regional security. This aggressive and ill-conceived government policy has put the country in an economic blockade by Turkey in the south and Azerbaijan in the west, resulting in the collapse of the national economy, a drop in the value of the Armenian currency (dram), and widespread unemployment.Armenia has almost no natural resources, its economy is underdeveloped, and according to the World Bank, 32 percent of the population lives in poverty. Indeed, Armenian people have nothing to lose, because they are driven into despair.The Armenian government’s promise that there is “nothing to worry about” does not inspire confidence. The expectations may prove to be misleading, and a civil movement can get a second wind.Osipyan's efforts to demonstrate police patience evoke a surprise when compared to its actions. In other words, the government’s current rhetoric of "The police are doing their best now so that they leave the Avenue voluntarily" drastically contradicts its original where they stated, "We will restore public order in Baghramyan Avenue."Meanwhile reports claim that the number of protesters are rising from day to day and the government’s currently appeared new policy of waiting out is not helping. Perhaps, the Armenian government needs to review its priorities and change both internal and domestic policy. It is completely clear that even if they will be able to “clear out” the Armenian “Maidan,” it will appear again and again as long as the government refuses to listen to its own citizens.Isn’t that what the people actually want? Tajik workers in Russia reduce remittances http://www.today.az/news/regions/141928.html World news Fri, 03 Jul 2015 10:25:00 +0500 /By AzerNews/By Vusala AbbasovaThe volume of the remittances from Russia to Tajikistan dropped by 87 percent during the first quarter of this year.For the first three months of the year, $364 million has been remitted from Russia to Tajikistan on individual basis, according to the Russia Central Bank.The volume of transfers decreased by $284 million or as compared with the same period of previous year, when the remittances from Russia to Tajikistan amounted to $648 million.The economic slowdown in Russia, the fall in the oil prices, as well as the Western political and economic sanctions significantly affected the volume of the migrant workers remittances, who are the basics of the Russia labor market.Drop in remittances made up 8.3 percent (or up to $3.9 billion) as compared 2013 and 2014.There were slightly fewer than 1 million Tajik citizens in Russia in an early June, 200,000 fewer than half a year earlier, according to data from Russia's Federal Migration Service.Thousands of migrant workers have left Russia after the economy crisis, which slashes the value of their earnings and makes increasingly hard to come by jobs.Russia holds the second position in the ranking of the world's biggest migrant population after the U.S., according to a 2013 United Nations report.The 2014 data from the International Fund for Agricultural Development are stunning in two respects. First, Russia ranks highest, with $20.7 billion in remittances, even though its per capita gross domestic product is less than those of other nations. The U.K., which recorded $17.1 billion in remittances, has per capita GDP that is almost 50 percent higher.Russia needs human resources to do the mostly menial jobs and is interested in the large amount of immigrants, what causes to high remittances from Russia. Azerbaijan braces for hot, dry summer http://www.today.az/news/society/141927.html Society Fri, 03 Jul 2015 10:15:00 +0500 /By AzerNews/By Nigar OrujovaAzerbaijan will experience yet another dry and rainless summer, already made clear by the temperatures in June.Azerbaijan is a sun-soaked country with complicated landscapes located at the convergence of several geographic zones and enjoys climatic diversity with its nine distinct climatic zones. The country, however, is suffering a shortage of water reserves.The Institute of Geography of the National Academy of Sciences warns of possible drought conditions, brought on by global climate change.The temperature is expected to be a slightly above the norm in July and August, while rainfall will come in at 65-70 percent below normal, the institute informs.“This will lead to drought in certain areas of Azerbaijan, particularly in low-lying areas. The most severe drought is expected in the Central Aran regions. In addition, the intensity of hot winds will increase in July and August, which will also contribute to the drought,” the Geography Institute warns.The driest season will be between July 20 and August 20.Azerbaijan had suffered a drought last year as well, but this year’s dry weather is expected to be more severe.There were less hot winds during last year's drought, thus it did not last long, the institute said. However, this year, winds will prolong the dry season.Aside from Azerbaijan, this year's drought will also affect the East European Plain and Turkey.The drought is also predicated to harm the crop yields. Last year, drought in Azerbaijan had damaged some agricultural products, and destroyed crops fields in regions like Sheki, Shamakhi and Gobustan. Moreover, the lack of irrigation systems has negatively impacted the growth of fruits and vegetables.Irrigation is based on the water level, which currently is at 30-50 percent of the decade norm in rivers of Quba-Khachmaz region of Major Caucasus, 20-60 percent in Minor Caucasus rivers, 50-100 percent in Lankaran-Astara region rivers, and 10 percent in Nakhchivan, the National Hydrometeorology Department of the Ecology Ministry reports.Most reservoirs in Azerbaijan use the water of Kura and Araz rivers. The water level is stable now in Kura and a serious increase is impossible, the ministry said.The productivity of plants will decrease, said Vahid Aliyev, the deputy director for scientific work of the Research Institute of Horticulture and Subtropical Plants.He stressed, the drought will seriously affect the plants grown in lowland areas, unlike the mountain. “To reduce the impact of drought on the plant first the volume of water for irrigation must be increased. The drought will primarily affect melons, vegetables that are grown in July. In general, the drought will affect the productivity of all fruit trees,” said Aliyev.The reduced level of water in the rivers creates difficulties in irrigation of gardens, he added.Farmer Hasan Hasanov said, that the drought will affect mostly autumn and winter fruits. According to him, reduction in productivity may lead to higher prices for fruits.Forests are also in danger from drought and hot winds.The drought increases the threat of fires, said Sadig Salmanov, the Sector Head of the Department of Forest Development at the Ecology Ministry.The department is on alert to protect forests from fires in the summer season, he said."A round the clock duty was organized to protect forests from fires. Along with this, fire units are functioning in regional institutions of the Ecology Ministry, and daily surveillance is conducted," said Salmanov.He said, last year there were fires on a total area of 52 hectares. “There was no serious damage to forest resources as the result. Forest fires have not been recorded this year.”The sector head also called the population to be more careful to prevent forest fires. Baku honors Paralympics medalists of European Games http://www.today.az/news/baku2015/141926.html Baku-2015 Fri, 03 Jul 2015 10:04:00 +0500 /By AzerNews/By Nigar OrujovaBaku has hosted a ceremony honoring the Paralympics athletes who became winners of the first European Games.The Baku 2015 European Games, which gathered over 6,000 athletes for 17 days of elite sports competitions, included Paralympic judo competitions.All three of Azerbaijani Paralympic athletes participating in the Baku 2015 were honored with awards. Ilham Zakiyev, the final torchbearer of the Baku 2015, won gold in the weight category over 90 kg, while Zakir Mislimov won bronze.Sabina Abdullayeva earned a silver medal in the women’s 57 kg category.At the ceremony, National Paralympic Committee President Ilgar Rahimov congratulated athletes for their great victories at European Games."The whole world saw the special respect in our country to the Paralympics when two-time Paralympic Champion, two-time World Champion, and five-time European Champion Ilham Zakiyev brought the torch of the first European Games into the Baku Olympic Stadium,” he said.The Paralympics movement in Azerbaijan is developing rapidly, and the athletes are making progress in the international arena, he stressed.He especially noted that during the European Games, the Vice President of the International Paralympic Committee, Andrew Parsons presented Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev the Honor award, which is the highest Paralympic award.The Paralympic Honor is bestowed upon those heads of state who have contributed significantly to the development of Paralympics movement and sport. Only 12 heads of state have received the award so far.He stressed that after Baku 2015, his committee received many proposals for holding various international competitions in Azerbaijan, including the World and European Championships.Speakers noted the high level of organization for the events, stressing that all of the necessary conditions have been met for people with disabilities to freely visit stadiums and easily view of the competitions.During the ceremony, athletes, coaches, and activists of the Paralympics movement were presented with diplomas. Ilham Zakiyev was presented with special “Paralympics medal” from the Paralympics Committee.Paralympics sports are developing in Azerbaijan, the first country in the world to create a Children Paralympics Committee. The movement aims to encourage more disabled children in the country to engage in sports and physical education.Azerbaijani Paralympic athletes participated in the 10th Atlanta Summer Paralympic Games in 1996 for the first time in the history of Paralympic sports in Azerbaijan, with two athletes representing two sports.At the Paralympic Games in Beijing in 2008, Azerbaijan won 10 medals, ranking 37th. Azerbaijani athletes achieved great success at the Summer 2012 Paralympic Games in London, gaining 12 medals and becoming 27th out of a total of 166 countries.Azerbaijani Paralympic athletes are currently participating in the competitions in 10 sports. A labyrinth of ‘lost souls’ http://www.today.az/news/interesting/141925.html Weird / Interesting Thu, 02 Jul 2015 20:52:00 +0500 In the first pages of Elizabeth Day’s latest novel Paradise City, a self-made millionaire sexually assaults the woman cleaning his hotel room. The housekeeper, Beatrice, is a Ugandan asylum seeker – and when she recognises her assailant’s photograph in the paper, she realises she can demand restitution from him.Chance and happenstance are central tenants of life in any city. But they play a particularly important role in literary depictions of London. Coincidence, though, is not the only way writers set London apart from other settings. In particular, portrayals of the city have tended to focus on the darker side of urban life – including crime, vice and instability.Often coincidence and confusion intertwine. In Peter Ackroyd’s 2013 novel Three Brothers, a student questions the “continuing use of coincidence” in Charles Dickens’ Bleak House. “That is the condition of living in a city, is it not?” replies the teacher, Daniel. “The most heterogeneous elements collide. Because, you see, everything is connected to everything else.” Daniel links this to the relationship between Dickens’ characters and their environment: in most of the author’s works, he says, “the city itself becomes a form of penitentiary in which all of the characters are effectively manacled to a wall. If it is not a cell, it is a labyrinth in which few people find their way. They are lost souls.”Urban jungleDescribing London as a labyrinth is hardly unique to Ackroyd – or to Dickens. Back in his 1821 memoir Confessions of an English Opium-Eater, Thomas de Quincey describes searching the “labyrinths” of the city for the prostitute Ann, who befriended him when he first arrived. Because of the confusion of London’s streets, he writes, even a barrier of a few feet amounts to “a separation for eternity”.And the London described in literature was not, in the 18th and 19th Centuries, the kind of city you would want to get lost in. As Oliver Twist follows the Artful Dodger through the streets of Clerkenwell and Holborn, Dickens writes, “A dirtier or more wretched place he had never seen. The streets were very narrow and muddy, and the air was impregnated with filthy odours […] Covered ways and yards, which here and there diverged from the main street, disclosed little knots of houses, where drunken men and women were positively wallowing in filth.”Cramped spaces, confusion, dirt, bad smells, vice – these were all details commonly reported by other 18th and 19th Century authors, too. Daniel Defoe’s Moll Flanders (1722) and John Gay’s Beggar’s Opera (1728) challenged the notion of London as a centre of refinement; Hogarth’s infamous images such as Gin Lane (1751) and the Industry and Idleness series (1747) are now synonymous with urban depravity; and in his poem The Task (1794), William Cowper described London as a “sewer”.Social anxietyTo these unsavoury descriptions, the 19th Century’s Urban Gothic genre added anxieties about class struggle, mass unemployment and fears of an emerging, degenerate criminal underclass . Robert Louis Stevenson’s Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde (1886), Oscar Wilde’s The Picture of Dorian Gray (1891), Bram Stoker’s Dracula (1897) and even Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes stories exploited and fed these concerns, depicting a London of literal and moral darkness, all foggy, grimy streets, subterfuge and threat.London’s infiltration by the creature Dracula points to colonial Britain’s fear of infection by the barbaric outsider. In Conan Doyle’s The Sign of the Four, which leads the detective to nefarious deeds that took place in the temple of Agra during the Indian Mutiny, Watson describes London as “that great cesspool into which all the loungers and idlers of the Empire are irresistibly drained”. The resulting image: one of the crimes of British imperialism affecting the very stronghold of the Empire’s power. The fear that the city’s darkness might infect one’s own identity also came to the fore in these books. Both Dr Jekyll and Dorian Gray have hidden, uncivilised sides that appear at night and link them with specific, insalubrious parts of town – Gray with the East End and Jekyll (or should I say Hyde) with the backstreets of Soho.By the beginning of the 20th Century, modern London was characterised as a scene of disorientation and insecurity. “Unreal city” writes TS Eliot in his poem The Waste Land (1922). The fragmented, transitory aspects of urban life play a central role in Virginia Woolf’s Mrs Dalloway (1925), a novel that begins with her protagonist joyfully walking the streets of Westminster. “In people’s eyes, in the swing, tramp, and trudge; in the bellow and the uproar; the carriages, motor cars, omnibuses, vans, sandwich men shuffling and swinging; brass bands; barrel organs; in the triumph and the jingle and the strange high singing of some aeroplane overhead was what she loved; London; this moment of June,” Woolf writes, her stream-of-consciousness style emphasising a sense of instability.Privacy, pleaseEchoes of Mrs Dalloway ring through Ian McEwan’s Saturday, published 80 years later. Like Woolf’s novel, McEwan’s is told in a single day, starting with preparations for a party. In both cases, events beyond the protagonists’ control interrupt the planned celebrations – and the boundaries between public and private are breached.In literary London, maintaining the public-private boundary is a common concern. In the city, without the space of a roomy country house, social life flourished outside the home. Taverns, clubs and that particular 18th-Century invention, the coffee-house, became community focal points. The urban spaces we’re familiar with today – streets, squares, shops, theatres, arcades and clubs – originate in the town planning of the 18th Century.Saturday is predominantly set in the central character’s home on Fitzroy Square (McEwan’s address at the time he wrote the novel, and, coincidentally, where Woolf lived between 1907 and 1911). “People often drift into the square to act out their drama. Clearly a street won’t do. Passions need room, the attentive spaciousness of a theatre,” he observes. “The square’s public aspect grants privacy to these intimate dramas. Couples come to talk or cry quietly on the benches. Emerging from small rooms in council flats or terraced houses, and from cramped side-streets, into a wider view of generous sky and a tall stand of plane trees on the green, of space and growth, people remember their essential needs and how they’re not being met.” In both Saturday and Mrs Dalloway, London itself becomes the spacious theatre in which domestic dramas are acted out.Multiple personalitiesOne of the criticisms launched at McEwan’s novel was that it failed to capture the true diversity of the city. In the 20th Century – Saturday aside – literary London went multicultural. The first work to depict the lives of ordinary colonial immigrants was in 1956. The Lonely Londoners, a novel by Trinidadian-born Sam Selvon, tells the story of a group of West Indians from the “Windrush generation” – those who came to England following 1948’s British Nationality Act, which conferred British citizenship on all Commonwealth subjects. Although the immigrants hope to make better lives for themselves, they face racism and hardship.More recently, Andrea Levy addressed the same experience in her prize-winning 2004 novel Small Island; Levy’s own parents sailed to England from Jamaica on the Empire Windrush in 1948. Levy’s novel is told from the viewpoints of multiple characters, a device that Zadie Smith had used four years previously in White Teeth (2000) – both authors employing multiplicity in order to capture the essence of multiculturalism.This, of course, is the million-dollar question when it comes to London in literature: when there are so many different versions of the city, how can a writer capture its essence? And how does a writer combine the stories of individual lives with a portrait of the metropolis as a whole?Novelists writing about London are always looking for cohesion to unite the various strands of their plot. As Daniel puts it in Three Brothers, the image he returns to again and again is that of London as “a web so taut and tightly drawn that the slightest movement of any part sent reverberations through the whole. A chance encounter might lead to terrible consequences, and a misheard word bring unintended good fortune. An impromptu answer to a sudden question might cause death.”But just as the city contains myriad individual inhabitants, literary London is made up of many different novels – far more than are listed here. Samuel Johnson’s famous phrase “When a man is tired of London, he is tired of life” applies equally when it comes to the capital’s literature. There is a story about London for everyone./By BBC/ Bolloré Bluesummer is a drop-top pleasure seeker http://www.today.az/news/interesting/141924.html Weird / Interesting Thu, 02 Jul 2015 20:19:00 +0500 If you’ve journeyed to Paris lately, you may have noticed swarms of Bolloré Bluecars on the Champs-Élysées. Or maybe you didn’t; they’re small, quiet and popular enough that they tend to blend. This summer, however, the Bluecar is stripping down for a trip to the beach. The Bluesummer is the beach buggy version of the popular French electric. It takes the sleek, Pininfarina-designed Bluecar body, and gives it a coastal twist with Mediterranean-blue plastic panels, exposed hinges and roll bars in lieu of a roof. Like its urban counterpart, it’s a two-door four-seater, with fold down seats in the rear for cargo.It maintains all of the specs that have made the Bluecar the most popular highway-capable electric in France – 100% electric, with a 50kW engine that can take it up to almost 70mph (110km/h), and a range of 120 miles between charges. That range is courtesy of a 30kWh lithium polymer (LMP) battery pack coupled with supercapacitors for regenerative braking and quick power delivery.Bolloré, a global conglomerate with interests in everything from telecom to rubber plantations, originally brought in the Pininfarina design team simply to showcase technology developed by its Batscap subsidiary. But with this stylish sprite suddenly at their disposal, Bolloré launched the Autolib' car-sharing service, building networks not just of charging stations, but of GPS and on-board computers that calculate range, alter drive mode, map the ride and direct the cars to the nearest charging station. The runabouts also have a 24/7 help button, should a Bluecar not make it all the way to the plug.Roughly half of the Bluecars currently on the road are in private hands, with the rest belonging to carshare schemes in Paris, Lyon, Bordeaux and – coming later this year – the US midwest city of Indianapolis, Indiana. This summer, this bikini’d Bluesummer version will be part of several Riviera rental rosters.We can’t see cruising St Tropez in any other car. Except for maybe this one./By BBC/ Electricity protests continue despite declining number of protesters http://www.today.az/news/regions/141923.html World news Thu, 02 Jul 2015 19:56:00 +0500 /By AzerNews/By Sara RajabovaThe protests in Armenia -- also referred as ‘electro Maidan’ in Russian media-- continue in capital Yerevan, while it stopped in country’s second largest city Gyumri.Despite Armenia media reports over the decrease in the number of protesters in Yerevan’s Baghramyan Avenue in the last three days, the situation still remains difficult to predict.The participants in the protests against the increase of electricity tariffs do not intend to negotiate with the police.The newly created coordination group said it has no intention to hold talks with the police on moving the demonstrations to a different location, David Sanasaryan, the member of the coordination group told the Radio Azatutyun (Armenian service of Radio Liberty).Protesters on Baghramyan Avenue have formed a new initiative against the electricity price hike. The group aims to coordinate the work of the various groups at the sit-in.Earlier, Armenian police issued another statement in connection with the ongoing rally on Baghramyan Avenue. They claim that the illegal march started on June 22 turned into an indefinite protest, violating transport and pedestrian traffic.They also withdrew equipment from Baghramyan Avenue aimed at dispersing protesters, such as the water cannon, on July 2.The police also warned that they would use the full extent of their power in case protesters rejected the calls to move to relocate..During the first days of the demonstration, the police attempted to disperse the protest using force. However, seeing that this can complicate the situation and even cause the protests to grow, the police preferred to hold waiting position to see if the protests would fade away on their own.Armenian police brutally dispersed the crowd with the help of water cannons early morning on June 23. Moreover, it detained nearly 240 activists and protesters. The police officers also used force against many journalists during the crackdown of the protest on Baghramyan Avenue.Furthermore, the brutal crackdown of the protests by police was condemned by the international organizations.Human Rights Watch demanded from the authorities to immediately launch an impartial and thorough investigation in order to clarify the legality and proportionality of the use of force and in case of violations to ensure that those responsible are held accountable.In meantime, the government attempts to convince the demonstrators with various ways to stop their protest.Earlier, President Serzh Sargsyan stated that the government would cover this price hike until an audit is conducted at the Electric Networks of Armenia (ENA) Company, which supplies electricity to the country’s residents.The Armenian media reported that this has divided the activists into separate groups and caused decrease of the number of protesting people in the Baghramyan Avenue."168 Zham" newspaper however, warned that the civil movement could get new breath in any moment.Armenian economist Ashot Yeghiazaryan considered that Sargsyan’s statement to conduct audit at the ENA is a way to buy time.“Through the audit tariff increase must be justified to 7 drams ($0.01), but funding through extra budgetary resources is absurd,” Yeghiazaryan said, Armenian media reported.He added Armenia is deprived of the opportunity to buy cheap electricity, as nuclear power plant in the next year will be stopped for repairs and Russia will not help Armenia in building a new nuclear power plant.Economists earlier warned that by 2017, electricity prices will rise again when the Metsamor nuclear power plant will be suspended for six months for maintenance. Down Cafe – A Turkish cafe that only employs workers with down syndrome http://www.today.az/news/interesting/141922.html Weird / Interesting Thu, 02 Jul 2015 19:18:00 +0500 A café in Istanbul is making headlines for exclusively hiring people with Down syndrome. The aptly named ‘Down Café’ employs staff between the ages of 18 and 25, and aims to empower them with self-confidence and independence.Saruhan Singen, who founded the café in the Sisli district of Istanbul, said that he was inspired by his own experience of raising a daughter with Down syndrome. She now works at the café as well. “I have Sezil and I think she is a gift to me  to understand others like her,” Singen said. “When we think about the number of people with Down syndrome, there is not a wide range of career paths available.”According to Turkey’s National Down Syndrome Association, nearly 1,500 babies are born with the condition in the nation each year. It’s estimated that there are currently over 100,000 people with Down syndrome living in Turkey . According to Singen, “Improved medical care is absolutely essential for these special kids but it is more important that we must do everything possible to help them live more independent and fulfilling lives.”Singen revealed that when he first opened the café in 2011, business was slow. People would hesitate to enter when they learned about the special staff, but the few who did enter were able to appreciate the ambiance, once the initial surprise wore off. It wasn’t long before the place was teeming with patrons, all impressed with the kind of service provided.“I think the cafe also helps people get rid of their prejudices against disabled people and provides a chance to people with Down syndrome to prove themselves and show off their talents,” Singen says. “They want to be together with more people, they want to be accepted by the society and they want their talents to be discovered. That is why we need more sponsors, donors and especially more customers to increase the number of the cafes like Down Café.”“We have volunteer mothers helping us in the kitchen by cooking and washing dishes while Sisli Municipality pays our bills,” he added. Down Café is a joint project  Istanbul Foundation for Mentally Disordered People and Sisli municipality, sponsored by Alternative Life Association. The place is open from 9 to 5 on weekdays, and can seat up to 40 customers at a time.A couple of months ago, we wrote about Tim’s Place, a restaurant in Albuquerque ran by young Tim Harris, who has Down syndrome. He’s doing such a great job that his establishment is fondly known as the “world’s friendliest restaurant”./By Oddity Central/ Jazzman Elchin Shirinov to join int’l festival http://www.today.az/news/entertainment/141921.html Arts & Entertainment Thu, 02 Jul 2015 18:51:00 +0500 /By AzerNews/By Laman SadigovaAzerbaijani jazzman Elchin Shirinov will participate in the International Different Sounds Art'n'Music festival that will be held in Poland.The "Different Sounds" Festival is an art project aimed at music aficionados and enthusiasts of all related arts. Renowned for its quality and scope, it is a cyclic art event happening in Lublin since 2008. With time, Lublin's flagship Festival has become a truly international phenomenon.Mirek Olszówka was the originator and director of the Festival. His beneficiaries alongside the City of Lublin as well as the closest coworkers of the late founder decided to continue organizing the Festival in years to come. In 2013, The Workshops of Culture was appointed the official organizer of the Festival.Elchin Shirinov was born in Baku in 1982. The artist does not have any musician education, but he took lessons from such great jazz pianists such as Vagif Sadikhov, Aaron Goldberg, Kevin Hayes and Yakov Okun.In 2009 he took part in the 6th Festival of Baku drummers.He participated in various festivals in Azerbaijan, Georgia and Malaysia. In 2010, 2011 and 2012 he participated in the Baku Jazz Festival with his band "Elchin Shirinov Trio."In 2010 and 2013 he performed at jazz festivals in Poland. "Silk Way" greets Japanese ansamble http://www.today.az/news/entertainment/141920.html Arts & Entertainment Thu, 02 Jul 2015 18:33:00 +0500 /By AzerNews/By Laman SadigovaThe sixth annual Silk Road Sheki International Music Festival kicked off on July 1 in one of the most ancient centers of Azerbaijani culture, Sheki.The festival, co-organized by the Azerbaijani Composers Union and the Sheki Executive power, supported by the Culture and Tourism Ministry, was attended by many well-known musicians from Azerbaijan and number of foreign countries as well as by folklore ensembles, and dancers representing minorities living throughout the country.A Japanese ensemble called "Kamigata sumieshi kai" opened the festival performing in front of the historical Palace of the Sheki Khans, which dates back to the XVIII century."Kamigata rakugo", a Japanese art style, was also on display at the concert. This style appeared in the Edo period and now is a traditional Japanese art.Japanese dancers performed the traditional "Daikagura", which was once dedicated to God. The Japanese, like all agriculture-based societies, ask God for rich harvests and grant them their wishes through this dance.The concert was attended by the leadership of the Azerbaijani Composers Union and the Sheki Executive power, artists, music lovers and citizens.All the performances were greeted with loud applauds and acclamation.At the conclusion of the concert, on behalf of the city’s executive power, the artists were awarded a commemorative gift.Sheki has been a major city along the Silk Road for centuries. The city boasts of its great silk factory that had produced silk products for over four centuries.The festival gives the chance to show Sheki’s rich culture and art, its hospitality, and originality. For many centuries the city, was an important centre of art. Today Sheki is a unique place that has preserved the urban culture inherent to medieval towns. The town’s historical and architectural monuments – caravanserais, mosques, minarets, walls and bridges – show the ancient architectural style of the city. Azerbaijan simplifies MNP service http://www.today.az/news/business/141919.html Business Thu, 02 Jul 2015 18:09:00 +0500 /By AzerNews/By Nigar OrujovaAzerbaijani mobile operators will simplify the country’s mobile numbers portability service, a procedure that makes it possible to migrate from one mobile carrier to another.The Communications and High Technologies Ministry has revealed that many of the errors in the work of mobile operators to provide MNP services have been created artificially to limit the loss of business, and the consumer’s right to choose. Meanwhile, the MNP serves the interest of the final consumer.Taking this into account, the ministry has already submitted proposals to amend the rules of the MNP service to the government for approval. It is expected that the new changes will take effect in the near future.Earlier, the Ministry initiated a plan to reduce the waiting time for migrating from one operator's network to another from six to three days, which was undertaken in order to ensure the efficiency of services and enhance its attractiveness to end users.The Ministry also removed the requirement for consumers to be completely caught up in payments to the subscriber in order to switch carriers.The debt to the operator will be considered the current debt, and calculations are carried out after the transfer of the number.There are three mobile operators in Azerbaijan: Azercell, Bakcell and Azerfon.The implementation of the MNP service will allow mobile communication subscribers to keep their phone numbers when changing network operators. The number transfer envisages a subscriber's transition from one service to another within the provider's prefix of 050, 051, 055, 070 and 077.The simplification of the MNP service is expected to increase competition and prompt operators to provide more competitive services to attract new customers. Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Tajikistan railway construction underway http://www.today.az/news/regions/141918.html World news Thu, 02 Jul 2015 17:58:00 +0500 /By AzerNews/By Vusala AbbasovaTurkmenistan has completed the 45th kilometer of its portion of a railway that is slated to pass from Turkmenistan through Afghanistan and into Tajikistan.The Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Tajikistan (TAT) Railway, with an overall length of 400 km, is an important link in the international transport operations between the countries of Central Asia.The Atamyrat-Imamnazar section of the railway, which lies in Turkmenistan, will have a total length of 85 kilometers and will be Turkmenistan’s last stop on the international transport corridor.The TAT railway has an estimated cost of $1.5-2 billion is being developed as part of the Central Asia Regional Cooperation Program. It is primarily financed by the Asian Development Bank, which has allocated $350 million to Afghanistan for its 37-mile section between Akina and Andho.On the 23rd km of the railway, work is being done on the ground infrastructure facilities, while on the 36th km progress is being made on filling rubble-gravel mixtures. At the 46th km mark, the preparation of soil roadbed (soil bed) is in progress.The project holds significant importance for creating new regional and inter-regional transport and communication corridors in Turkmenistan, and is of strategic, political and economic importance for all participating countries.Future prospects are largely dependent on the proper adaptation of the railway network and its services to the capacities of new transit and export-import cargo, which have become an important source of exports of services and foreign exchange revenues.Afghanistan shares long borders with Turkmenistan and Tajikistan (750 and 1,300 kilometers respectively).According to Afghani experts, the trade between Afghanistan and Tajikistan grew to 130 million dollars in the last ten years.The European Trade Committee estimated the value of Afghanistan’s trade with Tajikistan to 69.6 million euros and its trade with Turkmenistan to 163.1 million euros in 2010.This trans-regional railroad project is likely to increase trade turnover.The project expands regional infrastructures, connects landlocked countries with seaways, and opens a new corridor between Central Asia and world markets through seaports on the coast of the Indian Ocean that will halve the distance to the Baltic Sea coast via Russia.The TAT railway project is expected to be fully operational by 2018.The Turkmen Ministry of Economy earlier reported that China, Iran, and Kyrgyzstan had expressed the interest in the TAT railway project at the start of its construction.Moreover, the Tajikistan Transport Ministry announced that the railway route would stretch into Iran.To date, the Turkmen section of the route is under construction, while Tajikistan still seeks funding for a feasibility study on its portion of the railway. Baku protests planned visit of separatist NKR leader to UK http://www.today.az/news/politics/141917.html Politics Thu, 02 Jul 2015 17:44:00 +0500 /By AzerNews/By Sara RajabovaAzerbaijan has raised objections to the possible visit of the head of the separatist regime of Nagorno-Karabakh to the United Kingdom.The Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry has summoned UK ambassador to Azerbaijan Irfan Siddiq regarding this issue.Deputy Foreign Minister Khalaf Khalafov expressed strong protest by Azerbaijan over the planned visit of the head of the separatist regime of Nagorno-Karabakh Bako Sahakyan to the UK, and participation in an event organized by the Royal Institute of International Affairs, the Foreign Ministry said on July 2.Chatham House will hold the discussions on the situation concerning Nagorno-Karabakh, regional security, and relations between different regional actors in London on July 8, local media reported.The think-thank also invited Sahakyan as a speaker, whom Chatham House is expected to present as "the president of the de facto Nagorno-Karabakh Republic."Following the conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan, the separatist regime was established in Azerbaijan's occupied Nagorno-Karabakh regime.During the meeting, Khalafov stressed that this situation contradicts with the spirit of friendly and strategic relations between Azerbaijan and the UK and is regarded as a step taken against the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Azerbaijan.Siddiq, for his part, said the UK doesn’t recognize the regime in Nagorno-Karabakh and has no relations with it.The diplomat pledged to convey the concern of the Azerbaijani side to the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office.Moreover, under instruction from the Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry, the country’s embassy in the UK held a meeting at UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office on this issue and handed over the letter of protest.In response to the letter, the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office said it supports Azerbaijan’s sovereignty and territorial integrity and doesn’t recognize the regime created in Nagorno-Karabakh, adding that the position of the country remains unchanged.Additionally, it was noted that the mentioned visit hasn’t been arranged by the government and there will be no meetings with the country’s officials during Sahakyan’s visit to London.Earlier, the UK Embassy said the UK government has no influence over Chatham House’s decisions, nor should it, given its respect for the freedom of action of non-governmental organizations.The UK did not recognize the legitimacy of the presidential and parliamentary elections held in occupied Nagorno-Karabakh a while ago and voiced support for the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan.For over two decades, Azerbaijan and Armenia have been locked in a conflict that emerged over Armenia's territorial claims against its South Caucasus neighbor. Since a war in the early 1990s, Armenian armed forces have occupied 20 percent of Azerbaijan's territory, including Nagorno-Karabakh and seven surrounding regions.A fragile ceasefire has been in place since 1994, but long-standing efforts by U.S., Russian and French mediators have been largely fruitless so far.Armenia has not yet implemented any of the four U.N. Security Council resolutions urging a pullout from its neighboring country's territories. Contract on Karazhanbas field extended in Kazakhstan http://www.today.az/news/regions/141916.html World news Thu, 02 Jul 2015 17:32:00 +0500 Kazakhstan’s Energy Minister and Karazhanbasmunai JSC have signed an additional agreement on extending the contract on Karazhanbas oil and gas field in the country’s Mangistau province, KazMunaiGas Exploration Production JSC said July 2.KazMunaiGas Exploration Production JSC owns 50 percent share in Karazhanbasmunai JSC.The contract for hydrocarbon production at Karazhanbas has been extended till June 7, 2035.Previously, the validity of the contract was to expire in 2020.KMG EP was among the top three oil producers in Kazakhstan as of 2014. The company’s production volume, taking into account its shares in the LLP Kazgermunai JV, CCEL (Karazhanbasmunai) and PetroKazakhstan Inc. stood at 12.3 million metric tons (250,000 barrels per day) in 2014.The volume of consolidated proven and probable reserve of the KMG EP, given the shares in joint ventures, amounted to 177 million metric tons (1.303 billion barrels) as of late 2014. Of this volume, 132 million metric tons (981 million barrels) accounted for Ozenmunaigas JSC, Embamunaigas JSC and Ural Oil and Gas LLP./By Trend/ No risk of bird flu epidemic in Istanbul http://www.today.az/news/regions/141915.html World news Thu, 02 Jul 2015 17:20:00 +0500 There is no risk of a bird flu epidemic in Istanbul, the Turkish health ministry told Trend July 2.“At present, outbreaks are being localized,” the ministry said.The bird flu has not spread to people in Istanbul, the statement said.This virus has been revealed among some migratory birds.It has been revealed among wild birds during preventive measures in two districts of Istanbul today.It is also reported that hunting of wild birds was banned as a preventive measure until late September.The Turkish province of Balikesir was quarantined due to the bird flu in May.There is no risk of spreading bird flu in the country and it was revealed only at one of the poultry farms in the Bandirma region, Balikesir province, the Turkish health ministry told Trend./By Trend/ Formula 1 Grand Prix of Europe preparation in Baku http://www.today.az/news/sports/141914.html Sports Thu, 02 Jul 2015 17:08:00 +0500 The preparation for the Formula 1 competition, to be held in Azerbaijan in 2016, called the Formula 1, Grand Prix of Europe, is being conducted according to schedule. The main road construction work is planned to be held in 2016.The urban highway project in the center of Baku has been prepared by Hermann Tilke’s architectural firm. The repair will consist of several stages, Baku Grand Prix company, which will hold the competitions, said. The project has been already prepared and submitted to the International Automobile Federation. Once the project is approved, the construction work will begin. The main stage of the work is scheduled for the next year.It should be stressed that the competitions, to be held in Baku, are distinguish by their uniqueness. Along with Monaco and Singapore, Baku will also host a race on a street circuit.During the race in Baku, the cars will move in parallel with the boulevard and make a circle around the Old City, a national historical and architectural reserve, which is considered the most ancient part of Baku and included into the list of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites, so spectators and guests can observe the whole city during these competitions. It should also be stressed that Formula 1 is one of the most popular television events in the world./By Trend/ Fears raised as 'one third' of China's Great Wall disappears http://www.today.az/news/interesting/141913.html Weird / Interesting Thu, 02 Jul 2015 16:53:00 +0500 It was originally built to defend an empire, but now parts of the Great Wall of China are crumbling so badly they need someone to leap to their defense.About 2,000 kilometers, or 30%, of the ancient fortification built in the Ming Dynasty era has disappeared due to natural erosion and human damage, according to the Beijing Times.And the situation could worsen, experts are warning, as not enough is being done to preserve what remains."It's a great pity to witness the Great Wall in such devastated situation," Mei Jingtian, a volunteer who has worked for three decades to safeguard the structure and has founded of the Great Wall Protection Association, tells CNN.About 8,000 kilometers of the structure dates from the Ming period between the 14th and 17th centuries and is considered by some to be the original Great Wall.Wild Great WallOf this, 2,000 kilometers is made up of naturally occurring earthworks -- and so only 6,000 kilometers of actual Ming dynasty wall was ever built.Stretches built in other eras make up an overall length estimated at up to 21,000 kilometers.Many visitors to China associate the Great Wall with an extensively restored stretch of Ming era wall at Badaling near Beijing, but this is far from typical of most of the structure.According to a 2014 survey done by the Great Wall of China Society, only about 8.2% of the Great Wall is in good condition, with 74.1% classified as poorly preserved."The Great Wall is a vast heritage site -- over 20,000 kilometers -- hence increasing the difficulty in preservation and restoration," Dong Yaohui, deputy director of the Great Wall of China Society, tells CNN."Reliance on a very small amount of manpower by the local heritage departments is not enough to guard and protect the site."A recent surge in interest from tourists in visiting unexploited sections, known as the "Wild Great Wall," has accelerated its deterioration, according to the report.Graffiti and theft have also taken their toll."Local residents in some sections sell bricks that have historic engravings on them," says Dong.Stiffer penaltiesDong says to effectively cover the most endangered stretches of the wall, local governments should provide subsidies and education to encourage local residents and farmers to get involved in its protection.Increased penalties for causing damage are also needed, he adds."For example, several weeks ago, part of the Great Wall in Ningxia was bulldozed by local government departments for agricultural development. The people responsible received only a verbal warning but no severe punishment."Mei adds that local people should also be recruited to ensure tourists respect the structure."Such activities should be carried on for future generations," he adds./By CNN/ NGOs merely execute orders of their patrons, says top Azerbaijani official http://www.today.az/news/politics/141912.html Politics Thu, 02 Jul 2015 16:42:00 +0500 Today, the notion of international law is something that can only be found in statements and certain documents, deputy head of Azerbaijani presidential administration, chief of the administration’s foreign relations department Novruz Mammadov tweeted July 2.“NGOs are one of the actors fulfilling a mission of international law in international relations. Hence the name – international NGOs,” the top official wrote.Whereas international NGOs are merely executing the orders of their patrons, Mammadov added./By Trend/ Oil still stuck in $60 box, but possible Iran deal would take it down http://www.today.az/news/business/141911.html Business Thu, 02 Jul 2015 16:29:00 +0500 Ole Hansen, Head of Commodity Strategy / Saxo BankFollowing one of the biggest crude oil selloffs in recent memory the prices of both WTI crude and Brent crude have now remained range-bound for two months. While other financial markets have been preoccupied with the future of Greece and its potential impact on markets, an eerie calm has descended upon the oil market. Since recovering from a $42 low back in March, WTI crude oil has since established a tight range around $60/bbl. The average price during the past 41 trading days has been $59.65 and this level has been traded on all but 13 days during this period. A sideways trading pattern like this has been seen before but coming after a long period of extreme price moves, it has surprised many observers.The upside potential seems limited to around $65 given the potential for a return or pick-up in US shale production at this level, the downside seems equally limited.A breakthrough in the Iran nuclear negotiations currently approaching their June 30 deadline should lead to increased exports from this important Opec member. Speculation that 50 million barrels from floating storage could be unleashed on the market could initially have quite a negative impact on oil prices. Iran, however, is desperately short of investments to improve its production ability and this will take time to implement.Over the coming months and into next year Opec is hoping that US production will continue to slow and that a continued rise in global demand eventually will allow the price to move higher as the risk of oversupply will fade despite the above mentioned pick-up in US production.A continued bumpy ride for oil can therefore be expected and with the risk of rising supply, as refinery demand slows, towards the end of the current quarter the upside potential seems limited, thereby skewing the short-term risk to the downside.During the coming quarter we see Brent crude trade predominantly within a $55 to $70 range and WTI crude within $50 to $65 range with the downside risk most likely to be seen towards the end of this period unless an agreement with Iran is reached within the next couple of weeks. Turkish Stream – project-in-waiting http://www.today.az/news/business/141910.html Business Thu, 02 Jul 2015 16:18:00 +0500 /By AzerNews/By Gulgiz DadashovaMoscow’s plan to keep its gas leverage by building the Turkish Stream gas pipeline seems to face delays due to a number of developments in Greece and Turkey.One of the main roadblocks in the realization of the new pipeline, which would carry as much as 63 billion cubic meters of gas to Turkey and southern Europe, is a brewing fight over gas prices between Russian Gazprom and Turkey’s Botas.A six-month period to agree on prices for gas supplies between the two countries expired on Monday. The sides don’t seem eager to rush to sign a binding pact for the new pipeline, the second between Russia and Turkey.An agreement could now be delayed until at least October, as a new government has not been yet formed in Turkey after the latest parliamentary elections.The ruling Justice and Development Party lost its parliamentary majority in the June 7 election, and needs to form a collation government or hold new elections in case of failure.If a price accord is reached, a binding deal on the pipeline is possible later this year after the political situation clarified. Thus it is unclear precisely when Turkey and Russia will ink an agreement for the Turkish Stream.The Turkish Stream is expected to bring Russian gas through Turkey and then to the Greek border. From there, another Gazprom-financed planned pipeline, tentatively called Tesla, would move gas further across the territory of Greece to Macedonia, Serbia, Hungary and Austria.The delay could be a strong blow to Turkish Stream, which Moscow hopes to finish in 2019 since Gazprom doesn’t plan to extend a gas-transit contract with Ukraine after 2019.Uncertainty about the pipeline is not only linked to gas prices, but also the Greek crisis.The prolonged Greek debt crisis turned into an obstacle that may indirectly force the Tsipras government out of office.To solve its financial problems, Greece needs investment, which could potentially come from Russia. If the Greeks choose Moscow, however, the EU’s doors will close to Athens.At a time when Europe is targeting Russia with sanctions to hurt the Russian economy, it does not want to leave any room for Moscow to gain influence through another gas route.The European Commission earlier announced that Turkish Stream may face the same issues that stalled South Stream, a $45 billion pipeline project that Gazprom dropped in December due to EU resistance. The Russian gas export monopoly argues that its links do not need EU approval.It seems that Russia’s long-awaited pipeline project is going to take quite a while to come on stream. Azerbaijani film to be screened in Germany http://www.today.az/news/entertainment/141909.html Arts & Entertainment Thu, 02 Jul 2015 16:09:00 +0500 /By AzerNews/By Amina NazarliThe feature film "Nabat" by Azerbaijani director Elchin Musaoglu will be screened at the Five Lakes International Film Festival.The film is included in the main competition program of the film festival, which will be held in Germany from July 29 to August 9.Around 100 full-length and 30 short films will be screened at the festival.The Five Lakes Film festival is one of the fastest-growing film festivals in Germany. It also serves as an exhibitor of art house productions in the Five Lakes region, south of Munich. It’s the festival director’s intention to present a diverse selection of international films and productions from Central Europe that have not yet had theatrical distribution.Nabat was shot in 2014. It is dedicated to Karabakh war, which resulted after Armenia's unjustified territorial claims against Azerbaijan.Elchin Musaoglu, who has directed more than 50 documentaries and feature films, decided to make this film after being moved by a friend’s real-life experience during the war..The story revolves around the residents of a village, who are forced to leave their homes because of an ongoing battle, but there is an old woman who refuses to leave her family members buried in the village.In his interviews, the director has said, as in all conflicts, that it is the mothers who suffer the most."Paradise must be found beneath the mother's feet. I sincerely believe that if the mothers were in charge, the world would be a better place," says Musaoglu, the winner in "The Best Foreign Film" category at the 42th Houston International Film Festival in Texas in 2009.The full-length feature film was awarded with many other prizes in many other influential festivals. It was screened at the 71st Venice International Film Festival in Italy and presented in the 27th International Film Festival in Tokyo, Japan. The film was also screened at the 50th Chicago International film festival and at the 26th Palm Springs International Film Festival in Los Angeles. Turkey ready to render financial assistance to Greece http://www.today.az/news/regions/141908.html World news Thu, 02 Jul 2015 15:56:00 +0500 Turkey expects Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu’s order to render financial support to Greece, Kanal7 TV channel reported July 2 with reference to Turkish Minister of Finance Mehmet Simsek.Simsek said that Turkey has the opportunity to render financial support to Greece.Earlier, Davutoglu said that Ankara is ready to render any support to Athens to revive the economy.He said that stability in Greece is important for Turkey.Last Sunday, the creditors refused to grant Greece a deferral of payments on the IMF loans and did not renew the international program of financial assistance to the country for the third time without coordinating the Greek reform program.Greece’s leaving the euro zone can be the result. This will be a serious blow not only for the single European currency, but will have a negative impact on the world economy as a whole./By Trend/ Iran says have decisive will for achieving nuclear deal http://www.today.az/news/regions/141907.html World news Thu, 02 Jul 2015 15:42:00 +0500 Secretary General of Iran ’s Supreme National Security Council (SNSC) Ali Shamkhani said that Islamic Republic has decisive political will to achieve a “fair and balanced agreement” with the P5+1 over its nuclear program.Shamkhani made the remarks during a meeting with Yukiya Amano, director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in Tehran on July 2, Iran ’s official IRIB news agency reported.Shamkhani called for improving the IAEA technical role in cooperation with the members, criticizing the international body over what he claimed standing away of its “legal status.”The Iranian official further said that if the IAEA neglects its true status, it would lose members’ trust on real and positive functions of the organization.Active cooperation based on conventional rules and implementing accepted legal obligations is Iran ’s principle in dealing with international organizations, Shamkhani said.Amano is also scheduled to meet with Iranian president Hassan Rouhani during his one-day stay in Tehran. A source close to the Iranian nuclear negotiating team said that Amano visit is aimed to receive Iran ’s proposals on the nuclear issue to resolve misunderstandings.As Iran has refused to let its nuclear scientists be interviewed, the IAEA is seeking to receive Iran ’s proposals in this regard.On June 8, Amano said United Nations inspectors must be permitted access to suspect Iranian sites, including possible military ones, for “years and years” to restore confidence in the peaceful nature of its nuclear program.Amano said it would take years for the UN’s atomic agency to come to a final broader conclusion that Iran ’s nuclear program is fully peaceful.Iran and the P5+1 (the US, UK, France, Russia, China, and Germany) are in intensive talks to hammer a comprehensive nuclear agreement until July 7. The sides reached framework deal in the Swiss city of Lausanne on April 2./By Trend/ Bird flu virus found in Istanbul http://www.today.az/news/regions/141906.html World news Thu, 02 Jul 2015 15:34:00 +0500 Bird flu virus was revealed among wild birds during prophylactic measures in two districts of Istanbul, Turkish Kanal7 TV channel said July 2.Work is now underway to prevent its spread.It is also reported that hunting of wild birds was banned as a prophylactic measure until late September.The Turkish province of Balikesir was quarantined due to the bird flu in May.There is no risk of spreading bird flu in the country and it was revealed only at one of the poultry farms in the Bandirma region, Balikesir province, the Turkish health ministry told Trend./By Trend/ Turkey needs new constitution http://www.today.az/news/regions/141905.html World news Thu, 02 Jul 2015 15:22:00 +0500 The adoption of a new constitution will be a primary task of the new parliament, Ismet Yilmaz, the newly elected speaker of the Turkish parliament, said, the Turkish Anadolu news agency reported July 2.Yilmaz said that Turkey, actively developing from the economic and political points of view, needs a new constitution.The Turkish opposition has always opposed the adoption of a new constitution. It believes that this is an action to the transition from a parliamentary form of government to a presidential form.It is possible that if the Turkish parliament is unable to adopt a new constitution, a people’s referendum will be held.Earlier, Turkey’s former Justice Minister, Bekir Bozdag said that the country needs a new Constitution. Bozdag said that despite the changes in over 100 paragraphs of Turkey’s current Constitution, the government was unable to make it more democratic.Moreover, following the Turkish presidential election held on August 14, 2014, Turkey’s then Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said a new Constitution is required for Turkey's democratization.Davutoglu said the new government would aim to work out a democratic Constitution.Turkey’s then Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan sent a letter to the leaders of the oppositional Republican People's Party and the Nationalist Movement Party in late October 2011 where he called on them to participate in the talks on working out a new Constitution./By Trend/